Friday, September 24, 2010

Bread, Bread, Bread

It's time for menu changes yet again and this time it's not sweets that top the priority list.  We (and I use that term loosely) are working on lunch right now, that is to say Sam is working on lunch and I am making random things for them to play with.  Last week I made a killer southwest coleslaw.  This week it's bread.  First let me say the F&B Director picked a day when we had 216 guests for dinner to throw this at me..."I found a bread recipe I want you to try today".  So for our first contender....
Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread
The F & B Director has been trying to get Quinoa on the menu for a while.  Now that we are serving it at dinner he is pushing to get included in other areas.  This bread was FUNKY to put it nicely.  It turned out dense with a nice even crumb but it stayed very moist after baking. Alone it is slightly gummy and I could taste the toasted sesame seeds a bit too much but mostly it just tasted like soggy whole wheat.  I double toasted it and made it into a veggie sandwich and it was less offensive.  Overall not to my taste, but not technically a fail.

Project # 2                                                   Pan Telera
He was pretty proud of this as I didn't know what it was prior to last Tuesday.  One of my nicknames at work is Rebecca-pedia, but this I had not previously crossed paths with.  It is a Mexican style sandwich roll which they make tortas on.  Lean and made from all white flour it is soft with an even crumb, a very thin crust and a mild flavor.  The people at work who had heard of it all recognized it so I guess this one I got right.

Project #3 was an Olive Herb French bread.  I am not a fan of oil cured olives, I think they stink, taste bad and are slightly slimey.  I was grossed out making the dough but the finished product surprised me.  It was mildly salty and the olive flavor blended nicely with the bread.

Project #4 which is on the docket for Monday is Roasted Garlic Herb French Bread.  Same basic dough as the olive bread but a twist on flavors.

My funny for the week...
When I left work (more like staggered home to pass out) on Wednesday there was a 50# bag of bread flour and a 50# bag of AP flour on the shelf in dry storage.  When I went in on Thursday there was an empty bread bin in the bakeshop and only the bag of AP flour in dry storage.  The AM baker swears she didn't fill any bins.  I made my batch of olive bread from a recipe I am familiar with and ended up adding quite a bit of extra flour to it.  I made a second batch of Telera and it needed a lot more water than Tuesday's batch.  By this point I'm suspicious but I wasn't sure until I took the telera out of the oven.  The dough went in the oven at about an inch tall and roughly the size of my entire hand, it came out 2 1/2 inches tall and only the size of my palm.   DING, DING, DING we have a winner.  AM baker lied to me :)  She dumped the bread flour in the AP bin, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the bread.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Baby Shower Cake

I got a text from a friend a while back asking me if she could pass my name and number on to someone looking for a cake.  Of course I said yes!! 
A baby shower cake for a girl and the mom loves frogs.  The first comment on facebook was "how you".  This is the baby shower cake I want if I'm every lucky enough to have a shower :), but it was chosen entirely by the person I made the cake for.

The frog is fondant over rice crispy treats, I spent about 30 minutes getting the figure down, let it cool and tried to cover it.  The arms kept coming out looking like boobs so I took them off an covered them separately.  The "water" fondant is just blue and green food color that is only partially kneaded into the fondant so it comes out swirly.  The water lily flowers are gumpaste and actually made from a daisy cutter. I got orders for 2 more cakes when I delivered this one.  *SQUEEE* 

Thursday, September 2, 2010


aka scary doll cake

 This is based on the Hans Christen Anderson fairy tale that was made into a movie in the 90's.  Total rookie mistake, I colored her mouth while she was still wet and it made it look bloody, hence the alternate name.  Super Baker Friend made the mouse and the mole, the rest I did. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pot of Gold Cake

I was asked to make a birthday cake that had a leperchaun, pot of gold  a rainbow and a grave stone.  Odd combo but here it is....minus the grave stone.  The grave stone is gumpaste and I didn't want it soaking up moisture from the fondant and melting so Super Baker Friend was adding it later.
We worked on fondant and gumpaste pieces for a good 3 hours last night.  Had a blast, it's so relaxing to just play, until you try making a 2" doll that was not so relaxing.  It's on a cake for tomorrow with animals and a flower.

Amazing Cookies

I've been looking for cookie recipes that are a bit unusual in hopes of finding inspiration for developing a signature cookie for work.  When you spend an hour at a time looking at dessert recipes they all start to look awfully good :-)  I picked a couple that I wanted to try and started baking.  First was a toasted coconut shortbread that was very tasty they aren't much to look at, I can forget all about that while I'm eating one.  The next one I tested is tasty and pretty:

Hazelnut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I made my own hazelnut butter in the food processor.  These cookies are better than regular chocolate chip cookies by far...and I'm not changing the recipe at all.  Have I found my signature cookie - no, but these might find their way to a banquet menu.