Last week I tried the cinnamon raisin bread recipe from R.L.Beranbaum’s bread bible. I love making and eating her breads so I decided to try her recipe. If you’re looking for an easy recipe, her recipe is not the one for you. It took me 2 whole days and by then I partially lost my appetite for cinnamon raisin bread. I did like the bread, it was soft and tasty but a bit more sugar would make it even tastier. But that is a note for next time.
So of course I could not finish the loaf by myself and I was stuck with half which wasn’t so fresh anymore. And because I hate wasting food I decided to make good use of it and turn it into bread and butter pudding. I loooove bread and butter pudding, it’s just the kind of winter pudding one needs to feel all warm and cozy when it’s cold outside. And the ingredients for this pudding are easy and it can be adjusted to your liking. It’s simply cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar and rum(optional). I cut the leftover bread into cubes and let them dry out overnight. The next day I soak them in the custard mixture and some chocolate bits for an hour. I make sure every cube is soaked into the mixture and top with some demerara sugar to make a crunchy topping. Then it goes into the oven for about 40 minutes on 180 degrees. Make sure to check it once in a while because every oven is a bit different. Just pull it out of the oven once you think it’s done. It should feel firm when you press it with a little bit of a spring to it.For me, tucking into this warm pudding with the custard and chocolate oozing out of it is heaven. It feels like being covered with a warm blanket on a cold night. See my yummy cinnamon raisin (chocolate)bread pudding!
I tried yet another recipe from Nick Malgieri’s “Bake” and this time I wanted to try some rolls. The base of these rolls is a sponge which I made a day in advance. I could have made these the same day but then I should’ve started at 8 a.m. The sponge does not take very long but you do have to fold the dough once in a while so don’t make it unless you plan to stay at home. The great thing about the way Mr. Malgieri incorporated bread in this book is to give bakers 2 recipes for bread dough which can be used to make about 4 different breads each. I halved the recipe for the sponge as well as the bread dough to make 6 poppy seed rolls. I have never made rolls before so I was very excited , I love trying new things! Here are my rolls after their rise:
And this is how they turned out:
As you may have noticed I still have to work on my knots as the knots are less pronounced after coming out of the oven. But the taste of the rolls was wonderful. Firm on the outside and tender on the inside. The rolls were smeared with a knob of butter and enjoyed with a slice of ham, yum, yum. The best way to eat them is fresh out of the oven but I could not finish them all so the leftover rolls were bagged. The next day I reheated them in the oven for a minute or so and they were still tasty. It is ever so satisfying making your own bread and fresh bread makes everything tastes even better whether it is some cheese or ham or regular peanut butter. That brings me to the bread I made yesterday from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s bread bible. I made the hearth bread which is made with mostly bread flour and a bit of whole grain flour( I used 7 grain flour). I believe that Ms. Beranbaum’s book deserves a post of her own and I will certainly be doing that another time. For now I just want to say that I have used her recipe twice and both times the bread turned out so delightful. See how this bread turned out:
dough after 2nd rise
Freshly cut and best eaten with peanut butter
Last weekend I visited ” Het Vlaamsch broodhuys” for a late breakfast and a lot of coffee. The night before I had a little too much wine which resulted in me waking up with a mild headache and a little bit grumpy. So I headed out with my bike to get some nourishment. Het Vlaamsch broodhuys is a chain of bakery-cafés where you can do breakfast, lunch and buy freshly made breads and pastries. Of course they started in Amsterdam but this year Rotterdam got it very own Vlaamsch broodhuys and I was excited because it wasn’t far from where I live. The first time I tried a couple of different toppings for my bread which included chicken salad, cheeses, veal, tapenade and assorted meats. Continue reading
I wonder if people in my vicinity know how much I really love food and cooking+baking. Sometimes I just don’t tell them what I’ve been whipping up again because they will think that I have too much time on my hands or just plain greedy. This particular day was a good example as I woke up and thought a fougasse would taste very nice with some parma ham for lunch. So I used an easy recipe from Lorraine Pascale who has a cooking show on BBC named “Baking made easy”. The show is quite nice for people who are just starting out with baking and she gives lots of baking tips. So I made my fougasse with chorizo and marjoram which is just wild thyme. Continue reading
My earliest memory of tasty bread was when I was about 12 years old. When I was at that age I could go along with my mom and dad for their drive to the bakery. At night, I would say about 9 o’clock the bakery would sell freshly made loaves of bread right out of the oven. I remember my dad walking in the side door of the bakery and returning with a bag full of bread which were still warm. MMMMMM, yummy! I sank my teeth into the still warm bread and chewed very slowly to savour that first bite. That’s when I knew that good bread does not need anything on it, no butter, no bacon, just plain bread. But it wasn’t until recently that I started to bake my own bread. I started of with no-knead bread because that seemed like a good place to start. And after a few good tries, I felt that I could try other recipes. So I searched for recipes to try and finally found one I wanted to try at a food blog(http://uitdekeukenvanarden.blogspot.com). I am now such a fan of this blog because this women really has a passion for bread and she’s very knowledgeable about baking bread. I tried her recipe for oatmeal seed bread and here is how it turned out. But be warned that the shape of my bread turned out a bit funny and that is my doing. But otherwise the bread tasted great and I would definitely make it again.
Sometimes when it’s so dark and cold outside I feel a bit nostalgic for the times when my grandma would make bread with cinnamon for all her grandchildren. In those times there were always about 6 to 7 grandkids at her house. And most of the time she would ask us what we wanted to eat and we would all respond with: cinnamon bread. It’s not the kind that most people know and can buy at the store. It is so easy to make but the best thing in the world when I am feeling homesick. My grandmother would use white sandwich bread, spread it generously with butter and cover with white sugar and cinnamon. Then she would either steam it or put it into a sort of contraption. The latter was a metal form which could hold 1 sandwich tightly and she would put it above the stove. After about 7 min the whole kitchen would smell like cinnamon and butter,aaahh. It’s just like being in my grandma’s kitchen again. Anyway this metal form was used in the old days instead of a grill I guess but since I was feeling nostalgic I asked my mom where I can get one. I believe that sometimes new things don’t automatically mean that they’re better than their predecessor. So on this particular day I decided to give the cinnamon bread a try, it’s really so easy nothing can go wrong. But I decided to steam them instead of grill. Be careful not to leave them to long or they will turn soggy. Here’s the first one;