Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Prune and Walnut Whole-Wheat Loaf

Posted by bakinghistory on September 8, 2008

A sweet whole wheat bread full of prunes and walnuts

This is my entry for this month edition of Weekend Breakfast Blogging, a blog event started by Nandita of Saffron Trail and hosted this time by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. The theme proposed by Aparna is “Grains in my Breakfast”.

HERE IS THE ROUNDUP

This simple whole-wheat bread is one of my favorites to have for breakfast, usually lightly spread with very fresh cream cheese and paired with a cup of strong black tea.

The liquid for this dough is provided by the water in which prunes are briefly simmered to soften, which provide flavor and just the right sweetness, counterbalanced by the slightly bitter aftertaste of the walnuts and the full  flavor of whole wheat.

Other dried fruits can be used instead of prunes, and in my opinion dried tart cherries work amazingly well—however, my favorite remains the one made with prunes, as in the original recipe.

This bread also goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting

From the original recipe by Carolyn Putnam Webber

In: “Two Hundred and Seventy-five War-time Recipes, 1918—USA

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried prunes (I used unsulfured, organic prunes)

1 cup water

1/4 cup (organic) sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup walnut pieces

2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour (or as needed)

1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water.

Briefly simmer the prunes in 1 cup of water, just until tender—they should not be mushy. Strain the prunes and reserve the cooking liquid (add extra water to make 1 cup). Cut the prunes in quarters, then set aside.

Add the sugar and salt to the cooking liquid, mix well and set aside until lukewarm

Place 2 cups of the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast and then the cooled cooking liquid. Mix on low speed until a dough forms, and towards the end add the butter cut in small pieces. The dough should be well developed and supple, but not too stiff. Add the remaining flour as necessary.

Let the dough ferment, covered, until doubled in bulk. Knead briefly again, let ferment once more in a covered bowl until doubled in bulk. Gently flatten and stretch the fermented dough to form a rectangle, then spread the walnut and prune pieces, pressing them into the dough. Roll up like a jelly-roll, pushing to avoid trapping air inside. Form into a loaf and place into a lightly greased  8 x 4-inches bread pan and let it ferment covered until the dough reaches about 1/2-inch above the rim of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven (350F) for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Unmold the bread and let it cool on a rack before slicing.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Eggless, Fruit, Tea, Treenuts, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Barley Bread (bbd # 13)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 28, 2008

A tasty bread made with barley flour and a touch of maple syrup

bbd #13  ROUNDUP HERE

Jude of Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté is the host of bread baking day#13 (a monthly bread baking event initiated by Zorra) and proposed whole grains as a theme.  Among the many recipes I had bookmarked I finally chose this one because it is made with a good amount of stone ground barley flour.  Barley bread has a very long history—it is for instance often cited in the Bible. In the Book of Judges Gideon hears of a man’s dream in which a cake of barley bread went rolling down from the hill where Gideon’s army was stationed, and tumbling into the host of Midian.

Barley was grown and used for bread in many places and cultures since ancient times, including Greece and Rome, Egypt, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Mesopotamia, and East Asia. Bread made with it was usually coarse and dark and as a consequence not very appreciated,  although more affordable than bread made with wheat.

This recipe calls for 50% barley and whole-wheat, and it also contains mashed potatoes and a small amount of butter and maple syrup. The result is a hearty but very tender loaf, with a  thin, crispy crust and a moist crumb. The flavor of barley shines through and the subtle sweetness of maple can be detected as well.

It is perfect to accompany a thick vegetable soup, with sharp cheeses, or just simple and unadorned, to enjoy its hearty flavor.

This bread also goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting

From the original recipe by Amelia Doddridge

In: “Liberty Recipes”, 1918—USA

Ingredients

3/4 cup (160 g) mashed potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold)

1 tbsp (15 ml) pure maple syrup (Grade B)

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tsp (5 g) unsalted butter

1 cup (120 g) whole-grain, stone-ground barley flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1-1/4 cup (150 g) white whole-wheat flour (King Arthur’s)

1 tsp (5 g)  fine sea salt

1-1/4 tsp (5 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water

fine semolina for the pan

Peel the potatoes, rinse them well and dice them. Boil the potato pieces in the milk until tender, then drain them reserving the milk. Mash the potatoes through a  ricer than mix in the salt, maple syrup, and butter. Add 1/2 cup of the hot reserved milk (add water to make up the measure if necessary) and set aside to cool.

Once the potato mixture is lukewarm add the yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp of warm water.

Let the mixture cool completely. Then add the flours (sifted together) and knead on low speed until the dough is well developed and just barely tacky. If the potatoes are kneaded with the flours while still warm they will turn gooey and require extra flour which will make the final result heavy.

Let the dough ferment in a covered and lightly greased bowl until doubled, then knead again briefly and let ferment again until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

Prepare an 8 x 4-inches bread pan or a small cast iron Dutch oven: lightly grease bottom and sides of the pan and sprinkle generously with fine semolina. Once the dough is ready knead it again then place it in the prepared pan or pot. Cover and let ferment until light then sprinkle with about 2 tbsp of water and score the surface.

Place it in the oven and bake, covered, for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F (180°C), uncover and finish baking until golden, about 25 minutes more.

Carefully lift the loaf out of the pan or pot with a thin metal spatula (if enough semolina was used this should be easy) and let it cool on a rack.

This is how the crumb should look:

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, Eggless, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Bean Bread

Posted by bakinghistory on August 23, 2008

A pleasant bread with a thin, crispy crust and a tender, moist crumb

This is my entry for My Legume Love Affair-Second Helping hosted  by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook

ROUNDUP IS HERE

and for

Yeast Spotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.

In the vintage cookbooks that I have read I have found that beans are used in bread in two forms: cooked and mashed or as flour. The addition of either was done at times for health reasons (improving the bread nutritional value) and at times for economy.

I recreated the recipe for this bread from one suggested by Eliza Acton in her influential “The English Bread-book: for domestic use”.  Miss Acton’s instructions were brief and I added a few details myself.  The recipe required “French-beans” which here are usually called navy beans.

I included a little butter and used 50% bread flour and 50% whole wheat flour, to approximate wheatmeal, which was originally called for in the recipe. I did not add any sweetener, but a little brown sugar or honey might be added to taste. I baked the bread in a covered cast iron Dutch oven.

The bread develops a thin, very crispy crust and a fine, moist crumb. The beans do not add much in terms of flavor but provide the moisture for the velvety crumb.

From the original recipe by Eliza Acton

In: “The English Bread-book: For domestic use”, 1857—UK

Ingredients:

For the overnight sponge:

1/8 tsp active dry yeast

250 g (2 cups) white whole wheat flour

150 g warm water

For the dough

1/2 lb cooked navy beans, pureed

250 g (1-3/4 cups) bread flour

2 tbsp brown sugar or honey (optional)

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and thinly sliced

9 g fine sea salt

1 tsp active dry yeast

130 g warm water—or as needed

Make the sponge: stir the yeast in the warm water then add the flour and knead briefly until smooth. Shape into a ball place it in a covered glass container and let the sponge ferment overnight in a cool place (12-14 hours).

Make the dough: stir the yeast in half the amount of water, (the sugar or honey if you want) then mix in the pureed beans and finally the sponge cut into small pieces. Mix at low speed for a minute or two, then add the flour and salt and enough of the remaining water to have a dough that is soft and supple. More water or flour might be necessary. Knead at low speed until the gluten is well developed (about 10-15 minutes), and towards the end add the butter, kneading until well incorporated.

Let the dough ferment until doubled in bulk, in a covered bowl. Briefly knead again and let the dough ferment once more until doubled.

Shape the bread and place it in a large cast iron Dutch oven (or clay pot) that you have previously lightly greased and sprinkled with semolina). Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and once the bread is light score it, sprinkle with water and place the pot (covered) in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes then uncover the pot (carefully!) and let the bread finish baking until golden brown.

Carefully take the pot out of the oven and lift the loaf out —it should be easy, especially if you used a cast iron pot, the bread won’t stick.

Let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Posted in Beans, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Junket (Got Milk?)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 6, 2008

A delicate jelly-like milk dessert flavored with almond

A delicate jelly-like milk dessert

This is my entry for the blog event Got Milk? hosted by Linda from Make Life Sweeter! for world breastfeeding week.

ROUNDUP IS HERE

Junket is an old-fashioned dessert made very simply by curdling fresh milk with rennet and adding a bit of sugar and flavoring—in most of the earliest recipes a little wine (sack) is added as well.

It is very easy to make and  a very pleasant, delicate and refreshing dessert that is also ready in almost no time and with very little work involved.

I used a kosher vegetarian rennet but liquid rennet or regular animal rennet tablets can be used, following manufacturer’s directions.

It can be flavored with vanilla, lemon oil, caramel, cocoa, coffee, fruit juice, cinnamon…possibilities are almost endless. My personal favorite is almond extract. It is also nice to pair it with fresh fruit such as berries.

From the original recipe by Frances Elizabeth Stewart

In: “Lessons in Cookery”, 1919—USA

Ingredients

1 quart fresh whole milk

1 junket tablet

1 tbsp cold water

2-8 tbsp sugar (I used 8 )

1-2 tsp vanilla extract (or to taste) or any other flavoring

dash of salt

Heat the milk in a double boiler (or in the microwave) just until lukewarm (96.8 F—37C)—not higher than that or the milk won’t set.

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the milk and add the flavoring of your choice. Dissolve the rennet in cold water.

Get ready 6-8 stemmed glasses. Mix the rennet water into the milk stirring very gently and very briefly and immediately pour the milk into the prepared glasses. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap and let the milk set in a warm place. It is important not to stir, move or otherwise disturb the milk while it is setting, or the curds will separate from the whey, ruining the final result.

As soon as the milk is set (it will have the consistency of a soft jelly) place the glasses in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly. Serve immediately—if the junket is left to stand it will become curdled and separate from the whey.

Once ready it can be sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg and/or sugar.

the recipe can be halved.

Note: Junket tablets or liquid rennet (regular or vegetarian) are sold in most supermarkets, health food stores, and cheesemaking supply stores.

Posted in Blog Events, Dairy, Desserts, Eggless, Milk, Puddings | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

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 »

Jumbles (Think Spice…Think Nutmeg)

Posted by bakinghistory on July 25, 2008

Ring-shaped cookies nicely spiced with nutmeg

Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen is the host of  Think Spice… , a monthly blog event initiated by Sunita of Sunita’s World. This time the theme is Nutmeg—a spice that brings a wonderful, warm aroma to savory and sweet dishes alike.

ROUNDUP IS HERE

Jumbles—also spelled Jumbals—are ring-shaped cookies that date back to Colonial times and were  much more popular in the 1800s than they are today.

These cookies were usually flavored with lemon zest and rose water, and often included coconut and/or treenuts. Virtually any early American cookbook contains several recipes for Jumbles, and often call for sour cream  among the ingredients, as in the case of the recipe featured here. This produces a wonderful texture, dry and crunchy and yet very very light. The pleasant aroma of nutmeg truly shines through thanks to the low amount of sugar and butter which would otherwise overpower it. They are nice with tea or a glass of milk.

The shape of these cookies evolved in time: the earliest versions were shaped by rolling small quantities of dough between the palms of hands and forming small rings—this is the method I used here. Later the dough was rolled and cut with a donut cutter, which quickly provided  ring-shaped cookies of a uniform size and thickness. The most recent versions were simply shaped as drop cookies.

My personal preference is for the earliest method for shaping the cookies. The final result are cookies that look plain and homey, and with slight imperfections and differences in size. I like the fact that one can tell they were hand-shaped.

The dough produced by this recipe is soft and smooth, and extremely easy to work with. The baked cookies have a wonderful texture and are great for dunking.

The original instructions called for “enough flour” to form the cookies. My rule-of-thumb—and preference—is to use an amount of flour that is equal to twice as much the amount of sugar. In this case almost 2 lbs of unbleached, all purpose flour.

The brand of flour I use is King Arthur, which is a little higher in protein than other all purpose brands. If you use another brand you might need a little more flour, but don’t be tempted to use too much, or the cookies will turn out heavy and hard like rocks.

Using a proportion of 1:2 for sugar and flour produces cookies that are crunchy, keep their shape and are not too sweet. If you prefer you can add a little more sugar, keeping in mind that it makes the shape less neat and the cookies brown faster.

From the original recipe by Mrs. M.D. Carrington  (a lady of Toledo)

In:“The Home Cook Book: Tried and True Recipes” , 1876—USA

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, slightly softened

1 cup (all natural) sour cream (240 g)

3 eggs (medium)

1-1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (or less, to taste, but not more than 1-1/2 tsp)

1 tsp baking soda

2 lbs AP flour (King Arthur)

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Cream the butter at medium speed, gradually add the sugar and mix well. Add the sour cream and then the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the baking soda.

Sift the flour with the grated nutmeg, and add to the egg mixture, mixing at the lowest speed just until a soft dough forms. Gather the dough in wax paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Break off small pieces of dough and roll them between the palms of your hands to form little ropes about the thickness of a pencil. Shape rings, more or less large in diameter and bake for 12-15 minutes until dry and crunchy.

It is important not to underbake these cookies—they have to be crunchy and dry, which is why a longer baking time at a lower temperature is necessary.  Insulated cookie baking sheets are ideal.

It is not necessary to grease the baking sheets, and once ready the cookies don’t stick and are extremely easy to transfer to cooling racks. Keep in air-tight containers once completely cold.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, Regional American Food, Spices | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Malt Honey Ice Cream

Posted by bakinghistory on July 14, 2008

An unusual and delicious ice cream made with malt syrup

This is my entry for the Ice Cream, You Scream blogging event hosted by Nik from Nik Snacks to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month.

ROUNDUP is HERE

The recipe I used comes from a cookbook that collects the recipes used at the famous Battle Creek Sanitarium where Dr. J.H. Kellogg once applied his theories on healthy life-style, which emphasized a diet rich in whole grains and low in protein and fats.

Malt honey, aka malt syrup, is the only sweetener and main flavoring ingredient in this very simple ice cream. It is amazing that such an easy, quick recipe can produce such outstanding results. This ice cream is simply wonderful, not too sweet and with a pleasant, slightly bitter aftertaste—great on its own or paired with other flavors such as chocolate or vanilla. Chocolate syrup also makes a great topping that perfectly complements its deep malty flavor.

You can serve it by the scoop in glasses or cones, or use it to fill ice cream pops molds. Once the pops are ready, simply unmold them and quickly dip them in melted bittersweet chocolate.

From the original recipe by Lenna Frances Cooper

In: “The New Cookery: A Book of Recipes Most of Which are in Use at the Battle Creek Sanitarium”, 1913—USA

Ingredients

1 pint cream (all natural)

1 cup malt honey (barley malt syrup)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Warm slightly the malt syrup and mix with the cream (the microwave works fine for this). Mix well until the syrup is well amalgamated with the cream, then add the vanilla. Place the mixture in the refrigerator in a covered glass container until well chilled. Freeze in an ice cream maker.

Note: Half-and-half works as well as heavy cream.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Gelato, Ice Creams, Sherbets, & Ices | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Savoy Cake (Gâteau de Savoie)

Posted by bakinghistory on July 13, 2008

A tender sponge cake ideal to serve with tea, preserves or custard

An old-fashioned cake—it dates back to the time of Louis XIV— that is always pleasant to have. Its texture is spongy and light, yet sturdy enough to spread with jam, or to line a mold to make a trifle. It does not contain any milk , butter, or leavening—it’s important to beat the batter well so that it can incorporate enough air for the cake to have a tender crumb.

From the original recipe by Sara Van Buren

In: “Good-living: A Practical Cookery-book for Town and Country”, 1890—USA

Ingredients:

1 cup (4 oz—113 g) unsifted powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar) + extra to sprinkle on the cake

1/4 cup  + 2 tbsp (1-1/2 oz—42 g) AP flour (sifted) + extra for the cake pan

scant 1/4 cup (1 oz—28 g)  cornstarch

3 large eggs, divided

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or to taste)

vegetable oil to grease the pan

Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)

Sift together flour and cornstarch.

Beat the yolks at high speed until very light and pale yellow, add the vanilla and then the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, sifting it through a fine strainer. Beat until light.

Add the flour-cornstarch mixture, sifting it through a fine strainer,  mixing by hand or at the lowest speed, and only until just incorporated.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but still moist (do not overbeat).

Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the yolks and flours mixture, folding them in until well mixed.

Add the remaining egg whites, folding them in gently so that they do not deflate. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, place in the oven, and immediately lower the temperature to 325°F (160°C).

Bake for 40-45 minutes, and do not open the oven door before 40 minutes have passed or the cake will fall.

A cake tester will come out dry and clean once the cake is ready, and the cake will shrink slightly from the sides of the pan.

Place the mold on a rack for five minutes, then delicately unmold the cake and let it cool on a rack.

Once the cake is completely cold sift confectioners’ sugar on top and sides

Posted in Cakes, Dairy-Free, Pareve, Tea | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Graham Bread

Posted by bakinghistory on July 5, 2008

Made with Graham flour, this bread has fiber and a wonderful taste and texture

Graham flour was created by Sylvester Graham, who preached the importance of a wholesome, healthy diet at a time when flour and baked goods were usually tainted by additives.

Today is actually Reverend Graham’s birthday: my friend Louise from Months of Edible Celebrations and I are marking this together. Head over to her wonderful blog to read about the interesting life and times of Sylvester Graham.

Most recipes in the old cookbooks call for molasses among the ingredients for this bread, but I used one that called for sugar instead, and the final result is a wonderful bread—slightly sweet, moist, with a nice soft crust and crumb, and the nutty flavor of whole grain. It also stays fresh a long time, and makes some of the best PB&J sandwiches.

From the original recipe by Maria Parloa

In: “Miss Parloa’s New Cookbook: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking”, 1882—USA

Ingredients

2 cups water or milk, warm (I used one cup of each)

2 cups of bread four (I used King Arthur brand)

2 generous cups Graham flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1/2 cup sugar (I used organic granulated sugar)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dry active yeast

If using milk, scald it then set aside to cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, milk, or a mixture of both, and set aside for about 5 minutes.

Mix in the bread flour (the mixture will be soupy), and set aside, covered, to ferment overnight in a cool place (about 60°F).

In the morning add the Graham flour, salt and sugar and beat at medium high speed until gluten forms. The dough is very soft, and cannot be kneaded by hand, unless you use a dough scraper.

Depending on the weather and other factors, more or less Graham flour will be necessary. This time it took almost 2-1/2 cups to have a rather slack dough. It is important to beat it in the mixer with a paddle attachment long enough to develop the gluten (about 10 minutes). Adding too much flour will make the bread heavy and crumbly.

Line with heavy duty aluminum foil one 9.1 x 5.4 inch (13.6 x 23.2 cm) loaf pan and grease very generously.

This bread has a tendency to stick firmly to the pan, and using the aluminum foil will make unmolding the bread so much easier.

As soon as the dough is ready and starts to clean the sides of the mixer bowl pour it into the prepared pan and let rise, covered, until it reaches about 1 inch above the pan sides. Spray with water and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake an additional 20-25 minutes.

Take out of the pan and let the bread cool on  a rack. Do not cut the bread until perfectly cold. It can be kept wrapped in aluminum foil for 4-5 days.

See other great baked goods on Susan’s roundup of this week Yeast Spotting

Posted in American Cooking, Eggless, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Madeleines

Posted by bakinghistory on June 30, 2008

Traditional French teacakes baked in shell-shaped moulds

Madeleines are delicate teacakes with a velvety texture and an unmistakable shape. They originate from the town of Commercy, France, and they have been immortalized in Proust‘s “Remembrance of Things Past”.

Later versions call for baking powder in the ingredients, while the old recipe I used here does not, relying only on the air incorporated in the batter and a high baking temperature to ensure the characteristic hump on the cakes top—true sign of a well-made madeleine.

They are traditionally flavored with lemon zest and vanilla which pair well with the buttery texture, but almond extract is another well suited flavoring—and my personal favorite.

From the original recipe by Sara Van Buren Brugière

In: “Good-living. A Practical Cookery-Book for Town and Country”, 1890—USA

Ingredients

1/2 lb (scant 2 cups—227 g) powdered sugar

grated rind of 1 (organic) lemon

1/2 lb (2 sticks—227 g) slightly softened + extra to grease the pans

1/2 lb (2 scant cups—227 g) AP flour

4 eggs

1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Generously grease the Madeleine pans with melted butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

Cream the butter and add gradually the sugar through a strainer, still beating at high speed and taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula once in awhile.

Add the eggs but keep 1 egg white aside. Beat at high speed until the mixture is light and frothy, adding the zest and vanilla as well. Add the flour through a strainer and mix it in by hand with a wooden spoon just until incorporated.

Beat the remaining egg white until stiff peaks form, then add it delicately to the flour batter, folding it in and making sure not to deflate it.

Fill the moulds 1/2 full with the batter and bake for 10 minutes. Do not open the oven before 10 minutes are past, to check if the cakes are done a tooth pick should come out clean and dry.

They can be kept in an airtight container but they are best eaten fresh. The recipe can be halved.


Posted in Cakes, Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti, French cuisine, Tea | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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