In a flurry of flour

August 29, 2015

It's crawling out of its pan...it's going to attack!

It’s crawling out of its pan…it’s going to attack!

I took out on a baking jag this week.

Don’t know if it was a couple of weeks of cooler temps, or what, but something enticed me into the kitchen to make bread. So bread I made.

I made sandwich bread. I made foccacia. And this morning, happening upon some brioche dough that had been languishing in the fridge, I made breakfast bacon and cheese rolls.

I do love to bake. I don’t need to eat a lot of bread — borderline gluten issues that sometimes cause probs, sometimes don’t — but generally if I take it in moderation, I’m OK.

The sandwich bread came first — my standard Cook’s Illustrated American white sandwich bread recipe, which I continue to believe is the best sandwich bread out there. I think next time I make it I’m going to go with some whole wheat flour in the mix and see how that does, as I like whole wheat bread, too.

I’m not real sure what I did with this one that was different, but it about took over the kitchen. First it rose almost out of the big bowl. Then it rose way up over the tops of the pans. Then it looked sort of like an alien being by the time it baked. Good stuff, though. Kept one loaf here, as the inspiration for same was for me to have bread for a Bacon-and-Tomato sandwich, and wrapped one to take to the church bazaar.

foccaciaDecided I’d make some foccacia for the bazaar as well; I had some little small round pans that I thought would make cute mini-foccacia rounds. Two got brushed with garlic oil and topped with some onion; the other two got brushed with basil oil and topped with oven-roasted grape tomatoes. Except I didn’t push the tomatoes down into the dough enough, and got a huge oven spring on those babies, and the tomatoes fell off. Oh, well. I ate ’em. Twice roasted tomatoes with sea salt and olive oil. Yes, please.

Big oven spring there, too. I’d patted out my dough to right around an inch thick, but the finished product was a good three inches thick in the middle. The stars must have been aligned, or the moon in the right phase, or something. I dunno. Perhaps next time I will use less dough per small pan, because I really DO like the idea of the small pans, which are about right to generate flatbread for two.

Reacy to roll, with bacon jam and smoked gouda.

Reacy to roll, with bacon jam and smoked gouda.

Then this morning, as I was cleaning in the kitchen, I came across that brioche dough in the fridge. Knew it had been there long enough (AB in 5 Minutes says you can keep it a week, and that’s about what this had been there), so I set it out to warm up. I rolled it out to a 10 x 13 or so rectangle, spread it with butter, then with some bacon jam, and added some grated smoked Gouda cheese; rolled it up and cut into roll-sized slices.

This was pretty good. Not as good as I had hoped it would be; the jam has a tang that didn’t play to well with the pronounced yeasty taste of the bread. But the texture was dreamy — will certainly be using this for homemade cinnamon rolls soon.

Baked and ready to gobble down!

Baked and ready to gobble down!

I will say, though, that of all the recipes in AB/5 Min that I’ve tried, I like the brioche least. It’s good when it’s baked, but it doesn’t hold worth a damn. So I wouldn’t try it unless I was pretty sure of all I baked being eaten in short order.

Believe that will handle me for baking for a few days. I’ll be making arepas tomorrow to go with carnitas that are cooking in the slow cooker as we speak, and we’ll have some beans and some Mexican rice with that, along with maybe some guacamole, since I got avocados today. Trying out yet another recipe for Mexican rice, in hopes of getting closer to that restaurant rice I do love so much. We shall see. Eggplant at the market this morning, so I’m thinking moussaka one night soon, as I have not made moussaka in a long time.

In any event — you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have a fine Saturday, and enjoy the nice weather, and if you get hungry tomorrow, come on over.

 

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