Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Baking Bible: Double Chocolate Oriolos

This is a superb cookie. Crisp, buttery, deeply chocolaty, and best of all, easy to make. Everything gets whizzed up in the food processor in a matter of minutes. A quick rest in the refrigerator (or, in my case, overnight) and then little balls of dough are rolled out.

The dough is divided into thirds when it is refrigerated, and I found that made it pretty easy to divide up into little 12 g balls. I flattened each third of dough into a disk, and divided that disk into 12 wedges. Each wedge, give or take a couple of grams, was just about 12 g. Easy!

Each ball gets smushed flat by the bottom of a glass sprayed with cooking spray and dipped into sugar. I failed to notice the recipe says to flatten to a specific size and just sort of haphazardly smushed balls until they looked good enough to me. Luckily that turned out ok.

These are so damn good. I really am tempted to make another batch, right away.


The Baking Bible: Golden Orange Panettone

This was for last week's catch-up week, but I have been very sluggish about blogging. Here's the Cliff's notes version of this project.

I substituted chocolate chips for the raisins, as I am tired of raisins in my baked goods. Since I made this substitution, I didn't soak anything in booze (the raisins were supposed to be soaked in booze). Also, I didn't make the chocolate drizzle glaze, thinking there was enough chocolate already. I now regret I didn't make the chocolate drizzle glaze, because there wasn't enough chocolate already.

Otherwise, I followed the recipe pretty spot on. It was a delicious, soft, rich bread. Considering it takes a week to make the panettone, it was all in all pretty easy and actually very hands off. Most of the week is spent in various forms of rising and fermenting. There were a couple of times I think the dough rose a bit too long--I blame the child's terrible sleep habits--maybe that's why the final bread has bigger holes then I remember seeing on some of the other Alpha Baker's projects. Here's Marie's roundup of all the other baker's panettone. 

biga, after three days of fermenting


the sticky dough, ready for the first knead and rise

and the finished product!

looking down from the top

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Baking Bible: Blue-Rhu Pie

Another berry pie for the Alpha Bakers this week. This time, blueberries are mixed with rhubarb to make a berry pie with a slightly tart background. Mark and I are calling it the "Bluebarb Pie." I was hoping for a more prominent rhubarb flavor, but considering I generally dislike berry pies but have enjoyed this one is no minor compliment.

The main take away for me about this week's project was the pie crust. I have had a lot of trouble producing a tender and flaky cream cheese pie crust but finally I think I am getting somewhere. I used pastry flour which I think was the big game changer. Also, when the dough got sticky as it always does during rolling, I just sprinkled a little more flour on it, duh. It was flaky! It was tender! However, it wasn't as buttery as I would have liked. It didn't brown underneath the foil ring protecting the crust from overbrowning. More work to be done, but finally some inroads. Yay!