Saturday, September 26, 2015

Notes: 100% Whole Wheat Pancakes

6 September 2015

  • The pancake recipe is from the July/August 2015 Cook's Illustrated.
  • The pancakes were created quickly: whisk together the dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients, add the wet to the dry and whisk some more. Unlike pancakes made with white flour, you cannot over mix these.
  • The pancakes were cooked on a griddle with the stove set to medium (5).
  • The scrambled eggs were made with 4 large eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. These were beaten lightly with a fork then cooked over medium-low heat (setting 4 on our stove) with some butter in a nonstick pan.
  • Jimmy Dean frozen pre-cooked sausages were reheated in the microwave to cut down on the number of dirty pans. Breakfast for dinner always makes for a lot of dirty pans. 
  • A mimosa is equal parts orange juice and champagne.

  • Menu: pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, mimosa 
  • The pancakes were very good. They were light and full of flavor which went very well with maple syrup (my topping); Diane topped hers with raspberry jam.
  • Some of the pancakes were under cooked so there was some uncooked flour flavor.

Eat leftovers
  • The leftover pancakes were frozen in individual zip-loc bags and reheated in the microwave. They were OK, but were heavier than when fresh having lost some of their fluffiness. Just add extra syrup and they're fine.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Notes: Easy Sandwich Bread

3 September 2015

  • I have posted twice about making sandwich bread (a white loaf using a King Arthur recipe and a whole wheat loaf with a recipe from America's Test Kitchen) but not with this recipe which was published last year in Cook's Illustrated as "Easy Sandwich Bread".
  • The recipe boasted a preparation time of "less than 2 hours". It took me right around two hours, excluding cooling, most of this time is hands off as the dough rises and bakes. That's pretty quick for homemade bread.
  • What makes it "easy"? No kneading or shaping by hand and fast rising so it is done more quickly than most homemade breads.
  • The recipe refers to "pouring" the dough into the loaf pan. My dough was not quite so pourable, though it was certainly too wet to shape and it was easy to "pour" from the mixing bowl into the loaf pan.
  • Lacking the preservatives of commercial bread, and having been brushed with butter, I am storing the loaf in the refrigerator. It will be more convenient to use and I hope will not develop mold as quickly as it might at room temperature.

  • First test: the same day as baking we made brisket sandwiches with this bread. The slices were about ¾″ thick, made with our fiddle bow bread knife. Even with tomato, lettuce, and condiments, the fresh bread held up very well. The crumb is uniform and soft but with enough structure to hold up to these sandwiches. The crust for the fresh bread was nice and crisp. The bread has a good flavor provided by the small amount of whole wheat flour and honey in the recipe.
  • Second test: For lunch the next day I made grilled PB&J. (My mom would make these for me when she served grilled cheese, which I did not like, and I still enjoy them.) The outside toasted up nicely, the thick slices held up well to the melted peanut butter and jelly, and the toasting brought out the bread's flavor.
  • Third test: Toast with butter and jam for breakfast. The bread took a little longer to toast than supermarket bread, less time than English muffins. But it toasted up nicely, crispy with good flavor.
All mixing/kneading is done with the paddle. The dough rises for 20 minutes in the mixing bowl before some salt is added.
Ready for the second rise, also about 20 minutes, in the loaf pan.