June 29, 2011

Closed for Summer Holidays!


I'm leaving tomorrow morning. I am going to Italy to see my family. Don't envy me. I don't envy myself :) Going to Italy is always a little bit of a tragedy (although I always end up having fun!) and this time my schedule is already so full that I know I will have no time for blogging. I will miss blogging. And I will miss Wally (who is not coming with me) and my kitties. And I will miss you all!

I'm not staying long but I will come back with my mamma, who will be staying with us for 5 weeks. We will be travelling so, once again, I won't be blogging much. This is the first time I take such a long break from blogging. It will feel weird. It will also feel good. I have been a little demotivated lately and finding the time to blog has been really hard. I think a holiday will do me good. 

In the meantime I will try to keep reading all you because I need my daily doses of food blogging reading :)

Happy summer to everybody!

June 23, 2011

No better way to start my holidays: pull apart cheesy bread


I had no doubt about it. The first thing I wanted to bake once on holiday was bread. You all know very well by now how much I find kneading and making bread relaxing and soothing. I haven’t had time to bake bread in a long time and I had a loooong list of “wish-to-bake-soon” bread recipes on my list.

I finally decided to tackle this pull apart bread from Roxana @ A Little Bit of Everything. I had it bookmarked since the day she posted this recipe. Simple and delicious. And above all so versatile! With a solid basic recipe you can have an infinite variations depending on the filling you choose. You will never get bored of this bread! I chose to fill it only with cheese because that’s what I had at home and I did not want to lose the momentum by going out to the store to buy extra ingredients. I used a mix of cheddar and gruyere but, as Roxana said, let your imagination drive you!

Pull Apart Cheesy Bread

500 g (18 oz or 4 cups) all-purpose flour 
a pinch of salt
7 g (1 1/ tsp) active dry yeast
350 ml (12 fl oz or 1 1/2 cup) lukewarm milk
170 g (6 oz) cheddar and gruyere cheese

1 egg for brushing


In your mixer bowl, cream the yeast with a little milk. When the yeast has dissolved pour the rest of the milk.

Slowly add the flour, mixing until the dough comes clean from the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough into a greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, away from any breeze until it doubles in volume. When risen divide it into 10-12 balls and flatten them.

Shred the cheese you will use as filling and place about 2 tbsp of it on the flatten dough.

Seal the pocket with a fork or with your fingers and place it in a greased loaf pan. Do the same with the rest.

Leave again to rest at room temperature. When risen brush with egg wash and bake in preheated oven, at 375F degrees for about 35-40 minutes. 

Leave to cool a little and get it out of the pan. 

Have a sweet day!

June 18, 2011

How I survived the last week of school: Pancake Muffins


I haven’t posted in over two weeks. Yes, you heard me right! Two weeks! Can you believe it? I can’t! In the past, even in the busiest week I have been able to post twice a week. Lately I am just so tired that I can’t find the strength and time to post. I have been baking a little, mainly for dinners or similar occasions. But I have not had time to take (decent) pictures or to write a post.

This was the last week of school and if you are a teacher or closely know one, you must know how exhausted we are in the last few weeks! Even few more days seemed unbearable. But I needed to cheer myself up. I needed to prepare something quick and good for my last few breakfasts during school year. And I needed to let you know that I’m still here…hanging in there until the long overdue holiday will come.

I took advantage of this little spur of energy I had two days ago to make these pancake muffins, a recipe I bookmarked long time ago from The Mom Chef (I know I can always count on her for a successful recipe. Thanks, Christiane!). I survived the week. I’m finally on holiday. Now I’m going to rest!

Pancake Muffins

290 g (10 1/2 oz or 2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
130 g (4 1/2 oz or 1 cup plus 2 tbsp) cake flour
10 g (2 tsp) baking soda
10 g (2 tsp) baking powder
5 g (1 tsp) kosher salt
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
85 g (3 oz or 6 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
75 g (2.67 oz or 6 tbsp) granulated sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
790 ml (26.6 fl oz or 3 1/3 cups) buttermilk, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Liberally spray two 12-cup muffin pans with the cooking spray or line the muffin pan with paper cups.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large, clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed to firm (but not dry) peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the mixer on medium-high speed until thick, ribbony, and lemon-yellow, about 6 minutes. Add the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla; mix on medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Add one-third of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk and mixing until just combined.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter, leaving some streaks.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of the batter into each muffin cup—you can fill the cups to the rims. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until browned on top and puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out dry, 20 to 25 minutes total.

Source: The Mom Chef