Sunday, 26 December 2010

December DB's Challenge 2010 !!


Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus peel (Zitronat),[1] raisins and almonds, and different spices such as cardamom and cinnamon are added. Other ingredients, such as milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs,[2] vanilla,[3] other dried fruits and nuts and marzipan may also be added to the Stollen dough. Except for the fruit added, the dough is quite low in sugar. The finished cake is sprinkled with icing sugar.

I had extra dough after finishing a stollen shape..so i made a kugelhoph shape to celebrate with both.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Preparation time:

The following times are approximate. I suggest you gather and scale/weigh/measure (mise en place) all your ingredients before you begin mixing.
• Approximately 1 hour first stage – then rest overnight or up to 3 days
• 2 hours to warm up after refrigeration
• 15 minutes shaping
• 2 hours proofing
• 30-45 minutes baking

Equipment required:

• Mixer with dough hook or strong arms and hands
• Mixing bowl
• Bowl to soak raisins
• Small saucepan
• Sheet of plastic or plastic wrap to cover when proofing
• Bench or pastry scraper (very handy for cutting dough and also cleaning work surface)
• Rolling pin
• Dough whisk can be handy but not necessary
• Pastry Brush
• A scale is really important to have when making bread so I strongly advise you to get one. You do not have to have one though. (would make a good Christmas gift!)
• Sheet Pan or round Pizza pan
• Parchment Paper

Stollen Wreath

Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

Ingredients

¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

Directions:

Soak the raisins
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.


To make the dough

Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

This was before I pinched it together

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.

Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

I do like the Stollen except this citrus flavor in it..which I do no like in sweet breads..next time I'll do it without adding the zest to it.

Thanks Penny for the lovely challenge.

Chahira daoud

Monday, 13 December 2010

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Nov.2010 Daring bakers challenge !!


Crostata del frutti di mare....lord forgive me if that google translation was wrong ;))
This month challenge was about crostata(tart). The base of a crostata is pasta frolla (or pastafrolla), sweet short crust pastry (or sweet tart dough) made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Pasta frolla is versatile: it provides the base to make crostata with fruit preserves, pastry cream, fresh fruit, ricotta, and other ingredients, and, by itself, it makes very nice cookies too.
I decided this month to go with a savory crostata, i filled it with shrimp calamari and fish, finished it with a bechamel sauce using fresh cream as a base.
The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well
Here you are the way we should make Crostata ;)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Note 1: Superfine sugar is often also referred to as ultrafine, baker’s sugar or caster sugar. It’s available in most supermarkets. If you cannot find “superfine” sugar, you can make your own by putting some regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and letting it run until the sugar is finely ground.

Note 2: There are different ways of making vanilla sugar. I keep vanilla beans in a jar half-filled with sugar until I need to use them, for example, to make vanilla ice cream. After I remove the split bean from the custard that will go into the ice cream maker, I rinse it, dry it and put it back in the jar with sugar.

Making pasta frolla by hand:

  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.


Making pasta frolla with a food processor:

  1. Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
  3. Empty food processor's bowl onto your work surface
  4. See step 3 above and continue as explained in the following steps (minus the lemon zest, which you have already added).

Variation for Version 1 of pasta frolla:

If you want, you can make the pasta frolla using a combination of all-purpose flour and whole-wheat pastry flour.

If you choose to try this variation, use 1 cup [240 ml, 135 g, 4 3/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup [180 ml, 100 g, 3.5 oz.] whole-wheat pastry flour.

Version 2 of pasta frolla

In this version of pasta frolla, I have played with different kinds of flours, using almond, whole-grain barley and, most recently, coconut flour instead of some of the all-purpose flour. If you want to try a different version of pasta frolla that uses some flours that you wouldn’t normally use, this is a good recipe to try. All the flours listed below (whole-wheat pastry, almond flour, coconut flour and barley flour) are available at health food stores. You may even find them at well-stocked supermarkets.

The preparation for this version of pasta frolla is very similar to the preparation for Version 1.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup [80 ml, 75 g, 2 2/3 oz.] superfine sugar or 1/2 cup [120ml, 60 g, 2 oz]powdered sugar (see Note 1.)
  • 1/2 cup [120 ml, 65 g, 2 3/8 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup [120ml, 65 g. 2 1/4 oz.] whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz] almond flour, or almond meal, or coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz.] whole-grain barley flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons[90ml, 85 g, 3 oz] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can also use vanilla sugar; see Note 2.)

Note 1: Superfine sugar is often also referred to as ultrafine, baker’s sugar or caster sugar. It’s available in most supermarkets. If you cannot find “superfine” sugar, you can make your own by putting some regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and letting it run until the sugar is finely ground.

Note 2: There are different ways of making vanilla sugar. I keep vanilla beans in a jar half-filled with sugar until I need to use them, for example, to make vanilla ice cream. After I remove the split bean from the custard that will go into the ice cream maker, I rinse it, dry it and put it back in the jar with sugar.

Directions:

By hand:

  1. Whisk together sugar, flours and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and vanilla extract into it.
  4. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into mixture and then use your fingertips.
  5. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  6. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

With a food processor:

  1. Put sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add butter and pulse a few times until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
  3. Empty food processor's bowl onto your work surface.

    Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and vanilla extract into it.

  4. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients then use your fingertips.
  5. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  6. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Ideas for Filling for Your Crostata

Whether you choose to make Version 1 or 2 of the pasta frolla, there are numerous fillings that you can choose from for your crostata. I am suggesting some filling for you here (and including assemblage and baking instructions). But be brave and creative and see what you can come up with!

Crostata di Marmellata (crostata with a jam filling using Version 1 pasta frolla)

If you choose to make a crostata with a jam filling, you will need:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups [415ml, 600 gm, 21 oz] of jam or fruit preserves, whatever flavor you like (Note: I use my homemade fruit preserves, which have a low sugar content. I recommend you choose a good quality product, made with mostly fruit.)

Assembling and baking the crostata di marmellata:

  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
  3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
  4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
  5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
  7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.

    Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.

  8. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.

    Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes (this is not traditional, but it looks cute); or roll with your hands into ropes.

  9. Spread the jam or fruit preserves evenly over the bottom of the crostata.

    Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes. (Note: You can use dough scraps to make cookies: see the Additional Information section for some pointers)

  10. Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid.
  11. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  12. After 25 minutes, check the tart and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: Every oven is different. In my oven it took 34 minutes to bake the tart until golden.)
  13. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.

Crostata con la Crema (crostata with pastry cream filling using Version 1 pasta frolla)

If you choose to make a crostata with pastry cream filling, you will need:

  • One batch of pastry cream (Note: For the recipe that I used, see #5 of the Additional Information section. Prepare the pastry cream in advance of assembling the crostata.

Assembling and baking the crostata con la crema:

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF [180ºC/gas mark 4].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
  3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
  4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
  5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
  7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
  8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
  9. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
  10. Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes (this is not traditional, but it looks cute); or roll with your hands into ropes.
  11. Instead of jam or fruit preserves, cover the bottom of the crostata crust evenly with the pastry cream.
  12. Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes. (Note: You can use dough scraps to make cookies: see the Additional Information section for some pointers)
  13. Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid.
  14. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  15. After 35 minutes, check the tart, and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: Every oven is different. In my oven it took 45 minutes to bake the tart until golden.)
  16. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.

Crostata di Frutta Fresca (crostata with fresh fruit using Version 1 or 2 of pasta frolla)

Note: This filling variation involves a process called “blind-baking”. (If you’re not familiar with blind-baking, see #4 in the Additional Information section for an explanation and a video on blind-baking.)

In its simplest form, a crostata with fresh fruit has 3 components:

  • the pasta frolla base, blind-baked
  • a layer of pastry cream
  • a layer of fruit

For this recipe you will need:

  • a blind-baked shell made using pasta frolla
  • a batch of pastry cream, prepared in advance and cooled (Note: For the recipe that I used, see #5 of the Additional Information section. For this crostata I make half that recipe.)
  • enough fresh fruit to cover the top of your crostata (Note: You can choose anything you like, including berries, stone fruit, , kiwis, bananas, etc. See the Additional Information section for more information on using fresh fruit.)

Directions to assemble and bake a crostata di frutta fresca:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF [180ºC/gas mark 4].
  2. Roll out a batch of the pasta frolla and cover the base of the tart pan. (You can use Version 1 or 2: if you use Version 1, you will have more leftover pasta frolla to turn into cookies.)
  3. Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the crust and extend out a bit over the edges of the pan.
  4. You can use pie weights or dry beans to blind bake. Place whatever weight you’re using directly on the parchment paper or aluminum foil in an even layer.
  5. Place the crostata shell in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the weights and parchment paper and continue baking the crostata shell until the border is light golden, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid over-baking, which results in a hard shell). In the absence of weight, the crust may rise in the middle: if that occurs, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the crostata shell cool completely before proceeding.
  8. If you use a tart pan with removable bottom, release the base from the fluted tart ring, then slide the cooled crostata shell on a serving plate for filling. (Note: If you’ve used a cake pan or pie plate, use a bit of care in taking the shell out of the baking vessel.)
  9. Spread the prepared pastry cream over the cooled shell.
Decorate the surface with fresh fruit. The crostata must be cool, but not cold, so if you refrigerate it, take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving. This crostata is best eaten the same day it is prepared.

To make my sea food tart I omitted the sugar from the main recipe and baked it without filling then added my stir fried sea food and topped with bechamel sauce .

Thanks a lot Simona for the lovely challenge....can not wait for january challenge ;))
Chahira Daoud

Sunday, 28 November 2010

October daring bakers challenge !!!


I know it does not count but I should post my challenge simply because I did it at time but had problems to post it on my blog ;((
The october Challenge was about doughnuts...I love it really and enjoyed making it.
I made the doughnuts circles and used the balls too but filled it with nutella...it was extra yummy...I made braided doughnuts too..it was nice and new ;))


The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
And here you are the full recipe

Yeast Doughnuts:

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Ingredients
Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Directions:

  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
  2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
  9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
  11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired. And now with the PICS.




Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I just became a daring cook !!

Guys, I'll start from this month to post about daring cooks challenges...this month challenge is a real fun....wait for mine ;)))
XoXoXo

Friday, 1 October 2010

September DB's challenge....was blue !!!

September DB's challenge was about Sugar cookies, I am not so good in that because i simply made those two or three times in the whole life......piping sugar paste "because i would never do the royal icing with raw eggs"was not easy for me...my hand usually shakes....I should admit that I am not good in that...anyway I decided at the last moment to make it although i have a lot of cookies remained from our feast.
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
It was our choice to choose the theme....I did.....it is about envy and the blue evil eye !!!
The evil eye is a look that is superstitiously believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill-wishing look.
Egyptians do beleive in it...that influence their daily habits sometimes.
In Islam It is tradition among many Muslims, that if a compliment is to be made, you are always supposed to say "Masha'Allah" (ما شاء الله) to ward off the evil eye and also (لا قوة إلا بالله; it literally means "It is as God has willed." It is a testimony from someone that he/she believes that either good or bad will only happen if God wants it to.
In ancient Egypt The Eye of HorusHorus was an ancient Egyptian sky god in the form of a falcon. The right eye represents a peregrine falcon's eye and the markings around it, that includes the "teardrop" marking sometimes found below the eye. The right eye of Horus is said to ward off the evil eye in the ancient Egyptian culture. In modern Egypt, Islamic charms and amulets such as the hamsa are used.

What is "hamsa"??
The hamsa (Arabic: خمسة ‎, khamsa, lit. five, also romanized khamsa and chamsa) is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa.The hamsa is often incorporated in jewelry and wall hangings, as a defense against the evil eye,It is believed to originate in ancient practices associated with the Phoenicians of Carthage.
Should talk about the recipe now....I used the original recipe but I put less sugar...we consumed a lot of sugar during our feast and i gained of course more weight.
I did not make the royal icing as we do not eat raw eggs. So I went with the eggless icing.I used paste colors to tint my icing in BLUE ;))
Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies
200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Directions
• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture.
• Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread duringbaking, losing their shape.
• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
• Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoidflour flying everywhere.
• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
• Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for anhour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time andthen it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.
• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
• Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
• Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result insome cookies being baked before others are done.
• Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
• Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decoratedcookies can last up to a month.
Would like to know why i chose this theme ???
I was very ill and still feel a horrible pain in my head...I went to five doctors and no one of them knew the cause till now.....That makes a lot of people around me goes to the envy reason !!!
I do not think so...I think that stress can do more and more... should think seriously to change my whole life style.
Thanks Mandy for such a sweet challenge and sorry for being late....I will bake my october challenge this week..God willing.
Chahira Daoud

Sunday, 12 September 2010

My latest cakes !!


I still do not love Fondant but some people love to celebrate their parties with something different..I always confirm that my favorite cake is the one made with fresh cream and fresh fruits..and I know that fondant cakes are just a fashion and it will end soon....fondant is full of sugar and not a lot of people love it..also playing with food that much "shaping figurines or making flowers and shapes" makes me sometimes feeling bad..that some poor people can not even find food to eat so what about playing with it....Anyway I do make these cakes for those who ask for and i think that i will stop doing this one day...when?? do not know yet.
Making these cakes is time and effort consuming...and it is all for the joy of seeing a piece of art.
I'll share with you some of my latest cakes pics.
Chahira Daoud

A different way to serve sandwiches in parties !!

Hello
I just wanted to show you something that i started to make as a treat on parties buffets....It is a soft sandwich bread dough but i baked it in a big "ghee tin" then sliced it and cut each slice in four or even eight portions and started to fill it with whatever sandwich filling.

In the second pic I made two big loaves one is white and the other is brown i made a mix between white flour, whole meal and rye. Then sliced each one and create a new loaf one layer white bread with meat or chicken filling and the brown layer sandwiches filled with smoked salmon or tuna...It is a nice idea to present sandwiches...every one loved it really..here you are the pics




The first pic was for a loaf before slicing it and i decorate its top...and the second one for a ready one made from two loaves and ready to serve.
Chahira Daoud

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Happy Eid !!

Happy eid to all my friends...This Eid or "feast" is Eid al fitr....
Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiṭr‎), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiṭr means "conclusion of the fast"; and so the holiday symbolizes the celebration of the conclusion of the month of fasting from dawn to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan (calendar month). The first day of Eid, therefore, is the first day of the month Shawwal that comes after Ramadan.
Eid-ul-Fitr
Salat (Namaz in Urdu/Persian) is a Wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable) - depending on which juristic opinion is followed - Islamic prayer consisting of two raka'ah (units)[1] which is generally offered in an open field or large hall called an Eed-gah. This salaat or prayer, should be performed with Jama’at (i.e., in congregation) with extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying Allahu Akbar (God is Great), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah.[2] Eid ul-Fitr is sometimes also known as the "Smaller Eid" (Arabic: العيد الصغير al-‘īdu ṣ-ṣaghīr‎) as compared to the Eid al-Adha, which lasts four days following the Hajj and is casually referred to as the "Greater Eid" (Arabic: العيد الكبير al-‘īdu l-kabīr‎).
Muslims are commanded by God in the Qur'an to complete their fast on the last day of Ramadan and then recite God's praises all throughout the period of Eid.[3]
We prepare to celebrate it each year by buying new clothes for the kids and of course baking several kinds of cookies or biscuits....we have a large varieties..most of it are very unique and original..I make the traditional collection every year and i add to it by making some chocolate chips cookies and some butter cookies or sablee..I'd like to share the pics of my Eid cookies with you.Kahk or Ka7k...the king of our Eid cookies.A yeasted biscuits dough filled with lokoms or turkish delights and walnuts and powdered with powder sugar. Amaaazing and very unique.....we just make these in Eid.

Ghorayeba......na3maaaa..."soft and nutty flavored"...made with just three ingredients....Guess what???

The process of sifting powder sugar over my kahk.

Chocolate chips cookies.

Sablee..I was quiet exhausted so I shaped it this time using spritz cookies gadget ;))

We use to fill it with lokoms or turkish delights and walnuts but when i came to Alexandria i found that they fill it with dates i just made some changes i add cardamom, cinamon and few drops of orange blossom water.

I've never heard about this kind of biscuits or ccookies anywhere except Egypt...."Nashader biscuits" I won't translate nashader in English...It is our little secret ;))

Ok I should tell you nashader means ammonium bicarbonate powder it changes to gas by heating during baking and it gives a special lovely flavor to this kind of biscuits.

My favorite in Eid....I do not feel like Eid without it. A yeasted dough called buns or "oras" a very special and unique buns.

Maamool .

Shakalama.."What a name"!! it has a little bit the similar taste of the bounty bar filling, but more delicious indeed.

We call it in egypt "petits fours" I know that is not the right name...but that was the name our ancestors were used to call it.

Biscuits aux sesames et la confiture de framboises

My favorite in Eid mornings with a good piece of damietta white cheese...can not wait ;))

Chahira Daoud

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