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Archive for September, 2012

This cake has so much going on, the nectarine and brown sugar top, the streusel filling, the light cake. It’s also very pretty – the glazed nectarine slices circling the top, and the streusel filling peeking out of the sides, and very delicious.

A springform pan is lined with melted butter sprinkled with brown sugar. Nectarine wedges are arranged in a pattern over the butter and sugar. The recipe specifies a 10″ springform pan, and since I was using an 8 1/2″ pan, I reduced the recipe to two-thirds.

The cake is a chiffon cake, using whipped egg whites to lighten its texture. It includes a generous amount of lemon juice, a perfect foil for the sweet glaze and streusel. Half of the batter is poured over the nectarines, followed by the almond-oat streusel, and then the remaining batter.

The recipe can be found on pages 241-243 of Baking with Julia or on the blogs of Marlise at The Double Trouble Kitchen and Susan at The Little French Bakery.

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Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaf sounds like a quick bread, but this version from Baking With Julia is anything but quick. It’s a yeast bread with two rises interrupted by a six-hour chilling in the refrigerator followed by three to four hours warming back up to room temperature…baking the loaves is definitely a two-day affair. Except for my grandmother’s apple kuchen recipe, the only breads that I’ve made where the dough is chilled are ones that use small amounts of yeast and a long rising time. I’m not sure the chilling is really necessary to this recipe.

It’s a little early in the season for fresh cranberries to be available in the markets here. I tried a couple of local stores with no success, but then while in Philadelphia on Friday and walking through Reading Terminal Market, I stopped into a produce stand and scored a bag of fresh cranberries. I’m glad I did, because the tart bursts of flavor from the cranberries was my favorite part of these loaves.

The recipe called for baking the loaves in three small loaf pans. I do have some small loaf pans somewhere, maybe smaller than the 5 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ size specified in the recipe. Mine are four pans linked together, and I don’t use them often – it beats me where I stored them. Instead I used two standard sized pans, about 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. If I were to bake these again, I would either persist in searching out my mini-pans or make one larger loaf with about 2/3 of the dough and use the rest to make a few rolls. The quantity of dough really wasn’t quite enough for two large loaves.

I thought the dough was sluggish in rising. It was weighed down by the added-in cranberries and walnuts, and my kitchen isn’t so warm now that fall has settled in. I gave it a boost in a slightly warm oven for the rise in the pans.

The bread smelled wonderful while baking, and it was good, but not amazing. The recipe can be found on pages 108-109 of Baking with Julia or on the blog of Rebecca at This Bountiful Backyard.

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(Not) Berry Galette

I’ve been baking the Berry Galette recipe from Baking With Julia since I bought the cookbook shortly after it was published in 1996. The recipe for the pastry makes enough for two galettes, so I would sometimes make one savory to serve as an appetizer (the cookbook also includes a cheese and tomato version) and one with fruit for dessert. It had been awhile since I’d baked either one, so I was eager to revisit the recipe for Tuesdays With Dorie. This time I baked one galette with peaches and rosemary, and a few days later, I baked the second one with figs and rosemary.

Both were delicious warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can find the recipe on the blogs of Lisa of Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen and Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness.

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Whole Wheat Loaves

The Whole Wheat Loaves from Baking With Julia is a very straightforward bread recipe: mix, knead, first rise, shape into loaves, second rise, bake. I strayed from the recipe only in substituting maple syrup for the tablespoon of malt extract and in forming one of the loaves as a round loaf to enjoy with a pasta dinner. There is nothing like warm bread fresh out of the oven, and this bread didn’t disappoint. The whole wheat flour that I used (365 brand from Whole Foods) has a lot of texture, almost like wheat bran, and it gave the loaves a nice rustic quality with a crunchy crust.

It was delicious the next morning toasted with jam.

The recipe is included in the blogs of Anna of Keep it Luce and Renee of The Way to My Family’s Heart.

The recipe is included in the blogs of Michele of Veggie Num Nums and Teresa of The Family That Bakes Together.

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