"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." Julia Child

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

rosemary kalamata olive bread

Love olives? I do. This light crumbed bread is a great blend of salty and savory.

Yield: 8 large rolls
190 calories per roll/1,500 calories per batch
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 210 minutes

2½ cups high-gluten flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers

1. In a medium bowl (or 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup), combine the lukewarm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to ferment.  See step 1 of “challah” for more yeast.

2. In your stand mixer bowl with the dough hook attached, add the flours, olives, rosemary, and salt. “Stir" to combine, about 30 seconds.

3.  Slowly add the yeast mixture to form a shaggy dough. Increase the speed to 2 and knead until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 5 minutes.

4. Turn the dough out onto your counter top and knead by hand a few turns, shaping into a ball.

5. Place the dough in a lightly bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

6. Punch down the dough and let rise again until it has doubled, about 1 hour. 

7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and shape.

8. Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (So, I didn't think the dough would rise this much during the final (and 3rd) proof. I recommend using two baking sheets, giving your bread ample room to rise and bake.).


9. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. (See step 20 of "classic baguette" for more on testing for doneness.)

Original recipe found here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

coconut chocolate chip monkey bread

To me, the weekend means brunch. Well, brunching on delectable baked goods and then heading out with my fellow dog owners for a long walk with our pooches.

Yield: 1 bundt cake
315 calories, if cut into 12 slices
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 150 minutes

the dough
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup warm almond milk
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

the topping
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1. In a small bowl, or 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup, warm the milk and water in the microwave, about 1 minute. The liquid should be warm, not hot.  See step 2 of “no-knead brioche” for more on yeast.

2. Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar to the milk mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add to the milk mixture. 

4. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in your stand mixer bowl and "stir". Gradually add the wet mixture. After a shaggy dough forms, increase the speed to 3 and knead until the dough becomes smooth and shiny, about 5 minutes.

5. Turn the dough out onto your counter top. Knead by hand a few turns and shape into ball.

6. Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

7. Turn the dough out onto your counter top and cut into approximately 30 pieces. (I cut the dough in half to make the division more manageable.) Shape each piece into a rough ball and place in a well-greased bundt pan. You should get about two layers of balls.

8. Using a small bowl or 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup, melt the ¼ cup of butter in the microwave. Add in the brown sugar, stirring to blend.

9. Sprinkle the balls with the sugar mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

10. After the dough has risen, sprinkle with add-ins. You can also layer the add-ins during step 7 or even incorporate them when you’re making the dough in step 4.

11. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sugar has caramelized and is bubbling.

12. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cake stand or serving platter. To turn out a bundt, place the base or plate on the top of the bundt pan, turn over, and gently remove the bundt, VOILA!


Other modifications:
  • Like it really gooey? Double the brown sugar topping and pour in more liberally, at the bottom and through the layers.
  • Trying to impress someone special? Dust with confectioners' sugar.
  • Don't like coconut? Change up the add-ins to something more to your liking.

Original recipe found here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

apple cake

Why do I feel like I'm getting away with something when I eat desserts that contain fruit? :)

Yield: One 9½ inch pie plate
280 calories per slice, if cut into 8 slices
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 medium honeycrisp apples (or any apples of your choosing)
apple pears (or more apples)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a  inch pie plate, set aside.

3. Wash and cut the fruit into 1 to 2 inch pieces, place in a large bowl, and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until foamy.

5. Add in the sugar, vanilla, water, and baking powder. Whisk until well-blended, about 1 minute.

6. Add in the flour and whisk until well-blended, about 1 minute.

7. Add in the melted butter and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes.

8. Pour the wet mixture over the apples, gently mixing to coat.

9. Pour the batter into the pie plate.

10. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 50 minutes.

Original recipe found here.