Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Archive for November, 2008

Green Pea Flour Bread (bbd #14)

Posted by bakinghistory on November 30, 2008

pea-bread-2

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.

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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.

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
In: “Il Pasticcere e Confettiere Moderno”, 1907—Italy
Ingredients
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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

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 »

Announcing Think Spice… …Think Anise

Posted by bakinghistory on November 1, 2008

I am delighted to host the November edition of Think Spice… , a monthly event founded by Sunita of Sunita’s World.  The theme of this month is Anise.

The tiny fruits of this graceful plant, which are commonly called seeds, have been used for centuries and have been mentioned in ancient herbals, as well as in texts on medicine, folklore, cookery, confectionery, perfumery, and witchcraft.

Pliny, in his treatise on natural history, mentions anise and states that the best was grown on the Greek Island of Crete. He also tells us that anise was used to substitute lovage in seasonings, as well as to alleviate headaches, soothe the stomach, clear the eyes, and treat colics and coughs. Pliny, as well as Pythagoras, also strongly recommended anise steeped in wine as a remedy against scorpions.  The ancient Romans also used it to flavor bridal cakes.

According to Democritus the humble anise was the best cure for melancholy.

In England, under King Edward I, anise was used to pay taxes; in early English herbals anise was also called Anny and Annyse.

In early Italian herbals anise was also indicated as helpful for nursing mothers.

Finally, in old astrology treatises anise was associated with the planet Mercury, and according to old plant-lore it protected the lungs.

Apparently, anise was also used to ward off evil, and kept in a small pouch under the pillow to avoid nightmares.

To participate in Think Spice… …Think Anise:

* Make a dish, baked good, or beverage in which anise is used. It can be a traditional recipe or a new creation, sweet or savory. Any information about lore and uses for anise that you are familiar with will be great to be included as well.

*Post your recipe by November 25, 2008. Include a link to this post and to Sunita’s blog. You can of course use the logo.

Send me an email at bkhstATyahooDOTcom

including:

>your name

>your blog name and URL

>name of your recipe and permanent link

>your language and location

> a picture of your dish (200 width)

I look forward to reading many great recipes that include this wonderful spice!!

Posted in Blog Events, Spices | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »