Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy fourth of july

We opened today at 8am. We'll be closing at 3pm. we are off to a brisk pace, certainly no typical Saturday, but we expected that. Probably should have opened at seven, but, hey. The farmer's amrket appear to be busy. I've called each of them once, and didn't get an answer. That's a good thing. Kinda funny, I call them and I'm more content when they don't answer.

We're making fresh blueberry coffee cakes this weekend. That's another funny one. Does that mean that all our other blueberry coffee cakes aren't fresh? Does it mean that the only fresh coffee cake we offer is blueberry? No, we are using fresh blueberries. We only make blueberry coffee cake this time of year. We use Chciago sweet dough. Now there's a topic, more later. We roll it out a twelve ounce piece, makes a nine by fourteen rectangle. Brush it with melted butter. We use a half pint of blueberries, sprinkle them all over. We then sprinkle vanilla sugar and toasted cake crumbs. We roll it up and cut the roll into fourteen pieces. We stand them, cut side up, in an eight inch cake form. We proof them, cover liberally with streussel, and bake. Out of the oven we unmold them and drizzle them with warmed fondant. It is really a nice coffee cake. loads of blueberries. They kinda come apart in the oven, but the cake crumbs absorb all the juice and flavour. In the fall we make it with apples.

Back to that Chicago sweet dough. Also known as straight dough, pound, pound, pound dough or a one pound dough. What it means is amount of sugar, fat and eggs for every quart of liquid. So it means 1 pound sugar, 1 pound eggs and 1 pound shortening(we use half butter), for every quart of liquid. In the bakery, we used to talk in quarts. For instance, "we need six quarts of white bread, 4 quarts of rye", etc. So if we need a gallon of sweet dough(four quarts), the recipe would be four pounds of each. All the other ingredients are weighed at a precise ratio. For every quart of liquid we use 5 pounds of flour, four ounces of yeast, one ounce of salt,oh, for sweet dough we use liquid milk. Some bakeries use a twelve ounce dough or a fourteen ounce dough. A one pound dough is about as rich as I'm comfortable making. Aone pound dough turns out to be twenty perent of each of the three ingredients, sugar, fats and eggs. One pound per every five pounds of flour. One to five equates to twenty percent.

I refer to it as "Chicago" sweet dough because as I've traveled and teach, I explain to people how we do things in our bakery. They often ask "Is that how all the bakeries in Chicago do it?". We use this dough for a lot of products. Cinnamon Rolls, Bienenstich, Parkerhouse rolls and open face coffee cakes. In St Louis they call it "stollen dough". On the west coast the call it "Rich sweet dough".

Don't bother to ask at the grocery store bakery counter what they use. I'm sure they will tell you, "I don't know, it all comes in frozen".

Have a good holiday.


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