Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday with Dorie: Banana Loaf

Well, I did not joint the Tuesday With Dorie (TWD) dedicated to Dorie Greenspan's recipe book. But to my delight, I have been using her book to learn very basic recipe for first timer.

This is second time I made marble cake based on Black and White Banana Loaf. The result was mixed, but it getting better. I used plaintain rather banana which give texture, but lose some delicate smoothie taste. Plaintain also did not have some of water content, made the dough slightly stiff. On the book said 1/2 cup of whole milk but I brave myself only using 1/4 cup reduced fat milk to achieve ideal mix.

Chocolate here from Lindt dark chocolate. It taste bitter but strong color, enrich the loaf into pure pleasure. I thought the cake just speak itself without any 'playing around'. I did not put anything such as nuts or shredded coconut. Yum...I am having a piece with delicate Yorkshire tea.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stollen: I am eating Jesus's blanket

The story about this bread is mesmerizing me. It's been told that a Prince in Saxon Kingdom (near Germany) wrote to the Pope to add butter on this seasonal festive bread. Until five Popes died then Pope Innocent VIII gave permission to allow the Prince and family added 'secret ingredients' that make this bread taste lovely.

In contemporary era, the bread become a symbol of Christmas specially the city of Dresden. I don't really know why it said like Jesus's blanket. Probably because the sugary powder reflect the white celebration.

This is second time I made Stollen from Peter Reinhart book Bread Baker Apprentice. I found the recipe is easy to follow which only takes 4 hours (oh yeah...most of recipe on those book takes hours or days). Last week I went down to City of Berkeley and bought a piece of Stollen from local bakery. It turned out not so nice, then I decided to challenge myself.

I did two portion of the recipe, using about 2/3 active dry yeast. I was using some tropical dry fruits to add the blitz, including golden raisins. In recipe said to add marzipan in the middle to enrich the ingredients. Since I am using flip method to create the shape, I decided to use almond puree.

I followed closely on the direction including resting time for 10 minutes after mix which gave dough time to rest. Also to train my hands, I managed to knead 6 minutes rather than 2 minutes on the machine.

Overall, the Stollen taste so good that we already eaten half. We loves the texture, not too sweet but the taste came from the dry fruits and almond, perfect as a company with tea or coffee.

Recipe in web version can be see at CookingRoute