12 February 2010

You do realize that I'm catching up on all the baking blog posts, yes?

I am way behind in my Easy Bake cOven posts. I even made the stuff. Hence the posting every day until the end of the month. Anyway, on with the baking.

December presented 2 of my favorite things - cheesy savory bread and sugar cookies. I made the flatbread in December for a tasty weekend brunch. I made the sugar cookies in January in support of 2 college basketball games - Syracuse vs. DePaul and KSU vs. KU.

Flatbread
Although the recipe was for zucchini and red onion flatbread, I improvised (what a surprise, right?) and used the red onion and sun dried tomatoes we had just received in our CSA. I mixed some herbs & garlic with some goat cheese to spread in the middle. I also made my own pizza dough according to Ruhlman's Ratio for doughs (I don't do pre-made). Since yeast and I made nice back in September, I've been jumping at any chance to use it. This dough came together nicely, and the ingredients to top & stuff the flatbread were so tasty. I will definitely make it again!



Michael Ruhlman's Pizza Dough
20 ounces bread flour
12 ounces water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon active or instant yeast
1 ounce olive oil
Measure in your mixer bowl and bring together with paddle attachment. Once combined, knead with dough hook about 10 minutes. Pull off a chunk of dough and stretch into a square. If it's elastic enough to allow you to achieve a translucent sheet of dough, it's ready. If it tears before you can do this, continue mixing, either in the mixer or by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise to about twice its size. Knead to expel excess gas and redistribute the yeast. Cover with a dish towel and let rest 10-15 minutes. Roll out into desired thickness.

Sugar Cookies
I'm pretty particular about my sugar cookies - specifically I love the Betty Crocker Cookbook's recipe with all it's powdered sugar, cream of tartar and almond extract. So I was a bit nervous about this recipe with none of those ingredients! I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only is Laura's recipe tasty, but was extremely easy to roll out and baked up consistently and beautifully!

I didn't have an opportunity to make these in December, but a weekend full of basketball games in January seemed to be the perfect excuse! And I had a KSU Powercat cookie cutter that I had yet to use. A half recipe yielded the perfect amount of Syracuse Orange circle cookies & Powercat shaped cookies. The Orange managed to pull off a victory. The Wildcats almost made it...



Either way - I'll make these again and probably add in some almond extract and cream of tartar for that familiar flavor. Great recipe!

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