31. 5. 2013

Dough proofing fascination / Zaujetí kynutým těstem

It all started with the re-discovery of our bread machine and an unbearable craving for home-made "buchty" (something like sugar buns but with various kinds of filling, the most surprising being the poppy seed filling:-). I had never made those so I decided to take it easy and start with some buns and things I considered hard to spoil.
The recipe is very easy, no need to knead anything, your bread maching does all that, you just have to sit (or, in my case, do about a zillion other things) and wait for the beep. I would love to remember and quote the original recipe that had inspired me, but I cannot find it anymore. The fact is that I slightly changed it after trying out different types of flours.You will need this for the dough and put it in the machine in the given order:
250 ml water (I use 1 full Ikea kids beaker)
1 egg
2 tablespoons of oil
a pinch of salt
200 g of fine flour
300 g of semi-coarse flour (if you don´t have the 3 types of flour, then go with your typical one and do the whole amout in it. Just not the self-rising type!:-)
1-2 tablespoons of sugar for the buns (I put just one, just enough for the yeast to start working)
2 more tablespoons of sugar for the sweet Buchty
1/3 of the freash yeast or a packet of dried yeast

After the dough is ready, it will be almost crawling out of the machine, you just need to press it down with your fist (it will go "pshooo" and kind of loose its volume). Then get it out on wherever you are planing to work with it and shape it any way you like. Smaller shapes seem to work better, though I have tried two loaves, even one giant loaf, but they tend to be too crumble-y and just didn´t really work for us. But any sort of buns, pretzels, rolls and such will come out great. 
When you are done shaping, cover your creations with a clean dishcloth and let proof for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven on 180°C and bake till they are slightly browninsh on top and sound hollow when you knock on them. I also check with a long toothpick and when it comes out clean, we´re all done!

Later on, as I figured I knew what I was doing, I started adding some herbs to the dough, like oregano, basil, or substituted the regular oil with olive oil for more fun and next thing you know - the brioches came around:-) More in the next post!

This is a pretzel cut in half

Some of our funky rolls (can you spot the one my toddler made?:-)(actually there are three but that one really stands out:-)

27. 5. 2013

Today´s lunch / Dnešní oběd

I have to share a recipe I made today at lunchtime and it ended up being my and my older one´s lunch. They were cookies. Very sweet cookies. Nothing really healthy about them, but the soft, chewy middle and crunchy sides, that is something you can hardly achieve with (very limited at our house) healthy supplies. And I had been craving these for ages:-)

The recipe is a variation of this one http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/13/chewy-chocolate-chunk-cookies/, but since we have different units for measuring ingedients, I slightly rounded up the amounts. So now my version is this:
And this is what happens when you bake on a hungry stomach - a double batch that  will have to be frozen!
For about 2 sheets of regular size cookies:
In 1 bowl whisk :
1/2 of a butter (so 125 g)
1 cup of sugar (the original calls for a mix of brown and white for a number of reasons, I have just brown, so...:-)
and when the sugar dissolves add 1 egg (didn´t wait and got them a bit crunchier than I would like)

In a slightly bigger bowl mix:
2 1/4 cups of flour (now, here we have 3 types of flour - I like to use a mix of fine and semicoarse)
1 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
vanill extract (I never have it so pointless for me:-)
And whatever bits and pieces you like in them (I have a mix of seeds and local hazelnuts in mine)

Pour liquidy stuff into the flour mix and give it some effort to make it look like cookie dough (just mix it well:-). They say it is important to cool the dough for at least 2 hours, which I did not and it worked just fine. Roll into balls and perhaps press slightly (if you like thinner cookies like me). Bake for 10-11 minutes on about 180°- 190°C. Let cool on the tray for a bit, then transfer onto a cooling rack. Then consume while still hot and you might get a tummy ache like me:-) I am just kidding, I ate a heavy breakfast and thus cookies were just the last drop.
I like to use an Ikea kids plastic beaker for measuring cups, since I don´t even have proper tools for that. But, with limited resources, I feel my imagination flourishes:-)

I´ll try to add the Czech version soon!!