The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

For our dinner guests (and Daisy_A!)

breadsong's picture

For our dinner guests (and Daisy_A!)


Many thanks to Daisy_A for her wonderful posts:
Sourdough Wholemeal Lemon Bread, and Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies!

I wanted to bring some flavors to the table that remind me of sunny places, as it's been rainy and wet where I live for quite awhile. Daisy_A's recipes seemed perfect and lovely to share with our dinner guests.

Here is the bread (made 4 loaves; two are pictured).
I added the zest of 5 lemons to Daisy_A's formula and the bread had a really nice lemon flavor.
My lemon-loaf-shaping was not as successful as I'd hoped for, and unfortunately couldn't give the bread as much fermentation time as I would have wanted - was a bit short on time yesterday and pulled these out of the oven just as our guest arrived!:

For dessert, I assembled Mexican ingredients from my pantry to make Daisy_A's amazing Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies. What a truly special cookie! I followed Daisy_A's suggestion to add orange, cinnamon and vanilla flavors, and wow, all I can say is I think this is the most delicious cookie I have ever tasted!!!  

Here are some of the ingredients. The piloncillo sugar is a Mexican cone sugar I purchased for making cafe de olla. Thanks to ehanner for his excellent inquiry about other ways to use this sugar (his post is here); I took his suggestion and used the sugar in these cookies - bravo, Eric!
I had some Mexican Ibarra chocolate and Mexican vanilla - I was pretty happy to have these ingredients on hand for this cookie bake! 


Daisy_A's Mexican Chocolate Crackle Biscuits (adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking), with orange and vanilla flavors; makes about 30 biscuits, 22grams each
(I doubled Daisy_A's quantities, to make enough cookies to give some to our guests as a gift to take home with them)

90g sliced almonds, lightly toasted and cooled
100g all-purpose flour
100g Piloncillo sugar, broken up into small pieces with a chocolate chipper

I whirled all of this around in the food processor, trying for a fine grind. The sugar didn't incorporate as finely as I would have liked; I sifted and whirled the larger bits around again until it was finer. Next time, I may chop the sugar even more finely by knife before processing.

To these ingredients I whisked in:
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Canela Molida) (equal to Daisy_A's original amount, and not doubled, as the Ibarra chocolate also had cinnamon flavor)
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder 
1/16 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I actually forgot to add this - so much for mis en place!)

The dry ingredients were set aside while the chocolate mixture was prepared.

In a double boiler over two inches of simmering water, stirred and melted:

40g unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Kahlua liqueur
2 discs (3.1 oz each) Ibarra Mexican chocolate, broken up into pieces with a chocolate chipper

(Didn't this smell heavenly as it was melting down!)
When smooth and glossy, the mixture was set aside to cool a bit. Once cooled, I whisked into the chocolate mixture:

20g very finely diced candied organic orange peel
3/4 tsp Mexican vanilla

In a separate bowl, I whipped 2 large eggs until lemon-colored and thickened.
The eggs were folded into the chocolate mixture, then the dry ingredients were folded into the chocolate mixture.
The mixture was chilled for 2-1/2 hours before forming the cookies. By the time I was finishing forming the cookies, the mixture was getting soft; next time, making this quantity, I may chill the mixture in two separate batches so one half can stay chilled while forming the first half.
I used a small ice-cream scoop to portion the cookies and they ended up weighing 22g each.

I rolled each portion into a ball then rolled each ball in icing sugar. The cookies were baked on a perforated baking sheet at 320F convection for 15 minutes:

These were so lovely to enjoy with after-dinner coffee!!! They came out of the oven at 2pm and they had several hours for the flavors to blend and develop by dessert time. So very yummy!

Thank you, Daisy_A, for a great introduction to Jan Hedh with this bread, and for your pretty, tasty little cookies.
From breadsong











wally's picture

Lovely looking loaves with the flour and beautiful (!) slashing you achieved!  And a great rendition of Daisy_A's delicious cookies.

BTW - the loaf on the left is perfection.

So what were the side dishes;>)


breadsong's picture

Hello Larry, Your comments are always so much appreciated. Thank you!

Side dishes? Oh boy, I sure had fun with this menu! Our friends brought their wonderful Caesar salad, and to go with this we made beef tenderloin rubbed with a paste of crushed fennel seed, chopped rosemary, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and olive oil, then roasted & served with a grainy-mustard & creme fraiche-type 'sauce';
Greek potatoes, roasted with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, *lots of* crushed garlic, dried Greek oregano, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper;
and some simple green beans, steamed, with some lemon juice drizzled over and topped with toasted nuts.
And then there was the lemon bread that went so well with everything!!!
from breadsong


teketeke's picture

Daisy's lemon bread is one of my list that I want to make!!  Thank you for posting, breadsong! 

They really look great!!    I will add Daisy's crackle cookies in my list, too!! :)



breadsong's picture

Hello, thanks so much Akiko and if you make these I hope you like the flavors!
from breadsong

Franko's picture

Hi breadsong,

These little cookies of Daisy's are so darn tasty aren't they? I've had chili and chocolate together plenty of times previous, in lots of ways, but never thought of them as a flavour combo for cookies. Just a brilliant idea, and yours look really good!

I think sometimes we beat up on ourselves a bit much about how our loaves are too much this, or not enough that, when really the primary goal is to achieve a loaf that tastes good and has eye appeal. I've no doubt your Whole Meal Lemon loaves taste wonderful, but they look awesome as well. Your dinner guests are likely still talking about the fabulous bread they enjoyed last night. Ultimately, that's what it's all about,.. isn't it?

All the best,



breadsong's picture

Hello Franko, Thank you so much.
The bread did have a really nice flavor, and if I had to choose I'd choose flavor over appearance! I had an image in my mind of how I wanted the bread to look and I didn't quite get there with these loaves - but that's ok, the fun part will be to keep practicing and enjoying (hopefully) tasty bread!
BTW, the Red Fife surely did contribute to this bread's good flavor! :^)
from breadsong


Mebake's picture

Sensational, Breadsong!

breadsong's picture

Thank you!

louie brown's picture
louie brown

That sounds like a great menu, breadsong. The loaves (which are beautiful; I agree with Larry that the one on the left is all you could want in shape and score) and the cookies, had good company at your table. I'm sure it all made for a fine meal.

The cookies are especially attractive. I am just a little wary, though, of adding more specialty ingredients to the pantry, though it's going to be hard to resist.

breadsong's picture

Hello louie,
Thank you and everything was nice and flavorful...a relief when there's company at the table!
I can't resist specialty ingredients either and it's always fun to find something interesting at the market.  from breadsong

kim's picture

I really love your lemon breads. I will bake a batch of chili and chocolate combo cookies using your recipe next week for my study group. I do like to bake my cookies using perforated baking sheet too, I feel like overall the cookies turn out to be nicer shape.


breadsong's picture

I'm glad you liked the lemon breads and I hope you and your study group love the cookies. I'm sure they are all going to love you for making them!
I am very very happy with these perforated baking sheets and really like how they're performing for cookies.
Thanks again! from breadsong