Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Daring Bakers – Danish Braid

June 29, 2008

I always think I have little baking experience, but I think that mainly comes from the fact that most yeast things that I try to bake don’t really turn out. But the truth is, I used to assist cooking classes and one summer I assisted a ton of baking classes. You don’t realize how much information you’ve absorbed until you have to turn around and use it! Luckily I had seen laminated dough made in one of those classes, so it wasn’t intimidating to me. Again, my main challenge would be time, although thank goodness for maternity leave!

The recipe was for yeasted laminated dough. We were required to make one danish braid and then could do whatever we wanted with the rest of the dough. I chose to make two danish braids, mainly because I didn’t want to freeze the dough. I ate one and gave the other to my friend who helped me put the braid together. Her family loved it!

I don’t always have time to read all of the questions regarding the challenge, but I did notice that a few people had issues with the dough. I had zero. I chilled my flour, it wasn’t very humid, and everything rolled out perfectly. I was able to make the dough and do my turns in between naps and bottles.

For my filling, I decided to do pastry cream and mixed berries. I love pastry cream. Love it! Plus, I’ve made it before and knew I could make it quickly (major consideration). For the mixed berries, I used fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. I followed the apple filling recipe for the most part. The berries were a little soupier than I would have liked, but they turned out very nicely.

Our one mistake was not filling and braiding the first one *on* the sheet pan we were baking it on. We eventually got it onto the parchment paper, but it took a lot of maneuvering since the braid was fairly heavy at that point. Second time around we made the braid on the parchment paper.

For the full recipe, visit Kelly at Sass & Veracity.

The rolled out dough, cut into strips.

With the filling down the middle. After tasting the finished product, we definitely could have put more pastry cream in.

Extra braids? Just cut them off and use them to seal the ends! Genius.

Egg wash, sugar, and sprinkled almonds.

Voila! Delicious!

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Daring Bakers – Cinnamon and Sticky Buns

September 30, 2007

Before we get into this months Daring Baker post, a quick word to explain the radio silence as of late.  I’m pregnant with twins.  Food and I don’t have the best relationship anymore.  I don’t cook much since I go from not hungry to needing to eat NOW!  But, I have faith that I will get my appetite and my energy back in October.  So things should go back to normal soon. 

It’s Daring Baker time again!  This month, we all made cinnamon buns and sticky buns.  I was very excited because while most breads and sweets don’t appeal to me at all right now, breakfast type sweet breads totally do.  I made a pan of cinnamon buns and a pan of sticky buns.  Normally, I’m all about the cinnamon, but these sticky buns were so beyond fabulous that I’m now a believer. 

I served these to a group of friends and the general consensus was that the cinnamon buns were lacking.  We weren’t sure if they needed more salt or more filling, but they needed something.  As I said above, the sticky buns were sooooo good, but I think the incredible topping was what really made them fabulous.  It was creamy and gooey, without being too sweet or sticky.

For the full recipe, please visit Marce at Pip in the City. To see all of the Daring Baker posts, visit the Blogroll.

Cinnamon and/or Sticky Buns
My relationship with yeast is iffy. I’ve finally learned my lesson and always temp my water, but my house is drafty and so unless it’s summertime, it can be difficult to get a good rise. Since it was mid-September, I was pretty confident I would get a warm day, which I did. This recipe made the dough in a KitchenAid mixer. I’ve always done my dough by hand, mostly because that was the only way I knew how. Never again! The KitchenAid kneaded the dough so efficiently, I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.

In two hours, my dough had doubled and I was ready to roll it out. I was a bit nervous since rolling dough is not my strong suit. This dough was beautiful! I have never had a dough roll out so perfectly and hold its shape so beautifully before.

For my filling, I did cinnamon, sugar, and ginger. I liked the combination, it just didn’t seem like enough for the cinnamon rolls. I would definitely tweak this next time. Again, the dough rolled up perfectly. For once, I didn’t have a roll that was skinny at the ends and fat in the middle.

At this point, I cut them into slices and wrapped them up and stuck them in the fridge, to transport later in the day to my girlfriend’s house.

Because I’m a crazy pregnant woman, I got up at 4:00am to pull them to proof for a second time. We had some draft issues and I was worried they wouldn’t raise, but they did! And were fabulous. I will definitely make these again.

Blueberry muffins

July 27, 2007

Continuing the theme, I made blueberry muffins.  I debated on baking these because in my head, blueberry muffins are big and greasy.  But I have Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe cookbook and most things in there veer a little more to the healthy side.  This recipe has 1/4 cup butter, whereas most recipes I saw other places had 1/2 cup butter.  It made me feel a little better.  

 Straight out of the oven the muffins were divine.  I ate one as an afternoon snack today and it held up well. 

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins
Makes 10 muffins

Nonstick Spray

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups. buttermilk
2 T. fresh lemon zest
1 large egg
1 T. vanilla
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups blueberries

1 T. sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray 10 standard muffin cups with nonstick spray.
2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium-sized bowl.
3. Measure the 1 1/2 cups buttermilk into a 4-cup liquid measure. Add the lemon juice, egg, and vanilla, and beat gently with a fork until smooth.
4. Slowly pour this mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Carefully fold in the blueberries at the very end. A few lumps are okay.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling to the top. Sprinkle tops of muffins with 1 T. sugar.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and place on a rack to cool.

Blueberry Pancakes!

July 25, 2007

The local gourmet cooking store does crop shares every year.  When I worked there, I used to consider doing the salad share every spring, but watching those boxes come through every week, I knew I’d never use enough of the vegetables to make it worthwhile.  The fruit share though?  Those I could do.  Normally I just get the blueberries, but one year I also bought cherries and that was just way too much fruit to try to eat.  I gave a lot away that year.

The share is ten pounds of blueberries.  I freeze some, I eat some, I give some to friends and family.  They are big and juicy and so sweet, they are the perfect summer snack.  I eat them on my breakfast every morning, but I need to start using them in other ways too.  So tonight for dinner it was blueberry pancakes!  I have a great pumpkin pancake recipe that I love, but no go to blueberry pancake recipes.  I looked through a few cookbooks before settling on the recipe in my Good Housekeeping cookbook.  Since I had Greek yogurt in the fridge, I added that in for a little extra tang. I think blueberry pancakes need to be a little thicker to balance out the blueberries, and these were perfect.  Not too thick, not too thin, with a nice ratio of blueberry to pancake.

Next up – blueberry muffins!

Blueberry Pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cup milk
3 T. butter, melted
2 T. greek yogurt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup blueberries

In bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, butter, yogurt, and egg and stir until flour is moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat until drop of water sizzles; brush lightly with vegetable oil. Pour batter by scant 1/4 cups onto hot griddle. Cook until tops are bubble, some bubbles burst and edges look dry. With wide spatula, turn and cook until underside is golden.