Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Apple Matafan

April 10, 2018 at 7:31 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, groups, other sweet, pancakes & waffles, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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apple matafan

I’m pretty sure I nominated Apple Matafan a million times for TWD. Finally it’s getting it’s moment in the spotlight! Of course it helped that only two of us voted this month (and one of us was yours truly). Good things come to those who wait…I think we all agree that it is delicious. A matafan is a pancake cooked in a skillet. Traditionally they are savory, but this one’s sweet and loaded with sliced apple. I made a half-sizer in my little cast iron pan. It took less time to cook through than instructed for the larger size and was probably more manageable to flip, too.

This reminds me of a pancake version of the Custardy Apple Squares we made way back when. It’s a great thing to make if you have a couple of apples that have been hanging out in the fridge a bit too long. There’s no doubt this would be delicious with maple syrup, but I have some apple cider that I boiled down into a syrupy consistency and spooned that over the top. We ate this one for breakfast, but it would also make a fine dessert (with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, perhaps?).

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Crunchy Granola

January 23, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cereals, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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crunchy granola

Granola and yogurt with half a banana is my go-to weekday breakfast. I used to make a big batch of my own cereal every couple of weeks, but then I got lazy and started buying it again. New York City, and Brooklyn in particular, is big in the small-batch granola scene (Surprised? I bet not.), and I have dutifully tried every little cutely packaged and expensive hipster brand I can find at local gourmet shops. Some are great, and some not so much, but homemade is even more delicious– and definitely cheaper– than the best brand I know of.

This Crunchy Granola reminds me of how fresh and easy to make homemade granola is. One of the best parts of going DIY is that you can customize your mix and put in all the bits and pieces you like the most (no thanks, goji berries). I like almonds and pecans, dried cherries, seeds and coconut in big chips. I like extra salt and a little less sweet stuff. I like it well-toasted and a combo of clumps and loose bits. One little trick that I usually do with my homemade granola is to toss the coconut on the tray (I use a metal sheet tray) at the very end, turn the oven off and let the tray cool down along with the oven…extra crunchiness without burned coconut. Oh, and never add the dried fruit until the granola’s out of the oven and cooled. I’ve screwed that one up before and it doesn’t taste good. This batch was just perfect though and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s brekkie.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Brioche

September 20, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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brioche

We’ve used Nancy Silverton’s brioche recipe left and right by now, but we’ve never just made plain brioche with it.  Brioche is one of my favorite breads to make…all eggy and buttery and stuff.  It’s easy to mix and to work with, when the temperature is right.  I’ve made a different Dorie brioche loaf recipe before, so this time, I tried to make brioche à tête.  For some reason I own three of the small fluted molds used for this…why, I don’t remember.  My tête shaping skills need a little work.  These looked more like brioche à goose egg.  No matter, it tasted the same– delicious!  Salty butter and plum jam were my toppings of choice here.

brioche

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Danish Slices

May 17, 2016 at 10:44 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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danish slices

I don’t have much more to say about Beatrice Ojakangas’s Danish recipe, since I’ve covered most of it once or twice before.  It’s damn good, no matter what form it takes, even the simplest Danish Slice.

I had half a batch of dough left in the freezer from the spandauer pockets I made a couple of weeks ago, and rolled it into a long rectangular that I folded up and around a duo of almond frangipane and pureed prune paste.  I brushed the top of my formed Danish with egg wash and sprinkled on some granulated almond bits before baking it.  After it had cooled a bit, I made a quick coffee glaze and spooned it over.  This is just.so.good.  And a piece left over for dessert the next day is nice heated slightly with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I think the Danish would be proud.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s even a video of Beatrice and Julia making Danish together. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Danish Pastry Pockets

May 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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danish pastry pockets

I’ve made Beatrice Ojakangas’s Danish recipe here once before, when we formed it into an impressive braid.  Her dough uses a “quick” method, employing the food processor to break down the butter into chunks in the flour, rather than folding a butter block into a dough.  The rough dough does need to rest in the fridge overnight, but after that, all of the lamination work is done quickly and at once, without any waiting in between the turns and folds.  Pretty easy, all things considered, and crisp and flaky, too.

There are a variety of little shapes you can form Danish dough into, but I only did the “spandauer,” mostly because it has the coolest name.  It’s just a square folded up around a filling like a baby in a papoose.  I didn’t feel like trying to hard on those fillings.  I thought for all of two seconds about making a pastry cream, before remembering I had some ricotta cheese in the fridge.  I drained it for a couple of hours before stirring in a bit of sugar, lemon zest and egg yolk.  I topped that off with some rhubarb jam.  After the Danishes were out of the oven they got a good squiggling of glaze.  These were quite delicious, and would have no doubt been amazing with coffee for breakfast, but we actually had them for dessert.  Good anytime of day– that’s what I’m sayin’!

Back when we did that braid, I also tried out my shaping skills on the pinwheel.  That one was filled with cream cheese and blueberry jam and sprinkled with pearl sugar.  And glazed, too, of course.

danish pinwheel

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s even a video of Beatrice and Julia making Danish together. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Twice-Baked Brioche

September 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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twice-baked brioche

After making the dough for Nancy Silverton’s Brioche Tart with White Secret Sauce, I had enough of it leftover for a brioche loaf to tuck into the freezer.  Twice-Baked Brioche, or bostock, is just the thing to make with extra brioche, especially if it’s a little stale.  It’s the brioche equivalent of an almond croissant.  Take slices of brioche, douse them in a orange flavored syrup, smear them with almond fangipane and sprinkle them with sliced almonds.  Then pop them in the oven until toasty brown.

With a cup of strong coffee in the morning or warm, with a little scoop of ice cream for dessert, this is really good…yup, really good.  Going on the repeat list.  I may even keep a little pot of frangipane in the freezer to have on hand whenever I crave bostock.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Sunny-Side up Apricot Pastries

October 7, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, general pastry, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 14 Comments
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sunny-side up apricot pastires

Michel Richard is a chef with a sense of humor.  Case in point, these cute Sunny-Side Up Apricot Pastries.  At first glance, they’re fried eggs on toast.  At first bite, they’re poached fruit and pastry cream on top of crispy puff pastry.

Before you can have these for breakfast (or for dessert, if you are like I am and this is too much to process in the morning), you have to make pastry cream and poach fruit.  I’d take care of these a day in advance.  You also have to deal with the puff pastry situation and decide if you are going to buy it or make it.  I’ve worked in restaurant and bakery kitchens for more than 10 years now…while not every place I’ve worked has made puff from scratch, a few of them have, so I’ve laminated me some dough.  Frankly, it can be a pain in the neck (literally). On a large scale, those of us with no upper body strength (who me?) struggle to roll a ginormous batch by hand if there isn’t a dough sheeter.  If the kitchen’s too hot, butter oozes everywhere.  It’s often a rush-job because no one bothers to mention that they took the last sheets from the freezer and left me with nothing for the day’s production.  But, I’ve made this very puff pastry dough recipe at home before–I actually chose it several years ago when I hosted a Daring Bakers Challenge— and I know that it’s not hard at all, especially if you make it a day or two before you need it and the temps are relatively cool.  If you are on the fence, a half-batch is super-approachable, doesn’t take too much counter space to roll and will give you plenty of puff for treats.  And if you’re still on the fence, just get a nice store-bought one….I do it all the time, so no judgments.

puff pastry dough

Apricots aren’t in season here anymore, so I had planned to just use canned ones instead (and also skip the recipe’s poaching step).  Then at the Greenmarket this weekend, I saw that nectarines are still around, so I picked out a few of the smallest “apricot-sized” ones and went ahead with those.  I gave them a gentle poach and left their skins on.  I thought they were pretty, but they kind of wrinkled up in the oven.  Next time they’re coming off.  Next time I’ll also leave the puff a little fatter than the book indicates.  I think the recipe says to roll it too thin, so while the front and back ends puffed nicely, the sides were a little flatter than I would have liked.  Super crispy, though.

These were delicious, and a fun weekend kitchen project.  I’ll make them again, especially since I have extra homemade puff in the freezer now.  Here’s a document that I typed up about making puff pastry for my DB Challenge back in 2009…somewhere near the end are some tips and suggestions.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). There’s a video of the BWJ episode showing how to make both the puff pastry dough and the pastries. Finally, don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Baking Powder Biscuits

August 19, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in biscuits & scones, breakfast things, BWJ, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 15 Comments
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baking powder biscuits

Marion Cunningham’s Baking Powder Biscuits were good for breakfast, and also good for dessert, all dressed up like shortcakes.  These were easy to make.  I didn’t want to do an all shortening biscuit like the recipe called for, so I swapped out half of it for butter.  I rubbed my shortening/butter and dry ingredients together the night before and stashed the mix in a container in the fridge…in the morning I just had to work in the milk.  They didn’t rise as high as I wished they would have (maybe I should have patted them out less? or maybe they really do work best with all shortening?), but they were very tender, not dense at all.  I made square biscuits instead of round, just so I didn’t have to deal with scrap and reroll.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here)  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

TWD BWJ Rewind: Sweet Berry Fougasse

July 29, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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sweet berry fougasse

I went from no fougasse ever to two fougasses (or is the plural Fugazi?) in one month.  The group made Craig Kominiak’s Sweet Berry Fougasse back in September of last year, but we were given a choice of two things and I skipped it to make muffins instead.  When we did Leaf-Shaped Fougasse a couple of weeks ago, it dawned on me that I could also make enough focaccia dough to turn the extra into the Sweet Berry Fougasse for this week’s make-up.  Know what that’s called?  That’s called strategery.

With the dough ready-made (I had it frozen and took it out the night before baking to thaw in the fridge) and blueberries and raspberries from the greenmarket, all I had to do to put this together was mix up a little sweet streusel topping and turn on the oven.  This was good…it made a fine breakfast treat without the little twinge of shame that I have when I start the day with half a pound of butter.  I pretty much want every coffee cake or muffin I eat to have streusel on it, so it was nice on bread, too, and helped sweeten up the juicy berries.  I probably wouldn’t bother to make this from scratch start-to-finish, but more likely if I have some extra focaccia dough on my hands again.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (a version is also here and there’s a video here that includes Kominiak making all things focaccia and fougasse).  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see the other recipes folks revisited this week (and the Blogroll from September)!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Potato Lefse

April 1, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, pancakes & waffles, tuesdays with dorie | 22 Comments
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potato lefse

I didn’t really know much about Potato Lefse before Beatrice Ojakangas’s TWD recipe of the week.  I quizzed my half-Norwegian friend, and she told me that they are kind of like crêpes and that there’s also a non-potato variety.  She said she’s never made them herself, but buys premade ones and reheats them.  Ha–looks like I’m one up on you now, Karen!  That was mean…I should invite her over for leftovers and see what she thinks.

Making the lefse dough was easy.  It basically starts with super-smooth mashed potatoes that you air dry in the fridge overnight.  Then the next day, you knead flour into the mash and divide the dough into pieces.  Shaping and cooking the dough is where it gets tricky.  There are a whole host of special tools that  hard-core lefse enthusiasts use– a grooved rolling pin and a cloth-covered round board to roll the dough, a big, flat round griddle to cook the lefse on and a long, flat wooden stick to lift and flip them.  Darn, I don’t have any of that stuff.  I poked around the cabinets to see what I could use instead.  This is what I came up with: my regular rolling pin and my Silpat to roll the dough, and a flat cast iron crêpe pan and stick that I have.  It would have been easier to cook these with another person, so one could roll the lefse dough balls while the other cooked them off.  By myself, it was kind of a process, but I got better as I moved along.  My crêpe pan is only 11″ wide, as opposed to 16″ for a lefse pan, so I divided my dough into 16 balls instead of 12.  With plenty of flour, I was able to get them rolled nice and thin on the Silpat.  I didn’t even need that stick to lift them off…I was just kind of able to flip and peel them onto my hand, tortilla-style.  They cooked up perfectly and got nice speckles on the crêpe pan, and the stick came in handy for flipping them.

potato lefse

Apparently, much like a crêpe, you can wrap lefse around lots of fillings (even hot dogs–gotta try that!), but we went the sweet route for breakfast, with butter and cinnamon sugar on some an lingonberry jam on others.  They do taste slightly potatoey, but it’s a pleasant earthiness that was surprisingly nice with the sweet fillings. For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  As Sandra pointed out there’s a video of Beatrice making lefse alongside Martha Stewart.  Beatrice uses slightly different measurements than she does in the book, but it’s a great watch for the process of making, shaping and cooking the dough.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

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