Mad Baker At Work

Yes I can say it out loud, today I went completely mad about baking and cooking. Since the party for my mom’s namesday (in case you ask: it’s a Polish tradition… when one celebrates his/hers name… it comes from Catholic tradition of Saints) was scheduled I decided that we need at least 3 cakes and a nice bread, which would be a great company to the two salds I had planned. Noone believed me when I said that I can do that, but those who know me well, know as well that there’s noone more stubborn than me, and once I set sth in my mind I will do anything to do AS I WANT. Sorry folks, it’s always my way or highway. For me there’s nothing more comforting than a thought of joyfull kitchen duties, that will be rewarded with a nice party at the end of a day. Back in days when I still lived in Switzerland, we (by that I’m meaning me and my very soon to be ex-husband) used to throw the big parties twice a year and rather descent dinners every now and then. With my return to Warsaw things changed and right now I don’t get to cook for a big crowd very often. Β Voila, that’s how the life goes…

Here is what I baked: Layered Focaccia with Cheese and Rocket, Blondes with Blueberries, Superduper Bananabread and Shells with Lemon Curd… and believe me or not – I started at 10 and finished at 3pm sharp, it didn’t took me that long (salads aren’t listed since I forgot to take pics 😦 ) did it?

Layered Focaccia with Cheese and Rocket

(adapted from “Happy Days With Naked Chef” by Jamie Oliver)

for bread: 1 kg good quality bread flour

50g fresh yeats

625ml warm water

2 tbsp sugar

1 teaspoon salt

for filling: 170g Parmesan cheese, grated,

200g Fontina, Cheddar or good melting cheese (I had morski πŸ™‚ ), grated

140g Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

2 large handfuls of rocket

1 handful of basil, sage, thyme leaves

olive oil

salt, pepper

Disolve the yeats in the water, add sugar and 3 tbsp of flour and set aside until they start to rise (15 mins). Sieve the rest of the flour into the yeats, add salt and stir with the fork until hard to stir. Transfer into the flour dusted work surface, and knead well until the dough is nice and elastic and doesn’t stick to the hands. (you might need to add more flour as you knead). Don’t forget to roll the dough in and out, neither to smash it against the work surface every now and then. Dust the dought and let it rise until it doubles its size. Then give it a second knead – just a quick one, and let the dough rise again. Roll the dough into a large square, and place the half of it into a flat baking tray that was sprinkled with olive oil. Sprinkle the dough with olive oil and put the cheeses and the rocket with herbs on it. Cover with the other half of the dough and make sure that the filling is nicely sealed within. Let rise for 20 mins and then brush it with olive oil and rip over some fresh sage. Bake in preheated oven to 200C with the dish of the cold water placed on the bottom of the oven, until Focaccia is lightly golden and cooked. (knocking method works perfectly fine with it). Let it sit for around 25 mins before eating.


Blondes with Blueberries

3 eggs

2dl vegetable oil

4 tbsp sugar

300g white chocolate

about 300g flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

milk

500g blueberries

Quickly whisk together eggs, sugar and oil. Add flour, baking powder and milk in case the batter gets too thick – it should have the texture of whipped cream. Break the chocolate into small cubes and add it to the batter, add as well the blueberries and gently mix together. Pour the batter into the large baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 40 mins (or until the toothpick inserted into middle comes clean) in the oven preheated to 200C.

Superduper Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas

1dl vegetable oil

2 tbsp sugar

2 eggs

1,5 – 2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

100g white chocolate

100g dark chocolate (70%)

handful dried cranberries

Mash the bananas, add eggs, oil, sugar and whisk well. Mix in the flour and baking powder, the batter shouldn’t be too thick. Add the chocolates broke into small cubes and dried cranberries. Place into a baking tin lined with baking paper. Bake until done (toothpick test) – about 40 mins in the oven preheated to 200C.

Shells with Lemon Curd

(as in “Kuchnia” 7/2010)

dough: 150g cold butter

2 cups flour

3 tbsp sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold water

lemon curd: 3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup heavy cream (36%)

1/2 cup freshly pressed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)

grated lemon zest

Rub the muffin form (12 muffins) with butter and sprinkle with flour. For the dough mix the flour with sugar and salt, add the cold butter and start chopping, untill it looks as a fine bread crumble. Then add water and quickly knead the dough. Wrap in the foil and let rest in the fridge for 30 mins. Roll the dough until 2mm thick and cut 24 circles with a glass. Use two circle per muffin hole until nicely lined. Pick with the fork and bake in preheated to 200C oven for about 10-15 mins (until golden).

Make the curd: beat all ingredients with electric mixer. Pour into the prebaked shells and bake again in the oven with the temperature reduced to 160C for about 25 mins (until the curd sets). Let them cool and serve still warmer with whipped cream and fruits.

That’s it πŸ˜‰ and tomorrow I have a new bread recipe to try πŸ™‚ I still have fresh yeats left and since it seems as those are really fresh one, I can’t let them go bad πŸ˜‰


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About ladymorgiana

I'm a redhair girl witch to some scientist to the others... I love cooking and baking.... what else would you like to know?
This entry was posted in baking, bread, cake, cupcakes, curd, food talk, Jamie Oliver and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mad Baker At Work

  1. davejwsbooks says:

    love the photos of all these breads…sooo sooo tasty looking. i think you should send me some in the post!

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