Baking Day

The Amish Friendship Bread Starter was ready and it was time to bake!

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Homemade Vanilla!

I started getting out all the supplies and realized my homemade vanilla was ready!  How exciting!  It smells divine!

This time I made 5 dozen mint and chocolate chip cookies, 2 dozen strawberries and cream cupcakes, and a pan of chocolate brownies.  There is still enough of the starter left over to make pancakes for the kids tomorrow morning.  This experiment has been fun, but it is getting a little overwhelming to have to bake so much every 10 days!

Hand Pies

Whenever we have leftover chicken, I make hand pies.

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Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

I throw the leftover chicken, any veges that happen to be in the fridge and usually some potatoes into the food processor.

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Hand Pie filling

I then put a heaping teaspoon in either refrigerated biscuit dough or crescent dough, which ever I have on hand.  This time I had crescent dough.

Then I add a little bit of shredded cheese to the top of the filling, wrap everything up and bake them.  This, along with a salad, is a true crowd pleaser at our house!

Friendship Bread Starter

I’ve been playing around with starters this year.  I started both a sourdough and a friendship bread starter at the same time.  With the sourdough starter, I’m baking every couple of days.  The friendship bread starter is ready every 10 days.  I used the starter recipe and all other recipes from the Friendship Bread Kitchen website.  So far every recipe has been a success!  I’ve made…

Pancakes…img_5153-1

Snookerdoodles, and …img_5152-1

A chocolate bread.  The bread was a little dry so next time I will add a bit more oil.  Now the starter will rest and grow for another 10 days!

Sourdough

I read the Sourdough by Robin Sloan a couple of months ago and was intrigued and inspired to try to make a starter.  With the holidays coming up though I thought I would wait until New Year to get it going.img_5082

I started out purchasing these two crocks as I wanted to make an Amish Friendship Bread starter as well.img_5127

This was my sourdough starter a few days in. EDITTED TO ADD RECIPE LINK:  the King Arthur Sourdough Started Recipe is what I am using.

 

The first thing I tried when the starter was ready was bread.  It was super easy to make – you just mix the starter with a few things and leave it on the counter.  The bread tastes fantastic!!  EDITED TO ADD RECIPE:  This one is also from the King Arthur website.  It’s the Rustic Sourdough Bread.

 

The next thing I wanted to try were waffles.  This requires an “overnight sponge” which is also easy and save a huge amount of time in the morning because there is nothing to mix up.  It’s ready when you are and you can just spoon the batter into the waffle maker.  Another success!!  EDITED TO ADD RECIPE:  Sourdough Waffles or Pancakes.

 

The last thing I have made so far with the starter is homemade pizza crust.  Every Friday (this is from last Friday) we have pizza and watch a movie as a family.  Everyone had so much fun gathered around the table making their crusts and then loading them with the things they wanted, that there has been a request to have homemade pizza every Friday instead of store bought.  EDITED TO ADD RECIPE:  Sourdough Pizza Crust.

The only thing I have had to really stay on top of is planning.  If I want to have bread at dinner, I need to start dough rising early afternoon.  If we want to have waffles, I need to prepare the overnight sponge the night before.  Really though, it’s so much fun!!  I have yet to hear my starter sing like in the book, but when the kitchen is quiet I can hear the bubbles popping.  Such a success!

Mint Brownies!

My 16 year old daughter loves to bake.  She also loves Pinterest.  She keeps sending me recipes with the dates that she wants to make them with me.  My job…to make sure we have the supplies on the right date.
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I love baking with her!!  She picked this brownie recipe and it is delicious.  However, the brownie part was a little strange and was overly complicated.  We have decided that the recipe is good enough to repeat, but we will use my tried and true brownie recipe instead of the one called for.

Brie & Cherry Braid

I have tried and tried to make pastry dough.  Over and over and have usually failed miserably.  The outcome is usually tasty, but the look…not good.  To say that I am extremely “dough challenged” would be an understatement…until now!

I picked up the magazine, Cuisine at home Breakfast & Brunch and decided to try the very first recipe listed – Brie & Cherry Braid.  For me, this was a very complicated recipe.  The dough had to be made (heating the milk, sugar and salt to a certain temperature), then it rose for two hours and then it sat in the refrigerator over night.  The berry sauce also needed to sit in the fridge.  I made the dough in the afternoon and was amazed that it actually rose!  Then in the fridge it went.  The berry filling also needed to be made ahead and placed in the fridge.  The next morning, the dough was pulled out and then rolled into a roughly 12 X 16 inch rectangle…img_4412

As you can see, I did not let anything to chance – there is a pencil marking on the parchment paper the size of 12X16 so the rectangle would be as close to the right size as possible.  Then came the cutting of the edges so the braid could be formed.img_4413

Then the brie skin is cut off and the brie is cut into 1/4″ width strips.  And yes, I did measure to make sure they were mostly 1/4″!  Haha!  My husband asked if I was baking or making a quilt!img_4414

The berry sauce is spread on top of the cheese and…img_4415

Then the braid is made.  It now needed to rest another two hours to rise again so my husband and I went out for a walk.img_4437

When we came back, I added an egg wash to the top and then slivered almonds and then it was baked.

I couldn’t believe it!  It looked just like the picture in the magazine!!  We let it cool down and then made the glaze which was just milk and powdered sugar and drizzled it on top.  Oh My Goodness!!  It was delicious!!  Everyone really liked it!img_4440

It also tasted really good the next day if it is warmed up a little bit.  Even though it takes a long time to make, I will be making this again!