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Archive for the ‘Beatrice Ojakangas’ Category

What smells like roasted corn?

Umm, nothing dear!

It was a spur of the moment quick bread.  I didn’t note the size of pan required for the recipe, and I modified the original to include sour cream and a little olive oil since the last egg in the fridge mysteriously disappeared.  The roasted scent was from the globs of dough burning on the bottom of the oven.  More was on the way from the seething undersized loaf pan on the top rack.  A cookie sheet on the lower rack was pushed in as I grabbed the closest utensil to scrape the rapidly hardening expulsions.  My heart sunk, was the whole thing ruined?

I left the darn thing in the oven to finish baking, hoping my late night dessert would survive.  Every door and window was open in an attempt to evacuate the billows of smoke coming from the oven floor.   With all the commotion in the kitchen I was surprised no one came out to investigate!

Happily, the loaf finished baking.  It’s not the prettiest lemon poppy seed cake/loaf but it could be one of the tastiest.

 

I shared the first slice with Hubby.  And saved the rest for breakfast.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Adapted from The Great Holiday Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

This original recipe was a cranberry nut quick bread.  I changed the flavour using lemon zest, juice, and poppy seeds.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 Tbsp poppy seeds

Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, adding the poppy seeds to the wet bowl.  Make a well in the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients.  Mix by hand until the flour disappears and the batter is evenly moist.  It will look dry and clumpy, that’s OK!

Spoon the batter into two 5 x 4 inch loaf pans or into muffin tins.  Be sure that the pans or tins are half full or your oven will end up like mine.

Bake at 350ºF for about 50 – 60 minutes.

You might want a cookie sheet under that.  You can thank me later.

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From The Great Holiday Baking Book (Ojakangas) comes the first cinnamon bun that wasn’t too dry.  I’ve had rough times with the rolled up buns, usually too dry or over baked.  I did tweak the recipe to refrain from pecans and increased the butter a little, I think that was the ticket for a moist cake-like roll. Those in accredited online culinary colleges would agree that this was the key.

Adapted from Giant Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls by B. Ojakangas

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tpo salt
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/8 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp butter

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.  Prepare a baking dish with brown sugar and butter, about 2 Tbsp in small pieces scattered over the sugar.

Warm the milk and melt the butter.  Mix the dry ingredients and add the milk and butter.  Stir until a ball forms then leave it covered for 10 minutes.  Turn out on a floured surface and roll out the dough.  Smear with butter.  Sprinkle with filling.  Roll and cut even size pieces.  Snuggle the rolls into the pan and cover to rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.  Bake for 25-35 minutes.  Test that the center is cooked with a skewer.  The texture of this roll is a hybrid of yeast bread and cake, I might of let it rest too long in the initial stage that made it more like cake than bread.  But hey, it’s goooood!

Optional icing as shown was from a can, you can leave it off if you like.

This recipe was added to the Sweet As Sugar Cookie link party here!

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Beatrice Ojakangas fudgy brownie recipe modified by adding chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.

Making brownies from scratch is pretty simple.  Take your favorite chocolate, some butter, eggs and flour.  Bit of sugar.  Splash of vanilla or strong coffee.  Bake until almost done.

My mother-in-law bought me a set of those silicone pans, sheets and muffin cups.  One of my pet peeves is scraping brownies out of my metal or glass pans.  I used a silicone square pan to remedy this twitch.   And I discovered silicone is not a brownies’ friend.

After the initial alloted baking time stated in the recipe I took the brownies out of the oven.  They smelled good and had a crinkled top due to my addition of mini marshmallows.  They were left to cool as dinner was made.

Trying to pop the pan mold off the brownies nearly ended in disaster.  The middle was not set.  Not one bit!  I poked around with a toothpick and found these brownies were closer to the batter I poured into the pan than the chewy chocolate morsels I thought were coming out of the pan.  Back to the oven.

At this point I was beyond mad.

Another 10 minutes.  Still gooey.

I’m finished making dinner and try to get everyone seated at the table.  Distractions occur in the form of a two-year old.

Another 10 minutes go by, possibly more.

I remembered that I forgot to reset the kitchen timer;  leapt into the kitchen and pulled out the brownies.

They were done alright, just not…  almost done.

Brownies

Adapted from Beatrice Ojakangas’ recipe in The Great Holiday Baking Book

  • 2oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • handful of chocolate chips and/or marshmallows

Mix.  Bake at 350ºF in a 8×8″ pan for 25 minutes.

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I’ve been reading The Great Holiday Baking Book  by a woman named Beatrice Ojakangas.  I absolutely love this cook book.  It sits inside my bedside table, waiting for me to continue drooling over recipes each night.

image from Amazon - click to view Amazon page

I know Mrs. Ojakangas lives in Minnesota somewhere with her husband.  She’s been on several television shows, including Martha Stewart Living where I first found out there was a Scandanavian chef out there.  Being half Finnish myself, I was instantly curious.  That curiosity from my late teens did not disappear.  In the last year since I began this blog I have aquired three of Beatrice’s cook books.  The Great Holiday Baking Book is the second one to be poured over with much enthusiasm.  Every chapter has a gem, a recipe that looks too good not to try, and last night I came across the caraway rye bread in the Father’s Day chapter.  She explains in the book that the bread-machine recipes were tested on different brands of machine, and they all turned out great.  My bread machine baked this delicious loaf with ease.

Starting the batch after dinner in my ADD time of night wasn’t the best idea.  I made a bold move to lay down in bed and listen for the timer on the machine to wake me up.  Why not leave the loaf in the machine?  Well, there’s a lot of heat built up that will continue to bake your bread, it may be a dry brick by morning.  I didn’t want to chance it.  I set the timer on the microwave to go off a few minutes later than the bread machine as a back up.  I’m sure Hubby was not impressed, he fell asleep while the bread was baking and I caught a squinting eye upon my return from dumping out the baked loaf onto the cooling rack.  Everyone was back to dreaming about puffy clouds and wooly sheep in no time.

Finnish Caraway Rye Bread

Adapted from The Great Holiday Baking Book by B. Ojakangas

The modifications I made to the original recipe are noted below.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 Tbsp salted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 cup dark rye flour, stone ground is what I used
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast  1 Tbsp dry active yeast

I found out through Nancy on her blog that I could must use salted butter in my breads to yield a better flavour, I keep the salt measurements the same from the recipe.  This has been the best trick in baking bread since I’ve started making my own bread.  So go ahead, you’ll be glad you did too!

If you own a bread machine, put the ingredients in the canister in the order shown above.  If your manufacturer insists on liquids being on top, reverse the whole list.  Otherwise, read your manual.  I did mix the two flours in a bowl first to get the rye bits distributed evenly.

That’s the hardest part.  All you have to do is set the machine to 1.5 LB and medium crust on its regular cycle.  Push START.  Now try to stay awake to let the little loaf out when it’s done!

Try this bread with some Salmon with Leeks as a sandwich the next day.  All you need to do is mash up the salmon, add some mayo, pinch of salt and pepper… smear it on toasted slices of the rye bread and voilà!  You are set for lunch.

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One of the cookie recipes I made for the Austin Bakes for Bastrop bake sale was Finnish Peppernuts, but despite the name they did not contain nuts.  The original recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas’ Great Holiday Baking Book (Random House 1994) calls for ground hazelnuts, for which the cookies are shaped after.  Many people might know them as Pfefernüsse the German name for this round, holiday spiced cookie.

peppernuts

peppernuts hot out of the oven

I modified the recipe to make half a batch first, just in case there might be other tweaks to make.

Adapted from Peppernuts by Beatrice Ojakangas

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Turn on the oven to 375ºF.  Cream the butter, sugar and egg until smooth.  Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a separate bowl.  Mix the flour into the butter and sugar.  Form 1/2 inch balls and place 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes, just until the bottom is lightly browned.

Pfefernusse Cookies (photo: Martha Compton)

Pfefernusse Cookies (photo: Martha Compton)

These would be cute in gift bags tied with a decorative ribbon or natural twine.  I put eight into individual bags for the bake sale.

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