Random (but not really)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Vanilla Cinnamon Bread

Vanilla Cinnamon Bread
from The New Best of Better Baking by Marcy Goldman

1 ½ cups warm water
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp salt (vanilla salt if you have it)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp non-fat dry milk
¼ cup instant potato flakes (1)
3 ½ to 4 ½ cups bread flour (2) (3)

2 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)

Two 8- x 4- inch bread pans

Add yeast to water and let sit for a few minutes. Stir in butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, dry milk, and potato flakes / flour. Add 3 ½ cups of bread flour and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to form a soft dough. (As noted, I use potato flour, and it is a really sticky dough that never cleanly pulls away from the sides of the bowl.)

Let dough rise 30 to 45 minutes, or until about doubled.

Mix together cinnamon and sugar.

Roll out dough into a 12 by 10 rectangle. Brush dough with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll up into a log and cut in half to make 2 loaves and place in pans. (I actually cut in half before rolling, and manipulate the roll, pinching in the ends, so that the cinnamon sugar bits are sealed inside. This makes a finished loaf that is a bit more like poticza and less like normal cinnamon bread, but makes the pans MUCH easier to clean. And I like the more random cinnamon swirld.)

Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until dough rises just above the edge of the pan.

Preheat oven to 350. I generally preheat for at least 30 minutes, or try to bake something else before the bread so the oven is definitely at temp, but then I keep a baking stone in the bottom of my oven.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until loaves are brown. Cool in pans for 15 minutes then remove from pan.

(1) I only have potato flour, and I’ve dropped it to 2 tbsp and it’s still a very sticky.
(2) 1 cup of flour = 4.5 oz for her recipes
(3) I’ve used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and added 1 tsp gluten

Written by Michelle at 5:43 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Peach Rum Sauce

for Amy

Peach Rum Sauce
From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

6 cups chopped, pitted, peeled peaches
2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup rum
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.

Reduce heat and boil, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 20 minutes.

¼ inch head space, process 8 oz jars for 10 minutes.

Written by Michelle at 5:41 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Books of October: All Historical Mystery

If you don’t like historical mysteries, feel free to skip to the end. And if you already know how awesome Ellis Peter’s Brother Cadfael mysteries, same.

I’d picked a bunch of the Brother Cadfael mysteries up years ago, when they were on sale, but hadn’t gotten around to reading them. After finishing the Owen Archer series, I was floundering about looking for something else and couldn’t find the book/series to hit the spot, till I decided to read this.

I really like this series. It’s one of the best historical mystery series I’ve read in a very long time, and doesn’t suffer when reading one book after the other (some series, I can ready a couple books then have to take a break).

Historical Mystery

Brother Cadfael
A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) Ellis Peters (8.5/10)
One Corpse Too Many (1979) Ellis Peters (8.5/10)
Monk’s Hood (1980) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Leper of Saint Giles (1981) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Virgin in the Ice (1982) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Devil’s Novice (1983) Ellis Peters (8.5/10)
Dead Man’s Ransom (1984) Ellis Peters (9/10)
The Pilgrim of Hate (1984) Ellis Peters (9/10)
An Excellent Mystery (1985) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Raven in the Foregate (1986) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Rose Rent (1986) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1987) Ellis Peters (8/10)

Charles Finch
A Stranger in Mayfair (2010) Charles Finch (6/10)

Now to the stats!

I read 14 books in October, bringing my total for the year to 147–the same number of books I read in all 2009.

All the books were ebooks, the books were mysteries. Currently, this is the highest percentage of mysteries I’ve read in a single year 92010 and 2015 were 34% mysteries).

And male authors fell even further behind, with only a single book this month–Ellis Peters was a male pseudonym, so this puts female authors even further ahead of the male authors writing only 19% of the books I’ve ready this year.

That’s it for October. I’m getting close to the end of the Brother Cadfael series, so I’m going to have to figure out what I’m going to read next–possibly a bunch of new releases I’ve been ignoring.

Written by Michelle at 5:41 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

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