The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
Floydm's picture

Yesterday I made Vienna Rolls and an Onion Braid:

Many more pics of the Onion Braid over in the forums, as well as the recipe.

I think the high point of the weekend, food-wise, was the fresh strawberry pie. The local strawberries don't ship as well as California strawberries, so you don't see them outside of Oregon, but they are *so* good. Particularly when they are picked ripe, as these were.

The pie was a simple one I had never tried from the Joy of Cooking. Basically you just filled a baked pie shell with 4 cups of fresh berries and poured over it a glaze. The glaze is made of 2 cups pureed berries, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup corn starch, 1/4 cup water, and 1 cup sugar (I used a bit less). Bring all that to a boil in a small saucepan, pour over the fresh berries, and... YUM! Serve it with a little bit of whipped cream on top.

And, I confess: I used a frozen pie crust from the grocery store instead of making it from scratch. I can knead dough for 12 minutes, no problem, but I hate making pie crust. It bores me to tears.

Oh yeah: I tried a new banana bread recipe today. It was good, a nice change from my standard banana bread recipe, but not worth the additional work in my mind. I'll try to post that recipe in the next day or two.

crumbbum's picture

my starter has died of black plague. either that or neglect. yesterday I dumped it out and started over. I really have a way with words, don't I?

anyhoo, I began with 3/4 cup white bread flour and 3/4 cup water. in yesterday's still pretty warm temperatures, it separated early on with much liquid on the top, and there was very minimal action there. I stirred it back in after about 12 hours and it had thickened some, but this morning at 0530, there it was separated again and still no real action. I dumped half out and mixed in 1/3 cup whole wheat bread flour and 1/3 cup white bread flour, and just a little less than 1/2 cup water. there is now a small bit of action happening, so I'm hopeful to have active starter again shortly. and it's really too bad it isn't good yet, because I have black bananas ready to go into a loaf ...

meantime, I made some very tasty cookies from the Quaker Oats website.

the real bonus for me on these cookies is that it only makes about 3 dozen, so you don't spend an hour hanging around in a hot kitchen, shuttling cookie sheets back and forth, in and out. I admit to being a lazy baker.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups Old Fashioned Quaker Oats, uncooked
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 6-ounce package dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Cook’s Tip: To use Quick Quaker Oats, decrease flour to 1-1/3 cups.

Heat oven to 375F.

In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. In separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. Makes 2-1/2 to 3 dozen cookies.

click the photo for the big view

Floydm's picture

Grilled Pizza

May 27, 2005 - 9:41am -- Floydm

It is Memorial Day weekend in the US, which is the official kick off of barbeque season. And that means it is time to pull out the barbecue to make grilled pizza!

"Grilled pizza?!?," you say. "Are you out of your mind?!?"

No, actually, grilled pizza is wonderful and great fun to prepare. And, let me tell you, the looks your friends and loved ones give you the first time you walk out to the barbecue with a large gob of dough in your hand is priceless.

Click "Read More" for the low down.

Floydm's picture


May 24, 2005 - 10:29am -- Floydm

Cornbread is one of those things that people get attached to. REALLY attached to. There are dozens of cornbread recipes, and for each one there is someone who swears that that recipe is the best. No amount of discussion will convince them that the recipe their mother and grandmother made isn't the greatest cornbread in the world.

Floydm's picture

The family was in town,which meant I had two things: free babysitting and more mouths to feed. That meant it was time for a baking bonanza!

I made:

Corn Bread

Orange Oatmeal Bread

Nubby Peanut Bread

Italian Bread

Struan Bread

And cookies. And enchiladas. And a bunch of other food.

I'll add links to all of these recipes as I get them written up.

Floydm's picture

Search Improvement and Blog Template Fix

May 17, 2005 - 10:39am -- Floydm

I made two fixes that people have been asking for this morning.

The first is that search used to only work if you entered a term that was 5 characters long or greater. That meant that searches for things like "Pita Bread" dropped the word "pita" and only searched on "bread," resulting in far too many matches.

I've dropped the search word length down to 3 characters, which should improve the quality of search results.

The second had to do with word wrapping in the blog section. Referring URLs are listed automatically, but because some of the URLs were extremely long it was blowing out the side of the template, resulting in text that you had to scroll sideways to read. Yuck.

I fixed it so that now the URL you see is truncated at 120 characters. You can still click on the link to see the full, long URL.

crumbbum's picture

I used the scone recipe posted by qahtan recently, when my grocery store had new strawberries for 98 cents a pound over the mothers day weekend, but that's about all I've done lately. I think I'm going to work on some baking powder biscuits and try using different fats. I'm not afraid of lard, so I'll try that along with vegetable shortening and butter versions. I've been looking around at another site, and would like to throw it into the links section, but I don't know how or if I can do that.

It's baking911, and for people like me, who can't afford to buy all the books (or really don't need another cooking book), it has a wealth of basic baking information available. It explains why things work (or don't) in simple terms. In design terms, the site looks too busy, but it's well worth a visit for beginners or the nervous looking for information. Recipes and tips are also included, and there is an associated cooking911 site.

Good sites if you don't have a cookbook library. Or for those leaving the nest and needing guidance.


Subscribe to The Fresh Loaf RSS