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Showing posts from June, 2010

Not bread, but like bread… it’s homemade SEITAN!

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So much like bread that I had to throw it in here, instead of my regular blog where I put other supper-making types of things.For Thursday night’s vegan meal, I was inspired by Penny (her real name?) of Penniless Parenting to make homemade seitan for a stir-fry.  I supplemented Penny’s directions with some instructions I found here.  There are lots of recipes for seitan online, but most call for Vital Wheat Gluten and I threw ours away (a big bag, too - what a waste!) last week because the mice seemed to enjoy it more than we had.  Penny’s and the other site were most helpful because they give directions for starting with actual wheat FLOUR.Flour, as we all know, has two main components:  starch and gluten.  Making seitan involves separating these parts in the most utterly magical way.You start with a VERY basic bread dough:  flour and water.  No particular quantity is required; I started with 1 kg of flour and enough water to make a pretty stiff dough.The Blooper Reel:  Then, I combi…

It’s SOOPER bakey day!!! :-o

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Today’s fun fair at Laughlin Park was so utterly incredible, I almost cannot wait for the next one in July.  (For more about the funfair itself, and not just the stuff I baked for it, check out my real blog here!)Here is the menu / billboard Elisheva and I made.  We repurposed from an old school project of hers (you can see the ripped tissue paper around the edges where I (respectfully) tore off pictures of the Mir Yeshiva).As I posted late last night, I ended up baking Strawberry Streusel Smash Muffins, Vegan Brownies (with Tofutti Cream Cheese frosting), Roasted-Potato Buns, plus Ted made his Triscuit Mini-Pizzas and I offered samples of our incredible Beer Bread to go with the Beer Bread Mix I was selling.We ate the few leftover roasted-potato buns for supper.  The truth is, they were NOT fantastic.  Freezing dough is still a mystery to me.  Sometimes, it comes out perfect, and sometimes it just flops like a toad on the baking pan and never does rise well.This was one of those time…

Six-Word Saturday: 16 Tammuz, 5770

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Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!That’s a lot of potato buns. :-o(38, to be exact) These are for the community fun fair tomorrow afternoon.  I mixed the dough last Thursday, before we left for Ottawa.  It’s been in the freezer all week, and I took it out yesterday afternoon to thaw.  It handled beautifully this evening:  very wet and sticky, but I managed to tame that with a bit of flour.  I showed Ted a “rustic” bun and a regular round bun and he preferred the rustic model, so that’s what I went with, shaping them quickly by rolling baguettes and just slicing them with the bench scraper.  Tomorrow, I plan to bake strawberry streusel muffins and vegan brownies.  And sell tomato plants.  And maybe, just maybe, if I get up the energy, pack up and sell beer bread mix (mix = all ingredients except the beer!).  I figure I can measure out the ingredients batch by batch, then quickly whirl them in the food processor to save time.  Measure, whirl, bag.  I already made up an instruc…

Six-Word Saturday: 8 Tammuz, 5770

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Why the weird dates?  Click here to find out!Hats off to Chavi:  AMAZING challah! Yes, this challah – which I’m obnoxiously calling Chavi’s Perfect Balance Challah – not only raised eyebrows, it elicited a veritable squeal of delight from a certain fairly-bread-jaded teenage daughter.With just the right mix of sweetness and richness and moistness and fluffiness, it is hard to find a cakey challah that meets her approval; she prefers a denser bread.So that is high praise indeed.I had it plain for lunch and it was not as terrible as some are.  I suspect I will never meet a challah that I am as fond of for Shabbos lunch as I am Friday night.Though if anybody has a challah recipe that DOES improve with resting overnight, I’d be thrilled to learn about it.

Bucket o’ Bread

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I volunteered to run a kosher bake table at next weekend’s neighbourhood fun fair, not realizing we will be away the whole week in Ottawa.I was planning on keeping it simple anyway:  one type of bun, one type of muffin, one type of cookie, one type of bar.Guess I’ll make it all next Saturday night, after Shabbos.  But just to get a jump on things, I made the (no-knead) dough for the buns last night.This is my basic no-knead mashed-potato roasted-garlic bread that I’ve made a few times before.  Except last night I ran out of flour so I subbed 1/4 stone-ground whole wheat, the last of our lovely Pioneer Village flour.  Should come out just fine regardless.Today, I portioned it into neat 1-lb blobs and froze the blobs individually, so that next Friday, I can take them out and thaw them in the fridge for baking next Saturday night or VERY early Sunday morning.No clue what I’m going to do for cookies and bars.  For muffins, I’ll make our super-easy Berry Smash Muffins that we’ve had many t…

Chavi’s Challot

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(Mostly) forgot to take pictures as I went along, but here are this week’s challahs (rapidly) taking shape.Dough, rested in the fridge over night, come to room temp:Braided. Made a mess of my Maggie Glezer style 4-braid… as usual. Sigh.Seeded and BAKED!Mmmm… they look delish! I will try to update after Shabbos with a cross-section; can’t go cutting into them beforehand...UPDATE: Well, it's 3 weeks later, but I did indeed remember to photo these last time. And I'm making them again this Shabbos!

New challah to end the ennui?

This week, at her suggestion, I visited Chavi’s wonderful bread and cake blog (too much butter – we love butter, but our Shabboses are mostly meat!) and chose her “Challot” challah for the sheer audacity of calling it CHALLAH without any special adjectives.I will call it “Chavi’s Perfect Balance” challah.I’m always a little leery of trying one person’s idea of challah, but her criteria seem to be the same as mine – not too eggy, though she also likes not too sweet. I think I don’t personally have an upper limit on the amount of sweetness I can take in a challah. :-)Anyway, I mixed this up pretty much as shown on her blog. No pics because my eyes are closing; SO tired!The only thing I did differently is, because she refers to an autolyse phase, I did a “proper” autolyse (I know; I’m a snob) by omitting 25% of the flour, the yeast and the salt. I left it for a good long time; maybe half an hour, before stirring in the rest of the ingredients and beginning the knead.It was INDEED ver…

Six-Word Saturday: 1 Tammuz, 5770 (Rosh Chodesh)

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Tomorrow night’s birthday pizza surprise:  KALE! Yup… inspired by Sara, for my mother’s birthday celebration tomorrow night, I am making pizzas and topping ONE of them with fresh kale from the garden.  She has pointed out that this should probably not be my mother’s pizza, as she has an aversion to spinach and kale is likely similar.My mother’s favourite pizza is what she calls “Hawaiian,” with pineapple and fake “veggie” pepperoni slices.  Guess I’ll go try to find me some of those tomorrow morning, and then rustle up a dough recipe that won’t turn to absolute mush like the last time we had pizza.  :-(

Roasted-Potato Bread, from Bread: A Baker’s Book

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Thursday night:  pâte fermentée, mixed.Friday morning:  risen nicely!Add roasted potato, flour, whole-wheat flour, water, more yeast, salt.  Also a bit of fresh rosemary (next time, I’d use more… the flavour was VERY faint):Knead well, until gluten is moderately developed (short of the shinier chewing-gum texture I’m learning is characteristic of highly-developed dough).  The finished dough (some crumbly finger-leftover-bits dropped on top):Fully-formed loaves, set to rise on parchment and cornmeal:Fully-risen loaves, floured, then slashed (much neater than trying it without the flour!):Crispy crust, hot and fresh… delicious!Would I make this bread again?  It WAS yummy, with a faint tang from the preferment and a bit of a rye taste, mysteriously, from the rosemary.It was moist, but not extraordinarily so.  At Shabbos lunch, it may have tasted marginally fresher than a bread without all the extra moisture from the potato.  I was astonished that the potato itself totally vanished, even …

Quest for the Perfect Challah: Suggestions…?

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Since this blog appears to have a few readers now., and by “a few” I mean the traditional usage of “THREE,” I’m just curious…This week’s non-challah Shabbos is perhaps indicative of my general “challah ennui” (is it a googlewhack? no: 4340 hits), and I want a new recipe – a new challenge, maybe.What’s your favourite challah? Does anyone want to bail us out by sending a challah recipe you absolutely LOVE?What I like, in general: challah must be sweet. It must not have too much whole wheat, but some, or some spelt, is just fine. I do not love EGGS in challah, but most of our challahs lately have been made with eggs.I am particularly looking for “next-day” challahs… ie, a loaf you are not afraid to bite into, perhaps slightly warmed on the blech but nevertheless officially “day-old” bread.We are torn on the “density “ issue. Elisheva adores a thick, heavy loaf. I tend to prefer a bit on the fluffier side. I guess that means we’re open-minded.If you’ve read this blog a bit, you …

However… our no-no-knead Shabbos!

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Perhaps in retaliation for the Globe & Mail article dissing no-knead breads,  and also because we’re having a weird-upside-down-food Shabbos (dairy at night, meat for lunch), I’m not making challah this week.  Instead, we’ll have the Roasted-Potato Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread:  A Baker’s Book, which I took out from  the library again tonight.(p.s. I just accidentally discovered a “proof” of an excerpt of the book online, so if you’d like to see the recipe in PDF form, you can find it on here – scroll down to Page 118)This ought to make the Globe critic happy:  this recipe includes not only a pre-ferment, but a relatively unusual one in the form of a pâte fermentée, which is a far heavier consistency than any I have dealt with before.  It is a fairly thick, dry dough – a small batch that has to sit and rise for 12-16 hours.It would have been better if I’d been able to start it at 10 pm, as I’d planned.  However, I didn’t really get it mixed until 11.  So sometime around noo…

Bread Article in the Globe & Mail

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The Globe and Mail published an article on Tuesday more or less panning the amazing no-knead breads popularized by Jim Lahey and by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois in their Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day books (which, if you read here often, if my easy-bread bible, though I sadly don’t yet own it).You can read the full article here, but basically, some home baker who is midway through one baking class and is likely just a friend of the writer tried one recipe from Artisan Bread in Five, and hated the bread.  Her reaction?  “It’s a step up from if you were going to buy Wonder Bread.”Sheesh.She found the loaves very dense – the opposite of what I’ve experience with my no-knead breads, which tend to be gorgeously holey and light – and calls the no-knead phenomenon “more a marketing gimmick than a better way to do things.”Sheesh again.Legitimately, however, she criticizes Hertzberg and Francois for not including weight measurements.  It’s true.  That’s a real failing of the book, an…

What? This blog has COMMENTS???

I just looked at an old post and noticed comments beneath it.  For my regular blog, comments are emailed to me for approval, and I assumed the settings were the same on this blog.  Ha ha ha.  Silly me!Apparently, people have been posting stuff in the comments section here all along!Anyway, if you have, I apologize, and I look forward to perusing your comments over the next few days… blurgh.  Sorry!

More delicious kosher morsels!