16-11: Meringue-Topped Chocolate Pie

16-11: Meringue-Topped Chocolate Pie

A few months ago, we celebrated Pi Day in my office. Most of the pies were store-bought, but I decided to flip through Simply Delicious and see if there was anything worth contributing. I decided on 16-11: Meringue-Topped Chocolate Pie–everyone likes chocolate, and we had had a mishap with the lemon meringue pie on the way back from the store while preparing the day before.

If you’re not familiar with Pi Day, it takes place on March 14th, which when written as a numeric date is 3-14 (at least in the U.S. it is–some countries reverse the order). Pi (the mathematical constant represented by the Greek letter π) is usually rounded up to 3.14, so March 14th is celebrated with actual pies (and a bit of math) as a play-on-words. 😂

No one really needs an excuse to eat pie, but “It’s a math joke” is certainly an acceptable one.

Read more

17-30: Stollen

17-30: Stollen

Still catching up on a few old ones–but maybe you can file this one away for later on this year. 17-30: Stollen is a traditional German sweet fruit bread that is typically eaten around Christmas time. After two back-to-back years of holiday treat bundles comprised of multiple Simply Delicious creations (good way to burn them off quickly), I’ve pretty much finished off that type of recipe…at least when it comes to baked goods.

17-30 Stollen
Stollen isn’t a Simply Delicious creation–Wikipedia has a pretty extensive entry on it. There’s some other pretty solid recipes out there as well, if you’d like to compare them to this one. I find comparing multiple versions (from trustworthy/reputable sources) of a well-known dish helps me understand what’s essential about it (what I find common amongst all the recipes) and what’s up for interpretation (where they differ). 🇩🇪🎄

Read more

16-8: French Apple Pie

16-8: French Apple Pie

It’s the first days of spring, but I’m still catching up on old posts. Consider it “spring cleaning.” Here’s one from Thanksgiving 2017, 16-8: French Apple Pie. In 2016, I went all out for Thanksgiving and made most of the entire meal from Simply Delicious recipes. We had alternate plans for 2017, so only an easy-to-prepare ahead of time dessert was needed.

16-8 French Apple Pie
I’ve already covered a similar recipe to this one: 16-15: Tarte Tatin. Consider these a smaller, more rustic version. In regards to authenticity, as long as it’s apples on top and crust on bottom, it counts as a French apple pie according to Wikipedia. 🍏🇫🇷

Read more

17-2: English Rusks

17-2: English Rusks

This project is coming up on 4 years old, and I’m a handful of recipes away from finishing the Baked Goods chapter–at least, according to the collection that I have. There’s definitely some out there that I don’t have the card for, but here’s one of the last uncovered few (#50!) that I do have: 17-2: English Rusks. 🇬🇧☕

17-2 English Rusks
According to Wikipedia, English rusks are hard, dry biscuits given to babies for teething or crumbled up and used as filler for ground meat. It’s actually the US version of rusks that are more familiar–they list Melba toast and biscotti as examples.

Read more

17-34: Honey White Bread

17-34: Honey White Bread

Here’s yet another white bread recipe for you–Simply Delicious has already covered this territory pretty well with 17-6: Best Ever White Bread and 17-10: Poppy Seed Bread17-6: Honey White Bread is probably more comparable to traditional white store-bought bread (think Wonder Bread) than the other entries thanks to the sweetness added by the honey.🍯

17-34 Honey White Bread
I’d consider this more of a “breakfast” bread than a sandwich bread, but YMMV.

Read more

17-16: Whole Wheat Baguette

17-16: Whole Wheat Baguette

Here’s a simple whole wheat bread recipe. 17-16: Whole Wheat Baguette has “baguette” in the name, but you could use this same recipe to make buns, rolls, sandwich bread, or any other shape you prefer. This is more of a utilitarian recipe more than anything else–nothing fancy here.

17-16 Whole Wheat Baguette
Baguettes are indeed long, thin loaves of French bread (French bread being a type of dough, not a type of shape). I made short, thin individual loaves instead, which the Wikipedia article I linked to calls demi-baguettes, although mine are probably even shorter than that. I thought individually-sized ones might be an interesting experiment instead of one or two long loaves.

Read more

17-22: Bread Loaves with Creamy Filling

17-22: Bread Loaves with Creamy Filling

One of the last few from the “in-the-queue-way-too-long” batch, here’s 17-22: Bread Loaves with Creamy Filling. I’ve been putting this recipe off for a while–I never seemed to have or remembered to buy cottage cheese to make it. Yes, in another 1980s-lowfat-health-craze-inspired moment, Simply Delicious chooses to sacrifice flavor for “health benefits”, this time by stuffing whole wheat bread with herb-flavored cottage cheese.

17-22 Bread Loaves with Creamy Filling
See? “Healthy” is right there in the description. Now, 30+ years later, we’ve determined that fats are probably better for you than we thought back then, and carbs/sugar are probably a lot worse for you. Remember, when they make things “low-fat”, they usually have to jack up the sugar to make it somewhat edible. Not really a great strategy for weight loss, as my parents’ yo-yo dieting throughout the 80s, 90s, and beyond can attest to.

Read more

17-10: Poppy Seed Bread

17-10: Poppy Seed Bread

One of the last entries from the Baked Goods chapter, 17-10: Poppy Seed Bread is essentially white bread with a sprinkling of poppy seeds on top. Simply Delicious shows it as a loaf, but I chose to make it into rolls/buns–since you’re already topping the bread with seeds, it makes it very reminiscent of sesame seed hamburger buns. 🍔

17-10 Poppy Seed Bread
Even 20+ years later, most mentions of poppy seeds inevitably end up referencing this Seinfeld gag, where Elaine’s love for poppy seed muffins keep causing her to test positive for opium on a work-administered drug test.

This often leads to the question: Can poppy seeds really affect a drug test? And the answer, according to the New York Times, is actually “Yes!” 🤔 You’d have to eat a LOT of them (much more than what the recipe for this bread contains) to have it show up at levels that would cause alarm–but the claim does actually have merit.

Read more

18-2: Basic Yeast Dough II

18-2: Basic Yeast Dough II

Happy New Year! 🍾 We’ll start off this year (as I have other years) by finishing up a bit of old business from last year. I had started a Bread Series at the end of 2017, covering the first part of this Cooking School set (18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I) as well as including 20-12: Basic Rolls as a good base recipe to practice with.

Here, we’ll cover 18-2: Basic Yeast Dough II, which includes the fundamentals of the process of bread-making, as well as some tips on how to tell where your bread may have gone wrong. I’ve been making bread for a while, and I still run into trouble–it’s nice to know what I might have messed up so that I can try to fix it for the future.

18-2 Basic Yeast Dough II
Bread making is not a quick process–sometimes you can be working on a bread for 24-48 hours between the blooming, kneading, rising, and proofing. When I was being trained to make bread in the restaurant I worked in a few years ago, we would start making bread at 8 AM, and barely be finished by dinner time around 5-6 PM.

That’s not including our starter which had to be fed every day, as well as making all of the other baked goods that our pastry chef made daily. It can be a LOT of work!

Read more

20-12: Basic Rolls

20-12: Basic Rolls

Playing a bit of catch-up here since unscheduled interruptions, other non-food-related projects, and massive amounts of holiday baking have put me far behind in terms of keeping up with posts. I had started working on a Bread Series, starting with 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I which I published back in October. Covering 20-12: Basic Rolls was intended to play off of that concept, giving you an easy recipe to utilize the lessons presented in both that post and its follow-up, 18-2: Basic Yeast Dough II.

20-12 Basic Rolls
Quick review: the last three chapters of Simply Delicious are part of its Cooking School, intended to review basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes with which all aspiring chefs should be familiar. I’ve covered a few bits and bobs out of those last few chapters, but much of it still remains untapped.

Read more