I recently found this book at the library and only a few hours later I decided that I had to have it. This baking book is very different from others. First of all it is very heavy and in that aspect more a coffee table book. It is not a book you can take to read comfortably in your bed. Thankfully my son made me a very sturdy book stand for the kitchen so I am all good.
The recipes are very unusual for a home chef. They call for glucose, vanilla paste and pate a glacer. The recipes have metric measurements which are silly accurate as in 342g flour. I have never seen that. The techniques used to make all the treats are very professional and that is exactly why I bought it. If you have ever wondered how the pros make beautiful eclairs, tarts and macaroons this book will tell you.
Last week I made Madeleines. They were my stepfather’s favourites and I always think of him when I see them. I bought a Madeleine baking pan years ago, but the recipe I tried then did not turn out that tasty and I had put it aside. These Madeleines were great. The recipe calls for three types of sugar: white, brown and honey. It tells you to let the dough rest in the fridge overnight and put the buttered baking pan in the freezer for a moment, so that the Madeleines come out of their molds more easily.
My little cakes came out perfectly and looked and tasted great. Unfortunately I did not take any photos.
Anyway, if you want to improve your baking, learn from the professionals and eat wonderful food I highly recommend this book!
My husband saw a photo of a bread with an irregular crust. He asked me if I could bake a bread just like it. I think what he especially liked about it was that the tips of the opened crust were very dark.
After learning how to properly shape and score a bread I was a bit puzzled how to achieve this crust. Then I had the idea to shape the bread as usual, but let it rest and bake upside down. It worked! When you shape a bread you basically pull the dough smooth on one side and tuck the excess under the opposite side. So when you bake the bread with the folds facing up it will rip open along those lines.
Unfortunately the bread itself was a disappointment. It was a spelt and wheat blend with added herbs: dill, parsley and chives. The bread smelled wonderful when I baked it, but you could barely taste the herbs in the bread at all. So you are probably much better off sprinkling them on your buttered slice of bread afterwards.
I hope you had a good start into the New Year. I took time for a little experiment. Remember when I made star-shaped buns? I wanted to make them again, but this time using a sweat yeast dough. I used my standard recipe:
4 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
I have noticed that buttermilk is a bit harder to find at the grocery store, but it tastes really good in this recipe. This is the same recipe I use when I make toast.
After letting the dough rise I divided it into 4 oz (110g) portions. I shaped them into round rolls and let them relax for about 10 minutes. After that I proceeded as in the original recipe except I dipped the dough into milk and dusted them cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar barely made an appearance in the finished bun, so maybe I should use more or leave it out.
All in all I liked my little star buns. I thought they were pretty, tasted good and again they fit nicely into the toaster. Surprisingly my son said he liked the heartier version better. And my youngest daughter asked for bagels…
Baking a Gingerbread House at Christmas has become a tradition in our family. The recipe I posted 2 years ago makes one large house. In the past I baked several batches, but this year I did not have much time, so I tried a different approach. My children all wanted to decorate their own house, so I decided on a new design: the A-frame house.
You can get 3 houses out of one large baking sheet by cutting the roofs 4″by 6 1/2″ ( 10cm by 16.25cm) and the triangles with a 5″ (12.5cm) wide base and 6″ (15cm) tall. My kids had a lot of fun and they turned out beautiful. The extra bonus is that the A-frames are much easier to put together than a regular house.