Entries in sourdough (40)

Wednesday
Mar272019

pancake batter, sugar brioche, and cinnamon rolls

I did not talk about it the last time I posted, but my house sat under the smoke from the chemical fire in Deer Park, Texas.  Allergies are always bad this time of year but I could taste the chemicals in the back of my throat.  The government was saying the air quality was moderate but I have an acquaintance who is a neurologist and she said the numbers of people coming to the hospital with strange things was way up.  I got sick. 

My allergies changed into something that had fever.  Every adult I was around with that fever caught crud.  It has been an interesting week trying to care of short people.  And I swear Blue was some type of prehistoric marine mammal in a previous life.  He likes to spend an hour in warm water if you let him!

But while this has been going on with life, I have been trying to keep up with bread.  I have now come to the conclusion that my hot cross bun recipe translates into many lovely things.

The hot cross buns have walnuts and cranberries in the recipe.  I leave those out it the dough becomes many things.  I leave it as a batter, it becomes pancakes.  The plain dough makes lovely sugar brioche.  And after eating lovely sugar brioche in New Orleans, I wish some in my own kitchen.  I laminate the plain dough with butter and swirl in cinnamon and brown sugar, it becomes cinnamon rolls that are better then what can be purchased out.

pancake batter, sugar brioche, and cinnamon rolls

Note:  I started with the hot cross bun recipe from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  I have tweaked to use sourdough and make the dough richer.  

a couple tablespoons of sourdough starter

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup water

3 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

3 cups flour (no more, even for kneading)

1/4 to a 1/2 cup butter

In a large bowl, about eight hours before you want to make pancakes, mix the starter, buttermilk, water, and three cups of water together.  Cover and put in a warm place to become bubbly.  Depending on how warm your kitchen is, eight hours is a good guess but it could be less or more.

Take out a couple of tablespoons of the starter and mix back into your starter jar.

Into the bowl, put the sugar, eggs, and salt.  Mix well.

At this point, take the amount of batter out of the bowl that you would like to become pancakes.  I put it into a quart canning jar.  If the dough is stiff due to the water content of the flour, I will add some more buttermilk to thin it.  Remember, the dough is yeasted so it is still growing.  Leave plenty of room or it will explode in the refrigerator.  It is a mess to clean up.  And yes, it has happened to me.

When you are ready for pancakes, warm up a griddle on a mediume low heat.  Melt butter.  Drop the batter by tablespoons on to the griddle.  Koda Bear usually eat nine to twelve before school and I am a genius for making sure there is pancake batter every morning!

To the rest of the dough, mix in 2 cups flour.  It should start being a soft dough.  Add another 1/2 cup if it is too soft.  Turn it out on to a clean surface and knead until it starts to become smooth.

Put the butter on the counter and beat it flat.  I fold it, sprinkle with flour, and beat it again.  Sometimes, I beat it with my hand.  Sometimes with my rolling pin.  I am going for soft pliable butter.  The little bit of flour will let it be kneaded into the dough easier which is what I do next.  I knead the butter into the dough until the dough is smooth and the butter is well incorporated.

Put the dough into a ziploc bag and refrigerate at least over night.  Refrigerating for 24 hours is good too.

When the dough has been refrigerated, make buns or cinnamon rolls.  Follow my cinnamon roll directions for shaping and baking.  I will have to change that because I have been laminating 1/2 cup of butter into my cinnamon rolls.  It really takes it to the next level but I have not taken enough pictures.

If you make sugar brioche, this dough balls are much too big.  Make them about golf ball size.  Because the dough is cold, it may take all day for the dough to rise and get puffy.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.  I do not preheat.  The bun needs to be golden.

I am still experimenting with how to add the sugar.  Currently, I am using a egg white wash and granulated sugar while the bun is still warm.  I will continue to experiment with it.

I am trying a new brioche recipe this week but I will be surprised if it is as good as this.  Why do I try?  Because other people rave.  And I know everyone has different tastes.  Why not try?

I am making sugar brioche for my birthday breakfast.  It will be a day of food I wish to eat!

Thursday
May242018

one of the many french style breads

Obviously, when I got back from camping I had milk that was going bad.  Drinkable but it tasted just a bit off.  I also needed bread.  

I have been wanting a French style bread.  The boyos really like the oatmeal.  I could have made the oatmeal bread with the milk.  Not a problem.  I just wanted something a little different.  I like a French style bread with butter and jam.  A bit drippy but not holey.  Which is why I say French style.  I do not wish a crust that cuts my mouth and I want enough bread to hold the butter and jam and not fall on the plate.  I can make the artisan style breads.  I chose not to because I want the jam and butter to be on the bread not running down my arm.  It sounds so picky but is true.

I went through the Bein Cuit cookbook to be inspired.  There was a French style loaf with milk and olive oil.  I have to admit I quite like it.  Here is where it gets really silly.  I looked at the proportion of measurements, realized they were very close to Chris Bianco's pizza dough measurements and went from there.  It is really how simple bread is to make.  Please try it!

I have actually made this bread again already with the whey I saved from straining the yogurt.  Again, so good.  There is a a half a loaf left and I am told bread is needed.  Partially because the boyos have said there is a need for bread pudding with rum sauce.  This is my life.  There are many times where I do not feel like i am not getting anything done but it is because I am always making and doing!  I just laugh. 

Eat bread, butter, and jam.  This is a good starting place.  Ask questions if you want!

I also realized as I reread this post that words, fingers, and keyboard are not necessarily working very well.  Ask questions if I am not clear please!  I just have to laugh at myself.  Time for more tea.

French style bread

Note:  Used ideas from Zachary Golper of Bein Cuit and Chris Bianco of Bianco.  It is bread.

a couple tablespoons of sourdough starter (I then add flour and water to my sourdough jar to refresh it for next time)

1 cup water

1 cup milk or whey

1/4 cup olive oil

5 cups or more of flour

2 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, place the starter in a large bowl.  Add the water, milk, and olive oil.  Mix in 3 cups of flour.  Stir really hard.  Cover and let sit until bubbly.  Starting with cold starter and cold milk, that is four to six hours.  Maybe even eight depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  No, I do not warm my milk.

Once the batter is bubbling, mix in the salt.  Mix in almost two cups of flour.  My flour is very fresh and very moist so I actually need to add almost another cup of flour to get a smooth dough.  Mix in the two cups of flour until there is a rough ball.  It will probably still be sticky but knead it until smooth.  Get your hands in.  Add as little extra floor as possible because the higher the water content of the dough the lighter your bread can be.

When the bread is a smooth ball, put back into a bowl and cover.  Come back in about an hour, flatten, fold into the center, and make another bowl.  Do this three times.  After the third time, or I am ready to go to bed, I put the ball of dough in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator.

The next day, I line a loaf baking tin with parchment paper.  I take the dough out of the refrigerator and shape into a loaf shape.  I put it into the tin and cover.  I let it proof until double.  Or the fingerprint pressed into it does not bounce back.  My kitchen, this can take eight hours.

Once it is at this point, put the loaf into the oven.  Turn the oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and back for one hour.  It should be golden and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.  If it is not proofed enough, the center will be doughy and it will never truly bake.

Bread.  Good basic bread that used milk that was souring.  It is good with fresh milk and whey too!  I am starting this bread this afternoon.  I will probably bake it on Saturday.  That is how my timings work.

Saturday
Feb032018

An Italianish brioche

To no one's surprise, I am a baker.  So this should be no surprise that that many of the people I follow on Instagram are bakers.  The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook has come up a few times.  It is always very interesting to see what other cookbooks other bakers are interested in.  Especially those of us who make bread.  I have not gotten very deep in the volume I got for Christmas!  That is going to be interesting when I do.  Beware close friends!  I may be hitting you up to receive bread!

I was able to get the cookbook from the library.  Which is my preferred first choice of reviewing a cookbook.  I flipped through it.  I have heard of Jim Lahey and no-knead bread before.  If you want to do this technique, I think it is great and more power to you.  You will have fresh bread at home and that is the goal.  Personally, I have been baking too long and it is too messy and fussy for me.  Saying that, he did have a brioche recipe that I wanted to use as a guideline.

To be completely honest, I like a good brioche better then a good croissant.  The main problem is that most purchased brioche are on the dry side, tending to stale.  It is just the amount of butter, eggs, and milk that are in them.  I have good brioche recipes so I was not really on the look out for another one.  According to Jim Lahey, this was an Italian style one.  Not quite so plain.  Was I going to give an Italian brioche recipe a try?  Of course!  I am not an Italian grandmother but I have been accused of those tendencies.

I really liked it.  I would make them again.  There was a bit of lemon and vanilla added.  I could see making them with orange like the coronetto I make have in them.  Again, Italian flavors.  And for a baker, who more then likes a cup of tea, a perfect breakfast with some mountain jam and butter on them.  A small bit of heaven.

italianish brioche

Note:  This recipe is modified from The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook.

100 grams (a scant half cup) water

113 grams (8 tablespoons) butter

90 grams (a scant 1/2 cup) sugar

5 grams (1 teaspoon) honey

2 large eggs

4 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (I had extract and not the lemon)

125 grams sourdough starter

540 grams (3 3/4 cups) flour plus extra flour for kneading and shaping

6 grams (1 teaspoon) salt 

In a large bowl, put the water, butter, sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla, lemon, and starter.  Mix well but it will be lumpy.  Mix in half the flour, 270 grams (1 3/4 cups flour).  Mix well.  It will still be lumpy.  Cover and let rise until a bubbly mass like pancake batter.

At this point, mix in the salt.  Add in the rest of the flour.  Mix until you can mix no more and then turn out onto a clean floured surface and knead until smooth. 

Put back into a clean bowl, and let rise for an hour, covered.  After an hour, flatten the dough.  Fold the dough like a piece of paper into thirds.  Then fold the ends into the middle.  Put the folded side down.  Cover and let sit again for an hour.  I do this about three or four times.  

After the last fold, put in the refrigerator for an overnight rise.

The next morning, cover a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.  I shaped the dough into knots instead of the traditional brioche shape.  Dust you hands with flour and took a golf ball size of dough. Shape it into a snake and then tied a knot.  Place it on the baking sheet.   When all the dough has been shaped this way, cover and let slowly rise until double.  Since the dough was pulled from the refrigerator, this could take some time depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  My kitchen was cold so it took almost all day.  I probably did not need to refrigerate the dough.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the dough is risen, bake the rolls for about 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  The range is due to the size.  You want a golden roll.  I used a white whole wheat flour which tends to a darker shade when fully baked.

I toasted mine and smear them with jam and butter for breakfast.  So good!  If I did not have three half loaves of bread currently, I would be making more for breakfast and tea.  But that is life.

Tuesday
Nov072017

craving beignets

I was craving beignets last week.  I know part of that was the trip to Galveston.  It is the closest place for me to buy beignets out currently.  Unless I wish to drive to New Orleans.  I actually do not have a problem with that but I do not always have the time.  And I say drive because then I can take a tent, camp, wander, eat, drink, and be merry.  Yes.  It is how I do New Orleans at this point in my life.  

The lowly oddly beignet on the plate in the above picture was the last one.  Cold because I made it the day before but it was still a good beignet!  Which the day after, beignets are pretty bleah!  I do not know if I am making beignets next or croissants because I am craving them both but one will be made.  But I have to write down the beignet recipe.  I followed a recipe for New Orlean style beignets, changing them for sourdough and what was in the house.  This is where I get asked did I really follow the recipe or not.  My response is usually, hmmmm.

beignets

Note:  I started with the beignet recipe from Genius Kitchen.  I changed it for sourdough and what was in my kitchen.

1/4 cup sourdough starter (I have a large mason jar of starter just ready to go now.  I just dipped out a 1/4 cup)

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

3-3 3/4 cups whole wheat white flour

2 tablespoons butter

In a large bowl, put in the starter and water.  Mix well.  Stir in the sugar, egg, salt, milk, and butter.

Mix in the flour a cup a time.  I made my dough on the wet side so I held back on the flour.  But you want to get enough flour until you can knead the dough smooth.  I had to use my dough scraper to help me because the dough was so sticky.  I really wanted a dough that would rise well when fried.  I used about 3 1/2 cups flour.

Cover and let the dough rise until double in bulk.  This can be done at room temperature or it can be done in the refrigerator.  If you plan to put the dough in the refrigerator, cover the bowl with cling wrap.

When the dough has doubled, turn it out of the bowl onto a clean floured surface.  Pat or roll to about 1/2 inch thick and cut rectangles.  I went for smaller then purchased beignets.  But my dough was also soft enough by the time I transferred them to baking sheets covered with silpats to rise, the rectangles were not very rectangular. 

Cover and let rise until double again or very puffy.

In a deep pan, put in two or three inches of vegetable oil and bring to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I use a cast iron chicken fryer.  Put a few beignets in at a time to fry.  First one side, then roll over.  An even brownness is wanted.  It will only take a few minutes a side.  They can go from golden to too dark very quickly.

I actually had paper towels in the house so I let them drain on paper towels.

Sift lots of powdered sugar over them.  Eat hot with coffee or tea.  Take some to the neighbors.  Which is what I did because I did not need to eat two dozen beignets even though I wanted too!

Like I said, beignets or croissants later this week.  The boyos would say both!

Thursday
Oct262017

sourdough vanilla everyday cake

Since I started making sourdough everyday cakes, as soon as a cake is gone I am told we need cake.  When I was at my parents, I told this story.  My brother was there and said of course you always need cake in the house!  I did not realize there were such strong feelings about the topic.

But everyday cake is a good thing.  I think I mentioned I was working on a vanilla and I think I figured it out.  My regular frosting vanilla cake did not translate well.  And according to Koda Bear, birthday cake is only frosting cake!  He is adamant about this!  So having the frosting cake recipe is a good thing.  It does translate well to buckle.  But I had to tweak to get the vanilla.  It turn out well.  

I have been asked to have a cake rotation.  There is one more I am going to try.  A rift on Dorrie Greenspan's lemon spice traveling cake.  It is what she calls it.  But it is not going to have five eggs in it!

What can I say?  This is just a good basic vanilla cake.  Similar to a pound cake.  It travels well.  I like it toasted as if it is a bread, with butter.  It would be something that would go well into a lunch box.  And since we take food with us every where, I know this.  This is definitly a comfort cake not an exciting cake.  But I like comfort cakes better anyway!

sourdough vanilla cake

Note:  The sourdough I am using here is 100% by volume.  That means I use one cup of flour and one cup water to make it.  If you use a sourdough that is 100% by weight, 100 grams flour and 100 grams water, or whatever it takes to make a cup, increase the milk to one cup.  I used Smitten Kitchen's everyday chocolate cake as a starting point, truly.

1 cup sourdough

1/2 cup olive oil (mine is very fruity so sometimes it tastes like I am eating more a banana bread)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons vanilla

1/2 cup milk or water

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose here) 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter and flour a loaf pan.  I bought the Vardagen loaf pan from Ikea.  Is is 5.25 inches by 3 inches by 12.75 inches.  It holds 1.9 quarts and works perfectly.

In a large bowl, put in the starter.  Mix in the olive oil, egg, and vanilla.

 

Sift in the flour and baking soda. I usually have some bran from the flour that needs to be dumped into the compost.  Add the salt. My salt is a very coarse grind which is why I am not sifting it in. 

Mix well

 

Pour into the loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  

Check to make sure the cake is done by inserting a knife and it comes out clean.  The cake will also have pulled away from the edges.  let the cake cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, if not 30.  I always have someone who cannot wait.  If you do not let this cake cool in the pan, it will collapse from its own weight.  Still very edible but there is usually a bit that gets very dense.  Obviously, I have done this in the past.

 

It is good vanilla cake.  Not very fancy because that was not the goal.  Good for a snack with tea.  Toasted with butter.  It is one of those that seems to make life better.