Tuesday, April 02, 2013

TWD: Rustic Potato Loaves

With rustic being the operative word, here.  (On a side note, The Girl, walking by the open cookbook, thought the recipe was for Rusty Potato Lovers.)  No, I'm not sure what that is, either.

Anyway, for not particularly following the recipe, this turned out ok!  I realized that the recipe called for a boiled potato that is then mashed.  Hmmm, I have mashed potatoes in the fridge from the other night!  Upside - they are already made!  Downside - they have seasoning, butter, and sour cream in them.  Plus, they were cold from the fridge, and I had no potato water.  And, I went ahead and baked with them anyway.  It was a LONG rise time.  Long.  The first rise was about 90 minutes.  And it never really rose.  After shaping, and resting it on a floor heating vent because room temperature was pretty cold, it did rise some.  

Instead of misting, I threw some ice cubes into the bottom of my oven.  The loaf baked up pretty flat.  It unrolled some as well.  It smelled pretty good, though.  The verdict?  The taste is really good.  I might try this again with plain potatoes and add my own seasoning.  

My friend, Dawn, at Simply Sweet has an amazing photo and the recipe at her blog.  Go visit!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TWD:BWJ Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm a big fan of mocha, and I'm a big fan of chocolate chip cookies.  I like them together.  This, however, wasn't the most successful recipe for me.  

It's a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe with the addition of dried apricots.  There is a caveat in the recipe that you should use good chocolate because it calls for A LOT of the stuff - a pound for four dozen cookies.  I didn't have apricots, but I did have dried cherries.  And because they were pretty dry, I re-hydrated them in some kahlua.  More coffee flavor!

I halved the recipe and still got about three dozen cookies.  Apparently, I make small cookies.  These came out very flat.  Very.  Flat.  I tried scooping the dough and refrigerating it again to try to slow/stop the spread, but it didn't make a difference.  The flavor was fine, and there were very chewy.  I couldn't get past the flat, though.  The coffee flavor was much more pronounced after the cookies were allowed to sit for a while.  The dried cherries seemed to just add chew.  Perhaps fresher cherries would be more flavorful.

Behold the flatness!

I could absolutely see adding espresso powder to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for a change of flavor.  I don't, however, see myself making these again.

Go see Peggy's blog for great photos and the recipe.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Baking here and there

I've been a huge TWD slacker.  I'm sure it's the case with a lot of people.  I'm baking a lot these days - but I'm baking what the kids/husband/friends request or what strikes my fancy.  This week's recipe was croissants.  As much as I love them, and I do, I wasn't brave enough to try this two-day-pound-of-butter-lots-of-fussing recipe.

So here's what we've been doing instead:  Confetti sugar cookies, hamentaschen, challah, date nut pumpkin bread, sourdough bacon maple waffles, cinnamon sugar nuts, granola, and...  maybe that's it.  I'm going to get back on the Dorie wagon, but then I'll be falling off again in May or so when we rip up our kitchen for four or five months.  I've been offered some friend kitchens so I don't lose my mojo.  Thank you, friends!

Here's a sample:

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

TWD: Foccacia

Finally!  So, hi!  This week's recipe was for foccacia.  It's a lovely dimply bread that you can dress up or down.  It takes quite a while to make, but most of the time is long, cold rising.  

This is a recipe with simple ingredients - flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil.  I heard a few groans from mixers and owners of said mixers.  I halved the recipe and I kept my KitchenAid at a nice slow speed, and I didn't have any trouble.  It's also a six quart professional model, so that may have had something to do with it as well.  It rose.  It deflated.  It rose.  It deflated.  It rested in the fridge.  Then it rested on the counter.  I deviated a bit here.  I made one bread instead of two smaller ones.  I dimpled instead of slashed.  And I completely forgot about the whole "spritz with water" thing.  Oops.

I borrowed from a recipe that a friend requested for the topping.  She saw a foccacia with thin Meyer lemon slices and fresh rosemary.  Done and done.  I did a quick sprinkle of coarse salt, and in to the oven it went.

Ta dah!

It ended up a little dark around the edges - I think I left it in a minute or two too long.  Ah well.  Plus, the spritzing might have made for a slightly less crispy crust.

The flavor was lovely, though.  I would highly recommend this combination.  In the end, if I did the right planning, I would make this again.  Go visit Wandering Through if you'd like the recipe.