February 10, 2010

HBin5 February 1st entry (a little late!)

Our challenge for this week was to make the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread on pages 92-93 in HBin5. I made several significant changes to the recipe: I eliminated the eggs, used agave syprup instead of honey and increased the water to make up for the liquid missing due to omitting the eggs.

We were to make one loaf, hamburger/hot dog rolls and a loaf of Apple Strudel Bread. I decided to make English Muffins instead of hamburger/hot dog rolls. The plain bread and Apple Strudel bread were fabulous. I didn't like the English muffins so much with this dough - I think because it is slightly sweet.

This is the plain loaf. Next time I'll use more dough so that the bread is higher and more suitable for a real sandwich. The texture and taste was amazing. It stayed fresh for several days.

The Apple Strudel Bread was wonderful I used apples and almonds, since that is what I had. The texture was wonderful. We thought it was similar to those little pecan twirls you can buy at the grocery store bakery. In fact, I think I'll try making those this afternoon.

January 17, 2010

Bread Braid - Master Recipe

For our first official Bread Braid, we were to use the Master Recipe in HBin5 and make three separate breads: one loaf, one Epi or Wreath shaped bread and Spicy Whole Grain Snack Crackers. What I love about these HBin5 and ABin5 doughs are that you only have to mix up ONE batch of dough and there are so many things you can do with it.

My younger daughter, who happens to be my favoritist 24 year-old in the WHOLE WORLD, gave me two brotforms for Christmas.(She'd still be my favorite 24 year old even if she didn't get me these - but it didn't hurt!!!) I've been lusting after brotforms for years and finally put them on my list this year. I used them to make my loafs:

The loaves aren't baked in the forms. You generously flour the forms, put the dough in them to rise and then, ever so gently, turn them out onto the baking surface to bake. Gorgeous!

Next up were the Epi and Shaped Wreath. This was a challenge - the technique is hard to grasp through photos (for me anyway.) I gave one to a neighbor and ate the other - just for research purposes of course!!

Last task was the Spicy Whole Grain Crackers. These were a bust for me - both in texture and taste. I definately didn't get these thin enough, so they were chewy - and not in a good way. Others involved in the Braid used a pasta machine to roll the dough extra thin. I didn't like the way they tasted either. This is how they looked:

I had hoped to bring these with me to a New Year's Eve dinner, but they ended up in the trash can - much to my dog's horror!!

The above mentioned favorite 24 year-old daughter also gave me a cookbook for baking with Agave syrup. I've discovered over the past five years that sugar has a really bad effect on the way I feel, both physically and emotionally. I try to limit my refined sugars. I made this Pear Frangipane Tart for my dessert contribution to the New Year's Eve dinner and it was a great hit:

I was very pleased with how it looked and tasted. I highly recommend the book if you are interested in trying agave. Thanks, Weelette, for the great Christmas presents. Love ewe.

January 9, 2010

If all the Morgains in the world were in a room, I'd pick YOU!!

...........That's what I used to tell my oldest daughter when she was a little girl!! Well, my "little" girl is now married and recently discovered ABin5. I suggested she make english muffins - because they are incredibly amazing! So, I thought I'd put up directions to help her (and maybe others) out.

1. 18 oz of dough Master Recipe from either ABin5 or HBin5. Cloche the dough and divide into 6 pieces. On a separate board, sprinkle a little cornmeal to place your muffins while they rise.

2. Form each piece into a ball and then flatten slightly:

3. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on top and let rise for 20 minutes:

4. Heat a nonstick pan or griddle with a little oil (I used olive oil) over medium heat/flame. Heat oven to 350. Carefully pick up muffins, turn them over and place in heated pan. Set timer for 5 minutes

5. After 5 minutes, turn heat to low, flip muffins over and set timer for another 5 minutes:

6. After 5 minutes is up, put muffins in the oven for another 5 minutes. Let cool ~15 minutes. Poke around the edges with a fork - do not cut these open with a knife!! Then, carefully, pull the top and bottom apart.........................NOOKS n'CRANNIES!!!

7. Put in the toaster and top with butter. YUMMMY!!!

P.S. I love ewe Mogalin xxxooo