Sunday, 31 January 2010

Soft Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns and the Tunnel in the Dough: HBinFive

This is a tale of two carnivores and a tunnel in the dough. The tale begins with two carnivores who wouldn’t eat the Soft Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns I made in the HBinFive baking group this past weekend because they had Black Bean Burgers in them.  Of course, the two carnivores I’m referring to are my sons. 

I have to give them a little credit though. My oldest son took a bite.  He then proclaimed that it tasted like meatloaf and wouldn’t eat anymore. My youngest son attempted to eat one but said it tasted like he was eating a big bean.  So, at this point, they both decided to go out and get a “real” burger. 

So I ate the black bean burger on the soft whole wheat bun and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The next day, I shared one with my non-meat-eating taste tester (aka BF) and he enjoyed it as well. We had the burgers with home canned pickles.  They were delicious!

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Here is the recipe for the black bean burgers.
They really are good even if my carnivores don’t like them!

The morale of this story is don’t bother wasting your culinary experiments on two carnivores that would rather eat a burger from a fast food joint than “real” food.  Just kidding!  I knew they wouldn’t eat them!  But it sure was fun watching them squirm.

Remind me to tell you about the meatball episode!  I will never let my oldest son forget that one!  Sure wish I had gotten it on video.  It would be all over uTube now.

But I digress…

Here is a picture of the whole wheat buns.  I think these would also taste good as warm rolls with nothing but butter.

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Moving right along…


The next part of the tale involves the tunnel of love, I mean dough.

In the HBinFive bread baking group, we also made Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from the same Healthy Bread in Five Minutes Soft Wheat Dough. I really like the fact that you can make several different breads from the same dough.

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The loaf was very soft and fluffy and I had very high expectations for it.  This is what it looked like when I first sliced it (see below).  I was really looking forward to enjoying it with peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam.  I used my PB&J test, but it didn’t pass. It tasted eggy! It’s made with 5 eggs for goodness sake!  I thought I just didn’t like the bread, but soon found out what had happened.

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It was gummy and not completely cooked and it had a tunnel in it.  There’s a name for this phenomenon - baker’s cave or something.  I don’t think I’ve ever had this happen so I decided to share it. Looks pretty cool, huh!  Except it doesn’t taste very good and it’s hard to make a sandwich with a hole in the middle of the bread.

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I used a skewer to test the doneness but I must not have put it completely in the middle.  Next time, I’ll use a thermometer to make sure the bread is done.

Unfortunately, this one is going to the birds.  Fortunate for them, I suppose.  They like me!

Oh yeah! We were also supposed to make Apple Strudel Bread in the baking group, which I’m sure is delicious, but I didn’t get to that one.  Please visit some of the other HBinFive bakers to find out how they liked that one. I’ll post the link to the roundup in a few days so you can view them.


Thanks for joining us today in the bread-baking blog.  Look for more breads from the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes Baking Group. 


About the HBinFive Baking Group

The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the  Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. For more information on the new HBinFive baking group, check out Michelle's blog.



Happy Baking!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Making Jam: Grapefruit Marmalade

If you’re looking for a refreshing change from orange marmalade, then I’ve got just the thing; Grapefruit Marmalade! It’s delish!

This grapefruit marmalade has become one of my favorites. It ranks up there with Citrus Marmalade. I almost submitted this as my entry in the tigress' can jam, but decided at the last minute to make Lime Marmalade instead. 

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I wanted to make this marmalade over the Holidays with ruby red grapefruit because I thought it would make a beautiful and festive gift. However, I was hesitant to make it because of the way the Grapefruit Cranberry Marmalade turned out. That one was really bitter! 

I’ve heard that marmalade is supposed to be bitter, but I don’t particularly like bitter. My favorite jam, Citrus Marmalade (made with oranges, lemon and a grapefruit, including the rinds) is really good (and not bitter), so I just couldn’t accept that other marmalades had to be bitter – unless of course, you like them that way. 

I had almost given up on the idea of making grapefruit marmalade when I found this recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. With their method, you soak the rinds overnight to get rid of a lot of the bitterness.  What a great idea!  Wish I had known about that when I made the Grapefruit Cranberry Marmalade.  If I ever make that one again, I’ll use this method. It makes all the difference – to me at least!

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Grapefruit Marmalade

Makes: about three 8-ounce jars

One of the things I really like about this marmalade recipe is that you can make a small batch if you just want a little bit or you can make a bigger batch if you want more. How easy is that!


1 large grapefruit (I used ruby red)
Granulated sugar


Wash grapefruit, score skin into quarters and remove peel. With a spoon, scrape bitter white pith from peel and discard.

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Slice the peel thinly.

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In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine peel with water to cover generously.  Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil for 10 minutes.  Drain and discard liquid.  Return to saucepan.

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Working over a bowl to catch juice and using a sharp knife, separate grapefruit segments from the membrane. 

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Add segments and juice to peel in saucepan.  Squeeze any juice from membrane into saucepan.  Discard membranes and seeds.  Add 4 cups water to peel mixture. 

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Bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 

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Cover and let stand in a cool place for 12 to 18 hours.

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The next day, prepare your canner, jars and lids for water-bath canning.  For detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions on the National Center for Home Preservation's site.

Return saucepan to medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Boil until peel is tender, about 15 minutes.

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Remove from heat and measure fruit mixture.  Return to saucepan and bring back to a boil.  Maintaining a boil, gradually stir in 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit.  Boil hard, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches gel stage, about 30 minutes.

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Remove from heat and test gel. 

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If gel stage has been reached, skim off foam.  Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot marmalade. 

Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.  I didn’t have quite enough marmalade to fill 3 jars so I put the half-filled jar on the right in the refrigerator.  I’ve been enjoying it!

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to boil and process for 10 minutes.  I only had 2 jars to process so I just used a big pot with trivets on the bottom instead my big canning pot. 

Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.  I kept this batch for myself.  I’ll have to can some more to share.

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Happy Canning and Baking!

Here are some of the references I use in my canning adventures. You might enjoy them as well:

Here are some delicious breads that would go well with this jam!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Pain Poilâne: BBA

We’re moving right along in the BBA Challenge. I finally made it to the bread on the cover of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice book: Poilâne-Style Miche (#33).  Poilâne Miche is a naturally fermented country bread created by Lionel Poilâne, a famous baker in Paris. He calls his bread a miche but it is referred to as Pain Poilâne by others. Poilane has a very unique (and interesting) system for making his bread and his apprentices are specially trained in the craft. 

My goal was to create a reasonable facsimile of this bread in my kitchen. I liked the way the bread looked on the cover but wasn’t sure how it would taste or if I could recreate it in a manner worthy of it’s fame; particularly given my not so pleasant results with the Sourdough Rye/Spelt Bread.  I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a beauty!  It is a somewhat dense and chewy bread, but the flavor is really good. 

Since I’m pleased with how my Poilâne-Style Miche turned out, I decided to submit it to YeastSpotting, a weekly bread roundup hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.  Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.

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Poilâne-Style Miche

I had fun making this bread. It is made with whole wheat flour that is sifted to a partial whole wheat, a 90 to 95 percent extraction rate (which, according to Peter Reinhart, means that much, but not all, of the bran is still in the flour).  I used freshly milled organic red winter wheat and was able to extract a good bit of the bran because home-milled flour is coarser than commercially-milled whole wheat flour and the bran separates more easily. 


Firm Starter

  • 7 oz (1 cup) sourdough starter
  • 9 oz (2 cups) sifted medium-grind whole wheat flour
  • 4 oz (about 1/2 cup) water, at room temperature


Final Dough:

  • 32 oz (7 cups) sifted medium-grind whole wheat flour
  • .81 oz (3 1/4 tsp) salt (or 2 T coarse sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 18 to 22 oz (2 to 2 1/4 cups) water, lukewarm (90 degrees to 100 degrees F.)
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting


This is the sifted home-milled flour.  See all the bran that’s left after the flour is sifted out. This process is way cool!

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The day before you want to make this bread, make a firm starter with a mixture of sifted medium-grind whole-wheat flour, water and barm (or mother starter) that has been fed.

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Mix until it forms a ball, then transfer the dough to the counter and knead the mixture for about 3 minutes until all the flour is hydrated and the ingredients are evenly distributed.

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Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and roll it around in it to coat it with the oil.  Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. Then refrigerate it overnight.

The next day, remove the starter from the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough. 

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Cut the starter into about 12 small pieces with a pastry scraper. Cover the dough pieces with plastic wrap and let them sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.

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Stir together the sifted whole-wheat flour (all 7 cups of it), salt, and starter pieces.  A Danish dough whisk works really well for this part but you can also use a large metal spoon.

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Add enough water to bring all of the ingredients into a soft ball.  Adjust the flour and water as necessary.

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Next, sprinkle some flour on the counter and get ready to knead it and I mean knead it.  I hope you’ve been working out because this is the tough part.  The dough is way too heavy for most stand mixers so you have to do this by hand and it takes about 12-15 minutes. 

I put on some music and got a good workout with this one. I didn’t take pictures of that part. ;)

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The dough should be supple and tacky but not sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough inside, rolling it around to coat it with oil.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it ferment at room temperature for approximately 4 hours, or until the dough nearly doubles in size.  I let it sit for about 5 hours I think.

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Transfer the dough to the counter and form it into a boule.

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Proof the dough in a banneton (if you have one) or do what I did and use a large bowl covered with a cloth that has been sprayed with spray oil and sprinkled generously with flour.  The bowl should be big enough to hold the dough when it rises to nearly double in size.  My bowl may have been a little bit too big but it worked just fine.

Place the dough seam side up, in the bowl and mist the top with spray oil.

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Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap.  I opted for plastic wrap. Proof the boule at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or until the dough grows 1 1/2 times in size.

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Prepare the oven for hearth baking.  For my oven, this means placing a baking stone on the middle rack and a steam pan on the bottom rack.  If I put the baking stone any lower, then the bread burns on the bottom. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Carefully remove the top layer of cloth or plastic wrap from the dough 10 minutes before baking.  Dust the back of a peel with semolina flour or cornmeal.  I used cornmeal.

Turn the dough out gently onto the peel and carefully remove the cloth liner from the dough.

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core the dough with a large pound sign.

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Slide the dough onto the baking stone.  Pour 2 cups of hot water into the steam pan and close the door.  Immediately lower the temperature to 450 degrees F.

After 25 minutes, rotate the loaf 180 degrees and lower the oven setting to 425 degrees F. And to think, the Poulane bakers have to do this by feel; they don’t have thermometers on their ovens. Continue to baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the bread is done.  It should be deeply browned. It’s a beautiful color!

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Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 2 hours before slicing or serving.

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This bread tastes great warm or toasted with butter. Store the bread in a brown paper bag.  It will keep for about 5 to 7 days.  I made it last Saturday and the bread still tastes pretty good (on Wednesday).  Just serve it warm with butter. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it would also taste great with cheese and meat.

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I didn’t get a shot of the crumb.  I was so proud of the shot of the loaf, I forgot to take a picture when we sliced it. Oops!

Thanks for joining us this week in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge.

The next bread in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is Pumpernickel Bread. I liked that one too.  I’ll be posting about it soon.


Happy Baking!


Monday, 25 January 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Are you looking for an easy and delicious appetizer/snack for the big game?  These pepperoni pizza rolls are delicious and easy!  They melt in your mouth like cinnamon rolls, but are savory rather than sweet. These rolls taste great hot or cold and make great appetizers for the big game or any special get together with friends.  I made them over the Holidays and they were a big hit!

Tools & Resources for making homemade pizza:


Pepperoni Pizza Rolls Recipe

Makes: 12 to 18 rolls

Recipe from: A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman.

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  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 5 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 to 5 cups bread flour


  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 to 12 ounces pepperoni, sliced

Finishing Touches

  • Olive oil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese



Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Hand whisk water and yeast together in the mixer bowl and let stand 2 to 3 minutes until the yeast dissolves.  Briskly whisk in the oil, sugar, salt, and most of the flour.

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Mix until combined, then knead with the dough hook on lowest speed 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a soft, bouncy dough.

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Remove the dough hook and spray the dough with spray oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a large food grade plastic bag) and let the dough rise 45 minutes.

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Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Let the dough rest another 20 minutes.

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Roll or press dough out into a 14- x 12-inch rectangle.

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Spoon on spaghetti sauce, garlic, and olive oil; dust with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

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Sprinkle on the cheese and scatter the pepperoni.

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Roll the dough jellyroll-style and place it on the baking sheet.  Refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes.  Chilling the dough makes it easier to cut the slices without squishing the dough.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator or freezer (I used the freezer) and cut it into 1 1/2 inch slices.

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Place the slices on prepared baking sheet.  Leave some space between the slices so the rolls have room to rise.

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Brush the tops with olive oil and dust with Parmesan cheese. Cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap and the let the dough rise for 20 to 35 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly and the buns are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

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Here are the delicious rolls ready to eat!  Enjoy! They won’t last long.

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Happy Baking!