A New Identity

I haven’t been on here in awhile. A really long while. Never the less, I am back. Who knows for how long, but that is the future. Now is now. I changed the name of this blog becuase I haven’t been doing as much baking as creating and crafting. My lastest kick is freezer paper screen printing. Basically, you cut a stencil out of freezer paper, iron it onto a cloth item and paint over it with fabirc paint.So far, I have done a shirt with words, a French squirrel and am working on a circus elephant. I don’t really feel like writing more because I’m currently doing NaNoWriMo and am trying to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Fun stuff, actually, it really is fun. Oh well, here’s some pictures of my French squirrel shirt. I might start taking requests to make them and sell them for people. Who knows? See you later!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Been Awhile…

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted anything food related. Today, I made some white chocolate chip cookies and vanilla cupcakes. I will post the recipes and some pictures today or tomorrow.

~thechildcooks

Leave a comment

Filed under Cake, Cookies, Sweet

Side Tracked

This is not even remotely about food. Aside from cooking and baking, I enjoy crafting. Within the wide field of crafting, I like to make unique jewelry. I made the  pieces pictured here using plastic bags. To get some of the pieces that I made off of my hands, I am going to sell them in an open air art fair/sale. Wish me luck! I’ll soon be baking more to ready for the county fair, which makes me so happy!

~thechildcooks

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Proud Baker

Are there times when you feel expecially proud of something that you have made? Is it becuase it looks picture perfect, or becuase it tastes so good, or becuase you made the recipe yourself? I feel proud of these cookies. I made them a few weeks ago and was in awe about how cute and tasty they came out. I made them again tonight with a few variations.  I made some  blue colored sugar and rolled the cookies in it, I pressed chocolate chips onto the tops of the cookies and I also made jumbo cookies. I was most proud of the jumbo cookies, they looked like they could be sold in a bakery and they taste delicious. I think this is going to be one of my go to recipes for cookies. What food do you make that you are proud of? Feel free to post the recipe.

Also, I have made a poll below for you guys to tell me what I should make next.

~thechildcooks

Sugar Cookies from the Always with Butter blog

2 cups flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sour cream or 1/4 cup greek yogurt and 1/2 tablespoon water

Cinnamon sugar or sprinkles  

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a separate, larger bowl cream the softened butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. alternating with the flour mixture then sour cream(or yogurt) add the remaining ingredients. Scoop onto baking sheet with a spoon of your size choice(I made 1/2 tablespoon sizes) leaving room for ample spreadage. Now is the time to add sprinkles or cinnamon sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes removing from the oven when lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and consume.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Sweet

Happy Day!

On Tuesday, I had judging for both of my 4H projects. I won first place in both my cake decorating and my yeast bread projects! Now I get to go to our state fair and compete there at the end of July. I will have to make more bread and decorate another cake. Below is the recipe that I used for yeast bread judging(also pictured at the side), they are so very yummy, almost like the restaurant rolls. Today I feel like baking, but what yet, I don’t know. But after I do, I post it up here.

~thechildcooks

Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Yields 18 Dinner Rolls

4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 packets quick-rise yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup butter plus 1 tablespoon

1 egg

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour with the other dry ingredients. Heat the milk, water and 1/4 cup of butter to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour onto the dry mix and stir until incorporated. Add egg and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Cut into 18 equal parts and shape each piece into roll shape. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise, covered, for 20-40 minutes more. Heat oven to 375F and bake for 20-30 minutes. Melt the remaining butter and brush overtop the rolls. Cool on a wire rack.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4-H, Breads, Cake Decorating, Yeast Bread

Freezer Pie

Well, you know how about three hours ago I said I had no idea what I was going to make next? I figured it out; I was really bored and then I remembered that we had some frozen fruit in the freezer. I had wanted to make a rhubarb pie with rhubarb from our garden, but since last time I made one nobody ate it, I decided not to. Instead, I made a blueberry peach pie. I didn’t really have a recipe for the filling, just some basic guidelines, but it turned out well. For the crust I made a shortbread cookie type crust and then crumbled some on top of the pie. The amount of filling I had was to much for the pie pan, so I topped the leftovers with an oatmeal sugar crumble mixture. The color of the filling is like an amathyst and looks pretty speckled with the crumble. I think I am done baking for today, but you never know!

~thechildcooks

Frozen Blueberry Peach Pie

Based loosly off a recipe from The Joy of Cooking

2 cups frozen blueberries

2 1/2 cups frozen peaches

2/3-1 cup sugar

3 1/2 tablspoons cornstarch

In a large saucepan, heat the fruit with the sugar until it begins to lightly bubble. Add liquid if neccessary to prevent from burning. Add the cornstach and stir in until it dissolves. Leave on low heat sirring occasionaly while you make the crust. 

Short Bread Crust

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cups sugar

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons butter cut into 8 pieces and slightly softened

2 egg yolks

In a bowl, whisk together the flour sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles large crumbs. With the back of a spatula mix in 1 egg yolk until the crust holds together. Hold back 2 tablespoons of dough for the crumble. Pat into a 9 inch pie tin that has had the bottom greased and floured. Prick holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for18-20 minutes at 400F. Brush the second egg yolk on the bottom of the crust and bake for 3 minutes.

 Add the filling and crumble the remaining crust on the top. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes longer or until the topping is cooked. Cool and enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Pie, Sweet

Bread, Bread, Bread!

I have been in a baking frenzy for my 4H project which is due next Tuesday. On Wednesday, I made basic white bread(from a mix that I demonstrated to my club how to make) and today I made a garden herb loaf. Both turned out really well and taste great. They were the last two recipes that I had to make for my bread baking project, but I will have to make one of the recipes again for judging. I also I been working on my cake decorating project, which is also due on Tuesday, by practicing with piping techniques and making gum paste flowers. I’m not sure what I am going to bake next, but I know tomorrow I am going to be helping out at  a food kitchen, so who knows?

~thechildcooks

Basic White Bread Mix

Contains:

3 ½ cups flour(bag contains 2 ¼ cups)

1 package yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Needed:

½ cup warm water

½ cup warm milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Additional flour for board and grease for bowl

To make:

In mixing bowl, pour contents of container and add the yeast package. Mix in warm water and warm milk(120-130 degrees Fahrenheit) and add oil. Blend at low speed until moistened, then bead 3 minutes at medium speed. Gradually add the flour from the separate bag until a stiff dough is formed. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning greased side up, to rise, covered, in warm place for 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough into a 14 by 7 inch rectangle. Starting with the shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing the dough into a roll with each turn. Pinch edges and end to seal. Place in a greased 9 by 5 inch baking pan and cover. Let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes, or until doubled. Bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool before slicing.

Yields 18 ½ inch slices

Garden Herb Loaf

4-4 1/2 cups flour

2 packets quick-rise yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, thyme and marjoram(I used 2 1/4 teaspoons of a Italian herb mix)

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup butter plus 1 tablespoon

1 egg

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour with the other dry ingredients. Heat the milk, water and 1/4 cup of butter to 120-130 degrees fahrenheit. Pour onto the dry mix and stir until incorporated. Add egg and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Cut into three equal parts and roll each piece into a 15 inch long rope. Braid and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise, covered, for 20-40 minutes more. Heat oven to 375F and bake for 20-30 minutes. Melt remaining butter and brush overtop sprinkling with additional herbs if desired. Cool on a wire rack.

1 Comment

Filed under 4-H, Breads, Cake, Cake Decorating, Sweet, Yeast Bread

Why I Don’t Like Bread Machines

One, I like to knead my own bread. Two, I like the smell of yeast rising and you can’t smell that in a machine. Three, they will fail on you. The last one is probably not true all of the time, but yesterday it was. I was trying to make the cheese bread recipe from my 4H book and it is a bread machine recipe. I assembled all of the ingredients together and put them in the machine. Then I closed the lid and pushed the magic start button. An hour later I checked it when the check timer went off. Guess what? The paddle on the bottom was not working and the bread was not mixed at all. So I started it back up again. Well, not mxing right the first time made for a squat loaf. I wouldn’t reccomend this recipe as it has an off taste. Not quite like bread but not like cheese, either. Only a few more 4H recipes to go!

~thechildcooks

Bread Machine Cheese Bread

For a 1 lb. Loaf

3/4 cup water

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons instant dry milk

1 1/2 tablespoons ssugar

1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Combine ingredients according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding cheese with the flour. Process on the basic white bread setting, normal to medium color.

1 Comment

Filed under 4-H, Breads, Yeast Bread

Happy 4th of July

This is a cake that I mentioned baking yesterday. I decorated it as part of my 4h project for a family cook out. Have a happy 4th, everyone! 

~thechildcooks

2 Comments

Filed under 4-H, Cake, Cake Decorating, Sweet, Uncategorized

Complicated and the Not-So

Yesterday, I embarked on the most complicated bread recipe I have ever made. It all started as I was reading Baking with Julia and came across a recipe for mixed starter bread. After looking over the recipe, I told myself that it was way to complicated and moved on looking for something else to bake. I decided to make the pretzels out of my 4H book. I mixed the dough up and set it to rise. Then, as I was shaping the pretzels, I said what the heck and decided to take a walnut sized piece of the pretzel dough and make the mixed starter bread. After I finished making the pretzels, I started out on the first starter. I thought that I had done something wrong because it looked really weird, but went with it. At 8 last night I mixed the second starter and then realized that it had to rise for 4 hours, then be put in the refrigerator. Fun. Fast forward to this morning when I made the final dough, let it rise, shaped it then finally baked the bread. They turned out beautifully. I made three baguettes and a wheat stalk shaped loaf. Also today, I am making a marble cake(same recipe as earlier this week) to be decorated for a 4th of July cook out. I hope everyone has a good holiday weekend!

~thechildcooks

Mixed Starter Bread

Taken from La Cerise

Recipe originally from Steve Sullivan

The first-stage, or old-dough starter
– A walnut-sized (1/2 ounce, or 14g) piece of fully risen dough (pizza, or other white flour bread dough.)
– 1/4 cup (60g) warm water (105°F to 115°F, or 40-46°C)
– 2/3 cup (85-93g) unbleached all-purpose flour

Cut the dough into small bits, soak in the water five minutes to soften. Mix in the flour, first with a spoon then knead. You’re not trying to develop gluten, just incorporate all the ingredients.

Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place (between 80°F and 85°F or 27-29°C).

After 8 hours the starter dough should be bubbly, soft and sticky, and springy.

The second-stage starter
– The first-stage starter (above)
– 1/4 cup (60g) warm water (same temps as above)
– 3/4 cup (94-105g) unbleached all-purpose flour

Make this second sponge like the first. Rise for 4 hours in a warm environment (same temp as above). It should more than double.

After the rise, the sponge, when stretched, will show long, lacy strands of gluten and smell sweet and yeasty, even though no yeast has been added. Chill the risen sponge for at least 1 hour, but no more than 8 hours, before proceeding.

The final dough
– 1 1/4 cups (296g) cool water (about 78°F or 25°C)
– 1/2 tspn SAF instant yeast (not rapid rise) or 3/4 tspn active dry yeast
– The second-stage starter (above)
– 3 1/3 cups (416-466g) unbleached all-purpose flour
– 1 TB (12-13g) kosher salt

You are advised to use a stand mixer here. Put the water into the bowl of the mixer [hold back a little water to add at the same time as the salt later] sprinkle the yeast, and stir by hand to mix. Deflate the second stage starter, break it into pieces, add it to the bowl and allow it to soften for 5 min. Add the flour, pulse the machine on and off so the flour doesn’t fly out, mix on low-speed until flour is incorporated then let the dough rest for 10 minutes to give the flour time to absorb the water.

With the machine running at low-speed, add the left-over water and sprinkle the salt onto the dough. Increase speed to medium high and mix and knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes. The dough will be very soft and moist and may ride up the hook. Push the dough down periodically.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest in a warm place (between 80°F and 85°F or 27-29°C) for about 1 1/2 hours. The dough will probably double in bulk and it should have a network of bubbles visible under the surface.

Final rise. Fold the dough down on itself a few times, without punching down, in order to redistribute the yeast, then cover again and let rise for 45 minutes.

“After this last rise, you must shape and bake the dough. If you refrigerate the dough now, or do anything else to retard it, you will have a sourdough bread, which is not what this dough is meant to be.”

Shaping: Shape into loaves and let rise on heavily floured towels for 1 ½ hours.

Baking: If you have divided the dough into four baguettes (or mutant baguettes) as I did, preheat and prepare the oven with a baking stone and a heavy cast-iron skillet on the bottom of the oven. Shortly before baking pour a cup of water into the skillet and close the oven door. Bake the loaves on the stone for 20 minutes. Remove when the internal temperature is 200F and cool.

Pretzels

1 package active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg, beaten

Coarse salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, the 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 45-60 minutes or until double.

Heat oven to 425F. Punch down dough and cut into 16 equal parts. Roll each piece into a 18 inch long rope. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Place on a greased baking sheet. brush pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake until pretzels are brown 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4-H, Breads, Uncategorized, Yeast Bread