Baking this week

I decided to try add a post about what I am making every week, as not everything makes it to the blog, or sometimes it takes a little while to get the pictures all edited. I also wanted to be able to share great non-baking recipes I find.

This week it started feeling like fall with a wet and cold Sunday, so I made cinnamon rolls we had with hot chocolate. Very comforting! I will be sharing the recipe later.

I also made mom’s quiche with leeks from our CSA and bacon bits. It turned out great and the very fresh leeks are lovely and sweet. I really enjoy going to our CSA and picking up vegetables, and I am sad the season is over soon.

For bread I did a two step whole grain bread that is on the way to becoming a favorite bread. It is moist, delicious and keeps very well. Look for a recipe and pictures soon!

I felt I did quite a bit of baking this week, which felt good.

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Simple Focaccia

Foccacia-13I wanted to make some bread to go with a pasta dish, and I wanted to try and bake some bread on my pizza stone. A focaccia seemed to be a good choice.

Most focaccia recipes calls for the bread to be baked in a dish, but I was looking for one with a free form focaccia. I found one in my go-to book, Wenche Frølich’s Brød. I adapted it for the pizza stone, and it is simple to make, but this one does have a lot of resting, 4 hours total or so.

A focaccia is a very simple bread, flavored with salt and olive oil. I used Safeway’s O Organics brand olive oil, but I suspect you might get a better taste if you spring for a pricier, fancy olive oil. You can also add chopped herbs or sundried tomatoes to the dough for some extra flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 15 g yeast cake (5 g /0.2 oz dry yeast)
  • 175 ml lukewarm water (3/4 cup)
  • 275 g flour (9.7 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25 ml olive oil (0.1 cup or 1 tbsp + 2 tsp)
  • flour or cornmeal for resting
  • extra salt and olive oil for baking

Method:

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water

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2. Add flour and salt and mix well until a dough forms.

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3. Knead in the oil. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, it should not feel dry tough.

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4. Turn the dough out on a work surface, and knead for 5-10 min.

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5. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with film. Let rest for 1.5 hour, until doubled in size.

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6. Form a large round bread on your work surface, it should be 25-30 cm in diameter.

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7. Spread some cornmeal or flour on a wooden board or pizza peel, cover with film and let rest for 30 min.

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8. Use your thumb to make small, deep grooves in the bread. Cover with film again and let rest for 2 hours.

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9. Preheat oven to 500° F/ 260° C, with your pizza stone in the middle of the oven. Let the stone heat for 30 min or so, if you can.

10. Brush the bread with olive oil and scatter salt over.

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11. Transfer the focaccia to the pizza stone, and immediately turn the heat down to 435°F / 225° C.

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12. Bake for 20-25 min, until golden.

13. Transfer to a rack when done, and eat while still warm.

I went a little overboard when brushing with oil, but it turned out well. I didn’t even have time to do a ‘nice’ picture of the focaccia, it was eaten fast, which is what you want. It does not keep that well, and goes dry fast.

‘English’ Tea Cake

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I love spice cakes, and my mom send me this recipe along when I asked her, I recall her making this from time to time during my childhood. It is an old recipe, my mom send me a scan of an old recipe card, I think it is from the 70s. It is part of a series of recipe that Danish flour company Amo distributed in stores at the time. They have also published all the old ones on their website, but it is of course more fun to use the one with my mom’s handwritten notes.

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I love the blend of spices of this, and all the raisins. Simple and delicious. I doubt it is actually English as such, but that is what they named it.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g all purpose flour (17.6 oz)
  • 250 g butter (softened) (8.8 oz)
  • 250 g sugar (8.8 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml milk (1 cup)
  • 250 g raisins (8.8 oz)
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp gound cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder

 

  • Method:

1. Grease 2 loaf tins and preheat the oven to 175 C / 350 F.

2. Use an electric mixer to mix sugar and butter until it is soft and fluffy.

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3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each

4. Add all the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking powder) and mix, then mix in the raisins.

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5. Pour the batter into the prepared tins

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6. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the top is well browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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7. Let cool a bit on a wire rack, then take them out of the tins to cool completely.

Enjoy with tea (or coffee)! You can see that I have half a cake with no raisins, my husband is not too fond of raisins in baked goods, so I make a bit for him without. However, since this cake is not really that sweet or moist without the raisins I can’t really recommend omitting the raisins.

If it gets a little dry after a few days, it is great toasted with butter.