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Archive for the ‘Grains’ Category

Corn Flour Rolls (bbd #12: Small Breads)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 1, 2008

Soft dinner rolls made with corn flour and flavored with lemon zest

Roundup part 1Roundup part 2

breadbakingday #12 Bread Baking Day is a monthly blog event initiated by Zorra and hosted this time by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen.This month’s theme is “small breads”.

These corn flour rolls are soft and light, slightly sweet and wonderfully flavored by a good amount of lemon zest and a touch of butter which combine perfectly with the taste of corn.  Corn flour is finer than cornmeal and provides a nice chewiness without making the texture gritty.

The recipe comes from an American collection of recipes published in 1918 and meant to provide people with ways to conserve precious resources such as wheat flour and sugar. Despite the economy of ingredients these rolls truly taste rich and wholesome, and are well worth trying.

From the original recipe by Amelia Doddridge

In: “Liberty Recipes”, 1918—USA

Ingredients

1/2 cup scalded  milk

1 egg, well beaten

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

zest of 1 (organic) lemon

1/2 cup (60 g)  corn flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water

3/4 cup to 1-1/2  (105g to 210 g) cups bread flour (or as needed) (I used King Arthur bread flour)

Pour the scalded milk over the sugar and salt, mix well and set aside to cool. Once the milk mixture is lukewarm add 3/4 cup of bread flour and the dissolved yeast. Mix vigorously and let the sponge ferment,covered, until doubled.

When the sponge is light add the melted butter, egg, grated lemon rind and corn flour. Mix well at low speed then add just enough bread flour to make a dough that is very soft but well developed and just slightly tacky.  Do not add too much flour or the rolls will turn out dry and heavy.

Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough to rise, covered, until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Gently transfer the risen dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide it in 12 equal pieces. Shape each into small round rolls (the dough is too soft to keep well any other shape more complex than rounds or ovals). Place each roll onto a rimless baking sheet and lightly brush with milk.

Let the rolls rise, covered, until doubled. Brush again with milk then with sharp kitchen scissors cut a decorative pattern on each roll.

Bake for about 20 minutes until nice and golden.

These rolls are great to eat either warm or cold. They can also be split and toasted to have with jam or marmalade, and can be frozen once cooled.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Grains, Rolls, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Yellow Cornflour Cakes (LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow 2008)

Posted by bakinghistory on March 6, 2008

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Buttery tea cakes with a sunny yellow color and a sandy texture
yellow_logo_3.jpg This is my entry for the blog event A Taste of Yellow supporting LiveSTRONG Day and hosted by Winosandfooodies.
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The Lance Armstrong Foundation works to promote awareness and provide support to cancer patients fighting against this illness. This year LiveSTRONG Day is scheduled for May 13.
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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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2-3/4 cups (325 g) whole-grain yellow cornflour (cornmeal is too gritty)
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1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (75 g) sugar
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2 sticks (225 g) butter, room temperature
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3 hard-boiled yolks
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grated zest of 1 (organic) lemon
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
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Cream the butter at high speed until fluffy, then add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time beating well after each addition. Add the grated zest and the crumbled hard-boiled eggs and beat until well incorporated and creamy.
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Mix in the flour to make a very soft dough. Form the cookies on a cookie sheet using a pastry bag fitted with a large star-shaped tip.
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Place the cookie sheet with the formed cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to chill them so that they retain their shape better during baking.
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Bake for about 10 minutes.
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Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, they are extremely fragile while hot and they will crumble if removed from the pans while warm. Once the cookies are completely cool, remove then gently with a thin spatula and store them in an airtight container.
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Posted in Blog Events, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Flourless Cakes, Gluten-free, Grains, Italian Cuisine, Italy, Sweetmeats, Tea, whole grains | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Cornmeal Muffins (Homegrown Gourmet #5)

Posted by bakinghistory on February 7, 2008

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Made with yellow corn meal and a touch of sugar, the corn muffin is the official muffin of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

                                roundup is HERE

This is my entry for the Homegrown Gourmet #5 blog event hosted this time by Gretchen from Canela & Comino and initiated by Bean’s Bistro.

Gretchen’s theme was Quick Breads and she specified that each entry should “somehow represent your home region, hometown, state, or area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist”.

I write from the beautiful State of Massachusetts, so for this event my entry could only be Corn Muffins, which are the official muffin of the Commonwealth.

This recipe gives buttery, very light muffins, with a pleasant crunchiness provided by the stone ground cornmeal, and a nice touch of sweetness. Ideally, they should be baked in cast iron muffin pans, which should be heated in the oven before being filled with batter. This would ensure that the muffins turn out crispy on the outside and nice and spongy inside. Otherwise, regular muffin pans will work almost as well, of course without preheating.

From the original recipe by Lucia Gray Swett

In: “New England breakfast breads, luncheon and tea biscuits, 1891—USA

Ingredients (the recipe can be halved)

1/2 cup (115 g) butter + a little extra to grease the pans

1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar

4 eggs, divided

2 cups (245 g) yellow cornmeal (stone ground)

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups (250 g) AP flour (unbleached)

2-1/4 (535 ml) cups milk

3 tsp baking powder OR 1 tsp baking soda + 2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). If you are using cast iron muffin pans preheat them in the oven.

If you are using baking powder, sift it with the AP flour. If you are using baking soda and cream of tartar sift the cream of tartar with the AP flour and dissolve the baking soda in some of the milk. Sift the cornmeal with the salt.

Cream the butter with the sugar, add the yolks, the AP flour (sifted with either baking powder or cream of tartar), and part of the milk (not the amount in which you dissolved the baking soda, in case you used it). Add the cornmeal and salt, then add the remaining milk (the amount in which you dissolved the baking soda if using it). Mix the ingredients quickly, by hand. Finally fold in the egg whites, beaten until stiff.

Grease the muffin pans with melted butter (using a small brush is best). Do this carefully if you preheated the cast iron pans in the oven. Fill each muffin cup for about 2/3 and quickly place them in the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C) bake until the muffins are puffed and golden, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

P.S. The book recommended using cream of tartar + baking soda as they would give better results than baking powder, and I found this to be true.


 

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, Comfort Food, Corn Bread, Grains, Muffins & Biscuits, Regional American Food, State Foods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Indian Pound Cake

Posted by bakinghistory on August 15, 2007

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This is a lovely variation on traditional American pound cake, made entirely with very fine cornmeal–once called Indian meal. It has a delicate, velvety texture and the delicious flavor of butter, corn, and nutmeg.

From the original recipe by A Lady of Philadelphia (Eliza Leslie)

In “Seventy-Five Receipts, for Pastry, Cakes, And Sweetmeats” 1828 –USA

Ingredients

8 eggs

the weight of 8 eggs in sugar (1 lb–454 g)

the weight of 6 eggs in very fine cornmeal (corn flour) (12.5 oz.–354 g) + a little extra for the pan

1/2 lb (2 sticks–227 g) butter

1 pinch salt

1 whole nutmeg or 1 tsp (2.3 g) ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). Generously butter a 5.4 x 9.1-inches loaf pan (13.6 x 23.2 cm), then sprinkle with corn flour, shaking off excess. Lining the pan with aluminum foil (buttered and floured as well) makes it easier to unmold the cake.

Grate the nutmeg, if using it, then mix it with the sugar. Pulverize the sugar mixed with nutmeg in a food processor or coffee grinder. If you use cinnamon instead mix it with the pulverized sugar at this point.

Cream the butter, then gradually add the powdered, flavored sugar to the creamed butter and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs two at a time alternating with the corn flour (to which you have added the salt). Add the corn flour to the butter mixture through a fine sifter. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula once in a while to mix everything properly. Beat the mixture on high speed until light and creamy, for at least 7 minutes.

Delicately pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour–a cake tester must come out clean. If the top browns too quickly, lightly cover with a piece of aluminum foil.

Let the cake cool in the pan placed on a rack for about 10 minutes, then take it out of the pan and let it finish cooling on the rack. It will be fragile while still hot.

The cake should be made 1 day ahead to be at its best. It stays moist and fresh for a few days if kept wrapped in aluminum foil, and its flavor improves.

Notes: It is important for achieving the right texture to use very fine corn flour, not fine corn meal, which is still too gritty. If you don’t find corn flour, you can process fine cornmeal in the food processor. Also pulverizing the granulated sugar is essential as well as it is sifting the flour while you add it to the batter.

The oven temperature must be no more than 325 °F (170° C), or the cake will develop a hard brown crust too soon and remain raw in the center.

Miss Leslie indicated only nutmeg and cinnamon as flavorings, but I also tried with anise, lemon zest and almond extract and all work well.

Posted in American Cooking, Cakes, Flourless Cakes, Gluten-free, Grains, Spices | 2 Comments »

Semolina Cake (Torta di semolino)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 4, 2007

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A classic Italian cake with a creamy texture and a nice flavor of almonds and lemon zest

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi

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

Ingredients

1 quart (1 liter) whole milk

3/4 cup (130 g) fine semolina

3/4 cup (130 g) sugar

3/4 cup (100 g) blanched almonds (whole)

1-1/2 tbsp (20 g) butter (unsalted)

4 eggs

grated zest of 1 (organic) lemon

1/8 tsp (.5 ml) pure almond extract (or to taste)

1 pinch of salt

Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on top

 

Grind the almonds with the sugar until very fine and set aside. If the almonds are not ground fine enough this will affect the texture of the cake, making it gritty rather than smooth.

Bring the milk to a boil with a pinch of salt and the lemon zest, then add the semolina little by little, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook the semolina for about 8 minutes, on low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Then add the almond-sugar mixture and cook for 1 minute more, finally add the butter and stir until well mixed. Take off the heat, mix in the almond extract and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F (180°C) and lightly oil a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan.

When the semolina mixture is lukewarm add the eggs (the eggs should be beaten and put through a fine strainer). Mix well until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Distribute the semolina mixture in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden on top.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. When cold unmold the cake and cut it into diamonds or squares. Sift confectioners’ sugar on top only when ready to serve, or it will make the cake soggy.

Refrigerate any remaining portions.

Posted in Cakes, Grains, Italian Cuisine, Italy | 13 Comments »

Raised Oatmeal Muffins

Posted by bakinghistory on August 1, 2007

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These muffins have a moist, spongy crumb, a touch of sweetness and the good flavor of oats. Great eaten warm as soon as they are out of the oven or split and toasted and spread with jam.

 

From the original recipe by Fannie M. Farmer
In “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” 1896–USA

These muffins should be baked in a gem pan, similar to a muffin pan but with shallow cups. Cast iron gem pans are still made, easy to find and not at all expensive. Earthenware or glass ramekins, muffin rings placed in a baking pan, or regular muffin pans will work as well.

Ingredients

3/4 cup (180 ml) milk, scalded

1/4 (50 g) cup sugar

1/2 tsp (3 g) salt

1/8 tsp (.5 g) active dry yeast

1/4 cup (60 ml) milk, lukewarm

2-1/2 cups (315 g) all purpose flour (unbleached)

1 cup cooked oatmeal, cold (I used 1/2 cup (80 g) steel cut Scottish-style oats (pinhead oats) cooked in 1-1/2 cups (355 ml) milk + 1/8 tsp (0.75 g) salt for about 20 minutes–you can use any type of oats you like as long as they are not instant. Cook them following directions given on the package)

Add sugar and salt to scalded milk and set aside to cool. Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm milk and set aside. Place the cooked oatmeal in a bowl and mix well with the flour. Add the milk and yeast mixture, and finally the milk mixed with sugar and salt. Beat the mixture throughly, then cover the bowl and let rise overnight. The following morning grease a muffin pan (or ramekins, muffin rings placed in a baking pan, or a cast iron gem pan) and fill each cup 2/3 full.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and leave the filled pan on the stove to warm up. The muffins batter will rise quickly: when the batter fills the cups to the top it is ready to bake. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

These muffins stay fresh for a long time thanks to both a slow fermentation and the cooked oatmeal. They also freeze well.

 

Posted in American Cooking, Cast-iron cooking, Grains, Muffins & Biscuits, Yeasted Breads | 2 Comments »

 
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