Bread- texture and crumb- plus a recipe.

Poppyseed rolls using stamp

Poppyseed roll using a stamp- it looks fancier than it tastes!

I have been making lots of bread since the new year started.  And playing around with recipes and methods- because I want the bread to be to my liking.  I don’t really care too much about how it looks- I want it to taste and feel right in my mouth.  I’m looking for a slightly yeasty, stretchy dough similar to those I remember from my youth when we would get a loaf of Vienna bread from the bakery in Akron on the way home from church on Sunday.   That loaf never made it home.  We ripped off pieces and ate them in the car- oblivious to the crumbs on our Sunday dresses- passing the loaf from hand to hand and tearing off a chunk of crust and delectable crumb that stretched as we pulled it off.

I’ve been making bread since I was 18 years old and have only now come close to that

bread.

Sourdough lof raised in a banneton

This looks right- but the texture isn’t quite stretchy- although the flavor is wonderful!

I love the bread I make- especially the sourdough- but like I said- the texture isn’t quite right.  And I don’t think it is about the recipe, either-  flour,yeast, salt olive oil and water- in varying amounts is what I’m using- usually with a cup or less of sourdough starter mixed in.

Poppy seeds and slashes make this loaf appealing.
The crumb is acceptable and great for sandwiches and toast.

So if the recipe is good- then it is about the method.  And I’ve been playing about with using old dough ( which is adding a piece of yeasted dough that has been saved in the refrigerator from a previous bread session- this adds to the leavening process and brings a flavor akin to sourdough ) and adding to the raising times.  I’ve been doing two raises- punching the dough down and letting it raise twice before shaping and allowing the final raise before baking and those two have added up to being very close to what I’m looking for in texture.

Knotty Italian rolls- twice raised and twisted into shape.

Finally the stretchy crumb I’ve been looking for!

 

 

 

I’ve been making these for years, but the addition of the old dough has made a significant difference in the crumb!

When pulling them apart there is that stretchy quality and that extra give upon biting into the roll.

Here is the recipe for the Italian rolls-  http://www.heidiannie.com/baking-day/   – you have to scroll down a bit to get to the recipe- I was rather chatty the day I posted this!  :)

 

 

 

 

And I also found another recipe I had forgotten about-  I really like these bread sticks- but I had misplaced the recipe and hadn’t made them for a while.  I’m going to post it here so I can find it later even if I misplace the card again!!!

These also have a very nice stretchy quality to them-they are delicious by themselves- great with a dip or pate` and freeze beautifully!

Salted breadsticks!
Topped with sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese, and black salt and poppyseed.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 sticks butter

2 egg yolks

1 cup sour cream

2-3 tsp salt ( I like salt- you might want to use the smaller measurement)

2 tsp. dry yeast proofed in 1/2 cup warm water.

Method:

Bring all ingredients to room temperature, then mix all together in large bowl.  Depending on the flour and the type of day, you may need to use a little extra water- you are looking for a fairly sticky dough- but still dry enough that you can shape into a ball.  When you have a ball with all the ingredients well mixed, place on floured counter and cover with the bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.

Lightly whip egg whites until they are just frothy and set aside.

Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick, brush on half of the egg whites, fold dough and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.

Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick again and brush on egg white, add salt, cheese or seeds on top.  Cut into sticks , twist and place on baking sheet.Bake at 350 degrees F until golden- about 15 minutes.

 

Sesame seed breadsticks- so good!

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut sheet cake with cream cheese frosting- recipe

Coconut sheet cake with cream cheese frosting- a moist dense cake.

I love coconut cake.

I love chocolate and yellow cakes, as well.

I love cake, period.

But coconut cake has such a clean edge to it- the flavor is permeated within the cake itself and then you have a bonus of toasted coconut on top, mmm!

But it is hard to find a homemade cake that has the right flavor and mouth feel.

I like the Sara Lee frozen coconut cake- but I wanted to make my own so I went to the recipe index on the internet and combined and played with the ingredients and amounts and came up with this winner!!!

Notice that there is no leavening agent in the ingredients- the eggs are used to raise  the crumb – and this is a rather dense cake- more like a pound cake than a sponge cake.

Ingredients:

1 cup soft butter

6 ounces soft cream cheese

6 eggs, separated

1  tsp vanilla extract

2 cups plain or A/P flour

1/3 cup coconut flour (if you can’t find flour, put some in the food processor until it is quite fine

1/4 cup coconut milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x 13 in. cake pan.

Cream sugar into cream cheese and butter.  Add yolks, one at a time, until batter is

smooth and light.  Whip egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside.

Add vanilla and mix well,  Add coconut milk, mix- then add plain and coconut flour and

mix well.  Fold egg whites into mixture – carefully- you want it well mixed but still with lots of air in the batter.  Gently scoop batter into greased pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  The cake should raise slightly whilst baking and will be a little browned on the edges – check doneness by inserting a clean knife or toothpick in center- when it comes out clean, the cake is done.Allow to cool completely and then ice with cream cheese icing.

I used 1/2 cup butter

6 ounces cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups 10x or confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup coconut flour

and beat it with a hand mixer until it was creamy

.Then topped the frosted cake with 1/2 cup toasted coconut.

I think the icing was a little too thick, but Frank likes more icing than I do.  Half the recipe if your tastes run along with mine!

In My Kitchen- January 2014

Not such a lot going on in my kitchen this month, yet.

 

I had my grandsons for a week while their parents went to

 

a coffee plantation in Nicaragua for a much needed break.

 

So – I spent a lot of time playing video games (mostly watching )

 

working on science observations with microscope and magnifying

 

glass- reading a large number of books, putting on boots, taking off

 

boots, keeping track of mittens, making lots of bacon dishes, and

 

basically trying to keep them happy to be with grandma while

 

Mommy and Daddy were gone.  Did I mention they were 3 and 5 years

 

old?    So the first item on my list is outside my kitchen-

 

on the deck…

 

These two did a great job cleaning off the deck- and they didn’t stop until it was done- pretty good for a 3 and 5 year old

 

 

 

where these two little sweeties were shoveling the snow off of for Grandpa!

 

 

In my kitchen…

MY kitchen chair!

 

Is this chair that I bought at a thrift store many years ago.  I love it- it is the right height

 

for a kitchen chair for me- it is perfect to sit at the counter and chop vegetables.  It is also

 

perfect for little boys to sit at the table.

 

 

So I haven’t been able to use it the last week or so.  My youngest grandson thinks this

 

is HIS chair!

 

In my kitchen…

 

A wooden spoon and flat spatula- made of ash and walnut!

 

is this lovely set of wooden utensils.  I love treen ware- my niece bought these from

 

a man who makes them in his state of West Virginia.  I love them!

 

 

In my kitchen…

 

is this picture of a bird on a coffee bush and…

 

 

 

a bag of coffee from the plantation where my son and his wife stayed!

 

 

 

 

And in my kitchen…

Sourdough marbled rye bread with caraway seeds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef stew- one of my husband’s favorite

winter meals!

 

That is what is in my kitchen- what is in your kitchen this January 2014?

This is part of an on going series hosted by my friend Celia at Fig jam and lime cordial.   Take a look

at all the posts there this year!