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jonty

I had one of the nicer Saturdays in a while this past weekend (thanks to a trip to Trader Joe's and the local Farmers' Market), and I followed it up by baking the pain au lait I prepared on Friday night into cream cheese snails and pain aux raisins.

Couple of things:

I have to make sure I work faster next time. I kept on re-rolling the dough for the pain aux raisins because I wasn't happy with my rectangle, and the dough started to get warm and stick like crazy. In the end, the dough was uneven, and some parts were thinner than others, resulting in major tearing. Some of the rolls were more like blobs of dough, raisins, and cinnamon.

I should make less cream cheese filling next time. After measuring out the amount specified in the recipe, I realized I had only a spoonful more of cream cheese left in the package so I threw it in. The snails ended up covered in, rather than filled with, cream cheese. Still tasty, though.

When I finished, I realized I had around 2 dozen pastries (after eating some, of course) that I would never be able to eat before they went bad. So, I ended up bringing them to my rehearsal tonight. All but one cream cheese snail were taken.

Agenda for next week: try the cranberry-chocolate sweet buns. Well, raspberry-chocolate sweet buns (no frozen cranberries at TJ's).

EDIT:  Oh, I forgot! I finally got my own instant yeast (I had been using my roommate's active dry). Amazing stuff.

jonty's picture
jonty

Hi to all at this great website

My name is Jonty, and I am a college student too enamored with baking to waste time on my first ever blog on some other topic (ie: indie music, saving the world, angsty stuff).

To introduce myself to anyone who will read this (even if it is only ever me), I got into bread baking (I've been doing other types of baking with chemical leaveners for a while) from watching/reading a great anime/manga called Yakitate! Japan (of which I've found a couple of mentions on this site). I was inspired and eventually decided to give yeasted breads a try.

The first bread I ever tried was actually Erithid's Microwave Bread recipe that was inspired from Yakitate, and it turned out nicely (I'm still planning on trying to give it some filling in the future).

Then, I made the leap and made the Lesson 2 Bread, skipping Lesson 1 because I wanted a sandwich bread (of course, I ended up just eating the bread and not making any sandwiches. Such is life).

After, I made an even bigger jump and decided to try Bagels, using some freshly-bought KA Bread Flour. I made only a half-batch because of my tiny little cookie sheet. I ended up with three pretty good cinnamon-brown sugar bagels (though I think they could have used a bit more of each flavor addition) and three okay garlic-sesame bagels (I now know that bagels should probably be topped with already roasted garlic and not raw after having consumed a couple of fairly sour bagels). This will definitely be in my future again.

Presently, I have taken an even bigger leap to Floyd's ciabatta; it is now sitting on my kitchen counter on its final rise. I realize now that I may have had a little too much confidence as my dough ended up a bit lumpy (I think my autolyse was too dry). Also, I let my poolish sit for quite a while (something like 10-12 hours) because I got bored yesterday afternoon and decided to just make it. I'm not sure if letting a poolish ferment for that long is good or bad, but my dough kind of smells uncomfortably sour. We shall see, I suppose.

Future plans? I definitely want to give Pain Aux Raisins and Cream Cheese Snails a try, as well as Cranberry-Chocolate Sweet Buns, and Steamed Buns. Maybe I'll even try a challah or (gasp) my own sourdough starter? Well, sourdough is perhaps a bit far away from my reach, but I plan on being a diligent student for a while.

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