Posts Tagged water

My 5 Minute Bread Experiment

So there’s this recipe…

Called Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day, in a cookbook by the name name by two people, Jeff Hertzberg & Zoë François (got to be legit artisanal bread with a French woman as a co-author!). I finally stumbled upon it in my local library’s displace of the month: cooking. I said heck you say! Easy & tasty fancy looking bread? Let me at it! So I tried it out, as you can tell in the following photos.  Basic Boule Recipe

 

Step one plus flour:

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Step two Lightly lidded:

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Step three pulled out into my permanent fridge storage container with WET hands:

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Step four my ACTUAL loaf of deliciously cooked French Boule:

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You think you want to try it yourself? Do it! It’s so easy you can hardly screw up the basic master recipe! It alone can be free shaped into a dozen breads! Freezes well & you can do a partial bake to take other places! I seriously suggest in investing in their book(s)!!

Have you ever baked bread before? Success? Failure? Difficulty?

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Minted Cookies

While this recipe won’t help you mint your own coins, it will help you make delicious minty easy cookies. These Andes mint cookies have long been on my to do list, but due to the seasonal shortage of regular size Andes mints, placed on the back burner. But no more!

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With a nice gesture from an Olive Garden waitress, & cookie request from a missionary in need (more on them at a later date) I got the chance I was looking for.
So many of the recipes were mixed in Andes bits, not thumbprint style, & many were complicated more than I felt they needed to be. I ended up doing a Google picture search hoping I’d see the cookie for me. At last, I found a pretty cookie with a small ingredient list! Below is the recipe, with an important ingredient change.

Andes Minted Thumbprints

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 egg
½ c oil
1 TBSP water (as needed)
12-15 Andes mints (or ¾ c Andes bits)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap & cut mints in half. **Keep handling of mints to a minimum as they’re prone to melting before necessary.
2. Mix cake mix, egg, & oil in a bowl. Here is where my problem with the original recipe started. They only used ⅓ c oil which left the mix very dry & crumbly, to the point you couldn’t roll dough together. I had to add oil & eventually a little water so the dough was thoroughly moistened & clumpy. If dough is still a little dry, add water. Dough should lightly clump & hold shape when pressed together.
3. On parchment lined cookie sheet, place 1 TBSP dough 1″ apart. A measuring spoon helps keep dough form. A flattened bottomed cookie is a good thing. Fill sheet. Applying light pressure, use your thumb to make an indentation on the top of each cookie.
4. Bake for 8 minutes, a maximum of 9. Do not over cook. Set your kitchen timer.
5. Finish scooping dough on second cookie sheet & indent cookies.
6. While still warm & on cookie sheet, place half an Andes on top of each indentation. If the indent isn’t deep enough, use the back of a spoon to press a slightly deeper hole. Let Andes melt. Test for swirling consistency, then swirl mint with handle of spoon.

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7. After swirling cool cookies on cooling rack for up to 2 hours. Store in an air tight container. If needing hardened Andes quicker, refrigerate for a few minutes until firm but not moist (watch condensation).

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Pie makes the World a Crusty Place

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Today’s recipe is a portion of my newly tested Apricot-Sweet Potato Hand Pies. We start with the dough, then we’ll roll into the filling next week.
I made a test batch last week to get times, ingredient list, & skill levels.

This dough isn’t hard, but something that would help is a steel blade pastry blender. Most people have a little one with wires that cut the fats into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. This recipe however uses cold butter. Something I learned the hard way is that a little wire pastry blender won’t cut it, no pun intended. Invest in a heartier pastry blender if you’re going to be cutting the cold hard butter.

Hand Pie dough is high in fats because fats make things flakier, golden, and moist. Please remember to check how much of each ingredient you need before attempting, it’ll be a cold day in hell’s kitchen otherwise!

Hand Pie Dough
• 4 c all purpose flour
• 6 TBSP sugar
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 lb cold unsalted butter, cubed
• 2 large egg yolks
• 6 ± TBSP ice water, more as needed

The skill on this dough is keeping it chilled while working it.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Skill level: Easy Intermediate

1) In a very large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt. With your pastry blender, quickly cut butter in the flour mixture. It should resemble coarse meal.
2) Combine egg yolks & ice water; stir to mix. Add to flour meal & stir with a fork until just clumping & all the dry ingredients are moistened enough to pat together. Do not overmix. Dough should not be wet or sticky.
3) Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and with lightly floured hands, form in a ball. Divide dough evenly into 4 portions; forming each into a flat disk. Plastic wrap each disk; refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens Nov 2011

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