Posts by tag: pastry

  • Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread

Posted on November 10, 2016

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rodelle. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that help to support Floating Kitchen!

On Tuesday, I made bread. In the morning, my hands gently worked the dough. I kneaded it, rolled it, shaped it and braided it. I made it pretty. I watched as the heat from my fireplace helped it to rise to it’s full potential. And I watched my social media feed fill up with announcements from friends who had voted. The hashtag #ImWithHer seemed to dominate the landscape.

That afternoon as my bread baked, my house filled with warm, comforting smells of vanilla and cinnamon. I audibly squealed as I removed the braided loaf from my oven, absolutely delighted over just how beautiful it looked. The swirl was somewhat hypnotic. While the blushing sweep of cranberries provided just the right pop of color. It was perfect.

I anxiously awaited for it to cool. I snapped my photos and took my first bites. I felt happy and accomplished.

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread | www.floatingkitchen.net

But as the day wore on, I struggled to hang onto those feelings. The election coverage that evening caused me to stress eat almost half the loaf, sending me into some kind of a carbohydrate-induced downward spiral. And eventually, I found myself too mentally and emotionally exhausted to even stay awake for the duration of the reporting. I went to bed not knowing the final outcome. In the morning when I checked my phone, I cried. And then I called my Mom and cried some more.

Pajama-clad, I re-warmed some bread and ate it reluctantly. Later, I shared a slice with my neighbor in his backyard. And we both tried to breath.

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread | www.floatingkitchen.net

I think it’s safe to say we’ve got some work to do. Although, I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure what that means or where to even start. But for now, I bake. And listen. And love. And vow to not grow weary.

This Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread certainly won’t solve our problems. But maybe make yourself a loaf and find some comfort and solace in that action. Share a loaf with a friend (or perhaps an enemy). And take care of yourself and the people around you. It’s the least we can do for one another.

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread | www.floatingkitchen.net

I’ve partnered with Rodelle to bring you today’s recipe. Rodelle’s vanilla extracts and other baking essentials are top notch, and I’ve been using them exclusively in my kitchen for years now (did you know they also have a line of savory products!). When I’m cooking and baking with Rodelle ingredients, I’m completely confident that my recipes will turn out to be total show stoppers. And that’s an awesome feeling to have.

I’m also proud to work with a company that not only supports their farmers and growers abroad, but also derives 100% of their energy from wind power and other alternative sources. I hope that more companies will follow their lead.

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread | www.floatingkitchen.net

This Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread might just steal the spotlight at your next Holiday gathering. And as your guests “ooh and ahh” over it’s festive presentation, you’ll be secretly smiling on the inside knowing that it actually wasn’t all that difficult to bake (I promise it’s not nearly as intimidating as it looks!). So be sure to stock up on some essential Rodelle baking ingredients this season, and let’s rock this whole Holiday entertaining thing!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from my Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread

Serves about 8

Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread

Ingredients

  • For the Dough
  • 3 – 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract

  • For the Filling
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 Rodelle Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean

  • For the Glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tsp. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast. Add the warmed milk, butter, beaten egg and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Then using your dough hook attachment, beat the mixture on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once well combined, slowly add in more flour (you’ll need somewhere between 1 and 1 1/4 cups) until the dough is soft, easy to handle and easily leaves the side of the bowl.
  2. Continue mixing the dough on low-medium speed for about 5 minutes, stopping to pull the dough down off the dough hook as needed. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured countertop for about 5 minutes.
  3. Using your hands, shape the dough into a ball. Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough on all sides with a thin layer of the oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  4. Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down to deflate it. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a floured countertop. Shape it with your hands into a rectangle. Then using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 24 X 12-inch rectangle. This will take a little bit of time and effort because the dough is fairly elastic. If the dough is too “springy” let it rest for a few minutes and then try rolling it out again.
  5. Spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of softened butter out into an even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch boarder around the edges. Add the cranberries, pecans, sugar and cornstarch to the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the scraped seeds to the other ingredients in your food processor. Then pulse everything together until a course meal has formed. Spread the cranberry-pecan mixture out in a thin layer over the buttered dough. Then beginning at one of the long edges, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal it as best you can.
  6. Spray a baking sheet and the ring of a 9- to 10-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll lengthwise, creating two equal sized long halves, but leaving one end still attached by about 3/4-inch at the very end. Slightly rotate the halves outwards so the layers are facing upwards. Then starting from the end that is still attached, cross the two halves over each other. Continue doing this until you end up with a single twisted/braided rope. Pinch together the end of the rope.
  8. Gently slide your rope onto to your greased baking sheet. Then starting with one end, spiral the rope into a closed circle. Place the ring of your greased spring form pan over/around the circle. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Position an oven rack in the middle position.
  10. Remove the towel from the dough, but leave the spring form pan in place. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and puffed. Remove the baking sheet from your oven and set it on wire rack to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Then gently slide the bread off the baking sheet and directly onto the wire rack to continue cooling.
  11. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth. Then drizzle the glaze over the bread. You can slice and serve this bread while it’s still slightly warm, or let it cool completely to room temperature before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 days.

Notes

1. The butter for the dough and filling needs to be very soft. I microwaved mine to the point of almost melting right before using it.

http://www.floatingkitchen.net/cranberry-pecan-braided-bread/
  • Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette

Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette

Posted on August 11, 2016
Category:

It’s hard to pick a favorite Summer fruit or vegetable. Each week it seems like I have a new obsession.

I started off the season by eating my weight in cherries (and I have the stained cutting board to prove it). Then I quickly moved on to plowing through buckets of blueberries and shucking enough local corn to make my fingers sore. Now I’m all about the heirloom tomatoes. Their jewel tones and sometimes silly, oddball shapes make me smile. And at the moment, their flavor is superior to just about everything else at the farmer’s market.

Heirloom tomatoes are like the prize at the end of the Summer. They’re our reward for sweating through the hazy, hot and humid days of June and July. And I, for one, have my eye on the prize.

Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette | www.floatingkitchen.net

This Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette puts these Summer beauties front and center. Both literally and figuratively. I definitely recommend trying to get your hands on a mix of different varieties, because this will give you the greatest visual impact. But if you can only find a single variety, that’s perfectly fine. Heirloom tomatoes come in a wide range of sizes. I used 3-4 medium sized heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, but you may need more or less depending on their size. You’ll want enough slices to create two layers that loosely overlap each other.

Galettes are suppose to be rustic. It’s normal for them to turn out a little lopsided. And maybe even crack on one side. It’s all part of their charm. And it’s why I love them so much. I’ve never been the best at constructing beautifully crafted baked goods. Freeform is certainly more my style.

Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette | www.floatingkitchen.net

There is one unexpected ingredient here: hazelnut butter. I got the idea for idea for combining hazelnuts/hazelnut butter with tomatoes from a salad I had a Saint Dinette. It might sound like an odd combination. But it works really well. You can find hazelnut butter with the other natural nut butters in your grocery store. Be sure to purchase a plain, unsweetened variety (not chocolate flavored!). Or you can easily make your own if you have high powered blender or food processor. And for a third option, you could swap out the hazelnut flour/butter for something of the almond variety.

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe for the dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette

Serves 4-6

Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette

Ingredients

  • For the Dough
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

  • For the Filling
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 3-4 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Fresh basil for garnish, if desired

  • For the Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. water

Instructions

  1. Make the dough. In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the flours and salt. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized crumbs are formed. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, water and lemon juice. Then add this mixture to your food processor and pulse until the dough comes together into a loose ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the mascarpone cheese, hazelnut butter and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the galette. On a well floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough so it’s approximately 12-inches in diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round. Transfer the dough to your parchment paper-line baking sheet. If the dough tears in a few places, just patch it together with your fingers. Spread the mascarpone-hazelnut mixture out into a thin layer over the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch boarder around the edges. Then loosely layer the tomato slices on top. You’ll want to create two layers that are overlapping, but not tightly packed. Sprinkle the tops of the tomatoes with the thyme leaves and the remaining salt and pepper. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pressing it together lightly so it adheres. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and the water. Then brush this egg wash over the surface of the dough.
  5. Transfer the galette to your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once half way through the baking time. The crust should be browned and the center bubbling. Remove the baking sheet from your oven and place it on a wire rack to cool slightly. Allow the galette to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with a few fresh basil leaves before serving, if desired.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/heirloom-tomato-and-hazelnut-galette/

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