Thoughts from my Kitchen

I had a fabulous baking weekend. Well, on Saturday I roasted a big chicken, with Mediterranean vegetables. Yum! I was so tired after winterizing the trailer which included arguing about how to drain all the plumbing properly and running off to the store to buy more RV/Marine antifreeze to be effective that I did not want to make anything else. Wow! That is a run-on sentence if I ever wrote one! As I write this we are waiting for all the little goblins and ghouls to show up to beg for the $20 worth of candies I bought. Then I will turn off the porch light and relax.

After a tiring first half of the weekend I set to work in the kitchen. First I did a bit of cleaning and then got out the sourdough starter to make rolls. I used a recipe that looked good and as luck would have it I had powdered milk and potato flour. If you don’t have these ingredients there are plenty of other sourdough bread and rolls recipes. I had fed the starter the day before so I figured it would be just fine. I let it set out for the entire morning of the day I made the dough: sourdough dinner rolls from King Arthur Flour. This makes two pans of eight. Here is the one for the future!

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I have found the chocolate cake recipe that bests the  Best Ever Chocolate Cake. I hang my head in shame as I write these words. I had to look again and again at the ingredient list to note the differences.Best Ever uses 1/2 cup more flour and twice the baking soda. I looked into the explanation of using baking soda in cakes in the book BakeWise by Shirley Corriher. She explains that 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda is sufficient for each cup of flour. The new best chocolate cake recipe rises nicely and even has better body than Best Ever.

So what is this rogue recipe that has come to shake up my baking world? It is basically King Arthur Flour’s version of Texas Sheet Cake baked in a 9 x 13 pan. I found this in their sales catalog/flyer that arrives by the post ever so often: King Arthur Flours Favorite Fudge Cake. And its not just because of the fudge frosting, although that makes it awesome!

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I actually followed both of the recipes exactly although I don’t always use KAF products.

I am not advertising for them; I just recently got their flyer and was organizing recipes for my recipe notebooks. And these were two of the ones I had marked to try.

 

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I miss my kitchen!

 

It’s not that my kitchen has gone anywhere, nor has it changed in any way, shape, or form. I’ve been back to work for about six weeks now and I miss sitting in my kitchen in the morning contemplating my day. I would have to get up at the crack of dawn to have about half of an hour to contemplate and it’s not easy to do that. It will get easier as daybreak comes earlier and earlier with the onset of spring. But I am not generally a crack of dawn person.

I signed up to make cinnamon rolls for a breakfast celebration at work. Sure, easy! No problem! I figured I would make  Alton Brown’s Overnight cinnamon roll recipe. I’ve made them before and it sounds perfect for a Monday morning work breakfast. That is one rich roll recipe: 4 egg yolks plus an egg and buttermilk, ¼ cup sugar. Then I think if it is such a rich roll how about making my mom’s Rich Rolls recipe.Now that one calls for 4 eggs, 1 cup butter, and 1 cup sugar. Whoa! Then in my most organized recipe notebook there is a sourdough roll recipe next to the standard Fleischmann’s. What to do? 

I decide on the Buttery Sourdough Buns recipe from King Arthur Flour. And these rolls were very nice when made for Thanksgiving. I’ll just roll cinnamon sugar into them. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/buttery-sourdough-buns-recipe

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I have sourdough starter that needs to be used and fed.

The beauty of this recipe is the simplicity of the process of putting the dough together. Literally put everything in the bowl and mix. I used the dough hook and let it beat at 2-4 speed for about 5 minutes. I did add an extra 1/2 cup flour and the dough came together nicely. I let that rise in a greased bowl for about 1 1/2 hours. I then rolled it into a rectangle, spread three Tablespoons of melted butter and liberally sprinkled that with about 1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar (1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon to 1/2 cup sugar.

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ready for the fridge to rise some more

I figure I can now cover this with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight. I plan to take it out for 30-45 minutes in the morning to rest at room temperature before putting them in the oven to bake. These are to bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes. The recipe notes that they do not brown as deeply as most dinner rolls. I don’t know why this is. The KAF website might say.

 

They were a hit at work. I made a bit of glaze so folks could add a bit if they liked. One cup powdered sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and a bit of water made about 1/2 cup glaze. Almost everyone added the glaze. I was surprised at that but that is what it was there for.

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A tasty light cinnamon bun