Showing posts from October, 2011

Six Word Saturday: 1 Cheshvan, 5772

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Hate to brag – but delicious challah! Only my second time succeeding with Maggie Glezer’s “My Sourdough Challah”… but BOY did it turn out well!  Hate to brag, but this was delicious challah – and beautiful.   I still have no idea why my sourdough challahs were losing their braids last year.  But now, they are totally fine. I even got to pass along some starter to a friend – along with the lower middle challah (a 1-lb’er; I had to keep the two big ones and the “baby” for our own Shabbos)!

Why, oh, why???

Is it October and the fruit flies are still #$^! everywhere??? Luckily, I have a tent! Here, it’s sheltering two sourdough breads I made yesterday – one for our family, one for a friend who had a baby.  (I sent the bread with a lasagna… one cannot live on bread alone!) I used Peter Reinhart’s basic Pain au Levain from p. 61 of Artisan Breads Every Day .  Indeed, it turned out so well, crusty outside, tender and moist with HUGE openings inside, that we could DEFINITELY eat bread like this every day. I had almost forgotten.  I don’t own this book, despite drooling over it countless times from the library, so I used my becoming-standard trick of perusing the book using Amazon ’s “Look Inside” feature.  I took a quick screenshot of the recipe so I wouldn’t have to print it out. And, of course, I used my amazing Sourdough Spreadsheet again.  It was helpful, because the recipe called for 458g of 60% starter, and I only had 352g, so it told me exactly how much extra flo

Whole lotta Sourdough Pumpkin Challah / Pan de Calabaza

Nothing goes together at Sukkos time like fresh-picked PUMPKIN and challah dough! We didn’t actually pick the pumpkins ourselves, but did pick them UP (and pick them OUT) at the place we went for apple picking .  So it’s sort of the same thing… I have vowed never to peel another raw squash again, because it’s so blissfully EASY to just cut them in half, pop them in an oiled pan face-down, and roast them at 300° until it’s soft enough to poke.  You can actually roast them at almost any temperature.  400° works just as well but quicker… but just look what this Australian baking blog says about LOWER temperatures: We roast the pumpkin in our wood-fired oven at a low heat (50C to 100C) for 24 - 36 hours. At the low temperatures the pumpkin malts, which firms and helps keep the pumpkin from falling apart in the dough. Yummy!  (one of the kids said they thought the pumpkin would MUMMIFY in the heat, which it sort of sounds like it does… “malting” being another word for the mummi

Apple Galette for the Last Days of Sukkos

I love the IDEA of galette, though I still couldn’t overcome my distrust of fruit desserts enough to actually TASTE this one.  But still, I made it and it turned out great – if I say so myself – with delicious Spy apples that Ted picked himself and set aside specifically for this purpose. I like galette because it’s freeform and forgiving; I have never attempted the fancy two-crust pies my mother makes, or even Ted’s, which apparently taste fantastic but are slightly more homemade-looking.  It’s not that I couldn’t do it – I believe I could.  I just lack the patience. No recipe for this one – a basic Crisco (gasp!) single pie crust , with some leftover graham crackers sprinkled on it.  I peeled and sliced WAY too many apples, and tossed them with a bit of sugar (a compromise; Ted likes almost none and most of us here like a ton ) and lots of cinnamon and left them to sit in a bowl while the crust dough chilled.  Rolled it out, added the apples, sprinkled with more graham crackers,

A Large-ish Quantity of Dough

  Besides a bunch of Auntie Sally’s challah which I whipped up before Rosh Hashanah and still had in the freezer, this is the main “overnight sponge challah” I’ve been playing around with this yom tov season. Because the base recipe doesn’t make very much, I thought I’d quadruple it for the first days of Sukkos, when we were expecting lots of guests.  With the help of my trusty sourdough spreadsheet (which works even with NO sourdough, just by filling in “0g” of starter), here’s what I came up with for the sponge: 1620 g flour (mix of ap and bread) 1960 g water 200 g sugar 220 g oil 4 tbsp salt 4 tsp yeast Here’s the wet stuff going into the bucket first.  With its happy new batteries, my scale held it all,  even though officially it only holds up to 2kg.  I was so happy I’d finally gotten around to marking the bucket weight on the side, just in case.  That way, if t

On Baking Challah

Someone asked over Yom Tov how long I’ve been making challah.  I thought it was a weird question, but the consensus is that it’s a perfectly FINE question and I’m just overly sensitive.  To me, I guess it sounds like “how long have you been breathing?”  Like – obvious. But it’s true:  there WAS a time I didn’t make challah.  Before Elisheva was born, for sure I didn’t.  I hade made some truly bad breads, inspired by the “healthy-over-flavourful” aesthetic of Diet for a Small Planet:  breads with extra milk powder, extra whole wheat, extra dry, extra hard, extra… hmm.  Awful bread. Around about when Elisheva came along, when I was living in Calgary, it wasn’t so easy to get fresh challah every single week (though, to be fair, there was a kosher bakery there in those days), so we would buy ready-made bread dough.  But I think, sometimes, I would make some from scratch, too.  (maybe in my food processor?  or maybe that came later, with the Cuisinart…) Certainly, I noticed early o

More delicious kosher morsels!