Friday, December 23, 2016

Tasty Soft and Fluffy Sour Cream Biscuits for Breakfast

We enjoyed a tasty breakfast yesterday with this biscuits.
Try it and let me know how it goes with your batch.

Ingredients:            Preheat oven to 425'F         Make 7 to 8
1-1/2 C shifted Bob's Red Mill Unbleached Pastry Flour
1/2 C shifted Bob's Red Mill Unbleached Cake Flour
1 Tbsp Non-GMO Baking Powder without Aluminum
Pinch Kosher Salt
3/4 of 4 oz Stick Butter cut into chunks
3 Tbsp Daisy's Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Organic cane sugar
Cold Organic milk - 2 to 3 Tbsp (add more as needed Tablespoon at a time)

Shift All flour together and remeasure 2 Cups into a mixing bowl.
Add baking powder and salt and shift or using a whisk to mix well.
Slice 3/4 of a stick of butter into a Tablespoon slice.  Then, flip them over and slice into thirds.  Repeat it crosswise to end with small cubes.
Toss into flour.  Using fingers, toss butter chunks and flour together. Smash butter between fingers.  Note:  this is a "Free" form smashing.  Just Keep All Butter in Large flat or chunky form.
Add sour cream and Toss around to mix in with hand.
Add 2 Tbsp of milk.  Mix to pick up the dry flour at the bottom of the bowl and form a shaggy dough.  Add a bit more milk if the dry flour at the bottom of the bowl would not stick to the ball of dough.  (Add more milk if needed.  The dough should not be 'dry' but very well moistened, but not 'wet'.)
Handling the dough gently, bring dough together into a shaggy BALL.
Transfer to slightly floured work surface.
Fold the dough over each other and give a couple of kneading down - end result is a fat disc ready to be rolled out.
Using a rolling stick, roll out the dough gently to the thickness of your liking for your biscuit to be - Remembering that it would rise at least 1/2 inch.
Using a biscuit cutter, cut out the dough and place on a small baking sheet.
Based on the thickness and size of the biscuit ring/cutter you use, there should be enough biscuits to serve 3 people 2 biscuits each or for 4 people.
I just used the small toaster oven's baking sheet.
Bake till golden.
Serve with family's favorite eggs and grilled bacon, etc.
 Some speckles appeared on the biscuits could indicate that maybe too much baking powder.  Since backing with adding sour cream is my first time, I did not want to take the chance of a dense biscuits.  Two teaspoons of baking powder maybe enough.  And normally, when you are baking with acidic ingredients, you would add baking soda, but I just dislike the taste of baking soda sometimes I can detect.
 The crumb is tender and light.
 My grandchildren enjoyed them very much. 
Eggnog Biscuits - If you have not tried baking biscuits with Eggnog during the holiday season - you should.  Of course, there are so many "junks" they put in a pint of eggnog you purchase from the store, but if you have a left over, it's an optional adventure in trying it.  Even better would be to use leftover of homemade eggnog.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ponchik Recipe Search

 Are you still looking for your PONCHIK recipes?   I am!  I am interested in testing as many as I could.  With family gatherings during this Holiday, let's try some as family fun! 
Some are quick formula and some are made from a yeast dough.  Each formula would result in different texture, but I am sure will be a tasty treats that everyone would love.  Here is my collections of sites with testable PONCHIK recipes that I would like to try myself.
 And there are lot more on the YouTube and that is a good thing compared to 5 years ago.

Croissants Baking with Pastry and Cake Flour Mix

This is the photo journal of Croissants making using Pastry and Cake flour mix. The ingredients are exactly the same as the ones posted in my "Your Best Croissant Recipe and Technique", except the flour is replaced with pastry and cake flour.
The result? Smell great, baked great, taste great, but the crumb is more bread like with layers rather than honeycomb like layers.
There is no good reason to test again with different formula when the previously tested formula had a very good result, but just wondered if the different combination would produced similar flour being used in France, but the flour I used is not exactly comparable to French's. 

The crumb is a bit less "layered" compared to AP Flour's. It's very buttery.  I prefer the 1 pound butter block rather than the full 625 grams.  Perhaps if I had kneaded the dough longer to developed the dough, it would have helped with developing the layers...
Tools:  Pastry brush, Small dedicated paint brush, French rolling pin, or long rolling pin, Pizza cutter, a ruler, Saran Wrap and a  Plastic container with tight lid, Digital scale, and other normal baking tools.

CROISSANT Ingredients:
Nonfat Milk 6 oz
(Warm water - 1/2 C)
Active Dry Yeast 15 ml
AP Flour 6-1/4 oz or 175 g

Active Dry Yeast   25 ml   - 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp
Whole Milk   425 ml   >> 1 Cup warm whole milk 1/4 C warm water
Pastry Flour   500 g  & Cake Flour 300 g - of the 6 Cups, save 1/2 Cup for the work surface
Sugar   70 g
Salt    2 tsp
Unsalted Butter, melted   15 ml - 1 TB

Roll-In Butter:
Unsalted Butter - Cold but pliable - 625 g
AP Flour - 1/3 C

Egg Wash:
Large Egg Yolks   4
Heavy Cream   60 ml
Salt    pinch

1.   Make preferment - Add 1/2 C warm water after examining the consistency of the dough after mixing with 6 oz of non-fat milk (or regular milk).  The dough should be pudgy soft but not wet or tough.   Beat it up in mixer.  Then transfer to a bowl.  Cover, let rise.

2.   Half way waiting for the preferment, start to mix dough with Paddle attachment to make shaggy dough.  Stop - cover & to wait for preferment. 
When preferment is ready, add the rest of the liquid to the shaggy dough in the mixer.  
Important tip:  The dough should feel soft - Add tablespoon more of warm water at a time to make sure the dough is quite moist.   Add Preferment.    Mix for 5 minutes.  The dough is tacky.

3.   Cover and let it sit for 30 min and transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4.   Cut butter block into chunks with fingers and mash coat it with flour.  Beat it to flatten with the rolling pin into square block - approx - 1/2 inch thick.   Flouring to keep from sticking to the rolling pin or place the butter block on a wax paper and Cover the butter block with wax paper before beating and rolling into square.  Shape the side with a pastry scraper.  Roll it up in the wax paper and Set aside in Refrigerator.

5.   Take our the dough.   The dough should be soft without much resistance.   Roll out  the dough into round mound.  Use a scissor and make a criss-cross cut on the top and pull each cut side open and flatten the center a bit.  It looks like a flattened and squared star-fish.  
or roll out into a large rectangle shape - large enough to enclose the butter block.

6.   Place the butter block in the center of the flattened and squared star-like dough.   Then fold each arms in to the center to enclose the butter block.   If your dough is a rectangle shape, place the butter block in center and fold the butter with the right and left side of the dough.  Then using your hand's end of the palm to press down the top and bottom open ends to seal the butter.    
Or use other methods described at the URL mentioned at the top of this blog.  But my testing show that the butter block made by premixing the butter with some flour turned out the best with the home baking oven; unless you have one of those beautiful commercial hot oven for home.    Butter would not woos out before the croissants are baked.

7.   Roll the dough with the butter block enclosed into rectangle.  Roll the rolling pin without rolling off the dough.  Stop about 1/2 inch or so away from the end of each sealed ends.

Fold the dough in to thirds.  Brush off the extra flour off the dough with pastry brush as you fold the right and left dough over to the center.  
Wrap tight and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

8.  Repeat the folding process 3 times.   Refrigerate for 30 minutes each time. 
Wrap well tightly and let the dough rest in refrigerator overnight.   Or can be kept frozen till needed.  

8a.    Take out the dough out of the refrigerator 1 hour before the next step if frozen.   If you want to fill the croissants with raisins, almond paste, chocolate, etc. gather them now.     
Set them aside. 
8b.    Flour the work surface lightly and unwrap the dough and beat the dough with rolling pin - a good wack several times, but carefully not to tear the dough..  

9.  Cover the baking sheet with Silpat, if you have one, or with parchment paper.

10.   Roll into large rectangle.   Using a ruler, measure the dough out and slice the dough with a Pizza slicer into triangle shape.  Keep the extra ends and off shape ends.  Cut them into equal pieces to use as a 'tummy'.

11.  Place the extra piece of dough on the wider end of the cut triangle croissant dough.  Moisten fingers.    Hold two pointy ends of the wider end and Pull out to elongate, then, roll the dough over the extra dough pieces and goody fillings you have.

Hold the top of the triangle with left fingers and with the Right hand Palm end over the wider end of the croissant dough - roll the dough in upward motion as you pull the dough with left fingers to elongate the dough at the same time -  Stretch the dough slowly and elongate as much as it would allow - hopefully double in length.   
Tip: **This will tell you if you added enough water or not at the beginning.  So be sure to make a note of the amount of liquid to the particular bag of flour you used that day.  And if you are going to use the same bag of flour, you will know to add or subtract liquid the next time.....

Suggestions:  Curve the ends of the unfilled croissant  and place on baking sheet.    Keep the filled croissants with goodies straight.   
13.  Brush with egg wash without sealing the cut edges.   (Cover and refrigerate the extras.)

14.  Let rise in warm kitchen till double to triple in size.
Preheat oven to 400'F - about 15 minutes before the croissants reach its double+ size.

15.  Brush again with egg wash - very gently - before baking.
Bake for 12 minutes or until beautiful dark brown.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

My BlueApron Cooking Photo Journal

My photo journalling of adventure in cooking with   I started their service last year, and I am quite pleased with it.   Some are great and tasty, some are adventurous, I am learning to eat new vegetable types every month that I would have not otherwise even paid them any respectable attention for their nutrition value and existence at the market place ... never a dull moment in cooking.  There are few Asian fusion style menus that I am finding out that it's better to prepare them the 'way we know' rather than following its cooking methods, but over all I am and my family is pleased when I share the dish with them.
The shrimp is one of the downside in their menu because of their supplier, I think.  Even though their staff inform me that it's the type of shrimps from the gulf area that give the iodine taste and pinkish color (even if they are raw).  But slimy?  come on!  Even After - adding 1 cup of wine to soak and or to cook in, it is 'fishy' and taste so iodine like.... too bad, otherwise, shrimp is my favorites, and it's a great dish.  I have to skip shellfish in my preferences.   

Homemade BISCOFF

We fell in love with this BISCOFF biscuits served on American Airline during our trip to DC.
I studied the package's ingredients, then found a couple of credible recipes to try.  This one turned out quite delicious and more flavorful than the real ones.  
The recipe I used is found at (I think...I will have to double check.). The best part of it is that there is no eggs involved.
 It is so much tastier than the ones sold at the COSTCO.  I am not sure why, exactly because the package being sold at the COSTCO is the same one as the ones distributed during the flight.  Comparing it to the San Francisco's Fisherman's Warf's BICSCOFF shop's, the ones sold at the COSTCO tasted a bit off ...  too much sugar and not enough spice??
This recipe is found at this and I really like the taste.

 I am sure I have a bar cookie cutter somewhere, but for this tasting, cutting with sharp knife and rounding it off the edge a bit would just do the job.
 Hmm... not very uniform...
 Okay, so it expands.   For next time, I need to slice it into an 1/2 inch bar.

 Ready for delivery in my new àplat tote bag by   It's a very stylish tote bag that comes in various size to carry 13x9 cake pan or pie pan, etc.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cherry Quick Bread with All the Healthy Stuff

This is one of the quick bread. It looks like Scones, but it's more like a bread as you can see from the recipe.
1-3/4 C Pastry flour - sifted with 1 tsp baking powder
3/4 C Butter - cut into small 1/4" squares, then, mixed into flour
Add 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp of Hemp seeds - organic
2 Tbsp of Flaxseed mill - organic
2 Tbsp of Poppy seeds
3/4 C Cold Milk
1/4 C Condensed Milk - Borden's less fat
4 oz DAGOBA Chocolate bar with superberry
2 C organic Frozen cherries
1-1/2 Tbsp cane sugar - organic
Some Sour Cherry Preserves

Have 1/4 C of sifted flour on the side. Use some of the pre-sifted flour the work surface. Mix all together the ingredients in a bowl but not all the way - Add 2 C frozen cherries. Finish mixing without smashing the cherries
Transfer the sticky dough onto work surface.
Preheat the oven to 425'F Make Egg yolk wash mixed with 1 Tbsp milk.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
Sprinkle some flour on the dough.
Knead the dough gently to form into disc shape. Transfer to parchment paper on baking sheet.
Brush with egg wash.
Bake until golden brown - about 35 minutes depending on your oven's BTU.
Serve with Sour Cherry Preserve (You get the sweetness from the preserve.)
Serve while still warm or serve it after toasting.
Basically enjoy mixing in anything you like.
Use the similar basic scones or quick bread techniques and basic ingredients to build your own.
 Time to share with office worker.
This reusable 100% organic cotton chic tote carrier by àplat make my morning steps across the parking lot to the office a delight.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Boston Lobster Dinner at Legal Sea Foods at State St

The Tour

The lobster dinner was our main goal in our visit to the Boston. And after all the long drive up from Maryland we got our wish.  What? The Maine lobster? that will be for the next trip.  It took us 8 hours from Maryland to outskirts of Boston. The route took us through Delaware, New Jersey,  New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut.  The side drive-by tour to Manhattan took us 2-1/2 hrs to get there, drive around, and get out.

It was a good idea that I returned to the airport auto rental to activate the Turnpike Toll's eZPass.  It's like Northern Calif's Fastrack.  After reading all the materials a night before the trip, I found out that their Turnpike system do not take cash.  It saved me a lot of time driving through the toll gates.  Every few miles along the Turnpike is a nice rest stop with food services.  Wow, Burger King is popular here, while it diminished greatly in California.   The Dunkin Donut is everywhere.  Starbuck definitely got their spot going at each rest stop.  MacDonald is popular toward Boston rest stops.  And they sell Lobster Roll on the menu.

Boston Duck Tour - Amphibian tour bus - starting point at Museum of Science.  It was a great idea because the museum has a large parking garage.  But the downside, the parking fee is a highway robbery.  It costed $38 after 2 hours.
If my California's Space and Science museum membership had not expired, I could have gotten in Museum of Science free.

  Like that boots.

Hey! Fazio, Quack, quack...

Rnovating bridge towers.  Salt and Pepper Bridge.

Signs, Signs...Signs, signs, everywhere throughout New England....more than you can finish reading within the time frame that you drive pass them.  Find a good place to park and take tour bus and metro, Uber, taxi, to get around, if you can.

Samuel Adams

Street Performances
Boston's original pub.

 I wonder if anyone kept count of how many bricks have been manufactured or being used in the past to present.
There's the Cheers Pub!
Maybe we will revisit it again in the future.