Thursday, November 22, 2018

Triple Ginger Cookies

Triple Ginger Cookies

Hey y'all! So, I wasn't going to do a post, but @pwdcreative requested the recipe for these cookies, so, I have to share. I've been baking these cookies during the holidays over the past few years and they are amazing. They are super chewy, spicy and addictive. Super simple to make (ugh, this is why I never make baci di dama, I love them but they are a pain in the butt). It's Thanksgiving today, and I have loads to do, as you can imagine. I have a couple of doughs fermenting in the fridge, the sidewalks are slick with last night's rain, and I'm about to put on some Bill Evans because, I don't know, he's just so good for cozy, rainy days.

Here is the recipe. I won't bore you with more blabber. I mean, Instagram has allowed us to streamline our thoughts, yeah? Who even keeps up on their own blogs anymore?? 🤷🏽‍♀️


Use all organic ingredients when possible.

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 TB cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
a few rasps of fresh nutmeg
pinch salt
150g candied ginger, chopped into small bits
1 cup Turbinado sugar

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as it whips. Add the egg and beat thoroughly. Coat the inside of your quarter measure with oil, then pour your molasses in. Great. Now get this into the butter mixture (oiling the cup ensures that all of the molasses comes out) and beat.

In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, soda, salt and spices. In 3 additions, add it into the butter mixture. I do this by hand to avoid overmixing the dough, which toughens the cookies. When almost all of the flour is incorporated, toss in the chopped ginger and mix to combine.

Tear off a pice of parchment paper, about 12" long. Plop the dough into the center of it and shape it into a log. Once it's shaped, sprinkle the Turbinado sugar over the log and roll it back and forth to coat. Wrap the log in the parchment. Place on  a cookie sheet. Place in fridge for at least an hour. At the last half hour, preheat the ov to 350.

When the dough is chilled, take it out of the fridge and unwrap. Slice into 1/4" thick slices and place on a cookie sheet lined with Silpat or parchment. They will spread a bit. I think I get 15 cookies per sheet? I can never remember.

Bake till the edges are just starting to go goldenish. I never time, because suggested times are meaningless when it comes to cookie baking, in my opinion. The tops will start to crackle a bit, and the edges will round nicely like this:

You have to use your baking prowess for the timing. Go for a little under rather than over. I watch my cookies like a hawk. Light golden is what you want. Anything more than this is too far gone. With these, golden goes out the window because the dough is already so dark. But trust me, you'll know when it's time.


(adapted from The View From Great Island)

Always A Little More

Monday, November 5, 2018

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe 

I have so much going on so I am going to keep this brief, but I wanted to do a post so that you could add this to your bread arsenal. If I post it on Instagram, it's bound to get lost.

I'm gearing up for holiday baking season y'all! My boyfriend is moving to a new house in a few weeks and our new neighbors/good friends are cookie monsters, so I'm really looking forward to being in the kitchen loads this year. The new house has a fireplace too, so I anticipate lots of cozy nights around a roaring fire eating sweetie things and celebrating our good fortune. Hooray!

I've been thinking of this bread for a while. Cacio e pepe is a classic pasta dish from Rome. It translates to 'cheese and pepper', so, you can see why this would be as good in bread as it is in pasta. The pasta recipe is very simple and it's always the same: pecorino, parmesan, olive oil, butter and coarsely ground black pepper. I ate a quarter of the round this morning 😳, and man alive! Is it good! The crust is shattery the first day and tender after. The crumb is tender and savory/spicy. This would be a lovely addition to your holiday table. One note: I grated the cheese for this bread. I usually add cheese in chunks, but I find when I do that it creates large holes, which, as you know, I'm not a fan of. I've discovered that grating the cheese keeps the crumb in tact so you can actually use it for sandwiches (OMG. A prosciutto sandwich on this...), makes it über tender, and flavors the bread more evenly.

I have loads to accomplish today, not much new to report, so I will leave you with this week's Roman bread.

To the staff of life!

Cacio e Pepe


Make your levain by mixing together the following:
12g 100% dark rye, 100% hydration starter
75g h2o
75g freshly ground organic spelt flour

Ferment for at least 7 or 8 hours.


All of the levain
362g h2o
450g BRM or Giusto's artisan flour
50g freshly ground organic spelt flour
65g pecorino cheese, grated
55g parmigiano-reggiano, grated
10g good quality extra virgin olive oil
8g kosher salt
3g coarsely ground black pepper (I toasted whole pepper corns until they began to wiggle around in the pan, then milled them coarsely into the dough)

When the levain is at its peak, mix it with the flours and h2o until you reach a shaggy mass. Autolyse for 1 hour.

After the autolyse, squish the salt, pepper and olive oil into the dough so that it is thoroughly incorporated. Time for the 4-hour bulk fermentation, during which time you will perform 3 series of turns. At the first series of turns, fold in the cheese, trying to keep it in within the dough as much as you can to avoid excessive burning at bake time. Do a couple more series of gentle folds within the bulk fermentation. I usually only do a few series for the first two hours, then leave the dough to do it's thing for the final two.  You will know when it's time to stop your turns when the dough really starts to expand. If you fold during the total bulk fermentation, you risk knocking the gasses out of the dough making for a leaden loaf. No bueno.

After the bulk fermentation, scrape the dough onto a worktable that you have dusted with brown rice flour, gather it into a loose round and let it rest for a few minutes.

After it has rested, shape it into a taut boule, and pop it into a banneton or a bowl lined with a linen that has been dusted with brown rice flour (which is what I do). Get it into the fridge and ferment 18 hours.


One hour before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 500 degrees, installed with a baking stone and both halves of your combo cooker.

After the hour preheat, remove the dough bowl from the fridge, place a piece of parchment over the mouth of it, then a pizza peel on top of this, now flip the whole thing over so that the dough ends up on top of the parchment and peel. Remove the linen.

Snip or score the dough, the slide it into the shallow end of the combo cooker. Cover with the fat end and steam the loaf at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Now turn the oven down to 475 and bake for another 15. After the steam, remove the lid, nestle the shallow end of the pan holding the bread over the mouth of it to create a buffer between the bread bottom and the hot stone (this prevents burnt bottoms), and turn the oven down to 450 degrees. It will be cognac brown because of the cheese, much more brown than you are used to seeing after steam. During the last half hour of the bake, keep your eye on the loaf, spinning the pan for even baking, and you may even need to lower the temp to 425 for the final few minutes because the cheese makes the crust brown quickly. Take the internal temp to 210 degrees.

Allow to cool for at least an hour, preferably two, before slicing.