PRIMER PIZZA

If you've ever made French bread at home, you've made pizza dough. Traditional, DOC (Denominazione de Origine Controllata) designated pizza dough from Italy contains nothing but flour, salt, water, and yeast. The dough at most neighborhood pizza joints contains a few more ingredients. Fats are added to make the dough more supple, and sugars are added to feed the yeast and give the bread a touch of sweetness. I suggest that home bakers begin with a simple, versatile pizza dough recipe like the one below. Once you've got that under control you can experiment to find something more to your liking. Realize that you are going to give your pizza a lot more TLC than the employees at most chain pizza places do. If teenagers working at Dominos for 6 bucks an hour can make a decent pizza, you shouldn't have any problem doing it yourself at home! A Versatile Basic Pizza Dough This is the Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough from Peter Reinhart's American Pie. It is a low-yeast, slow-rising dough with enough suppleness to make it easy to work with. I find it to be the most versatile dough recipe I've come across. At the end of this article I will talk about how to modify it to better match your preference in pizza dough style. But, first things first: The Dough: Makes 4 10-inch pizzas 5 cups all purpose flour 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey 2 teaspoons salt (or 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt) 1 teaspoon instant yeast 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 3/4 to 2 cups room-temperature water Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or mix in an electric mixer. After you've combined all of the ingredients, set the dough aside to rest for 5 minutes. Stir again for 3 to 5 minutes, adding more water or flour if necessary. Generally speaking, you want the dough to be wetter and stickier than your typical bread dough. It should be dry enough that it holds together and pulls away from the side of the bowl when you mix it, but it doesn't need to be dry enough to knead by hand. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Place each one into an oiled freezer bag. I just squirt a couple of sprays of spray oil into the bag. You can also brush the outside of the dough with olive oil and then place it into the bag. All that matters is that you be able to get the dough out of the bag later. If you aren't going to bake them that day, you can throw the bags into the freezer. They'll stay good in there for at least a month. The evening before you intend to bake them, move the frozen dough balls to the refrigerator to thaw. If you intend to bake them later that day, place the bagged dough balls in the refrigerator. Remove them from the fridge and let them warm to room temperature an hour or two before you intend to bake them. Remember that, as a baker, time is your friend: longer, slower rises at reduced temperature result in better tasting bread. But sometimes you don't have the luxury of time - that is OK; this dough will still work well if only given an hour or so to rise at room temperature. Allowing pizza dough to rise is more about giving the yeast time to bring flavors out of the wheat than it is about leavening. Most of the leavening occurs when you put the active dough into the hot oven, so you don't need to wait until the dough balls double in size. Surely you can prepare the dough an hour before baking, can't you? That'll give you time to make the sauce, grate the cheese, and get the oven hot. Speaking of which, it is time to put together a sauce. Getting Saucy Once again, there are a million different pizza sauces. If you already have one you like, feel free to stick with it. Or consider doing something totally different, like using pesto or barbecue sauce instead of a tomato sauce.

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I throw this recipe out because it takes under 3 minutes to make and is quite good. Once again, it is from Peter Reinhart's pizza book. The Sauce: 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 Tablespoon garlic powder or 4 or 5 cloves of crushed garlic 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice, or a combination of the two salt and black pepper to taste Stir everything together. If the tomatoes are too chunky, break them up with your fingers. Fresh tomatoes or herbs can be substituted for canned tomatoes and dried herbs. The fresh tomatoes don't even need to be cooked first, since the time in the oven baking is enough to cook them. Shaping I am not experienced enough to do the whole "throw the pizza into the air" thing. My technique for shaping the dough is extremely simple. I pick up a ball of dough and gentle stretch it into a circle. Once I've got a circle four or five inches across, I hold it up by the edge and, while rotating it, let the weight of the rest of the dough pull it down to stretch it out. When I start feeling resistance in the dough, I set it down on a lightly greased plate to rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Then I pick it up again and stretch it a little thinner before lying it down to add the toppings. I like to stretch my dough quite thin, until it is almost transparent. If you like thicker pizza dough then, obviously, don't stretch it out so much. You can use rolling pin to shape the dough. Doing so results in a more uniform dough with numerous small holes. I personally like the dough to be thinner in the center than the edge and to have a thicker, bready crown full of large irregular holes around the outside. This effect is difficult to achieve with rolling pin, but if that suits your taste then go for it. Topping and Preparing for Baking Before you put the toppings on the dough, you need to know on what surface you intend to bake the pizza. If you have a pizza stone, it should be put in the oven and getting hot (450 or 500 degrees) by now. If not, the back of a cookie sheet works fine. If you are going to try transferring your pizza from one surface (like a peel or a cookie sheet) to another (like a hot pizza stone), I strongly recommend using parchment paper under the pizza. Particularly if you are going to add a lot of toppings to the pie: the extra weight pressing down tends to make the dough stick to the surface you dressed it on. You could also try to sprinkle corn meal or semolina flour on the surface hoping that will be enough to let you slide the dough without sticking - in my experience, though, it rarely is; I've had many pizzas end up looking like roadkill because they wouldn't to come off the peel smoothly. I've cut the number of swear words I use in the kitchen in half just by springing for a 5 dollar roll of baking parchment and placing a piece of it under the pizza. I just grab a corner of the paper and tug it into place when it is time to slide the pizza into the oven. Much, much simpler. Whatever surface you decide to dress the pizza on, sprinkle it with corn meal or semolina flour and spread the dough over it. Add the sauce, the grated cheese (typically mozarella and parmesan, but there is no reason you can't improvise), and toppings. Baking As I mentioned earlier, most of the rise you get from pizza dough actually happens in the oven. Professional pizza ovens are much hotter than home ovens. At home you typically want to make pizza at the highest temperature that your oven can safely handle, like 450 or 500 degrees. Baking on a pizza stone will give your dough a little more pop when it gets in the oven but it is not necessary to make good pizza. If not the lowest shelf, then the second to lowest is probably the best place to bake your pie. You want the pizza to be as close to the heat source as is possible without burning. But every oven is different, so adjust accordly. Place the pizza in the hot oven, close the door, and let it bake for 5 minutes. Check it every minute or two until the cheese is melted and the dough looks baked. In my oven with the size pizzas I make, I bake them for 7 to 9 minutes. Pull them out, slice them, and eat!

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The Pizza Spectrum As I mentioned, there are dozens of dough recipes for the endless different styles of pizza. The most traditional recipe includes nothing but flour, yeast, salt, and water. Adding a little bit of oil makes the dough more supple so that it can be stretched easier and is softer to the bite. Adding a touch of sugar gives the yeast something to snack on. And more yeast can be added to guarantee a rise even for heavily topped pies. Some general recommendations, based on a couple of the more popular styles of crust: • Thin and Crackery - Add less (or no) oil. Try using some high protein bread flour, like one out of five of the cups. Stretch the dough extremely thin. Bake it on a pizza stone or as close to the heat source as possible without burning it. • Thick and Chewy - Substitute milk for half of the water. Add more oil or shortening to the dough. Increase the sugar and the yeast by half again. Don't roll the dough out so thin. Bake it up a shelf or two in the oven so that it can bake longer without burning. Any of the other techniques you've learned for baking bread can be adapted for pizza: sourdough, the sponge method, including whole wheat flour, even grilling, which I will write about when the weather warms up. So use your imagination! If other folks have dough recipes they've had good experience with, I'd love to have them share them below. Please specify what style dough it makes. WOW...your pizza looks if it was baked in a brick oven 8-). . Actually i was planing to buy this book ;-) plus a pizza stone and peel. i`ve tried a recipe from the ITALIAN BAKER and a recipe from FINE COOKING magazine(using pizza pans with holes) ... I`m searching for the best pizza dough. I can hardly wait to try this delicious recipe. Did you use a pizza stone and a peel to bake this pizza?? TIP: I once read if you want the look of a resturant pizza, brush the edges of your pizza with olive oil when you pull it out from the oven.

KAISER ROLLS

Kaiser rolls are great for picnics, sandwiches, and other summertime meals. The hardest part about making them is shaping them. If you want them to be perfect, order yourself a kaiser roll stamp. Or you can roll out the dough out and knot it the way Peter Reinhart suggests in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Below I'll show you the technique I've found easiest. The recipe I'm using is a cross between Bernard Clayton's recipe and Peter Reinhart's recipe. Peter's recipe uses a pre-ferment, the one I've listed below does not. You can adjust this recipe to use a pre-ferment quite easily: simply throw in some old dough if you want to use a pate fermentee. Or pull out a cup of the flour and 1/2 a cup of the water and 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast, mix them together, and let them sit out in a covered bowl overnight to create a poolish. Either technique will result in a more flavorful roll, but if you are going to be making sandwiches slathered in mustard or a sharp cheese, something likely to overwhelm the flavor of the bread, the extra work is probably not warranted. Kaiser Rolls Makes 8-12 rolls, depending on how large you like them 3 1/2-4 cups (1 lb.) bread or unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon malt powder 1 tablespoon shortening, butter, or oil 1 egg 1 egg white 1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) water

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Combine 3 cups of the flour and the other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix in the water, eggs, and shortening. Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes or 5-7 minutes in a mixer, adding more flour by the handful as necessary. The dough should still be tacky but not terribly wet. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. Allow it to rise a second time for an hour before shaping. To shape the rolls, divide the dough into smaller pieces (if you are particular, use a scale to get them the same size). Roll the pieces of dough into balls and cover them with a damp kitchen towel so they can relax for 5 minutes.

To shape them, first I press them out into flat disks on a well floured surface (Clayton suggests using rye flour, though any type of flour will do). I let them rest, covered, another 5 minutes. Then I stretch the dough a bit thinner again and fold pieces up into the center.

Finally I press down in the center to seal it up tight.

I place them face down on a sheet pan covered with poppy seeds while they are rising for the final hour. One could just as well let them rise face up and then spritz them with water and sprinkle the poppy seeds on, but doing it this way prevents the seals from splitting while they rise. Preheat the oven to 450 during the final rise. Just before placing them in the oven, flip the rolls upright. You want to have steam in the oven when you bake them, so use whatever technique you prefer: squirting them with water, squirting the oven sides with

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water, pouring boiling water in a preheated cast-iron pan or a cookie sheet. These rolls take around 20 to 25 minutes to bake. I suggest rotating the pan once 10 minutes into it so they'll brown evenly.

Related Recipe: Potato Rosemary Rolls. That is it. Simple, tasty, and a great recipe to practice with. Relate Recipes: Italian Bread, Rustic Bread. Do you have a bread recipe that is your standard? Please, share it!

English Muffins

I think I made the dough a little too dry, so I didn't get the big holes inside that you want, but they still tasted good. I used the recipe from Beth Hensberger's Bread Bible. I may try another next time, but no complaints about this recipe. Traditional English Muffins 1/4 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees) 1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast (or a little less than a tablespoon of instant yeast) Pinch of sugar 4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 egg 1 1/4 cup warm milk 2 tablespoons melted butter Cornmeal (for dusting) If using active dry yeast, combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. If using instant yeast, as I did, you can just mix the yeast in with the flour and omit this first step and the sugar. Combine 2 cups of the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in egg, milk, butter, and yeast mixture. Mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring in each time, until you have a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Return the dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes. Sprinkle a work surface with cornmeal. Pour the dough out of the bowl and onto the surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with cornmeal and then roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a large round cookie cutter or an upside down drinking glass to cut the muffins out of the dough.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the muffins onto the skillet and let the bake for 5 to 10 minutes until quite dark before flipping.

An optional step, if you are concerned about baking them all the way through (which I was), is to have your oven heated to 350. After baking the muffins on the griddle for 5 minutes on each side, place them on a cookie sheet and place them into the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. This assures that they are baked through. Enjoy!

pretzel recipe
The other day I was reading Jeffrey Hamelman's recent book Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes when I came across his pretzel recipe. His recipe requires a pate fermente overnight, a long fermentation, and a bath in a solution of water and lye, which means rubber gloves and goggles are required. "Rubber gloves and goggles and caustic fluids to make a batch of pretzels?!? You've got to be kidding me," I thought. The next day I found myself flipping through another baking book when I stumbled across another pretzel recipe. No caustic bath. No preferment. Not even an initial fermentation: simply mix everything together, shape the pretzels, and bake them; beginning to end, under an hour. So which is it? Is it necessary to make the preferment and use lye to make decent pretzels at home? Do you even need to ferment the dough to make passable pretzels, or can you just jam them into the oven? Find out below. By the way, the other baking book I was looking at was Breaking Bread with Father Dominic 2 . Not a bad little book. I gather that it is out of print, but if you see a cheap used copy at the local bookstore it might be worth picking up. I didn't follow his recipe exactly, but it provided a nice balance to Hamelman's recipe. The Experiment There was no way I was going to try the lye bath at home. Maybe to make world class, authentic German pretzels that is necessary, but for a half dozen pretzels at home? Forget about it. I decided to try make pretzels with an initial fermentation and without. I also tried boiling them briefly in water, egg washing them, and just baking them dry. If any of those methods could produce something reasonably like the soft pretzels I've had before I'd be happy. The Recipe I buy my yeast in a jar so that I can measure out as much or as little as I want (well, that and it is cheaper when you bake as often as I do). If you are using yeast from a packet, you can either use half a packet or double the recipe and use an entire packet (at least the packets they sell in the grocery stores in the US... international bakers will have to do their own conversion). If you are using instant (AKA Rapid Rise or Bread Machine) yeast, you can just mix the yeast in with the rest of the dry ingredients before adding the warm milk and it'll activate fine. If you are using active dry yeast, mix it into the warm milk along with the malt powder (or brown sugar) and give it 5 to 10 minutes to activate before incorporating it into the dry ingredients. Pretzels Makes 6 large pretzels 1 teaspoon instant yeast 1 tablespoon malt powder or brown sugar 2-3 cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour

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1 teaspoon salt 1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees, which is 1 minute in my microwave) Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until it forms a ball. I start with 2 cups of the flour and mix it together until it forms something like a thick batter, then add more flour a handful at a time until it'll form a nice ball that I can knead by hand. Either use an electric mixer to mix the dough for 5 minutes or remove it from the bowl and knead it by hand for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough begins to get smooth and satiny. If you are going to ferment the dough (more information on whether this set is necessary below), return the ball of dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately an hour. If you fermented it, degas the dough gently before moving on to the next step. Before shaping, start preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Roll each one into a short log, cover with a towel, and let the dough relax for 5 to 10 minutes. After it has relaxed you should be able to roll it out and stretch again fairly easily.

After taking this photo, I let them relax again and then gave each a third roll and stretch session before they were as long and thin as I wanted (about 15 inches long and about as big around as my index finger). They'll nearly double in width while baking, so it is ok to roll them out quite thin. Shaping pretzels is simple, once you get a hang of it. Place a rope of dough on the work surface in front of you. Take each end in a hand, loop the dough away from you, and bring the ends back toward your stomach, crossing them about an inch above the rope. Apply a little bit of pressure to make the loops stick together, but not too much because you don't want then to flatten out. Pretzels don't appear to need to rise again before baking, so you just need to figure out how you want to prep them for the oven. Here are the options I tried: To boil them: If you want to boil them, bring a pot of water to a boil. Dunk each of the pretzels into the boiling water for 5 seconds, then place them onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt (I use the kosher stuff that is easy to find at the grocery store) or other toppings.

I used a pair of spatulas to hold the pretzel in place while holding it under water. To eggwash them: Simply place them on a baking sheet, brush them gently with an egg that has been whisked, then sprinkle with coarse salt or other toppings.

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To bake them (mostly) dry: Sprinkle or spritz them with a little bit of water so that the toppings will stick, then sprinkle with coarse salt or other toppings. Place the baking sheets into the oven. It took around 15 minutes for my pretzels to get golden and brown. Remove from the oven and eat immediately. Results We definitely thought the boiled pretzels (on the left) were better than the pretzels that had just been spritzed with water (on the right). The spritzed ones were dry and had a slightly french bread like crust. Crust like that is good on french bread but not so good on soft pretzels. I liked the boiled pretzels more than the eggwashed pretzels, my wife preferred the eggwashed pretzels better. The eggwashed ones rose considerably more in the oven than the boiled ones, so they were quite soft and fluffy. The boiled ones were still soft, but they were a little denser and chewier. Truthfully, I couldn't tell the difference between the batch that I let ferment for an hour and the batch I baked immediately. If I were tasting them side by side with no toppings I probably could detect a slight difference. But at least when I eat soft pretzels they are a medium for other flavors (salt and mustard), either method produces an adequate pretzel.

And the lye bath? At least for the home baker I can say with confidence that you can skip it. Defender of the lye bath? Or have any other insight into proper pretzel making? Please comment! Blueberries and cream cheese wrapped in a sweet yeasted dough. Yes, it really is as good as it sounds, and it is making me hungry again just sitting here thinking about it. The recipe and a lot more picture below. This dough is a wonderful one from Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible. I like it because it is sweet and rich without being too rich. Any sweet dough will do though. Hensperger suggests making a raspberry filling and sprinkling a streusal on top instead of using egg wash. That, too, sounds excellent, I just happened to have a bunch of extra blueberries in the freezer and some extra cream cheese in the fridge so I modified the recipe to fit my needs. Obviously, you should adapt this to use whatever you enjoy the most, have easy access to, or have an excess of. I think you could do a wonderful savory version of the recipe if you used a less sweet dough. Think about something along the lines of a mushroom braid with Swiss cheese, or a pesto and parmesan braid, or a sausage and onion braid. Hm? Any of them sound good? Well, they do to me.

Pita Bread

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Pita bread is a great bread for beginning bakers or for making with kids. The entire process of making them only takes about two hours too, so it is also a great one for people on a tight schedule. Flat Breads Flat breads can be made in dozens of different ways. They can be made from grains other than wheat, such as corn in corn tortillas. They can be made with no leavening, such as matzo or flour tortillas, with chemical leavening (baking soda or baking powder) such as pancakes or crepes, or with yeast, such as naan or pita bread. They can also be made from a starter. And they can be baked (pitas), fried (fry bread), grilled (zebra bread), and, I would imagine even steamed (I'm drawing a blank... anyone?). Flat breads of some sort exist in just about every culture on the globe. Anyone who grew up in a household where flat breads are an essential part of every meal knows will attest that they are a hundred times better when baked fresh than when bought from the store wrapped in plastic and already two or three days old. I wasn't brought up in such a house, actually, but a year or two ago I started going to a local Lebanese restaurant solely for the fresh pita bread that they baked. After draining my wallet by eating lunch there every day for a week, I realized pita bread must be pretty simple to make at home. So I tried it and was extremely pleased with the results. I still visit the Lebanese restaurant for their pitas every few weeks, but I've cut back and saved myself a ton of money. About The Ingredients There are only 6 ingredients in this recipe for pita bread, and you even have quite a bit of flexibility in choosing which of those to include. I'll go through the ingredients one-by-one: • Flour - I like to use one cup of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all purpose unbleached flour. It gives the pitas a heartier flavor than using all white flour. You can use any combination of the wheat flours you have around the house, from 100% white flour to 100% whole wheat flour. You could probably even use flour made from other grains, though I'd suggest trying it with wheat flour the first time before getting too crazy. Salt - Salt is necessary to retard the yeast (slow it down) and to flavor the bread. Without salt bread is pretty... blah. I used kosher salt for this, but any type of salt you have in the house will work just fine. Water - Plain old tap water, assuming your water is drinkable. If not, bottled or distilled water. Something close to room temperature (warmer than 50 degrees fahrenheit, cooler than 100 degrees) works best. Sugar - A touch of sugar or honey provides a little more food for the yeast and will make the bread brown faster when it caramelizes. It also can add a touch of sweetness to the dough. You can safely omit it from the recipe and it will turn out fine, or add more if you like it sweeter. Yeast- I use instant yeast, which is also know as Rapid Rise or Bread Machine yeast. Instant yeast is a little more potent than active dry yeast and can be mixed directly in with your dry ingredients and will have no problem waking up when the water is added. Active dry yeast works just as well as instant yeast, but requires being activated in a little bit of warm water before being added to the rest of the ingredients. If you are using active dry yeast, read the instructions on the package to figure out how to activate the yeast before adding it to this recipe and reduce the amount of water you add later in the recipe by the amount of water you proof the yeast in (i.e., if you activate the yeast in a half a cup of water only add 3/4 to 1 cup later). Oil - Oil or fats soften the bread and keep it fresher longer. Olive oil is the most traditional oil to use in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, but if you do not have any you can use whatever you have in the house. And, in the worst case, you can even omit it. Pita Bread

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Makes 8 pitas 3 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey 1 packet yeast (or, if from bulk, 2 teaspoons yeast) 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature 2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening If you are using active dry yeast, follow the instructions on the packet to active it (see the note on yeast above). Otherwise, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water (I had to add an extra 1/4 cup). Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired). If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes. (The purpose of kneading is to thoroughly combine the ingredients and to break down the flour so that the dough will become stretchy and elastic and rise well in the oven. A simple hand kneading technique is to firmly press down on the dough with the palm of your hand, fold the dough in half toward you like you are closing an envelope, rotate the dough 90 degrees and then repeat these steps, but whatever technique you are comfortable using should work.) When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. I use canola spray oil, but you can also just pour a teaspoon of oil into the bowl and rub it around with your fingers. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas. After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again. If you have a spray bottle in the kitchen, spray a light mist of water onto your baking surface and close the oven for 30 seconds. Supposedly this step reduces the blistering on the outside of your pitas. I've skipped it many times in the past and still been pleased with my breads, so if you don't have a bottle handy it isn't a big deal. Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn't necessary (in the batch pictured here I removed them at 3 minutes).

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That's it. They should keep pretty well, but we almost always eat them as soon as they come out of the oven. Yum! If you have any tips on baking pitas or have a recipe you'd like to share, please add a comment below.

BAGELS
I don't know why, but I thought making bagels was considerably more complicated than making a loaf of bread. Well, it's not: it is easy. A recipe and a description of how easy it was to make these below. I knew making bagels involved boiling them. Somehow this left me with the impression that it would be as complicated as deep frying is, where you have to get the oil just the right temperature or else you end up either setting your kitchen on fire or eating little wet balls of grease. Plus there is the whole pot of grease clean up factor. Yuck. Not something I've wanted to deal with. So when I read a couple of bagel recipes and all they said was "bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop bagels in and boil for a minute or two on each side" I... well, I felt like a dolt. Why didn't I try making these sooner? About Bagels There are a ton of bagel recipes out there. A large percentage of them include eggs and butter. Most suggest using high protein bread flour. Some include sugar, some include honey, and others include malt syrup or powder. For my first time baking bagels, I decided to use the recipe from the The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It appealed to me because it had an extremely simple ingredient list (only one ingredient that don't routinely keep around the house, and it was simple to find and inexpensive) and included an overnight retardation of the dough that made it perfect for baking in the morning. As regular readers will recall, preparing bread in the evening for baking first thing in the morning is an ongoing desire of mine. This recipe fit that model perfectly. Recipe Makes 1 dozen bagels Sponge: 1 teaspoon instant yeast 4 cups bread flour 2 1/2 cups water Dough: 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 3 3/4 cups bread flour 2 3/4 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons malt powder OR 1 tablespoon malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar Finishing touches: 1 tablespoon baking soda for the water Cornmeal for dusting the pan Toppings for the bagels such as seeds, salt, onion, or garlic The Night Before Stir the yeast into the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until all ingredients are blended. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for two hours. Remove the plastic wrap and stir the additional yeast into the sponge. Add 3 cups of the flour, the malt powder (the one unusual ingredient, which I was able to find at the local health food store), and the salt into the bowl and mix until all of the ingredients form a ball. You need to work in the additional 3/4 cups of flour to stiffen the dough, either while still mixing in the bowl or while kneading. The dough should be stiffer and drier than normal bread dough, but moist enough that all of the ingredients are well blended. Pour the dough out of the bowl onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes. Immediately after kneading, split the dough into a dozen small pieces around 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a ball and set it aside. When you have all 12 pieces made, cover them with a damp towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.

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Shaping the bagel is a snap: punch your thumb through the center of each roll and then rotate the dough, working it so that the bagel is as even in width as possible. Place the shaped bagels on an oiled sheet pan, with an inch or so of space between one another (use two pans, if you need to). If you have parchment paper, line the sheet pan with parchment and spray it lightly with oil before placing the bagels on the pan. Cover the pan with plastic (I put mine into a small plastic garbage bag) and allow the dough to rise for about 20 minutes. The suggested method of testing whether the bagels are ready to retard is by dropping one of them into a bowl of cool water: if the bagel floats back up to the surface in under ten seconds it is ready to retard. If not, it needs to rise more. I didn't bother doing this, instead counting on it taking about 20 minutes to get my son's teeth brushed and get him to take a bath. In the quick interval between bath time and story time, I placed the pan into the refrigerator for the night. Baking Day

Preheat the oven to 500. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Adding one tablespoon of baking soda to the pot to alkalize the water is suggested to replicate traditional bagel shop flavor. I went ahead and did this, though I have no idea if it made any difference. When the pot is boiling, drop a few of the bagels into the pot one at a time and let them boil for a minute. Use a large, slotted spoon or spatula to gently flip them over and boil them on the other side. Before removing them from the pot, sprinkle corn meal onto the sheet pan. Remove them one at a time, set them back onto the sheet pan, and top them right away, while they are still slightly moist. Repeat this process until all of the bagels have been boiled and topped. Once they have, place the sheet pan into the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees, rotate the pan, and bake for another 5 minutes until the bagels begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for as long as you can without succumbing to temptation.

Wrap Up These bagels were awesome. I may try a different recipe next time, like an egg bagel recipe, but I have no complaints about this one. I did learn that you can put too many seeds on top of a bagel. I went particularly overboard with the poppy seeds. Next time I'll use a few less, but the bagels were still a hit with everyone. Related Recipes:Challah Bread, English Muffins, Struan Bread.

CHALLAH BREAD
I adopted this recipe from my bread machine manual. 2 eggs at room temperature, plus enough water to equal 1-1/2 cups 1/4 cup Olive Oil 2 Tbs. Sugar

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2 tsp. salt (I use 2-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt for the flavor) 2 cups whole wheat flour (I use Gold Medal 'Better for Bread' whole wheat flour) 2-1/2 cups bread flour 1-1/2 tsp instant yeast Poppy seeds if desired Put on dough cycle. Remove from bread pan. Fold. Let rest 15 minutes. Cut into three equal ropes. Roll out gently to about 14 in. Braid. Brush with egg wash. Let rise about 1 hour. Brush again with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 10 minutes. Turn oven back to 350 and finish baking. (approximately 20-25 minutes) Note: I usually beat my two eggs and add about a tablespoon of water and mix. Then I pour out about 1/4 cup for the egg wash. Then I top off with the rest of the water. This can be made by hand or mixer as well. When I make it by hand, I make a pre-ferment with part of the egg/water mix and about half of the flour with the yeast. I let this set for about 20 minutes, covered. I add the rest of the ingredients (flour a little at a time) and knead. Let raise for about 1 hour or until doubled. Fold, shape and let rise a second time. Continue as above. Now that that is as clear as mud, enjoy. :-) Gordon

Eclairs
There are three parts to éclairs: the pastry (pâte à choux), the filling (crème pâtissière), and the topping (chocolate ganache). If you are strapped for time you could cut corners on one or more of the parts by doing things like using frozen puffed pastry for the pastry, pudding or whipped cream for the filling, or some other frosting for the topping. Take a look at the recipes before doing so though: none of the pieces are that hard. There are a few places where you have to bring things to a boil carefully to prevent scalding, but I've found that if you warm the ingredients in the microwave before combining them in your sauce pan you can easily cut 10 or 15 minutes of stirring out of the process. Choux Paste (pâte à choux) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup milk 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 eggs Combine the water, milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Stir in the flour and, while mixing, cook another minute or 2 to eliminate excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Beat in one egg at at time. When they have all been beaten in and the paste is smooth and shiny, set aside to cool. The paste may be use immediately or covered and refrigerated for later use. Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière) 1/3 cups sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons corn starch 4 egg yolks 1 1/3 cups milk 3/4 teaspoon vanilla Combine the sugar, flour, corn starch, and egg yolks in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.

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In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Gradually pour the milk into the egg mixture, stirring it in as you do so. When fully combined, pour all of it into the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes then remove mixture from heat. Stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool. Cover the top with wax paper or parchment to prevent a skin from forming. This cream may be refrigerated for a day or two before use or used immediately. Chocolate Ganache 3/4 cup heavy cream 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate Heat the cream. Stir in the chocolate and continue heating and stirring until all of the chocolate is melted.

Éclairs: Assembly Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Form small logs out of the Choux paste on a baking sheet. If you have a pastry bag with large tips, you can squeeze them out neatly. I do not, so I just formed the logs with a spoon and my fingers. These were about an inch across and 3 to 4 inches long. Bake the pastries for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the eclairs you are making. When they are golden brown, turn the oven off. Poke a hole in the small end of the eclair and place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes to dry out. Remove the eclairs from the oven and let them cool a few minutes. For the topping, dip or dribble the eclairs in the chocolate ganache. To fill the eclairs, you can either use a pastry bag and squirt the pastry cream in through the drying hole as I did. Or you can slice the eclairs lengthwise and scoop the filling inside and place the top half back on top.

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There you have it: chocolate, creamy bliss. The eclairs keep OK for a few days in the refrigerator in an air tight container, but they are not nearly as good as when they are first assembled. Take my advice: make all of the elements in the same session, bake them up and make a fresh pot of coffee, and enjoy them immediately. You won't be sorry! Related Recipes: Pain Rapide au Chocolat, Brioche.

Ciabatta Integrale from KAF Whole Grains Baking
For my birthday, my mother bought me the brand-new King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking book. It's well timed. Their first book turned me on to bread baking, but after a few months, I moved toward whole grain breads almost exclusively, and the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion is about 95% white flour recipes. I learned a lot from it, but I wasn't baking much from it. So, suffice to day, I was itching to knead something up out of this book as soon as possible. I've made a few of the quickbreads. The Sailor Jack muffins, in particular -- an incredible cake-like concoction with raisins steeped in spices, molasses and brown sugar, along with whole wheat flour and oats, topped with a lemon sugar glaze -- are very, very tasty indeed. But I'd not tried a yeast bread until this weekend. The first recipe to catch my eye was Ciabatta Integrale, a ciabatta made with half whole wheat flour, olive oil and a bit of powdered milk. I love ciabatta -- nothing is better for a sandwich or simply a bit of oil and balsamic vinegar. But whole grains just don't do ciabatta. Those holes? Forget it. Or so I thought. This recipe isn't 100% whole grains, but it's half, and I'll take it, given the results. Here's one loaf all sliced up for sandwiches.

And here's the other loaf, which served as dinner bread with some stuffed acorn squash (stuffed with quinoa, maple syrup, raisins, almonds and cinnamon), fresh corn and a green salad composed of our morning trip to the farmers' market. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are in the gravy boat, natch. I was really impressed with the results, especially since the recipe said it's impossible to mix completely without a stand mixer. I don't own a stand mixer, so here's how I did it, thanks to a little help from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. Ingredients Pre-ferment 1 cup or 4 oz. whole wheat flour 1/2 cup or 4 oz cool water Pinch of instant yeast Dough All of the pre-ferment 1 1/4 cups or 5 oz. whole wheat flour 2 1/4 cups or 9.5 oz white bread flour 1 1/4 cups or 10 oz. cool water 1/4 cup or 1.75 oz olive oil 1/4 cup or 1 oz. nonfat dry milk 1.5 tsp salt 1/4 tsp instant yeast

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Yes, you read that right. This recipe makes two loaves of ciabatta with less than 3/8 tsp yeast. The night before mix together the pre-ferment. The next morning dump all the ingredients (including the pre-ferment, which should be spongy and full of bubbles) EXCEPT for the salt and additional yeast into a bowl, and mix it together with a large spoon or a dough whisk until it seems mostly hydrated. Cover and let it stand for 45 minutes to an hour. After the autolyse (that's what you're doing when you soak), add the salt and yeast. DON'T FORGET, OR YOU'LL REGRET IT. :-) Get a small bowl of cool water, and dip your hands in it. Shake off most of the water (important, otherwise you'll end up overhydrating the dough and you'll have soup) and then, using your hand like a dough hook, impale the dough with all five fingers. Turn your wrist clockwise while you turn the bowl with your other hand counter clockwise. Continue to do this, occassionally changing direction and wetting your hands if the dough starts to stick, for about 10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but it will stick to the bottom. Adjust the flour or water as necessary. Put the dough in a pre-greased bowl and cover it. Every hour or so, copiously flour your work surface, remove the dough, copiously flour the dough and give it a good stretch and fold, brushing off as much of the flour as you can before folding. By stretch-and-fold, I mean gently pat out the gas, stretch the dough to twice its length and then fold it in thirds like a letter. Give the dough a one-quarter turn, and then stretch-and-fold once more. Place it back in the bowl and re-cover it. Here's a good lesson on the technique. After about 3 hours and 2 or 3 folds (depending on how much strength the dough needs), remove the dough, and divide it into two. Gently stretch and pat each loaf into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle, and place them in a baker's couche (essentially, well-floured linen that you bunch up around the loaves so that they rise up instead of spreading out) or on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cover with greased plastic. It took mine about 4 hours for the final proof, but then my house is a chilly 62-64 degrees F. If your house is around 70-75 degrees, you may only have to wait two hours or so. In any case, preheat the oven to 500 degrees and put the loaves in the oven either on a preheated baking stone or a cold baking sheet when they're good and puffy. Steam the oven (I keep a cast iron skilet in the bottom of mine and usually toss about 1 cup of boiling water in it) and turn the oven down to 425. The loaves should take 20-25 minutes to cook and should register 205 degrees when done. With all that oil, the crust is not as crisp as I usually like ciabatta, but I find I do like the flavor it adds. Enjoy! Ciabatta other recipe from comment Hi guys, I was squeezed for time so I made a loaf of whole wheat ciabatta on the fly. I used as follows: For the sponge 1 1/2 cups h2o (cold) 2 tsp instant yeast 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour about an hour later it was busting out of the bowl. mixed 1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 tsp. sea salt 2 tbs. white sugar 1/4 cup olive oil All the sponge about an hour later I dumped the dough on the litely floured board and folded in 3s. I formed the loaf loosing little air. (no punching) Placed unbaked loaf on a cold flat pan sprined with corn meal. Baked in a table top convection oven with a cup of micro-waved boiling h2o for steam. 30 minutes later I had a great loaf of whole wheat ciabatta. The crust was crunchy and the crumb was full of holes and very elastic. The flavor was almost sweet but the honest to goodness whole wheat bloom taste was great.

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Total time start to finish was about 2 1/4 hours. Room temp. was 72 f. Instant yeast works well. No off tastes from long proofing periods. No off tastes from flavor pick up of the fridge. It was just like a fine wine------tasty whole wheat bloom. Congrats! It looks delicious! I thought also it's not possible to get such big wholes with whole wheat flour. I will try this one soon.

SAILOR JACK RECIPE REQUEST
Recipes are NOT copy-rited....unless you start naming name brand ingredients will you be walking a very thin line. If the source of the recipe is know, it should be so noted. (also, just think about this....if recipes were copyrited, we wouldn't be able to share most ALL recipes which we do!). All that aside, here is the recipe for the Sailor Jack muffins which is taken from the King Arthur* cookbook. SAILOR JACK MUFFINS These muffins seem to be native to the Pacific Northwest where they can be found in Oregon’s bakeries. There you will find these moist raisin and spice muffins turned upside down and wearing a lemon glaze. YIELD: One dozen muffins RAISIN AND SPICE MIXTURE 1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (3-3/4 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground ginger 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup (8 ounces) water 1/2 cup (3 ounces) raisins 2 tablespoons (1-1/2 ounces) molasses MUFFIN BATTER 1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour 1/2 cup (1-5/8 ounces) oat flour 1/2 cup (1-3/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/3 cup (2-3/8 ounces) vegetable oil 1 large egg GLAZE 1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioner’s sugar 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon milk DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat the oven to 375'F. 2. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with papers and coat the papers with nonstick spray. RAISIN AND SPICE MIXTURE: 1. Place the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until the mixture comes to a boil. 2. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and let cool, overnight if desired. THE BATTER: 1. Whisk together the flours, oats, baking soda and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. 2. Add the cooled raisin and spice mixture, oil and egg. Stir to combine. Do not beat as this will toughen the muffins. 3. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. 4. Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 23 minutes.

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5. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling. GLAZE: Mix all the ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled muffins. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: 1 Glazed muffin: 18 g. whole grains, 245 cal., 7 g. fat, 3 g. protein, 19 g. complex carbohydrates, 3 g. dietary fiber, 18 mg. cholesterol, 329 mg. sodium, 183 mg. potassium, 9 RE vitamin A, 1 mg. vitamin C, 2 mg. iron, 64 mg. calcium, 131 mg. phosphorus. Sailor Jack muffin recipe Thank you, Italian Mama. I've been waiting for ages for this recipe. A cookbook author over here tried to protect a recipe from further publication; to this day I can't believe she was serious! M SAILOR JACK RECIPE Maggie, you are quite welcome! Glad to have helped you! Was hoping you were still active within this site so you would eventually get this recipe!! In surfing this site, did notice there were several people asking for this recipe, and from several YEARS ago! These muffins are fantastic! Moist! Spicey! They remind me of a cake my Nonna used to make for her family and was my Dad's favorite, called "Depression Cake". The only differences between her cake and these muffins is there was no glaze on her cake, cake vs muffins, and the small amount of oat flour! The lemon glaze is mild and "just rght" as a compliment to the spice. If you've never had these, you will love them! BTW: These freeze well, too! Yeah, with you on the copyrite issue! Just don't get it.... ;-)

Pain Aux Raisins and Cream Cheese Snails
Authentic Pain Aux Raisins are one of my favorite treats. Rich and sweet without being cloyingly so like your typical donut or danish, they make the perfect accompaniment to a good cup of joe. Reading The Village Baker I came across a recipe for them and was surprised at how simple they are to make. So last weekend I tried making them and have been blissed out eating them all week. The one type of danish that I have a weakness for is a cream cheese danish. Wouldn't you know it, the next recipe in the book is for a cheese danish. It even uses the same base recipe. I couldn't resist. Without further ado, the recipes. I lied: a little further ado. If you don't have powdered milk in the house, don't sweat it: just replace 1/2 cup of the water with milk. Note that this Pain Au Lait is essentially a Poor Man's Brioche. If you want you snails to be richer you could substitute a higher class (more butter) Brioche recipe. I find these to be plenty rich for my taste. Pain Au Lait 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast 3/4 cup water 3 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 Tablespoons powdered milk 4 tablespoons sugar 3 eggs 6 tablespoons butter, softened

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If using active dry yeast, proof it in 1/2 cup of warm water for 10 minutes. If you are using instant yeast, as I did, it can just be mixed in with the dry ingredients in the next step. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, powdered milk, and sugar. Add the yeast, water, and eggs and mix until ingredients are combined. Add the softened butter and mix or knead until the ingredients are thoroughly combined (Ortiz doesn't describe an extensive kneading step in this recipe, so I guess it is unnecessary). You should have a fairly sticky, satiny dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down, return it to the bowl and cover it again, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, divide the dough in half and, while still cold, use each half to prepare one batch (8) of each type of snails (or two batches of one of them, if the other doesn't interest you). Before beginning, you'll need to make a simple egg glaze that you will use in both recipes: Egg Glaze 1 egg 1 tablespoon milk Whisk to combine. Cream Cheese Snails (makes 8 snails) Filling: 3/4 cup cream cheese 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon egg glaze Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 8 by 12 inches. Slice the rectangle into 8 long strips. Stretch each strip as long and thin as you can (Ortiz says out to 24 inches. I only got mine about 12 to 15 inches long but they were still fine). Twist each strip and then curl each up to make a snail shape.

Place the snails on a parchment-lined or well greased baking sheet and brush them gently with the egg glaze. Use your fingers to create a well in the center of the snail and then place one tablespoon of the cheese mixture on top. Ortiz also recommends adding a tablespoon of jam, but I find the cheese alone the be plenty sweet. Let the snails rise for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until they are puffy. Preheat the oven to 385 degrees and bake the snails for between 15 to 17 minutes, until they are golden brown. Immediately after removing from the oven, paint then with a light sugar glaze: 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract If you like them to be extremely sweet, you can dribble them with a fondant glaze (1 to 2 teaspoons of hot water combined with 2/3 cup of powdered sugar) after they have cooled. I did not.

Pain Aux Raisins
(makes 8 snails)

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Filling: 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 cup raisins Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 8 by 10 inches. Coat the rectangle with the egg glaze and then spread the cinnamon, raisin, and sugar mixture over it. Roll the the dough up into a large log and then slice it into 8 pieces. Place each of the pieces onto a parchment-lined or well greased baking sheet, press down on them with the palm of your hand to flatten them, and then paint them gently with the egg glaze.

Let the snails rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are puffy. Preheat the oven to 385 degrees and bake the snails for between 15 to 17 minutes, until they are golden brown. Immediately after removing from the oven, paint then with the same sugar glaze you painted the cream cheese snails with above. Once again, If you like them on the sweet side dribble them with a fondant glaze (1 to 2 teaspoons of hot water combined with 2/3 cup of powdered sugar) after they have cooled. I did not think this was necessary.

I know, Dorota directed me I know, Dorota directed me to the recipe through LJ. :) I did put the yeast in warm water first, but only 1/4C since I only used 1/4C water and the rest was milk. It seemed to double overnight, but they aren't as big as the ones in your photo. oh well I'm sure they'll taste great anyway. I'll take pics. Thanks! This site is wonderful, my dad will love it! I figured out what I did. I figured out what I did. The water I used to activate the yeast was too hot and I killed it. :( Live and learn! Thank goodness I learned before I made the Thanksgiving rolls today! Not necessarily You don't have to proof active dry yeast in water. You might want to do it as a precaution, just to make sure the yeast is fresh and alive. I've mixed active dry yeast (NOT rapid rise) in with dry ingredients, and added liquid that was around 110 degrees. Bread rose without a hitch, with no discernable change in taste. I do this when I'm in an extra hurry. Question about the Question about the water? I just made up the dough, and noticed in the listed ingredients it's 3/4 cup water, but in the instructions, you say 1/2 cup of water. I'm keeping fingers crossed that it's 3/4 cup, because that's what I used with the instant yeast. Thanks for a great site! There are so many knowledgeable people here, and I love looking at all the wonderful pictures. Thanks for your help! Submitted by Clover on February 9, 2007 - 12:54am.

Made by comment another recipe 20

Snails redux Made the snails again yesterday. This time around I weighed (some of) the ingridients. So, Flour - 525 g. Initially I measured 3.5 cups (weighed 475 g), which produced a batter-like mixture, so I used 150 g/cup conversion I use for KAF and added 50 g more. Yeast - 12 g - it's more like 3 tsp, but last time around I had problems with rising, so I upped it. Sugar 4 tbsp in may hands weighed 56 g Salt 12 g Dry milk - 14 g, I use fast-dissolving freeze-dried kind, it weighs much less per spoon than the regular kind, so I have to weigh it out. The rest was eyeballed. I had to knead the heck out of the dough in my KA, 10 min or so before it was ready - very soft, and quite sticky, 1.5 hours for the first rise, then fridge overnight. By morning the dough rose quite a bit and was still very soft. I split it in two parts. Rolling it out with rolling made seriously stick to the working surface - dough scraper really came in handy. Dough strips were very pliable and easily stretched to 24" and even beyond. I found it convenient to put each stretched strip in a semicircle, twist it to the middle, make half a snail, and then lift the other half and twist it and roll it around the snail at the same time. Finished shaped snails looked like this:

And the final product (I skipped sugar glaze - too sweet and sticky for my taste) is here:

Sweet Corn Raisin Bread
Last week I posted a basic cornbread recipe. I suspect some folks reaction was "ho-hum". So this week I'm showing that you can, indeed, do more with corn meal than just make cornbread. How about a yeasted bread with corn meal? How about a sweet raisin yeasted bread with corn meal in it? Sound good? It did to me. The recipe and a lot more photos are below. I based this one on a recipe from a little Betty Bossi baking book that my father-in-law brought back from France (Betty Bossi is, I gather, like a Swiss equivalent of Betty Crocker). My French is fair, as is my metric system, but thanks to my scale, which can toggle from metric to imperial, I was able to pull something together pretty quickly. I'm going to print the recipe with the original metric measurements. Next to each I'll include my imperial approximation, which also include my substitutions. My translations and measurements aren't exact, so if you are a stickler you can use the metric measurements or do the math yourself! Sweet Corn Raisin Bread Original Metric Measurements 150 grams corn flour 1 deciliter water 350 grams white flour 1/2 cube (approx. 20g yeast) 3 tablespoons sugar 2 deciliters milk 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 pinch saffron 50 grams butter 75 grams raisins Imperial Approximation and Substitutions 1 cup corn meal 1/2 cup water 2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons instant yeast 3 tablespoon sugar 1 cup milk 1 1/2 teaspoons salt saffron I'm too cheap! 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup raisins

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1 egg yoke 1 teaspoon water 1 pinch salt 2 pinches sugar

1 egg yoke 1 teaspoon water 1 pinch salt 2 pinches sugar

Mix the corn meal and the water together in a small bowl and allow to soak for half an hour. Pour two cups of the flour in a bowl and combine with the yeast, sugar, salt, and saffron. Make a well in the middle and pour in the corn meal soaker, remaining milk, and butter. Stir until well blended. Stir in the raisin and then add additional flour by the handful until the proper consistency is reached (tacky to the touch but not sticky, and clearing the sides of the bowl when mixed). Pull the ball of dough out of the mixing bowl and place it onto a clean work surface. Knead the dough for 10 to 12 minutes, until it begins to feel smooth and satiny. Place the dough back into a clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, roughly 90 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it, then shape into the desired shape. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a moist towel and allow it to rise until doubled in size again, roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.

While it is rising again, preheat the oven (and baking stone, if you are using one) to 425. When it has doubled in size, glaze the loaf with egg wash made from the egg yoke, water, salt, and sugar. Score the loaf so that it doesn't tear in the oven, and then place it into the preheated oven.

After 5 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. After 15 minutes rotate the loaf so that it bakes evenly, and then bake it until it is done. You'll know it is done when it is nice and brown, sounds hollow when tapped on, and reaches an internal temperature of at least 185 degrees. In my oven this took around 40 to 45 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool for at least half an hour before slicing. Further Exploration I was very pleased with this loaf, but I have some ideas I'd like to try to make this bread even better. One idea is instead of using 1 cup of medium grind corn meal, use a mixture of finely ground corn flour and coarsely ground polenta. Something along the lines of 3/4 cup corn flour and 1/4 cup presoaked polenta ought to lend the loaf a smooth, creamy crumb with a few crunchy bursts of polenta here and there.

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The other idea I have is to substitute honey for sugar, and maybe increase the amount of sweetener just a tad. The thought is that I might be able to get a flavor something along the lines of cornbread with honey butter baked right into the loaf. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good. Olive oil instead of butter might be good too. So many options... and never enough time to bake! Have any ideas for other ways to modify this loaf? Or questions about it? Please comment! Re: Sweet Corn Raisin Bread Addendum: I made this loaf again using corn flour instead of corn meal. It came out much smaller and I feared it was going to be too dense to eat. But, in fact, it was still wonderful toasted, with the corn flavor spread throughout the loaf instead of just in the crunchy little corn meal nuggets. Submitted by Robert on July 14, 2005 - 1:36pm. Re: Sweet Corn Raisin Bread I have been baking bread for about 20 years,, and good bread for 6 months. Were I to make this bread,, my loaf would rise flat, and get even more flat in the oven,, and I would end up with a delicious pancake. How do you keep the bread from going flat? Submitted by Floydm on July 15, 2005 - 12:15pm. Re: Sweet Corn Raisin Bread I think with this one I was able to pinch it tight enough on the bottom that there was pretty good surface tension keeping it in shape. But that is not always the case. The trick I've been using for really slack doughs is that I bought a couple of cheapo baskets about 8 inches around at Goodwill (my discount version of the fancy bannetons they sell at kitchen stores). I line them with kitchen towels, sprinkle some flour on the towels, and then place the balls of dough in them while they are rising. I pull the dough out of the baskets just before popping them in the oven. They definitely preserve their shape better this way.

Re : Sweet Corn Raisin Bread
This sounds awesome.. I recently made a few loaves of blueberry corn bread, which were very good. For a variation, how about using blueberries instead of raisins?

Sweet Corn Raisin Bread

Sweet Corn Raisin as Birthday Loaf

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Very tasty. A little left over next day, unlike baking powder and soda corn bread, there is no "after taste" the next day or bitter soda taste...plus point. Good flavor! Hubby said to keep the recipe. Used a two-part quiche pan with aluminum foil bottom, on lower rack 25 min 180°c . Ya can see all them little scissor cuts. I bet this would be good with fresh cut sweet corn in it too, like fritters! :) Scissors for scoring... makes it look so fancy! Mini Oven Mini - loaf of outstanding beauty! Wow, wow, WOW! I just love this loaf! How absolutely beautiful. Not to mention Floyd's recipe sounds out of this world since I love any type of corn bread and rasins, too. I'm going to have to add this to the long list of "to make" but I doubt I can do it as beautifully as you have. ZB - it's easy! Get yourself some clean scissors and get ready. Sticking both points in dough at the same time: First cut outline of a "square" on top not letting corners touch. Then add 3 snips to form squares at 12 oclock 3, 6, and 9 repectively. Add some snips inbetween and "wella!" finished.

Its a very traditional holiday cake bread coffee cake . Call it what u may,Please bear with me. 5 c flour AP 1 stick butter, 1/2 c sugar 1 can evaperated milk [Its richer] vanilla grate skin of 1 lemon & juice of 1/2 a lemon.. 1 cup of slivered almonds, you could toast them a little. 1 small container of candied fruit 1 cup of raisins in bowl put sugar butter evaperated milk in pot,scald cool to 110 100 2 paks yeast in alittle warm water pinch of sugar 5 min u will see if it is alive, ADD to flour in bowl , add warm milk sugar mix soak fruit nuts raisens in two shots rum & your vanilla in another bowl for later, now add rest of your flower and then some to make a nice dough dont forget lemon rind & juice Take dough ,put in nice warm place covered an hour to rest feed build cells & expand then put dough on table, flatten with your hand throw handful flour on fruit & nuts mix litely , now mix togeather make 2 loves let rest raise bake 375 35min or brown, brush well with plenty butter when alittle cool smother with powdered sugar twice. eat thin slices 3 4 days later keeps well keep long time in frezer G B hotbred buttermilk? I was thinking about trying this out with buttermilk instead of milk. Does anyone know was kind of effect that might have on yeast activity? soft and fluffy yeasted corn bread I know this thread is a bit old, but I've been tinkering with yeasted corn bread. My aim was to achieve a balance between the flavor of corn and yet achieve the crumb of wheat bread. I'm a sandwich person and I wanted a sandwich version of a Mexican soft taco, if that makes sense. I credit Hamelman, Glezer and Floyd, for this recipe is really a hodgepodge of their formulae and techniques.

Baker's percentages (rounded off):
75% unbleached flour 25% corn flour 52% water 11% milk

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9% honey 8% butter 0.7% instant yeast 2% salt 32% corn Sponge: 160 grams (g) unbleached flour 160 g water 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast Incorporate yeast into water and stir in flour until the soft dough is of uniform consistency. Let stand 1 1/2 to 2 hours in about 72F. Soaker: 160 g corn flour 170 g water Mix together and let stand in refrigerator while fermenting the sponge. Final dough: 320 g unbleached flour 70 g milk 60 g honey 50 g butter, very soft 13 g salt 200 g corn - cooked, cooled, and scraped from the cob (one big ear was enough) Mix together all the ingredients, including sponge and soaker. Add water or flour as necessary to achieve a fairly stiff but kneadable dough. (Caveat: the formula I drew up only started with 42% water but the dough kept soaking up water while kneading, and I'm sure I added at least another 60g. I also added the milk in the soaker to give it enough liquid, since I haven't added the additional water yet.) Knead until smooth. It was quite an effort to retain that much corn in the dough, and no-can-do that kneading technique of slamming the dough onto the countertop; the corn kernels will go flying all over your kitchen (I tried). Let proof for 40 minutes to an hour. Fold. I retarded the dough overnight in the ref, folding four times in the first few hours in the refrigerator. The next day, divide the dough into two. Bench rest about 30-60 min to let it come closer to room temp. Shape the loaves, let them proof for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Score. I baked them from cold start, started off at 450 degrees, then turning down to 400 after 20 minutes. Bake until done. A mistake I made was not following Glezer's instruction to bake in loaf pans. I think it's because that much corn kernels prevented me from creating good surface tension, and the loaves therefore spread. If using loaf pans, I would lower the temp to 350 just like Floyd's. I also want to try this using corn meal instead of corn flour, and be able to compare.

Pain de Provence

It is getting to be harvest season in my part of the world, and that means herbs are cheap and plentiful. Now is a great time to try baking an herb bread. You can bake wonderful herb breads with whatever you have on hand: rosemary, dill, basil, thyme, mint, chives, you name it. I happen to have an excess of Herbes De Provence on hand, a mixture of savory, thyme, fennel, and lavender that you can find in most specialty grocery stores or order online .

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I used my standard poolish french bread as the base for this, then added the liqueur and herbs recommended by Bernard Clayton in his recipe for Pain de Provence in his Complete Book of Breads. Feel free to experiment and use a different dough as the base.

Pain De Provence Makes 1 large loaf Poolish: 1 cup bread or all-purpose unbleached flour 1 cup water 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast Dough: All of the poolish 2 cups bread or all-purpose unbleached flour 1/2 cup Herbes de Provence 1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup liqueur such as Beauchant, Grand Marnier, or orange Curaçao 1/4-1/2 cup water, as necessary The night before baking, make the poolish by mixing together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast to make a batter. Cover the container with plastic wrap and set aside for 8 to 16 hours until you are ready to make the final dough. To make the dough, combine the remaining flour with the remaining yeast, salt, and herbs. Add the poolish, the liqueur, and 1/4 cup of the additional water. Mix the ingredients, and, if necessary, add more water or flour until the proper consistency is reached (tacky but not so sticky that the dough sticks to your hands). Knead by hand for 10 to 15 minutes or in a mixer for 5 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in a well-greased bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes. Remove it from the bowl and gently degas it, then return it to the bowl, cover it, and allow it to double in size again. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball or long loaf. Cover the loaf with a damp towel and allow it to rise again until doubled in size, which takes between 60 and 90 more minutes. While the loaf is in its final rise, preheat the oven and baking stone, if you are using one, to 450. I also preheat a brownie pan into which I pour a cup of hot water just after placing the loaf in the oven. This creates steam in the oven which increases the crunchiness of the crust. Just prior to placing the loaf in the oven, score the top of it with a sharp knife or razor blade. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 450, then rotate it 180 degrees and reduce the oven temperature to 375 and baked it another 25 minutes. The internal temperature of the loaf should be in the ball park of 200 degrees when you remove it from the oven. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least a half an hour before serving, if you can resist.

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I couldn't. Fresh herbs I find my fresh herbs are stronger and have better aroma than dried ones. But I prefer to mix them in cream cheese or cottage cheese and spread them on the bread. Mini Oven Ratio of water to flour? I live in the UK and have tried to convert the cups to grams. My calculations (if correct) show that the flour is 360g and water is 284g - 340g. This ratio would give a very wet dough! And this is not including the liquer. Whilst I realise that more water creates a more open texture, this recipe would appear very wet. A traditional baguette recipe would use 58g - 64g water for every 100g flour. Please advise accordingly. Thanks Submitted by bwraith on October 5, 2007 - 12:40am. re: flour to water ratio I haven't done this recipe, but here are a couple of things to consider. I would bet the cups would convert better to weight at about 140g/cup. I'm not sure what Floyd uses for his conversions, but Bernard Clayton's book, in which this recipe appears, has a table in the back that says 1 cup of flour is 142g. It probably makes sense to use that conversion ratio. Unfortunately, volume measures vary over a wide range for flour, since people have different methods of packing the flour. I've seen estimates by different authors of anywhere from about 110 grams to about 155g of flour to the cup. Another factor is that the spices in this bread may absorb some water. I could imagine a half cup of spices absorbing an ounce or two of water. Overall, if you use 142g/cup, that's 426g of total flour. If you add the water and liqueur together for 12 total ounces (using the lower water estimate), that's 340g of liquid. Subtract from that 30g of water absorbed by the spices, and you get 310g, which if divided by 426g, is a hydration of 73% or so. It's still a little higher hydration than I would've thought, but maybe the spices use more water than I'm guessing in this example. One last thing is that flours vary over a fairly wide range in terms of the water they need to absorb for a given consistency. So, what may seem a reasonable consistency, using the proportions in the recipe, to someone using a flour available here in the US, may not seem the same for the flour you're using in the UK. So, some experimentation will be inevitable, given we all have access to somewhat different flours. Bill

Baked Potato Bread
This weekend I found myself staring out the window at the abundant chives growing in my garden. What could I possibly do with them, I wondered, except eat them on baked potatoes? And how many baked potatoes can I eat before I never want to see another spud again? Then it occurred to me that I've made potato bread before, so why not add chives to potato bread? And, heck, while I'm at it, why not throw in some other tater toppings like sour cream and bacon and have a full-on Baked Potato Bread? By the time I had second thoughts about it, all of the ingredients were mixed together. But, you know what? It turned out excellent, the perfect accompaniment to a pot of corn chowder on a rainy day.

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The full recipe is below. Freestyle Baking As I have written about time and time again, I think the real fun in baking comes once you have mastered the basics and understand how adding different ingredients in different proportions will change the character of your loaf. Whether I am making up a recipe or checking out a new recipe in a cookbook, my point of reference is always the loaf I introduced in lesson 1, which is 3 cups flour, 1 + a little cups of water, 2 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons salt. If I read a recipe and it has more water than, say, a cup and a quarter of water per three cups of flour I know it is going to a slack dough; more fats (butter, milk): a softer loaf; contains sugars: a sweet loaf; and so on. When thinking up this recipe, I took the lesson one recipe, substituted potatoes for about 20 percent of the flour, substituted sour cream for about 50% of the water, and added the chives and bacon and bacon fat. It sounded easy enough, though I made some adjustments as I started baking, as you'll see below. Potato Bread I don't believe that I've every posted about a potato bread on this site, so a little introduction is in order. Replacing between 10 and 30 percent of your flour with mashed potatoes results in a wonderful soft, moist loaf of bread. Potato flakes or potato starch can be used, as well, but leftover mashed potatoes work great even if they have some butter or milk or salt in them. Do be careful, though: potatoes are considerably lower in gluten than wheat, so add too much potato and you will end with a dense, moist loaf, probably too much like a baked potato for anyone's liking. I find 1/2 cup potatoes to around 3 cups flour to be plenty. In this recipe I used a couple of small red potatoes that we had steamed up as a side dish for dinner the night before. All I did was mash them up with a fork and mix them into the flour. I left the skins on before mashing them because I find the little red flakes speckling the loaf to be quite attractive. Bacon isn't to everyone's liking, either for dietary or religious reasons. I see no reason why this recipe wouldn't be good even if you excluded it, but if it something you are able to indulge in I suggest you do. I definitely think it improved the flavor and consistency (and appearance, for that matter) of the loaf. Enough blabbing. On to the recipe! Baked Potato Bread Makes 2 small (one pound) loaves or one large loaf 1/2 cup mashed potatoes 3 to 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (I'll explain the ambiguity below) 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons instant yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup cooked bacon 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives To begin, chop up two or three slices of bacon and fry them up. Remove them from the heat. Mix the mashed potatoes, yeast, salt, and 2 cups of the flour together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. If you have active dry yeast and want to substitute, read this. Add the sour cream, water, chives, and bacon and mix together until all ingredients are combined. I also mixed in the bacon fat, which there was about a tablespoon of in the pan, because it improves the flavor of the loaf.

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At this point you'll have a very wet, sticky mess, probably more of a batter than a dough. Add additional flour a handful (1/8 cup) at a time and mix or knead it in. (I lost track of exactly how much extra flour I added, but it seems like it was around 9 or 10 hands full. I added 4 or 5 hands full and mixed them in while the dough was still in the bowl, then I poured the dough out onto a well-floured cutting board and added more, kneading it with my hands which I repeatedly dipped in flour to keep the dough from sticking to them. After 5 or 10 minutes of this I ended up with something that was still quite sticky, but was definitely in the realm of a dough and not a batter: it could be formed into a ball and generally held its shape.) Once you have combined the ingredients well and gotten the balance of flour and water to a level that seems acceptable, return the dough to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes at room temperature or until it has doubled in size. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape the loaf or loaves. Notice how moist and gummy my dough was when I cut it to shape it into two loaves:

One probably could add more flour and make an acceptable loaf of bread with a drier dough, but I've been finding that I get better results the wetter I am able to leave it. But this really is an art, not a science, so use your own best judgement. At this point you need to shape the loaves, cover them loosely and let them rise until they double in size again, about 45 minutes. You could put them in greased baking pans and let them rise and bake them in those. I wanted round loaves, so I put them in a couple of couche lined baskets: Professional bakers use these kinds of baskets , which are very nice but completely out of my price range. I found two small baskets at Goodwill for 49 cents each and have found that they help keep the shape of my rounds very well. The baking couche I got from a neighbor who works in bakery. It works very well, but you can fake the same thing with a well floured kitchen towel (the linen kind, not a fuzzy one). As you can see in the picture above, I placed the baskets on a table, the couche over the baskets, and the dough in the floured couche in the baskets. I wrapped the edges of the couche around the balls of dough and let them rise. When they had risen I simply unwrapped the loaves and shook them out of the couche onto my peel (which I dust with semolina flour) and threw them into the oven. While the loaves are rising again, preheat the oven to 425. If you have a baking stone, be sure to put it in early to heat. When they have doubled in size (as I said before, about 45 minutes after shaping), put the loaves in the oven to bake. I baked them at 425 for 5 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 and baked them another half an hour. The loaves are done when the internal temperature reaches the 185 to 195 degree range (as read with an instant-read thermometer) or when they are nice and brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. For me this took about 35 minutes.

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And there we have it. The bread was wonderful while still warm with a pot of soup, but I actually think I preferred it the next day cold. With the bacon fat and sour cream, there was plenty of fat in the bread so it didn't need to be buttered; just plain it was rich and moist enough. Raw Potato Bread One time, many years ago, someone had asked if I had put a potato into my bread. Potato water, yes, (ie, water left over from boiling peeled potatoes) but an idea was born and I set out to try it. I took a medium size potato, peeled and grated it, rather coarsely and threw it into my sloppy dough when I first mix main ingredients. As potato is always good with caraway, a little of that too. I would say the proportions are like that of your test loaf. Potato demands more salt so two teaspoons is more than enough for me. You might prefer 2 1/4 tsp. I noticed the potato made nice dark flecks on the baked surface and I liked the results. The next time I shredded more than grated. Also nice. (Gosh I can just taste it.) Like you say peel looks good too. I had baked like this often and one day I was eventually asked if I found potato dough too sticky. "No, why?" Apparently they boiled their potato first and used the mashed potato in its water for their bread recipe. I tried that too but found I only do it in winter and it takes too much time out of my creative moment. One thing I like to do with Chives especially with the first fat juicy greens in spring, is to cut up a lot of them, butter my potato bread and lay it face down pressing firmly into the fresh chives. The delight comes on picking up to find them completely covering the butter and biting into them. Dark breads also good. Yum Mini Oven Submitted by sphealey on June 17, 2006 - 11:00pm. Watch out for rope The problem with raw potatos is that they can contain rope, a fungus which destroys gluten and which spores at bread-baking temperatures. If your kitchen gets contaminated with rope fungus, your choices are to (1) wash every surface, every utensil, everything with fairly strong acetic acid (2) move, and hope the person who buys your house isn't a bread baker. Boiling kills the rope fungus, which is why recipes call for boiled potatos and potato water.

Potato Rosemary Rolls

Thanksgiving in the States is coming up soon. These rolls would make a wonderful accompaniment to the banquet table, though they are simple enough that they can go along with any night's dinner. They make amazing hamburger buns too. Makes 18 small rolls or 12 hamburger sized buns 1 potato, cooked and mashed 1 lb (3 1/2 cups) bread or all-purpose unbleached flour 3/4 - 1 cup water 2 teaspoons instant yeast 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon dried rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground sage leaves

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Cook the potato until soft, either by boiling or baking in the oven or microwave. For this batch I chopped up and boiled the potato. I then reserved a cup of the potato water to add to the loaf, figuring it had additional nutrients and starches that would help my loaf. Mash the potato. Removing the skin prior to mashing is optional: if you are using tough skinned potatoes like russets I would suggest removing them, but with soft skinned potatoes such as yukon gold or red potatoes I typically leave them on. The chopped up skin add nice color and texture to your rolls. Combine the flour, mashed potato, yeast, salt, pepper and herbs in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cups water and knead or mix for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more water or flour until a consistency you are comfortable working with is reached. I added close to a full cup of water and ended up with an extremely sticky dough that was difficult to work with. I was only able to shape the rolls by repeatedly dipping my fingers in flour. The end result was wonderful though. (I encourage amateur bakers to push the limit of what they think they can handle, moisture-wise. More often than not you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results, though you can go too far and end up baking a pancake, which I've done more than once.)

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, typically 60 to 90 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, gently degas it, and shape it. For rolls or buns you can weigh them if you like or just eyeball them. I cut racquetball sized chunks of dough (larger than golf balls, smaller than tennis balls) then rolled them into balls in my well-floured hands. I placed them on a baking sheet covered with parchment, placed the entire sheet in a plastic trash bag, and set it aside to rise for approximately an hour again. While the dough rose, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees. If you have a spritzer, spray the top of the rolls with water right before placing them in the oven. Place them in the center rack and bake them for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake them for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size. My large hamburger bun sized rolls took close to half an hour to bake. You'll know they are done when the bottom of the rolls is solid and slightly crispy. If you have a probe thermometer, check the temperature inside one of the rolls. When the internal temperature is approaching 200 degrees F, they are ready to pull out of the oven.

Allow the rolls to cool before serving. They keep very well too, so you could bake them a day or two ahead of time and still serve them for Thanksgiving.

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Salt Did you maybe mean 1 teaspoon of salt? I followed this recipe but found it way too salty. Also, I couldn't get that awesome color you have on your rolls. Any suggestions? BTW, love the site. Can poolish be used with this sweet potato version? Hi there, Fabulous recipe & rolls Floyd. I was very much encouraged by your success & kategill0's sweet pot version. So...I'd like to attempt to use poolish for my first try. Would it be possible to combine poolish with the sweet potato version? I live in a very hot & humid Equatorial climate so slow multiple cool rises isn't possible as the dough tends to end up with a horrid beery off odour. Poolish 3/4 tsp yeast 1/4 c warm sweet potato liquid 1/2c + 1 tbsp room temp water 1 1/4c AP flour Dough 2 3/4c wholemeal or whole wheat flour 3/4 tsp yeast 1/4 warm sweet pot liquid 3/4 room temp sweet pot liquid 1 c sour cream 3 c Bread Flour 4 tsp salt 2 tbsp butter 2tbsp dried rosemary 2 tsp grd black pepper 2 tsp round sage leaves I would be most grateful for any helpful tips. I did however made a very successful Poppy Seed Hot Crossed Buns(photo posted in the gallery) using Floyd's very detailed & informative "Lesson 5, No 7, The Wetter & Better"". The crumb texture was fluffy soft & had some bits of irregular tiny holes but not as much as I'd expected since it was my first attempt in handling a very wet & slack dough. Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bread Rolls with Cheese (Lorlu Ekmek)

25-30 gr fresh active yeast/7 gr instant yeast 2 cups lukewarm water 1 tbsp salt 1 tsp sugar 1 egg (white goes inside, yolk for egg wash) ¼ cup oil 6 cups of flour, heaping 2 tbsp yogurt for egg wash 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or Mexican Crumbling Cheese 2 tbsp butter/oil

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1 tbsp nigella seeds Place the lukewarm water, sugar and the yeast into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and the yeast. Add the salt, egg white, ¼ cup oil and flour, knead for 5-8 minutes, till dough becomes elastic. Place a plastic wrap on the dough (see the picture) and let it rest for 2 hours in a warm place, till it rises up to double its volume (see the picture). Place dough on the counter and punch to release air. Then sprinkle some flour on the counter and try to flatten the dough with a dough roller, in 1/10 inch thickness. Brush the surface of dough with 2 tbsp butter/oil. Spread the crumbled cheese over dough (see the picture). Then roll it up tightly an cut the roll into 2 inches wide pieces (see the picture in walnut bread), and close the cut ends by sticking and press gently on stuck sides (see the picture). Then place them into the baking tray with baking paper. Leave it for 1-2 hours to rise. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Mix the egg yolk and yogurt in a bowl and brush surface of the Bread Rolls with Cheese with this egg wash and sprinkle nigella seeds on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then switch to 350 F (180 C) and bake for 8-10 minutes till they turn to golden brown. After taking those out of the oven cover them with a clean cloth or towel to keep them soft. Serve warm. ENJOY P.S: Do not use metal container when kneading or resting the dough. Metal spoils the texture of dough.

Flower Bread (Cicek Ekmek)

2 cups lukewarm water 4-5 cups bread flour 1 cube fresh yeast (17 gr) 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp salt Glaze: 1 tbsp yogurt 1 tbsp water Nigella seeds or sesame seeds Place the lukewarm water, sugar and the yeast into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and the yeast. Add the salt, olive oil and flour; knead for 10 minutes, till dough becomes elastic. The more you knead the better your bread will be. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap or a clean cloth (see the picture) and let it rest for 2 hours in a warm place, till it rises up to double its volume (see the picture). Place dough on the counter and punch to release air. Cut the dough into two pieces, then each piece into 8. Make 8 balls using your palms. Grease a round Pyrex or baking dish (20-30 cm) and place one ball in the middle and the other 7 around it leaving some room. And do the same with the other half of the dough, so you will bake 2 flower breads. Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it for ½-1 hours to rise in a warm place (If you have time let it rest for 2 hours). Mix 1 tbsp yogurt and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl, then brush the surface of the bread with this glaze. Finally, sprinkle nigella seeds or sesame seeds on top. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Place the bread on the middle rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes, till it becomes golden brown. After taking it out of the oven cover with a clean cloth or towel to keep the bread soft. Flower bread is good to go with butter, honey-butter dip or spicy olive oil dip when warm. ENJOY

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P.S: Do not use metal container when kneading or resting the dough. Metal spoils the texture of dough. P.S2 : If you want the top to be lighter brown, then beat 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk for glaze, instead of yogurt and water.

Turkish Bread (Turk Ekmegi)

½ cups lukewarm water 2 tsp dry yeast/17 gr fresh yeast 3 ¾ cups bread flour/all purpose flour 1 ½ tsp salt 1 tsp sugar Glaze: 1 tbsp yogurt 1 tbsp water Nigella seeds or sesame seeds Place the lukewarm water, sugar and the yeast into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and the yeast. Add the salt and flour; knead for 10 minutes, till dough becomes elastic. The more you knead the better your bread will be. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap or a clean cloth (see the picture) and let it rest for 2 hours in a warm place, till it rises up to double its volume (see the picture).Place dough on the counter and punch to release air. Cut the dough into two pieces, then make a loaf shape with each of them. Grease a square Pyrex or baking dish and place both of the dough pieces. Or you can use a loaf pan to bake two loaves of bread. Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it for ½-1 hours to rise in a warm place (If you have time let it rest for 2 hours). Mix 1 tbsp yogurt and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl, then brush the surface of the bread with this glaze. Make a scratch lengthwise through the middle. Finally, sprinkle nigella seeds or sesame seeds on top. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Place the bread on the middle rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes, till it becomes golden brown. After taking it out of the oven cover with a clean cloth or towel to keep the bread soft. Turkish Bread is good to go with butter, honey-butter dip or spicy olive oil dip when warm. ENJOY P.S: Do not use metal container when kneading or resting the dough. Metal spoils the texture of dough. P.S 2 : If you want the top to be lighter brown, then beat 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk for glaze, instead of yogurt and water. Saturday, January 10, 2009

Walnut Bread Rolls (Cevizli Ekmek)

25-30 gr fresh active yeast/7 gr instant yeast 2 cups lukewarm water 1 tbsp salt

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1 tsp sugar 1 egg (white goes inside, yolk for egg wash) ¼ cup oil 6 cups of flour, heaping 1 cup crushed walnut/pecan 1 tsp allspice 2 tbsp yogurt (for egg wash) Place the lukewarm water, sugar and the yeast into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and the yeast. Then, add salt, egg white, ¼ cup oil and flour, knead for 5-8 minutes, till dough becomes elastic. Place a plastic wrap on the dough (see the picture) and let it rest for 2 hours in a warm place, till it rises up to double its volume (see the picture). Place dough on the counter and punch to release air. Then sprinkle some flour on the counter and try to flatten the dough in 1/10 inch thickness with a dough roller. Sprinkle allspice and spread the crushed walnut over dough (see the picture). Then roll it up tightly (see the picture). Cut the roll into 2 inch wide pieces (see the picture), and press gently on cut sides. Then place them into the baking tray with baking paper. Leave it for 1-2 hours to rise. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Mix the egg yolk and yogurt in a bowl and brush surface of the Walnut Bread Rolls with this egg wash. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then switch to 350 F (180 C) and bake for 8-10 minutes till they turn to golden brown. After taking those out of the oven cover them with a clean cloth or towel to keep them soft. Serve warm. This recipe makes 24-25 rolls. ENJOY P.S: Do not use metal container when kneading or resting the dough. Metal spoils the texture of dough.

BASIC SPONGE CAKE
This light, ethereal cake is made by mixing together the same volume of eggs, sugar and flour, as has been done by generations of Finnish home bakers. However, do not be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe, it may take a lot of practice and strict precision to get the best result. Since eggs are the only leavening agent in this batter, they must be of top quality, absolutely fresh and extremely well beaten with the sugar to produce a soft, successfully risen cake. If you are not an experienced cake baker, it might be best to add a pinch of baking powder to the flour, just to be on the safe side :-) Slightly altered by adding butter, spices, nuts etc, this basic sponge cake recipe can be used for making numerous different cakes, pastries and desserts. 3 eggs sugar flour (1 - 2 tsp vanilla sugar) When making a sponge cake, always measure the sugar and flour in a right proportion to the volume of eggs. To do this, you will need two or three identical, clear, regular glasses. Start by breaking the eggs into one of the glasses. In the second glass, pour sugar until it reaches the same level as the level of eggs in the first glass (see the picture below).

Eggs, sugar and flour

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Take the third glass and pour flour in, until it reaches the same level as the sugar and the eggs in the other glasses (see the picture above). It is very important to pour the flour lightly and loosely into the glass and not pack or press it in firmly. (You can also do this with two glasses only, if you first pour out the measured sugar from the second glass into a mixing bowl, and then use the same glass again to measure the flour, matching it with the level of eggs in the first glass.) Whether you are making a one, two, three or a hundred-egg-cake, always use this same, simple measurement technique to get the best result. After measuring, mix the sugar and eggs (and vanilla sugar) in the mixing bowl and beat them thoroughly, until they form a very thick and fluffy, white mixture. They need to be really well beaten. You must be able to "write" on the batter surface with the batter dripping from the lifted whisk and the figure should remain visible for some time. Very gently fold in the sifted flour with a spatula or a wire whisk, to avoid knocking out the air. Never beat the batter or use an electric mixer to incorporate the flour. Pour the batter into a generously buttered and floured cake pan — a ring/tube pan, springform pan, loaf pan, jelly roll pan — depending on the kind of cake you are making. Bake at 175 °C for 15 - 40 minutes, depending on the size of the cake pan used or the thickness of the batter. Further reduce the baking time if baking the batter in a jelly roll pan. Do not open the oven door until towards the end of the baking time. The cake is done when it feels springy and firm when tapped on top or when a cake tester/toothpick inserted in it comes out clean. Let the cake cool slightly before unmoulding it. Place the cake on a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve the cake plain, sifted with icing sugar or frosted with icing. When baked flat in a jelly roll pan, the cake can be cut in thin rounds or squares and used to make various pastries (like tiramisu), or, like ladyfingers, to line dessert moulds, etc. Instead of vanilla, this batter can be flavoured with eg grated citrus peel, grated almonds, cocoa powder or various essences.

Lye Bagels

Some photographs of my latest batch of Lye Bagels. I've been working on this for some time and feel I have finally achieved the bagels I remember as a child in Philadelphia in the 1960's. The lox in the picture are home made, this cream cheese wasn't but sometimes it is. I grew up in an Italian household but my mother frequently craved bagels and lox and knew the Jewish Delicatessen to get them. I remember her stressing "novies" for the lox and then the deli manager would smile and out would come the good stuff. The bagels were chewy and moist and did not require toasting to be edible. I now live in the South and can't buy good bagels (lox/novies are now accessable but I prefer to continue to make them.) Recently at a Jewish wedding in Gainsville, Florida, I was invited to the family's brunch the following day and sat at a long table discussing the bagels. To a person they all lamented that, while good novies were available, there were no good bagels in the town, hell, the south, including all of Florida, down to Miami. I bragged that I knew what they wanted and had learned to make them. In May I plan to bring them a couple of batches (10 bagels to a batch). Since I'm finally happy with the recipe (and I'm really picky) let me share it with you. All Measurements are by WEIGHT, grams for small quantities and ounces for larger ones, that includes the water, measure by weight.

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7 grams Instant Dry Yeast 10 1/2 ounces of Water at 115 deg. F. By the time you get the yeast into it in the bowl it will have dropped a few degrees. About 1 Tablespoonful of honey (just guess but don't leave it out) 20 grams Sugar (I use raw or turbinado) 10 grams Salt (I use kosher but may try sea) 1 pound 4 ounces of High Gluten Bread Flour Dissolve the honey, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl, when fully dissolved add the yeast and stir until its disssolved (suspended). Add all but about a 1/4 cup of the flour and mix with the paddle. The dough will be heavy and dense. If the dough is not, add the rest of the flour. change to dough hook and knead for 5 minutes, pausing to pull the dough back into the bowl if it climbs the hook and test for smoothness/density. Add more flour if dough is sticky at all. You should not need bench flour to work this dough after rising. cover with plastic wrap and rise for 60 minutes on top of the local water heater, about 85 degrees F. When doubled, place onto a board and work with fingertips and knuckles to keep a round log about 20 inches long. Try to compress the dough and redistribute the co2 avoiding folds. Cut into 2 inch rounds. Poke a finger though the middle of the round and form a ring with about a two inch hole in the center, keep the ring even in thickness by pushing thin areas together and stretching fat ones. Put on a silpat and let rise while you bring the water to a boil. Add a ratio of 1 teaspoonful of lye crystals (available at Lowes in the plumbing section labeled as Crystal Drain Opener) to 1 quart of water, I use a 6 quart pot with 2 quarts of water and 2 teaspoonfuls of lye. You may want to start heating the water earlier so the bagels have time to rise to slightly less than double their volume before boiling. Do not let alot of water evaporate and concentrate the lye or you will make round pretzels. (in fact for pretzels use 1 tablespoonful of lye per quart and the same recipe but roll into pretzel shapes) Boil the bagels 3 at a time for 1 minute turning at 30 seconds with chopsticks. Place on silpat for 1 minute or so to cool enough to handle with only minimal pain and no permanent damage. The lye will not burn you once dissolved to this concentration (more on lye later). Once you can handle the bagels apply topings if desired. I put sesame seed, poppy seed, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, caraway seed, charnuska or any combination thereof and kosher salt, or nothing, they're good plain and plain good. Bake for 7 minutes (or until deep golden brown) at 410 degrees F. under convection, rearrange trays halfway through if your oven is uneven. Use 450 degrees F. for 10 minutes or so if no convection. Cool on wire rack, they freeze realy well. About Lye. I have yet to have a bagel that I would consider as even anywhere close to my childhood memories that was not boiled in lye. Same goes for pretzels, remember I'm from Philadelphia. So here goes my treatise on lye in baking written from the point of view of a Pharmacist, yes, I'm a pharmacist. Lye is the strongest of alkalies and is dangerous in concentrated solutions. The crystal form is not dangerous per se, but mix in a little water, say dampness on your skin and it will burn. Do Not Get Crystals Or Solution in Your Eyes. Once diluted to the degree used in baking the solution will not burn the skin in brief contact (don't soak in it and rinse your hands if you get some on you and there will be no problem.) If you spill the crystals immediately dilute it with water and mop up, remember once sufficiently diluted it will not burn you. the crystals will, however, pull enough moisture out of the air if left on a counter top or floor to form a very concentrated and dangerous solution, once again, just dilute further. Lye, while toxic itself, does not contain toxic ingredients. It contains sodium (Na), just like table salt and a hydroxyl group (OH) as in Baking Soda. It just the degree of dissassociation between the OH in baking soda and lye that make the difference. Nothing can live in lye crystals (for many reasons), so its basically sterile in the container. Be sure the container you use states Sodium Hydroxide as the only ingredient. I've read the discussions in the forums on this site and many other references and have come to the conclusion that lye is safe when properly handled and the only available compound to do with it does. What does it do? It hydrolizes proteins in the flour and makes them brown by the malliard reaction like nothing else. Or you could just say it makes things brown, tasty, and chewey. Keep the lye container in the safest of places, away from kids and pets and accidents. Only open the container to measure the needed amount and immediately close tightly and put away. Don't shake it up before opening and don't breath any dust. Keep it in the original container (once again, for may reasons). Enjoy,

Baking Powder Biscuits
Sometimes, there is fun and challenge in things as simple as baking powder biscuits. Still trying to perfect these things - easy to overwork the dough. These are tender and have a great flavor, but I'm still trying to get them to be more flakey. any hints?

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2 1/2 c AP flour 1 T sugar 4 t baking powder 1/2 t salt 1/2 c shortening 4 T butter 1 beaten egg and 2/3 c milk mix dry ingred. cut in shortening and butter until pea sized and some larger add liquid and bring together as gently and simply as possible. press flat on board, fold and turn 4 times pressing out each time. cut and bake 14 min, first 10 at 450F, then lowered to 400F soaking frsh grd flour for muffins? › Subscribe The master checkboxes on the left turn the given subscription on or off. Depending on the setup of the site, you may have additional options for active subscriptions.

Quick Breads

are those teaspoons or are those teaspoons or tablespoons? small t = teaspoon, big T = small t = teaspoon big T = tablespoon Hi, Maybe if you use your Maybe if you use your fingertips to rub in about half the butter they would turn out better? Jeff I know it's not the I know it's not the healthiest choice, but I get very flaky biscuits if I use all butter, no shortening

Fluffy Biscuts
Lard makes the fluffiest Biscuits but somewhere one has to make a choice. I do have a no lard biscuit recipe that includes yeast. One that's kept in the fridge and taken out as needed. Angel Biscuits. :) Mini Oven Simple, but great My first post here, but wanted to say how great those biscuits turned out. Went perfect with the Venison Salisbury Steak. Of course the smore's were just the perfect finish to the meal, at least as far ans the 5 yr/old was concerned. But it was the perfect meal for this -6 degree weather we're having.

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For flaky pie crusts, the For flaky pie crusts, the butter has to be really cold. I think I've seen Alton Brown even stash the cut pieces of butter in the freezer for a few minutes before use. I've no idea if this would affect biscuits in the same way. This is a neat thread! It This is a neat thread! It kinda hits home to me... Various members of my mother's side of the family have been working on making a really good biscuit for about the past year or so. It is challenging in some respects, one of us is diabetic, but it has been so much fun! My uncle has tweaked his recipe so that it has NO fat in it at ALL. Mine is the COMPLETE and UTTER antithesis of that lolol FWIW, here are my tips and pointers for a good, southern biscuit (I am in alaska, but we are from the south :-) ). Basic recipe: 2 cups *WHITE LILY* self rising flour 1 stick COLD butter plus more for top 1/2 cup COLD buttermilk sweet milk (regular milk for the non-southerners :-)...I use skim) to get correct dough consistency. Ok, here are the tips: First of all, white lily flour is KEY. It is EXTREMELY soft, delicate, makes a perfect crumb and tolerates a lot of working of the dough (this will come into play later). Can you use other flour? Well yes, but NOT AT ALL with the same results. White lily has become a bit of a "thing" in our family, and I came back from the south with 50 lbs of it in my luggage last fall! My uncle just sent me another 20 lbs...and not a moment too soon...our family was going to have to go without biscuits until I got some more WL! It is THAT vital! Now, if you just cannot find it, nor can bring yourself to order it, then probably other VERY soft flour would do. We just happened to find this and not been interested in experimenting. Yes, this is a lot of butter....I never promised it would be fat free, just nummy! :D I have used slightly less butter in the biscuits, maybe a tblspoon or two less, but I would not go too much less than that. You want to work the butter into the flour. However, you do NOT want "coarse meal". You actually want slightly bigger than that, and flatter. I take VERY cold butter, slice it into manageable pats then I work it into the flour with my hand. Buttermilk: I get a quart of buttermilk (low fat--see this is a healthy recipe! lol) and pour it in 1/2 cup measurements either into baggies or small tupperware containers and freeze those. It freezes wonderfully and keeps me from wasting buttermilk. Also, when I defrost (in the micro usually) I make sure that there is still "slush" bits in there when I can. If you do not freeze it, that is ok. It will still work well. Pour that into the flour mixture and work it through. Now, at this point it will not be enough liquid. This part is the only really picky part of the process: add some regular milk into the dough, JUST until it comes together. You do NOT want a wet dough!!! You DO want a very soft dough, but NOT a wet dough, NOT a stiff dough. If the dough gets too wet and you have to add more flour, the flavor will STILL be good, but the texture will be altered. Better to go slow with liquids instead of being heavy handed and having to add more flour. Why not use all buttermilk instead of using some sweet milk? I find that all buttermilk makes the biscuit sort of....I dunno...soggy seeming. It has an unpleasant mouth feel...like the dough is never quite cooked through and is almost unbearably rich (not in a good way, but in that "ugh...too much!" way). Plus it tastes too tangy....like bread soaked in buttermilk lol. Now the next part of this will help with flakiness. Do not worry too much about "overworking" the dough. Like I said, with white lily we have not found that that was a problem at all. You are going to put this on a floured surface, flour the TOP lightly as well, and FOLD it over on itself. Turn it a quarter turn, then flour the top again and FOLD it. Do this a few more times.

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This, along with COLD butter, COLD buttermilk will help with flakiness. You are physically adding flakiness. I usually do this about five to ten times. Now while you cannot really overwork the dough, you still want to work it the least amount possible. That is why a nice soft dough will be better than a stiff one. Do NOT knead, just fold and press. Roll or press the dough to the depth of your liking. My uncle makes the dough SO thick that it comes to the top rim of the biscuit cutter. I make mine thinner (I like to eat "many" smaller biscuits instead of "only getting one" (albeit big!) biscuit :D). Mine probably are about half the thickness of the cutter. Cut the biscuits with a biscuit cutter (or a knife if you want square biscuits), NOT the rim of a glass. You need the sharpness of the cutter to keep from pressing the edges of the biscuit together. This will help it rise more if the edges are cut, not squished. Place the biscuits in a pan with the sides well-touching. Feel free to crowd them. This is also key so that they go TALL not wide. Bake in a 425 oven for about....oh....well until the tops are a nice golden brown. About 12 minutes or so, depending on the oven. Do not overcook--you want light golden not dark brown. The last thing you do is take the biscuits out of the oven and place thin slices of butter on top of EACH biscuit. This is also key to a really good biscuit :D Yes this step is vital. Let the biscuits soak up the butter and serve (the parts on the edges where the butter flowed down the sides are the best parts!) Hope this helps!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread Using a Biga

I recently found a recipe by JMonkey for Whole Wheat Buttermilk bread that he posted on July 10, 2006. A search of TFL will quickly locate the original post for you, and I would recommend that you read it. The bread he made was based on one of the recipes from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, but JMonkey did a comparison of baking it "straight" and baking with a biga. His success with the biga version inspired me to try it myself. I have had very little success with whole grain baking in the past. Most of my breads were much too heavy, and often had a slightly bitter taste. JMonkey's recipe was: Biga 5 ¼ ounces -- 150 grams -- 1 cup water 250 grams -- 8 3/4 ounces -- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 1/8 tsp instant yeast Final dough All of the biga 1 ½ tsp instant yeast 4 3/4 ounces -- 135 grams-- 3/4 cup warm water ¼ cup honey 1 ¼ cup cold buttermilk 580 grams / 20.5 ounces -- 4 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 2 tsp salt 2 Tbs butter The night before, make up the biga. Knead it until it forms a relatively smooth dough, and then cover it to sit overnight for about 12-14 hours.

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The next day, tear the biga into about 12 pieces and mix it up with the rest of the ingredients. Start kneading -- it'll take about 600 strokes and 20 minutes, but once you're finished, the dough should stretch nicely into a translucent, whitish pane, flecked with bits of bran. This dough may start a bit sticky, but should lose the stickiness and become simply tacky about halfway through. Add water or flour as necessary. Form the dough into a ball and put it into bowl or bucket. Cover it, and allow the dough to rise for about 90 minutes or so. Poke the dough with a wet finger. When the indention starts to fill in very, very slowly, the dough is risen. Gently degas the dough, and tuck it back into a tight ball for the second rise. Fold the dough if you wish, but really, after 600 strokes, the dough shouldn't need any additional strength. Once it has risen, divide the dough into two and shape it into sandwich loaves. Place the loaves into pre-greased 8.5 x 4.5 pans. Cover the pans with plastic for the final rise. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. (I like my oven a little hotter than Laurel does -- she prefers 325). Once the dough is risen and has crested one to two inches above the side of the pan in the center, slash the loaves as you wish with a serrated knife or razor blade. Personally, I prefer a single slash down the middle, but do whatever makes you happy. Place them in the oven and steam it if you wish (I find it helps with oven spring quite a bit, even with panned loaves), and bake for about 35-40 minutes, turning once to ensure even baking. The loaves are done when they register 195-200 in the center. Let them cool for one hour before slicing. I modified the recipe by: • • • Using unsulfured molasses instead of honey (I was out of honey) Kneading was done with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer until the dough was very elastic and had a good "window pane" Doing a stretch-and-fold at 45 and 90 minutes, followed by another 1 1/2 hour rise. The second rise was huge.

The resulting loaves weren't quite as high as JMonkeys, but the crust was beautiful, the crumb light and moist, and the flavor was absolutely wonderful. There was no bitter taste, and the molasses made a wonderful substitute for the honey. It also added to the aroma of the bread. Although the proofed bread had raised to about two inches above the level of the loaf pans, the final loaf actually fell very slightly. There was great initial oven spring (a water pan was used in the oven and the loaf pans were set on a preheated stone), so I was a little surprised with the fall. The bread, however, did not seem to suffer in any way. The crumb doesn't show unusual areas of density that I have seen in other breads that have fallen during baking. The photo of the crumb below doesn't quite do it justice as I sliced the bread while it was still a bit warm (I couldn't wait any longer!). Any suggestions concerning the fall are more than welcome. All in all, this is a delightfully light and flavorful whole wheat bread that will be baked at our house on a regular basis. It makes a wonderful sandwich and toasting bread.

Bee Sting Cake recipe
Here goes, it's rather long; Easy Brioche 1/2 C milk 1 envelope active dry yeast Heat the milk to ~110F Stir in the yeast Add 1 C AP flour, cover & set aside Put 6T butter cut into 6-8 pices

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+ 3T sugar + 1/2 t salt in food processor & pulse till smooth, add 2 large eggs, one at a time & process till smooth after each Add 1 1/4 C flour plus the milk yeast mixture. Pulse till a smooth dough forms, then process for additional 15 secs Scrape onto a floured surface & fold several times to make it more elastic. Fot the cake; Almond brittle topping: 6T unsalted butter 1/4C honey 1/4 C sugar 1C (~4oz) sliced blanched almonds Pastry cream filling: 1C milk 1/4C sugar 2T cornstarch 4 egg yolks 2t vanilla extract 1T kirsch (optional) 8T unsalted butter Form the dough into a sphere, rest, covered 5 mins then press into buttered 10x2" springform buttered & bottom lined with parchment paper. Wrap pan in foil in case the topping leaks Prick top all over at 1" intervals with a fork, cover & let rise 30 mins at room temperature till risen by half. Refrigerate uncovered 20 mins Heat oven to 350F Combine topping ingredients, honrey, butter & sugsr in saucepan & heat slowly till boiling. Add almonds & allow to cool to room temp Spread over cooled dough in pan using back of spoon or spatula Bake~ 30mins till dough is firm, toothpick comes out clean & topping is caramelised Cool 10 mins then run a knife round inside of pan to free topping. Unmold the cake & remove parchment. Cool right side up on wire rack Filling: mix 1/4C milk with cornstarch & whisk in the egg yolks Heat remaining milk with sugar, stirring to dissolve & bring to a boil. Whisk hot milk into yolks, return to saucepan over low heat & whisk constantly till mixture boils & thickens. Allow to boil ~30secs. Remove from heat & whisk in vanilla & kirsch Add butter one small piece at a time & beat after each. Pour into a bowl & allow to cool with plastic wrap pressed onto surface to prevent a skin forming. Let cool ~2 hours in fridge. Remove from fridge, whisk till smooth. Split cake thru middle & put bottom half on a serving platter. Spread pastry cream over this. Cut top of cake into 10-12 wedges & re-assemble on top of filling. Serve soon after filling or can keep in a cool place a couple of hours. And that's it! It was almost too much effort to type, lt alone make the cake! If there is anything that looks wrong, let me know. I would think you could use any brioche recipe but this is the one in the book. Patsy

bee sting cake
The bee sting cake from our local German baker is a slightly sweet plain white bread baked in a cake tin. The topping is a baked on caramel/toffee with flaked almonds. It's split and filled with custard when cold. One recipe for the topping is: 1 1/2 Tbsp honey brought to the boil add 1 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1/4 c castor sugar. Stir until dissolved. Then turn off and stirr in slmonds. Spread topping in a 20 cm circle on parchment paper. (Note:Australian tbsp is 4 teaspoons, castor sugar is superfine sugar)

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When cold remove from the paper and place on the dough before baking. I haven't tried it.

Flaky Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from the recipe in Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart I'm finding the sweet dough as he made it too sweet. 6.5 tablespoons of sugar is just too much to me. I reduced it a little in my final dough, but just by 1/2 a tablespoon. The next time I make this it will be with the amount I show here. 6 tablespoons butter, shortening, or margerine (I used butter, but that's a taste thing) 4.5 tablespoons sugar (evaporated cane juice here) 1.5 teaspoons salt (slightly course sea salt) 2 eggs 1 pound flour 2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 cup buttermilk Cream first 3 ingredients. I proofed the yeast in about 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, lukewarm, then added that with the rest of the milk with the rest of the ingredients. I mixed for about 10-12 minutes by hand until the dough was starting to come together really well and the gluten had started forming, then did 2 stretch and folds at 40 minute intervals, letting the dough have an hour before shaping and proofing. I filled the rolls with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar and proofed them for about an hour before putting them in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes. This produced the lightest, flakiest cinnamon rolls I've made to date. I really love them. I have a feeling that this may become my go-to sweet dough. Sorry about the no picture thing. Maybe tomorrow if they're not all gone. :)

Baguette crumb - 65% hydration dough
Some time ago, Pat (proth5) posted her formula for baguettes. This was in the context of our "great baguette quest" of some months back. We were playing with higher hydration doughs and cold fermentation à la Gosselin and Bouabsa. Pat's formula is levain-based and employs a 65% hydration dough. She has insisted repeatedly that, while higher hydration is one route to a more open, holey crumb, fermentation and technique in shaping the baguettes are at least as important and that good technique can achieve the desired open crumb even with a dryer dough. Okay. It was past time I tested my own technique against Pat's claim. Pat's formula is as follows: This is for two loaves at a finished weight of 10.5 oz each .75 oz starter 1.12 oz flour 1.12 oz water Mix and let ripen (8-10 hours) Bread All of the levain build 10.95 oz all purpose flour .25 oz salt 6.6 oz water Dough temperature 76F Mix to shaggy mass (Yes! Put the preferment in the autolyse!) – let rest 30 mins Fold with plastic scraper (30 strokes) – repeat 3 more times at 30 min intervals Bulk ferment at 76F for 1.5 hours – fold Bulk ferment at 76F 2 hours Preshape lightly but firmly, rest 15 mins

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Shape. Proof 1 hour or so Slash Bake with steam at 500F for about 20 mins I followed this except I baked at 480F. I used Whole Foods 365 Organic AP flour. The result was an excellent, classic baguette with a crunchy crust and cool, creamy crumb. It was slightly sweet with imperceptible sourness when eaten just ... well, almost ... cooled. Here's the crumb:

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Memo's Brown Bread
I had promised to post this recipe for ehanner so here it is. This is the “brown” bread my grandmother used to make which we all loved so much. She passed away 25 years ago and I never thought I would taste it again. Being a new bread baker I was determined to find out what recipe she used and duplicate it. Thankfully, my dear Aunt was there to help me since it was my grandmother’s own and not from a recipe ever recorded. As my Aunt told me, Memo (meemoe), which was our name for our grandmother, baked this bread, before my Aunt, now 84, was born, in an old iron range heated by wood logs with guess and bigosh temps, as she says it. So you can see that it was a challenge for me to duplicate this. Through emails my Aunt wrote from the very old hand-written notes of my grandmother and my Aunt’s own notes, I could begin. It took me several very disappointing attempts but soon I discovered the missing link. It was the type of graham flour and this is where I stress unless you use the Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Graham flour or if you know of one that is identical to that in color, texture, and flavor this bread cannot be made properly. I tried Bob’s Red Mill and it did not even come close and several regular whole wheat flours just wouldn’t do it. There is something exquisitely yet mildly sweet in the Hodgson Mill graham flour that reminds one of a graham cracker flavor. And I knew the instant I looked at the HM graham flour it was right. You can shape the loaves however you wish but I had to do it the way my grandmother did, making the two balls for each loaf. I can see her doing it in my head, and the first time this bread came out correctly I thought I would cry I was so happy. It transported me back in time. And the toast from this bread is simply the best. I hope if you try it you like it, too. Memo's Brown Bread 1 envelope active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water (110° - 115°F) 2 1/2 cups potato water* 1 Tablespoon salt 3 Tablespoons sugar 1/4 Cup shortening 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups Hodgson Mill graham flour** (see important note below) Sprinkle yeast on 1/4 cup warm water. Stir to dissolve and set aside. Place sugar, salt, and shortening in mixing bowl and pour hot spud water over this and cool. The potato water should be about the temp of a baby’s bottle, warm to the wrist, otherwise it can kill the yeast.

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By Hand: Stir 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour into bowl containing salt, sugar & potato/potato water to make a thin batter. Add yeast and beat well. Then add 1 1/2 cups graham flour and mix well. Stir in remaining all-purpose flour - 1 to 2 cups – until it can be handled on a floured board or counter. Knead in more flour until you have a smooth ball that no longer sticks to counter. By Stand Mixer: Stir 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour into bowl containing salt, sugar & potato/potato water to make a thin batter. Add yeast and beat well. Then add 1 1/2 cups graham flour and mix well. Stir in remaining all-purpose flour - 1 to 2 cups - to make a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Knead/mix until smooth and elastic, about 7 - 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until it doubles, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down. Turn onto board and divide in half; round up each half to make a ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Shape into loaves and place in 2 greased loaf pans. Cover with cloth or sheet of plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches top of pan on sides and the top of loaf is well rounded above pan, about 1 1/4 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, rotating half-way through if necessary. Cover loosely with sheet of foil the last 20 minutes, if necessary, to prevent excessive browning. Makes 2 loaves. Brush melted butter over top of loaves upon removing from oven. Allow to cool. *I peel and slice, very thinly, one small potato and boil in 4 cups of water until very well done – usually takes about 15 minutes because of the size of the slices. Then mash the potato in the water and usually the remaining water with the potato leaves the exact amount of liquid you need for the recipe – the 2 1/2 cups. If you need to, add a bit more water if you don’t have enough. **You must use Hodgson Mill, whole wheat graham flour to be authentic to Memo’s bread, or if there is another brand that is exactly as Hodgson Mill. Hodgson Mill is the only brand of graham flour I’ve found so far that is the correct coarseness, color of grain and flavor. Other flours can be used but the entire flavor and texture of the bread is completely changed from what Memo used to make. This is a taupe colored wheat bread not golden as with regular whole wheat. It is beautiful and makes the best toast! Hamelmans 5 Grain Levain...well almost

Hamelmans 5 Grain Levain
So after much discussion on these boards I finally decided to make this bread myself to see what all of the fuss was about. I can't believe I waited so long...This is absolutly one of the most delicous breads that I have ever tasted. I did make a few adjustments to the formula based soley on what I had available to work with (noted in formula below), but I tried to recreate the formula as close to the original as possible to get a sense of the bread in it's purest form. I also recalculated his formula so that I would end up with approx. 1200g of dough, which is the appropriate size to fit on my stone. Liquid Build • • • KAF AP Flour 128g 100% Water 160g 125% Mature Culuture(mine is 100% Hydration) 26g 20%

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Soaker • • • • • • Bulger Wheat(The original formula calls for Rye Chops) 47g 27% Flaxseeds (mine happened to be golden) 47g 27% Sunflower Seeds 39g 23% Oats 39g 23% Boiling Water 204g 120% Salt 3g 2%

Final Dough • • • • • • KAF AP Flour(The orignal formula calls for hi-gluten flour) 255g 67% Fairhaven Mills Whole Wheat Flour 128g 33% Water 133g 35% Salt 9g 2.3% Soaker(all) 379g 99% Liquid Build 314g 82%

1. Liquid Build & Soaker-approx. 12 hours before mixing elaborate liquid build, and prepare grain soaker. 2. Mixing-As per the instructions in the book all of the ingredients are placed into a mixer and mixed on low speed for a few minutes to hydrate the flour. I found that I needed to add about 2 Tbsp more water. I suspect that the bulger wheat in the soaker absorbed more water than the rye chops would have. When the dough begins to come together increase speed to medium and mix until moderate gluten development is reached. Seeing as I didn't have any hi-gluten flour I mixed a little more thouroughly then I would have otherwise. On speed four in my kitchenaid mixer I mixed for 8 minutes, and I achieved a fairly high level of develpment. 3. Ferment- 3 Hours with a fold at 1.5 hours. (Orignal formula calls for 1-1.5 hours) 4. Divide- Divide the dough into 2 approx. 600g. portions. 5. Relax- shape the dough into loose boules, and allow to bench rest for approx. 20 minutes to allow for easier shaping. 6. Shape- shape the dough as desired and place between folds of bakers linen or in prepared bannetons. Round or ovals are what Hamelman suggests. 7. Proof- Approx. 1 hour at 76 deg. F., or alternatively retard in the fridge overnight for up to 18 hours. 8. Bake- 30-35 minutes for 600g. batards 460 deg F. on preheated stone with steam for the first half of the bake. Turn the oven off and prop open the door and allow bread to dry out for an additional 10 minutes before removing from the oven. 9.Cool- allow the finished bread to cool for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Final notes and Impressions The crumb on this bread was unlike anything I have ever made before, it is incredibly soft, and creamy on the tongue. The crust was lightly crisp, and not as thick as I would have expected given the overnight retarding. I would definetly make sure this bread is cooked long enough, and hot enough as it has a good deal of water from the soaker, and it needs a thourough bake to fully dry out. Dsnyder once refered to this bread as a "flavor bomb" and I would enthusiasticly agree with that assessment. It has wonderful tart notes from the levain, and a lovely complexity from the soaked grains. I hope you all get the chance to make this bread sometime to fully experience how delicious it is. Happy Baking Kevin

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Coffee Cake Dough (Formula thanks to Norm)
Sugar Sea Salt Milk Powder (skim) Butter or Shortening Egg yolk Large eggs Yeast (fresh) Water Vanilla Cardamom Cake Flour Bread Flour 4 oz (1/2 cup) 1/4 oz (1 1/2 tsp, or table salt 1 tsp) 1 oz (3 T) 4 oz (8 T or 1/2 cup) 1 oz (1 large egg's yolk) 3 oz (2 eggs) 1 1/4 oz (or 3 3/4 tsp instant yeast = 0.4 oz) 8 oz (1 cup) 1/4 oz (2/3 tsp) 1/16 oz (1/2 tsp) 4 oz (7/8 cup) 13 oz (2 3/4 cups)

Other flavors can be added such as lemon or orange rind grated Note: Using other size eggs or other flours will result in substantial changes in the dough consistency require adjustments in flour or water amounts. Cheese Filling Hoop cheese or Farmer's cheese 12 oz Sour Cream 1/4 cup Sugar 2T Flour 2T Egg 1 large Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours. Egg Wash Beat 1 egg with 1 T water Streusel Topping Sugar (all white, or part brown) 2 oz (4 T) Butter 2 oz (4 T) All purpose flour 4 oz Cinnamon 1/2 tsp. 1. Cream the sugar and butter. 2. Add the flour and mix with your fingers, rubbing the ingredients to a coarse crumb. (This can also be done entirely in a food processor.) Mixing and Fermenting the Dough 1. Mix the sugar, butter or shortening, salt and milk powder to a paste. 2. Add the eggsbeaten with the vanilla and cardamom and stir. 3. If using powdered yeast, mix it with part of the water. If using cake yeast, crumble it in with the flour. 4. Add the water (the part without the yeast, if using powdered yeast, otherwise all of it), cardamom and vanilla. 5. Add the flour. (If using powdered yeast, add the yeast-water now. If using cake yeast, crumble it on top of the flour now.) 6. Mix well into a smooth, soft dough. (20+ minutes in a KitchenAid at Speed 3 using the paddle.) The dough should form a ball on the paddle and clean the sides of the bowl. 7. Cover the dough and let it rise to double size. (2 1/2-3 hours at 60F.) 8. Punch down the dough, and allow it to rest 10-20 minutes. Making up the Pastries 1. Divide the dough into 2.25 oz pieces and roll each into a ball. (My dough made 18 pieces weighing 2.35 oz each.) 2. Place dough pieces on a sheet pan or your bench. (I used a lightly floured marble slab.) 3. Stretch or roll out each piece into a square, 4 inches on a side.

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4. Take each dough piece and press the middle with a round, hard object such as the bottom of a small measuring cup to form a depression in the center. 5. Place about 1 T of cheese filling in the center of each piece. 6. Take each corner of the square pieces and fold 3/4 of the way to the center, pinching the adjacent edges of the folded dough together to seal the seams. (See Note) 7. Cover and allow to rise to 3/4 double. (30-40 minutes at 70F.) Do not underproof! 8. Brush the top dough of each pastry with egg wash. Do not get egg wash on the exposed cheese filling. 9. Sprinkle streusel over each pastry. Baking 1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Bake pasties on parchment lined sheet pan until golden brown. (25-35 minutes) 3. When pastries are cooled a little, sift confectioner's sugar over each, if desired.

Note: The pastries can be refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point. If refrigerated, allow them to rise at room temperature to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. If frozen, thaw at room temperature, allow to rise to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. One thing I learned last time was that under-proofing these pastries results in exuberant oven spring, with the pastries bursting open. So, I really proofed these puppies. Maybe a little bit more than was necessary. But maybe not.

Another thing I changed was to pick up on a suggestion for speeding up proofing by putting the made-up pastries in a humidified, warm oven. I found that my KitchenAid conventional/convection oven has a proofing setting! It is actually a "dehydrating" setting, but I set it for 100F and put a pan of just-boiled water in to create a humid environment. This probably cut my proofing time in half, compared to my 70F kitchen. As you can see, the pastries had just a bit of oven spring, which is good in this case, and they did not burst, which is also good. Previously, I had topped the pastries with streusel. This time, I just egg washed them and sprinkled on a few sliced almonds. I skipped the painting with syrup to make them shiny. So, I could tell my wife these are the "low-cal version." I had only one for dessert. Pretty good stuff. It will be even better with coffee for breakfast. David

Buko Pandan Salad
Ingredients 8 leaves of Pandan - cleaned well 5 Buko (Coconut)not too hard, not too soft- Grated to strips Water from 5 Buko (approx. 10 cups) 3 small cans of Nestle Cream 1 medium can of Condensed Milk 2 bars of Green Gulaman 1 3/4 Cups Sugar (more if you want it sweeter) 1 cup Kaong (optional) Preparation

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1. Boil buko water from 5 coconuts together with 8 pandan leaves that are individually twisted to break the fibers and expose the juice. Simmer for 20 minutes. 2. Before adding 2 bars of gulaman, make sure you remove the pandan leaves and check if the remaining coconut water is equal to 8 cups - 1 bar of gulaman is good for 4 cups of liquid. If it is not 8 cups, less will mean hard gulaman and more than 8 cups will result in mushy soft gulaman. Ensuring gulaman is well-dissolved stir well. Add sugar while mixing. Do this for 5 minutes. 3. Pour through a strainer into cooling trays. Wait till it cools and hardens, then put in fridge. 4. Meanwhile, mix the grated buko with the 3 cans of cream and 1 can of condensed milk. 5. Add kaong if you prefer. 6. Get gulaman from ref and cut into 1 cm cubes. Mix with buko mixture. 7. Put 2 cups of the buko pandan salad into one lunch box and give to Jojo Basug as a complement.

Buko Pandan Salad
Ingredients: 1 cup fresh buko meat; 1/2 tsp. pandan flavor for dressing; 1 cup cream; 1/4 cup coconut powder; 1-1/2 tbsps. Sweet’N Low for dressing Gulaman: 8 tbsp. unflavored gelatin; 1 cup water; 1/2 cup Sweet’N Low; 1 cup water; 1 tbsp. pandan flavor; 2 drops green food color Procedure: Dissolve gelatin in 1 cup water and bring to boil. Set aside. Add 1 cup water. When cool add pandan flavor, green food color and Sweet’N Low. There should also be an alternative to the cream as it can be high in fat content.

Basic White Loaf
I started a sponge and then realized I hadn't finished copying the recipe I was going to use. I'm a novice so its kind of scary right now.

So I made a sponge: 2 1/4 C. & 2-1/2 T flour 1 3/4 water 2T & 1 t. Honey 3/4 t instant yeast That is fermenting as we speak. Then you add: 2 C Flour & 3 T. 1/4 C. Non-Fat Dry Milk 3/4 t. instant yeast 9 T. unsalted butter softened 2 1/4 t. salt That's where the recipe ends. Would anyone like to help me with the rest? I'm assuming I put these ingredients in to the sponge, then knead it and let it rise, punch it down and form into loaves?

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Country Rye Bread
in Diana's Recipe Book

Servings: Makes 2 round loaves Ingredients: 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 2 packages Active Dry or Rapid Rise Yeast 1 tablespoon caraway seeds 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups very warm water (120 degrees to 130 degrees F) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 cups rye flour 1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water Instructions: In large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, caraway seeds and salt. Gradually add very warm water and oil to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup allpurpose flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in rye flour and enough remaining all-purpose flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. (With Rapid Rise Yeast, cover kneaded dough and let rest on floured surface 10 minutes. Proceed with recipe.) Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Form each into 5-inch ball. Place on large greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. With sharp knife, make 4 slashes (1/4-inch deep) in crisscross fashion on top of each loaf. Brush with egg white mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes or until done; cover with foil halfway through baking time to prevent excess browning. Remove loaves from baking sheet and let cool on wire rack. Makes: 2 round loaves.

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Sourdough Bread
in Diana's Recipe Book

Servings: Makes 3 round loaves Using a sourdough starter is an ancient method of beginning to make a leavened bread. The starter consists of small amounts of some of the basic bread ingredients, such as flour, water, milk and, in this recipe, yogurt. This mixture is left out to attract wild yeasts from the air. The yeasts feed on the starch in the flour, resulting in the fermentation and souring of the mixture and creating a base to which additional ingredients can be added to make a dough. The starter may be left to develop for many days, depending on the desired degree of sourness. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (100°F/37°C). 4 tsp. active dry yeast 1 cup classic sourdough starter (see recipe on this website in My Recipe Book under the Breads category) 1 tbsp. honey 6 cups bread flour, plus more as needed 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 2 eggs 2 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tbsp. yellow cornmeal mixed with 2 tbsp. bread flour Instructions: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the water, yeast, sourdough starter and honey. Beat on low speed just until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Switch to the flat beater and stir the starter mixture on low speed. Add 3 cups of the flour, the butter, eggs and salt. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 2 more cups of the flour and beat for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook. Reduce the speed to low and add the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, beating until a very soft dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth, springy and moist, about 6 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Brush the bowl with a thin film of melted butter and turn the dough to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until slightly more than doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with the cornmeal mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and shape each into a tight, round loaf. Place the loaves, seam side down and at least 4 inches apart, on the prepared sheet. Sprinkle the tops with flour and rub in. Cover loosely with a double layer of plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. Place a baking stone on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Using a thin, sharp knife, make 3 gentle slashes across the top of each loaf. With a mister or spray bottle filled with water, mist each loaf lightly before putting the dough into oven. Place the baking sheet on the stone and bake for about 10 minutes, (spray loaves again with mister after 1 minute and then again 2 minutes into baking-*see note below), then reduce the heat to 400°F (200°C) and bake until the loaves are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool completely on wire racks before slicing and serving. Makes 3 small round loaves. *Notes from Diana's Desserts: Misting the Loaves Misting the loaves with water from a spray bottle before and 1-2 minutes after they first start baking, helps the sourdough bread

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to achieve a crispy crust. Freezing and Re-heating Sourdough Bread Allow your bread loaf to cool completely. Frozen bread keeps and defrosts well. To freeze, allow the loaf to cool before placing it in freezer bags. Remove all the air from the bag or ice crystals will form during the freezing process. Allow the bread to thaw inside the plastic bags to re-absorb the moisture lost during the freezing process. To defrost your bread, place it, (unwrapped) on a baking sheet. Heat it in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Basic White Bread 3/4 cup warm water (100-110°F.) 1 package active dry yeast 1 t. sugar 1 T. vegetable oil 3/4 t. salt 2 C. flour, divided Combine water, yeast and sugar in a medium mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in oil and salt. Add 1 cup flour and beat until mixture is smooth. Add the remaining cup flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly each time. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. You may add a small amount of flour (no more than a teaspoon at a time) to keep the dough manageable. Clean and dry mixing bowl. Lightly oil the surface of the dough and place back in bowl. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. Place in oven to bake at 350°F. 35-40 minutes. When bread is baked, if you tap on the top of the loaves it should sound hollow. Remove from pans immediately and cool on racks. Makes 1 loaf.

Basic Wheat Bread
3 1/2 cups warm milk 2/3 cup sugar or honey 2/3 cup oil 4 teaspoons salt 3 pack dry yeast 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups bread flour Mix all the non-flour items (make sure the milk is not too hot to the touch, or it will kill the yeast). Mix in the whole wheat and bread flour. Then knead in enough of the all purpose flour so that the dough does not stick appreciably to your hands (this may take 10 minutes of kneading). Put the dough into a really large bowl, rub some oil on the top of the dough so it doesn't dry out when rising. Cover the bowl with and put in a warm place. When approximately doubled in size, form portions of dough into loaves and put in pans. Put pans with dough in them in a warm place. Let them rise until about doubled. Bake at 375ºF for small loaves, 350ºF for large loaves on the bottom rack in the oven until the tops are all brown. After taking the pans out of the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes then take the bread out of the pans and lay them on their sides on cooling racks.

White Bread with Poolish
For the poolish: 2 C. all-purpose unbleached white flour 1 C. water (70°F) 3/4 t. instant yeast In a bowl, combine the flour, water, and yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and let stand 8 to 10 hours or until the mixture is frothy.

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Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before using. For the dough: 4 C. all-purpose unbleached white flour 1 C. water (70°F.) 1 t. instant yeast 2 t. salt Vegetable oil (for the bowl) Cornmeal (for the baking sheet) Sprayer filled with water In a large bowl, combine the poolish, flour, 1 cup of the water, and the yeast. With a wooden spoon, spatula, or your fingers, mix the dough vigorously, then let it stand 15 to 20 minutes. Add the salt and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, and until you can stretch it and see a light through it. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to it, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled. Turn it out, let it rest for 5 minutes, then shape it into a ball. Line a bowl with a clean, well-floured cloth. Place the dough, seam side up, in the cloth. Let the dough rise again for 1 to 1 hours, or until roughly doubled. Set the oven at 500°F. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. Put a pizza stone, if using, into the oven. Turn the loaf you have formed onto the baking sheet. Place it in the middle or bottom third of the hot oven. Or slide the loaf off the baking sheet onto the hot pizza stone. Immediately, reduce the oven temperature to 450°F. During the first 5 minutes, spray the oven 3 times. Bake the bread for 30 to 45 minutes or until the center reaches 200°F. on an instant-read thermometer. Cool the bread on a wire rack.

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