Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

Procrastination through Baking (and posting)

with 4 comments

I think I’m getting better at this whole taking pictures of food thing! My phone is still not the best camera ever, but I think I really might be able to hold off on buying a real camera for longer than I thought. =)

Anyway, these are actually only 2 of the 3 things I baked yesterday. I also baked some normal sandwich bread, except I substituted a cup of whole wheat flour in (total of 3 cups of flour) but did not add quite enough extra water, so it didn’t rise again so once again my bread is too small. =( Which is fine for morning toast but not for sandwiches. On the other hand, my ciabatta loaf came out beautifully! And I froze six slices from the middle to be used for sandwiches on some later date.

The original ciabatta recipe can be found here. I recommend skimming through the comments. My roommate tried the recipe but added rosemary in to the original dough, instead of folding it in after rising and/or dusting the finished dough with herbs. Hers did not rise as much as mine did prior to baking, nor did it rise as much in the oven (so she had a flatter, wetter bread that did not cook through as well). I followed the recipe exactly (we both did, I think) but I added in garlic and other herbs just before putting it in my cast iron pan (which was light buttered, and then floured). You can’t really mix the herbs in very well, just to warn you. It really is just folding it in. But you can still taste them, and the garlic managed to work its way in quite well. Delicious bread, and really easy recipe. I might give up on trying to make normal american style sandwich bread and just make ciabatta.

I really recommend making the ciabatta. It is a fairly bland bread, but for how easy it is to make, it’s amazing. Tastes great with olive oil mixed with a bit of salt and black pepper. It’s really a base recipe too, and it’s meant to be tweaked.

The little pastries  are my attempt at recreating these olive paste filled rolls I had in Turkey last May that were delicious. My boyfriend dug up and translated a recipe for me. Alas, as he suspected, they turned out more dense and scone like than the fluffy rolls I’m craving. Next try, I’m adding more water and perhaps more yeast. Not sure yet what else I’ll do. I also found a recipe for crescent rolls and I might make a hybrid of these recipes and see what happens. I also might be actually ordering olive paste, because while these Kalamata olives are delicious, I do not have a food processor (yet) so it’s hard to really make a paste out of them.

I really, really liked those rolls… Honestly though, I think it was the paste. I don’t like it when olives are just chopped up and baked into bread, but the paste… that was delicious! I think it’s a texture thing. I usually don’t like nuts in baked goods either. Raisins only belong in certain things. So I guess my goal is to find a roll recipe I like, and just fill it with the paste, and then I will be happy. It does not have to be authentically Turkish. I think next “semester” (rather, “neuro block”) will be filled with more ethnic food experimentation. I would like to make more traditional Ghanaian food (I make more of the fringe foods, but nothing really, truly Ghanaian), and maybe a few of the Turkish dishes that I particularly liked.

Translation of the recipe (original recipe here) I used for the rolls (edited my boyfriend’s translation a tiny bit):

Olive Pastry (30 pieces)


  • 600 gr. (5 cup + 3 / 4 cup) flour (Piyale brand.  Seems to be generic flour)
  • 2 tsp   Dr. Oetker instant yeast (ie, use instant yeast, or if using regular, activate it first)
  • 300 ml. (1 cup + 3 tbs) warm (temp: mild, lukewarm) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 125 ml. (1 / 2 cup) hazelnut oil or any liquid oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 / 2 cup very finely chopped dill (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • Olive paste
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whipped


  1. Add into a rather large mixing bowl: the flour, the instant yeast, milk, the large egg, liquid oil, the dill and salt. Knead the dough thoroughly until comes together.
  2. Cover it with plastic wrap then wait up to 1 hour in a warm place for it to rise.
  3. Roll walnut-sized dough pieces in your palms. Using the palm of your hand, knead them into a flat circles. Put 1 tsp olive paste (or other material) in them and close the dough. Pinch closed
  4. Take the pastries you’ve prepared and line them up on a baking tray you’ve covered with parchment paper. Brush them with the egg yolk.
  5. Cook in Pre-heated 180 C (~350F) degree oven for 20 minutes

NOTE:  You can fill them with cheese, pork, potato, etc.

Oh, and I found a new hairstyle. Because my double braids did not make me look enough like a 16 year old. =D With my hair and my occasional black sneakers instead of dress shoes, it’s no wonder when people are confused as to why I’m in the hospital. “Are you… a nursing student? How old are you?” To be fair, that time I was not wearing a white coat.

These are sock buns. Or to be more accurate, scrunchy buns. Socks (ok, I used arm warmers. Couldn’t find old black socks to cut up) made for too thick of a bun.

I really, really should be studying right now. I’m going to go study. Finals start Friday and I have a quiz tomorrow. I think I’m ready for the quiz, but I have a long way to go for Friday’s test.
Edit to Add: Ooh! Thanks to my boyfriend, I am now armed with two new recipes for the rolls (which are called pogaca in Turkish). They both specifically claim to be fluffy. I might have to try them both since the ingredients vary and I’m curious what difference that makes. I will probably try one of them first, since it does not call for yoghurt, and then try the other later.


Written by Aba

March 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. what temp did you set the oven to for the bread? I haven’t figured out the oven thing yet.

    also, i may have added too much water. my bread was MUCH wetter than yours.

    lastly, you can try using my garlic grinder thing from my mom to make a paste. it will probably work out fairly well.

    and if you ever need/want to borrow my camera, let me know.


    March 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    • For the ciabatta? 400F. I did think about using the garlic grinder thing but wasn’t sure if I’d just end up losing too much of it. Might try it if I try making rolls again before break. And I’m having fun using my phone and learning to work with its limitations. 🙂


      March 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    • Second recipe for the rolls worked much better! Our oven really is annoying though. It was definitely too warm and they baked too fast and got crisp on the outside. I think I’ll look into an oven thermometer. And I did use your garlic grinder thing and it worked much better than my makeshift mortar and pestle. I think I’ll still buy the paste though, because it’s not quite the consistency and flavor I want.


      March 18, 2010 at 12:09 am

      • we do need a rolling pin. if we get the right kind, it could work as a mortar and pestel. my meat cleaver’s handle woudl also work. what did you use?


        March 18, 2010 at 2:57 am

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