Friday, December 30, 2011

Rosemary Bread

I've been making this bread regularly for months now, and I keep forgetting to photograph it. But the recipe (from here) is really simple and I wanted to be sure to capture it before it disappears from the internet haha. I've modified the recipe to use RapidRise yeast, so it only needs one long rise instead of two.

Rosemary Bread
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4-oz. packet (2 1/4 tsp) RapidRise yeast (the 3rd product down on this website)
  • 1 c. slightly-hotter-than-warm water (get the hottest water from the tap)
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salts in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, with a dough hook attached). Add the yeast and whisk again to distribute. Slowly add the water with one hand, and knead the dough with the other to evenly wet all of the flour (or just let your stand mixer go crazy). While still kneading, add the oil and, once that's incorporated, add the rosemary. Then keep kneading for an additional 10 minutes. You might need to dab your hands with some oil to keep the dough off of them.

Next, brush the sides of the mixing bowl with more oil, and let the dough rise (covered with either plastic wrap or a dish towel) for 10 minutes. While the dough is rising, brush your baking utensil (either a cookie sheet or a large loaf pan) with oil.

After the first rise, shape the dough for baking. If using a loaf pan, just place the dough in it (obviously this will yield a loaf of bread...). If using a cookie sheet (to get smaller rolls), break the dough smaller chunks (I've done everything from 4 to 12 pieces), roll into balls, and place on the oiled cookie sheet.

Place the dough into an UNHEATED oven, along with a big bowl of boiling water, and allow to rise for 2 hours. The oven is a great place for rising because it's sealed, so with the boiling water, it seals in a lot of steam and heat which yeast loves.

After the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the oven and begin to preheat the oven to 400F.

When the oven has heated up, place the bread in and bake for 10 minutes (20 if you're baking a loaf). Take the bread out of the oven, brush the tops with olive oil, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes (again 20 if you're baking a loaf). The bread should be golden brown on all sides (even check the bottom) when it's done.

Transfer to a rack to cool for 5-10 min (it should still be a little warm to the touch). Then either eat right away or store in plastic wrap/ziploc bags for later (this keeps it from completely drying out).

Really easy for bread! And oh so delicious. I've also tried replacing some of the white flour with white whole wheat flour, which works, but of course isn't quite as soft.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Greetings!

Wishing everyone a very happy holidays! Hope your holiday season is filled with lots of yummy baked goods :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Korean KupKakes

These are for my Korean friend who has a ton of national pride. These were chocolate cupcakes out of a box, with strawberry filling. The filling is just strawberries, sugar, and water, boiled till it reaches a jelly-like consistency. I made holes in the cupcakes using a bottle cap, filled them up with the jelly, and then topped with store-bought icing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Persistence of Memory

This is a double chocolate cake with cream cheese and blueberry filling. And as usual, it is eggless and the base is a boxed cake mix.

1 box of Duncan Hines Devil Food cake mix
1 tub of whipped cream cheese
1 small basket of blueberries
1 large handful of chocolate chips
chocolate frosting
cream cheese frosting
cooking spray

Directions: Separate out the cake mix into two halves. Bake two separate layers from each half of the box mix. For each, mix 7/8 cup of milk with half a box of cake mix and half of the chocolate chips. Oil your cake pan, and sift flour over the oiled surface. You do not want the thin layers of cake to break when you are removing them from the cake pan/stacking them. Bake each layer at 350 degrees F for 20-25mins. The cream cheese filling is 8oz of cream cheese mixed with 3-5 tablespoons of sugar to taste. To make the blueberry filling wash the blue berries and cook them at medium heat over the stove with a few tablespoons of water. Mash the berries as they cook. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar to taste. Cook until the berries have reached a jam-like consistency. When the layers and jam have cooled, you are read to stack. Spread a layer of cream cheese over the bottom cake layer. Then spread a layer of the blueberry jam. Finally carefully stack on the top layer, and frost. Here, I was inspired by Dali.

Fun with Frosting

This is just a very basic O pudding pie. Jell-o pudding. Store bought Oreo crust. It was mainly fun to decorate!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stovetop Pizza Bites

Pizza's oddly expensive in Shanghai, and it doesn't even taste right. I only have a small conventional oven, so making a pizza from scratch would likely be more effort that it's worth. I figured I'd try something else - so I decided to make pizza over a stove. It actually worked out pretty well. My supermarket sells freshly made dumpling wrappers, noodles, wonton wrappers, and the like, so I just got some fresh dumpling wrappers for the purpose of this experiment. You can get packaged ones from Asian supermarkets in the US as well.

1 package dumpling wrappers
1 cup Roma tomatoes
1/4 medium onion, sliced
1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
grated cheese of your choice (I used chedder and pepper jack)
olive oil
garlic powder (use fresh garlic if you have it; I don't like garlic, so I prefer keeping it in powdered form for occasional use)

Preheat oven to 450F. Quarter the tomatoes. Put on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and bake for 45-60min, until caramelized. (Add oregano if you have it; I unfortunately do not). If you have fresh garlic, roast that, too.

Saute onions until caramelized. Saute mushrooms until it releases water and browns. Blend onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a food processor. Adjust seasonings to taste

Heat a nonstick saucepan (preferably with a lid) over high heat. Cover the bottom with a single layer of flat dumpling wrappers. When they turn a slightly translucent color and no longer stick to the pan, flip them immediately (you may want to try with just one or two wrappers at first so you don't burn them). Turn down the heat to a medium flame. Spoon the tomato sauce on the wrapper, then cover with grated cheese. Cover saucepan with lid and "bake" until the cheese melts. It should be just about when the wrappers start browning on the bottom. Plate and serve!

Mushroom Yogurt Soup

So I got a new immersion blender and immediately started playing around with it. One of the first actual recipes I made was a modified cream of mushroom soup. There are plenty of mushrooms in China (you can get them at the Asian supermarkets in the States as well), so I decided to use a nice mix.

1/4 cup enoki mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
1/4 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 bay leaf
white pepper

2 Tbsp butter

Saute the onion with some olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the mushrooms and saute until mushrooms start to brown and release water. Cover with chicken stock, add some salt, pepper, and the bay leaf, and simmer for 10-12min. Remove the bay leaf and blend with immersion blender. Return the bay leaf.

Optional: In another skillet, make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in flour until it becomes a thick, smooth paste that separates from the pan easily. Add to the soup.

Simmer for another 20min or so, stirring or whisking to mix the roux in and thicken the soup. Remove from heat and add the yogurt (don't add it to the heat directly or it might curdle). Season to taste.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mini Ginger pancakes

Excuse my absence from the blog; I'm in China where blogspot and picasa are both blocked, so I've been having a heck of a time trying to figure out a way to post. :P I still can't get picasa so no pictures (sad), but at least I can post! I had a hankering for pancakes the other day but didn't have syrup, so I figured I could make flavored pancakes and skip the syrup altogether. It's too late for Christmas now, but next year! Along with gingerbread cookies and spiced milk/coffee, you can try ginger-flavored pancakes!

1/2 cup self rising flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup water

1. Beat water, egg, sugar, ginger. Stir in flour.

2. Over medium high flame, pour a Tbsp of the batter onto a nonstick pan. When little air pockets form on the top, flip and cook until the bottom is browned. Serve hot, with a little pat of butter.

Princess Cake

This is one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes. Its very rich and moist.

1 box of devil's food chocolate cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup of veg oil
5ounce pack of chocolate instant pudding powder
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
2/3 bag of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of warm water
cream cheese frosting
food coloring

Mix up all the ingredients (except the frosting/food coloring). To make the princess's skirt we used a bundt cake and two cup cakes. Bake bundt for 50-55 mins. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 mins at 350degrees.

To decorate. Flip the bundt cake out of its pan. Slide a barbie doll up through the bottom of the cake. (Note, the Barbie will have to be in a sitting position to fit in the cake.) Fill in the rest of the hole using the cupcakes. (You may have to break up the cupcakes.) Frost to look like a skirt.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Holiday Cupcakes

Sorry I didn't have a chance to post this over the holidays, but here is a quick and fun holiday treat.

Peppermint Cupcakes (makes 9):
1/2 box of devil's food cake mix
3/4 cup of milk
chocolate frosting
chocolate chips (1 handful)
6-9 candy canes (to taste)

Grind up the candy canes. Pass the powder through a large - sieve. The small powder will go into the cake mix, and the larger pieces will serve as the cupcake topper. Mix the cake mix, fine peppermint powder, chocolate chips, and milk, and pour into cupcake papers. Bake for 25-29mins. Let cool. Frost. Cover with the larger candy cane pieces.

Walnut Cupcakes (makes 9):
1/2 box of devil's food cake mix
3/4 cup of milk
cream cheese frosting
chocolate chips (1 handful)
walnuts (1 handful)

Chop up the walnuts into very small pieces. Mix the cake mix, walnuts, chocolate chips, and milk, and pour into cupcake papers. Bake for 25-29mins. Let cool. Frost. Decorate with piping frosting.