Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TWD -- Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

Just as I was weighing the best technique to make the chocolate dough for the truffle tartlets for my second Tuesdays with Dorie experiment, Father Paul's voice sounded in my ear loud and clear: DON"T USE THE FOOD PROCESSOR! Father Paul is the baker-in-charge at the Catholic Shrine and Basilica Bakery in Carey, Ohio, where I volunteer. He is a die-hard advocate of always working the fat and flour together with your fingers. So, following his advice, I did it his way. It wasn't hard and it didn't take any longer than hauling out the food processor and washing it up after the dough is completed.

After the dough had been refrigerated the requisite time, I weighed the entire piece of dough, divided that by 6 and found that each piece of dough should weigh 2 3/8 ounces. I then rolled the dough using very little flour and a pasty cloth and rolling pin cover. This is also a Father Paul technique and one I've adhered to for almost 50 years.
I found that you had to treat the dough with care. I moved it from the pastry cloth to the tartlet pans (I did not remove the bottoms) with a bench scraper. After baking the crusts, the rest of the recipe was easy. I had previously made chocolate chip biscotti and that was a learning experience. After making three batches (all jaw breakers), I learned from my daughter that a small amount of fat in a biscotti recipe will make it far less hard. I used an ice cream scoop to fill the tartlets, but found it took about two scoops, not one, to fill each pan. I baked the tartlets for the full time.

Now, the appearance and taste. I thought the tarts were attractive, more elegant certainly than a wedge of pie, and would be nice served for company. But, were they perhaps too big for one person to eat after a meal? My husband and I split one, and that was plenty. And, the taste wasn't quite as over-the-top as I expected. In a nutshell: I prefer my favorite chocolate pie recipe -- Aunt Catfish's Boat Sinker pie.  Here is a link to that recipe: http://community.tasteofhome.com/community_forums/f/33/t/744838.aspx

What to do with all those left-over egg whites? I am freezing some to use as "glue" to adhere seeds to whole grain breads. I am also going to make meringue cookies with four of them. There are lots of recipes for meringue cookies on the internet. I think I'll try peanut butter. And, then, of course, there is always angel food cake.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TWD- White Bread

I, confess, I am a "bread head" so make lots of bread on a regular basis. I had never seen a recipe quite like the white bread recipe in "Baking with Julia," however. I was a little put off by the way one was to add the butter, but it worked just as the instructions said it would. The results were wonderful. The bread rose well -- it worked perfectly in my 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch bread pan. The taste was awesome. I can't explain why this bread is so good -- I can only attribute it to the late addition of the butter. The bread makes wonderful toast and would be great for grilled cheese or panini sandwiches.

Since the recipe makes two loaves, I made the second half of the dough into rolls, I knotted the rolls as described elsewhere in the book, used an egg wash and added sesame seeds to the top. I froze these, so I haven't tasted them yet. I'm sure they will be good, since the bread is so tasty.
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