Thanks to all the very encouraging and head-swelling comments I received after I tried my very first Daring Bakers Challenge, I set out to meet the next challenge — Bostini Creme Pie — chosen by Mary at Alpineberry.
Ugh! It. Was. Hard. But I made it.
I’m not sure if the pie is suppose to look like the ones in my photos but it’s what I came up with. The good thing about these Daring Bakers Challenges is that I’m gaining baking experience and making foods that I never dreamed about making. I’m glad I survived this experience. Yay!
My name is Paz. And I’m a Daring Baker.
You can find the recipe here.
Ed. Note: LOL! After looking at some of the Bostini Creme Pies created by others, I see that I put way too much chocolate on my pie. LOL! Hey, what do I know? I’m still learning. To see other beautiful Bostini Creme Pies creations, check out the official Daring Bakers’ Blogroll.
This man was busy playing his instrument on the street corner. Some people passed by in a hurry, others paused to listen before moving on. Some others stopped to put money in a small white plastic bucket he’d placed on the floor. Was he good? Well… I’ve heard better but I like that he was enthused about his music and was making an honest living.
Have a great week, everyone.
P.S. Don’t forget. If you want to see more photos, you can go here.
I love the name that Ilva of Lucullian Delights gives this healthy, simple and tasty soup. Love it. I made the soup for a sick family member in the hospital and myself. We loved it. Oh, yeah: And my brother had some. He liked it a lot , too. When I spilled some of the soup on the floor, one of my dogs licked it clean. It seems that she liked it as well. Thanks, Ilva!
One of the ingredients in this soup, fresh parsley, is such a popular herb. I buy it quite often and would love to be able to grow it on my kitchen window. That would be awesome! I love the fresh green earthy taste of this herb and the fact that it has a lot of health benefits — like it’s rich in vitamin C and A. I like how it can be used in a lot of dishes. Apart from being able to eat parsley, my favorite thing to do with it is to use it as a garnish. That touch of green in my plate makes a big difference to me.
I’m submitting this post for the Weekend Herb Blogging event, which Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen created. This week, Pille of Nami Nami acts as host. Check out her blog for the roundup of other Weekend Herb Blogging posts.
Very Cheap but Very Good Vegetable Soup
The leaves and stem/trunk of 1 cauliflower
2 big tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
– Chop the tomatoes, add these to the pot and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
– Add water until the vegetables are well covered and simmer for about 15 minutes.
– Blend until it’s on the smooth side, if it’s too dense you add some more water and heat it up. Check if more salt is needed.
– Serve hot or cold.
I’m going to face the fact that my Challah braid will never be as nice and perfect-looking as the ones sold in the store or the ones I see that others make. But they taste damned good, if I do say so myself.
This is the second Challah that I’ve made. I think my first one looked a little better than this present one. I braided that previous dough a little better even though its outcome didn’t look perfect. With this Honey-Vanilla Challah, I was a bit distracted when I braided the dough. After putting it in the oven, it came out like so. *sigh*
Oh well! That’s beginners bread-baking luck for me, I suppose. Perhaps, I’ll get better with more practice. In the meantime, I liked the taste of this Challah. The honey and vanilla didn’t overpower the bread but instead gave it a pleasant taste.
Something’s missing from my bread. Can you tell from the picture? As I mentioned above, at some point while preparing the challah, I got distracted (a little bit of drama in the household) and forgot to perform the last set of instructions. Any guesses? I forgot to brush the dough with a mixture of egg and olive oil. No matter. Like I wrote earlier: My Honey-Vanilla Challah still tasted good. Damn good. Yes it did.
I got this recipe from Baking and Books. Thanks, Ari.
Oh, I almost forgot: Does anyone have any tips for me for making a nicely braided challah that won’t pull apart in the oven? I’d appreciate it.
Adapted from “The Bread Bible” by Beth Hensperger, “The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook” by Carrie Levin, “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart and “The Bread Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum, among others.
Ingredients: Makes 1 Loaf
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of warm milk (whole is best, low-fat is ok too)
- 2 eggs + 1 for the glaze
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil + 1 teaspoon for greasing the bowl and another for the glaze
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
In a large bowl using a whisk combine the yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the flour. Add the warm milk, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, then the honey and vanilla. (Add the olive oil first, then use the same measuring spoon to add the honey – residual oil on the spoon will make the honey slide right out.) Vigorously mix the ingredients until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, switching to a wooden spoon when the dough becomes too thick for the whisk. Continue mixing the dough until it is too stiff to stir.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and springy, about 4 minutes. If the dough is sticky, dust with flour 1 tablespoon at a time – just enough to prevent it from sticking to the surface. The dough is done when it’s smooth and small air bubbles show under the skin. If you press your thumb into it the impression should bounce back. This is a slightly firm dough, which is exactly what you want for easy braiding later on.
Place the dough in a deep container greased with 1 tsp of olive oil. Turn the dough once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with non-stick spray. Gently deflate the dough by pressing your fingers into it, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide into 3 equal portions, and roll each portion out into a smooth, thick strip about 20 inches long, with the ends slightly thinner than the middle. Lay these ropes side-by-side, not quite touching.
Beginning in the middle and working towards you, braid the lower half of the three ropes. To braid, alternately move the outside ropes over the one in the center – left over, right over, left over -until you come to the end. Now go to the other side of your working space and braid the other half, this time moving the outside ropes under the center one. Braid tightly – you don’t want any gaps. When you finish braiding each side crimp the tapered ends together, then tuck them under.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place the braided dough on your baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.
Just before the rising time has finished whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, this is going to be the glaze for your bread. Gently brush the dough with a thick layer of it. Place the dough in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bread is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it on the bottom. Transfer to a baking rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before slicing – or at least wait until it’s warm, not hot – then enjoy!
Have a great week, all!
Ed. Note: Oh! By the way, I’ve started a photoblog. I invite you to stop by.