Tuesdays with Dorie: Challah

Oh, Hello!

I know its been a while. I’ve been baking. but not blogging or taking pictures. Life has been  CRAZY. My boys started kindergarten in August. So, I’ve got three kids in three different classes, and that means 3 different teachers who want my time. Which is a lot. Plus, I’m training for another marathon, and planning another Ragnar Relay. so, I’m busy. But hopefully I’ll be back here more often. Gotta get back into the habit..

So, that brings us to this week’s assignment: Challah. I’ve baked this one before, and I bake challah almost every week for french toast or for my synagogue. My standard recipe is from Marcy Goldman and uses fresh yeast. This recipe isn’t really all that different except that it uses milk and butter. Which makes this bread delicious. BUT it makes the bread dairy (duh). But people who keep kosher don’t mix meat and milk, and challah is traditionally served at shabbat dinner. In most homes Shabbat dinner is a meat meal–soup, roast chicken, etc. And so a bread with milk and butter in it just won’t fly.

I mixed it up this morning when I realized that we were running low on french toast. I managed to get it all kneaded together before we left for school and popped it in the fridge to rise. In the evening I braided it, let it rise and baked it off.
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of course, my house smelled delicious.

I sliced into it today to taste it with some butter. It was delicious. Tomorrow it’ll turn into about 20 slices for French toast.

To see some other lovely examples of this challah, visit the LYL post at Tuesdays with Dorie

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Cheese and Tomato Galette

I was both looking forward to and dreading this recipe. It uses the same dough as the blueberry peach gallette that I made last summer, and if my memory serves correctly, it was not a joy to work with, even though it was delicious.

No matter, I set out to make the dough again. Flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and cold butter go into a bowl
Untitledthe butter gets ‘cut’ in (this job is so much easier with a pastry blender than with my warm hands) and an ice water/sour cream mixture gets blended into it to make the dough.
I probably only used 1/2 of the liquid that the recipe called for. I divided the dough in half and put the two disks into the fridge to chill out for about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, I roasted some tomatoes. The recipe simply calls for sliced tomatoes, but I didn’t want my mediocre tomatoes to mess this up, and I knew that roasting them would bring more sweetenss and tomato-flavor to the party. So I sliced them and laid them on a parchment lined sheet pan, and sprinkled them with a bit of magic salt to add a little garlic and herb flavor. I roasted them for about 2 hours at 200 degrees. They came out of the oven perfect, still a little moist, but far from the watery mass that went into the oven.
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Once the tomatoes were cool, I rolled out the rounds of dough. and layered on monterey jack cheese, fresh mozzarella and some tomatoes. Then I folded the dough up around everything to make a free-form tart
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I’ve got to admit that this process was significantly easier than it was last year when I did this at my parents house. They’ve got a beautiful textured stone countertop. it is lovely to look at, but for rolling out pastry dough….well, you can imagine. My marble counter top did much better, as did a traditional rolling pin.

The tarts came out of the oven smelling wonderful. The dough was crispy….especially on the bottom, and the cheese and tomatoes were delicious.
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I ate it with a big salad of mixed greens. A glass of red wine would have been lovely. Dorothy even ate a good portion of this. And if that doesn’t tell you what you need to know about this recipe, then I don’t know what will. It was Good!

I enjoyed the other galette as two lunches later in the week. The book says that its best eaten on the day it is made, but I didn’t really feel like any quality had been lost in the fridge or toaster oven re-heat.
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Take a look at other tasty examples of this recipe at Tuesdays With Dorie, I’m sure other bakers had a good time baking this one!

Galette Dough
3 Tablespoons sour cream
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup AP flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

mix sour cream and ice water together in a large measuring cup
mix dry ingredients together and then cut in butter
with a spoon, add water/sour cream until dough is just moist enough to hold together (I only used about 1/2 of the liquid)
divide dough in half and wrap disks in plastic. store in fridge for at least 2 hours.
you can freeze the dough for up to a month. thaw in the fridge overnight

Cheese and Tomato Galette
1/2 recipe galette dough

2 oz Montery Jack Cheese
2 oz Mozzarella (fresh)
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn or cut into chiffonade
2-3 firm but ripe tomatoes, in 1/4 inch slices. I roasted mine

Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick (I roll mine between two sheets of plastic wrap)
place dough on parchment lined baking sheet, and put both cheeses and top with tomatoes. leave about 1 inch empty on the edges
fold up the edges to enclose the filling

bake at 400 for about 40 minutes. until browned and bubbly

Good Snacking: Refrigerator Pickles

Way, way back in the winter, I met my friend Miel for lunch. She’s a delightfully wacky displaced New Yorker. And she is always doing interesting things. And this time she gave me a jar filled with her home-made refrigerator pickles.

I’d never had home-made pickles before. These are pretty low salt and low sugar. They have plenty of garlic and dill flavor, especially if they sit longer than the minimum. They take about 5 minutes to make, and need at least 4 days in the refrigerator before they’re ready to eat. Once my kids had some, they were begging me to make my own so that they could have a constant supply of pickles in the fridge.
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sea salt
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older pickles in the front, new pickles in the back.

You don’t even need official ‘canning’ jars for this. You could easily use jars from tomato sauce or even peanut butter. Don’t let a small jar collection stand in your way. I don’t see why you couldn’t do this in rubbermaid containers.

Refrigerator Pickles
Makes about 3 quarts of pickles

pickling cucumbers (kirby) enough to fill 3 quart size jars. Quartered into spears
2 cloves garlic peeled and halved for each jar (or more, if you want a more pronounced garlic flavor)
2 dill sprigs or 2 teaspoons dill seed for each jar

3 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups vinegar
1 Tablespoon sea salt*
1 Tablespoon sugar

place dill and garlic in each jar, and then pack with your cucumber spears
Boil vinegar, salt and sugar together and then add the water (I use a big measuring cup, and fill it with water and lots of ice to 3 1/2 cups, it cools the brine down almost imeediately
Pour the cool brine into the jars, cover and put into the refrigerator
wait 4 days until they’re ready
the garlic flavor will intensify the longer the pickles sit.

*I can’t say for sure what kind of sea salt I’m using. I took a baggie of it from my inlaws vacation kitchen. Who needs a 5 lb container of sea salt? Its a coarse rock variety. definitely not flaky. Save the flaky stuff for something else, don’t use it here!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Savarin

This week’s assignment was to make a Savarin. A cake I’d never heard of. Brillat-Savarin famously said: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” He also has a cheese named after him. Outside of that I had very little information, or the proper cake pan to make this cake in. I almost rigged up a round pan with an empty can of tomatoes in the center. But, luckily, my parents were coming for a visit and my mom agreed to bring a bunt pan for me to borrow. A traditional Savarin is baked in a smooth ring mold (like a shallow, metal, jello mold) mine would not be so traditional. But, it was fine, and I didn’t have to buy a piece of kitchen equipment that wasn’t going to be used again.
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The batter for this cake is a runny yeast batter. Just water, yeast, a drop of sugar, an egg, butter, and flour….and not a lot. Only 3/4 of a cup. I had serious doubts that it would fill the bottom of the pan. It did–barely. It rose once in the bowl, and then again in the bundt pan.

I left the house to get Dorothy from school and my mom put it in the oven while I was out. It sank.
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It was very concave. Not a whole lot of cake there. But we pressed on. Luckily it came out of the pan without any problem, and when we were ready to eat it, I soaked it with a vanilla simple syrup and a tiny bit of dark rum.
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I skipped the whipped cream completely. David is lactose intolerant, and it was nice to have a practically fat free dessert. I filled the center with macerated strawberries, raspberries, and some chunked up mango.
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The dessert got gobbled up, it was plain, but tasty. The fruit may have stolen the show.
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For more tasty examples, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie page!

If you want to make a Savarin yourself, here is the recipe:

Savarin

6 Tablespoons lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry east
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

soaking syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
dark rum
fruit
whipped cream

pour the warm water into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and sugar, stir and allow the yeast to ‘bloom’

add the egg and stir briefly, add the flour and mix well, for about 8 minutes (I did this by hand) and then add the butter. Mix until the butter is encorporated

cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes. it will rise, but not double.

Butter your pan (I used a bundt pan) and pour the batter in. Let rise for about 30 minutes

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

remove from pan and let cool.

make syrup: combine water and sugar and let boil until sugar is dissolved

when you are ready to serve, soak the savarin completely with the syrup (you’ll have leftover syrup. save for iced coffee!) and sprinkle with a small amount of rum if desired.

Serve with macerated fruit and whipped cream!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Savory Brioche Pockets

This weeks assignment was to make ‘savory brioche pockets’. Brioche pockets filled with carmelized onions, mashed potatoes, goat cheese, chives and asparagus tips.
I made the brioche on Thursday, let it rise overnight and made the ‘pockets’ on Friday and enjoyed one for lunch with a big salad on Friday.
The brioche is not difficult, I made it once before when we made the pecan sticky buns. I liked the brioche much better in this application than I did in the sticky buns. That was just TOO sweet and TOO buttery!

Make the sponge
let it rise
make the dough–incorporating all that butter never seems like its going to work
knead it forever
let it rise
deflate
Rest in fridge for at least 8 hours. Mine got at least 20 hours

I decided to make 4 pockets and turn the balance of the dough into loaves of brioche

The recipe suggests cutting circles out of the dough and forming them into circular pockets. I’m more familiar with making borekas, which are an empanada style pocket, and its all one piece. I went with what I knew
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I cut off a piece of dough, rolled it out into a round (okay, they usually look like amoebas.) On one half of my amoeba, I layered onions, the potato/goat cheese/chive mixture, and two lightly cooked asparagus tips. Then, I folded the empty half over and sealed it up and put it on a sheet to rise. I made 4 in total and put three of them directly into the freezer for future good eating (tomorrow, perhaps, or maybe for dinner tonight)
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When it had risen long enough, I brushed it with some egg wash and sprinkled on some poppy seeds and coarse salt. Into the oven it went. Out came deliciousness
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I didn’t forget about the other 2/3 of the dough! I divided it into 12-roughly equal sized blobs and put 6 into each baking tin. I put both tins in my ‘proofing box’ (the microwave with the door cracked open so the light stays on)and popped them in the oven when I ran out of time. What came out were some of the most amazing bread I’ve ever baked. Really–more like cake than bread. One of those loaves went into the freezer too.
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It was insanely delicious with butter. Insane!
You’ll be able to see other people’s work at the LYL (leave your link) post at Tuesdays With Dorie. Carrie at Loaves and Stitches is our host for the week, and you’ll be able to find the recipe at her blog.

And you should totally make this. It was a really satisfying-and fancy-lunch. It wasn’t difficult. If you’re not into the ‘pockets’ just make the brioche. It’s really good too!

Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies. Oh Yes. I Went There

So, back in April, David and Dorothy both participated in St. Anthony’s Triathalon. Its a huge event that pretty much shuts down most of our city for a few days. Dorothy ran the Meek and Mighty (for kids 7 and up) and David ran the full Olympic distance as he has for the last 10 years or so. In the bags that everyone got at registration we found these:
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Two of them. One in each bag. I was actually mad about it. I had successfully kept this stuff out of my kitchen until late April. And now there were two jars to contend with! Have you tried it yet? Dude….it would be trouble to keep it around. I’d be sneaking spoonfuls at every chance I got.
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But at least I read a few blogs, and some of these people have experimented with Biscoff Spread so that I didn’t have to do the work. Two Peas and Their Pod is a blog that I found recently and discovered that they have a recipe for Oatmeal/Biscoff cookies. Today was the day. I made two batches. It wasn’t dificult, I had all the ingredients in the house. I modified the recipe slightly by increasing the oatmeal and using white whole wheat flour instead of regular all purpose flour. I’ve been doing that in a lot of my baking lately. Sneaking in the healthier stuff. Right. Because this is a totally healthy recipe. Riiiiiight.
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Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
makes 45-50 cookies. depending on how much batter you eat

2 1/4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup biscoff spread
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix oatmeal, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside
Cream together the butter, biscoff spread and sugars
Add egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly
stir in flour and oatmeal mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

preheat oven to 350
drop spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes
let cool on pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

try not to eat them all at once.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

I made this on a big baking and food day. I had been to my favorite blueberry farm to pick berries–I got 8 lbs. when I got home, I immediately threw together the dough for a batch of challah and then got to work on this cake.

It looked for baby cake pans, but couldn’t find any, so I decided to make it in my largest spring form pan–which is almost 11 inches across. And it worked out perfectly.

I made the caramel poured it into the bottom of the pan and then carefully laid the sliced rhubarb in concentric circles inside the pan. I set it aside and got to work on the cake.

The recipe makes sure tell the baker to cream the butter and sugar together for much longer than I normally would. Clearly, the next time I cream butter and sugar together, I’ll be doing it for much longer. I added the eggs and vanilla, and then I folded in the flour and sour cream. By the way, I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour in this recipe–you could NOT tell, but it did make me feel a little less guilty when I had a slice for breakfast.

I carefully put it in the pan over the caramel and rhubarb, and into the oven it went. Not difficult at all. About 50 minutes later, it came out of the oven and I upended it on a rack over a plate and then put it on my favorite cake plate.

i’ve never eaten anything with rhubarb before, and I’m sorry that it took 38 years for me to get my first taste. It was delicious. The cake was perfect, and the rhubarb gave a slightly tart flavor to the topping.
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I know the next picture is blurry, but I had to put it in the post. When Dorothy heard that this was an ‘upside down’ cake, she turned it over, so the caramel was on the plate and only ate the cake. Foolish child–she left the best part behind! Not to worry, David and I were happy to finish it for her
UntitledThis recipe is hosted by When in Doubt, Leave it at 350, and also be sure to check out the Leave Your Link post at Tuesdays With Dorie. I know there will be lots of delicious examples from my fellow bakers.