Tuesday, July 31

Pie, Y'all!

Fittingly for the season, our recipe this week was the Nectarine and Blueberry Pie. I like how versatile this recipe seems. Nectarines and blueberries are great for summer but it could be adapted easily to fall or winter fruits.

I had a few issues making the pie dough. A: I didn't have ice for the water, which I know is weird, but true. B. The shortening was mushy even though I put it in the freezer for about an hour before I used it. And C: I don't think the dough needed a whole cup of water. It was so sticky that I added probably close to another 1/2 C of flour and put the whole bowl into the freezer for a couple minutes before I even shaped the dough into disks to rest.

Aside from making the dough, constructing the pie was nice and easy. As I mentioned last week, I think my oven cooks on the cool side. This baking confirmed that 100%. After the recommended 40ish minutes I still had uncooked eggwash on the top of my very blond pie. The total cooking time was nearly 1:30 but it finally bubbled and got good color. Fortunately, I had to go to work this morning while it was cooling so there wasn't temptation to cut into the pie before time. This crust is delicious and flaky, but I do feel like it's a little heavy. Maybe I should just roll the top crust a little thinner if I'm making it again. I did make the full dough recipe so I'll have at least another pie's worth to play around with.

Check out the hosts for this week's recipe: Hilary and Liz.
For the rest of the TWD bakers check out the blogroll.

Wednesday, July 18

Semolina Loaf - TWD/BWJ

Ironic that I made this loaf a week early and it took me so long to get the post written up! Oh well. My initial impression of this bread was not great. If I bake, it's usually on my days off...and that means I have more things to do than schedule my day around bread dough rising. That being said, I tried to stick to the schedule, but every rise went over the recommended time. By the evening, though I had shaped the loaf, it was time to go to a birthday party and I just ended up putting the bread in the fridge overnight. In the light of day, my bread looked...sad and flat.

I carried on and baked the bread for the recommended time. I'm beginning to suspect my oven is a little on the cool side, as it had NO color. So I turned the broiler on for a couple minutes. Mucho better. 

While my loaf wasn't good for sandwiches or anything (was it even supposed to be?), it made great crostini! I made some fresh bruschetta and rubbed the slices with garlic and put it in the oven to crisp up. I think the subtle texture difference from the semolina was a nice change.

For the recipe, check out this week's hosts: Anna of Keep it Luce and Renee of The Way to My Family's Heart.

Tuesday, June 5

TWD: BWJ Oasis Naan

I enjoyed the simplicity of this naan recipe after some of the other more complicated ones lately. Some of mine ended up stretching out like the recipe said for the Persian naan, but it wasn't a big deal.
I just did simple garlic and kosher salt since I didn't have scallions on hand. My only problem seemed to be that they didn't get much color on top, even though I left them for longer than 8 minutes.
Verdict: tasty, but I might want to play around with the toppings more next time.

Tuesday, April 17

TWD: BWJ Lemon Loaves

One thing I can say first off about this week's selection is that it comes together very quickly. As in I went to get lemons at 8:20 this morning and was enjoying the results by 9:45. I made two mini loaves out of a half-recipe and it worked perfectly. Baking time was right around 33 minutes for that. The texture is great - kind of
like a lighter pound cake but still with a nice tight crumb. If I made it again, I'd definitely go for some sort of glaze per the top.

Tuesday, March 20

TWD: BWJ - Irish Soda Bread

Super simple recipe. Thank god. This really reminded me of just making a big biscuit or a scone, which if you are comparing ingredients, really all that's missing is butter or shortening. I may not have kneaded mine quite long enough but it never really got to the point where I could make a "disk" so into the pan it went.  

I chose to put raisins in mine, which I now regret, haha. I think it just kind of mars the nice taste and texture of the soda bread by itself. Fresh out of the oven, without even any butter, it was really quite good. I heard my mom mention something about soda bread french toast the other day; that might be how the rest of this loaf gets used up.

On a happy note, I made it to the bottom of my flour container! Wooo! Re-upped with some White Lily this time. For the recipes you can check out Cathy or Carla's sites and the main TWD site for the rest of the posters. Until next time!


Forgot to mention this earlier but I actually used fat free buttermilk (store only had a big jug of regular or the right size of fat free, so I went with that). From the taste/texture, it really wasn't affected by the lack of fat.

Tuesday, March 6

TWD: BWJ Rugelach

For those who baked through BFMHTY, this sounded like it would be a pretty similar recipe. To my recollection, this one was a bit more fussy. I halved the recipe; living alone and having just received my order of Girl Scout cookies, this was necessary. The dough came together very easily and rolled out without any problems. I admit, when it came to the filling and rolling, I was a bit more loose with the directions. One half of my dough got apricot preserves, cranberries and almonds, while the second half got black cherry preserves, almonds and bittersweet chocolate chunks. Surprisingly, the non-chocolate rugelach ended up my favorite. I do have to say, if I was going to make rugelach again, I'd stick with Dorie's recipe from BFMHTY.

  Thanks to Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker for picking a great recipe for the week!

Tuesday, February 7

TWD is BACK! White Loaves

I'm so happy to be baking along with all you ladies and gents again!

For the first recipe of the new book, the white loaves were a great choice. Personally, I needed a good rebound from those flipping marshmallows. The dough came together so easily, wasn't too sticky, and even after the butter was incorporated it was nice and pliable. I chose to knead partially by hand because I'm paranoid about overheating my KitchenAid. What would I do without it?! 

I probably could have left the bread in the oven for a little longer to get more of a golden color but honestly it smelled so good, I just wanted to get the bread out so I could have some. When rolling it out I added a layer of Parmesan cheese, which made a nice (small) swirl through the bread. It's been fantastic for sandwiches and grilled cheese. The crumb is nice and fine but it's not too dense either. Bottom line: I'm very happy with this and will be making it again soon!

For the recipe, visit either Jules or Laurie's blogs at Slush or Someone's In the Kitchen