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.

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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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Boredom and Butter

Two very dangerous thing, though when utilized correctly can be very productive, and yummy. While looking through our old Cook’s Illustrated magazines, I came across a recipe for sugar cookies. Well, the picture looked yummy and I made a mental note to make them sometime when I was bored. Tonight, I was bored. However, the recipe called for cream cheese and we were out of it. Instead, I hopped on the internet and found a new recipe. I looked at the picture and was saw that we had all of the ingredients and printed it out. But, when I looked in the refrigerator, I found out that the sour cream had not been opened yet and I knew that if I opened it, it would spoil. So, innovating a little, I substituted greek yogurt and about 1/2 tablespoon water for the sour cream.  I made some of the cookies with sprinkles on top and some with cinnamon sugar as snickerdoodles. They turned out wonderfully despite the change I made to the recipe. Now I have 4 dozen cookies sitting around waiting to fulfil their purpose in life. Wait, now there are 47…46…45, they really are good cookies.

~thchildcooks

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.

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Got Cake?

As part of my cake decorating project for 4H, I had to show someone how to bake a cake. I chose to show my sister, who is also taking a cake decorating project, how to make a marble cake. I didn’t realize how some things just come naturally to a person who has been baking for a while, like how I know exactly where things are and how to measure them out. I really enjoyed teacher her though and had a good time doing it. Another thing that I have to do is donate cupcakes to a 4H garage sale, I think I am going to do more of an exotic flavor than vanilla this time. As for my yeast bread baking project, I am also donating bread to the garage sale, but  haven’t decided which recipe I am going to make. Today or tomorrow, I think I am going to make soft pretzels for the project. I will put some pictures of the finished decorated cake up when it gets there.

~thechildcooks

Marble Cake from the Family Fun website

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Lightly butter a 9- by 13- inch cake pan and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess. Heat your oven to 350º.

Combine the dry ingredients by sifting the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Set the mixture aside.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop according to the package directions. (Chocolate chips retain some of their shape when melted, so be careful not to overheat or burn them.) Stir the chips until they are smooth, then cool them to lukewarm, about 9 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed, adding the sugar gradually, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, first breaking them into a separate dish to ensure that no eggshells get in the batter. Add the vanilla extract and blend briefly.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating on low speed until the batter is evenly blended. Next, beat in half of the buttermilk until it is evenly blended. Continue in this manner, adding another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredients, beating well after each addition.

Transfer the chocolate to a medium mixing bowl, then add 2 cups of the batter. Thoroughly fold in the chocolate.

Transfer a little more than half of the remaining plain batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon. Using another large spoon, make 3 wide, lengthwise rows of chocolate batter on top, as shown. Switch back to the plain batter and use what’s left to fill between the chocolate rows.

To create a swirled pattern in the batter, draw the top edge of a table knife across the rows, working from side to side. For best results, be sure not to remove the knife from the batter as you work.

Bake the cake on the center rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes

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Saying More

Last night I posted a picture of some yummy home made pizza. There is another such picture right over there(points right). The recipe for the dough was from my 4H book(but also is in the bead machine book as the same recipe, coincidence?), the sauce was made by my mother(no recipe there, just throw some tomatoes and spices in there and let it simmer) and a cow somewhere made the cheese. The dough was described in the recipe book as “not to thin or thick” and it was. In the 4H book the recipe says it yields 8 servings, which is a lie, this will serve four normal people, or 8 for appetizer-sized pizzas. I made mine with dough, sauce, eggplant, onion, pepper, mushroom, broccoli and cauliflower. The crust tastes really good and fresh and my mom says I can make it again, which means that this was a success! For my project, I still have to make basic white bread, pretzels, bread machine cheese bread and herb loaf. There are also a few recipes from the second year of the project I would like to try such as some of the sweet breads.

~thechildcooks 

Bread Machine Pizza

Note: This will take some time, so plan ahead.

3/4 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups all-purpose or bread flour

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons quick rise yeast

Combine ingredients according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Select the dough setting and process. When the dough process is complete, take the dough out and knead it for 1 minute. Let rest for 15 minutes. Roll the dough to fit a 14 inch pizza pan or cooking sheet, you can also make mini pizzas. Place the dough on a greased pan or one lined with parchment paper. Press the dough into the pan. Let dough rise in a warm place for 20 to 25 minutes. Spread sauce over top and add cheese and other desired toppings. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of your pizza. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Enough Said

I will graciously bestow unto you the recipe later.

~thechildcooks

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