Thursday, December 07, 2006

Baking Extravaganza #2

I finished the baking order today, delivered it, and deposited the money into the bank. You have witnessed an order consisting of 390 cookies, 130 muffins, and 130 fruity italian sweet breads panetones NOT pantalonnes ... this is the reason I was baking so much... although we have a few leftovers I actually haven't started baking for our family favorite foods yet. The food is for a survival pack students at a nearby college get to receive for finals week if their parents opt to pay for it.

This blog entry will be about the cookies. I use stackable cooling racks. I have 24 of these. I filled this order in my home, but if I was taking orders for Christmas baked goods like I have in years past I would have used my commercial oven at the bakehouse... right now I didn't have enough to make it worth it besides my convertion oven in our home kitchen does an okay job if I turn pans around halfway through baking times.

Here is a picture of VWAV ginger cookies. These are wonderfully spicy and I agree with Isa's comment in the book, they really are better the next day! I made the first batch of cookies much smaller than the recipe yeild and also noticed that they were considerable smaller than the other cookies in the order (I ended up with 96 cookies when the recipe yield said 62), so I started again. Darn, now I have 96 wonderful spicy and very pretty 2 1/2" diameter cookies. What's girl to to? Oops! Now I have 95, mmmm that was good. I will be taking a container of these cookies into the school to share on Friday (tommorrow) as a thanks for the staff for making my time there a good one.

I also made the pumpkin oatmeal using cranberries instead of raisin, which were Melissa's favorites. I only had 6 leftover pumpkin cookies which the family usually taste tests while they are still warm from the oven. This particular day there was such variety that there were a couple of cookies of each leftover the next day. The pumpkin ones get better also. I had a picture of these, but somehow I accidentally deleted it. They are a pretty golden orange color with very noticable red craisins showing through.

I thought DH would love the maple cookies best. Pictured left are the ones from Vive Le Vegan. They are a large cakey style cookie that I didn't think ended up very sweet, he liked them better frosted. I didn't add nuts into the dough, just one large one on the top. I noticed VWAV has a maple cookie recipe also, maybe I would like to try that one soon to compare. Maybe next week. The peanut better cookies a few pages away from this recipe had the same kind of cakey style results, so I chocolate drizzled them and he said, "Mmm, like a reeces candy!"

I purchased plastic 1/2 sheet cake boxes from a local grocery store to put the cookies in. I had seven different kinds for the students to choose from, the picture shows two of the boxes. Each student would get to pick a choice of three cookies each, I provided 4 x 14 inch baggies for them to carry the cookies away in. Notice the label on the box, I used a mini clip of the cookbooks from which I took the recipes from. I had to give them a list of ingredients, but not the recipe... they can get that for themself now if they buy the book. No middle man sales percentage needed authors, just keep the great recipes coming :)

Next up is the Italian panetones NOT pantalonnes (fruited sweet bread). I used one of Bryanna's recipe for a valentine danish roll to adapt for the dough (mt adaption recipe and instructions below). I added 2/3 cup dried fruit (chopped apricots, raisins, and craisins) that had been soaked in a little (about 1/4 C) boiling water after the dough was finished kneading. Baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes minutes, or until browned to a desireable color.

1 c. rich soymilk (such as Vitasoy)
1/4 c. Earth Balance
1/4 c. light granulated unbleached or white beet sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 packet (2 and 1/2 tsp. dry active baking yeast (NOT instant)
1/4 c. warm water
3 c. unbleached flour (NOT pastry flour)
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
1 tsp. grated organic lemon zest
In a small saucepan (or in a bowl in the microwave), scald the soymilk (heat to just before boiling). Remove from heat. Add the Earth Balance, sugar and salt. Stir until butter melts and let cool to just warm.
Here is the bread dough rising on baking sheet sprinkled with semolina flour. I can bake three pans at once in my home convection oven, si i size the bread recipe to ensure that I get only as much as I can bake up at one time. At the bakehouse in the commercial convection oven this is rarely a problem I have four large racks that can each hold as much as my one household oven holds.

When the soymilk is just warm dissolve the yeast in the warm water. When it is soft, add it to the milk mixture in a medium bowl, or bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook, along with the almond extract and lemon zest. Stir in 1 and 1/2 c. of the flour and beat well. Gradually add 1 more cup flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on a board and knead 5 minutes, adding some of the 1/2 c. flour, as necessary. The dough should be soft and velvety smooth, knead in the fruit (make sure it does not have excess water).

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE DOUGH IN A FOOD PROCESSOR, add 2 and 1/2 c. flour to the bowl, then, with the motor running, pour in the liquid ingredients. Process until it comes to a ball on the blade, adding a little more flour if necessary—but don’t make too dry, and process 30 seconds.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Or, if you want to prepare it the night before to bake in the morning, brush with oil, cover with plastic warp, or place inside of a large new plastic bag and seal. Leaving room to rise, and refrigerate overnight.

Have your oven preheated to 350 degrees F when ready to bake. I cut this recipe into 8 small round loaves. It could be shaped or braided in various ways. The cooking time would be considerably longer with larger amounts of dough. Bake the mini loaves about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Larger loaves 25 - 35 minutes. Cool on a rack and do not bag until completly warm.

Here they are in a box, bagged and labeled.

Midwest Vegan asked me in the last post how long baking this order took me. Lets just say that there are psychological perks of what I do. I once calulated how much I made per hour for selling goods at a farmers market. At that time I was making about $300 weekly... I made less than minimum wage for the time I put in. It did afford me the freedom of being at home when I needed to be and allowed me to provide my children a real world homeschool education. This business started as a homeschool project and was one of the best "curriculums" I ever invested in. Yes, we showed a profit on the books but we did not make hourly wages. Now that my children are of an age they make money in other ways (despite the fact that I miss them very much and desire for them to come home and bake with their mama again), I am preparing to go back into work away from home and maintain our "hobby" business for summer work for the next few years. Two kids in college and a retirement plan needing a little more cash investments are good reasons to make my hours more prosperous.

Sometime next week I will begin making a few things for out personal family and friend / neighbor gifts. I have a large order of cinnamon and maple nut rolls to bake next week also, I use an oatmeal dough with these and I'll share my recipe next week. This weekend I am taking a break away from my oven, going to a movie with DH Friday night, doing the shopping thing on Saturday. I will be complete my student teaching experience on Wednesday. I am looking at three job opportunities right now. I am unsure as to which I most interested in, for now I am going to enjoy the weekend and think more about work another day.

The last picture here is of one night's baking, prior to the cookies going into the freezer to store until delivery day.


aTxVegn said...

That's a LOT of cookies! They all look so delicious and beautiful. I would absolutely be in heaven if my job were to bake cookies. You did an amazing job!

PS - you should probably change "pantallones" (Spanish for undies) to "panetones." I can't help it - I'm a proofreader!

erica said...

This reminds me of being a kid, my mom would go on mammoth cookie making sprees as well. Five-gallon buckets full, but they were not awesomely vegan like yours.

You know, I recently left a comment somewhere about pannetone, and how I had just heard of it and then seen a reference to it again, and now I was waiting for the third ref. because they always come in threes. Now, only a few days later, here you are with pannetone, my prophecy has been fulfilled. (cue Twilight Zone music).

You get six f's on the SS of F, mama!

bazu said...

Oh wow. This is inspiring! I plan on cooking a few batches of x-mas cookies pretty soon (nothing as major as your undertaking, though!). I wish I could pop into your house and ... um, relieve you of some of your extra ginger cookies right about now!

Johanna3 said...

wohoo a new recipe to try, thanks :)

Vivacious Vegan said...

Dori, I'm drooling over here. Me and my awful sweet tooth - I can't help it. Those all look so delicious. The panetones sound very intriguing. I'd really like to try them.

I hope you enjoy your weekend off (especially the time spent with DH).


Caroline said...

wow, thanks for the peek into your cookie making magic! everything looks so great - i wish i was one of those students that got to pick out the cookies. although i would probably have a hard time stopping at just 3 haha:)
have a great weekend spending time with the ones you love!

Nikki said...

I would love to be let loose at your house with a carton of rice milk and stretchy pants. :)


Candi said...

Busy you! I love your projects...they involve the best foods! I love the rows and rows of cooling cookies. The students will happily survive finals now!

Nice work!!

*pets Lucy*

Dreena said...

Baking SUPER WOMAN! Wanna come over and do some recipe testing for me?!!! :) I could use this kind of power baking in my kitchen!

laura jesser said...

Wow, Dori--you have surely been busy. And I don't think I could pick which of it all I would like the best--it all looks incredible! I hope my kitchen looks like that once I finish my exams next week...

Jackie said...

All I can say is WOW. How you manage to juggle so much and achieve such fabulous results is amazing. It would be pretty much the Twilight Zone for me to even bake 50 muffins at once :D

raising_kahne said...

Can I PLEASE come over for some cookies?? Really, these all look amazing! I would have gained a ton of weight from baking all those! I like the cookie dough better than the cookies usually. : ) Thanks for the nice wishes on my Thanksgiving, it did go really well. The VWAV pumpkin muffins were amazing. I hope yours went well also!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Oh, Dori this is amazing.

And you make me want..NEED a cooling rack.

Urban Vegan said...

Wow--you're a real pro. Inspiring stuff here.

theONLYtania said...

Wow, that's awesome. I've always wondered what it would be like to start my own business. Let me know if you want to take on an employee this summer! I would totally come stay with you and bake all summer long!

I think over this Christmas break I am finally going to make some bread. I never have before.. but you inspired me to try.

The Crazy Affiliate said...

Backend Cash Manuscript Revealed Before you buy Backend Cash Manuscript, learn the truth. Everyone else is saying how great the product is, but how many of them actually bought it? Well I have, and I have used it. This E-book is being highly touted by alot of the "Gurus', but does it really deliver? Will it work for the regular little guy? Read my Free report "Backend Cash Manuscript Revealed" befor you buy. Don't be suckered in by all the hype. TheCrazyAffiliate reveals all. Backend Cash Manuscript Revealed

Dating said...

With the increase of affiliate marketing programs, many affiliate software are being developed these days. The affiliate software that tracks your affiliate business is known as affiliate tracking software. Some manufacturers give you free benefits on buying the software from them.

Tracking software keeps a track of leads, clicks, sales and all the other activities visitors undertake in your website.

The use of this software increases the flow of traffic to your sites. It also helps in increasing sales. You save a lot of time that you can use in other constructive activity for your site.

With the use of this software you will pay only for what your affiliates sell and thus save a lot of your money.

The software must provide you with direct linking capability. This enables you to establish a direct link with all of your affiliates. The software must be able to support multiple sites.

You will require this capability to support all the sites you are working with.

The software does not come freely. You will have to pay some amount to enjoy the benefit of these software. They can be obtained either by paying a monthly rental or an amount of money annually.

The affiliate tracking software tells you where your business is heading. The software provides a high level of system automation that enables you to focus on your creative marketing and other efforts.

The basic purpose of this software is to give you peace of mind. The emphasis should be on simplicity without any hassles. You must be able to sit back and enjoy the benefits of your affiliate business.

If you do not have the right affiliate tracking software then you will not be able to benefit from affiliate marketing benefits.

Work at Home The Most Reliable Work at Home Business On The Web!

po9blne6 said...

what people on your bolg have to say about diffrent things. Vacation Rentals The Most Powerful Rental Property Search On The Web!

nwf3345v said...

what people on your bolg have to say about diffrent things. Vacation Rentals The Most Powerful Rental Property Search On The Web!

colorado-real-estate-commission-formsuekra8 said...

Are People looking for a vacation destination on your blog? I am looking for a vation Rental property to stay at instead of a hotel, I would tell them have a look at this great site. Vacation Rentals The Most Powerful Vavcation Rental Property Search On The Web!