Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Coffee Malted Cookies

For the Dorie's Cookies bake-along, the second cookie for July was the Coffee Malteds (page 116), highlighting two of my favorite flavors, coffee and malt.

These cookies are easy and quick to make, with a cake-like texture.  They are drop cookies, although, because I wasn't sure how much they would spread, I decided to bake them in mini-muffin tins, using my smallest scoop to dish out the dough.  I ended up with bite-sized buttons.  The flavor mellowed over time, but they were delicious from first cookie to last.

The Coffee Malteds were also Dorie's selection for her Cookies and Kindness project.

Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to find out what the other bakers thought.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

BBB: Velvety Bean Bread

Kelly of A Messy Kitchen is the Kitchen of the Month for July.  She chose a fiber-rich bread with an unusual ingredient -- pureed white beans.

To be honest, if I were a baker on the Great British Baking Show, I would be sent home because of this bread.  I baked it two separate times, and both times the loaves failed.  Can't seem to bake a loaf of bread to save my life, it seems.

The first time around, the dough overproofed, even though I watched it carefully.  When I slashed the first loaf, it deflated faster than a blink of an eye.  I didn't slash the second one.

So, I decided that it was baker error and I needed to try again.  This time, I watched the dough like a hawk.  The final proof only took around 30 minutes.  The unbaked loaves looked fine, but, when I removed them from the oven, both were flat.

There was no third time.

I'm getting a bit gun-shy with bread at the moment.  For the time being, I will stick with cookies.

All the other Babes had perfect loaves.  So, give it a try and see what happens.  Send your efforts to Kelly by the 29th of July to be included in the Buddy roundup.

From Kelly:

Velvety Bean Bread
Makes 2 small pan loaves

2 tsp (7 g) active dry yeast
1 cup (326.5 g) lukewarm water
2 cups drained cooked or canned navy beans, room temp (I soaked and cooked mine)
1 cup (113 g) whole wheat flour (I used sprouted spelt)
1 tbsp (13.7 g) olive oil
1 tbsp (17 g) salt (I used less with my salt.  Scant tsp or ¾ tsp)
2 tbsp (~6 g) chopped chives (optional)
~ 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour (I added 30 extra grams to each loaf, 60 g total)

Dissolve yeast in water.  Process beans until smooth, transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer.  Stir yeast mixture into beans.  Add the whole wheat flour and stir for one minute, in one direction, to develop the dough.  Add the oil, salt, and chives, if using and stir them in.  Add 1 cup of the AP flour and stir in.  Add the remaining AP flour and knead in with a dough hook, or work in and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, until smooth.

Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for 3 hours, until almost doubled in volume.  (There should be about 2.5 pounds of dough.)
Turn out dough and divide in half.  Butter two 8x4" pans.  Form each portion of dough into a loaf and place seam side down in the pans.  The directions say to let rise for 2½ hours.  That was WAY too long for my kitchen.  The above loaf was baked after 1 hour.  You'll have to watch the dough for proper rise.  Check at 1 hour and continue to proof if needed.
Preheat oven to 400ºF, have a spray bottle or small cup of water ready for steam.  Slash each loaf lengthwise , place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, adding steam every couple minutes with the sprayer or cup.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 25 minutes until rich brown with a matte finish.  Turn the loaves out and check for doneness. Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.

The Bread Baking Babes:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

TWD: Jammin'

 It's cookie time again. 

By popular acclaim, the first cookies for July are Classic Jammers (page 350) in Dorie's Cookies.  This is a multi-step cookie:  vanilla sables for the base, streusel for the top, some kind of jam for the assembly.  I used some cherry preserves for my jam. 

I only made half a recipe, but the streusel topping ran out before I could use up all the dough, so I baked the remainder as plain cookies.  I'm not a huge fan of jam in cookies, and I debated whether to use lemon curd instead.  If there's a next time, that's what I'll use.

They were  pretty darn delicious, even so.

I did experiment with the baking pan.  A few years ago, a friend gave me one of those mini cheesecake pans with the removable bottoms, so the first twelve cookies were baked in that pan (the small ones in the photo).  The pan worked nicely, but the openings are deep, making it a challenge to sprinkle on the streusel.  I'm sure it would do fine for less complicated cookies.  The remaining six were baked in a standard muffin tin (the big ones), which certainly made assembly a bit easier.  Neither pan affected the taste; it was just a matter of appearance and ease of preparation.

Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see what the other cookie bakers thought.