Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Day Treats!

I spent a good deal of this snowy weekend baking and mixing up some yummys so I thought I would share them and their recipes with you!

1.Snow Cream!!! This is a treat from my childhood--and from many others' from what I saw on facebook today! Not really a "recipe" just some general guidelines for a nice frosty creamy treat!
1. Gather a big bowl of snow (this enamelware snowflake bowl is perfect!)

2. Add 1 1/2 cup milk, 3/4 cup sugar, a few drops of vanilla, and a few drops
of your favorite food coloring (just please don't use yellow--ewww didn't your mama tell you not to eat yellow snow?!?)

3. Mix until creamy and all ingredients are incorporated

4. Yum!!! Keep it in the freezer and enjoy throughout the day :)

2. French Toast
I told hubs that I was going to make him homemade french bread...well, he misunderstood me and thought I said "French toast" and was craving it so that's what we had for brunch today.

Denny's Style French Toast


4 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
6 slices Texas Toast thick bread (I used 8 slices of my homemade sourdough)
3-5 Tbps. butter
toppings of choice

-Whisk together first 7 ingredients
-Heat a large skilled or griddle on medium high heat
-add 1 tbps butter to hot skillet to grease
-dip each slice of bread into batter for 30 minutes on each side
-let some batter drip off, then place in skillet
-cook each side 1.5-2 minutes until golden brown.
-re-grease skillet and repeat until all ingredients used up
-top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

I thought this was great. Hubs thought it was alright--I think he will not be happy with french toast unless I deep fry it. weirdo. He did eat it up though and is gonna finish it off tomorrow!

3. Rustic Italian Bread
from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book" via How to Eat a Cupcake

As with all yeasted breads, this requires time and patience. I made it with the "sponge" but apparently you can make it in the same day if you leave that out. I was really excited about this b/c I got to use my dough hook on my KitchenAid for the first time! (I usually just make my bread by hand). I thought that the instructions for rolling the bread into a log were kinda hard to understand, and i may have overworked my dough a bit b/c of that, it is still really good and a huge hit w/hubs!

This recipe requires a bit of patience—the sponge, which gives the bread flavor, must be made 11 to 27 hours before the dough is made. We find it makes the most sense to prepare the sponge (which requires just 5 minutes of hands-on work) the day before you want to bake the bread.

On the second day, remove the sponge from the refrigerator and begin step 2 at least 7 hours before you want to serve the bread. If you own two standing mixer bowls, in step 1 you can refrigerate the sponge in the bowl in which it was made. Use the second bowl to make the dough in step 2. Have ready a spray bottle filled with water for misting the loaves.
If you don't have time for a sponge, this loaf can be made the same day, but the flavor won't be as complex, and the crumb will be finer and more uniform (like sandwich bread).
Omit the sponge. When assembling the dough in step 2, increase the amount of bread flour to 5 cups, increase the water to 2 1/4 cups, and increase the yeast to 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons).

2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

3-3 1/2 cups (16 1/2 to 19 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 teaspoons salt

1. For the sponge: Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the sponge has risen and fallen, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. For the dough: Combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed add the water and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

3. Remove the plastic wrap, add the sponge and salt, and knead the dough on medium-low speed until it is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Turn the dough in the bowl with a dough scraper or large rubber spatula. Gently lift and fold a third of the dough toward the center. Repeat with the opposite side of the dough. Finally, fold the dough in half, perpendicular to the first folds. The dough shape should be a rough square. Cover, let rise for 30 more minutes, then repeat the turning process. Cover and let rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes longer.

6. Top a rimless (or inverted) baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter, press it into a 10-inch square without tearing it, and gently dimple it with your fingertips. Fold the top corners diagonally to the middle. Using your fingertips and starting at the top of the dough, pull the underside of the dough up over the top, stretching it considerably, and begin to roll the dough up into a rough log. With each roll, press the seam firmly to seal. Continue to do this, forming the dough into a taut log, 5 to 7 more times. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and gently tuck the ends into a taut loaf. Mist the loaf with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size and the dough barely springs back when poked with a knuckle, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

7. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking stone on the rack, and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Let the baking stone heat for at least 30 minutes (but no longer than 1 hour).

8. Cut three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes across the top of the dough and spray the loaf lightly with water. Carefully slide the loaf and parchment onto the hot baking stone. Bake the bread for 10 minutes. (i removed my parchment paper at this point b/c it was looking quite "toasted")

9. Rotate the bread, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and continue to bake until the center of the loaf registers 210 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

10. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack, discard the parchment, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before serving.

4. Homemade Graham Crackers, SUCCESS!
I won't re-type the whole recipe, you can find it in this post. Just use 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour and only bake for 12 minutes, not 24!! These are actually very easy--I made the whole thing in the food processor and beyond the chilling time there was nothing to it! Hubs loves them too, which was the whole point!

Well, I hope you enjoy these snowy day treats! We had a very fun morning playing in the snow, but poor Butchy was not having any of it!

We got her all dressed up in her coat and boots (notice the "fur" trim)

Then she refused to play! Hubs tried to make her by carrying her back to the snow but she just ran back to the deck.

Sad times. We realized that there isn't so much to do in the snow when you are grown up and don't have sleds!

1 comment:

  1. Don't have snow here in Georgia so I guess I better make the French Toast. Thanks :)