Tag Archives: Long Island Fair

Blue Ribbon Yeast Bread (no kneading required!)

18 Oct
Another blue ribbon for my little baker!

Another blue ribbon for my little baker!

Leandro has done it again! My seven-year-old won another blue ribbon at the Long Island Fair for his baking in the Junior Culinary division! What better way of celebrating than sharing it with you on the day of my 550th post and the fourth anniversary of this blog?

Sizing up the competition

Sizing up the competition

Last year it was his Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies. This year it was an extension of his successful Science Fair project on yeast. We’ve been making a lot of the no-knead refrigerator bread we began making for that, so he decided that would be his submission as it is something he can do almost entirely by himself now.

The Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall

This bread, slightly modified from our original to include some whole wheat flour, has terrific sponginess, nice, not-too-crunchy crust, and good yeasty flavor. (My colleagues at LINCC can attest to this, as I brought in some practice loaves)

We get better results with quick-acting yeast than regular AND we include our tips for encouraging the yeast to activate. This is the easiest bread you can imagine and you can keep the extra dough in the fridge for whenever you want warm bread.

Celebratory candy apple. Don't judge....

Celebratory candy apple. Don’t judge….

I’m so proud of him…and in a life where it’s not always clear that I am doing things right, at least I can feel that I am sending him into the world with a love of good food and an ability to feed himself. Yay us!

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

Leandro’s Award-Winning No-Knead Refrigerator Bread

3 Cups warm water (it should feel cozy-comfortable on the hands)

1.5 Tbs salt

1.5 Tbs quick-acting yeast

5.5 Cups unbleached white flour

1 Cup stone ground whole wheat flour

Extra virgin olive oil or other fat for greasing the loaf pan.

Container large enough to hold this much flour and water only doubled in size. You’ll want a cover for it.

Place the water in a large container and dissolve the salt into it.

Stir in the yeast until well mixed. Wait a few minutes for it to begin foaming nicely. We put it on top of a warm toaster oven to encourage yeast activity.

Add the flour, all at once. Stir with a big spoon until well mixed into a sticky dough and there are no big air pockets.

Cover loosely and allow to rise 1-2 hours in a warm place. Again, we put it on top of our toaster oven when it’s on low.

Cover (punching down if necessary) and place in fridge (for up to three weeks).

When you are ready for fresh bread, preheat oven to 450°F. Grease a loaf tin and grab a half to a third of the dough (putting the rest back in the fridge for next time). With greased hands, form a loaf (the cold dough and the fat on your hands — we use olive oil — will keep it from sticking to you), Place in loaf pan and slash across the top with a knife (for a pretty finish) and top with a bit of olive oi if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden. You can give it a blast at 500°F for the last few minutes to develop the crust more.


And another award-winner: My Banana Bread (with Chocolate Chips)!

3 Oct

I shared with you the great news of Leandro’s first place win for Oatmeal Walnut Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies at the Long Island Fair. Now I will share my more modest triumph…my banana bread took second place in the adult class!

Chocolate chips give it that extra prize-winning appeal....

Chocolate chips give it that extra prize-winning appeal….

My banana bread is very moist and banana-y, because I take any bananas that have gone too ripe for pleasant eating (as in the peel is black and the flesh is mushy and getting brown), peel and freeze them in a resealable bag until I have enough for banana bread. So the sugars are really present and there is quite a bit of juice.

I have been terribly busy — too busy to sit down and write something more substantive — so I’ll keep it short and give you the recipe, which is sure to become a go-to for you!

Slice and freeze for great lunchbox stuffers

Slice and freeze for great lunchbox stuffers

Banana Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

6 overripe bananas

1 Cup sugar (1/2 light brown and ½ white)

2 eggs, beaten

½ Cup vegetable oil

2 Cups flour (1/2 whole wheat, ½ white all purpose)

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 Cup bittersweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350°. Mash bananas in mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs and oil, one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Sift dry ingredients together and add to banana mixture. Fold in chocolate morsels. Pour in four greased mini- loaf pans and bake 55-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Second place for me

Second place for me

Award-Winning! YES, Leandro’s Oatmeal Cookies Take First Prize!

29 Sep

We shouted! We hooted! We jumped up and down! (Mommy even got a little misty)

The winner!

The winner! Note blue ribbon in the background!

Leandro’s Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies took first prize in the Junior culinary class at the Long Island Fair!

We were completely surprised, because we had made a solemn decision that we didn’t care whether our submissions won. We just wanted our admission tickets (one per submission) and we wanted to be a part of it. We like our own baked goods and we like baking together and winning or losing wouldn’t change that.And then he won!

The calm before the storm. The gorgeous Fair building

The calm before the storm. The gorgeous Fair building

We are, of course, very excited, and we are, of course, sharing the recipe. And of course, we had a marvellous day at the fair with Lori, Brendan, Kate, Abu, Padushi, Madrina, and Betsy. It is always a wonderful time and there is one more day left if you haven’t made it yet!

Makes big batches!

Makes big batches!

Leandro’s Prize-Winning Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies

½ Cup plus 6 Tbs butter, softened

¾ firmly packed brown sugar (I like to mix dark and light brown, but use whatever is on hand)

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

3 Cups quick or old-fashioned oats

½ Cup bittersweet chocolate morsels

½ Cup dried cranberries

¾ Cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until blended and kind of creamy (I don’t have an electric mixer – yet—so I just use a big fork). Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then add the oats and the fruit and nuts and mix well until all the oats are damp.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. After a minute cooling on the baking sheets, move the cookies to wire cooling racks and cool completely. Store in tightly covered containers.

The right way to celebrate at a fall county fair!

The right way to celebrate at a fall county fair!

You may also like: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


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