Tag Archives: dough

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.

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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.

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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

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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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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Steaming My Buns

Steamed buns for the "Bun Mountain",...

Image via Wikipedia

No, I did not go to a sauna. The bun in question are the light, fluffy, awesome and all-around yummy Chinese steamed buns(or Mantou     饅頭). I had seen recipes for them before and thought to myself that there was no way for me to make them and why would I be making them in the first place? I had never had them before and thought that they were only a savory application. That being said, ehrn I went to a local Chinese place I did not take one becuase I thought it would be filled wiht meat. To my surprise, when I went there again today, it was filled with a sweet yellow paste. It was so good and my sister and myself really enjoyed them. So much in fact, that I decided to see if I could make them at home. I remembered the recipes that I had seen and checked some of them out. The first one that I found used a bread machine. That one was out. The next one made eight rolls with 4 cups of flour. That one was out because, well that sounded like a really big roll. The others took types of flour that I had never heard of, let alone had in my pantry. The one I finally found was from allrecipes.com . The reviews on it were all good and the process looked simple enough: made a dough let it rise, add more flour and the remaining ingredients, knead, let rest, knead, shape, let rest and steam. The only problem I had was with the very last instruction-steam. How to steam them without a steamer was my dilemma. I finally ended up constructing one out of a stainless steel bowl and pie-cooling rack with another bowl overturned on top as a lid. The steaming process takes a long time as my bowl is small and you must leave adequate space for the buns to expand. I can fit about 4-5 in at a time and they have to cook for 15-16 minutes. I made 18 bun and am still cooking the second batch; this might take awhile. As I mentioned above, the bun that I saw online were mostly meat filled. The one I had today and the ones I am making are filled with sweets for a more dessertish end product. I filled them with peanut butter, grape jelly, strawberry jelly, cinnamon sugar and a lemon puddingy filling. My dad just tried one of the cinnamon sugar filled buns and said it was really good. Even though he did not have one at the restaurant, he said he was surprised at how close to the restaurant’s buns that they looked. He also commented on the fact that the texture was fluffy and not doughy as he thought they would be. I also made a shamrock green pudding pie for my fathers Sunday School class. Shamrock green because it is close to St. Patrick’s Day and pudding pir becuase kid like pie and monday is Pi day. I just made a simple graham cracker crust and box pudding. I would have liked to make my own pudding or custard filling, but I could not justify using four egg yolks because I know that at my house the whites will not be used. Oh well, maybe next time. I am not sure what else I will make this weekend, but it should be yummy!

~thechildcooks 

Chinese Steamed Buns

From allrecipes.com

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Mix in 1/2 cup warm water, flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up( if you want a filling, roll the ball flat and put about a teaspoon of filling in the gather and pinch to seal). Put each ball on a wax paper square. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in wok, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam-plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate leaving 1 to 2 inches between the buns. At least 2 inches space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes.

REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto bun surface and produce yellowish “blisters” on bun surfaces. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked. Enjoy hot or reheated with a steamer.

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It’s Sourdough Time!

A sourdough starter fermenting.

Does anyone else find the smell of yeast fermenting lovely? Image via Wikipedia

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of the week where you realize that your starter must be attended to. Earlier this week I made some sourdough biscuits with whole wheat flour(they were more like rolls, and they disappeared before I could remember to take a picture)and today I mixed up the beginnings of my all-purpose sourdough bread recipe. I made just a few alterations to the recipe so far. Instead of using all all-purpose flour, I pulsed a cup of rolled oats so that it was fine, but still oaty enough to give the bread some texture; I also added a small handful of whole rolled oats. I also added about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal(I don’t really know I this will affect it at all, I might add more to the final dough). I then used about 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour to get the full 2 1/2 cup of flour needed for the first dough. While I had the food processor out, I also whipped up some instant oatmeal mix. And then, I had the idea to make lentil flour. That did not work; lentils are hard little buggers and I wound up with a coarse/fine mixture of the actual lentil and their skin-like covering. Oh well, it was worth a try to see what happened, though the ringing in my ears from the food processor is slightly annoying(just kidding). Over and out!

~thechildcooks

P.S. Don’t forget to go over to the Sock It To Me Design Contest and look for my design. Find out more here.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Biscuits/Rolls(They are whole wheat becuase last time I refreshed my starter, I added a half cup of whole wheat flour)

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1 cup milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Prep all your ingredients ahead, this will help to make things move faster. Place half the flour onto a flat surface. Pour the starter mixture on top. Now, add the salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda to the flour and mix till blended. Pour the rest of the flour mixture on top of the starter. Now, start to knead in the flour to the starter. Knead just till the dough is mixed. Do not over knead. Roll out the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out the biscuits. Place in 9-inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1/2 an hour. Bake in a 375F oven for 30 -35 minutes.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal 

From Tammyrecipes.com

2 cups quick-cooking oats, pulsed slightly in food processor
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweetener (dry — like sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, etc.)
1/2 cup powdered (dry nonfat) milk

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container or bag.

To prepare oatmeal: Mix 2/3 cup of dry mixture with 1 cup boiling water in a bowl, stirring to remove lumps. Let stand 1-2 minutes and serve. I would suggest adding your favorite mix-ins(i.e. berries, raisins, yogurt, jam…) and adjusting the sugar to your specific tastes.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Meals, Sourdough