Friday, September 23, 2016

Homemade mini-baguettes

Yesterday, using ChowTown's recipe for Vietnamese-style baguettes as a jumping-off point, I made my very first ever batch of (mini-)baguettes! My recipe follows:

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. Fleischmann's Traditional Yeast
  • approx. 390g white bread flour (I needed a little less than ¼ cup more)
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 ½ t. salt

Dissolve the sugar into the warm water, then add the yeast. Allow to foam. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix the bread flour, vital wheat gluten and salt. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead — adding flour as needed to reduce stickiness — until you have a smooth, moist (not wet, sticky or shaggy) dough ball. Leave to rise in an ungreased bowl in a warm, draft-free place for ~40 minutes.

"Punch down" the dough and turn out onto a lightly-floured countertop/work surface. Cut the dough into four, approximately equal-sized, parts. Pull each dough ball into a rough rectangle, then roll tightly into log shapes. Leave to rise, well-floured, for ~20 minutes under loosely-laid plastic wrap.

Preheat oven (preferably convection) with pizza stone to 400°C. When oven has come to temperature, gently lift each loaf and place on pizza stone. Slash vents in tops of loaves, then mist liberally with water before closing oven door. Bake until your house smells like fresh-baked bread, or when loaves are a mouth-watering golden brown.

If you've got the willpower for it, allow to cool, raised on a cooling rack.

I used mine to assemble pseudo Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, made with leftover French-style braised beef, chopped red bell pepper, chopped shallots, Daiya provolone slices and Follow Your Heart Chipotle Vegenaise (which is not only soy-free, but much akin to crack cocaine, I imagine).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Matt isn't shy with his opinions about pie. I admit that I made a very authentic (and painstaking and time-consuming) coconut cream pie early in our relationship, only to discover that authentic wasn't what he had in mind. And yeah, he makes no secret of the fact that cherry pie is his absolute favourite, but that he's had enough failed attempts at it that he's wary of attempting it anywhere unfamiliar. So, naturally, I thought I'd try my hand at it.

Lo, my cherry pie! Honestly, it's actually my go-to pie crust recipe with canned cherry filling in it (the local grocery store wasn't stocking frozen cherries). And I'll be surprised if it isn't exactly what he's looking for.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Las ketchup.

The wee one has returned to school today (in Grade 1!), so I actually have the opportunity to update my blog!

I've been experimenting with the new waffle iron, including an attempt at using my go-to vegan doughnut recipe as the "batter". I must admit that I vastly prefer the results from using the Bunner's-based batter, but this was good. Shown topping this batch of waffles is KFC-like boneless, skinless chicken breasts (for which I used hemp milk for the wash) and a sugar-free lucuma powder "butter" I've been making, based on my go-to white chocolate recipe. Really, none of those ingredients work ideally together, but they were still hungrily and gratefully devoured.

Next up was the batch of vegan doughnuts I made using the remainder of the dough from my waffle experiment. They all got dusted with powdered sugar. Useful technique picked up during this attempt: for circular doughnuts, keep the dough chilled while cutting.

Finally, Kara and I took another run at they No-Whey assortment, this time finding that the Choco NoNo's were vastly superior to anything else we've tried in the product range. We genuinely look forward to eating these again.

It's been a prolific Summer Break!