Yield: pastry for one 2-crust pie Recipe: 134/200 “Back to Baking”, pp.263
My last recipe was a month ago, but these days it is hard to find the time to bake, especially when in these times not sharing is caring. In any case, considering that I have not been baking consistently these past few months, my boyfriend challenged me to make at least one recipe a week for the coming month. I had myself tried to make this commitment many times this year, so I gladly accepted the challenge. First recipe this week: this dairy-free, egg-free double-crust pie dough. This dough was easy to put together but quite difficult to handle after rolling. Without the eggs or butter to bind everything together, it teared quite easily and I had to re-roll it as it was just falling apart. In the end I just had to quickly put the bulk of the dough in the pie plate and fill the tears and holes with scraps of dough. Not ideal, but it turned out pretty good. After blind-baking, the pie shell actually looked very nice and well-baked. Frankly and to my surprise, this was probably one of the best-looking pie shells I’ve made. I’m not sure how or why, but it mostly held it’s shape while baking, minus a few tears here and there, and did not shrink. Next up, filling this pie shell with a sweet and chewy toffee filling!
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup cold almond or soy milk
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Pour in the oil and almond or soy milk at once, and mix quickly, just until the dough comes together. Make sure to not over mix; the dough should have streaks of oil through it. Wrap and set aside for 40 minutes before rolling. The dough should be made on the same day you use it, as it does not refrigerate well
Yield: 8 large scones
“Back to Baking”, pp. 260
The main reason why I decided to do these scones was because I had almond milk in my fridge, a rare event, and thought it was the perfect opportunity use it for a recipe. I must admit that I had serious doubts about how good this recipe would be. Not because I don’t like scones, I love scones, but I thought the texture of the raisins would be very strange in a fluffy crunchy scone. I am a texture person, after all. I was wrong! This dessert took no time at all to make and was delicious! The raisins actually provided a nice texture to the scones and added some sweetness without being overwhelming. Delicious! Who would’ve thought to put raisins in scones?! Anna Olson, that’s who. Great idea. I cannot recommend these scones enough. Easy, tasty, not too sweet and dairy- and egg-free!
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon almond or soy milk
½ cup + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the ¾ cup of almond or soy milk, ½ cup of maple syrup and vegetable oil.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the mixed liquids. Stir the mixture with a spatula until it becomes too hard to do, then turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, add the raisins on top of the dough and knead it until it just comes together.
Shape the dough into a disc of about 8 inches in diameter and cut into 8 wedges. Place the scones onto the prepared baking tray, leaving two inches between them.
Stir together the remaining tablespoon of almond or soy milk and maple syrup, and use to brush the tops of the scones.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops of the scones are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: about 18 mini tarts
“Back to Baking”, pp. 278
My boyfriend and I made these tarts for a friend’s birthday at work. He really likes coconut so we thought that this would be the perfect time to try a new recipe. Unfortunately, everything went wrong with this recipe. The crust was not working at all for us. When we mixed together all the ingredients, the crust was not crumbly at all and was just a dry mess. It would not stick together at all, so we had to improvise and add some (a lot!) honey and vegetable oil until the mixture would at least stick together a little bit. Pressing the graham crust into the mini muffin tins took much longer than expected, but that was not the least of our worries. The coconut filling also did not work out as expected. Although we followed everything exactly, the mixture was very liquid, similar to heavy cream. We simmered it for a longer period of time to try to get it to thicken and we let it cool down in the fridge for many more hours, but it barely thickened at the end. Sadly, these mini tarts looked very cute but did not taste good at all. The crust tasted strange and the filling did not taste like coconut much. We were very disappointed that this recipe didn’t work for us and I cannot think of anything that we may have done wrong! To be repeated.
Yield: about 6 dozen cookies
“Back to Baking”, pp. 29
During the holidays I made another recipe to go with the banana walnut bread: cinnamon pinwheel cookies. Although the recipe seemed simple enough and did not require uncommon ingredients, it was a complete disaster. Now I’m not sure if it’s because I have never done cookies with a filling that need to be rolled like that before, but it was a big fiasco. As I prepared the dough, it was not coming together at all. It was much too dry. I had to add some whipping cream to make sure that it would form a ball. Then, the instruction for the filling was not as clear as I was expecting. Although the recipe says to divide the dough into two balls, then take one ball of doughand roll it out to the specified dimensions, the quantity of the ingredients for the filling seems to be halved. The recipes says to mix all the ingredients of the filling together and spread it out on the rolled dough. However, at this point we have only rolled out one. So either the prepared filling mixture has to be divided amongst the two rolled doughs, or the filling recipe needs to be doubled. When put in the oven, the cookies more than doubled in size and the filling was oozing out everywhere. It seems that I didn’t roll the filled dough tight enough.
I am assuming that the fact that I added whipping cream to make the dough come together made it too loose and that is why it expanded so much in the oven, because it was not the right consistency. But I really don’t see how I could have done otherwise. Also, if there was too much filling in between the layers of dough it is possible that did not help maintain the structure of the cookies. The cookies still taste good, but they are crunchy and not very pretty. I will definitely have to try this recipe again!
Ingredients for cookie dough:
2 cups + 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut in pieces
2 tablespoons whipping cream
Ingredients for filling:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt to combine. Note: alternatively, electric beaters could be used.
Add the butter and pulse or blend until the dough is a rough, crumble texture.
Add the whipping cream and pulse or blend until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, wrap them in plastic wrap and set aside while preparing the filling. Note: do not refrigerate the dough.
For the filling, stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into an 8 by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Roll up the cookie dough in the style of cinnamon rolls, starting at the longer side. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Wrap each roll of filled dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Unwrap and slice the cookie rolls into ¼ inch (6 mm) slices, and lay the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking trays,
Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until they barely start to turn golden. Cool the cookies completely on the trays before removing.
Yield: one 9×5 inch loaf (about 12-16 slices)
“Back to Baking”, pp. 276
With a lot of time suddenly freed up after being done teaching a lab course, I took the opportunity during the weekend to bake a couple of things. It had been a while! Since I had some very ripe bananas in my fridge that needed to be used, I started with this vegan banana and walnut bread. It was simple to make, but the first time that I tasted it I wasn’t too impressed. I found it a bit too salty and not sweet enough. I thought that it was perhaps because my bananas were beyond saving (I’m telling you, they were very old and I think they may have started to ferment) and for this reason were not as sweet as normal ripe bananas. However, the second and third time I tried the bread I grew to like it. The banana flavour is not as strong as what I am used to, but you can definitely still taste the bananas. What surprised me most is the texture of this bread. Since there are no eggs, butter or dairy milk, I was not expecting such a fluffy texture. You could never tell that this recipe is egg-free and dairy-free! If you are looking for a yummy banana bread that does not require eggs or dairy, definitely give this a try! Word to the wise, I strongly advise you to use ripe bananas that have black spots on the skin, that is when they will be the sweetest.
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup almond or soy milk
1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, brown sugar, vegetable oil and almond or soy milk.
In a separate bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir until evenly blended.
Stir in the walnut pieces and mix well.
Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and cook for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn it out to cool completely.