Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Gorgeous challah, fluffy-soft… no SALT!!! :-( Sad but true. And we were taking it to neighbours’ for supper. I just gestured to keep on sprinkling more more more salt… but salt sprinkled is NOT the same as salt incorporated in dough. Blah.
Once again, I am happy and amazed that bread – even the BEST breads – can be made not only pareve, but also completely vegan. That’s because I have declared “Vegan Vursdays” and tonight, we are hoping to have bread with soup – a classic combination that’s perfect for a day like today. I found this recipe for Sourdough Corn Bread that looked good (though I might not go so far as to shape it into bread bowls), except it calls for starter at 100% hydration. The starter that I’ve been building up all week is more of a stiff starter (I estimated 50, but that’s probably not right, either). At The Fresh Loaf, I found this primer explaining the math of how to convert recipes to use a stiffer or thinner starter, but it started giving me a headache. So – always my father’s child! - I broke it down using a spreadsheet. You just plug in: quantity of starter called for, at what hydration flour and water quantities from the recipe how much starter you HAVE, at what hydration
I have been having a bit of a pound cake thing going lately, but I had never made pound cake before and thought it would be a huge potchke. Then, earlier this week, as if reading my mind, the GourmetKosherCooking blog posted a recipe for Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake – perfect! Super-easy to throw together (providing you have enough butter!)… and utterly decadent and delicious. Don’t tell anybody, but we ate it for breakfast! (Chocolate for breakfast: just one more way we’re preparing for aliyah !)
Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Time to dust off the sourdough! No excuses… life is as “back to normal” as it’s gonna get, and there’s no reason I can’t bake good bread this week! (plus, now that I used up the last of the spelt , I have some nice whole wheat flour my sister gave me last week… and some rye to use up and some oat flour and… OMG, Pesach is coming!!!)
Did you know? It’s today, November 17th! I had no clue… And yet, I woke up, made a yummy baguette, and later served four pizzas to my family. Just like any ordinary week. Sure feels nice that we don’t need a special day to honour home-baked breads!!!
Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Breads I forgot to blog about! …Like Wednesday night’s excellent rye-licious loaf! Exactly the same ryelicious formula as the first time, and it worked out beautifully. I even used corn starch – properly, this time ! – to create a lovely crusty sheen on top of the loaf. Yes, it’s peanut-shaped, the result of a mis-handled transfer from peel to stone… but I’m getting the hang of it, really I am. And yes, there was a bit of a blowout on the side. I don’t know why my slashing is so unsuccessful lately. But inside, the bread was perfectly baked and absolutely luscious with Alton Brown’s beef stew. Mmm… And then there were Thursday’s (vegan night) Scallion Pancakes . Super, super easy, this is a boiled-water-and-bread-flour dough that mixes up quickly and it’s ready to roll after only about half an hour. Yes, I truly am obsessed with flatbreads these days – I can’t wait for the next Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day boo
Stretch and fold! I heard the term many times before I actually tried it myself. Now, I do it all the time… and it’s improved my breads considerably. The stretch n’ fold is especially useful in developing a very wet dough, when you can’t or don’t want to do a lot of kneading. It’s incredible when you The wetter the dough, the more you will need your trusty dough scraper, and perhaps a floured surface, but the goal here (as I understand it) is to incorporate as little new flour as possible. Before I say anything about stretching and folding, though, I want to add a big NO: just say no to PUNCHING down the dough! (hey, that rhymes) Even if a recipe says you should do it, and even though I did it for years, few legitimate bread recipes will ask you to pummel all the rise out of your bread. The bread has been working SO hard to rise that you’d be shooting yourself in the foot to handle it so roughly. Worse, I used to interpret “punch down dough” as “knead it all over aga
My mother’s mother used to make chocolate chiffon pie… it was one of her hallmark baked things, along with her Neapolitan Cake . I don’t have a recipe, but I do know that she used gelatin in hers; many chocolate mousses call for it because it lends the mousse a longer-term room-temperature stability that whipped cream or egg whites alone cannot reproduce. I tried to make it once using the only kosher gelatin I could find: fish-based gelatin, which I believe came in little silver packets, from France. It was terrible . The gelatin tainted the pie with a sour tang that I tried to convince myself was “lemony,” but let’s be honest… it was quite simply foul. Fast-forward to last year, when I noticed that Kolatin kosher gelatin was once again on the market. It used to be all over the place here, back when I first started keeping kosher, but I don’t remember seeing an unflavoured gelatin at the time. (Being new to keeping kosher, I may have just not noticed it; there’s a lot I u
Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Delicious challah… better the next day! Now that is an accomplishment, because I usually don’t like challah very much by Saturday afternoon. I made last week’s amazing Super Wonder Challah. I ran out of bread flour, so it was perhaps a little softer than last week. That made it very hard to braid. Didn’t help that I doubled the recipe and ended up with enough to make three HUGE loaves (>2lb) that spread like crazy in the pan. So in the end, it was not as picture-perfect as last week, but absolutely just as yummy – if not more so. And today, even yummier! Hooray for pre-fermentation; definitely works for me, though it’s a mystery why prefermenting HALF the flour can make the bread tastier than prefermenting all of it (I usually make the entire batch on Thursday night, let it rise, and fridge it overnight). Elisheva said that this was the closest to storebought challah that I’d ever made. She meant it as a compliment… pe
This was yesterday’s bread component of a bread-and-soup meal. In the morning, I mixed up the oatmeal-honey bread from 200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads: No-Knead, One Bowl , to bake in the afternoon. I wanted to do something a little MORE with it than just a straight loaf, so I decided to do a filled, swirled raisin loaf. Oh – I was proud of myself; I didn’t have brown sugar for the swirl, so I took white sugar and used the mixer to beat in a couple of blobs of molasses… the result was identical. While I was mixing, I beat in a bit of butter and cinnamon as well. Spread it on the loaf, sprinkled with raisins, rolled up, allowed it to rise, then baked it. As you can see, I knew there was a problem as soon as I took the loaf out of the oven. The seam of the swirl hadn’t been on the bottom, or shifted during rising, and suddenly, I had buttery raisin glop goobering out of the bread and even a bit over the side of the pan. Definitely asymmetrical – not the most beautiful
As you know, I’m a sucker for flatbreads of all kinds. This was my first venture into tortillas, but they’re basically the same as many other “ethnic” flatbreads I’ve made in past. Yum, flatbreads! Here’s the recipe I used to create these easy, quick tortillas for tonight’s ground-chicken burrito supper (shh… don’t tell Elisheva, who requested burritos, but they were basically soft tacos). Too small to hold in all that fillingy goodness! Next time, I double the recipe and make them twice as big!!! p.s. Soft tacos is something I’ve avoided since keeping kosher (yes, that does mean almost 20 years), but I’m happy I did this at last… they don’t really, REALLY need cheese and sour cream, and the lettuce adds a nice touch).