All posts tagged “baking

Sourdough Pizza Dough
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Sourdough Pizza

After living in Berlin for the last year-and-a-half, we finally had our first dinner party last weekend. To make things fun (and a bit easier) we decided to throw a pizza party, using some sourdough starter to create the pizza dough. TH took the reins as pizza master, rolling out the dough and pre-baking the shells, and then everyone had a chance to make their own pie. It was really fun to see (and taste!) the different combinations and flavors that came together. My favorite was the pesto pizza with fresh mozzarella, and the spicy chicken and red onion pie.

As I’ve mentioned before, keeping up a sourdough starter means tossing a bit of it out each day. Tons of recipes have sprouted up to use this extra dough, as the sourdough can be substituted for yeast and adds flavor. Pizza dough is a relatively easy way to use up the extra sourdough, and it makes a quick and simple dinner. For our pizza party, I made several batches of dough and we ended up with a few leftover pie shells. This pizza was a Saturday morning breakfast pie, prefect with the spicy chicken and fried eggs on top.

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Caramel-Apple Bread

Apple Caramel Bread recipe

I had to make some caramel sauce last week for my latest How-To on Snooth Eats, and I immediately wanted to pair it with some of the apples I received from my first CSA pick-up here in Berlin (more on that to come!). Wilde Gärtnerei harvested these apples last fall, keeping them in a cool storeroom to help feed their community all winter. The apples are surprisingly still crisp enough to eat raw, but I wanted to bake.

I ended up playing with a favorite banana bread recipe, subbing in caramel sauce for most of the sugar and using grated apple instead of the mashed banana. The result, a rich, moist cake, was phenomenal—I can’t wait to make it again. The caramel gives a slightly bittersweet undertone, the apples create a moist crumb, and walnuts are always a nice crunch. I forgot to add cinnamon into the batter, so I sprinkled a line down the center with some brown sugar for the perfect crust.

Caramel, apples, walnuts, sounds pretty fall, huh? Well, it’s still pretty chilly here in Berlin, so this bread was a nice, comforting treat and a hit with our house guests. It’s delicious anytime of the year, but if you have better weather than Berlin and are already enjoying the sweet fruits of spring, save this recipe as a pick-me-up for a cloudy day.

Caramel Apple Bread

Caramel-Apple Bread
Serving: 1 9×5 loaf pan, 8 to 10 slices

3 apples, peeled and grated
¼ cup brown butter, cool
¼ cup sugar
½ cup caramel sauce
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup toasted and chopped walnuts
Cinnamon and sugar for topping

Preheat an oven to 176°C/350°F.

In a mixing bowl, mash together the apples and brown butter. Mix in the sugar, caramel, and eggs until completely combined, then add in the baking soda and salt. Fold the flour in last. Grease a 9X5 loaf pan and pour the batter inside. Smooth top with the back of a spoon and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar down the center.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick pressed into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

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Irish Soda Bread

IrishSodaBread
I’ve been thinking a lot about bread lately, and hoping to make more of it at home. An easy start is Irish Soda bread, which is actually more cake then bread. The quick dough is leavened with baking soda (thus its name), and the classic is very simple, a white or whole-wheat flour bread with a soft crumb and noticeable flavor from the baking soda. The version most Americans are familiar with is more like this recipe, and includes sugar, egg, sweet currants or raisins, and caraway seed. Buttermilk helps keep the bread moist and gives a nice tart flavor.

I’ve also become really fond of the German habit of eating muesli in the morning and I thought adding it to the bread would make a nice flavor addition. Sort of my German spin on the Irish tradition.

This post is coming a bit late for Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day, but luckily Irish Soda bread is incredibly easy to make – mixing and baking takes all of an hour. Of course, if you don’t have time this weekend, it’s delicious anytime of year. Enjoy!

IrishSodaBread_steps

Irish Soda Bread, adapted from the New York Times
Serving: 1 loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cubed

2/3 cup buttermilk, plus extra for brushing
1 egg
2/3 cup raisins
1½ teaspoons caraway seeds
1/2 cup museli

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut in the cubed butter until a sandy mixture forms. Break up any large pieces of butter with you fingers. Add in the buttermilk and egg and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Stir in the raisins, caraway seeds, and museli.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured workspace and knead for a few turns, until the dough forms into a nice ball. Place rounded dough on a lined baking tray. Use kitchen sheers or a sharp knife to mark an X in the center off the dough, brush the top with buttermilk, and dust gently in flour.

Bake for 50 minutes, until it is a deep brown. The bottom should sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Enjoy with a large smear of rich Irish butter.