Month: December 2015

Flour for biscuits?

Leave a comment
baking

What is the best flour for biscuits (i.e. cookies)? Not all flours are created equal. The ideal flour for making most cakes and biscuits has a low protein content as compared to that used in bread making flour and is milled from soft wheat varieties. The gluten in flours used for cakes and biscuits does not significantly contribute to the cake structure, this is usually the responsibility of other ingredients such as eggs. Use flour with too […]

A frangipane pear tart

Leave a comment
baking / dessert / pastry

This particular recipe comes from Standard Baking Co. Pastries, by Alison Pray and Tara Smith. I’m using the sweet pastry I talked about in the previous post. The frangipane is walnut, and the pears Flemish Beauty. This is my first attempt at a tart like this, and I have to say I was extremely happy with the outcome. Note the recipe in the book uses almond meal, however walnuts and even hazelnuts work fine, likely pecans […]

Glasur for biscuits

Leave a comment
baking / biscuits

One thing you will notice is that European biscuits are very often left plain, or coated with what in Swiss we would call a glasur, or glaze. Even carrot cakes are usually covered in such an “icing”, often containing Kirsch. The basic recipe for powdered sugar glasur is 150g of powdered sugar, and 2-3 tbsp. water. Other possibilities where the water is substituted for another liquid include: ∗ Citron glasur – 2 tbsp. lemon juice + ½ tbsp. […]

Making candied oranges

Leave a comment
baking / cooking

One thing I don’t like about baking, ingredient-wise is the lack of good candied lemons and oranges. They always look as though they have had their colour enhanced, and do they ever really smell of real oranges and lemons? The solution? Make some homemade ones. I know, I know… sounds like a lengthy process right? Well it kind-of is, but that should stop you from trying. I made some last weekend. So the recipe I used […]

Best baking tool

comment 1
baking

Years ago an aunt bought me a set of dough thickness guides. What are they? Each set consists of a series of pairs of wooden or plastic sticks, each pair a differing thickness, which can be used to roll out biscuit dough to a consistent thickness. The set I have has 2mm, 4mm, 7mm, and 10mm pairs. Different combinations will allow for different thicknesses. They can be used to provide a nice uniform dough thickness, which will mean that […]

A sweet pastry dough

comment 1
baking / dessert / pastry

Recipes for sweet pastry dough abound. Let me rephrase that, recipes for pastry dough abound. So how do you know which one is best? Well, likely that is based on personal taste. This past weekend I made a lemon tart and a pear frangipane tart, both of which have a sweet pastry. The fillings and pastry came from different sources. The pastry dough came from Richard Bertinet’s book Pastry (Ebury Press, 2012). As simple as it […]

Swiss biscuits for Christmas

Leave a comment
biscuits / cookies / food

Posts over the next two weeks are related to the yearly foray into baking Swiss “guetzli”, or cookies, or biscuits if you’re British. Traditionally many of these guetzli are made only once a year – sometimes 600-700 cookies. Which sounds a *lot* but really isn’t. These are classic European type biscuits, and as such, they are not decorated, and usually have very simple ingredients. So I will be posting recipes and hints on baking some of my […]