Tag Archives: baking

Homemade Artisan Bread

Artisan Bread

I think making homemade bread is some sort of secret in the bakers world. I’m a self proclaimed non-baker. I cook, but any time flour gets mixed in I get lost. I have proven this theory by making a dynamite flourless chocolate cake.  However, I have recently discovered that making break is not that hard. In fact, it’s rather easy.  So easy that I would say that bread machines are a bigger scam than that Nigerian princess who has been emailing you.

The ability to crank out delicious crusty loaves will seriously change your life. Normally, I am all about making dough in my mixer, but this recipe is actually no knead! That’s right, your hands will rest easy. The hardest part is waiting for it to rise!

Ingredients:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Teaspoons Salt

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

Method: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Slowly stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy-like dough. Make sure to not overwork the dough.  This is a no knead recipe. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 8 – 24 hours in room temperature.

When dough is ready, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place a dutch oven into the preheated oven for 30 minutes to “warm” up.  While preheating, place dough onto a well floured surface and begin to shape dough into a ball.  I scored the dough with a knife to create a criss cross shape. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest.  Once the oven is preheated and the dutch oven has warmed, place the bread dough into the dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes more.

*This recipe was adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

Enjoy 🙂

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Perfect Apple Pie

“Pilates?! Oh Heaven’s No.  I thought you said Pie and Lattes.”

Is there anything more enjoyable than an apple pie?

Apple Pie Recipe

Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

14 tablespoons cold butter, diced

1 large egg, 

2 Tablespoons Water (more if dough is dry)

Method: I make my dough in a food processor.  It may not be fancy, but I think it’s the easiest.  Blend Flour, Sugar, and Salt.  Add cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles a sand.  Add egg and water and blend until dough forms into ball.  Place in the refrigerator for one hour.

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Gala (I used Cortland, probably anything will taste delicious).

2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon all spice

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Method:

To start I cored and peeled the apples.  Then I melted the butter in a large skillet and added the apples lemon juice and sugar.  I cooked the apples until the sugar dissolved and liquid began to form.  I then strained the apples over a colander and collected the juice in a bowl.  I then returned the juice to the hot pan and let it caramelize and bubble up to a thick mixture. Once the liquid was bubbly and brown, I returned it to the bowl with the apples.  I then tossed the apples with the other spices. I took the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. I put the apple filling in the pan and molded it slightly in the center. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal (may be harder than it seems). i usually lattice my pies because I seriously think it is easier.  I didn’t this time and learned that latticing is in fact easier. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking.

Place pie in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.  Invite everyone over to smell how delicious your home smells and be jealous.

The orchards in my town are beautiful.  I had so much fun picking the apples for this pie.  An enjoyable annual tradition.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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If you suffer from the curse of the brown bananas sitting in your fridge, I have the perfect recipe to cure your troubles. Brown bananas were specifically invented for baking…did you know that?  That may or may not be true, but there is no denying that their mushiness (mushyness?) is perfect for mashing into a batter.  Mash away! Oh yah, this is a one bowl recipe, so don’t fret about cleaning your sifters, your mixers, or any of those other appliances that makes me hate baking. 

Note: This recipe was adapted from http://www.forkknifeswoon.com/

Ingredients: 

3 medium ripe bananas

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup milk (skim is fine, whole is better)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 

1/2 tsp sea salt

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line 12 muffins cups with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to mash up the mashed bananas, vanilla and egg until the mixture is completely combined. Add the oil and milk, and whisk to combine. Add the brown and granulated sugars, and continue whisking.

Then stir in the cocoa powder, and mix until the cocoa is completely incorporated. Add salt and baking soda, and then gently fold in the flour.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffins cups. Sprinkle the tops with the chocolate chips…and if you are daring, sprinkle some sea salt on the top for a saltier bite.

Bake the muffins for 14 to 17 minutes, until the muffin tops look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Eat these for breakfast, eat these for lunch, eat this for dessert…it doesn’t matter.

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Easy Homemade Bagels

Easy Homemade Bagels

You can thank me later….or Smitten Kitchen who I stole this recipe from: (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/09/bronx-worthy-bagels/)

Note: I am NOT a baker and successfully accomplished this task. Don’t be intimidated…such a cost efficient project!

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