Jenna Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (13806901)

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Traditional White Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 8, 2009
This was SO EASY. And it turned out incredibly well. A few notes: I did substitute the sugar with creamed honey. (Delicious!) And instead of lard I used vegetable oil. (I didn't have lard or enough butter.) Also, I don't think I put the entire 6 1/2 cups of flour in - just enough to be able to knead it - maybe 6 cups altogether plus a little flour during kneading. Right before the last 40 min. rise, I turned on my oven with baking stone in there so it would have plenty of time to heat up. I did try rubbing butter on the loaves 20 minutes into the baking process, and that worked very well. I took them out of the pan about 5 minutes after they came out of the oven and put them on a cooling rack. And as a side note, it seemed like the crust was really hard right when it came out of the oven, but it softened up nicely as it cooled. Another FYI, I have a probe thermometer and cooked the bread until 190 degrees F so I didn't have to "tap" the bottom of the bread. But to sum up, this is a very easy recipe, seems like it is very forgiving, and made some of the best white bread I have ever tried!
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Pizza Dough III

Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2009
This is a very solid recipe. I've used it a few times now and have some notes: #1: I always put in herbs. Basil, parsely, thyme, oregano, and some garlic powder never hurts. I would highly highly recommend adding something to the dough. It just brings the pizza to a whole other level. #2:I knead by hand for about 7-10 min and let it rest for 45 min-1 hour (it doesn't raise quite as much as I'd like in 30 min.) #3: Put a pizza stone in a 475 degree oven for at least 30 min. before putting pizza in. This seems to help the bottom of my crusts from getting soggy. #4: CRUCIAL: Prepare pizza on floured parchment (NOT WAX) paper. If you can slide it off onto pizza stone, good for you, but I just cut the paper down to fit the pizza and put pizza, paper and all, on pizza stone. (Easier cleanup too.) (if you have a wood pizza board, this probably works just as well, but for those of us who don't, parchment paper works just fine.)
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Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2008
I've made homemade tiramisu twice now and used this recipe for ladyfingers both times. It is a great basic recipe (just what I like for tiramisu.) It has just a hint of sweetness, and great texture. My recommendations: If using for tiramisu, I like to pipe out half the mixture into individual "fingers" in order to get a little crunchier texture for my bottom layer. (The middle layer I don't mind a little softer, so just baking as one thin layer and cutting strips afterwards works fine for me.) I like to let them finish cooling on a cooling rack in order for them to harden a little more. If left too long on the pan or parchment, they stay too soft for tiramisu and will fall apart a little easier. (It also seems like working fast once you have the egg whites whipped works better. So, have everything ready before you get to beating.)
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Banana Banana Bread

Reviewed: Sep. 7, 2008
I have made this bread numerous times, and they have all been amazing! quick notes: 1. When I have gotten too adventurous and used too many bananas (8 med. or so) the texture is not good. Stick to the 5-6 medium bananas. 2. I've added ground cloves, cinnamon, and toasted nuts for extra deliciousness. 3. Just this last time I tried baking on a lower rack (2nd from bottom) and the crust came out perfect. When I would bake in the middle they would get a little too hard for my taste. This recipe is one to keep for the ages, And an easy one to play around with! Enjoy! UPDATE: Add 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp. cloves to flour mix. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract to wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry just enough to moisten. After pouring into pan, dust the top with raw sugar, 1/4 c. toasted chopped pecans, and fresh grated nutmeg. DELICIOUS.
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