Category Archive: Cooking

1840 Farmhouse Brioche

I first made brioche bread about a dozen years ago. I made it out of necessity. I loved the taste and texture of brioche bread, but didn’t have a local bakery that turned out those lovely golden loaves. While Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine creates fantastic brioche, driving two hours for bread (no matter how delicious) seemed a bit extreme.

Photo Sep 28, 9 47 42 AMSo, I went to the farmhouse kitchen armed with one of my favorite cookbooks: Baking with Julia. I read the detailed recipe and followed its instructions to the letter. It was a somewhat disarming undertaking giving the precision of the directions. I pressed on, inspired by the promise of creating my own brioche loaves right here in our farmhouse.

Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a stand mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a residential kitchen’s mixer.

My first few batches of brioche were made with great success. They were delicious in every way and a big hit with my family. It seemed that I 10336599_733865503347292_2681057661619279851_nhad conquered this dough and learned how to make loaves of delicious brioche bread. I delighted in the knowledge that we would have brioche whenever we wanted without the need for a two hour road trip.

I continued to mix up batches of brioche dough regularly. I heeded the warning within the recipe. I took care to judiciously pace the half hour of mixing, stopping if the mixer seemed to be approaching the point of overheating or causing damage to the motor.

And then, one day as I was finishing a batch of dough, the motor ground to an abrupt halt. It cried uncle and refused to do anything other than emit a high pitched grinding noise when I turned the motor on. My mixer had seen its last batch of brioche dough. I was afraid that I might have also seen mine.

I tried in vain to repair the mixer’s worn gear to no avail. Next, I did what any serious baker would do. I started saving for a new mixer. When the day finally came that Mr. 1840 Farm treated me to the wonderful surprise of a replacement mixer, I couldn’t wait to make a batch of brioche bread.

I was a bit hesitant. I worried that working my beloved dough would put my latest mixer in jeopardy. My fear of a repeat performance led me to wonder if I might be able to simplify the brioche recipe to require less precision from me and less muscle from my mixer’s motor.

Photo Aug 04, 9 19 31 AMI tried several times to simplify the recipe by consolidating steps and simplifying the recipe without sacrificing the flavor and texture of the traditional brioche that I love so much. Most of the loaves were edible, but did not resemble brioche at all. A few of the loaves were painfully dense and decidedly inedible.

While I am fairly confident in my baking abilities, I began to wonder if it was time to give up. Thankfully, I didn’t. Instead, I decided to abandon most of what I knew about the techniques that I had used to create traditional brioche.  I focused on the dough itself. I set out to create a heavily enriched dough that would yield a baked loaf with brioche’s hallmark golden, papery thin crust and rich, airy texture.

Gradually, I made minor changes to the proportions of the ingredients and the method I used to create the dough. Several batches later, the loaves were exactly as I had hoped. The crust was golden and flaky and surrounded an interior that was light and punctuated with the rich flavor of eggs and butter.

My mixer had survived this bread experiment and so had I. Better yet, my family had delicious brioche bread to enjoy that was everything we hoped it would be. To celebrate, I did what any dedicated bread baker would do: I started working on a new recipe.  I’m hoping to develop a brioche recipe that will incorporate our freshly milled whole wheat flour. Don’t worry; I’ll share that recipe with you as soon as I finish testing it!

1840 Farmhouse Brioche
Makes two loaves

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to extend the shelf life of my homemade loaves by several days, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can omit it from the recipe.  The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter.  You can learn more about the dough enhancer on my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm waterPhoto Aug 03, 9 32 44 PM
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer
840 grams (7 cups) All-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Photo Aug 03, 10 52 09 PMMix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry.

Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.10600412_733618986705277_6540797265334883724_n

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/farmhouse-brioche/

Refrigerator Dilly Beans

Refrigerator Dilly Beans at 1840 FarmFor the past several years, I have been making refrigerator dill pickles using the cucumbers we harvest fresh from our garden. Making those simple, fresh pickles is a great way of pickling cucumbers without needing to spend hours standing over the canning pot.  In minutes, I can prepare several mason jars full of cucumber pickles that will be enjoyed by the whole family.

I do make several batches of pickles each summer that are canned for long term pantry storage. With luck and little planning, those water bath processed jars of pickles last us well into the winter. They’re delicious and we enjoy every last bite. Yet, there’s something altogether wonderful about a pickle that can be made in minutes, kept cold in the refrigerator, and eaten fresh during the season when heirloom vegetables are so plentiful in our garden.

Once I mastered the refrigerator cucumber pickles, I started experimenting with other fresh garden produce. These dilly beans are now just as beloved at 1840 Farm as the cucumber variety. Because these quick pickled green beans will be consumed within days instead of months, the vegetables require no cooking and stay crisp and brightly colored.

Much like the cucumber pickles we look forward to each summer, these dilly beans are quick and easy to put together. Simply prepare the brining liquid as you prep the fresh green beans. Once the beans have been trimmed to remove the ends and sized to fit in the mason jars, simply fill the jars with the brine. Within hours, the beans will be infused with the flavor of dill and vinegar. By the next day, they will be dilly bean perfection.

I keep several wide mouth canning jars full of refrigerator dilly beans in our refrigerator.  As one jar is emptied, I simply prep enough fresh green beans to refill the jar, add the beans to the brining liquid, and return the jar to the refrigerator I use plastic canning lids and write the day that the fresh beans were added using a dry erase marker.  That way, I always know which jar been brined thSeedsOfTheMonthClube longest and can serve those dilly beans first.

I find myself making more refrigerator dilly beans and refrigerator dill pickles almost every other day during the summer. They are both irresistibly fresh and vibrant in color and flavor. We can’t seem to get enough of them.  Rest assured, I will be planting more cucumbers and green beans in our garden next summer!

If you’re interested in expanding your garden, visit our sponsor and join the Seeds of the Month Club.  Every month, you’ll receive non-GMO seeds to add to your garden just like we do.  Better yet, you can save 25% off the price of a membership by clicking on the “join now” button.

 

 

1840 Farm Refrigerator Dilly Beans
makes two wide mouth pint jars

Because these dilly beans are refrigerated instead of prepared for long term storage, the recipe can be adjusted to your preference.  If you prefer a sweeter dilly bean, more sugar can be added.  If you like your pickled beans with more zing, reduce the sugar to intensify the flavor of the vinegar.  If you like a little heat, a small dried pepper could be placed in each jar before adding the trimmed green beans. I reuse the brining liquid several times during the course of a few weeks before making a fresh batch and starting the process all over again.

12 ounces white vinegar
4 ½ Tablespoons pickling salt
3/4 cup (144 grams) sugar
12 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bunch fresh dill
fresh green beans, washed and drained

Prepare the brining liquid by combining the white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.  Simmer gently over medium heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.  Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Gather two pint sized glass jars with lids.  I prefer to use wide mouth jars as they are easier to fill, but any clean jar will do.  To each jar, add 6 whole peppercorns, 2 clove of peeled and quartered garlic, and 1 generous handful of dill.

Trim the ends from the green beans before placing vertically in the prepared jars. Trim longer beans as necessary to fit in the jar. Continue to add trimmed beans until the jar is full.

Once the brining liquid has cooled to room temperature, pour approximately half of the liquid into each jar.  Cover and swirl slightly to disperse the spices.

Refrigerate the beans until ready to use.  These dilly beans must be refrigerated.  They are not intended for long term pantry storage.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/07/refrigerator-dilly-beans/

Strawberry Jam

 Strawberry Jam at 1840 FarmStrawberry Jam
yields approximately 4 pints

Most strawberry jam recipes call for adding pectin in order to properly gel the jam. Strawberries have very little pectin, so a source of pectin must be added. I StrawberriesJamWMprefer to use the natural pectin in an apple rather than add commercially produced powdered pectin. I find that an apple adds plenty of pectin along with a touch of tangy flavor that offers a nice counterpoint to the sweet earthiness of the fresh strawberries.

The grated apple softens as the jam cooks, releasing its pectin and becoming nearly unrecognizable in the finished jam. The apple peel should be removed before canning the finished jam. At our house, the apple peel coated in rich strawberry jam is a delicacy. It’s like the best fruit leather on earth and is happily devoured by the whole family!

1 ½ pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed, and cut into small pieces
2 cups (384 grams) granulated sugar
1 medium apple, prepared as directed below
Juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Place several plates or large spoons in the freezer for use in gel test. If you are planning to can the jam, ready your canning pot, jars, lids, rings, and canning equipment. I like to use 4 or 8 ounce canning jars when processing this jam.

StrawberriesAppleWMUsing a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the apple in long strips. Core and quarter the apple. Use a grater to grate the apple quarters. Add the grated apple and apple peel to a large non-reactive pot with the strawberries and sugar. Stir gently to combine and place the pot on a burner over medium heat.

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent the sugars from burning. Using a slotted spoon, remove the strawberry pieces from the pot and transfer to a medium bowl. Removing the strawberries will help them to maintain a firmer texture in the final jam.

Continue to boil the liquid in the pot for another 15 minutes. Return the reserved berries to the pot and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine and continue to boil gently for another 15 minutes or until the mixture passes the gel test when allowed to cool on the chilled plates or spoons set aside in the freezer.

While the gel test may sound like a daunting scientific experiment, it is actually a simple, visual method for determining if your jam has reached the ideal consistency. This test will allow you to measure the finished consistency of your jam. If the mixture is too loose, it can be boiled further to allow a bit more of the liquid to evaporate. If the mixture has boiled too long and is slightly too thick, a small bit of liquid can be added to loosen the mixture before canning.

Performing the gel test involves placing a bit of the hot jam on a plate or large spoon that has been StrawberryGelTestWMchilled in the freezer. When the mixture has been allowed to cool, the consistency can be accurately gauged. When cool, the jam should form a cohesive mixture, forming a wrinkle as it moves when pressed with your finger. If you run a finger through the small puddle of jam, it should split apart and then return to a cohesive puddle moments later.

Once the mixture has passed the gel test, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the apple peel and stir in the vanilla.  Ladle hot jam into sterilized 4 or 8 ounce jars leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles from the side of the jar.  Using a clean cloth, remove any residue from the rim of the jar.  Place a lid on the jar and tighten with band.  Gently lower the filled jar into the boiling water canner.  Repeat until all jars have been added to the pot.  Place lid on canning pot.  Return water to a boil.

Once the water has returned to a boil, process half-pint jars of jam for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and remove the lid from pot.  Allow the jars to rest in the water for at least five minutes.  Carefully remove jars to a towel lined baking sheet.  Allow jars to cool up to 24 hours before checking the seals and labeling the jars for storage. A properly sealed jar of strawberry jam can be stored and used for up to one year.


June 2014 From Scratch MagazineThis recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/strawberry-jam/

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake

Strawberry and Rhubarb at 1840 FarmEarlier this week, the June issue of From Scratch Magazine was published.  The issue is filled with great seasonal content including three of my favorite strawberry recipes. In its pages, you’ll find my recipe for Strawberry Jam, Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries, and Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake.  We have been enjoying the crumble cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden.  You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.

The other two recipes in my article are equally delicious.  I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were fantastic. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.  I can’t wait to try a few of the delicious looking recipes from this cookbook.June Giveaway at 1840 Farm

When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon.  Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

I don’t want you to simply take my word for it that this cookbook and cinnamon are fantastic.  Thanks to the book’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, you can win a copy of this beautiful cookbook and find inspiration to add whole grains and natural sweeteners to your family’s favorite recipes.  Flavor of the Earth has also generously added a one pound bag of their Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to our giveaway.  I wanted to join in the fun, so I added one of our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits.  The winner of this giveaway will be ready to bake something amazing using this prize package!

One lucky reader be randomly selected to win:

You can enter by leaving a comment on this post sharing what you love to make using cinnamon and by liking a trio of Facebook pages.  Don’t worry, if you already follow 1840 Farm on Facebook, you can simply confirm that status with a click of the button below and claim your entries.  The contest closes on Thursday, June 12, 2014.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble CakeRhubarb Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake at 1840 Farm
makes 6-8 servings

This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long term storage.

While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan.  Set aside.

Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.

Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly.  You will notice a slight change in color and aroma.  Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.

Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan.  Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened.  Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


June 2014 From Scratch MagazineThis recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/

Strawberry Puff Pancake Recipe

I have many fond memories of this dish from my childhood.  My mother made this recipe for countless holiday morning breakfasts.  It was always topped with fresh strawberries, sour cream, and a sprinkling of brown sugar.  It was always called Strawberry Puff Pancake.

The name made sense given that the dish was topped with strawberries and the batter puffed dramatically while it baked in the oven.  It seemed magical to me that you could pour a thin batter into the pie plate, slide it in the oven and watch as it transformed into an airy, delicate concoction.

For a chicken keeper, this is a delicious celebration of the fresh eggs that we collect from our heritage breed hens.  The resulting pancake is full of the fresh, rich flavor of fresh eggs.  The flavor is paired with the beautiful golden color of the yolks provided by hens that enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of fresh green grass and treats.

I know now that this dish bears a remarkable resemblance to the German Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake.  No matter its name, the recipe is similar to a popover and yields a light, eggy, custard-like pancake that is delicious when topped with fresh fruit. While the combination of sour cream and brown sugar with the fresh strawberries may seem curious at first, I promise that it won’t disappoint.  We have tried topping this pancake with whipped cream and syrup, but this is our favorite trio of toppings.

This is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm and sure to become one around your family table.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it just as much as we do!

Strawberry Puff Pancake (German Dutch Baby)
serves 4-6 as a main course topped with fresh fruit

3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) butter
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk
6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
¾ cup (90 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the butter in a glass pie pan, 9 inch cast iron skillet, or similarly sized casserole dish and transfer to the warm oven as you prepare the batter.  I like to place the baking dish or skillet on top of a cookie sheet to catch any excess batter that might overflow the pan as it bakes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk until they are light and frothy.  Add the milk and whisk until well combined.  Add the sugar, flour, and salt and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.

Remove the warm baking dish from the oven.  Pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are puffed and lightly brown.  When the pancake is fully baked, a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the pan will come out clean.

Remove the pancake from the oven and serve topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar, fresh sliced strawberries, and a dollop of sour cream.  Enjoy!

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    Valentine's Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on the Friday before a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine's Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the weekend is through.
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/strawberry-puff-pancake-recipe/

Valentine’s Day Favorites at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on the Friday before a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the weekend is through.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/02/valentines-day-favorites-at-1840-farm/

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni.  It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods:  eggs.  I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog.  I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen:  a cast iron pan.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet.  These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table.  This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.

The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away.  The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate.  I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe.  After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.

All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe.  I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.

After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made.  As dinner went on, so did their happy comments.  By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.

I promised that I would make this recipe again soon.  I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself.  These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.

The giveaway that accompanies the recipe is also sure to make one lucky reader’s day!  When Sasquatch Books offered to send a copy of The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook to one of our readers, I decided to invite a few of my favorite products to join in the fun.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

The Mind to Homestead added a handmade crocheted cast iron skillet handle cozy made from a pattern that they offer in their Etsy shopCoffee on the Porch contributed a generous three pounds of their delicious, small batch roasted coffeeGrandparentsPlus2 contributed a handmade, quilted mug rug perfect for resting your coffee cup on.   The winner will also receive an 1840 Farm fabric coiled 8 inch trivet from The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy that we made to coordinate with the skillet handle cozy.

I hope that you’ll enjoy making these cinnamon rolls and that you’ll take a moment to enter to win our fabulous prize package.  The giveaway is open to residents of the United States.  Entries will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday, January 28th.  One winner will be randomly selected using Random.org and notified via Email.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
serves 4-6

I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour. 

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls.  If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe.  The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

Dough
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes

Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon

Filling
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.  If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise.  Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.

Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.

When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture.  Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly.  Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition.  Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil.  Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce.  Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Place the skillet over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling.  Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough.  If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface.  Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough.  Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.  Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width.  Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.

Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan.  As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm.  Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.

Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan.  The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls.  Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/01/cast-iron-skillet-cinnamon-rolls-with-bourbon-caramel-sauce/

Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Every year, cookies grace our family table on Christmas Eve.  The tradition started out simply enough.  My children would ask to help me make the cookies that would be left for Santa when they went to bed that evening.  Now that they are older and a little wiser, the fun of making the cookies has become an integral part of the holiday festivities.

We spend time in our farmhouse kitchen making my Grandmother’s Chocolate Crinkles, our Candy Cane Meringues, and the other delicious favorites that have come to be tied to our holiday celebration.  With each bite, we’re reminded of the memory of holidays past.  With each moment spent together in the kitchen, we’re making new memories that I hope will last a lifetime.

In case you are looking for a few good cookie recipes to add to your holiday baking collection, you’ll find links to the recipes for our favorites below.  It warms my heart to think that you might use one of our favorite recipes to make a memory with your friends and family this year.  Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/our-favorite-holiday-cookie-recipes/

The 1840 Farm Daily Loaf

This loaf is the daily, go to homemade bread here at 1840 Farm.  We begin almost every morning with slices of this delicious bread lightly toasted, buttered, and topped with our favorite homemade preserves or local honey.  For dinner, a thick slice of this loaf makes the perfect base for savory open faced sandwiches.  When topped with our savory Heirloom Smoky Tomato or Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam, a bit of melted cheese, and a sunny side up egg gathered fresh from our coop, it’s a dinner that the whole family is happy to see served at our farmhouse table.

This bread dough is simple to prepare, making it a lovely introduction to bread baking for a beginning bread baker.  The dough is sturdy and elastic, responding very well to kneading by hand or with a dough hook on a stand mixer. Whether you are a novice or accomplished bread baker, I hope that you will give this loaf a try and share it with your family.


These are the tools and ingredients that I use to create this loaf in our kitchen.  Clicking on the links will take you to exterior sites in order for you to learn more about each product. Some of these links are of the affiliate variety. Those links have not influenced my honest opinion or recommendation of these products.

 



1840 Farm Daily Loaf
makes 2 loaves

I like to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour to use in this recipe.  There’s no need to pass up trying this recipe if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour and All-purpose flour.  I like to include Simply Omega-3 ground flaxseed in this loaf to add a boost of nutrition and a slightly nutty, earthy flavor to the finished loaf.  You could substitute ground flax or wheat germ if you prefer or omit it from the recipe.

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to extend the shelf life of my homemade loaves by several days, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can omit it from the recipe.  The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter.  You can learn more about the dough enhancer on my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

2 cups (16 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain or vanilla yogurt
3 1/2 cups (420 grams) whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups (420 grams) All-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 Tablespoon Simply Omega-3 flax seed
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
Melted butter for brushing the finished loaves if desired

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey, stirring to dissolve the honey.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.

Measure and combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute them throughout the flour.  When the five minutes have elapsed, stir the liquid ingredients and then add the yogurt.  Mix until the yogurt is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture.  Using a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5-10 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before turning it out onto a floured surface and kneading by hand until it passes the windowpane test.

If you are mixing the dough by hand, turn the shaggy dough out onto a floured surface or dough mat.  Knead the dough, adding more flour as necessary, until it passes the windowpane test, approximately ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it is ready to be shaped into loaves, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, form the dough into a ball and allow it to rest on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes.  After the dough has rested, divide the dough into two even balls.  Shape each ball into a loaf and place in a lightly oiled loaf pan.

Using a sharp knife, make several slits in the surface of the loaf.  Scoring the loaf will allow the dough to rise and bake evenly without breaking the beautiful top crust.  Set the loaves aside to rise in a proofing chamber or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of approximately one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one hour.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaf has risen sufficiently and the oven has reached temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the fully baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Top the loaves with melted butter if desired and  allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.


This recipe is part of The Bread Baker’s Series, a collaborative series of posts from Kitchen Kneads and 1840Farm.  It’s easy to make sure that you don’t miss a single post in The Bread Baker’s Series. Subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter or join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to Kitchen Kneads Email updates and follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.

By following Kitchen Kneads and 1840 Farm, you’ll be the first to see each post in our collaborative Bread Baker’s Series. If you have a great bread baking tip or recipe to share, we invite you to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/the-1840-farm-daily-loaf/

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam

When life hands you lemons you can choose to make lemonade.  But what do you do when life cruelly hands you a corked bottle of wine?  Well, I mean what do you do after lamenting the fact that the nectar of the gods has been replaced by a liquid with the aroma of a musty, flooded basement?

I used to simply bemoan my bad fortune and pour the offending liquid down the drain.  Moments later, the empty bottle would clink to the bottom of the kitchen recycling bin and I would sigh, knowing that this imperfection is the chance you take when drinking a bottle of wine.  It simply goes with the territory.

Wine becomes corked after coming into contact with a cork that is contaminated.  An infected cork can contain millions of microorganisms called trichloroanisole (TCA) lying in wait to feast on a perfectly processed bottle of wine.    Because cork is a natural product, there is no way to completely guarantee that one will not carry this offensive contaminant into a bottle of wine.  For this reason, many wineries have moved to screw tops and synthetic corks.

After I had learned the how and why a bottle becomes corked, I learned that corked wine could be used for cooking.  No, I wouldn’t use it to flavor a light sauce as I feared that the corked aroma and taste would surely impart its funk to whatever it touched.  Instead, corked wine was suited to cooking over a longer period of time.  As it cooked, its offensiveness would evaporate away leaving the rich flavor that the wine was meant to bring to my glass when it was opened.

It was hard for me to believe that I could turn a musty, overpowering liquid into something edible, but my curiosity was piqued.  I had nothing to lose.  The wine in its natural state was, ironically unnatural and unpotable.  It was time to get creative and get cooking.

My goal was to make a caramelized onion red wine jam that could grace our weekend cheese platter.  It seemed fitting that I would turn corked wine into a condiment for a cheese course that would accompany a glass of perfectly delicious and uncorked wine.   I began gathering ingredients and mentally forming the recipe.  In minutes, the onions were cooking down in a heavy bottomed saucepan and I was reaching into the cabinets for ingredients that would help round out the flavor.

 I was shocked at how delicious this savory jam was.  I removed several types of cheese from the refrigerator and we went to work testing the onion jam with each of them.  Raw milk cheddar and an aged Piave were good companions for the jam, but a beautifully crafted Bayley Hazen Blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont was its soul mate.

It’s been several years since my initial corked red wine experiment.  In that time, the wine gods have smiled on us and we have not been handed many corked bottles of wine.  When it does happen, I no longer cringe.  Instead, I get busy making caramelized onion jam with red wine and break out the Bayley Hazen Blue.

I have even taken to making a delectable Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich out of this misfortune.  The melted blue cheese sings when paired with the caramelized onion red wine jam.  It’s as if they were meant to be together.

This savory jam and the resulting sandwich are as close as I can get to making lemonade from a bottle of red wine that could literally be labeled a lemon.  Maybe 1840 Farm needs a lemonade stand.  I am sure that it wouldn’t be long until there was a line forming for a Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam and warm Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam
fills four half pint jars

While I typically use a bottle of less than perfect wine for this recipe, any red wine will do.  I have been known to freeze small portions of leftover red wine until I have enough to make a batch of this jam.  Frozen, corked, or leftover:  it just doesn’t seem to matter.  This jam comes out delicious every time.  The finished jam can be canned by processing in half pint jars with 1/2″ headspace for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

1 pound yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons honey
18 ounces red wine
4 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 20 – 40 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened and caramelized.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the honey and stir to fully incorporate.  Add the remaining ingredients and return the pan to medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes or until the liquid is thick and syrupy.

Taste for seasoning, break out the blue cheese! You can also use this jam to make my recipe for a Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  It’s a showstopper!

Related Posts

  • 55
    A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess.  It’s not every day that a Goddess invites you to have fun in the kitchen playing with delicious ingredients.  I couldn’t possibly say no, so I didn’t. Instead, I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel…
    Tags: wine, jam, red, cheese, onion, blue, corked, farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/caramelized-onion-and-red-wine-jam/

Cinnamon Babka

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the holiday season at your family breakfast table, look no further.  You simply can’t do better than homemade Cinnamon Babka.  While I have made this loaf innumerable times, my family still gets excited at the promise of a loaf of Cinnamon Babka on our breakfast menu.

Babka is a European delicacy and seems to be made in as many different versions as there are countries in Europe.  References to Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, and Israel are abundant.  Different fillings are used and different shapes are made of the finished loaves.  You’ll even find it called Baba in some countries.

No matter the geography where it is found, this is a bread used to celebrate holidays and mark special occasions.  Once you have tasted it, you’ll understand why.

I can’t claim that this is a truly authentic version of Babka. I can promise you that it is delicious and sure to please the family and friends gathered around your holiday table.

 


These are the tools that I used to create this loaf in our kitchen.  I have provided these links to enable you to learn more about the tools and specialty ingredients that I personally use on a daily basis.  These links will take you to exterior sites in order for you to learn more about each product.  Some of these links are of the affiliate variety.  Those links have not influenced my honest opinion or recommendation of these products.


Cinnamon Babka
makes one standard sized loaf

I like to use my stand mixer to work this dough.  I find that it does a wonderful job of incorporating the butter evenly.  While I use freshly milled whole wheat flour, you can substitute a high quality store brand of flour if you don’t have access to a mill.  If you don’t have Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer or vital wheat gluten, you can omit it from the recipe.  The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter. Cinnamon is my favorite Babka filling, but fresh preserves or chocolate ganache can be substituted with equally delicious results.

DOUGH
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (150 grams) Whole Wheat flour
1 1/4 cup (150 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes
FILLING
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) softened butter
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar

If you are using a dough proofer, which I highly recommend, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey.  Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water and allow to rest for approximately five minutes as you assemble and measure the dry ingredients.

After five minutes have passed, add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl with the yeast and whisk gently to combine thoroughly.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir to form a shaggy dough using the dough hook on a stand mixer.

Continue to mix the dough until it begins to transform into a smooth ball of dough and pull away from the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer running, begin to add the small cubes of butter individually and slowly, allowing each cube to be smashed against the side of the bowl by the dough before the dough seems to absorb the butter.  Should the dough break, or fall apart, during this process, don’t panic.  Simply stop adding butter and allow the machine to knead the dough until it is again a smooth, elastic ball of dough.  Add the cubes of butter until they have all been incorporated.  Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and shiny, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.  If you prefer, you can perform the final kneading by hand.  At the end of kneading, the dough should pass the windowpane test.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it is ready to be shaped into loaves, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, form the dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Place this bowl in your proofer or another warm, draft free spot in your kitchen.  Allow the dough to rest and rise for approximately one hour.  To determine if the dough is ready to proceed, simply poke your finger into the dough until it touches the bottom of the bowl.  Remove your finger and observe the ball of dough.  The indentation made by your finger should remain.  If it does, proceed to the next step.  If not, allow the dough to rest and rise for another 30 minutes before attempting this test again.

In a small bowl, combine the softened butter and cinnamon.  Stir to make a smooth paste.  Measure the brown sugar and set aside.  Prepare a loaf pan by applying a thin coat of butter, oil, or pan spray.

When the dough is ready, place it on a dough mat or a lightly floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 10 x 20 inches in size.  Using an offset spatula, gently spread the cinnamon butter over the surface of the dough taking care not to stretch or tear the underlying dough.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the cinnamon butter.

 Using both hands, begin to roll the dough from the long side, keeping the dough taught.  If you have ever rolled a batch of cinnamon rolls, this is the same technique.  Continue to roll the dough and filling, keeping the roll as tight as possible.

Once the dough is in an even roll, form it into an “s” shape.  Using your hands, roll this “s” towards you, pressing the dough together.  Pick up the ends of the roll and twist the dough several times before placing it in the prepared loaf pan.  Place the pan in your proofer or warm, draft free location.  Allow the bread to rise until it is approximately 1 inch above than the sides of the pan.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone and oven thermometer, this is a great time to put them to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.  An oven thermometer allows me to ensure that my oven is heating to and holding the correct temperature.

Once the loaf has risen sufficiently and the oven has reached temperature, transfer the loaf to the oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaf is fully baked, it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and the surface of the loaf will be an even golden brown.  Remove the fully baked loaf from the oven to a wire rack.    Allow the loaf to cool for ten to fifteen minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely before storing in a plastic bag or container.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.


This recipe is part of The Bread Baker’s Series, a collaborative series of posts from Kitchen Kneads and 1840Farm.  It’s easy to make sure that you don’t miss a single post in The Bread Baker’s Series. Subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter or join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to Kitchen Kneads Email updates and follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.

By following Kitchen Kneads and 1840 Farm, you’ll be the first to see each post in our collaborative Bread Baker’s Series. If you have a great bread baking tip or recipe to share, we invite you to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/cinnamon-babka/

Fennel Friday: Herbes de Provence

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess.  It’s not every day that a Goddess invites you to have fun in the kitchen playing with delicious ingredients.  I couldn’t possibly say no, so I didn’t.

Instead, I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel Friday.  A few days later, my first package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  Since then, wonderfully aromatic tins of Pollen Ranch Spices have appeared in our mailbox here at 1840 Farm.

Each time I discover one in our mail, I eagerly open the envelope and am struck with a delicious aroma of the blend waiting inside.  The most recent blend was Herbes de Provence.  I love Herbes de Provence, but had never dreamed of adding fennel to the traditional mix of herbs.  I’m so glad that Pollen Ranch did, because the resulting blend is amazing!

Pollen Ranch’s Herbes de Provence blend contains thyme, savory, oregano, rosemary, and lavender.  It is earthy and bright with an underlying, slightly floral note.  The package recommends adding it to meaty dishes featuring game, beef, or pork.  We don’t raise meat here on our farm, so we rarely serve it around our farmhouse table.

So, I set about to find something without meat that would pair well with this spice blend.  Luckily, I didn’t have to look very long.  I had a pot of Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam bubbling away on the stove.  I had a hunch that this blend of herbs would provide a lovely accent to the jam, especially when paired with a small bit of cheese and a buttery cracker.

One bite and I was convinced that this was indeed a perfect pairing.  You don’t need to take my word for it.  This combination would be a wonderful addition to your holiday cheese tray or appetizer course.  The jam is simple to make and can make use of leftover or even corked red wine.

Visit my original post, “Red, Wine, and Blue all Over” to find a recipe for a Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam Grilled Cheese Sandwich with my favorite blue cheese and to learn why a bottle of wine does go bad or become “corked”.  I hope that you’ll give the jam a try this holiday season.  It’s delicious and sure to be a hit with your friends and family. It’s always popular with mine!

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam
fills four half pint jars

While I typically use a bottle of less than perfect wine for this recipe, any red wine will do.  I have been known to freeze small portions of leftover red wine until I have enough to make a batch of this jam.  Frozen, corked, or leftover:  it just doesn’t seem to matter.  This jam comes out delicious every time.  The finished jam can be canned by processing in half pint jars with 1/2″ headspace for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

1 pound yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons honey
18 ounces red wine
4 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 20 – 40 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened and caramelized.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the honey and stir to fully incorporate.  Add the remaining ingredients and return the pan to medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes or until the liquid is thick and syrupy.

Taste for seasoning, break out the blue cheese, and enjoy while you prepare to make the world’s most delicious grilled cheese sandwich.

Related Posts

  • 55
    When life hands you lemons you can choose to make lemonade.  But what do you do when life cruelly hands you a corked bottle of wine?  Well, I mean what do you do after lamenting the fact that the nectar of the gods has been replaced by a liquid with the aroma of a musty,…
    Tags: wine, red, jam, corked, cheese, onion, blue, farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/fennel-friday-herbes-de-provence/

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