Monthly Archives: February 2020

Pain Tordu as made by the Great Lakes (BBB February 2020)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Pain Tordu, based on Mouette Barboff’s recipes for Pain Tordu as made in the Ger, and as made in the Lot-et-Garonne; almost, but not quite, lost in translation; twisting and turning on how to twist; BBBabes’ 12th anniversary; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Pain Tordu – 12th Anniversary!

Pain Tordu

We’ve been baking together for 12 years!!

We began when blogging was fashionable – before FB, instagram, and twitter took over the internet world. There is only one original BBBabe still actively baking and blogging, and our little group has been reduced from a baker’s dozen to just eight. Or is it nine?

But, once a BBBabe, always a BBBabe….

To celebrate our anniversary, Elle chose the recipe for Pain Tordu, which means literally: Twisted Bread.

To paraphrase Chubby Checker,

Come on, BBBabes | Let’s do the twist (continue reading )

Rum Babas

go directly to the recipe

summary: Rum Babas; recipe for Savarin Dough and Rum Babas; classic cookbooks; remembering to add important details when transcribing recipes; going through our photo archives;

babas au rhum
January 2020

I cannot believe that I have never raved here about Rum Babas! T made them for his birthday last year. I meant to rave out loud in here about them then. We even took pictures! (Well, actually, we didn’t manage to take pictures of them served last year. I guess we were too busy stuffing our faces… this year, I made sure to snap the above photo before we took the bowls to the table.)

I was so certain that I had already blogged about rum babas that when T went looking for the recipe to make Rum Babas again a couple of weeks ago, I told him to look here first for the recipe. But no. I’m wrong again – the BBBabes’ Champagne Babas are as close as I got.

I remember the first time I tasted Rum Babas was when I was about 14. Mum made them for their New Year’s Eve dinner party. The same 3 couples always got together, switching houses from year to year. None of us children were invited to those dinner parties, but we got to taste little samples of some of the things that were to be served whenever the party was at our house.

Dinner Party Cookbook Cover On the Rum Baba occasion, Mum used her wonderful Dinner Party Cookbook (Sunset Books 1962), following the recipes in ‘Dinner Party for Ten’. The menu included Veal Birds. I LOVED them. I remember being amazed and thrilled at the flavour of tarragon. That’s right. I had never tasted tarragon before that. And after that first taste, I wanted to have tarragon in everything from then on! And it was dried tarragon! (We really should try making veal birds, shouldn’t we? I wonder if they will be as fabulous as I remember. Hmmm. I wonder if we should use fresh or dried tarragon?)

Dinner Party Cookbook - Dinner for Ten (page 161)

But I’m getting off track – back to the babas…. As I recall, I didn’t really like Rum Babas. I wasn’t so keen on the rum. Silly young me. I have grown up now – j’adore Rum Babas…. (continue reading )

Laksa Mi

summary: the wonders of back-issues of SAVEUR Magazine; too egg, or not to egg; link to’s recipe we followed for laksa soup (a malaysian coconut curry noodle soup); Noodles!

We have been gradually re-reading back issues of SAVEUR magazine (bathroom reading), from when SAVEUR was still the really terrific magazine that we loved. A couple of mornings ago, T happily announced that we had to go out right away to get some coriander leaf and coconut cream.

“Why?!” I objected. It had snowed the night before and we’d have to – eeeeek – walk, instead of ride our bikes.

February Kitchen

But he calmly explained. It was because of this:

2. SOUP WE’RE HOT FOR Malaysia is the birthplace of several regional varieties of Laksa, a vibrant Southeast Asian noodle soup. Our favorite? The spice-rich version from Kuala Lumpur known as curry laksa or curry mee. […] With its silken chicken-and-coconut milk curry, it’s pure noodle nirvana.
– James Oseland, The SAVEUR 100, page 2, No. 81, Jan/Feb 2005

How could I say no? (continue reading )

More Arkatena Adventures (BBBuddy, January 2020)

summary: January 2020 Bread Baking Buddy; BBBabes’ Arkatena Bread gallery

I did try again. Really I did. I had to. How could I not with the amazing bubbles created by the chickpea flour starter?

BBBuddies January 2020BBBuddy: Arkatena Bread

I thought it was going to be an easy bread to make. Something perfect to rest with after all of December’s complex festive baking. Bzzzzzzt! W.R.O.N.G. – me, (blog from OUR kitchen)
To say we loved this bread is an understatement. […] Yes, you want to bake this bread! – Tanna (My Kitchen in Half Cups)
Love the texture of this uniquely leavened bread, even if it took me a couple tries! – Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)
Elizabeth gave us an exciting challenge – using chickpea flour in a starter and baking a delicious bread. […] Fortunately the Babes are not wedded to rules. […] I use[d] my wheat starter as the base for the chickpea starter […] The crumb was a bit dry but there were nice air holes here and there, it was chewy, and the flavor was lovely. I really liked the crust and sesame seeds on the outside. – Pat, aka Elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms)
Challenging indeed. It’s no-go this month. The first three evenings looked promising; the additions of the fourth evening caused the starter to crash and burn. No life (even after 10 days!). – Judy (Judy’s Gross Eats)
Something similar happened to me too, so no bread to post. – Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen)
I really like the flavor of the Arkatena Bread. I think I cut mine a bit too soon, but it tasted great! Love the addition of the fennel seeds. – Cathy (Bread Experience)
It starts out simple enough. The starter is made with chickpea flour, and because of the nature of chickpea flour, only takes 3 days to accumulate enough yeast to raise the dough. […] Then comes the list of steps to actually make the bread. No one thing is difficult it’s just that…. – Katie (Thyme For Cooking)

I know I shouldn’t be even remotely surprised once again to have received zero notices about BBBuddies baking Arkatena bread.

And not just because the days of blogging, just for the sake of blogging, appear to be waning. But one person did post – in detail – about his Arkatena adventures on FB. I asked permission to display his photos…. (continue reading )

Second Attempt at Arkatena Bread

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: trying again to make Arkatena Bread; chickpea flour starter sure does bubble; how to deal with failure; crackers;

I feel like such a failure, having resorted to adding commercial yeast! Our fake Arkatena bread was really good though. I do plan to try again with the actual recipe – really I do
– me, blog from OUR kitchen, 13 January 2020

I took heart when I saw other BBBabes’ successful attempts at baking Arkatena bread. I was especially entranced by Tanna’s bread!

It starts out simple enough. The starter is made with chickpea flour, and because of the nature of chickpea flour, only takes 3 days to accumulate enough yeast to raise the dough.
– Katie (Thyme For Cooking), Bread Baking Babes tackle Arkatena Bread

Katie’s right! It does seem simple. And it worked for other BBBabes. Surely it could work for me!

And so I did try again. Really I did. I had to. How could I not with the amazing bubbles created by the chickpea flour starter?

chickpea flour starter: Day 3 (continue reading )