Friday, September 28, 2012

25 Pounds of Flour

Over the last several months, I have been baking so much that I had to adjust the quantity of flour that I was purchasing. So I went from a regular 5 pound bag of white flour to a 10 pound thinking that it would last me a little longer. Before I realized it, my second bag of 10 pound  flour was already empty. So I went to the extreme to my standards and got a 25 pound bag of All-Purpose Flour. I am opening it today to make a pizza dough for tonight. I am very curious to see by when this massive bag will be gone. I let you postpone. Today is Friday, May 3rd and I officially finished the 25 pound bag of flour. The bag survived almost 9 months. Baking and cooking is not over. I have a new 25 pound bag ready to go..... 

From 5 to 25 pounds!

Here is a list of what I have baked so far with the 25 pound bag of flour:
- Apple Butter Muffins (1)
- Alfredo Sauce (1)
- Banana Nut Bread (1)
- Banana Pancakes (1)
Banana Nut Bread
- Blinis (1)
- Brownie (1)
- Brownie Roll-Out Cookies (1)
- Buns (1)
- Carrot Brownie - salty (1)
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (1)
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (1)
- Chocolate Chip Cookies (1)
- Ciabatta (1)
- Corn Bread (3)
- Crab Bisque (1)
- Crêpes (1)
- Crumble Topping (1)
- Deux Cuilleres (1)
- Financiers (3)
- Fried Green Tomatoes (1)
- king Cake (1)
Laetitia's Rosemary Bread (2)
Pancakes (plain)
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (1)
- Mascarpone Pancake (1)
- Mini Chocolate Chip Muffin (1)
- Orange Carrot Cupcakes (1)
- Pancakes - Plain (3)
- Parmesan-Corn Bread Muffin (1)
- Peanut Butter Cookies (1)
- Pizza Dough (2)
- Pumpkin-Maple Pie (1)
- Sablés (1)
- Sauce Béchamel (1)
- Scones with chocolate chips (1)
- Sugar Cookies (1)
- Soufflé - cheese (1)
- Texan Chili (1)
- Triple Berry Muffins (1)
- Waffles (1 1/2)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Honey-Walnuts Bread (no yeast bread)

I made this bread yesterday which is a sweet soda bread. It is delicious!

- 100g Honey
- 100g Walnuts
- 250g Whole Wheat Flour
- 1t Salt
- 2t Baking Powder
- 5/8 Water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
2. Spray a round pan with canola oil.
3. Crush half of the walnut very finely to obtain a powder and crush the other half coarsely using a hammer.
4. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and walnuts.
5. Warm up the honer for 25 seconds or so in the microwave and mix it with the water.
6. Combine the honey/water to the flour mixture and stir until all the ingredients are all incorporated.
7. Shape the dough into a round around 2 inches thick in your round pan.
8. With a knife make a cross in the round dough.
9. Cook for 20 minutes.

What do I think about this recipe?
The texture of the bread is soft with a touch of sweetness. You would almost compare the taste and texture as a brioche. It is that good!

Recipe inspired from The River Cottage Bread Handbook by Daniel Stevens

The Broken Needle Project

I had this great vision of making a bathtub spout protector out of  a used towel and fabric. It seemed like a prefect project as our little guy is now using the grown up bathtub to avoid potential bumps. This project turned out to be a nightmare!

  • Project Description
Sew 3 pieces of fabric on a small piece of towel (doubled), make some designs using different stitches patterns from my machine over the saw towel and fabric to make it more interesting, and finish the cover by sewing each side to slide it through the bathtub spout.

  • Here is What Happened
The first broken needle....
- Sewing 2 pieces of towel on top of each to have more caution was hard for my sewing machine (Singer 1409) and I thought that I will not be able to complete the project. I had to lift the presser foot of the machine to its maximum to allow the 2 pieces of towels to fit underneath the foot and needle plate. This challenge gave me the opportunity to open the guide and read some functions of the machine in detail. I learn new vocabulary in relation to the principal parts of the machine.

- Sewing the pieces of fabric on the top of the towel and adding some stitches patterns on top of the fabric and towel were the most frustarting part of the project because my needle kept braking. I changed the position of the thread tension dial and the stitch length dial to see it would help preveting that problems. In brief,  I broke 4 needles and I am not even sure at this point how many times it occurred because it happened a lot. This small project felt endless.
Along the way, I found out that some extra needles I got with the machine were bent as well. Thanks Singer! I had to go to the store to buy some more to complete this project. I can now change my needle in no time with my eyes closed.

- Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I could not wait to be done fast enough with this project and when I thought that I was almost done... I realized as I was haft way sewing the 2 sides of the towel (to make a tub shape) inside out that I was not going to be able to turn the cover on the correct side. The hole was to small for the thickness of the cover. In a way I was happy that I did not pursue my time struggling sewing this part with the machine. I actually started with the machine and when I broke another needle I was done sewing by hand. 

  • Pictures of the Final Product 

A towel is not going to be part of a near sewing project for a VERY LONG TIME!

Monday, September 17, 2012


The recipe makes 1 loaf.
Focaccia topped with coarse sea salt

- 2 1/2 cups of white flour
- 1 t salt
- 2 1/4 t active dry yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 cup of warm water (around 110 degree Fahrenheit)
- 5 T olive oil
- Coarse sea salt

1. Add yeast and pinch of salt to the warm water and stir a couple of time and let it set for 10 minutes.
2. Mix flour and salt.
3. Brush some olive oil on your pizza stone or a tart tin (around 10 inches).
4. Incorporate the yeast/water to the flour mixture and stir until flour has disappeared to get a rough dough. if it feels very sticky add no  more than 1/2 cup of flour.
5 . Transfer the dough on a floured surface and knead it until it feels smooth to the touch with a nice look elastic.
6. Put the dough on the pan of your choice and press down to make a nice even circle.
7. Put the pan in a warm place (above 80 degrees) for 1 or 2 hours or until the dough as doubled.
8. Preheat the over at 400 degree Fahrenheit.
9. When ready, push your finger down all over the dough. This process will deflate the dough.
10. Brush the entire dough with some olive oil and add the coarse sea salt.

11. Bake for 25 minutes or until the bread is slightly golden.
12. Let the bread cool down on a rack a bit before serving.


What do I think about this recipe?
- It does not look as long as it appears. Do not let the length of the steps discourage you.
- At the first bite you can taste the saltiness of the sea salt and feel that the crust is barely hard and the softness of the inside. It is delicious!
- I would add less sea salt and try with different kind of herbs. Rosemary and olive oil would be my next try...

Adapted from Making Bread the Taste of Traditional Home-Baking published by Lorenz Books

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

It is mid-September and cannot wait the official day of Fall-  I like this time of the year...

Fall is in the air.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 T pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 chopped walnuts
- 1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lay 18 muffin cup holders in your muffin pans
2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
3. In a different bowl, mix all the wet ingredients.
4. Incorporate the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well.
5. Add the cranberries and walnuts to the batter and stir until they are homogeneously spread.
6. Bake at for 20 minutes and let it cool completely on a rack.

What do I think about this recipe?
It is a house FAVORITE! Do I need to say more?
The muffins are moist just right. It has an earthy taste and texture. The cranberries add a soft aspect to the muffin with a soft crunch from the walnuts.

- If you make it has a bread, bake it for 50-55 minutes or so.
- To chopped the walnuts, I put them in a small zipblock bag, zip it, and hammer the half walnuts until I like it. It is simple, easy and no mess.
- To pour the batter in the muffin holders, I use an ice cream scooper.