Friday, February 27, 2009

Cornbread. With bacon, of course.

Cornbread is a quickbread, made with chemical leavening, so it can be made pretty easily. It can be made delicious by adding bacon:

Here's how simple it is to make: Step 1: mix dry ingredients. Step 2: mix wet ingredients:

Step 3: mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and in this case, add some corn:

Pour into a pan (muffin tin, whatever), top with bacon, bake, and never use a mix again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chocolate Chess Pie

I had heard of chess pie before but didn't know what it was. So I cracked open my best cookbook for this sort of thing (it is called "Pie." Seriously) and found a recipe. I decided to make a chocolate one just in case. You can't go wrong with chocolate. You can go wrong with strange new recipes.

Here is the pie crust, almost ready for a partial baking. Next time I'll par-bake the crust a little bit more, as my brother thought it was a little too chewy. You can see that I rolled this out in between sheets of wax paper - the size is just about right so you don't need to worry about your crust fitting in your dish and there is a bit less flour to clean up after:

The filling - a mix of chocolate, butter, eggs and vanilla:

The crust, partially baked and cooling:

And the pie, ready to go in the oven:

This was a good experiment, and I'll probably try the basic Chess pie and maybe lemon, too, soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I've always really liked Challah, so I was delighted to find a recipe for it in my trusty "Bread Baker's Apprentice." I was interested in the challenge of shaping this loaf properly and I'll be attempting some more challenging shapings in the future:

This is a richer bread than some I've made - there is a bit more sugar in the dough, and 3 eggs. Here's the dough before any kneading:

And after kneading, ready for the first rise. You can already see a little bit of condensation on the plastic wrap even though I've only left the dough as long as it takes me to grab my camera. The condensation won't gather, really. It is just evidence that the yeast is working:

After rising, the dough split into 6 small balls ready to be shaped and braided:
And the loaves after braiding and a final rise, right before they went into the oven.

This bread is so nice for toasting, sandwiches and alongside soup that I think I'll be making it again soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A finished, not quite properly shaped baguette. This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma "Baking" Book:
The recipe begins with a starter that ferments before you add the bulk of the flour and do any kneading. Starters are great because they extend the rising time and add to the flavor of the finished loaf. This particular starter has a bit of yeast, sugar, flour and warm water:

After adding more flour, kneading and rising, I sliced the dough into three chunks to shape:

Here they are after rising a bit. You can see that I didn't quite manage pretty loaves, here. Baguettes are very difficult to shape properly and I need some practice:

But they were tasty anyway - look out for prettier loaves in the future!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Apple-Cinnamon Oat Bread

A finished Apple-Cinnamon Oat boule. I was working, this time, in a kitchen with no loaf pans, so I looked for a recipe that seemed like it would hold up well in a rustic shape. I also needed a recipe that would make tasty toast, since the friends I was visiting frequently have that for breakfast. I used a great recipe from the King Arthur Flour website, though I left out the nuts:
Here is the rather wet dough - because you can always add flour - before kneading:

After the first rise:

The shaped bread:

And ready to go into the oven after a second rise:

I love the King Arthur recipes but I was surprised to see that a lot of them don't use bread flour - including this one. When you use regular flour you'll need to knead a bit more to develop the gluten, but the bread is often just as delicious!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

After successfully making ciabatta, I decided that I should continue making bread - but do a better job of documenting it.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread, mixed and ready for a first rise:

And filling the bowl, ready to be shaped:

I only had one loaf pan, and loaves are easy, so I decided to make a boule and a loaf of bread. The trick to a boule is getting enough surface tension to maintain a decent shape:

The bread after a few hours of rising. The boule held on well!

And the finished product:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I made bread for the first time in a long time, and didn't even think to take pictures until I was headed out the door, late, to a lunch and thought I should prove that I had a reason to be tardy - shaped ciabatta, sitting in a couche, ready to rise:

And when I returned it had risen and, well, fallen a bit:

But it baked up beautifully!

The recipe is from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice." 

and then I made some granola, from Fritz's mom's recipe. Dorothea has a great basic recipe that I've been modifying depending on the nuts and fruits that I had around. This batch has almonds, pecans, cinnamon and no fruit.