Category Archives: Recipe Included

Steven’s “Apple Pie Your Way”

A good online friend of mine, Steven on his blog “Made By You and I“, recently posted his method for making a fail-safe apple pie.

In his post, he shows how he bakes the pie shell and the filling separately, seals the pie or tart shell bottom so it doesn’t get soggy, adjust the sweetness and flavour of the filling while it is cooking, then combines the two once they are cooled. The result? A flakey pie crust that won’t get soggy, and perfectly cooked apple pie filling.

Go visit his post, “Apple Pie Your Way” for the full details. And check out the rest of his new blog. Lots in interesting stuff there!

 

Fougasse By Hand

Win This Book!As part of our great book giveaway, the authors of Baking By Hand have given me permission to include the following recipe for you to use. 

The instructions given make use of no mixer; it is, as the book title indicates, all done by hand. You’ll also use a process called “autolyse” to hydrate the flour by letting it sit after mixing, then a “stretch and fold” after 30 minutes of proofing which bypasses the need to knead the dough.

Also note that all ingredients are given in weights, not volumes (cups), save for salt & yeast. If you need a scale, please read this post.

This recipe is found on page 98 of Baking By Hand

FOUGASSE

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The Holy Hearth Bread

Fougasse is Provence’s answer to the Roman-born Focaccia. Their names both come from the Latin root word focus, meaning “hearth,” and they’re both flattened doughs that feature toppings or folded-in ingredients. The distinctive feature of the fougasse are its decorative holes cut into the dough’s surface, which are really up to the baker’s whim. You’ve got three flavor variations to choose from here, or you can leave the bread plain or come up with your own tasty additions. If making olive fougasse, the bread will come out a teeny bit bigger, but that’s fine. Continue reading

Making Puff Dough

This one’s simply an instructional post where we see Chef Marina Brancely making a puff dough. This video was uploaded to YouTube by Chef Ciril Hitz, who also posted the ingredients list with the video in the comments section. Unfortunately, the YouTube comment section severely lacks any formatting ability and the results were a little garbled.  So I thought I’d repost the recipe in a neater table format here and make it a little more readable for people.

As you watch the video, you’ll see Chef Brancely add white wine to the dough. Say what? Yes, a little white wine, specifically for its acid content. Why add an acid to the dough? Chef Hitz explains:

Acid build strength in doughs without having to mix it more, however the more that you add the weaker the gluten membrane becomes so it is of great importance that once acid is added that it be in the right proportions.

First, let’s watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Now, the formula which I’m giving in weights as well as including Bakers’ Percentages:
(As always, mouse over the grams to get the converted ounces)

Ingredient

Grams

Bakers’ %

DOUGH    
Bread Flour 1,600g 100%
Water 550g 34.4%
Butter, softened 400g 25.0%
Salt 40g 2.5%
Malt 20g 1.3%
Egg 100g 6.3%
White Wine 200g 12.5%
     
BUTTER BLOCK    
Butter, cold 1,600g 100.0%
Flour 400g 25.0%

If you would like to know how many cups or teaspoons all these are, sorry, I only have weights. You don’t want to be assuming that these are volume ounces, either; an 8 ounce measuring cup of flour doesn’t weigh eight ounces after all (more like 4.5). Here’s where I would urge anyone who wants to really get into baking to please consider investing in a scale and learning to use weight for measuring. I’ve previously posted my thoughts about why weighing is a much preferable way to bake which you can read here.

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Making Macarons: Can it be truly easy?

At last, we’ve gathered up the courage to make macarons, these delightful little meringue-based almond cookies that are currently extremely de rigeur in the classiest of places. Reading up on them, however, may made you a little daunted because of the aura of finickiness that seems to be placed around their construction.

Fear not, for there are a few things you can learn that will make creating macarons much simpler than is usually shown.

This is the third part of a series showing how I made my very first batch of Macarons. Previous entries were:

Making Swiss Meringue Buttercream (great for cookies or cake)
Making Almond Flour

The following pictorial step-by-step is based on the macaron recipe found on the awesome blog BraveTart.com where pastry chef Stella Parks guides you through the process, eliminating much of the hocus-pocus typically associated with making these cookies. Her view, basically, is this: They’re just cookies. Yes, there are steps peculiar to this style of cookies, but there are specific steps for many other cookies too and this doesn’t elevate them to near-ritualistic requirements.

As noted in a prior post, two things you will want to read – and possibly print out – before we get too far ahead are:

  1. The Ten Macaron Commandments
  2. Ten Macaron Myths Busted

Some of the things we’re told we can be less fussy about: perfectly aged egg whites and their temperature, drying the piped cookies, drying the almond flour, using cornstarch-free powdered sugar, being super-duper careful with the meringue. Let’s just follow Stella’s simple recipe and get us some nice macarons, shall we?

You may also want to print out this template I made for piping out macarons in either PDF format or as a PNG image. It will fit a typical (US) home sized baking pan of 16″ x 10″ under a silpat type silicone liner or parchment paper.

Simply print out TWO copies at full (US 8.5″ x 11″) page size, tape the open ends together and trim. Each baking sheet will then give you a total of 32 circles (for 16 finished cookies), optimized for the standard macaron size of 3.5 cm with 2 cm space between each. Just remember to pull it out from under your parchment or silpat before putting your piped macarons in the oven!

Alright, let’s gather our ingredients and make some macarons!

Continue reading

buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Whether used for cakes or cookies, this Swiss Meringue Buttercream is light, not too sweet and pretty straight forward to make. Swiss Meringue differs from Italian Meringue by the fact the egg and sugar are heated up together (145ºF minimum) before whipping, where Italian Meringue cooks the beaten eggs whites by adding very hot (245ºF) sugar syrup. Both of these are used to make buttercream frosting. A third type, French Meringue, is simply egg whites beaten with sugar, what most cooks would put on their lemon pies then bake.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream basic recipe

INGREDIENT GRAMS OUNCES One Fifth Baker’s %
Eggs, room temp 290g 10.2 oz 58g 100.0%
Sugar 290g 10.2 oz 58g 100.00%
Salt * 4g 0.1 oz 0.8g 1.38%
Butter * (room temp, 2″ Cubes) 910g 32.1 oz 182g 313.79%
Vanilla extract 4g 0.1 oz 0.8g 1.38%
TOTALS 1,498g 53 oz 300g 516.6%

* 4g is about 1/2 teaspoon. Only add salt if you use unsalted butter (recommended). If you use salted butter, leave the salt out.

You can use either fresh eggs or the pre-packaged carton stuff, both will work just fine.

Equipment: You will need a mixer (or whisk and strong arm) and a thermometer.

Continue reading

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Convert & Scale a Recipe

Recently, new member Beckamojo over on the Mellow Bakers enquired about getting a white sandwich bread recipe to use in her 13 in x 5 in x 5 in Pullman pan.  She was having a few issues with her trials at making a Pain de Mie from a US (cups-based) recipe including not knowing how much dough she needed for her large Pullman. Jacqueline, another Mellow Baker, asked if Becka had digital scales so she could be more precise than her original use of cups for measuring. We would also need to look at proofing times and make sure her process didn’t end up with over-proofed dough.

I did a little hunting and this is what I suggested:

Continue reading

Scones&FrenchBread

CIVI Pro Baking Class, Week One

Finally! Yes, it’s finally Aug 29th and day one of baking class at the CIVI* begin for my 2011-2012 session. I’ve been looking forward to this day with great excitement for a while now and it’s really, actually here.

CIVI

Can I get a “Woohoo!!”*

* What is CIVI? The official name for the baking end of VIU is actually “The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island” Pretty fancy, eh?

Being that the first couple of days are mostly orientation, we spend the majority of days one and two just going through the basic inauguration into the University: After introductions from our teachers, Mr Martin Barnett and Chef Ken Harper, we meet a few of the important people in the bureaucratic background, taken for a quick tour of the corners we’ll haunt, such as the Food Lab, got our Student Cards, hit up the bookstore to spend more money, etc.. Wednesday we had off (but lots of reading homework) due to the Uni having a “pre-class” staff meeting. Since Pro Baking is starting almost 2 weeks early in order to be ready to pump out breakfast goodies when school officially opens, our teachers are taken away for that day.

At last, Thursday came along and we are now actually, really, ready to bake! Continue reading