Posts tagged flour
Amazing Sponge! Harriott Horry's Water Cake - American Cake
Raspberries on Water Cake
American Cake is great because I'm learning new things and techniques! Back when sugar was sold in cones of sugar one needed to process the sugar to use it for baking. This recipe makes a thick syrup of sugar that's about the consistency of corn syrup. 

Like all sponges this has no fat outside of what you find in eggs and is baked in an ungreased pan. From what I read it's very close to an Italian Sponge Cake. This recipe just tickles me. I call it an honest cake. It is the flavor of sugar, eggs and flour. It is such a beauty, and easy to make with a stand mixer. The one caveat is to allow time for this one. The syrup mixture needs time to cool. The cake needs to cool in the pan as well. This isn't a rush home and toss it in the oven kind of cake, but you know taking TIME is the secret element that no one discusses. Many people tout getting things accomplished in as little time as possible. Not me and not this cake.   

Water Cake
12 ounces sugar
4 ounces water
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
6 ounces flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Prep a 10 inch springform pan by NOT greasing it, but cutting a disc of parchment to fit the bottom. 

I'm using weights here because I used weight to make the cake. If you don't have a scale for baking, you sincerely should. 

In a small pot combine the sugar and water, bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is no longer granular. Brush down any crystals clinging to the sides of a pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Let cool. 

In a bowl of a stand mixer gently combine the eggs. In a slow stream while the mixer is on low, add the sugar syrup. Once it's all combined, scrape the sides of the bowl and whip on medium-high for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the volume is doubled. Remove the bowl from the stand and gently mix the flour in by hand. Be careful not to deflate the eggs and don't be slow to getting the cake to the oven once it's poured into the pan. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan 15 minutes; while it is still warm run a knife around the cake, loosening it from the pan. Allow it to cool completely. 

It's a sturdy cake and can handle being flipped to remove the parchment from the bottom. Serve with anything. It's delicious. 
Hey 1995: Here's Your Focaccia
I remember when I was first introduced to focaccia. It was 20 years ago and it was delicious. The current flat bread fad would do well to remember it's forefather. Sometimes fluffy has a place that crunchy bread or fatty crackers just doesn't fill.

So here's a focaccia I recently made one night after work for an early evening pot luck. You can make this, rise it and be out the door in less than 90 minutes.

Focaccia 
1.5 cup warm water
4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast-bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or turbinado sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup high gluten flour (or use 3 cups total of all purpose, I just happen to have both.)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
paprika

In the bowl of a stand mixer place warm water, yeast and sugar. Add two cups of flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix lightly. Add the remaining cup of flour. Mix for about a minute until you have a cohesive ball of dough. It will be a little sticky. Add 1/4 cup of flour if needed. Remove the bowl from the stand, and paddle from the bowl. Pour a little oil over the dough and move the mass around the bowl until it is coated lightly with oil.
Oil a 13x9 cookie sheet well. Manipulate the dough into a rectangle and spread it out on the sheet the best you can. It will be a springy. Stretch the dough without ripping it. Cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise 40 minutes.
Preheat oven 275 degrees. 
Remove the dish towel, make dimples in the dough with your finger tips, pushing the dough into the corners of the pan. Press your fingers to the bottom of the pan, without poking holes completely through. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the dough, as evenly as possible. Distribute the oil best you can with your fingers without deflating the dough too much. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika. Now is when you'd add other flavorings, cheese and caramelized onions for example. Put the bread in oven and bake 35 minutes. Up the heat to 350 and bake 5 minutes longer. Or bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Pour over the remaining olive oil. Remove from the pan to cool. Cut into squares and serve.


Best Biscuits-Southern US Biscuits
Quick and delicious biscuit!
I love a quick bread. Mostly because it's bread and it can be made quickly then I can pop it into my mouth.
We were talking about the ability to whip something up out staple ingredients in the kitchen being a blessing or a curse. You know if you can make a delicious biscuit or cookie with what is on hand, how do you not give into that whim and make yummy stuff all of the time. It's a curse! The real answer is you control what you eat like everyone else.
It really is a blessing to be able to cook. This recipe should be in everyone repertory. The basic cutting flour into fat is good thing to know how to do. See pie crust.

Biscuits
2 cups white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Start making these 30 minutes before you're going to eat them.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2401/2038698008_257432eabf.jpg
Pastry Cutter
In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, toss briefly. Cut the shortening into the flour mix. I use a pastry scraper, you can use a pastry cutter, which most people have kicking around in the back of a drawer. If you have neither you can use two butter knives to get the job done. Two knives will take a little more time. If it's cool outside and your quick and light with your touch you can rub the butter into the flour. All of these techniques do the same thing, which is evenly incorporate the fat into the dry mixture. 

Create a well in the mixture and pour all of the milk in at once. Quickly mix together. The dough will be fairly soft. Fold it onto itself 6 or 7 times. Do not knead like a yeast bread. Dump onto a floured surface, fold one last time in half. (This is where your biscuit will split with a fork once it's out of the oven.) Pat it into a disc that's one inch thick and cut. Use a round metal cutter (or a glass with a very thin lip) or if you don't mind squares and want to be even quicker, cut with a knife. Put them on a parchment lined pan, spaced about an inch apart, and pop the pan into the oven for 25 minutes.

Make 6 giant biscuits or 9 modest sized ones.

This is a good recipe to riff from. Add chives and parmesan cheese; brush with garlic butter.  Add sugar and cinnamon and call it a scone. Use buttermilk instead or use part sour cream for your milk. The ratio of flour, fat and milk is what you want to keep as closely to as possible.

What are your "whip it quickly together" recipes?