Tag Archives: cinnamon

Back in the Kitchen, At Last!

I have been so very busy lately and haven’t been able to make it into the kitchen very often. I think in the last month, I have only made about 5 things. That is enough to go on your average hand! Unacceptable! Today, I change that. It came to my attention that one of the book that I have borrowed from the library is about to have to be returned. I flipped through it and remembered that I wanted to make one of the recipes inside: Cinnamon Raisin Bread. The book in question is Amy’s Bread by  Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree, so the recipe should be very reliable. I mixed up the biga last night and put it in the refrigerator to do its thing. This morning I started mixing it when I woke up at 8 and was done with baking by . I only put raisins in one of the loaves and cut them back to 1 cup. It feels so good to be back in the kitchen!

~thechildcooks

Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Biga Starter

Biga Starter

Makes 1 3/4 cups

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons very warm water

1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purposed flour

Mix water and yeast together and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour and vigorously stir with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape into a container and mark the time and height of the mixture on the side so you can measure how much it rises.

Let rise at room temperate for 6 to 8 hours. Or let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature, then chill it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. If using cold, use warm water in the recipe instead of cool water. Use before it deflates.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

1/4 cup very warm water

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups biga starter

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water(cool or warm, depending on your biga)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons kosher salt

3 cups raisins(I used 1 cup in one loaf and left the other plain)

1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Combine the very warm water and yeast in a bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Add the biga and water to the yeast mixture and mix with your fingers for 2 minutes, breaking up the starter. The mixture should look milky, chunky, and slightly foamy. Add the flour and the salt and mix with your fingers until the dough forms a shaggy mass. Fold the dough over onto itself and knead briefly in the bowl.

Move the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and supple, about 4 minutes. If it feels stiff our dry, add cool water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Return the dough to the lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 to 7 minutes. the dough will become silky and elastic. Do not knead extra flour into the dough.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Turn dough in the mixing bow;. Gently deflate the dough with your fingertips, the fold the left side in and repeat with the right, fold the dough in half, gently pat it down and turn the dough seam face down.

Let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the dough is fully risen, an indentation made by your fingers poking the dough will not spring back.

With the dough is rising, place the raisins in a bowl and add warm water to just below the top of the raisins. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate the dough and pat into a 14×12 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 2 equal rectangles 7×12 inches. Sprinkle each pice with the cinnamon sugar mixture and the drained raisins. Spread evenly across the dough and press them in. Starting at the short side of the loaf, fold the dough tightly into a log without stretching the dough. Seal the seam tightly using your hands or pinching with your fingers.

Place each loaf seam side down in lightly oiled 9×5 pan and press them down to fill the pan. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Thirty minutes before baking preheat the oven to 450F and place a cast iron skillet and mini loaf pan on the lowest rack possible. Place an oven rack above with room for the loaves of bread. Have a spray bottle, kettle of water ready to be boiled and a metal 1 cup measure nearby.

5 to 10 minutes before the loaves are ready to bake, turn the water on to boil and place 2 to 3 ice cubes in the small loaf pan.

When the loaves are ready, quickly fill the 1 cup measure with boiling water and place the loaves in the oven, then mist them with water. Pour the water into the skillet and immediately close the oven door.

Bake for 15 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 375F and bake for 18 tp 25 minutes longer, until the crust is brown and the loaves sound hollow. Watch the oven carefully and cover with foil if the tops are browning  to fast.

Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing or the bread will fall apart. Keeps well for at least 2 days.

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A Good Idea

Ok, so you know when you get an idea for changing a recipe or creating a new one. And it just sounds so very good in your head and as you make it things are just great. Well, that does not always happen, as most of us know, but today it did. Yesterday I made a simple apple cobbler because my mom bought too many apples at the store for baking and it was getting time to use them or loose them. Today I was thinking about how i could incorporate them into something like an apple pie but without the hassle of a crust(don’t get me wrong, I love making a good pie crust, but sometimes time and kitchen space does not allow for it). I was thinking about how a few weeks back I made these snickerdoodle blondies and then it hit me. Take the topping and cook it with apples and then sandwich that between the blondie layers. I was slightly apprehensive as I was looking at my creation as it was baking, but once it came out and I tasted it all doubts were gone. This is a really easy and yummy snack on the go and is similar to a blondie, but has a slightly snack cakeish look. The only problem that I really had was spreading the cookies in the pan because the dough was slightly sticky. I will probably be making some banana bread or sourdough sometime this week. See you then fellow bakers!

~thechildcooks

Apple Pie Blondies

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker’s Snickerdoodle Blondies

4 cups of baking apples, peeled and chopped

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the apples:

1. Mix granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of apple juice and apples in a saucepan.

2. Cook until soft over medium heat for about five minutes.

For the blondies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.

4. Spread half the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Top with apple mixture and cover evenly with remaining dough.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Sourdough and Sugar

I finished the recipe for my multi-grain sourdough bread. I decided that I wanted a variety of grain to be included, more than just the usual whole-wheat flour.  I looked in the pantry and saw corn meal and oats. I ground a cup of oats and used that in the first 2 1/2 cups of flour; in that first dough, I also used about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal. In the second dough, I used 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of whole rolled oats, 1/4 cup cornmeal and 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour. The dough was very easy to knead and was not very sticky(probably due to the oats). The recipe calls for dividing the dough in two and shaping into free-form, flat loaves. I followed this for one of the loaves, sprinkling the top with oats, but for the other half of the dough, I decided to try something different. I rolled the dough out to a 16 by 13 inch(approximately) rectangle, then sprinkled it with a cinnamon and sugar mix(about 1/4 cup sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon). I then rolled it into a roll, tucked in the edges ad placed it in a lightly greased 9×5 pan. The top of this loaf turned out spectacular, as I slit it once lengthwise and the inner layers flayed outward. I did not brush the loaves with water as much as I probably should have, because they turned out softer than previous loaves. Another thing that I did differently this time was I added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. 

Tonight, I am also making sugar cookies, once again for my father’s sunday school class and snickerdoodle blondies, for my family. I used the Betty Crocker Recipe for Sugar Cookies and Brown Eyed Bakers recipe for the blondies. Both recipes can be found below.

~thechildcooks

Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread Two Ways

1 cup sourdough starter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup ground oats

2 tablespoons cornmeal

Handful of rolled oats

2 cup warm water(105-115F)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cold water for baking

Start the night before you wish to make the bread or start in the morning and bake at night.

Mix sourdough starter, flours and 2 cups warm water in 3-quart glass bowl with wooden spoon until smooth. Cover; let stand in warm, draft free place for 8 hours or overnight.

Add the grains, the sugar, salt, baking soda and oil to the mixture in the bowl; stir with wooden spoon until smooth and flour is completely absorbed. If necessary add some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour.

Turn dough onto heavily floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up and cover. Let rise in warm, draft free place for 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Place loaves on parchment lined baking sheets and score each loaf 3 times on the top. Or you can roll one half out into a rectangle, sprinkle it with 1/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, roll, seal and place in a greased 9×5 pan.  Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375F. Brush loaves with water and place into preheated oven. Bake, brushing occasionally with water for 50 minutes or until loaves sound hollow. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Note: Because you used your sourdough starter, you should feed it 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup water by stirring it in and letting it set on the counter for 12 hours. Return to refrigerator and use once a week to 10 days.

Sugar Cookies

From Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup softened butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375F. Divide dough into halves. roll each half 3/16 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shaped.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar; place on lightly greased sheet. Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

From Brown Eyed Baker

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.

4. Spread the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Banana Bonanza

Lurking in the deep recesses of our kitchen was something that no one wanted to deal with. No, it wasn’t a dirty or broken appliance, it was bananas. The over-ripe, brown-spotted, mushy kind that no body wants for lunch, or a snack, or really even to eat at all. How do you solve a problem like this? Well, I bake! I made banana biscotti and Crazy Good Banana Oat Muffins with Maple-Nut Topping. The biscotti was a recipe from food.com and the muffins were my twist on the classic Betty Crocker recipe. Both banana baking end-product were good. The biscotti was like toasted banana bread, but harder, and the muffins were really good, too. I have posted the recipes below.

Banana Biscotti

Altered from Food.com

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Two mashed bananas(3/4 cup)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flours, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl combine remaining ingredients. Pour the dry mix into the wet mix and stir until combined. Divide the dough in half and form two 8-inch logs. pat down to 1/2 inch thickness.(This part was slightly difficult for me and I required a little bit of flour to combat stickiness.) Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 250F and cool the logs for 10 minutes. Cut logs into 12 slices each and lay cut side down on cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes on each side depending on how crisp you want the biscotti to be. Remove from oven to cooling racks. Enjoy with tea, coffee or milk. Yields 24 biscotti.

The Biscotti

Crazy Good Banana-Oat Muffins with Maple-Nut Topping

Muffins

1 large egg

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour

1 cup oats

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups mashed banana

1/4 cup pineapple(mashed into the bananas)optional

Topping

1/2 cup oats

Scant 1/4 cup brown sugar

1-1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Dash of ground cinnamon

Handfull of chopped nuts

Heat oven to 400F. Line muffin tins with baking cup or grease bottoms only. Beat egg in large bowl, stir in milk, oil, bananas and pineapple. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients. Briskly stir flour mixture into the wet ingredients, just until combined being careful not to overmix. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Prepare the topping by combining all ingredients except maple syrup. Gradually add maple syrup gradually until the  mixture is crumbly, but not to dry or moist. Sprinkle over the muffins and bake for 15 minutes then check with a toothpick for doneness. If still gooey in the center place muffins back into the oven for 3-4 more minutes. Repeat if neccessary. Remove immediatly from pan onto cooling racks. Serve warm or lightly toasted with(or without)butter, they go well with milk. Yields about 18 medium muffins.

Variations:

Honey-Nut Topping-Subtitute honey for the maple syrup in the topping.

Banana Muffins with Maple(or honey)-Nut Topping-Substitute one cup of flour for the oats in the muffin mix.

The Muffins

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