Tag-Archive for ◊ make ahead ◊

29 Mar 2020 Sourdough Bread

I’ve heard there’s a yeast shortage in these days of Coronavirus Quarantine. I find that truly odd. I didn’t know there were so many people wanting, and able, to make their own bread. Yeasted breads were my Everest for a long, long time, most of my life, in fact. Recently, though, I have gotten into making Sourdough bread. I have posted my recipe below. If you need a starter and live nearby, text me. I will set out a jar on my front porch for you to pick up. Now let’s just hope you are able to get your hands on enough flour, which has been a challenge recently. If you can’t find bread flour, all-purpose can be substituted.

You’ll need a 5 or 6 quart covered Dutch Oven (although my daughter gets by with the smaller version) a Banneton Mold (order on-line) or substitute a greased and floured bowl. It might be a good idea to watch a few technique videos about stretching and folding if my description of the technique is not enough.

I make a few loaves of this bread each week. My adult children have standing orders. In the days past, when I used to be able to go out or host dinner parties, I would often serve a loaf. Everyone seems to love it.

PLAN AHEAD! This recipe takes a minimum of 3 days to make. You need to feed the starter, make the dough, age the dough, bake the dough, and only then can you eat the bread.

SOURDOUGH BREAD

  • 150 grams starter (fed 8-18 hours previously)
  • 235 grams water (I use slightly warm water)
  • 420 grams bread flour (OR 60 grams whole wheat flour PLUS 300 grams bread flour)
  • ¼ tsp diastatic malt powder (optional, helps with rising. Available on Amazon)
  • 11 grams salt

NOTES ON STARTER:

  1. Starter should be fresh, bubbling, and at room temperature.
  2. Before using starter, measure out 50 grams into another glass jar, stir in 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour until well combined. Cover loosely and set on counter. Use this mixture to make next loaf but be sure to retain another 50 grams for the following loaf. It’s a never-ending cycle.
  3. NOTE: Starter should not sit out on counter more than 24 hours. Refrigerate until needed. Then feed. Leave on counter. Wait 8-18 hours. Make another loaf of bread, retaining and feeding another 50 grams of starter. Like I said, it’s a never-ending cycle.

TO PREPARE DOUGH

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine room temperature, fed (8-18 hours previously), fresh, bubbling starter with the water and stir well.
  2. In another bowl combine flour, malt powder and salt, stir to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir with fork, hand, wooden spoon or spatula to hydrate the flour. Don’t use an electric mixer or a dough hook.
  5. Place dough onto a piece of baking parchment, flatten slightly, and dimple with fingers. Dust with more flour, if needed. Cover dough with bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove bowl from top of dough. If dough is still wet, sprinkle with more bread flour. Grab two sides of dough and stretch, without tearing. Fold dough back on top of itself. Turn dough 180 degrees, stretch and fold these two ends. Cover dough ball with mixing bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Do this two more times and let set 15-20 minutes between each stretch and fold.
  7. After the fourth rest, shape the dough into a round, tuck in the bottom edges of the dough under itself until the top is smooth. Cover with the mixing bowl again and let rest 5 minutes.
  8. Place dough ball into a flour covered 8 or 9-inch banneton mold. Allow dough to rise until it has visibly expanded and usually to the top edge of the banneton.
  9. Cover dough with plastic wrap in refrigerate for 12-36 hours to develop sourdough flavor (the longer in the refrigerator, the sourer the bread).

WHEN READY TO BAKE.

  1. Remove dough from refrigerator an hour or so before baking.
  2. Turn banneton mold upside down onto a piece of parchment paper. Wait for dough to flop out of the mold and onto the paper.
  3. Preheat oven to 475, with a 5- or 6-quart Dutch Oven IN the oven.
  4. When dough is out of mold, slash top with razor blade or lame.
  5. When oven is hot and Dutch oven is hot, using the parchment paper, transfer the dough to the Dutch oven. Quickly replace the lid and put the Dutch oven with dough in hot oven.
  6. Bake 18 minutes at 475 and then remove lid. Continue to bake bread for another 16 minutes. Internal temperature of bread should be 205-210 degrees.
  7. Remove bread from Dutch oven and let cool to internal temperature of 90 degrees before cooking.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Have fun making, and enjoying, your own sourdough bread.

20 Nov 2019 Homemade Eggnog for Eggnog Lattes
Cooking up cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla into delicious homemade eggnog. Store eggnog in the refrigerator, and add a splash to your lattes and coffees for mugs of holiday pleasure.

Years ago I had my first Eggnog Latte at Starbucks. I fell in love and Eggnog Lattes quickly became my favorite seasonal treat. They are rich, creamy, slightly spiced, and slightly sweet, (and caffeinated!), a warm sip of heaven in a cup.

Having a home espresso machine, I tried to recreate Eggnog Lattes at home. In that quest, I went through many, many varieties of commercial eggnogs.  I found that every carton of eggnog is different, some more intense than others, some sweeter than others, some spicier than others,  some too weak, most were too strong, and some, no most, truly horrible and artificial tasting.

Then, in 2016 this homemade eggnog entered my world and the angels sang…

Eggnog for Lattes

  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup rum or bourbon, optional (I never add)
  1. Place milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Heat just until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Do not bring milk to a full boil.
  2. While milk and spices are heating, beat 6 egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat until mixture is pale and creamy.
  3. Remove hot milk from the stove. With beaters on low (to avoid splashback) slowly pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture.
  4. After all the milk mixture has been incorporated, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to stove.
  5. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 160 degrees.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cream and optional rum or bourbon.
  7. Refrigerate until chilled.

To make an Eggnog Latte: I use half this eggnog mixture and half milk in my lattes. For company, I might top with a bit of whipped cream and a light dusting of nutmeg.

To make an Eggnog Coffee: stir this eggnog mixture, as is, into a cup of strong, hot black coffee.

Eggnog for my Dad: a small glass of chilled eggnog, straight up, with an extra shot of bourbon. Repeat.

Added bonuses: No added preservatives or chemicals, no wasteful packaging!

09 Sep 2019 Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Bread
Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Bread

Bread baking is my Everest, meaning I haven’t conquered it yet.  I’m not even at base camp so the bread recipes that appeal to me are easy and pretty much foolproof.  Here’s one of them! The recipe is easy… I see you shaking your head. Is it because you’ve already noticed the 22 steps? Granted, that seems like a lot, but there are 22 because I broke each step down into tiny increments. You can do this! You can have a loaf of Sweet Apple Bread ready to eat in about two hours! For a fancy, fruit-filled, yeasted bread, that’s a pretty quick turnaround time! The two hours is not all hands-on work either, that time includes two periods of rest for the dough to rise AND the baking time! The resulting product is delicious and impressive. Around here the aroma of this bread baking reliably gets sleepyheads out of bed and ready to face the day with a smile on their faces!

The bread is not burned! Darned filter!
I bake better than the I take pictures.

I didn’t create this recipe; I am not nearly that smart. I found it in Better Homes and Garden, Fall Baking at the same time as my daughter, who found it online. Then I googled it, and the recipe is all over the Internet, so I don’t know who or where it first came from first, but it’s a good one, a keeper, and almost infallible.  I did have it fail once, though. I didn’t measure the apples.  I wanted more apples and more apples, so I probably ended up with double the apples and one soggy, flat, never-did-bake loaf, so don’t do that! Measure the apples! I have made this bread with both cinnamon and Apple Pie Spice and I prefer it with Apple Pie Spice. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, order it from Penzey’s Spices.

My daughter’s first loaf of Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Bread

While looking for this recipe on line, my daughter came across an almost identical recipe made with pumpkin. Unbeknownst to each other, we both made it, on the same afternoon, and we both thought it needed some upgrading, so we’ll work on that. Look for an enhanced pumpkin bread soon but until then, make this one! It’s a winner!

Sweet and Cinnamon-y Apple Loaf

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (divided use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup melted or very, very soft butter
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apple (usually one very large apple)
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or Cinnamon

For the icing:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In the microwave, heat milk until just until lukewarm, approx. 105°F to 115°F, about 30-60 seconds, depending on the wattage of your microwave.
  2. Combine warm milk, yeast, and ½ tsp of sugar in small bowl. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer combine egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, the rest of the granulated sugar, and salt. Beat for 30 seconds.
  4. Add yeast mixture to egg/butter mixture. Beat with mixer on medium until combined.
  5. Add half the flour to mixture in bowl. Beat on low 30 seconds, scraping bowl as needed, then beat for 3 minutes on medium.
  6. Stir in remaining flour. Beat for another 2 minutes or so.
  7. Shape dough into ball (dough will not be smooth).
  8. Place dough in greased bowl; turn once to completely grease surface of dough.

Note: To make ahead: prepare as directed up to this step. Do not let dough rise. Cover bowl and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  • Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until nearly double in size 45 to 60 minutes (longer if dough has been refrigerated).
  • Grease 9×5-inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.

Note: Here comes the tricky part but it just sounds as if it’s tricky. Don’t stress it at all. The measurements are just approximate. Even the number of slices in the stacks are approximate. Eyeball everything! Have fun with it! Do. Not. Stress! This is a free-form bread. You can’t make a mistake. Go for it!

  1. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 20×12-inch rectangle (approximately, jagged edges are no problem).
  2. Brush dough with 1/4 cup melted or very soft butter then sprinkle with 1 tsp. white sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, combine chopped apples, brown sugar, and apple pie spice or cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture equidistantly over the dough.
  4. Cut the dough rectangle in half lengthwise to make two 20×6-inch strips (approximately)
  5. Cut each strip vertically into five 6×4-inch strips.
  6. Carefully make 2 stacks of 5 strips each. Cut each stack lengthwise into three 4×2-inch pieces.
  7. Now lift the stacks, and loosely stagger stacks in pan, cut sides up. You’ll have to push and pull to make all stacks fit. This is not a problem.  Lightly push down on dough to fill corners and level the top of the loaf.
  8. Cover loaf with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until nearly double in size (40 to 45 minutes).
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaf for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted near center registers 200°F.
  10. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
  11. In a medium mixer bowl combine ingredients for icing: room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Beat in enough milk to make a glaze of drizzling consistency. (NOTE: I usually make the icing without the cream cheese)
  12. Remove loaf from pan and drizzle with icing. Cool at least 20 minutes more before eating (but bread will keep well for a few days).

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Happy baking!

29 Aug 2019 Coconut Mango Cheesecake

This is one of my favorite cheesecakes! It’s showy and special and tastes wonderful 🙂 The method for this cheesecake is different from my usual method, but it works like a dream, and I’ve never had this cheesecake crack. The only tricky part is getting the right ‘Cream of Coconut’. Try to find the Coco Lopez brand, or any other brand used for making mixed drinks such as the Pina Colada. Don’t use canned coconut milk or even the new canned coconut cream [this is getting so confusing!], you need Cream of Coconut. It’s sweet and thick. Here are pictures of the two brands I have used successfully.

Hope you can make this for a special occasion in your life. It’s a winner!

Coconut-Mango Cheesecake

Coconut Crust:

  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 8 whole graham crackers, broken
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced

Cheesecake:

  • 32-ounces Philadelphia-brand cream cheese (do not use reduced-fat, fat-free, or whipped) The cream cheese MUST be at room temperature. Do not proceed with cold cream cheese!
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can (sweetened) cream of coconut (such as Coco López, look for it in the alcohol mixers section. Do NOT USE COCONUT MILK!)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs

Glaze:

  • ¼ cup  water
  • 1 pkg unflavored gelatin
  • 2 ½-3 cups mango puree (from 2 16 oz packages frozen mango chunks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

For crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Blend all ingredients in processor until finely ground and sticking together, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3.  Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 2 1/2 inches up sides of 10-inch-diameter spring form pan with 2 3/4- to 3-inch-high sides.
  4. Bake crust until golden, 14 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cool crust on rack.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

For filling:

  1. Blend cream cheese and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Stir in cream of coconut, coconut extract and salt. Add eggs 1 at a time. Mix to blend.
  2.  Pour filling into crust. Bake cheesecake 10 minutes at 425°F .
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Bake until center is softly set, about 1 hour 35 minutes longer.
  4. Turn off oven, keeping the oven door closed. Cool cake in oven 1 hour.
  5. Refrigerate cake, uncovered, at least 12 hours or overnight.

For glaze:

  1. Place water in small cup or bowl.  Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour mango puree and sugar into small saucepan. Taste that flavor is correct. Add more mango puree or more sugar if needed.
  3. Stir mixture over low heat until sugar dissolves, bubbles form at edge of pan, and mixture is hot.
  4. Add gelatin mixture and stir 1 minute to dissolve. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Cool mango mixture until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
  6. Pour glaze into center of cheesecake. Rotate and tilt the pan until glaze is spread evenly over top.
  7. Chill cheesecake to set glaze, approximately 3 hours.

Notes: DO AHEAD! This recipe can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.