New URL

28 Jul

Hello again!  I’m here to let you all know my new URL is:

http://www.theknead4speed.com/

Notice

28 Jul

Hi, everyone!  I apologize for being MIA over the past couple of days – I’ve been in the process of moving this site to a new URL.  I hope you all can bear with me through this move.

Soon, once I’ve worked out all the kinks, I’ll post a link to the new URL.

A Hybrid Breakfast Vehicle Ideal for Transporting Maple Syrup

25 Jul

It’s a lazy Sunday morning and ingredients are strewn about before you.  At your very disposal are the means with which you could make any perfectly carbolicious breakfast.  But…but…which carbolicious breakfast?  Suddenly your mind begins to swirl with recipe after recipe.  What to make?!  There are so many options that it’s tearing you to pieces.  A life decision couldn’t get much harder.

But…

Wait!

It comes to you on the brink of frustration.  On the verge of tearing your hair out and resorting to cold cereal.  On the very cusp of genius.

It must’ve been what Einstein felt like upon developing his theory of relativity.

And this morning, I was the Einstein of breakfast.

(Those brilliant Belgians are probably cursing the heavens for my bastardization of their waffle, but if they’re truly brilliant, they’ll see the wisdom in this…)

Cinnamon French Toast Belgian Waffle

Waffle:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Saco cultured buttermilk blend (or 1/2 cup buttermilk)
  • 1/2 cup water (omit if using buttermilk)
  • 2 Tablespoons applesauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Stevia (or sugar)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Egg Dip*:

  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Stevia (or sugar)
  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In one bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, water (or buttermilk), and applesauce until well mixed.  In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, Stevia (or sugar), salt, cultured buttermilk (if not using buttermilk), and cinnamon.  Whisk together the dry and wet ingredients.
  3. Spray heated waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour batter into waffle iron, close, flip, and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Once waffle is cooked, separate it into 4 sections.  Then place them on a aluminum-foil-lined (or greased) pan and broil them in the oven or toaster oven at 450 degrees F for about 1.5 minutes on each side, or until toasted.  Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.
  5. If you unplugged or turned off your waffle iron, preheat it again.
  6. Next, to prepare the egg mixture, measure flour and salt into a mixing bowl.  Whisk in the eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and Stevia until well incorporated.
  7. Spray waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray.  With the waffle iron open, dunk each of the four sections into the egg mixture.  The waffles should absorb some of the liquid, and leave pools of egg mixture in waffle’s wells.  Quickly place each section back into waffle iron.
  8. Shut waffle iron and cook for about 1.5-2 minutes or until done.  While it’s cooking, flip waffle iron 180 degrees occasionally.
  9. Remove waffle sections from waffle maker and plate.  Drizzle with maple syrup and/or sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. 

*Note: I had plenty of left-over egg mixture, probably about 3 waffles’ worth.  The waffle recipe above yields 1 Belgian waffle.

The Most Fantastically Ginormous Cinnamon Roll Ever

23 Jul

Are you the type that likes to make things more complicated than they need to be?

I sure am.  And proud of it.

So, while pondering what to bake my dear grandmother for her 83rd birthday, regular ol’ cinnamon rolls just simply wouldn’t cut it.  No, sir.  I had to opt for the more intricate and impressive version that hails from Azerbaijan (no, I did not make that up; that’s a real country) in the Middle East: Noon Rogani.

But I couldn’t stop there.  Its giant cinnamon roll resemblance had me itching for a glaze.  And I couldn’t resist scratching that itch, so glaze it I did.  Vanilla glaze, to be exact. 

And it officially blows Cinnabon out of the water.

Noon Rogani (AKA “The Cinnamon Roll Mothership”)

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Filling/Topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine dry active yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl.  Let sit for 8-10 minutes (it should have bubbles in it).
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and oil.  Add yeast mixture once its ready.
  3. Use mixer to combine ingredients.  It may be a little dry; add a little water as needed.
  4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface.  Knead well for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Let rise until puffy, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. While it’s rising, combine cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Gently deflate and shape dough into a square pillow.  Roll the dough into a large rectangle of 1/8-inch thickness, with the longest side being about 2 feet long.
  7. Using a frosting knife, spread softened butter evenly across dough rectangle, leaving about an inch of one of the longer sides unbuttered.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly across buttered dough.
  8. Starting at longer buttered side, begin to roll up dough as you would a jelly roll.  Pinch seam well.
  9. Roll rope until it’s about 5 feet long (mine reached 3.75 feet).  Be sure to press along length of the dough to remove any air pockets that may form.  It is normal for a few small tears to develop in the outer layer of the dough.
  10. Loosely twist entire strand of dough as if you were wringing a towel.
  11. On a greased baking sheet or circular baking pan, coil rope into round spiral.  Don’t wrap too tightly, as there needs to be some room for it to rise and expand.  Tuck the end of rope under.
  12. With a frosting knife, spread remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter evenly onto coiled circle of dough.
  13. Set aside, covered, to rise until puffy for about 40-45 minutes.  When only 5 minutes are left, begin to preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  14. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until deeply golden brown.  Cool completely on a rack before glazing.
  15. Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into a Ziploc bag and cut a small piece from one corner.  Drizzle over bread. 

EPIC…uh, WIN!

20 Jul

EPIC FAIL.

Pronunciation: \ˈe-pik ˈfāl\

Function: noun

Date: 21st century

1 : Unsuccessfulness of massive and sometimes catastrophic proportions.  <As it turns out, the weapons of mass destruction never existed.  EPIC FAIL.>

2 : The focus of many demotivational posters.  <Octo-Mom: EPIC FAIL.>

3 : What I thought this recipe was going to be as I attempted to knead the dough flour.  <The fate of the soft pretzels grew increasingly bleak by the knead.  EPIC FAIL.>

The worst of it is, this recipe was intended to live up to my very blog title: The Knead for Speed.  And yet the dough was dryer than the Sahara Desert!  Shame on me for trying to modify a tried-and-true recipe with whole wheat flour.  Shame on me for dishonoring all that is an Auntie Anne’s pretzel. 

Or not?

Miraculously, adding water (somewhere between 2 and 4 Tablespoons) helped save this recipe.  I was still doubtful as I pitifully watched my ball of dough rise for an hour.  It did grow some – a fact which gave me the hope and strength to continue on in my dough-y journey.  Childhood echoed in my brain as I reminded myself to not judge a book by its cover.  Who knows, it could still turn out to be delicious, right? 

My skepticism was understandably great as I ripped off a piece to consume.  I was tentatively delighted at the moistness of the pretzel’s interior.  And as I popped it onto my tongue, bracing for the worst, each tastebud began to deliver an unexpected chemical message to my brain.  Is that…deliciousness I detect?  Deliciousness?! 

This recipe, my friends, turned out to be an EPIC WIN. 

For going from a seemingly EPIC FAIL to something wonderfully delectable and full of garlic flavor is, indeed, something deserving of the title EPIC. 

EPIC WIN Garlic Soft Pretzels*

Adapted from Sugar Laws

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Stevia (or sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 cup hot water (as hot as your tap gets, or heat water over stove)
  • sea salt (optional)
  • cooking spray
  1. Dissolve yeast into water with a pinch of sugar, let stand 10 minutes.  The mixture should become creamy colored.  
  2. Mix the yeast mixture with flour, Stevia, salt, garlic powder, and canola oil.  Knead for 5 minutes.  As you knead, add 2 Tablespoons of water in small increments to the dough.  Add more water as needed. 
  3. Once the desired consistency is reached, let dough rise in a greased bowl for approximately 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Once dough has risen, pinch off a handful and roll it out into a long strand. Set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough, about 5 times.
  6. Once all the strands are rolled out, pick up the first one and stretch it out again (the gluten will have relaxed and it should stretch further now). Twist strand into pretzel shape and place pretzel on greased baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining strands.
  7. Dissolve baking soda into hot water and stir until dissolved. Quickly dip each rolled pretzel into the mixture and return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle all the pretzels with sea salt if you’d like. Spray each pretzel quickly with cooking spray.  Bake for about 8 minutes, or until pretzels have browned slightly. 

*Note: So deliciously garlic-y, they’re good for keeping away vampires and the like - including but not limited to Edward Cullen.

Pot-unlucks

17 Jul

It is my contention that “potlucks” should be renamed to “pot-unlucks.”  Why?  Because I’m a perfectionist, that’s why.  And I spend more time than I want to admit pouring over recipe books because secretly, I want to have that *one* recipe over which everyone ogles… 

…that *one* recipe that has relative after relative coming to ask how you made it.  That *one* recipe you overhear (or eavesdrop) Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben praising at the next table.  That *one* recipe that actually looks delectable despite the meager presentation provided by a styrofoam plate.  That *one* recipe that doesn’t ooze and mix disgustingly with your adjacent mashed potatoes.  That *one* recipe that lives up to even Grandma’s standards.  And I know, ladies and gents, you all secretly want to have that *one* too.

Which is why I’m here to announce…

This.

Is.

The.

*One.*

Marbled Cheesecake with Cocoa Crumb Crust

From Great American Brand Name Baking, page 150

I apologize for blowing your mind, but it tastes even better than it looks.

Belgian Brilliance!

15 Jul

From the moment of their christening, foods carry with them the trademarks of their origins.  Just like parents name their children after older relatives, or tack on “Junior” to the father’s name, cooking perpetuates heritage by recreating the very food of our ancestors.  It is one of the oldest traditions we have. 

Like any tradition, some recipes are better than others, just as Halloween is arguably better than President’s Day.  In the world of food, Belgian waffles are Halloween.  They’re simply better!

It is for this reason I dedicate this post to genius Belgians everywhere.  Because really, what would life be like today without Belgian waffles?  No place I’d want to live, that’s for sure. 

(And I honestly can’t fathom how I’ve survived thus far without owning a Belgian waffle maker.  Courtesy of Target, however, I now have one.  I ripped the packaging off that sucker as soon as I got home and couldn’t whip up a waffle quickly enough!)

Spiced Vanilla Buttermilk Belgian Waffle for One

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Stevia (or sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sacco cultured buttermilk blend (or 1/4 cup buttermilk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon water (reduce to just 1 Tablespoon if using regular buttermilk)
  • 2 Tablespoons Egg Beaters
  • 1 Tablespoon all natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cooking spray 
  1. Preheat 1.5″ thick Belgian waffle maker (I used this one; also shown on right sidebar).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl.  Add wet ingredients and vigorously whisk just until moistened.  Be careful to not overmix.
  3. Grease waffle maker with cooking spray. 
  4. Pour batter into waffle maker.  Smooth batter to all edges, close the top, and flip iron 180 degrees.
  5. Wait at least 2 minutes to reopen waffle maker.  Cook however long it takes to reach desired crispness.

These waffles are oh-so-fluffy with just the right amounts of vanilla and spice.  I must warn you, though: They’re quite addictive.

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