Monday, August 31, 2009

Potato Buttermilk Rolls

Day 40 Recipe 24
I am getting pretty confident now in my bread making abilities. Yeast no longer scares me. The dough for these rolls rose very quickly and they are completely delicious. The recipe said that you could make them bigger and use them for hamburger buns, which I will totally be doing in the future!! I also liked the fact that for a yeast roll they weren't too time consuming. I started making them at 4 and they were done by 6:30. Very, very good!! I think I will be making these for Thanksgiving instead of the Classic Dinner Rolls. I will post the recipe soon, because you are going to want to make these for sure!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Classic Cornbread

Day 35 Recipe 23
I was attempting to just lay low today, but the cookbook was calling my name!! So I flipped through the pages and found a recipe I could make with ingredients that I already had. So corn bread it was. While making this, I kept thinking... is this really any better than the Jiffy Cornbread Mix that you can buy for like 39 cents. Any boy was it! It was very moist, and so yummy with a big dollop of honey butter on top!
Classic Corn Bread
From Williams-Sonoma
Essentials of Baking


1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh corn kernels (Optional, and I left them out)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey or firmly packed brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and then enough milk to equal 1 cup, then let sit for 5 minutes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Butter an 8 inch cast iron frying pan or 8 inch square baking pan.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the corn kernels (if using). Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the honey (Or brown sugar), buttermilk, and butter. Whisk until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let the bread cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I highly recommend serving with honey butter!!

Currant Bread Pudding

Day 34 Recipe 22
For the last couple of days, I have not been feeling the best. I have been fighting a cold and yesterday, felt completely awful. But I still had to make this bread pudding recipe before the brioche I made on Thursday became stale. This was a great recipe to make when you are sick. It was very comforting and very easy to make. I again did not bother to look for currants and just used dried cranberries. The bread pudding would have been good without the addition of any sort of fruit, but I think if I ever make it again, I will put some chocolate chips in it!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Month...

It has officially been a month since I have started baking through the cookbook. I have really enjoyed all of the recipes I have made so far, and have even made a couple of things again since they were so good the first time. The thing that amazes me the most is that the ingredients that most of my recipes use are: flour, sugar, butter and salt. It all just depends on what order and how much you use and you get totally different results. I have made some things that I would never have even attempted to make, like bagels, and am so proud of myself when they turn out so yummy!! Hopefully coming this next month, I would like to try to make some more difficult recipes like croissants and maybe even tackle the sourdough bread again.... maybe!! ;)


Day 31 Recipe 21
Yesterday I made brioche, a rich egg bread. You are supposed to make it in individual molds, but I opted to make the dough into 2 loaves. It was very time consuming to make. I started the bread at 8:30 in the morning and we had hot bread at around 7 that night. After I had made the dough, it sits in the refrigerator for 6 hours. And to my amazement, it actually rises in the refrigerator! Then you form it into balls and each loaf is made up of 8 balls. The dough then has to rise again for 2 hours and then bake for 30 minutes. I was all out of aluminum foil, so the top of the bread is a bit more brown than I would have liked, but it still tastes yummy! I will be using some of this bread to make bread pudding on Monday!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Currant Cream Scones

Day 29 Recipe 20
I have to admit, that I wasn't even to sure what a currant was. I even googled it!! It is an English berry similar to a raisin....I guess. I couldn't find them. I didn't really look very hard, and they don't carry them at Fry's! So as a substitute I used dried sweetened cranberries and they worked just fine. Overall the scones turned out very good. They were very moist and delicious. I am not too sure about the cinnamon sugar on the top, but I would definitely make these again!! The other complaint I have is that the recipe only makes 6... maybe I will double it next time!! ;)
From Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


For the dough
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup dried currants (Or dried cranberries)
¾ cup heavy cream

For the topping
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons whole milk or heavy cream


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper (I used a silicone liner).

2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms large coarse crumbs the size of small peas. Stir in the currants. Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press together gently until the dough clings together in a ball. Pat out into a round about ½ inch thick and 6 ½ inches in diameter. Cut the round into 6 wedges, or use a 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Place the wedges 1 inch apart on the prepare pan.

4. To make the topping, in a small bowl stir together the sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the wedges with the milk and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar.

5. Bake until golden brown, 13-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Orange Madeleines

Day 28 Recipe 19
I had never even eaten one of these cookies before, until I made them yesterday. I thought they were more of a crispy cookie when I would see them sold at stores. They are actually more of a spongy cookie, almost cake-like. I had to buy a special shell shaped pan to make them, but it was well worth it. The kids and my husband had eaten the entire first batch before the second batch was even in the oven!! They were very light, and bite-size, which was perfect!! This is definitely one of those recipes that I would have flipped past if I was not baking every recipe, so I am glad that I am broadening my horizons!! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Day 26 Recipe 18
For those of you that are unfamiliar, challah is a cake-like bread, that can be specially braided and is traditionally served on Jewish holidays. I didn't really think it was cake-like, but it was super yummy. Mu husband said he could have eaten the whole loaf!! I could not quite grasp the 4 strand braid, and after trying for about 10 minutes, I gave up and just did a 3 strand braid. I was kind of unsure about this bread, but I think I will definitely keep it in mind and make it again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brown Butter Blondies & Quiche Lorraine

Day 24 Recipe 16 & 17
Today I made 2 recipes! The brown butter brownies are so good! The recipe is pretty basic except for browning the clarified butter. My husband took one bite and said, "Oh man, that is good!" If you like blondies, you have got to make this recipe!! Most of the recipes in the book are desserts, but the quiche lorraine actually worked good for dinner. I have another recipe for a quiche lorraine that incorporates cheese, and my husband and I both agreed that we prefer that recipe. I think I might make this again in the future and just add a little swiss!!

Brown Butter Blondies
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup clarified unsalted butter (recipe below)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained

(To make clarified butter: Slowly melt at least 1 cup unsalted butter in a small frying pan over low heat until it is foamy on the surface. Pour the melted butter into a small glass bowl and let stand for a minute or tow. You should see 3 distinct layers: milk solids on the bottom, clear yellow liquid in the middle and foam on top. Using a tablespoon, remove the foam from the surface. Pour the clear liquid into a clean container being careful to leave the milk solids in the bowl. Be sure to use more butter to begin with than calls for in the recipe, as you end up with less once it is clarified.)


1. Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat 325 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan.

2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a frying pan over low heat, heat the clarified butter until light brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes (mine took more like 15 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a small bowl to cool slightly.

4. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, brown sugar, and the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

6. If desired, using a sieve, dust with powdered sugar. Cut into 2 inch squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Day 22 Recipe 15
Today I made a very moist and delicious coffee cake. The boys kept asking what I was making, and when I told them coffee cake they kept lookin' at me funny. Pat has a cup of coffee every morning, so they are well aware of what coffee is!! Sawyer was even a little hesitant to lick the spoon! It turned out very yummy! I can't wait to have a big slice for breakfast in the morning!!

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


For the filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

For the batter:
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups sour cream


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. (I used a tube pan)

2. To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, nuts, and the cinnamon. Using a fork, mix until crumbly. Set aside.

3. To make the batter, in a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed with your mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternately with the sour cream and mix on low speed just until the batter is blended and almost smooth.

5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with half the filling. Cover with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining filling.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. (Mine took 47 mins.) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pound Cake with Berry Coulis and Whipped Cream

Day 20 Recipes 12, 13 & 14
Yesterday I made 3 recipes! Whoo Hoo! I made pound cake and to serve with it, berry coulis and whipped cream. Holy cow was it yummy!! The berry coulis is basically just strawberries that are pureed and then strained with a little sugar and lemon juice. And the homemade whipped cream was delicious. I have to admit that I had 2 pieces of this terrific dessert! Definitely a keeper!! I will post the recipe soon!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How many??

Earlier today I sat down and counted how many recipes are actually in this book. There are 129 recipes, which includes the 6 all-purpose pie fillings and the 15 sauces,toppings, fillings in the back (which will be made as part of the 129 recipes.) My problem is, there are also 54 variations on some of these recipes. I am wondering... should I make them all??? All 184 recipes!! I think I just gained 15 pounds just thinking about it!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Day 17, Recipe 11
I have always heard of this cake and how good it tasted. I have never had a piece, so I was anxious to try this recipe. There is only one word to describe this cake.... decadent. It was so good! It was very rich, but not heavy. It was almost like you baked chocolate pudding. If you like chocolate, you have to make this cake for sure!!

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


½ cup walnuts
½ cup sugar
5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 300 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit

2. In a food processor, process together the walnuts and the sugar until powdery.

3. Melt the butter and the chocolates using a double-boiler. (I melted the butter in the microwave, then added the chocolate and continued to heat in the microwave in 15 second increments in order to be careful not to scorch the chocolate.)

4. Using a stand mixer with the whip attachment beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

5. Whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the ground nut mixture. Add the remaining egg whites, folding gently and thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake the cake until it puffs up a little and jiggles only very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, 30-35 minutes. If the center looks soupy, bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then release and lift off the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a cardboard cake circle very carefully. The cake is very fragile when it is warm. Remove the parchment paper. Place on a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover the cake with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel so that the outside does not dry out as it cools.

7. Using a fine sieve, dust the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Classic Dinner Rolls

Day 16, Recipe 10
There is nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread. It always reminds me of my Grandma Fanny's house. She has always made her own bread, and her house smells so yummy! So last night at like 5, I decided to make some dinner rolls. My first attempt did not rise, but I tried again and they came out terrific... even though we ate them while watching a movie at like 9!! I think my mistake was putting the salt to close to the yeast. So here is the recipe for the yummy dinner rolls. Make sure you copy it down for Thanksgiving!!
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking


1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, plus 1 egg beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons salt


1. In a mixer, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the milk (I heated mine just slightly), sugar, 2 eggs, butter, flour, and salt. Place the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook and knead on low speed. Add a little more flour only if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl. *If you do not have a mixer all of this can be done by hand, first incorporating the ingredients with a whisk and then using a wooden spoon until a mass forms. Then scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes.

2. Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (I also cover with a towel). Let the dough rise in a warm, draft free spot until it doubles in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

3. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. (I used my silicone baking sheets)

4. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a clean work surface. Cut it in half. Cut each half into 8 pieces (16 rolls total). Roll each piece against the work surface into a round ball. Place the balls onto the prepared pans, spacing evenly, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and let them rise until puffy and pillow-soft when gently squeezed, 30-40 minutes.

5. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees.

6. Brush the rolls lightly with the beaten egg. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm. (I baked mine 20 minutes and they would have been fine at 18)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Classic Dark Chocolate Brownies

Day 15, Recipe 9
These brownies were very easy to make, everything just mixed up together by hand and only required 2 bowls, which was nice for clean-up. I have several excellent brownie recipes that I like to make, and this one was just ok. I over baked them slightly so next time I need to keep a better ear out for the timer!! Oh well, at least the ones in the center taste yummy!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Egg Bagels

Day 13, Recipe 8
After the numerous failures with the sourdough bread, it was fun today to make something edible! :) The bagel recipe started off really strange, by boiling potatoes and then reserving the water. With rising time and all, the whole process took about 2 1/2 hours and made a dozen bagels. They were completely delicious! I wouldn't say they are the most round looking bagels in the whole world, but I will definitely be making these again!
The nice thing about this recipe, was that it was totally out of my comfort zone. If it weren't for the fact that I am making every single recipe in this cookbook, I never would have attempted bagels! I am very glad that I did.