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Poppy seed loaf...roll...bread?

Does anyone have a recipe for that poppy seed loaf...roll...bread (not sure what it's called) that you buy in bakeries? Just a real classic recipe.

Jun 02, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

Great advice - thanks! The egg whites were at room temperature - I guess I was thinking whipped cream when I chilled the bowl (although that was on the second try - the first one the bowl and mixing blades were room temp).

The kitchen was humid from all the baking so maybe that's why the meringue didn't hold up.

Roughly how long does meringue take to stiffen under normal conditions?

May 20, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

I didn't know the fat thing was a myth - interesting! I don't think it was overbeating b/c it never formed the medium peaks. It was limp and quite runny which is why I started over. That one wasn't much better and you know the rest.

Maybe the kitchen was too hot from all the baking? I chilled the bowls and beaters.

May 20, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

what to do with bacon fat?

I use bacon fat in my Ceasar Salad dressing. You don't need much but it gives it a lot of flavour. YUM!

May 20, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking
1

Pie dough frustrations

Okay, after reading all the replies and suggestions, I took the pie dough out of the fridge, worked it a bit more, rewrapped it and put it back.

When I went to make my pies the next day, it rolled out beautifully. It even LOOKED like pie crust! And it felt like pie crust. I was really excited and went on to make two pies -a lemon meringue and an apple raisin with a lattice top.

I've never had an issue with meringue before but this time it wouldn't work so I tossed that out and started over. This meringue was better but still not what it should be. Don't know what went wrong - maybe there was a speck of yolk in there that I couldn't see? Maybe it was too warm in the kitchen? Anyway, the result was the filling wasn't piping hot when the meringue went on and of course it weeped. I shouldn't have tempted the pie gods by saying I never had trouble with fillings!

I've never latticed a pie crust before and next time I would weave it rather than just place the second round of pastry strips across and on top of the first as the recipe instructed. The top layer browned far too quickly. The recipe called for a sprinkling of sugar on top which I would skip next time, too. It made the lattice work so dark on top that it almost burned. Also, I had to cover the rim with foil partway through to avoid the same thing. Hard to do when the pie is hot! Next time, I'll put the foil in place BEFORE the pie goes in the oven for the first part of the baking and take it off later.

I tried the lemon meringue pie and the crust tasted the best I've ever made. The filling was tasty, too, even if the meringue was flat and weepy. All I'm really focused on right now is getting the crust right. I haven't tried the other pie but the lattice and crust looks so dark brown that I'm afraid it will need a saw to cut through it. LOL. (In my defence I was distracted by the hockey playoff game in progess.)

I'm taking the pies to work today for some second opinions on the crust. I've warned them that I'm just learning and that the pies probably won't look too good but I'm hoping the crust is good. If not, I'll bake again.

I asked people at work to help as taste testers because I don't want to just throw the pies away and I sure don't want to eat all of them! Well, I do, but....I won't.

They assure me that they're just happy to get pies but I really hope they don't laugh when they see them. Or pretend that they're good to spare my feelings. Or sprain a wrist trying to cut into that apple pie.

I'll let everyone know how the pies turned out.

Thanks for all the help and incredible support!!!

May 20, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

Thanks for your encouragement! :)

Patience is not my strong point. I add the water teensy bits at a time at first and then when I feel like the dough will never come together and it still looks so dry, I probably add too much.

May 19, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

Thanks! I haven't tried pushing the amalgamated part off and only adding water to the dry part.

I suspected that the amount of water was a big part of the issue but it's the only way to get the dough to hold in a ball.

May 19, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

I DID mean to aerate the flour this time but I forgot. I heard somewhere that the flour becomes packed from sitting and it does greatly affect the measurements. I don't have a kitchen scale - just measuring cups - but maybe I'll get one.
I sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl before whisking it quickly together.

I use Cake & Pastry flour because that was called for in the first recipe I tried (Anna Olson's). Maybe I should switch to all purpose but the only other flour I had in the house was unbleached flour and I wasn't sure if that made a difference. I know whole wheat flour is much denser and has to be combined wiith AP. Unbleached isn't whole wheat but....sigh!

What gets me is my grandmother made awesome pie crust and she didn't have refrigeration for half of her adult life! She sure didn't have C & P flour or a food processor or a scale. She used a wood burning stove for years.

My mother (not the same side of the family as my grandmother) is also an excellent pie baker. She doesn't even fuss with measuring very much and goes by instinct and experience. I watched her making pie crust once but I didn't know enough then to learn from her. I might ask her for another tutorial.

Grandmother uses lard, my mom uses Crisco, I use butter. They used kitchen utensils and their hands to mix the dough - my hands are too warm so I use a pastry blender at first, then a silicone spatula and then my hands (which are chilled with ice cold water first). No food processor for any of us.

My grandmother didn't worry about cold ingredients - she only had a pantry and root cellar. My mother doesn't blind bake any crusts but her lemon meringue pie crust turns out perfectly. She didn't even know what blind baking was when I asked her.

I think cooking is an art and baking is a science but at some level they are both intuitive and take lots of practice to get it right. I just wish baking was an inherited gene!

May 19, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

Hi Nofunlatte-

Your dough does sound more like mine texturally. But mine is very hard to hold together. There will be a ball but about 1/3 of it is in the bottom of the ball and/or falling back into the bowl.

May 19, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

I forgot to mention that the recipe was for two 9" single crust pies. That's why there's so much water.

The butter was icy cold when I incorporated it. It was cold when I diced it and then I put it in a bowl with shrink wrap and put it in the freezer while I got the dry ingredients together. It wasn't frozen at all - just very cold. The water also had ice cubes in it to keep it cold, the bowl was chilled, the flour and sugar were chilled. Even I was chilled! LOL :)

May 19, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

For me, the crust is everything. I have no problem with fillings. Lemon meringue, chocolate cream, apple, pecan...no problems there. If I bought the crust, I might as well buy the whole pie! But that's just me. I get something like 'pie crust' in my head and I won't stop until I learn how to do it.

May 18, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

I was just reading another thread that went on and on about how you shouldn't knead pie dough. LOL. For a 'simple' recipe, pie dough has so many variations on ingredients, quantity and technique it can drive you to distraction.

The other thing is that the texture of other people's pie dough looks so different from mine. The pie dough in cookbooks and cooking shows looks so soft and fluffy and blond. Mine is somewhere between damp, firm and crumbly, and darker with small to medium visible butter pieces.

What is it supposed to feel like?

May 18, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

Very interesting suggestions! It's true that I am leery about working the dough too much. Everything I've ever read about pie crusts warns you about that. Also, the recipe I'm using has you working the dough together in the mixing bowl, not on the worktop. Maybe I'll try that next time.

My hands do tend to be warm so I run them under cold water and then dry them before touching the dough.

Maybe like some other people have suggested on other posts - I'm thinking too much! ;)

May 18, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking

Pie dough frustrations

I'm determined to conquer pie dough! I know it takes practice but there's one element that is driving me crazy.

Everything is nice and cold. The recipe is simple. I use pastry/cake flour, unsalted butter, a tsp of salt and tblsp of sugar. I cut in the butter with a pastry blender until I THINK the pieces look 'pea sized'. Then I add the water (1/4 cup at first as per the recipe) then a tablespoon at a time. No matter how careful I am, the dough will not form into a ball. I don't want to add too much water but when I try to form it, it crumbles and falls apart. If I add too much water, it gets sticky (no good). Tonight it somehow achieved both - I think it was on the verge of too much water and yet it still wouldn't hold together.

When I finally got it into a ball, divided it and wrapped it in plastic wrap it didn't look anything like the picture. I could see larger pieces of butter (even though I cubed it) in the dough and sections were starting to fall apart so it wasn't a nice neat disk.

What am I doing wrong????

May 18, 2013
Quinnish in Home Cooking