Friday, June 18, 2010

Focaccia heaven.

This is the BEST bread ever.  And I made it!  And it turned out!  There were a few precarious moments where I almost panicked because I couldn't get it out of the pan, but I prevailed! 

Recipe from My Bread - No Knead Method by Jim Lahey.  Awesome book with lots of easy and yummy bread. 

Equipment: A 13 by 18 inch rimmed baking sheet


about 1 cup peeled yukon gold potato, cut into 1 inch chunks  (I used red and it worked too)
2 1/2 cups cool water
4 1/2 cups (600 grams) bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 cup EVOO

1. Put potatoes and the 2 1/2 cups water into a small saucepan, cover, bring to boil over high heat.  Cook until potato chunks fall apart when pierced with a fork.

2. Use a blender, immersion blender, or food mill to puree the potatoes with the 2 1/2 cups cooking water until smooth.  Let mixture cool to 120 degrees F; it will feel very warm to the touch but not scalding.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and half the salt.  Add the potato puree and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature until the dough is tripled in size, 2 to 3 hours.

4. Oil a 13 x 8 inch rimmed baking sheet (make sure you oil the sides as well or it will get stuck like mine!).  Use a bowl scraper or spatula to scrape the dough onto the baking pan; it will still be quiet loose and sticky.  Gently pull the dough and stretch it across the surface of the pan. Then oil your hands and press the dough evenly out to the edges.  Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt.  Use your fingertips to create dimples all over the surface of the dough.  Let the dough rise in a warm, draft free spot until it has risen just over the edges of the pan, 45 minutes to an hour.

5. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with a rack in the center.

6. Gently place the focaccia in the oven on the center rack (the risen dough is delicate; a bump going into the oven could collapse it) and bake for 30 to 45 minutes (mine took 30) until the top is evenly golden brown.  Transfer the pan to a rack to cool, and give it at least a few minutes before slicing and serving warm or at room temperature.  (if it gets stuck in the pan like mine did, I ran a knife around the edge and the bottom as far as I could, turned it over, and tried to twist it out like an icecube tray.  It was messy but eventually worked without too much damage!!)

Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Scones

These are YUMMY.  Sydney's favorite part (aside from eating them) was squishing the butter into the flour mix.  I cut them in half (with a sharp knife) after they cool because they are pretty big.

6 tablespoon (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole grain flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used white chocolate swirled with milk chocolate)
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used soy milk!)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon demerara sugar (I don't know what this is so I just use sugar)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray baking sheet and dust with flour, shaking off excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add butter: rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Mix in chocolate chips.

In a medium bowl, mix milk, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.  Add milk mixture to dry ingredients.  Stir until combines (dough will be sticky).  Using floured hands, turn out dough onto a floured work surface, form inot a 7 to 8 inch round, and cut into 8 wedges.  Use a small spatula or the side of your knife to transer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart (it's ok if wedges are mishapen).

Brush scones lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until scones are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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