Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti

It's been a while since I last baked from Dorie's Cookies with Tuesdays With Dorie bakers. Fruit And Four Grain Biscotti was one of the recipe selected for January. Biscotti is one of my favourite snack to munch on. I like eating it for breakfast, tea-time treat or simply a snack anytime of the day. 

Looking through the ingredients list, I have all of the ingredients except kasha aka buckwheat groats. I have replaced it with sunflower seeds instead. For the dried fruits, I've used raisins. There's wheat germ, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and flavours from these spices ; grated nutmeg and ground cloves. I've used ground nutmeg instead of grated. The dough was pretty easy to do, shaped into logs and baked for 25 minutes until lightly browned and firm. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes and then cut into slices. Dorie says to use a serrated knife, but I find that the dough breaks apart in pieces. I switched to a regular straight bladed knife which is very sharp, and it works well, almost all the pieces stay in one piece, some with little cracks, but acceptable. Bake the pieces until golden brown, about 30 minutes more, turning them over halfway into the baking time. 

These biscotti are very crispy, flavoured with a touch of the spices, love the nutty sunflower seeds and the sweet raisins. An absolute delight to snack on, I love these! Quite addictive! Yum! 

To see what the other bakers has made this week, please visit Tuesdays With Dorie

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #37

Monday, January 21, 2019

Rosemary-Roasted Carrots with Brown Sugar

A simple carrot side dish. Makes a delicious side to roasts. Try to get the smaller carrots about the same size. Peel and sliced them in half, coat with the mixture of chopped rosemary, butter, brown sugar, salt and chili powder. Roast in the oven under the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

Sweet, tender delicious carrots. I served it alongside some fried chicken and broccoli. Parsnips and sweet potatoes can be used instead of the carrots. 

Rosemary-Roasted Carrots with Brown Sugar
(Williams-Sonoma Chicken Night by Kate McMillan)
serves 4 :
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (I use 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 lb (500gm) carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch (12mm) pieces or halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
In a small bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, rosemary, salt, and chili powder. Arrange the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet. Using your hands, spread the butter mixture all over the carrots.
Roast the carrots, turning once about halfway through, until fork tender, 25-30 minutes. Serve right away.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #37

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Potato Burger Buns

Potato Burger Buns, variation from the main recipe Potato Dinner Rolls from Bread Illustrated. Uses a cup of mashed Russet potatoes, with some of the potato water from boiling the potatoes. 

I top a few of the buns with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and the rest without.The buns baked to a deep golden brown, thanks to the egg wash.

The baked buns are soft but not fluffy soft as I thought they would be. 

Use the burger buns to make Egg Banjo, for our lunch.

Potato Dinner Rolls
(Bread Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen)
1 large russet potato (10 ounces) peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2-1/4 cups (12-1/3 ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoon or rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water and pinch of salt

  1. Place potato in medium saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes is just tender (paring knife can be slipped in and out of potato with little resistance), 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer 5 tablespoons (2-1/2 ounces) potato cooking water to 4-cup liquid measuring cup and let cool completely ; drain potatoes. Return potatoes to now-empty saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, shaking saucepan occasionally, until any surface moisture has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Off heat, process potatoes through ricer or food mill or mash well with potato masher. Measure 1 cup very firmly packed potatoes (8 ounces) and transfer to separate bowl. Stir in butter until melted and let mixture cool completely before using. Discard remaining mashed potatoes or save for another use.
  3. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk egg and sugar into potato cooking water until sugar has dissolved. Add mashed potato mixture to flour mixture and mix with your hands until combined (some large lumps are OK). Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add cooking water mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl but sticks to bottom, about 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to clean counter and stretch into even 12-inch log. Cut log into 12 equal piees (about 2 ounces each) and cover loosely with greased plastic.
  6. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered), form into rough ball by stretching dough around your thumbs and pinching edges together so that top is smooth. Place ball seam side down on clean counter, and, using your cupped hand, drag in small circles until dough feels taut and round.
  7. Arrange dough balls seam side down on prepared sheet, spaced about 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until nearly doubled in size and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Unrisen rolls can be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours ; let rolls sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking).
  8. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Gently brush rolls with egg mixture and bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer rolls to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For Potato Burger Buns :
Divide dough into 9 pieces (about 2-3/4 ounces each) and shape into smooth, taut rounds as directed in step 6. Let rounds rest for 15 minutes, then press into 3-1/2 inch disks of even thickness. Arrange disks on 2 parchment paper-line rimmed baking sheets and let rise as directed in step 7. Sprinkle rolls with 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, if desired, and bake on upper-middle and middle racks until rolls are deep golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, switching, and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Makes 9 burger buns.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #37

Friday, January 11, 2019

Potato Chowder Lots of Ways

Cook the Book Fridays, is currently cooking through Dorie Greenspan's latest cookbook, Everyday Dorie. This month's selection is Potato Chowder Lots of Ways.

Dorie has given a few different ways (by way of ingredients) of making this chowder, with whichever vegetables and herbs as they come into season. 

Thinly sliced leeks, onions, shallot and garlic are sauteed in the bacon fat or oil until softened, then add the vegetable or chicken stock, together with the potatoes, let it boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender. (I wonder how many of us actually rinse the thinly sliced onions, shallots and remove the germ of the garlic cloves. I did not.) As suggested by Dorie, I mashed some of the potatoes to add another texture to the soup. I've added some peas, and I actually bought a pack of sweet peas to add along, but completely forgotten all about it! Just before serving, stir in some cooking cream and heat without boiling. Spoon into serving bowls and top with some chopped crispy bacon and some chopped fresh herbs, which I've used cilantro.

We thought that this chowder is delicious and full of flavour! I've tasted with and without the cream, definitely with the cream! Next time I'll cut the potatoes into smaller cubes, instead of bite-sized pieces. I'll be cooking this again, and as Dorie suggested, lots of ways, with other veggie add-ins!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Peasant Bread

Happy New Year 2019!

I have a new favourite bread cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs, for it's almost effortless easy method of making bread, with delicious tasty results! The author of this fabulous book is Alexandra Stafford, the person behind this blog, Alexandra's Kitchen

Alexandra got the recipe from her mother, and she name this bread, My Mother's Peasant Bread. It is the easiest, almost effortless bread I've made. There is no need for a stand mixer, as there is no kneading at all. All the ingredients are mixed in a bowl just until it all comes together, the dough will be wet and sticky. Cover and left to rise until doubled in size. Then using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides and pull it over to the centre, rotating the bowl as you go, repeat until it comes into a rough ball. Still using the two forks, divide the dough in half and place each half in two  very-well-greased (grease generously with softened butter) 1-quart sized Pyrex bowl. Leave to rise until the dough has risen slightly over the rim of the bowl. Bake in a preheated oven at 425F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375F, and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. 

My notes : I baked the breads at 425F for 20 minutes, then at the lower temperature of 375F for a further 25 to 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown all over.  And I did reduce the salt to 1-1/2 teaspoons.

I love how cute the loaves look, baked in the Pyrex bowls. 

With dense but very soft moist crumb, tasted really good! I've made this a few times already, and  some of the variations from the book. Looking forward to try the rest of the bread recipes. 

The recipe can be found at Alexandra's blog, with tips on how to make this fabulous Peasant Bread, and the video, here. Thank you, Alexandra for sharing this lovely bread!

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #37