Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crunchy Granola (Bread!)

flying 011Sadly, not a rave.

I don’t love dried fruit and I guess was hoping this homemade granola and the accompanying granola bread (both from Artisan Bread in Five, which went back to the library yesterday) (an “adapted” version of the recipe is here if you’re interested; it looks the same as the original to me) for which it was made would somehow transcend all of that and make me love it. It didn’t. (if you followed the sentiment despite all the parentheses) (don’t bother).

The bread was good. So good I gave half a loaf, hot n’ fresh, to my sister. But Ted talked me into using dried cherries in the granola; they were too big and weird. And I guess I’m just not a “bits and pieces” gal.

However, tflying 009he granola did get rave reviews. (the online recipe is slightly different; it includes sunflower seeds, which the book’s recipe does not)

Naomi couldn’t get over the fact that I actually made cereal! And after years of aspiring to “crunchy-granola” status, I can finally remove the quotation marks.

I didn’t try it in milk, but it did taste lovely as a snack; very much fresher than store-bought granola. Probably less sugar and fat, too. (But, in a whisper: but… I love Quaker Harvest Crunch because it is SO sweet and I love the way it clumps in the bowl.)

The day I made this, the littles ate granola for breakfast, granola bread for lunch… and again for supper. Without a single complaint!

The bread itself was pretty much enjoyed by everybody (okay, Elisheva complained a bit; don’t remember about what). I subbed whole-grain spelt for the 1.5 cups of whole-wheat. I suspect Ted kind of believes everything that tastes cinnamony is a little bit good for you; this bread is definitely more up his alley than mine.

Here’s what it looked like inside: a perfectly-risen loaf. The book mentions a granola topping, so I sort of threw some granola at it before it went in the oven. Naturally, it didn’t really stick (though a few raisins puffed up & burnt - blah).

flying 013

This site (where the recipe is also posted) says the book mentions the granola topping but doesn’t say what to do with it. Apparently that’s just one of many “too-late-it’s-already-printed” errors in the print version of the book. Anyway, the solution I could have figured out if it wasn’t 7 am when I baked this is: EGG WASH. Doh!

The bread’s colour looks a little ripply in the photo, but I promise it wasn’t that glaring in real life. There may have been a few “patches” of white and patches of spelt (I was tired when I was stirring it together, so didn’t premix the dry stuff like a good girl) but they weren’t visible in normal light and it didn’t affect the flavour or texture.

In conclusion! I might make the granola again; I might make granola bread again, without the fruity stuff. But maybe not… I can’t see that the nice “roasted” flavour from the granola added much that a bit of maple syrup and vanilla in a regular oat-bread dough couldn’t – a little more easily.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday: December 26, 2009

 

burgers 009 

burgers 011Bun-baked Burgers:  look gross, BUT…

Sunday, December 20, 2009

(Belated) Six Word Saturday: December 19, 2009

 

chanukah over 007

Oops… forgot to blog; AMAZING boule!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sending Chanukah out with a sizzle…

…The sizzle of deep-frying donuts / sufganiyot, of course:  one last hurrah!

Further to the sort-of unloved no-knead Pain au Chocolat from a few weeks ago, I decided that the dough, being not quite sweet enough for my family, would make an excellent chocolate donut.  Donuts being deliberately NOT sweet but fried, and dusted lightly with sweetness on the outside.  You don’t want a donut to be sweet all the way through.

No time for adding comments, but basically I made the chocolate dough as called for here, subbing oil for the butter, which did change the texture of the dough a bit.  Still, I found it very workable and the donuts were yummy!  Will add more comments later if I have a chance!!!

Here they are, start to finish, donuts, donut holes (I fried them up separately rather than reroll them), and all:

chanukah over 010 chanukah over 011 chanukah over 012 chanukah over 013 chanukah over 015 chanukah over 016 chanukah over 017

Mmm, mmm, good…!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

No-knead Nutella Sufganiyot (donuts)

Starting with one batch of no-knead Artisan Bread in Five Minutes challah dough, here are start-to-finish pictures of yesterday’s amazing Nutella-stuffed sufganiyot (the Hebrew word for the traditional jelly donuts eaten at Chanukah, but I’m not sure if that’s the word for donuts in general, or just these particular ones, or just jelly donuts… so many questions!)

The basic recipe is here, but I made it with two variations this time. 

First, I omitted one of the four eggs.  I have been doing this every time because I find the dough much easier to handle if it’s on the dry side.  Second, I made it with BUTTER instead of oil as I usually do for Shabbos. 

Our Shabbos bread usually has to be pareve (non-meat, non-dairy), but since I was planning to use Nutella in these anyway (Nutella is made with milk), I figured a little extra dairy couldn’t hurt.

Here’s the dough after its initial stir.  I didn’t have to take it out of the bowl, but you can see that it’s dry for a no-knead dough.  It’s partly the butter’s fault.  Our house is quite cool, which is great for working with pastry in general, but it meant the butter probably started congealing right away after I added it.

frap 001

Here’s the dough the following day just before forming.  It hasn’t risen much – unlike the Shabbos challah dough, which pretty much overflows the bowl overnight in the fridge.  Again, I think that’s mostly because of the butter:  it can’t flow.

 frap 002 

Divide carefully – I actually used a scale! – to portion 24 donuts, from the entire recipe of dough.  Roll each portion, flatten with rolling pin (okay, you got me – a wine bottle), fill.  Brush edges with a bit of water and seal well. 

frap 003 

Rest on seam and allow to rise 20-40 minutes.  Here are all 24 ballies, lined up in the order I made them, to ensure that they all got a nice long proof.

frap 004

Now fry!  I couldn’t take pictures of this step because I was hurrying, but it was beautiful except the oil got darker and darker with each batch (I only did four at a time because I usually overcrowd deep-fried things, with bad results). 

ted's chanukah 2009 094

(Yes, I transported them to my mother’s house and graciously presented them in a cut-open Coke box)

The final few batches were so dark, they actually looked like they’d been made with chocolate dough… which actually…wouldn’t be a bad idea, now that I’m thinking about it.

Hmm!

I haven’t made the pain au chocolat again because it wasn’t really sweet enough for my or my family’s taste.  If something looks like chocolate, we just inherently want it to taste sweet.

BUT the point of donuts is that they are not, themselves, sweet.  They are deep-fried and coated in a slight sweetness, but what you are tasting is basically fried dough; it all comes down to the flavour of the dough itself.

I found these absolutely yummy with the pure-butter challah dough (what’s not to love about blobs of fried challah?).  But a chocolate dough that was NOT sweet, coated lightly in icing sugar… well, that might be just the thing to cap off our Chanukah experience next Shabbos!

By the way, I generally dislike day-old donuts, but I decided to have one of these with my coffee (there were lots left over and I didn’t want them to go to waste) and it’s actually quite nice. 

I like that the chocolate is still soft in the centre (when I made them for Shabbos with squares of chocolate, it solidified again when it cooled off).  It’s basically toast with Nutella, a perennial favourite.  Mmm…

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday: December 12, 2009

donuts 003

No-Knead Donuts:  you NEED them!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One more time for POTATO bread!

And this time, as they say in the world of sports, she shoots… she scores!  A perfect Artisan Bread in Five potato bread (originally borrowed from this web recipe) on the, um, eighth try? 

Ha ha.  Maybe more like third.  (read about my last disaster with this bread)

Still.  This bread has the potential for being an all-time favourite, so I figure it’s worth the effort.

So:  no garlic this time; I may throw some in next time.  Not as flavourful without it.  Also not as flavourful because I fridged it for a few hours, then baked it the same day I mixed.  I still have about 2/3 of the mixture in the fridge, which I plan to bake up for tomorrow morning, so I can see if the flavour improves with time.

Also… (don’t tell!)  I used instant mashed potato flakes.  Just boiled up water and mixed them in a bowl, let it cool off, and added it to the recipe.  Easy; not as authentic, and also probably way more moist than if I’d baked the potato, which gets a lot of the water out.

I used about 2lb of the dough, so bigger than a grapefruit or a canteloupe, the standard sizes the authors suggest, but it was a good size for the pan, and for our family.

So here it is unbaked:  what a wet blob this was, coming out of the fridge after only a few hours.  Even with floured dough, floured hands, I still couldn’t get a good grip to turn it into a nice, neat ball, so it’s a little ripped and messy looking.

gifts 003

But it rose okay.  I did NOTHING to the oven except throw it in, because the baby was waking up, and it was either steam or baby, so I chose the baby.  I’ve eaten lots of non-crisp crusts in my day; I figured one more couldn’t hurt.

And here it is, fully baked.  I think I baked it for 50 minutes.  Perfect!  Okay, a little too much flour on top.  Like I said:  the baby.

menorahs 014

And here’s the inside.  Hard to cut when soft and fresh, but ever so moist (but not overly wet inside!) and yummy.

 menorahs 015

We had this last night with creamy Broccoli soup and a very by-the-books tuna casserole.  I actually had to miss supper for PTA at Elisheva’s school and only had it later after the bread had cooled down.  It was still amazingly yummy!

Nifty Tidbit – “outta honey, honey?”

Hey, cool!

No, I haven’t abandoned this blog, just didn’t bake much this week, and haven’t blogged the bread that I did make:  a perfect (yes, perfect!) no-knead potato bread!

But here’s a nifty frugal / emergency baking tip while you’re waiting.  When you’ve run out of honey, and don’t want to run out to the store, here’s how you make a substitutable equivalent:

  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • That’s it!  It’s easy!  I did this for my challah this week and then (doh!) forgot to buy honey in the meantime, so I had to sub it in again this week.

    The reason straight sugar won’t work well is because it’s dry and so you need to add in a bit of water.  This ratio (5:1) gives a texture very much like a heavily-crystalled honey that will ensure your recipe gets the moisture that it needs.

    Caveats:

    • Sugar tastes sweeter than honey, so you may want to cut down a bit for breads or the final product may be noticeably sweeter.  I didn’t mind it in challah last week.
    • Of course, it won’t have that wonderful TASTE of honey… but you knew that, right?
    • This makes a bit more than a cup of “honey” substitute, so be sure to measure before subbing into recipes where precise quantity makes a difference.

    Enjoy!

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Six Word Saturday: December 5, 2009

    (a little late; so sue me!)

    motzaei 001

    Three challah blobs… and Sara’s masterpiece.

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Artisan Bread in Five B(oat) Bread

    wiggle 003New bread book from the library! Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

    I have been baking from this book – especially the challah recipe, which I’ve been tweaking for better workability – for months now, so it already feels like an old friend.

    I came this close to buying it in Chapters a few weeks ago, and decided not to because it doesn’t really include very many recipes. However, sitting down with it, I’m sort of starting to rethink that decision… I think this one may be a keeper.

    Now that I have it in my hands (not literally; I had to put it down to type) I’m finding I do love the happy, balanced tone of the book itself – above and beyond its core formulae (of which there are more than I’d originally estimated, however).

    I like the fact that most of the recipes are non-dairy, though some do include milk and butter and whatnot.

    Anyway, I really want to make as many of the breads as appeal to me (not all do), starting with the semolina bread, which I’ve been wanting to try anyway… however, since I decided that, I have been completely unable to find semolina flour in our regular grocery stores.

    I used to buy it all the time when I made pasta, but now it seems to have vanished from the shelves. Will have to try again over the weekend. I don’t love sesame seeds, but Hertzberg and Francois say the combo of semolina and sesame is wonderful, and I think I’ll trust them and try it out the way they say.

    Meanwhile, I decided to make the very blah-vanilla-looking Oat Flour Bread (p. 104). Well, I wanted to make the Oatmeal Bread (p. 94), but it looked too involved, and I was tired, so I decided to just chuck a cup of rolled oats into the Boring Oat Bread and call it a day.

    Except the Oat Bread calls for oat flour, and I forgot until halfway through mixing it that what I’d bought was barley flour (the store had no oat flour, so I figured I’d find another recipe). I should call this blog “The Distracted Chef” because yes, when shopping with children I forget what I’ve bought, and when baking with children, I forget what flours I have on hand.

    So I made (b)oat bread! The B is for Barley, which I substituted for the one cup of oat flour called for. I used bread flour because we were out of all-purpose, cut down the flour by one cup and dumped in the cup of rolled oats to liven it up.

    What else? Oh, yeah, while I was massacreing the recipe, I added 1/4 cup of maple syrup because the Oatmeal Bread calls for 1/2 a cup and it sounded yummy, but we only had 1/4 cup left in the house; I reduced the water accordingly.

    So throw it all together at 8:00 a.m., stir it up, rise it for 2 hours, fridge it for 4 hours, and what do you get…?

    wiggle 009Well… GREAT bread! Amazing!

    The barley and maple syrup gave the bread such a lovely, soft sweet taste and texture.

    Soft means this bread is very hard to slice when hot…but reasonable once cooled. I made grilled cheese with this bread today for the little kids’ lunches.

    wiggle 007The rolled oats disappeared completely, by the way; I could feel them with my fingers when I was forming the loaves, but there was no trace of them on my tongue when eating the bread.

    So there you go. Sometimes you work hard and the bread flops… and sometimes you just throw a few things in a bowl, stir it around, and end up with Very Good Bread.

    The super-nice thing is that the recipe made enough for three loaves… I baked up two last night before supper (served it with lasagna), and saved one to bake tonight so we will have fresh bread for the kids tomorrow morning. Yay, me!

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    The pletzl that plotzed

    bayis 001Well, I don’t know exactly what I mean by that title, but on Monday, I decided to make the yummy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes pletzl again (here’s the original recipe).

    Except… two things went wrong.

    One, last time I used the book’s basic Boule recipe; this time, I used the challah dough – as suggested in the pletzl recipe! I have no idea why, but there was way more dough, far too much to fit on my little cookie-sheet pan… ugh.

    (in hindsight, I should have used 3/4 of the dough and saved 1/4 for another time. That thought honestly never occurred to me until just now. But hindsight is 20/20, and at the time…well, I didn’t!)

    And TWO, for some reason, I totally skimped on the onion! I must have used two last time, because when I dumped them onto the dough, they were only able to spread out in the most skimpy way. Ew… who wants an onion bun with not enough onions?

    So what I learned is that challah is NOT the right dough for pletzl!

    The challah recipe is rich and cakey, with eggs, oil and honey, where the boule dough is plain and bready. It is my definite opinion that when crafting a bread so elaborately decorated with flavourful onions and drizzled with oil, as simple as possible is what you want from your dough.

    Speaking of oil: I must have been sleeping or dreaming of Naples when I drizzled this with olive oil instead of canola, like last time. On an Italian bread, that would work (though not in combination with this rich dough!). On Ashkenazi bread, well, just plain weird.

    Anyway, everybody seemed to enjoy their puffy, crusty, low-oniony pletzl well enough. I served it with roasted-red-pepper and black bean soup. That was it for supper.

    (did I mention I dumped the poppy seeds on a little randomly and over-generously? sigh… it was Monday; I was not at my best…)

    Lessons have definitely been learned from yet another bread mishap. I will definitely make this bread again… just maybe not on a Monday!

    bayis 004

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    Six Word Saturday: November 28, 2009

    Are we all tired of bread??? :-o

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    HEAD TO HEAD: Battle Margarine, Round 2

    cookies 002Still hate margarine.  And I’m still playing around with Earth Balance margarine substitute.

    This round, the cookies actually came out quite a bit better than last time.  Read all about it on my real blog, here.

    (I’m keeping it over there because I want to keep this blog mostly for breads and cakes; every other kind of food product – soups, stews, couscous, cookies, tiramisu – can find a place over there somewhere.)

    However.  Because Earth Balance is much healthier, it may end up being my bread-baking “solid fat of choice”… I haven’t tested it in a bread recipe yet, so that could be an interesting future battle when I’m done messing around with chocolate-chip cookies.

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    A less-successful Beer Bread

    beerbread 004I had YM make this Beer Bread not just out of laziness, but also to show him how super-easy it is to make quick bread. 

    (those are not his but Elisheva’s fingers around the beer can in the recipe – but this is indeed the beer we used tonight)

    I have made this several times before, but this time, I forgot that several reviewers warned NOT to let this bake the entire one hour stated in the recipe.

    Sure enough… I realized it just as I opened up the oven; overdone.  Ugh.

    Also, it turned out when we bit into the overbrown bread – he forgot to put in the salt.  And was… well, how do I say it?  A little overgenerous with the baking soda.

    So the bread was fizzy and sour and generally not as pleasant as the last time I made this recipe.  It’s a reliable recipe, but the moral here is that you can’t count on a 15-year-old boy to include ALL four ingredients!!!

    Hey… I just looked at the recipe again and realized it calls for baking powder.  He definitely put in baking soda.  Sigh.  Moral #2:  Can’t count on a gifted 15-year-old to read the labels on the above-mentioned four ingredients.

    However:  two lessons learned, even from an unsuccessful bread!

    One – overbaking definitely brought out a nice maltiness from the beer in the bread.  Might be worth doing on purpose sometimes…

    Two – in order to make this pareve, for a meat meal, I used canola oil instead of the butter on top of this bread.  I also cut down the quantity; I drizzled it on, probably less than 1/4 cup.  The texture was quite lovely and crispy:  very nice, even in pareve form!  Of course, the buttery flavour is nice when you do use butter, but if you want to leave it out, canola oil is more than acceptable.

    So there!  I am so full from eating this yummy bread, even with its booboos… for once, I don’t want to think about making, baking or eating bread right about now!

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Yermy Bergels… I mean Bagels!

    Sorry, couldn’t talk, my mouth was full of yermy bergel.

    My sister the baker gave me a biiiig bag of “professional” malt powder, and so the first thing that came to mind was:  bagels!  I have made them before several times, and actually quite like the soft pretzel recipe I used last time (I have made it as pretzels as well).  VERY easy.

    But I wanted to try a “real” bagel recipe and, having already returned Bread:  A Bakers Book to the library, I had to rip one off from the Internet.  In this case, the recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread (BBA), by Peter Reinhart, which can be found, slightly modified, at this site.

    Here I am, ripping off  the recipe from the Internet!

    bagels 001 

    What I didn’t take pictures of:  sponge, main dough, kneading, ball phase, weighing (yay, my mother gave me a scale that works great and confirmed the fact that my portioning-by-feel is actually pretty accurate).

    So here we are all the way at the rising-on-the-pan phase.  I think this was after they came out of the fridge.  I didn’t fridge-retard them overnight like the recipe says; I only did it about three hours – from about 10 a.m. ‘till maybe 1 p.m.

    (I’m leery of recipes that tell you to do things “overnight!”  Think about it.  On a busy winter Thursday night when we do a lot of Shabbos prep and laundry, “overnight” for me can sometimes be as little as four hours; is that long enough?  I would much rather be told “six hours” or “ten hours” and then let me figure out when to fit the rise into my own schedule…I’m a grownup, I think I can handle it.)

    Anyway, skip a bunch of steps and here they are, ready for boiling, in malty, soda-y water. 

    bagels 002

    The recipe isn’t too specific about how long to boil them for, so I just did about a minute and a half, flipping a couple of times along the way.

    And then dipping in poppy seeds:  I used an entire package!  And even then, it wasn’t quite enough to cover every single one.

    So, nu?  The bagels?  Judge for yourself:

     bagels 004 

    Mmmmmm… oh; what, you can’t taste them?  Then you will have to trust me, and the members of my family who consider themselves bagel connoisseurs, that these are indeed some migh-T-fine bagels.

    I was REALLY worried because from a couple of sites it sounded like the BBA bagels might be too much on the fluffy side.  They were not.  There was a perfect chewiness to the crust; just right.  The inside had some fluff to it but not nearly as much as the abominations that Toronto bakers and bakeries (even the Jewish ones) choose to pass off as a bagel.

    I would like to say starting with a sponge gave these bagels more depth of flavour than the quickie-fakie bagels made with the Recipezaar pretzel recipe.  But to do so would be unwarrantedly pretentious.  They were yummy, but I couldn’t necessarily detect more flavour than the pretzels, which, incidentally, are sweetened with brown sugar, which gives a reasonably interesting note to their chewy sweetness.

    Anyway, here’s the inside of the bagels:

    bagels 012

    It would be interesting to see how these age over the next couple fo days, but as with any fresh-baked product in this household, that particular experiment will have to wait a few years until the bread-starved kiddies are up and out.  With supper over, there are maybe four or five left.  By tomorrow, they will all be gone.

    Every time I get a foodie impulse, like the time I made different soups every night for several weeks, the family starts to take it for granted.  Elisheva has lately started to say things like, “why do we always have to have bread?”

    My answer:  “You don’t have to have any.”  But somehow, she always sneaks a piece.  Tonight’s bagels were no exception; she had one before drama class, and begged me to bring another one back for her when I came to pick her up.

    This recipe is definitely one to make again… or maybe I’ll try the easy ones next time and see if any of these swine (aka my family) can tell which pearls are which.

    Oh, and here’s my penance for ripping off the recipe, which I won’t reproduce here… a legitimate link where you can legitimately buy a genuine copy of the BBA book should you be moved to do so:

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    PERFECT Hybrid “Some-Knead” Challah!

    erevshabbos 004Okay, so I have adapted the basic Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day no-knead sweet dough recipe, and I think I have it just about perfect.

    The recipe has been tending to come out too sloppy to braid nicely, so I tried two fixes:

    ~ Cut the eggs from four to three (I could have cut the water, but the truth is, I don’t love really eggy challah anyway)

    ~ Fold the dough twice during the “bulk fermentation” (first rise) phase.

    I also gave it a longer first rise than usual.  I mixed it up Thursday night (I wouldn’t call it kneading, but it did require some fairly vigourous stirring by hand) and let it sit at room temperature for two hours. 

    On Friday morning, I took it out of the fridge early and let it sit for a couple of hours.  Then, I folded it several times, pressing it out very gently each time.  We had to go out for a couple of hours at that point.  When we came home, I folded it again and let it sit for about another hour.

    So, in short:  it made a WORLD of difference!

    The dough was amazing!  I barely needed flour on the table to roll out the snakes and start braiding.  It rolled out beautifully, just a touch on the “too-sticky” side.

    And then, given past experience with no-knead breads that come out with a blob of raw in the middle, I baked it longer than I wanted to. 

    I bake my usual challah recipe (which makes a smaller, dryer, loaf), about half an hour at 350°. 

    So I was inclined to bake these for 40 minutes, BUT left them at least five minutes beyond when  the timer went off.  Finally, it was almost Shabbos, plus Ted had a pumpkin pie that needed to go in, so I reluctantly hauled out the challahs.  They were AMAZING!

     erevshabbos 005

    (Yes, they look dark in the picture… but they were just right in person.  And I was confident enough to decorate them - with poppy seeds in this case - which I don’t do with a recipe I’m not committing to)

    And inside?

    challah 003

    Well, here’s a piece that was left over.  It looks small and squishy, but that’s just because someone ripped off the top and ate it already.

    Let’s just say I’m very, VERY pleased with the result of this particular experiment!  What a wonderful way to start another week in bread.

    (p.s.  The chocolate-chip cookies in the top picture turned out delicious, as well…!)

    Six Word Saturday: November 21, 2009

     
    Only successful breads this week – please!

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Roasted-Garlic Potato Bread…

    Yes, further to my “Six Word Saturday” resolution, I am making the no-knead roasted-garlic potato bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for supper tonight.  Otherwise a completely lackluster supper, but hey, good bread…!

    -----

    Post-script.  Or NOT.  :-(

    Note to self:  This is a VERY wet dough.

    Plopping the whole thing into one big pan is just wrong WRONG wrong. 

    Next time, TWO loaf pans or TWO boule shapes, but NOT one pan.  Too big.  Too wet to cook through in under an hour, and more than that would burn the outside.

    Yes, it was a soggy, disgusting mess in the middle… disappointing after so much eager anticipation of good bread.  I have just had to create a new blog category called “Disaster” so I will be able to track all these stunning failures over time…

    Anyway, in the name of learning from experience, here it is, slashed and going into the oven:

    soggy 001

    And out again, 45 minutes later!  Looking yummy…soggy 002

    Until we cut it open:

    soggy 006  

    Blah.  Soggy mess.

    We did end up eating it, and yes, it was delicious, sweet from the roasted garlic and no question that it was nice and moist (ha ha ha). 

    This is one of the few decent pieces we got out of it.

    soggy 005

    I will definitely make this again, in two pans.  Never again in one.  Like sourdough, I have resolved to conquer No-Knead Roasted-Garlic Potato Bread!!!

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Unexpectedly delightful: Injerah

    ethiopia1  Today was the Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd, so I made an Ethiopian-themed meal in its honour.

    So, on a bread-related note, I made the traditional Injera flatbreads to go with the meal.

    ears 005

    Instead of the half-cup each of corn meal and whole-wheat flour that the recipe calls for, I substituted a full cup of rye flour, which one poster there pointed out is more closely related to the authentic Ethiopian “teff” grain.  The rye didn’t lend a distinctive flavour, but I believe its soft texture and fast fermentation definitely helped make these a success!

    These are really just like extra-fluffy, yeasty pancakes – there was a decidedly “beery” aroma of fermentation, even after only a couple of hours, before I fried them up.

    (I’d imagine this is a lot like what it’s like to eat pancakes made from straight poured-off sourdough with no add-ins, though those might be more sour… but I suspect the really authentic Ethiopian ones are a bit more sour as well)

    After being daunted by other forms of flatbread (poori, naan), I was surprised by how dead simple it was to make these.  Mix, rest, pour, fry.  You only cook one side – the other is meant to have a “bubbly” texture and appearance. 

    They really are just fermented pancakes!

    ears 006 

    (not a great picture… sorry!)

    Here’s the whole stack of them – this recipe made too many, even for our family.  Looking at the recipe now, I can see why… 4 cups of flour!  I would probably halve the recipe if I make it again.

    ears 007

    (visit my real blog to find out else we ate with the Injerah!)

    Mmm…now that’s some goooooood Ethiopian eatin’!

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