The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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alliezk

Baking hiatus until my situation is more solid at my new home - glorious Princeton University.


 


I hope to be back soon!


Til then - Happy Baking!


 


 

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alliezk

 Zucchini


This morning after my spinning class I stopped by the local farmers market. While I was there I picked up some beautiful dark green zucchinis and immediately thought of the wonderful spicy taste of fresh zucchini bread. This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember - a family friend shared it with my mother ages ago. Hope you enjoy!


Zucchini Quick Bread
This Recipe will make two good sized loaves. I have often doubled the recipe to make four and find that the bread freezes well.


Preheat oven to 350.


Ingrediants:
3 Eggs
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Cups (loosely packed, coarsely grated) Zucchini *
2 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon All-spice
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

Optional - 1 Cup Chopped Nuts
* Do not peel! The color of the bread will vary depending on the color of the zucchini. The darker the zucchini, the darker the color of the bread. Personally, I prefer a darker loaf.


1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.
2. Add the sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat the mixture until think and lemon colored.
3. Stir in the fresh zucchini.


 Green Mess


4. Sift together and add the flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Generally, I tend to ignore the spice measurements and just dump them straight in. I love a strong spice flavor. When I make this bread, the dry ingredient mixture tends to be a light brown and very fragrant.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients in two portions. Fold in the chopped nuts if desired.
6. Pour mixture into 2 oiled and floured loaf pans and bake for about one hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes.
7. Invert the pans onto a cooling rack and allow the loaves to gradually fall as they cool completely.


Finished =]

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alliezk

Ten Teachers, Ten loaves, Ten days.


I am going to give all of the teachers who have impacted me each a handmade loaf of bread. I need to find recipes for visually appealing, distinct loaves so that I can express my appreciation, and of course so that I have an excuse to try new recipes!


If any one has any suggestions, Id love to try them. I also plan on using some of the recipes on this site and in the BBA. And of course, as my graduation present was a new camera, I'll share all of my experiments.


Happy Baking.


EDIT - Also, what type of kitchen scale would people recommend getting. There is such a wide range that i'm not sure which is the right one.


 

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alliezk

With a trip to disney and AP testing going on, there has been unfortunately no time in my life to bake, or at least to share my baking adventures. But some good things have come from this brief break:

1. I decided on a college! (I will be a freshman at Princeton University next fall) My tentative plan is to major in chemistry or chemical engineering and then do graduate study in Food Science (my cop out rather than going to culinary school)


2. I experimented with pizza. I tried the recipe from the latest issue of Martha Stewart and was very pleased with the results, ignoring my own mistakes of way over-proofing. I made a Shrip, pesto and asiago pizza that my friends devoured, and an eggplant and goat cheese that I loved. As an aside, an interesting fact I came across: New Jersey produced 1/3 of the worlds eggplants. Our south jersey garden state reputation is perhaps well deserved.


3. I started my scone experiments. My friend challeged me to make perfect blueberry scones, which are her favorite baked good. This morning I made a Mother's day brunch with Dried Cranberry, Walnut and Chocolate Chip scones (no blueberries in the house), popovers (Which are a family favorite with lemon juice and honey), rosemary scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and a berry salad.


4. I also started my, as of yet, fruitless job search. I have been working as a lifeguard for the past few years, but would really like to work as a waitress this year. Obviously my dream would be to work as a baker or a cook, but there are not an abundance of those jobs for nonexperienced 19 year olds. Hopefully if I can get work as a waitress in a local restaurant, the general experience of restaurant life will be a good one.


Post graduation I will have much more time to experiment, and I am really looking forward to that. Also, considering that now my phone camera and actual camera are broken, I may give up and invest in a new one for next year.


Happy Baking!

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alliezk

Yesterday morning I started off my spring break with mini egg custart tarlets, mimicing the ones I love from Dim Sum, unfortunately no pictures! They were gone very quickly.


Yesterday I also started my sourdough challah. I used a rye firm starter that has been growing for about 3 weeks, switched from a liquid started to a firm starter early last week. I also planned on baking the entire bread yesterday, but was so exhausted that after the first 2 hour raise, I left it unshaped in the fridge overnight, until nearly noon, when I had the first opportunity to play with it again. I took it out and let it sit for about 30 minutes, braided it (somewhat successfully), and let it sit braided for about 2.5 hours. During this time it only rose slightly. I was nervous when I put it in the oven, figuring that I had messed with the recipe too much and that the sourdough challah would be my downfall, but it popped up wonderfully and turned out rather nicely. I was happy with it as a first try, although my braiding skills need some work.



Afterward making the bread, I made dinner for the family. Balsamic carrots and celery, couscous, a small arugala salad with apples and chick peas and a honey champagne vinagrette, and herb crusted salmon.


Im on a roll.

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alliezk

Summary of This Months Breads - The Obsession Begins.
Composed in terrible quality cell phone pictures (I am currently without a camera!)


I found this website about a month ago, while home sick and craving whole wheat pitas. I loved the blog style recipes - I always want more pictures - and I was greatly encouraged by my success with the pitas. I have been baking my whole life, but I have never had much success with yeast. I just never seemed to be able to get the timing down correctly, and things kept coming out flat. Once I found this site, I became immediatly obsessed with the challenge of sourdough and the beautiful loafs that were strewn everywhere. (As an aside, I cook and bake compulsively, as stress relief, and the college application process is certainly a stressful time!) Almost every weekend this month, I have tried a new recipe from the site and have had increadibly satisfying results. I have learned so much about bread, and hopefully my luck will continue to hold out. In general I have trouble sticking straight to recipes, and I do alot of improvising when I bake and take copious notes about the results. Just goes to show how chemistry is the perfect major choice for me.


The breads:
My first sourdough! I used a whole wheat starter with SourdoLady's blog as a guide, although I used grapefruit juice innitially rather than pineapple. My sisters said they could almost taste the grapefruit in the bread - it had a strong sourdough taste. Even more than what I was expecting. The bread is made with Deluxe Sourdough Bread Recipe, also from SourdoLady.



 


A buttermilk cluster - A new favorite!
I used a little less four than called for, and added a bit of whole wheat and maybe a tablespoon extra of buttermilk.





Soft Pretzels
This was my first time boiling soft pretzels before baking them. Im not sure if it needs this step. The dough for this recipe (the one posted by Stephmo) was lovely to handle before baking in comparison to the soft pretzels recipe I have been using. Hopefully I will have a chance to make that recipe this week and perhaps share the recipe if all goes well.



Rustic Loaf
For this recipe I made two larger loaves, and left one loosely dusted with flour. The other I added carraway seed before the final shaped rise and used an egg yolk wash with more carraway seeds on top. My Mom loves this bread warm with applesauce and butter on the top. Notice the giant pulled off piece destroying my picture of the crumb! I was really happy with the results. I want to work on shaping and scoring. I loved the texture of the rye flour and want to bring out more grainy texture in the bread, but im not sure how this will effect the rise.





I am playing with a firm rye started and hope to make sourdough challah over my spring break this week. I am also on the look out for easter dinner and dessert recipes, as once again, I am responsible for the family holiday meal (a blessing and a curse to love to cook and bake!).


Happy Weekend Baking to All.

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alliezk

I am brand new here. Just baked my first sourdough last weekend, and then a rye rustic loaf this past weekend. Before that I made pretzels and pitas. Loads of bread for my sisters and I. I go through phases with my baking, and right now making beautiful (healthy) breads is my goal. I am currently suffering from lack of a kitchen scale and even worse, a terribly unsharp knife. When I figure out how to post picture I will get them up. Hopefully in time for my challah attempt this weekend.


Thanks to all for creating this wonderful community.

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