Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Double Chocolate Cookies - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 45th installment. The recipe is Double Chocolate Cookies.
These cookies are really rich and chocolatey.  They have 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and four ounces of unsweetened - a pound of chocolate in one batch of cookies?!  Some of the chocolate is melted into the dough, and some chopped and thrown in as chunks. They have just enough flour to hold them together...kind of like a chocolate chunk brownie in cookie shape.  You can see the shiny surface in the photo.  It was important not to overbake them - I did overcook one batch, and they turned slightly black on the bottom and got a little dried out.  (Of course we ate them anyway!).

The cookies were easy to make, and I had no problems following the recipe.  I really like the fact that the recipes in this book are clear about when you can hold things in the fridge, and for how long - I baked some of the cookies, and then kept the rest of the dough in the fridge until a few days later when I had more time to bake the rest.  Everyone loved them - we ate them slowly, since they were so rich and dense...they were quite popular with the afterschool snack audience ;-)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpernickel Loaves - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 44th installment. The recipe is Pumpernickel Loaves.
I really liked this recipe and would definitely make it again.  The recipe went on for pages, but it really wasn't that complicated. I was glad it wasn't a multi-day process like many of the other recipes - it was great to start at midday and be done by evening. 

The recipe calls for the final rise before baking to be done in a sling made from a dish towel with holes punched in its corners, plus an S hook. I initially thought I would skip that, but then slowed down and read the suggestion to just tie opposite corners of the towel together, so I did that, and hung the slings on a doorknob.  I'm not sure whether it affected the final result, but it was interesting :-)
The flavor of this bread is very authentic - maybe a result of the combination of chocolate, prunes, coffee and rye flour.  I made the prune lekvar from the book, since I didn't find any prune jam at the store - wow, the leftover has been delicious with yogurt or ricotta cheese ( and why do people dislike prunes?! :-) For the espresso powder, I used some Starbucks instant decaf French roast as well as a little bit of espresso powder.  Also used whole milk yogurt, as I thought that would likely help with the flavor.

The bread has also kept quite well - it's a few days since baking, and still very moist. Good for sandwiches, toast, and with soup!