1.31.2011

It Was a Baking Kind of Day

Yesterday I found myself in the baking kind of mood. I made a citrus scented ricotta cheesecake with a citrus simple syrup and homemade bread. Yum!
Citrus Ricotta Cheesecake
Crust:
1 package graham crackers
4 Tbs melted butter
2 Tbs sugar
~girind up the graham cracker until they look like sand, then mix everything together and press into a springform pan and set aside in the fridge

Filling:
16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
8 oz cream cheese (no diet stuff here!)
2 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange and 2 lemons
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar (this is not a terribly sweet cheesecake)
~Mix everything together in the food processor until smooth (dont worry if there are still graham cracker crumbs in there, it will be fine) and poor into your crust filled pan. Bake at 350 until a knife comes out clean, I didnt time it, so just keep your eye on it (it will not look cooked and probably wont even be brown yet, but will be kind of puffy and jiggly)

Citrus simple syrup:
Juice of your previously zested fruit, and enough water to make 1 cup of liquid
1 cup sugar
~Bring the ingredients to boil just to melt the sugar and let cool, poor over cold cheesecake. Yum!

** I made this recipe up, so feel free to tweak it as you see fit... I like a lot of citrus and a lot of vanilla, but you can use less if you want

Bread Boule (Courtesy of Mother Earth News) No Knead recipe
3 c warm water
2 packages of yeast (I use more than they say in the article, my bread never rises well)
2 T kosher salt
2 T honey (they don't call for it in the article, but I like it)
6 1/2 c unbleached white flour

~Mix the water, yeast, salt, and honey... allow the yeast to do its thing and get foamy
~Mix in the flour until everything comes together
~Put the goo in a bowl and allow to rise until it is enormous
~No kneading!!!!!!!!!!
~Cut off a hunk of dough and form it into your loaf and place onto a cornmeal dusted stone to rise again
~Bake at 450 until it is brown and crusty and hollow sounding, EAT!
**This make a LOT of dough. The article calls for the dough to simply sit in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and use at will. Just cut a hunk off and bake. The texture and flavor will improve as it sits, kind of creating a sourdough flavor. We made a little loaf to eat with eggplant and homemade sauce last night. I failed to take any pictures... Sorry! But it was pretty good!





I better get on with my day. Hubby said before he left for work that he expect me get some work done today. He knows I am really good at procrastinating and not getting my day started until about 1 or 2 pm... Today I have a bunch to do... Get the seed starting going (tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and lettuces) wash all of Oliver's blankets and towels in preparation for his homecoming tomorrow, a TON of laundry, a TON of dishes from yesterdays baking excursion, and cleaning in general... It gets messy around here in winter, especially the floors in the back entryway... tons of dirt and salt and snow...

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