Monday, November 24, 2008

Pain al’Ancienne

To me, there is nothing better than fresh bread, or even better baguettes. After eating out at places like Panaras, and such bread shops, I thought that it would be impossible to make the amazing bread that they serve. But I was wrong, and this bread is amazing. It has that crisp crust, and soft interior, risen perfectly. Not only is itamazing, but also easy- probably one of the most simple breads that you can make. The original recipe makes six baguettes, but they are basically only good for a little over a day. I always cut the recipe in half, so it is more managable, plus three is usuallygood enough... haha rightt.

So for thanksgiving I have been put in charge of dessert. Im kinda excited because that my favorite thing to make. Im planning on baking a pecan pie, and a pumpkin pie, all the night before of course. Probably really really late at night... lol. Happy early thanksgiving!!
Pain al’Ancienne
The bread bakers apprentice
6 cups (27 ounces) flour
2 1/4 tsp (.56 ounce) salt
1 3/4 tsp (.19 ounce) instant yeast
2 1/4 cups plus 2 T to 3 cups (19 to 24 ounces) water, ice cold
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Combine the flour, salt, yeast, and 19 ounces of water in the bowl of the electric mixer with the paddle attachment and mix for 2 minutes on low speed. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 5 to 6 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be sticky on the bottom of the bowl but it should release from the sides of the bowl. If not, sprinkle in a small amount of flour until this occurs (or dribble in water if the dough seems to stiff and clears the bottom as well as the sides of the bowl). Lightly oil a large bowl and immediately transfer the dough with a spatula or bowl scraper dipped in water into the bowl. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Immediately place the bowl in the refrigerator and retard overnight.
The next day, check the dough to see if it has risen. It will probably be partially risen but not doubled in size. Leave the bowl of dough out at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours (or longer if necessary) to allow the dough to wake up, lose its chill, and continue fermenting.
When the dough has doubled from its original prerefrigerated size, liberally sprinkle the counter with bread flour (about 1/2 cup). Gently transfer the dough to the floured counter with a plastic dough scraper that has been dipped in cold water, dipping your hands as well to keep the dough from sticking to you. Try to degas the dough as little as possible as you transfer it. If the dough is very wet, sprinkle more flour over the top as well as under it. Dry your hand thoroughly and then dip them in flour. Roll the dough gently in the sprinkled flour to coat it thoroughly, simultaneously stretching it into an oblong about 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. If it is too sticky to handle, continue sprinkling flour over it. Dip a metal pastry scraper into cool water to keep it from sticking to the dough, and cut the dough in half widthwise with teh pastry scraper by pressing it down through the dough until it severs its, then dipping it again in the water and repeating this action until you have cut down the full length of the dough. Let the dough relax for 5 minutes.
Now, place a baking stone in the bottom of your oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F. Also, place a baking pan or a cast iron skillet on the top rack of your oven. Cover the backs of two half sheet pans with parchment paper and dust with semolina or cornmeal.
Cut the dough into 6 roughly equal strips using the dough cutter. Using floured hands, gently transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheets (3 to a pan). Be careful to space them as you do not want them to touch. Using a very sharp knife or kitchen scissors, make three incisions on the top of each loaf. Spray with oil and then cover with plastic wrap and let them rest until the oven is ready, roughly an hour.
Heat about 3 cups of water to a simmer. Measure out 1 cup of it. Have a spray bottle full of room temperature water at the ready. Open the oven and slide the parchment paper (with the bread, of course) directly onto the baking stone. Then pour in the 1 cup of water into the baking pan or cast iron skillet. Close the oven door and wait 30 seconds. Then spray the walls of the oven with water. Repeat two more times. Then reduce the heat to 475 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating midway through the baking time if the loaves are baking unevenly. When golden brown and the internal temperature is at least 205 degrees, transfer the loaves directly to a cooling rack. Repeat the baking process with the remaining loaves, remembering to increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wheat bread and a tag!

So I have this delima, I'm incapable of taking decent pictures. Im not sure what it is, but they just never turn out good. But anyways, this bread was really easy to make, and it was semi-healthy being whole wheat and everything. I think that I replaced some of the wheat flour with bread flour, because I didn't want the bread to be extremely dense. This bread was easy in the fact that, time wasn't very specific, you could let the dough rise, and do your own thing.
Ok, so now on to the fun stuff, a tag from Giz and Psychgrad over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen : )

You can take five items and are allowed one sentence in which to justify your decision. Tag whoever you like and link back! You are on a desert island so assume a plentiful supply of exotic fish, coconuts and sea salt. Ignore any issues regarding storage. There happens to be a very large solar powered refrigerator washed up on the shore as well. Now, on to the list...

1. Ok hmm, first off, I would need a very large chef knife, ya know, for preparing my fish, and defending myself against pirates.

2. Then I would need a bag of flour, because I need my bread... also a weapon incognito ; )

3. I would need a dutch oven, because you can cook anything in a dutch oven haha.

4. Then I would definitly need my mp3 player, ya know, I have to listen to my music when I cook : )

5. Then I would either need my cell phone for texting, or I would have to take my boyfriend hostage. Sacrifice him to the island gods and everything. You know how those natives can get. . . ; )

Now I tag... The Kittalog, Noble Pig, Mochachocolata-Rita, Three forks, and Elle's New England Kitchen.

Wheat bread without a timetable
Smitten Kitchen
1. Into a large bread bowl, put 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, 1 1/2 cups stone-ground wheat flour and 3/4 cups coarse ground whole wheat flour (if you can’t find coarse ground, simply add regular whole wheat flour. I used buckwheat flour, because I’ve been feeling guilty about buying it eons ago and never using it.). Add one heaping teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of sugar (my addition, I think bread benefits from a little sweetness) and one tablespoon of wheat or corn germ. (I’m pretty sure I used bran instead, because that’s what I had on hand. Really, you can’t break this bread.)
2. Mix 1/2 scant teaspoon of yeast (active dry is just fine) with 1 1/2 cups of liquid–half milk, half water, or more water than milk–whatever you have on hand. (If you’re going to leave it overnight, use 1/4 teaspoon of yeast.)
3. Pour the liquid into the flour and stir it up. (If you have a KitchenAid, you can use the paddle attachement for this, then switch to the kneading hook when you’re done.) The dough should be neither dry nor sticky, but should tend more toward to the stick than the dry. If too sticky, add a little more flour.
4. Knead the dough well, roll it in flour, put it in a warm bowl (although I have put it in a regular old bowl right off the shelf, says Colwin, as did I) . I covered mine with plastic wrap at this time–a towel works as well–but realize it might not be neccessary. Leave it in a cool, draft-free place and go about your business. (We decided to check out the 8th Annual New York Pickle Festival, not that you asked.)
5. Whenever you happen to get home, punch down the dough, knead it well and forget about it until convenient.
6. Sometime later (with a long first rise, a short second rise is fine, but a long one is fine, too) punch the dough down, give it a final kneading, shape into a baguette* (see my notes below), slash the top with four diagonal cuts, brush wtih water and let proof for a few minutes (it was 30 minutes, in our case). However, if you haven’t the time, it can go straight into the oven.
7. You can preheat the oven or put it in a cold oven, it matters not a bit. Bake at 450° fr half an hour. Turn the oven to 425 ° and bake for another five to twenty minutes. (This range is long because I found my bread was done–sounded hollow when I tapped the bottom, quite brown on the outside and registered 200 or so on a thermometer, all different techiniques to check for doneness–after just 5 more minutes, but Colwin suggests 20. It will vary based on the density of your bread, the size of your baguette, etc. etc. so just check in with it every five minutes or so.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Wow it is good to be back. After not baking for a long time, I had forgotten how much fun I have been missing! Yeah I know, im that much of a loser ; ) lol. But seriously, these were actually kinda fun to make, even though I somehow managed to get flour & coco powder ALL over me.
But, this recipe was definitely a keeper. It had a really nice coco flavor, and the hazelnuts worked really well pairing with the chocolate. If I were to change anything in this recipe, I think that I would increase the chocolate chips a little bit because, who doesn't like more chocolate? : )
The perfect way to start off your morning: Biscotti and a hot cup of coffee : D

Chocolate hazelnut biscotti
Cafe Fernando
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated.
Add flour mixture gradually and mix until combined.
Add the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate and mix with a wooden spoon.
Flour your hands (the dough is quite sticky) and turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and shape each piece into a 12 inch log.
Place them onto the baking trays and flatten them slightly.
Lightly beat the egg white and brush the logs. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake the logs, rotating trays half way through for 25 minutes. Transfer the logs onto a cutting board and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F. Cut the logs crosswise to half an inch thick slices. Place on a wire rack and bake for 30 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

cupcake cookies of love

Now, I like cupcakes as much as the next person, but cookies are definitly of a higher calling. ; )When you combine the flavor of a cupcake with the form of a cookie, you have an instant winner. I got this recipe from my tennis doubles partners mom. She is like an amazing baker, and brings cookies to almost all of our matches. So when she made this, I had to have the recipe. They are so simple to prepare, I doubt that anybody could mess them up.
Oh, and they're addicting. Really really addicting.

Cupcake cookies of love

Yes, they do use a prepackaged mix, and yes, I generally would never use a pre mix, but it was just so dang simple! Oh, you could also substitute the vanilla cake mix for other flavors such as chocolate...or lemon...the possibilities are endless.

1 package of yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup of oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Mix together, and scoop small balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Bake for aprox. seven min(more of less depending on your oven), or until golden brown.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Is there really anything better than fresh bagels in the morning? I seriously doubt it. These bagels were really awesome. The only small glitch was that they weren't completely picture perfect. They remained lumpy, which was all right with me : )
So id just like to apologize for the lack of posts. You have no idea how hectic these few past weeks have been! Tennis has gone from a sport to a lifestyle! So in a couple of weeks I will be able to relax and continue to make a mess of the kitchen ; ) But.. in my free moments, I have been able to make some awesome stuff, starting with Bagels : D What was pretty sweet about these bagels, was that you could make and shape the dough, and store the uncooked bagels in your fridge, until you wanted to bake them off. I made them on a Friday night, and then i baked half the batch on Saturday morning, and then the rest of Sunday morning. Perfect.

The possibilities are really endless when it comes to flavorings. I did some salt, sesame, cinnamon, and some of the bread spice. Now, I know what your thinking, while looking at the following directions...they are LONG! well, don't be intimidated, its really very simple, and straight foreword, it just uses a lot of words to clarify everything.

Go forth and make Bagels!!!

Peter Reinhart’s Bagels
Smitten Kitchen

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Yield: 12 large or 24 miniature bagels
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour (see note below)
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar (see note below)

To Finish
1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, rehydrated dried minced garlic or onions (Deb note: this was what I chose, and found the taste very authentic), or chopped onions that have been tossed in oil (optional)

1. Day one: To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

2. To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.

3. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour - all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 71 degrees F. If the dough seems to dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

4. Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired (Deb note: I used 2.25 ounce pieces, and yes, I weighed them because I wanted them to bake evenly). Form the pieces into rolls.

5. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

6. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Proceed with one of the following shaping methods:
Method 1: Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter (half of this for a mini-bagel). The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)
Method 2: Roll out the dough into an 8-inch long rope. (This may require rolling part of the way and resting if the pieces are too elastic and snap back, in which case, allow them to rest for 3 minutes and then extend them again to bring to full length. Wrap the dough around the palm and back of your hand, between the thumb and forefinger, overlapping the ends by several inches. Press the overlapping ends on the counter with the palm of your hand, rocking back and forth to seal.

7. Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans (Deb note: I got away with 1-inch space for the minis). Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

8. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float. Return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

9. The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda (and optionally, a few tablespoons of barley syrup, see Note at the end). Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

10. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minutes flip them over rand boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side (Deb note: I used the 2 minute option). While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.) If you want to top (see note below) the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination.

11. When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer. (Deb note: I actually baked them quite a bit longer, often almost five extra minutes. I judge by color, not internal temperature, in this case. I did not lower the oven temperature because I had multiple batches to bake.)

12. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


This has got to be the **best** cookie to make during the hot weather, because you don't have to turn on the oven. Along with that point, these cookies are extremely addicting!! They have the best chocolatey taste, and they kinda remind me of fudge : D I never really realized the props you get for being a baker! You give these cookies to anyone, and you have them under your complete control!!

You cook them on a stove top, and when you scoop them on to a parchment sheet, they harden, and sort of crystalize. Its so cool! You gotta be careful to boil the stuff long enough, or they will not harden, like mine didnt in the begining. The first couple of cookies that I put down on the sheet were not boiled long enough. The recipe called for boiling the mixture for 1 min, but later I found out that you had to boil it for two minuites. But even if you mess up like me, they will still taste absolutely godly.

Thanks everyone for the Birtheday wishes!! Im super excited to use the new kitchen aid mixer I got for my birthday!! Yay!!

No Bakies

1 stick butter
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cup quick oats

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add next four ingredients and heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for TWO minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and oats.Drop mixture by the spoonful onto a sheet of waxed paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. Allow no-bakies to cool until firm, approximately 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Oreos!! Arn't they the best? When it comes to eating pre-packeged cookies, oreos are definitly on the top of my list. So when I saw a recipe for the homemade version, I was really excited!
I don't know if its just me, but when I see a recipe that I want to make, there is like nothing that will stop me. Its like a have tunnel vision, I can only see the recipe that I want to make. So as soon as I spotted this recipe, I printed it out, and got all the stuff out, and started to mix things. Then I realize that Im missing the eggs, butter, and shortening. Lol. So then I had to beg my moms to go to the store and get the stuff. : )
Life will definitly be easier when I can drive and get the stuff I need, which will be pretty soon... my birthday is on wednesday!!! : D Haha, EVERYBODY WATCH OUT!!

So anyways, the cookies were a huge hit! They were very rich and chocolatey, and the frosting in the middle was just perfect.

I have a feeling that you will be seeing an assortment of cookie recipes being posted, because my tennis season has started, and cookies are a staple!

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies
For the chocolate wafers:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt1 to
1½ cups sugar*
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling
:¼ cup (½ stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Easy chips

Ahh. Summer where have you gone? I can't believe that Im about to start school in fewer than two weeks! Prison!! Luckily I have gotten in some cool summer recipes, like this one- baked cheese and basil chips. What is so awesome about these chips is that you can make them really quickly, and the possibilities are endless. I actually have another recipe to tell you about, a french onion soup. But I forgot to take pictures : ( The soup turned out great, but chopping the onions was. . . interesting. I got comments telling me to freeze my onions before using them, and that seemed like a great idea. The only problem being that almost all of my cooking and baking is spontaneous. So when I started to cut my onions, the burning began. What to do!? I went outside and put on svens swimming goggles ; ) lol. This worked, except for the fact that his head is smaller than mine, and the goggles almost sucked my eyes out of my head. haha.
Baked cheese basil chips

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 30 wonton wrapers
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Cut wonton wrappers in half making 60 triangles. Lay out on a greased baking sheet.

In a small bowl combine garlic, oil, basil. Lightly brush triangles with mixture, and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 8 min or until golden.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Foccacia with bruschetta

This is like the perfect summer food. Ever. This summer has been weird in the fact that I haven't baked that much bread. So with a couple extra hours to blow, I make focaccia from the bread bible. This bread was pretty easy except for a couple things. First off, I needed to add more flour and some vital wheat gluten to get the dough to form a loose ball. this is like the most wet dough in the whole book. You have to beat it for 20 min (thank you Mr bread machine). It is supposed to develop the gluten structure so it can develop bigger holes or something like that. So after that, your basically home free. You let it rise for 4 hours! It gets so bubbly! Mine like quadrupled in size.But all of your hard work will yield amazing results. I would definitly make this bread again and again because of how great it turned out. There were huge holes in it, and it had a really nice crisp crust. Paired with bruschetta. . .perfect.


  • Three large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • a couple of leaves of basil, chopped
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the nasty seeds. Fine dice the tomatoes and combine with the oregano, basil, oil, cheese, salt, and pepper.

The bread Bible, with adaptations

  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp vital wheat gluten (if you dont have this, you can substitute with more flour)
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 cups minus 2 tbs water
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs plus 2 tsp olive oil divided
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
In a mixer, combine 1 3/4 cup flour, yeast, and water. Mix until dough just comes together. Beat dough for 20 min on med untill it is transformed into a shiny ball. If that didn't happen to you, like it didnt for me, add the 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tsp vital wheat gluten. Keep beating till a very loose ball sorta forms.

Scrape into an oiled bowl and let rise for 4 hours, or at least until it is doubled.

Cover a sheet pan with a tbs of oil. Pour dough onto the sheet and stretch the dough as much as you can w/o tearing it. If the dough is being difficult, let it rest for 10 min.

Cover pan with greased plastic wrap, and let rise untill 1 1/2 the original volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Uncover the dough and sprinkle with remaining olive oil, rosemary, and salt. Place on bottom rack of the oven and bake for 12-13 min until golden brown


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Onion dill bread

I decided to make this bread recipe a little while ago. Dill and onion bread. It sounded interesting, so I went for it. I'm really glad I did, because it turned out awesome. It was pretty easy to make too. It started with a simple bread dough that I added dill to. After it rose, I flattened it and covered it in red onions.
Then the hard part came. Wile my eyes were burning and tearing from the onions I had to roll up the dough and knead it. Yeah, this sounds easy now, but wile I was kneading the dough, the onions were slipping out and making a general mess. But other than that, it was really easy to make. This bread got nice and brown after being in the oven, and the crust was not that hard. The bread had an almost buttery taste.

Now, I know what your thinking. I'm slacking with my blogging. I honestly don't know what it is. Well, first off, I'm lazy, and on top of that, I'm a procrastinator. But it seems that with the more free time I have, the less I do. Doesn't that seem crazy? Well, I won't have much free time for long, the school year is coming along, so that means more blogging. lol.

Onion dill bread
Adapted from the bread bible

  • 2 3/4 cup plus 1 tbs flour
  • 1/2 tbs yeast
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1 cup warm water mixed with
  • 1/4 cup dry milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 tbs dry dill

Combine 2 1/3 cup flour and the yeast. Then add the salt. Then stir in the water/milk and oil. Knead for 5 min adding is little remaining flour as possible. Cover with inverted bowl and let rest for 20 min.
Knead for another 5 min untill elastic.

Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl and oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise untill doubled, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
Scrape dough onto a floured surface and press into a large rectangle. Sprinkle ontop onions. Roll up, then knead the dough.

Press into a rectangle and roll up tightly and tuck the ends in. Plate seam side down on the countertop and cover with plastic wrap. Let relax for 30 min.

Form dough into rectangle...again. Your can either roll it up tightly to form a loaf, or you can shape it into a batard.

Set on parchment lined baking sheet and cover loosly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled. 30 min-1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have an oven sheet on the bottom of the oven while preheating

Slash the dough and place in oven on lowest shelf. Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubs on the tray on the bottom of your oven. Close door immedietly.

Bake 30-35 min untill golden brown. Half way through baking, turn sheet around to ensure even cooking.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blueberry pie

My family goes crazy when its blueberrie season. They have this obsession with blueberries that I just don't understand. I hate blueberries. To me, blueberries are like these little nasty blue tomatoes (which I also hate) that are sour and filled with crap. But for some odd reason, I love blueberrie pie.
The only problem being, that I had to pick my own blueberries in order to make pie, and it happened to be during a thunderstorm. I almost got struck by lightening a couple of times, but it was worth it. This pie was crazy good.
I had trouble deciding between blueberrie pie, or like a crumble. I decided to combine them.
This was definitly one of my better ideas, because it was amazingly good! There was some extra blueberries and crumble mixture, so I made some in ramakins.

Blueberrie pie/ crumble

crust: (9")

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbs butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 4-5 tbs cold water

Cut butter into flour, salt, and sugar mixture until the particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water a tablespoon at a time untill mixture comes together. Gather pasty into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Let chill in the fridge.

Blueberrie mixture:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinn
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs butter
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry. Mix sugar, flour, and cinn (optional). Stir in blueberries. Turn into pastry lined pie plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter. Cover with crumb topping -->
    Cover the edges of your pie with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Remove the last 15 min. of baking. Bake until crumble is golden brown, 35-45 min.

    Crumb topping:
    Baking and Books

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs raw sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 stick of butter at room temp.

Combine ingredients with a mixer or food processor.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Hey everyone, I'm back!! Besides a six hour car trip, I'm all right ; ) lol. Sorry for no posting in the last week or so, my good friend Liz experienced some technical difficulties hehe. But anyways, Maine was totally amazing. Wile we were camping, me and Gwen made ice box cake, and challah, but mostly we hung out at the beach.

But let me tell you, the seagulls in Maine are as bad as the squirrels in new york city. My brother was eating a sandwich just standing around, and a seagull swooped down and grabbed the sandwich right out of his hand!!

There was also this stone pier that you could walk out on. It was so cool, even though my cousin Gwen was a little uneasy with the situation. Good times ; D lol.

The day before we left, some Canadian hippies moved in next to us! They had this hilarious Scooby Doo van!So anyways, just some advise for the people who are the the level of crazyness that I am at: don't try to make watermelon juice. Just don't.
I spent quite a long time chunking, and blending a whole watermelon, and putting it through a fine mesh sieve. Personally, I hate eating chunks of watermelon because it is usually grainy or something. So me, being the genius that I am decided to make juice out of it. At first taste, it was good. Then it tasted completely nasty. Like it left such a foul aftertaste that I almost spit it in my dogs face.

So, like ten minutes ago I made pickles. My moms garden is overflowing with zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. It took me like 15 min. with my mandolin. No lie. Its nice because you don't have to cook or boil anything, just mix the stuff together and pour over pickles, and stick in the fridge.

Easy sweet pickles

  • 7 cups thin sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbs celery seed
  • 1 cup vinegar

Mix salt, sugar, celery seed, and vinegar until dissolved. Place cucumbers in a jar. Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers. Let sit in the fridge for at least a day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Idiot cake

I know what your thinking. . . idiot cake? Yes this is an idiot cake, but the best I've ever tasted! It is so simple, that only an idiot can mess it up! Its only four ingredients, so believe me, if there was any way to fail, I would have found it.
So, usually I don't make cake, because I'm pretty crappy at it. But last weekend, by brother wanted chocolate cake, and I caught him almost making a box mix! I shudder at the mere thought of it! Its like my brother doesn't even know me at all! So I stopped him, and searched for a chocolate cake recipe. The thing is, I don't like chocolate cakes that are spongy, and flavorless, some are even bitter tasting. The only way I can cough down a piece is when it is covered in thick chocolate frosting. But then again, I will eat *anything* covered in chocolate frosting.

Making this cake was a so simple, and the results were stunning. It didn't have a cake consistency either. It was velvety, not dry or cakey. Its like a mix between decadent brownies and fudge, but its not dense. It had the most rich amazing chocolate flavor too. The higher quality chocolate you use will yield a better taste, because the chocolate is the main flavor. I garnished the slices of cake with some whipped cream flavored with cappuccino liquor.

I also wanted to show you guys this picture of a mushroom that I took : ) I was so proud of it because-look, how cute is that mushroom?
Then I also took a picture of this really pretty flower, look how vibrant it is! So, I'm leaving tomorrow to go on a trip to Maine, with my favorite cousin Gwen!! My best friend Liz is going to post about our latest culinary adventure some time next week!

Chocolate idiot cake

10 ounces (290 gr) ScharffenBerger bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

7 ounces (200 gr) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (200 gr) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F (175 C).

1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn't 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You'll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.

Can last 3-4 days in the fridge.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mint cookies

Yess!! Finals and regents are finally over! No more homework, or my icky uniform! What better way to celebrate than with cookies? I was going to make chocolate chip cookies, but we had no chocolate chips. So all I could find was some mint chips. It actually turned out really good! They had a really nice flavor, and the mint was a nice addition.You have to be careful because they brown really quickly, and after that, they turn black really quickly. lol. This dough also makes some crazy good chocolate chip cookies.
The day after I made the cookies, I made some challah. I posted about it a wile ago, actually I think that it was my first post ever. I make it all the time, but this time I braided it with a four braid! I thought it looked so cool that I had to show you guys!

Mint Cookies
Adapted from chocolate chip cookies
Baking Bites

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup mint chips (or chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda and salt.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Blend in vanilla extract and egg. Slowly add in the flour mixture until nearly combined. Add in chocolate chips and stir until dough is uniform in color and chip distribution.Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.Bake at 350F for 11-13 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.Makes 40 cookies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meringues Chantilly

**Phew** It worked!
You see, I have never really had any problems with merangue. It always worked out perfectly, sort of. Except for last time me and Liz were bored. We were going to make these merangue cookies, that I have made countless times. I thought they were fool proof! Except they weren't. I couldn't get the merangue to a stiff peak, even though I had beaten it for like...forever. So We gave up, and tried to bake them. Lets just say that we nicknamed them "moon craters" Bleh. They were nastly. lol.

But then I watched Barefoot Contessa. I had to make these merangue things. They were just so cute and elegant! It was decided then. But, I was really scared to make the merangue, especially because it used 6 egg whites. If this dessert took a nose dive, my mom would be none to happy. But thats the perils of baking I guess. Luckily it all worked out great. I made the merangues the night ahead, because they have to sit it the oven for at least 4 hours. I thought that they looked like little bumper boats. Haha.
I was smooth sailing after that. Until a I had to get the berries. My mom flipped when she rung everything out. Berries are expensive! But it was definitly worth it! This dessert was searously good. The contrase of textures between the merange and whipped cream was awesome, and the berries balanced out everything nicely.

Meringues Chantilly

6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur, recipe follows

Stewed berries, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
Spread some of the sauce from the stewed berries on each plate. Place a meringue on top and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.

Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur:

2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, or you'll end up with butter!
Yield: 4 cups

Stewed berries:

1 half-pint fresh blueberries

3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

2 teaspoons framboise (raspberry brandy)

Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.
Yield: 8 servings

Monday, June 9, 2008

Banana cookies

Do you remember your first blog experience? I do. It all started with an extra bunch of bananas. Yes, bananas. It was like two years ago that I firse stumbled upon a blog. I had extra bananas around, and I didn't feel like making banana bread. I wanted cookes. Who ever heard of banana cookes? Not me. But you know how you can find almost anything on the web! So I went into google, and did a search on banana cookies, and found a link for them in the blog baking bites. I was so utterly amazed at the blog, never having seen one before. It was like a huge cookbook, free for the looking! It was full of recipes, then I found links to other amazing blogs. It was like my eyes were opened for the first time!
So anyways, back to the cookies. These are amazing. Not only are they the most delicious amazing *awesome* cookies ever, they are somewhat almost not that bad for you. Since bananas give them that extra moistness, you dont have to add that much butter. But oh geeze are these cookies good.

I like these cookies best with chocolate chips, but if your crazy like my mom you can add raisins, or nuts, or anything else that makes you happy.
In regards to my camera delima, I think that it has found a round-about solution. My dad has struck up a deal with me. He will buy me a nice camera if I give him X amount of dollars, and do 7 hours of hard labor. . . bleh. Anything for a new shiny camera!

Banana oatmeal cookies
Baking Bites

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana (1 small/medium)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in egg and banana, followed by the vanilla extract. Gradually, on low speed or by hand, add in the flour mixture. Stir in the oats (either whole rolled oats or “quick cooking”) and chocolate chips.Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.Bake for 11-14 minutes at 350F, until set and lightly browned.Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely.Makes 2 dozen cookies.