Baked · Breakfast · Cake · Chocolate · Dessert · Donut · Snacks · Valentine's Day · Winter Treats

I never met a donut I didn’t like, until today!

The Donut.

It’s a staple in American culture, it’s an excuse to eat cake for breakfast and it’s flavor and topping options are endless. One thing for me should be a firm constant when it comes to the donut.Donuts should always be fried. Whether it’s a cake donut or my personal favorite, a yeasted donut, they should always be fried: NOT BAKED!

Donut pans are something I only recently started using. About a year ago I was teaching a donut class and had my first baked donut encounter. If I can remember correctly we were making a Nutella filled yeasted donut, an apple cider donut and for some god awful reason the third donut, a lemon poppyseed with a delightful lemon glaze, as a baked donut. In a pan. A donut pan to be specific.

The donut pans themselves are cute. I have seen three basic sizes for the pans- regular size (the size of a donut from the supermarket or dunkin, not a fancy giant donut) a medium one and a small one. The small donut is a little bigger than a silver dollar.

I have several issues with baking donuts in pans, but the main two I will talk about are as follows:

1. The texture
2. The look

Texture:
Donuts are typically made from a dough. It’s rolled out and shapes are cut out with a cookie cutter. It’s dense, almost heavy and when fried gets a soft but firm interior texture and a firm, sometimes crunchy, outer texture. They are easy to pick up and handle, especially when dipping in ganache or glaze.

Baked donuts are made from a batter that is thin and handled easiest when piped into the donut molds. The texture is soft, almost crumbly and the exterior is thin and delicate. Baked donuts are literally cake, shaped into the image of a donut.

The Look:
Donut pans CAN produce very round, symmetrical pretty looking donuts. The issue I constantly have when I make these is figuring out the perfect amount of batter to add to each mold.
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You can see from both images the different amounts of batter I added to each row of donuts. Lookig at the second picture, the first row is what we are looking for shape wise. I filled the molds about 1/3 of the way full.

The middle row is a little overfilled and the donuts looks bloated. They basically look the way i feel after eating a burrito. These were filled about 1/2 the way full.

The last row are overfilled and the middle hole has been engulfed with batter. These molds were filled almost to the top of the pan.

Personally I think donut pans should be used to make anything except what I would call a donut. Since my first time using them in class, I have dabbled here and there in trying out different recipes. Each recipe I have made has come out fine, if I was aiming to make round shaped disks of cake. They just aren’t donuts and not what I want when I want a donut.

The latest recipe I made comes from King Arthur and was pretty good! I omitted the chocolate chips in the batter and used vegetable oil instead of melted butter. I also made a traditional ganache for the top:

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Chocolate ganache
8oz dark bittersweet chocolate
5.5oz heavy cream

Heat the heavy cream and chocolate over a double boiler until the chocolate is melted. Let cool down for 2-3 minutes before using.

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Bread · Breakfast · English Muffin

2017, I thought you would never end!

A year ago I started this blog with the desire to have a platform to share my thoughts, some personal and my passion for food. This blog was for me; at a time where I really felt like I didn’t have much.

A year ago I was in a job I hated, working for people who I loathed and I was bored. I would go into the office every day, sit down at my computer, turn on Netflix and 8 hours later leave to go home. I honestly don’t know how I managed it, but I was the Director of an entire department, across 9 cities, managing 20+ people and I literally had nothing to do on a day to day basis.

This blog became my job. It made me excited to bake or cook something new. It gave me a chance to explore my other passion which is photography and I finally felt like my day to day had a purpose.

In April I FINALLY got a new job and was immediately thrown to the proverbial wolves when it came to work. I quickly forgot all about blogging. It felt like I had purpose again. I was stressed and anxious, worried I was going to make a mistake at any moment and I was finally again, learning things. I won’t say that I was exactly happy, but I was a lot happier there then I had been in the last 3 years. My new coworkers were not exactly nice to me and I had to fight a lot of battles with them and my employees, but again, it was better than the last place.

A few months in though I realized I hadn’t blogged in awhile and it frustrated me. I felt like I was giving up the few things I enjoy doing that make me happy in life, simply because work was getting the way.

2018 has me thinking a lot of about what I want to do differently in the new year. So I made a list :

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Yes, I wrote it down on paper. I even put it on my door as a reminder each day before I leave. I think this will be good for me!

I started the new year off being positive for a change and being completely and utterly sober. I have not given up alcohol entirely but it is something I am trying to consume in much smaller doses and less frequently. The fact that I have ben battling a head cold for over a week was also a factor in my decision to ring in the new year booze free and wake up with a clear mind and ability to tackle the day vs. being hungover all day and cuddling with my cat on the couch to tired to move.

I wanted to bake something simple for the new year and something I could bring to work with me tomorrow for our weekly Tuesday Morning Manager Meeting. I feel that when I bring baked goods in before these meetings everyones just a little bit nicer to one another during them.

One of my resolutions for the year is to get rid of the clutter. Thats not proverbial, thats literal. I have so much stuff its getting a bit out of hand. I found this awesome recipe for English Muffin Bread that I have probably had for over 5 years and never actually made.

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English Muffin Bread


Ingredients

6 Cups AP Flour 1/2 Baking Soda 4 tsp Instant Active Yeast 1 TB Sugar 2 tsp Kosher Salt 2 Cups Whole Milk 1/2 Cup Water 1- 1.5 Cups Cornmeal

Directions

  1. You will need to grease 2 8-inch loaf pans and dust them with cornmeal.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the whole milk and water and heat until its hot to the touch. DO NOT BOIL! You only want to heat the milk so that its warm and will active the yeast quickly.
  3. Combine 4 Cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and with a paddle, mix until combined.
  4. Pour the warm milk and water mister into the mixer and mix on low for 20 seconds.
  5. Add the remaining 2 cups of Flour and mix on low for another 30- 40 seconds. The dough should be a big dough ball that is not very sticky and comes together easily.
  6. Separate the dough into two even sections and place into he prepared pans. Cover with 2-3 TB of cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap or a damn towel. Let rise for 40- 50 minutes or until the dough has risen above the rim of loaf pan.
  7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove the loaves immediately from their pans and let cool on a wire rack.

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I let the bread cool completely before cutting into it and it was much softer than I thought it would be. The crumb of the bread was small but had visible little holes in it, much like what you see in an english muffin.

I paired mine with homemade plum jam I made over the summer.

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I think next time I will coat the top of the bread with butter before I cover it with cornmeal, hopefully it will create a crusty crust. I wouldn’t say this taste exactly like an english muffin, but its darn tasty.

Enjoy!

Breakfast · Healthy · Juice

I made a Detox drink and didn’t hate it

I have been having a lot issues over the last year when it comes to my weight and how I feel. A large reason for this was the 6+ months living off of nachos, tater tots and beer while I was trying to mend a broken heart. Through this period of time my anxiety was so overwhelming, I ended up losing a lot of weight. As I started to become human again and get back to normal, my habits didn’t change much and before I knew it I put on a ton of unwanted weight.

With the unwanted weight which seems to still be coming, has come a lot of other issues. One of them is feeling bloated all the time. I have been reading up on some of the things I could do to aid this problem. One of them is I realized I was eating too many carbs and zero protein. So, I started eating yogurt again in the mornings and chicken for sandwiches or dinner.

Other articles highly praise drinking warm water with lemon in it first thing in the morning. They say it gives you energy and helps flush out your system and starts your day off right! I don’t know if i am buying this… I think it’s just making me pee even more than usual.

Next up the magic of Turmeric and Ginger! Again, lots of articles on the health benefits of Turmeric and Ginger with digestion and bloating. There are a thousand and one recipes of various detox drinks out there so after looking over a few, I made up my own with a little bit of everything that is supposedly going to help me start feeling better.

  • Turmeric for Inflammation
  • Ginger for Digestion
  • Grapefruit for Fiber and Potassium
  • Oranges for Vitamin C
  • Lemons for Iron
  • Mango for Sweetness, Fiber and B6

I find the juice VERY intense, especially with the Turmeric in it so I am finding I prefer to do a couple of quick shots of it in the morning to get me going, rather than gingerly sip it over time!

-K

Orange Ginger Turmeric Detox Drink


Ingredients

2 Oranges, 1 Pink Grapefruit, 2 Lemons, 3-4 inch piece of Fresh Ginger, 2 tsp Turmeric

Directions

Juicing by hand: If you have a bowl or large measuring cup with a spout, I suggest you use that. With a handheld juicer, juice the oranges, grapefruit and lemons into the bowl.

Add the flesh of the mango to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add mango puree to the juice.

Add the turmeric and with a microplane, grate in the ginger. Wisk juices together and when ready to drink, strain juice through a small mesh strainer into your drinking cup! This will catch any chunks of ginger and mango.

Using an Automatic Juicer: Follow your machines instructions for juicing. Cut away the peels on your oranges, grapefruit and lemons making sure to cut away all of the white pith (this is really bitter). Add the citrus and mango to the juicer, a little at a time.Using a peeler, peel the ginger and remove all the outer skin. Cut into small chunks and add the ginger to your juicer. Add the turmeric to your juice and whisk until dissolved.

I drink about 4oz of this a day. Depending on how juice is in your citrus, this recipe will last you 2-3 days. Store juice in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Enjoy!