« Older Entries Subscribe to Latest Posts

31 May 2017

Quick Brioche Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls

Posted by khk. No Comments

Print

Quick Brioche Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls

Sometimes you need a bun fast, and if it's already afternoon, and you are planning on putting some burgers or hot dogs on the grill later that day, there is no time for slow rising dough, something has to be done quickly. I had this problem recently and came up with this "you can make this in a few hours" brioche rolls.

Course Bread
Servings 12
Author khk

Ingredients

Dough

  • 380 g AP flour 90.5%
  • 40 g white whole wheat flour 9.5%
  • 300 ml warm milk (100F) 71.4%
  • 70 g melted butter 16.7%
  • 12 g sugar 2.86%
  • 8 g salt 1.9%
  • 7 g instant yeast 1.67%
  • 1 large egg 11.9%

Topping

  • 1 egg plus 1 tsp milk for egg wash
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Mix all the dough ingredients on low until combined, then for about 7 minutes on medium until the dough comes together. This is a very sticky dough.

  2. Cover the mixing bowl and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm spot (e.g. in the oven with the oven light on), or until doubled in size.

  3. Preheat oven to 425F

  4. Divide the dough into 70g pieces and either shape into a ball, or a short "rope" the length of a hot dog. Place the shaped pieces on parchment paper, cover and let rise for about 30 minutes (or until doubled in size). 

  5. Brush on egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. 

26 Apr 2017

Pretzels

Posted by khk. No Comments

Happy National Pretzel Day! I checked, and Hallmark does not make a card for this important holiday, so all I have is this recipe…

Pretzels in a basket
Print

Pretzels

I used to bake pretzels after boiling them in a baking soda solution, but "real" pretzels are made with food grade lye. You can find my old recipe here: http://www.khk.net/wordpress/2007/07/05/pretzel-baking/

Using lye makes things a bit more complex and a lot more dangerous, but as long as you wear protective gear (latex gloves and goggles) and always put the lye into the cold water (never the other way around!), things should go smoothly. More information about the lye solution is in the notes. 

Servings 12 Pretzels

Ingredients

Pate Fermentée

  • 350 g AP Flour
  • 50 g White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 260 g Water
  • 6 g Salt
  • 1.5 g Instant Yeast

Pretzel Dough

  • 334 g Pate Fermentée (this is half of the amount from above)
  • 485 g AP Flour or Bread Flour
  • 150 g Milk
  • 125 g Water
  • 3.5 g Instant Yeast
  • 10 g Salt
  • 15 g Butter
  • 35 g Sourdough Starter (optional, but if you have it, it's unfed and straight from the fridge)

Instructions

Pate Fermentée

  1. Mix until combined and dough comes off the wall of mixing blown, stretch and fold once, let rise for two hours and store in the fridge over night.

  2. This makes twice the amount of "old dough" that is required for the following recipe, so after it spends a night in the fridge, divide in two, and use one half for the recipe, and store the second half in a freezer bag in the freezer. I usually don't go much longer than four or six weeks, so anything longer than that is an experiment 🙂

Pretzel Dough

  1. Mix all ingredients on low for 5 minutes and on low/medium for 8 minutes. The dough is very stiff and may be too much to handle for your mixer. 

  2. Let dough rise for 60 minutes with a stretch and fold at 30 minutes. 

  3. Divide into 12 pieces, and shape into balls. Let rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Form into pretzels and place on parchment lined sheet pan. Let rest uncovered for 15 minutes in the fridge.

  5. Roll dough into 10” long logs and let rest for a few more minutes before forming 20” long “snake” that tapers at the ends.

  6. Dip pretzels into 4% lye solution (mix 20g lye pearls in 500g cold water until completely dissolved) for 4 seconds, let any remaining lye solution drip off and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. See the notes for more information about using parchment. Sprinkle with pretzel salt.

  7. Bake without stream at 450F for about 20 minutes - or until deep pretzel colored.

Recipe Notes

Here is a bit more about the lye solution: I use "micro beads", which are easier to way and to dilute than "normal" lye. When you buy the stuff, make sure you get "food grade". Here is the source I bought my last batch from: Pure Lye Drain Cleaner - yes, the name sounds horrible, but in the description, it specifies the product as food grade.

When handling this stuff, wear protective gear: Use latex gloves and goggles to protect skin and eyes. I assume that you know what you are doing. The following is just a description of what I do, and should not be understood as instructions to handle a dangerous substance. From this point on, you are on your own. On second thought, do not bake pretzels using lye. It's dangerous and could kill you! If you decide to proceed, it's on your own responsibility.

Whenever you mix a lye solution, always start with cold water and then slowly add the lye to the water and stir until there are no solid parts remaining. Otherwise you may end up with a piece of lye stuck to a pretzel, and that could be a painful experience when you bite into that. Stir until the solution is clear - like water. If you see anything still floating in the solution, keep on stirring. 

I use 500ml cold water and 20g lye in a glass bowl. I then carefully pick up a shaped (but at this time unbaked) pretzel and lower it into the solution with my latex glove protected hands. After about 4 seconds, I take it out, let as much lye as possible drip off, and then place the pretzel carefully on a baking sheet covered with either a silat liner or parchment paper. Some parchment does not like to work with lye covered baked goods: Whatever you put on it may stick to the paper, and you may have to eat some paper in order to enjoy your pretzels. I usually spray the parchment paper with cooking spray to protect it from too much contact with the lye solution.

25 Mar 2017

Apfel Quark Taschen

Posted by khk. No Comments

Quark is a soft fresh cheese popular in Europe. It can be made easily following this recipe by the friendly folks at New England Cheesemaking. This quark is used for both the crust and the filling in the recipe for these “pocket pies”.

Print

Apfel Quark Taschen


Course Dessert
Servings 12
Author Karl Heinz Kremer

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 200 g Quark
  • 180 g AP Flour
  • 20 g White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 200 g Butter cold, cubed
  • 30 g Sugar
  • 6 g Baking powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 squeeze Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste or vanilla extract, or seeds from a vanilla bean

Filling:

  • 2-3 Apples cut into small cubes
  • 30 g Sugar
  • 20 g Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 170 g Quark
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 50 g Corn Starch
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Rum
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste see above
  • Egg wash
  • Powdered sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cut the cold butter into small cubes
  3. Combine all ingredients for the dough in a mixing bowl and mix on low until the dough comes together.
  4. Flour the work bench and roll out the dough into a 4x12" rectangle and fold the long side in twice ("letter fold") to end up with a roughly 4x4" rectangle. Repeat twice. Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 30 minute.
  5. Cut the apples and mix with lemon juice to keep from browning.
  6. Mix the apples, sugar and butter in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until the apples are soft.
  7. Add the corn starch and let boil for a minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
  8. Mix the quark, sugar, eggs, corn starch, rum, lemon zest and juice and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  9. Fold the apples into the quark mix.

  10. Roll the dough out into a roughly 16x24" rectangle (or two 16x12" rectangles) and cut into 12 4x8" rectangles
  11. Divide filling and place on one half of each 4x8" piece of dough, then fold over the other half and crimp the edges with a fork.
  12. Brush with egg wash

  13. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes (or until golden brown)

  14. Dust with powdered sugar and serve

Tags: , ,

7 Mar 2017

Every Day Bread

Posted by khk. No Comments

This is my every day bread – or to be more accurate, one version of it. I play around with the recipe on a weekly basis, add things, remove things and adjust the timing or the process a little here and there. You can make this without the two soakers and have a pretty good bread, but the flakes, grains and seeds add something interesting to the finished bread. This all goes back to a German TV program I watched a while ago about Günther Weber and his wood fired bakery at the Lorettohof in Zwiefalten, Germany. The video showed a bread based on two different sourdoughs: Rye and wheat. I took that as inspiration and started to experiment. First with some additional commercial yeast, but eventually relying just on the lifting power of natural sourdough.

There is a book (in German) by Günther Weber with a a number of delicious recipes from his bakery: Gut Brot Will Weile Haben.

If you are not too fond of the sourness of sourdough bread, you can substitute the wheat sourdough part with a wheat preferment (225g white whole wheat, 225g water, 1/8 tsp yeast), and then add 3g minus 1/8 tsp yeast to the final dough. The rye sourdough is very mild and not very sour.

Here area few “family pictures” from a few years of experimenting with this recipe:

This recipe assumes you are familiar with sourdough maintenance, and how to bake bread in a home oven with stream. If you need any pointers, take a look at e.g. Ken Forkish’s book “Flour Water Salt Yeast”.

Print

Every Day Bread

Course Bread
Servings 3 loafs
Author Karl Heinz Kremer

Ingredients

Rye Sourdough

  • 50 g active rye starter
  • 200 g Stone ground whole rye flour
  • 200 g Water

Wheat Sourdough

  • 50 g active wheat starter
  • 200 g White whole wheat flour
  • 200 g Water

Grain Soaker

  • 100 g Grain cereal
  • 50 g Rolled Kammut flakes
  • 200 g Boiling water
  • 1 g Salt

Sunflower Seed Soaker

  • 100 g Sunflower seeds
  • 200 g Boiling water
  • 1 g Salt

Final Dough

  • 450 g Rye sourdough
  • 450 g Wheat sourdough
  • 351 g Grain soaker
  • 301 g Sunflower seed soaker
  • 750 g AP flour
  • 340 g Water
  • 22 g Salt

Instructions

Sourdough Starter and Soakers

  1. Prepare all four sourdoughs and soakers the evening before you want to bake (e.g. 10pm for picking things up again at 9am).

  2. On the next morning, check for standing water in the two soakers, if there is any, reserve and use as part of the water for the final dough.

Final Dough

  1. Add all ingredients to bowl of stand mixer and mix for three minutes on low and one minute on medium. Move the dough from the mixing bowl to a large bowl that allows you to fold the dough. Stretch and fold the dough (I do 20 s&f's) three to four times in five minute intervals.
  2. Cover and let the dough rise in the bowl for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in size.
  3. Dump the dough on a lightly flowered surface and divide into two or three parts and shape into loafs or boules. When baking three breads, each will be about 750g.
  4. Preheat oven to 500F.
  5. Let the shaped loafs/boules proof for about one hour. Bake with steam for 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into a loaf. These breads freeze well: I usually keep half a loaf

Disclaimer: All links to products on this page will use my Amazon affiliate ID. This is how I finance running this site.

21 Nov 2016

Book Review: How “Classic” or “German” is Luisa Weiss’ “Classic German Baking”?

Posted by khk. 3 Comments

I know a thing or two about baking… Actually, I know a thing or two about German baking…

I had never heard of Luisa Weiss before I read about her new baking book “Classic German Baking” from David Lebovitz, I was intrigued. I am always looking for authentic German recipes.

Book cover \

I usually refer to the “Bayerisches Kochbuch” when I am looking for e.g. recipes for Christmas cookies, and online resources for bread recipes. I looked up Luisa Weiss’ online presence at The Wednesday Chef. The information posted on her blog showed me that she actually might know about German baking as well, so I ordered the book.

As I always do with a new cookbook – or in this case a baking book – is to look up a recipe I am very familiar with and then compare what the new resource suggests with my experience. Luisa’s book passed this test with flying colors. The recipes I looked at were “Versunkener Apfelkuchen” (I posted about my recipe a while ago: Apfelkuchen) and Brezeln. In addition to that, I also verified that the instructions to make Quark were correct.

Both these recipes were spot on, so I decided to test a couple of the recipes I was not familiar with.

The first recipe I tried was the “Mandelhoernchen” (or Chocolate-Dipped Almond Crescends). This recipe only has a handful of ingredients, and I was a bit surprised about it’s simplicity. However, once done, the Mandelhoernchen were absolutely delicious. There was one point during the process when I thought that the sticky mess I had one my hands (literally) would never end up looking anything like the picture in the book, but it all came together. I used commercial almond paste, but there is a recipe in the book that describes how to make almond paste from scratch.

IMG 4045

After looking through the remaining recipes in the book, I found one that I always wanted to try: Baumkuchen – this is something that usually requires some gadget, so that the cake can be baked on a spit. And be assured, I spent enough time online to come up with a plan for just such a machine… There is however a simpler – but not quite as impressive – approach, and that is what the recipe in the book describes. I had never attempted this before, so I just followed the recipe and ended up with not just a delicious cake, but something that looks spectacular when cut into it.

IMG 4048

As my third recipe, I selected one from the appendix, in which Luisa describes how to make certain ingredients that may not be available as readily in the US than they would be in Germany. I picked the almond paste, that goes into the Mandelhoernchen. I followed the recipe, and at the end, I did actually have almond paste, but I guess I may have added a bit too much water: When I used my own paste in my second attempt to make Mandelhoernchen, they did not hold their shape as good as in my first attempt: They spread out a bit, and looked rather flat. I do not blame the book for this, I think I just was not patient enough to wait until the almond paste came together on it’s own. There is a range given for water to add, and I ended up with a little more than the recipe asked for.

The recipes are all for true authentic German baked goods, and based on my review and my tests, I can say that they produce excellent results.

However, there are a few things that could have been done a bit better in the book:

My biggest gripe is about the pictures – or the lack thereof – in the book. Only a few recipes actually have pictures of the finished product associated with them. Sure, I can google for the names of the different baked goods, and can find pictures online, but part of the fun of browsing through a cook/baking book is to look at the pictures. And, oftentimes it helps to know what the end product is supposed to look like. #luisawherearethepictures

For critical measurements, weights are expressed in metric units in addition to volumetric measurements. I wish this would have been done for every ingredient. In most cases, this is not a big deal, but when we are talking about the lye solution for making pretzels (or Brezeln as they are called in the book), having a more accurate recipe for mixing lye and water would not have hurt. For those who want to know: This is usually done with a 4% solution of lye in water. To create that 4% solution, 40g of lye is added to 1000g (or one liter) of water, or 20g of lye is added to 500g (or half a liter) of water.

So, at the end, this is a great resource for anybody who wants to bring some authentic German recipes into their baking.

Full disclosure: The two links to books on this page are using my Amazon.com associate account, which means that I will earn a few cents when you order via these links. Here are the links again:

20 Nov 2016

Halcyon Yarn is 45 – And Is Letting Us Join the Birthday Fun

Posted by khk. No Comments

And now for something completely different…

I don’t knit as much as I used to – embarrassingly enough, my current project is a sock that I started back in 2009 – but I do appreciate a well stocked yarn store. On a recent trip to Main, I had the chance to visit Halcyon’s store. For anybody who enjoys some high quality fibers (and I am not talking Metamucil here), this is quite an experience (forget WEBS, Halcyon is the place to be).

Close-up of fabric on a loom

I just learned that they are celebrating their 45’s birthday, and having a giveaway for that occasion. If you want to win a $450 shopping trip at their store, check out the Halcyon Yarn’s 45th Sweepstakes page: https://gleam.io/cwiwa/45th-anniversary-give-away

1 Aug 2015

How to Disable Canon’s ImageBrowser EX?

Posted by khk. 1 Comment

I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to manage and edit my images. I also teach a class at our local Community Darkroom, and students ask me all sorts of photography related software questions. For that reason, I also have the Canon software that came with my camera installed on my Mac. With the actual Canon DPP software, I also got the ImageBrowser EX installed, which pops up every time I either connect the camera or insert a memory card from a camera. I use Lightroom to copy the image files from the camera or the memory card to my computer, so I always have to exit the ImageBrowser in order to silence it – until the next time it thinks I need it’s help…

ImageBrowser EX

Looking at this dialog (and the menus), it seems that the “Preferences” function may be the key to configuring when this application gets launched. But when we take a look at the Preferences dialog, there is unfortunately nothing that suggests that we can even disable this tool:

2015 08 01 14 46 33

The key is a bit more hidden and obscure: We need to start the Mac OS X Image Capture application when a memory card is inserted, or the camera is connected:

2015 08 01 14 49 21

It’s not obvious how to disable the launching of an application when an image source is detected, so here is the trick: Expand the camera options via the button in the lower left corner of the application window. I’ve marked the button with a red border. This will display the “Connecting this camera opens” dialog:

2015 08 01 14 49 22

And now, finally, we can select to not open an application when the camera is connected:

2015 08 01 14 49 22 01

In order to restore the old behavior, you will have to select the “Other” option and then navigate to the application file, which you can find as

/Applications/Canon Utilities/CameraWindow/CameraWindow.app

I hope this tip helps somebody to figure out how to get rid of this dialog a bit quicker. It took me about half a year to finally research how it’s done 🙂

20 Oct 2014

Fixing Yosemite/iOS8 Handoff

Posted by khk. 1 Comment

I am usually quick to admit “with Apple products, it just works…”. That was not the case when it came to the new “Continuity” feature in Yosemite/iOS8. As in the past, I expected things to just work, and when it did not, I put a whole bunch of Apple devices in front of me and ran a number of tests. I used a late 2013 model of a MacBook Pro with Retina Display using Yosemite, an iPhone 6 using iOS 8, an iPhone 5 using iOS 8.1b2, and an iPad Mini running iOS 8.

The interesting thing was that the Continuity feature seemed to work without a problem between the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, but the two newer devices just would not want to play.

After some googling, I found some indication that logging out of iCloud on the MacBook, rebooting and then logging in again should give the Continuity feature the necessary kick to start working. This did not work on my iPhone 6, but now the MacBook Pro “knew” about what was going on on the iPhone 5 and the iPad. Previous experience with networking problems on iOS devices suggested to just “Reset Network Settings” on the device (select “Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings”).

After the device reset, I started up the browser on the iPhone 6, and the Handoff icon showed up immediately on my MacBook Pro. Yay!

2014 10 20 10 53 47

9 Oct 2014

Worldwide Photo Walk 2014

Posted by khk. No Comments

The 7th Worldwide Photo Walk 2014 will happen in three days: On Saturday, October 11 2014. I will again lead a walk in Rochester, NY. The details can be found on “my” poster (click on the image to download the PDF version):

Worldwide Photo Walk 2014 Rochester, NY

This year, we will be walking at Mount Hope Cemetery. All the details can be found at my walk page, which is also where you can sign up for the walk. There are still plenty of spots available: http://kelbyone.com/photowalk/walk/rochester-ny-united-states-mount-hope-cemetery/

If you don’t have plans yet for Saturday, you have a camera and you like to take pictures, join us!

17 Jan 2013

New Posts Over at my Business Site

Posted by khk. No Comments

Many of you come to this site because of the Adobe Acrobat and PDF related posts. I’ve moved all that to my business site at http://www.khkonsulting.com a while ago, but Google still likes to point searchers here. If you are not keeping up with what’s going on over there, here is some information about my recent posts:

Validating Field Content

A tutorial to validate field content with custom JavaScript validation scripts. 

The Trouble With the XREF Table

Information about how a corrupt XREF table will mess up a PDF file and how to debug XREF table problems. 

The End is Here – of ADM that is

Adobe has ended support for ADM (the Adobe Dialog Manager)  in Acrobat plug-ins. I’ve warned about this before, but now it actually happened.