There is something about chocolate. Something rich and important. Something of substance. Something necessary. Chocolate can be simple, basic or chocolate can be fancy, elegant. This dessert is both. Literally both. All four things at once. Simple, basic, fancy, elegant. Chocolate, I have found is also the easiest thing to bake gluten free with. CocoaContinue reading “Flourless”
I have been tried and true making the same lemon bar recipe for years. I want everyone to brace themselves. This recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of sugar. I know! If someday I can find a way to make lemon bars as good as these with less sugar I will be sure to letContinue reading “Lemon bars taste like summer”
I love scones. They are my number one favorite thing to bake but also favorite treat.
My basic recipe is almost always the same, I deviate based on the flavors I add. Sometimes you have to change the amount of wet ingredients if you are adding something wet like berries.
4 C flour
6 T sugar
8 t baking powder
1 C butter (2 sticks) cubed
1 C milk or half and half or almond milk
2 eggs (beaten)
2 t vanilla
Combine your dry ingredients.
Cut in the butter until its is in pea sized pieces. Mix your milk, vanilla, and eggs together in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the wet ingredients in. Fold the dough onto itself and mix until just combined, don’t overmix. Add in whatever you want. Bake at 400 for 18 minutes. Cool. Glaze. Because the best scones have glaze.
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I Heart Bagels
Saturday mornings are for bagels and coffee. This morning I made bagels. I must be honest and tell you that I actually starting making bagels last night. So, Friday nights are for feeding starter and making dough, then tucking it in for the night.
This was my second attempt at sourdough bagels. I have to say, I am pleased. Let’s go through step by step, in case you want to make these pillowy goddesses.
1/14 cups water
2 cups ripe sourdough starter ( you can read in my weekly-s page how to feed your starter, p.s. ripe is a technical term)
5 cups flour (any flour- if you use white flour you may need about 5 1/4-1/2, if you use wheat, definitely only 5, I use Wheat Montana flour)
1 tablespoon salt ( I use pink himalayan)
1 tablespoon olive oil (+1 tablespoon olive oil to coat the bread bowl later)
Other stuff you need!:
damp flour sack towel
flour to roll dough out on
cookie sheets with parchment paper
Boiling water and between a teaspoon and tablespoon of baking soda
cooling racks- to let the bagels drip dry before baking
cornmeal to keep the bagels from sticking to the cookie sheet
egg wash- 1 egg, splash o water
toppings!!!! See below- whatever you want!
A caveat before we begin, I have probably looked at about 20 recipes for bagels/sourdough bagels. I have a kitchen aid mixer and it is easiest to use a dough hook for making the bagel dough. The dough gets quite stiff, but if you want an arm workout, you can feel free to kneed by hand. First, I mix the 2 cups starter with the water in the mixer bowl. I use a fork. I make sure the starter is completely dissolved then I add the flour, salt, and oil. I turn on the mixer with the dough hook and stir until just combined, but you can still see a little flour that isn’t quite mixed in. Then shut her down and let the dough sit just as it is for about 10 minutes. Go feed your starter again, pour a glass of wine, do a dish or two, then come back. This stage is a crazy science stage called autolysis. Again if you don’t know a lot about sourdough, read my bread section in weekly-s.
OK, Turn your mixer back on and let it go for about 2 minutes at a low speed, then turn it up to medium for another 2 minutes. Your mixer, depending on her age, might start to struggle near the end, if so just turn it down and keep an eye on it. I gifted myself a new mixer in December, happy birthday to me, so mine does fine with the stiff dough. When its done mixing I lift the head of my mixer up, with dough still attached to hook and pour a little olive oil, about a tablespoon in my bowl, swipe it around to coat the bowl then peel the dough off the hook and place in the bowl. Tuck it in overnight with a damp towel over the top or some cling wrap on the counter. Tell your dough, “I’ll see you in the morning!” then continue your Friday night. For me, it was watching cold case files with my husband and drinking a delicious raspberry sour beer.
On Saturday morning, whenever you decide to rise and shine, dump your dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. I have a large silpat I use, easy clean up. DO NOT KNEED THE DOUGH! Coax your dough into an oval and slightly flatten it. Cut the dough into equal squares, if you have some little ones your can combine those. It depends on the size of your squares as to how big the bagels will be. I did about 18, I vary them in size. Sometimes its nice to have baby bagels.
Now you need to shape the bagels. Take a square in your hand and use the C part of your hand between your thumb and index finger to round the edges, pull the dough around the edges down underneath then use your thumb and index finger to squeeze through the center of the rounded dough. Next stretch the hole a little and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat- until your bagels are shaped.
Now you have about an hour. In this time you could go back to bed, take your dog for a walk, or go to hot yoga. I did the latter. I left my shaped bagels on the counter and covered them with a damp towel.
An hour later they had risen slightly, were pillowy and ready to go for a swim. I brought water to a boil in a large pot, while this was happening I chose my toppings. Once the water was boiling I added some baking soda. This is where I reverted back to my previous self. I got a spoon out of the utensil drawer, stuck it in the baking soda and dumped it in. It was not a soup spoon, but a smaller spoon. It was larger than a teaspoon but less than a tablespoon. Rats. As you can see about I gave a general guideline, I don’t think it really matters.
I boiled 3 at a time so I could keep them from touching. You boil them for about a minute, flipping them over at the 30 second mark. I used a wooden spoon to do this and it worked great. I did not set a timer, I just counted to 30, I got out all my toppings during the 30 second increments I boiled the bagels in and made an egg wash.
I transferred the boiled bagels to wire rack so they could drip dry a little.
I set the oven temp to 450 degrees and I egg washed all my bagels so my toppings would stick. Then I prepped my cookie sheets for baking by sprinkling them with cornmeal. This helps the bagels not to stick and adds a nice texture to the bottom of the bagels. Finally I transferred the bagels to the cookie sheets and…topping time! I did 5 different types of bagels, just to keep it interesting. I did 4 jalapeno cheddar, 4 cinnamon sugar, 5 everything, 2 garlic (Matt’s favorite), and 2 parmesan. I didn’t do any plain ones- because I like toppings- but do whatever you want!
Bake at 450 about 20-25 minutes, but mine took 27. It depends on your oven and probably how big your bagels are.
Cool. Stand back and admire your bagels.
Cut, toast, shmear, enjoy. Sigh.
Cranberry Nut Bread
Is there anything for you that just says “home” and “holidays”? For me it’s cranberry nut bread. My mom makes this bread every holiday season at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s my favorite thing in the world. I have been making it for a few years. It never turns out exactly like hers. But its close.
- 2 cups of flour (sifted)
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs beaten (1 large egg, 2 small eggs)
- 1 T orange zest
- 2/3 cups orange juice +2 T melted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup chopped cranberries
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it all goes in one bowl. I love it when its simple. First I mix all the dry ingredients together including the sugar with a whisk. Add the chopped nuts and cranberries and stir. Then add the liquids and the eggs (beat the eggs first). Stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Spicy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 3 cups of flour
- 2 t ginger
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t cloves
- 1/2 t nutmeg
- 1 t cardamom
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter- room temp
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 t vanilla
- 1/3 c molasses
- granulated sugar to roll dough in
These cookies are the best. You can make them either chewy or crunchy. I usually do half the batch chewy and half the batch crunchy. First mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 1 egg, then vanilla and then molasses (for molasses-I always spray my measuring cup with cooking spray- helps the molasses come out easier). Slowly add the dry ingredients. Chill the dough for 2 hours. Shape dough into balls approximately 1 inch, roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (8 for more chewy, 10 for more crispy). Cool. Enjoy.