Friday, September 26, 2008

Week One: Baguettes

I'm excited. I decided that I loved baking so much that I would get an education in it. 

This week has been my first week. It's been a tentative week; waking up early does that to you, but a really fulfilling week at the same time. 

I have finally been given permission to love food. Seriously love it. To smell, to dip fingers in the sour tasting levain and taste it, to know w
hat the hell a poolish is. 

I'm slow to start, to volunteer to do things, but I'm loving it. Today (and yesterday) we made these gorgeous (not perfect) but wonderful baguettes. Crunchy, crusty, caramel coloured tasty baguettes. I'm so happy it's amazing. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Simply Cinnamon Rolls

These are a simple and plain cinnamon roll. More about the bread then being super sweet. They are particularly nice when still warm, as this is the case I recommend letting them rise overnight and baking them in morning. 

Ingredients: Dough
2 packets active dry yeast
1 cup milk heated to around 105F
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
5.5 cups all purpose flour, plus extra fro working the dough
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground mace
grated zest 1 orange (I used the zest of a lemon because I had it hanging around. I think citrus is the way to go - whether it's orange, lemon or something else)
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp. 

Ingredients: Filling
6 Tbs. sugar 
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients: Glaze
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 Tbs. water

1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast into the warm milk, and let sit for 5 min. 
2. Ad the sugar, eggs, 5 cups of flour, salt, mace. butter and zest and mix with your hands until a rough mass forms. 
3. Scrape out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured work surface. 
4. Knead the dough working in the last 1/2 cup of flour. 
5. Knead for 5-7 min until the dough is soft, but not sticky. 
6. Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1.5 - 2 hours. 
7. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it in half. 
8. Roll out one half of the dough into a 10x16 inch rectangle. 
9. Brush one side of the rectangle with half the butter. 
10. To make the filling, combine the sugar and cinnamon. 
11. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mix on top of the butter. 
12. Starting at the long side furthest from you roll the rectangle towards you to make a log. 
13. Cut the log into 2 inch slices. 
14. Place the slices onto baking trays lined with parchment paper. 
15. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. 
16. Cover the rolls loosely with a kitchen towel, and let rise for 30-40 min. (This is where you could bake these in the morning. Simply place them in the fridge after they have been cut, and covered with a kitchen cloth. In the morning take them out, and let them come to room temp. and continue with step 17). 
17. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400F. 
18. Bake until golden brown depending on your oven this will take between 15-25 min. To test, stick a toothpick in the middle of a bun and see if it comes out sticky. If it does keep it in a smidge longer. 
19. Just before baking time is up, make the glaze. Simply push the apricot jam through a sieve and add the 1 Tbs. of water and combine. 
20. When they are out of the oven, brush on the glaze with a pastry brush. 

Taken in part from Williams and Sonoma "Essentials of Baking" pp 68-9. 

Blueberry Tart

This is a very similar tart to the strawberry tart. Fresh blueberries and a rich pastry cream - in this case infused with cherry liquor instead of vanilla. 

Ingredients: Tart Base
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Ingredients: Custard
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch (sifted)
3 Tbs. Cherry Liquor (to taste)
3.5 Tbs unsalted butter at room temp and cut into bits

Ingredients: Topping
2 pints fresh blueberries

Method: Tart Base
1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter, and process until large moist crumbs form.

3. Transfer the dough to a round tart pan (9inch in diameter).

4. With floured fingers press the dough into the pan.

5. Freeze until firm (around 30min).

6. Take out the freezer, and prick all over with a fork.

7. Bake until golden (20-25min).

8. Let cool to room temp.

Method: Custard
1. Bring the milk to boil in a small saucepan.

2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan whisk the egg yolks together, as well as the sugar and cornstarch until it is well blended and slightly thick.

3. Still whisking stir in around 1/4 of a cup of boiling milk (do this slowly - always adding a small bit whilst you whisk).

4. Keep whisking and pour in the rest of the boiling milk.

5. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil while constantly whisking.

6. Keep boiling for around 1 min, then remove from the heat.

7. Whisk in the cherry liquor

8. Let sit for 5 min.

9. Add the butter and whisk in until it is well Incorporated (the cream should be smooth and slightly shiny).

Method: Topping
1. Wash, and dry blueberries.

Method: Assembly
1. Once the tart base has cooled, add the pastry cream. Smooth the top with a mini pastry scraper or a rubber spatula.

2. Place the strawberries on top in a manner that pleases.

From Dorie Greenspan "Baking From My Home to Yours" p. 377.

Cheese Cake with Raspberry Coulis

Sorry it's taken me so damn long to post - I have been baking really! 

A tasty smooth rich cake with a bit of 
a kick from the coulis this was a delectable cake!

Ingredients: Crust
1 ans 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbs Sugar
Pinch of Salt 
1/2 stick melted unsalted butter

Ingredients: Cheesecake
Four 8 oz boxes cream cheese, at room temp.
1 and 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs at room temp.
1 and 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream. 

Ingredients: Coulis
1 pint fresh raspberries (or frozen just make sure they are partially thawed)
3 Tbs. sugar (or more to taste)

Method: Crust
1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Make sure the sides of the pan are 2.75 inches high. 
2. Wrap the bottom of the pan in alumininum foil. 
3. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt toether in a medium bowl. 
4. Pour over the melted butter and stir until evrything is uniformly moist. 
5. Scrape the ingredients into the tin. Pat an even layer of crumbs on the bottom of the pan and about half way up the sides. 
6. Put the pan in the freezer. 
7. Preheat the oven to 325F. 

Method: Cheesecake
1. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 4 min. 
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
4. With the mixer running on medium, add the sugar and salt. Mix for another 4 min until the cream cheese is light. 
5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 
6. Beat in the vanilla. 
7. Scrape the sides and bottom. 
8. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full min. before adding the next egg. 
9. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and ad
d the cream (sour of heavy whipping cream). 
10. Place the foil wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan. 
11. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the batter bowl. 
12. Pour the batter into the springform. 
13. Place th roasting pan in the oven, and pour enough boiling water into it so that the boiling water comes half way up the sides of the springform. 
14.  Bake for 1 hour 30 min.
15. Turn the oven off, and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. 
16. Pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform out and remove the foil. 
17. Let the cheesecake come to room temp. 
18. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 
19. When ready to serve remove the sides of the springform, and cut the cake. 

Method: Raspberry Coulis
1. Place the berries and sugar in a blender and whir until pureed. Add more sugar if needed. 
2. Strain the coulis through a sieve and serve on top of cheesecake. 

Taken from Dorie Greenspan "Baking: From My Home to Yours" pp. 467 and 235-7.