Tag Archives: pretzel

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

Crazy in the Kitchen

So far this weekend, I have been on a baking spree. Yesterday, I made homemade roti(Indian flatbread) and Rustic Pear-Apple Tarts. Today, I made Pretzel Bites and Brownies with Chocolate Frosting. As for tomorrow, I don’t know what I am going to make, but my sourdough is calling from the ‘fridge; I think that a Sunday Sourdough Pancake Dinner is in order. You may be thinking that all of the goodies that I made are completely random, but they all have reasons for why I made them. The roti is because on thursday, I went to a great Indian place and had bread there. After eating, we stopped and bought some curry and tandoori spices. Then, Friday night we had curry-seasoned turkey cutlets with roti and rice. later that night, I was mooching around the internet, looking at various food blogs and was inspired to go into the kitchen and bake. I saw a slightly too-squishy pear and remembered some granny smith apples in the cellar and a tart was born. Today, once again, I was looking at a multitude of food blogs(seems to be a reoccurring theme, huh?)and was inspired to bake. I wanted to do something with my sourdough, but was short on time, so I made a fast rising pretzel recipe instead. As for the brownies and frosting, my dad teaches a Sunday School class full of hungry children, nuff said. Last Saturday, I made an angel food cake for my grandmother’s birthday, I will add the recipe below. Feel free to add a comment as to what you have been baking lately, I alway could use an inspiration.

~thechildcooks

Roti(Indian Flatbread)

My Version

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

water

Melted butter, optional

Mix flour and just enough water to make a kneadable dough. Mix the water in slowly and stir with your hands as to feel when the dough is ready. Knead for 4-5 minutes or until all flour is absorbed. Let rest for 10 minutes to soften the dough. Knead a few times to further soften the dough. Portion the dough and roll into flat, thin circles. Fry on a ungreased skillet until cooked through. Flip once. Serve with a sauce or use as a tortilla-like wrap.

Soft Pretzels
 
Based of the CDKitchen Recipe
 
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups regular flour
2 cups Warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt, cinnamon sugar or other topping

Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.

While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often. After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope(about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape or cut into bites like I did. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Sprinkle with topping. Bake in 450 oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.

 
Rustic Pear-Apple Tart
 
Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
 
1/3 cups vegetable oil
 
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
 
Pinch of salt
 
2-3 tablespoon of water
Mix flour, ginger and salt in large bowl. Add oil and stir. Gradually add water a bit at a time until the dough comes together. Gather into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or while you prepare the filling.
 
Filling:
1 medium pear
 
2 small granny smith apples
 
A few dashes each(to your taste)cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
 
1 tablespoon brown sugar
 
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
 
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
 
2 teaspoons apple juice
 
Preheat oven to 350F. Peel both the pear and apples. Cut into 1/4 inch pieces and add spices, sugars, extract and apple juice. Place fruit in fine mesh strainer over bowl to draw out some of the juices. Begin rolling out the dough into a large round as thin or thick as you like. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once a small amount of juices have come out of the fruits, dump them in the middle of the dough circle and fold up the edges over them. Brush the crust with the fruit juice and bake for 20-30 minutes checking to make sure the crust is not too brown and that the fruit is soft. Remove from oven and cool.
 
Brownies(From Betty Crocker)
 
2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
 
1/3 cup shortening
 
1 cup sugar
 
2 eggs
 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips(I added this in place of 1/2 cup chopped nuts)
 
Preheat oven to 350F. Heat chocolate and shortening in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Remove from heat. Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased 8x8x2 pan. Bake brownies until the sides begin to pull away from the pan edges, 30-35 minutes. Cool slightly and frost with chocolate frosting(do not use all of the recipe unless you enjoy a lot of chocolate).
 
Chocolate Butter Frosting(Also from Betty Crocker)
 
1/3 cu softened butter
 
2 ounces melted, unsweetened chocolate(cool)
 
2 cups powdered sugar
 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
 
2 tablespoons milk
 
Mix butter and chocolate. Stir in sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk until frosting is to spreading consistency.
 
Angel Food Cake(Pillsbury Healthy Baking Cookbook)
 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 
3/4 cup sugar
 
1 1/2 cups(approximately 12) egg whites, room temperature
 
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
 
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
 
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
 
3/4 cup sugar
 
Preheat oven to 375F. In small bowl combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar. In large bowl beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla and almond extract until mixture forms soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and mix on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon flour-sugar mixture 1/4 cup at a time over the egg whites; fold in gently just until blended. Pour batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. With knife, cut gently through batter to remove large air bubbles. Bake on lowest oven rack for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cracks are very dry. immediately invert cake onto funnel or soft drink bottle; let hang until completely cool. Remove from pan. 

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Filed under Breads, Cake, Pie, Savory