Getting Back into Baking Mode

ann_tOctober 3, 2012

Now that we are into cooler autumn weather it is time to start baking bread again.

Starting with a double batch of dough that netted

four French Baguettes and

three French Batards.

Homemade Puff Pastry

Apple Tart with cream cheese filling.

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Groan. I just finished dinner, I'm full, and yet, I'd more than happily rip the end off of any of those loaves and devour it. Buttered or not. And the apple tart....with my favorite, cream cheese filling. Dessert would be welcome tonight.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Just amazing. I can almost smell your kitchen.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Yum, Ann, it all looks delicious, but that tart looks especially so.

It's definitely cooled off here, so I can bake again too!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Ann, those all look delicious!

And speaking of baking, I tried the Basic Apple Pie recipe from Thibeault's Table last week. It got rave reviews from the family and requests that I make another one soon. I found your pastry crust recipe really easy to work with.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Wow Annie, Homemade puff pastry! I'm impressed. Tried making it years ago and it was too much trouble for me. I applaud you. Great pixs. And you are right. Time to start baking even more. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:52AM
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I knew this was a dangerous thread to open! Wow.

I can't wait till it cools off enough here to bake. Should be cool enough this weekend, but we're having plumbing issues, so we're having to eat off of paper plates, and do minimal cooking, as we can't wash dishes. Ugh.

I don't know how you stay so slim, Ann.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:45AM
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I wish I could still bake as much as I used to. The trouble is that now that it is just the two of us, we eat it all! It's so easy to SAY we will just eat some of it and freeze the rest for when the kids come, or freeze it in portions to dole out slowly, but since we both lack DISCIPLINE it ain't what happens. Besides, when the kids come I want to make something fresh so we may just as well eat it all now, right?

And besides, my bread never ever looks as good as yours, so I always figure we
should eat this one and I'll try again for a prettier one.

I think I had better get back to my sewing machine and get that fall jacket done before it's too late or my gson outgrows it and forget about baking...for today, if I can, but I'm kinda hungry and hot buttered bread would be so good this afternoon, and since I always associate chocolate cake with chicken dinner, maybe I should bake a cake, too, except I have all those pie apples my son gave me.

Oh, woe is me. I want my houseful of kids again to justify baking, not to mention being young and thin. But that"s another poor me.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Pretty pictures, Ann! Nice looking bread. It is nice to have the weather cooling off. I'm also ready for fall cooking.

Sherrmann, I also love to bake but we no longer eat many baked goods. A few years ago, I started baking for our local volunteer firehouse. Those guys do so much for our community...everything from fires, to medical emergencies, marina fires (just a few months ago they saved one entire dock full of boats at our marina), they serve as our polling place, blood drives, they prepare fried fish dinners every Friday during the season for anybody that wants a meal, and there is always one smiling kid or another at the station getting to sit in the truck and receiving a free "fireman's hat". I could list so many ways they help support our village and contribute to making us a community. AND, THEY ARE LIKE FEEDING kids! When I take something hot from the oven and see their faces light up it makes baking fun again.

Make that chocolate cake & take it to your firehouse. You will be rewarded by their thankful smiles! Our firemen are great cooks but don't do much baking so fresh biscuits for Sunday breakfast are really appreciated. They also love our extra zucchini in July/August!! :)


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:02PM
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OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH, What I would give for that Apple Tart!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:22PM
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All that bread and a tart too!

I am curious what filling is between the bottom puff and the cream cheese layer. It almost looks like the dough is not done but coming from your kitchen, I know that can't be! A bavarian cream?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:08PM
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I have always feel that cooking is easier than baking. If you don't like the taste of a dish while you are making it, you can always doctor it up somehow, but not with baking. You have only one chance to make it.

Looking at your pictures, I think everyone can see how skillful you are in the kitchen.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:10PM
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Ann, I'm curious, what type is your oven?
Gas? Electric? Steam?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Ann, your breads always look like they should be on the cover of a baking cookbook and the apple tart belongs there too. You are such an inspiration.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Coconut, the ends are the best. Especially when still warm.
Eileen, the great smell is a side benefit of baking.
Thanks Annie. Amck, I'm glad your family liked the apple pie. That pastry is my favourite. Never fails.

Sally, it is getting down to below 40 some nights and days are just in the mid 60's so it is nice to be able to turn the oven on again.

Sherrmann, one of the best things about bread is that it tastes just as good regardless of what it looks like. And it freezes well. Thanks Tricia. I have a couple of neighbours who are the happy recipients of much of my baking.

Caminnc, that tart is very easy to make. You can even use frozen puff pastry.

Thank you Dcarch. Ibpod, not by choice,(no gas lines in my area) I have an electric range. I get steam by both spraying and tossing ice cubes on to the bottom of the oven.

Thanks Nancy. I feel the same way about you. I'm so impressed when I read what you have been baking for the Farmer's Market.

NancyLouise, try this recipe for a quick version of puff pastry. Easier to make than traditional and yet equally as good.

Fast French Puff Pastry
Based on recipe from Julia Child & Company

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
13 ounces chilled butter
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup ice water (more as needed)

Cut butter into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes.
Place flour and salt into heavy duty mixer with paddle blade. (I use a KitchenAid). Add cubes of butter and mix just enough for the paddle to slightly flatten the butter cubes. Do not break up butter into smaller pieces. Add enough ice water to moisten. Turn out on to floured surface. Will look very shaggy and the butter pieces will be visible. Pat and push mixture into rectangle and using a pastry scraper, flip bottom of pastry over the middle and then the top over to cover. (Like a business letter). Turn so that the fold is on your left hand side. Roll pastry out to a 12 to 14 inch rectangle. Fold again. Turn and roll out again. Do this "fold and turn" four times. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Remove from fridge and roll out and turn two more times. Pastry is now ready to use. If not using right away, refrigerate or freeze.

Enough for two single crust tarts or one two pastry pie.

There was enough dough leftover from making a pizza Wednesday night to bake again yesterday.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:48AM
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Thanks for the recipe Annie. I'll give it another try using it. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:42AM
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I've copied and pasted your puff pastry recipe, Ann. I've got some Granny Smith apples just waiting for me to use them. It'll be cold this weekend, so an apple tart sounds like just the thing.

Thanks, Ann, for sharing.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:33AM
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