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Edna: Artisan Baking Across America

Edna's picture

by Maggie Glezer. I have baked from this book before but I seem to go back to the same recipes every time. I used to bake bread all the time I hope this project will get me back into the yeasty dough groove. Let the games begin!

Adele's picture

(post #67185, reply #1 of 41)

Hello and welcome to Cooks Talk!  This is going to be a lot of fun.  Many varied books too.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Wolvie's picture

(post #67185, reply #2 of 41)

this is a great book. Have fun!

"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be."

Kahlil Gabran


DeannaS's picture

(post #67185, reply #3 of 41)

The zweiback bread in that book was a staple in my house for about a year. I loved that it could sit in the fridge for a few days as dough, and be better for it. It made it easy to whip up the dough one night after work and bake it another.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #5 of 41)

Yes, I love the fact that many of recipes have that ability to keep in the frig. until you are have time to bake. This Zwieback recipe maybe an Easter weekend project.

stuffedcabbage's picture

(post #67185, reply #4 of 41)

I just saw this and am into this book too. Would you mind if I baked for a year also? It will be fun to talk about recipes. I love the sourdough section, the other stuff will be fun!

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #6 of 41)

The more the merrier I say. I made the baking team sweet dough yesterday. Will bake the "Caps' when I get home from work today.

Biscuit's picture

(post #67185, reply #7 of 41)

I'm so sorry - I can't help myself.  Every time I see your name all I can think of is "Edna Lewis" and I think someone is working with one of her books (G). 

I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

stuffedcabbage's picture

(post #67185, reply #8 of 41)

That recipe sounds really good. I have a question: I notice you are baking the caps version, does this mean that we have to bake each variation per recipe? Or just one? Let me know how they turn out. I was thinking of the stollen for Easter weekend but now leaning towards the bialys.

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #9 of 41)

I baked the USA Baking Team Caps (page 212-217) last night. I made the dough Sunday and per instructions refrigerated it. The recipe states it can be chilled from 8 hours to 2 days. The dough is very sticky to start but the chilling helps make it manageable. The rolls are brioche-like with flecks of chocolate and chunks of dried cherry. The rolls are capped (hence the name) with a thin sugar cookie cap which adds a sweet crisp contrast.

The base sweet dough is used to make two other breads, which I didn't have time to do but will definitely bake at another time this year. I like this recipe because 1) it's tasty and 2) I can make the dough one day and bake the next. This is great for a breakfast sweet roll.

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #10 of 41)

Back to baking after a week spent recovering from Easter and running at work. I decided to do a 'beginner' recipe from the book, Acme's Herb Slabs (p.37-39). It really was simple and the resulting bread looked like the picture in the book. I started it the Friday night and had fresh bread for Saturday's dinner. A great bread with roasted chicken and today a good sandwich bread for lunch. Note: must like rosemary.

I'm off again for a week, traveling for work. I hope to devel a little deeper into the book when I get back.

soupereasy's picture

(post #67185, reply #11 of 41)

Any chance you could post that recipe before you rush off? Sounds delicious! :)

knitpik's picture

(post #67185, reply #12 of 41)

Try Google:)

Edited 4/15/2007 2:17 pm ET by knitpik

soupereasy's picture

(post #67185, reply #13 of 41)

Thank you. I assume that I can use a tea towel for the couche. I would be kneading in the KA, let it run 'til smooth?
Still sounds good! :)

knitpik's picture

(post #67185, reply #14 of 41)

You're welcome. Tea towel should work just fine.

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #15 of 41)

Yes, I used a tea towel, as a couche is one bread baking tool/equipment I do not own - yet.

Jean's picture

(post #67185, reply #16 of 41)

MadMom can show you how to make one.

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #17 of 41)

I have been busy baking instead of posting. This post will cover 3 recipes but all in one theme - stone ground cornmeal. I ordered the stone ground cornmeal from Gray's Grist Mill the author describes in the book. I'm glad I did because I don't think the recipes would have turned out quite the same with regular cornmeal. This cornmeal from Gray's was of a finer texture, more like flour than what I was used to buying at the grocery store. It had a wonderful aroma, like fresh corn and peanut butter all together - weird description but that's the best I can come up with right now.

I made the Johnnycakes (p.68). They were thin and crunchy and good, but I think more from the butter I cooked them in than the cake itself.
Next I made the Boston Brown Bread (p.66). This was baked not steamed so the bread was drier than brown bread I have made in the past. The dough was very stiff and I wanted to add some more liquid but I thought it better to trust the recipe the first time out. A good, solid, whole grain bread, perfect for a bowl of soup or as toast - with more butter of course.
Finally I made the Hi-Rise Corn Bread (p.64) which was my favorite of the three cornmeal recipes tried. It made a bread that was light and with great flavor. The dough was very soft and sticky. I used my KA mixer and I'm glad I did. It would have been difficult to try by hand. Another good bread for toast with, what else a little butter. I will make this bread again.

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #18 of 41)

Yesterday I baked the white-wheat rolls (p.46). The whole wheat flour that is used in the recipe is whole wheat white flour, a different strain of wheat which is lighter in texture, more like white flour, but has all the good things regular whole wheat has - germ, bran etc. Dough was easy to work with and shaped into rolls perfectly. Unfortunately, I lost track of time (because I was running around the house getting ready for the 14 people I'm having over for Mother's Day) and I let the rolls over proof. I still baked them, good flavor but the texture of the bread could have been better. I will have to try again on a not as busy weekend.

Jean's picture

(post #67185, reply #19 of 41)

I let the rolls over proof

Newby bread baker question. When this happens can you punch it down and start over?

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #20 of 41)

I have punched down and started over with doughs in the past. I have had mixed results. It seems to depend on the type of dough and the temperature the dough was kept during the proofing. In my limited experience, sweet doughs and/or doughs kept at too warm a temperature during the last rise are less forgiving. The over proofed bread is never as good in any case.

Gretchen's picture

(post #67185, reply #21 of 41)

I have done it often--I sometimes think it improves the bread.


Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #22 of 41)

Have you had sucess even when the dough has collapsed? I've had some breads over proof to the point of collapse that never came back.

Gretchen's picture

(post #67185, reply #23 of 41)

No, I didn't really mean that the dough had collapsed although that may also have happened--haven't kept score on this. It just had risen too much so I punch it down and let it rise again. Or I have forgotten about it and it is too late to bake so I punch it down and do it the next day.


Wolvie's picture

(post #67185, reply #24 of 41)

I don't think they can be fixed once that over proof has happened - beasties are used up.

Glad you still got some good flavor out of the rolls tho - good to remember. The one time I had bread collapse that way, I threw the dough out. If it happens again, now I will give it a go anyway. :-)

"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be."

Khalil Gibran


Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #25 of 41)

I have not had great luck when I've over proofed to the point of collapse. The rolls were almost to the tipping over point. When I baked them they did not produce the oven spring you would normally see; they looked like they actually deflated slightly. That's what happens when you try to do too many things at once I guess. I guess I've lost the multi-tasking skill.

Wolvie's picture

(post #67185, reply #26 of 41)

me too. Hence that one post in the Boulevard thread - where murphy was in my kitchen with me. :-)

"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be."

Khalil Gibran


Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #27 of 41)

I've started baking with the sourdough starter that I made using the recipe on pages 91-93. I have made many sourdough starters and I have to say this one was the easiest and least wasteful one I've tried. I like the fact that is more firm than the typical batter type starters I've had in the past.

I made Essential's Columbia (p.82-83), which is described as a country French-style bread, Pearl's Walnut Levain (p.95-96) and the Pearl's Fig-Anise Panini (p.98-99). Each recipe used the sourdough starter to make the levain. These levain breads have a moister crumb than the commercial yeast risen recipes I have tried so far. This makes sense since the recipes all use a good amount of water. This made the doughs a little more sticky, especially the Columbia. Of the three the Columbia was my least favorite, probably because the bread coming out of the oven didn't look as nice as the other recipes. I fault myself not the recipe since I rushed the baking of this bread due to the late hour of the day and an early wake-up call scheduled for the next day. My bread loving co-workers enjoyed it, but usually they are just happy if I bring in something to eat. I wouldn't say they are not discriminating, just very grateful.
The Pearl recipes were great; love the combination of the fig and anise in the panini. The walnut levain was just right.

Have been very much enjoying this book. Thanks Biscuit for a great idea!

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #28 of 41)

I made Acme's cinnamon-currant bread (p.219) with walnuts this weekend. The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator before assembling the bread. Assembly was easy. Bread is just right on the amount of gooey cinnamon sugar and nuts. I will definetely make this bread again - when I have the company to help me eat it.

helena1's picture

(post #67185, reply #29 of 41)

That sounds delicious!! M I'd love the recipe, if it's not too much trouble!

Edna's picture

(post #67185, reply #30 of 41)

Here it is.

Baking Team USA Sweet Dough

Milk, any kind 125 g (1/2 cup)
Instant yeast 6 g (2 tsp.)
Unbleached all-purpose flour 400 g (2-2/3 cup)
Eggs 3 large
table salt 8 grams (1-1/2 tsp.)
granulated sugar 75 g (6 Tbsp.)
unsalted butter 116 g (1/2 cup)
currants 160 g (1-1/2 cup)

Microwave milk on high power for 4 minutes or heat in a small saucepan on stove top until bubbles form around the edge, steam rises and the milk smells cooked. Let it cool to 40 to 46 degrees C (105 -115 degrees F). Sprinkle yeast over milk, stir and let stand 5-10 minutes.
Add the flour to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, then add the yeast mixture and the eggs. Mix the dough until well combined. Let the mixture rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the salt to the dough and using the dough hook, mix the dough on low speed until it is smooth, about 3 minutes. This is a soft dough that will never clean the bowl. Add the sugar in 2 additions and the butter in 2 additions, mixing until each addition is completely incorporated before adding the rest. Continue to mix the dough until it is satiny smooth, soft and glossy.

Knead the currants into the dough until they are well dispersed.
Place the dough into a container at least 3 times its size and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days. Let the dough warm up to room temperature for 2 hours before shaping it.

For assembling Cinnamon-currant Bread with Walnuts

Granulated sugar 320 grams (1-1/2 cups)
Cinnamon 23 grams (3 TBsp.)
Walnut halves 140 grams (1-1/3 cups)

Butter two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch pans and line them with 12 x 8-1/2 inch rectangles of parchment paper, leaving the 4-1/2 inch sides bare. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Fill a small bowl with water.

Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle. Roll it up into a cylinder, roll the cylinder out into a long snake, and cut it into 32 equal pieces. Round each piece or leave them in squarish chunks.

Dip each piece of dough into the water and then coat it with the cinnamon sugar. Line each loaf pan with 8 pieces and sprinkle each pan with 15 grams (2 Tbsp) of cinnamon sugar. Scatter in the walnuts, dividing them equally between the two pans and pushing them between the pieces of dough. Sprinkle each pan with another tablespoon or so of cinnamon sugar. Place the remaining cinnamon-sugar-coated dough pieces over the rest and press down on them lightly to scrunch them together.

Cover the loaves well with plastic wrap and let them proof until they dome over the pans, 1-2 hours.

About 30 minutes before the dough is fully proofed, arrange a rack on the oven's bottom shelf and clear away all racks above it. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees F).

Bake until the loaves are richly browned all around, 35-40 minutes, rotating them halfway through the bake. Let cook for just 10 minutes in their pans, then pull them out of the pans and invert them onto a rack to cool completely. Do not allow the breads to get cold in the pans or the sugar will harden and it will be impossible to remove them with reheating them. Serve loaves upside down.

It is possible to mix this dough by hand but it is very soft and sticky. If you have a stand mixer or even food processor I would highly recommend using it.

Edited 6/23/2007 12:50 pm ET by Edna