The Queen of Hearts, Loved her Tarts!!

Hot out of the ovenSomething in the air got to me, it was a perfectly delightful crisp morning doing my Pranayama breathing exercises, and the day continued to be just as gorgeous. It didn’t get to hot, I was productive at work, what more could a boy ask for? A tart of course.

A couple weeks ago, and old high school friend posted pictures of a scrumptious looking tart he made. This got me thinking about all my tart fiascoes. I am decent at pastry related things. Even had a chef telling me I should think about going to school for pastry, back when I was still in the business. I have never had good luck with tarts, I fear the crust, which knows when you fear it.

I also have an obsession with lemon filling. I would eat it by the bowl full if I was allowed to. Again I have a fear of lemon filling, I seem to over/under cook it. I just can’t seem to get it right.

I decided that the best idea for this glorious day was to combine my two fears into one lovely

Nicely carmelized

dessert, to surprise Hayley when she got home. That sounds like a smart idea doesn’t it? In this case it actually was, the tart turned out good, not great, it needs a little tweaking and I did over cook it just a smidgen. BUT it tasted yummy, and the crust is very tasty. This recipe will live to see another round, I am thinking it will be at the family Christmas dinner I am currently planning for the family gathering in Winnipeg, MB this year.

On to the recipe. I grabbed this from Food & Drink, which has a good track record in my books for successful recipes.I actually didn’t change anything on this recipe the first time, because of the aforementioned fear.

Lemon Tart – From the Holiday 1999 Food & Drink magazine

To finish this one off, Hayley made a fresh blackberry sauce, it just added to the yumminess of this one!

What would I change?

  1. Use a little less lemon zest
  2. Add a tiny bit more sugar
  3. Watch the tart a little more closely when it is almost done to make sure I don’t over cook it.

Not many changes, and a successful tart. What cooking fear should I tackle next?

Bread Baking!!

Out of the Pan

Lately I have been lurking on The Fresh Loaf and trying my hand at baking bread again. What fun I have had.

The following is my second adventure in making this bread, I tried it a couple weeks ago, it was most delicious and it actually turned out. My previous 2 attempts at bread were ok, but a little dense and not so flavourful.

What I am making today is a honey whole wheat bread. For this time I also tried out a razor blade to put a slit in the top. The last loaves I baked they split in weird places, and they didn’t look so nice.


Also, instead of baking 2 loaves as is mentioned in the directions, I made one loaf to bake today, then I made 14 little round buns and froze them so in the next month when I want a nice fresh bun I just have to grab it out of the freezer, proof it for a couple hours and presto, yummy hot bun for lunch. I will let you know how long to proof and bake once I have tried it out a couple times.

All the pictures can be found (here)

The Recipe:

Ingredients –
1 lb. Whole wheat flour
12 oz Hot Water
227g all-purpose flour (I used 300g)
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100F)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour

Mixing the ingredients

Directions –

  1. Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until around room temperature. ( I let mine sit for about 3 hours because I went out)
  2. Combine yeast, warm water and sugar. Mix well, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add milk, honey, salt, yeast and flour to the soaking whole wheat flour. Mix until well combined.
  4. Turn out onto a well floured cutting board, knead for about 15 to 20 minutes, adding flour whenever needed to keep the dough tacky, not sticky.
  5. Your final dough should be smooth, and tacky to the touch. Form into a ball and place into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warmish place until doubled (about 60 – 90 minutes)
  6. When doubled, punch down and divide into two. Shape dough into loaves and place in lightly greased bread pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place again for 60 – 90 minutes.
  7. Once risen, take a razor blade and slice straight along the top of each loaf.
  8. Move oven rack to the second from bottom and preheat the oven to 425F. Place loaves in oven and turn down heat to 375F.
  9. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, rotating pan once for even browning. Once the bread reaches an internal temp of 190F or until a tap on the bottom of the pan sounds hollow.
  10. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes then remove from pan and continue to cool.