Can you make Cream Biscuits from Pizza Flour?

That is a rather odd question, and probably should be unpacked.

Short answer is yes, it can be done, and yes this is how I do it!

Since I truly enjoy the Science behind Baking, I keep coming back to this recipe.  I have not “broken” this one yet!

In fact I had one of this batch of biscuits this morning and they were just as wonderful as the basic recipe is that I include in a bit.

First, for my European Readers, the recipe I am using is for a savoury bread.  A form of Shortbread that is typically served at breakfast.  One biscuit at 80 grams before baking with a small bit of sausage and egg and perhaps a little sharp cheese is a wonderful part of your breakfast.  Or just go whole hog and have the biscuit with Sausage Gravy, scrambled eggs on the side, and whatever you prefer.

Biscuits in the UK are what we call Cookies here.  I love them all.  And I can bake them all.

Second, Cream Biscuits are a frightfully simple recipe to make a “Southern Staple” of a biscuit that is as good as many more fussy recipes.  But it does require specific ingredients such as Self Rising Flour.  Even the Cream itself I have “hacked” to go 50/50 with 2% milk, and the results can be good.

  • Two cups of Self Rising Flour.
  • 1 Teaspoon of sugar.
  • 1 1/2 cups of Whipping Cream.
  1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  2. Mix (with your hands) until the batter is even and a bit “tacky”.
  3. Cut into 80g portions or about 3 ounces or seven even pieces.
  4. Place on Parchment Paper on a cookie (baking) sheet.
  5. Bake at 450F in a preheated oven for 12 minutes and check.
  6. Done usually around 15 minutes and when the tops are tan.

Now that we got the basic recipe out of the way, what happens if you don’t have Self Rising Flour?

If all you have is Pizza Flour, or All Purpose Flour, or something unknown but “normal” you can make it work.  I buy Pizza Flour in 25 Pound bags.  About 11Kg.  They sit there in the corner of my kitchen waiting for when I make bread – and I make a lot of it!

To convert the Pizza Flour into Self Rising Flour

  • For Each Cup of Flour (8 oz or 228g).
  • Add 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder.
  • Add 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt.

And mix them together.

Now for the recipe I made with the Pizza Flour and “Homemade” Self Rising Flour:

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Pizza Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) of Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon (4g I think) of Salt
  • Mix the above ingredients in a bowl …. plus
  • 1 1/2 cups Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of table sugar To Taste (I use less).

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Mix with your hands until it is even.
  3. The Batter should be tacky and sticky.
  4. Divide Batter into Seven parts, or 80g per Biscuit.
  5. I typically roll the batter with my hands in to balls, flatten them into a rough disc.
  6. Place the batter pieces on Parchment Paper on a Cookie (Baking) Sheet
  7. Bake at 450F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown in a Preheated Oven.

Two Ingredient Beer Bread or I Need To Eat Some Of This Stuff Now

I needed bread and I needed an easy recipe.

How much easier do you want?

Two ingredients.

It was pretty good too.  Not too sweet, and this recipe is one that I will stick with since I still have the beer and want something “bread” and not “muffin-like”.

Sugar in these breads seem to be added to counter the taste of baking powder.  I personally tend to omit, but you can try it like this and adjust later like I will.

The ingredients are easy:

  • 1 bottle of Beer.  12 OZ/340mL.  I used Corona Extra Longneck because we’re in Quarantine.
  • 3 cups SIFTED of Self Rising Flour. 680g according to DuckDuckGo.com
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sugar – TO TASTE, I used none because I forgot.  Standard measure is 15g per tablespoon or 45g total.

(see below if you want to make the S.R. Flour yourself)

Process:

  • Grease your Bread Pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • SIFT 3 Cups Self Rising Flour into a mixing bowl.
  • Add Sugar to Taste – Or Don’t because I forgot it.
  • Pour your 12 ounce beer into the mixing bowl and mix until it “Comes Together”
  • Mix the batter and pour into greased bread pan.
  • Bake for 40 plus “minutes” – until properly golden brown.

If you don’t have Self Rising Flour:

For Each Cup:

  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking POWDER
  • 1/2  teaspoon Salt

Sift or mix together.

Beer Bread Recipe So Good That Even Wrong It Was Tasty

I am still trying different bread recipes here at home, well, because we’re bored here.

However, it’s getting eaten.

This is a beer bread.  Yes, I used a bottle of Corona to make it.  Not a bad beer, frankly, for an American Style Lager.  I get a case before every hurricane season, and since I drink beer slowly, I’m down to 8 bottles since December.  About one per week.

This beer bread is made with all purpose flour, instead of Self Rising flour.   I made a mistake.  I used Baking SODA instead of Baking POWDER.  Don’t make that mistake, however I ended up with a bread that was like a muffin or a cake.

That odd piece on the side?  I had that about an hour ago and am trying to stop myself from “Spoiling My Dinner”.

Since the result was interesting enough, and we all liked it, the recipe is here. Just make my mistake and you end up with a very soft bread.

If you don’t have Self Rising Flour:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking POWDER
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

No, you don’t need that for this recipe here.
Oh well, it will work with PB&J or with French Toast this way.

This beer bread is a bit on the sweet side, so feel free to reduce the amount of sugar.

It also was quite buttery, and very soft.  If you tossed some fruit into this it would make some interesting Muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour SIFTED.  (It makes it lighter)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar (Yes, it can be reduced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking POWDER
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of beer.

Process:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Grease a bread loaf pan and set aside.
  3. Sift 3 cups of flour
  4. Add salt, sugar, and baking POWDER to the flour and stir to mix
  5. Add butter to the mix and stir it in until it is roughly even
  6. Pour the bottle of beer over top of the ingredents and mix until you have a batter
  7. The batter will be rather wet.
  8. Pour the batter into the greased bread loaf pan.
  9. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes and check the loaf for doneness.
  10. I went 50 minutes to get a soft and brown loaf

Irish Soda Bread Or Searching for a Better Recipe

The short story is I’m trying out recipes because we all have the time.

The long story is I haven’t found a recipe that passes for my daily bread and just may end up going on a different tangent.  I will keep trying.

I remember the Irish Soda Bread my sister made when I was a kid.

She made a batter, flattened it in a skillet that somehow I have managed to keep to this day.

Then warmed up the oven and before tossing it in the oven, skillet and all, she poked a hole in the middle with her finger.

The bread was salty, warm, and very tasty.

I have been trying to find that recipe ever since.

This one I have here is an amalgamation of a couple recipes, none of which ended up as good as that recipe of my sister’s.

This is a pretty good recipe, and has a good flavor to it, so if you want to experiment go for it.

Irish Soda Bread goes from ingredients to oven quickly because there is no rising.

The thing about Irish Soda Bread is that the crumb is usually quite dense, and salty.  If that isn’t your thing then you might not care for what I have here today.

Even if it was tasty!

Ingredients:

For Buttermilk:

  • 285mL/10 ounces Milk.
  • 30mL/2 Tablespoons/1 Ounce Vinegar or Lemon Juice.  I used Wine Vinegar because I spotted it at random, and I have used other kinds of Vinegar.

For the Dough:

 

  • 500g/17.5 ounces Bread Flour
  • 30g/1 ounce/2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted or softened.
  • 10g/1 Teaspoon Salt.
  • 10g/1 Teaspoon Baking Soda. For extra rise, use a little more.
  • 1 Egg.

Process:

Buttermilk:

  • Pour out 10 ounces of Milk to a measuring cup.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar/Lemon Juice to the Milk.
  • Stir that a few times and allow 10 minutes for the Buttermilk to “brew”.

Dough (It’s Easier than it looks):

  • Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
  • Lay out cookie sheet and place Aluminum Foil or Baking Parchment on top.
  • Add your Flours to the mixing bowl.
  • Add Butter, Salt, and Baking Soda to the bowl and mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Whisk the Egg and Buttermilk together.
  • Add the Buttermilk and Egg mixture to the dry ingredients.
  • Knead the dough until it becomes an even mixture.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour to accept the other ingredients.
  • The dough should form a soft, wet “Play Doh” Modeling Compound consistency.
  • Shape your dough into one loaf.
  • Score the top of your dough with a knife or fork to allow the center to cook fully.
  • Bread is done when tested to at least 165F in the thickest part of the Bread Loaf.
  • (Or by eye, these loaves were cooked to 180F)

Baking:

 

For one loaf, baked at 425F for 35 minutes.

Cream Biscuits With Magic Buttery Flavor

This recipe is weird.

No, I mean it, this is a recipe with a mystery.

Every recipe evolves over time.

Three simple ingredients that make a reproduce-ably good “Southern Style” Biscuit, but I can do some intriguing things by just changing conditions.

Like making them taste like butter when NO butter is used.

And no, British folks, these are a savoury shortbread roll usually served soaked in butter and jelly or covered in a Sausage Gravy or Red Eye Gravy.

Proper Southern cooks will look at this recipe and roll their eyes.

There is ZERO butter in the recipe.  You don’t have to fret over little chunks of frozen butter designed to add rise and lift to the result.  You can paint the outsides with melted butter before cooking but I prefer mine without.  You don’t have to overheat the kitchen with a blazing oven because that chases the buttery flavor away!

I’m not a Southern Cook.  I am originally from, Gasp!, New Jersey!

(Queue the dramatic fanfare!)

This is simple, mix, chop into portions, bake, serve.  No Fuss!

 

Ingredients are straightforward.

2 cups or 286g of Self Rising Flour

1 1/2 cups of Whipping Cream.  Mine says 36% on it and there are heavier creams.

1 teaspoon of sugar.

 

Process:

Mix thoroughly dry ingredients.

Add cream and mix until it makes a sticky dough.

Cut dough into 7 pieces, about 90g or about 3 ounces per.

 

Baking:

For Conventional Flavor, bake at 450-500F for 12 minutes and check at 10 minutes for doneness.

OR

If you want that Butter Flavor, bake these at 350F (Moderate Oven) for 25 minutes and check for doneness.  You will probably close the oven for another three.

 

Here is the mystery.  Regular Biscuits tend to have a strong butter flavor as SERVED because they are painted in salted melted butter.  These biscuits as baked at high temperature without butter painted on them are a somewhat salty shortbread biscuit.

HOWEVER, if you LOWER the temperature in the oven to 350F Magic happens!

Yes, the house will begin to smell markedly of butter.  Fresh butter smell wafts along with the smell of baking bread/biscuits, and you will wonder why?

I still am, but this is the thing.  That butter flavor stays with the biscuits.  If you bake them at 350F, you get a buttery biscuit without all that extra salt and added calories.

Like I said Magic!

You can add butter to this if you like, but I fail to see the reason!

This is what happens when a baker has too much time on their hands and is locked in the house for too long!

Water Roux Or How Wallpaper Paste Can Help Your Bread Baking

This really is a very easy process.

Since I am not doing a video here, but text, I am going into deep detail.  I’m probably overdoing it, and once you do this once, you will remember it forever.

Besides, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to video and a bit camera shy so lets dive into text!

Perhaps it’s a bit silly to call the result of this “wallpaper paste” but it’s the result of an Asian technique for pre-baking some of your flour to get it to retain water.

Flour and Water in the right proportion can stick paper to the wall, make papier mache, and will make your breads and pastries wonderful!

There are various names for the process:  Water Roux, Tangzhong, and others.  The process locks up extra water in the dough, gelatinizes it, and gives extra lift to the breads.

When that is used in baking, it allows your breads to rise taller, last longer, and the resulting loaves are softer and more tender.  I did not notice a difference in the taste however the texture was definitely changed.   Until you get the hang of this, you are going to be more hands on and manual than usual.

Intrigued?  I was, and I tried it.  The best hint I can give you about this is to take your time while mixing.

I can’t say about the longer life because the rolls I made today were the first using this process.  Allow things to “come together” on their own until you get used to the new proportions.

I can say that they were interesting and I certainly will do this again.  Obviously there are times where this process is inappropriate.  For Bagels this would be wrong because you want them to be chewy.  The resulting dough from this process is soft and pliable so it’s best for sandwich rolls and I can see it in pastries as well.  Burger Rolls definitely will be improved by this.

I am using this recipe for the bread dough, Pat’s Pizza Dough.  I have been using it for years, decades really.  I know what the rolls and dough should be like so I was able to tell right off that this technique has its place.

First, that specific recipe uses 10 ounces water, 3 cups of flour.  Since you are going to pre-cook part of that, keep those numbers in mind as you will adjust your normal recipe downward for this process.

Second, of those three cups of flour, you will want to reserve a quarter cup of it.  The Water Roux process absolutely changes the texture of your dough.  Since the dough is changing, you will have to add in either more water at the end.

If you overshoot and end up with a dough that isn’t smooth and silky, adjust as needed.

Third, to make the paste:

  • In a small mixing bowl, I took all 10 ounces of the water from the recipe and added in 2 ounces of flour.
  • I then whisked the flour into the water for 5 minutes by hand.
  • Then warm the flour to 140F/60C (in the microwave) in bursts.
  • Whisk that mixture again until smooth.  You will notice a thicker “gel” forming in the bottom of your mixing bowl.
  • Allow the mixture to cool to 105F/40C or cooler before making your dough.  After all, you want to give your Yeast a chance to thrive!

Fourth, Make your dough.  Add your salt, sugar, yeast, oil.  Mix the roux into the flour slowly, watching how the dough comes together.

Overview: What you just did was to release the proteins in the two ounces of flour.  Those proteins bound to the water in the mix.  Now you really don’t have 10 ounces of water any longer since some of it is bound up, you now have to add back an appropriate amount.

What is appropriate?

For the Pat’s Pizza Dough Recipe, I added in an extra ounce of water to a total of 11 ounces.  For our Metric Audience, each ounce is two tablespoons or 28.3 mL.  283 mL originally plus another 28 mL or so.

Its an adjustment not a whole re-do of things.

The dough is in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook, and it was now too “wet”.  Adding in one tablespoon of the reserved flour “tightened” the mix back up to where I could make rolls and allow it to rise and bake.

The dough was silky smooth and very easy to work with.  The usual recipe tends to be on the sticky side and a bit rubbery due to my all purpose flour.

You will want to take your time with this process.

What happens is that while baking some of that “extra” water gets released in the form of steam and your dough gets taller.  It acts as Leavening to make for a lighter and more fluffy roll.

At least that was what I found.  Those rolls were sliced open, and had with some tuna salad.  Quite good!

Baking or Soap Making it could be Engineering Tolerances that are causing you problems

I was an electronics geek back when I was a teen.

Everything in Electronics had a percentage of tolerance engineered in.  Any particular theoretical Resistor may have been intended to be 220K, but in reality it had a 10 % tolerance built in and could have been as much as  22K off.  Say 200 Ohm to 242K ohm.

And since everything else had a 10% tolerance it just may work!  After all, analog electronics always had a trimming capacitor or potentiometer somewhere to tune the circuit to make it all work.

I have a habit of scaling recipes.  That Engineering Tolerance can get in the way.

It makes too much, cut the recipe down.  If it doesn’t make enough, double it.

In fact, my favorite bread recipe, Pat’s Pizza Dough works great in thirds.  I can take that third and make a rather nice sized pizza for two or a couple rolls for sandwiches and it works well.

My preferred way to make a pizza crust is to toss the ingredients into a bag, add an extra teaspoon or tablespoon to texture, and squish it around until it is properly mixed and kneaded.

What if I want one single roll?

No, seriously, just one.  After all you’re not eating two rolls at a time, right?  It may not turn out just right.

After all, you took a recipe that you cut down from 3 cups to 1 cup, and it worked out right, but what about going smaller.

Metric measurements may help.

But here is the rub.  Many recipes were converted from very old measurements and work well in one specific climate, but move them they don’t work.  Others were converted into Metric measurements and are rounded up or down.

I have seen conversion factors varying between 28 and 30 grams to the ounce where the official measurement is 28.35 (by my search) grams to the ounce.

28 and lets-call-it-a-third grams to the ounce.

(See what I did there?  Added an Engineering Tolerance?)

Have you ever accurately measured one gram in a kitchen?   – No.

How about 1/3 of a gram.  – No.

Does it matter? – Maybe.

“Cooking” may not be effected.  Your measurements can be a little off when you’re making a roast from Grandma’s recipe but “it’s the way we like it” would be the answer.

Baking, well that can be finicky.  I’m just not going to try to figure out 9.45 Grams of anything.  My scale is not THAT accurate, and frankly that’s only the 1/3 ounce.  A single roll needs 1/9th of a teaspoon of salt and of sugar.

Settle down, if you go up or down slightly, it should still work but you probably have a freezer that would take the other two rolls if you went to the 1/3rd recipe.

My point is that it is a rare kitchen that can measure in tiny fractions of a gram.  If it is. it is probably cooking something that you would see in Breaking Bad.

After all, I remember my high school chemistry very well and used to get ridiculously accurate measurements in a true Laboratory with balance scales and graduated cylinders and Scientific House weights and measures, and MY kitchen is not equipped!

Since my High School Chem teacher was a stoner, learning Chemistry well was self-preservation around all those possibly toxic ingredients.

The one gram weight was, by the way, a small square of brass that was about the size of a quarter of a common postage stamp.  Now cut that down to a third.

Just stop right there.  My point is with food, it just might not be a problem and you can always have leftovers since that oven isn’t exactly free to run.

But soap?  Don’t try this at home kiddies!

The size reduction… Soap Making is easy but take your time with measurements.

You see, making larger batches of soap seem to be fine.  Bread Loaf sized batches mean that you can do your measurements in ounces and your kitchen scale will be happy to oblige.  Use Grams if you like and be more precise.   Anything over 500 Grams or a Pound (you choose) and the numbers get nice and round.

Since you are using less than 100% of the Lye you need in the recipe to leave things nice and moisturized after washing  your hide with it, coming in a wee bit low makes things happy.

My first batch was at 96%.  That soap was so good that my skin problem cleared up.  Add to it that I only ever use Human Food Grade Ingredients for making soap and you can really see why.

Then I got “creative”.  “Lets make One Single Bar Of Soap.” I said, in earnest!  “After all, how difficult can it be?”

Hah!  You jest.

You see, the measurement came in wanting a fraction of a gram of lye. 8.45 grams, to be specific.

No.  Just no.

Since different oils have different properties, I fiddled with the soap calculator web page and came up with a combination that ended up being exactly 8.00 grams of Lye, even round numbered gram amounts of oils, and 17 1/2 grams of water.

Why such small amounts?  I wanted One Single Bar of Soap that was going to be 3 ounces.

Actually I wanted two of them but one had scent and the other did not.

When I was through, the same measurements gave me two bars through two separate preparations of ingredients.

Bar one was 86 Grams.

Bar two was 79 Grams.

From the same measurements.

Bar one was fine and made the house smell like peppermint, and that was intentional.

Bar two had no scent and a sheen of “something” clear on top.  I don’t know if it was oil or water but it all “digested” into the bar and was (semi) solid the next day.

Don’t ask, I have no idea why.

They are both curing until they are ready to use.  Bar One will probably be too strongly scented and Bar Two might be harsh.  I won’t know until I use them.

So if you’re wondering why it does not work out when you do all that weird calculations and get different results, well, you made a measuring mistake and it happens.

Go with larger batches next time.  I will.  My mold will make six bars of soap, each 3 ounces.  I will calculate 21 ounces and see what I get.  I’ll let you know how that worked out.

Rye Beer Bread Recipe

I needed bread in the house.

I wanted something different.

I was actually thinking about the Rye bagels I used to get as a kid in Cherry Hill, NJ.

If you couldn’t get a good, proper, and Kosher bagel in Cherry Hill, you couldn’t get it.

Say what you will about NJ, but South Jersey was different, and you could get great Kosher there.  I would go to the Bagel Place on Chapel and Kings Highway and talk to Mrs H there, and she would get my bagels.

Mrs H is long gone, I moved away, and I understand there’s still “A” Bagel Place there, although I am not sure if it is still using her recipes so maybe it isn’t or maybe it really “Is” THE Bagel Place.  I’ll leave it to someone up there in Jersey to find out for me.

Another quirk about South Jersey was that you could get excellent Ethnic food there.  Being that close to Philly, I think it was a requirement.

But that Rye Bread.  I knew I would never make a proper Jewish Rye bread, because there’s just a certain something about a loaf of bread with that little sticker on the side.

This was close.

It was good.  Had a proper chewy body to it.  Everyone who had some of this loaf commented about it, long and loud.

I will certainly make it again.

Oh – and it was one of those “why not” moments.

I was a cup down on the flour and simply poured in as an add-in a cup of Rye Flour.

The recipe below… Substitute 1 cup Rye Flour (or more to taste) to get this awesome loaf of bread.

Ingredients:

For “Sponge” or “Poolish”:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water – 100 degrees F or 40 degrees C
  • you may need a few drops more water depending on conditions

For the rest of the bread:

  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour – Substitute 1 cup Rye for Rye Bread
  • 12 ounce bottle of ROOM TEMPERATURE Beer, your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • you may need extra water depending on your conditions

For Dusting:

  • Cornmeal for dusting the pan and Parchment Paper
  • Flour for dusting the loaf

Process:
I used a stand mixer and it’s bowl to prepare this recipe, Poolish and Dough, but you may choose to use a large mixing bowl and your hands.  This dough will be sticky and result in a silky smooth dough – so enjoy the texture.  I did finish this out on the counter by hand.

Poolish/Sponge

 

  • To your mixing bowl add yeast, flour, and warm water.
  • Mix the ingredients with fork or whisk.
  • The resulting mix will be like a pancake batter, it should stir easily.
  • Add an extra tablespoon of water if needed.
  • Allow your Poolish to brew in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • My own warm place is inside a cold oven with the light on.

Making the dough

  • To your mixing bowl and the Poolish add the Beer, Flour, and Salt one by one.
  • Mix the dough by hand or with a dough hook until it is even and pulls away from the walls of the bowl.
  • The dough will be sticky and thick.
  • Cover the dough with a wet towel, and place back in your warm place for two hours or until it is at least doubled in size.

Forming the Loaf

  • Scrape your dough out of the bowl with your hands or spatula.
  • Place the dough onto the floured board and dust well with more flour.
  • Roll the dough out into a loaf shape.
  • The dough should be silky and a little sticky.
  • You may divide the dough into two loaves for convenience.
  • Move each loaf onto a baking sheet that is generously dusted with cornmeal.
  • Dust the top of the loaves with more flour,
  • Return your loaves to the warm place for another half hour or more.

Baking your loaf

  • Preheat the oven to 425F with a pan of water for humidity.
  • Slash some slits in the top of the loaf to allow growth.
  • Bake each loaf for 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when thumped.
  • Allow your bread to cool before serving.

Or don’t allow your bread to cool.  I couldn’t wait, this stuff was amazing!

 

Have you ever stuck a fork into some food and said that you wished you had the recipe?

I did when I had this cake the second time.  It is THAT good!

Oh, and as a bonus for those who care, the cake itself … it’s actually Vegan!  Yeah, no milk, no eggs.

The icing is vegetarian since it requires butter and milk.  If you want to try making it Vegan, go ahead I won’t judge…

But this cake is excellent as is.  One of the best Chocolate Cakes I have had in memory.

It is a chocolate cake recipe from the Great Depression Era, when they had to be thrifty and scrimp on every corner they could.

But… whoever came up with this recipe came up with an amazing cake.

I find it every time I look for a chocolate cake recipe, and it haunted me until I took the time to make it.

You will find recipes like this one every time you search.  Some add things to it that are unnecessary and added fluff.   You can have it plain, without icing, and just a bit of confectioner’s sugar on top.  I opted for a rather simple buttercream icing and am really glad I did.

The trimmings I had of the cake to make it round the first time out tasted almost as rich as a brownie.  It stayed moist in the refrigerator longer than I expected, which is a big bonus.  My regular recipe is good, but this is better.

The process of making this is simple:

  • Add to a large mixing bowl (I recommend a stand mixer, but that is for speed) all your ingredients saving the vinegar for last.
  • Mix until smooth (See, that stand mixer would help)
  • Pour into floured and buttered 8 by 8 inch pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when tested.

 

To make a more modern sized cake, I doubled the ingredients and got a two layer 9 inch cake.

Yes, Double the ingredients.  I did say Depression era and 8 by 8 one layer was the original size.

I also Doubled the icing for a 2 layer, 9 inch cake.

8 by 8 inch is a 20cm square.

9 inch round would be 23 cm.

Or so.

 

Ingredients:

 

For the cake (Each Layer):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider or White vinegar

For the Icing (Each Layer):

  • 2 Tablespoons butter (room temp or melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bread Dough in Five Minutes In A Plastic Bag

I guess the title says it all, if you’re looking for the short description.

There’s always a back story with me so hold on for the ride.

I wanted a Pizza, but really this can be used to make most basic breads.  I did not want to fuss around with a “full batch” of dough and make a cookie sheet full of rolls and … well you get the picture.

I will say that this will scale up to a larger batch and should be limited by how strong your own hands are.  You see, it’s all about your grip strength.  If you’ve got arthritis or some other limitation, use the machine.

On the other hand, this dough flew together so fast that it’s a great way to make fresh dough for small batches like one pizza dough ball or a couple of rolls.

Basically, I have a “Standard Recipe” for bread.  It’s “Pat’s Pizza Dough” recipe.   It makes 10 sandwich rolls, or about 8 torpedo rolls.  It also will make three pizza dough balls.  The original recipe is at the link – or you can even see my original note written 20 years ago in the picture.

The idea was cut the recipe down to one third of normal, then make it in a bag.

I added to a clean and food safe plastic bag the following ingredients.

  • 3 ounces of water
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 cup of bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bread yeast
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt (I used a well rounded 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 teaspoon of sugar (I used a well rounded 1/4 teaspoon)

The process was simple.

 

  • Squeeze most of the air out of the bag and wind the top up to close it.
  • Grip the mix at the bottom of the bag and squeeze it repeatedly.
  • The mix will eventually form a dough ball through repeated kneading.

 

You may have to adjust the water content to fit your needs.  Bread dough is effected by the weather and conditions in your house and kitchen just as you would expect.  Wet climate will make stickier dough, dry climate you may need to add more water.

For Pizza Dough, you need a dough ball that is more dry than tacky or sticky.  Similar to Play-doh or similar modeling clay compound.

For Bread Dough, you need a dough ball that will be a bit tacky and it may want to stick gently to your hands or the side of the bag – but you will be able to remove it from the bag.

Basically that’s about it.  I’ll use this again because it’s saving me a lot of time in preparation and clean up work.

But… it took me just five minutes to get this dough done.  Add to it rolling time and rising time as normal.