Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh god what have I done cookies

I wanted to bake something to deal with my rampant uncertainty in life, so I decided to make cookies. I knew there were no eggs in the fridge since neither of us have been shopping since we got back in town, so I figured I'd just use some flax seed. Then I got in the kitchen and realized that there is no flax in the house. I was too far along in the process at that point to pull out, so I looked around for substitute ingredients. Yogurt was moldy. Nothing was in the house. Then I opened the last cupboard and saw the instant oatmeal.

-1 cup butter
-1 thingy oatmeal in half the ration of boiling water
Cream together once the oatmeal has cooled to just being 'warm'.

1 cup cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rye
1/2 cup white bread flour
Mix above together with the buttermeal, until a cookie dough is formed. Shape into cookies and bake.

I have decided the above shall be called 'delightfully unpleasant cookies'. The inside is just just underdone, the lack of egg means they're a bit crumbly to the touch, and they are a world of bitter. Quite enjoyably so in fact.
Colin liked them with maple syrup, I think a drizzle of maple syrup plus a raspberry cream would go wonderfully. Whatever you do, though, do not pair them with grapefruit juice. That is an awful idea.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Super Weird Milk Bread

Cheeseless Cheesey Coffee Rye Bread

NEED to start:
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 4 tspn yeast
  • 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp + 1 tspn sugar

  • -Mix milk, yeast, and the 4 tablespoons of sugar together and stir well in preparation for making forty croissant for new years day
    -Realize that the milk is too cold to proof the yeast, and that you don't have time to let it warm up, and you're worried about microwaving yeast
    -Pour mixture into a glass, cover with saran wrap, start over with warm milk
    -Make croissant for the three family new-years-day brunch, consume much delicious food
    -24 hours after mixing the yeast milk, give it another tablespoon of sugar, mix, and leave in the fridge still
    -12 hours after that, give it another teaspoon of sugar, and set in a bowl on the counter to warm up and come alive

    NEED to continue:
  • 1 cup warm coffee
  • 4 cups rye flour
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 tbsp yeast a quarter-jar of yeast
  • 4 tspn coarse sea salt

  • -Add the warm coffee to the milk to bring it up to heat and come alive sooner
    -While the yeast is coming alive, mix the flours together in a bowl, forming a well in the center
    -Become worried about your milky-yeasty business when it bubbles up but there is only minimal yeast-mass floating on top of the fluid
    -What could of gone wrong, yeast and milk both live happily in the fridge most of the time. It can't have gone bad or anything!
    -Get out some more yeast from the fridge, get a tablespoon of yeast ready
    -Set the table spoon of yeast down to pick up a clean spoon with which to taste the milk to make sure it's still OK
    -Mmmmm! A little sweet, but mostly milky and slightly alcoholic! Excellent!
    -Add the yeast
    -Realize that you put the tablespoon of yeast down meaning that instead of putting a tablespoon of yeast in, you actually just dumped the remaining quarter of a jar of yeast into your milk
    -oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit
    -Let proof
    -Mix the sea salt in with the flour to try and intercept the rampant yeast monster you have made
    -When proofed, add the yeast and sweetened milk to your dry ingredients, and knead until it sticks together (should be a sticky, wet dough)
    -Form into a ball, cover, and let rise several times, watching to punch it down as soon as the dough peaks it's rise
    -Preheat your oven to 450F with a pan of water in the bottom for steam
    -Form your dough into an attractive loaf, let rise one last time for half an hour
    -Bake in the oven for an hour and ten minutes or so, turning the heat down to 375F after the first five minutes

    This is actually one of the tastiest things I've baked. A very strong, charactered bread, it's heavy in texture just as I like it, and has a complex, slightly cheesy taste to it.
    Will definitely be baking this again.

    Friday, January 2, 2009

    Pork & Apple, Pork & Apple, and Apple Bread

    It's December and I'm back home and I have been baking! Three things to write about today: some apple-pork tarts, an associated pastry braid, and a revisitation of 'pie bread' from this summer.

    So, Andrew Lockhart came over one night after going out for coffee, and as he is wont to do, he immediately went to our fridge looking for leftovers which he could consume. We had just left a coffee shop with the intent of baking something with the apples I had at home, and so when Andrew saw the leftover pork roast from supper, he immediately went 'we are baking apple-pork something', I said 'definitely not' and he said 'too bad, we have to'.
    So, I peeled seven apples and tossed them with sugar, pulsed the apple peels in a food processor with the congealed pork drippings, chopped-then-processed the pork, tossed all the above together along with an eight-teaspoon of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. This all got put in a twelve-muffin pan that had been lined with pastry dough, then topped with little pastry leaves my mum cut out for us.
    Baked in a 350 oven for 55 minutes, end product was a semi-sweet tortiere like tart that was quite delicious. We should have chopped the apple a little smaller and more consistently (my initial plan was to apple-sauce the lot, but we decided to leave them for texture), and mom thought they needed a little bit of salt to bring out the flavours.

    This only used slightly more than half of the filling so today I made a batch of croissant dough, rolled it out to a 10" by 16" rectangle, and made a danish braid with it. I'm doing a write-up on croissant for the next issue of the zine (if anyone reads this and wants a copy of my zine, just leave a message and I can mail one), so specifics on how that works are forthcoming. The filling was much tastier in this, and when surrounded by flakey buttery pastry people were more agreeable to it's ridiculousness.

    Brother-Andrew's girlfriend Crystal is in for christmas again, and she saw the picture of the danish braid I was using for reference and got excited at the prospect and then disappointed when she found out I was stuffing it with the pork and apple (which she was afraid of), so I made up some pie bread, slightly modified, which I intended to stuff with the pork, but later decided that the pork belonged in the pastry braid, so the bread just got apples. Consequently, there were savory spices in the pie bread that made for a very peculiar loaf.
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano and thyme (DO NOT USE THIS)
  • 1/4 cup honey

  • Peel, slice, and core the apples, toss the slices and peel in a bowl with the honey to sit. Mix the yeast with the sugar in the water to proof, and cut the shortening through the flour and herbs as if for pastry.
    Put the apple peel in a food processor, along with most of the fluid from the apples, process fine, and then combine the processed peel, yeast-water, and shortening-flour and knead with cold hands until it sticks together. Set aside to rise for about forty-five minutes (you could do two rises on this like regular bread but I was lazy and short on time).
    Briefly zap the apple in the food processor, then roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper to about a quarter of an inch thick and not wider than a loaf pan. Lay the apple chunks out on top of the flat dough, then, using the wax paper to help, roll the whole thing up, and drop it in a loaf pan. Let it rise again for about half an hour, before baking at 350ยบ for an hour or so.
    Again, this bread was slightly under-done on the inside, and the herbs were a mistake (this was originally intended for the pork and apple). Again, makes amazing french toast, so that's what this bread is for. It makes super-amazing french toast. This is the best french toast bread ever. For real.