Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sometimes you have a disaster

After returning from a wonderful holiday spent with family in NYC and Maryland, I was anxious to get back in the kitchen and bake POLISH POTATO BREAD. The recipe warned that it was a very wet dough, but we found ourselves dealing with something that had to be poured into pans. See our journey below.

This was the wettest dough I have ever dealt with, but since the recipe warned not to 
add more flour, we continued with something that was closer to pancake batter.

This "dough" looked less Polish and more Salvador Dali-esque

There was no way that it could be formed into a loaf shape

I didn't have two larger loaf pans, so the dough was poured into three smaller ones...another mistake

Although they rose, they were too wet to have the strength to rise up sufficiently

See how the center collapsed in on itself...not enough structure to support oven spring and rising 

 This is how wet the inside still was after sufficient baking. We tried to rescue it by toasting a
few pieces, but obviously, something went wrong with the execution of this recipe.

As a result of the poor outcome, we did not offer any samples. I'm in touch with the others baking this recipe, plus the book authors, and hope to discover where we went wrong. I have seen the results that other bakers have had and hope to re-do this one in the future with better results.

I'm sharing this experience to remind you that occasionally we all fail at things. A new year is a good time to review the past, learn from your mistakes, then go forward with a positive attitude armed with this new knowledge.


We are part of an international challenge of people baking their way through "Inside The Jewish Bakery", one recipe per week. Here's what we'll be baking on the next few Fridays:

     1/20   Onion Rolls
     1/27   Mandelbroyt (Jewish biscotti)
     2/03     Sour Cream Coffee Cake
     2/10   Black & White Cookies

On these dates you can stop by the TreeHouse (see below) and taste a sample of that day's recipe. If you'd like to purchase some, you can place an order which can be picked up the following Friday.

I've also been making a variety of jams & preserves using Keitt mango from my organic tree along with other local fruit. So far the flavors are:

    Mango Strawberry Cardamom (sweet with a yummy twist) 8 oz

    Mango & Meyer Lemon (bright & a little tart like marmalade) 8 oz

    Mango Chutney (the secret ingredient in my Curried Chicken 
                                Salad; recipe included) 16 oz

    Plant City Strawberry (doesn't get much more local that this) 8 oz

    Cranberry Tangerine Compote (mix w/mayo or mustard as a
                                                       tangy sandwich spread) 8 oz

8 oz jars $4        16 oz jars $7.50   limited quantities

This Friday Anna & I will be baking "CLOSED POCKETS". These are the square Jewish pastries that are filled with cheese and topped with glistening sliced almonds. It's a challenge because it requires making  a laminated dough (think puff pastry), as well as the cheese filling and topping. But we're up for it, so if you'd like to have a taste of these classic filled "Danish", stop by on Friday between 2-4pm. If you can't make it then, email me at or call me at (941) 746-6647 and I'll save you a sample.

Come to the "TreeHouse" through the white iron gate along side the bright green driveway fence at my former BONNI BAKES building,  932 12th St West in the Village of the Arts. There is an intercom above the house number, if the door is locked.

If you look closely at the picture above you'll see Twinkie, my recently adopted Maltese-mix. She's been particularly upset that the company making her namesake indestructible dessert, The Twinkie, just announced they are in bankruptcy. This, on the heels of airline news, stating cupcake frosting may soon be banned since they consider it a gel. Escape the craziness and come have a taste of something soothing from the past.

Cheese pastry tasting Friday Jan 13 from 2-4 @ the TreeHouse

Hugs from the kitchen,        Bonni

always available at (941) 746-6647   or

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