Monday, May 1, 2017

Walnut Fougasse

Making Rose's Walnut Fougasse
was certainly a learning experience.
I had no idea what this should be.

After reading the instructions 
a few times,
I played it safe and made a list.

Dough after the first rise

There are so few ingredients;
unbleached flour, yeast, salt,
milk, walnuts and walnut oil.

The texture of the dough is very stiff
compared to other breads we have made.

After each rising, and there are three with
additional rest times,
the dough becomes fluffier.
It was a bit tricky kneading in the walnuts.
They kept wanting to pop out.

Didn't open the slits wide enough

With so much oil added in between risings,
I had difficulty getting the bread to knead
back together.
I would really like to see a video of
Rose making this bread.

I did tent the bread with foil
for the last few minutes
until the internal temperature was reached.

When I pulled it out,
all I could think of was 
the Disney song from Peter Pan
"Never smile at a crocodile"

I will say this is an amazingly
textured bread.
It reminds me of our family's
very favorite pizza crust
from an authentic Italian pizzeria,
minus the walnuts.

This bread peaked my curiosity
and I've spent a fair amount of 
time watching different bakers
making it on youtube.
I'll definitely have another go at Fougasse.
Oh, and the house smells wonderful!
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, April 10, 2017

Flaxseed Bread

This is wonderful bread toasted,
just like Rose says in her recipe
for Flaxseed Bread.
A truly simple bread to make
with very few risings,
it came together quickly 
and easily.
So easily,
in fact,
this little lady 
made it entirely on her own!

She's ten years old now and loves 
baking and cooking; it's at the top of her list
of fun things to do.
  This is the first start
to finish loaf of bread she's made.
My only interference was 
wrestling the dough into the 
too small loaf pan.
I stood with her as she weighed
out the ingredients and promised
the craggy dough would magically
turn into lovely dough with those 
two little teaspoons of yeast.

The dough was a little too dry
so more water was added.
Not sure if it was because we used
ground flaxseed or due to an
unexpected cold snap that
left us with very dry air.
I kept telling her that my fellow
bakers always say bread dough
is very forgiving.

Dough coming out from the microwave proofing sauna

Definitely need to invest in a slightly bigger bread pan.
My other one was way too large for this recipe.

The poor child was in agony waiting the recommended 
two hours for the bread to cool.
Wrapped up she took it home where it was 
very much enjoyed toasted with Irish butter
and Irish cheddar cheese.

So this is the second generation of 
Rose's bakers.
I'm happy to have gotten over my yeast phobia
through The Bread Bible baking group
and very happy to be passing on the love 
of baking bread to my granddaughter.
Rose Levy Beranbaum 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Olive Bread

Rose's Olive Bread 
is a nice easy recipe.
It turned out to be one of those
breads that puts me in 
a good mood to make;
not too much fiddling,
straight forward with minimal rising times
resulting in a great bread
for minimal effort.

The biga is simply mixed
in a bowl with a spoon.
Set over night to bubble away,
mine was left in the frig for 
another twenty four hours.

This was the first time I proofed a bread
in a towel lined strainer.
The dough is lighter than air.
Flipping it over onto the pan
took a gentle hand so as not to deflate.

The baking temperature is decreased
by increments.
I made a foil tent for the last few minutes.
this bread is one
I'd gladly pay for in a restaurant.
Definitely on the 
make again list.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, January 30, 2017

"Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread

This bread is a fantastic surprise!
It is better than any rye bread
I have ever tried.
The caraway seeds
give it a wonderfully delicate flavor.
It was an easy bread to make, too.

My oven must be running hot
because I baked it less than the times
Even so, the crust has a great crackle.
one to make again and again.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, December 26, 2016

Triple Lemon Velvet Bundt Cake

This is a new unpublished
recipe from
Rose and Woody's
upcoming book

The name says it all.

The crumb is incredibly delicate
when fresh baked.
Rose advises flavor is better
the next day, which does
seem to be deeper and fuller.
The crumb feels heavier
but is still tender.

The only difficulty I had
was it baked too dark even
taking it out of the oven
earlier than the least amount
of recommended time
turning down the oven twenty five degrees
for the last ten minutes.
Not sure if cake strips would have helped.
Next time I'll start checking for doneness
way earlier, when the kitchen is wafting
with delicious lemon scent.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Perfect Christmas Stollen

This is the recipe for 
It was a real learning experience.
Growing up Stollen was not on 
our Christmas table.

I have been intrigued since eyeing Stollen
in a delightful bakery years ago.
The few store bought ones
I purchased
were disappointing.
Very hard, dry and tasteless.

The recipe calls for soaked dried fruit.
This fruit has been soaking
in rum for so many years
I've actually forgotten the exact number.
It was intended for fruitcake.

I'm not sure why,
 other than making two mistakes,
why the dough was so wet.
I poured all the flour into the sponge
instead just one half cup.
Also I had to pull it out of the "proofing" microwave box
and add a forgotten egg yolk.

I used White Lily flour and am
not sure if that affected the dough.
It was more of a thick cake consistency.

It is tasty though!
Very tender crumb.
The almond paste center is amazing.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kouigns Amann

Final curtain call 
for Rose's Alpha Bakers.
Our fearless leader,
thought it would be great fun
to once again make
the first recipe we
upon commencing 
baking through
The Baking Bible,
namely this Kouigns Aman.

I did not share that sentiment
because the first time around was daunting,
but I understood the reasoning.
We've weighed
flour, sugar, butter
in all their various 
percentages and incarnations,
slogging along 
through recipes
that would fell many a baker
for two years and eleven days.
If memory serves correctly,
and that's a big if,
we only took one or two weeks 
worth of breaks.

Baking at this pace is grueling.
Missing a week, 
or weeks at a time,
is like falling off a horse;
best be pulling up those boot straps
and climbing right back into the saddle.
Marie never missed a beat
even when she traveled the world
with her personal photographer/husband
He gets credit for sifting through our photos
when there were many superb
ones to choose from for the weekly roundup. 
I have loved seeing not only
my fellow Alpha's bakes
but photographs, as well.
many are magazine worthy.
So with
two years of baking under our belts
these should have been a snap,

The dough is easy peasy
to mix up.
How such few ingredients
transform into 
is nothing short of alchemy.

After that it's a lot of 
folding and rolling and waiting.
The dough texture is 
fun to work with.
The butter behaved.
It's only when sugar
gets involved in the last steps
that rolling is a bit dicey.
And that's where swearing doubts
make themselves known.
with Rose's recipes,
it's often blind faith,
 keep calm and carry on.

There have been many
a time I could 
easily have cracked a bottle
of rum, brandy, whiskey, bourbon, Kahlua,
chambord, Grand Marnier
and whatever 
leftover  Baking Bible 
spirits are in the cupboard
when I was on the verge of baking implosion
I'm not a big fan of alcohol
other than Amaretto
and oddly
Rose never called for Amartto.
If she did,
I drank the last of it and can't remember.

My six and half year old granddaughter
made good on her
promise to be here for the last bake.

Only she declared Blueberry muffins
needed to be made
because evidently,
as grandmother,
I set some sort of precedent 
without realizing it.

Grandma, remember how you always
made us blueberry muffins when we spent the night?

Next thing I knew it was tea party time.
Kouigns Amann had been demoted.

If I tackle these again,
it will be at the crack of dawn 
for this all day venture.

I will make a note to pull them out
at the least amount of baking time
and throw a foil tent over for the last
ten minutes.

Rose lists turning these into
French Toast
as a variation.
That seemed crazy to me
after all this effort
curiosity won out
And let me say,
Rose knows of which she speaks,
Rose Levy Beranbaum