FLOATING KITCHEN

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  • Cherry-Hazelnut Bread
  • Cherry-Hazelnut Bread
  • Cherry-Hazelnut Bread

Cherry-Hazelnut Bread

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Posted on October 29, 2014

These days you’ll likely find me shuffling around the kitchen (possibly still in my pajamas), coffee in hand, flour across my brow and a smile on my face. Because there is nothing better than fall baking.

This year I’m determined to get more comfortable baking with yeast. Quick breads, scones, muffins and biscuits I can do with my eyes closed. No problemo. And I can make a pie crust LIKE A BOSS. But yeasted breads have always intimated me a bit. So I’m going to step up my bread-making game the next couple of months and master this. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

I was initially attracted to this recipe because of the flavors. Big hunks of tart cherries and toasted hazelnuts are a pretty unbeatable combination. But I was also drawn in by the technique, which involves making and using a sponge-starter. This was something new to me, so I figured if I’m ever going to “master” this whole yeasted bread thing then I better get out of my comfort zone (and maybe get out of my pajamas too).

A sponge-starter is like a lazy man’s version of a sourdough-starter. It’s a mixture of flour, water and yeast that is freshly made and then allowed to ferment overnight. It gives your bread some of the nuances that are characteristic of a sourdough loaf, but without all the babysitting and dedication required for a true sourdough-starter.

The recipe makes two good sized loaves. You can freeze one away for later or pass one along to your neighbors and rack up the karma points. Your choice. It’s excellent toasted with butter and makes great sandwiches as well.

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe from fiveandspice via Food52

One year ago: Chocolate Lovers Pecan Pie

Cherry-Hazelnut Bread

Yield: Makes 2 loaves

Cherry-Hazelnut Bread

Ingredients

  • For the Sponge
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (I used Fleischmann’s)

  • For the Dough
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cups dried tart cherries
  • Yellow cornmeal for dusting the baking sheet

Instructions

  1. Make the sponge. In a medium bowl, mix together the water, 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. Cover and let it rest at room temperature for 4-8 hours. Bubbles should have formed at the surface. Then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Make the dough. In your stand mixer with the bread hook attachment, combine the water and the flour until they just combined. Cover the bowl and let it stand for 10-20 minutes. Then add the honey, salt and the sponge. Mix on low-medium speed for 3-4 minutes. If the dough is very wet, you can add a few more tablespoons of flour. The dough should be supple and somewhat sticky. Add the hazelnuts and cherries, mixing on low speed for an additional 4-5 minutes, pulling the dough down off the hook as needed. Gather up the dough with your hands, shape it into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it with the oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm area for 2-3 hours. The dough will rise only a small amount (i.e. not a full doubling).
  3. After 2-3 hours, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a well floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal sized pieces. Using floured hands, re-shape each piece into a ball and place them on a large baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 3 hours in a warm area.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Place an oven-safe baking dish on the lowest rack to heat while the oven comes up to temperature. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven. Carefully add about 2 cups of water to the heated baking dish and immediately close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake the loaves for 30-40 minutes. The tops should be deeply golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  5. Wrap the cooled loaves tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or freeze for later.

Notes

1. If you have an recently fed sourdough-starter, you can use that in place of the sponge-starter. You will need 12 ounces.

http://www.floatingkitchen.net/cherry-hazelnut-bread/
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  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

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Posted on October 27, 2014
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I am apparently devoid of all creativity when it comes to pumpkin recipes. History would suggest that the only thing I can think to do with pumpkin is mix it with cream cheese in some form or another. Evidence here and here. And this recipe today.

Maybe it’s because pumpkin just isn’t really my thang. I don’t know. I have problems.

But even though pumpkin isn’t the love of my life, chocolate and I have been in a romantic relationship for many years. One that I hope will continue indefinitely. You hear that chocolate. You better put a ring on it or I’m OUT!

What am I saying right now!!! AHHHH!!! Send help!

OK, let’s get back on track.

Brownies with a pumpkin-cream cheese swirl. That’s what we are really here for today. These brownies are super moist (had to do it, sorry) and fudgy. But not overly sweet. The cream cheese and bourbon help take the sweetness down a notch. And they look kind of Halloweenie (I said “weenie!) so they would be perfect for any upcoming festivities you may have planned for the end of this week.

I think I’m going to end here before any more weirdness comes out of my brain. Happy baking!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe slightly adapted from The Bojon Gourmet

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Yield: Makes one 8 X 8 pan

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

  • For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Batter
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the Brownie Batter
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a couples inches overhanging on all sides. Lightly spray the parchment paper/foil with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Make the pumpkin cheesecake layer. Spread the pumpkin puree out to a 1/4-inch thickness onto a stack of paper towels. Layer a few paper towels on top of the pumpkin puree and press down gently. Set aside and let the pumpkin drain of excess moisture while you make the rest of the cheesecake batter.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the salt, spices, egg and vanilla extract. Peel the paper towels off the pumpkin puree and add it to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until it’s well combined. Place the pumpkin cheesecake batter in your refrigerator.
  4. Make the brownie batter. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate. Once it’s melted, remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the sugar. Then whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract and bourbon. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour about 3/4 of the brownie batter into your prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Then gently pour all of the pumpkin cheesecake batter evenly over top of the brownie batter. Dollop the remaining brownie batter on top of the pumpkin cheesecake layer. Drag the tip of a knife through the batter to create a swirly pattern.
  6. Transfer the brownies to your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan once half way through baking. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the brownies have cooled to room temperature, set them in your refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours. This will help to set them and make them easier to cut.
  7. After they have chilled, lift the brownies out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper/foil. Cut into squares and enjoy. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/pumpkin-cheesecake-brownies/
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