Monday, February 27, 2012

BBB: Biscotti Picanti

The Bread Baking Babes celebrated their 4th anniversary this month. Wow -- those years really flew by!

I've enjoyed being a Buddy for several years now, and I'm always eagerly anticipating what the next fabulous bread will be.

This month, Lien, of Notitie Van Lien, chose Biscotti Picanti, from
Anissa Helou's Savory Baking from the Mediterranean, who very kindly gave the Babes permission to share it on their blogs.

These biscotti are of the savory variety, great for serving with wine or just for snacking. The nuttiness from the sesame seeds and the hint of anise (which I love) make a great flavor combination.

Here are the well-behaved slices, waiting for the oven to cool down a bit before heading in for their final bake.

The final results, waiting to be devoured.

To see what the Babes did, and to get the recipe, head over to Lien's blog, where you will find all the necessary information. It's definitely worth a long visit.

Friday, February 24, 2012

BBD#47: Bread with Chocolate

Now, this is what I call a pizza:

Or, a fruit galette, if you want to get all fancy.

For this edition of Bread Baking Day (47), we were challenged by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives to make a yeasted bread dough with chocolate.

I knew right where to go: Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. The book contains a recipe for a chocolate dough and recommendations for various toppings. I thought it would be fun to try it out.

Mixing the dough took no time at all, and I could watch it rise as I worked at the dining room table.

I managed to find some beautiful fresh raspberries at Costco, so assembly was quick and easy. I used a chocolate ganache for the sauce, put a few dabs of blueberry jam on top of the ganache, then placed the raspberries on top in sort of a decorative fashion.

Then I popped it in the oven to bake the crust.

Out of the oven and ready to serve. That chocolate crust is divine. I could just bake that by itself and gobble it up.

I'm considering other flavor options for the remaining dough, like orange curd or something minty or bunches of fresh strawberries.

For information on Bread Baking Day, head over to Zorra's website. She's the founder and inspiration for it all.

For information on BBD#47, head over to Lisa Michele's blog for information and some terrific stories. She'll also post the roundup just after the first of March.

Chocolate Dough

370 grams lukewarm water
5 grams granulated yeast
9-12 grams of Kosher salt
112 grams of sugar
420 grams of unbleached all-purpose flour
55 grams cocoa powder (either natural or Dutch processed)

Mix all the dry ingredients into a large, lidded food container (at least 3 quarts). Add the lukewarm water and mix to combine. Loosely cover and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it doubles, around 2 hours.

Refrigerate the dough overnight before using.

For my pizzas, I removed a grapefruit-sized piece of dough and divided it in two. I rolled each pizza out, then added toppings, and folded up the edges. I lightly brushed the dough with an egg wash, sprinkle them with coarse-grained sugar, then baked them at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes, rotating the sheet pans after 10 minutes for more even baking.

The pizzas were delicious both warm and at room temperature.

Monday, February 20, 2012

TWD: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

These luscious tartlets were the second choice for the new group, Baking with Julia.

First, there is a rich, chocolate pastry shell, easily made in the food processor, then chilled before rolling. My dough behaved well and rolled out smoothly. It also baked up nicely with no shrinkage.

The filling is like the inside of a truffle, studded with bits of milk chocolate, white chocolate, and crushed bits of Amaretti and adding a nice texture to the tartlet.

I only made half a recipe of the filling, and it was just enough to fill three tartlets. I froze the remaining dough for future desserts. The tartlets kept well in the refrigerator and didn't lose any flavor or texture, so they could easily be made ahead for any occasion.

Our hostesses this week are Steph, Spike, Jaime, and Jessica. The recipe can be found at any of these websites.

The contributing baker for this recipe was David Ogonowski.

There are now over 300 bakers in this group, so if you're up to browsing all the blogs, follow this link.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

BwJ: White Loaves

We're back!

At first, I had Monday-night-posting-withdrawal. As January moved along, I got used to not posting. Now, I have to retrain my mind and fine-tune my schedule so I can get back into the swing of baking with Dorie.

I love the first choice -- white bread. Baking bread is one of my favorite things to do, and this recipe didn't disappoint.

No particular problems to report. As with all my breads, I used my Silver Sage KA machine for maximum efficiency.

I made one loaf plain,

and filled the other with a cinnamon filling.

As much as I love cinnamon, I actually preferred the plain loaf. The wonderful flavor came through beautifully and wasn't masked by the spicy-sweet cinnamon. I think cinnamon sugar might have been a better choice.

Well, since I made the bread in January, it is long gone, so, no more photos.

The hostesses for our first endeavor are Laurie and Jules. If you want to bake this great bread, you can find the recipe on either of their blogs.

Then stop by the TWD/Baking with Julia site to see who is participating in this new baking adventure.