Friday, October 30, 2009

challah bread

4-braid and 3-braid challah bread, respectively.

Color test: Close up of challah braid. If it's golden brown on the bumps and yellow on the inside, it's ready.

Sound test: Tap the bread when you take it out of the oven. If it sounds hollow, it's ready.

Challah bread is beautiful, and when you bake it, it feels like a celebration, no matter the day.

I will copy Peter Reinhart's text on challah:

"Challah, the braided Sabbath bread of Judaism, is a European celebratory loaf symbolic of God's goodness and bounty. The braids traditionally separate the loaf into twelve distinct sections representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The use of eggs in the bread was probably a way to use up excess egss before the strict Judaic Sabbath day of rest made it impossible to harvest the new eggs, as harvesting is one of many activities considered work in Orthodox Jewish communities."


Makes 1 large braided loaf, 2 smaller loaves, or 1 large double-braided celebratory loaf


4 cups unbleached bread flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, at room temperature
2 egg whites, whisked until frothy, for egg wash


1. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and yolks, and 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix with a spoon (or on low speed with the paddle attachment) until all the ingredients gather and form a ball. Add the remaining water, if needed.

2. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and knead for about 10 minutes (or mix at medium-low speed for 6 minutes with the dough hook), sprinkling in more flour if needed to make a soft, supple, but not sticky dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register at about 80 F.

**I tried out this recipe twice, and both times I needed about 1 1/2 extra cups of flour, by the way.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a boule, and transfer into the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment for 1 hour at room temperature.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 2 minutes to degas. Re-form it into a ball, return the ball to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and ferment for an additional hour. It should be at least 1 1/2 times its original size.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 6 pieces for 2 loaves. Form each of the pieces into a boule, cover them with a towel, and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

6. Roll out the pieces into strands, each the same length, thicker in the middle and slightly tapered at the ends. Braid them using the 3- or 4-braid-method.

**I liked the 4-braid-method better. When I first braided them, the 3-strand-braid was much prettier, but after baking, the 4-strand had much more depth and looked more interesting. So, I recommend the 4-braid-method.

Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and transfer the loaves to the pan. Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Mist the loaves with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or place the pan in a food grade plastic bag.

7. Proof at room temperature from 60 to 75 minutes, or until the dough has grown 1 1/2 times its original size. 

8. Preheat the oven to 350 F, with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Brush again with egg wash.

9. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and continue baking from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf. The bread should be a rich golden brown.

**It took only 20 minutes for the bread to be done in my oven. Just make sure it's golden brown and that when you tap it it sounds hollow.

10. When done, transfer the bread to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.


I sold this bread to a certain costumer, and he paid me with eggs from his chickens! Here they are:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

buttermilk cluster

This recipe was taken from The Fresh Loaf. I made it because:

1. It looked beautiful in their pictures, and
2. I study galaxy clusters in physics, so I thought it appropriate to make cluster bread.
3. It's a super easy recipe.

I made half the recipe because I only wanted eight rolls.
Now. Let's do it.

3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 Tbsp salt
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 Tbsp warm water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 Tbsp honey

For the glaze
1 egg, beaten

For the topping
Poppy seeds

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the warm water and yeast in a small cup and allow to proof for 10 minutes.

Pour the yeast, buttermilk, and honey into the flour mixture and mix well. If the dough is so dry that some of the flour won't stick, add a bit more buttermilk or water. If the dough is too sticky to knead, more like a batter, add more flour by the tablespoon until the correct consistency is achieved.

Knead by machine or hand for approximately 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth, and set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 to 18 pieces. If you are a stickler you can scale them so that they are even, but I just cut them roughly the same size. Shape each piece into a neat ball and place in a round dish or spring-form pan close together.

When all of the rolls are in the pan, cover again with plastic or a damp towel and set aside to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.

Uncover the rolls and brush gently with the egg wash. Sprinkle on the grain topping, if you like. I used poppy seeds.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the rolls are firm and spring back when tapped.

Unmold the rolls from the pan and serve warm.

Friday, October 16, 2009

bavarian pumpernickel

This is my first experiment with rye flour. My friend Adams asked me to make bread "like they do in Russia", so I thought I'd give it a try. I had also seen Peter Reinhart's TED Talk about whole wheat bread, and I had his book at home, so I thought it would be fun to try.

Little did I know, you need lots of time and lots of "unusual" ingredients for this recipe (by unusual I mean that I hadn't seen them in any bread recipes before). I ended up not having half the things required, so I improvised.

Among the required ingredients that I didn't have were: altus (crusted bread soaked overnight), diastatic malt powder (better texture, more flavor and improved shelf life), whole wheat or rye mother starter (read about it here).

 I replaced the whole wheat started with sourdough starter, and it tasted delicious. I'm sure it's completely different if you follow the recipe closely, but it was still delightful!

For the mash:
1 1/4 cups + 1 Tbsp of water
3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp whole rye flour (preferably coarse grind)
1/2 tsp brown sugar

For the starter:
1/3 cup sourdough starter
1 2/3 cups rye flour (preferably coarse grind)
3/4 cup water, at room temperature

For the final dough:
All the starter
All the mash
2 cups whole rye flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder


For the mash:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 F.

2. Heat the water to 165 F in an ovenproof saucepan, then remove the pan from the heat and whisk or stir in the rye flour and malt until the flour is fully hydrated and makes a paste similar to thin pudding or gravy. Using a spatula or plastic pastry scraper dipped in water, scape the spoon or whisk and the walls of the pan to get all of the dough bak into the pan and off the inside walls. Immediately cover the pan with its lid or aluminum foil and place it in the oven.

3. Turn the oven down to warm (150 F) and leave the mash in the oven for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. You can also leave it out overnight at room temperature if you plan to use it within the next 24 hours.

For the starter:
1. Mix all of the starter ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. Using wet hands, knead the dough in the bowl for about 2 minutes to be sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should feel very tacky. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes, then knead it again with wet hands for 1 minute. The dough will become smoother but still be tacky.

2. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for approximately 4 to 6 hours, until the dough is nearly double in size. This could take up to 8 hours or even longer.

3. When the starter has fully developed, knead it for a few seconds to degas it. The starter is now ready for mixing into the final dough.

For the final dough:
1. Using a metal pastry scraper, chop the starter into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle some of the extra flour over the pre-dough to keep the pieces from sticking back together.)

2. Combine the starter pieces and mash in a bowl with all of the other ingredients except the extra flour and stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands (or use a mixer) for about 2 minutes, until all of the ingredients are evenly integrated and distributed into the dough. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky; if not, add more flour or water as needed.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, then roll the dough in the flour to coat. Knead the dough by hand for 3 to 4 minutes, incorporating only as much extra flour as needed, until the dough feels like firm, damp clay. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

4. Resume kneading the dough for 1 minute to strengthen the gluten and make any final flour or water adustments. The dough should feel soft and malleable, like modeling clay. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes, until it swells and just begins to show signs of growth.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball or loaf pan shape. If you chose a loaf pan shape, oil the pan and sprinkle some flour on it. Place the loaf in the pan, sprinkle whole rye flour over the top, mist the top with pan spray, and place an inverted sheet pan over the dough. If you chose a ball, just put it on a baking sheet and sprinkle some flour on top of it. Do not proof the bread; bake it immediately.

6. Place the pan in the oven, lower the temperature to 375 F, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid if you have one, and bake for another 30 minutes. Rotate the bread so it bakes evenly. Bake until the loaf is crisp and caramelized on all sides, sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.

7. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow it to cool thoroughly before wrapping (about 3 hours). For the first 24 hours, keep in a paper bag or wrap it in a cloth towel to allow it to continue drying out and developing flavor. After that, it can be packaged in aluminum foil.

Recipe adapted from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor (book courtesy of Floyd Mann)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

tassajara whole wheat bread

This bread is made from a classic Zen monastery recipe. 

The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Carmel Valley, California, is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Soto Zen monastery in the US. The Tassajara bread book was published by the monastery personnel in 1970 and it is credited for bringing back artisan bread baking to America. After this book was published, everyone realized that they could make bread at home, so a huge movement for eating home-made, not store-bought bread started, and it continues today.

The recipes in the Tassajara Bread Book are quire liberal, and they don't specify exactly what amounts or ingredients you need. It's more of a "you could add something sweet if you wanted, but you don't have to, and you should do just want you want to do with your loved loaf" kind of idea. In any case, I ended up coming up with this recipe with ideas from the book. It makes some amazing bread!


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white bread flour
1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
3/8 cup brown sugar (or molasses)
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup crushed oats
1 1/2 cups water (at room temperature)
1 egg


Whisk together the flours, yeast, sugar, milk, and oats. Add the water, egg, and a little bit of warm milk if you want to have creamy bread.
Mix the ingredients until you get a dough that comes off the sides of the bowl.
Take out and knead for 10 minutes.
Let rest for 20 minutes.
Knead again for 5 minutes.
Let rise for 1 hour in a warm place (in a bowl covered by plastic). The dough should have doubled in volume.
Take out, cut in half and form. You can either make a loaf (left in the picture) or a boule (right in the picture). 
To make a loaf, take one of the halves and flatten it into a rectangle. Do a business-letter fold and turn 90 degrees. Start rolling from the side farther away from you, and as you roll in, press down with your fingers to seal the dough and to stretch it a little on the roll. When it's ready, put it on a heavily-floured towel and put some plastic wrap on top of it so it doesn't dry out.
To make a boule, take one of the halves and shape it into a ball. Seal the bottom and put it in a bowl covered with a heavily-floured towel seam-side down. Put some plastic wrap on top of the bowl so it doesn't dry out.
Let proof for one hour. At this time start preheating the oven. Preheat the oven with the baking stone inside at 450 F at least an hour before baking. If using a baking sheet, don't preheat the sheet.
Uncover the dough, rub some flour on it, and slice/score it however you want (I made two almost vertical lines side-by-side on the loaf, and I made a square on the boule).
Put proofed dough in the oven and toss some water in before closing the door to create steam. Let bake until the crust is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.

Recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book.

Monday, October 12, 2009

orders going wrong

Somehow every time I have an official order something goes wrong and I have to rush, repeat the recipe and try to get it right the second time. Here are my three stories so far:

1. For this one cake, I used the same ingredients as always, but I started using a Kitchen Aid. I got so excited about mixing the ingredients that I ended up curdling the milk or the butter or something in there. The dough definitely looked like it had chunks in it and it did not taste good. It was salty and odd.

2. I ran out of bread flour so I got some new one at the store, except they didn't have the one I usually use, so I bought some other, cheaper kind. I think it was all-purpose flour (although it said it was "superb for bread"), and instead of looking like puffy, shiny, formed loaves, these were just gooey blobs on the counter that stuck to everything. They tasted good in the end, but they looked so silly.

3. For beet bread, I ran out of whole wheat flour, so I used white flour. It turned out that the beet color really took over, and in the end my beet bread was so bright pink it looked like a Barbie torpedo.

The second times have worked pretty well so far, but I can't keep wasting all that time and materials. I wonder how other bakers do it. Any ideas? Is this Murphy's law, or am I just freaking out about orders? I wonder if this happens to everyone.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

my favorite bread books

I have done lots of research about which bread books are the best, mostly on culinary school websites, bread websites, and by word of mouth. These are the ones I've collected so far (I don't actually own any of them. They're all borrowed from libraries or friends. I hate having to give them back! But it's great because they're free! By the way, I had to return the last one here, Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," to the library. That's why I couldn't include it in the top picture.):

E.J. Buehler - Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread: A scientific approach to bread baking. Lots of chemistry and hand-drawn diagrams of molecules and such. A good combination of art and science.

The Tassajara Bread Book: Coming from a Zen monastery in California, this is the book that brought back artisan bread baking to America in the 60s and 70s.

Dan Lepard - The Handmade Loaf: I haven't read this book because I just got it. I'll update this and add some info later.

Richard Bertinet - Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads: This book has really beautiful and shocking recipes, like the puff balls I made the other day, and a soup bowl made out of cracker-like cooked dough.

Richard Bertinet - Crust: Bread to Get Your Teeth Into: Similar to Dough. Really pretty and "quick" recipes.

Eric Treuille - Bread: I bought this book for a friend before I knew anything about bread. It seemed approachable enough, but now that I look at it it's not very specific. They show beautiful breads and pretend that you make them with a super simple recipe. It's not that simple to get nice bread, especially if you're a beginner.

Daniel Leader - Bread Alone Bold Fresh Loaves From Your Own Hands: Great for learning how to hand knead.

Peter Reinhart - Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor: Amazing book about how to make whole wheat bread taste delicious. Watch Reinhart's TED talk video.

Jim Lahey - My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method: I haven't read this book because I just got it. I'll update this and add some info later.

***Rose Levy Beranbaum - The Bread Bible: This has been my bible. I have learned most everything I know about bread from this book because it's written clearly and succinctly, and has wonderful hand-drawn diagrams. The rest of the books seem to be a repetition of something mentioned in this book. This is probably because I read The Bread Bible first, but I do think it's very comprehensive.

***Peter Reinhart - The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread: My second bible. I have used this book for its great recipes for bagels and pizza dough. Peter Reinhart writes beautifully, has great stories about the different kinds of bread, and his recipes work wonderfully. I hear he is a great teacher, and you can tell by the way he writes advice about baking bread.

Monday, October 5, 2009

failed poppy seed cake

Sometimes, right when you need a baked good to turn out perfectly, something goes terribly wrong.

This pile of poppy seeds, which looks like a compartment full of ideal gas particles, is supposed to be a cake.

More than a cake, this is the insides of a cake.

Everything went wrong that could go wrong with this cake: I ran out of milk and had to replace it with water, the butter-sugar-egg mixture curdled with the orange blossom water, even though that's impossible, it was super salty, and the cake got stuck to the sides as if it was superglued on.


How did this all happen in one pastry when it has never happened before? Maybe it's because I'm using this new machine and I got too excited about mixing things a lot. Maybe I added the ingredients in the wrong order. Whatever it was, it did not turn out as i expected. So, I fed my roommates the old cake, and I made another cake to sell. It was the most beautiful cake I've ever made. Problem solved!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I already made a post about kalamata olive ciabatta, but I don't think I really made it properly that time. I used bread flour instead of all-purpose, and I added too much flour when kneading the dough. This really makes it a different kind of bread.

Today I attempted ciabatta because I borrowed my friend Rachel's beautiful Kitchen Aid with dough hook attachment. This allowed me to really knead the dough without adding more flour, which is really hard to do by hand.

I've attempted to make this recipe many times and it never works out. The dough is always too wet. When I'm done kneading the dough doesn't look like the picture in the magazine and it is impossible to fold over like they ask you to. This time it worked, I think because I kneaded for longer and got a silky dough before rising. Yes... I think that is the trick...


For the Biga
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup water, at room temperature

For the Dough
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp table salt
3/4 cup water, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature

1. FOR THE BIGA: Combine flour, yeast, and water in medium bowl and stir with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms, about 1 miut. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature (about 70 F) overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours).

2. FOR THE DOUGH: Place biga and dough ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed until roughly combined and shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute; scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Continue mixing on medium-low speed until dough becomes uniform mass that collects on paddle and pulls away from the sides of bowl, 4 to 6 minutes. Change to dough hook and knead bread on medium speed until smooth and shiny (dough will be very sticky), about 10 minutes.

This is the part I had done wrong before. You really have to knead it on the machine for about 10 minutes until you get a silky dough that collects on the hook.

Transfer dough to large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with non-stick cooking spray; fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough six more times (total of eight turns). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. Repeat folding, replace plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes longer. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 450 F at least 30 minutes before baking.

4. Cut two 12- by 6-inch pieces of parchment paper and liberally dust with flour. Transfer dough to liberally floured counter, being careful not to deflate completely. Divide dough in two with a bench scraper. Press each half into rough 12- by 6-inch rectangles. Shape each dough half like a business letter into 7- by 14-inch loaf and let rest 30 minutes. Gently transfer each loaf seam-side down to parchment sheets, dust with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let loaves sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (surfaces of loaves will develop small bubbles).

5. Slide parchment with loaves onto inverted rimmed backing sheet or pizza peel. Using flour on fingertips, evenly poke entire surface of each loaf to form a 10- by 16-inch rectangle; spray loaves lightly with water.

My advice here is that you sprinkle some cornmeal on the hot, preheated baking sheet, and flip the risen loaves directly onto the sheet. Put them in the oven, toss a cup of water in the oven (just the water) and close it quickly. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. This picture shows the two options: when you flip the bread over before baking it (left), and when you don't (right). I like the left one, personally. This is what they recommend:

Omit this if you took my advice: Carefully slide parchment with loaves onto baking stone using jerking motion. Bake spraying loaves with water twice more during first minutes of baking time, until crust is deep golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted in centers of loaves registers 210 F, about 20 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack, discard parchment and cool loaves to room temperature, about 1 hour before slicing and serving. This will help the crust solidify properly.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

bread delivery business

The bread delivery business is up! Here's the menu (the first draft).

It'll have to be a small-scale operation, since I only have one oven and one employee (myself). One order per day! Interested?

Friday, October 2, 2009

rich man's brioche

I was in a Paris hotel once with my dad and sister, and my dad went out to buy us breakfast at a cafe nearby. He saw this beautiful loaf of bread, and touched it. Then he saw that it was rich man's brioche, and that it cost 10 euros. For one loaf. The lady said he had to buy it because he had touched it, so we ended up with the fanciest loaf of bread in town. He brought it back to the hotel room, and as soon as I tried it I tasted some orange essence and a complex buttery flavor: it was the most delicious bread I'd ever had.

I looked up the recipe for brioche in Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and found the Rich Man's Brioche recipe. After making it, I found that the next two recipes were for Middle-Class Brioche and Poor Man's Brioche. If only I'd known I would have made the poor man one! It has much less butter. Oh well. By the way, these pictures don't do justice to the amount of butter this bread has. This first one looks kind of like the bread feels in your mouth: full of butter. Not very healthy. For a healthy bread go here.

The story everyone always tells about brioche is when Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat cake!" Except they say she actually said, "Let them eat brioche! (Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!)" Except she never actually said it at all. From what I know, in his book Confessions, Rousseau wrote about a great princess who said the line. it is commonly thought that it was Queen Marie Antoinette that he was talking about, but it's just a myth.

Peter Reinhart says that "brioche is the standard by which all rich breads are judged," so I will start learning about rich breads in this process.

And with that, let's begin.


For the sponge:
1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
1 Tbsp instant yeast
1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm

For the dough:
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, whisked until frothy, for egg wash

To make the sponge, stir together the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk until all the flour is hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment for 20 minutes, or until the sponge rises and the falls when you tap the bowl.

To make the dough, add the eggs to the sponge and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir until all the ingredients are hydrated and evenly distributed. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes so that the gluten can begin to develop. Then, while mixing with a large spoon, gradually work in butter, about one quart at a time, waiting until each addition of butter assimilates before adding more. This will take a few minutes. Continue mixing for about 6 more minutes, or until the dough is very well mixed. You will have to scrape down the bowl from time to time as the dough will cling to it. The dough will be very smooth and soft.

Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan, spreading it to form a large, thick rectangle measuring about 6 inches by 8 inches. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover the pan with plastic wrap or place it in a large food-grade plastic bag.

Immediately put the pan into the refrigerator and chill overnight overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape it while it is very cold. If it warms up or softens, return it to the refrigerator. If you are making loaves, grease two 8 1/2 - by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces (I did 2) and shape the dough into loaves by flattening the dough into a rectangle and folding down, long-wise, three times. Close off the seam and put it in the pans, seam facing down.

(I don't have the little brioche à tête pans, so I did not use that part of the recipe at all. Check Reinhart's book for that extension.)

Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap, or slip the pans into a food-grade plastic bag. Proof the dough until it nearly fills the pans (1 1/2-2 hours). Gently brush the tops with egg wash. Cover the dough with plastic wrap that has been lightly misted with spray oil. Continue proofing for another 15 to 30 minutes, or until the dough fills the molds or pans.

Preheat the oven to 350 F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

Bake for 35 to 50 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom and be golden brown.

Remove the brioches or loaves from the pans as soon as they come out of the oven and cool on rack.

Recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

lemon poppy seed orange blossom water cake, for the old paradox

Ok, that's the longest post name so far. I thought I'd try making some cake for the Paradox tomorrow. After all, I'm selling at a cafe in the morning, and people tend to buy pastries then. I know I would.

This contains orange blossom water, my favorite ingredient.

Makes 16 servings.

For cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp orange blossom water

For lemon glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
4 to 5 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt® pan or 10-inch tube pan.

For Cake: Combine flour, oats, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter in large bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add lemon peel. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add orange blossom water.

Add 1/3 of flour mixture to sugar/butter mixture, mixing until blended. Add half of milk, mixing until blended.Continue flour mixture and milk alternately, mixing well after each addition. Pour into pan.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

For Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Recipe from
I just googled it and added the orange blossom water.