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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 have made this recipe using All-purpose flour, bread flour, or a combination of the two with equally good results.  I chose to list All-purpose flour in thee recipe as I know that is the most common type of flour kept in most kitchens.  I use what I have on hand, often using half of each type of flour.

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
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.

 


This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

thanksgiving-gallery-ss


 

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

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake

Strawberry and Rhubarb at 1840 FarmWe have been enjoying this 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.

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 June Giveaway at 1840 FarmCeylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

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.

I hope that your friends and family will enjoy this delicious seasonal treat as much as we do here at 1840 Farm!

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake
makes 6-8 servings

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slicesRhubarb Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake at 1840 Farm
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.


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

Dwarf Siberian Heirloom Kale

Each year, it seems that a particular food takes center stage.  Suddenly, it appears in the food sections of popular magazines, on the menus of my favorite restaurants, and in the cookbook section of our local bookstore.  For the past year or so, that food has been kale.  Everywhere I look, there seems to be kale prepared in one form or another.  Every time I taste it, I am left wondering why kale ever fell out of favor on our dinner plates here in America.

Kale is beautiful, delicious, and packs a powerful boost of nutrition in every leaf.  Researches boast that they have identified more than 45 individual flavonoids in kale.  Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and believed to be both anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant.  Kale contains Vitamin K, Vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, and calcium.

Dwarf Siberian Kale hails from Russia, so it prefers cooler temperatures, making it ideal for cultivating as an early season and late season crop in the garden.  Here in New England, kale tolerates our cooler evenings without any need for added protection.  In warmer parts of the country, kale is an excellent crop for fall and early winter growing.

This variety matures quickly, reaching its first harvest in a mere 50 days.  The mature plants reach approximately 14 inches in height and feature large, softly ruffled leaves that are a beautiful dark green color.  The inner leaves can be harvested throughout the season until damaging cold weather arrives, allowing the main plant to continue thriving and producing delicious leaves.

When our kale is ready for harvest, we add it to stir fry dishes and pastas.  We also enjoy it served lightly sautéed in sesame oil with red pepper flakes, a drizzle of soy sauce, and a light sprinkling of cheese.  When colder weather arrives, we find ourselves adding chopped kale to soups and chili with delicious results.  Given its delicious flavor, versatility on the plate, and nutritional benefits, it’s easy to see why kale has become so popular.

As I was preparing this post, I came to a powerful realization:  I didn’t have a single photo of kale growing in our heirloom garden.  Instead, I had a full collection of kale being featured on our dinner plates.  Perhaps that fact is the biggest testament to the delicious flavor of kale that I could share.  This year, I intend to enjoy kale while it grows in the garden and when it is served at our family table.  Who knows, I might even remember to take a picture of its beautiful leaves while it is still in the garden!

Dwarf Siberian Heirloom Kale is one of the four varieties included in our Easy Keepers Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/dwarf-siberian-heirloom-kale/

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.

 

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/

My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients

I love everything about making bread from reading about it in my favorite cookbooks to milling the fresh flour and making a beautiful loaf to share with my family. I also love to write about bread in our Bread Baker’s Series, sharing recipes and techniques for making delicious loaves of artisan bread at home in your own kitchen.

I am often asked by readers about the equipment and tools that I use here at 1840 Farm. The products in the gallery below are the same models that we use every time we make a loaf of bread here in our farmhouse kitchen. I know firsthand that they are of the highest quality and will help you to turn out beautiful loaves to serve at your family table.

Do you have a favorite bread baking tool or specialty ingredient to share?  I would love to learn more about them, so please leave me a comment.  I’m always looking for new ways to improve my bread baking skills and would love to hear more about your favorite products.

I have provided these links to enable you to learn more about the tools and specialty ingredients that I personally use here at 1840 Farm. These links will transfer 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.

 


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/my-favorite-bread-baking-tools-and-ingredients/

Brown Butter Bourbon Applesauce

brown-butter-bourbon-applesauce-brandedThis recipe started out as a kitchen experiment.  Our dear friends had been kind enough to share their apple harvest with us.  I found myself standing in the kitchen wondering if I could make something with these fresh apples that was a little different than your average applesauce.

I scanned through cookbooks and food blogs looking for inspiration.  When I came up empty, I went to the refrigerator to remove the apples from the crisper drawer and saw the answer literally staring me in the face:  butter.

What can I say, I grew up watching Julia Child.  She taught me so much, the least of which was that butter makes everything taste better.  I was sure that she would have agreed that butter could even improve the taste of applesauce, but I wasn’t ready to stop there.

Instead, I was going to use brown butter to bring more flavor and depth to the applesauce. I would use brown sugar instead of white, knowing that it would bring a beautiful amber color and a hint of molasses to the sauce.  Then divine inspiration struck me and I decided that a little bourbon certainly wouldn’t hurt.

I made a small batch, unsure if my instincts were right.  As soon as the batch was finished, I called my family into the kitchen to taste test my grand experiment.  They all shared the same criticism:  I hadn’t made a big enough batch.

I have gone on to duplicate this recipe several times since that first day.  My family can’t seem to get enough of this flavorful applesauce.  With local apples just coming into season, I’ll be sure to be making much more in the coming months.

Brown Butter Bourbon Applesauce
Print
Ingredients
  1. 10 medium to large apples, peeled and cored (should yield around 1 pound of flesh)
  2. 4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
  3. 1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup (2 ounces) bourbon
  5. pinch sea salt
  6. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Wash, peel, and core the apples. The apples can be left in quarters. They will break down as they cook, making chopping unnecessary.
  2. Place the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Allow the butter to melt. 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.
  3. Add the brown sugar, stirring to combine with the brown butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the sugar until it begins to bubble slightly. Add the apples, bourbon, and pinch of salt to the pot and stir to coat.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the apples begin to fall apart, approximately 20-35 minutes depending on the variety. You can speed up this process by crushing the cooked apples with the back of a wooden spoon or by using a potato masher. Taste for seasoning, adding additional sugar if necessary.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. I prefer my applesauce to have a chunky texture, but you can puree the sauce using an immersion blender if you prefer a smoother texture.
Notes
  1. The amount of sugar needed in this recipe can be adjusted to match the tartness of the apples you are using. Simply add a bit of sugar during the final stages to adjust it to your liking.
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This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

thanksgiving-gallery-ss


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/09/brown-butter-bourbon-applesauce/

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti BrandedThis recipe hails from RIalto restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I happened upon it by way of The Tomato Festival Cookbook.  For an heirloom tomato lover like me, this cookbook is filled with delicious possibilities.  It includes everything imaginable from cold salads to chocolate cakes that incorporate green tomatoes that simply won’t have enough time to ripen on the vine.

While we enjoy many recipes from or inspired by this cookbook, Chef Jody Adams’ recipe for roasted spaghetti is our absolute favorite.  The dish has a wonderfully rich flavor that we look forward to all year long.  The tomatoes take on a sweet earthiness after their time roasting in the oven which pairs perfectly with the arugula, onion, and basil.  This dish is also beautiful, a real showstopper.

I love to tinker with recipes, adding a little of this or taking away a little of that.  I am especially prone to doing so with pasta recipes, making alterations that tailor the finished dish to my family’s taste.  This dish is so perfect that I have made very few changes.  I didn’t need to.  It’s perfectly delicious just the way it is written and sure to impress and delight everyone gathered around your table at dinnertime.

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti
Serves 4
I have made very few changes to the original recipe. I find that our homegrown heirloom tomatoes don’t need the sugar called for in the original recipe, but you can certainly add it to your tomatoes if you feel that they could use a little hint of sweetness. I have also found that I can roast the tomatoes at a higher temperature than called for, reducing the cooking time by more than half with the same results. After a long day of working on the farm, I opt for getting dinner on the table in an hour instead of the three that the original recipe promises.
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 ounces olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 16 – 20 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  5. 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. 2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
  7. 2 ounces olive oil
  8. 2 teaspoons Sugar (optional)
  9. sea salt
  10. 1 pound spaghetti
  11. 2 cups (3.5 ounces) arugula
  12. Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat two ounces (1/4 cup) of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves and red pepper flakes.
  2. Add the cherry tomatoes to an oven safe casserole dish that can hold them in a single layer. If you are using the sugar, add two teaspoons and toss the tomatoes to coat. Using a large spoon, transfer the onion olive oil mixture to the dish, placing on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt. Gently add the remaining 2 ounces (1/4 cup) olive oil to the sides and transfer the pan to the warm oven. Roast until the tomatoes have softened and the skins are slightly charred, approximately 45 – 60 minutes.
  3. Near the end of the roasting time, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous teaspoon of salt to the water and return to a rapid boil. Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.
  4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Add the cooked pasta and arugula to the tomatoes and toss to fully combine and coat the spaghetti with the tomato infused olive oil. Serve immediately garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Adapted from Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
Adapted from Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/oven-roasted-heirloom-tomato-spaghetti/

The Bread Baker’s Series: Sourdough Bread

Trying my hand at sourdough bread has been on my baking To Do List for years.  Each fall, when my bread baking kicks into high gear, I recommit myself to trying my hand at capturing and using natural yeast to make sourdough starter.  I’ve never managed to actually take the plunge.

I have been armed with the necessary information and equipment.  I’ve got my WonderMill at the ready to make fresh whole wheat flour for the starter.  I also have a 260 page cookbook dedicated to baking with natural leavening.  I’ve just never been ready to completely cast aside my faithful active dry yeast for fear that the resulting loaf of bread would be a disappointment.

Those days are over.  In the coming months, I’ll be trying my hand and nurturing a sourdough starter and baking loaves for my family’s table using natural leavening.  It wasn’t the cookbook that changed my mind, although I plan to use it as a resource as I embark on this journey.

Instead, it was a lovely recipe shared by Kitchen Kneads as part of our Bread Baker’s Series.  Dawn’s recipe for Mouse River Homestead Bread incorporates both a sourdough starter and commercial yeast.  It looks delicious and seems like the perfect recipe for me to finally try making a starter.  I can’t wait to take the first bite of this bread and start planning the next sourdough recipe to try!  Visit Kitchen Kneads for the recipe.


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/2013/08/the-bread-bakers-series-sourdough-bread/

Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake

 

Great Grandma's Daffodil Cake at 1840 FarmAngel food cake was one of the first recipes that I taught myself to bake.  I was around twelve years old when I first separated a dozen eggs and followed the recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks.  I marveled at the egg whites as they were transformed into a light and airy meringue and baked into a delicious angel food cake.

That was decades ago.  Now I find myself with my own daughter who is twelve years old.  We love to spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking together.  I also find myself as a chicken keeper with a supply of fresh eggs to use in our baking recipes.

It’s the chicken keeper in me that shies away from making traditional angel food cake.  My reason is simple:  I can’t bear the thought of having a dozen egg yolks that are purposely cast aside from a recipe. I make an exception when it comes to meringue cookies.  It’s no great feat to find a way to use the three egg yolks left behind.  Twelve egg yolks left from an angel food cake are quite another thing.

Luckily, I don’’t have to.  Earlier this year, my Mom shared my Great grandmother’s handwritten recipe for daffodil cake with me.  Instead of twelve eggs, it called for only six.  My great grandparents were farmers and chicken keepers.  Apparently they didn’t want to cast aside twelve egg yolks either.

Instead, they baked Daffodil Cake.  As soon as I read the recipe, I understood why.  The technique was altogether simple and brilliant.  This cake would allow me to celebrate the best of both the egg white and egg yolk in one delicious cake.

My daughter and I gathered in our farmhouse kitchen this spring to make our first daffodil cake.  I watched the look on her face as she whipped the egg whites into a beautifully made meringue.  We worked together until the cake preparation was complete.  She slid the cake into the oven, set the timer and we wondered aloud how the finished cake would look and taste.

I am happy to report that we loved both the taste and appearance of the daffodil cake.  The color of the egg yolk mixture was a strikingly beautiful yellow.  The texture was light and airy and the flavor was everything I love about an angel food cake and more.

The egg yolks added a delicious richness to the cake without compromising the lightness of the meringue.  It wasn’t a fancy cake.  Instead, it was the cake of a farmer, the dessert of a chicken keeper.  This cake celebrated the beauty of fresh eggs.  Each bite reminded me that I was proud to be a chicken keeper and collect fresh eggs from our coop every day.

More than that, the whole experience created a memory that I will hold close for a lifetime.  Standing in our farmhouse kitchen with my daughter baking a cake from a recipe in her Great great grandmother‘s handwriting was a moment that connected the generations of my family past and present.  Having a delicious cake to share around our family table was merely a bonus.

 

Great Grandma's Daffodil Cake
Print
Ingredients
  1. 6 large eggs
  2. ¼ teaspoon salt
  3. ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  4. ¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  7. 2 Tablespoons warm water
  8. ½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  11. ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  2. Separate all six eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped clean with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the salt to the egg whites and beat at medium-high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed, adding the ¾ cup sugar a few Tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. Set the meringue aside as you prepare the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Add the warm water to the egg yolks and mix on medium speed using a whisk or mixer. Add ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and flour. Mix until the batter is completely smooth.
  5. Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl.
  6. Add the vanilla and ½ cup flour to the space created by moving the meringue. This step prevents the weight of the flour from deflating the airy meringue. Using the spatula, gently fold the meringue until the flour and vanilla extract are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Transfer two thirds of the meringue mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan, spreading lightly if necessary to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. There is no need to spread the yolk mixture or completely cover the meringue. Add the remaining meringue to the pan. Using a skewer or toothpick, lightly swirl the two batters by moving in a random pattern around the pan.
  8. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. When fully baked, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with crumbs attached. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool.
  9. Once cool, run a sharp knife or small metal offset spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cool cake onto a plate. Slice the cake into slices and serve plain or dressed with fresh berries and whipped cream.
Notes
  1. The light, airy texture of this cake depends on a properly beaten meringue. A mile high meringue is easily achievable with one easy step. Simply wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating the egg whites. This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any traces of fat. Fat residue jeopardizes your ability to whip the egg whites into a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.
  2. To prevent batter from falling into the center tube as you are transferring the batter to the pan, place an overturned cupcake wrapper over the tube. Fill the pan, remove the wrapper, and bake as directed without letting any of the batter go to waste.
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Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/great-grandmas-daffodil-cake/

The Summer Solstice Cocktail

When I am trying to develop a new recipe, I happily take inspiration wherever I can find it.  In the case of this cocktail, I happened to find it in two places.  Lucky for you, I’ve combined them into one delicious, refreshing cocktail recipe just in time for your Fourth of July celebration.

The first inspiration was the arrival of summer last Friday.  Since then, we’ve seen temperatures well into the 90s with oppressive humidity.  Apparently, Mother Nature wants to drive the point home:  summer is here!

Not to be forgotten is a book that I am currently reading.  Bitters:  A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All is a fascinating read for someone like me who can’t seem to get enough of the stranger than fiction history of the food on our dinner plates and drinks in our cocktail glasses.  I’m not alone in liking this book.  It was selected as a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner and also won The IACP Cookbook Award.

So, picture me at the end of a hot and humid day, exhausted from the farm’s daily chores.  I was craving a refreshing, cold drink and thought of the crisp ginger-lime simple syrup that I had made from a recipe in Bitters.  The possibilities seemed refreshing and perfect for the first day of Summer.

My husband is the resident mixologist here at 1840 Farm.  I get wild ideas about combinations and concoctions which he politely listens to and then goes about the creative business of transforming inspiration into a perfectly balanced libation.  Occasionally, he needs a second attempt to perfect one of our house made cocktails, but he mastered this one on the first try.

One sip and I knew that this would be my summer drink of choice.  Mr. 1840 Farm agreed.  This recipe was perfect and ready to share with the world.

I hope that you will enjoy what we aptly named The Summer Solstice all summer long.  If you’re find yourself still searching for your summer drink of choice, don’t despair.  We’ve got a few more recipes in development.  Yes, it will be a struggle to taste test them before sharing the recipes with you here, but I’ll soldier on.  It’s amazing the things that I’ll do in the name of researchl!

The Summer Solstice Cocktail
We have made a non-alcoholic version of this drink for the farm kids who both gave it a thumbs up. Simply substitute lemonade or carbonated water for the vodka depending on your preference.
Print
For the Fresh Ginger Lime Syrup
  1. 1 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 2 ounces ginger root, peeled and sliced into coins
  4. zest from 1/2 a lime
For the Summer Solstice Cocktail
  1. 2 ounces vodka
  2. 1/2 ounce lime juice
  3. 1 1/2 ounce ginger-lime syrup
  4. 4 ounces lemonade
For the Fresh Ginger Lime Syrup
  1. Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine. Place pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. The strained syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.
For the Summer Solstice Cocktail
  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake until well mixed. Strain into a glass with fresh ice and serve. At 1840 Farm, we like to serve the Summer Solstice in a wide mouth mason jar.
Notes
  1. Visit www.1840farm.com to enjoy all of our recipes from the Farmhouse Kitchen.
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To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-summer-solstice-cocktail/

The Bread Baker’s Series

I love to bake bread. I enjoy the process of mixing the individual ingredients and using my hands to transform it into an elastic, smooth dough. I feel a great sense of satisfaction when the risen loaves are transferred to the oven and begin to fill the farmhouse with the unmistakable scent of fresh baking bread.

My grandmothers were both bread bakers.  Perhaps that fact has something to do with my love for baking fresh bread.  While they were both accomplished bread bakers, they each had their own unique style.

My paternal grandmother baked bread out of necessity. With nine children to feed and a farmer’s budget to consider, baking her own bread was the best option. She was a baker of the artisan style. She didn’t weigh ingredients and didn’t need to. There was no recipe to consult or cookbook to draw from. Instead, her instincts told her when to add more flour and when to brush the excess aside. She believed in doing everything by hand, kneading each batch until her hands told her that it was perfect. Watching her mix, knead, and bake bread was like watching an oil painting take shape. It was pure art.

My maternal grandmother became a bread baker later in life. She baked bread for the pure pleasure of sharing a fresh loaf with her family.  Friday was bread baking day and we were always eager to see what type of bread she had made for us. She was a baker of the scientific method. She weighed everything meticulously and followed instructions to the letter. She chose to use a bread machine to produce her loaves. She made notes regarding each loaf, adjusting the recipe each time she made it until it was perfect.

I tend to fall somewhere in between them on the bread baking scale. I do weigh my ingredients in order to ensure a well-made loaf and to correctly calculate the carbohydrates in each recipe. I’m the first bread baker in my family to be pairing insulin boluses with bread slices for my child.  For me, measuring and precision are an integral part of the bread baking experience.

Yet I do love to experiment in the kitchen.  So, when our sponsor Kitchen Kneads offered to send me a few tools of the trade to evaluate, I jumped at the chance.  I’m always looking for new ways to improve my bread baking skills and this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to do so.

When the products arrived, I got busy baking.  Then I got busy thinking as I often do when kneading a batch of bread dough.  What if I worked with Kitchen Kneads to share a whole series of bread baking posts with you?  Together, we could share tips, tricks, and recipes to help us all become better bread bakers.

Whether you are an accomplished bread baker or an aspiring one, I hope that you’ll join us to learn more about bread baking.  I also hope that you’ll share your best bread baking tips, biggest challenges and frustrations, and favorite recipes right here.  If you have a bread baking question or challenge, please leave a comment.  I’ll do my best to include each of them in the series.

The Bread Baker’s Series is a creative collaboration between 1840 Farm and Kitchen Kneads.  To make sure that you don’t miss any of the posts in The Bread Baker’s Series, subscribe to our posts via Email and become a member of The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  You can also follow the Kitchen Kneads blog via Email, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-bread-bakers-series/

Pear Clafouti

I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks:  Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten.  I have only made a few minor adjustments to the ingredients and it comes out perfectly every time.  Ripe, aromatic pears surrounded by eggy custard is always a welcome sight at our family table.

We enjoyed this delicious dessert last night and the leftovers will be fantastic when warmed slightly and topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream tonight.  Then we’ll be on to our Kentucky Derby Day Celebration and Bourbon Peach Pie with Streusel Topping.

Pear Clafouti

adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
serves 6 – 8

1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons brandy
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces half and half or whole milk
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
3 firm, ripe pears
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare an oven proof baking dish by coating the bottom with the melted butter.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar over the melted butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add the vanilla, sea salt, brandy, heavy cream, and half and half and whisk to blend.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.

Peel and core the ripe pears.  Slice the pears and arrange the slices in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Pour the batter over the sliced pears, distributing evenly.

Bake the clafouti in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is firm and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with sifted powdered sugar.  Serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/pear-clafouti/

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