Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Boston Brown Bread (Yeasted) World Bread Day 2009

Posted by bakinghistory on October 16, 2009

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Boston Brown Bread dates back to Colonial times and is traditionally paired with Boston Baked Beans

world bread day 2009 - yes we bake.(last day of sumbission october 17) Today is World Bread Day and as always I am happy to participate in this event hosted by Zorra.

I write from Massachusetts, so I chose an old-fashioned recipe for a classic New England bread, made since Colonial times. It contains equal quantities of rye, corn, and whole wheat flour, plus molasses and yeast, and it is steamed rather than baked. The result is a moist loaf, with a complex flavor and a mild sweetness. Great for dinner on a cool Autumn evening—along with a steaming bowl of baked beans or soup.

From the original recipe by Paul Richards

In: Baker’s Bread, 1918—USA

Ingredients

100 g rye flour

100 g whole wheat flour

100 g cornmeal

100 g Graham flour

5 g active dry yeast

8 g Kosher salt

135 g molasses (not blackstrap)

100 g boiling water

100 g warm water

milk as needed

Mix the rye flour and yeast with lukewarm water and set aside to ferment until light.

Scald the cornmeal with boiling water and set aside until cool.  Add molasses and salt, then remaining flours and rye sponge. Add drops of milk if dough is too stiff.

Place mixture in a well greased glass or stainless steel steamed pudding mold, which mixture should fill by 2/3. Cover tightly. Place mold in large pot of boiling water (having first placed a rack on the bottom) and steam, covered for 2 hours, keeping the water always boiling and reaching 2/3 up the mold. Add additional boiling water as needed.

Unmold and serve immediately.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Regional American Food, Rye, State Foods, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sugar High Fridays #50: The Roundup

Posted by bakinghistory on December 26, 2008

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Thank you to all participants who contributed wonderful recipes on the theme of rolled cakes and to Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess for founding this wonderful event and the opportunity to host this edition of Sugar High Fridays.

I received each submission with great anticipation and enjoyed reading every one of them. Some were from bloggers I know and some from others that I am glad to have discovered and that I will keep reading. Some recipes are simple and some more elaborate, yet all of them are scrumptious and worth trying. Thank you!!

ivy-lemon-or-orange-chocolade-roulade -Ivy of  Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality made not one but two wonderful rolled cakes, with flavors inspired by the classic nursery rhyme The Bells of -St. -Clements, orange and lemon.

-Location:  Athens, Greece

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shfpoppyseedlori-Lori Ann of Lipsmacking Goodness made a wonderful Slovak Kolacky, a traditional Polish Christmas treat  using her own family heirloom recipe. The -roll is made with yeasted dough and filled with poppy seed.

-Location: Rochester NY, USA

-Language:   English

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jennysmall-Jenny of JKitchen.Log made a very elegant rolled sponge cake with a pistachio-cream cheese filling and red currants.

-Location: Melbourne, Australia

-Language:   English

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renato-bolo-de-rolo-shf-Renato of Sugar Nut made Bolo de Rolo, a traditional Brazilian rolled cake, from the region of Pernambuco State. This cake is different from usual -rolled cakes since its layers are very thin and the final texture is particularly pleasant thanks to the ratio of cake and filling, usually guava jam.

-Location: São Paulo, Brazil

-Language: English

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aquadaze1-dscn1561-Aquadaze of Served with Love made a beautiful classic Yule Log, filled with strawberry jam and frosted with chocolate ganache.

-Location: Singapore

-Language: English

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artusi-roll1- I made a chocolate sponge cake with a seedless raspberry jelly filling and a nice sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top.

-Location: Massachusetts, USA

-Language: English

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The copyright of each photo belongs to the respective author


Posted in Blog Events | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Chocolate-Raspberry Rolled Cake (SHF #50)

Posted by bakinghistory on December 26, 2008

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A tender chocolate sponge cake filled with raspberry jelly

shfrolledcakeslogo1As the guest host of the 50th edition of Sugar High Fridays, the blog event dedicated to sweets founded by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess I proposed Rolled Cakes as a theme. My own take on this is from the old classic Italian cook book La Scienza in Cucina e l’ Arte di Mangiar Bene—published in 1891—written by Pellegrino Artusi. It is a sponge cake flavored with  bittersweet chocolate, to which I added a simple filling of seedless raspberry jam and a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top. The final result is a pleasant dessert in which flavors and textures combine perfectly, and that is also quick and easy to assemble.

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi

In: “La Scienza in Cucina e l’ Arte di Mangiar Bene”, 1891—Italy

Ingredients:

6 eggs, divided

200 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted

150 g flour

50 g bittersweet chocolate

1 large jar of seedless raspberry jelly

extra confectioners’ sugar to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350F; line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and generously grease the bottom and sides.

Beat the yolks at high speed and add the confectioners’ sugar little by little, beating at high speed until all is incorporated and the mixture is light.  Mix in the grated chocolate, then stir in the flour, adding it little by little. Finally incorporate to the mixture the egg whites beaten to stiff peaks, folding them in gently to avoid deflating the mixture. Immediately spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and let the cake cool for 1 minute. Then gently roll the cake using the aluminum foil lining as a guide. Let the rolled cake cool a bit longer on a rack, then while still lukewarm unroll it and gently spread with jelly. Roll it up again and let it cool completely before sprinkling confectioners’ sugar on top.

Posted in Blog Events, Cakes, Chocolate, Fruit | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Gingerbread (Novel Food #6)

Posted by bakinghistory on December 20, 2008

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Mildly spiced gingerbread cookies

ROUNDUP part 1 Roundup part 2

novel-foodSimona of Briciole and Lisa of Champaign Taste are hosting a new edition of their wonderful seasonal blog event, Novel Food. It is one of my absolute favorites since it pairs literature and food. This time, it was really difficult to choose which literary work to feature between two that I particularly like.

Since this is the winter edition, I finally opted for a short story by O. Henry, one of my absolute favorite American writers.  The short story is “The Gift of the Magi” and illustrates the theme of gift-giving: at the end, the author shows what is, in his view, the wisest gift to give, independently of what money can—and cannot—buy.

I won’t reveal anything else, since the story is short and well worth reading.  I read it for the first time when I was nine years old, and its implications deeply struck me then—now, almost three decades later, I am still moved by it, even if in somewhat different ways.

The characters of the story are a young married couple, Della and James Dillingham Young, and you can see them portrayed above in gingerbread dough and white icing.

The time  is around Christmas, the setting a big American city, but the theme transcends any specific time and place and is ultimately about the essence of human love.

here is a short excerpt:

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard. To-morrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling — something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim.

Even if there is one specific food mentioned in the story, chops, I took the liberty of choosing gingerbread instead. The following recipe produces a wonderful dough, very easy to work with, mildly spiced and sweet.

From the original recipe by Hannah Widdifield

In: Widdifield’s New Cook Book: Practical Receipts for the Housewife”, 1856—USA

Ingredients:

1-1/4 lbs AP flour

1/2  lb. dark brown sugar

1/4  lb butter

1/2 tbsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 yolk

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tbsp baking soda

Icing:

1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar

lemon juice as needed

1 egg white as needed

Sift flour, spices, and sugar. In a mixer, on low speed, mix butter with flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add yolk and mix briefly. Dissolve baking soda in milk and add to mixer bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead the mixture on low speed for 5-7 minutes, until the dough forms and is smooth and supple. Let the dough rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300F.  Take about 1/4 of the dough and knead it briefly by hand, then roll it rather thin and cut the cookies. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet (preferably insulated) and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a rack—they will be soft and crumbly while hot but will turn crunchy as soon as the cool.

Make the icing by mixing powdered sugar with a few drops of lemon juice and a bit of egg white, just enough to have a stiff paste that can be piped, and decorate the cookies.


Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Holidays, Spices | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Announcing Sugar High Fridays #50: Rolled Cakes

Posted by bakinghistory on December 10, 2008

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I am delighted and proud to be the host of the 50th edition of Sugar High Fridays , the wonderful blog event created by Jennifer of  The Domestic Goddess, which celebrates sweets in all their glorious variety. As a theme, I propose Rolled Cakes, those old-fashioned desserts that are also known as  jelly rolls, Swiss rolls or roulades. They are usually made with sponge or Genoise cake baked in a rectangular pan (the jelly roll pan, of course) and filled with jam or cream.

For this edition of SHF I hope to gather as many variations on this basic type of cakes as possible, from the simplest to the most elaborate. You can use any type of batter such  as genoise, meringue, chocolate sponge, etc. etc., and fillings, icings, and decorations as you like, and any size from regular to miniature. Use classic recipes or make up new creations—possibilities are virtually endless.

To participate, please:

*Post a recipe of rolled cake by December 22, 2008 and include in your post a link to this page and to Jennifer’s blog. You can also include the logoshfrolledcakeslogo

*Send me an email at bkhst AT yahoo DOT com including:

>your name

>your blog name and URL

>name of your recipe and permanent link

>a very brief description of your cake

>your  location

>the language in which your post is written

> a picture of your cake (200 width)

If you do not have a blog and still wish to participate send me an email including all the above info (minus blog name and URL  :-) )and I will include it in the roundup.

The roundup will be posted on December 26th, 2008

I look forward to many many gorgeous rolled cakes and I thank Jennifer for the opportunity to host!

Posted in Blog Events | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Think Spice… …Think Anise—Roundup

Posted by bakinghistory on December 8, 2008

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I am finally able to post the roundup of Think Spice… …Think Anise Think Spice… is a monthly blog event dedicated to spices founded by Sunita of Sunita’s World and hosted here for the month of November. Participants submitted wonderful recipes that truly highlight the versatility of this tasty spice, in both sweet and savory dishes, from vegetables to bread to cookies and even candy.  Thank you all for participating  with wonderful contributions!

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-Sra of  When My Soup Came Alive made a yummy vegetarian dish: Mixed Vegetable Curry , in which anise is included in the spice mixture

-Location: India

-Language: English

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-Simona of  Briciole baked a wonderful  Rocciata, a traditional filled sweet bread from Umbria, Italy.

-Location: California

-Language: English

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-Sweatha of TastyCurryLeaf baked a batch of tasty Bizcochitos, traditional Christmas cookies from New Mexico

-Location: New Jersey

-Language: English

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-Ivy of Kopiaste…to Greek Hospitality used anise in bread: delicious  No-Knead Anise and Sultana Whole-Wheat Rolls

-Location: Athens, Greece

-Language: English

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-Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen baked some very pretty Eggless Anise Pretzels

-Location: Goa, India

-Language: English

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-Judy of  Judy’s Gross Eats baked buttery refrigerator cookies: Rich Anise Cookies

-Location: California

-Language: English

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-Carolyn of 18thC Cuisine made some amazing medieval candy: Anise Comfits

-Location: the shores of Lake Huron

-Language: English

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-My own entry were some  traditional Italian Anise Biscotti

-Location: Massachusetts

-Language: English

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The copyright of each photo belongs to the respective author


Posted in Blog Events | 11 Comments »

Green Pea Flour Bread (bbd #14)

Posted by bakinghistory on November 30, 2008

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Pea flour gives the crumb of this bread a delicate green tinge

ROUNDUP IS HERE

breadbakingday #14 - colored breads

This is my entry for bbd#14—a monthly event initiated by Zorra—hosted this time by Boaz at Grain Power whose theme is Colored Breads. I actually did not expect the final color of this bread would be this intensely green, and it was a pleasant surprise that even if baking had turned the crust a nice golden shade the crumb had still retained the green tones of the raw pea flour I used. The recipe is based on one published in 1919 which suggested several possibilities from pea to garbanzo to peanut flour. The bread tastes good, slightly reminiscent of the aroma of pea soup—not that surprising, actually—and even if unusual it is definitely pleasant. The texture of the crumb is soft and tight, so this bread works well for sandwiches or toasted to make croutons to serve with soups.

It is important to rely on how the dough “feels” to determine the right amount of water to use, since the rate at which the pea flour absorbs water can vary. You want a rather slack dough to avoid ending with a heavy and dry loaf. I found what to me seems the best way to make sure that the dough has the right amount of hydration, by adapting a method to treat garbanzo flour as it is used in the Italian region of Liguria to make farinata. The pea flour was mixed with water and let to rest overnight before adding it to the bread dough, and this made all the difference.

From the original recipe by: United States Dept. of Agriculture

In: “Farmers’ Bulletin”, 1919—USA

Ingredients

1 cup milk (or as needed), scalded and set aside until lukewarm

1-1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp maple

1 cup pea flour (160g) + 1/2 cup water (Green pea flour is made by Bob’s Red Mill)

3 cups bread flour (375g ) (King Arthur)

1/2 tbsp yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water

1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water to glaze

Mix the pea flour and 1/2 cup of water and let stand, covered, overnight. Then eliminate any foam that might have formed while the pea flour was soaking, and place the mixture in the bow of an electric mixer. Add the yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp water, the maple syrup and cooled milk and 1 cup of bread flour. Mix well at low speed and set aside, covered, until doubled in bulk. Add remaining flour, salt and enough extra milk or water to have a slack but well developed dough, mixing at slow speed until the dough holds together and is smooth and supple. Let rest and ferment, covered, until doubled in bulk, then shape into a loaf and let it ferment again until light. Brush with the egg white mixture and slash, then bake in a preheated 400F oven for about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Peanut Butter Quick Bread (My Legume Love Affair—Fifth Helping)

Posted by bakinghistory on November 30, 2008

peanut-quick-breadA tasty quick bread made with peanut butter

legume-love-affairThis is my entry for the fifth edition of My Legume Love Affair, an event founded by Susan at the Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Simona of Briciole. Peanuts are definitely among my favorite legumes, both in sweet and savory dishes.

Roundup is HERE

This quick bread is made with a good amount of smooth, all-natural peanut butter, which provides a lovely taste as well as a smooth and velvety crumb as well as nutrition. It is good to have with a steaming cup of dark and thick hot chocolate, or to make wonderful jelly sandwiches.

The same batter can be used to make muffins as well.

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From the original recipe by the Twentieth Century Club of Pittsburgh

In: Twentieth Century Club War Time Cook Book, 1918—USA

Ingredients

1 cup flour  (125 g)

1/2 cup peanut butter mixed with 3/4 cup whole cup milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/3  cup sugar (56 g)

1 teaspoon shortening (for the pan)

Beat sugar and egg until light, then add peanut butter well mixed with milk, finally the flour sifted with salt and baking powder. Mix well then pour batter in a greased 8 x 4-inch bread pan (or medium size muffin pan).

Bake the bread in a preheated oven (350F),  for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Bake muffins 12 to 15 minutes. “

Posted in Legumes, Quick Breads, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Anise Biscotti (Pan d’Anice) Think Spice… Think Anise

Posted by bakinghistory on November 26, 2008

anise-biscotti-2Delicious and crunchy anise biscotti

anise5logo3As the host of Think Spice… –a monthly event founded by Sunita–for the month of November I chose Anise, and this was the best opportunity to finally feature these wonderful biscotti. Once toasted they turn incredibly crunchy and light, with an intense flavor of anise provided by both anise extract and aniseed. They are also very thin and great to have with tea.The recipe comes from an old Italian professional pastry making manual; it is very simple, without baking powder or any type of fats, just eggs, flour, sugar and anise. I scaled down the original formula which called for over 3 lbs. flour so that it could be easily baked in a home oven—however they are so good it is a pity not to be able to make the full amount.

From the original recipe by Giuseppe Ciocca
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In: “Il Pasticcere e Confettiere Moderno”, 1907—Italy
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Ingredients
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1-1/4 cup, scant, (150 g) AP flour, unbleached
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
5.30 oz (150 g)  eggs weighed without the shell (about large eggs)
1 large yolk
1 tsp pure anise extract
1 tbsp aniseed
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Preheat oven to 325F (170C), line a rectangular 6×10-inch baking pan  (or one of equivalent volume) with aluminum foil and slightly grease bottom and sides.
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Place some hot water in a bowl and in it put another small bowl containing the eggs (keep the yolk aside for now). Start beating the eggs at high speed and add the sugar little by little. Beat at high speed until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is very light and lukewarm to the touch. Keep beating until the mixture cools and then add the yolk, and finally the anise extract.
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Finally add the flour little by little letting it fall into the egg mixture through a strainer. Once all the flour has been incorporated with a spatula mix in the aniseed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and springing back when pressed with a fingertip.
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Let the cake cool 5 minutes in the pan, and meanwhile lower the oven temperature to 200F. Slice the cake starting at one of the narrow ends, use a good serrated knife to make thin slices (scant 1/4-inch, 0.5 cm), place them on a cookie sheet and let them dry in the oven until crunchy. Make sure the oven temperature is not above 200F, or the cookies will burn at the edges before they are dried through. Let cool on a rack and store airtight.
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P.S. The Roundup of this event will be posted soon

Posted in Blog Events, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Italian Cuisine, Italy, Spices | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Miss Diether’s Chocolate Brownies

Posted by bakinghistory on November 9, 2008

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Chewy brownie drops made with barley flour, spiced with cinnamon, and full of crunchy toasted almond bits

A very interesting version of brownies, shaped like drop cookies, and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of almond extract. They also contain 50% of barley flour, which contributes great flavor and a velvety texture. Toasted almonds provide a wonderful crunch and are very well paired with chocolate. All in all, a variation on classic brownies really worth trying.

From the original recipe by Miss Diether (Boston Cooking School)

In: “American Cookery”, 1917—USA

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup (113 g) butter

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 squares (56 g) unsweetened baking chocolate

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (65 g) AP flour

1/2 cup (75 g)  whole-grain barley flour (stone-ground)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp pure almond extract

1 cup (145 g) blanched almonds

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Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), place the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast them until they are a reddish-brown color. Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.

Melt the chocolate and set aside.

In a large bowl cream the butter and add the sugar little by little—the mixture does not need to be fluffy. Add the eggs and the melted chocolate, mixing well. Finally mix in the almond and vanilla extract.

Sift together the two flours and the ground cinnamon, then add to the chocolate mixture, stirring gently just until incorporated. Finally stir in the chopped almonds.

Place the mixture for 15 minutes to chill in the refrigerator, and meanwhile lightly grease 2 cookie sheets (preferably insulated).

Shape the brownie drops by rounded teaspoons and bake in a preheated oven (325°F—160°C)  for about 10 minutes.

Let the brownies cool on the baking sheet—they are too fragile to remove while warm.

P.S. I have recreated the original recipe as it was written, so I made the brownies as drop cookies. However, they can be baked in an 8×8-inch square pan (better lined with aluminum foil and then lightly greased) and then cut into bars.

Posted in American Cooking, Chocolate, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Spices, Treenuts, whole grains | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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