Experimenting With Pastry Puff: Turnovers

Hello, everyone!

I know its been awhile. Like I said in my last post… a lot going on right now! I’ll be sure to tell you about all of it once its said and done.

Anyways, today I’m sharing my first experience using pastry puff… Cherry turnovers!
pastrypuff

So. Using pasty puff (I used Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry) is simple.

pastrypuff2

All you do is thaw it out according to the instructions on the package and get baking! Like I said earlier, my first attempt with using this product was to create cherry turnovers.

roll it out
After the pastry puff was thawed out I rolled it out into a big square. (well as much as a square as I could manage.)

divide
I then used a butter knife to divide the dough into smaller squares.

cherries
Now is time for the cherries! My first batch I made my squares too small for the amount of cherries I filled them with… the results weren’t pretty…
fail
The pastry puff didn’t stay closed when they baked revealing the cherries and allowing the juice to escape. This resulted in cherry ‘nests’ as I called them, with burnt cherry juice on the bottom… not what I was going for.
but ok
If you could get most of the burnt part off it wasn’t bad…
muchbetter
The second batch turned out much better! I used larger squares and a little less cherries!
nomz
yum
I also created a glaze for my turnovers consisting of about a cup of powdered sugar mixed with a table spoon or so of milk. Nothing fancy, but tasty nonetheless!

Well, that about sums up my first experience with pasty puff! I certainly hope all of this craziness is over soon so I can find the time to post regularly again!

-The Whale

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Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Hello!

So today I have a new recipe for you! I’m a huge fan of bagels. Like. Really. Bagels are fantastic. Especially cinnamon raisin bagels.

cinnamon raisin bagels
Adapted from here
So, I’m ashamed that it took me this long to realize how easy it is to make bagels from scratch. It’s pretty easy. Want to know how? Don’t worry. I’ll show you. The interesting thing about making bagels is that you boil the dough before baking them. This is what results in the chewy center part and what makes bagels bagels…

You Need
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:Makes Eight Bagels.

First:
Yeast
Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Now add the yeast. Allow this to sit for about 8 minutes until the yeast is all foamy and fluffy looking.

Second:
Mix
Mix together all the flour, salt, and the cinnamon. I used 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. If you want you can just go ahead and use all normal bread flour. I just really like whole wheat things… Once that’s all combined, add the yeast mixture (now all foamy) and mix until a ‘shaggy’ dough is formed.
Shaggy dough

Third:
raisin bowl
Turn the dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and kneed for about 5 minutes. Now create a bit of a bowl and add the raisins to it. I used golden raisins… mostly because that’s what I had available. Use any kind of raisin your heart desires. Fold the dough up around the raisins and continue kneading for a few more minutes until the raisins are evenly distributed.
fold over

Five:
raisin ready
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm dry place until doubled in size (about an hour)… orrrrr use my quick rise method to cut that rise time in half… that’s what I will be doing!
risen

Six:
divided
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and create a hole by pushing your thumbs through the center. You will then have eight cute little bagels! Allow those to rest for another ten minutes while you get a pot of water boiling!
little bagels

Seven:
boil
After the bagels have had some time to rest and the water is boiling pretty well, place a bagel or two into the water. Allow them to cook for about a minute and then flip and cook them for another minute on the other side. Transfer the bagel to a cooking sheet and repeat until all the bagels have been boiled.

Eight:
oven ready
Now, if you want, you can mix one egg with a tablespoon of water and brush this over the bagels. This will give them a pretty shine. Otherwise, just pop them in an oven preheated to 425 for 20 minutes. They should come out golden brown!
fresh
cream cheese

MMM bagels!

-The Whale

Honey Wheat Bread!

Oh hey, everyone!

Remember how I said I was going to post more cooking related posts??? Well that continues today!

breadtitle

I don’t know about you, but I love wheat bread! I prefer it to white any day. My dad won’t touch it. I don’t understand his taste buds…

So to get on with it… This recipe is for a basic honey wheat sandwich bread and makes two loaves. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you only want one loaf. Adapted from here.

bread1

bread2
One:
Add the yeast to the water and allow it to activate. This should take 5-10 minutes. It’ll be all foamy when its ready. Add the milk and honey to that.

bread3
Two:
Mix in the bread flour and salt, then add the whole wheat flour. You’ll get a ‘shaggy’ looking dough. Allow that to rest for about 20 minutes. Whole wheat flour is a bit more difficult to work with versus normal flour, so letting it rest gives it time to absorb more liquid and creates and easier to work with dough.

bread4
Three:
Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean counter top and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough until its smooth and springs back if you poke it. You can add a bit more flour at this point if the dough is sticky. This should take about 10 minutes.

bread5
Four:
Put a bit of oil in a bowl and roll your ball of dough in it a bit until its covered.

bread6
Five:
Okay, guys. Feel very special right now. I’m going to let you in on a little secret I learned in my college cooking class… It is now time to let your dough rise in a ‘warm dry place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.’ Go ahead and do that if you would like… but if you’re like me… you don’t want to wait that long until you can eat your tasty home made bread! I know how to cut that time in half. Seriously.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to do that?? Okay fine I’ll spit it out already! When you begin the recipe, put a layer of water in a shallow dish. ( I use a pie tin from store bought pie crust.) Place that pan on the lowest rack in your oven and turn the oven on preheat and set it on warm or the lowest temperature it has. We do not want the oven the get hot… just warm. The shallow pan of water also makes it humid in the oven.

So go ahead and cover your oily bowl of dough with a clean towel and put it in your humid oven. Now wait a half hour to 45 minutes or until your dough had doubled in size. Boom. You’re welcome.

bread7
Six:
Look at that lovely quickly risen dough! Now turn it out onto a lightly floured counter top again.

bread8
Seven:
Now is the time to divide the dough into two. Unless, of course, you divided the recipe in half.

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Eight:
Create two (or one) loaves. Press the dough down into as much as a square as you can. Then fold the dough, a third over and then another third, and roll into a loaf. The top needs to be tight. Place the seam side down in an oiled loaf pan.

bread10
Nine:
Let rise (either in your ‘humid over for 15-20 minutes, or in a warm dry place for 30 to 40 minutes.) When they are done rising, score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

bread11
Ten:
Bake in an oven preheated to 425, but as soon as you put the loaf in the oven, turn it down to 375. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Its done when the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the loaf to cool completely before you cut it!

The loaves will stay good at room temperature for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months. Happy baking!

-The Whale