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Cooking At Home & Shopping => Cooking at Home or with friends => Topic started by: Melomom on November 15, 2009, 05:01:33 PM

Title: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on November 15, 2009, 05:01:33 PM
I like to bake, but my efforts are strictly home style, not professional pastry type.  I have recently come across a couple of baking blogs that have lots of good ideas.  One is called Joy the Baker, here:

http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/

I love her photography and sense of humor.  Another one, more commercial, is the King Arthur blog associated with the flour company and baking catalog:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/

Today I baked the Eggnog Cinnamon Scones from a recent entry.  Baked this morning, but I actually mixed them up yesterday.  The recipe calls for freezing the shaped scones for 30 minutes to help with the rising and flakiness, and I e-mailed the editors to see if they could be frozen, say, overnight.  Answer was yes - so all I did this morning was take them out of the freezer, brush with eggnog, sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake about 8 minutes longer than the original recipe.  A really nice eggnog scent.  I did not have cinnamon chips so I just worked some cinnamon sugar into the dough.  Very well-received by my breakfast guest.

About eggnog, I was a little skeptical of using it as an ingredient, but I came across the Organic Valley brand at Whole Foods.  It does not have the ersatz ingredients of some nogs and it actually tastes good on its own. 

More baking now, the banana bread out of the KA Baking Companion.  This one calls for a cup of yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk, one of which I usually have on hand, along with bananas that need to either go in the freezer or into muffins or bread. 
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on December 01, 2009, 07:09:19 PM
I have been baking a lot of bagels lately, using a recipe and technique from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  Here is a link to a step by step based on that recipe:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/bagels

I've also been hearing a lot about Montreal's bagels and how much better they are supposed to be than New York's, here is a little something on this topic:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/montreals-bagels-square-off-against-new-yorks/

I like the picture with the "tout garni" bagels -- wait, those are everything bagels, right?

Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Marmite Loving Euniculus on December 01, 2009, 07:16:59 PM
Baked a loaf of banana bread with oatmeal replacing part of the flour that turned out surprisingly well with a nice caramalized crust. Not to mention sweet, moist, and full of real butter goodness.

It's been a long time since I baked from scratch and never considered myself more than marginally competent at it.  ;D
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Barnum on December 24, 2009, 12:11:43 PM

Just put a Black Russian Cake in the oven (chocolate bundt cake w/ kahlua and vodka).  Mother-in-law will make the pumpkin mousse to be served with this for a KILLER combination.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on December 24, 2009, 12:53:52 PM

Just put a Black Russian Cake in the oven (chocolate bundt cake w/ kahlua and vodka).  Mother-in-law will make the pumpkin mousse to be served with this for a KILLER combination. 

Damn, now you are talking...     I don't speak Russian and I still think I could get around a nice hunk of that cake, or even the pumpkin mousse, or both....

.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Roxro on January 04, 2010, 05:31:48 PM
That Black Russian cake seems like just the ticket to use up some of my homemade Christmas Kahlua!  Yum...
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on February 27, 2010, 05:18:21 PM
Tried a new recipe for flapjacks from Bon Appetit (which I am getting in lieu of the dear departed Gourmet), first one I have felt like trying from this magazine in a long time.  (I used to find a lot of recipes there, including some of my most successful, but no more.)  These aren't pancakes but a kind of bar cookie popular in the UK.  They are supremely easy to make and my tasters loved them. 

Here's the recipe:

http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2010/03/bar_none

Sounds like the triangles will be small but they are rich.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on February 28, 2010, 05:34:39 PM
I have enjoyed looking at the Tastespotting website, seems the whole world is always baking something very yummy.  Lots and lots of cupcakes, and lots of vegan recipes I would like to try.  I alighted on a recipe for an orange-ricotta poundcake from a Giada de Laurentis recipe. 

http://newfinmysoup.blogspot.com/2010/02/ricotta-orange-pound-cake-with.html

It has a good orange flavor, I did not have any Amaretto so added a little almond extract.  Also used the King Arthur unbleached cake flour for the first time.  Very moist, some poundcakes can be dry.  I picked up some nice strawberries at YDFM this morning, with a little whipped cream we had a nice dessert.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on March 08, 2010, 05:17:52 PM
Chewy chocolate chip cookies from the King Arthur Baking Book.  I usually make the crispy kind, but chewy were requested this evening.  Tasty, another successful recipe from this book.  (I subscribed one time to their newsletter, which I didn't think was any good, but the baker's blog on the website is usually interesting.)  The chocolate chips I had on hand were the Ghiradelli 60% cacao, but I have to say I think I prefer the Ghiradelli semisweet chips.  Won't complain about chocolate, though!
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on May 01, 2010, 08:31:39 AM
I am finding lots of good recipes via the Tastespotting site.  So many great cooking and baking blogs!  I love scones but so many recipes make heavy, dense doorstops, or they have so much fat that they are almost greasy.  I saw strawberry scones at Panera earlier this week and then came across this recipe from a Tastespotting link:

http://hazelbloom.typepad.com/the-hazel-bloom/2010/04/strawberry-mini-scones.html

Well, who doesn't like mini anything?  Nice strawberries from Publix.  I used all butter since I didn't have any shortening and I brushed with just cream and no egg before sprinkling with sanding sugar.  So good!  Definitely a weekend breakfast kind of thing since they take a little more time than muffins, but worth it.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on March 30, 2011, 06:27:15 PM
I always used the peanut butter cookie recipe from Joy of Cooking, but last time tried Alton Brown's recipe.  It is in one of his books but I've seen it on the internet also.  I love JOC so it pains me to say it, but Alton's recipe is far superior.  The cookies are not at all greasy, very light with a good peanut flavor.  Baking another batch tonight.

Note:  here is a link to a site with the recipe:

http://abreiden.wordpress.com/2007/10/07/peanut-butter-cookies/

I halved the recipe and it still made over 4 dozen.  I used two eggs and omitted the granulated sugar topping.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: MadBob on April 03, 2011, 08:15:09 AM
Are you using a digital scale for the p-butter cookies, or any of your baking? I wonder if a triple beam scale would come close to accurate measure instead of using my eyeball and a measuring cup? I am a peanut butter freak. Plain, chunky, on celery, on a spoon, on my banana samich, with honey.... and thanks for the PB Cookie site!
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on April 03, 2011, 02:04:40 PM
Are you using a digital scale for the p-butter cookies, or any of your baking? I wonder if a triple beam scale would come close to accurate measure instead of using my eyeball and a measuring cup? I am a peanut butter freak. Plain, chunky, on celery, on a spoon, on my banana samich, with honey.... and thanks for the PB Cookie site! 

I would think that a dial-a-gram triple-beam scale would be plenty accurate for measuring flour etc., after all it is accurate enough to be used in laboratories and many, many other places..    ;)    I use mine when I need to split hairs on doubled bread recipes or when mixing cake flour and regular flour.  I have also used it when working with Jason's very hydrated pizza dough and a few super-soft desert doughs I used to make. 

My terrific counter digital scale is very nice, but you have to pull a rubber cover off of the bottom of it to change it from grams to ounces, and that is a PIA.

....
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on April 04, 2011, 07:40:14 AM
Alton's recipe in the book includes both weight and standard measurements.  I don't use a scale, but I am just a regular home cook.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: The_Scientist on April 10, 2011, 03:31:32 PM
Gots to weigh in on this discussion.  ::)

Balance type scales are the most accurate ones out there because they depend on nothing but gravity to work, and the counterbalance weights never change. That's why laboratories, jewelers and mints have historically used them. The biggest problem with them is that they bounce a lot with any vibration or air current, making them notoriously hard to read. I've heard of labs built with concrete tables for balances tied into the building foundation so that vibration is minimal. They are also unwieldy for kitchen use and expensive compared to spring loaded scales.

Electronic scales are the way to go nowadays. They are much cheaper than they used to be, almost as accurate as balances, and far more versatile. Switching units and taring the bowl or cup so you can see the exact amount of each ingredient are a snap.

If you just make baked goods for the holidays, it's probably not worth it to buy a scale, but if you bake regularly, you really should weigh your ingredients for most consistent results. Flour is especially tricky because it can be compacted or aerated so easily, and weighing it takes that variable out.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: AndyBoy on April 19, 2011, 08:46:41 AM
Don't make a lot of desserts because I don't need the calories but had all these Granny Smith apples so I decided to make a cobbler. Googled cobbler and what seemed like a good one came up on the Land-O-Lakes site. Used about half the sugar called for and added juice of a lemon and a third egg to the crust mixture but other than than followed the recipe. Very good cobbler that I shared with 3 of our neighbors last night, nothing like the smell of something like this baking in the oven.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on May 06, 2011, 08:42:24 AM
I haven't made bagels in quite a while and I have had a special request for them this weekend.  I use the recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which is really detailed, good, and best of all, easy.  I would like to try some onion bagels - I've only done plain, sesame and poppy up to now - and am a little unsure what kind of onion to use.  When I think of the bakery onion bagels I've had, it seems that the dried minced onions that you get at the grocery store would work.  Would I use them as-is or rehydrate them first?  Any other suggestions?
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: mikeamor on May 06, 2011, 08:49:27 AM
I have not made just onion bagels but I have made "everything" bagels in which I used a mix of kosher salt, sesame seed, poppy seed, dried onion and dried garlic chips (neither re-hydrated) and was happy with the results.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: KoPP on May 06, 2011, 08:59:55 AM
Y'all boil 'em?
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on May 06, 2011, 11:27:38 AM
Yes, the recipe calls for mixing the dough and shaping the bagels the night before, then letting them rise overnight in the refrigerator.  The next morning you boil them, then place on the baking sheet, top as desired, then bake.  I have seen some recipes call for brushing the tops with egg white or something to make the seeds, etc., stick.  I don't do that and I don't find it to be a big problem, though some seeds do fall off.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: KoPP on May 06, 2011, 12:16:49 PM
Well then, I'll have the onion with a lox shmear please.  ;D

Royal Bagel in Ansley Mall (I miss that place) used to do a pretty heavy egg brush - it seemed to help give the crust some extra crispness along with the sticky factor.

If you make good onion bialys, I'll wash your car...
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: rwcohen on May 06, 2011, 03:12:36 PM
If you make good onion bialys, I'll wash your car...

I must admit that Goldberg's makes a very good onion bialy. I think they are the best in the city. As much as I like Bagel Palace, I have to give Goldberg's the nod. They also make bialy bread loaves that are just plain hordable.

I'll bring my car over.......
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: mikeamor on May 06, 2011, 08:04:03 PM
Y'all boil 'em?
Yep.  With a dollop of barley malt in the water.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on May 07, 2011, 09:17:27 PM
Bagels are having the final rest before going into the refrigerator for the night.  They won't be mistaken for professional-grade bagels but I know they will taste good based on previous batches.  In looking over the notes to the recipe, Reinhart suggests using rehydrated dried onion.  I am also going to use black and white sesame seeds to mix it up a little.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: KoPP on May 07, 2011, 10:50:53 PM
Wonder how kimchee bagels would go?
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on October 18, 2011, 02:11:44 PM
I see KoPP was the last poster in this thread...

I picked up some house-branded cocoa powder at YDFM over the weekend, it is marked organic and "full-fat" (they also had a reduced-fat kind, I have never seen that before).  Has anyone tried it?  It was about $6, I think, for 20 oz, which I thought was a good price.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on October 28, 2011, 10:48:28 AM
I want to try a recipe for homemade English muffins and it calls for barley malt syrup - anyone know where I can buy it?
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Lorenzo on October 28, 2011, 12:15:33 PM
I want to try a recipe for homemade English muffins and it calls for barley malt syrup - anyone know where I can buy it?

I'm sure there are baking-specific products and sources, but you could probably use malt syrup from a (beer) homebrew shop.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: mikeamor on October 28, 2011, 04:28:06 PM
I want to try a recipe for homemade English muffins and it calls for barley malt syrup - anyone know where I can buy it?
I always get that at Harry's or Whole Foods.
It's in the section right by the rice and cane syrups.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Mike GadgetGeek Stock on October 29, 2011, 11:14:38 AM
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on October 29, 2011, 11:41:35 AM
Thanks, I think I must not be looking in the right places at WF or Publix, but I will check it out.  My favorite bagel recipe calls for barley syrup, I have been using the malt powder from King Arthur but would like to see if the syrup makes a difference.
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: Melomom on November 04, 2011, 06:04:09 PM
Making a red velvet cake tomorrow and I had to, yet again, buy a four-color pack of food coloring when all I want is the red.  Does anyone know if "they" sell just the red anywhere? 
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: CodePoet on November 04, 2011, 06:26:59 PM
The Cake Art  on Lawrenceville hwy does.

http://www.cakeart.com/store/default.asp (http://www.cakeart.com/store/default.asp)
Title: Re: Home Baking
Post by: mikeamor on November 04, 2011, 07:17:03 PM
Places like Michael's and Joanne's Fabrics sell the individual paste colors by Wilson.  Those are great too because they are so concentrated.