Showing posts from October, 2010

Cheddary Scones for Breakfast!

Yum!  These are the “double-cheddar” scones from Marcy Goldman’s Best of – I had some butter and some cheddar and could not resist these.  (not quite enough cheddar, so I skimped a bit, but they are still cheesy and delish!) Super-easy… the only hard part was waiting for them to cool before eating!

Six Word Saturday: 23 Cheshvan, 5771

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Unveiling My New Super Wonder Challah! My mother invited us for Shabbos dinner because she was also having my aunt (who just returned from shiva in Vancouver earlier this week) and she asked if I was bringing challah, so I said sure. Having messed up a couple of breads in a row, I promised myself I’d stick to the standard recipe, but couldn’t help myself… I wanted to do a preferment. I found this recipe online, which is very similar to my Reliable Challah except that it preferments  half the flour overnight.  Perfect!  I don’t have cubes of fresh yeast, so I used half of the regular yeast from the Reliable Challah recipe, about 1/2 tbsp, subbed 1/4 cup of sugar instead of honey, and left out the egg entirely.  I used 3 cups of bread flour, measured by volume, because I figured it didn’t have to be exact.  After a short room-temperature rise, I let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, after bringing it to room temp

(Mis)adventures in SPELT…

It’s my disasters that keep me humble… that’s for sure.  (Speaking of disasters, have you entered my Kitchen Disaster contest yet???) Then again, I bet you don’t get so many disasters with all those other marginally competent bread blogs out there!!!  I bet that’s how I earned my fifteen loyal followers in the first place, by being human, just like them! So.  If you recall, I decided to make a delicious sprouty, wheaty bread for our supper tonight!  I started sprouting the wheat berries on Monday, and mixed up a couple of components of this bread last night . Here’s what I started with when I picked it up this afternoon:  “soaker”, preferment, exactly 11g of sprouted wheat berries.       Ground the wheat berries to “kneadable” consistency.   Holds together when smooshed into a ball in your hand:   Tossed in the rest of the flour, touch of honey, touch more yeast and kneaded the whole mess together.  Should have torn up the various starter pieces to ensure evennes

Now what???

I’ve been sprouting these wheat berries for a few days now… they’re ready.  Now what should I do with them??  I have some rye flour I’ve been wanting to play around with… any thoughts? (the sprouts are in the fridge now, awaiting their fate – they should keep for a bit while I decide!) Postscript:  I’ve found the solution (I hope!):  Sprouty Spelty Wheat Bread. Original recipe, speltless, is here , apparently adapted from Peter Reinhardt’s Whole Grain Breads , which I haven’t read.    (from Kath Eats , a blog where I borrowed another recipe a while back, for making Ciabatta and Focaccia from the same batch of dough. (I also just discovered that the lovely Kath and her husband Matt – who bread-blogs at her food blog – are opening their own Great Harvest Bread franchise this fall!) I have no whole wheat flour in the house, but some leftover whole-grain spelt, a gift from my sister a long, LONG time ago.  I decided to use it up with this recipe.  I used King Arthur Flour’s

Online Window Shopping Wish List

As the weather gets colder, and we approach my winter birthday, my thoughts invariably turn to… what I want!!!  This is my Bread Wish List, to be updated as I spot things that catch my eye. Thought I’d do better blogging my wishes for a change, rather than clicking the BUY button! Kevlar Oven Glove from Breadtopia       Loaf Pan - 4½ × 8½ from Golda’s Kitchen Nothing fancy… but I’d like a couple of pareve ones, bread size and perhaps some others – like all-purpose cookie sheets.  From last year’s wish list :  “I am SO sickened by the quantity of tinfoil bakeware we go through around here. (still true – still going through the tinfoil like crazy) Plus, whenever I go to cook something, I have to test all the washed tinfoil to see if it leaks (usually, it does).  Bread Thermometer from Breadtopia This one says six seconds and apparently, they mean it.  I’d settle for any other model, from anywhere, as long as it works fast and doesn’t make a huge hole in

Six Word Saturday in Bread: 16 Cheshvan, 5771

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!  Oy, vey… that was BAD challah. Not BAD, bad, exactly.  The taste was nondescript, not terrible.  Sourdough was completely undetectable, which is fine with me either way. But what killed it for me was that this was absolutely the driest challah I have ever, ever tasted. It was like chewing a mouthful of sawdust.  I couldn’t eat more than half a slice. What happened????  What could have made this bread so, so, utterly, unspeakably dry?  Too much oil (huh)?  Too long baking?  (note to self:  add bread thermometer to “wanty” list so I am not always overbaking stuff) I am getting back on this sourdough pony one more time.  I feel I am very close to a breakthrough, aka delicious sourdough challah.  For next week:  “Rose Levy Beranbaum’s New Favourite Traditional Challah .”  I have her Bread Bible out of the library right now, but she says the online recipe is way better than the one she’s got in there.  She describes it as “the bes

Out of the primordial ooze…

This week’s Maggie Glezer Sourdough Challah is looking pretty good despite the debacle that went into their creation. There is definitely double the oil in these loaves; the dough was super-shiny and almost translucent.  (however, the exterior shine in the picture is from my oiling the strands as I rolled them) I am really worried about how these loaves will perform.  For one thing, the dough really wants to spread.  The snakes got a little bit “wide and flat” just sitting on the table waiting for me to roll them out.  :-o Here’s what I have done to salvage them:  stuck them in loaf pans so they will rise up, not out; oiled the strands so they’ll retain their definition better; pop them in the fridge to retard overnight. Actually, this last may be a disaster in itself, because there’s a chance they could overproof during the night and be flaccid, liquid-toady blobs by morning. Meanwhile, they’re looking good – despite my amateurish and distracted efforts, I suppose. Pos

The slightly sour sicilian!

Mmm, good!  At last, against all odds, and after several disastrous and/or ho-hum attempts, I have accomplished the seemingly impossible:  a perfectly-risen, perfectly-baked, perfectly delightful loaf of Sicilian No-Knead Bread (the sourdough variation). It rose overnight and then some, stretch-and-fold maybe around 12:30, and around 2 pm, I formed the loaf.  The combination of sesame and semolina on the crispy crust backdrop is utterly delightful. The only major flaw in this bread was too little oven/stone preheating.  I suspect that led to the stone being too cool for the initial jolt on the bottom crust.  It was ever-so-slightly soft, and I think a longer preheat would have taken care of that.  However, the bread was getting mushy and starting to spread.  Since sourdough loses definition so easily, I chose to bake it right away rather than wait for a super-hot stone.  I think it was the right decision. The recipe calls for a 475° oven.  Mine was only set at 450°, but even

Disaster Strikes the Sourdough Challah!

I bet my sister the amazing smart professional artisan sourdough baker never EVER ever has to deal with the sound of fifty screaming kids in the background while she bakes… It wasn’t REALLY fifty kids, you understand:  just the SOUND of fifty kids, coming from my FOUR kids.  I think, actually, only THREE of them were home at the time.  It doesn’t really matter except to say:  it was a lot of noise. And so as I threw together the challah (recipe here ), I set the bowl on the scale and tossed in ingredients willy-nilly, here and there, glancing at the open recipe book which lay under a layer of crud and homeschool detritus on the table. BUSY MAMA’S TIP FOR SUCCESS:  Clear the WHOLE table first, even if you think you’re only going to need half! I was rushing a bit as I threw stuff in because my wonderful scale does have this way of turning off if it’s inactive for too long.  So you have to keep the ingredients coming, or at least, finish up one ingredient before it shuts down.  (

…like hotcakes?

These using-up-the sourdough hotcakes got mixed reviews.  Kids didn’t eat them, and Ted said it “tasted like pancakes a hundred years ago.”  Great.  My reaction?  Different.  Interesting.  Tangy.  The texture is good – a tad rubbery, in a good way.  Quite nice with brown sugar sprinkled on top (as suggested).  Perhaps an acquired taste. I mixed in blueberries to sweeten it, but next time, I’d probably make some significant changes: Less starter Use at least some milk, not all water Add some sugar to the batter While they were frying, I started thinking this batter might make nice crumpets, but I couldn’t find metal rings to go in the cast-iron skillet to test my theory.  But who knows… maybe I’ll try sourdough crumpets next time!

Sourdough on the go…

Yup, not one, not two, but THREE sourdough projects on the go at the moment! Firm starter being fed and groomed for sourdough challah Breadtopia’s No-Knead Sicilian bread, sourdough style (yes, I realize we ate semolina bread on Monday , but I really didn’t like it, and I’d like to try something different…).  I hope to either bake this in the dutch oven or use the dutch oven as a cloche over it while it bakes so as to fulfill my “bake-in-pot” promise ! Finally, what to do with all that poured-off un-needed sourdough?  Sourdough hotcakes fermenting in a bowl for breakfast tomorrow!  I plan to mix in blueberries to make them a bit more exciting.  I realized only after mixing the overnight portion of this batter that there’s no dairy, so these are totally pareve.  I picked the recipe because it was eggless, but yes, I’m tired, and didn’t realize they were also dairy-free (though I will fry them in butter to compensate!).  They look a bit like the injera I made a while ago,

Win Kosher by Design in my own COOKING DISASTER contest!

Even if you’re not a teen or twenty-something (anymore – or yet!), here’s another chance to WIN a copy of Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design:  Teens and 20-Somethings . I’ll be posting a review and announcing my contest winner on my regular blog on November 10th (3 Kislev).  You can check out other blogger reviews, recipes, etc., in the meantime here . In honour of this slick new cookbook (I love the “fun” side of Artscroll!), I am announcing my very own… COOKING DISASTER CONTEST. Leave a comment after THE CONTEST POST (NOT here!) to tell me (in as much hilarious detail as you want) about your most disastrous kitchen disaster – EVER.  Read more rules here … bread- and cake-related disasters are most welcome!

Guess I sometimes meet a bread I don’t like…

This is the Semolina (Durum) Bread from Bread:  A Baker’s Book , which I wanted to try as an alternative to the semolina bread I have been attemping (and failing) so far. (I forgot to put sesame seeds on top and just floured before slashing.  And once again, the slashes were not deep enough!) It’s made with a “flying” sponge – which apparently means that all the yeast is in it and makes for a faster bulk fermentation.  It is faster than the other semolina breads I’ve tried, but I guess faster isn’t always better. I really think I did everything right with this one!  Okay, ALMOST everything.  I admit:  I was scared of another raw-in-the-middle disaster, so I baked this a bit longer than I was supposed to.  I was planning to give it 40 minutes at 460°.  After 30 minutes, it was alarmingly dark, so I tented it and turned the temp down to 450°. I don’t think overbaking was solely responsible for the ultimate dryness of this bread, though I will take about 20% responsibility. T

What to do with a Leftover Challah

Marcy Goldman’s Best of Bread Pudding Muffins !!!  Yummy… and utterly decadent…

Six Word Saturday: 9 Cheshvan, 5771

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!  This week’s goal:  bake in pot! I posted a really long 6ws on my regular blog, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet.  I have a fairly new small (3 quart?) enameled cast-iron dutch oven and I intend to use it for bread-baking. I tried it out for the first time last week for my second attempt at Sicilian No-Knead Bread .  But then I had to go out while the bread was baking.  I told Ted to remove the cover after 30 minutes and bake it 10-15 minutes longer, which he faithfully did… and in the end, the bread was woefully underdone. But he did say I really must make the bread again.  Indeed, what there was of it that was edible was simply amazing:  gritty and moist and robust and flavourful, with the most crunchy crust. But I may not make this recipe.  I may see what Jim Lahey, the master of no-knead-dutch-oven-baking has to say about semolina.  Or, I took out Bread:  A Baker’s Book from the library again, and I may use that to

Well, I made the Baby…

…But I called it BIG PANCAKE !  (also known as a “Dutch Baby”, apparently… because in Holland, the babies are born big, floury and sizzling hot) See, that way I have an edge.  Ted may make ORDINARY pancakes, but I can (now) make BIIIIIIIG pancake. Utterly, utterly easy.  Simple, and delicious.  Served for lunch with powdered sugar, but YM had his with cottage cheese. Whir the batter in the blender – 2 eggs, half a cup of flour, a couple more things (I halved the recipe).  So simple.   Leave it to sit for half an hour.  Pour into cast-iron pan in which I’ve melted about 1/4 of a stick of butter. Bake 10 minutes on bottom rack; 10 more minutes on top rack. Boy, did it puff!     Slid out like a dream…   … and right out onto the plate! Yummy!  As close as you can get to a no-effort kid-pleasing lunch… p.s.  So this officially ends my dithering over the genre of my cast-iron pan:  it is now a DAIRY pan.  But I still have the small enameled cast-iron dutch ove

Mmm… is it BREAD? And a call to readers!

Actually, who cares!  Whether or not it’s bread, I’ll be using it to inaugurate my new cast-iron skillet:  BIG PANCAKE (aka Dutch Baby).  Well… if I decide that the pan is going to be for dairy, that is.  I think so.  Though it strikes me as the perfect thing for bacon, we’re not really eating much of that around here. Okay, here’s where you, my loyal reader(s), can help me out!  (Google tells me I have followers now!)  Here’s what I need to know: What can I make with a 10” cast-iron pan?  Should I use it for dairy?  Or keep it pareve and use it for breads somehow?  (keeping in mind I do have a small pareve cast-iron pot that already intend to use for breads) By the way, lest anyone think that I’ve gone all splurgy, what with my new whisk and now a new cast-iron pan, rest assured, it’s not exactly BRAND new.  (gasp!)  I bought it at Value Village for under $7. Years ago, somebody told me you shouldn’t buy used dishes and cookware with the intent to kasher them.  But

It’s here! The WHISK is here!

My whisk!  My Danish Dough Whisk!  (heretofore:  DDW) I was slightly afraid it would be all hype and that the thing would do perhaps a slightly better job than, say, a SPOON.  But no, it is a whole other world of mixing.  This dough took seconds to mix extremely well. Up until now, my one qualm about mixing up really big batches (double or triple) in my big bucket has been this:  a spoon or silicone spatula do a great job of incorporating all the flour, but can’t really reach the CENTRE of the blob.  I know this because I can sometimes feel lumpy bits in the middle of a huge batch of no-knead dough.  I have never had actual flour in the middle of challah or a boule, but I do sometimes notice an uneven texture – areas that are slightly denser and poorly mixed. So:  it turns out that CENTRE OF THE BLOB is what the DDW is all about. I used it right away yesterday (once I’d toiveled it) to stir up a batch of the Sicilian No-Knead Bread that made me cave and buy the whisk in

And in case you need a BIG yummy chocolate cake recipe…

My friend Dini always has this cake on  hand – she even gave it out for Purim one year.  It’s very fast and very easy – her kids usually make it for her.  And it makes a BIG cake – or it can be divided into many pans, or any combination of pans and cupcakes – just adjust the baking time accordingly.  I had to phone her for the recipe three times (the kids gave it to me, so I didn’t have to disturb her), and finally recorded it on the computer so I would never lose it. It’s fabulous plain – nice and moist – or sprinkled with icing sugar, or you could go all out and make a pareve chocolate "cream-cheese" frosting with Tofutti cream cheese. Elisheva made this yesterday – she wanted to bring cupcakes to a friend’s house for Shabbos.  It made 12 smallish cupcakes plus two generous loaf-pan sized cakes.  Freezes well if you’re baking ahead for Yom Tov! Ingredients: 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups oil 2 1/2 cups sugar 3 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2

Six Word Saturday: 2 Cheshvan, 5771

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!  The classic… my own reliable Challah! Tearing off that first piece last night was like coming home.  I can’t believe what an incredible, happy feeling it was, to dive into the my very own reliable challah. This recipe is fairly fast:  slightly sweet and completely eggless (except for the egg brushed on top).  It doesn’t age that well, but is amazing on Friday night – and doesn’t do too badly, especially with butter, on Shabbos day.  For the first time, this week, I left it to rise at room temperature overnight, and I think that had a good effect on the taste.  Working with no-knead doughs and sourdough has made me more confident that unless it’s full of dairy and eggs, dough really won’t spoil too quickly at room temperature. I have been working on tweaking the recipe to include reliable scaled measurements.  For a printable PDF of the results, which I think are very good indeed, click here .

Pareve Pumpkin Pie for Shabbos

Ted had no idea it was Thanksgiving this weekend, but I swear, there is something primally Canadian in him that I have never had… he’s just innately tuned in to the seasons here.  So I wasn’t surprised when he announced last night, out of the blue, that he was making pumpkin pie this Shabbos. Since it’s our second time enjoying this recipe, which I found on Chowhound , I thought I’d repost it here.   The original poster aptly described this recipe as “light, more like custard than the dense, rubbery texture I associate with pumpkin pie.”  Indeed, I’d even call it fluffy – along the lines of a good cheesecake. This “can’t believe it’s not dairy” recipe uses coconut milk instead of the standard cream or evaporated milk.  You can taste the coconut slightly, but it is a gentle taste that, in my opinion, complements the pumpkin really nicely (it originally just said “nicely,” but I added really after I had tasted the pie!). Ted is using one of the little pie pumpkins we bought at th

Baking Workshop

So this Tuesday is the first of a six-part baking workshop that I have volunteered to teach / lead at Elisheva’s school – to Elisheva’s great mortification. The catch is that I have from 1:45 to 2:25 to get the girls in, settled down, working and then out the door, preferably with a “baked good” in hand.  Elisheva said sometimes the teachers stay longer to shut off the oven and leave the baked goods in the office for the girls to pick up later, but I don’t have that luxury.  My mother is a reluctant babysitter at best so I will have to leave immediately afterwards.  Maybe there’s somebody else in the school who I can deputize to turn off the oven and take out whatever-it-is at the end of the bake time??? Anyway, here are my thoughts for what we’re going to do.  Elisheva has cautioned me that it is NOT a forum to do major bread-baking.  Fair enough, but I do want to do ONE bread thing.  Like a pizza thing, which doesn’t take too long, would be reasonable, and definitely falls with

Six Word Saturday: 25 Tishrei, 5771

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!  My life will be so good! Yup, as mentioned in passing last week, I broke down and bought a Danish Dough Whisk .  When, oh, when will  get here???? I also bought a dough scraper – I couldn’t help myself; I was sucked in by the words “ This is a Really Nice Dough Scraper! ”. So just picture me… whisking and scraping away (maybe with less hairy arms, though):  my life will indeed be wonderful at last!!!  

More delicious kosher morsels!