Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Making croissants is time consuming but it is well worth the efforts.  It is also much more economical.  I pay almost $2.00 for one croissant at the First Canadian Place when I need a snack in the afternoon.  Well, not anymore!  My home-made version is just 100x better than the store bought ones.  These croissants are flaky on the outside, light and airy in the  centre.  Best served when they're right out of the oven with a cup of coffee or cappuccino  ... it's simply heaven.  

The recipe is adapted from William Sonoma, "Essentials of Baking".  I will update this blog with the recipe (as it requires a lot of typing...) shortly.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

This recipe is adapted from Williams-Sonoma, "Essentials of Baking".  I never thought that baking biscotti is so simple.  This recipe yields 24 crisp cookies and they are such perfect gifts to friends.  


2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup roasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
3.  In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar.  Beat on medium speed until light in colour and thick.
4.  Beat in the melted butter, orange zest, and vanilla and almond extracts on low speed until blended.
5.  Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.  
6.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the almonds and cranberries.  The dough will be soft and sticky.
7.  Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and form into logs of 10 inches long, spacing them 3 inches apart.  Press the logs gently to make them about 3 inches wide.  
8.  Bake the logs until they are crisp and golden, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.  Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 10 mins.
9.  Transfer the logs to a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, cut each log crosswise on the diagonal into slices 3/4 inch thick.  
10. Arrange the slices, cut side down and at least 1/2 inch apart, on the baking sheet.
11. Return to oven and bake until the cookies are crisp and brown on the outside, 17-22 mins.
12. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
13. The interior of the cookies become crisp as they cool.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of warm milk with the yeast and let stand until foamy.
2. Stir in honey and egg.  Add in the flour, salt and butter.
3. Place the bowl on mixer, attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed.  
4. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Remove the dough from the bowl.
5. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk.
6. Punch down the dough and put in the prepared loaf pan. Press to flatten it evenly into the pan.
7. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let the loaf rise in a warm, draft-free spot until they double in size.
8. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 375F. 
9. Bake until the loaf is honey brown and sound hollow when tapped on the top, 35-40 minutes. 10. Be careful not to overbake this bread or it will be dry.  Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely on wire rack before slicing.