Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Muffins with homegrown raspberries

I don't remember where or how did we obtain our raspberry plants. What I notice is that there are two different varieties that grow together in the same spot. How do I know? Well, one matures in the summer with smaller but sweeter fruit and the other one is ready in the fall with bigger size and less intense sweetness.

We have been snacking on these raspberries and putting them in salad (with homegrown salad of course!). One day, I looked at the pint of raspberries sitting in the fridge and there was also a small container of sour cream, and I decided to make some muffins. After searching on the net for recipe, I settled down on this one and quite satisfied with the result:


  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. For topping, in medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Rub with your fingers to form coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make muffins, butter a 12-cup muffin g mpan. In medium bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, usinixer, beat egg and medium speed until frothy. Add sugar and melted butter. Beat until pale yellow for 1 minute. Beat in sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest until blended. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until almost blended.
  3. In bowl, toss the raspberries with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Using spatula, fold in raspberries into batter. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter and sprinkle with topping from refrigerator. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and let cool.

I skipped the topping as I intended to freeze these muffins.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple tartlet from homegrown apples

The pastry dough is based on Sugar's (Anne Olson) recipe. Originally, the tartlet recipe, which I had made before with great success, is from the Cooks Illustrated magazine. However, the CI's pastry dough is cream cheese based, and I don't have cream cheese at home, so I had to pick a different dough recipe to work with.

The crust turned out amazingly flaky. (I had to add an extra 3 tbsp of water to make the dough comes together). Hubby just made homemade coffee ice cream. What a winning dessert!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mushroom focaccia -- naturally leaven

Most focaccia uses a pre-ferment, not sourdough starter. Since I'm all into using wild yeast to bake, I'm happy to try out this focaccia recipe using sourdough starter. The source is from Daniel Leader's book, Local Bread. In his recipe, he uses semolina starter. I don't bother starting a second starter, so I used my regular starter in this recipe.

As it turned out, the focaccia has fantastic flavour. I can't stop eating them!

See photo:

before baking

after baking

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sourdough hamburger bun

The recipe is based on the Wild Yeast blog.

Instead of using whole wheat, I used unbleached white and replaced 53g with spelt.

The buns didn't rise much, and so not much overspring either. I noticed a strong buttery taste when the bun was consumed on the same day, but the buttery taste decreased the next day.

A nice bun recipe using sourdough starter, but I don't think the texture is soft enough for hamburger bun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canada Day bake

So the second loaf of the pain au levain has been sitting in the fridge for...about 27 hours now. Time to bake!

The oven was on at 300c for about 2 hours (we'd just finished having roasted goose breast for dinner). I cranked it up to 44oc, took the dough out from the fridge, did the normal routine: slash, spray and steam, then put it right into the oven (yes, straight from fridge to oven). In order to make sure that it will still get a decent overspring in the oven, I covered the loaf with a large stainless steel bowl for the first 20 minutes.

Many people praise how wonderful the overspring is when the dough was covered during the first xx minutes of baking. I never really bother doing it. Since the author of the bread states that retarding the dough will affect overspring, I got a bit worried. So time to use this little trick.

The bread rose nicely, with beautiful blister all over.

Next, I increased the oven temperature to 475C, and got ready for my sourdough bagel bake. This recipe is based on Reinhart's Crust and Crumb. I only made two changes:
1. I added 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast to compensate for the 0.8oz starter (recipe calls for 8oz starter but I only got 7.2oz);
2. retarded in the fridge for only 5 hours instead of overnight

Though the amount of yeast is tiny, I can definitely small the yeasty scent from the bagel :(

The bagels were overproofed a bit. Though I was on schedule, the addition of this small amount of yeast did mess up the activity of the dough. When I boiled the bagels, they floated right up. Fortunately, the finished products came out beautifully (I baked them for 15 minutes instead of 12 minutes)

I have a feeling that the texture will be more like a sandwich bun than a bagel. But that's all right, these are yummy artisan bake and I'll savour them one after after!

Pain au Levain

I've been blogging my bread making results to TFL forum since last year. I guess I should start recording my experiences here. So here I go.

The recipe is based on Hamelman's Bread book. Since I've just refreshed my starter 2 days ago, I used it in the recipe instead of following the levain build. After mixing all the ingredients, the dough seemed a bit dry, so I added an extra 1.5oz of water to the mix.

When I divided the dough in half, instead of the 1.5lb piece as described, mine came out 2lbs. No idea why. I baked one according to the schedule, and refridgerated the other half. The book says retarding this dough overnight isn't recommended. Well, I'll find out the next day.

This bread offers really nice texture and taste, much better than the SF SD from C&C. Will give it a try again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Too risky

oh yes...don't try some new recipes the night before if you need to bring your baked goods to a fund-rising event the next day...that's the lesson I learned tonight.

I should have done the same old scone recipe. How difficult it is to make scone? Not at all! However, if you get a not-so-reliable recipe, the outcome will be a disappointment. For some reasons, I tried this scone recipe. The source is from Canadian Living and there is a seal of "Tested till perfect" on the page. Sounds good? Sure. So with all my heart, I gave it a try.

I followed everything on the recipe except replacing the fake sugar (splenda) with real sugar. The dough seemed to be very wet when I tried to pat it down to 2cm thick. It shouldn't be that wet. However, I proceeded with the rest. When I took the scones out of the oven, they didn't rise much at all. The flavor was there, but they didn't have the normal scone texture due to the high level of moisture.

I'll snap some pics tomorrow.