Week 32: Sweet Potato Biscuits

OREGON: I found this on the inside of a box of Tillamook unsweetened butter. And then I found this instructional video courtesy of Alex Town of Pine State Biscuits in Portland, OR.

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Week 31: Hoagie Rolls

Rumour has it that hoagie rolls got their name from the “hoggie” sandwiches made by Italian immigrants who worked at the Hog Island shipyard in Philedephia during WWI. Call them what you will, (“subs” in North Jersey, “hoagies” in South Jersey, “heroes” in NYC, and “grinders” if you’re from New England), but the style of the roll remains the same: dense and sturdy with a hard crust.

STEP 1: Proof yeast

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-1/4 tsp yeast
  1. Warm milk to about 105 degrees, but not hotter than 110.
  2. Add yeast and mix

STEP 2: Hydrate flour

  • 400 g bread flour (AP is okay)
  • 10 g sugar
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 8 g salt
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, oil and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the milk/yeast mixture
  3. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

STEP 3: Knead and first rise

  1. Place bowl in mixer and with the dough hook attachment, knead on #4 for 3 minutes, then #2 for 5
  2. Dough should come away from the sides, and be able to stretch with out breaking
  3. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. This could take about an hour, but it depends on the temperature of the room, so check on it often!

STEP 4: Shape rolls

  1. Gently punch dough down, then turn out onto your countertop. You can put a little oil on the countertop, rubbed in well, to keep it from sticking, but you shouldn’t have to. Same goes for dusting with flour. If you really want to use flour, don’t use too much!
  2. Separate dough into 4 even pieces, weighing about 175 grams each.
  3. Flatten each one into a square, then roll up and press seam together to seal.
  4. Roll each one to a length of about 10″

STEP 5: Second rise

  1. Place rolls on a baking sheet, covered, and let proof about 30 – 45 minutes, until doubled in size. I place glasses in the corner, than cover the whole thing with a clear kitchen trash bag.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, so it’s ready by the time they rise

STEP 6: Score, top and bake

  • 1 egg white beaten with a Tbsp of water and a pinch of salt
  • Sesame seeds
  1. When oven has reached 400, pour boiling water in a iron skillet, or baking pan with high sides and place on the bottom rack. Careful – it’s easy for the water to slosh out a bit!
  2. Brush the tops of the rollswith egg white, score, then sprinkle with sesame seeds
  3. Place in oven, shut the door, and turn the heat down to 375 degrees.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and then bake for 10 minutes longer, until golden. Internal temperature should be between 190 and 200.
  5. Cool on wire rack.

Week 30: Limpa

SWEDEN: Limpa is actually the Swedish word for any loaf of bread, but here in America, it’s the term we use for this slightly sweet rye bread flavored with molasses and scented with cardamon, fennel, anise and orange. You can bake it free-form, but it tends to spread, so I prefer using a 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan, which also makes for uniform slices. Njut av!

STEP 1: BLOOM SPICES

  • 1 c milk
  • 64 g brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick / 4 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp anise seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, preferably partially ground with a morter & pestle
  • 2 tsp cardamon powder
  1. In a small saucepan, mix spices, brown sugar and molasses in with milk and heat until nice and warm, but don’t boil!
  2. Cool to room temperature (about 70 degrees)

STEP 2: HYDRATE FLOURS

  • 245 g bread flour
  • 175 g whole wheat flour
  • 140 g rye flour
  1. Measure the flours in the bowl of a stand mixer, fixed with the paddle attachment
  2. Slowly add milk and continue to mix until there’s not dry bits of flour. You aren’t kneading the dough, yet, just incorporating the liquid into the dry.
  3. Cover and let sit (at room temperature) for an hour.

STEP 2: PREPARE and KNEAD DOUGH

  1. Mix yeast in with milk to dissolve
  2. Add to the hydrated flours
  3. With the dough hook, knead on #4 for 5 minutes, then on #2 for 5 minutes.

STEP 3: 1st RISE (1 hour)

  1. Cover and let rise in a room that’s about 72 degrees (or a warmed up microwave) for about an hour. This dough won’t double in size — will only rise a little bit

STEP 4: SHAPE LOAVES

  1. Scrape dough onto oiled or wet surface and divide into two pieces
  2. Flatten each into a (roughly) 7″ square
  3. Shape into a tight roll, using the “head and shoulders” method.
  4. Place in 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pans, seam side down, pressing on the top to fill the pan

STEP 5: 2nd RISE (1 hour)

  1. Let rise until the top is about 1″ above the rim of the pan
  2. Preheat oven to 375

STEP 6: BAKE

  1. Either dust with flour OR brush with a glaze made by mixing 1 egg yolk with 2 Tbsp orange juice
  2. Score with very sharp knife (a razor blade makes a good scoring tool)
  3. Immediately place in oven, and decrease temperature to 350
  4. Bake 40~45 minutes, rotating once after about 20 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature between 190 – 200 degrees
  5. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack before slicing (see why on the Tips page)!

Week 29: Pizza Dough (II)

On week 17, I decided to make pizza – the kind you can whip up when you just don’t feel like cooking. We called it good enough” pizza because although tasty and easy, it wasn’t what you’d make if you were hankering for something better than delivery. We’ve been home now for 29 weeks (203 days!), with no end in sight. So, it’s time to upgrade, and learn how to make a dough worthy of an artisan style, thin-crust pizza. The trick is, you have to begin this the day before — start on a Thursday, and you’ll be all set for Friday night!

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Week 28: Cinnamon Swirl

Another fool-proof recipe from King Arthur Baking Company. I’ve linked to the video that shows you every step of the process and listed the ingredients below so you can get everything measured out and then just follow along. Your own private cooking class!

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Week 27: Clover-leaf Rolls

Fun to make, and delicious to eat! Because they are made with an “enriched” dough (dough that contains butter and milk), they can be made a day ahead and then reheated in the oven just prior to serving.

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Week 26: Baguette au Chocolat

FRANCE: This is unlike any bread you’ve every had. It manages to be full of chocolate flavor with out the cloying sweetness. You need time, though, because it calls for an overnight rise, which is actually perfect because you can prepare the dough in the evening, then shape and pop them in the oven next morning after a 30-minute rise. Chocolate in yeast doughs can be tricky, but Victor has figured it all out and gives detailed instructions AND links to his regular baguette which is a great place to start if you’ve never baked them before.

Chocolate Baguettes recipe from Victor Vitaly

  • 500 g all purpose flour King Arthur brand is recommended
  • 20 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 150 g bitter-sweet dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 425 g water
  • 10 g salt
  • 3 g active dry yeast or quick rise yeast
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Follow instructions here.

This is an excellent demonstration of the “stretch and fold” method.

Week 25: Dutch Baby

SEATTLE: (Manca’s Cafe): So quick, so easy and so delicious! Make it in five, eat it in twenty. Serve with jam and plain yogurt, or powdered sugar and lemon. OR, skip the sugar and add canned chilies (or jalapenos) and serve with grated cheese. YUM.

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Week 24: Laugenbrezel

GERMANY: Buy a pretzel in Germany, and it most probably won’t come with mustard unless you’ve ordered a sausage to go along with it. Instead, it might be served sliced in half with butter, or with some obazda, a cheese-based dip made with an unusual combination of ingredients (recipe below). It’s also most probably been dipped in a lye solution just prior to baking, (which is what gives pretzels their charteristic deep mahagony color), but baking soda works too.

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Week 23: Po-Boy Rolls

NEW ORLEANS: This unique bread, like a cross between a baguette and a hot dog bun, is also known as New Orleans French bread, and is what makes the famous Po Boy one of the best sandwiches in the world. You can get po-boys outside of New Orleans, but it won’t be the same if it’s not made with this one-of-a-kind bread.

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