Baking Tidbits

Helpful Hints to simply the baking process

CULINARY MAKEOVERS – # 19 – Chocolate Pizzelle Brownies

I love crispy wafer-like cookies and I get them when I make Pizzelles.  Pizzelles are a wafer-like cookie or pastry if you will, made in a flat decorative iron.  They are Italian in origin but are very similar to the Norwegian Krumkake which is also made in a flat decorative iron, though as thin as the Pizzelle is, the Krumkake is even thinner.

The recipe that I have for the Pizzelle is quite large and makes a large quantity.  The reason for the large quantity is that the cookie is so thin that it only take a tablespoon or less for each one – and they are at least 6″ in diameter.  This time that I made them, I made them Chocolate so that both myself and my husband would be able to enjoy the treat.  Ev loves Chocolate and I love anything thin so the Chocolate Pizzelle were perfect. Because the recipe makes such a huge quantity, I only made a half recipe.  (Next time I will make a third recipe)  Since the recipe calls for 6 eggs, dividing it half was pretty simple.  Dividing into thirds will also be simple, but if I make it any smaller, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to do it.

In addition to loving thin crispy cookies, I also love Marshmallows and if you have ever had homemade Marshmallows, you would never ever eat a commercially manufactured one again.  To most people it would seem that Marshmallows are difficult make, but the opposite is true.  The main ingredients in Marshmallows are Egg Whites (only 2), Sugar and Gelatin.  You can get at least 16 2″square Marshmallows out of one recipe.

Since I like Pizzelle and love Marshmallows, I also made some Chocolate Pizzelle/Marshmallow Treats which were like little sandwiches with Marshmallow in the middle and Chocolate Pizzelle on the outside.  But since we are only a household of two and we don’t have company every week you eventually either get tired of eating the treats that were made or they get stale.  The Pizzelle were still edible after one week but they were getting a little soft and we were ready for something else.

As I said previous;y, Ev, my husband loves Chocolate and I make him a Chocolate Treat every week. Sometimes it is Chocolate Chip Cookies, sometimes it is Brownies and this time it was Pizzelle but as I said, after a week we were getting somewhat tired of the Pizzelle and even the Marshmallows so I decided to reinvent them or create a new treat, thereby coming up with Culinary Makeover #19 which was Chocolate Pizzelle/Marshmallow Brownies.

To make the Brownies, I first pulverized the remaining Pizzelle in the Food Processor and then transferred them to a Dry Measuring Cup (1 cup size)

 

Pizzelle in Processor

Broken-up Pizzelle in Food Processor Workbowl

Pizzelle Crumbs

                                               Pizzelle Crumbs

 

 

Next, I broke up the Pizzelle/Marshmallow Sandwiches and chopped them up.

 

Pulverizng Marshmallows

                                         Pulverizng Marshmallows

 

 

To make the Brownies I used my ‘Go-To’ Brownie recipe for Fudge Brownies.  The only difference was that I had 1 cup of pulverized Brownies.  The 1 cup of Pulverized Brownies replaced one cup of the Flour in the recipe.  So we had 1 cup of Pulverized Brownies and 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour.  I also reduced the Sugar to less than 1 cup.

 

Pizzelle Crumbs and Flour

                                              Pizzelle Crumbs and Flour

 

 

After making the Brownie Batter, I folded in the chopped up Marshmallows and baked them as usual.

 

Folding in Marshmallows

                                       Folding in Marshmallows

 

 

 

The result was a delicious, moist Brownie that had a cake-like texture but was very good and enjoyed by both my husband and myself.

Baked Brownies

                                         Baked Brownies

 

You can use any kind of stale cookies to make the Brownies – doesn’t have to be Pizzelle and other leftover baked goods can be utilized in the same manner.  Try it yourself and experiment to create totally new delights.  This treat is also good with Ice Cream!

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/08/30 at 4:40 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Cookies, Cooking for Kids, Culinary Makeovers, Dessert Ideas, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , , ,

NATIONAL APPLE MONTH

October is ‘National Apple Month’ so I decided to look up and see how many different kinds of Apples there are.  Wow, I did not expect to find the number I did – there are literally dozens and maybe hundreds – the only letter in the Alphabet that does not bear the name of an Apple is  ”X”.  There are numerous kinds of Apples for each and every letter, however most of us are familiar with only a small number of them.

 The most common Apples are the Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Pippins and Granny Smith.  The best for eating are the Delicious, of course and the Gala and Fuji.  The best for baking are Granny Smith and Pippins.  The last two are not terribly sweet and have a firm flesh which lends them well to baked goods such as pies and pastries.  For cooking and Applesauce the Winesap and Gravensteins are excellent.  

My favorite use for Apples is to make Pie and of course, there is nothing as American as ‘Apple Pie’. I also love Apple Turnovers made with Puff Pastry.  Puff Pastry is a pain to make but you can purchase frozen Puff Pastry Sheets which work very well.  You can also use Pie Crust or even Yeast Dough for your Turnovers Shells.

There are also many other ways in which we can use Apples and so I am going to explore some of them here and reference several really great recipes.  The first one is for Apple Bread – what a good way to use up those Apples from your tree or even the ones you bought.   You can even use Applesauce.  Try the referenced recipe. This recipe makes two to three loaves, depending on the size of the pans you use.  You can also make Muffins from the same recipe.  If there is too much for your family to consume at one time, these loaves freeze well or you can share them with your friends.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/apple-bread/

Apple Pie can be made in various ways – there are French Apple Pies with a streusel topping and then there are the traditional ‘American’ type Apple Pies with both a bottom and a top crust.  The referenced recipe is for a French Apple Pie  which always easy to make because there is only a bottom crust and you don’t have to worry about getting the top crust to fit and look beautiful.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/pies-pastry/

Apple Turnovers are absolutely my favorite way to go!  You can eat them out of hand without utensils;  they are good for Breakfasts on the Go  or for snacks or Desserts.     You can use Puff Pastry or Pie Crust or any of your favorite pastry doughs.

www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/pies-pastry/apple-turnovers/

Apple Brown Betty is an old fashioned dish which can also be used for dessert or for Breakfast.  There is no Pie Crust to worry about, just a cumbly topping.  It is fast and easy to make and is great with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream on top.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/deserts/apple-brown-betty/

Caramel Apples are one of my favorite ways to eat Apples.  I love Apples and I love Caramel and nothing goes better together than Apples and Caramel.  And since Halloween is this Month what better treat than Caramel Apples to share with the kids.  This recipe is simple to make and the Apples are fun to eat.  The best Apples to use for Caramel Apples are Granny Smith or Golden Delicious.  Pippins are also good, but make sure that they are somewhat ripe or they will be to tart to eat, even with the Caramel.  www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/halloween-recipes/caramel-apples/

Remember, October is ‘National Apple Month’ and there is no better time to buy and eat Apples than now.  Even better is if you can pick your own, either from your own trees or nearby orchards.  Play around and experiment – Apples are a wondrous fruit and don’t forget ‘An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away’.  Try a different Apple Recipe for the Month of October – ‘National Apple Month’.  And another reason for eating and using them now is that later on, the Apples you buy will all have been in cold storage which makes them mealy and less tasty.  So take advantage of ‘National Apple Month.  

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/10/04 at 10:53 AM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

ZUCCHINI BREAD – BAKING DAY – CLEAN OUT THE REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER

Shredded Carrots and Zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I wanted to get rid of some of the items in my refrigerator and freezer, so i decided to make a non-traditional Zucchini Bread, using Zucchini, Carrots, Chocolate Cookie Crumbs and chopped Macadamia Nuts and dried Pineapple.

 

Since I ended up with 4 cups of shredded fruit/Vegetable (yes, Zucchini is a fruit) I doubled my normal recipe./zuchinni-muffins/  The ingredients that I used are:

6 Eggs

2 cups Brown Sugar*

1 cup granulated Sugar

1 cup Butter

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

4 cups shredded Zucchini and Carrots

5 cups Flour

1 cup finely chopped Chocolate Cookie Crumbs

2 tsps. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

2 tsps. Salt

2 tsps. ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground Cloves

*I never use the total amount of Sugar and Oil that the original recipe calls for.  Tastes just as good with less sugar and lasts just as long with less oil.
For a  bread with more chocolate flavor you can substitute 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup baking Cocoa.
Be sure and grease/spray your baking pans before getting started.  If you are making muffins, you can use paper liners instead of greasing the pan.
It is best to measure the flour and mix it together with the other dry ingredients before you get started.  The oven should be preheating while you are making the batter.
  • Beat the Eggs with a paddle beater in your electric mixer or whisk by hand.
  • Add the Sugars and Vanilla;  beat in.
  • While still beating, slowly add the oil and then stir in the shredded fruit/vegetables.
  • Stir in the Flour mixture;  mix until well combined.
  • Finally stir in the chopped Nut/dried Pineapple mixture.

Pour into the prepared pans (half full) and bake as directed above.

The fruit used can be varied – almost any fruit will do in this recipe.

When a toothpick inserted in the middle of the breads comes out clean, they are done.  However, I usually bake them about 5 minutes longer so that the tops are more brown and crispy.  If you are muffin top lover, then definitely bake them just a little bit longer than necessary.

Zucchini Bread and Muffins

 

As an added note, this recipe produces a relatively healthy product.  You have your vegies in the Zucchini and Carrots (Vitamin A here).  I used Red Carrots which seem to have much more pigment than the orange ones – this means more Vitamin A as the pigment is where the Vitamins are.  In the photo at the top of the page, the carrots look orange (dark orange!) but if you look closely you will see the red.  Most of the red is on the outside, but the orange is much darker than on regular orange carrots, thereby probably containing more Carotene (Vitamin A source)

The recipe also contains Eggs, Macadamia Nuts and dried Pineapple.  The Butter and/ or  Oil are also essential products for a healthy body.  Whether you think it or not, oils are essential for survival!

Try my version or create your own.  This is a very flexible recipe and you can do a lot with it.  By the way, I usually use Raisins (good source of Iron) but since I had the Pineapple and am trying to clean out my fridge and freezer, I used that.  You can use whatever you have on hand!  Enjoy!

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/04/24 at 7:33 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

LET’S BAKE! – RAISIN SPICE BARS

It’s still National Bake Week so what are you going to bake today?  I made some Raisin Spice Bars which served as our Breakfast today. /raisin-and-spice-bars/ They are yummy and full of energy.  Do you like Baked Goods with Molasses and Raisins?  I do and these are especially good.

Before we go any further, do you know where Molasses comes from?  If not, think about the different types of Sugar we have.  There is:  Granulated, Brown, Dark Brown, Powdered and then Turbinado which some manufacturer’s call Raw.  Bear in mind that you cannot use Raw Sugar. It is full of bugs and what not.

 

So how does the Brown Sugar get its color?  Molasses, that is what!  There are many steps in the manufacture of Sugar and Granulated is the final one in the processing of sugar cane.  Molasses is a natural product in sugar.  So on the way to being Granulated, Brown and Dark Brown are one of the products.  So Molasses is a sweetener.

 

Making these breakfast gems is a simple task, especially if you use your food processor or electric mixer.  Start with softened Butter and Cream it with the Sugar.  Either Light Brown or Granulated Sugar can be used, depending on how much Molasses taste you want in the finished product.  Next add the Egg, Molasses and Milk and blend well.

Batter made in Food Processor

 

Finally add the Raisins.  For a moister and plumper raisin you can plump them by steeping in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Be sure to drain well after plumping.

 

Turn the mixture into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on the oven.  When a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out dry, then your Spice Bars are done.  Cool on a wire rack.  When completely cool, cut into bars.

Raisin.Spice Bars Square

If desired a Confectioners Sugar Glaze or a Cream Cheese Frosting can be used.  /cream-cheese-frosting/

 

Again, this bar makes a very tasty and somewhat nutritioius breakfast.  For an even healthie snack, substitute part of the cake flour with whole wheat flour.

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/04/05 at 3:36 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

LET’S BAKE – COOKIES

For Day Two of ‘National Bake Week’ we are going to talk about cookies.  Again, this is the format I use when I do my Teen Baking Camps during the summers.  Day two is always about cookies.  Day one was bread and that is probably what everyone thinks is the hardest to do.  So when you do what you think is the hardest, then everything else seems easy and nothing is easier than making cookies.

 

What is America’s favorite Cookie?  Chocolate Chip of course!  Chocolate Chip Cookies are probably the most versatile of all cookies to make.  First of all, there are many varities of Chips.  There are Bitter Sweet, Semi-Sweet, ( my husband’s favorite) Milk Chocolate (my favorite) and White Chocolate.  There are also Peanut Butter Chips and Butterscotch Chips which I use those in Chocolate Based Cookies.

 

Choc. P-Nut Butter Chip Cookies

 

Then you can use M & M’s, Reese’s Pieces and my all-time favorite – ‘Milky Ways’ cut up into small pieces.  I love the milk chocolate and caramel in those cookies.

 

Milky Way Cookies before Baking

 

The best ingredients to use for cookies is Unsalted Butter (even if the recipe calls for shortening), fresh Eggs, Cake Flour (for softer cookies) and pure Vanilla.  I use Vanilla Bean Paste which has a more intense flavor than extract and gives the added exotic look of those little black specks of Vanilla Bean.

 

For drop cookies, which Chocolate Chip are, it is best to have the Butter and Eggs at room temperature.  You want to cream the Butter until it is soft and fluffy along with the Sugar.  Once these ingredients have been well incorporated, then you can add the flavoring, flour, salt and leavening agent.  For Chocolate Chip Cookies the leavening agent is usually baking soda.  Sugar cookies usually call for Baking Powder. In case you are wondering what the difference is between Baking Soda and Baking Powder here it is:

Baking Soda is Bicarbonate of Soda – NHCO3

 

Baking Powder is Baking Soda combined with an Acid such as Cream of Tartar and a starch filler.

 

If you run out of Baking Powder you can make your own, that is if you have Baking Soda on hand:

 

1 tsp. of Baking Powder is = to 1/4 tsp. of Baking Soda + 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar

 

Once your Dough is made drop it by the teaspoon onto greased or parchment lined baking pans.  I prefer to use a #60 food scoop.  By using the food scoop it takes only one hand to shape the cookies.  If you use a teaspoon you have to use a second teaspoon to push the dough off the first spoon.  If you prefer larger cookies, use a soup spoon or a #20 food scoop.

Bake you cookies in a 375 degree oven or 350 degree convection oven.  For 2 cookie sheets adjust the oven racks to positions #2 and 4.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your cookies.

Remove the baked from the oven (be sure to use pot holders) and place on cooling racks.  If you use parchemtn use can just slide the parchment with the cookies onto the cooling racks.  If the cookies are baked directly on the pan, allow them to cool for 5 minutes or so before trying to remove from the pan.  Always use a spatula to remove the cookies from the baking pans.

 

For those people who have gluten allergies, try making Meringue Cookies.  These are cookies made for Egg Whites and Sugar and flavorng.  The Egg Whites are beaten along with the Sugar until they are stiff and then shaped on the pan the same way as the Chocolate Chip.  For more decorative cookies, they can be extruded through a pastry bag using a large star tip.  For Macaroons, Macaroon Coconut or ground Almonds can be added to the Beaten Egg Whites.

 

Coconut Macaroons

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/04/02 at 7:54 AM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Dessert Ideas, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , ,

LET’S BAKE!

 

The first week in April is ‘National Bake Week’.  What a wonderful week to proclaim as most ofus know that there is nothing as welcoming as the aroma of fresh baking permeating the air.  There are cookies and pies and pastries; chocolate and vanilla and almond and Cinnamon.  All the flavors and essences that go into fresh baked products.

My blogs this week will pay homage to ‘National Bake Week and I will start out today as I start my Teen Baking Camps during the summer.  And that is with the baking of bread.  If you can bake a loaf of bread, then you can most likely bake anything.  Some people will think that starting with bread may be too difficult, but it really isn’t.  I am talking about yeast breads, not the quick variety of bread that is made with baking powder or baking soda and is not sturdy enough to toast or make a sandwich out of.

The nice thing about yeast breads is that it is very difficult to over mix as it is with chemical leavening agents.  Basic Yeast breads contain flour which contains gluten which is what forms the walls of your bread.  In addition, there is of course yeast, sugar or another sweetener to feed the yeast (yeast is a live organism which needs food and warm liquid to multiply) and a liquid, usually water.  These are the basic ingredients.  From just these four ingredients you can make flat bread (pizza dough), French Bread or Sourdough Bread.  Add Butter or Oil and your bread becomes softer and longer lasting.  Add Eggs and you have Egg Bread which is even softer and is great for French Toast, Cinnamon Rolls or Danish.

The type of flour that you use for you bread depends on how you want your bread to turn out.  You can use All-Purpose Flour which as its name implies can be used for most anything.  Whole Wheat Flour can be used to substitute for part of the White Flour.  If you want your Bread to have a good structure use Bread Flour which has more Gluten than All-Purpose Flour. If you do use Bread Flour you will probably want to make your bread in your Standing Mixer or Food Processor as Bread Flour is harder to knead by hand.  Corn Flour can be used for part of the Bread or All-Purpose Flour as well as Rye which is used of course to make Rye Bread.

The sweeteners that are used for bread are sugar, honey, molasses (wheat bread), or malt powder.  Even though there is some sugar in flour (maltose) most bread recipes call for a sweetener in a small amount, usually not more than 1 Tablespoon unless of course, you are making a sweet bread.

The liquids that are used for bread can be water, juice, milk (I prefer to use Instant Dry Milk as the enzymes in fresh milk, unless scalded will inhibit the yeast from developing).

If you want a whole list of Yeast Breads we could probably fill up the whole page, but from here on in, I am going to describe the bread that I decided to start ‘National Bake Week’ with.

I am a lover of Olives and I had a jar of pitted Kalamata Olives (Greek Olives) in my refrigerator, so I decided to make a loaf of Olive Bread.  I wanted my bread to have an Italian or Mediterranean flavor appeal as I was going to serve it with a homemade pasta dinner.  Having just made the pasta and used some semolina flour along with my All-Purpose Flour, I decided that the Bread would also have some Semolina in it.

I roughly chopped the Olives in my Food Processor with the Metal Chopping Blade and then switched to the Dough Blade.  (Actually, for this type of bread, it would have been better to use my Kitchen Aid as the Olives do tend to change the texture of the bread.)  To the chopped Olives I added about a cup of Semolina and 2 -3 cups of Bread Flour – I don’t measure.  When making bread you don’t necessarily go by measurements, but by feel.  You want the texture of the bread dough to be soft but not dry and not wet.  For this reason, it is best for new bread makers to knead their dough by hand until they become accustomed to how the dough should look and feel.

However, since I made my dough in the Food Processor I will describe the method I used for it.  To the Olives and Flour I added 2 teaspoons of Salt and 1 Tablespoon of Yeast and 1 Tablespoon of Sugar.  I put the top on and took off the small feed tube.  While the machine was running, I slowly added the water along with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil.  Once enough water had been added, I allowed the Dough to knead for one minute.  If you are doing this in your Kitchen-Aid or other standing mixer, you must knead for at least 7 minutes.  If you are kneading by hand, then you must knead for at least 10 minutes.

Once the knead had reached the consistency and texture that I wanted, I removed it from the Food Processor Bowl and put it in a greased bowl and then covered it with plastic wrap.  Since I had decided at a late hour to make the Dough and wanted it to be ready for dinner I had to do a fast rise.  This is how I did it.

While I was making the Dough I heated my oven to 200 degrees and then shut it off and left the door open for about 10 minutes.  This allowed just enough warmth to help the dough rise without cooking it.  If the yeast gets too hot, it will die and not be able to grow and release carbon dioxide to make your bread rise.  I placed the covered bowl with the dough in it in the oven for about half an hour or until the dough had doubled in bulk.

 

Risen Dough for Olive Bread

Then I punched down the dough, flattened and shaped it into a long loaf.  To form the loaf, I flattened the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 8 and then folded over ¼ on the long side and flattened it down.

Flattened Dough

One fourth of the long edge folded in and flattened

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then folded over the same amount on the other side and did the same thing.

 

Double Fold

Quadruple Fold – Forming the Loaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I folded the whole thing in half and flattened it again being sure to seal the opened edges.  I then returned it to the oven and let it rise again until doubled in bulk.  Fortunately, I have a double oven, so the raising was done in the top oven.  While the dough was rising, I heated my pizza stone in the bottom oven at 500 degrees.  When the stone was heated and the bread had risen sufficiently, I turned the oven down to 375 degrees and baked my bread.  It took about 45 minutes to bake completely.  If you are using a pizza stone be sure to sprinkle some cornmeal on it and on the peel from which you will slide your loaf onto the stone.

When the bread is done, it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Next take it out and place it on a wire rack to cool.  Once the bread has cooled sufficiently so that you can touch it without burning yourself, you can then slice it and serve it.  To slice a warm loaf of bread, heat your bread knife under hot running water and then dry it with a clean towel.  This will make it easier to slice.

A bread knife is always a serrated knife as the best way to cut bread is to use a sawing motion.  If you use a straight edge knife you will have to press down and that will squash the bread.

For large slices, cut your bread at an angle.  For smaller slices cut t straight across.

One last thought on bread making.  If it seems too hard to you, just try before you negate the process.  One of the wonderful things about bread making is that it helps to get rid of the frustrations of a hard working day.  It lets you get rid of the stress in a constructive manner.  When you are done making bread, you feel less bodilyand mental tension  and you end up with a delicious loaf of bread that can be used for breakfast as toast, or lunch as a sandwich or with an Olive Oil Dip for dinner.  Try it at least once and you will definitely be hooked forever!

 

 

Finished Bread ready for slicing and eating – use serrated knife

 

 

For Bread Recipes please see Recipes/Baking/Bread

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/04/01 at 9:52 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

WHAT MAKES A POPOVER ‘POP’

 

What exactly is a Popover and why is it called that?  A Popover is the American version of Yorkshire Pudding, a dish traditionally served with Roast Beef in England.  Yorkshire Pudding is usually made in the drippings from a roast and is baked right in the roasting pan usually after the roast has been taken out.

 

 

 

 

 

Popovers on the other hand, are usually made in Muffin Tins; however the best vehicle for baking Popovers is a Popover Pan which is made so that each muffin cup can be surrounded by heat, which is crucial to making a good Popover.

 

 

POPOVER PAN

 

Why a Popover is called a Popover?  Well, when it bakes, the batter rises over the edge of the tins and forms a dome, thus it can be said that it Pops Over the individual pans.

Popovers are fun to make and it is especially fun to watch them baking if you have an oven with a glass door and an inside light.  It is truly quite amazing to watch them as they blow up like a balloon.

What makes a Popover Pop?  What comes out of a kettle of water when you boil it?  Yes, that right!  You guessed it!  It is steam!  But what creates the steam?

The basic 3 ingredients in Popovers are Eggs, Milk and Flour.  Fresh or dried Herbs can be used for additional flavor and even cheese can be put into the batter.  The Flour provides Gluten, which is needed for the walls of the Popover.  The Eggs provide Protein which will hold in the Air and the Milk provides flavor and liquid to create the steam.

The key to making good Popovers that really ‘pop’ is to beat the batter like crazy.  The more you beat it, the more air that will be incorporated into the batter.  Since Popovers do not contain a chemical leavening agent or even yeast for that matter, the only thing that makes them rise is air.  This is also true of Pate Choux, the batter from which Éclairs and Cream Puffs are made.

It is important to use at least All-Purpose Flour; anything softer will not contain enough gluten to form the shell of the Popover.  Eggs, Milk and Flour are beaten together furiously, (it is best to use an electric mixer or you are going to have a very sore shoulder and arm when you finish) to get enough air into the product.  The eggs are a conduit for air, (without them you will not have popovers).

While you are making the Batter, the oven and Popover Pan should be preheating at 450 degrees.  If the pan is hot, the batter will start to rise immediately, thus preventing heavy, sodden non-Popovers.  Each cup should be well greased, either with butter or a vegetable spray.  If you put the pan in the oven at the same time you turn it on, by the time the oven is preheated and your batter is done, the pan should be hot enough.

Carefully, with potholders, remove the pan from the oven and either pour in a teaspoon of melted butter into each cup or carefully spray with the vegetable spray.  Pour the Batter into a cup with a pouring spout and then carefully fill each muffin cup halfway.  Immediately place in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes turn the oven to 350 degrees and continue baking for at least 15 minutes more.  The Popovers should be a medium-dark brown and should be firm on top.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DURING THE BAKING TIME!

Once the Popovers are done to the desired color, you can use a sharp knife to slit the tops and then return them  to the oven for 2 minutes more.  This will insure that the inside of the Popover will not be too soggy. (I for one, love that eggy taste that is inside a popover or a cream puff.)

Remove from the oven and then from the pan and serve immediately!

Do you need a recipe?  Almost any standard Popover recipe will work, if you follow the instructions above.  Your general use Cookbook will probably have a recipe or you can get one from one of many sites on the Internet.

 

REMEMBER!

  • Beat the Ingredients well enough to incorporate a lot of air.
  • Make sure the oven is hot!  The Popovers need heat to start rising immediately or else   they will be a sodden lump when removed from the oven.
  • Grease the Pan before pouring in the batter.
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Posted by sylveee - 2013/03/10 at 1:26 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , ,