Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bagels, because you can:)



So here is my story, these bagels are so good, I ate half of one sans topping while editing this blog post. Yum! If ever you make bagels you should really try these. I will give lots of credit for steps and timing to http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com/2009/10/new-york-style-bagel-recipe/

temperature of your home and weather outside can affect how thirsty your dough is, so don't be afraid to use up to 1/2 cup more flour if your dough seems really wet. 

This is my own recipe with a basic idea from the aforementioned site.
To start, put the following ingredients into a mixing bowl:
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast 
1 Tbsp sugar
Let sit for 5-15 minutes until frothy and bubbly

After waiting 
Add 2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour, 

Mix until you have a combined mass of dough. 

in the next ten minutes you will knead 1 additional cup of flour into the dough. It took me all the kneading time to get that last cup in, I started with 1/4 cup and made small additions as the dough got tacky.

You will learn from the photos, that I'm very much a bowl kneader, meaning if I really don't have to. I won't make another surface dirty and I will just continually knead, stretch, pull, push, prod, poke, you get it, to my dough in the bowl. 

Now we will let the dough rise until doubled in size for 1 hour

After the hour, cut your dough into 8 equal sized portions, roll, and break a hole in the middle to create a bagel shaped item. Make the hole fairly large as when it rises, it can close up more than anticipated. 

The next step will require a large pot with boiling water. 

Boil each bagel for 1 minute per side, 

Then place in a 400F oven and bake for approximately 18 minutes until golden brown. I honestly can't say as I forgot to start the timer those first few minutes.

*** edited to add this makes 6 large bagels baked at 400F or the 8 slightly smaller bagels as shown.***













Before boiling:

After boiling: way bigger
Then these beauties come out:) Enjoy!!!




















Thursday, 28 April 2016

Bread :) too much to say and so little time.

So bread, it's such a fun thing to make, for me it's all about the journey you are on. A relaxing adventure and tactile use of your hands, 

Grab any recipe. I won't be putting one up as I feel most recipes will do this justice:) and I generally don't use one. 

So whatever you've done grabbed a recipe or just a bowl. Follow along. 

Take a bowl and put the yeast, warm water, sugar and oil in. Let it sit for 15 minutes if you are patient, this will allow you to wake up the yeast:) it was kinda sleepy prior to this point. So say you have 1 cup of liquid in your bowl, you don't want to over power your mix with flour right off.
Slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of flour at a time, if you are putting salt or egg or any other special additions put them in at this point.  As you mix your water mixture will turn into a thin porridge and then thick oatmeal kinda style. At this point you will ensure your hands are thoroughly clean and put one into the bowl after pouring 1/2 - 1cup of flour, you will gently cover all of the edges of dough with flour and mix by hand, pull half the mixture towards you and push down. You will continue to knead the dough and add small amounts of flour tablespoons at a time, get this dough from extremely sticky to just a tad tacky or not sticky at all.

When you punch the dough it should pop back and show some rebound to what you just did. Then take a new bowl and some oil, lightly oil all sides of the dough and voila:) let it sit for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

According to what your recipe says shape the loaf or loaves and place on a well greased and buttered pan or parchment covered loaf pan, let it rise until doubled in size and bake accordingly. After you pull it out of the often you can brush butter on the top which will seal in moisture

Today I started the base of my bread with 3 1/2 cups of water and approximately 1 tablespoon of yeast. It made 4 loaves. 
Here are my pictures. Next time I make bread, I'll show you buns and share my mother's highly sought after dinner rolls recipe:) try making bread:) you might fall in love! 


Still needs flour added
First rise



Second rise













Thursday, 21 April 2016

Pumpkin muffins



So you heard its spring, well I'm still looking for that earthy flavor of pumpkin. So here is an adapted recipe from this incredibly delicious blog lovely little kitchen: http://lovelylittlekitchen.com/best-ever-pumpkin-muffins/

1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda 
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup oil 
2 cups pumpkin purée 
2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients together and then pour the liquid ingredients in, stir about 15 times with a spoon until you have a wet mixture. You will notice my mixture is wetter and that is likely due to the fact that my pumpkin is homemade, but it will not change the yummy flavor you will get.

Place the batter into lined or greased muffin tins. I was able to put a little more than 2 tablespoons of batter into my 14 tins. 

Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick or something small placed in the center and removed comes out clean. I.e. (Spaghetti noodle) 

If you don't have pumpkin handy and you don't want to spend a ton of money on the canned stuff take 2 cups of cooked carrot and purée, and use instead, this goes as well for sweet potato or yam. 












Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Milk and dark chocolate covered Caramel




This post is about how you might want to use the caramel in my previous blog post.

I did a double batch which is why I used a 9 by 13, but the measurements here will match the recipe I posted for an 8 by 8 baking dish 

You will need 3/4 cup of chocolate chips per side. Melted with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil

Take your cooled or room temperature caramel and pour melted dark chocolate into the first side, place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes until set, remover from the fridge lift the whole tray out with the parchment paper you poured onto and flip, then pour melted milk chocolate. This beauty is then complete.

When melting chocolate you don't want to break its tempering, so you need to heat slowly, either on a double boiler or stir every 10-20 seconds when microwaving. When half of the chocolate is melted you should be able to stir and the other chocolates should melt.

Here are the pics, try this, I'm certain you'll love it!