100% Whole Wheat Bread

Have you ever tried to make 100% whole wheat bread only to end up with crumbly brick?  Well if you have you really need to try this recipe!  My inspiration was this blog.  This is by far the best whole wheat bread that I’ve ever made. It slices beautifully and rises high.

I adapted the recipe to make 2 loaves, because that makes more sense in my household.  I slice them up and freeze them, taking out slices as I need them.  I also substituted 1/2 white whole wheat flour, this stuff has a lighter flavor than regular whole wheat flour, my niece gave me this idea.  The easiest to find brand in the grocery store is King Arthur. 

The vital wheat gluten is optional and the original recipe didn’t call for it, but with 100% whole wheat, I used it as insurance.

Let’s get started!

The “magic” of this recipe seems to be the soaking of 1/2 of the flour, this is something that I’ve never done before, but seems to make all the difference!

I took the water and 1/2 of the flour and just mixed it up, I let it sit for about 30 minutes, I tossed in some sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and oats too

I took a bit of water a little honey and yeast and combined, let sit until foamy.

I then added that to the soaked flour along with the other ingredients.

Then I just mixed it up and kneaded it, you remember how we did that right? No?  Here’s a link on how to do it Click here

Divide into 2 equal sized loaves and rise until the dough fills the pan completely and peeks over the top, then bake it at 350 for 30-35 minutes and you’ll get something that looks something like this

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Yields 2
100% whole wheat that rises like white!
Write a review
Print
Combine just until everything is moistened. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours
  1. 1 ½ cups (212g) whole wheat flour
  2. 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour (212g) (all regular whole wheat can be substituted)
  3. 2 ½ cups (567g) lukewarm water
in a small bowl or measuring cup combine
  1. 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (7g) (one packet)
  2. ¼ cup (56g) lukewarm water (approx 110 degrees F)
  3. 2 teaspoons honey
  4. Let sit until foamy, about 20 minutes
To the “soaked” flour add the yeast mixture, and
  1. 1 ½ cups (212g) whole wheat flour
  2. 1 ½ cups (212g) white whole wheat flour (regular whole wheat can be substituted)
  3. 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (25g) (optional)
  4. 3 tablespoons melted butter (43g)
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  6. ¼ cup honey (85g)
  7. ¾ cup add ins, such as sunflower, flax, sesame, wheat germ (optional)
  8. Mix until combined into a soft, but not sticky dough. Knead 5-10 minutes until relatively smooth. Place into a greased bowl and let rise until double about 1 ½ hours. Divide into two equal pieces and form into a loaf. Place into two greased 9x5” loaf pans and let rise until the dough fills the pan and peeks over the top. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, bake loaves for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before slicing.
http://bakingbetter.com/
 

Posted in Bread and Dough | Leave a comment

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie, territory that I hadn’t yet ventured.  To me it just looked like pumpkin pie, and the only one that I had ever tried tasted like pumpkin pie, in all fairness it was store bought.  Today that all changed, and I made a sweet potato pie and I must say it was pretty awesome!  There are some similarities but sweet potato pie has something of its own going on, the texture is less wet, the spices are different and it has a lighter mouth feel.

Give it a shot!

First off, I didn’t cook my own sweet potatoes, I bought the canned ones, they often say “Yams” on the can, but they are sweet potatoes and they worked just fine.  If it makes you feel fancy to bake your own, go for it!

Here’s how I did it.  I combined everything but the eggs in my food processor, why a food processor?  Sweet potatoes are fibrous and a bit stringy and the food processor will take care of that.  Don’t have a food processor?  Don’t worry, a mixer will work just fine.  I used heavy cream in my recipe but milk will work just fine, I enjoyed the richness that the heavy cream added.

Give it a good spin until it is all combined, then scrape down the sides and add the eggs.  Give it another spin to combine the eggs well.

Pour it into your unbaked pie shell, spread around and to make it even.  You don’t have to make your own, you can buy one of those frozen ones, but make sure that you get the deep dish, this isn’t going to fit in the shallow standard shells.

Slide it into your preheated oven.  I always bake pies on the lowest rack, especially if I haven’t blind baked the crust first, this will help avoid a soggy crust.  I give it 10 minutes at a high temperature and then lower it, this gives the bottom of that crust a head start, then the lower temperature helps keeping it from over browning.

Pay no attention to the bottom of my oven, I ain’t cleaning it until after the holidays!

bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, and now all you have to do now is let it cool.

Here is the final result, looks like pumpkin pie, but has its own thing going on, give it a try!

Sweet Potato Pie
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups mashed sweet potato (455 g) fresh or canned
  2. 3/4-1 cup light brown sugar (140-200g)*
  3. 1/2 cup melted butter (227g)
  4. 1/2 cup heavy cream (227g)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 3 eggs (if using extra large or jumbo, only 2 eggs)
  9. 1 unbaked 9" pie shell
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a food processor or bowl of a mixer combine sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, cinnamon and nutmeg, beat until smooth. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Scoop filling into unbaked pie shell.
  3. Bake in preheated oven on the lowest rack for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35-45 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove and cool completely before serving.
Notes
  1. If using canned sweet potatoes in syrup, use 3/4 cup brown sugar, if using fresh use the full cup.
http://bakingbetter.com/
 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Pie and Pastry | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Chip Cookies!

Are you all pumpkin-ed out yet?  Well that’s too bad!  These were a staple in my house every fall, my mom always made a double batch and only put in one bag of chocolate chips, now that I’m all grown up, I can put in as many as I want!  Woo hoo!

I adapted this recipe from this one on the Woodland Bakery Blog.  I really liked it.  The texture of these cookies is very cake-like and not at all like a chocolate chip cookie, that’s because there is a lot of water in pumpkin and this is what contributes to the cakey-ness.  

These are super simple to put together, so go make some now!

First combine the dry in one bowl and the wet in the other, combine each bowl well.

Then simply mix the wet and dry together until combined, don’t worry about a few little lumps, they aint gonna hurt nothin’

Now mix in all the chips that you want and bake them up!

Pumpkin Chip Cookies
A delicious cake like cookie, chocolate perfectly paired with pumpkin.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup canned pumpkin (260 g) not pie filling mix
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil (110g)
  4. 1 egg
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all purpose flour (260g)
  7. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  11. 1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and egg, mix well
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet until incorporated, don't over mix, less is more.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoons on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until they no longer look wet, and spring back when pressed. Remove from oven and let sit on the pan for 5 minutes, before placing on a cooling rack.
Adapted from Woodland Bakery Blog
http://bakingbetter.com/
 

Posted in Cookies and Bars | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Pancakes!

I’m back!

I’ve taken a little time off, but now I’m back to it!

Future posts are going to be a little more simple.  I’ll only be doing picture intensive when there is a technique to be taught.  I no longer want to spend 3 hours writing one blog post….  No I’m not kiddin’ that’s how long it would often take.  I still love ya though, so I’ll still share some tried and true recipes!

So here are pumpkin pancakes, a recipe that I adapted from a truck stop cookbook from back home in Maine, they are delicious, hope you like them!  These, instead of being light and fluffy, will be moist and tender from the addition of pumpkin.  Feel free to bump up the spices if you like things spicy.

Let’s get the recipe!

Pumpkin Pancakes
A moist and tender pancake with the flavors of fall!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of ginger*
  7. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg*
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cloves*
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 3/4 cups milk
  11. 1 cup pumpkin puree (solid pack pumpkin),not pumpkin pie mix
  12. 1 egg
  13. 2 tablespoons melted butter (vegetable oil will work too)
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt with a whisk.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients, whisk to combine. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until just combined leaving a few small lumps.
  3. Preheat griddle to 300 degrees, or a skillet over medium low heat. Spread the surface with a bit of butter. Drop 1/4 cups of batter on to the griddle and work the batter to spread a bit if needed. Cook until the edges start to look dry and the bottom of the pancake is golden brown. Turn over and cook until the pancake springs back when pressed lightly and is golden on the other side. Serve warm with lots of butter and maple syrup!
Notes
  1. * a slightly rounded 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and be substituted for the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
http://bakingbetter.com/
Posted in Quick Breads and Muffins, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

German’s Chocolate Cake

This was my birthday cake this year, it just might be my favorite cake ever!

You’ll notice that this isn’t called “German Chocolate Cake”, that’s because there is nothing German about it, it is an all American dessert.  In the 1800′s a man by the name of Sam German, developed a dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s chocolate company.  This cake was named for him.

As much as I love this cake, in my experience there are more bad versions of this than good ones.  Grocery stores tend to carry a chocolate layer cake with a little coconut pecan icing slapped on top, THAT’S THE BEST PART!  Many recipes just aren’t chocolaty enough for me, I set out to fix that.  I found a recipe that had twice as much chocolate, and I split it into 4 layers and spread coconut pecan icing between each.  YUM!

Get out your printable recipe and let’s get started!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your pans, line the bottoms with parchment.  This is such a fudgy cake that I really recommend the parchment on the bottom.

First lets start by melting the chocolate, since we’re going to have to let it cool.  I didn’t use “Germans Chocolate” in this recipe, it costs double what the semi-sweet costs, and there really isn’t enough difference to justify the price.  So go ahead and use the semi-sweet instead, it will work wonderfully.

Combine the chopped chocolate and water in a microwave safe bowl.

Pop it in the microwave and melt using 30 second increments, stirring well after each increment.  Be careful not to over do it, you don’t want to burn the chocolate, because there is no saving it.

Set aside and let cool down.

Combine your dry ingredients and give them a stir.  Set aside

I know this takes lots of bowls and is a fairly big project, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Now take the soft, room temperature butter and sugar and cream with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes scraping bowl as needed.

This is not creamed enough, it’s still a bit clumpy.

This is more like it.

Why is this important?  In a creaming method cake this is the beginning of building the structure.  Improper creaming and not creating bubbles can cause a cake to have a cornbread type texture, definitely not what we are going for here.

Now that we have the creaming done properly, let’s add the egg yolks, one at a time beating until well combined.

Once the egg yolks are mixed in, add the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract.  Make sure that the chocolate is cool, we don’t want to melt the butter and ruin that creaming that we did.

Mix it in well.

Next we’re going to add the flour mixture and the buttermilk.  We’re going to alternate these.  This accomplishes two things, first, if you added all of the liquid to the butter mixture, it would separate, if you added all of the flour first, it would be too thick, and hard to incorporate the liquid.  This also insures a nice, smooth batter.

Always start with 1/3 (just eyeball it) of the flour mixture, and mix until combined.

then when the first addition of the flour is mixed in, now add half of the buttermilk.

Repeat this process until all of the flour and buttermilk are added.

Set this aside, and get another bowl ready…

Now with very clean beaters and clean bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks

Once stiff peaks have formed, place into the bowl of batter, and carefully fold  the egg whites into the batter.

Until no streaks remain, making sure that you are pulling all of the batter from the bottom of the bowl.

Now pour into your prepared pans and bake.

Now how long do we bake this?  I don’t know.  Every oven is different, different pan sizes will make a difference, there are too many variables to give an exact time.  I would start checking around 25-30 minutes and keep checking until a toothpick come out almost clean with no batter, but a few moist crumbs are OK.

once baked, let them sit in their pans for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, loosen the cakes from the pans by running a thin knife around the edges, and invert onto a cooling rack.  Let cool completely.

Let cool completely.

Now the coconut pecan icing recipe is enough to frost and fill a 2 layer cake, but I love to split the layers and create 4 thin layers, for a great cake to icing ratio, so I only had enough to fill and top, and had to cover the sides with buttercream, if you want a 4 layer cake and have it covered entirely with coconut pecan icing, feel free to double the  coconut pecan icing recipe.

This is such a rich and fudgy cake, it was everything that I was hoping for in a German’s Chocolate cake, I know that it is a bit of a procedure, but for me it is soooo worth it once in a while.  I hope that you give it a try.

German Chocolate Cake printable recipe

Coconut pecan frosting recipe

 

 

 

Posted in Cakes | 2 Comments

Coconut Pecan Frosting

Here is the “magic” to the upcoming German’s chocolate cake recipe.  I could seriously eat this straight from the bowl, I almost did…

This beats the pants off the stuff in the can from the grocery store.

Get your stuff!

You’ll notice the EVAPORATED milk, make sure that you use that, and not sweetened condensed milk.

Lets get started.  First separate the egg yolks from the whites

Combine the egg yolks, sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk to combine.

Then add the butter

I cut up the butter so it’ll melt quicker, makes sense right?  Yeah, I thought so too.  Now when the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly until thick.  Yes, you have to stand there and stir it, you don’t want it to cook on the bottom of the pan.  Use this time to learn french, or to notice all the splatter marks on your stove that you didn’t notice before…

Cook until thick, thick enough that when you move your whisk through, it leaves marks, like this

Remove from the heat, and add your vanilla

And your chopped up pecans and coconut.

give it a good stir to break up any coconut lumps.  And there you have it

Let cool, and smear it on something.  Store in the fridge, bring back to room temperature before using for easy spreading.

Click here for printable recipe

Posted in Frostings, Fillings, and Glazes | Leave a comment

Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake isn’t really a chocolate cake, as many think.  It is a buttermilk cake dyed red.  I’m willing to bet that the cocoa powder was originally added to help mask the bitterness of the red dye, red dye used to be very bitter, it’s better now!

I have made many recipes for red velvet cake.  Most of the traditional recipes have left something to be desired, they would often come out dry, not great for cake.  I’ve seen many recipes call for huge amounts of vegetable oil to combat this problem, then I came across this recipe, and all that changed!

Who would have known that such a simple, easy to mix recipe would be “the one”, my go to red velvet?

Get your stuff

Yes that’s a big bottle of red dye.  Want to avoid red dye?  Make a different cake, red velvet cake contains red dye, plain and simple.  There are other recipes out there that mess around with beet juice, but after baking they just turn brown and don’t resemble red velvet cake, and taste of beets.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour 2 -8″ round cake pans or a 9×13″ pan.  I also recommend lining the bottom of the pans with parchment.

Combine the sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a large bowl, whisk to combine.  If you have lumpy cocoa powder, I would recommend sifting.

Now just mix together the wet ingredients (the rest of the ingredients) and pour into the dry.  Mix it up.

No really, that’s it, batter’s done!  Now just place it in the baking pan(s) and pop it in the oven.  Now I can’t give you an exact bake time, everyone’s oven is different.  Bake until it is done, start checking at about 25 minutes.  It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without batter on it, just a few moist crumbs.  Try not to over bake it.

Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.  Cool completely before icing the cakes.  For a double layer cake like this, I used a double batch of this cream cheese icing recipe.  Now I’ve heard that some know this cake with a whole different icing, an icing that is made with a flour roux, so here is that recipe, I’d make a double batch of that too.  I will say that I prefer the cream cheese, but this is your cake, make it the way that makes you happy!

This makes me happy!

Now go make it!

Click here for printable recipe.

Posted in Cakes | 1 Comment

Five Flavor Pound Cake

Pound cake, it’s a southern staple.  Pound cake isn’t just a delivery system for strawberries, but a dessert appreciated on its own.  Many southern families have a favorite recipe.  This one was given to me by a friend, it is FANTASTIC and addictive.  Seriously, I can’t stop picking at it.

I hadn’t heard of five flavor pound cake until I moved to the south and to be honest, I didn’t know what to think of it, I was suspicious.  Turns out that it is wonderful, a flavor that you can’t quite figure out.  All five flavorings meld into this unique taste sensation, and did I mention that it’s wonderful?

If you are a pound cake purist, look the other way, this recipe isn’t for you.  For those who like to eat cake, read on!  Basic pure pound cake is 1 pound flour, 1 pound butter, 1 pound eggs, and 1 pound sugar with a little flavor.  This is a “modern” take on pound cake.

This cake is made with the traditional creaming method.

Grab your fixin’s, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour 1-10″ tube pan or 2 9×5″ loaf pans  Having all ingredients at room temperature is recommended for this recipe, so take out everything at least an hour before starting the cake.

Why yes, I did happen to have all of these flavors hanging around, and anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised.

Start off by beating together the shortening and butter.  Have a hydrogenated fat phobia (I usually do) then go with all butter, it’ll be fine.  I’m making it just as the recipe was given to me, why mess with a great recipe?

Then gradually add the sugar while the mixer is running.  Cream the mixture until very light and fluffy, don’t skimp on this step, let the mixer run for about 5 minutes scraping the bowl as needed, until it looks like this, fluffy and lighter in color.

Now beat the eggs well, and add them slowly to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

Beat until well incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed.

Now measure out the milk, and add the flavorings to that.

Measure out the flour and other dry ingredients and whisk or sift together.

Add approx 1/3 of the flour and blend well

add approx 1/3 of the milk mixture and mix well. Scrape bowl if needed

Repeat alternating the flour and milk mixture until everything is blended in.  The reason that we alternate like this, is to help avoid lumps.  If you added the milk and flour all at once it could end up making lumps that you would have to beat out, incorporating air bubbles, and developing gluten and that’s not what we are going for here.

Now you should have a velvety smooth batter, ready for the pans.  This recipe makes 4 pounds of batter, enough for a standard tube pan or two standard 9×5″ loaf pans.  Make sure that they are greased and floured well.  I’m using 2 loaf pans today.

If you bake 2 loaves like I did, they will take about an hour to bake, if you bake all of the batter in a large tube/angel food cake pan, it will take about 1 1/2 hours.  Remember every oven is different, so these times are approximates, bake them until they test done!

The cake may fall a bit as it cools, but that’s OK, it will fall a little less in a tube pan.  Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack.

Slice and serve.  It’ll have a delicious, crisp sugary top.  This cake really needs nothing extra, it’s great on its own.  This pound cake is even better the next day when the flavors have had a change to get to know each other.

 

Now go make it!

Click here for printable recipe

 

 

Posted in Cakes | 2 Comments

Cinnamon Baking Chips

You know those bits that you find in muffins and scones, the ones that you can’t really find anywhere in stores?  Well instead of paying a bunch of money and shipping for chips online, why not make your own?

I love cinnamon muffins, and scones, and when I find the chips, I snag them.  The kind I usually find are Hershey’s, but funny thing, there is no actual cinnamon!  Come on Hershey!

Let’s get at it, this is easier than you would think

Nothing crazy there, right? Now preheat the oven to 300 degrees

Now just combine everything in a bowl

Stir it up, so that it looks like mud!  Channel your inner child!

I used parchment for this, but a greased pan might work too, the parchment makes for quick cleanup though.  Pat out this mixture to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.  You’ll want to bake until it is actively bubbling all over.  Be careful not to burn it.

Here is what you end up with

Next, let it cool completely.  Then chop it up into bits, go small, these are intense with cinnamon flavor.

There they are.  I stored mine in a zip top bag in the fridge.  I made some scones with them.

I used this recipe, which is an awesome one Scones

After I had cut in the butter with the dry ingredients, I stirred in the bits, and the proceeded as instructed in the recipe.

Check them out, they were delicious!

Click here for printable recipe!

 

Posted in Ingredients, Quick Breads and Muffins | 5 Comments

A Holiday Chuckle…

Once again this year, I’ve had requests for my Tequila Christmas Cake recipe so here goes:

1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
Nuts
1 bottle tequila
2 cups dried fruit

Sample the tequila to check quality.

Take a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality.

Repeat.

Turn on the electric mixer.

Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Beat again.

At this point, it is best to make sure the tequila is still OK.

Try another cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 eegs and add to the bowl and chuck iin the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the fruit up off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit getas stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the tequila to test for tonsisticity.

Next, sift 2 cups of salt, or something.

Check the tequila.

Now shift the lemon ice strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.

Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 s and try not to fall over.

Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

Finish the tequila and wipe the counter with the cat.

Cherry Mristmas

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment