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about my sanrio passion and others…

CROISSANT VS DONUT

If I had grown up eating croissants and donuts they sell at the shops/ supermarkets/bakeries today, I would not like neither of them definitely.
I remember when we were kids, my mother brought us delicious croissants every saturday while we watched the cartoons on tv. I still remember the texture inside, the delicious taste, how you could grab all the ‘belly’ inside and what it looked like. I´ve never forgotten even though many years have passed.
Today eating a croissant ( here ) is nothing great. If you buy it at the supermarket, it´s just the consistence of a bun with an artificial/extra sweet/not nice at all flavour. And if you get it at the bakeries/pastisseries you get something kinda messy, the only movement of grabbing it and most of the crust starts to fall in a million pieces, and well, if you decide to bite it (( well you should, you bought it to eat it didn´t you???!!! )) you´ll leave the floor with all those pieces , cause I don´t know what they add/do/put to get those ‘uncomfortable to teat’ consistence. A million crusts falling over, and a poor flavour and no texture inside.
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The thing is that they don´t realise it´s a mistake. We´re not …. ‘robbots’… or whatever you call it, can´t find the word. For me that´s what´s junk food. And the bad thing is that we, humans, seem to get used to every or almost everything. Luckily things are changing and people is being more concerned about food and things related.
And luckily there are some places which seem to keep authenticity. I´ve found a couple of bakeries in Barcelona that sell good quality ‘non-breakable’ croissants. I hope that in other countries you still can get a real CROISSANT.
Anyway I´m still looking for the perfect or ‘almost perfect’ croissant. And as I can´t find it anywhere at the moment, I planned to make it by myself.It´s quite a laborious thing, you know, all that laminating stuff and so on… I tried to make croissants three times. The two first times it was a total failure, so disapointed!! But the second time while I was throwing the pastry I just felt so bad for throwing it, I thought I would try to see if I could make something kinda ‘eatable’… So I took some of the pastry left and I put it in a muffin sylicon mold… 6 little ‘muffins’… Well my boyfriend tasted it and said it was delicious, one of the best things he ever tried. He said that if shops sold that they wouldn´t stop selling it. He almost killed me when I told him I had thrown the rest of the dough!!!
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He´s always telling me to do it again, but I don´t remember how I did it, you see that was an attempt of making a croissant, I don´t remember when the ‘ margarine, lard ‘ I used for laminating the dough went out of the dough. I had to play with that. And I don´t remember if I used lard or margarine.

A few months ago I tried again, but this time it was with butter, real butter. After my efford I succeeded!!! It was pretty good for being a beginner I must admit!!
Here is the result I had:

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By chance, some days ago I found some advices on shaping them, advices which would have helped me to improve the result a lot, I think.OH I was so glad!! When you don´t have someone teaching you, being your own teacher takes some effort and many attempts, failures and when you finally succeed such a big big happiness :) . So now I´m willing to do them again. Wish me luck!!!

( more to come later with this post ……………… )

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For those of you who are on a diet, or simply if you want a healthy food, here it is a delicious carrot ‘cake’, or better a carrot snack. It keeps well in the fridge many days.This recipe admits many variations, for example you can substitute water for apple juice, you can ommit ginger if you´re not a big fan of it, you can add some currants, cut the amount of almonts to 1/3 cup instead of ½ cup etc. It´s a good choice to take away to the job if you eat outside, and it combines very well in a meal with wholemeal rice for example, very healthy!!!

Ingredients for the carrot snack: 1 cup and ½ water, ½ cup almonds, ½ cup oats, ½ cup couscous, 2 tbsp. corn oil or some light oil, a pinch of salt, some cinnamon and some ginger.

Grate the carrots very thin manually, add the oats + couscous. Mix well. Add the water+ 2 tbsp. oil. Finally add the chopped almonds ( not too thin ), ginger+cinnamon+salt and mix again. Transfer the dough to a greased pan and bake in the oven at 200ºC for about 1 hour. ( My oven is very slow, so keep an eye maybe you have enough with a bit lower temperature ). And that´s it!!! Let it cool and enjoy!

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It wasn´t easy to make the heart shaped carrots, as the dough doesn´t wear any flour and it seemed hard to cut. Finally I managed to do it and I turned them so I had the bottom part above and the result was a better presentation. I added a base of white chocolate as some lucky ones don´t have to look after their weight.

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Since I´m not working at the moment, I have time to prepare the sandwiches that my boyfriend takes for lunch at work. We used to buy sandwich bread, but the quality of the bread is not very good, and it even made me not to enjoy much when preparing them. But after some time ‘playing’ with flour + water + some other few ingredients, at last I´m getting to make decent bread. And one day he commented the muffins would be great for a sandwich, so I found a good combination. From now on we´ll have quality handmade bread, and I can assure you it gives a satisfaction when, after some failures, you can cook bread finally !! At least for me it´s been a pretty enjoyful experience. I still have a lot to learn though, for instance how to make a decent ‘sandwich bread loaf’, meanwhile the ‘sandwiches’ my boyfriend is taking at work will be a tender scot bap, and a soft sourdough muffin. Wanna try a bit??

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Red

Pitabread is one of those recipes I think everybody should know how to do. They´re pretty easy to make, and compared to many other breads, fast. Since we prefer sourdough muffins, , i´ve been a lot of time without making the pitas. But i don´t want to forget the way to make them, and sometimes you just feel like eating a pita sandwhich which can go with so many combinations of food!. So the other day i made them again. Without wanting i made a funny pita heart shaped bread i thought i should post here… here it goes! pita3.jpg

For eight pitas: 350 gr. Flour (about 2 cups white flour+ 1cup wholewheat flour ), 200ml water, 1teasp+ half salt, 1 teasp. Sugar, 8 grams yeast ( it´s enough, in fact i think smaller amounts of yeast sometimes are better ). Put them in a pretty hot oven and you´ll see how they puff, some of the pitas don´t puff, sometimes it´s because the oven is not hot enough, at least in my experience, i have them about 5 min. to 240 ªC and then some few minutes at 200º C.

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Due to some personal problems which are having me under some stress i haven´t felt like writing much, nor writing nor reading which i enjoy a lot, just troubles on my mind. But i found the time to make ginger cookies, some good ginger cookies!!! Even mini cookies for our hamsters as they also love them. Someone in the comments said she´d never tried ginger cookies, and of course i told her to give it a try as they are worth it. Of course it can depend on the ingredients you use, the recipe you have… it can change so much from one to another………………………………………………………………………..———————–

i remember i wanted to try a gingercookie which was soft, ( the cookies i make are crusty ) and i choose one with molasses. Well, the thing is that the time i was mixing the cookie i already realised the dough smelt bad bad arghhhh…. how was that possibly??? Normally the mixing of the ingredients smell so delicious! Especially when they include spices such as ginger, cinnamon mmm. I had a look and i saw the guilty thing::: molasses!!! Here in Spain is difficult to find molasses, so when i saw these ones at the supermarket i thought; ohhhh here they are!!! and bought them.. to my surprise they didn´t smell very good but nothing to imagine it would alter the result of the cookies… it did.

I wonder which are the famous molasses they use in America. Please let me know. This one i bought is made from brown sugar, of course it wears a kind of acid additive which i think might be what causes the not so good smell. I bought at the natural food parsley molasses and they taste much better. Haven´t tried them with cookies yet. I would really appreciate if someone could get me informed about the molasses stuff.

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Okay enough of that, here i am gonna post the recipe for the ginger cookies, give it a try and let me know if you like them, don´t taste them when still hot, i think they taste better when they´ve already cooled,or the day after they´re done.

Ginger cookies: 500 grams flour, 200 gr sugar, ½ teasp. Salt, ½ baking soda, 2 teasp. Cinnamon, 1 teasp. Ginger, a pinch clove, 1 tablesp and half honey, 2 eggs, 150 gr butter.

Mix dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients in the order they appear and let them rest for 2 hours in the fridge.

Bake them about 10-15 minuts about 200 ºC.

I used half of the ingredients and i got about 35 cookies…. + many mini cookies for our hamsters!!!! Oh and i don´t include the 2 gingergirls that got burnt :(!

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Please take care so that the cookies do not get burnt, as they should be pretty thin, since taste is much better. i always make the first bunch of cookies wider ( i don´t realise they should be thinner ) and then correct it, you will appreciate the difference in the pictures. I use a rolling pan for getting the thin texture.

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This time the cookies weren´t as delicious and addictive as other times!!! i got so surprised! but come to think about it, and i know why is that. we went to one of those big supermarkets and i bought a big ginger package, since i use a lot of ginger. i saw the color was a bit different, but i never thought it would change so much the final result!! again… with these things i realise how important it is to use good quality products. The ginger i bought is supposed to be ginger, but though i added an extra teaspoon since we love the flavour, you can´t hardly appreciate it!. I don´t know what the hell they´re doing with food. I will use this for fish or meat dishes, but not for cookies!! :(

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SCOT BAPS

175 ml (6 fl. oz) warm milk, but not too much cause it would kill the yeast!! mine is between 26º-30º
175 ml (6 fl. oz) water
2 tsp dried yeast or 25 gr. fresh yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
500 g (1 lb) strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp milk, to glaze

  1. Combine the milk and water in a liquid measuring jug. Sprinkle the yeast into 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of the milk and water mixture in a separate bowl.
  2. Mix the flour and salt + sugar together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk and the rest of liquids bit by bit, mixing the flour.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  4. Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled, about an hour.
  5. Knock back and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces, and shape each piece into a flat oval, about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Place on a floured baking tray. Brush with milk and sift over some flour.
  6. Leave to prove, uncovered, until doubled in size, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Again sift more flour over each bap. Use your thumb to make an impression in the centre of the baps, about 1/2 inch deep.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and pale golden. I preheat the oven about 220º but it depends on your oven, mine for example has not many power so it always takes more to bake, esp. breads. I leave my bread 5 or 10 minutes and then i change the temperature to 200º.

Cover with a tea towel and leave on wire rack to cool.

Some advice: the day before i made these baps they were not so tender so after eating another delicious bap i put them in the freeze, they can be frozen perfectly. I have tasted them after defrosting and it´s curious but they tasted even more delicious!.

Also, if you´re new at making bread try this one, it won´t dissapoint you, i think you have many possibilities to succeed with this. When i think of all the failures i´ve had with breads!!! But I like it so much i just have to keep on trying. Getting bread from some flour and water is like a kinda miracle to me, i think there´s so much magic in it!! So as this one is not a big loaf but smaller buns, i think it´s easier. Keep on trying!!

i love cooking, esp.. sweets and english muffins, sourdough english muffins…. the smell is so good… last summer i started with my starter and i couldn´t believe it finally worked out fine!! now i have 3 starters, a rye flour starter, a strong flour starter and a raisins starter… i love to see all the bubbles on them.

i haven´t tried english muffins with normal yeast yet, and it would be pretty interesting since sometimes you don´t have the time to prepare the inicial dough 8 hours earlier, or the night before, or simply all of a sudden you think you would love to eat english muffins for breakfast or afternoon meals!

this is my rye starter:

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and these are the muffins:

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i found the recipe via internet, it was so surprising the fact they were not cooked in the oven but in a pan… i was doubting i had success but in the end….voila!

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