Tag Archives: Flour

Shakepeare and Banana Cake

Got you attention didn’t I? Well, if the title didn’t, I hope that these recipes will. On Wednesday(I know, I know, long time ago) I made Crusty Dinner Rolls out of my 4-H book for a Shakespearean festival at school. I was to do a small bit of research on foods during the Elizabethan time period and found that bread was a major part of their diet. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone: make a recipe for 4-H, then use it for school. The rolls turned out great, but be warned the recipe does make a lot if use make the recommended size.

 Saturday, I once again discovered some almost black bananas on the counter and instead of banana bread, I made banana cake. The recipe calls for a 13×9 pan, but I used a 9 inch and 18 muffin tin cups and that filled it up. The muffins(cupcakes?) rounded out beautifully and are delightfully moist. Definite make again recipe.

One last subject; I have two cartons of just whites egg whites. If anyone has and suggestions, please do tell! I need to use them up soon. Thanks and have a great week.

~thechildcooks

Crisp Dinner Rolls

2 1/2 cups warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons margarine, softened

6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

Measure warm water into a large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast, stir until dissolved. Add the sugar, salt, margarine and three cups of flour, bead until smooth. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured boars and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Punch down dough, divide in half, Divide each half into 18 equal pieces. Shape each into rolls and let rise until doubled. Combine egg and milk; brush this mixture on the tops of the rolls. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks.

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

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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Decorating Easter Eggs, or a Good Excuse for Challah

After seeing some really cool ideas for decorating Easter eggs other than the regular food coloring dye, I decided to blow out some eggs and dye them. Because I had decided that I wanted to use the eggs in baking, I washed them throughly and boiled all of the tools that I was using. After I was done, I was left with five pretty eggs and five eggs ready for baking.  Then, I realized that I had five eggs to use in preferably one recipe. I went searching, and found a recipe for something that I had wanted to make for awhile-challah. The recipe(on Smitten Kitchen) that I found took four eggs in the bread and one for the egg wash. The bread turned out beautifully and tastes amazing; the crust is golden and the braid, though simple, is pretty. I made only one of the two loaves today, the other one is residing in my freezer until Easter, when it will be baked for a family get together.  This is definitely a bread that you should make in the near future!

~thechildcooks

Best Challah (Egg Bread)
Adapted from Joan Nathan

Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ rising
Yield: 2 loaves

1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon salt
8 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

4. At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.

6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.

Note:

Any of the three risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply-developed flavor. When you’re ready to work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.

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Twist and Shout

A wood-burning pizza oven baking a pizza.

Image via Wikipedia

Good news bad news situation here. Good news is that today I did a little baking. Bad news is, I killed my sourdough starter. I just kinda forgot about it, and then there was a blueish liquid on top,as well as what looked to be mold around the edges. Maybe this summer, I will try to start another one. Anyway, back to the good news. Today, I saw some rather sad-looking, black-speckeled bananas sitting on our counter and decided to make banana bread. But, I wanted something a little bit different from your average banana bread. It is a twist on the common and familiar, hence the name of this post. I went looking around foodgawker.com and found a recipe for Oatmeal Sweet Potato Banana Everything Bread over at Flour Child’s blog. I made it with a fourth of a cup of sweet potato and one and one-fourth cup mashed bananas. My bread did not use oat bran and used all white flour, and instead of buttermilk, I used greek yogurt. I just pulled the loaves out of the oven and they look and smell delicious. Looks like I am going to be doing some more baking because my mom just informed me that she would like home made pizza for dinner, so I am making some. Once again, I looked on foodgawker.com and found some good-looking recipes. I chose this recipe, pizza dough, from acouplecooks. To forgo leftovers, I divided it in half for tonight and just set it to rest. Later bakers!

~thechildcooks

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Filed under Breads, Meals, Savory, Sourdough, Uncategorized

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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Filed under Cookies, Pie, Sweet

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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Filed under Breads, Sweet, Uncategorized

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