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Showing posts from April, 2013

Unafraid: zero-waste challah, the eco-happy way

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Don’t know about you, but I was afraid of dough for a long time.  Afraid to let it touch anything, because it’s so darn sticky.  Afraid to let it rise uncovered, careful to set it on parchment or silicone when baking.  Careful that the challahs were spaced just so when I put them in the oven to bake, so they wouldn’t end up touching.  Careful, and afraid.But just look at my challahs now!They’re naked, completely uncovered as they rise.They’re bare-bottomed, sitting right on the table.I’m not using a baking pan at all.Experience and a couple of good tools have changed all that… mainly the little bench scraper in the back, which I’ve raved about here before.  Also, a baking stone – preheated properly, it’s hot enough when you put the challahs in that nothing will stick to it.  Even if it does stick, a nudge with the scraper is enough to dislodge it.  Also, I oil the challah generously as I portion it, so that by the time I’m finished rolling out the “snakes,” the wooden tabletop is pret…

Look what ELSE you can do with yeast!

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In all the years I have been playing with yeast and homeschooling, I have never, ever thought to mix the two!  Luckily, Ms Frizzle did, and last month’s Magic School Bus science kit was all about bacteria and fungi.  Oooey gooey fun!For all the exciting details, please see the full post over at my regular blog!How many any other cool ways are there to use baking to teach science???

Pot pie with Sweet Potato Dumplings / Biscuits

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When you want a chicken pot pie but are a) you only have one frozen pie crust (or don’t want to fuss with a top crust), and can’t even think of a b), why not make this EASY sweet-potato-dumpling topped version instead?  (if you are enthused by this idea, see also this post about putting cornbread on top of chili)You don’t even have to use meat!  Putting a quick bread on TOP of a moist, savoury dish (whether it’s meat or dairy or even vegan, as I have been known to do with roasted root vegetables and tofu) compensates for all the downsides of quick breads – namely that they tend to dry out quickly and be less full-bodied in flavour, while lacking the exquisite texture of true breads.  Baked on top of a yummy filling – whether you have a bottom crust or not – the quick bread (dumplings, cornbread, beer bread or any quick bread you like) stay moist, absorb flavour, and add texture and substance to round out a meal.(Technicality:  FYI, “quick bread” is the term used to describe any non-ye…

Schlissel challah: Witchcraft, divination or… good clean bread-based fun?

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In answer to the question in the title… well, my vote is with the latter (cast yours below in the Comments section!).  When I posted a reminder on facebook last night to think about including a key in the first post-Pesach challahs (see this old post to find out why), somebody posted a link to this article (“Shlissel Challah – The Loaf of Idolatry?”) and someone else recommended this one (“Serious Segulah or Pagan Piffle?”).  One person wrote, “the origins of shlissel challah is completely avodah zarah [idol worship].”  Ouch.  One commenter in a thread of one of the posts above wrote that a prominent rav “called this shlissel challah minhag "ridiculous", a violation of nichush [divination], and told his wife not to "dare" do it.”I read the articles – really, I did.  I love fascinating new information.  I love controversy.The first article (“Loaf of Idolatry?”) made me sad, partly because his article claims to be all scholarly but he doesn't really prove his poi…

More delicious kosher morsels!