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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

candied bacon and gorgonzola biscuits

"I'd be a vegetarian if bacon grew on trees." Homer Simpson

Yield: 12 small biscuits
230 calories per biscuit
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

6 ounces bacon (half a pack), chopped
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
1/2 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled

1. In a saucepan set over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and bacon. Saute for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. As the bacon begins to caramelize, add in the tomatoes and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Feel free to cook the bacon to a doneness of your liking.  I'm not a huge fan of wimpy bacon and tend to go extra crispy.

3. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and butter, working the mixture with a fork until it is crumbly.


5. Add in the caramelized bacon and tomatoes and stir well to mix.

6. Add in the sourdough starter and Gorgonzola, mixing until a cohesive dough forms. See "cheesy sourdough rolls" for more on sourdough starter. 

7. Shape evenly into 12 balls, placing each on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.

8. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Original recipe found here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


This recipe calls for three sticks of butter and five eggs. Of course it tastes amazing. :) 

Yield: 1 large loaf
4,500 calories per loaf
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: Overnight proof required, about 18 hours
Looking for a no-knead brioche? Check out my other blog post.

the sponge
1/2 cup high gluten flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2  cup whole milk, lukewarm

the dough
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups (13.75 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks  unsalted butter, at room temperature

the day before:
1. In your stand mixer bowl, combine “the sponge” ingredients and stir until a shaggy dough forms.

2. Use your hands to knead the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to ferment for 30 minutes.

3. Add the eggs to your stand mixer bowl which already contains the sponge and beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the sponge mixture and mix with paddle attachment on speed 2 until all the ingredients are hydrated and evenly distributed, about 2 minutes.

5. After the mixture is hydrated, let the dough rest for 5 minutes. 

6. With the paddle attached, work in 1/4 of the butter, mixing on a speed of 4.  Repeat with the remaining butter 1/4 at a time, only after the butter is fully incorporated. This takes about 8 minutes and you may need to scrape down the bowl between butter incorporations.


7. After all the butter has been incorporated, mix the dough on a speed of 4 for about 5 minutes.

8. Using your hands, knead the dough a few turns, shape into a ball, place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in the fridge to proof overnight. The dough will be very smooth, almost like Gak!

the day of:
9. Turn the dough out onto your counter top and shape it into a loaf/brioches a tete/buns.  The mold/pan should be left half full to allow for expansion.

10. Place the dough in a parchment lined loaf pan/baking sheet/well-oiled molds, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to double in bulk/fills the mold. This can take anywhere from 2-5 hours.  My loaf to about 4½ hours to double in bulk.

11. Brush the loaf with egg wash, sprinkle on sesame seeds, and set aside for 15 minutes.  

12. While the loaf is set aside, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

13. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

14. Bake until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 40 minutes. Given the high fat content of this bread, it will brown very quickly. You’ll want to look for other signs of doneness and may have to tent it to prevent over-browning. I tented my loaf when I turned the oven down to 350 degrees.

Original recipes found here and here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

swedish rye

Swedish rye bread is rye bread with molasses and fennel as core ingredients. I'm not a huge fan of molasses, so changed it up with agave nectar.

Yield: 2 loaves
1,420 calories per loaf
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 4 hours

the sponge
1 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast
3/4 cup rye flour
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

the dough
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups high gluten flour
1 cup water

1. In a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup, combine the lukewarm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.

 2. In your stand mixer bowl, with the whisk attached, combine the remaining sponge ingredients. Pour in the yeast mixture and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.


3. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until bubbly, about 1 hour.

4. In you stand mixer bowl, combine the sponge, oil, and, herbs, bread flour. “Stir”, with the paddle, until a shaggy dough forms.

5. Change out the paddle to the dough hook, increase the stand mixer speed to 2 and slowly add the water, 1/4 cup at a time until a cohesive dough forms.

6. Knead, on a speed of 2, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

7. Turn the dough out onto your counter top, knead by hand a few turns, shape into a ball, and place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl to double to in size, about 2 hours.

8. Turn the dough out onto your counter top, divide into two equal pieces, and shape into loaves.

 9. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

10. About 30 minutes into the final proof, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

11. Brush the loaves with an egg wash, score, and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Original recipe found here.