Category Archives: baking

Sunday morning cookies

fresh out of the oven, my morning tea and handy egg timer

8:17 AM on Sunday morning. First batch of cookies is out of the oven, second is baking. What? you ask. Is this some kind of early morning baking competition? Vying for a spot on Real Housewives of Philadelphia?  Nothing so glamorous. Just a minor lack of attention to detail (a skill that Skadden so relentlessly drilled in my head I thought I would never forget a comma, period or “l” in public).

A bit of background: we’re going sailing today (can you see my heart soar?) and I decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies to bring along. At 4PM yesterday I pulled out my King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking cookbook and started to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, 100% whole grain (just ignore the sugar and butter and they’re healthy, h0nest!). It wasn’t until I was halfway through the recipe that I read “refrigerate overnight.”  Ack! We’re getting picked up at 9:30 this morning. When scouring the book for a no-fail cookie recipe, I failed to notice the nifty little overnight symbol next to the title of the recipe.

For the reading-impaired, the accommodating folks at King Arthur even provide little symbols in their cookbook

Which leaves me, at 8:22AM, scooping cookie dough onto my cookie sheet, transferring to the cooling rack, and, of course, eating cookies for breakfast, while Hans dozes away in the Land of Nod. (I will mention here, for proof of my martyrdom status, that our oven only fits one cookie sheet and I only have one cookie sheet, so this is taking about three times longer than if I had a conventional oven.)

whole grain baking

My mom has very generously lent me her King Arthur Multi-grain baking cookbook.  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/

This weekend I went on a baking frenzy!

  • whole wheat sourdough waffles
  • limpa (swedish bread): whole wheat flour, rye, caraway, anise, fennel seeds, orange juice, orange zest, sourdough starter
  • rhubarb-apple coffeecake

Saturday night starters: sourdough starter, limpa pre-ferment and sourdough waffle starter

final rise

Limpa - it didn't rise very much in the oven but it tasted pretty authentic

15% w.w., 85% white

My sourdough starter is 50% organic whole wheat flour and 50% unfiltered Philly tap water. Hey, it works!

The starter, bubbling away.
I like making bread that is more whole wheat than white, but yesterday I was feeling like a loaf of crispy white bread.  For my standard sourdough loaf I use a King Arthur recipe, http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/extra-tangy-sourdough-bread-recipe

but instead of starting the sponge at night, I start it in the morning, put it in the microwave all day and add my flour at 5 when I get home from work. (note: the microwave is NOT turned on! it’s just a nice warm, draft-free place to let the wild yeasts work their magic.)
The sponge before I added the flour

What did I do differently this time? added as little flour as possible when adding flour to the sponge. I let the Kitchen Aid knead it for about 7 minutes and then nearly pour it into the loaf pan. Really, it’s almost like a batter.  I think this had something to do with the end result: nice, tough crust like you expect on sourdough loaves, but the actual loaf was fluffy and moist. Almost, dare I say it, like a store bought loaf. Not what you expect from sourdough. But it still has that tang.

Pre-baking.


final result.