Tag Archives: bread flour

The Frustrating Facts about Measuring Flour

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

flour for The Frustrating Facts of Measuring FlourA question in a food group I belong to about measuring flour by weight has sent me on a quest to find out how much a cup of flour weighs. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, no one answer fits all.  And yet, correctly measuring flour is essential for the best outcome of baked goods.

The problem with measuring flour by volume is flour can be aerated differently. It can be sifted, stirred and fluffed, all of which yield a different weight.

What makes recipes particularly frustrating is that everyone seems to have their own way of measuring flour. And they are all correct because it depends upon how each person measures  flour. The reason for stirring the flour is that, although it is pre-sifted, it becomes compacted in the bags as it is packed and shipped. However, how much it is stirred can alter the outcome. Continue reading

Garlic Oregano Cracker Bread

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Garlic Oregano Cracker BreadThis Garlic Oregano Cracker Bread has a story.  Next week we are having a gourmet wine dinner at the restaurant.  The organizer didn’t want a dessert but requested a cheese plate.  Good for me right?  I skipped a special dessert for seventy people.  Well, not really.  I was asked if I had something like a savory cookie that would go with the cheese tray.

After a day or two, it suddenly dawned on me that this Garlic Oregano Cracker Bread was the perfect solution.  Years ago before I became involved seriously with food, I loved experimenting with recipes and food. Continue reading

Stuffed Italian Bread – Pane Bianco

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Stuffed Italian Bread
I first ran across this Stuffed Italian Bread, Pane Bianco, which means white bread, on the King Arthur website.  I love bread and I love making it.  I am always on the hunt for a new recipe.  The first thing that caught my eye was the gorgeous shape of this Stuffed Italian Bread which is actually very easy to accomplish.

As I read the introduction, I noticed we have Dianna Wara of Washington, Illinois to thank for this beauty.   She  took first place with her Pane Bianco  in the first-ever National Festival of Breads.  King Arthur simplified it somewhat and I followed their lead on that since I didn’t have the original recipe for this Stuffed Italian Bread. Continue reading

Stuffed (or Not) Kouign Amann

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Kouign Amann

One of the best descriptions I’ve read of Kouign Amann comes from Chef Steps:  “These salty, buttery pastries hail from the coastal region of Brittany, in the northwest corner of France, where Celtic Breton tradition has prevailed since the great migration across the English Channel during the fifth and sixth centuries. It looks just like you might imagine a Celtic colony on the seacoast of France would: towering bluffs dropping straight into the sea; tiny stone houses dotting the emerald countryside; slate-colored steeples rising into the morning mist. The region is best known for its vast salt flats, where the coveted finishing salt, fleur de sel, is harvested. Here, tucked into wandering village streets, bakeries hawk this much-lauded pastry treasure, whose name literally means “butter cake” in Breton.”

Kouign Amann (pronounced Queen-ah-mann) belongs to the laminated dough family in baking. A croissant like yeast dough is layered with butter and coated with sugar to produce a crunchy, sweet, caramelized pastry that some say is a breakfast pastry and some say is dessert. I could eat them all day long and not care a wit about what time it is! Continue reading

American Butter vs. European Butter

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Baked Puff Pastry for American Butter vs. European Butter for Laminated DoughsButter used to be butter.  Cream was churned and separated into butter and buttermilk.  While it is still made that way, where in the world it comes from makes a difference, both in taste and its ability to make laminated doughs rise dramatically.  The puff pastry above started out as a 3/8 inch rectangle and rose to a dramatic 3 inches.

For this test, I used Land O Lakes American butter and Kerry Gold Irish butter.  I couldn’t find Plugra in my area.  Both of the butters were unsalted.Butters used for American Butter vs. European Butter Continue reading