I’ve been pumping out a small batch of cinnamon buns at work every day for the last couple of weeks. Thought I’d just pop a shot of them here and I’ve included the recipe below.
I’ve been making these same cinnie buns at the last two places I’ve worked and they are a hit, pretty well selling out each day. Shown below is the cinnamon-raisin version but I’ve switched out the fillings to other combinations as well, sometimes adding nuts, sometimes using cranberries, sometimes switching out the brown sugar for pastry cream.
For the Sweet Dough, I’m using a recipe that can be found in Ciril Hitz’s book, “Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads” on page 120.
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!
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.
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 “Fougasse By Hand”
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:
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:
The Ten Macaron Commandments
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!