Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunflower Decorative Bread

Sun bread is probably one of my favorite decorative loaves. I am a complete dork for anything yellow, but especially sun flowers flapping in the breeze. Looking at them makes me think of the 1970's and everything happy and shining with joy. It's a very nice place in my mind, full of lollie-pops and chocolate factories. I go there often. I showed this sunflower loaf early in the history of my blog, but didn't get into any detail on how to make it. I thought we would do a crazy cool tutorial Tuesday on this one. What do you think? Are we sunny enough?
You will need one pound of prepared bread dough of your choice. You can find it here: 5 day bread dough . Roll out the dough in a ring of happiness. 1/2 inch thick, but small enough to fit on a full size sheet pan.
Transfer to a lightly oiled sheet pan or baking stone.

Finish up the jam. Clean the jar. Turn it over on the bread. One small jelly jar is about perfect.

Lightly mist the top of the bread with water or olive oil. I've seen it done with egg wash and then topped with seeds. You decide. I'm going with oil.
Sprinkle 1-2Tablespoons of flour over the top of the bread, without removing the jar.
Lightly spread the flour around. Flour power. Sorry, that was lame. I shouldn't try to make stupid jokes. Pun-ishment enough!
Remove the sad little jelly jar that is now dotted with flour and oil.

Step into the magic circle and make a wish. Okay. I'm not a fairy princess...but I can bake bread like one.
Here's the tricky part. Ready?
Cut 3/4 inch wedges all the way around the circle, leaving the middle alone.
Shameless product plug...Pampered Chef makes really good forged cutlery knives. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
Now, slightly pull out the wedged and lay them flat on their sides.
Raise until doubled. Bake 375 degrees 30-35 minutes. When done, feel free to use the bread decorative technique for painted breads from my blog. It will look very swanky.
There you go! Oh and if you missed the giveaway of the waffle iron, be sure to hop on over to yesterday's post to join the fun!
Whole Grain Waffle Mix for Toaster Waffles (and a ...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Whole Grain Waffle Mix for Toaster Waffles (and a Waffle Iron Giveaway!)

It's Mix Monday! Just a quick reminder that anyone can get 10% off at LorAnn oil for the next month just by mentioning my name at check out. I mention that because I love LorAnn oils and flavor emulsions in my baking mixes. The flavor always stays true.
Who needs a waffle maker?! http://www.cookware.com/ is hosting a giveaway here on Chef Tess Bakeresse, and the prize will be a new Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker in Brushed Stainless - WMR-CA: ! How totally cool is that?! Y'all know how crazy I am about making whole grain wonderful goodness and this sounded perfect for those slower mornings or evenings when waffles just seem like the perfect thing to make. Waffles for dinner? Yes...we've been known to do that. When we make waffles, we make a lot...and end up freezing a good bunch of them for use later as toaster waffles. So, I thought I would pass this along to one of my sweet readers. Here's the deal, you will need to leave a comment on the blog saying you are interested in entering the contest. Second, you need to become a totally sa-weeet follower of my blog. Third, tell your friends by posting a link to this giveaway on your blog, face book or twitter. Telling your friends about my blog is like saying, "I love you". Really...as sappy as that sounds, my main goal is to make good wholesome food simple enough for everyone to make. So...on to the waffle mix.

The thing I like about this waffle mix is that it is whole grain, I use my home ground whole wheat flour, but you can use store purchased flour. The key to light lovely waffles is using cake flour. Bob's whole wheat cake flour is pretty awesome. If you don't have access to whole grain cake flour and you have a mill, use 3/4 hard white wheat and 1/4 barley groats. That will work remarkably well. The main goal is to keep this whole grain fluffy and light instead of heavy.

Fluffy Fat Free Whole Grain Waffle Mix
9 cups whole wheat cake flour
1 cup sugar or crystal fructose
1/3 cup baking powder
1 T LorAnn Buttery Sweet Dough emulsion ( it's vanilla, butter, cherry, orange and hints of spice)
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients well, slowly drizzling the flavor emulsion into the mix and whisking well. Store in an airtight container.

To prepare:
3 cups mix
4 eggs, beat (or 1 cup "eggbeater")
1/3 cup oil (or apple sauce for fat free)
1 cup milk or soy milk
Mix until just combined. It may be a little lumpy. Bake on a waffle iron according to the manufacturer's directions. Lay out on a cooling rack as they come off the waffle iron. When cooled, place a layer of plastic wrap between waffles. Transfer to a gallon size freezer bag and freeze. To use for toaster waffles, simply put frozen waffle in toaster on medium darkness and toast. Serve as you would any other toaster waffle...at home or on the run. Yield about one dozen waffles.

There you go.
Leave a comment, become a follower, and tell your friends! It's that simple to enter. Winner will be announced Friday! Good luck!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's In Your Backpack?

Good Sunday to all. I share a piece of my soul in the Bread of Life section. Enjoy.

Bread of life today I want to talk about backpacks. It may sound random but it is something I go around and around about with my boys. It seems every day I find something outrageous in the backpacks they take to school. Sometimes it's a nice little toy or book that they want to share with their friends. Recently I started finding rocks. Yes. Rocks. Face loves them. He may be a future geologist. I'm not sure where the obsession started, but he will find a new treasure a stash it away in the back pocket of his backpack. I asked him this week, "Why would you put something so heavy in a pocket, as it would only make it so very heavy for you to carry? Why keep the rocks? They don't help you." His answer was simple. "Mom, they aren't that heavy...and they make me very happy."
Then the words Harry Emerson Fosdick said came to my thoughts. "Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. It is a packet of beliefs and practices which they bear. At times, it grows heavy and they would willingly lay it down, but that would mean a break with old traditions, so they shoulder it again. But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight; it is wings. It lifts them up, its sees them over hard places, it makes the universe seem friendly, life purposeful, hope real, sacrifice worthwhile. It sets them free of fear, futility, discouragement and sin--the great enslavers of men's souls. You can know a real Christian, when you see him, by his buoyancy. "(Twelve Tests of Character 1923, 87-88)
If you think of Christ as the Rock in your backpack, my thought is this...do you carry Him, or does He carry you? As Face said, ..."they aren't that heavy, they make me very happy."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet! Random Thoughts

Sweet. My dog is actually an alien mind control droid. That explains a lot. It does not however, explain why she drags her bottom across the freshly mowed lawn. I can't figure that one out at all.
Sweet are the moments caught randomly on film.
Sweet. Ace falling asleep on the trampoline with Little Man on his arm. Sweet that Face was looking up dad's nose? Probably sweet that Face didn't stick a piece of freshly mowed lawn up that left nostril too.Yikes... Especially after the last comment about the dog.
Saaaweeet. The 70's.
Sweet Officer John Baker, played by Little Man. (Fade in...Theme to C.H.I.P's) I've got to get myself some shades like that.
Sweet...What I look like from behind when I'm blogging. Thanks to Little Man who now knows how to use my camera, while wearing ear plugs...since I think I yelped really loud when the flash went off.
Sweet... Teenage girls who have never decorated cakes, stand proudly for the camera after our cake class this week. Okay, that was a seriously sweet moment. No joking allowed.
Sweetest of all... Ace scrubbing the floor while singing a Whitney Houston song, "The Greatest Love of All"...and changing the lyrics to say..."Cleaning the floor for Steph...it is the greatest love of all..."
This was right after he scrubbed the toilets. I know gals. It brought tears to my eyes too.
The stretchy shorts put me over the top. That's hot.
That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

BBQ from the Freezer

My husband made a liar out of me. I've said for years on end that he will not go anywhere near "humiliated yard bird" (AKA chicken) for dinner. Those who may not remember the detailed instructions for freezer chicken, you may want to check it out here: Freezer Chick... . Here is yet another easy variation of a freezer meal made by just changing the sauce you put on the bird.
Ace, being the " Flexitarian " that he is, sometimes will go for wings (go figure) and if nobody mentions "deep fried bird carcass"(hee hee) then he's usually good at downing several dozen. However, just making chicken for dinner doesn't usually happen based on that "fowl" obsession. I've just learned to make a lot of side dishes that are vegetarian if I do make a chicken dish. Imagine my dismay when I made this BBQ freezer chicken using chicken breasts prepared as mentioned in the previous post, and he ate the entire main dish by himself. Six full size chicken boozaaams. I'm not kidding. To what great sauce do I owe this odd phenomenon?

My good buddy D-dog has so totally made a believer out of me. He's a local seller, but his stuff can be found here: D Dog BBQ rubs and sauce. You can use your favorite sauce, but this one is our very favorite by far. We grill marked them on a grill pan after defrosting in the fridge. I really just baked the breasts in the oven like before, and froze them with his sauce glazing them.

Ace actually licked the plate.

It was very classy. I'm so glad we didn't have company over to see that display of terror. He looked like a burn victim with all that sauce on his chin.

There you go. Another freezer variation of freezer chicken.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Upcoming Giveaway! Waffle Maker!

I'm excited to announce that we will be having a giveaway for upcoming Spring time events thanks to CSN stores that carry things like, housewares and other items. Our particular giveaway will be this Cuisinart waffle maker! How cool is that? So...keep your eyes open. Monday we will have some sweet new mixes for mix Monday...and we'll start the giveaway! Smooches all!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Sticky buns...and some Savory ones too...

Yesterday for Tutorial Tuesday we did some crazy cream cheese filled sticky buns. Sticky buns are evil enough. Filled with warm cream cheese, truely inspired. Add to that the fact that these ones can be made and frozen (unbaked) and are ready to have at a moment's notice...and you have the makings of something truly sick and ...right. Very right. Last night we made a few more batches. For full details, please see yesterdays posts on the dough recipe as well as the cream cheese filling. I'm only including the variations here...as I know the pictures may just make you cry...and wish you where here. Don't worry...I wish you where here too.

The first is an orange sticky bun with a chocolate cream cheese filling.

You will omit the nuts in the recipe, add 1T fresh orange zest to the caramel topping mixture. When you make the cream cheese filling, add 1 tsp rum extract. You will need 4-6 ounces of dark wonderful quality chocolate, chopped into small pieces.

When you stuff the buns, put a tablespoon of chopped chocolate on top of the cream cheese. Wrap and fold as usual. I added cherries in between the rolls.

When it was baked...

it tasted like pure heaven.
The other batch of buns I made was a savory bun. Just for those guys and dolls who like a less sweet roll. Pesto and Black Pepper rolls stuffed with Blue Cheese. On the bottom of the pan I spread 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto. Feel free to experiment here, but I'm thinking sun dried tomato pesto would be outstanding. I cracked pepper over the pesto. For the filling of the buns I used 1T crumbled blue cheese. Later I regretted not adding a clove or two of roasted garlic or some kind of other savory filling item like chopped bell peppers.
Then again...

They where still amazing with the crust of pesto bread.

The melted blue cheese just dribbling out was so pretty.
Right off the top of my head, I see about fifty different variations I can make of this roll dough. Do I have enough room in my jeans to try them all out? Nope. However, I will make continued valiant efforts to update y'all on my progress. Give me your ideas. I think we could cause some serious damage. Don't you?!

There you go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Auntie Em's Caramel Sticky buns with lemon infused cream cheese and apple filling

Earlier today I posted Auntie Em's freezer to oven caramel stick buns filled with cream cheese. I thought I would add my own twist on the recipe. Just to add a new level of horribly deliciousness to your already amazing life.

Add 1T fresh lemon zest and one chopped Johnathan apple to the filling.

Instead of using chopped nuts, place 10 whole pecans right on top of the caramel topping.
Raise and bake as usual. Yes...you will need to see the post from earlier today.
Yes. I know it's even more evil than humanly possible. Try not to lick the computer screen.
It's this caramel and cream that really pushes me over the edge.

Brace yourself.

Caramel creamy goodness in every last bite.

There you go.

Cream Cheese Filled Caramel-Nut Pull Apart Bread (Freezeable!)

It's Tuesday. Yes, I know. It's evil. Don't blame me, it was Auntie Em's idea to stuff the caramel nut pull apart monkey bread with a wicked cream cheese filling. With Easter coming and all the cream filled eggs out there, why not add cream filled sticky buns to the list of things to make. Why?! OH Auntie Em, what are you thinking?! Pure genius! Yes...she is in fact my evil twin sister. Well, we are a year apart in age, but that didn't stop the folks from calling us the "sunshine twins" back in grade school. Recently Em wrote me asking my advice on not only making this dessert...but making it freezable. The kind of freezable that would be able to bake the day of her family event (with the mother in law coming) and still get a good review. What do you think? Does it look like it worked? Pictures today are brought to you by the letter "E". Em, Eats, Evil. Triple threat. However, if you string the "E's" together, it looks more like a gleeful expression of utter bliss, "EEEEEEeeeeee".

Kick off you shoes and run though a meadow of wild flowers. It's time for the step by step instructions. Special thanks to Auntie Em! Smooooches!!

Auntie Em's Caramel Nut Pull Apart Bread, Cream Filled and freezable EVil Genius
1/4 c warm water
1 T active dry yeast
4-1/4 to 4-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c milk
1/3 c butter, cut in chunks
1 egg
Caramel Topping:
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/3 c Corn Syrup
1/4 c butter, melted
Cream Filling:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c shredded coconut (okay...how evil is that?!)
1/4 c powdered sugar
2 T butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla

Combine water and yeast in a small bowl; set aside.
Combine 2 c flour, sugar and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat milk and butter until warm (100° to 110°F) - butter does not need to melt.
Add milk mixture, yeast mixture and egg to dry ingredients. Beat 30 seconds on low speed to blend; beat an additional 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat.Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. (Note: this rich dough rises slowly, and probably will not double).

Combine all caramel topping ingredients together.
Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Spread half the topping in the bottom of each pan.
Combine all cream filling ingredients and beat until well mixed; set aside. Punch dough down and divide into 20 equal pieces. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Flatten each piece of dough into a small circle, about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
Place a scant T of cream filling in the center.

It looks like a little cheese tortellini.

Pinch edges of dough together and form into a ball; place in prepared pans, pinched side down, 10 rolls per pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Yes, let them raise before freezing! That is the secret!.(if freezing, put in freezer at this point. To prepare pull from freezer straight to the oven and add 20 min to bake time for room temp dough) Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown (45-50 minutes from frozen). Cool on rack for only 1 minute; invert onto serving platters.

Remember, allow to cool only one minute before inverting onto a platter. Be careful, it's hot and that goo is delicious...but not in a molten mass attached to your arm.

Oh my stars!

There you go! Thank Auntie Em for those extra pounds. Not me. I have to go jogging just thinking about this stuff. Thanks a lot! Smooches anyway sista'. You know I love you!