Friday, November 16, 2018

Bread Baking Babes Boil and Bake Bagels

I kind of went crazy on this challenge and made four different flavors!  Pumpernickel, Oatmeal Orange, Cinnamon Raisin, and Spiced Pumpkin.  Originally I was only going to do one loaf, because I thought a bagel loaf sounded interesting, but after seeing the optional flavor changes and realizing I could cut down the recipe to one egg for each flavor...  Well, I went there.  Turned out seven bagels per flavor, which was perfect.  We got to test one and send the rest to work where they were very happily gobbled up.  It was helpful to be able to share, which is why I chose the traditional bagel shape rather than the loaf.  (My youngest actually claimed all the oatmeal bagels, they didn't make it to work.  And since that first batch was in an oven I deemed too hot, I'm thrilled she loved them so much!) And since we have not been having potatoes on hand recently, I fiddled around with that aspect too.  

Why do we use potato water?  For the starch.  It adds chewiness and moisture and enhances keeping quality.  A good all around dough conditioner.  I have potato starch...  So what did I do?  I looked up starch in russet potatoes and tried to figure out how much might go into the potato water during cooking.  Depends on how long you cook of course, but I decided to try 15g and it was quite viscous.  Much more so than regular potato water, but I went with it.  I just simmered the starch and water slurry just until the starch went translucent and thickened.  Worked beautifully.  The freshly baked bagels were light and soft but still chewy like a bagel should be.  They firmed up upon cooling to proper bagel-ness, but not too hard!  They actually remind me of a bialy since they are softer than the traditional stiff bagel dough.

I also fiddled with the boiling times because I remembered the last time we made bagels.  That was definitely for that recipe and not this one.  I think these bagels get the majority of their rise during the boil, though mine never sank at all and I did 90 seconds on each side to even it out.  I also tried doing the traditional shape where you roll the dough into a snake and seal the ends together.  That worked well for the other recipe but not this one, with the longer time in the water.  So I went for the "poke a hole in the middle and stretch it out" method.  Definitely worked better!

We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! Try a new flavor of bagel or even a bagel loaf!  (I still think that sounds cool.)  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished bagels or loaf to Bake My Day! at bakemyday {at} gmail {dot} com by Dec. 1st and be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Egg Bagels
From Beth Hensperger's Bread Bible
(Makes about 30 bagels or 3 9x5" loaves)

1 or 2 large russet potato (~¾lb/340g ¾) (reserve the potato water for this recipe and save the spuds for something else!)
2½ cups (500g) water
2 tbsp (24g) active dry yeast (yes, you can get away with less)
1½ tbsp (18.75g) sugar, plus more for the boiling water as needed (While bagels benefit from a touch of sweet, you can of course use less)
1½ tbsp (27g) salt, plus more for the boiling water as needed (I only used 24g and it was plenty!)
7-7½ cups (875-938g) unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour (I needed more all purpose flour, probably closer to 950-980g equivalent)
¼ cup (56g) oil
4 large eggs (200g)

Egg Glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water

Sesame/poppy seeds for garnish, optional

Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks, boil in 2½ cups water until tender. Drain but reserve 2 cups of the potato water! Let cool until lukewarm. Use potato for other purposes.

In a large bowl using a whisk or the work bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine yeast, 1½ tbs sugar, 1½ tbs salt and 2 cups of the flour.  Add potato water and oil.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the flour and the eggs and beat again for 2 minutes.  Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time until a soft dough forms that just clears the side of the bowl.  Switch to a wooden spoon when necessary if mixing by hand.  (Because I was doing quarter recipes, I just combined everything except the oil, mixed until shaggy, then mixed in the oil and kneaded for 5 minutes with the dough hook.)

If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and springy, about 5 minutes.  Only dust with enough flour to prevent sticking.  For machine kneading, switch out the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy. 

Place dough in a large container, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk 1-1½ hours.

To form bagels: gently deflate the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into quarters.  Then each quarter into 6-8 equal portions.  (I weighed each ¼ batch of dough and divided into 7 bagels.)  Shape each portion into a smooth round.  Flatten with your palm and poke a floured finger through the middle of the ball.  Stretch the hole with your finger to make it about 1 inch in diameter.  Spin the dough around your finger.  (Like a bagel hula hoop!)  The hole will shrink slightly when you stop.   Repeat with all bagels.

They will need no further rise at this point.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).  (This ended up being too hot for my first batch and I got better results at 375°F (190°C).  Line two baking sheets with parchment. Meanwhile bring a large pot (3-4 Qt) of water to a boil.  Add 2tbs of salt or sugar to the boiling water depending on the flavor you want the crust to have.  (I used sugar and a tsp of malted barley syrup.)  Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle low boil.

With a slotted spatula, lower 3-4 bagels at a time into the gently boiling water.  They will drop to the bottom and then rise to the surface.  (Mine didn't sink, there's a lot of happy yeast in these!)  As they come to the surface, turn each bagel and boil it 3 minutes on the other side.  This goes very quickly, if you are making the entire batch of bagels, use a second pot of boiling water.  (One benefit of a quarter batch, only needed one pot!)

Remove the bagels from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place each 1" apart on the prepared baking sheets.  When all the bagels have been boiled, brush with the glaze and sprinkle with seeds if desired.  Place bagels in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until deep golden.  Transfer immediately to a cooling rack.

To form and bake a bagel loaf: Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal portions. Form into rectangular loaves and place into three greased 9x5" loaf pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until just level with the tops of the pans, (these loaves will rise a lot in the oven) about 40 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

Brush the tops with egg glaze and using kitchen shears, carefully snip the top of the dough about ½” deep at 2” intervals down the center of the loaf. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until crusty, golden brown and the top sounds hollow when tapped with your finger, 40-45 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing. 

Look at Karen's beautiful bagel loaf!

Karen's Bagel Loaf

Flavor options:

# Make these whole wheat by subbing 3 cups for an equal portion of the unbleached flour

# Orange Oatmeal:  Substitute 1½ cup oatmeal for an equal portion of the unbleached flour, add 1 tbsp grated orange zest and 2 tbsp honey (these needed more flour for me!)

# Cinnamon Raisin:  Increase the sugar to ¼ cup.  Add 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground mace or nutmeg and ½ tsp ground cardamom with the flour in the initial mixing.  Add 1½ cups golden or dark raisins during mixing.  This dough may be formed into a loaf and topped with sesame seeds.

# Pumpernickel Bagels:  Substitute 2 cups medium or dark rye flour for an equal portion of the unbleached flour.  (I used light rye that I had on hand).  Add ¼ cup molasses, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa and 1 tbsp powdered instant coffee.  (I used espresso powder, in half the amount.)  Glaze the tops and sprinkle with caraway seeds.

# Onion bagels:  Saute 1 finely chopped onion in 4 tbsp butter until softened.  Halfway through baking glaze the bagel tops and spread 2 tsp of onion mixture over each bagel.  Finish baking.

(My own flavor addition was spiced pumpkin with pepitas used on top after glazing.)   Substitute 1 cup of pumpkin puree for 1 cup of the water, increase sugar to 1/4-1/3 cup, and add 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp allspice, and 1 tsp cloves during the initial mixing.  Top with pepitas after glazing.  (Optional.)

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

 Approximate nutrition per bagel for original recipe yielding 30 bagels:

Monday, October 29, 2018

"Coffee" Chip Muffins, Sugar free and low carb

If you have been missing baked goods while on a low carb or keto kick, give these muffins a try! They are so tender and tasty, I have had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner on occasion. They are tender and delicious and freeze and reheat supremely well.  Even the kids love them.  They like the chocolate chip topped muffins, but I prefer the nut streusel.  And since I am mostly making them for me, that was the entirety of the last batch I made. 

Xanthan gum in entirely optional, but I recommend cooling completely and reheating if not using any.  The muffins will hold together much better that way.  A teaspoon of flaxseed meal is another substitute for xanthan gum, but I have not tried it yet.  
  • Keep your flax seeds whole and either chilled or frozen, and grind them on demand for best flavor and to avoid rancidity.  Ground flax should smell delightfully nutty and pleasant.  If not, it is no longer good and should be replaced.
These muffins are very filling and satisfy for hours.  Feel free to use instant coffee or a smaller amount of espresso powder instead of the Pero.

Coffee Chip Muffins
makes 12

200g (2 cups) almond flour (fine grind)
14g (2 tbsp) coconut flour
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup monkfruit erythritol sweetener or swerve
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Pero (or instant coffee or other coffee substitute)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp xanthan gum (optional)
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup avocado oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
½ cup + 2 tbsp sugar free chocolate chips, divided (such as Lily's stevia sweetened chips)
¼ cup chopped pecans + 1 tbsp granulated sweetener (1/3 cup if you want all the muffins to have the streusel)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Whisk together the flours, salt, sweetener, baking powder, Pero, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Add the melted butter, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk and stir until well combined.  Gently stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips.  Scoop the batter into greased or lined muffin tins.  I prefer to lightly grease my paper liners when baking with low carb recipes.  Sprinkle half the muffins with the remaining 2 tbsp chocolate chips, and half with the pecan/sugar mixture.  Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!  (Approximately 6.5 - 7g erythritol per muffin.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The BBB Steam up some Bao

Our challenge bread for this month is a classic, light and fluffy dim sum bread known as a Bao bun, or Gua Bao.  To be quite honest, straight out of the steamer basket, they smell like Wonder bread!  But so much better.  They are typically filled with some sort of barbecued pork and picked vegetable mixture.  I think they would be absolutely wonderful that way and do check out the other posts to see versions like that.  I muddied the waters and crossed borders by using a Moroccan Tagine inspired filling.  And it was delicious too!  These buns are seriously soft, light, fluffy, and a pleasure to snack on.  I did make a few changes because, having had steamed buns before, I know I prefer them less sweet.  So I went with just a slightly different recipe.  Not too different, just less sugar, a pinch of salt, and the addition of some rice vinegar, which I find very appropriate for a Char Sui filling.

We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished buns to Karen's Kitchen Stories by the 29th of this month. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Just a tip, if you happen to order a steamer just for a recipe like this, give it a run through before you use it the first time to actually steam something.  The bamboo will have a strong aroma the first time!  So before using for the first time: Wash all pieces with hot soapy water, rinse well and then soak in hot water for 30 minutes. After soaking, steam all baskets and lid for about 30 minutes (while empty).

Steamed Bao Buns
(original recipe) makes 9-10 buns

2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (70 grams) sugar
4 grams instant or active dry yeast
½ cup (120 grams) water, about 100 degrees
1 teaspoon neutral oil

The altered recipe I used: 
also makes 9-10 buns

260g all purpose flour
1 tbsp fine sugar
½ tsp instant yeast
¼ tsp salt
25 ml milk (1 tbsp + 2 tsp)
110 ml water
½ tbsp sun-coco oil
½ tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp baking powder

Mix together 260g plain flour, yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl.

Add 25ml milk, ½ tbsp sunflower oil, ½ tbsp rice vinegar and 100ml water to the flour. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead for 10-15 mins or until smooth.  (You may, of course, use a mixer.)  Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover to rise for 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Cut out 10 parchment squares to line the steamer basket.  Lettuce leaves may also be used to prevent sticking.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured work surface and punch it down.  Flatten dough with your hands, sprinkle over the ½ tsp baking powder and knead in for 5 mins to combine.

Divide the dough into 9 or 10 pieces of about 50 grams each.

Roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 2-3 mins.

Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into an oval shape about 3-4mm thick.  Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and place on a parchment square.

Transfer buns to a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 30-45 mins, or until puffy and increased in size.

Bring a pan or wok of water to a steady boil (just slightly more than simmering) and fit your pan or wok with a steamer, bamboo basket, or steaming rack just above the water. Place the buns in the steamer, cover, and steam for 12 minutes. (you may need to do this in batches).  Four was okay for mine, five was too crowded, three would have been ideal.  The top level seemed to steam better than the bottom due to less crowding.  TIP: turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes in the steamer before uncovering to prevent wrinkly buns!

Cool slightly, then fill with your desired filling and enjoy!

You can freeze leftover buns. They may either be thawed and re-steamed for 3 minutes, or wrap one in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.  Delicious!

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition per plain bun for a yield of nine buns:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

BBB Bakes Filipino Spanish Bread Rolls

Our host kitchen this month chose a popular breakfast and afternoon snack bread in the Philippines, Spanish bread rolls.  They make use of breadcrumbs, both in the filling and topping with the option of using either melted butter and a filling sprinkle, or creaming the butter and filling ingredients together depending on which recipe you find.  I happily used up some remaining slices of sprouted sourdough bread I found in the freezer to make my crumbs and they were delicious!  It makes 16 rolls, which you can roll up in the traditional oblong jelly-roll fashion, or a more contemporary crescent roll style.  My crescents were so happy that most of them unrolled during baking!  There were a few that kept some of their curls.

The rolls freeze beautifully, but you can make a half batch if you want.  We have been reheating them for school morning breakfasts and only have a couple left.  It's a very rich dough, like a brioche, and so they are very satisfying.  Evidently, cinnamon is not a traditional addition, the normal filling being just sugar and butter and breadcrumbs.  But we absolutely love cinnamon, so we did add just a touch to the filling.  We threw around the idea of savory versions of these, with a pesto or tapenade, or sundried tomato and feta type filling as well!

We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to My Diverse Kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Filipino Spanish Bread Rolls
Makes 16 rolls

For the Dough :
2 tsp instant yeast
3½ cups all-purpose flour (I used 100g each fresh ground sprouted white wheat and sprouted spelt and the rest all purpose flour 230g) (Sifted off 10g of bran)
1/3 cup sugar (I used ¼ cup, half sugar, half erythritol)
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk, scalded, cooled to lukewarm
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (I would probably use less next time)
2 eggs

For the Filling :
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (I used ¼ cup, softened + 2 tbsp avocado oil)
½ cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup sugar (brown sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)

For Coating :
A little milk
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup sugar

Method :

You can knead the dough by hand or machine.  Whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.  Add the milk, melted butter, eggs and yeast mixture and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. You may add a little more of flour or milk if you need it to achieve desired consistency of dough.  You know your dough has been kneaded enough when you can make a windowpane out of your dough.  (I gave mine a few folds while proofing as well.)

Cover loosely and let the dough rest for about 2 to 3 hours until it has doubled in volume.  Press down the dough gently and divide into two equal parts.

There are two ways of shaping Filipino Spanish Bread.  One is to roll out each portion into a round and spread with filling.  Then cut each circle into 8 triangles like a pizza and roll up croissant style.  The other is a more traditional way.  Divide each half of the dough into eight equal parts. Roll each piece into roughly a 3- by 5-inch rectangle.  Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and sugar (or cinnamon sugar if you prefer).  (Or use the creamed butter filling option.)  Roll the piece as you would a jelly roll, except starting from one corner and rolling towards the opposite corner.

If you don't want to roll out the pieces individually, roll each half the dough into a largish rectangle about 10” x 12”.  Brush the surface generously and completely with melted butter.  Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs and the cinnamon-sugar mixture over this evenly.   Now cut the dough into half lengthwise and into quarters width-wise to yield 8 rectangles about 5" x 3.

Which ever way you shape your rolls, place the pieces seam side down on a lined or greased baking sheet and pinch the seams so they don't unroll.  Let the shaped rolls rise for 30 minutes.

Brush them with a little milk and sprinkle with more breadcrumbs and sugar. You can also roll the shaped dough in the breadcrumbs and sugar if you like.  (I used plain fresh bread crumbs from an old loaf, no sugar, no milk, they stuck beautifully.  Might add a little sugar as listed next time since the expectation is for that crunchy topping to be sweet according to hubby.  But the kids loved them! ☺) 

Bake until golden brown at 190ºC (375ºF) for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

 The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition for one roll according to original recipe:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Breakfast with the BBB - Blueberry Yeast Coffeecake

Join us this month in using the summer bounty of berries in this delicious yeast risen coffee cake chosen by our host kitchen at Judy's Gross Eats.  We are fortunate to be in an area where "U-pick" berry fields are easy to come by, but this rich and delightful coffeecake is easily made with a homemade blueberry jam using frozen blueberries any time of year.  The original recipe is made with a brioche, but I am on a challah dough loving kick right now, and happy enough that it is lovely tasting and not quite so rich as brioche!  I had used the same bucket method for challah recently as is described for the brioche in the original recipe and post and knew it would work beautifully.  If it will make awesome sticky buns, it will make brilliant coffeecake!

Since this recipe makes enough dough for 3-4 batches, consider trying out something else, like cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, or sweet rolls of some sort.  You can cut down to a quarter batch with the challah dough easily for just a single coffeecake since the eggs split up nicely that way.  Feel free to use the original brioche from our host kitchen's post, or the challah listed here.  They are both the same method and super easy, since you basically throw it in a bucket, barely mix up, and leave it overnight to be ready in the morning!  I think I over-baked mine by 5 minutes because I wasn't sure it was done due to the center rise differential, and it was still delicious!  My daughter's friend happily gobbled up two pieces.  Hubby and youngest loved it as well.

We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Yeasted Blueberry Coffee Cake

Challah Dough:
makes enough for 3-4 cakes
Lukewarm water:  1¾ cups/14 oz./400 grams
Granulated yeast:  1 tbsp/.35 oz./10 grams
Kosher salt:  1-1½ tbsp/.6-.9 oz./17-25 grams
Large eggs, lightly beaten:  4/8 oz./225 grams
Honey:  ½ cup/6 oz./170 grams
Butter, melted:  ½ cup (1 stick)/4 oz./115 grams
All-purpose flour:  7 cups/2 lb., 3 oz./990 grams

Mix the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded container/dough bucket.

Mix in the flour until fully incorporated, but without kneading.  Use a Danish dough whisk, a large wooden spoon, or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle).  The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled; don’t try to work with it before chilling.

Cover loosely and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate.

The dough may be used as soon as it is well chilled and easy to handle, at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days.

This recipe may be halved if you don't want to end up with extra.  If you halve it, try to use at least a 3-quart container to prevent the dough rising above the top.  Even a half recipe will provide enough dough for two separate bakes.

Blueberry Skillet Jam
one cake worth

5 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
1 cup sugar (I only used ½ cup)
Juice of ½ lemon (juice of a whole lime plus a tbsp lemon juice)

Cook the berries, sugar and juice until the blueberries have broken down a bit and the fruit juices are thick enough that you can run the spoon across the bottom of the pan and it doesn’t immediately fill in.  It should be the consistency of honey.

You are welcome to experiment with other fruits.

This can be made ahead.

Streusel Topping
one cake worth

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and work it into the sugar mixture with your fingers.

This can be made ahead.


Take 12 ounces of the brioche (challah) dough, or 16 ounces if you are using a 9” springform pan. (You can also use Whole Wheat brioche dough.) (I did use the 9" springform.)

Divide the dough into 3 pieces, shape each piece into a ball and then roll out into disks that will fit comfortably into the springform or cake pan.  It’s okay if the edges go up slightly on the sides.  Let the dough rest for a few minutes if it does not want to roll out easily.

Lay one of the disks into the pan.

Cover with 1/3 of the jam, spreading it out, but not quite to the edges.

Repeat with the remaining two disks of dough and jam.

Cover the pan and allow to rest for 1-1½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

While the coffee cake is resting and rising, set out or prepare the streusel topping.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Add the streusel to the pan just before baking, otherwise it will get soggy from the jam.  Scatter it over the top, still in pieces.  Don’t press it down, just leave in nice chunks.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan.

Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting to allow the bread layers to set or cool longer and serve room temperature.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition for a wedge of a coffeecake cut into 12 pieces :

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Small Batch Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Epic brownies.  Unfiltered chocolate goodness.  Those are the comments from teenager and hubby.  Youngest child simply grinned and said "Yum!" through the crumbs.

They are quick to throw together and bake, and delicious while still warm.  In other words, dangerous goodies!  Fortunately it only makes nine or ten large cookies, so it really is an ideal indulgence!  Portion control built in.  Unless you eat the whole recipe yourself, for which I cannot be held responsible but would understand.  I have been culling my cookbooks and magazines and this was a recipe that was surprisingly unavailable online that I could find.  So I am sharing it here for my benefit and yours.  I was able to make it with just a wooden spoon, so only one dirty bowl and no mixer beaters to clean and that is a bonus for some!  Normally I make cookies smaller, but for best texture I do recommend the large size scoops here.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
from Miriam Miller
makes 10 large cookies

8 oz. semisweet chocolate, divided (It called for squares, but I used mini chips.)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Melt 4 oz. of the chocolate in the microwave and cool to room temperature.  Chop the rest if necessary and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a small mixing bowl.  Beat in the egg and vanilla, mixture may look somewhat curdled.  Beat in the melted chocolate until the mixture is evenly creamy.

Combine the flour and baking powder and add to the chocolate mixture.  Stir in pecans and chopped chocolate or chips.

Drop by ¼ cupfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutess or until firm and tops are cracked.  Let cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Breakfast with the BBB - Singing Hinnies

These tasty little griddle cakes had me singing for the wrong reason at first.  That reason being that I accidentally dumped my flour and butter all over the flour as I was getting the milk out.  There was no saving any of it.  But stubbornness prevails and the second batch came together nicely and was griddled and consumed with delight.  They are quite rich, these fatty cuties (as they are known in Scotland), also known as griddle cakes or scones, and bannocks and are particularly well known in Northumberland in northern England.  Typically made with flour, butter, lard, salt, baking powder, milk, and dried currants, we were given the option of whichever dried fruit we preferred so long as they were scone-like and griddled.

I used (for the second batch) freshly ground einkorn, kamut, and oats, mixed with all purpose flour and went with dried cranberries for my add-in.  I do like currants, but didn't have any on hand.  These would be great with any sweet dried fruit since they are so rich and otherwise unsweetened.  Traditionally served with melted butter on top, like a crumpet, they were also delicious with jam added to that.  Since it is such a crumbly cake, more so than a scone for mine, I did not take the risk of splitting them and having them fall apart.  Easier to eat just topped anyway!  And I'm told you can freeze the cakes before griddling so that they are ready to go just a few at a time when you need them!  (Defrost before cooking, freeze up to 3 months.)

Devouring them while still nice and warm.

The host kitchen at Feeding My Enthusiasms chose this recipe to avoid turning on the oven this month, for which I am eternally grateful.  We don't have sweltering heat often enough for air conditioning to be found in most houses, so when it does get toasty, it gets miserable.  It was lovely to get a bread made that could just be quickly done on a stove top or griddle.  These are an easy and unique little breakfast bread, rich, tasty, and beautifully filling.  We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Singing Hinnies 
makes 8

225grams (8ozs) plain flour (I used 100g all purpose, 50g sprouted einkorn, 50g sprouted kamut, and 25g sprouted oats, all freshly ground for the sprouted)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
100g (4oz.) butter
50g (2oz.) currants (snipped dried cranberries)
Milk to mix to a dough (about 6-9 tbsp) (I used 6 tbsp)

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.  Rub in the fat (or cut in with pastry blender or two knives) (I used the mixer paddle) and stir in the currants or raisins. Add enough milk to make a firm dough.  (I let mine chill and rest for a bit to try to get more loft out of my whole grain mixture.)  Roll out onto a floured tray or board and cut with scone or biscuit cutter into rounds of chosen size, usually about 3 inches wide.

Heat a heavy pan (griddle or cast iron skillet work well) and lightly grease. Place scones onto griddle on a very low heat so that the scones can cook very slowly.  (I found 5 minutes per side to be a common number depending on a slightly higher heat.  I cooked longer.)  Turn once and cook on other side. To check that they are cooked remove one of the cakes and tap it gently – it should sound hollow.  The top and bottom should be browned but not burnt.  Let cool slightly and serve warm with melted butter on top.  Excellent with jam as well!

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition per singing hinny for a batch of 8 cakes:


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