The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

I get a lot of books from publisher, most of which I don't post about, but I received one today that I really like. 


Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project comes out in a week or so.  It is a little book but contains a really nice selection of cookie, biscotti, and meringhe recipes.  There are a nice range of recipes, everything from basic sugar cookies to fava bean cookies, and while a few require ingredients that I don't keep around the house (fava beans, pine nuts), none of them that I've looked at strike me as terribly complex or inaccessible.


What else.  The photography and typography are nice, the paper feels nice, it is just... a really lovely little book, one that feels more expensive than the thirteen bucks you can pick it up for right now. It'd make a nice, inexpensive gift for anyone you know who likes to cook and bake but hasn't yet caught the bread bug. 


I've not baked any of the recipes from it yet, but I shall soon.

pattycakes's picture

Caramel squares

August 3, 2010 - 9:05pm -- pattycakes

Hello, bakers,


I was in Ireland a couple of weeks ago, where the caramel squares are available everywhere. We had one very memorable variation, which had a rather dry filling, almost like a peanut butter filling texture, but without the peanutbutter, I think. All the other varieties had gooey caramel. For those who have never had them, they are a shortbread base with a layer of caramel over them, topped with melted chocolate.


Very delicious, and having come home to make the gooey variety, I would like to find the dry kind. Anyone have a recipe?

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


It is natural to consider that Ricotta and almonds would be married together into a delicious soft biscotti flavored with almond oil. Almond ricotta biscotti are delicate cookies but with an intense aroma. We always include it on a “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze” because they are so perfect for a biscotti wedding cake.  It is the almond oil that gives these cookies that lovely warm almond flavor.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/almond-ricotta-biscotti/





Urchina's picture

Using the freezer as a workflow solution

July 16, 2010 - 3:42pm -- Urchina

More as an academic exercise than anything else, a friend and I are developing a product line for an as-yet unrealized bed and breakfast and small coffeeshop / bakery. 


 


One of the tips I picked up from a previous career inspecting restaurants and bakeries was to make large batches of cookie dough, portion and freeze it, then bake off as needed. 


 


I'm wondering if any of you in the professional realm do this as a routine matter of course, to assist with workflow in the bakery, and how it turns out? 


 

EvaB's picture

Welsh cookies and other things

May 25, 2010 - 11:16am -- EvaB
Forums: 

Ok shall try this again, I spent the past weekend without power for most of it. We had a freak snowstorm which took down all the trees the hydro company hasn't been taking off right of ways etc. We spent from about 8 am on the 22nd to 5:40pm on the 23rd without power. Fortunately I have a gas stove which while I couldn't use the oven (one of those electric start things) I could light the burners and cook.

korish's picture
korish

I have baked bread for few times and feel comfertable working with the dough, but sweeets that's another story. This is my first posting sweet cookies here I origenaly had it on my blog http://www.ourwholesomehomes.com


 



One of my favorite cookies that I had as a child were mint cookies with mint glaze on them, it was so refreshing to have a mint cookie with some milk on a cold winter night. With valentine's day just around the corner I decided to find my moms recipe and recreate them with a twist so they would fit more with valentine theme. This is a simple recipe that is easy to make and kids will enjoy helping.


Cookie Ingredients.


2 eggs yolks. (keep the whites for glaze)
2 cups organic sugar.
2 cups sour cream or heavy whip.
5 cups Organic white flour.
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1 table spoon vinegar*
1/2 teaspoon of mint extract. (the amount depends on type of mint concentrate that you are using, here we will assume that this is a basic store bought mint extract).


Glaze Ingredients.


2 egg whites
2 cups of powdered sugar.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
1/2 teaspoon of mint extract.
food color.


*First we should look at soda and vinegar, take your baking soda and combine it with vinegar in a separate cup.


Combine all the ingredients, add the baking soda and mix with mixer or by hand till the dough is one consistency, the dough is somewhat wet, you might need to oil your hands when working with the dough. Place the dough in a fridge for 1/2 hour to cool.


Glaze instruction.


Combine all the ingredients and mix till the glaze is semi stiff, don't mix the glaze early because it will start drying out and will become hard to work with. The best time to do this is when you start baking you cookies. Add your color to the glaze while mixing otherwise it will be snow white.



Cookies



Take your dough and divide it in 2, oil the surface and roll it out with a roller in to 1/4 inch thick sheets. Cut the dough in to desire shapes, the dough is somewhat sticky so be careful when removing it from the surface, place on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes till the cookie is golden on the bottom and still light on the top. You don't need to oil the cookie sheet if you are using heavy whip.


When the cookies are ready remove them from the oven and glaze them ether by dipping them in the glaze or by using a brush. I found it easier to use a silicon brush and to apply the glaze while the cookie is still hot, this way the glaze will melt and have a nice and even consistency.


 


 

ChrisH's picture
ChrisH

Well, it's been a while since I've gotten on here, and I've had plenty of time to mess up my kitchen with my experiments and ideas. For the holidays, however, I made something everyone likes: Pumpkin Bread and Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies.


 


I've done the cookies before, but this was my first time doing pumpkin bread, but it still turned out FANTASTIC. It was tastey in a spice way, warm, just a little bit crispy on the outside, and a little moist on the inside.


pumpkin bread miniloafs and regular loaf


I have a pan which makes 8 mini bread loafs and a small sized loaf pan I used to make these. The iciing is a store-bought white icing.


 


For holiday desert, I also baked a double-dozen batch of triple chocolate and fudge chunk cookies, which were a pain while I figured out how to inorporate everything in amounts decent to keep them as cookies and not chocoltae lumps and leave them nice and thick with chocolate.


Chocolate and more chocolate


 


All in all, it was a very tastey Christmas!

Ottilie's picture

Substitute for Butter/Margarine in Cookies?

December 22, 2009 - 6:08pm -- Ottilie

My sister's daughter is allergic to milk, soy, and nuts and peanuts.  This rules out butter and margarine in baking.  I've been baking breads from Maggie Glezer's Blessing of Bread book, with excellent results - the recipes are written with a Jewish audience in mind, so most of them use oil instead of solid fats.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

In the past three days we've been baking: a first try at Vollkornbrot, three loaves of sourdough, and 38 dozens of cookies including Welsh Cakes, Date-Nut Pinwheels, Tart Cherry and Pecan Biscotti, and Tangerine Spritz. Except for the spritz, I creamed all the butter and sugar by hand, before adding the rest of the liquid ingredients. Result: wielding the wooden spoon I got a blister on my little finger! Geez! do I have to wear work gloves to mix dough too?



These are left for us, and the neighhood cookie exchange. Seven packages left home yesterday posted to family.


The vollkornbrot



This is Hamelman's formula in Bread. I don't have a local nor online source for rye chops, so I ran rye berries through my homebrewing grain mill that cracks the seed coating on whole barley grains. I think the result was essentially the same as commercial rye chops. I'm happy with the flavor, and density but not elated. I tested it after resting it for forty-eight hours. I'm going to let it rest for three or four more days before I freeze it to see if the flavor develops further. The tea towel was a gift from an English friend of mine, and was the only tea towel I own big enough to wrap a Pullman loaf.


I didn't photograph the sourdough loaves, because one was immediately eaten, one immediately given away, and the third one immediately frozen. They looked like all my other posted sourdough boules'. However internally they're a bit different. I've named these Halcyon Acres Sourdough, after our modest five acres of horse pastures we call home. I concocted the formula, and my wife likes it more than any other sourdoughs I've baked to date.


I recently started feeding my sourdough starters with first clear flour, instead of bread flour. Additionally, when I want to increase dough sourness, I feed a small portion of starter for three days at room temperature, 72°F to 76°F, every eight to twelve hours. (I discard much of it each feeding--1:1:1 ratio--so thing don't get out of hand.) I'm indebted to Debra Wink for debunking the folklore that lactobacteria reproduce better in stiff cultures, at low temperature. The myth flew in the face of my understanding of physics and thermodynamics, but I'm not a microbiologist, so I wasn't entirely certain the myth was nonsense. I've started feeding with first clear flour because of its relatively high ash producing content, which provides necessary minerals and trace nutrients to the bacteria.


Here's the fromula for three 1.5 lb loaves of Halcyon Acres Sourdough


Ripe Sourdough Starter     450g


Starter Hydration              125%


Whole Rye Flour                225g


All Purpose Flour               450g


Bread Flour                       450g


Water                               650g


Salt                                  27g (2%)


Final Dough Weight           2252g


Hydration                         68%


I built my formula-ready starter using a culture previously rejuvanated with first clear flour, at room temperature, for 72 hours. The culture had subsequently been refrigerated for two weeks. I use a 24 hour, three build, method to create the needed formula-ready ripe starter. My three build method is described elsewhere in this blog, in detail. I used first clear flour for each build for this starter.


Procedures: Hand mixed flour, water, and starter to shaggy consistency; 30 minute autolyse; added salt; hand mixed to smooth, homogeneous consistency. Bulk proofed for 3 hours with 3 stretch-and-fold at 45 minute intervals; turned out; divided into three equal portions; preshaped boules; rested 10 minutes;final shaped. Final proof 1-1/2 hours in bannetons; scored loaves. Pre-steamed oven (I use water-soaked towel on a baking sheet) five minutes before loading. Baking: Initial oven temperature 480°F; reduced oven temperature to 450°F at loading. Removed steam source after 15 minutes; finished baking (approximately 10 minutes.)


Happy Holiday baking; watch out for blisters ;-)


David G

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


A Christmas double chocolate biscotti takes center stage on our Christmas biscotti tray. It is an old family recipe that is made only for holidays and special events. I could not imagine Christmas with out pizzette, it would be a very sad family gathering. The only problem is stopping everyone from eating them before our family dinner of speghetti with anchovy sauce and mixed fried fish.


Pizzetts are a double chocolate biscotti, scented with spices, roasted almonds, orange zest, coffee and chocolate chips. They are one of the biscotti attractions on our cookie trays for Christmas and every special event. You can make these cookies in advance and freeze them for up to 2 months unfrosted.



 



 


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