Ginger Peach Corn Muffins

Good morning, everyone! This is my first post on RTTC as a high school senior, which is just crazy! We started school on Tuesday, and I can tell it’s going to be a fun, but hard year. I’m taking 3 AP level classes this year, and if you combine that with being in 3 chamber groups and training 12 hours a week, I’m not going to have tons of spare time on my hands. So, I’m trying to get as much baking in before my schedule starts going too crazy!

DSC_0001One of the classes that I’m most excited to take this year is culinary. Because of my past food experiences (aka this blog and my mom’s a chef and I love to cook), I was able to skip the basic classes and go right into the advanced class. The class is revolved around creating detailed menus, each with multiple parts. I don’t exactly mind being able to bake in the middle of the day, either. 🙂

DSC_0058One thing that I realized on RTTC was the lack in gluten-free recipes. No one in my house has any need to eat gluten-free, but I realize that my family is fortunate, and many other families have to eat a wheat free lifestyle. While I did make the crisp with a gluten free topping, I wanted to experiment a little more with gluten-free baking. I stumbled across the BabycakesNYC cookbook, and this vegan, low sugar, gluten-free muffin immediately caught my attention. It’s nearing the end of summer, so I wanted to make sure I could get in all my peach baking before apple/pumpkin (aka fall baking) begins again. Enjoy!

Ginger Peach Corn Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

Roasted Peaches

  • 4 cups sliced, fresh peaches, peeled (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Muffins

  • 2/3 cup almond milk (can use rice milk to make it nut-free)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground ginger (personal preference)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper/Silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the peach slices, agave nectar, and lemon. Spread the peaches evenly on the baking sheet and place in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the sugars on the outside are caramelized. Let the peaches stand until cooled, approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Keep the oven at 325 while preparing a 12-muffin baking tin. Combine the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar, and let sit (this creates a buttermilk-like substitute).
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon and ginger. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. Pour in the “buttermilk” and mix gently until just incorporated.
  5. Pour 1/3 cup batter into each muffin tin, until it is practically full. Top each muffin with a roasted peach wedge (or 2). Bake on the center rack for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Gluten free, low sugar, vegan, and dairy free? Sounds like a winning recipe.

-Rayna 🙂

 

 

 

 

Peach Coffeecake

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow I’ll be starting my senior year of high school. Preparing for it hasn’t left much time for me to do anything else, but I’m trying to squeeze in my last moments of summer before I go off to school tomorrow morning. I’ve already done the summer assignments, gotten new school supplies, and most importantly, spent some time relaxing by the pool and soaking up the sun before I basically go into hibernation before audition season starts.

DSC_0046One of the things I’m most excited for this year is starting up at MSM again. This year, in addition to taking the regular schedule of ear training, theory, a lesson and orchestra, I’ll be in 2 chamber groups, which (if I haven’t mentioned before) is by far my favorite type of playing. I’ve already had a rehearsal with a wonderful piano quintet that I get to be a part of this year, but I can’t wait to be there again and surround myself with so many talented musicians.

DSC_0034In an effort to pretend that my summer is able to go on for longer, I’m sharing is incredible peach coffeecake recipe from the ever-so-trustworthy King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book (available on Amazon). It’s a quick cake, but especially during my lazy summer mornings, having a home baked good was truly appreciated. We even enjoyed it better the second day, as it became denser and slightly more hearty. Enjoy!

Peach Coffeecake: Makes one 9X13″ cake or two 9-inch round coffeecakes

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 8 ounces (2 cups) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces (1 cup) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (2 cups) peeled, diced fresh peaches

Topping

  • 1 ounce  (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9-inch cake pans or one 9X13- inch pan.
  2. Whisk together the flours and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg, stopping afterwards to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in the peaches until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Topping: Combine the butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl until evenly mixed. Sprinkle this mixture over the batter.
  4. Bake according to the pan size (25-30 minutes for rounds, 30-35 for the 9 by 13) until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.

Now, onto senior year!

-Rayna 🙂

 

Cherry Almond Goat Cheese Bars

During quartet camp today, I realized that it was the middle of August, and I can’t figure out how my summer managed to go by so fast. Yesterday, I finished my first week of quartet camp, which was fantastic as always. I study chamber music with the program director during the year, so being able to buckle down and work on 2 full quartets in 2 weeks is very intense, but also really fun. The members of my quartet are some of my best friends, so rehearsing with them is really great.

DSC_0054Cheesecake is such a fun but temperamental thing for me to make. As you can see, the amount of cheesecake recipes here on the blog is rather limited, but that’s partially because I have a limited audience that will actually eat the cheesecake. My family tends to stay on the healthy side (surprising for an avid baker) so super rich and creamy desserts aren’t big sellers in my house. Not to mention, goat cheese is one of the few foods that almost no one in my family really likes, so I don’t think these bars ever got the attention that they truly deserve.

DSC_0077I loved these bars that I found on Sift and Whisk. The crust is not graham cracker based, but rather crushed almonds give it not only a wonderful crunch, but an amazing warm flavor too. The mixture of the goat cheese and the cream cheese ensures that the batter is not too dry, but it has a little bit of a tangy flavor because of the goat cheese, which I just loved. The fresh cherries not only mixed into the batter but sprinkled on top provide a sweet contrast to the sour edge of the cheesecake. All in all, I can’t rave about these bars enough.

Cherry Almond Goat Cheese Bars

Ingredients

For the almond crust:

  • 1 cup (140 grams) raw, whole almonds
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces (226 grams) goat cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (150 grams) cherries
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly, then roughly chop the almonds.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together chopped almonds, flour, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake crust for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
  3. Halve cherries and remove pits. In the bowl of a food processor, process goat cheese, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. (If you do not have a food processor, you can use a hand or stand mixer. Beat the goat cheese and cream cheese together first, until smooth and creamy, then add the eggs and sugar.) Remove the food processor blade, then gently stir in most of the cherry halves by hand, reserving 18 cherry halves for the top. Pour filling onto cooled crust. Arrange remaining 18 cherry halves, cut side up, on top.
  4. Bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles, or a thermometer inserted in the middle of the pan reads 155-160°F. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into 16 squares and serve.

Don’t be fooled by the goat cheese- these are some great cheesecake bars.

-Rayna 🙂

 

 

Toasted Coconut and Lime Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Happy August, everyone! I can’t believe that my summer has gone by this fast, and that in less than a month, I will officially be a high school senior! I just finished up my 2 weeks at gymnastics, and for the next 2 weeks, I’ll be attending another chamber music program. It’s a program I’ve done for many years now, and I can’t wait to be able to participate in it for another fantastic year!DSC_0095This summer was the first summer that I’ve really tried to dedicate myself to music. In the past, I would always respectfully decline my teacher’s wishes to go to music programs with her because I would need to stay to do gymnastics. Now that I’m really trying to push the music aspect so I could study with a teacher that I would want to in college, I didn’t get to spend as much time at the gym as I normally do.

DSC_0116This summer-y bundt cake from My Baking Addiction is the perfect dessert if you don’t feel like cutting up tons of fruit but still want something that’s a tasty summer treat. The lime flavor is very prominent, which I loved! You can always cut back on the amount of zest, but I personally loved it. For the coconut, you don’t have to toast it, but I would highly recommend it. I brought it over to Deanna’s house for dessert, and it got rave reviews. Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut and Lime Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (11 3/8 oz)
  • Zest of 2 medium limes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 1/4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted sweetened flaked coconut

Lime Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream (can vary depending on the thickness desired)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 medium lime

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 10 inch bundt pan, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and lime zest mixing together with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add the sugar mixture gradually to the butter and beat on medium speed until light fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a medium bow, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until well blended after each addition. Fold in coconut. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake 50 minutes to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. After 10 minutes, flip cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Prepare the glaze: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl and drizzle over cake.

Now make this and enjoy your weekend!

-Rayna

 

 

 

Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake

Guess what? Rayna Takes the Cake officially turns 2 years old today! If you want to see some really, um, interesting food photography (these, this, or those) and read more about my life after freshman year in high school you can head on back to the beginnings. It’s crazy to think that I’ve already had RTTC for 2 entire years, because when you are in high school, that’s practically an eternity. I’ve had so much fun baking and taking pictures and sharing recipes with you guys and I can’t wait to continue for many years to come!

_D320276I’m still in Canada and I’m just loving it. The people that I’ve met here are so amazing that I don’t want to even think about leaving! I’ll be back in the states on Sunday though, but I won’t be in the kitchen baking. Instead, I’ll be doing more music programs, but this time in New York City, which should be a blast. Not to mention that one of my great friends is joining me. I think I did a pretty good job planning out my summer, don’t you think?

_D320284In order to celebrate RTTC turning 2 years old, I knew I needed to make something spectacular. While I could have made something more culinar-ily (that is clearly a word) complex, layer cakes just have a special meaning that shouts celebration. I’ve made some layer cakes in the past, and clearly RTTC turning 2 called for another one. After making one of Sweetapolita’s incredible cakes for my brother’s birthday last year, I knew exactly where to go to find a delicious layer cake that would fit the bill for such an amazing occasion.

_D320289 2You start out with a simple vanilla bean cake recipe, and the amazing black dots of true vanilla bean are what bring it all together, and something that vanilla extract can’t exactly replace. Then, I made a latte Swiss meringue buttercream, using espresso powder and some cinnamon. I was especially proud because this was my first SMBC, and now I understand why it’s so popular. I’ll never need copious amounts of powdered sugar again! I filled one layer and the outside with SMBC, but then I took some Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter (so incredible) and heated it with some soymilk because why not. Finally, I just melted some chocolate (I probably should have made a ganache, though) and spread it on top to literally top it off. While I would recommend making this for a crowd, but I understand if you want it all to yourself. 🙂 Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(341 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2-2/3 cups (540 g) granulated sugar
  • 9 (275 g) egg whites, at room temperature
  • 4-1/2 cups (570 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (22 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
For the Buttercream:
  • 6 large egg whites (180 g)
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(340 g) unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) instant espresso powder (or to taste) dissolved into 1 teaspoon (5 ml) boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) cinnamon (or to taste)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 8″ x 2″ round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, butter paper and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix vanilla extract and vanilla paste (or contents of vanilla bean) into buttermilk. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated or finish by hand gently.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan on a digital kitchen scale to ensure even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes clean. Try not to over-bake.
  5. Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
For the Buttercream:
  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  2. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add espresso mixture, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Assembly of the Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake:
  1. Place cooled cake layer on cake pedestal, or cake board, face-up. Spread 1 cup of buttercream on top using a small offset palette knife, leaving narrow border along outside edge.
  2. Gently place 2nd cake layer on top, and be sure to center it with bottom layer. Apply another 1 cup of buttercream and spread as you did the first layer.
  3. Gently place final cake layer on top, face-down (so the clean bottom side is facing up). Apply a final layer of buttercream.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with decorative tip (I used Ateco #887), and pipe desired designs on cake to trim and decorate. Sprinkle sliced cake servings with cinnamon, and garnish with espresso beans (optional).

A perfect replacement addition to your morning cup of java. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Brioche

Happy summer everyone! In addition to today being the longest day of the year, it’s going to be a fun day in Canada with many concerts and masterclasses and all of the other shenanigans that go on at music camp. I’ve been having such a great time seeing amazing people play and having the time to just focus on one activity! It was a little bit weird at first, not having any school or gymnastics to worry about, but having some time to devote just to music is really nice.

photo-4Some of the best experiences I’ve had so far have been the masterclasses that I have been able to attend here at the SMI-NAC. The first one I went to was on Tuesday night, and it was a voice masterclass with Benita Valente. I’m clearly not an opera singer myself, so in addition to seeing the spectacular performers, I got to see a little taste of what voice technique involves, which was very interesting. Then, on Wednesday night, Mr. Zuckerman and Ms. Kopec had a masterclass that was honestly one of the best event’s I’ve ever been to. It was just incredible, and I would go to it every single night if I could. Finally, last night, they had a chamber music site reading “party,” which is always fun. I get to play in one every year at a camp I do during August, and they did many of the same pieces, such as the Mendelssohn Octet and the Borodin String Quartet No. 2. As you can probably tell, I’m having so much fun.

photo-4 copy

I also tried poutine for the first time, which was very delicious. Poutine is a dish made up of french fries that are covered in gravy and cheese curds. Obviously not the healthiest choice, but it was fun to taste! Speaking of food, let’s get rolling on these brioche buns! When I was younger, my mom would make challah, a Jewish egg-based bread every Friday, and this is very similar. It’s slightly sweet and it’s distinctive yellow color made it a blast to make and eat. The dough was sticky and a little bit hard to manage at times, but that’s what makes baking fun!

photo-5

Ingredients

  • 2 oz milk, scalded and cooled

  • 2 oz bread flour

  • 0.2 oz instant yeast

  • 5 oz eggs

  • 8 oz bread flour

  • 0.5 oz sugar

  • 0.2 oz salt

  • 6 oz butter, softened

Directions

Mixing- Sponge Method

  1. Whisk the yeast, milk and flour until the yeast begins to bloom (This technique is called making a sponge). Let rise until double.

  2. Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, gradually mix in the eggs and then the dry ingredients to make a soft dough.

  3. Beat in the butter a little at a time until it is completely absorbed and the dough is smooth. Dough will be very soft and sticky.

Fermentation

  1. If the dough will require much handling in makeup, as for small brioche rolls, it is easiest to retard the dough overnight. Making it up while chilled reduces stickiness.

  2. If the dough is to be simply deposited in pans, its stickiness and softness will not be problems, so it need not to be retarded. Ferment 20 minutes, then scale and pan.

Assembly

  1. The traditional brioche shape, called brioche a tete (it looks like a very small tart pan). However, brioches may also be baked as simple round rolls or as pans loaves in many sizes and shapes.

  2. For a small brioche, roll the dough into a ball.

  3. Using the edge of the hand, pinch out about one fourth of the dough without detaching it. Roll the dough on the bench so both parts are round (it will look like a lopsided pear).

  4. Place the dough in the tin, large end first. With the fingertips, press the small ball of dough into the larger one.

  5. For a large brioche, separate the two parts of the dough. Place the large ball in the tin and make a hole in the center. Form the smaller ball into a pear shape and fit it into the hole. The bake loaf has the traditional brioche shape.

  6. Make an egg wash (1 egg and a small splash of water, whisk) after proofing.

Baking

  1. For small rolls, bake at 400 degrees. For large rolls bake at 375 degrees.

From: Professional Baking

I couldn’t think of a more delicious way to start off summer. Enjoy!

Rayna 🙂

 

Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread

This week could not be any more insane. This craziness always happens during the spring, but as you can probably imagine, during my junior year, it’s even more insane. In this week alone, I have a final that lasts for 2 days, a physics test on one of those days, a paper due Friday, journal entries due Wednesday, a graded math sheet due tomorrow, and I hope there’s no more. Needless to say, it’s one of the more stressful weeks of the year.
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But, there is some great news to go along with it! This weekend I was honored to qualify for the Regional Championships, and I was able to travel to Boston in the Super Team meet. It was an awesome experience. Afterwards, I was able to meet my brother and a few of his friends at college so we could have lunch and walk around, and it was just a great weekend. Even if I’m feeling the repercussions now, it was totally worth it.
-10
Now that I’ve babbled enough, banana bread time. If you haven’t experienced the magical ingredient that is brown butter, I can’t beg you enough to try it. I promise it’s not as intimidating as it seems, and it tastes oh so good. And, this bread not only uses mashed bananas, but it uses caramelized bananas, which not only give a nice textural contrast to the bread, but give it a burnt sugar/caramel flavor, which was just out of this world. It will certainly help you get through this week!

DSC_2991

Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease the bottom only of a standard size loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a small heavy bottomed pot. Cook until it begins to brown, but not burn; it will smell nutty and fragrant. Remove from heat, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Peel and dice one banana. Mash the remaining bananas in a small bowl; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat until it begins to melt and turn golden. Add diced banana pieces and saute until well coated and caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Beat eggs on medium speed in a stand mixer.  Add brown sugar and beat until foamy and combined. Add mashed very ripe banana, cooled browned butter, vanilla and bourbon; beat until mixed welll. Scrape down sides of bowl again with rubber spatula.
  5. On low speed, pour in 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Increase mixer speed to medium and mix until just blended.  Pour in 1/3 of buttermilk and beat until just blended.  Repeat this process with remaining flour and buttermilk. fold in pecans and caramelized banana pieces. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

From: In Jennie’s Kitchen

I hope this bread can help you (and me) get through this week!

-Rayna

 

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread

To say that these last few weeks have been busy is an understatement. I’ve been running all around the northeast between gymnastics and music, and school stuff is getting more and more stressful. It’s like I could use a second spring break already…and it’s only been one week!
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A few months ago, my mom made a delicious New England Anadama bread, and this reminds me of it very much. It’s slight sweetness makes it delicious to eat on it’s own, and the crust on top was golden brown and perfect. Toasted and spread with Vermont churned butter…it made waking up at 6:30 something to look forward to.

-10

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces milk
  • 2 ounces butter, cut into pats
  • 2 3/8 ounces sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 13 3/4 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • grated peel (zest) of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)

Directions

1) Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe cup, or in a saucepan. Heat to lukewarm, stirring to soften the butter. Set aside.
2) In a mixing bowl, the bowl of your stand mixer, or the bucket of your bread machine, combine the flour, yeast, and lemon zest; stir to combine.
3) Add the milk mixture, stirring first to make sure the sugar and salt aren’t left in the bottom of the cup or pan.
4) Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla. Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth; it’ll be very sticky at first. If you’re using a stand mixer, beat with the flat beater for about 3 minutes at medium-high speed; then scrape the dough into the center of the bowl, switch to the dough hook, and knead for about 5 minutes at medium speed. It will have formed a ball somewhat, but will probably still be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If you’re using a bread machine, simply let it go through its entire cycle, and skip to step 6.
5) Lightly grease the mixing bowl or a large (8-cup) measure, round the dough into a ball, and place it in the bowl or measure. Cover, and let rise until very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you’re using a bread machine and the dough hasn’t doubled in size when the cycle is complete, simply let it rest in the machine for another 30 to 60 minutes.
6) Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan.
7) Gently deflate the dough, and round it into a ball. Place the ball in the prepared pan, and tent the dough gently with lightly greased plastic wrap.
8) Let the dough rise in the pan for about 2 hours, until it’s nicely puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
9) Mix the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water, and brush some onto the surface of the loaf; this will give it a satiny, mahogany-brown crust.
10) Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then tent it lightly with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s a medium golden brown and its internal temperature registers 190°F on a digital thermometer.
11) Remove the bread from the oven, and gently transfer it to a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for several days’ freeze for longer storage.

Courtesy: King Arthur Flour

What’s not to love?

-Rayna 🙂