Friday, October 15, 2010

Pizza on the Grill, Garlic Studded Baguette, & Grissini (21st Bread Braid)

The baking agenda for this bread braid was a little less labor intensive than the previous one, which is good because I had a bad cold.  I did get to go to a King Arthur Flour Baking Demonstration just before I caught my cold though.  It was in Columbus OH and I persuaded my husband, mom and dad to go with me, which was good because my Dad won me a bag of KAF Organic AP flour.  Now I know what Frank and Elizabeth look like and even got to ask Elizabeth a baking question in person!!

The first task of this braid was to make pizza on the grill.  For my dough I used the Master Recipe from the HBin5 book.  The only changes I made was to add 2-3 tsp of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the other ingredients in the dough.

I chose to make two individual pizzas for dinner.  Individual sizes gives us more variety for dinner and the littler pizzas are easier to handle.  I rolled my dough on parchment paper and then this is what my husband uses to hold onto when he flips it onto the grill, paper side up.  He peels the paper off right away.  If I had a pizza peel, which I do want for Christmas, I would have tried flipping the dough onto the grill the way Alton Brown does in his "Flat is Beautiful" episode.  It looks so easy the way he does it, but I'll bet he's had lots of practice and his pizza probably doesn't always land so neat and centered on his grill grates.

My husband and I made a pepperoni pizza with black olives, diced red pepper & mozzarella cheese and a Hawaiian pizza with sliced green onions, ham, and pineapple tidbits.  For the sauce I just made an herbed pizza sauce , a standby sauce that I make alot, because I didn't have the time or ingredients to try another sauce.  It is a wonderfully simple, tasty sauce.


Next up was the garlic studded baguette.  My baguette was kind of small, but I did use the half pound recommended size piece of dough.  I was concerned that the garlic cloves would not be "spreadable" once the baguette was cooked so I thought it might help if I drizzled just a teeny bit of olive oil onto each piece of garlic.  The garlic still was not spreadable when the baguette was cooked.  My cloves also tried to pop out of the baguette when the loaf was cooking, so I reached in and pushed them back down into the bread with the handle of a knife.  Does anyone know what is required to get the cloves to be spreadable?

The Grissini were very easy to make.  I should've started out with my half sheet pan, but I didn't.  I used a pan that was too small and we had to make the grissini in two batches.  The first batch we brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh minced rosemary.  Then we cut with a pizza cutter.  The second batch we sprinkled with garlic powder, kosher salt and fresh grated parmesan since we'd run out of the fresh rosemary.

The grissini were very tasty and we gobbled them all up just before they started to cool off.  They went well with the Penne Sausage Bake we had for dinner.

Be sure and check out what everyone else did for this bread braid at Big Black Dogs.

Also, I just wanted share about the apple pie I made yesterday.  It's the one they made at the King Arthur Flour noon baking demonstration that I went to in Columbus.  If anyone likes to make apple pies and hasn't tried this recipe it is very worth it to try this one.  It has a very good filling!  Here's the link to their KAF Guaranteed Apple Pie.  Here's the pie I made:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Indian Spiced Doughnuts & Pear Tarte Tatin (20th Bread Braid)

I was a little nervous about using hot oil to fry doughnuts, since I've never deep fried anything before.  I've always wanted to try, especially after watching Alton Brown fry fish on Good Eats.  I love a good fish & chips!

Anyway, my doughnuts weren't Indian Spiced really, since I didn't use the ground cardamom in my spice mixture.  I didn't have any and it's just a little bit expensive.  I substituted a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg.

I did my frying in my largest pan, which is an 8-qt stockpot and I filled it about half full with peanut oil.  I read this week, though, in my King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook that you only need a couple inches of oil to fry doughnuts.  I didn't quite fry mine for a whole minute on each side.  I had a tough time keeping my doughnuts round between lifting them off the rubber mat and sliding them into the oil; some were quite oblong in shape.  The doughnuts tasted perfectly wonderful hot and fresh, but they didn't taste nearly as good the next day, which was sad.  We did give some away, but we had to eat the bulk of them ourselves.  Here they are:
    These were also good with
   a tall glass of cold milk!

The pear tarte tatin was the last part of this bread braid.  I didn't realize when I made the pumpkin pie brioche, that it needed to be used in 5 days, so I was in a little bit of a hurry at the end, when I realized this and I still hadn't bought my pears.  I picked up 3 large Bartlett pears, but I probably should have picked ones that weren't quite so ripe.  I only cooked them maybe 10-15 minutes in the butter/sugar sauce.  I was concerned that the pears would get so soft that they would be mush and be hard to transfer to my deep dish stoneware baker.  Here are my pears cooking in the skillet:

I omitted the cinnamon stick, because I didn't have one, and sprinkled some cinnamon over the pears as they cooked.  After simmering them and turning to coat both sides of the pear slices, I tranferred the pear slices to my stoneware dish.  I layed my pear slices on their side since I think this gives a prettier presentation when the finished tarte is turned out onto the plate.  I halved my pear quarters so my slices are also thinner.
My dough was a perfect circle after rolling it out and with minimal effort I slid it onto my pears in the stoneware baker. It was perfectly centered, just needing tucked in.  What luck!!!

We served ours with a bit of frozen yogurt and drizzled with some of the leftover caramel sauces from the simmering pears that I had saved and reheated.  What a nice treat after dinner!!
Make sure you go visit Big Black Dogs to see what the others did for this HBin5 Bread Braid!