Friday, October 17, 2008

A Bit of Baking..

I have been doing a bit of baking this week. My friend, Carol, requested Creme Puffs for her birthday; I instead created a creme puff shaped eclair with chocolate creme filling. There were none left for my UMTR meeting so I created the Italian Fruit Tart.

It was easy peasy; the most time consuming portion of the recipe turned out to be slicing the kiwi. I love the flavor of almond, so used almond extract and crushed almonds in the crust. Here's the recipe:

2 C flour
1 C ground almonds
1 C butter
1/2 C whole milk
4 eggs
1 C sugar
2 T almond extract
1 T vanilla
Mix, roll out into crust and place in tart pan. If too 'wet' add more flour while mixing. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes; foil edges if too brown. Let cool and remove from tart pan.
2 C strawberries
2C blueberries
8 kiwi
Slice strawberries in 1/4, kiwi in 1/8.
Mix 1/2 c honey w 1/2 c apricot preserves, a bit of water to thin. Brush a thin layer over tart. Arrange fruit on top; pour and brush over fruit. Let set firm. Best at room temperature.

I brought home over 1/2 of the tart; my family gobbled it down the next day.

Today I'm baking a whole wheat bread with both a poolish and a soaker. Remember, the poolish and soaker are two types of pre-fermentations. The soaker in this recipe is used to soften the coarse oats. I mix 1 cup coarse whole oat flour with 3/4 c water and it sits at room temperature until tomorrow.

The poolish is 1 1/2 c high protein whole wheat flour, 1/4 t instant years and 3/4 c water. This will sit at room temperature for 4 hours, then into the refrigerator until tomorrow when I finish the recipe.

I'm also trying out a few recipes in preparation for the Holidays. I can't believe Thanksgiving is next month! My parents leave for TX right after our Thanksgiving celebration so we celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas with them at this time. It is fast arriving!

Tomorrow I'll be creating Stollen-a fruit holiday bread with a thick band of marzipan in the center along with plump raisins , cranberries, apricots and other candied fruits and almonds. I've never tried this before and am looking forward to it.

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