February 22 Not every bake is beautiful


Gasp!  Bread that’s not gorgeous?!?  What am I posting?  How can I show people that I am an amazing/perfect baker?!?

Life is about recovery and learning from failure. 

This bake just got away from me.  The final proof was too long (was distracted with other more pressing activity) and the dough stuck on the couche.  

The crumb is at least decent. 


Tomorrow will be better. 

February 20 Baking Stone vs Aluminum pan

Been attempting an original recipe for Vietnamese baguettes.  One of the “Perfect Sourdough” FB members shared a high hydration high protein recipe and I converted it to sourdough and used 5% brown rice flour to hopefully yield a crisper crust. 

The member also noted that she did not have a baking stone, but baked on an aluminum sheet pan.  I did a comparison bake for her, keeping everything thing else constant. 

With a higher thermal mass and better heat transfer, the baking stone produced an almost 50% increase in volume and a more open crumb structure. 

February 20 Chocolate mini bundt cakes


The family has been watching the Kid’s Baking Championship and the little one has the volcano cake challenge on repeat.  Of course, we needed to make our own.  But first we needed a base recipe for a chocolate mini bundt cake. 

Scouring my many cookbooks produced a whopping zero recipes!  One of the cake recipes could have been adapted, but with no knowledge of bundt cake baking dynamics, it wasn’t worth the risk.  As such, the Internet it is. 

My fast, easy and yet moist baking requirement was met with Two Peas & Their Pod chocolate bundt cake recipe, as it included sour cream. 

Next time, 1/2 the batter will be made.  The recipe yielded enough for 12 mini bundt cakes. Which I presume is a regular bundt cake size. I do dislike american measurements, difficult to scale appropriately. 

Here is an adapted recipe, for a 6 mini bundt cake pan. Note that I use significantly less sugar but increase the cocoa powder ratio.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup water
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

December 27 Morning Buns

One of the benefits of a cold house is that laminating dough is easier. Got a request for morning buns, and I haven’t had an opportunity to make some in the new house. This batch used Peter Reinhart’s all purpose sweet dough recipe in “Artisan Bread Every Day.” The dough was prepared the night before, and the morning buns assembled the morning off. However, given the rise time requirement, it was more of a lunch bun treat.

The bake was at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

morning buns

December 25 Pan Perdu

Christmas morning requires a special breakfast, and breakfast treats for me is pan perdu. While I did bake a day before so I had some boules to sacrifice, I don’t routinely stock the fridge with cream. As such, we were forced with a low fat, milk version. Not as decadent, but surprisingly good.

pan perdu

March 9 Donut Bread Pudding

Since I didn’t go into work on Thursday, I had a box of Stan’s Glazed Donuts at my disposal. Since there was no way I was going to throw them away, I knew it was time to let necessity take action. The best donuts in California will beget the best bread pudding, right?

Donut bread pudding

Ingredients:

  • 5 glazed donuts, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 g salt
  • 4 eggs

Method:

  • Combine heavy cream, sugar, salt, and eggs and mix thoroughly with a wisk.
  • Pour mixture over cubed donuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Bake for 1:15 – 1:30 until knife comes out clean.
  • Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup (or condensed milk if you’re going Thai style).

Jan 7 Raisin Pecan weeknight sourdough

With the refrigerator retarding the dough, weeknight baking is pretty easy. While these weeknight loaves aren’t super impressive, they do satisfy the baking itch. And as raisin pecan sourdoughs, they are pretty decent. These are 25% raisins, 15% pecan, and 5% whole wheat.

raisin pecan sourdough

raisin pecan sourdough

raisin pecan sourdough

Nov 24 Week night sourdough

Sometimes baking bread over the weekend simply isn’t enough. While my week night sourdoughs don’t have the same panache as the weekend loaves, they are still satisfying to bake and eat.

week night boule

The week night boule also highlighted that my bread knife needed sharpening. Its cutting ability can only be called “tearing.”

week night boule