Daring Bakers February 2012: Quick bread


The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Quick bread! Yay! I love  Quick bread.  I make zucchini bread a lot, and my mother used to make “babovka” all the time (which is a marble  quick bread but she bundt’s it).  So many options.  I was determined to take this baking challenge by storm, and I made THREE different flavours of quick breads.  One turned out well enough, one flopped horribly, and the last was magnificent.  I have no pictures of the flop, and I was very upset with it, but I will share my experiences anyways.

Lemon Loaf (Adapted from Recipe Girl’s Meyer Lemon Loaf)

  • 2 and 2/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

flour and baking powder in one bowl. Thank you Sous- chef!

Sugar, eggs, lemon peel, whisk! You'll know when its ready, it will be a delightful sunshine colour

Add the Flour and baking powder in groups until mixed well, then add the butter in parts and mix well again. Put in greased loaf pans

bake for 50-55 minutes. Start checking on it around 45 minutes just incase. When the knife comes out clean from the center you're done!

  • SIMPLE SYRUP:
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    ½ cup (120 ml) water
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon

bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is noticeably dissolved, take off heat, add lemon juice, glaze your hot loaves that are cooling on a rack

What did I think of my lemon loaf?  It tasted fantastic.  I had the same problem with it though, that I always have with loaves.  Density.  My baking powder is old, and therefore less potent, but I’ve watched my mother use baking powder that could be up to years old and still get super fluffy Babovky.  Hmmm….

Audax Artifix Pizza Quick bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar (I omitted. Sugary pizza?? In hindsight maybe it would have helped)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (I omitted)
  • 1/4 chopped Sun-dried tomatoes (+ 2 tbsp oil)
  • 2 tbsp italian herbs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 sausage fried
  • few strips of pre-cooked, chopped bacon (I added that on my own)

Pre-heat to 325, do the usual.  Mix flour and Baking soda, set aside.  Fry your onion with your sausage, and bacon, mix those with the tomatoes, eggs, buttermilk, herbs, sour cream.  Then sift in the flour mixed and bake for around an hour.  My fail was this: It was the super bowl.  I thought my husband and his friends would enjoy a nice, strong, pizza flavoured quick bread.  He had chilli on the stove.  My oven cannot multitask. Half the burners only work at half power if the oven is on, and half won’t even work if the other two are on.  One hour passed, not done.   One and a half hours passed, it looked done, passed the knife test because the outside was so crispy so I took it out and allowed it to cool.  The moment I flipped it on to my rack it broke in half and the middle, completely raw, oozed out, and in a panic I tried to get it all back in the pan and back in to the oven.  That’s when my husband said I looked like a child because I was sulking and stomping my foot, honestly I don’t blame him. LOL! So, after another I dunno, another Hour? I finally took it out for good and though it did taste quite good, it had the texture of my mothers thanksgiving stuffing.  Over moist and super dense.  Fail fail fail!!  I need redemption.

Pumpkin Loaf with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

Makes three 8”x 4” (20 x 10 cm) loaves
Adapted from Dana Ramsey’s recipe

filling:

  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT PIE FILLING!!)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Pre-heat your oven to 350, grease THREE loaf pans

First things first, make the filling.  Beat the cream cheese with the sugar, egg, milk until creamy (you know, when it no longer resembles cottage cheese lol!) then add your syrup, blend it, and put it away.

beat sugar, eggs, pumpkin oil and water

mix all your ingredients, MINUS THE BAKING SODA AND BAKING POWDER**

in groups, add the dry to wet

when it's all blended, THEN add your baking powder and soda, and just stir gently until incorporated. Pour in your loaf pans, 1/4 full. Spoon cream cheese down middle, put more batter on top to cover it.

Bake it for 50 minutes – 1 hour. Keep and eye on it, my oven made me keep it in longer, but my oven is on its last legs.  Now if you want to know why I left the lifters (baking powder, and soda) til the end, it’s because I finally listened to my mother.  That is how she does it with her cakes, and no matter how old her baking powder is it always seems to work perfectly.  She attributes it to using it as late as possible in order to keep it from “wearing off”.  She doesn’t know the actual science to it, obviously I don’t either, but that’s just how she was taught so that’s how I did it.   How did it work out for me?

You tell me!

My loaves SWELLED up.  I have never had this kind of lift in ANY of my baking before! and the crumb? Well… Hello Breakfast!

mmmmm. No filling on the first slice, awww

What a wonderful challenge.  I can’t wait to use what I learned in my other baking ventures!

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Daring Bakers – January 2012 – Scones!


With a new year comes a new spark and new motivation to cook! I can’t wait to get right back in to the swing of the Daring Chefs/Bakers! So excitedly I went as fast as my googlefingers could take me and have taken up the challenges already. This month? SCONES!

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens! The challenge scone (biscuit) recipe has been especially formulated by Audax Artifex after a large amount of research and experimentation. It is designed to help you master the techniques involved in making scones (biscuits) exactly the way you like them.

I found this note on the instructions to be very interesting. Who knew? Well Audax did, and now I do too!

Chemical raising agents – always use fresh raising agents, baking powder deteriorates within two months once the jar is opened, the recommended dose is about 2 teaspoons per cup of flour. Baking powder nowadays is double action – there is an initial release of gas once the dry and wet ingredients are combined and there is another release of gas from the high heat of the oven. If you are using acidic ingredients (such as buttermilk, soured milk, cream, honey, cheese, tomato sauce etc) then use an additional ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of liquid to help neutralise the acid and make the final baked product raise correctly. Baking soda is four times stronger in raising power than baking powder. You can make you own single action baking powder by triple sifting together one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar store in an airtight container.

Well, enough talk, I chose to make the variation with cream.  I love cream.

Cream Scones

  • 1 cup  plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons  fresh baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
  • ½ cup Cream
  • optional 1 tablespoon cream, for glazing the tops of the scones

Preheat oven to very hot 475°F.  I was actually a little scared about doing this. My stove is very old, half the lights don’t work, and its never been taken to 475 before.  I wonder why canadian ovens are in fahrenheit.

A labour of love. Sift dry ingredients.. THREE times. Without a sifter? I must mean business.

grate your butter in with the sifted stuff and rub/cut it til it has the texture of beach sand*

*need an example of beach sand?

add the cream. All of it.

on a floured surface, flour the top of the scones too, and kneed them. Cut them with a biscuit cutter OR just slice them in triangles

Bake for 10 minutes at 475. Check them at 8 to make sure they're not burnt. Place on cooling rack.

Top appropriately. Mmmm Jammm. Serve them warm!

Kid approved!

Gingerbread Zucchini Scones


I love biscuits.  Sadly, and I know this will sound odd, but I have never had a scone.  I knew they were in the range of a biscuit but I always thought they were a little fancy.  I also don’t drink a lot of tea, which apparently, scones are synonymous to.   A challenge sparked me recently though, a scone challenge, and I thought it was the perfect excuse to finally make try fresh baked scones.   As we can all agree, fresh baked always tastes better.

So I completed my challenge, results to come at a later post, and then I decided after tasting my first fresh baked scone that I can be super creative with this!  So I adapted a zucchini bread recipe I make frequently to be a scone, called my baking buddy over,  and the results were wonderful.

Gingerbread Zucchini Scones

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup frozen, grated butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 475, hot hot hot!

Triple sift your ingredients, minus the brown sugar. when done, add brown sugar.

cut frozen grated butter in to the dry ingredients, mix in all wet afterwards.

turn out dough on to a floured surface. With well floured hands knead it a bit, adding the raisins and zucchini

bake for 10 minutes at 475. Check on it a few times, at that heat its easy to burn the bottoms. Like I did! haha

Eat! Trust me, she likes them. Shes just mad I won't stop taking pictures of her.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler


Tis the time of the year where my parents garden begins delivering they’re wonderful treats to us who are waiting.  First for us, comes the rhubarb.  I love rhubarb.  My parents always grew rhubarb when I was a kid and we would eat it like celery (after trimming the leaves obviously, since we’re all still alive.)   So, when I went over to their house with the little birthday girl, I took as much as I could get.  Originally I was going to make  a pie, but I don’t have a rolling pin at the moment.  So I thought maybe a crumble.  I don’t have any rolled oats!  So I settled on a Cobbler!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

  • 1 cup  + 1 tsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cup fresh rhubarb (trimmed, and cut in to 1 inch strips)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 2 1/2 cup strawberries (trimmed and cut in pieces)

Preheat the oven to 425

First mix up your cobbler dough.  Put the flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  mix it up, then cut in the butter until it takes on a coarse crumbly texture.  Stir in the milk afterwords.

In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, 2/3 cup sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, water and rum extract and on low heat bring it to a boil.  Stir it often, sugar is nasty if it burns.  Once its come to a boil let it simmer for 2 minutes covered.  This will let the rhubarb soften up nicely.  Once that’s done take it off the heat and put in the strawberries.  Mix it until its coated and put it in a buttered pan or glass baking dish.   This recipe yields about an 8X10 baking pan so if you have company coming you might think about doubling up the recipe.

Put the cobbler dough on top and spread it as best as possible.  It won’t be perfect, and it won’t cover the entire wet mixture but it will be pretty close. Bake it for 25 to 30 minutes and you got cobbler!

wet mix with a tiny piece of the cobbler dough on it

finished cobbler!

Canneles


An easy at home variety of the wonderfully delicious french Canneles!  I’ve made these a few times now and every time I have to fight myself from eating the entire pan!  I’m working on finding variations to this recipe which i will share after I test a few things!

Canneles

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon rum

heat the milk and butter just to a boil.  while doing this mix the flour and sugar, then add the eggs, then add that mix to the hot milk.   You’re going to want to strain it after this.  It will make a very thin mix, like a crepe batter almost.  Add the extract and rum (or rum extract whatever works yer fancy) and refrigerate it overnight.    Pour it in to mini budnt pans, preferably silicon ones but I have yet to find them.  I haven’t seen any silicon baking sheets as of late! I wonder if they’ve been pulled off the market?  Oh well.  Preheat the oven to 450, bake for 15 minutes.  This makes the outside nice and crunchy.  It will be very dark so don’t be worried about that, its supposed to look near burnt.  After 15 minutes, lower the head to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes.

soft and chewy center!

Hello, Cupcake!


I went to the local bakery supply store last night with a good friend because I wanted to pick up some mint wafers to make a chocolate mint cookie recipe  While we were there I we saw this book with the cutest Westie cupcakes on the front.  We though, OMG  LOLA! (her dog is a westie named lola l-o-l-a- Lola).   I stopped and flipped through this particular New York Times bestseller and we marvelled at these amazing cupcake ideas in the book, and how easy they actually were to create!  I just had to have it.  We then sat in the car drooling on these pictures while we picked one design in particular and proceeded to pick up the needed supplies to bake it!

Hello Cupcake!

We made the cupcake batter from scratch and probably should have made the frosting from scratch as well but we were on a limited time frame.  We baked, we decorated, we ate! It was a ton of fun and the smile on my daughters face this morning when she saw her breakfast was a full fledged panda bear make out of entirely edible contents was worth the effort.