Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grandma Bridgie's Cake Recipe

This was passed down to me on Thanksgiving of 1989. I consider it an honor, because we have in a big family & I (debunking all in-law myths) was chosen to be gifted with this recipe..ok, and truth be told I am the only one who bakes!

It will always be called Grandma Bridgie's or Aunt Mary's Cake and I'd appreciate it if you would carry on that tradition should you add it to your recipe boxes. I've never shared this recipe before.
~ Life may end here on earth but we live on daily in the memories of others ~

Aunt Mary made this for years from memory so it was quite a funny task for her to convert her pinches and splashes to measurements for me, though they work.... so follow as directed.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
One sheet pan or two loaf pans (with loaf pans you have more cake per slice, less frosting). We usually use the baking pan. I have made it as a layer cake but I feel it wasn't meant to made that way.

Small Bowl (then set aside)
2 C Flour
2 Tsp Baking POWDER
1/4 Tsp Salt

Large Bowl
1 Stick of Butter Softened
1 C Sugar
Cream together butter and sugar... THEN ADD 1C milk, 2 eggs and 1 Tsp vanilla.

Add ALL dry ingredients at once, and stir to moisten completely. Do Not Over Mix.

That's it... couldn't be easier. Add to PAM sprayed pan, and bake for 35 minutes.

The crumb on this cake is similar in texture to corn bread (tastes better than it sounds). It can easily be made into a smoother crumb by using hand mixer. The more you mix, the smoother the crumb.

Our entire family likes it the original way ~ BY HAND!

You can use any milk choc or semisweet chocolate frosting recipe you desire. The flavor comes from the cake.

Aunt Mary had begun using a BAKERS Choco-Bake at some point. I did that for years... though I can't find it anymore. Plz let me know if you come across it. It's in a yellow box, six individual packets of unsweetened liquid chocolate.

1 packet of Choco-Bake (it's unsweetened chocolate)
Tbls or more of butter
Tsp Vanilla
up to 1/2 box confectionary sugar
add water, a teaspoon at a time, for desired consistancy.

Cool, Frost, Serve (Freezes well, wax paper on frosting in zip lock freezer bag)

This cake NEVER gets to the table without someone in our house cutting a piece and eating it fresh from the oven. It's now accepted and assumed, all birthday cakes have a piece missing or a side gone!

Enjoy please post feedback here, I'd love to hear from you
Gob Bless & Continue Baking

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peter Reinhart's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (cake recipe to follow, as promised)

Hi All
My new friend Tracy is chomping at the bit to get cooking, she's awaiting this pizza dough recipe. As soon as I get this posted  I'll post Grandma Bridgie's Cake Recipe later today. Thanks for your patience.

The following recipe os for 100% Whole Wheat (though you'd NEVER know it) Pizza Dough, I'll also post the recommended adjustments if you'd prefer to make the bread which I haven't tried yet. (Photos will be posted later)

This recipe is taken directly from Peter Reinhart's book 'artisan breads every day' page 73.

I didn't change a thing.. and it was perfection! (He also lists a half wheat recipe for those transitioning from white breads)

*My personal notes are in italics

100% Whole Grain Rustic Bread and Pizza Dough
makes 2 to 3 rustic loaves (sounds yummy, especially if drizzled with honey while warm) or 5 good size pizzas

IMPORTANT: Ingredients are for both pizza dough and bread dough, though there are slight differances. The amounts of water and yeast for PIZZA DOUGH appear after the amounts for bread dough in CAPS  

~ 5 1/3 C (24 oz / 680 g) whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat)
~ 2 Tsp (0.5 oz / 14g) salt, or 1 Tbls course kosher salt (I used 2 tsp table salt)
~ 1 1/4 tsp (0.14 oz / 4 g) instant yeast; FOR PIZZA USE 1 TSP (0.11 oz / 3 g)  I used  Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast
~  3 Tbls (1.5 oz / 43g) Sugar, or 2 Tbls of honey, or agave nectar (I used clover honey) 
~ 2 1/3 C (19 oz/ 539 g) water; FOR PIZZA, USE 2 1/4 C (18 oz / 510 g)
~3 Tbls (1.5 oz / 43 g) olive oil

TO MAKE PIZZA DOUGH FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS (PLEASE NOTE: different directions for bread, I'll have to post for instructions for bread later; running short on time here.)

Combine all ingredients in the mixing bowl (or stand mixing bowl). If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment (not dough hook) and mix on the lowest speed (which is 'stir' on my mixer) for 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for about 1 minute, until well blended. The dough should be course and slightly sticky (my dough was very sticky, use of honey perhaps?). Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to fully hydrate the dough.

Switch to dough hook and mix on meduum-low (I used  speed 3 out of my 10 speeds available), or continue mixing by hand for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is smoother but soft, supple, and somewhere between tacky and sticky. (My dough was smooth and very sticky)

Spread 1 tsp of olive oil on a work surface (I used 1 Tbls on bread board), then use a bowl scraper to transfer the dough to the oiled surface. Rub your hands with oil on work surface, then stretch and fold the dough one time , reaching under the front end of the dough, stretching it out, then folding it back onto the top of the dough. Do this from back end and then each side, then flip the dough over  and tuck it into a ball.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces (I didn't have an accurate scale yet, ended up with 6 pieces) each should weigh about 8 oz (227 g). Form each piece into a ball, and place each ball into a spray oiled (PAM) sandwich size ziplock baggie. Seal and refridgerate overnight or for up to 4 days. I refrigerated for two days, used one dough ball and put the rest in a gallon size freezer bag in freeezer, can freeze for up to 3 months.

I always add notes to my cookbooks when I try a recipe for the first time. My notes on this recipe "awesome, made exactly as directed. Never BUY whole wheat dough again, this is too easy and there is no comparison in flavor. This was tender, had a great texture and was very tasty (without all the garlic I usually had to add to make the store bought whole wheat dough edible). I re-read the recipe to make sure it is accurate (good thing b/c I found a typo in not to worry this is correct)

Wishing you many days of delicious dough making!

Enjoy Tracy, keep me posted. And to whomever else comes upon this recipe or any others posted; please add your comments/feedback on any recipes or posts from our blog. We can all learn from each other.

~ Cathy (aka garden chef)

Coming tomorrow: 100 year old family recipe... (Actual Post Date: DEC 23, 2009)

Grandma Bridgie's Cake, as promised to my new friends at the !


I usually make this recipe sheet cake style though it can easily be made into loaves or layers. This was 1/2 sheet cake....even for birthdays it NEVER makes it to the table in one piece : ) I wish I could find the photo with the Tiffany's box inside the cake...she was so surprised!

my trusted recipe tester

aha... found the photo, I thought I was so clever:

the birthday girl had no had no idea,
 so it was quite a treat,
& grandma age 81
(Bridgie's daughter)
was with us that day!


~ every present moment, is a future memory ~

recipe to follow tomorrow

please feel free to leave comments after posts, we'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hi All
Gardening Season in New England is just about over (a few herb plants left that I can use) and now onto Baking! We'll be focusing on breads for the next few weeks. Always happy to post recipes if anyone is interested, just let us know.

You'll see the profile photo of myself with my sweet apprentice! I'm thrilled she has expressed interest in good old fashioned home baking. There is NOTHING like baking from scratch. The aroma fills the house, everyone walks thru the door and can't help but smile and express interest in what that great smell is..and the loaves are magically gone!

We'll post photos along the way. Making Country White Bread at the moment. The family fav from way back when my oldest, now in college, was a toddler. I had gotten away from baking for some years with all the activities and fun family adventures that kept us very busy, I'm thrilled to be baking's is almost meditative.

I have so many stories to tell in future blogs. My mom-in-law has been a wealth of knowledge regarding the baking that her older sister and mother did back in the day. Will tell, promise.

God Bless and Merry Christmas...just around the corner now. I want to appreciate every moment of every day.