Sunday, May 5, 2013

Easy Baked Plums for Breakfast... or Dessert

This easy dish can be breakfast or dessert...depending on how you pair it.


2 Fresh plums, halved, pits removed
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp honey

  • Heat the oven to 475 F.
  • Halve the plums and remove pits.
  • Place plums skin-side down on baking dish.
  • In the center of each plum half, put 1/4 tbsp of the butter and a dab of honey
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon
  • Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until plums are soft but skins still intact.

At breakfast, serve with vanilla yogurt and granola garnish.
For dessert, serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Either way, YUM. 

Making Bread: Baguettes

All bread recipes should start with the following caveat: "It's not as hard as it seems, it just takes some planning."

Today in the Andrews' kitchen, another adventure in bread-making is underway. I'm experimenting with baguettes, following the CIA recipe but changing up the proportions of bread flour and whole wheat flour. In fact, I used 100% whole wheat flour in the poolish (that's the pre-ferment that I started last night) instead of bread flour. We'll see what happens.

Here's the poolish recipe, in weight as per CIA instructions:

156 grams whole wheat flour
156 grams water, 55 degrees F
.3 grams yeast

  • Mix by hand until combined. There will be little lumps.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Then remove and let stand at room temperature for 12 - 18 hours before using.
  • The poolish with ferment and rise, and there will be bubbles on it. 

Dough Recipe:

269 grams water, 85 degrees F
476 grams flour (I used about half whole wheat, and half bread flour)
3 grams yeast
14 grams salt
312 grams poolish

Mixing the Dough

  • Put the water in the bowl of your mixer and add the poolish.
  • Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes to break down the poolish.
  • Combined the flour, yeast and salt, and add to the poolish.
  • Mix the dough for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and flip the dough to combine thoroughly.
  • The dough should be sticky and hold together in a ball.
  • Place the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

First Proof
  • Allow to rest and ferment in a warm place for 45- 60 minutes until dough springs back halfway when touched lightly.
  • Place dough on lightly floured board and fold it into thirds.
  • Place back in bowl, covered for 30 minutes.
Second Proof
  • Line a baking tray with cloth napkin or kitchen towel.
  • Flour the towel.
  • Place the dough on lightly floured board and divide it into four 6 oz pieces.
  • Shape each piece into 8 inch oblong
  • Place the loaves seam-side down on the floured towels, cover with cloth
  • Allow to rest and ferment in a warm place for 45-60 minutes until dough springs back halfway when touched lightly
  • 20 minutes before the end of second proofing, pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  • 10 minutes before baking, place a tray with 3 cups of warm water below the baking area of the oven to help produce steam 

  • Place the loaves lengthwise on a baking tray lined with parchment.
  • Keep the seam on the bottom.
  • Spray the top and sides of each loaf lightly with water
  • Let sit for 5 minutes, then score the top of each loaf with a sharp razor 
  • Spray loaves lightly again. This will help add steam and allow the loaves to expand.
  • Transfer loaves to the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 475 degrees F.
  • Bake for 12 minutes
  • Rotate loaves in the oven and remove the steam tray.
  • Bake for 8-10 more minutes more.
  • If at the end of the baking, the crust isn't thick enough, turn the oven off and leave the bread in the oven with the door cracked for 4-6 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and place on cooling rack