The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Floydm's blog

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Floydm

Two baking experiments yesterday. One was a big success, the other a total failure.

The first experiment was tweaking the banana bread recipe. I made two small changes (added a 1/2 a cup of whole wheat flour and a cup of vanilla yogurt) and it was *sooo* good. I want to try it one more time to verify my measurements and then I'll post a recipe and pics.

The other experiment was to make the baked potato bread and leave the dough extremely slack. I didn't even stretch it to build up surface tension or anything. It probably would have been fine if I'd baked it in a loaf pan, but on the baking stone it just splayed out not unlike a biscuit.

I didn't really do this experiment on purpose, I just had a very busy day. I wanted to bake something but didn't have the energy to do it right. I figured I was taking a chance but it was worth a shot. I can live with one out of two being successful!

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Floydm

I made croissants in honor of Bastille Day today. They actually turned out OK, better than I expected.

I'll try to post the recipe in the next day or two. Too tired tonight.

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Floydm

I was preparing my my French bread article yesterday and I wondered whether it was un-American to bake French bread on 4th of July. Maybe I need to call it Freedom Bread, like the Freedom Fries they serve in the congressional cafeteria.

:-D (I'm joking, I assure you).

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Floydm

I'm pooped. Busy weekend, but I did manage to do a fair amount of baking: a couple of french bread loaves with "stuff" in them (one seeded, the other with blue cheese and walnuts) as well as chocolate chip raspberry muffins. I'll try to post both recipes this week.

Tonight I tried making Zurek, a Polish soup that uses a rye sourdough starter as its base. It can be a wonderful soup, but I didn't quite get it right. It was edible, just not very good. I will try it again though.


Next time I think I need to let the starter age another couple of days: I gave it 4 days, but I don't think that was enough. I ended up adding some additional vinegar and lemon juice to give it a little more bite.

I also need to use better kelbasa. the Hillshire Farms sausage that was on sale at the grocery store was truly awful. Frankly, the store brand kelbasa is pretty decent, but it may be worth visiting one of the local Russian markets to find something more authentic. Well, semi-authentic: I don't mind keeping the higher food safety standards that we have even though it may not be the "authentic" Eastern Europe experience.

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Floydm

I made strombolini again the other evening. The turned out pretty good. It is nice to have two weeks worth of lunches in the freezer like that.

Today I baked a couple of things that both turned out well. One was a rustic French bread (20% whole wheat), the other a blueberry cream cheese sweet braided bread. Pictures and recipes to follow.

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Floydm

I had a fairly long pretzel lesson written up and then I made a mistake and my browser ate it. Arg.

For the time being, here are a couple of pretzel pics:

I'll write the recipe up again in the next few days.

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Floydm

My dad was here last week. He is a buttermilk junkie.

We ended up with an extra half gallon in the fridge, so I've been baking the Buttermilk Bread from Beth Hensberger's book (the second recipe on that page, not the first) the past couple of nights. It really is an excellent "daily bread" kind of recipe, something that is wonderful warm from the oven or toasted with jam.

We're going to be heading up to Seattle Sunday for a class on website usability that I'll be taking, so probably not too much baking this weekend.

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Floydm

Yesterday I made Vienna Rolls and an Onion Braid:

Many more pics of the Onion Braid over in the forums, as well as the recipe.

I think the high point of the weekend, food-wise, was the fresh strawberry pie. The local strawberries don't ship as well as California strawberries, so you don't see them outside of Oregon, but they are *so* good. Particularly when they are picked ripe, as these were.

The pie was a simple one I had never tried from the Joy of Cooking. Basically you just filled a baked pie shell with 4 cups of fresh berries and poured over it a glaze. The glaze is made of 2 cups pureed berries, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup corn starch, 1/4 cup water, and 1 cup sugar (I used a bit less). Bring all that to a boil in a small saucepan, pour over the fresh berries, and... YUM! Serve it with a little bit of whipped cream on top.

And, I confess: I used a frozen pie crust from the grocery store instead of making it from scratch. I can knead dough for 12 minutes, no problem, but I hate making pie crust. It bores me to tears.

Oh yeah: I tried a new banana bread recipe today. It was good, a nice change from my standard banana bread recipe, but not worth the additional work in my mind. I'll try to post that recipe in the next day or two.

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Floydm

The family was in town,which meant I had two things: free babysitting and more mouths to feed. That meant it was time for a baking bonanza!

I made:

Corn Bread


Orange Oatmeal Bread


Nubby Peanut Bread


Italian Bread


Struan Bread

And cookies. And enchiladas. And a bunch of other food.

I'll add links to all of these recipes as I get them written up.

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Floydm

A little bit of everything: oatmeal raisin cookies, banana bread, and pain sur poolish.

I tried baking some of the poolish bread in a ciabatta sized loaf instead of a baguette. We'll try it tonight.

I can't decide whether I am just really bad at shaping and scoring or whether my dough is too wet to score. I keep trying to score it but ending up w/ the blade stuck in the goo. So my loaves aren't pretty, but they've been tasting great.

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