monavano

Baking

539 posts in this topic

Thanks Don for letting me start this topic.
I've never seen myself as a baker, but in the past oh, two years or so, I have been baking everything from biscotti to bread. I know that I've learned so much from the DR community with regards to cooking, so this forum is sure to provide insight for me and others.
This weekend, I make Almost No Knead Bread from Cook's Illustrated (subscription needed, but you can find the recipe via Google). Friday evening, I spent a whole 5 minutes making the dough. It sat covered on the counter overnight. Saturday morning, before I headed out to the markets, I kneaded it 10-15 times and allowed it to rise a second time. When I got back home, I blasted my oven to 500 degrees, along with my Lodge dutch oven.
The bread was lifted into the dutch oven via parchment paper, and then covered. Once in the oven (now at 425 degrees), it baked for 30 minutes with the lid on, and then another 20 minutes with the lid off, until the inside reached 210 degrees.
The bread is pretty amazing, considering how little you do to it. A bit of beer gives it nice flavor, and the crust is the best part, I think.
So there you go, I'm a bread baker! Who knew?

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Beautiful pictures, as always monavano! Thank you for starting a wonderful thread.

This morning, I baked banana bread right before work. Since I don't have a mixer right now, everything was made in the blender, which was interesting. Thankfully, the end product still tasted pretty good.

Any way you can give lessons?? I have trouble with dough rises....

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That bread looks gorgeous, Monavano. I was making no-knead bread a lot for a while but haven't made it in some time. It always tastes great but never looks as good as that.

In the past several days, I've baked banana walnut bread, raisin bran muffins, and (as I type) onion hamburger rolls.

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Beautiful pictures, as always monavano! Thank you for starting a wonderful thread.

This morning, I baked banana bread right before work. Since I don't have a mixer right now, everything was made in the blender, which was interesting. Thankfully, the end product still tasted pretty good.

Any way you can give lessons?? I have trouble with dough rises....

I was a little nervous about the dough on Sat. morning. It rose, but looked craggy and dry. Once I picked it up to knead it, I felt much better. It was soft, moist and pliable. The second rise was pretty small.

I also used about 1/3 bleached AP flour, since I didn't have enough unbleached AP flour, as the recipe calls for.

Next time, I'll use all unbleached flour and perhaps a stronger lager for flavor. I used a bit of Heineken, as I had a can of it in the fridge for quite some time now.

Funny that you and Pat mention banana bread. I've been wanting to make banana bread, and banana bread pudding with a butter rum sauce since enjoying a delicious dessert at Tallulah last week.

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Wow. I'm a novice baker and can't compete with that beautiful bread. but here goes, today I made a chocolate chocolate chip coconut bundt cake. the cake came out fine but the glaze was a bit runny. Next time will have to add less water. This is my 5th bundt cake. I use every occasion as an excuse to make a bundt cake ever since purchasing the bundt cake pan. My new years resolutions are to become a bundt cake queen and to lose weight. Two very conflicting NY resolutions!!!

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My wife and I made Angel Food Cake for the first time this past weekend. Served it up with some black raspberries that we still had in the freezer from picking at Larriland last summer. Delicious!

Great thread, and wonderful bread pictures!

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Plain shortbread

Burrebrede (spiced shortbread)

Ginger Crunch (ginger shortbread with syrupy ginger topping)

Caramel Crumb Bars (with a shortbread base)

Cherry pie, a tart shell, and pie crust cookies all in the freezer to be baked at a later date

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I've been availing myself of bread therapy at every available opportunity, including between conference calls. Most recently, I've made potato-chive bread, a black olive focaccia, and basic white bread (using Nigella Lawson's recipe). I'm hoping to make cupcakes this weekend (buttermilk cake with orange icing), and probably another loaf or two of bread.

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I've been availing myself of bread therapy at every available opportunity, including between conference calls. Most recently, I've made potato-chive bread, a black olive focaccia, and basic white bread (using Nigella Lawson's recipe). I'm hoping to make cupcakes this weekend (buttermilk cake with orange icing), and probably another loaf or two of bread.

If you need an impartial taste taster I'm available :angry: (Especially the cupcakes heh heh)

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On Sunday, I made the absolute best blueberry muffins ever. As in, "I have never felt this way about a muffin before" good. The recipe came from America's Test Kitchen, and basically they advocated 1) making a blueberry jam to swirl into the batter at the end, so you get tons of blueberry flavor without weighing the muffin down; and 2) a VERY precise number of strokes when mixing/folding, so as not to overmix the batter and cause the end product to be dense and gummy. Their suggestions were pretty anal retentive, but they worked--seriously, these muffins were out of this world.

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Cranberry nut bread from the recipe on the back of the old Ocean Spray cranberry bag, with frozen cranberries and butter subbed in for shortening. The recipe card is so old, that I typed it on my Dad's manual typewriter. :angry: Based on my handwritten notes, I was probably ten or so. At any rate, this bread is fabulous and has soft texture with a crispy crust.

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I finally got around to making the buttermilk cupcakes with orange buttercream icing. The cupcake recipe came from Nigella Lawson's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess," and is a keeper. It's nice and moist, and not too sweet. I am less thrilled with the orange buttercream, which is a basic beaten butter/sugar icing with orange juice and grated orange zest. I was hoping something more orangey, and the flavor of this icing was quite subtle.

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Well, it's what I baked earlier today...a very tasty version of banana bread. I had thumbed through a recent acquisition, America'sTest Kitchen's Light and Healthy Cookbook, and while a recipe caught my eye I hadn't made a decision to make it until I spied a bag of overripe bananas on a trip last weekend to Super H Mart. I was pleased with the result, and would definitely make it again. The recipe calls for only a small amount oil, 2 oz of fat-free cream cheese, and pre-roasting of the bananas to carmelize the sugars (and therefore reduce the amount of added sugar needed.) At first bite I thought it wasn't as sweet a bread as I have been used to, but when I put it in the toaster oven to warm up the sweetness was brought out. This was the first recipe I tried from this cookbook and it was a success.

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Tried to bake beer bread in my breadmaker last night. It tasted good, and the inside was a better texture than any loaf I've tried thus far, but the exterior was COVERED in raw flour. Any idea what I could have done wrong? I don't think I used too much flour, but I supposed it's always possible that I got distracted and my measurements were off.

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Tried to bake beer bread in my breadmaker last night. It tasted good, and the inside was a better texture than any loaf I've tried thus far, but the exterior was COVERED in raw flour. Any idea what I could have done wrong? I don't think I used too much flour, but I supposed it's always possible that I got distracted and my measurements were off.

The only thing I can think of is somehow the flour got itself encapsulated in the liquid (kind of the way you end up getting lumps in gravy made with flour), that the breadmaker's kneading action wasn't strong enough to work them out, and that they ended up (maybe by centrifugal force?) on the outside of the loaf. Of course, I have know idea how THAT scenario may have happened. If you didn't pre-mix the flour and liquid before pouring it into the bread machine, you might try that next time. . .

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And last night I made the Cook's Illustrated ciabatta recipe, with a couple of embellishments. It's a great dough, 1/3 biga that ferments for 24 hours, which gives it a really good depth of flavor. Then it gets very little manipulation (rise for an hour, give it a few turns and rise for half an hour (twice), after which you shape it into loaves and let it rise one more time), so it gets fairly big holes. It requires little attention during the "baking" and has become my new go-to loaf.

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Just prepped my first ever batch of classic dinner rolls, didn't read the part about the butter and the eggs being at room temperature :angry: . I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Also I'm not sure a warm non-drafty place exists in my house today.

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^ I'm making bread today too, and the rises have taken longer than usual. Even though it's the wrong time of year, I cleaned out some magazines over the weekend and was smitten with the picture of honey-apple challah in an old Martha Stewart magazine. It's on its last rise before I put it in the oven for dinner. We may not eat anything else. :angry:

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And last night I made the Cook's Illustrated ciabatta recipe, with a couple of embellishments. It's a great dough, 1/3 biga that ferments for 24 hours, which gives it a really good depth of flavor. Then it gets very little manipulation (rise for an hour, give it a few turns and rise for half an hour (twice), after which you shape it into loaves and let it rise one more time), so it gets fairly big holes. It requires little attention during the "baking" and has become my new go-to loaf.

I'm wondering if I can use 1% milk instead of whole milk for this. I'd like to use up what I have vs. going out just for milk. Thoughts?

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I'm wondering if I can use 1% milk instead of whole milk for this. I'd like to use up what I have vs. going out just for milk. Thoughts?

It will be fine. The texture might be slightly different, but it will be a very slight difference. If you are worried, add in a pat of melted butter to up the fat content.

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It will be fine. The texture might be slightly different, but it will be a very slight difference. If you are worried, add in a pat of melted butter to up the fat content.

Thank you. I have some heavy cream on hand too, so perhaps I'll do 1/2 1% and 1/2 cream. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

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And last night I made the Cook's Illustrated ciabatta recipe, with a couple of embellishments. It's a great dough, 1/3 biga that ferments for 24 hours, which gives it a really good depth of flavor. Then it gets very little manipulation (rise for an hour, give it a few turns and rise for half an hour (twice), after which you shape it into loaves and let it rise one more time), so it gets fairly big holes. It requires little attention during the "baking" and has become my new go-to loaf.

Next question before I get started. Can I use Active Dry Yeast for this recipe? I used the Active Dry for the Almost No Knead Bread above. Thanks!

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