Tag Archive: Baking

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!


This post was featured in our newsletter.  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 to become 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, 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/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.

 Loading InLinkz ...

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 to become 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, 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/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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, 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/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!


 


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, 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!


This post was shared on the:

From The Farm Blog Hop

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

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.

 

My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients

 

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

Oatmeal Bread

I first made a version of this recipe back in the 1990s. In March of 1995, a recipe for Oatmeal Bread from Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont appeared in Gourmet Magazine.   Gourmet was my source for culinary inspiration and I decided immediately after seeing this recipe that I would give it a try.

At the time, we called Kansas home, but I was drawn to all things New England given my fond memories of time spent in New Hampshire with my Mom visiting my Great Grandparent’s home in the White Mountains.  Fast forward to the present and we have been living in New England for over a decade.  I have even been fortunate enough to enjoy la meal at the Trapp Family Lodge while visiting Stowe.

So many years have passed, but we still enjoy this bread recipe just as much.  I have made a few changes to the original recipe over the years.  Some of them are subtle like my addition of vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer to lighten the final loaf.

A few other changes are more recent and significant.  They both involve the use of our WonderMill.  Lately, I have been including our own freshly milled organic, non-GMO whole wheat flour and oat flour when making this bread.  The resulting loaves have a lovely rich, earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness from the oat flour.

I am always amazed when a recipe can hold our attention through the years.  This one certainly has and it is a permanent fixture in our homemade bread rotation.  I can’t predict what the next decade holds for me or my recipe collection, but I am willing to bet that I’ll be making this bread in 2023!

Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from Oatmeal Bread Trapp Family Lodge from Gourmet Magazine, March 1995
makes 2 loaves

There’s no need to pass up this recipe if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour.  I made these loaves for years using store bought flour with excellent results.  You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour and  for both the whole wheat flour and increase the All-purpose flour by 1/2 cup as a replacement for the oat flour.  If you don’t have Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer, 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.

1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter, melted
1/4 cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (120 grams) old fashioned oats
2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) warm water
5 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
1 cup (60 grams) oat flour
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (300 grams)All-purpose or bread flour
4 teaspoons Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
beaten egg or melted butter for brushing the dough 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 butter, brown sugar, oats, and hot water.  Mix to combine.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside for five minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients.  When the five minutes have elapsed, stir the liquid ingredients and then add the dry ingredients in one addition.  Mix using a spoon or clean hands until a shaggy dough forms.

Remove the ball of shaggy dough from the bowl to a floured surface.  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. If desired, brush the top of each loaf with a little beaten egg or melted butter.  A few oats can be sprinkled on top to garnish the finished loaf.

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 375 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.    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 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/2013/10/oatmeal-bread/

Wholegrain Buttermilk Biscuits

Fall is in the air here at 1840 Farm and another homeschooling semester is underway.  This year, one of our homeschooling goals is to spend more time together in the kitchen baking and cooking.  We’ll be learning the basics and adding in a few family and holiday favorites for good measure.  We’ll also be sharing many of the recipes and techniques with you so that you can try them in your kitchen.

I decided to start with a simple recipe and a bit of kitchen science for good measure.  So, we gathered around our kitchen table to learn more about baking soda and baking powder.  You can learn all about the subject by reading my post:  Kitchen Science:  Baking Soda vs Baking Powder.

In my opinion, few recipes highlight baking powder in the way that a great homemade biscuit does, so we started gathering our ingredients and preparing to make a batch of buttermilk biscuits from scratch.  In moments, we had our ingredients and tools.  We were ready to mill a batch of organic, non-GMO flour, make our own baking powder, and finish the biscuits by using a biscuit cutter that had been passed down from my Great Grandmother.

 First, we milled a batch of whole wheat flour using our WonderMill.  If you don’t mill your own flour, a high quality whole wheat flour can be substituted or you can use All-purpose flour if you prefer.  We mixed up enough fresh baking powder for each child to make their own batch of biscuits and started weighing our ingredients.

Then it was time to mix up the dough and break out our rolling pins.  We talked while we rolled out the dough.  We couldn’t help but discuss the generations of our family that had come before us as we used a biscuit cutter that showed signs of wear from its decades of use.  I watched them fill with pride as they gently transferred each round of biscuit dough to the baking pan.

That evening, we gathered around our family table and enjoyed the biscuits as the centerpiece of our meal.  They were delicious used as the bread for our heirloom Green Zebra Tomato BLT sandwiches.  They had a light, flaky texture that was just as delicious when enjoyed for breakfast the next morning, warm with a pat of butter and drizzle of our own maple syrup.

These biscuits were so popular that we have already enjoyed them a second time.  I’m quite certain that we’ll be making them again soon.  I hope that your family will enjoy them as much as mine did.

Buttermilk Biscuits
makes 8 biscuits

The key to making a light, flaky biscuit is to mix the dough enough to break the butter into very small pieces without mixing it so much as to develop the gluten in the flour.  Don’t worry, there’s a simple trick to ensuring that you achieve that state consistently when making biscuits.  Simply grate the butter before adding it to the dry ingredients.  While it may sound unconventional, grating the butter makes all the difference.  The butter will be in small shards and easily distributed through the dry ingredients with little effort.

Take care not to over flour the dough while rolling.  Too much flour will create a dry, heavy biscuit.  I like to use a seasoned french rolling pin or silicone covered rolling pin and rolling mat when making biscuits.  Both are less likely to need excess flour in order to prevent sticking.

1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (120 grams) All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons baking powder
6 Tablespoons butter, grated
3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, and baking powder..  Use your dry fingers or a whisk to combine the dry ingredients before adding the grated butter to the bowl.  Using your fingers, gently toss the grated butter and the dry ingredients until the small shards of butter are evenly distributed through the dry ingredients..

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients before adding the buttermilk all at once.  Use a spoon or your hands to mix the dry ingredients into the buttermilk.  Continue to mix until the dry and wet ingredients are fully combined .Take care not to overmix, stopping as soon as the dough is evenly moist.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Add a sprinkling of flour to the top of the dough and pat into a rectangular shape.  With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 1/2 inch thick. Fold the top third down to the middle of the dough.  Fold the bottom third up to the middle of the dough.  Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll until 1/2 inch thick.  Repeat this folding and turning two more times.  The folding and turning will help to create buttery layers in the dough and yield a very flaky biscuit.

Roll the dough into a final rectangle 1/2 inch thick.  Dip a biscuit cutter in flour and cut out each biscuit, disturbing the dough as little as possible.  Gently transfer each round to a baking tray or pan.

Place the pan of biscuits in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the butter to solidify.  Take any remaining scraps of dough and gently shape into a rectangle before wrapping with plastic wrap and placing in the refrigerator.  If allowed to rest, this dough can be rolled and cut into biscuits or pressed into the bottom of a pie pan to serve as the crust for sweet or savory dishes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the biscuits from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature as the oven preheats.  Transfer the biscuits to the hot oven.  Bake for 12-16 minutes or until lightly browned with a dry exterior.  Remove from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter if desired.  Serve warm.


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, 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!


From The Farm Blog Hop

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/09/wholegrain-buttermilk-biscuits/

Make Your Own: Baking Powder

Have you ever been in the midst of mixing together the ingredients for a recipe only to find that you are missing a vital component?  I’m sorry to say that I have on more than one occasion.  In fact, a few weeks ago, I discovered that the can of baking powder in our pantry did not contain enough powder to make the recipe that I was working on.

Luckily, I discovered that I could make my own baking powder and a crisis, or at least my family’s disappointment, was avoided.  Making the baking powder was incredibly simple.  In moments, the baking powder had been mixed and I was ready to finish the recipe with a little fresh baking powder to spare.

In the last few weeks, I have used this homemade baking powder several times.  I am impressed with how easy it is to make and with how well it works in my recipes.  In fact, I think that the homemade baking powder yields a recipe with a better flavor than the store bought variety.

Now you can make your own baking powder and judge for yourself.  I can’t wait to hear what you think of homemade baking powder in your favorite recipes.  If you would like to learn more about baking powder and how it differs from baking soda, visit my latest Kitchen Science post, Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda.

Homemade Baking Powder
makes three Tablespoons

2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon baking soda

Combine both ingredients in a small container with a lid.  Stir to mix the two dry ingredients completely.  Use as you would store bought baking powder in your favorite recipes.  This homemade, fresh baking powder can be stored in the airtight container in a cool, dark place for several weeks.

If you’re looking for a great recipe to feature your homemade baking soda, try our Wholegrain Buttermilk Biscuits.  They’re fantastic!


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, 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/2013/09/make-your-own-baking-powder/

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/

Farmhouse Country Loaf

I have already admitted to you how much I love to make bread.  I enjoy making the simplest of quick breads to brioche loaves and babkas that require a full day of preparation and baking.  I also enjoy making rustic, everyday loaves.

This farmhouse country loaf is a staple here at 1840 Farm.   It incorporates the fresh eggs and goat’s milk that we collect from the heritage breed hens and Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats each day.  I also use our freshly ground whole wheat flour and corn meal in the dough.  In my opinion, a loaf of homemade bread made with freshly collected eggs, goat’s milk, and home milled grains can proudly wear the name “farmhouse country loaf.”

A few months ago, I had the good fortune to be asked by our sponsor Kitchen Kneads to review a few of their products.  One of them was Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer.   The product promised to help produce a whole wheat loaf with a lighter texture and longer shelf life.  It was hard for me to believe that a mere Tablespoon of the dough enhancer would make much of a difference in a batch of bread dough big enough to produce two loaves.

Yet, I was curious, so I followed the instructions on the package for dough enhancer and made a batch of our farmhouse country loaf dough.  I didn’t make any other changes to the ingredients or technique in order to test the difference the dough enhancer would make in the finished loaf.

To say that I was impressed is an understatement.  The dough enhancer made an incredible difference in the texture of the finished loaf.  The exterior was firm with an interior that was smooth and even.  As far as the shelf life was concerned, one full week later, the loaf was still just as delicious as the day it came out of the oven.

We enjoy this bread for breakfast each morning lightly toasted, topped with a bit of butter and fresh homemade preserves.   The loaf has the wonderful texture that is the hallmark of a wholegrain bread without being too dense.  When toasted, the cornmeal in the loaf delivers a lovely toasty crunch that makes this our favorite way to start our mornings on the farm.

This country farmhouse loaf is my family’s favorite homemade bread recipe.  I hope that you will give it a try and make it yours.

Farmhouse Country Loaf
makes 2 loaves

I like to use freshly ground Hard Winter Wheat flour and home ground cornmeal ground using our WonderMill in this recipe.  If you don’t have access to freshly ground flour or cornmeal, you can substitute high quality whole wheat flour and  cornmeal.  If you don’t have Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer, 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.

2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose or bread flour
1 1/4 cups (150 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (120 grams) cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
1 1/4 cup (10 ounces) warm water
1 large egg

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 dry ingredients.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients.  Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl or small saucepan, combine the butter, honey, milk, and water.  Heat the mixture until it is warm but not hot.  If you have an instant read thermometer, you can use it to determine the exact temperature.  An ideal temperature for the liquids is between 105° F–115° F.  Stir to combine, ensuring that the honey has been incorporated into the warm liquid.  Add the egg and stir until the liquid is thoroughly combined.

Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until a dough begins to form.  Remove the ball of shaggy dough from the bowl to a floured surface.  Knead the dough, adding more flour if 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, 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 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 an inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.

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.  Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter if desired.  Allow them to cool completely before 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 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!


This post was shared on the:

From The Farm Blog Hop

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/farmhouse-country-loaf/

The Bread Baker’s Series: Heidleberg Rye Bread

Kitchen Kneads Heidleberg Rye Bread (Photo courtesy of Kitchen Kneads)

I love rye bread.  The earthy flavor is a wonderful pairing for our homemade strawberry jam for a wholesome breakfast.  I also like to top a lightly toasted slice of rye with herbed, salted butter and a paper-thin slice of radish fresh from the garden.

I have made several loaves of rye bread, but I was never able to perfect the texture.  While the loaves had great flavor, the were much more dense than I hoped for.  Thanks to our Bread Baker’s Series collaboration with Kitchen Kneads, I may have just found the recipe that can help me make a perfect loaf of rye.

I can’t wait to bake up one of these lovely looking loaves in our farmhouse kitchen.  The photo that accompanies the recipe displays exactly the type of texture I was striving for.  Dawn specifically mentions that this loaf is soft and “incredibly moist”.

This recipe is moving to the top of my menu to do list.  I hope that you’ll visit Kitchen Kneads to get the recipe so that you can try it along with me.  While you’re there, you ‘ll learn a few interesting nutrition facts about rye bread.  Here’s a hint:  rye bread isn’t just delicious, it’s also packed with nutrition.


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-heidleberg-rye-bread/

Raspberry Pie

I adore fresh pie.  I love to make it as much as I love to enjoy a slice with my family.  One bite of a freshly baked berry pie and I am magically transformed to a time and place deeply imbedded in my childhood.  I simply can’t eat a slice of berry pie without thinking of the time I spent in my Grandmother’s kitchen as a young child.

I don’t wait for a holiday to bake pie.  We enjoy them all year long.  Bourbon Peach Pie with Brown Sugar Topping is a Derby Day tradition.  Brandied Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sugar Topping is a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of fall.  Berry pie is a summer staple, allowing us to showcase the fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and schwatzenberries that we grow right in our backyard.

During raspberry season, I love to make double crusted pies filled with fresh raspberries picked from the 1840 Farm garden.  A warm slice topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is a powerful reminder of why we toil all year to enjoy our garden harvest.  With every bite, we’re reminded of the delicious rewards of farming on the homestead.

1840 Farm Berry Pie

makes one 9 inch pie

I make this pie using blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries with great success.   If you don’t have fresh berries, frozen berries may be substituted.  Gently thaw or defrost frozen berries before making the filling mixture and omit the added water from the recipe.   I prefer my berry pie to be on the tart side.  If your preference is for a sweeter pie, increase the sugar to a full cup.

To save time, I usually mix my pie crust in my food processor.  This recipe can be made in a bowl using a dough blender or a large fork.   Either way, the result will be a flaky, buttery crust that pairs deliciously with the berry filling.

I like to use a ceramic pie bird when baking a double crusted pie.  If you don’t have a pie bird, simply cut a few more slits in the top crust to allow excess steam to escape.  Doing so will ensure that your filling will be thick and that the top crust will be flaky.

2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 ounces butter, cubed
6-7 Tablespoons ice water

1 pound (approximately 4 cups) fresh berries
¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons tapioca
4 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons butter, cubed

To make the crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add ice water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is less flaky.  Remove the crust from the processor, shape into a flat disk, and place on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate while the filling is prepared.

To prepare the berry filling, combine berries, sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, tapioca, and water in a large bowl.  Mix gently to combine.  Set aside to allow the berries to begin releasing their juices.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  Set aside.

Remove the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator.  Cut the disk into two equal pieces.  Roll the bottom crust into a smooth disk large enough to line the pie plate.  Rolling will be much easier if done on a well-floured surface or between two sheets of freezer paper or waxed paper.

Place the bottom crust in the pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough.  By gently lifting the edges of the crust, the dough will naturally come to rest on the bottom of the pie plate without stretching.  Stretching the crust too much will yield a chewy crust instead of one that is flaky and light.  Continue this technique around the perimeter of the pie plate.

Stir the prepared filling before gently placing it on top of the bottom crust in the pie plate.  Evenly distribute the cubed 3 Tablespoons of butter on top of the filling.  Roll out the remaining portion of pie crust until it is large enough to cover the top surface of the pie.  If you will be using a pie bird, place it in the middle of the filling before setting the top crust and cut a slit in the middle of the crust to accommodate the pie bird.  If not, simply place the crust on top of the filling, centering it over the pie plate.

Work around the plate, rolling the excess crust underneath to form a thick ridge along the edge of the pie.  Using your fingers, flute the edge of the crust or use a fork to crimp along the edge.  Continue until the entire perimeter has been sealed.  Using a sharp knife, cut several slits in the surface of the top crust.  Doing so will allow steam to escape from the filling as it bakes.

Place the pie on top of the prepared baking sheet and transfer it to the preheated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Continue to bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top crust is a beautiful, light golden brown.  Rotating the pie midway through the baking time will help to ensure that your pie is evenly brown.

Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Top with vanilla ice cream if desired.


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 to become 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/2013/07/raspberry-pie/

Chocolate Mocha Zucchini Cake

Chocolae Zucchini Cake at 1840 FarmDuring gardening season, we celebrate every piece of fresh fruit and vegetable grown at 1840 Farm.  We eat as much as we can while it is at its fresh best.  We also can, pickle, and freeze our garden harvest so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labor during the long, cold winter.  It’s a constant race against time trying to make sure that not a single morsel goes to waste.

During summers that include a bumper harvest of zucchini, I like to find ways to include it in savory and sweet dishes.  Incorporating shredded zucchini into baked goods isn’t anything new.  My mother made zucchini bread every summer when I was a child.  Making a zucchini cake with chocolate and mocha flavor puts a new spin on an old favorite.

Zucchini adds an unbelievable moist texture to baked goods without altering the flavor.  It can be used as a substitute for oil in cakes and breads with excellent, delicious results.  This cake is no exception.  The flavor is rich, full of chocolate and espresso flavor.  The texture is moist and evenly dense.

Chocolate Mocha Zucchini Cake is  delicious served warm with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  When fresh berries are available, I love to serve it topped with whipped cream and fresh berries straight from our garden.  No matter how you serve it, this cake is sure to be a hit with the chocolate lovers at your family table.

Chocolate Mocha Zucchini Cake
makes 12 servings

I like to use espresso powder in this recipe to deliver a wonderfully rich coffee flavor.  If you don’t have espresso powder on hand, you can substitute 4 ounces of strong coffee for part of the milk called for in the recipe.

The water content in zucchini can vary wildly, so the baking time for this recipe is a guideline.  You may find that your cake needs 10-15 minutes of additional time in the oven if your zucchini was particularly moist.  If you use frozen zucchini, I have found that defrosting the zucchini and draining it before adding it to the recipe yields more consistent results.

I like to use my silicone bundt pan when baking this recipe.  I find that it helps the cake to remain moist as it bakes and cools.  A metal bundt pan or a standard cake pan could also be used.  If using a different pan, simply adjust the cooking time as needed, removing the cake from the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out cleanly.

2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 ounces oil
2 ounces plain yogurt
1/2 cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (120 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon espresso powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
8 ounces shredded zucchini (see note above)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
7 1/2 ounces (1 cup minus 1 Tablespoon) milk
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a bundt pan by spraying lightly with pan spray or brushing with melted butter.  Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet and set aside as you prepare the batter.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, oil, yogurt, sugar, and brown sugar.  Mix until  smooth before adding cocoa powder, vanilla, espresso powder, eggs, and zucchini.  Stir until the zucchini and cocoa are fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.  Add the flour, baking soda, baking, powder, and sea salt and stir until just combined.  Add the milk and vinegar and mix until the batter is completely smooth.

Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan.  Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, adjusting baking time as needed .  The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with small crumbs attached.

Allow the cake to cool at least 10 minutes in the pan before inverting on a wire rack to cool completely.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


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 to become 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/2013/07/chocolate-mocha-zucchini-cake/

Perfecting a Homemade Loaf of Bread

I have already admitted how much I love to make bread.  There’s nothing about bread baking that I don’t enjoy. I love mixing freshly milled flour, yeast, and water to begin the process of making a loaf to serve at our family table.  Moments later, I feel the cares of the world melt away as I knead the shaggy dough into a smooth, elastic ball.

Sadly, home bread baking can also include disappointment.  I have made my share of homemade loaves that failed to deliver the uniform crumb and crust that I hoped for.  I have felt the heartbreak that comes from removing a leaden loaf from the oven after smelling the intoxicating scent as it bakes.

As the delicious smell of baking bread fills our farmhouse, I am always hopeful that the resulting loaf will be beautiful and delicious.  Perhaps the culinary anticipation makes a subpar loaf all the more disappointing.  I am happy to report that more often than not, the loaves that emerge from our oven are beautiful and delicious.  Yet, on occasion, a loaf falls far short on one or sadly, both of those goals.

When that happens, I am left looking for answers.  I attempt to pinpoint a reason why the loaf fell short of my expectations.  My search is in the hopes of learning something from the experience.  If I can determine where things went wrong, then I can use that knowledge to try and prevent it from happening when I bake the next loaf.

Avoiding those bread baking disappointments just got much easier thanks to Kitchen Kneads, our partner in the ongoing Bread Baker’s Series.  They have just published an amazing post that details the most common bread baking challenges.  More importantly, the post offers simple solutions to these challenges so that we can all do our best to avoid them.

You’ll want to pin, bookmark, or print their  How to Make a Perfect Loaf of 100% Wheat Bread post.  While you’re at it, don’t miss the link to their Easy 100% Whole Wheat Bread in 90 Minutes.  I tested the recipe here in the kitchen at 1840 Farm.  It was simple to make and delicious to eat.  It requires no kneading or shaping, making it the perfect starter loaf for those of you who are just beginning on your breadmaking journey.  The recipe is also ideally suited for those of us who wish we could make fresh bread more often but struggle to find the time in our busy days to do so.

The Bread Baker’s Series is just getting started.  There are many more recipes, tips, tools, and techniques to come in future posts.  At 1840 Farm, we’re proud to be collaborating with Kitchen Kneads on this series and learning from their years of experience supplying bakers with the best products and ingredients for ensuring bread baking success.

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/2013/07/perfecting-a-homemade-loaf-of-bread/

Deb’s Cornbread

Last week, I published a recipe for Oven Baked Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce.  When I shared the link with The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, quite a few readers left comments about their own home ground cornmeal.  When Deb mentioned that she milled her own lavender cornmeal blend, I had to know more about it.

I asked her if she would be so kind as to share a photo and a little information with all of us.  Not only did she provide me with the information about the meal, she also graciously provided me with the recipe for her homemade cornbread and gave me permission to share it with the rest of you.

First, let’s start with the cornmeal.  Deb combines two heirloom corn varieties when milling her lavender cornmeal.  She mixes equal parts of Bloody Butcher and Aztec Blue corn before milling her cornmeal.  She estimates that her dried corn is almost eight years old and still tastes delicious!

I can’t wait to try this recipe for cornbread.  It sounds delicious and will be a perfect recipe for me to make using the fresh cornmeal that we mill here at 1840 Farm.  I’ll also be doing a little research to see if I can find a local farmer who might have these heirloom varieties of dried corn available.  Deb has inspired me to want to make my own lavender cornmeal!

Deb’s Cornbread

Deb originally found this recipe in The Whole Foods for the Whole Family Cookbook.

Deb added that she has used butter and olive oil in this recipe with great success.  She prefers using raw honey to add sweetness.  She also suggested that adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda is helpful if you choose to use buttermilk or sour milk in this recipe as a substitute for the milk.

Deb loves to serve this cornbread to her family topped with butter and honey or maple syrup as a side dish for chili or beans.  She makes a version of this cornbread with a crispy crust by pouring the batter into a hot 10 inch cast iron skillet before transferring it to the preheated oven.

1 cup cornmeal*
1 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 – 4 Tablespoons melted butter, lard, or oil
1 – 4 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup, molasses, or brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk, buttermilk, or whey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare an 8 inch square baking pan by spraying with cooking spray or applying a thin layer of butter or oil.  If you choose to make the cast iron skillet version, place the butter or oil in the skillet before placing it in the oven to warm up while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sweetener, eggs, and milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch square pan or warm, oiled cast iron skillet.  Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.  When finished, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread will come out clean or with small crumbs attached.

Thanks, Deb for sharing one of your favorite recipes with The 1840 Farm Community!  Do you have a favorite recipe to share?  Send me an Email and tell me about your favorite recipe so that I can share it in an upcoming issue of The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter!

 


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/2013/07/debs-cornbread/

Bourbon Peach Pie with Brown Sugar Topping

I love to make pie. I have written several times about the reasons why I enjoy making and eating homemade pie. I shared them last year during The Daily Meal and Kikkoman’s Tradition Exchange.  In fact, I truly enjoy writing pie recipes and incorporating my memories of my Grandmother and the pies that were always waiting to welcome us to her home.

Pie was among the first recipes I taught myself to make.  I was in junior high when I finally mastered pie making.  It had taken me several attempts to get a feel for rolling out the dough evenly and transferring it to the pie plate without ending up with holes, rips, tears, and a rising frustration level.

Luckily, my parents were willing taste testers.  They didn’t comment when the crust wasn’t as flaky as I had hoped.  They didn’t complain when the crust’s edge was more towards the burnt end of the baking spectrum than I had ever intended.  Through their patience and my persistence, I emerged as a capable pie baker.

I don’t recall my grandmother ever making peach pie, but this is perhaps the most requested pie recipe in my collection.  If I announce that I will be making pie, my family begins making a case for this recipe in the hopes that I will make one of these for our family table.  Each fall, we pick local peaches that I peel and slice to freeze and keep on hand for just such an occasion.

Be forewarned.  Once you serve one of these delicious pies to your family and friends, you’ll find yourself in the same predicament.  When you head into the kitchen to make pie, your family will react as my family does by asking, “Are you making bourbon peach pie?”

To make sure that you don’t miss the new pie recipes that I will be sharing this summer, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter.  It’s easy to subscribe.  Just 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!

 

 

 

Bourbon Peach Pie with Brown Sugar Topping
makes one 9 inch pie

Each year, I peel and slice peaches when they’re at their seasonal best before freezing them on a sheet pan.  Once they’re completely frozen, I place them in resealable freezer bags and keep them all year long.  When using frozen peach slices, simply warm them for 2 minutes in a microwave safe bowl before using them to make the filling.

1 1/2 cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, chilled
4 – 6 Tablespoons ice water

3 cups (1 pound) peeled, sliced peaches
2 ounces bourbon ( I prefer Buffalo Trace brand)
3/4 cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tapioca

3/4 cup (144 grams) brown sugar
1 cup (120 grams) All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, melted

To save time, I usually make my pie crust in my food processor.  This recipe can also be made in a bowl using a dough blender or a large fork.   Either way, the result will be a flaky, buttery crust that pairs deliciously with the peach filling.

To make the crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add ice water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is less flaky.  Remove the crust from the processor, shape into a flat disk, and place on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate while the filling is prepared.

To prepare the filling, combine the peach slices, bourbon, sugar, lemon juice and tapioca in a large bowl.  Mix gently to combine.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  Set aside.

Remove the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator.  Roll the crust into a smooth disk large enough to line the pie plate.  Rolling will be much easier if done on a well-floured surface or between two sheets of freezer paper or waxed paper.

Place the bottom crust in the pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough.  By gently lifting the edges of the crust, the dough will naturally come to rest on the bottom of the pie plate without stretching.  Continue this technique around the perimeter of the pie plate.  Stir the prepared filling and gently place it on top of the crust in the pie plate.

Prepare the topping by combining the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the melted butter and stir to distribute evenly and moisten the dry ingredients.  Using your hands or a large spoon, place mounds of the topping on the peach pie filling, distributing evenly.  Take care to leave gaps in the topping to allow steam to escape from the fruit filling as the pie bakes.

Transfer the pie plate to the lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven.  Bake approximately 40-45 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the baking time to help ensure even browning.  The pie is done when the filling is bubbly and the topping and crust are golden brown.

Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/bourbon-peach-pie-with-brown-sugar-topping/

Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake

Angel 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.

Daffodil Cake
Makes 8 servings

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.

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.

6 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons warm water
½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

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.

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.

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.

Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl.  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.

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.

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.

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.


This post was featured in our newsletter.  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 to become 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, 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 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/

Fennel Friday – Smoked Cheddar Gougères with Fennel Pollen

Gougères are a favorite here at 1840 Farm.  We have been enjoying them for years.  A holiday or special occasion almost always includes a batch of gougères served at our family table.

I’m a tinkerer by nature, constantly adjusting recipes ever so slightly.  Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.  Once, I even attempted to modify our recipe for gougères.   The whole family was disappointed with that batch.  They just seemed to be missing something.  Sometimes, making a recipe different doesn’t make it better.

I learned my lesson, at least with this recipe.  Since that fateful day, I have not made even the slightest change to our gougères.  Well, that is until last week.  This time, I was smarter about it.

I didn’t make a change to the cheese in the gougères or in the method I used to make them.  Instead, I made them as I always did and then embellished them with a little something special that arrived in the mail a few days earlier.

A few weeks 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 package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  From the moment I opened the package, I was taken with the delicious aroma emanating from the tins contained inside.

I couldn’t wait to try the fennel pollen.  Gougères seemed like the perfect place to start.  A tiny sprinkle of fennel pollen was added to the top of each mound of dough before they were transferred to the oven.

I only added the fennel pollen to half of the batch.  I really had learned my lesson.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to explain to my family why I had done the unthinkable and tried to tinker with our gougère recipe again.

As the gougères baked in the oven, the farmhouse kitchen began to have the most amazing aroma.  It was equal parts smoked cheddar and fennel. It was intoxicating.

A few minutes later, the gougères were ready to remove from the oven.  I always find it difficult to wait as they cool.  I know that they will have a deeper flavor when room temperature, but they smell so delicious that it seems torturous to wait even a minute.

I was rewarded for waiting.  The first bite made me a believer in the ability of fennel pollen to improve an already fantastic recipe.  The pollen added a wonderful herbal punch to the gougères without masking their earthy, rich flavor.

I waited anxiously as my family gave them a try.  Everyone agreed.  The fennel pollen was a nice addition to our gougères.  As we enjoyed them, we discussed what other recipes we could add it to.

I can imagine a whole host of recipes that could be garnished with a dusting of fennel pollen.  I know that my tinkering instinct will be indulged as I try a few of them in the coming weeks.  Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing them with you right here.

To make sure that you don’t miss any of our delicious recipes, sign up to receive our posts via Email and become a member of The 1840 Farm Online Community on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Stay tuned!

Smoked Cheddar Gougères
makes 60 one inch puffs

8 oz Whole Milk

4 oz Butter
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Flour
4 large eggs
4 oz Sharp Cheddar, grated
2 oz Smoked Cheddar, grated
Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen

Position the racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper. Measure the flour into a small bowl. Crack all of the eggs into a bowl and set aside until they are needed. Grate the two cheeses and gently combine them.

Combine milk, butter, and salt in a medium sized pot over high heat. Monitor the mixture closely, stirring often, to avoid scorching. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the flour in one addition. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Continue to stir continuously for two minutes until the dough is completely smooth and leaves a film on the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes.

Once the five minutes have elapsed, add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. With the addition of each egg, the dough will break. This is normal; rest assured that the dough will be perfectly smooth by the time the fourth egg is incorporated. Once the eggs have all been added, stir in the grated cheese until it is evenly distributed.

Using a spoon or a Tablespoon sized cookie scoop, drop the dough by rounded Tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 1 inch of space between each gougère. Sprinkle a pinch of fennel pollen on top of each mound of dough.  Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 20 – 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.

The gougères will be done when they become golden brown in color and have a puffed appearance with a dry exterior. Remove the gougères from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool. Gougères can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: Rounded Tablespoons of dough can be frozen individually on a tray lined with freezer paper. Once they are completely frozen, store the gougères in a freezer bag until ready to use. To bake, simply place frozen gougères on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 – 36 minutes.

This post is included in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club on Fennel Friday and The Hungry Goddess

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/fennel-friday-smoked-cheddar-gougeres-with-fennel-pollen/

Older posts «