Good bread.

Herb and Olive Bread

herb-and-olive-bread

  • Prep Time:

    15 Mins, Plus Rising

  • Total Time:

    Under 4 Hours

  • Skill Level:

    Challenging

  • Cost:

    Inexpensiv

Bursting with Mediterranean flavors, this bread is delicious dipped in olive oil.

Yield

2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 cups tepid water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups unbleached flour, as needed
  • One ¼ oz (7g) envelope instant yeast
  • 1 cup pitted and coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped herbs, such as marjoram, parsley, rosemary, or thyme

Directions

1. Combine the water with the oil and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 3 cups of the flour and the yeast, then enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as needed, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and supple. Pat and stretch the dough into a thin rectangle. Sprinkle the olives and herbs over the dough. Roll the dough into a cylinder, then knead for a few more minutes until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a ball.

3. Lightly oil a bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place about 1¼ hours, or until doubled in volume.

4. Dust a large baking sheet with flour. Punch down the dough, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Cut the dough in half. Shape each into a log about 10in (25cm) long and pinch the seams closed. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet and press down lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand about 30 minutes, or until puffy.

5. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly brush the loaves with oil. Use a sharp knife to score 5 shallow slits on top of each. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

© 2008 Dorling Kindersley

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truffles of the chocolate nature!

And again more chocolate.. I think its clear to see that i may just have a rather healthy relationship with chocolate.

 

Chocolate Truffles

chocolate-truffles

Info

  • Course:

    Dessert

  • Total Time:

    Half Day

  • Skill Level:

    Moderate

  • Cost:

    Splurge

Truffles are a universal favorite, rich, elegant, and satisfying. So what makes them a nightly special? Well, in my mind, they’re one of those things that are savored only on rare occasions. I recommend them to you as a great holiday gift, or personal indulgence at the conclusion of an ambitious home-cooked meal. Truffles are easier to make than you may think. You might especially like to make them with children, who enjoy the process more than anyone. In fact, my goddaughter joined me on my program Michael’s Place to help me demonstrate this recipe. (Be sure to carefully supervise kids if you do this with them.)

Yield

Makes 70 to 75 truffles

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds high-quality semisweet chocolate, preferably Belgian or French
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter; softened and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Melt 1 pound of the chocolate, slowly stirring, in a double boiler set over simmering water.

2. Warm the cream in a large saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to scorch it.

3. Remove the chocolate from the heat, let cool slightly, then stir into the heavy cream. Remove the chocolate-cream mixture from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

4. Stir the butter and vanilla into the chocolate-cream mixture. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm but still pliable, about 20 minutes.

5. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a #5 tip and pipe teaspoon-size mounds on a waxed paper-covered cookie sheet, or use a spoon to dole out teaspoon-size mounds. Refrigerate the entire sheet until the chocolate mixture is hard to the touch, about 30 minutes. (The recipe can be made to this point, or up to the end of step 6, up to 2 days in advance.)

6. When the chocolate mixture is sufficiently firm, remove from the refrigerator and, working quickly to prevent melting, roll the chocolate mounds into balls, then chill the balls again until firm on a waxed paper-covered sheet. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 2 days in advance. Be sure to cover the balls with waxed paper if refrigerating for more than a few hours.)

7. Melt the remaining 1 pound chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water. Remove the double boiler from the heat and let cool slightly. Using a wire dipping spoon or a regular teaspoon, with your hands in latex gloves, make the truffles by dipping each ball briefly into the melted chocolate. Place on a cake rack set over a cookie sheet until dry and refrigerate until firm. You may scrape up any chocolate that has dripped on the cookie sheet and return it to the dipping pot for more dipping. The truffles will keep for several weeks if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Notes

Nightly Specials

After forming chocolate balls in step 6, refrigerate. Once chilled, truffles can be rolled in shredded coconut, crushed nuts, cocoa powder, or other coatings. If rolled in coconut or nuts, they can then be dipped in chocolate, as in step 7.

For a different rendering of the same flavors, dip the truffles in chocolate in step 7, then, while they are still wet, dip them in shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or other coatings.

You can also add 2 tablespoons orange liqueur along with the vanilla in step 4 to infuse the truffles with an elegant scent.

© 2004 Michael Lomonaco and Andrew Friedman

sugary treats..

White Chocolate and Mascarpone Tarts

white-chocolate-and-mascarpone-tarts

Info

  • Course:

    Dessert

  • Prep Time:

    10 Mins, Plus 20 Mins Chilling

  • Total Time:

    Half Day

  • Skill Level:

    Moderate

  • Cost:

    Moderate

These pretty little tarts are ideal to serve, topped with fresh summer berries, at dinner parties.

Yield

Makes 6–8 servings

Ingredients

For the pastry:
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
  • 6 tbsp chilled butter
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
For the filling:
  • 7 oz (200g) white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 lb (450g) mascarpone
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
For the topping:
  • About 4 cups raspberries, blueberries, and small strawberries
  • Mint leaves and confectioners sugar for garnish
Special Equipment:
  • 6 × 4 in (10cm) tart pans with removable bottoms

Directions

1. To make the pastry, stir the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Mix the egg yolk with 3 tbsp cold water. Add the egg and process until the pastry draws together into a ball. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/8 in (3mm) round circle and use to line six 4in (10cm) tart pans with removable bottoms. Prick all over. Chill for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the dough with wax paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 10 minutes more, until the crust is golden and crisp.

4. Combine the white chocolate and ½ cup of the mascarpone in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining mascarpone and whisk briskly until smooth, then whisk in the cream.

5. Spread in the tart shells. Refrigerate for 3 hours, until softly set. Mound the berries on the tart. Garnish with mint leaves, sift with confectioner’s sugar, and serve chilled.

© 2008 Dorling Kindersley