Friday, September 16, 2011

Onion-Rye Dinner Rolls

I'd been saving the recipe for onion-rye dinner rolls from the package of Hodgson Mill rye flour for a long time. I ran into it the other day, and decided it would be great for soup.  Yesterday was a rainy day, so I whipped up a batch.  Easy to do in my mixer (which I didn't own before I joined this baking group!).

Some substitutions were made, as I wanted it to be vegan:
Water used instead of milk
Margarine instead of butter

Here's a picture of the dough, right after it's mixed.

And after it rose (ok, I was out of the house awhile, and it rose longer)

Here's how the rolls look after I shaped them. They are formed by shaping the dough into a long log and cutting pieces off.  I added the step of rolling them a bit.

The rolls, cooling.  Egg wash was brushed on them before baking. They were baked on convection setting, so both sheets could be done at the same time.

These rolls were wonderful with soup last night!

Finally, I just can't end this post without sharing pix of one of the cute dogs at our local farmer's market.  They really brighten my day!  My computer's down so I hope to post more later:

This yorkie, Jazzie, will steal your heart!  She loves riding around in the basket of her owner's motorized scooter.  A vendor made her a collar with some bling!

Thanks for stopping by.  I look forward to your comments and seeing what you have been baking.

Very Rustic Rye Bread

One of my customers is of German descent and loves crusty rye bread.  Recently, he requested a 100% rye bread from rye starter.  He showed me the book, "Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition" by Paul Pitchford.  The chapter on breads describes the many benefits of rye.  The contributing author, Jacques de Langre, states that rye has the capability of reducing and totally eliminating vessel and plaque calcification in the blood vessels.

Well, the recipe didn't look too difficult.  Just 2 stages of starter--starter and then leaven.  But that's where it's deceptively simple and tricky!  The recipe can go wrong at not rise at any step.

The first stage is mixing freshly ground rye flour with water and letting it sit for 3 days in a warm place.  I was able to get freshly milled rye flour from a vendor at our Farmers Market.

The starter was placed in the microwave or oven.  The flour never did mix completely, and that made me a bit nervous.  Therefore, I stirred it every now and then.  On the third day, I did notice some bubbles.  There was a slightly sour smell, which was good.

That starter is then mixed with more flour and water before leaving it out overnight.  The next morning, there was a loose batter with bubbles.  The batter is then mixed with more flour, water, and sea salt and left to sit for a few hours.  I was hoping that it would thicken up, even though I added more flour:

The intructions say to put the dough into four 6" x 3" pans.  There was much too much batter for that, so I made more loaves and tried a larger size.  The pans were to rise in a moist environment, so they were placed in my warming oven on moist setting.

After a few hours, the loaves were baked.  They did rise, and actually stuck to the plastic wrap I put on top.  That's why there's a crust on the side.  Next time, I'll leave the plastic wrap off or spray the plastic wrap better.

I don't know how the breads were yet, the instructions said to wait a few days before eating them.  The wait helps the flavor develop.  I am hopeful, though....

Have you tried making a bread like this?


Monday, September 12, 2011

Apples & Honey Whole Grain Challah

Our HBin5 assignment was to make 1/2 batch (2 pounds of dough) of the Apples and Honey Whole Grain Challah. 

Carefully, I wrote out the ounces of a full batch everything on one side of the ingredients in the recipe, and ounces for half batch on the other side. 

I began making the dough, using white whole wheat flour instead of regular whole wheat.  I even made sure to use 1 1/2 eggs (an egg and a white)!  All was going well until I added the water.  After I added 3 cups of water, I realized my goof--enough water for a full batch was used.  Not the first time this has happened, so I started adding enough of everything else to make a full batch. 

I'm glad I had enough apples in the house.  You can see the chunks of apple in the dough.

Still, it was kind of hard to mix by hand, so I put it all into my mixer.   It looked kinda thin in the mixer, and I kept adding flour...  I don't know if the dough is any different when making the dough properly, but there's no way this dough could be braided.  It's not quite a dough, thicker than a batter.

I put it all in my square dough bucket (that's the one I use for assignments and experimenting) and went out for about 1 1/2 hours.  When I got back, this is what I saw:

 It was like seeing something from one of the old "Blob" science fiction movies. 

Quickly, I cleaned up it; part went into another dough bucket.  Both buckets went into the refrigerator. 

It was comical--the dough still kept growing over the square dough bucket.  More dough was transferred:

Even after tossing the dough that got onto the counter, there was still a lot of dough left. 

 The next morning, the dough firmed up a bit.  However, it wasn't firm enough to braid.  I stuck with my original idea to use a loaf pan.

I used 1 1/2 pounds of dough in my 8 1/2" loaf pan, letting it rise 1 1/2 hours.  Then an egg wash was applied.  I used raw sugar on top instead of sesame seeds.  The loaf seemed to need more sugar.
That gave the loaf a nice golden color.

I ended up having enough dough to make four 1 1/2 pound loaves.  I was supposed to make only 2 pounds of dough, if I hadn't made the water mistake.  It's ok.  This was like a good, soft sandwich loaf with apple chunks.  We only had a small piece after a few days. 

I baked one loaf at a friend's house yesterday.  This morning, she called and said it was really good.  She said it's a nice sandwich bread, but you get a surprise of apples when you bite into it.

Would be great with peanut butter, I bet.  Oh, that sounds like a good idea!

I hope your loaves came out nice.  Even though this one wasn't braided, it came out tasty.  Plus, I have 2 loaves in the freezer for gifts.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Brown Rice and Prune Bread

Many thanks to Guff of Old Pops Blog and Elwood at Flour Today Bread Tomorrow who gave me the courage to try this recipe.  Prunes? Dried Plums???  In a bread?

I took a tip from Guff, and floured the prunes before chopping them in my mini chopper.  Still, some of the prunes became a paste.
The dough, after being mixed, looked like this:

After rising in the pan
 Pumpkin seeds were added to one loaf.  They were leftover from a previous recipe....

And the taste?  I thought the bread started off when I first bit into it.  Just before I began to swallow, I detected a bitter aftertaste.

My husband enjoys this bread, especially with cheese.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, September 2, 2011

All Purpose Flour Test--King Arthur and General Mills Unbleached

As many of you know, I love King Arthur Flours.  I guess I just resonate with this brand, my dough recipes respond to it.

However, if I could use a less expensive unbleached flour, it could save me money.  Is there really a difference between King Arthur flour and less expensive Gold Medal unbleached flour?  I decided to put them to the test.  I made two batches of the AB5 challah dough:

I think the texture and color of the dough was slightly different after rising.  The King Arthur dough definitely rose higher in my warm sunroom!

Here's a closeup for the doughs, after rising.

The champ is King Arthur!!! 

I found some comments and other flour tests online.  Here is a comment from one test:
“Also I had tried GM AP a few years back. A friend brought it to me when I was teaching her my technique for cinnamon rolls. I almost curled up my nose. LOL. I went ahead and tried it again though, thinking well, it might be better. Wrong. KA is my favorite and what I tell my breadclasses to use.
One photograph is worth a thousand words. Well, here is a composite of 2 images. The baguette on the left was made with King Arthur flour. The baguette on the right was made with Gold Medal flour. My preference is for the baguette on the left made with King Arthur flour. It had a better chew to it. What's a baguette if it doesn't have some chew? I also liked the slightly better flavor - as opposed to very little flavor with the Gold Medal baguette. Then there is the gas bubble formation. Again I liked the larger holes in the KA baguette. Toast? Glad you asked. Again, the KA baguette was the winner.
Both baguettes were made with the same amount of dough."

I posted the last picture on the King Arthur flour Facebook page.  They were very appreciative, and said it's a "great go-to photo."

By the way, I tried both General Mills' "Better for Bread" and Unbleached Flour.  I actually preferred the Unbleached Flour to their "Better for Bread" flour.

The King triumphs over the General!!  :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!