Sunday, May 24, 2009

Breakfast in a Crock-Pot?

So I am a sleeper, as in I could sleep till noon everyday of my life if no one woke me up. However, my husband is an eater, meaning his stomach wakes him up by 7:00am every morning. As you can see this is not exactly a match made in heaven. That was until I discovered... Breakfast in a Crock-Pot.

This is so cool! You put all of the ingredients in before you go to bed, set the cooker on low, and then in the morning you wake up to a hot breakfast that cooked itself.

BBA: Light Weat Bread

Okay I know this recipe is skipping ahead, but I needed a good PB&J bread for this week's lunches.

My proof box! This works so well. I microwave a small cup of water for about 5 min. Then, I stick the dough in with the now boiling water and it proofs perfectly.

Looks pretty good huh? Read on :(

Still looks pretty good...

Eeek! We can't make sandwiches out of holey bread. So here is my question for all you bread bakers out there What went wrong? I think I have narrowed it down to two possible culprits.
A: I do not have bread flour only all-purpose so in order to get the gluten-high that makes bread so tasty I added some wheat gluten. Here is my first thought, maybe I added too much? We did the calculations so that the flour would be about 16% gluten, but maybe we were wrong.
B: Sometime after the proofing before the shaping the dough did not deflate all the way (didn't get totally punched down) and thus when it was shaped a giant air bubble got trapped? What do you think? Please, let me know.

At least all is not lost this bread made fantastic croutons!

One thing I didn't mention is that this bread tasted INCREDIBLE!! It was quite possibly the best sandwich bread I have ever had the privilege of tasting.

BBA: Bagels

Here's the dough. Man, I really need to get me one of those dough whisks. Maybe for my birthday? *hint, hint*

Shaping the dough. We did half this way and half the pokey way. I think I like this way better because you get smooth stretched dough. Our poke ones were just a little lumpy.

After the curls on my celebration bread unrolled I was proactive and used a little bit of water to seal the ends together. I seemed to work very well no unrolled bagels!

I thought this pot would never boil! I suppose that's what I get for living at such a high altitude. We boiled the bagels for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

I found that using the bottom end of a fork was the easiest way to flip the bagel when the pot was full.

Time to come out :)

Here they are all topped for the oven we ended up with 13 bagels:
3 onion
3 Asiago Cheese
2 Sesame Seed
2 Kosher Salt
2 Cinnamon & Sugar
1 Plain

After 5 min. in the oven

All done! The first pan I left in the oven for a few extra minutes to brown a little more, but the second pan I just left (aka forgot) the oven at 500 instead of turning it down after I rotated them. The second batch browned a lot better. I think I'll stick with this.

Check out my crumb!

Breakfast! Bagel w/ cream cheese

This was the most adventurous recipe of the challenge yet for me. I have never made something like this, but they turned out amazing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BBA: Pizza Dough

I love making homemade pizza! While this dough was good I'm not sure it was leaps and bounds over what I already use. We made the dough and my sister and her husband brought the toppings it was one delicious dinner party.

The recipe tells you to split the dough into sixths I found this made medium sized thin crust pizzas. I learned that I definitely need to work on my dough tossing skills. We decided to eat four of them and put the extra dough into the freezer.

I use these racks for everything. This time they worked great as racks for all our different kinds of pizza.

I know less is more but this pizza has refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, and black beans.

Here we have artichoke hearts, tomatoes, chicken, and garlic ranch.

Classic pepperoni and red sauce.

BBA: Casatiello

We baked this bread way out of order, but my husband was so anxious to try it. This is a bread that is loaded with meat and cheese. We discussed our various options of meat and cheese. I wanted bacon, Danny kind of wanted sausage. I wanted provolone Danny wanted cheddar. In the end, we had bacon and cheddar. (a fairly good compromise)

Here you can see all of those yummy pieces of bacon and cheese. We did have a little mishap with the bacon. We wanted the bacon really crisp so that we could crumble it. So as I was cooking I started thinking of other things I needed to do. I figured since we wanted the bacon crispy I could walk away for a second. The problem was I got distracted and ended up completely burning it and we had to start over.

This bread was really tasty! We really like eating a slice as an afternoon snack. Overall, I would give this recipe a 4 out of 5. Why? Because, aside from just eating it I'm not sure what you would do with it. (Doesn't make very good sandwich bread.

BBA: Artos, Christopomos

This is actually a Greek holiday bread, but what the heck school's almost over so we'll say we're celebrating that! :)

This was our first bread that required a pre-ferment and I was really excited, but in order to get everything done on Saturday Danny took charge of that piece.

I promise I will get better at taking pictures of the process, but this time we were in a mad dash to finish the bread before we had to go to church.

We ended up taking the loaf to a BBQ with the in-laws and it was devoured so I was unable to take pictures of the crumb. I kind of resembled a cinnamon bun with less sweetness and more fruit if that makes any sense. I was a little surprised at the density of the bread, for how much it rose I was expecting a light bread. However, this loaf was actually quite dense. I love how the loaf looks, even if our swirls didn't stick. Next time I will use a little bit of water to bind the curl to the bread.

BBA: Anadama Bread

I actually made this bread a couple of weeks ago. I was a little
surprised by the cornmeal molasses mix and wondered how the finished
bread would taste. I was particularly worried about what I had gotten myself into as I kneaded the grainy dough.
I ended up using a really dark molasses because
that was what I had on hand. The finished product had a strong
molasses flavor, but the texture was perfect. It is still a little
chilly here in Utah at times so I had to turn up my heat a little to
get everything to rise. (It is a good thing my apartment doesn't charge us for our gas) This was probably the lightest, best textured
bread I've ever made it also had a nice thin crunchy crust. I think
the directions in the beginning of the book about kneading and steam
in the oven made the biggest difference for me.

Overall, I'd give it about 4 out of 5 stars. It made a pretty good
PB&J and it would be good for variety every once in a while, but not
my absolute favorite.

Finally Pictures!
Sorry these were taken with my cell phone

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bread Baker's Apprentice Challange

In light of the Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge from Pinch my Salt I've decided to start my own food blog. This is so that I quit filling up our family blog with my culinary creations. Not so much here right now but stay tuned for at least weekly updates.

I have already made the first week's challenge Anadama bread a few weeks ago so I will post about it soon.