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Archive for July, 2010

“i just couldn’t keep walking by them without taking another one”

it may have taken me two days….but i committed! i will not be had by an english muffin! this journey began saturday and ended monday morning.

i knew i liked the taste of the recipe i tried last week…so i decided to give it another go…but this time thoughtfully and well timed. the end result was only 10 muffins, though, so i decided to try out another recipe…since i had the whole weekend.

the first…we’ll call the lazy dough. the second…we’ll call the monster dough.

don’t be confused….there is nothing lazy about executing this first recipe. it takes time and patience and then some more time. the dough is lazy…not the process. make the sponge, let it rest…sprinkle on the flour….don’t stir yet…let it rest rest….on and on we went….the dough begging for a snooze after every step…sheesh….lazy dough and lazy bakers…don’t mix.

recipe one (lazy dough)

starter:
1 cup & 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water at room temperature (70° – 90° F)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

mix all ingredients of the sponge together in a large bowl – preferably in your stand mixer. whisk together until very smooth – about 2 minutes. the sponge will have a batter consistency and bubbles will begin to form almost immediately.

flour mixture:
1 cup & 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
about 1/3 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon melted butter

in another bowl whisk together the flour, dry milk and yeast. sprinkle this over the sponge mixture but don’t stir in. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let this sit so it can ferment. 1-4 hours at room temperature….or apparently for the best flavor…1 hour at room temperature and then to the fridge for 8-24 hours. (are you starting to see why the first attempt was a failed one?) the sponge will begin to rise and come through the flour mixture…don’t be scared! :)

now it’s time for the dough. add your butter to the mixture and, with a dough hook in your stand mixer, begin mixing on a low speed (unless you like flour in your face) until mixture begins to come together to form the dough. make sure all the edges are scraped down and guess what it’s time for….cat nap! give the dough a rest for about 20 minutes. add in salt and begin to mix again…this time for about 10 minutes on a slightly higher speed. you can see the dough take on a smoother elastic look and once it is all holding together nicely you’ve probably mixed long enough. the dough will be slightly sticky.

time to nap again! grease a bowl for the dough….lightly oil the top of the dough and cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside for and hour or two or until it’s doubled in size. once dough has risen, punch down….lightly kneed back into a ball and refrigerate for at least an hour…up to 24 hours.

once the dough is chilled, lightly flour a clean surface to roll out your dough. roll into a rectangle about 8×12 and 1/4″ thick. using a 3 1/2″ biscuit cutter, you should be able to cut out 5-6 muffins. place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly covered with cornmeal…lightly dust the tops of muffins as well and let them rise again till they are about 3/4″ tall…about 45 minutes. (don’t be surprised but…) don’t get right back to rolling out the scraps again….they are gonna want to take another break. form scraps into a disc – cover and refrigerate for another hour or so….these buddies need to relax their gluten! (shakes her head) once relaxed and ready…your dough should yield another 4-5 more muffins. you should have about 10 total.

preheat your griddle to 275 – brush lightly with melted butter. add on your muffins but don’t crowd them. they cook for about 10 minutes on each side…but use your own judgment….you know what you’re looking for – golden brown bottoms…then flip and repeat. i read that one blogger was skeptical that a griddle would actually cook through the muffin….but don’t be scared and stick them in the oven to be sure….the griddle works, and works well….why in the world would the bread bible give you false information?

transfer to a cooling rack….add butter and jam/honey…and enjoy!

the monster dough….could also be misinterpreted. i have called it monster dough…not because it was a difficult feat, but because i literally felt like i was working with a monster. i could imagine the dough springing to life throughout each and every step….only growing and becoming more ominous the further we worked together.

recipe two (monster dough)

starter:
2 cups warm water (110°F to 115°F / 45°C )
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon dry active yeast

begin by stirring warm water and yeast together until yeast is dissolved. add in flour and mix until batter consistency. cover mixture with kitchen towel and let rest for at least 4 hours at room temperature. (for the record….this began my monster creation. as the starter bubbled and grew…it became a slimy mess that threatened to take over my kitchen…dum dum dummm)

sponge:
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F / 45°C )

again, begin by dissolving the yeast in the warm water. (make sure it’s not too hot…this will kill the yeast) add in 2 cups of the starter and mix well. stir in milk and flour. mix till batter consistency. cover and let rest for an hour. (the monster is rising…eek!)

english muffins:
Sponge mixture
Remaining starter
4 cups unbleached bread flour (might be a little less than this. flour is a judgment call…you want it to stick together…be manageable….but not dried up with flour)
4 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder
handful of cornmeal

stir your sponge and mix in the rest of your starter. with your dough hook in the stand mixer, mix in honey, salt and buttermilk powder. add in flour 1/2 cup at a time…let it mix in before you add more, so you can be sure you’re not using too much flour. again…you’re looking elastic texture…the whole wheat won’t make it as smooth as the previous mixture. if you have to go over 4 cups….because it’s still too sticky….do so sparingly. set the dough aside, cover and let it rise till doubled in size.

ok…so i don’t know if it’s just me…..but this seemed like a massive amount of dough. the monster dough was taking over my stand mixer….and possibly my kitchen. i made the mistake of leaving him alone….overnight to rise. when i came back in the morning….he had risen so much….he was pouring over the large bowl i let him rise in. i don’t know what he was after…but he was on his way…good thing i woke up when i did!

deflate your dough and lightly kneed into a ball. lightly flour a clean work surface to roll out your dough to a 3/4″ thickness. cut out using a 3 1/2″ biscuit cutter. sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and place dough cutouts on top. again, lightly sprinkle the top and let them rise till they have doubled in size.

um….monster dough was not having it. he did not want to be rolled out and as i began to cut the first muffins out, they would shrink to a funny oval looking shape and the dough around it would quickly retract! arg! silly monster dough! just accept that you will be made into english muffins and eaten! i had to get to a point where i could roll the dough out….wait…make sure it wasn’t trying to go anywhere….and then cut (when it least expected) i literally felt like i was beating this monster to it’s death. it was twice the size i expected…and it was super stubborn. i kept throwing it down, rolling it out, flipping it over….rolling it more….anything i could do to kill the beast!

so the recipe says you should get 14-16 muffins….um….i got 33? yep….that’s monster dough for you!

once the muffins have risen to double their size move to griddle. preheat to 275° and cook batches of muffins….again, don’t crowd them. they will cook for about 10 minutes on each side….but use your judgment on when to flip. once browned on both side…transfer to a cooling rack….split open, butter and enjoy!

ok…compare and contrast:

lazy dough: 10 muffins
monster dough: 33 muffins (however it was supposed to be 14-16)

lazy dough: no nooks and crannies
monster dough: nooks and crannies

lazy dough: more of a biscuit texture
monster dough: definite english muffin texture

lazy dough: my personal favorite….taste wise….very good
monster dough: still very good…especially toasted….but definitely more of an english muffin….also had a grainy flavor due to the whole wheat flour

another empty tupperware at the end of the day = success. you should be warned that making english muffins is quite the task….but if you know what you’re getting into and can plan accordingly….they are worth the effort.

-L

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(emphasis added for arrested development lovers)

so my search for a cream horn recipe led me to a couple conclusions….one…i needed more time because executing the puff pastry will take quite a bit of work (and magic, it seems)…and two…i needed to find a simpler recipe to buy me some time. the mistake? thinking english muffins would be simple.

what i learned:

for an english muffin recipe…you need to plan accordingly. the recipe i attempted thursday night….had many many “rest” periods for the dough…that i didn’t plan for. i ended up staying up way too late…and waking up way too early….only to yield poor results.

there are many recipes out there….i trust my handy-dandy bread bible…..but as i did my research, i found that the coveted “nook and cranny” effect is not always accounted for in every recipe. some produce them…and some do not. and it all depends on the ingredients, and the wet/dryness of the dough…some recipes are even more like batter than dough.

i also would have never imagined…that english muffins were made on griddles. so that was a fun surprise, not really a hindrance….cause thanks to chase rewards….i had enough points to have my new griddle delivered in two days!

after coming in last week without the promised english muffins…and feeling pretty defeated, a coworker told me about the whole Thomas’ english muffin lawsuit (and an entire company with only seven recipe holders)…and said…see…it must be a complicated recipe. thanks lori!

only one sad sorry english muffin made it out alive….and it tasted ok….but i knew i had cut corners and rushed….so ultimately….i needed to take another shot.

for the record…here’s the one and only survivor

for now…we’ll put this in the fail category…but i will be back. we lazy birds are surprisingly determined :)

-L

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on a search….

my dad has requested cream horns…..

i’ve exhausted my cookbooks…and i’ve moved on to the internets…..

what i have learned….is that i can search cream horns under four different names: “cream horns” (“french cream horns” if you want to be fancy), “lady locks,” “coronets,” and “clothes pin cookies.” oye…what are the chances of me finding the perfect recipe on my first go? well….they would be better if you have any advice or experience to share with me.

the floor is open for discussion…..

comment or email us at lazybirdbakery@gmail.com

-L

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gooey butter cake

“this is fricken’ good”

just a tip, but when it gets to be a little too golden, just add powdered sugar! :D

no one will have ever known! haha :D

i have to give credit to my sister in-law jourdan. she baked this for us last week and i just about died. this was the most delicious cake i’ve ever had the fortune of eating. it is ridiculous. butter and cream cheese have never tasted so good together. this is a must bake! i brought this to work first thing in the morning and it was gone before lunch! and even after it was all gone i caught a co-worker, who shall remain nameless, literally scraping the bottom of the pan trying to scrounge up enough to make one last bite! haha.

cake

one 18 1/4 package yellow cake mix

1 egg

8 tablespoons butter, melted

filling

one 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 tablespoons butter, melted

16 ounces of powdered sugar

preheat oven to 350

let’s make the cake. mix together the cake mix, egg and butter in an electric mixer. do not follow the instructions on the back of the cake mix. take your mixture and pat it down (with a silicone spatula) on the bottom of a lightly greased 13×9 in pan. i used a glass pan, but be careful glass tends to bake faster causing to overbake.

let’s make the filling. in a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. once smooth add the eggs, and vanilla. beat this together until they are well blended. now add your powdered sugar and continue to  blend until smooth. my filling was a little lumpy due to the cream cheese, but I think that’s ok.

last but certainly not least. spread your filling all over the top of your cake, covering it entirely. now bake this for 40—50 minutes. but remember if you’re baking in glass watch the clock. I would start checking it at 30 minutes. i baked mine for 40 in glass and it was a little over cooked and it wasn’t as gooey in the center as it was suppose to be. so just keep that in mind. then serve warm!

this is just another really easy recipe that makes a bold statement. please enjoy.

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cinnamini rolls

“this is either my fourth or fifth….(shrugs shoulders)…oh well”

ok, ok…i admit…i’ve been on a bit of a cinnamon kick lately. i will take that into consideration for my next post….but seriously…it’s just so tasty…is it really that bad? :)

again i went on a hunt for cinnamon roll recipes. i have a different one in almost every cookbook i own…and there’s always the internets to search too. since smitten kitchen served me well for the scones, i went with them again for the cinnamon rolls…but with a Zoe Francois twist…minis! – cause if it’s bite size…it doesn’t count, right?!

these little buddies aren’t lazy…so give yourself some time. they can be lazy if you want to buy frozen dinner rolls to substitute making your own dough…but that’s just not my style. me….i enjoy the bread dough process….it’s where the little baker in me shines, so if it’s the one thing i’ve got…i’m not gonna skip that step. but by all means…if your not the sticky dough hands, kneading kind of person….don’t let my ways influence yours!

ingredients:

dough:

1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

filling:

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

frosting:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

ok…so right off the bat, know that you have about 3 hours of dough rising in here….plan accordingly. i’m a – let it rise while i’m sleeping – kinda girl….cause waking up to do step two, then another hour of rising and then baking is hard enough….so part one was knocked out before bed.

part one:
combine your milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave till butter is melted. heat little by little and stir frequently with a temperature goal between 120 and 130 degrees F. take the temperature seriously because yeast is a tricky little buddy….too hot or cold and it won’t play nice. while heating your milk/butter, combine in mixing bowl 1 cup of flour, sugar, egg, yeast and salt. mix together with your milk/butter for about three minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. add in the rest of your flour a cup at a time. once dough is formed you have two options. one: if you’re using a stand mixer and can switch to a bread hook continue mixing/kneading for about eight more minutes. two: no bread hook…it’s time to get messy….lightly flour a clean surface and begin kneading dough by hand. this dough, in particular, is very sticky…add flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is manageable. keep in mind that the “wetter” you can keep the dough, the better. next, spray a large bowl, at least twice the size of your dough with cooking spray. put the dough in the bowl and turn over to lightly coat, cover bowl with plastic wrap and kitchen towel, and let rise. rising will take about 2 hours to double in size….or shut it down for the night and go to bed, letting that dough rise while you dream away.

part two:
once your dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 15 x 11″ rectangle. now time for the filling! combine cinnamon, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. spread butter over the dough, leaving 1/2″ border on one side..then sprinkle cinnamon mixture over dough. (i still had cinnamon chips left over from the scones…so i went ahead and sprinkled some of them on there too) with the long edge of the dough begin rolling dough into a log. pinch the end closed to keep it together. you can go ahead and cut the rolls now….OR…you can make them minis! for the minis stretch the log out so that it’s about the width of a broom stick and then cut you rolls about an inch thick. place in well-greased mini muffin pan, cover with plastic and let rise till doubled in size – about 45 min to an hour.

dough enjoys warm areas when it comes to rising, so i pre-heat my oven to 375 while i wait…put the pan on top of the oven and let the warmth of the stove top work to my advantage – this can speed up your rising time. however, when using this trick at my sister’s once, the stove top got so hot it started to bake the bottom of the dough….arg….not a happy surprise!…so you gotta know your kitchen.

once dough has doubled, bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. mine were more on the 10 and under side so just start paying attention once you hit the five-minute mark. if you’re not making minis though, they will bake a little longer at 15-20 minutes.

part three:
mix together your frosting, while rolls are baking with an electric mixer – just throw it all in there – cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla.
when the rolls are light to golden brown take out and transfer immediately to a cooling rack and add frosting.

pour a glass of milk…and enjoy!

this recipe made about 36 cinnamon rolls and they were all gone pretty quickly. while the co-workers were very pleased…i would give them 3 stars. they were very tasty, but not the flakey, ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls that i imagined them to be while their aroma was filling my apartment. add on the amount of time it takes to get these guys together….i’m just saying, i’ll have to find the MOST perfect recipe if i’m going to put so much time into making them. so…if you have an amazing recipe you should send it our way!

-L

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“Oh, that’s pretty”

it doesn’t get more american than this. marshmallow cream, strawberries and stars. it damn near looks like a dang ole’ american flag. it’s that time of year folks. barbecues, vacations, pool parties and oh yea for us workin folk, just another day in the office. so i decided to bring a little patriotism and summer delight into work today. this recipe is so easy, it’s almost lazy. which you would think would be right up our alley given the name lazy bird but some us might not think that’s good enough reason to take short cuts, but let’s not talk about L behind her back. so in honor of L and the level of quality expected here at lazy bird this recipe has been modified to include home made crust rather than the recipes call for pre-made refrigerated crusts.

preheat your oven to 450.

crust

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cups shortening

2 T shortening

4-6 T cold water

pie filling

2 pkgs. cream cheese (8oz each)

2 jars marshmallow creme (7oz each)

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 tub of strawberry glaze (12 to 14oz total)

let’s start with the pie crust. in a large bowl mix flour and salt together. now cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender. you will blend this until the dough becomes crumbly. next sprinkle water, a tablespoon at a time using a fork to turn the dough as you are sprinkling. i only used 4T but the recipe does say that you can go up to 6T. once the water is added mix the dough up into a ball and roll out to fit a nine inch pie pan. set remaining dough off to the side. that dough will be used to make your stars. fold your round pie crust into 4ths and place into your pie pan. unfold the dough so that it covers the entire pan. fit dough into pan and bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.

let’s move onto the stars. roll out the remaining dough and cut out whatever shape you want. i chose stars in honor of the 4th. place stars on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

while your pie crust and cutouts are cooling. slice up your strawberries and place in a large bowl, add pie glaze and mix. set 1 cup of this mixture off to the side. in a medium sized bowl beat your cream cheese on high until it is light and fluffy. add both containers of marshmallow creme and mix together. once your pie crust is fully cooled, take 1/3 of your marshmallow mix and spread it on top of the pie crust. now take the majority of your strawberry mixture and layer that on top of the marshmallow mixture. layer the remaining marshmallow mixture on top of that. now add the 1 cup of strawberry mixture remaining to the center, not covering all of the marshmallow below. then place your cutouts on top of that. cover your pie and chill in the fridge for 8 hours.

and that’s how it’s done. it’s an easy recipe and everyone here at work loved it, so make it this weekend and bring it to whatever 4th of july party you may be off too! most everyone will love it, and if they don’t well then they’re just un-american ;) have a safe and happy 4th!

– b

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