Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dutch Apple pie

We found some nice Granny Smith apples and we had to bake apple pie. Peter, my husband, normally bakes apple pie. But, he was too busy in the garden and the apples were waiting. I used the same recipe as for Nutty Fruity Pie, a delicious pie. It's important the dough crumbles by using cold butter. If your kitchen is too warm, you can place the dough in the refrigerator to cool off.
This recipe is made as a Dutch Apple Pie; double crust pie. Originally the Dutch Apple Pie has strands of dough cover the pie in a lattice. It holds the pie together but you can see the filling. The apples are crisp and mildly tart, like Goudreinet or Elstar. Here we don't have these Dutch apples, but we found Granny Smith a good replacement. In the filling you find raisins, lemon juice and cinnamon. Dutch Apple pies go back a long time, they are found on paintings made in the 17th century. Even though the recipe is still the same, today I choose for a full top in stead of lattice. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kanelbullar with cardamom and cinnamon

I love autumn, maybe because I’m born in this season. I love the colors and the changing of the season to autumn. When I lived in the Netherlands I loved to walk in the forest; seeing all those colors, hearing the crispy dry leaves, smelling the pine trees and feeling the cooling wind.

Some years ago we came to live in Thailand. We love it! We love the weather, the food, the people, the culture and more. We have 3 seasons here up north; winter, summer and rainy season. We don’t have autumn. But, if you look and feel closely, you can see a bit of autumn in the changing from rainy season to winter. When winter comes the plants in the garden are slowing down and some seem to stop altogether. Temperature drops in the morning from average 25˚C to 15˚C. Teak trees are dropping their leaves. This gives me a feeling of autumn.

Sarah of Winged Snail asks to bake with autumn flavors for Bread Baking Day #44. It took me some time to get the right feeling for her question. Living in Thailand for some years and thinking of autumn flavors was strange. Autumn for me is falling leaves, red and earth colors, taking long walks, sitting at a fireplace (this we do have). And autumn flavors are cinnamon, nuts, dried fruit, cardamom, sweet and a little bit tangy.
How lucky I was when I read about Kanelbullar; Swedish cinnamon buns. This is autumn for me. And they taste soooooo great, you have to make these. The crumb is soft with a hint of cardamom and the paste is absolutely delicious. The cinnamon paste stays soft and moist after baking, so you have a filled bun. And it looks nice too.

I followed the recipe and baked 12 big kanelbullar. We shared them with friends and neighbours. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Potato Rosemary Bread in a pan

We like bread with potato and honey. It gives bread a distinctive smell we like, especially when you also add fresh Rosemary.

I’ve baked with potato in Maggie Glezer’s Royal Crowns Tortano and Rewena Paraoa; both delicious breads. Today I make Dan Lepard’s crusty Potato Bread. The original recipe is found in his book “The Handmade Loaf”. I’ve tweaked it a bit, using whole wheat bran, rye, wheat germ and I added some fresh Rosemary.

Because of the grated potato the dough was wetter as I expected it to be. I used the mixing method from Maggie Glezer’s Royal Tortano and let it mix until the dough cleaned the bowl. This took about 10 minutes. I could almost pour it into the slightly oiled bowl. But it was tacky in stead of sticky and that's a good thing.
After baking the crust has a nice brown color, the crumb is moist and open and the bread  tasted and smelled nice.  
I wanted to use my ceramic pan to bake this bread. We had been looking for a cast iron pan for a long time now, but recently we found this new ceramic pan for about 2 euro. And it works great!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Norwich Sourdough and a Year in Bread

It is time for a celebration! 

One year ago I started to write about my discovery of bread. And what a year it has been. 

As you all know by now; the result of baking bread shows more than a loaf of bread. It shows the amount of attention you have on that moment or if you were distracted. 

what a crust

Of course I started to learn about the technic of baking bread. How to pamper my starter to be happy, fluffy and bubbly. And how to maintain my starter when I wasn't using it. I also  discovered my starter is alive and has needs. 
I learned about mixing times, bakers formula, kneading, windowpane, sticky vs tacky dough, rising and proofing and how to get good oven spring and singing of bread. And don't forget the shaping of bread. Especially baguette!

But, during this year I learned a lot about keeping my attention with my dough and not being distracted by thoughts. Especially when I bake a bread I've baked before. 
It's as if I don't need to keep my attention with the recipe and then the result is always different. On those occasions the dough sticks to the banneton for no reason, or is sticky in stead of tacky, or there is no oven spring, or it looks like a pancake, or .... 
good looking

Why this Norwich Sourdough? Because I found this recipe (in honor of Jeffrey Hamelman) on Susan's blog WildYeast. She inspired me one year ago to work with sourdough starter and to try to bake beautiful and delicious breads. I'm still learning and there are a lot of great bakers to learn from. Every week I have a look at Susan's blog to see if she has baked something new and always I find something at YeastSpotting

Friday, November 4, 2011

San Joaquin Sourdough, or is it tweaked too much?

I found a beautiful looking bread on the site of The Fresh Loaf. David (DMSnyder) regularly makes beautiful loaves.
David writes; “I first developed this formula about 3 years ago. Since then, I've tweaked the formula and methods in many ways. I know many TFL members have made this bread and enjoyed it.”

Ever since I started baking bread, this month it’s one year ago, I read about bakers tweaking recipes. Tweaking means: Improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it. If you use this word also for baking, when you tweak a recipe; it should improve the original. I had no idea. I started to tweak recipes mostly because I didn’t have the right ingredients. Later on, when I became more confident, I tweaked because I liked other flavors in my bread. 
And because I couldn't bake the original, I had no idea if it improved. I liked tweaking and started to add some rye, whole wheat bran, roasted malt and roasted wheat germs. All great flavors. 

And today I did it again, I tweaked bread. I started with the recipe of San Joaquin Sourdough because it looks good. I had some biga naturale in the refrigerator and was looking for a bread to use it. I added roasted wheat germs because of the nice flavor and roasted malt because I wanted to bake a brown bread. The shape is also different because I wanted a big French bread. 

The bread came out as I had hoped and with a delicious smell. The taste is great, good crust and soft crumb full of flavors. But, can I still call it San Joaquin
That evening I made, my first and certainly not last, foam omelette with salami, olives and rosemary.

Below I wrote the ingredients as I found on David’s blog and made it like I usually make bread.