Thursday, July 29, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
24 hours ago, this counter top was covered in salmon in big bowls of brine, getting ready to stick in the smoker. That's also quite labor-intensive, but after the "slime line" of filleting, it's actually quite pleasant.
Consequently, it might seem expected that this post would be about a salmon dish. Perhaps poached salmon dijonnaise? Veronique? Grilled with Lime, Sesame and Ginger Butter, perhaps? So many to choose from, I know.
But after a kitchen full of raw salmon for almost three days straight, the thought of it made me a little queasy. Ironic? Yes. Sad? Maybe. Changeable? No. Sue me, I didn't eat any of that salmon fresh.
I made bread instead.
Because I'm heading into a busy couple of weeks, I decided to double the recipe and make one loaf and 12 rolls. So, I started out pouring the molasses, water and yeast in this bowl, which was currently taking a break from brining. You know when you just get a feeling that something yeasty is about to... well.. grow? I definitely got this feeling here. I don't know if the molasses gave it a little extra kick, but as soon as I saw the yeast bloom, I knew where this was going. Big big loaves of bread!
I added some of the flour, and- What? I have to beat this batter for 10 minutes? Look, I'm a pretty strong kneader/whisker, but TEN MINUTES? Into the KitchenAid! (The bowl needed a break, anyway).
That sponge rested, while I played with my new iPad. Again- this sponge was just so lively, it doubled in about 20 minutes.
I added more flour, oil, salt and... wait, did the recipe say bran? Crap. For some reason I wrote down "wheat germ". Um... I don't really know why my brain did that, but whatever. I went with it. I added wheat germ instead of bran (I'd like to see if I can get through this project without a substitution of something) and carried on. Some light kneading later --I assume this is because the 10 minutes of beating built up a healthy amount of gluten-- and it went back into the big original bowl, because as I said, this dough is gonna rise. And rise it did. And then I forgot to take a picture.
The recipe says if you have time, you can punch down the dough for a second rising. It was a lazy Saturday, so I did that. I took the now-monstrous dough out of my oven (which is gas, so even when it's off, the pilot light keeps it toasty warm). I divided the dough in two, rolling out and rolling up half according to the directions. The other half I pulled off little balls and put them in a greased muffin tin. It came out pretty perfect, actually. Now, I remember seeing a video where someone demonstrates the proper technique for kneading and pulling dough for rolls, but I didn't do that. Mostly because I forgot about that video until I sat down to type this entry.
So everything went back into the "cool" oven for another rise (that's number three if you're keeping track). I pulled it out after 25 minutes or so, and looky here- I think they proofed pretty good, huh? I dusted the tops with more wheat germ and stuck them in the oven.
The rolls came out of the oven 20 minutes later, and the bread about 40. The bread was indeed very very tall for a regular loaf. I look forward to nice big sandwiches. The rolls- which I had to try to make sure they were alright to take to a dinner party tonight- had a great crunchy crust, and nice crumb and a good flavor. The molasses was a nice touch- I always feel like it deepens the flavor some- and was excellent with butter and the last jar of last year's jam.
Monday, July 19, 2010
There's something about melting chocolate - maybe the smell - that just drives me crazy. I've been on a chocolate kick for the past couple of weeks - pouring through the recipes in my all chocolate cook book. Our little yurt has been over-heated almost every night and has almost permanently taken on the strong smells of cocoa, butter and cream. Ganache, frosting, sunday topper, cake, and now brownies.
The batter was very smooth but also thick and a little foamy from the beaten eggs. I carefully folded in the melted chocolate and butter and added the chopped nuts. This recipe really makes a lovely batter.
Batter in pan and ready for oven.
I have always steered clear of baking my brownies in a shallow pan. Mostly because I love a thick gooey browny and it seems like my brownies always get too crunchy in a shallow pan. However, that's what the Fiddlehead cookbook called for - so in the interest of actually testing it out for this blog, I pulled out my thin baking pan (essentially a cookie sheet with sides). After preping the pan (butter and flour), I poured the delectable batter into the pan and slid it into the oven to cook.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I can't remember the last time I had a weekend morning at home to bake something for breakfast. My husband and I take advantage of the weekends for our summer adventures, but I decided I needed a weekend at home. I knew I was going to bake these scones - I love, love, LOVE them!
And I used raisins instead of currants. Come to think of it - I've never even seen a currant.
I used two of my favorite kitchen tools for these scones - a Silpat (which I swear by for all my baking) and my dough scaper/scone slicer (I don't know what it's really called).
My husband likes to eat them with butter and jam, but I like them plain. In my opinion, they don't need anything else. :)
Like most other Fiddlehead recipes, these require a small number of ingredients, are relatively quick to make, and are super yummy. I highly recommend them!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Its dishes like these that make me LOVE my mandolin slicer for quicker, more even cooking. Each one, perfect!