Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Going Overbread!

Three days and three loaves. Oh I am a happy and very full girl!!

The newest loaf was foccacia. It didn't come out exactly how I planned and I may have fibbed a bit, but it tasted AWESOME. Feeling confident with my first two breads, I decided to not take the recipe too seriously and see what came of it. (I'll start posting my recipes at the bottom) Firstly, I added about 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (from my lovely mom's garden far away) and basil into the dough. Secondly, I let it rise twice instead of once. The dough became very elastic and wouldn't really roll out when it came time. So the dough was about 3/4 inch thick instead of the 1/2 inch the cookbook said to do. Finally, I got so excited when it came to imprint into the dough and I just kind of poked it to death rather than pat it down. *Sigh* I've been so patient in this process and I just got a bit... excessive in my excitement. Oh, and I didn't split the dough like the recipe says. It called for a half cup olive oil to dizzle on top. I found this to be WAY too much olive oil. I took off about a quarter cup and decided to leave it at that.

The end result, however. Was .so.delicious. :)

The dip was a perfect match!

I have always loved to bake, and now that I finally had my stand mixer, I wanted to make a simple cupcake. I decided on Martha Stewart's Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. I didn't quite have two cups confectioners sugar, but it ended up being WAY better without it. Just the right amount of sweetness. It's like a carrot cake. Only better.

With a good bottle of pinor noir, some fresh veggies, and good company. Mmmm.

Foccacia Bread
1 packet active dry yeast with 1 1/3 c hot water (105*F). Soak for 5 minutes.
Add 3 1/2 c AP flour, 2 tbl olive oil, and 1 tbl salt.
Knead for about 10 minutes til it's elasticy. (Here I let it rise for an hour) Divide in half and roll to 1/2 inch thick round. Transfered to oiled pans, let rise covered in plastic wrap for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400*F. Press the dough with your fingers.
Drizzle with (I thought this was way to much, I recommend 1/3 c) 1/2 c olive oil. Top with rosemary, dill, basil, thyme, herbs, salt, parmesan, romano, or asiago cheese. Bake til golden brown, about 25 min.
Next time, I'd like to make it thinner and more crisp.

Olive oil and Garlic Dip
I kind of just throw everything together, I don't really measure, but this is a rough guess.

1 c olive oil
5 cloves garlic, pressed (I REALLY love garlic, so I make it garlic heavy. I'm sure it's just fine with 3)
2 tsp salt, basil, oregano, fresh pepper, and sometimes I add a teaspoon of cumin.
The garlic gives you bad breathe, but its SO worth it. And it's good for your immune system, so hey. Whatev.

MS's Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes
I didn't end up making cupcakes, which resulted in having to cook them for an extra 15 minutes. It gave the loaf this gooey yet crispt crust that was one of the best parts.

Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a medium sized bowl, mix 3 c all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (Use fresh if you can! It's worth it!), 1/4 tsp ground cloves (I added extra), and 2 tsp cinnamon.
In another bowl, or your stand mixer bowl, whisk together 1 c vegetable oil, 2 eggs room temp, 1 tbl vanilla (I added a smidge more), 3/4 tsp grated lemon zest (again, used more) and 2 c brown sugar until creamy.
Once it's creamy, add 3 c (or 2 whole zucchini) grated zucchini (the regular sized cheese grater is perfect), then the flour mixture (I did this in three parts). You may like to add 1 cup walnuts (I urge you to do it!).
Cook for 20 minutes in cupcake tins, or 35 (or so) min in two baking loaf pans.

Cream Cheese Frosting
I'm so glad I no longer have to do this by hand!!! Also, I halved the amounts cause I hate having way too much frosting left over. Here is the amount I used.
1 stick room temp unsalted butter, and 6 oz cream cheese also at room temp, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 confectioners sugar. Whisk til creamy.  I honestly recommend using this amount of sugar or maybe even a little less. It compliments the cake better without being overtly sugary.

I will now be spending the next few days exercising, and eating salads.... maybe I could make the croutons.... :D


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