Its that time again! I couldn’t be more excited about the start of TWD: Baking with Julia. I have been thinking about, planning out and anxious for this next round of TWD for over a year now. Many emails have flown between myself, Jules, Dorie and a slew of my favorite TWD bakers about how we wanted to tweak this go round. I think we did a handsome job of it. If you have not joined our baking army yet, what are you waiting for? We are 300+ members strong and would love to have you.
Here we go!
I have bad luck with white bread. I have given it a go several times and always with lackluster results. In fact, I gave it up, until now. I was forced to make this recipe and I am so glad that I was strong armed. This recipe changed my mind. It came out so well on my first try, I made 2 more loaves the following day. I did tweak the recipe the 2nd day by adding a cinnamon swirl* to the dough. To do this, after you have rolled the dough out, put a thin layer of butter on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then roll up as instructed. Easy as pie.
*Old School TWDers- I used the cinnamon swirl recipe from the Raisin Swirl Bread in BFMHTY.
If you are afraid of yeast, or of making your own white bread, don’t be. This recipe is easy to follow and has wonderful results. Jump right in.
Jules is my co-host for the week, please go check out how the bread came out for her. She also has the recipe posted. And if you are interested in what the TWD Baking Army thought, check out the LYL post on the TWD site. I cannot wait to see all the golden loaves.
Check back in 2 weeks when we make Chocolate Tartlets.
It was easy. It rose well. And it tasted fantastic. I will definitely bake this bread again.
I stuck to the recipe this time. Only thing I changed was whiskeying up the raisins because mine were dug up from a container in the back of the pantry. The dough came together, just as it should, though not as wet as Dorie described. I forged on. It rose in the right time, rolled out well, rolled up well and baked up perfect. We toasted it up for breakfast 2 days in row. What a sweet weekend breakfast.
I was browsing blogs today, as I often do looking for a project. Actually, I was looking for a cake recipe for Jaos’ upcoming 30th birthday. (On that note, if anyone has a TO DIE FOR carrot cake or chocolate cake recipe, please leave in comments!) Instead, I found this interesting cake made by David Lebovitz. I had never heard of a Kouign Amann before, but you all know that I am anything but worldly. I decided to go right ahead and tackle it. I started at 12:30 and it came out of the oven at 4:22. So, be prepared to spend some time on it. David has easy directions to follow, as well as, some tips that you should follow. His pictures really save the day. Im an idiot when it comes to these fancier recipes.
I tasted it after cooling a few minutes. Buttery, caramelly..and then when taking some from the middle… holy yeast! I was kind of shocked at the seriously strong yeast flavor. But, I liked it, I more than like it. It came out sort of a cakey/bready texture in the middle. Im not sure if thats how it is supposed to be, but thats what I got. I’ll make this again. While the oldest boys didnt like it, the baby did. And I havent been able to stop picking at the edges.
Check out the recipe here. Thanks David!
I have been looking at the Chocolate Babka recipe on Smitten Kitchen for a while now. I sooo want to make that babka. All Seinfeldness aside, it just looks like a to-die for sweet bread. The time involved is what has kept me from baking it. But, since we had to make brioche for last week’s TWD(Thanks Peabody!), I had some buttery yeasty goodness to work with. Now that I had the buttery bread dough to work with, what was I to make? Well, the fab Nikki, leader of the new cult classic blog even, Master Baker, had declared Easter Candy as the theme for the month. Easter Candy?? WTF!! And the disclaimer is something about not just using Peeps in your entry. Really going for the heart there, arent ya Nikki. Well, I wanted to make the babka, but I did not have enough really high quality chocolate to make SK’s Chocolate Babka. What I did have, was Peanut M&Ms and Cadbury Mini Eggs in dark. Sounded good enough to me!
This was a hodge podge recipe. The dough came from Dorie’s Golden Brioche. The filling is a Slush Special. I took the M&Ms, Cadbury Mini Eggs and pulvarized them in the Cuisinart. I added some butter to hold them together like a paste. The streusel topping is from SK. I follow the directions for making a babka from SK too. I totally winged putting it together. Praying the 2 recipes would meld together in an Easter Candy recipe. Things took a slight turn for the worse when I undercooked it. I thought it was done. It looked done. It smelled done. I wasnt sure how to feel if it was done, but hell, I just THOUGHT it was done. Alas, it was not. When I tried to take it out of the loaf pan, it kind of lost its structural integrity. This slight mistake on my part did not take away from the taste. I would recommend cooking the babka at least 45-60 minutes. Making sure to cover it at the 30 min mark to avoid over browning. This is what I should have done, but did not. You all know I am a doofus though, and thats an endearing quality, riiight?
The verdict.. even though it was so obviously not cooked, it tasted like Easter Candy Heaven. The bread, oh my the bread. It is a pure sin. I fell in love with the bread part alone. The M&M, Cadbury Dark Mini Egg and Peep filling was delightful. The Peeps melted, but hell they are marshmallows. They melt, but they left behind their gooey goodness. Jaos, who rarely likes really sweet sweets, loved it. We both picked at it all night. I finally packed it up. I was picking at it everytime I went through the kitchen. And I go through the kitchen a lot. I may have eaten 1/3 of it myself. Forgive me Easter Bunny, for I have sinned!
So come on, I know you have left over Easter Candy. I suggest you wrap that stuff into an Easter Candy Babka. You will not be disappointed. It is going to be an Easter tradition for me from now on. Its that good. (Just make sure you cook it until it is done!)
Easter Candy Babka
Golden Brioche Loaves
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 3/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm
For The Glaze
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can– this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you’re doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you’ll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You’ll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.
Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.
Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)
Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.
Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.
Easter Candy Filling
1/2 cup Peanut M&Ms
1/2 cup Cadbury Dark Mini Eggs
3 TB butter
Put the candy into the food processor and process till the candy becomes a fine powder. Add the butter to make a paste.
Streusel Topping (I made 1/3 this amount since I was only making one loaf.)
Makes 3 3/4 cups.
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and butter. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch.
1 package of Peeps of your choice
Follow the Golden Brioche recipe until you are to roll them into logs. Instead, roll the dough into a good sized rectangle. Mine was about 16x 12. Spread the Easter candy paste over the dough. Make sure to go all the way to edges on 3 of the 4 sides, leaving a half inch on the side closest to you. Cut the Peeps into neat slices. Lay the Peeps over the chocolate paste layer. Roll up the dough starting with the far edge bringing the dough towards you. Roll as tightly as possible. Seal the dough as best you can, do not forget the ends. Twist the loaf a good 2-3 times and place in a buttered and floured 9×5 loaf pan. Sprinkle streusel on top and put in a slighly warm place to rise until the loaf has not quite doubled. It should feel puffy to the touch when it is done rising. Place in a 350 degree F oven for 45-60 minutes, making sure to cover around the 30 minute mark if starting to over brown.
When the loaf is done and sounds hallow when you thump the center, place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then, take the babka out of the pan and place on cooling rack to cool completely.
Its thats time again. The day that Daring Bakers take over with hundreds of posts. If you dont know what I am talking about, you must live under a rock. (No offense!) Every month the Daring Bakers make the same recipe. Then on the specified day we post about our trials, tribulations, victories or failures. Its the coolest club around, I tell you! And its definitely taken me out of my comfort zone.
This month’s challenge came from the lovely Tanna, of My Kitchen in Half Cups. She picked the first savory recipe since I joined DB. And I have to say Tender Potato Bread was just what the doctor ordered. Although intimidated, I was excited to lay off the sugar for a bit. I make enough cupcakes to make up for it, dont worry.
Procrastinating as usual, I waited and waited to get started on the Potato Bread. Browsing the DB one day, I ran across a post from the brilliant breadchick, of The Sour Dough. She had set a date to make the bread and asked if anyone wanted to join her and yak about it on Yahoo. I replied immediately. Knowing myself, I had to commit if I wanted to get it done before the last day. And the HUGE plus was having access to breadchicks vast knowledge on making the bread. I am a newb at working with yeast. Help was going to be a necessity.
On the day we were to get started, I still hadnt gone for supplies. Sickness had invaded my house in the few weeks prior. So, I flew out to the store, but forgetting about pre-thanksgiving grocery traffic was almost my demise. I got my things in a hurry, but then it took me 45 minutes to check out. Blah. I rushed home, and luckily the girls were not that far ahead, so I got my butt in gear and the potato and water on the stove. Sara, Gretchen, Christina and breadchick provided amusing commentary all along the way. As well as helpful tips. I did ok with the recipe until the kneading and adding flour. I seem to be missing the “velvety feel” touch. I still have no idea what that means. I kept adding flour until the dough was just tacky and no longer sticky. Then set it in the oven to rise. This was slow going. The waiting is the one thing I dont like about the bread process. Im too inpatient. However, the girls kept me company. I love you guys.
Finally, my bread was ready to be shaped. I decided on making a pepperoni loaf and rosemary/parm rolls. The loaf had pepperoni, parm and italian seasoning. The rolls had rosemary, garlic, parm, pepper, and salt. They formed rather easily. And I set them aside to rise again. And again, slow going. I was told I must have a cool kitchen. And Im used to working with rapid rise yeast. Dry active just takes longer. After the time passed, into the oven went the loaf. I dont have a thermometer so was told to tap the top and it should sound hollow with a thunk if its done. Once it passed the tap test out it came and in went the rolls. They were brown in the alloted time.
My house smelled awesome! I swear, there is nothing better than that yeasty smell in the house. Its intoxicating. I love it!! We set aside the loaf to cool, but started in on the rolls right away. They were crusty on the outside, but tender and chewy on the inside. The seasoning I added was a little strong. Too much salt. But they still tasted great. My husband was very impressed with me. Thats always a nice feeling!
Later in the evening, I sliced into the pepperoni loaf. Now the pepperoni swirl didnt come out like I had hoped. I didnt roll properly or something. But the bread was to die for. Soo, soo good. Crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. I can totally see why people make their own bread. It was totally worth the 5 hour effort. And chilling with the girls was a blast as well. Thats a wicked fun way to tackle a challenge!
Thanks to Tanna for picking such a wonderful recipe! Thanks to the DBs for this club I am so proud to be a member of. And thanks to breadchick, Sara, Christina and Gretchen for helping me through my first potato bread! You guys rock!
I loved this recipe so much, I made another batch the very next day. This time making 2 loaves. One with cheddar cheese and black pepper. And the other with dark chocolate and dried cherries. They both were awesome. I LOVED this challenge!
Sorry for the very crappy pictures, I am still on cell-photography. We bought a new battery for our camera, but it doesnt recognize the battery anymore. So, we had to buy a new camera. Should be here this week!
I had a bread machine about 10 years ago or so. And I liked it, but I never felt like I was making bread. The machine did it all, and then spit out this odd shaped loaf of bread. It was so wide, the bread never fit in the toaster. Because of the odd shaped loaves, I stopped using it. And in one of our fifty moves, the bread maker did not make the cut. Poor thing. It never had a chance in our house.
So, yesterday, I was in the mood for something yeasty. You know that feeling when you just want.. need… desire carbs?? I needed to find an easy yeast roll recipe that didnt call for eggs. I was out, and did not feel like leaving the house. I found one here that called for egg for the wash on top only. I used butter instead. They were missing that nice glossy top, but overall came out pretty darn well for my first crack at using yeast. Next time, I want to make sure I get the sizes more uniform so that they rise and bake the same. But overall, I was pleased. I placed some in the freezer and kept some out. The smell alone was fantastic. Mmmmm…just the yeasty goodness I was looking for. Butter melting inside a warm yeast roll… it doesnt get better than that.
Gourmet, December 2004
Recipe by Ruth Cousineau
1/4 cup warm water (105-115°F)
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for greasing bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer (for checking water temperature); a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth); parchment paper
Stir together water, yeast, and honey in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir salt into 3 cups flour in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, buttermilk, and butter, stirring until a soft dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, adding just enough more flour to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic, 6 to 10 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Cut dough into 18 equal pieces. Cup your hand over 1 piece and, using your thumb and pinkie to keep ball inside your cupped hand, push dough with heel of your hand against work surface while rolling in a circular motion (clockwise or counterclockwise) to form a smooth ball. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, arranging balls 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rolls rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Brush rolls lightly with egg wash and bake until rolls are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool at least 15 minutes.