What with having dinner guests on Saturday and more coming on Monday, it was a wonderful excuse for puttering around in the kitchen this weekend. I started with Pain au Levain from Leader's Local Breads Saturday morning and followed with Rich and Tender Dinner Rolls from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cook Book and finished up with a Chocolate / Chocolate Chip cake, source unknown.
Having posted about the Pain au Levain previously, I won't go into detail about the process here. This bread is consistenly good, in both outcome and flavor. This bake resulted in lovely oven spring and big ears, in spite of some rather deficient scoring. It hasn't been cut yet, so I don't know about the crumb but the exterior suggests that the interior ought to be good.
The dinner rolls were a typical enriched roll, with butter, eggs, sugar and milk. The two differences that set it apart from most such rolls was the addition of some whole wheat, maybe 20%, and no refrigeration. The former was a pleasant addition in flavor and the latter was a real convenience since I was a bit pressed for time. I just shaped them as simple pan rolls. As the name suggested, they were rich and tender and a good accompaniment with dinner.
The cake was a bit over the top (which won't stop us from making it again!), what with a cup of butter, 4 ounces of melted chocolate, 5 eggs and buttermilk in the batter. Oh, and chocolate chips, too. My wife halved the frosting recipe (it called for 5-1/2 cups of confectioners/icing sugar), since we baked it in a 9x13 pan instead of in 3, 9-inch round cake pans. This is not a light and airy cake. It is moist, it is heavy, and it is sweet! Good stuff, in other words. Best of all, with others to help eat it, the danger of too much snacking on the leftovers is reduced.
Before going to bed Saturday night, I mixed a biga for Portugese Sweet Bread. Today I finished the bread, shaped it as hamburger buns and baked it. Now we have the base for some barbecue sandwiches for our guests Monday evening. I've learned that the store-bought buns just don't stand up well to the sauce that comes along with the barbecue, so something like PSB is less likely to go all floppy in mid-bite while still being tender.
No pics of anything described here. Just lots of enjoyment in both the baking and the eating.