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RonRay's picture
RonRay

Sourdough Crackers


Previous blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22542/noknead-multigrain-seed-and-nut-loaf


I know that most of us, that culture wild yeast, seldom actually "discard" the discards of our sourdough. Of course, it is not unusual to hear someone new to keeping a sourdough culture remarking that they hate to have to through out the discards. And again, of course, a dozen replies of "No! Make pancakes..." or "Oh, no! Make waffles... ". Well, from now on, I will be crying "No! Make sourdough crackers.. The older the discards, the better the crackers!"


Naturally, that does assume you like sour sourdough, but the crackers are great even with "un-sour" sourdough discards, Rye Sour, etc. or even non-discarded levain as the leavening ingredient.


I came across a year old post by Sarah Wood on using your discard for whole wheat crackers. The link is:
http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/08/sourdough-recipes-galore-whole-wheat-crackers/
It certainly looked simple enough, so I tried it. I am certainly glad I did, although, a batch never last very long and another few hundred calories have been ingested.


So, here is a step by step, complete with photos, Baker's percentages, some suggestions, and pointers on the ingredients and process. Even if you are not of an experimental curiosity by nature, I suspect you will have some ideas for variations you would like to try.



A small amount Sesame Oil, or Olive Oil to brush the top of the crackers and Kosher salt to sprinkle over the oiled surface will also be needed.


Substitutions of butter or lard can be made for the coconut oil, but I prefer the coconut oil, either the Extra Virgin, or the Expeller types.


Notice that I chose the ingredient amounts to exactly match the Baker's percentages. This batch size works very well for one sheet of crackers per Silpat baking sheet and a 100 grams of discards is an equally reasonable size. If you wish, make multiples of this amount and store in the fridge until you want more crackers.


I do want to mention some considerations to keep in mind when using coconut oil. Using the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is my first choice, Expeller Coconut Oil is my second and neither one requires special consideration in a warmer kitchen, but if the kitchen temperature, or the dough temperature, is below about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) then you should either use methods to maintain the temperature of all ingredients about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) during the mixing phase, or use softened butter. Coconut oil is liquid from about the 75ºF ( 23.9º C) and above. Adding it in a mix of cold, fresh out of the fridge, levain may very well cause lumpy, difficult dough conditions. Once the full mixing is complete, this is no longer of any potential problem.











Let your finished crackers cool before placing (if any are uneaten) in an airtight container to preserve their crispness.


============= 110328-1330


   Next Blog:http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22910/ingredient-list-and-calcultor-tfl-bakers


 


 



PATTYJ's picture
PATTYJ

I have tried making Soup Bowles but just can't get them to rise enough.  I have tried new yeast, new flour etc.,etc. etc.  What am I doing wrong???

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I routinely make baguettes with a straight dough at 70% hydration, and an overnight ferment at 55°F.  Curious, in yesterday's mix I reduced the hydration to 65%, all other ingredients (KA AP flour and sea salt) and processes were the same: DDT set to 55°F with ice water, and the dough chilled during autolyse, between S&Fs and overnight retarding for 15 hours. I was motivated to try a lower hydration based on a smattering of comments scattered in various TFL threads that argue open crumb isn't only about hydration. This dough, developed an extraordinary strength--I did the 3rd S&F only because I  always do three, it didn't need doing. The crumb is nearly as open as I experience in the 70% dough. However, the dough seemed to have less than the usual elasticity; note the broken surface between the scorings. I detected no apparent difference in flavor.



David G

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I promised my self to give Karin's Spelt Walnut Bread a Try, recipe here, and i finally did yesterday, and i was very satisfied.


i milled My German organic Spelt berries, so iam sure this added extra flavor. As butter milk is hard to come by in Dubai, i replaced Buttermilk in the soaker with yogurt. Next day, the dough come together nicely, was soft extensible and lively. Having learned from other TFL members that Spelt's Gluten is fragile, i mixed briefly, only up to the point where the surface of the dough is smooth and tight.


The Whole spelt also ferments 40% faster than regular whole wheat, so i had to keep an eagle's eye on it. It recieved 40 minutes bulk fermentation, and 35 minutes Final proofing.


It did not spring noticeably in the oven, but slashes opened up quite well. It was in the oven for 15 minutes with steam, and 35 minutes without at 350F.


When i cut into it this morning, it was very soft and aromatic. There was a sweet spicy aroma filling the house even afetr 12 hours of switching the oven off.


I tasted it.. and Boy was i impressed. This is one of thise breads that tastes, looks, and smells heavenly. I thank Karin so much for her recipe, and for her well balanced use of Spices..!


Now, Spelt will never sleep comfortably in my Fridge..






Khalid

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde


A drizzly weekend seemed like a good time to fill the house with the aroma of spices.   It started out with the need to replenish our supply of Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread, my Number One Bread Fan’s favorite.  Then, I wanted to bake something really special to take to our friends’ new house for a pre-dinner snack and cocktail.   I settled on making a second attempt at the Cheese-Curry-Onion Bread from The Cheese Board Collective’s cookbook.


Cinnamon


IMG_2222


Peter Reinhart’s Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread may be the bread I’ve baked more times than any other.  It’s a real treat every time.  I usually use a mix of walnuts and pecans, and use butter in place of shortening.  And this time I decided to try it with 25% whole wheat flour, since we’ve been enjoying the flavor of whole grains lately.  Besides, we have declared that whole wheat makes this a health food, so we can eat it even more often without sugar-guilt.


IMG_2223


A well-balanced breakfast.


IMG_2232


 


Curry


IMG_2230


At the beginning of my baking education, I started on sourdough.  The first straight dough bread I made was the Cheese-Onion-Curry Bread from Berkeley’s Cheese Board Collective.  As I reported back in September, it is a bread with very special memories of my gradual school days in the ‘70s.  So when my wife--as if reading my mind-- gave me The Cheese Board Collective Works as a birthday present, I immediately tried to bake a batch of taste memory.  We loved it, and now six months later, I can’t believe I haven’t baked it since.  It was time.


In the interim, I’ve read a lot of recipes here at TFL and elsewhere that use cheese, onions and bacon in various combinations.  They usually make me drool.  I decided to vary the Cheese Board’s recipe a bit.  I used a combination of yellow onions and scallions, and I added some fried bacon (in our house, we call it Vitamin B), since almost everything with cheese and onions is better with bacon.


This bread is a complete meal.   You start with a simple yeast bread dough with curry powder and pepper.  Then add onions/scallions, chopped bacon and a full pound of cubed cheese.  I used a combination of Sharp Cheddar, Jarslberg and Gruyere. 


IMG_2214


IMG_2215


The amount of chunky stuff in the dough makes it impossible to form a smooth-skinned boule, so the loaf flattens out some in baking, but holds together with some luck.  It's not a real pretty bread, but my, my, what flavor!


IMG_2231

The best part is the pockets of molten cheese interspersed with the strongly cheese and curry flavored moist and tender crumb.  I think the bacon flavor is barely noticeable, but my wife tells me it's there and it's good.  She suggests dialing back the curry a bit so the bacon flavor comes through more.  I may try that.


This is a recipe worth trying if you’re looking for a hearty meal in a loaf.  I highly recommend The Cheese Board Collective Works (http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=1580084192). It's got lots of recipes for breads and morning baked goods, too.


Here’s my variation on the recipe:


Cheese Scallion Bacon Curry Bread


(adapted from Cheese Onion Curry Bread in The Cheese Board Collective Works)


Ingredients


4 cups  Bread Flour  570g


1 ½ tsp Instant Yeast 5g


1 ½ tsp Black Pepper 3g


1 ½ Tbsp Curry Powder 4g


2 tsp Kosher Salt 12g


1 ¾ cups Lukewarm Water 400 g


6-8 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped


½ yellow onion plus  6 Scallions, chopped


1 pound Mixed Cheeses*, cut into ½ inch cubes 


Medium yellow cornmeal (for sprinkling)


1 Egg, beaten (for glaze)


-------------------


* Any firm flavorful cheeses will do.  I used a combination of sharp cheddar, Jarslberg and Gruyere.  If you don’t want molten pockets of cheese in the bread, you could grate the cheese.


 


Procedure


In a mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, pepper, curry powder and salt.  Add water and mix until ingredients well combined.


Transfer to lightly floured board and knead until smooth and silky (10-12 minutes)


In a small bowl, toss onions and scallions with 1/2 Tbsp of flour and mix.


Flatten the dough to a one-inch thick disk and add scallions and bacon to the center.  Gather the dough around the scallions and bacon and knead to incorporate (2-3 minutes).


Again flatten the dough and add cheese in center.  Gather up the dough around the cheese and knead to incorporate.


Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl large enough for dough to double.  Turn the dough to coat with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.  Let the dough rise until doubled (about 60-90 minutes at room temperature).


Sprinkle cornmeal on two baking pans.


When dough has doubled, place it on a lightly floured board and divide into three equal pieces.  Shape each as a loose boule, cover with a floured dish towel and let rest for 10 minutes. (Note: with the chunks of cheese, there’s no way to get a smooth taut sheath on the loaf.  Don’t sweat it).


Shape each ball into a boule and place on baking pans dusted with corn meal (I used parchment between the pan and the cornmeal).  Cover the loaves with a floured dish towel and let rise until increased in size about 50% (or use poke test).  This takes about 60-75 minutes at room temperature.


Pre-heat oven to 450F.


When loaves are proofed, brush with beaten egg and bake (Note: no need to slash and no need for steam).


After 10 minutes at 450F, lower temperature to 400F.  Rotate baking pans as necessary to achieve even browning.


Bake a total of 35 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.


Remove loaves to cooling rack.  Eat when not quite cool (45 minutes).

Enjoy!

Glenn

 

Submitting to Yeastspotting.

country yeast's picture
country yeast

Lanore Thorell’s Rye Bread

 

In the small school where I grew up, the head cook was a gifted individual. We had some of the best home style meals around. One of her treats to the kids of the school was her Rye Bread. Her bread grew such a following that many parents, administrators, and former students would continually request her recipe. She would never release it to anyone. Finally the School superintendant talked her into writing down the recipe as she used it at school, placing it in a bank vault only to be released at the event of her death.

After she retired, she finally released the coveted recepie in a local curch cook book. The only catch was it was for a 30 loaf batch. For those who had the ability to reduce the recipe, they are rewarded with a great trip down memory lane. There are alot of alumni out there that dosen't even know that the recipe had been released. I took on the task  and have recently shared it with a few on Face Book that didn't have access to the recipe.

I personally have never messed with rye bread, and since starting working with this, I have learned that it is a different beast, but rewarding just the same.

 

Original Recipe

 


1 Gallon Cold Water


12 C. Sugar


7-8 Tbsp. salt


16oz bottle of molasses – Gold top


4 c. Dry Milk


½ sack (5lb) Rye Flour


15lbs or more White Flour


1 jar or 16 envelopes yeast


2 C. lukewarm water


1 Gal.  water


1lb. butter


-makes 30-32 loaves, @350 for 1 hr.


 


Put 1 Gal. of water in mixer, & sugar &, molasses. Rinse out bottle with a little bit of water & add to dry milk. Gradually add rye flour, beating as you add. Put yeast plus 2c. lukewarm water in kettle and let stand. Put 1 gal of water in another kettle on stove and add butter. Bring to a boil and add dough mixture, mixing to make dough warm. Beat this and add yeast and water mixture to it. Gradually add white flour using dough hook to make dough ready to put into smaller batches on baking table. Knead with dough hook and then divide into loaves. Let rise – punch down and make into loaves.


Place into buttered pan and let rise until double.


*note* there might be a few steps missing due to the condensing I did a year ago, but you’ll get the general  idea.


 

2 Loaf and Bread Machine (1.5lb loaf)

 

2 Loaf

1 C cold water
¾ C Sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp.  molasses – gold top
¼ C Dry Milk
1Cup Rye Flour
1lb White Flour (4C. or more)
1 Envelope Yeast
 ¼ C. Water for yeast
1 C. water
2Tbsp. butter
-makes 2 Loaves


 


Bread Machine

1C + 1Tbsp. water
1/3 C + 1Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Molasses –Gold top
2 Tbsp. Dry Milk
½ C. Rye flour
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. Yeast     
1 Tbsp. butter


 


 


Take the water (warm) and add the dry milk to it. Then add in the yeast plus a little bit of the sugar. This will help the yeast “proof”.


Combine remaining dry ingredients (rye, white, salt) into a bowl and whisk to ensure ingredients are blended.


Melt butter in a small container and set it aside. Measure out molasses and add to the water yeast mixture and mix well. Pour this mixture along with the butter, in to your mixing bowl or bread (dough cycle) machine. With the machine on low gradually add dry ingredients letting the moisture distribute through.


This dough will not be like regular bread dough. It will look a bit more hydrated and it is VERY tacky. It might take a few loaves to figure out what it is supposed to look like.


After the bread has kneaded, *see note* scrape on to an oiled surface to make into loaves. Place dough into buttered bread pans. Let rise until doubled.


Bake @ 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.


After pulling loaves from oven, let them cool. Rye bread needs time for the bread to strengthen. Otherwise the top of the loaf or the loaf itself may fall apart.


*note* I skip the rise and punch down process. I’m a little impatient. This process redistributes the gases into the dough and helps with the texture. I haven’t found a problem with that.


I haven’t been successful with making this in a bread machine exclusively. The hydration of the bread is very important otherwise you’ll end up with a brick of hardtack if there isn’t enough water.


 


Have fun and be prepared for a flood of memories with your first bite.


Jeff Lindstrom

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Dark Buckwheat Rye

During my pregnancy with my son Per, I was very health conscious, studying all kinds of parenting books and magazines on how to provide my firstborn with an optimum of nutrition. As a result I ate buckwheat "porridge" for breakfast every day, for buckwheat is not only high in minerals, like iron and potassium, and full of antioxidants, it's also a good source of protein, and, not only that, it has more Vitamin B than wheat!

It took me a while to get used to its strong and distinctive taste, but after a while I found that I liked my buckwheat cereal, especially since I "softened" it with generous amounts of cream and honey. Seeing buckwheat flour in the supermarket, I remembered my positive experience, and thought that buckwheat might add an interesting flavor to bread. Leafing through my German bread baking books I found a recipe for buckwheat bread, and started experimenting with it.

I tried it with biga, than with sourdough, but the result was never really satisfying. Something was missing, the taste not balanced, "too healthy", or downright sour (with the starter), so I put the recipe away, to work on it another time.

But buckwheat grows right here in Maine, and when I tasted my first Ployes (French Acadian buckwheat pancakes) at the American Folk Festival in Bangor, I decided to revive my quest for a good buckwheat bread.

And this time, adding some spices and a little bit of honey, my buckwheat bread turned out as tasty as I had hoped. "Buckwheat Rye" can be made with white buckwheat flour (Ployes), whole buckwheat, or a combination of both, depending on your preference for a milder or more assertive buckwheat taste.

Light Buckwheat Rye - with 100% light buckwheat flour (ployes) - the other end of the spectrum.

2/3 Light Buckwheat Rye (2/3 light buckwheat + 1/3 dark buckwheat flour)

Medium Buckwheat Rye (half light/half dark buckwheat flour). Only the slashes show a different color from the 2/3 light buckwheat. BUCKWHEAT RYE - BUCHWEIZEN-ROGGENBROT

SOAKER
100 g whole rye flour
200 g buckwheat flour (either all light, or all dark flour, or a combination of white and whole buckwheat flours)
4 g salt
225 g water

FINAL DOUGH
175 g water (lukewarm)
6 g instant yeast
all soaker
295 g bread flour
4 g salt
16 g honey
1 tsp. coriander, ground
½ tsp. anise seeds, ground


DAY 1

In the morning, stir together soaker ingredients, until well hydrated. Cover, and let sit at room temperature.

In the evening, stir together water and instant yeast. Add to other ingredient for final dough, and mix (with paddle attachment) on lowest speed for 1 minute (or by hand). Let dough sit for 5 minutes.

With dough hook (or by hand), knead on medium-low speed, for 2 min. Dough should be very supple and sticky. Continue to mix for 4 min. more. Dough will still be sticky (feels like rye dough)

Transfer dough to floured work surface, and, with wet or oiled hands, stretch and fold dough. Let rest for 10 min, and repeat S & F 3 more times (total time 40 minutes). Gather dough into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.


DAY 2

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hrs. before using.

Preheat oven to 475 F/250 C, including steam pan. Divide dough in 2 equal pieces. Shape 2 boules, and proof in bannetons (seam side up) or on parchment lined baking sheet (seam side down), for ca. 45 - 60 minutes, or until grown to 1 1/2 times their original size. (I proofed it on the baking sheet and sprinkled it with flour, so that the cross slashing would really show).

Score breads crosswise. Bake at 400 F/200 C, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. After for 15 minutes, rotate loaves 180 degrees, remove steam pan and continue baking for another 15 minutes (internal temperature at least 200 F/93 C, and bread should sound hollow when thumped on bottom).

Let breads cool on wire rack.                                                                     Light Buckwheat Rye, made with all light buckwheat flour (Ployes) is much airier than the darker breads.2/3 Light Buckwheat Rye has still a rather open crumb.Medium Buckwheat Rye Crumb (1/2 dark and 1/2 white buckwheat flour) looks nearly as dark as Dark Buckwheat Rye.Dark Buckwheat Rye crumb.(Updated 8/4/11
RonRay's picture
RonRay

No-Knead Multigrain Seed and Nut Loaf


A previous blog:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20460/banana-saga-%E9%95%B7%E7%AF%87%E6%95%85%E4%BA%8B

Last December a posting by Jaydot caught my interest http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21186/huge-amount-seeds-and-sugar
Her sister in law had brought a recipe back from South Africa, which seem a bit strange.


Mini Oven suggested it might be South African Seed Bread, while PmcCool suggested it could be a variation on the Cape Seed Loaf.


After I spent some time seeing what Google had to offer on these subjects I concluded the two things they all had in common was a lot of seeds and no sourdough in sight. It seemed like a fun formula to play with, so I set out trying to come up with a reasonable sourdough version of a seed loaf.


By the end of February, I had a reasonably satisfactory loaf - on my fifth try. When I compared notes with Jaydot, I found that she had independently gotten a loaf that her sister in law found acceptable as well.


I picked up her use of caraway seed and maple syrup as something I wanted to try. So, I dropped the Chia seed and brown sugar I had used, and added her idea of maple syrup and caraway seed. Both proved their worth in the eating of my version number 6.


Number Six had nine (9) types of seed, two (2) types of nuts; six (6) types of flour plus maple syrup and toasted sesame seed oil. I was afraid to calculate the calorie count, but I am certain a person could gain weight on a diet of this bread and water, alone.



The loaf was 718 grams going into the oven and 665 grams at the time it came out of the oven. The instant internal temperature reading was 209ºF (98ºC).


The crumb was as nice, if not better, than the previous version 5 and both v-5 and v-6 were by far the best of the six loaves tested thus far. Texture wise, I feel the better crumb is due to the minimal kneading. The first 4 test loaves were all kneaded gently, but in a rather normal letter fold method common to most of my loaves. I felt that the extremely high nut and seed content did more damage to the gluten during kneading than could be offset by any benefits gained. So, in both v-5 and v-6, I basically switched to a no-knead method, and it seems to have made a major improvement in the openness of the crumb.



All six versions had excellent keeping properties, when kept at room temperature in a simple a bread box.


The sourdough was a 3 build levain using KAF AP flour, and was a baker's 94.2%.



The final rise for this loaf was 7 hours in a proof box at 82ºF( 27.8ºC). By that point it was pressing tightly against the FSFilm. I removed the FSFilm, scored top with 1 whole length center scoring. Bread pan place in a Turkey Pan. The bread pan was elevated from direct bottom contact by two SS knives.


The oven stones were removed from the cold oven. One cup of water was brought to a boil and the boiling water then poured into bottom of the turkey pan and the lid placed on at once, and the turkey pan and its contents were all placed in the cold oven on the lowest rack position. The oven was set to 450ºF (232º C).


With this fabricated "Dutch Oven" - formed from the turkey pan - resting at the lowest position, the constant heat of the electric oven's lower element, while raising the oven's internal heat to its highest setting, maintains the bottom of the "Dutch Oven" well above boiling temperature for 15 to 18 minutes. Steam visibly issues from the oven vent from about 3 minutes into the baking until about 18 minutes.


At 20 minutes, the Dutch Oven's lid was removed, oven heat set to 400ºF (204º C) for the balance of the baking, and the oven door held open by about 1/2" (12 mm) to vent any steam during the remaining 25 minutes of the baking. At the end of the total 45 minute baking, the oven was turned off and the loaf removed from both oven and bread pan. The loaf was placed on wire to cool for two hours. Then it was placed in a bread box at room temperature overnight, before being cut.


At this point, I have no ideas on what I may do different when I bake version 7. In fact, I might just repeat making this same formula, before trying any other possible improvements. Perhaps, that will change
but, for the moment, I am satisfied. ;-)


=====Update: March 18, 2011


Version 7 Seed Loaf has a few changes and , to my taste, is even better. A PDF with full details and photos can be seen at this link:


https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_MScoZfDZkwZDNlNzk3ZjktYmQ3NC00YWZjLWI1MTgtOTg1MmMxNTM1NGZk&hl=en


=====


 


 


110307 Next blog:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22562/sourdough-crackers


 


 

Syd's picture
Syd

This is a super soft, highly enriched, labour intensive, Asian-Style Pain de Mie. It involves the 湯種 (tang zhong or water roux) method and took 3 days from beginning to completion.  The original recipe and instructions can be found here.  The recipe makes 2kg of dough.  It filled one, 1kg pullman pan and two 500g pans.  I baked without the lids on because I prefer the rounded tops and I also like a bit of colour on my loaves.  They always look slightly anemic when they come out of those pullman pans. 



Day 1


Water Roux


milk 70g


butter 30g


sugar 3g


salt 1/8 tsp


bread flour 70g


Heat milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil.  Remove from heat.  Dump in flour and stir to a smooth paste.  (A bit like making choux pastry). Cover tightly, allow to cool to room temp and refrigerate for 16 hours.



16 hours later


Tear into small pieces and add:


bread flour 700g


instant yeast 2g


milk 430g


sugar 20g


Knead until it comes together, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 36 hours but not more than 72 hours.  (I retarded for 48 hours).


 


Baking Day


Tear it into pieces again and add:


 


bread flour 300g


Salt 12g


sugar 120g


nstant yeast 5g


milk 100g


whole egg 140g


It will turn into a sloppy mess and if you have a stand mixer it will be better.  I don't, so I just have to make do with slap and fold (a la Bertinet).  It actually comes together pretty quickly. When it has come together add:


butter 100g


Now knead it until your arms cramp up or until you get a windowpane as clear as a gossamer wing (whichever comes first).  Again, a stand mixer would be of great benefit here.  Bench rest 15 - 20 mins.  Shape and place into pans. 



Allow to rise until about 8/10ths full then cover (if you want) and bake.  I baked at 180 C (convection) for 40 mins.  The original author gives temps for an oven that can control both top and bottom thermostats.  My oven isn't that fancy so I just went somewhere in the middle and it worked.  Next time I will bake for 35 mins.  I think my crust was a little on the thick side this time.



 


Heavenly with marmalade and a cup of Earl Grey.  It tastes good on its own, too.


Syd


 

dstroy's picture
dstroy

So, it's time for my bi-annual decorated birthday-cake post! Our son turned 9 last weekend and as is our tradition, I made his birthday cake in the theme he selected.


This year, he was super into Greek gods and mythology after having just finished a 5-book series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians. He wanted his cake to have a labyrinth, water and a Trident (because the main character in the series is supposed to be the son of the sea-god Poseidon), the Greek god Pan, a black pegasus, a cyclops, Percy's sword, and a "blue triangle that glows and opens the secret doorway to the labyrinth when pressed by a half-bloods hand. 


Well, that's a tall order! Here then, is the cake that he got:



I used marzepan for the sculptures, some gel icing which I dyed blue for the water, and the rest was the cream cheese icing which we've all become so fond of. The cake was two layer - Devils Food chocolate for the bottom layer, and the top layer was the delicious white cake recipe I used for his sister's rainbow cake with swirls of blue in it because there's stuff in the book series about blue food.


The labyrinth walls were made of fudge icing, and the rocks were chocolate rocks that I found at a cake decorating shop.


 




The boy was particularly pleased with the detail of skulls and bones scattered in the labyrinth. ;)


 



I learned that making a horse shape out of Marzepan is really super hard. The flower thingies were there to add stability.


 





ahahahah... OK I know, I know... Looks like Pan has really been letting himself go lately.


I had no idea how to make a Pan - but doesn't he look pleased with himself?



There ya go - glowing triangle. Age 9 gave us the perfect number of candles to make it happen too.



And there's the birthday boy, with sticky hair, blowing out his candles. (His hair is all funny like that because this year's party was a pie-fight in the back yard. Yes, that's right, a pie fight! Floyd bought 14 pounds of pudding and four super-sized cans of non-dairy whipped cream at the Cash and Carry and the kids made "pies" with the pudding which they ladeled onto kid-hand sized paper plates, adding some whipped cream and sprinkles on top. Then they had fun lobbing them at each other. I think the parents had as much fun watching as the kids did throwing the pies, and then we were blessed with several days of rain afterwards which helped clean up the mess on our lawn - it was a ton of fun!)

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