The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
wojo723's picture

I just took my paska out of the oven to cool and snapped these pictures.  It's a traditional polish bread for Christmas Eve.  It's also enormous.  We have enough for dinner and use the leftovers for french toast on Christmas morning.


breadinquito's picture

Hi to everyone of the family TFL, anyone involved in bakery or kitchen should know about mise en place (even though is not french speaking) I found somewhere a translation I really liked: "get organized"...for the newbies is having everything measured, chopped, etc in order start a recipe.

Based on the experience of yesterday, I recommend everyone mise en place: I started the 3 days long recipe of the panettone (only sourdough) and already had the first dough

ready to be mixed with candied fruits, more water etc....I made was supposed to be adding 80 ml of water BUT no...I put 240 ml! hopefully none saw my face in the moment I realized the mistake!! anyway, no way to step back, so I decided to add 160 more gr of flour just to compensate, the result almost 6 pounds of dough that will enable me to make 4-5 panettoni (panettone singular, panettoni plural, according to italian grammar...)

And now ladies and gentlemen, the pics:

The first dough ready to be mixed with vanilla, candied fruits etc:

the dough mixed with fruits, nuts etc:

just before baking:

out of the oven:

 the crumb:


and finally, the most important: a genuine Marry Christmas and Happy New Year!!



PD: sorry if the quality of the pics is "so so", they were taken with a 2mp cell phone camera and the photographer (me) is better making breads....a pitty you can't smell and taste it!!!

dstroy's picture

We have added Irish Shortbread cookies to our collection of holiday treats, the other favorite around here being the Magic Squares - although this recipe we've also called "Zoo Cookies", because they used to have these amazing cookies at the zoo, always expertly decorated to look like various zoo animals, which I admit to having gone sometimes with the cookie being the prime attraction. Then they seem to have quit selling them there, so I had to find out what sort of cookies they were to satisfy the occasional craving. Having found out what they're made of, I now know why they tasted so good, so we have to limit how often they get made. ;) I realized we've been making these regularly now and I've never posted the recipe, so I'm correcting that now.

Irish Shortbread

2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour.

Bring butter to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Cream the butter until it is the consistency of whipped cream.
Beat in the sugar. Add salt. Add flour in 4 portions (one cup at a time) mixing well after each addition.
Turn out onto a floured board and pat or roll to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. (Dough was crumbly so required squashing to make it feel clay-like)
Cut into shape desired with a cookie cutter.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Wait till cookies are mostly cooled to ice.

Royal Icing

3 Tablespoons Meringue Powder (I can't find this stuff anywhere so I use some creme of tartar powder instead)
4 cups confectioners' sugar (about 1lb.)
6 Tablespoons warm water*
Add flavoring such as vanilla, almond, lemon, or whatever you like (I use vanilla)
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Recipe makes 3 cups.

NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

We like to put out small bowls of icing with some food gel coloring and some clean paint brushes and then the kids do our decorating for us.

Paddyscake's picture

Happy Holidays !!!

December 23, 2009 - 9:14pm -- Paddyscake

I have been so busy at work and with the Holidays, that I haven't had a chance to check in. All my baking moments have been spent on cranberry orange breads, our celebratory fruit cake (like no other and extraordinary), Ambrosia macaroons, peanut butter fudge, gingerbread popcorn, apricot almond shortbread and shortbread with milk chocolate caramel.

diverpro94's picture

Yeast Conversion Chart

December 23, 2009 - 5:06pm -- diverpro94

Every once and a while I see a yeast conversion question, so here is a conversion chart that I found on one of my instant yeast packages. I hope it helps!


Fresh Yeast      to     Instant Dry Yeast

1oz (28g)         =     1/3oz (9g)

4oz (113g)       =      1 & 1/3oz (38g)

8oz (227g)       =      2 & 2/3oz (76g)

1lb (454g)        =      5 & 1/3oz (151g)

3lb (1361g)      =      1 lb (454g)




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