The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A few pastries

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Franko's picture
Franko

A few pastries


A plate of pastries


January has seen me doing more reading about baking than actual home baking due to three new additions to my book collection. Advanced Bread and Pastry-Suas, Breadbaking-An Artisan's Perspective-DiMuzio and Swedish Breads and Pastries-Hedh are all fine books to own and I've been enjoying them immensely over the last few weeks for their technical information and variety of recipes and methods. AB&P is easily the best text on baking in general that I've ever read, making it my 'go to' reference for some time to come I imagine.


 


Well eventually the time comes to put the books down and get back in the kitchen for a little practical application, so it was welcome that early last week my wife Marie asked me if I could bake a few pastries or muffins for a breakfast meeting she had scheduled with some of her colleagues at the college where she works. Nothing large or too fancy just something to nibble on during the meeting. I decided I'd make the Danish dough with Sponge from AB&P, along with some apple turnovers and a few carrot muffins for anyone wanting something a little less rich. The carrot muffin formula I've always used is one from my old trade school text and is still one of the best tasting and easiest versions of this muffin I've run across yet. Recipe to follow. The puff pastry for the turnovers was made earlier last year and the last piece of it has been taking up space in the freezer since, so I was glad to have an excuse to finish it off at last.  As for the danish dough, it's been ages since the last time I made one but this mix went well, the only changes being that I used AP flour (the closest to white bread flour I had on hand), added some ground mace to the mix and increased the overall ratio of butter from 31% to 35%, requiring me to give it an extra fold for a total of four single folds. Whenever I've made danish dough in the past it's always been done using the straight method of mixing, so the sponge is an extra step to make, but worth it for the flavour boost in the finished product and one I'll use in any future danish mixes. While I didn't get anything near as flaky looking as what's pictured in the book, it did make a very passable danish with a nice soft crumb and plenty of flavour from the butter and preferment. For me, taste testing danish is an exercise in restraint, and a good reminder of why I rarely make this pastry for myself. I did manage to keep it reasonably (Marie laughing in the background) analytical....this time, however the real test will be this summer when we'll be taking a river cruise on the Danube through Austria, Slovakia and finally to Budapest. Something, or more accurately someone, tells me I'll be eating nothing but rice and vegetables for a long time after that vacation is over.


Franko


75 gram carrot muffin




blueberry and lemon twists


chocolate and hazelnut rolls



small apple turnovers



Danish Dough with Sponge-adapted from AB&P

Ingredients

%

Kg

Sponge Formula

 

 

 

 

 

Bread Flour

100

214

Water

62

131

Yeast-instant

0.1

4

Mix all ingredients with a DDT of 70F Ferment 12-16@ 65F-70F

 

 

Total

 

349

Final Dough

 

 

 

 

 

Bread Flour

100

500

Milk

40

200

Eggs

16

114

Sugar

17

121

Mace powder

0.2

1.4

Salt

1.8

13

Yeast-instant

1.8

13

Butter

4

28

Sponge

69.8

349

Butter for roll-in

31

221

 

PROCEDURE:

Mix all ingredients for final dough on 1st sped for 5 minutes and on 2nd speed for 3 minutes to a DDT of 72F-77F. Bulk ferment for 45-60 min. Laminate 4x single fold resting 30 minutes refrigerated between folds and final make up. Proof final product for 1.5-2 hrs. Bake at 385F 10-12 minutes

 

 

Carrot Muffins

Ingredients

%

Kg

Kg

Cake Flour

100

300

150

Vegetable Oil

100

300

150

Baking Soda

1.1

3.2

1.6

Baking Powder

1.3

4

2

Sugar

77

230

115

Eggs

72

216

108

Salt

1.6

3.2

1.6

Cinnamon

1.1

3.2

1.6

Carrots

128

300

150

Raisins

40

120

60

Walnuts/Pecans

20

60

30

Total

 

1539.6

769.8

PROCEDURE:

Sift flour and baking soda, add salt and reserve.

Blend all but flour mix, raisins, nuts. Mix well.

Add dry ingredients and mix on 1st speed to incorporation, then an additional 30 -60 seconds.

Fold in raisins and nuts.

Let rest for 10 minutes, then scale 60g per muffin cup.

Bake at 380 for 15-18 minutes

 

Comments

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

They look fabulously tasty!

arlo's picture
arlo

Those chocolate and hazelnut rolls look scrumptious!


I can relate, sometimes I get caught up in just reading the baking books and realize I should be trying some of these new ideas out at work or at home!

Franko's picture
Franko

Hey Arlo,


Many thanks about the chocolate hazelnut rolls! It occurred to me that I could use store bought hazelnut butter mixed with some confectioner's sugar to make a roll-able paste to use in them, rather than doing the roasting, skinning, grinding thing that I've always done in the past. Can't say for sure how well it worked as all 3 of them went with the rest of the order and didn't get a chance to peek inside. None of it ran out at least, but I'll have to try it again to see if it's a worthy shortcut to a scratch hazelnut paste.


Franko

teketeke's picture
teketeke

What wonderful looking pastries, Franko


I wish I were your neighbor.....


Happy baking,


Akiko

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Akiko,


Good to hear from you again, how have you been? Thanks very much for your nice compliments on the pastries.


Best Wishes,


Franko

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have to keep remembering that you bake professionally. Otherwise I would get to feeling like I'm not worthy after seeing the wonderful pastries you pop out on a whim. Really talented Franko, they look wonderful!


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Eric!


A sweet tooth? Heavens no...well maybe just a bit, but I'm pretty good with it these days compared to when I was younger. As for doing these on a whim that's simply not the case anymore. Where I work we haven't made pastries from scratch for a lot of years so I'm waaaay out of practice. I just enjoy doing it to keep my hand in to some degree. Sure appreciate your compliments though Eric.


Franko

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks lazybaker!


The preferment used in this formula makes a significant improvement to the flavour over a straight mixing method, as well as the inclusion of the spice. I thought they were pretty tasty, so hopefully my wife's colleagues did as well.


Franko

wally's picture
wally

What a way to begin the day.  I suspect your wife may find herself (aka, you) on the hook for future breakfast meetings after her colleagues have now sampled your wares.


Your icings and powdered sugar application are really first-rate!


Nice bake indeed!


Larry

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Larry,


Funny you should mention about being on the hook for future meetings. Marie just arrived home and announced that the chairperson has decided the pastries might be a good reason to hold a monthly breakfast meeting. Great to hear but... what have I done?!! Apparently I'll be keeping my hand in making danish a little more often than I'd planned. I guess if they reimburse me for ingredient cost it'll be a good way to sharpen up some rusty skills.


Always great to hear from you Larry, and thanks for your compliments.


Regards,


Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I can relate to the "rice and vegetables" diet. I'm urgently working to get my weight down before a trip to Emilia-Romagna, Toscano & Paris in a few months. 


But carrots are so good for you! And your muffins are pretty tempting looking. I was just looking at my neglected muffin tins this afternoon, too.


David

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks David!


Maybe between the two of us, we can come up with some exotic new low fat variations on the rice & vegetable diet we're in for over the next year.


Your European trip sounds wonderful! Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about our first time in Europe, as I've always wanted to visit Italy, particularly the countryside and small towns. Being so close (relatively) and not having it as part of our vacation agenda is somewhat disappointing, but our initial 3 nights in Prague, and the cruise through Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary I'm sure will be a great first introduction for the both of us to Europe. Can't wait to see Vienna!


What I like most about the carrot muffins is that they actually taste of carrots with cinnamon, instead of the other way around, which is how I find most other versions.


All the best,


Franko


 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

And a very happy bunch of meeting-goers they must have been.
Franko, your pastries are beautifully shaped, filled and glazed - and a good variety of flavors - something for everyone! Very nice!
It sounds like you're enjoying your new books!
From breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi breadsong,


The two full containers Marie went off with came back empty so it seems the folks at the meeting enjoyed them all, which is nice to know. It's very nice as well to receive your compliments on the pastries. Thanks so much!


All of the new books are a terrific source of information and inspiration for future baking projects, so yes , I'm enjoying them a lot.


Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

You have found my weakest link to sweets!  Everything looks so delicious!  I said to Mike, look at these photos and he said 'OMG',  he loves his sweets too!  Every time I open the freezer I see my stashed Plugra and Irish Butter...I will not make danish today, I will not make danish, I will not make danish today : ) Not an easy pastry to make!  Yours are lovely, and nicely written up formula.  Thanks for sharing :)


Sylvia


 

Franko's picture
Franko

Ahh Sylvia we're a sad lot aren't we when an innocent little pastry can have such a hold on us?


Something I didn't do with the butter block this time that I normally do is incorporate 4% flour into it before beginning the roll-in. Normal store bought butter has too high a water content in it and the flour helps absorb some of the excess, making for a flakier end product. The Plugra with 85% BF sounds like it's perfect for rolling in as is. I'm looking forward to the day you give in and make some danish using this butter as I know they'll be sensational.


Thanks for your compliments!


Franko


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

too!  I've got them on the 'very soon' to do list and bookmarked!


Sylvia

Mebake's picture
Mebake

First class, Franko! I, too, should remind myself that you are a pro baker.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank You Khalid!

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Those look delish. Aren't your wife and her friends lucky to have such a wonderful treat!


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you Sue!


Your comments are greatly appreciated.


Best Wishes,


Franko

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Franko, between the delectable pastries and your excellent photography, this blog entry needs a warning label so readers know to protect their keyboards.  Thanks for the formulas, too.  I plan to try those carrot muffins.


Glenn

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Glenn,I do enjoy your sense of humour!


When you make the muffins don't go by the drop weight of 60 grams I have in the recipe. That's too small, even the 75 gr ones that I did were quite small but right for this particular bake. I'd say somewhere in the 85-90 range will give you a normal size muffin.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Franko,


a lovely selection of pastries and such a fine post too.   Great photos!


Your choice of reading will doubtless continue to inspire.


You're "on a roll" my friend!


Best wishes


Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Andy,


Good to hear from you, and as always your comments are greatly appreciated!


Cheers,


Franko

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Franko,


Mmm..what delicious looking pastries!


I remember being very hungry at times in meetings that went on for hours. Even if the meeting is interesting you begin to lose concentration. Meetings would have rolled by with those in attendance!


Very best wishes, Daisy_A

Franko's picture
Franko

Always a pleasure to hear from you Daisy, and thanks so much for the compliments on the pastries.


All the best,


Franko

EvaB's picture
EvaB

And I've been doing so well with my sugar levels! I'm sure I gained 5 pounds just looking! They are so totally yummy looking! They sound even better reading the recipes (which I've printed off to add to the pile of must do"s) the carrot muffins in particular will be the next in line.


I also have noted down the books, and will have to figure out how to get them into my stretched budget they all sound so good. I unfortunately don't ahve anyone who would spring for one for a Valentines present, or Easter gift, or even an Earthday gift! Too bad.


So now having blown my book budget, and enticed me, I must complimnet you on the totally beautiful phots as well. I have been trying croissants, only one bake so far, and for some reason can't get a decent crumb shot, so have to haul out the camera book and see what I need to do to get a better than just plain blurry shot!


I will be trying the croissants again next week, and shall see if I can't post a shot or two of them, DH said they were delicious even if they weren't flakey enough to my eye, maybe its all in the eye or mouth of the beholder? They did taste good with some of my homemade crab apple jelly!