Saturday, February 18, 2017

Welcome to the Weekend

It's the beginning of February vacation in these parts. We have no plans to decamp to warmer climes, not for a weekend, not for a week. So instead I baked up a little sunshine: lemon poppyseed cake. I was way too lazy to whip up the glaze so I just dusted the top with confectioner's sugar. 

Recipe from Cooking Light

Friday, February 17, 2017

We Now Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Ranting...

I'm on Twitter these days a lot. In theory because of my book blog, but bookish twitter doesn't talk books much anymore because well, the world is burning. So my Twitter feed is largely news articles and calls to action and when it is talking about books, it's talking about which of the latest bestselling authors is defending their latest racist book rather than apologizing and taking notes. So it's awfully nice when something wonderful pops up there. This time it was a Guardian article by The Little Library Cafe* with a beautiful picture of these breakfast rolls which are filled with jam. And in an instant I knew exactly what I would be baking next. They are soft and delicious, like a challah or sweet bread and inside is whatever sweet jam your heart desires. 

*OMG HAVE YOU SEEN THIS COOKING BLOG? She is amazing! It's like the perfect intersection of book loving and delicious food and [insert more gushing here]!

adapted from Food in Books: breakfast rolls from the School at the Chalet
I strongly recommend you follow her recipe, but as it's written using metric measurement,  I've written the substitutions and equivalencies I used below, just in case it helps you.

~2/3 C of whole milk (150 mL)
~ 7 T total of butter  - split into a teensy bit over 5 T for the recipe and 2 for brushing the tops of the buns ( Recipe calls for 110g total, weighing of 8 sticks revealed most sticks were between 114/115 g)
scant 1/4 C of white sugar
7 g active dry yeast (this is 3 tsp, which is easier to measure if you are using a jar as it's more than just one packet but less than 2)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
175 g white flour
150 g bread flour (I tried to measure the flour out for you in cups, but honestly, it's really hard, because it's so variable based on how tightly packed the cups are. It would take a lot of recipe testing to be absolutely sure what the best cup measurement is.) If at all possible weigh your flour. My entirely unscientific measurement yielded 1.5 C of loosely packed white flour and somewhere between 3/4 C and 1 C bread flour (tightly packed) but yeah, just weigh your flour.
8 t jam (I couldn't find the plum she calls for so I used Four Fruits instead)
1 T confectioner's sugar.

DIRECTIONS: Please see her recipe - but OVEN TEMP should be 355 F.

Believe me. Making and eating these may only take your mind of politics for a few minutes, but it will certainly give you something sweet to look forward to.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Stress Baking the Presidency

In times of trouble, we all have our coping mechanisms.  As it would turn out, mine is baking.  And also, eating the things I bake. Most of my days are spent watching my two adorable boys.  But it's also spent calling Senators and my Representative, trying to refresh my knowledge of how the US Government is supposed to work, and basically doing what I can to #Resist.  I don't know if I would have guessed that I'd be a political person, but here we are.

As many of you know, I am also an anxious person. The kind of person who lies awake in the middle of the night turning over worst case scenarios and wondering if one day my completely teensy-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things social media rabble-rousing will bring jackboots to my door. So like many others I've been trying to balance my craving for information with some self care. Self-care in the form of deliciousness.

I can't promise new recipes or even high quality photos, but I am going to try to document how I'm using flour, chocolate, nuts, sugar, WHATEVER to get through this.*

*Please note, I am incredibly privileged that the current presidency has marked an uptick in my concerns about my immediate family. I am aware that many have been struggling for much longer (um, centuries?) to try to achieve the rights and comforts that my family is able to enjoy even with the country in crisis.

Just to bring you up to date, in the past 16 days:

SNICKERDOODLES - such a comfort food cookie

RASPBERRY WALNUT BARS - these are IDEAL for making with kids, they can grease the pan, pat the shortbread down, spread the jam on (incidentally, I used up the ends of about 3 different jams by mixing strawberry, cherry and raspberry) and whisk together the final topping.

CHALLAH -  That's my 3 year old helper finishing up the braid and painting on the egg wash.


What about you? Any stress related baking going on in your kitchen?


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