Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

 

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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

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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

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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.

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

Corn Meal Blueberry-Apple Mufaffins

Mufaffins are muffins, pronounced oddly. Say it with me, friends. Moo fa fins. Again, louder this time. Moo fa fins. Good, now back to regular blogging. Okay, go ahead, say it again once more if you must. These muffins are unique muffins, they include corn meal, molasses, blueberries and apples. They turned out quite nicely, considering that I just used a guideline for a muffin recipe and then decided to wing it. I will add a recipe later, but for now you may feast on these yummy photos.

~thechildcooks

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thechildcooks:Now on Facebook!

That’s right folks, I am now on facebook and have an email adress made special for this blog. Email me at thechildcooks@aol.com or facebook me at http://www.facebook.com/search.php?q=thechildcooks&type=users#!/pages/Thechildcooks/173151392740692.

~thechildcooks

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My Summer Plans…

Emblem of the 4H organisation.

Image via Wikipedia

…include a lot of baking/ cake decorating. I know this for a 100% true fact because those are the projects that I am taking for 4-H. More Specifically, I will be making yeast breads in multiple manners, and trying out new cake decorating techniques. As part of the two projects, I will post some recipes and decorating tutorials here on thechildcooks. Since next week is my Spring Break, I hope to be doing some baking to get a jump-start on my projects; they are due in the middle to end of July, but it is never a bad thing to finish early. 

Also, if things go as planned, I may, hopefully, possibly be looking at having a bakery job. But the probability of that is slim, as people tend to not hire 14 year olds. Never the less, I have picked up an application and found some people to be my references. Another plus would be that the bakery is within running/ biking distance of my house. I figure the sooner I can start getting experience in the real food industry, the closer I am to my dream of one day owning a restaurant.  

‘Til my next baking adventure,

~thechildcooks

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