TA’s Sugar Bowl Cinnamon Buns

This is a Cinnamon Bun recipe created by Travis Anderson, as a adapted from the Sugar Bowl here in Edmonton. The Sugar Bowl is known for their great cinnamon buns, and recently “released” their secret recipe. That being said, after following the instructions exactly, I couldn’t help but notice my results were nothing like there own. Anyway, I think Travis has cracked the code and come up with his own tweaks the work quite well.

Modifications to the Recipe:
Use 1440 Grams of flour
3 cups of Milk at room temperature instead of Water
3/4 TBS of salt
3 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 TBS of instant yeast
1/2 melted butter

Steps:
Mix up the wet ingredients add 1 tbs white sugar and the yeast
leave for like 5 mins
Combine flour and salt in another bowl
Add the wet stuff and mix until integrated.
Add a bit of water if necessary, knead until a fairly firm dough forms. You may need to knead, let it relax, knead again. Let bulk fermentation go for like a half hour or so.
Mix 3/4 cup cinnamon with 1 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Melt about 1/4 cup of butter and spread it in the bottom of the two pans you will use. Sprinkle the crap out of them with the cin/sugar mix.
Divide the dough and roll out like baguettes into long ropes. Look it up on you tube if you need advice on baguette rolling.
Take room temperature butter and smear on the ropes before rolling in more cinnamon mix. Tie into knots and place in the pan. Let rise for an hour and then retard the dough overnight in the fridge.
Take out in the morning and while the oven pre-heats, melt butter and brush the tops of the buns. Sprinkle more cinimix on top and bake.

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey everyone,

My name is Shelbi and I’m a full time student at the University of Calgary. A couple of months ago, one of my roommates began making green smoothies. For those of you who are unaware of what a green smoothie is, allow me. It is an ugly concoction of leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale mixed with fruits and other healthy additives such as chia seeds. At first I was disgusted with them  but after she made me try one of hers, I soon jumped on the green smoothie train. This is what has inspired me to make healthier choices when it comes to the food I put into my body.

So far it has been going good. Aside from the occasional cheat meal (couldn’t resist Peter’s Drive In last weekend with the roommates,) I’ve been eating a good amount of fresh, nutrient rich foods.

However, this past week I had a massssssive craving for cookies. I turned to the internet in search of a semi-healthy cookie and found this: whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

I made a few changes to the recipe and when I make them again I may tweak some more.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Roger’s porridge oats (has oats, oat bran, wheat bran and flaxseed)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup applesauce (I just bought an jar of organic applesauce for babies)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • A little over 2/3 cup brown sugar (packed tightly)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • A little under 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until it’s fluffy. Mix the applesauce, sugars, eggs and vanilla extract in. Once these ingredients are mixed, add the dry ingedients a bit at a time.
  4. Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls (roughly a tablespoon) of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Makes about 32 cookies

whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

As soon as they came out of the oven, my roommates were all over them like white on rice and they loved them! Not bad for semi-healthy cookies.

Enjoy!

-Shelbs

Poppy Seed Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This morning I baked two loaves of Cinnamon Swirl Bread which turned out awesome and tasted even better. For those of you who aren’t aware, this stuff has characteristics of bread mixed with the sugary goodness of a cinnamon bun, making it tough to go wrong. During my previous attempt I used a recipe that worked alright but was drier than I would have preferred. This time I found a new recipe that worked much better. I recently picked up a big container of poppy seeds from the Italian Center with the goal of incorporating it into more of the baking I do. Where I’m from in Medicine Hat, you can often purchase Poppy Seed bread from the local Hutterites which tastes amazing. That memory was my inspiration for giving this a go. The recipe is super easy and is a great confidence booster for getting more creative with your baking.

The finished product.

Anyways, the ingredients are pretty standard:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (.25 ounce == 1.5 tsp ) envelope active dry yeast
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
melted butter for brushing
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional:
1/2 cup of poppy seeds

You could probably add raisins as well, although I’m not a huge fan.

Kneading

After experimenting a great deal with Tartine bread making I’ve adapted their final shaping technique for kneading purposes. It not only works the dough to increase gluten development, but aerates it as well making the dough nice and fluffy. Anyway, once you’ve thoroughly mixed your bread dough in step 1, you’ll have the need to knead. How I do it:

-Press down the dough into a thick pancake, or square, like shape

-Grab the 1/3 of dough nearest you, stretch it towards yourself and fold over the middle 1/3 of the dough

-Grab the left 1/3 of the dough, stretch away from the loaf, and then fold over the middle 1/3 so only the right 1/3 is uncovered

-Repeat with the right 1/3

-Finally, repeat with the “top”(furthest 1/3 of the dough)

-You should now have a nice “package”, flip the loaf over so that it looks like a round ball, and press down into the same shape you began with

Repeat this until the dough becomes really solid and hard to stretch. I think I repeated this process about  4 – 5 times before it seemed really good.

The “Filling”

Instead of brushing the melted butter over the rectangles you’ve made and then sprinkling with brown sugar, I left the melted butter in a measuring cup and continued adding brown sugar to it until it was a nice thick paste. Once you have that, you can then add in the cinnamon, mixing and tasting until you have the right combination you desire. Finally you can add your poppy seed to the mixture so that the bread innards can all be applied in one shot. I found this a much more consistent way of making sure that it gets distributed properly. Furthermore since it was in more of a liquid form, the bread seemed to absorb a lot more of the flavor. Once you’ve got that, then its as simple as spreading your mixture evenly like a spread over your two loaves.

Directions

  1. Place flour, white sugar, salt, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer. In a bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter, warm milk, and vanilla extract; pour into the flour mixture. Using dough hook attachment, mix on low until the flour is moistened and a dough forms, then increase speed to medium, and continue kneading until smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Place dough into a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Punch down dough, turn out onto a floured work surface, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 1/3 inch thick rectangle. Brush each square with melted butter. Mix together cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the two rectangles.
  4. Roll each firmly into a log, pinch the ends closed, and tuck them underneath. Place each into a greased, glass loaf pan. Cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter(This adds a bunch of flavor, don’t skip), then bake in preheated oven until loaves are golden brown, and sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes.

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Tartine Sourdough Bread

Well, after about 3 weeks of prepping our starter my roommate and I successfully cranked out our first 2 loaves of Tartine bread. The instructions that we followed in the book were pretty straight forward and as a novice bread baker I can say I learned a lot about how to create great dough using this book’s methods.

Also, we noticed that the second batch of loaves we were making benefited from the rise in temperature in the kitchen from running the oven while we were baking our first 2 loaves. During the day the kitchen was about 70 degrees and while baking it was near 80 degrees or so. Moral of the story, bake more delicious things during the first hour of your initial rise to kill time and help your bread along.

Here are some photos starting from the leaven state, to the first few turns, to shaping, and then all the way to the final product. All in all it took about an hour of reading, turning, and shaping from start to finish for two loaves although I doubt the time would go up much more to do four at a time. If you want to eat bread tomorrow you’d need the evening to prep you leaven followed by about 9 – 10 hours of time the next day for making the actual bread. 5 hours or so with about 30 minute intervals of turning, shaping, and prepping plus about 4 hours for the final rise and then an additional hour for pre-heating and baking. And then about 5 minutes for eating it all.

I highly recommend getting one of these bad boys, which is what I used repeatedly. It just makes life easier.

Oh, and finally, if you decide to use bread clothes like we did for the final rise, make sure you flour the crap out of them. I didn’t and we lost a bit of our dough/had to make some repairs to the loaves as they were both stuck to the towels when it came time to get them in the dutch oven. Probably going to go without protection next time as the dough by the end is easy to peel away from the bowl. Also, to provide moisture we heated a cookie sheet in the oven while we baked for about 25 minutes with the dutch oven lid on, then when we removed it to brown the crust for about another 25 minutes we poured water onto the sheet instantly creating steam. Not rocket science, but that may be a useful tip for a complete nOOb. Also, times are subjective, and differ depending on the oven, humidity, dough, etc, I take no responsibility if you burn the crap out of it.

The Pursuit of Bread Making(aka Happiness)

I’ve lately been intrigued by both my co-workers’ and training buddies’ talk of bread making and have decided to give it a shot. I love bread, its even above Cheese, Beer, Coffee, and Balsamic Vinegar on my list of foodly obsessions. I normally burn through about 2-3 loaves a week of French bread alone with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil and figure that I could probably redirect the weekly cost into a steady stream of baking ingredients and great general satisfaction.

I was first intrigued with bread making over a year ago when I been making my own pizza doughs as they are much cheaper and tastier than pre bought crusts, and provide the satisfaction of making them from scratch. While this is fine, I can only handle making pizzas every so often. I have been using Peter Reinhart’s Neo-Neopolitan Pizza Dough recipe which  has served me really well so far although I am sure that there are many things I am doing incorrectly. I realized today that the version I had been using all this time was not the authentic version and called for no sugar, which I am assuming would have a large impact on how the dough turns out. Once I make it through these last 4 crusts I’ve made I’ll have to give it another shot with  the added sugar. Anyways, if you are interested in making dough from scratch pizza doughs have been fairly easy to make and quite rewarding. My only suggestions would be to invest in a pizza stone for the oven, and also corn meal to help make sliding your pizzas on and off the stone easier. On the topic of Peter Reinhart, I just finished watching his TED talk on bread making which I really enjoyed. It examined both a bit of the food chemistry behind the baking process and also the importance of bread from a philosophical/cultural point of view. I’ve linked the video below.

Anyways, to support my recipe book collecting/Amazon purchasing addictions I’ve ordered Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking and a dough scraper to make life easier. The book was highly recommended and has an introduction that speaks about the basic techniques you’ll need to get started with bread making as well as featuring great recipes, or at least that’s what the internet is telling me. Once my gear arrives and as I learn more tips and tricks and begin cranking out loaves and I’ll probably throw pictures/what I’ve learned up on here.

As a side note I was also really intrigued by the end of the TED which taught me that you can add Spent Grains to your baking which is a by-product from home brewed beer, UH-OH! Maybe once I’ve graduated and have some more money to throw around I’ll consider it, but in the mean time, I’ll have to stick to breads.

Gluten Free Rolled Oat & Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

So last night I was feeling a bit crazy and decided to completely scrap the banana bread recipe I had been previously been using and try something new. I don’t know why I like oats so much, but lately I’ve been adding it to all of my baking. It’s a great source of protein, dietary fibre, and iron which is really helpful as I am limited in how often I eat meat. Oats are also gluten free with some minor exceptions. Here is the exact breakdown of the Rolled Oats I use from the Bulk Barn website:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100 g
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 380
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans fat 0g
Total Fat Percentage 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fibre 10g 40%
Sugars 1g
Proteins 13g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 6%
Iron 45%
Sugar Alcohol 0%

The other substitution I made was adding Buckwheat Flour which I use in some other recipes as well. The batch I made turned out really well however I’ve yet to figure out how cafe’s and grandparents get that great moist non-crumbly bread, but when I do I’ll be sure to write about it. UPDATE: So it turns out that by placing a casserole dish of hot water on the rack below the bread pan in the oven largely solves this problem!

One word of warning, combining the Oats and Buckwheat flour is potentially disastrous if you plan on consuming large portions of a loaf at one time. Both ingredients contain huge amounts of fibre and have the potential to make you quite regular if consumed in large quantities.

Recipe
Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the following dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup Rolled Oats

1.5 cups of Dark Buckwheat Flour

1 tsp of Baking Soda

1/4 tsp of Salt

1/2 cup (at least!) of chocolate chips

In another bowl:

Mix 1/2 cup of melted butter with 3/4 cup of brown sugar

Then mix in 3 beaten eggs, and 3 mushed bananas

Pour wet ingredients into large mixing bowl containing dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Finally

Grease your bread pan, pour in the mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes. As well, place a casserole dish full of hot water on the rack below the bread pan for more moist banana bread.