The Buttermilk Scones recipe from Baking With Julia is a basic template for scones that invites almost limitless additions and variations. There are two shape versions, triangular-shaped and rolled. I decided to make rolled scones, filling them with apricot jam, chopped dates and pecans, as I feared they would be too plain otherwise. In fact, the flavor imparted by the lemon zest and the lovely buttery flaky texture would have been enough.
As I started combining the dry ingredients, I realized that I only had enough flour for half the recipe, resulting in twelve small rolled scones. They’re so easy to whip up however, that it doesn’t really make sense to bake more than you plan to consume the same day.
Dry ingredients are combined, butter cut in, buttermilk and lemon zest stirred in, and the result gathered into a ball of soft lemon flecked dough.
For the rolled scones, the dough is rolled out into a rough rectangle and spread with the chosen filling. I completely missed a step after rolling out the dough: brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar. While additional butter and sugar couldn’t hurt, these scones were fine without.
Rolled into a log and sliced, the scones are ready for ten to twelve minutes in the oven. They really are fast. I dusted them with some Turbinado sugar before baking.
I liked the flavors and textures of the fillings, and they offer so many opportunities for variations, but I think these scones in their basic version could stand on their own. The recipe is on pages 210-211 of Baking With Julia. Links to blog posts about these scones can be found at Tuesdays With Dorie.
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When I was young, my mother would sometimes make jelly roll…not often, but I remember that the shallow baking pan she used was called a jelly roll pan in our house. I remember her trimming the edges of the flat cake to make an even rectangle for filling and rolling. I don’t remember the cake being filled with anything other than a thinnish layer of jelly. Jelly roll seems like a thing of the past…I never see it any more on restaurant menus or in stores.
Although I have two “jelly roll pans,” I’ve never made a jelly roll, so I was looking forward to baking this recipe from Baking With Julia. The cake is a sponge cake batter lightened and leavened with lots of beaten egg whites, spread into a thin layer in the baking pan. The baking took about 5 minutes longer than the 10-12 minutes the recipe indicated. It came out of the oven light and fluffy and then deflated by about 50%, the better for rolling.
This rolled cake has a walnut chocolate mousse filling instead of the jelly that I remember. The chocolate is fairly subtle, with the walnuts predominating in flavor and texture, a surprise as I think of mousses as having a smoother texture. Although it involved a lot of steps and required about every pan in the kitchen, the results were pretty amazing. It’s a recipe that can stand on its own without the cake.
The cake and filling rolled up easily and nicely. We didn’t wait for the two hour chilling, but tried it after about a half hour. Decorated with sieved cocoa and confectioners sugar, it was pretty and enticing. The recipe says that it serves six, but portions that size would have been 3″ thick slabs, much too decadent for a cake with so many eggs and so much heavy cream. It was delicious, maybe even better the next day, fully chilled.
This is half of the chiffon roll.
The recipe can be found on pages 277-279 of Baking With Julia. You can read about the experiences of other bakers with this recipe by following their links posted on Tuesdays With Dorie.
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Home baked bread, eaten while still warm, slathered with butter, accompanying a hearty soup on a cold winter evening…what’s not to like? Country Bread is dense and sturdy, full of flavor and texture from whole wheat, rye, and white flour. It takes a couple of days from start to finish (unless you get started before dawn or want to eat it at midnight, by my calculation.) The procedure includes making a sponge that requires a six to eight hour rest at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. So it requires some planning, although not so much active time.
I’ve always admired artisan bread that has a pattern of the weave from the basket or banetton in which it is formed. Not owning a banetton, I lined an oval basket with a kitchen towel rubbed with flour, amazed by the quantity of flour that was absorbed. My loaf came out of the oven with just a slight ghost of the basket weave pattern…but that was enough.
The half cup of rye flour in the sponge really called to me to add more rye flour to the dough, so I substituted a cup of rye flour for a cup of the white flour, possibly adding to the density of this loaf. Oh, and if you try this recipe, beware of adding the second yeast/water mixture to the dough while the mixer is running. I had yeasty water splattered all over the mixer, counter, and floor.
This bread was fun to bake, but my go-to recipe for a rustic bread will still be the Pane Integrale in Jim Lahey’s book My Bread (similar to this recipe on the Sullivan Street Bakery website.) The recipe for the Country Bread is from Baking With Julia, on pages 136-137. Bakers participating in the Tuesdays With Dorie bake and blog project have posted links to their blog posts at Tuesdays With Dorie.
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A cookie recipe with only two tablespoons of butter…it didn’t sound promising. I thought of those rock hard gingersnaps that you can buy. This is a surprisingly small batch recipe. It makes about two dozen small thin cookies which happily are not hard at all. The recipe is a contribution from David Blom in Baking With Julia. I actually wound up making it twice, because the first batch was gone before I took photos. I tried some minor variations with both versions.
For the first batch, I doubled the amount of the spices, ginger and cinnamon, and I used whole wheat flour. The cookies were very sweet and chewy, and for my taste, the spices had just the right kick. The second time around, I added chopped pecans to add texture and cut the sweetness. I also used grated fresh ginger in place of powdered, again doubled the amount of cinnamon, and used a third whole wheat and two thirds white flour. I omitted the molasses glaze on the second batch…it seemed fussy without adding significantly to the flavor or appearance.
I don’t make rolled and cut out cookies very often any more. When my daughter was young, I made them pretty frequently…we had a growing collection of cookie cutters…and we usually made gingerbread families at Christmas. These gingersnaps were so easy to put together, and the dough so easy to handle, that I may be motivated to start baking rolled cookies again.
The brightness of the fresh ginger and the crunch of the nuts made the second batch my favorite – a truly snappy gingersnap. The recipe is on pages 324-325 of Baking With Julia. To read what other bakers have to say about these gingersnaps, visit Tuesdays With Dorie.
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When I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Apple Galette on the Food52 website, I knew I would have to make it during the Thanksgiving weekend. I always bake a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, partly as tradition, and partly because, like turkey, stuffing and gravy, I never make pumpkin pie at any other time.
This galette has a layer of pumpkin filling topped with sliced apples and dried cranberries. Brown sugar and spices are combined and then divided between the pureed pumpkin and the sliced apples. I like this kind of shortcut…it makes sense and saves time. One thing I would do differently next time is to layer the dried cranberries under the apples, so they do not dry out in baking.
The warming spices, creamy pumpkin, and tart apples merge and offset the crunchy crust. I used a different crust recipe from here. The recipe was contributed to Food52 by Nicole who writes a beautiful food blog, A Local Choice, where she travels to a destination within 100 miles of Columbus, Ohio, focuses on an ingredient they are growing or producing, and writes a recipe based off that ingredient, in this case apples.
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This was my first time making challah, although I’ve made some similarly egg-and-butter rich breads. Feeling overly satiated after Thanksgiving, I made half the recipe for one loaf, rather than baking two and freezing one. I already have a loaf of pumpernickel in the freezer waiting for an occasion or opportunity. The challah, baked from a recipe contributed by Lauren Groveman in Baking With Julia, is both delicious and beautiful.
Like brioche, challah is a bread rich in dairy products - milk, eggs, and butter – lending it a soft, luscious and slightly chewy texture. To see and read about challah as baked by other bakers, follow their links on the Tuesdays With Dorie blog.
Challah, as painted by my friend Judith McCabe Jarvis.
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Double Chocolate Cookies are really brownies masquerading as cookies. They’re super chocolatey, and I love chocolate and brownies, but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t surprise me with something new. They contain a full pound of chocolate and only a half cup of flour. And although they have a lot of sugar, they’re not very sweet. They are definitely a chocolate lover’s cookie…there is nothing subtle about them.
The recipe calls for refrigerating the dough before baking the cookies. That was great, since I like baking just as many cookies at a time as we’re likely to eat in one or two days.
The recipe is on pages 329-330 of Baking With Julia. To read about other bakers’ versions of Double Chocolate Cookies, you can find links to their blog posts at Tuesdays With Dorie.
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