Archive for January, 2021

Peanut Butter Fudge

There are several recipes out there for fudge, some call for heavy whipping cream and some for evaporated milk. This recipe only uses whole milk and you cook your ingreidents to a soft stage at about 243 degrees. The fudge is smooth and melts in your mouth. In as little as 3 hours you have a great tasting fudge.

Line an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl sift 2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar and set aside. You will also need a candy thermometer.

2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room tempeture)
3/4 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sauce pan add the butter, milk, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Cook over a low to medium heat and stir until the butter and sugar are dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 243 degrees (soft candy stage) 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until incorporated and smooth. Slowly pour into the confectioners sugar and with a hand mixer at a high speed mix well until all lumps dissipate. Pour into prepared pan. Using a spatula spread the fudge mixture evenly to all sides of the pan. Allow to cool on the counter for a few hours until set. Cut into 1″ squares or slices. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Onion Garlic Bread

This is a great recipe but requires a few items you may not have in your kitchen. One thing you will need is a baking stone sometimes referred to as a pizza stone. A baking stone allows for even cooking and pulls the moisture from the dough allowing for a crispy texture. If you plan on making different types of bread a baking stone is a must and can be easily purchased online. The second thing is some lava rocks which you could fine at a local hardware store and commonly used in an outdoor grill or fire pit. . These are great to help create steam in your oven. Third thing is a pizza peel which is a paddle shaped tool which allows you to slide the bread onto the baking stone. (Helpful but you could also use the back of a 1/2 sheet tray)

I like this recipe because the caramelized onion and garlic bring a whole wonderful flavor to this artisan bread.

2/3 cup of bread flour
1/2 cup of warm water (100 degrees)
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

3 cups chopped yellow onions
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/3 cup bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 cup water (room temperature)

To make the sponge add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap overnight on the counter or at least 6 hours.
In a frying pan heat the olive oil over a medium heat until it begins to simmer. Stir in the onions, garlic, brown sugar, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, then cover. After about 5 minutes remove the cover and continue to cook until the mixture caramelizes, about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and yeast, set aside. Now that the onions are cool add half with the water into the sponge mixture and blend together. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the flour/yeast mixture and at a slow speed add in the sponge/onion water blend until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. Place the bowl back into the stand mixer and add in 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and mix on a slow speed and then slowly add in the rest of the onion mixture. Spray a large bowl with vegetable spray and add in the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Using an oiled spatula fold the dough over itself from the sides to the middle while in the bowl (about 8 folds and repeat about six times turning the bowl slightly after each fold) Cover again and allow to rise another 30 minutes. Perform the folds again and this time allowing the dough to rise about 1 1/2 hours covered. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press and stretch the dough into a 10″ round circle deflating any gas bubbles. Line a baking basket or colander with a slightly damp kitchen towel dusted with flour and place the dough in, seam side up and place into your microwave with a 1/2 cup boiling water and allow it to proof 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (The microwave will be used as a proofer). Place a 16″ x 14″ parchment paper onto your pizza peel or the back of a 1/2 sheet tray. Flip the dough onto the parchment paper and remove the towel, Cut two slashes forming an X -1/2″ deep into the top of the dough. Forty-five minutes prior to baking, position the baking stone on the middle rack and two pie plates filled with the lava rocks at the bottom rack of your oven, set the oven to 425. Add 1/2 cup of water to one of the pie plates and allow about one minute for steam to form in the oven with the door closed. Slide the dough with the parchment paper onto the stone and and another 1/2 cup of boiling water to the second pie plate. Bake for approximately 50 – 60 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool 2 1/2 hours.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Morning Buns

These buttery buns are great for breakfast and can be refrigerated in dough form a day ahead and baked after an hour at room temperature. Unlike cinnamon rolls, morning buns are a buttery, flakey dough similar to croissant.

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 sticks of unsalted butter cubed and cold
1 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt, whisk well. Add in the cubed butter and with a pastry cutter begin to crush the flour mixture and butter together to form a course mixture. Stir in the sour cream, orange juice, water and egg yolk until combined. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough to form a smooth dough ball. Roll out to a 12″ x 20″ rectangle, then roll short ways forming a 12″ long log. Spray plastic wrap with vegetable oil and cover the log completely. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. In the mean time spray a 12 cup muffin pan with vegetable spray. Pull the log from the freezer and roll out onto a lightly floured surface and form another 12″ x 20″ rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with the filling. This time roll the dough the long way. Trim both ends to expose the filling (about 1/2″) Slice the dough into 12 equal parts and place into the muffin pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to proof in a warm area until double in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours) Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then remove onto a cooling rack. Best if you serve them warm.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Italian Bread

If you are into baking, you realize the great self satisfaction you get in making a great loaf of bread. The feel of kneading a soft dough and watching it rise and finely consuming a fresh slice of your prize bread. This recipe is just that….. easy, satisfying and fresh.

3 cups bread flour
1 cup of mild beer (Room temperature )
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
sesame seeds
spray bottle with water

In this recipe I use a baking stone to form a crispy crust. If you don’t have one that’s ok it just won’t be as crispy. (A baking stone can be purchased for as little as $15.00 to $20.00 on the internet) Line a half sheet tray with parchment paper

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook mix together the flour, yeast and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together the beer, water and oil. At a low speed slowly add the liquid and mix until it begins to gather, then increase the speed to a medium. Allow the dough to form and pull away from the sides of the bowl about 10 to 12 minutes. Pull the dough and place on a lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute and form a ball. Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and drop in the dough and flip so both sides are coated. Heat a cup of water in the microwave until it boils (2 – 2 1/2 minutes) Place the cup along with the bowl in your unheated oven and allow to proof or cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area to proof (this will take a little longer) until double in size 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Pull the dough and punch down on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about a 12″ x 12″ square. Pull the four corners of the dough to the middle and pull towards you to form a loaf. Flip so the seam is at the bottom and stretch and seam to form a torpedo shape 4″ x 15″.
Place onto the parchment paper and proof again for about an hour. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a baking stone you will need to preheat your oven for an hour prior with the stone at the lower middle rack. With a sharp knife carefully slice a 1/2″ cut into the top of the loaf beginning and ending 1 1/2″ from each side. Spray with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the dough on the baking stone or the baking sheet and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. (The internal temperature should read between 205 – 210 when done)
Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool about 3 1/2 hours before serving.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Mango Bread

The one thing you can find in abundance here in Florida is Mango. It’s at just about every grocery store, road side stand and served in restaurants. I have made banana bread, zucchini bread and even carrot bread but this is the first for mango bread. I have to say it turned out moist and delicious.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
l/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups chopped Mango
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnimon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange

Streusel Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (cubed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray 2 – 5″ x 9″ loaf pans with vegetable spray.
Place the chopped mango into a food processor and pulse to form a light puree, add in the orange zest and set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the butter, oil and sugar add in the eggs one at a time and vanilla extract. Slowly add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and blend well to combine. Fold in the mango and the nuts to incorporate. Divide the mixture into the two pans. Make the streusel topping by adding all ingredients to a medium bowl and with a pastry blender form a crumble like consistency. Divide the topping between the two pans by sprinkling evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes in the center of the oven until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

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These are a buttery melt in your mouth cookie made with pecans. These cookies are a part of the Mexican wedding tradition and can be baked in many different shapes and sizes. When I bake cookies I use a portion scoop (ice cream scoop) that comes in many sizes and sometimes have color coded handles to indicate the portion per scoop. They range from as little as .32 of an ounce to 8 ounces and help to keep your cookies uniform and allow for a quick dough placement.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter (soften)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans (toasted)

1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a gallon ziplock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 – 1/2 sheet trays with parchment paper. ( A good way to keep the parchment paper down while seating the dough is by applying a small amount of water between the paper and the sheet tray).
Place the sea salt in a food processor and grind until fine, set aside. Place the pecans into the food processor and grind to a medium course level, set aside. Place the flour and sea salt into a medium bowl and mix together. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar, mix on medium speed until combined. Add in the vanilla and continue to mix. At a slow speed add in the flour mixture, then add the ground pecans and mix until incorporated. Using a 1 ounce scoop transfer the batter to the lined sheet trays keeping the dough about 1″ apart. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the bottoms are lightly brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Place approximately 12 cookies into the bag filled with confectioners sugar and gently shake to coat. (makes 36 – 40 cookies)

Chef Brian Klauss

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These are made with both yeast and baking soda and have a bread like flavor. They are fried on a griddle or fry pan and become crispy, chewy and spongy. You then place them in a toaster for that finished product. They are great for breakfast with butter and jam. You will need 4″ x 1/2″ high crumpet rings (you could also use a tuna can washed with both the top and bottom removed. Griddle set at 275 degrees.

1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of warm milk (100 degrees)
1 cup warm water (100 degrees)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix the sugar, milk and yeast into a small bowl and whisk. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes. In a stand mixer add the flour and salt and mix until combined. With a paddle attachment and at a low speed slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix until the dough pulls from the sides. Knead into a ball and place into a greased bowl in a warm area, cover loosely, then allow to proof doubling in size.
Mix the baking soda into the warm water and dissolve. Place the dough back into the stand mixer and add in the water. Mix slowly until well combined. Cover the bowl loosely again and allow to raise and become bubbly it should take about 30 – 45 minutes.
Coat the rings and the griddle with butter and allow the rings to heat upon the griddle. Spoon enough batter into the ring to reach approximately 1/2 way up and cook for 10 minutes. You may have to adjust the temperature down during the cooking process if your griddle cooks to fast. Keep an eye on the bottoms so they don’t burn. You can remove the rings with tongs once the crumpet has formed and flip them over to cook the tops slightly. You want to achieve a medium brown color with airy holes in the tops. Cool on a wire rack completely. You can store them over night in a bag or freeze well wrapped for up to 3 months. They should be toasted before serving, great with butter and jam.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Cheese Puffs

It’s a cold, over cast Sunday and you are looking for something to bake, well I have a great recipe for you that only takes a couple of hours. This tastes great all by itself or with your favorite dip like spinach, vegetable or cheese.

1 1/2 cup water
11 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
8 oz Gruyere cheese (shredded)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line 2 1/2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Also locate a large pastry bag and attach a large star tip.

In a medium sauce pan add in the water, butter and salt, bring to a boil. Add in the flour and stir until well blended and the dough pulls away from the pan. Remove from the heat and place the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. With a whip attachment at a medium speed blend in all but about 1 ounce of the cheese and mix the dough until the temperature of the dough cools down below 100 degrees. Slowly add in one egg at a time allowing the dough to develop into a sticky paste like texture. Place the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Form 1 1/2 ” star dough shapes onto the parchment paper approximately 1″ apart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese onto the tops of the batter then bake at 400 degrees in the center of your oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn off the oven. Leave the cheese puffs in the oven while it cools which will allow the interior of the puffs to dry out.

Chef Brian Klauss

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