Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesdays with Dorie: Kids' Thumbprints

And so this is it : the last TWD post.... I really resisted publishing it because it makes me very sad but I'm sure our group will still bake together from February on our new book !

These wonderful (too much for me..) cookies were chosen by Dorie herself and I imagine they were hidden on purpose to the the las day so that we would keep a great memory of  Baking from My Home to Yours.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bread Baking Buddies : Stollen

Our Host this month is Susan of Wild Yeast and on a very special day for her she chose to bake Stollen with us.
I came to know Stollen many years ago from my friend Jakob's mum and after so long I baked it again.
Sometimes Stollen has a marzipan roll inside which I'm not too fond of, so I enjoied this 'empty' version really much.


Yield: 1500 grams (3 loaves, more or less)
  • Candy and dry citrus peel: 12 hours or more (can be done ahead)
  • Soak the fruits: 12 hours
  • Mix and ferment sponge: 12 hours (can be simultaneous with fruit-soaking)
  • Mix dough: 20 – 30 minutes
  • First fermentation : 30 minutes
  • Preshape, rest, and shape: 30 minutes
  • Proof: 90 minutes
  • Bake: 30 minutes
Sponge Ingredients:
  • 120 grams flour
  • 80 grams water
  • 0.1 gram (small pinch) instant yeast [or 0.13 g active dry, or 0.25 g fresh]
Soaked Fruit Ingredients:
  • 130 grams raisins
  • 75 grams dried cherries (or more raisins, or chopped dried apricots, or a combination)
  • 61 grams candied orange peel
  • 92 grams candied lemon peel
  • 82 grams slivered almonds
  • 34 grams rum
Final Dough Ingredients:
  • 348 g flour
  • 53 g milk
  • 25.3 grams (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) instant yeast [or 18.6 g osmotolerant, or 31.6 g active dry, or 63.3 g fresh]
  • 8 g (1-1/3 t.) salt
  • 8 g (2-1/3 t.) diastatic malt powder (omit if you don’t have it)
  • 51 g sugar
  • 50 g egg (about one large egg)
  • 5 g grated lemon zest (one average lemon)
  • 5 g grated orange zest (one small orange)
  • 1/3 t. of each of these ground spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice, nutmeg
  • 273 g unsalted butter, at room temperature (should be pliable)
  • all of the sponge
  • all of the soaked fruits
Finishing Ingredients:
  • clarified butter
  • fine granulated sugar
  • powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  1. Toss the soaker fruits with the rum in a medium bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for about 12 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the sponge ingredients in another medium bowl. Cover and ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine all of the final dough ingredients except the soaker. Mix in slow speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Continue mixing in medium speed until the gluten reaches full development. The dough should come together around the hook and should no longer stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. This could take about 25 minutes or more, but will depend on your mixer.
  5. Add the soaked fruits and mix on slow speed just until they are evenly distributed through the dough.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered container. Cover and ferment for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Turn the dough onto the counter. Divide into three pieces, or however many you would like. Preshape the dough into balls and let them rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
  8. To shape each loaf: Form a blunt-ended batard and dust it lightly with flour. With a thin rolling pin, press down firmly, separating the dough into two parts with one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the flap of dough connecting the sections so it is about 2 inches wide. Flatten the larger section slightly with your hand, then fold the smaller section over to rest on the larger one.
  9. Place the loaves on parchment-lined baking sheets (two per sheet) and slip them into a large plastic bag with a bowl of warm water. Proof for about 90 minutes, replenishing the water when it cools.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 on convection setting or 400 on regular bake setting. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, open the oven door briefly to allow any remaining steam to escape, and bake for another 20 minutes. If you do not have convection, you may need to rotate the position of the baking sheets halfway through the bake to ensure even browning and keep the one on the lower rack from burning on the bottom.
  12. While the loaves are still warm, brush them with clarified butter. Dredge them in fine granulated sugar, brushing or shaking off the excess.
  13. To finish, sift powdered sugar over the loaves.
  14. Cut when completely cool. You can leave the stollen out overnight to let the loaves dry and the sugar crust up a bit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TWD: Rewind : Perfect Pound cake, Cocoa Salt and Pepper Shortbread , Tropical Crumble and more

This is the one before the last of our baking binge with Dorie.....and I went almost all the way back to the beginning of the group choosing the Perfection Pound Cake which was chosen by Laurie back on Jan 22 2008. 

I would like to post more goodies ...

On July 12  Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu chose Cream scones . They were a real breakfast treat !!

On August 16, 2011  Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen chose Tropical Crumble. I wish I still could have a taste of it...

September 20  Tia of Buttercream Barbie chose Salt and Pepper Shortbread It was my first NO SPREAD COOKIE WOW!!!!

On Sept 27 Becky of Project Domestication chose Flip-Over Plum Cake. A very fun cake to bake

And on October 4, 2011  Katrina of Baking and Boys chose Apple Nut Muffin Cake a simple and delicious cake.

Please visit The TWD site for more rewind recipes !

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

I'm  cooking this week for the first time with Tessa Kiros.
One of the things I love about IHCC particularly is the fact I get to know about cooks I'd never had heard of.
I bought 'Fallen Cloudberries' and I love the outlook of the book too. 
This week is Potluck so I chose to bake these wonderful buns, the house smelled like IKEA...
Please visit the blog to see much more !


Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


  • * * * * Bun Dough * * * *
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 (1 ounce) cake fresh yeast
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 pound plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • * * * * Cinnamon Butter * * * *
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 5 ½ tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


Makes about 35 buns.
Put the milk and sugar in a bowl and crumble in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to activate. Add the egg, butter, cardamom, and salt, and mix in. Add the flour, bit by bit, mixing it in with a wooden spoon until you need to use your hands, and then turn it out onto the work surface to knead. It may seem a little too sticky initially, but will become compact and beautifully soft after about 5 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and then a heavy towel or blanket, and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
To make the cinnamon butter, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Divide the butter into four portions and set aside.
Put the dough on a floured work surface and divide it into four portions. Begin with one portion, covering the others with a cloth so they don’t dry out. Using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle, roughly about 12 by 10 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Spread one portion of butter over the surface of the dough with a spatula or blunt knife. Sprinkle with about 3 teaspoons of the cinnamon mixture, covering the whole surface with quick shaking movements of your wrists. Roll up to make a long dough sausage. Set aside while you finish rolling out and buttering the rest of the dough, so that you can cut them all together.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or bake in two batches if you only have one sheet. Line up the dough sausages in front of you and cut them slightly on the diagonal, alternating up and down, so that the slices are fat V shapes, with the point of the V about 3/4 inch and the base about 2 inches. Turn them so they are all the right way up, sitting on their fatter bases. Press down on the top of each one with two fingers, until you think you will almost go through to your work surface. Along the sides you will see the cinnamon stripes oozing outward. Put the buns on the baking sheet, leaving space for them to puff and rise while they bake. Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Let the buns rise for half an hour and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake them for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Check that they are lightly golden underneath as well before you take them out of the oven. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature and, when they are cool, keep them in an airtight container so they don’t harden.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks' December :Cha Sui & Cha Sui Bao and a very late Moo Shu

After a very long time I' m finally back and what a coming back ! We went crazy for this recipe and I soon want to make the steamed buns as well !

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!

In the recipe Pork's meat is marinated and grilled, afterwords is finally cut and stir fried and finally is the filling for the delicious buns.
You will find he recipe in a handy PDF here.

Being in a Chinese mood we decided to go on and I prepared the recipe that was the Daring Cooks' challenge for October.
A delicious dish served with very thin pancakes and hoisin home made sauce.

 The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cookand her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.

This recipe was delicious as well if you want to try it the recipe is in a PDF here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TWD: Puffed Double Plummed Tart and more..

I'm finally back with my posting, sadly it is one of the last bakes of the TWD baking group.
I cannot believe I've baked so much from a single cookbook and with such joy. I've learned a lot and tried things I've would have never dared to.
The book will end in December and then we'll start baking from 'Baking with Julia'.

Puffed Double Plummed Tart chosen by Julie of Someone’s in the Kitchen
Even in Italy I didn't find the right plums but switched succesfully to apples.

Honey Almond Fig Tart in the Florida version chosen by Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table
Again no figs around so I tried the grapefruit version.

at least I got a bump (and I suspect a not straight oven..)

Earl Grey Madeleines chosen by Nicole of Bakeologie
I finally bought a madeleines mold and discovered a passion for them in my kids..

Normandy Apple Tart chosen by Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
A very classic torta di mele !