Showing posts from June, 2012

Fixing a small challah problem…

What with the kids making challahs yesterday, I realized I had too many if I made all my “snakes” into 4-braid challahs.  So I decided, with the snakes I’d already rolled out, to make 2 6-braid loaves instead of 3 4-braid loaves. Rolled out the snakes nicely: long and thin, because if they’re too fat, a 6-braid can easily turn into a round challah.  Braided them up… and then noticed an extra snake sitting on the table: I’d forgotten to include it, and one of my beautiful “6-braids” was actually only 5.  Can you guess which one???   Quick fix – and seriously, this was the easiest solution to any bread problem I have ever encountered:  tuck the extra snake underneath the braided challah in the pan.  Can you see it hiding under there??? Left it to rise, baked as usual… and nobody ever noticed the difference.  The volume of the finished challahs is identical, because they both contain 6 strands – just one has the extra strand hidden inside…       (yes, I managed to take pic

A wonderful first!

I don’t know if this would be as much of a milestone in some families, but around here, your first challah is a big deal. So it is with great pride that I announce that Gavriel Zev made his VERY FIRST CHALLAH! I usually give him a choice, and he says no, or says he’ll just play with the “extra” piece (the small piece I separate for challah).  But yesterday, I insisted… and I gave him a full-sized blob of challah dough – 675g, enough to make a very respectable loaf. He played with it, and pulled at it, and buried a knife in it (“that won’t be a nice surprise if Abba or somebody else bites into their challah and finds a knife !”), stuck his fist into it (“or if they find a boy attached to their challah!”).  And then he lost interest and decided to leave the table. But I have been pushing him a bit lately with things like handwriting., and by goodness-knows-what instinct mamas have, I decided it was time to push him in this direction, too. I said he could go down and play when

Slightly cheaty strawberry tarts

It’s strawberry season!  The time of year all us snob-berries look forward to more than anything else! (okay, tomato season is good, too) So why not celebrate by buying tinned strawberry PIE FILLING?  Um, no.  But indeed, Ted wanted strawberry tarts and seemed rather pleased that he had the filling to make them and everything.  He also bought a package of 12 pareve tart shells – the usual store-bought ones are dairy, so that was a nice find. With very little time on a busy erev-Shabbos afternoon, I came up with these coconut-custard semi-fresh kinda-real strawberry tarts.  I made a coconut custard based on Shoshana’s recipe here at Couldn’t be Parve , but instead of soy milk (which I didn’t have and don’t like anyway), I just used 1 tin of coconut milk.  I kept back some of the watery part of the coconut milk and mixed it with 1-2 tbsp cornstarch for a thicker finished pudding. Basically, I heated the coconut  milk slightly (right on the burner; mistake #1), and added half of

Lazy-Day pretzels for lunch!

There’s really no way to make a picture of pretzels with a goober of mustard look appetizing, is there…well, maybe a professional food photographer could do it, but I sure can’t. I decided to make soft pretzels for Elisheva because she loves them and she’s in the middle of exam week (actually, sort of still near the beginning – Exam 3 of 10, I believe).  I thought they’d be super-nice to come home to, because the big kids are always hungry when they walk through the door (in an inward direction). It’s a pretty basic, yeast-based, white-flour-based, web-based, hundreds-of-happy-reviews recipe, that also happens to be pareve and as a bonus doesn’t need kneading (though it’s thicker than most no-knead dough). After I’d been working on them all morning, and the scent of fresh-baked pretzels was filling the house, I promised Naomi she could have them at snacktime.  Well, she started crying – she wanted one NOW, for lunch. And I thought, hmm… and said yes.  Because, really, on a

Sara’s Loaves of Wonder

I could have sworn I’d posted this on here before… this is a super-easy recipe for any kind of loaf – apple, carrot, zucchini (maybe others, but that’s what we’ve tried it with).  Optional Add-ins:  For zucchini, Sara adds chocolate chips; she uses walnuts instead for apple loaf.  Right now, I’m baking the carrot version and I suppose you could add walnuts or raisins, but why mess with perfection??? However:  you’ll have to promise not to scream at the quantity of sugar.  Sara mentioned she cuts it to about 400g; you could probably bring it down lower, and maybe healthy this up a bit by subbing some of the oil with applesauce. Here’s my scalable spreadsheet version! And here’s the text version: Sara’s (pareve) Loaves of Wonder MAKES  2 generous loaf pan-sized loaves. WET STUFF: 3 eggs 224g vegetable oil (I use canola) 462g brown sugar 5g vanilla DRY STUFF: 475g all-purpose flour (I used cake flour today because I happened to have some sitting

OMG, I want – no, NEED – this:

PIECAKEN. My eyes have been opened. In case you have slept through the last decade, culinarily, you might not have heard of the turducken. Wikipedia says it best:  “A turducken is a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed into a de-boned turkey. The word turducken is a portmanteau of tur key, duck , and chick en or h en . The dish is a form of engastration , a recipe method in which one animal is stuffed inside the gastric passage of another. [1] ” Yes, it is indeed.  Here is one: Just to put your mind at ease, I have never really had any desire to EAT a turducken. But now… there’s piecaken.  A portmanteau in its own right:  PIE + CAKE = piecaken. You take a pie, you bake it in a cake, you ice the whole thing all lovely and shiny and serve it up… surprise!!!  Here’s a reasonably professional-looking one: Here’s another to drool over: One mostly-not-a-food-blogger describes the process:  “ You bake a pie , th

The Wettest Challah Dough

This is another stab at blender challah , but it turned out super-wet, for some reason, skirting that fine line between soft, wet dough and extra-firm cake batter. Here’s the formula – super-simple and quick, once you’ve weighed everything out: Mix in blender:    401    g flour 711    g water 189    g sugar 156    g oil 40    g salt 21    g yeast 3     large eggs Pour over in bowl: 802    g flour Stir with dough whisk, wooden spoon, or really anything.  Let rise, etc. I definitely should have done the Stretch and Fold move on this dough after it had risen, but I was in a hurry and figured I can do anything with even the wettest of doughs.  Even with stretching and folding, I still wouldn’t have been able to let the kids help out with this dough, which they were very disappointed by.  I promised that next week they could help. Here’s what the pieces looked like (I use 4x170g pieces to make one 1.5-lb “standard” challah) once I pancaked them

More delicious kosher morsels!