Bake the Bag

Recently I received an email from King Arthur Flour about a challenge they were promoting called Bake the Bag. The challenge lasts for 9 weeks and the object is to bake an entire bag of their White Whole Wheat Flour over a 9 week period. Of course I decided to accept the challenge!

Best Banana Nut Bread ever!

First up was a recipe for Banana Nut Bread which admittedly is not my favorite food item on the planet but since I needed some ripe bananas, I purchased those and moved to the 2nd week challenge of Chocolate Chip Cookies, a recipe more to my liking. It wasn’t a complicated recipe and the end result was not as good as anticipated. The cook time was off for me even though my oven temp is accurate according to an oven thermometer. So this recipe was a bust for me and all recipes that receive that rating travel promptly to the trash can. I’ll stick to the Toll House recipe on the package of Nestle’s chocolate chips in the future.

The bananas finally ripened enough and as I type this, I can smell the aroma wafting from my kitchen. This recipe had an option of adding chocolate chips or butterscotch chips to the batter. Well, I had peanut butter chips and decided that peanut butter and banana is a favorite food group so in they went.

Delicious, delicious, delicious!!! And this from a person who really doesn’t like banana nut bread.

Next up were Brownies and they certainly didn’t disappoint. From scratch, dark chocolate fudgy goodness that was definitely worthy of being a keeper recipe.

Last Monday I cranked out the weekly challenge of Sticky Buns! And they were extremely good. The only change I would make next time would be to use a brioche or sweet dough using bread flour rather than the white whole wheat flour.

I am enjoying the weekly challenges in “Bake the Bag”. Check it out on the King Arthur Flour web site  https://www.kingarthurflour.com/bake-the-bag/  if you might be interested. Next up…Carrot Cake! My favorite!!!

 

Another Go at Cinnamon Rolls

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The perfect cinnamon roll – sweet dough, soft crumb, adequate amounts of butter, brown sugar and that special cinnamon

No bread making for the past 3 days because I was working. I was frustrated by this because I was anxious to get back into my kitchen to experiment some more! Baking my way through this cookbook has turned into a passion for me, but I am not sure if my physician will agree with my choice of extracurricular activities.

I know I have the bread baking bug because I went to the King Arthur Flour Website and ordered more flour, yeast, storage bags, a Harvest Grain Seed mixture and some Vietnamese cinnamon. All of this arrived yesterday evening, so this morning I set about making my second batch of cinnamon rolls. I followed the Tassajara cinnamon roll instructions but was heavy-handed with the new cinnamon I just received. I was determined that this effort would be successful, not slightly overcooked like the first batch. I lowered the oven temperature to 350 degrees instead of the book recommended 375 and baked them for only 15 minutes. I checked them at 15 minutes and decided they were ready so I yanked them from the ovens thinking they would probably continue to cook a little once removed. I was right!!! This batch is melt in your mouth scrumptious. I know this because of course I had to taste test one, then two, then, just for good measure, three. I will give some of these away to friends and take a few to Burton tomorrow when I head out to visit my sister again.

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While the cinnamon roll dough was proofing and rising, I started another batch of Tassajara yeast bread. To this batch I added one cup of the King Arthur Harvest Grain mixture and used more whole wheat flour.

First step:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2+ Tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Harvest Grain Mixture
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour – Mix together and let rise for 50-60 minutes

Second step:

  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Fold ingredients into Sponge mixture, Dough will be stiff and heavy. Turn out of bowl onto floured surface and begin kneading the dough ball. The dough will eventually be smooth and somewhat shiny. Place into lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise for 50-60 minutes. It will double in size. Punch down with fist about 20 times, cover and allow to rise again for 40-50 minutes.
  • Preheat oven while shaping dough into loaves. Let rise for 20 minutes or so and then bake.

The first finishing yielded a very nice springy interesting dough chock full of different grains throughout. I also added 1 cup of stone ground cornmeal in place of one of the cups of flour. Hope springs eternal that this batch will rise appropriately and give me a couple of loaves to share with family and friends.

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These loaves of bread turned out spectacular. Great rise, excellent crust and a nice chewy, moist inner crumb. OMG bread baking is sooooo satisfying!!!

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I am ready to move on to another recipe in the Tassajara Bread book now. And…that bread pudding is still waiting to be made! And Pizza crust!!!

Happy Baking!!!