Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baking babes with Babes

Mrs and Mr Babe :-) Yes, "anatomically correct" - as much as bun babes can be :-D If you find this offensive, I apologize.

I am joining the bread baking babes, even though this is not bread, I think, but buns. Big buns, but nevertheless, buns. To me bread is something you make sandwiches of, with savory toppings, or eat with your food. Savory. Sweet things are buns. :-)

The challenge for this October was Tanta Wawa - bread babies. The Kitchen of the Month is Canela and Comino, a blog about the flavors of Peru, so naturally the bread recipe would also be Peruan.

The Bread Baking Babes were mostly complaining about the dough being dry - mine wasn't.
They also complained about it not rising, and I have to say that was also my problem. I didn't have the patience to bake the breads tomorrow, I allowed them to rise only for about an hour, and you see the results - both have stretch marks - the obvious sign of that the dough hasn't have time to rise enough.

I made the bread according to the original recipe, except that I divided the amounts in 4 - I made only 2 breads.

Tanta Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)
Makes 8

125g of whole wheat flour
1/2 kilo of bread flour
170g of sugar
25g of fresh yeast (we used 38 g instant yeast)
6g of salt
6g of ground cinnamon
1g of ground cloves
6g of sesame seeds
30g of shortening
30g of butter
1 egg at room temp
1/2 dl of milk
3/4 dl of water
1/8 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg yolk (for painting)

In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and sesame seeds. Make a well in the center and add in the shortening, eggs, butter, milk, water and vanilla. Mix well then turn out and knead for 10-15 minutes. (Add extra water as necessary to moisten all the dry bits.) Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Divide dough in two. Form them into ovals the size of your hand. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Stretch each dough ball and shape as desired. Place them on baking sheets which have been greased and floured. Cover with plastic and let the dough babies grow to three times their size. (I left mine for 3 hours)
Preheat the oven to 180C, Brush the egg yolks over the dough babies. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes, till an instant read thermometer reads 190 deg.

Also, I didn't have 170 grams of sugar. So I took all the sugar I had (about 70 grams), all the brown sugar I had (about 70 grams) and filled with molasses.
I didn't have any sesame seeds, nor candy to decorate with.

I weighed in all the stuff, and started putting it together - then I run to some problems...
- you add the fresh yeast to the dry ingredients... I think if I'd try this again, I would do as my sensibility says, and add it to warmed up water-milk mixture.
- I had syrup too in the dry ingredients...
- the butter and shortening are to be added with the wet ingredients... but it isn't said anywhere whether they should be melted. I have learned that you ALWAYS put in the hard fat un-melted, it will aid in the rising. Also, I didn't have any shortening. I used all butter.

So I crumbled the syrup and yeast into the flours, and kneaded in the butter last. The dough was dry at first, but I have been trying to learn to make hand-pulled noodles, and that dough is pretty dry/hard too, so I just kneaded and kneaded, and the dough worked out fine.
I think it didn't rise well, because it was very hard, but looking at the "real stuff" T'anta Wawas they are very hard and dry too. It's more like the bakery picture bread dough, or salt dough, except that this dough is good to eat. :-D

(Yes, I broke the missis' leg immediately after taking the photo, and ate with butter... :-))

Samhain week - Baba Yaga

This picture is by Ivan Bilibin, a wonderful Russian Art Nouveau illustrator.

First, to me Baba Yaga ("Granny Bones") was not a Goddess, but just a witch from an old Russian fairytale, riding in her house on chicken feet. But then I read some articles, and was reminded of the sad fact, that most of the witches, female monsters and saints are modeled after a Goddess.

Read this interesting and long article on Baba Yaga

Love the Goddess "papers" of the Order of the White Moon
Here's their Baba Yaga

""Come, fetch and put on the table at once everything that is in the oven. I am hungry." So Vasilissa ran and lighted a splinter of wood from one of the skulls on the wall and took the food from the oven and set it before her. There was enough cooked meat for three strong men. She brought also from the cellar kvass, honey, and red wine, and the Baba Yaga ate and drank the whole, leaving the girl only a little cabbage soup, a crust of bread and a morsel of suckling pig."
from Sur la lune fairytales

So - for a Baba Yaga dinner: cabbage soup, cooked meat, crusty bread, kvass, honey and red wine.

How to make kvass
Finnish sima (mead)
Finnish kotikalja (home ale)
Several recipes for ginger beer
brewing root beer

Russian black sourdough rye bread

"Russian" cabbage soup with tomatoes
"Full Schi" - REAL Russian cabbage soup (no tomatoes)

Russian stuffed suckling pig

You can really use any meat recipes you like, for example brisket, but pork would be the best choice. It goes well with the dark bread and cabbage soup :-)

As dessert, I suggest Charlotte Russe (of raspberry jam swiss rolls, not with ladyfingers) or Aeblekage (it should be black rye bread crumbs, not just any old bread crumbs! If you add a couple of gingerbread, it won't be bad.)

How to make Charlotte Russe with swiss rolls:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hathor's Moon Feast

Hathor, the ancient Egyptian Cow Goddess, is a very suitable Goddess for today, as it is also the world intersex awareness day. Hathor had both male and female priests, when usually the Egyptian Deities had priests of the same sex as he/she was.
Hathor was the dance incarnated, the Mother of the Universe and Mother of Inspiration.

Today I would like you to eat milk based food and moon inspired food. The Chinese festival of moon happened only three weeks ago.

Start the day with a nice breakfast:

Make lemon curd and butter for breakfast and eat your toast round :-D
(An easy way to make fruit butter is to soften the butter and mix it with equal amount of any jam or marmalade :-))
Wash it down with pure milk, or a cup of warm milk into which you have poured a little of strong coffee, tea or cocoa :-)

Eat some milky comfort food for dinner - Hathor is the Mother ;-)

Make your macaroni-and-cheese in a round pan :-) It will look a bit like full moon, and the dish is very much Hathor-food :-D Milk, moon and comfort food all in one pan :-)

Basic Bechamel (white) sauce with variations
We use to boil potatoes and eggs, make bechamel, chop the boiled eggs in the sauce and eat on boiled potatoes... that's comfort food too! :-)

Make Clam Chowder and eat with small moon shaped crackers - or cow shaped ;-)

Indian Milk Stew or Butter Milk Stew for vegetarians

Later you can have some friends over and have

Chinese Mooncakes

Faye's Mooncake

Three layer White Moon Cake

Over-the-moon Banana Pudding

Vanilla Full Moon Crater Cookies

Moon Rocks

Jack-o-lantern moon pies (Halloween is soon too...)

A long list of custard, pudding, creme brulee etc. recipes, very suitable for this day :-)
Here's another list of custard and cream pie recipes :-D

Amish Half Moon Pie - apple pie pocket

You can drink with them Masala Milk or Butterbeer (recipes #5-8 from this list ;-))

You could also
Have a cheese tasting party :-)

You can end the evening by citing poems to the moon with a cup of chai :-D

The next night, note your dreams :-D

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I joined the daring bakers...

Really scary! I am not good at keeping dates and commitments *blush*
But I am really, really interested by Daring Bakers! I am also interested in Bread Baking Babes and Sugar High Fridays, but I'm a bit uncertain of how to do that...

To add a bit of Goddess to this entry: here's A Goddess In Every Day - about listening to Goddess' voice in your life.