Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by nubka, Dec 16, 2012.
Thank you . Though with all of the cookies 7 kinds, dozens each, I am skeptical that my company will eat half of them. I got a little carried away. Thinking about making lemon bars on Monday . Someone stop me!
I still have to clean and make Christmas dinner. Plus, the kids (4) will be here tomorrow night, to trim the tree - dinner. And tonight son will be here with gf - dinner. Planning on getting up early on Monday morning and being at the grocery store by 8:00am. That usually gets me a parking spot, before the crazy starts.
Aside from not burning the chocolate by nuking them as described, some chocolates are still too thick for what you want to use them for. So then you can add Paramount Crystal if you have them or Vegetable Oil, if you don't.
Another thing with chocolate, melt over a double boiler. If you don't have one, use a metal bowl inside of a pot with simmering water. MacMadame is right, chocolate gets thicker if it's over heated. And nuking takes the moisture out of it.
I dipped my rice krispie/peanut butter balls in melted chocolate yesterday. I used the metal bowl on top of the pot with the hot water to do it. It works well and once the burner is turned off, the hot water keeps the chocolate gooey enough to dip, but not hot enough to melt the peanut butter so it works well. Now if only I can stay away from the finished product....mmmmm
That probably explains why the one time I tried to nuke chocolate what resulted was a mass of lumps.
What I do, I'f I don't need to melt a lot of chocolate is nuke a bowl of water to boiling, then put the chocolate in a smaller bowl, put that bowl inside the one with the hot water and stir until it melts. It's fast for a small amount, for dipping. But, for a larger amount, it isn't hot long enough. For fudge, you boil the sugar, and evaporated milk for 6 minutes, take it off the heat, then you put the butter and chocolate into the boiled mixture. You never really cook the chocolate the hot liquid melts it.
I usually melt chocolate in the microwave, but what do is give it very short intervals, stir, nuke again, until just melted. Then I stir in a little bit I unmelted chocolate.
The trick is that the pieces melt but keep their shape until you stir so if you don you tend to overheat.
Double bole is safer, and I anything you coat/dip, you should really temper properly - but I'm too lazy.
I always use the microwave, but you can't zap it for longer than 20-30 second intervals, and stir after each time. Chocolate chips don't changed shape, so you have to stir to see if they are melted.
I always nuke mine and never had any problems with the moisture.
O.k., it's official. My holiday baking frenzy is over, and I never want to eat anything SWEET again...at least until Valentine's Day!
Resurrecting the FSU baking thread
While I am taking a break from work, one of my projects is a baking blog - some of it is links to recipes I really enjoyed, other things are some recipes itself (mostly from Danish resources or my mom), along with some notes on various experiments.
take a look
Nice blog - you certainly are a serious baker! I've gotten away from baking bread because I have an incredible artisan bakery very close to my house, but there's something very satisfying about making bread, isn't there?
I like your focus on heartier breads. The bread I've seen that looks sort of similar to your Danish rye is volkornbrodt (sp?). Yours looks yummy.
And I've never tried to make baguettes, but someone once gave me a special pan for the that has slits in the bottom. My first thought at looking at the way you laid yours out is that they were too close together in the pan and needed more air circulating around them to make the crust, but that is just a guess. They still look amazing.
Now, when are sending out samples?
Thanks! I did see baguette pans, and if I made them every other day - I did check my local goodwill store, but no baguette pans... I probably have too many things in my kitchen anyway.
Germany does have a version of my Danish rye bread, volkorn just means whole grain, I guess it can mean anything
Williams-Sonoma has a really nice baguette pan for sale:
I own one like this but it is solid without the perforated holes, and it bakes just fine.
There are less expensive pans on Amazon:
Great blog! I love baking bread (my favorites to make are braided challah, because they look so pretty!), but I definitely remember Rugbrod from the semester I lived in Odense. Great to have a recipe for it, thanks!
I have never made bread in my life. I really want to give it a try but I am horrified. I just know I will spend hours and it will turn out all wrong. I would like to try my first time making a dough for cinnamon rolls. I love cinnamon rolls and have always wanted to make my own from scratch but I have never made anything involving yeast.
Gordon Ramsay had episode about baking on his latest cooking show, and I heard the beginning from another room. I could have sworn he was raving about "bacon."
Don't be intimidated - bread is actually very forgiving (much more so than cakes, IMO). Really the most likely thing to go wrong is that you would either have dead yeast or you'd kill the yeast by using liquid that is too hot, but both of those potential downfalls are very easy to avoid. Proof your yeast (dissolve it in a bit of warm water with a bit of sugar and then make sure it grows - if it does, the yeast is alive). And test the temperature of your liquids (if you don't have a thermometer, an easy test is to dab a drop on the inside of your wrist - it should feel warm, not hot or cold).
Also, check out the cooking stores in your town. A lot of them will offer free / or relatively inexpensive one day classes on various cooking topics, including bread baking. It's a pretty good way to demystify bread (and other cooking topics), and pick up a few hints. Baking bread isn't all that difficult, it's (generally) just something that needs a good chunk of time (and even with that, a lot of the time is waiting for bread to rise.
Then again, I have a lot easier time with bread and sweets, than I do with proteins.
I've never made bread either. Another on who's a bit intimidated by yeast. How long does it take to proof the yeast? I also don't like to make pie dough or cookies that need to be rolled out. Not intimidated, just hate the mess . One of the reasons I rarely make gnocchi.
I've made some bread and can deal with yeast, years of working in education and making Challah bread with kiddies has made sure of that. I'm fine so long as I can figure out whether the yeast I use is similar to what's mentioned in the recipe.
But this is a good bread recipe for people who'd rather not deal with yeast. It really is beyond easy, and very versatile.
As bitty bug says, it is not hard. Proof the yeast if you want to make sure - directios are on the back of a yeast package too.
You don't need a machine or dough hooks or anything either (a lot of people I meet seems to think so). I make all my bread kneading by hand, if feels more zen hat way.
For the kneading, it is a feel, but you can learn .
Note that depending on your flour's moisture content, kitchen temp and more, you might need more or less flour than any recipe calls for. Start with about 90% of the flour, and add more while kneading. Most breads (aka common recipes) should feel smooth and not sticky after a few moments of kneading.
EDIT: Just thought about this. Dough is always sticky, but to me, the enough flour is when it wants to stick to itself more than your fingers or the table.
Also - thank you all for looking at my blog
If you are in doubt about the feel of an elastic dough, try kneading a common white bread (including cinnamon roll dough!) for about 10 minutes. If you try to pull the dough apart, it should hold for a while without breaking (I see professional bakers wanting to be able to pull until you can get a thin see through window pane - I rarely bother kneading that long)
Hmm, maybe I should do cinnamon rolls soon for my blog. Yum! I have a backlog of pics to edit from various project already though!
I use a silicone baking mat. Awesome for kneading and rolling out stuff - less messy!
Maybe 20 minutes off the top of my head, but as Ms. Viking said, the directions are on the back of the package so you'll know.
I can totally relate to that - flour everywhere! But, if you have a pastry scraper, it makes collecting all that flour much easier. (The same tool is also great for collecting chopped veggies to transfer them to a bowl or pan.)
Glad to see this thread is alive again!
I went through a period a few years ago where I spent the entire winter baking bread (trying to improve my feeble skills.) I had to stop, because my family and I were eating way too much of it - even when it didn't turn out perfect, we ate it all anyway. Something about warm bread out fresh out of the oven (even with imperfections) was just too much to resist, lol!
I just got back a few days ago from a fun trip to St. Lucia, where I definately indulged my passion for coconut desserts. Anyone here have a favorite coconut recipe to share?
I know this sounds dangerous, but I use the back of my chopping knife to do that. But, I like that tool, need one! I do have granite counter tops, so I could use it right on the counter.
Yes, it does.
You can find even cheaper versions at kitchen supply stores (I think mine was $6) and I guarantee you will get more than your money's worth out of it.
When I chop herbs, mince onions/garlic, I use the knife to scrape it off the cutting board. I should say that I usually hold the cutting board over the pot and scrape what's on it directly into the pot. But, on occasion I do use it like a pastry scraper . I use a small plastic cutting board, I don't like wooden ones (they never feel clean enough).
OK, I actually do that too (use the knife to scrape stuff off the board). It's using it on the counter that sounds scary.
Agree about wooden cutting boards feeling like they never really get clean. I have one I use only for bread so I don't worry about it, and I have a few bamboo ones which I've read contain natural antibiotic properties that I use for vegetables. I always scrub those with a brush to get in any grooves. But for any type of meat or fish, I use a plastic board that I can pop in the dishwasher.