>Dinner Rolls

I feel the need to share this recipe with you now before thanksgiving. I was testing recipes out yesterday for thanksgiving and this one hit the spot. It reminded me of my grandparents house on holidays with all the cousins and aunts and uncles. The warmth, the way the butter perfectly melted into the soft bread. As I said earlier I got my license today which made it terrific, a few hours ago though my mum got a call from my aunt saying my uncle had finally received a liver transplant that we have all been waiting for, for months and months. The perfect thanksgiving gift and two of their three kids made it to the hospital, my dear cousin k has swine flu so she couldn’t fly out to Tennessee. but these rolls really made me think about family and how thankful I am for all my family and that I get to be with most of my family for Thanksgiving. That is what thanksgiving is about. Giving thanks for all that we have and I have so much to be thankful for. I can’t promise that these rolls will bring liver transplants or the passing of tests but I can promise warm tasty bread that can be pulled apart and enjoyed with people you love.

Dinner RollsMakes about 18-20 rolls.
4 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour(I used AP)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 large egg slightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
1. Mix together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in an electric mixer. Pour the egg, butter, and 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water and mix on low speed with a paddle attachment until all the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more water until the dough is soft and supple.
2. Mix on medium speed with a dough hook, adding more flour if necessary, to create a dough that is soft and supple, and tacky but not sticky. Continue mixing for 6 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic warp.
3.Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
4.Remove dough from the bowl and divide into 20 2 ounce pieces for dinner rolls.
5.Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and either space the rolls apart or bunch together like in my photo.
6. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or towel. Proof the dough at room temperature for 60-90 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the rolls with egg wash.
8. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes or until there golden brown.
9. When the rolls are done baking remove immediately and allow to cool for 15 minutes.


>Apple Pie

Today has been a great day, I took my driving test and received my license. Until recently I haven’t needed one because I take the bus everywhere but the new semester brings classes right after each other on different campuses in different towns so I had to get my license thankfully I passed the test. Today is also good because I’m preparing the pies for the thanksgiving feast one of which is a apple pie. This is as traditional as it gets and as tasty.

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, cold cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
With the machine off drizzle the water over the flour mixture and then quickly pulse a couple times just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. This process should happen very quickly. Test the moisture level in the dough by squeezing a small amount together, if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before using.
6 apples peeled,cored, and cut into 16ths.
3/4 cup sugar
4tbs. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 9inch pie shell, lined with pie dough
pie dough for covering.
egg glaze for top.
1. preheat the oven 425 degrees.
2. In a bowl mix the apples with all the ingredients except the butter. Toss the mixture well.
3. Pile the fruit into the unbaked pie shell and dot the top with butter.
4. Arrange the top dough to the way you would like it ex.lattice,full cover etc. Crimp the bottom crust with with top crust.
5. Brush the lattice with the egg glaze and bake in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes.
6. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees. Continue Baking until the fruit is bubbling and the apples are tender about 30 more minutes.
7. Let Pie cool 2 hours before slicing.
Note:I made the pies ahead of time today by just assembling and not baking. I put foil over the pies and taped a note on that said at what temperature and time each should bake for then put them in the freezers. I will bake them off thanksgiving morning.


>Lavender Chiffon Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

On Saturday I went and visited my sister in the city. I took the ferry and arrived at the ferry building before she did: perfect. I was so excited I got test some cheeses and olive oils, look at Delicious baked goods, wandered through the farmers market and ended up at Sur La Table. I walked around the store a few times to take in everything and that’s when I found the lavender extract. I bought it knowing it would come in handy. I decided to do a chiffon cupcake because its light and airy and delicate just perfect for lavender. The cupcakes don’t taste like a flower or perfume it’s very subtle and the Swiss meringue butter cream puts the perfect touch to it.

Lavender Chiffon Cupcakes
Makes about 20 regular size cupcakes
2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon lavender flavoring
6 eggs separated
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
violet dye depending on what color you want it.

Lined 20 cupcake holder with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
sift the flour,sugar,baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl, and make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil,water,lavender,and egg yolks.
Stir liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, pulling in the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth.
Beat the eggs whites until they are frothy, then add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites gradually and gently into the batter.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool and put frosting on once cupcakes are at room temperature.

Swiss Meringue Butter cream
Makes about 4 cups
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
pinch salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or any other flavor you choose.

In the bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and egg white mixture is very warm to the touch.
Whisk egg white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff(but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and slightly cooled, about 6 minutes.
With the mixer on medium speed, add salt and butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Put the paddle attachment on and put on high speed for about 3 minutes. Beat in the extract or other flavoring.

note:these would be just regular cupcake color if I hadn’t added dye.


>Gingerbread Madeleines and a High Tea

I love doing high teas it brings me back to my childhood days. I did this one at the request of my grandmother and one of her best friends who has known me since I was born. They had been wanting to do it for awhile and I happened to have the day off so they came. My grandmother brought two dolls with her,very old dolls ones that I played with when I was young at her house and she played with them when she was young. I thought it was the perfect touch to a magical tea party. My mum took the day off to come and join us and it was a day full of reminiscing on old times and gorging ourselves with sweet treats. I served lemon curd,clotted cream,blueberry scones,shortbread,cucumber sandwich’s,egg salad sandwich’s, and gingerbread Madeleine’s. Also each person got their own small pot of tea it was a delightful afternoon.

1 cup flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons molasses
Butter and flour the Madeleine tins. Melt the 2/3 cup butter. Beat the eggs and sugar until it becomes a white color. Add the flour, melted butter a little at a time. Mix Well. Mix in spices and molasses. Drop the batter a teaspoon at a time into Madeleine molds. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The cookies came out nice and moist and with a holiday twist.

The guests at the high tea.


>The search is over:Puff Pastry

In my high school pastry class I received a puff pastry dough recipe that worked really well, but then the recipe stealer stole the recipe and it was nowhere to be found. I searched Hi and Low on the Internet for a recipe and all I got were dessert recipes telling me to go buy frozen puff pastry to use. If you are having that same problem don’t worry because I have got you covered. I bought the CIA’s baking book because I knew they would have the basic recipes but that they would work well and sure enough I got professional results. Do what you would like with the recipe I made Apple Turn overs which were fantastic.
Puff Pastry Dough
Side Note: I use just regular All-Purpose flour instead of bread and pastry flour and the recipe turns out great every time so it just depends on what you have around. Makes 8LB.
Bread Flour 2 lb
Pastry flour 8 oz
Salt 1 oz
Butter,soft 8 oz
Water,cold 18 fl oz
Roll in:
Butter,pliable 2 lb 4 oz
Bread Flour 4 oz
1. To Prepare the dough, place the flours,salt, butter, and water in the mixer and blend on low speed with the dough hook attachment until a smooth dough is formed. Shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and dust the paper lightly with flour. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan,wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
2. To prepare the roll in, blend the butter and flour on low speed with a paddle attachment until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Form into a rectangle ½ in/1 cm thick. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable. Do not allow the roll-in to become hard.
3. To lock the roll-in into the dough, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle twice the size of the roll-in, keeping the edges straight and the corners squared. Then perform a lock-in which means to Place the roll-in on one half of the dough then fold the dough over the roll-in.

4. Then perform a four-fold. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30-40 minutes under refrigeration.
5. Turn the dough 90 degrees from it’s position before it was refrigerated and roll out into a rectangle 16 by 24 in, making sure the edges are straight and the corners are squared. Administer a second four fold. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest under refrigeration for 30 minutes. Repeat the process 2 more times for a total of four folds, turning the dough 90 degrees each time before rolling and allowing the dough to rest, covered in plastic wrap, under refrigeration for 30 minutes between each fold.
6. After completing the final fold, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest under refrigeration for 30 minutes before using.

Above are our jack-o-lanterns this year,since my sister don’t live at home now we have a small pumpkin family this year, guess which one is mine.