Posted in baking, foam

Daring Baker Challenge: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Recipe here.

filling station
All ready for my guests to dive in.

I used 545g of bread flour (the recipe gave a range for the amount of flour, and didn’t specify the type), and it was perfect.  The dough started out sticky and wasn’t anymore at the end of kneading.

I changed the shape of the bread/cake.  It was supposed to be rolled into a log and then made into a ring, exactly like the December challenge (especially because I filled my December challenge bread with this method instead of by mixing things into the dough).  I decided I would rather have my friends share the work with me and try something new, so I had a few people over and we each took part of the dough and rolled it up croissant-style: cut into an acute isosceles triangle, put fillings on it, and roll from the short edge to the point.

croissant construction
I decided mine was too big and cut it in two.
constructed croissants
We didn't skimp on the filling.

I’m in a cold climate, and since I was having people over to shape the bread, I wanted to make sure it rose on time.  So for the first rise, I put the bowl of dough in the oven with just the pilot light on.  It worked great.

For fillings, we used meringue, chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries.  Delicious.

I tried to do an egg wash the lazy way: rub some meringue on top.  It came out looking like bread with a little meringue rubbed on top, haha.

finished product
Yum.

I baked mine for about 18 minutes, which is shorter than the recipe says, which is expected given that mine had more surface area, and that my oven is crazy.  My thermometer read about 205F when they were done.

You’re supposed to let bread cool first, but we ate them hot, and they were great!  I had no problems with this dough, so I would definitely use that recipe again.

with lemon curd
The meringue left me with three egg yolks, which is just the right number for making lemon curd.
the inside
Very well-behaved dough.
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Posted in baking, thickening

Pecan Pie, because you’re never more Southern than when you live up North

Pecan pie
Caramelized on top, gooey on the inside. And, ok, burnt around the edges.

I have eaten pecan pie many, many glorious times, but I had never made it before.  I found this recipe on the website of a pecan grower, so I figured I could trust it.  I wanted to give pie crust another shot, but I was still getting over being sick and I didn’t have a ton of time, so I decided to make my life easier and buy one.  It was a tough decision, though, knowing how much better homemade pie crusts (even mine!) are than store-bought ones.  Hopefully the filling will make up for it.  I found one website that said the trick to making pecan pies was to roast the pecans first, so I started to, but then I thought, they’re going to cook in the oven, and the worst thing would be to burn them.  So I ended up not doing it.  I think that was an ok decision, but I do wish I had remembered to cover the edges of the pie crust with foil so they wouldn’t get overdone.  Ah, one day I’ll move into a place with an oven that’s younger than me, and I look forward to that day.

I used to wonder what made up the gooey deliciousness of pecan pie; I was a little disturbed to find out that it’s almost entirely corn syrup, but what are you gonna do.  It’s thickened with eggs, a little flour, and just the high concentration of sugar.  Now let’s see if these Northerners like it.  (Yes, they did.)