Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts
OMG! Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts! So good…

Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts

These Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts are BETTER than those at Krispy Kreme because you can taste all the necessary components of a doughnut – the sugar, the soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the yeasty, fried dough. Amazing.

I’ve never been a fan of Krispy Kreme doughnuts because their doughnuts are too sweet for my taste. Albeit soft, warm, and delicious, these sugar “pillows” are so sweet that they overpower the bready, fried dough underneath. When I lived in Texas, my favorite doughnut shop was Shipley’s Donuts, where you could get your sugar fix as well as taste the soft, fried, yeasty layer, which made them more substantial and fulfilling. Continue reading “Krispy Kreme Copycat Doughnuts”

Pan de muerto Revisited

This weekend (el primero y 2 de noviembre), the day after Halloween, a very sacred holiday will take place – El día de los muertos. Although I am not Mexican, I celebrate and respect this holiday even more than Halloween. Why? Because I am comforted by the idea of honoring loved ones who have passed on and “bringing them back” into the present world via a multitude of tangible symbols such as altars showcasing loved ones’ photos and momentos, skullface paintings, sugar skulls. I especially enjoy the culinary dishes that are usually present around these two days, such as mole and pan de muerto.
In 2009 (whoa!), I made pan de muerto for the first time. I enjoyed forming the “bones” on top of the round domes of dough. The bread was delicious as well :o). This year, however, I decided to make pan de muerto using a different recipe that has now overshadowed the previous pan de muerto.

The inside of this bread is dense yet soft; the texture reminds one of the inside of panettone. It is best to eat warm and with leche, atole, champurrado, café, or chocolate caliente, but the bread is good cold as well (my students can attest to that!). I also preferred this recipe over the previous one for another reason: the simplicity of ingredients. In the old recipe, I remember driving everywhere for special ingredients that I never used again. With the current pan de muertorecipe, however, the only non-everyday ingredient, for some, is anise seeds, and many of you probably already have this ingredient sitting in your pantry and waiting to be used by you in such a recipe as this one ;o)!

Even if you’re not Mexican, try out this lovely bread and dedicate it to a loved one who is no longer physically present on this earth. You two can enjoy eating it together. 🙂 In the meantime, watch this video I show to my students every year around this time. It is a cute way to express the importance of this 2-day holiday of remembrance. Then come back here and make this bread! 😀

I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting!

 PAN DE MUERTO
translated and slightly adapted by All Recipes México (en español)
  • ¼ taza de mantequilla / ¼ cup of butter
  • ¼ taza de leche / ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ taza de agua tibia (45°C/113°F) / ¼ cup of warm water (45°C/113°F)
  • 3 tazas harina / 3 cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1 ¼ cucharadita de levadura / 1 ¼ tsp yeast 
  • ½ cucharadita de sal / ½ tsp of salt
  • 2 cucharaditas de semillas de anís / 2 tsp anise seeds
  • ¼ taza de azúcar blanca / ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 huevos batidos / 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cucharaditas de ralladura de naranja / 2 tsp of grated orange peel

 Para el barniz / For the glaze:

  • ¼ taza de azúcar blanca / ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ taza de jugo de naranja / ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cucharadita de ralladura de naranja / 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 2 cucharaditas de azúcar blanca / 2 tsp of white sugar
  • 2 cucharaditas de canela (opcional) / 2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
1.     Calienta la leche y la mantequilla en una cacerola mediana, hasta que la mantequilla se derrita. Retira del fuego y agrega el agua tibia. La mezcla deberá tener una temperatura de 45 °C.
      Heat the milk and butter in a medium-sized pot until the butter has melted completely. Remove the pot from the burner. Add the warm water, and allow the mixture to cool to 45 °C/113 °F.
2.     Mezcla 1 taza de harina, levadura, sal, semillas de anís y ¼ de taza de azúcar en un tazón grande. Envuelve la mezcla de leche tibia, luego los huevos y 2 cucharaditas de ralladura de naranja, hasta que estén bien mezclados. Incorpora ½ taza de harina y sigue agregando más harina hasta que la masa esté suave.
      In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seeds, and ¼ cup of sugar. Blend well before mixing in the room-temperature eggs and 2 tsp. of grated orange peel. Mix well. Next, incorporate ½ cup of flour and keep adding more flour (½ cup at a time) until the dough becomes soft and manageable.
3.     Coloca la masa en una superficie enharinada y amasa hasta que alcance una consistencia suave y elástica.
      If using a stand mixer, change to a dough hook and knead the dough for 6-8 minutes. If not using a stand mixer, place the dough on a floured-surface and knead the bread for 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and elastic and strong strands of gluten have formed.
The freshly kneaded dough before I placed it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Look at the specks of orange & anise seeds!
4.     Pon la masa en un recipiente ligeramente engrasado, cubre plástico adherente y deja reposar de 1 a 2 horas hasta que duplique su volumen. “Poncha” la masa con tu puño y forma una bola redonda con una bolita en el centro. Coloca la masa en una charola para hornear, cubre con plástico adherente y deja que repose de nuevo en un lugar tibio durante 1 hora o hasta que duplique su tamaño.
      [SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS] Once the dough has been well-kneaded, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl (I use my stand mixer bowl) and cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Allow it to rest and rise for 1-2 hours (I left my dough in the refrigerator for about 5-6 hours, and it was fine. The dough is supposed to rise slower in the fridge. You could also leave it in the fridge overnight (check the dough level every few hours though!) and do the next steps on the following day. Allow the dough to come to room temperature first, which should take about 2 hours.).
      Once the dough has risen, deflate the dough and form 7 small dough balls or 4 large balls (I doubled this recipe, so I had seven large dough balls).
Pardon the bad lighting. I made these photos at night.
      BREAD AND BONES FORMATION: Divide dough in 7 small equal parts (or 4 large) (I weighed the dough and divided the total weight by 7 (222 grams/dough ball for me). 6 of those parts will become your loaves and the last one will be used to make the decorations. Form the 6 loaves (or 4 large), place them on a greased baking sheet and let them double in size, covered.
      To form the “bones”, take the extra ball of dough and separate it into 14 parts (I weighed the dough and divided the total weight by 14) roll 12 of the dough balls into a snake-like shape (2 per dough ball). Then roll the “snake” with your finger while applying pressure to form separations in the snake/dough. For the remaining two small balls of dough, divide them into 6 parts and roll them into a ball.
      The recipe doesn’t call for an egg wash, but I used one (one egg + 1 tsp heavy cream), but you can use just water, milk, or egg. The egg wash is needed not only for color, but also to attach the bones and ball to the bread ball.
      Once the dough ball has been brushed with the egg wash, place the bones on the bread in a crisscross fashion. Then place the ball of dough on top.
Shaped dough with “bones” and egg wash.
5.     Hornea a 180 °C durante de 35 a 45 minutos. Retira del horno, deja que se enfríe un poco y barniza la superficie.
      Bake the bread in a preheated oven of 180 °C/350 °F. Remove from oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack. While it cools or near the end of the baking time, prepare the glaze . . .
Fresh from the oven w/o glaze. For the first 10 minutes, the loaves were too high in the oven! Don’t make my mistake!
6.     BARNIZ: Para preparar el barniz, mezcla ¼ de azúcar, jugo de naranja y 1 cucharadita de ralladura de naranja en una cacerola pequeña. Deja que hierva a fuego medio durante 2 minutos. Barniza el pan con una brocha mientras aún está tibio. Espolvorea el pan barnizado con el resto del azúcar blanca.
      GLAZE: To prepare the glaze, mix ¼ sugar, orange juice, and 1 tsp. of grated orange peel in a small pot. Allow the sugar mixture to boil on medium heat for 2 minutes. Brush the warm bread with this glaze and then roll the bread in sugar and cinnamon (if using).
Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Dessert Braids: Nutella, Strawberry, and Banana/Cinnamon Roll


I’m back in the States.  After living for approximately two and a half wonderful months in Portugal, et al., you can imagine my reluctance to return here.  Still, I’d thought I’d muse about a few homeland items that I had taken for granted and truly missed that are not readily available in Western Europe (at least at the places I’ve visited):


I’m back in the States.  After living for approximately two and a half wonderful months in Portugal, et al., you can imagine my reluctance to return here.  Still, I’d thought I’d muse about a few homeland items that I had taken for granted and truly missed that are not readily available in Western Europe (at least at the places I’ve visited):

1. I missed dryers. I know that it is more economically friendly to hang out your clothes and to allow the sun to dry them, but I missed having my favorite pair of jeans washed and dried in about an hour as opposed to one to two days (on a sunny day). In fact when I was about to wash my clothes for the first time after my return to the States, my automatic reaction was to check the weather to make sure it wasn’t going to rain. Then I remembered that I had access to a dryer again haha.

2. I missed cold bottles of water at the grocery store and restaurants. Most places offer tepid water in Europe, and after walking all around the city, I was always craving a big bottle of cold water. They were mostly readily available in tourtisty areas, though. Anyway, to combat this “problem”, I would freeze and refrigerate 2-3 water bottles and take them with me around the city.

3. I missed some of my favorite fast-food and regular restaurants like Braum’s and Charlestons.

4. Easy access to certain ingredients like baking soda (in Portugal you purchase this item at pharmacies, not at grocery stores), pure vanilla extract, powdered sugar in large containers, Mexican ingredients, etc.

However, with all the missing that went on, there are considerably more reasons why my heart will forever remain in Europe, especially Italy, and why I wish I could find a way to stay there permanently.
For instance, I love how easy it is to travel from country to country for under 100 dollars, how easy it is to travel to said countries without the need of a car (thankfully, buses, trains, ferries, metros/subway trains, etc are readily available), and how free I feel when I discover and walk through new cities and countries.
I love hearing quotidian speech uttered by locals, expats, and tourists in various languages. I love the rising excitement I feel when I’m edging closer and closer to a new monument or church I’ve longed to see and had only seen in travel guides, magazines, books, or television. Oh, and that feeling I get when I round that last corner and am greeted instantly by beautiful arches or tall bell towers or unique architecture! It is so utterly thrilling and satisfying!
These indescribable experiences make it easier for me to ignore the petty negatives aforementioned, including the pesky, hard-to-find ingredients.
Speaking of ingredients, on a previous post I mentioned how I resuscitated a lifeless dough by adding fresh yeast afterwards. With the leftover dough, I decided to make a non-puff-pastry version of a Danish braidwith two different fillings: 1) Nutella with bananas and strawberries and 2) cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar (like a cinnamon roll filling).


Both turned out great; I thoroughly enjoyed the cinnamon version while my roomies devoured the Nutella one in fewer than 24 hours!

Dessert Braids
adapted by Use Real Butter

Dough:
1 1/4 cups (296 ml) whole milk
2 1/4 tsp (8 grams) active dry yeast
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
6 Tbsp (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
5 cups (625 grams) all-purpose flour (not self-rising)

Dough instructions:
Heat milk over low heat until it reaches a temperature of 100-110°F or 38-43°C. Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Allow yeast mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt to the milk. Beat with a whisk or paddle attachment until combined. If using a stand mixer, switch to a paddle attachment, and stir in 1 cup of flour at a time until the dough is thick. Switch to a dough hook or turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth (5 minutes with the dough hook or 7 minutes by hand). Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, and place the dough in the bowl. Coat the entire dough ball with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set covered dough in a warm location to rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Braid creation:

No ruler? ¡No hay problema! 🙂

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Using a ruler or an everyday object (I used a pepper shaker), score the dough to create parallel lines. Next, using the ruler as a guide, cut the “legs” of the braids. Spread the filling of your choice within the parallel lines. Then fold over one leg over another from left to right or right to left until you reach the end. With a brush or back of a big spoon, spread some egg wash or milk wash tot he top of the dough to create a more golden crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Allow braid to cool for 10-15 minutes before digging in!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Resuscitated Dough for Cinnamon Rolls

So you’re looking at the title of this post and are thinking “huh? what?” I hear ya. Let me explain…

These past few years I’ve made a lot of bread and yeast-based desserts on this blog so I am familiar with the usual signs of good/bad yeast growth, dough quality, etc. While living abroad, however, I have to relearn how to cook in a sense and get familiar with different ingredients and tools. I’m in Lisbon this time around, and I decided to make cinnamon rolls for my two friends who have graciously allowed me to stay with them for two months!

Happy, risen dough! You would never know that this dough had no life in it just a few hours ago. . .

Before embarking on my trip to the grocery store, I asked one of my roommates, the one who cooks the most, if she had any yeast for bread, and she said yes. I was a bit leary of the leavening agent she had because it was for pizza dough, which doesn’t require as much rising time as cinnamon roll/brioche dough, and with the added butter and eggs, I knew I needed something stronger.

Nevertheless, I trusted my dear friend and returned from the store sans fresh yeast. Once I opened the yeast-for-pizza package, I knew it was wrong. It had a powdery, white color and contained cornstarch! Because it was late in the evening, and I was too tired of going to the store (mind you I had to go to more than one store to find international, hard-to-find ingredients for another meal), so I trudged along with this yeast. I kneaded the dough and placed it in the fridge overnight for a slow and steady rise. Hah! The next morning, I was greeted by a DEAD-looking, brownish-looking lump of…something I wouldn’t consider dough. My heart sank because 1) I knew that yeast wasn’t right for cinnamon rolls yet I didn’t follow my first thought; and 2) I realized I had wasted all that time, ingredients, and money for nothing.

I was about to throw away the dough, buy real yeast, and start all over again until I thought about resuscitating my dough. Was it possible? Could it be done? I searched on the all-knowing Google and found out that if you just kneaded in some fresh or activated yeast into your “dead” dough, you can bring it back to life!! As soon as I had read that, I bought more yeast and started taking photos of the process for my own records and for all the other people out there who have or will encounter unrisen dough.

I wish I had taken a photo of the dough as I had discovered it the next morning. However, here it is rolled out a bit on the table. You can see that it is void of life and is a darker color than “living” dough.
I used yeast for all types of bread and submerged it into about 1/2 cup of warm milk before adding it to the dead dough. I didn’t use any type of added sweetener because of the natural sweetness of the milk.
Before and after photos of the yeast activation step. Note the level of liquid and the spoon handle.
I added the activated yeast to the dead dough and once I saw the imminent mess, I carefully transferred the now wet dough to a mixing bowl, kneaded in the yeast mixture, and then transferred the “new” dough to a mat and continued to knead.
Once the dough started to rise, I placed it in the fridge overnight and was greeted by what you see in the bottom right photo! It’s alive!!!!
The next morning, I rolled out half of the dough (froze the rest), and made cinnamon and strawberry rolls with a cream cheese glaze.

So, if you ever end up with unrisen dough due to the usage of the wrong type of yeast (as in my case), too little yeast, or if you “kill” your yeast with hot water or salt, don’t throw out the yeast or use the “dead” dough as is. Activate a new batch of yeast (dry or fresh) with warm liquid (and a little sweetener, if you’d like) then add it to the unrisen dough. Hope this helps! Have a great day!

Rolls without the frosting: I sort of overbaked these rolls by only fewer than 4 minutes!! You want your rolls to be less brown than these. My roommates still loved them, though!

For the cinnamon roll recipe, go to Use Real Butter and see her gorgeous photos! I used the recipes for the strawberry filling, dough, and frosting (sans alcohol). For the cinnamon roll version, I just used softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar (or you can use muscavado or a mixture of granulated/caster and brown/muscavado sugars).

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

La Pizza Mariangela

While reading my previous post about Mariangela’s Pizza dough, my boyfriend and his parents went through a range of emotions: Upon seeing the title of the post, they became excited. Once they saw the first photos of the dough, their expectations continued to soar. However, as soon as they saw the turkey “pepperoni”, mushrooms, and yellow cheese, their hopes were quickly dashed.

I could just see them – my boyfriend sitting in the office chair in front of the computer, his parents standing behind him looking over his shoulder as he slowly scrolled through my blog post only to reveal one “horrific” photo after the next. *sigh*

 


Anyway, after they complained passionately (accompanied with stereotypical, Italian gestures) about my blasphemous toppings, my boyfriend made comments such as “My mom said she doesn’t use those toppings!” or “That’s not a Pizza Mariangela!” to which I replied, “I know! That’s why I entitled the post “Mariangela’s Pizza Dough” NOT “Pizza Mariangela!”

This feeble attempt to justify my gastronomic “misdeeds” and to pacify my boyfriend’s passion for and determination to do all Italian dishes correctly failed miserably. It failed to the point that I soon felt compelled to remove a batch of dough from the freezer and to make a true Pizza Mariangela!

Use a box/can of tomatoes free from extra, unnecessary ingredients

A true, authentic Pizza Mariangela consists of crushed tomatoes mixed with extra virgin olive oil, capers, oregano, salt, and sugar (sugar: to offset acidity from tomatoes). Next, she cuts up Provola (not the same as provolone) or Scamorza into small cubes and sprinkles them over the tomato sauce. After the pizza is taken out of the oven, she finishes off the pizza with a nice helping of fresh arugula.

I searched high and low in my small city for Provola and Scamorza and could not find them. So, I used smoked mozzarella and provolone instead (with my bf’s family’s approval, of course).

Because I was there, she put some prosciutto on one half of the pizza before placing it in the oven, but she and the rest of the family would NEVER consider prosciutto to be one of the ingredients of a true Pizza Mariangela. 🙂

She also didn’t add arugula on my side. I eat arugula only in salads.

Above and below (in the recipe section) are the photos of her making the pizze during one of my many visits. While my Pizza Mariangela looks a lot more like the real deal than the pizze from the previous post, non vedo l’ora (I can’t wait) to eat her pizza again!

A gratuitous shot of my boyfriend eating his pizza elegantly with a fork. . .and they made fun of the mayor of NYC. . .

My bf is such a romantic; he thinks that the Pizza Mariangela will be the next Fettucine Alfredo, a famous dish that started in Italy but was made famous in the States yet is pretty much unknown in Italy haha.
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For more information about the pizza dough, go here.The dough recipe may also be found below:

Mariangela’s dough was noticeably more hydrated than my dough. If you’d like your dough to be more like hers, adjust the liquid amount.
L’impasto per la pizza di Mariangela

2 cucchiaini di zucchero
1 bustina di lievito di birra
500 grammi di farina (Ho usato 250 gr farina 00 e 250 gr farina integrale)
1 cucchiaio di olio
350-400 ml di acqua o latte*
1 cucchiaino di sale

Mariangela’s Pizza Dough

2 tsp of granulated sugar
1 packet of yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast
500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose or bread flour (I used half white-wheat and half AP
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350-400 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water or milk*
1 tsp of salt

Stir the yeast, sugar, and warm water/milk together in a large, mixing bowl. Allow the yeast mixture to bubble up and wake up for 5-10 minutes. Add oil, flour, and salt until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes if using a stand mixer. Once the dough is well-kneaded, place the dough ball in an oil-lined bowl. Cover the dough and allow it to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Once doubled in size, knead the dough again, cover it, and allow to rise a second time (I always did this step once, but I recently discovered she does it twice.). Once risen twice, section off the dough into four parts. Roll out the dough you’ll be using, and freeze the rest in a Zip-loc bag or two.

LA PIZZA MARIANGELA

Crushed tomatoes (avoid boxes/cans of tomatoes with extra, unnecessary ingredients)
Salt to taste
Oregano
Capers (optional)
A small amount of sugar
Extra virgin olive oil
Provola, Scomorza, and/or fresh Mozarella
Fresh Arugula

Preheat the oven to the highest temperature possible. For the sauce, mix the first six (6) ingredients together. Set the sauce aside while you flatten out the dough and dice the cheese(s). Bake the pizza for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and dough is cooked to your liking. Once the pizza has fully cooked, place arugula on top of the hot pizza and eat with fervor!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Mariangela’s Pizza Dough/Mushroom and Turkey “Pepperoni” Pizza

Mariangela’s Pizza Dough

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Freshly kneaded dough comprised of all-purpose and white-wheat flours, yeast, milk, oil, and salt

Reggio Calabria, Italy – Source of Pizza Dough Recipe

This is my go-to recipe for an authentic pizza dough. While living in Reggio Calabria, Italy, I met my now boyfriend and later his family. Every time I went to their house for lunch and/or dinner, his mother would spoil me with so many yummy dishes. In fact, to this day, one of the reasons my boyfriend wants me to return is so that he can eat that well again :).

Freshly kneaded pizza dough

His mother and I share a love for making different types of bread dough and cakes. So, I remember fondly the first time I saw her make pizza dough. I watched her intently and took photos. After eating my first unforgettable slice, I asked her for the recipe. Fortunately, she happily wrote it down for me, and I made this dough for my mom as soon as I returned to the States. My mother liked it so much that she asked me for the recipe and made it herself.

Second Batch of pizza dough: Turkey “Pepperoni” and Mushroom Pizza (I added spinach and arugula later but was too hungry to take another photo! :D)

La ricetta – The recipe

When I lost the pizza dough recipe, my boyfriend’s mom wrote it down for me again, my boyfriend took a photo of it, and sent it to me on my phone.

A photo of Mariangela’s pizza dough recipe and her handwriting 🙂

Peperoni vs. Pepperoni

I’ve made this pizza dough so many times now that I’ve almost memorized it. It is such a simple recipe, which mirrors most, authentic, Italian recipes and dishes. They are so simple yet so delicious! However, I made U.S.-style pizze with salami or what we call “pepperoni” *with 2 “p’s”) (“peperoni” (with 1 “p”) means “little peppers” in Italian), mushrooms, and spinach/arugula, which are blasphemous toppings in my boyfriend’s Italian eyes :). He prefers a wholesome Pizza Margherita or the pizza his mom makes (which I was forced to make later :D).

First batch of dough: Salami or “Pepperoni” and Spring Mix Pizza with mozzarella and provolone.

Pizza Dough Serving Size and Freezer Storage

So, now I share this lovely, pizza dough recipe with you all. It makes enough for 4 personal pizze. With this dough, I put half of it in the freezer and made the other half a few days ago (the pizze from both portions of dough are shown). For the dough shown here, I used 50% all-purpose flour and 50% white-wheat flour.

I used non-traditional cheeses: extra-sharp cheddar and monterey jack!

Vegan Option – No Milk

My boyfriend’s mother made this pizza dough with milk every time I visited but originally made it with water. I’ve never tasted the water-version of her dough, so I make it with skim milk or half skim milk/half water. It’s up to you! I highly suggest weighing your ingredients, but I have provided conversions in parentheses. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Pepperoni Pizza

L’impasto per la pizza di Mariangela

2 cucchiaini di zucchero
1 bustina di lievito di birra
500 grammi di farina (Ho usato 250 gr farina 00 e 250 gr farina integrale)
1 cucchiaio di olio
350 ml di acqua o latte
1 cucchiaino di sale

Mariangela’s Pizza Dough

2 tsp of granulated sugar
1 packet of yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast
500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose or bread flour (I used half white-wheat and half AP)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water or milk
1 tsp of salt

First, stir the yeast, sugar, and warm water/milk together in a large, mixing bowl. Allow the yeast mixture to bubble up and wake up for 5-10 minutes. Add oil, flour, and salt until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes if using a stand mixer. Once the dough is well-kneaded, place the dough ball in an oil-lined bowl. Cover the dough and allow it to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Once doubled in size, knead the dough again, cover it, and allow to rise a second time (I always did this step once, but I recently discovered she does it twice.). Once risen twice, section off the dough into four parts. Roll out the dough you’ll be using, and freeze the rest in a zip-loc bag or two.

Pizza Sauce and Toppings

One small can of tomato sauce (or tomato paste with some water) or whole tomatoes, crushed
Italian seasoning
salt
sugar (optional, to cut down on the acidity)
red chili peppers
capers (optional, did not use)
turkey pepperoni
mushrooms
Spinach/arugula mix (not pictured)

First, mix the first six ingredients together. For the toppings, I used turkey pepperoni, mushrooms and added a spinach/arugula mix afterwards.
Bake at the hottest temperature for your oven on a pizza stone, pizza pan (Mariangela’s uses this), cast-iron skillet, or the back of a jelly-roll pan. I prefer to dock or poke holes with a fork in the dough and then cook it for about 3 minutes. Then I take it out, add the sauce and toppings, and cook it until the crust is to my liking.

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Italian Inspired Burgers

I’m back! Sort of :).
Italian Inspired Burgers. In May of 2008, I first fell in love with Italy. For my first solo trip abroad, I visited Firenze, Pisa, and Venezia and promised myself to return here for good. So on the 2nd of July 2012, I flew from Los Angeles to Berlin to Roma. For almost 9 months now, I have been living in Europe trying to realize my dream of remaining in Italy (yes, even with its economic and political problems) for the rest of my life. Although it does not look like it is going to happen this time around, I plan to come back here after 90 days; and while in the States, I plan to apply for a long-term visa.
I currently live in the southern part of Italy (the big toe of the boot) in Reggio Calabria. This city is not a touristy one, but I love it just the same. While Roma, Napoli, Firenze, Palermo, Venezia, etc are fantastic, glorious cities to visit, I would not want to actually live there. I am a small- to medium-sized city kind of girl.
Reggio Calabria is relatively small, calm and is situated near the Mediterranean Sea and Sicily (one of the advantages of living in Reggio Calabra is that  I can see Sicily and Mt. Etna from just about any point). While in Italy, I have been to Roma, Napoli, Palermo (other Sicilian cities), and other cities in the southern region of mainland Italy. I have hiked up Mt. Etna (near Catania, Sicily) and Mt. Vesuvio (near Pompei and Napoli). I have swum in the sea and have eaten things that I never thought I would. I have met new friends and have found a new partner, and I get to speak and hear Italian all day long!
Due to the Schengen agreement, I can be in Italy for only 90 days at a time. Therefore, once my first 90 days were up, I went to England and lived in a town north of London called Bishop’s Stortford (near Stansted airport). While residing there, I was blessed to have wonderful excursions and experiences as I traveled to Cardiff, Wales; Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland; and Dublin, Galway, and Limerick, Ireland. In England, I visited Bath, Cambridge, Reading, and of course, London. I then returned to Italy at the end of December.  Now, for my departure trip back to the States, I will be passing through Canterbury and Dover, England and revisiting Paris, France via the English Channel. In other words, I have been living a dream these past few months, and my heart breaks every time I think about how it is all about to end.
So, in order to distract myself from deep depression, I have been baking up a storm with my little oven here in Reggio Calabria. I have been making many things (mostly for my boyfriend’s family) such as cookies/biscuits, brownies, cakes, and bread – lots of bread, such as these hamburger buns (even with the availability of ciabatte and focacce (and they are super cheap!), I prefer making my own bread).
In this city, the supermarkets are actually more ethnocentric than those of the States or the UK. Therefore, almost every time I try to create a non-Italian dish, such as Tex-Mex enchiladas, buttermilk biscuits (~savory scones), or burgers, they end up becoming “Italianized” by default due to the lack of certain ingredients characteristic and essential to the desired dishes. For instance, when I discovered there were no jalapeños, cilantro, or Mexican or cheddar cheeses to make my favorite Tex-Mex enchiladas, I had to use pepperoncini, fontina, mozzarella, and Kraft Sottilette Classiche instead. For the buttermilk biscuits, I tried using the baking powder they have here only to find out it is available only with vanilla powder added(!), so the biscuits turned out sweet when I wanted savory (I remedied this problem by purchasing some regular baking powder in the UK).
These burgers here are another example. I was craving a good, old-fashioned burger that you would find in the States, so I started out with my favorite hamburger bun recipe. Instead of bacon and cheddar, however, I added in pancetta and fontina inside of the meat. In the meat I also added a bunch of oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and Lawry’s seasoning salt (my mom brought Lawry’s to me when she visited for Xmas break. Thanks, mom!). Then, I placed the Kraft Sottilette Classiche (white, processed cheese that tastes most similar to Kraft Singles), sautéed mushrooms, and lettuce on top along with homemade, french fries on the side. Needless to say, this burger meal was amazing, and it was so huge that I skipped dinner that day.

Although I miss the gastronomical variety found in my country of origin and the UK, I am thankful that I have acquired the skills and the freedom to make my own creations in the country I love. Although I grow sadder and sadder each day, I am beyond thankful for everything I have been able to do and will do while in Europe. I have had a taste of my ultimate dream, and it will forever linger on my tongue. Although I pray every day that I will be able to return here soon, I need to remind myself to enjoy and appreciate the time I have left, in other words, the here-and-now.

Italian Inspired Burgers
(not really a recipe. Just a list of what I used to make the burger.)

1/2 kilo or 1 lb of ground beef or turkey
The following to taste: seasoning salt (Lawry’s!), pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basilico, pepperoncini, fontina, and pancetta cubes
Mushrooms sautéed in butter or oil until soft and brownish
Lettuce, mayo, or whatever extra fixings you prefer

Mix the seasonings, cheese, and pancetta cubes into the ground turkey or beef. Do not overmix! Form 2-4 patties (depending on how big you want them). Cook the burgers to your desired doneness, and sautée the mushrooms while the burgers cook. Place additional cheese (if using) on top of the burgers during the final 1-2 minutes of cooking. Once the cheese has melted, transfer the burgers to a paper towel to remove excess grease (unless you prefer grease-soaked, burger buns). Place the mushrooms on top and any other fixings you prefer, and enjoy!

I would like to state for the record that the pink serving plate with the big flower is NOT, I repeat, NOT mine. I live in a furnished apartment, so yeah, not mine. I would never voluntarily own anything pink! 😛

Hamburger Buns/Light Brioche Buns

adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: Eight 4- to 5-inch (10-12 cm) burger buns

1 cup (250 ml) warm water (~100 degrees F/38 degrees C) (I do not have a thermometer here, so I know it is ready if I can swirl my finger around in the warm water without feeling too uncomfortable.)
3 Tbsp (44 ml) warm milk
2 tsp (7 gms) active dry yeast (or 25 g/one cube of fresh yeast)
2 1/2 Tbsp (28 gms) granulated or caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups (381 gms) bread flour (farina di grano tenero per pane)
1/3 cup (42 gms) all-purpose or wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 gms) table salt
2 1/2 Tbsp (35 gms) unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds (optional)

  • Yeast Activation and Variation: If using active, dry yeast or fresh yeast: In a glass-measuring cup or a bowl, combine warm water, milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until bubbly for about five minutes. If there is no bubbling/foamy activity after 4-5 minutes, the yeast is most likely dead due to hot water or accidental introduction of salt. DO NOT PROCEED with the recipe, if the yeast is dead. Just start over. It is better to lose these 4 ingredients than to lose all that flour, butter, and time waiting for the dead dough to rise (it won’t…at least not enough). If using instant yeast: simply mix ALL ingredients, except for sesame seeds, together. There is no need to leave it in warm water for 5 minutes (most dry yeast powders I have encountered in Italy follow this method.).
  • In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, lightly-floured counter (despite what many bread recipes state, try to use as little flour as possible to yield a more tender, hydrated bread) and knead by scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 – 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so be patient, and stay away from the bench flour! The dough is ready when it bounces back when you touch it or it creates a think film when you stretch a piece of it. However, if you kneaded consistently for 8-10 minutes, it is definitely ready.
  • Shape dough into a ball, put a little bit of oil in the same mixing bowl, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, clean shower cap, or a clean towel and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk for about one to two hours.(If you do not plan to make the buns immediately, you can place the covered dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If it inflates too much, GENTLY push down the dough. Take the dough out 1-2 hours (depending on the temperature of the room) before you bake it.)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment/oven paper or Silpat. Using a knife or a dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts (use a scale!).Gently roll each into a ball, and arrange them 2-3 inches (5 to 8 cms) apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic/cling wrap lightly coated in oil or nonstick spray, and allow buns to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours. (I froze half of my bun balls (haha). When I’m ready to use them, I will put them in the fridge one day before then take them out of the fridge 1-2 hours before baking them.)
  • Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one Tbsp (15 ml) water and brush some on top of buns. Alternatively, you could brush on the egg and then with your fingers, spray water on top while in the hot oven to create steam and bubbles on top of the bread, which is what I did). Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes. They should be golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangioeviaggiodasola.com

北海道牛奶麵包 Hokkaido Milk Bread

Hokkaido Milk Bread
Hokkaido Milk Bread


Hokkaido Milk Bread
recipe found on

Makes two loaves (each loaf tin size: 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
Ingredients:

  • 540 gm bread flour
  • 86 gm caster sugar
  • 8 gm salt
  • 9 gm full cream milk power(original recipe calls for a kind of natural milk essence, not available here, so I replace it.)
  • 11 gm instant dried yeast
  • 86 gm whisked egg
  • 59 gm whipping cream
  • 54 gm milk
  • 184 gm tangzhong (method of making tangzhong)
  • 49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdccwqX

    Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種) For two loaves): (each loaf tin size: 20.5cm x 10.5cm x 9.5cm).
*NOTE: Best to measure ingredients by weight for most accurate amount.
  • 50 grams OR 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250 ml/ 1 cup water (could be replaced by milk or 50/50 water and milk)
  • Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  • The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.
  • Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )

    Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/03/japanese-style-bacon-and-cheese-bread.html#ixzz2DdhcQu8W

  1. Mix flour in water or milk well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some circular “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon, it is done.
  3. Transfer mixture into a clean bowl. Cover with a saran or cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Use HALF of the mixture for ONE loaf. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to ONEday (If it looks gray, then throw it out and make a new batch. Make sure the chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients.
  • Ingredients for ONE bread loaf
  • *NOTE: Best to measure ingredients by weight for most accurate amount.
  • 350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
  • 55gm/3tbsp+2tsp granulated or caster sugar
  • 5gm/1tsp salt (I use kosher salt)
  • 56gm egg (or 1 large egg)
  • 7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional (I used NIDO milk powder http://www.nestlenido.com/Public/Default.aspx))
  • 125ml / ½cup whole milk
  • 120gm tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
  • 5 to 6gm  / 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
  • Method (To make one loaf):
    1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). (Note: I used to make a small well in the bread flour, then add the yeast into it.) Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme). When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
    2. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 3 equal portions (see picture 1). Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
    3. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (See picture 2). Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press (see picture 3). Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press (see picture 4). Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch to about 30cm in length (see picture 5). With seal upward, roll into a cylinder (see picture 6). With seal facing down (see picture 7), place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing (see picture 8), until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
    4. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

    Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdevL9sQ

  •   INSTRUCTIONS (FOR ONE LOAF):
  1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). (Note: I used to make a small well in the bread flour, then add the yeast into it.) Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme). When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
  2. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 3 equal portions (see picture 1). Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (See picture 2). Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press (see picture 3). Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press (see picture 4). Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch to about 30cm in length (see picture 5). With seal upward, roll into a cylinder (see picture 6). With seal facing down (see picture 7), place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing (see picture 8), until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
  4. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Hokkaido Milk Toast

Makes two loafs (each loaf tin size: 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
Ingredients:

  • 540 gm bread flour
  • 86 gm caster sugar
  • 8 gm salt
  • 9 gm full cream milk power(original recipe calls for a kind of natural milk essence, not available here, so I replace it.)
  • 11 gm instant dried yeast
  • 86 gm whisked egg
  • 59 gm whipping cream
  • 54 gm milk
  • 184 gm tangzhong (method of making tangzhong)
  • 49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdccwqX9

Hokkaido Milk Toast

Makes two loafs (each loaf tin size: 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
Ingredients:

  • 540 gm bread flour
  • 86 gm caster sugar
  • 8 gm salt
  • 9 gm full cream milk power(original recipe calls for a kind of natural milk essence, not available here, so I replace it.)
  • 11 gm instant dried yeast
  • 86 gm whisked egg
  • 59 gm whipping cream
  • 54 gm milk
  • 184 gm tangzhong (method of making tangzhong)
  • 49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdccwqX9

 



Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Sausage Buns and Giveaway Winner!

My supposedly fixed oven slightly overcooked my buns, but they didn’t taste burnt at all.

I saw these buns on Hearty Bakes and knew that I needed, wanted, and deserved to make them pronto. The dough was easy to put together, but the instructions in the first recipe were lacking some detail for me, so I looked up another recipe on Fresh Loaf that was basically the same but with more steps. I used the recipe from the first and the shaping instructions from the second. The compilation of the two recipes is below along with some process photos.

The dough was still so soft and had just the right texture due to the mixture of bread and AP flour. For the hot dog portion, I used Nathan’s hot dog wieners, which were longer and skinnier than the average wiener. Consequently, I had to make the dough rope longer. When you make these buns, make the dough rope slightly more than double the size of the wiener for proper coverage.

With this recipe, I ended up with double the amount of dough needed for 8 buns, so I plan to use the other half of the dough for monkey bread or more sausage buns. They are sitting in the freezer waiting for their purpose in life :). I hope you make these buns soon. They are fantastic. If you’re a yeastaphobe, these are a pretty easy and fun introduction to making bread.

Paella Pan Giveaway Winner: According to the Random Generator, out of 51 valid entries, the winning number is 26, which is scrambledhenfruit!! Congratulations! Email me ASAP with your contact information.

I am submitting this post to yeastspotting!

Sausage Buns
If you possess a scale, please weigh your ingredients instead of using measuring cups.

400 g (1 3/4 cup) Bread Flour
100 g (almost 1/2 cup) Plain Flour
1 Tbsp instant yeast
100g (almost 1/2 cup) castor or granulated sugar
1 tsp salt (I used kosher)
220 ml (~3/4 cup) warm water (110 degrees F)
75 g (1/3 cup) soften butter (I used unsalted)
16 Hot dogs or sausages (I put 16 because with 8 wieners, I still had another bunch of dough left)
Egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp water)
 
Preheat oven 190 degrees C/350 degrees F.

Mix bread flour, plain four, yeast, sugar, salt in the mixer bowl, and slowly pour in water. Knead the dough till gluten is formed. Add butter and knead till dough smooth & elastic. Leave aside to prove till double in bulk.

After proof or bread has risen, weigh and slice dough in equal weight (50g each/ping-pong ball size), and shape it round. Leave aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Next, roll the dough into individual long rod shapes, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten. Roll out each log again and gently stretch them into thinner, longer logs. They’ll need to be long enough to wrap around your sausage, so make them a bit more than double the length of the wiener or sausage.

[If you want the middle bulge of your bun to be bigger, you could also at this point taper the ends of your dough log by rolling the very ends a bit thinner until they form a point at each end.] 

Wrap the log around the sausage and try to leave both ends on the bottom. That way, you can easily form a better seal by pressing the dough-wrapped sausage down on the ends. You’ll want to place the shaped buns on a greased baking sheet, parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Wrap dough over the each sausage, and place them on baking tray. Cover tray with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.

Leave them for final proof till double in size, estimated time about 30 minutes. When they start to look puffy, brush them lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds and/or sea salt (if using) on top.

Brush with egg wash on top of buns, and bake buns for about 20 minutes. Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 200C (~400F) oven for 8 minutes, and then 180C (~350F) for 5 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Pizza Braid and My Makeshift Pizza Sauce

Remember the BBQ Chicken Braid I made? Well, I took out the other half of the dough from the freezer, placed it in the refrigerator overnight, and then let it sit out on the counter for more than an hour (I forgot it was sitting there!! Oops!).
I added my own pizza sauce to the base, grated some mozzarella cheese, and then added pepperoni, Italian seasoning, and more cheese on top. I then braided the bread and brushed olive oil on top. I didn’t to allow it to rise a second time because the sun was quickly descending, and it still tasted just fine.

Ah, lovely blue photos. *cry*

I actually enjoyed this one much more than the chicken one. Oh, it was so good. I dipped some of the braid in ranch dressing and some in marinara sauce. Both sauces were great complements to this dish. I can’t wait to make this dough again and try out more savory dishes!

Look at that cheese peaking out of the braid!! Oh goodness!!

The recipe for the bread, braid, and process photos can be found here and printable recipe here. What fillings would you like to try in braid form?
*UPDATE* Someone asked me to post my pizza sauce on here. I didn’t originally post it b/c it is so simple and I don’t ever measure it out. I will just tell you what I use:

Makeshift/Quick Pizza Sauce

One small can (6-8 oz) of tomato sauce
About 1 Tbsp or more of dried Italian seasoning
1/2-1 Tbsp of fresh or dry basil, chopped fine (I’m so glad I’m growing this stuff.)
1/2-1 Tbsp of fresh or dried parsley, chopped fine (I know the Italian seasoning has basil and parsley, but I like to enhance the flavor with more)
About 1/2-1 tsp of granulated sugar (to counteract the acidity of tomatoes)
1 tsp garlic powder (optional. I sometimes forget to add this.)
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or the can itself and spread on the pizza dough. I never cook this sauce before adding it to the dough. It just isn’t necessary, and it’s quicker.

That’s it! Enjoy!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com