Irish Soda Bread

Adapted from: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe

Quick and Easy Bread: No Kneading

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cups Bread Flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

Combine, Flours Sugar and Baking Soda. Cut in Butter, making sure there are no large chunks incorporated into the flour mixture.
Flours

Butter

Yup I did it in 6 not 8 but oh well!

Add Buttermilk and egg, Everything should come together, should not be dry or have any extra. If its slightly dry add a tablespoon of liquid and combine.

Dough

Shape into a ball and add to a greased pan. I used a bread pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes

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Serve with the Lentil Soup from Previous Post: https://peskyapronstrings.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/lentil-vegetable-soup/

I didn’t add salt to my bread, because I was pairing it with the soup which had salt. I don’t tend to use a lot of salt, it far more healthier to omit those things.

Hope you enjoy the meal.

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Cookies (Self-Rising Flour)

So the title tells it all. This recipe I adapted against the one I normally use, which uses All-Purpose Flour. My in-laws live in the south, they use more Self-Rising Flour than they do All-Purpose. The difference is (this is if you don’t bake and have no idea the difference…FYI) Self Rising flour has baking powder (a leavening agent), and salt added to it before packaging. All-Purpose Flour does not. A recipe that calls for All Purpose should have a leavening agent such as Baking Powder,or Baking Soda. I am saying should…there are other types of leaven-er and depending on what recipe you are using, it may call for some other ingredient.

So I adapted this specifically for my Mother-in-Law Teresa. apparently they really hadn’t eaten Pumpkin cookies until I introduced them to it last year. She has been asking me to give her the recipe and make her some. After looking at my recipe, I realized I should see if I could work a recipe with self rising flour instead of the all-purpose.

Recipe-Pumpkin cookies

 

Drop by teaspoonfulls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.  15 minutes.

Add Chocolate Chips, Nuts, Raisins ETC (Optional) I recommend the chocolate chips.

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Very Simple, No need for a mixer, this can all be done by hand, and very quickly.

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A Baking scoop from pampered chef comes in real handy for cookies like this. Mine Broke. (reminds me I need to order a new one)

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Transfer to wire rack, shortly after pulling from the oven. Keep them in a ziplock, or sealed container to maintain freshness.

Tell me how this recipe works out for you. When I get back to Germany, I will post the other recipe using All-Purpose flour for those who would prefer that method.

 

 

Oatmeal Cookies

Baking Book

I got this book from my mom. “Mom’s Big Book of Baking”

I have used many a recipe. Not all of them are great, I was a bit disappointed with quite a few.

So I attempted to make the Oatmeal Cookies:

Oatmeal Cookies1

 

Preheat Over 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.

Combine Sugars, Melted Butter. Add in Eggs and vanilla.

Add Flour Mixture to Sugar Mixture.

Then Add Oats and any add ins you may want.

Oatmeal

Chill for at least 20 minutes. I use a cookie scoop, but a tablespoon full is the recommended size for cookie dough. When you are done putting cookie dough on the cookie sheet, put the remaining cookie dough back in the fridge.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes, It varies based on how crispy you want your cookie. 🙂

Hope you enjoy making them as much as I do.

My Model

My Cookie Model. Who has enjoyed being the first taste tester.

 

The Frustration of Sunken Cupcakes

See how it sunk in the middle..

See how it sunk in the middle..

I know it’s happened to everyone that has ever baked a cake (or cupcakes), the dreaded sinking or fall of the top of the cake.

It has happened to me many times…

It brings me back to Pastry and Baking at the Culinary School. I think I was the only one excited for the class. The majority of the students were horrified at the prospect of weighing, measuring ingredients as well as the exact science of time and how your caramel can quickly turn to candy if you aren’t watching it oh so carefully:

Reasons Your Cake has fallen or sunken in:

  • Proportions in your recipe are wrong: It would be pretty evident in the fall as well as the texture of your cake if your proportions were off. Make sure to read over your recipe before baking. Ensuring you have a leavening agent whether, its self rising flour, Baking powder and/ or Baking soda in the recipe.
  • Make sure to Scrape the bowl while mixing to ensure ingredients are distributed well.
  • Your oven is too hot or not warm enough. Check that the temperature is correct for the type of cake you are baking.
  • Did you beat the cake too much?  It can cause distribution of air in the batter which in turn will deflate when you pull it out of the oven.
  • Opening the oven door to check on the cake.  I suggest putting the timer on and only checking on it when it’s about 5 minutes from being done. Closing the oven door too hard can cause a rising cake to fall.
  • You did not leave the cake in long enough for the middle to finish baking.
  • Sometime Altitude can play a part, If you live in a high altitude location, make sure you add or subtract so much of an ingredient as needed. ( I will post something about altitude baking)

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Just remember to read the recipe before baking. Plan it out. Make sure you have all the ingredients and enough of them.  You can invest in a an oven thermometer if you aren’t sure your oven is heating correctly. And all I can say from my experiences in baking most of my life, try and try again. A Recipe does not ever turn out the same way twice, there is always minuscule difference, more moist, more dry, more crispy  more soft…Baking can be a pain but all in all it’s fun and the results are delicious.

And I was showing you for the benefit of a post. I pulled my cupcakes out earlier than normal, in this case they fell. My next batch looked like this:

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