The Bread is in the Baking

Rikki Wynn - Baker and actor, currently living in Portland, OR.

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This was my birthday cake this year.
Yes. I made my own birthday cake. I know you’re supposed to let other people take care of this kind of stuff, but it was such an interesting cake! I couldn’t let someone else make it before I got a chance!
I got this very interesting recipe from my mom. She emailed it to me saying:


This recipe sounded interesting because the person who sent in the recipe said the combo of the black pepper, chocolate and coffee gives great depth to the flavor. The person at the NY Times said she couldn’t stop eating it.


How could I pass up making this cake?
For my birthday, I met up with some friends at a cider bar near my house and I brought the cake to share. At the end of the night I had a couple slices of cake left over and I offered it to the bartenders. They took a small slice, and one of my friends said he saw them picking at the crumbs left on the napkin.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is a good cake recipe.
It’s a rich and dense cake and (I think) tastes best after it comes to room temperature. However, you’ll be tempted to eat it warm. The whiskey in the cake comes through in waves, sometimes you’ll taste it in a bite, other times you won’t.
Whipped cream would make a lovely addition to the cake, and powdered sugar off sets the pitch black color of the cake nicely.
Chocolate Whiskey Cake
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, more for pan
85 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee (I used stumptown coffee)
1/2 cup whiskey
200 grams granulated sugar
156 grams light brown sugar
240 grams all-purpose flour
8 grams baking soda
3 grams fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for serving
Heat oven to 325°F.

Butter a 10-inch springform pan and dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm coffee, whiskey, 12 tablespoons butter and the remaining 3/4 cup cocoa powder, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted. Whisk in the brown and white sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Tap the spring form pan lightly on the table to release any air bubbles. Transfer the cake to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 50 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

To get the powdered sugar lines, place pieces of paper across the cake in the pattern you want and dust over the paper pattern. Carefully remove the paper from the cake, making sure to not pour any of the excess powder on the paper onto the cake or to smudge the powdered sugar on the cake.

Total Time: About an hour and half.

The lovely picture was taken by my very talented roommate, Rachel King.

This was my birthday cake this year.

Yes. I made my own birthday cake. I know you’re supposed to let other people take care of this kind of stuff, but it was such an interesting cake! I couldn’t let someone else make it before I got a chance!

I got this very interesting recipe from my mom. She emailed it to me saying:

This recipe sounded interesting because the person who sent in the recipe said the combo of the black pepper, chocolate and coffee gives great depth to the flavor. The person at the NY Times said she couldn’t stop eating it.

How could I pass up making this cake?

For my birthday, I met up with some friends at a cider bar near my house and I brought the cake to share. At the end of the night I had a couple slices of cake left over and I offered it to the bartenders. They took a small slice, and one of my friends said he saw them picking at the crumbs left on the napkin.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is a good cake recipe.

It’s a rich and dense cake and (I think) tastes best after it comes to room temperature. However, you’ll be tempted to eat it warm. The whiskey in the cake comes through in waves, sometimes you’ll taste it in a bite, other times you won’t.

Whipped cream would make a lovely addition to the cake, and powdered sugar off sets the pitch black color of the cake nicely.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, more for pan

85 grams unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee (I used stumptown coffee)

1/2 cup whiskey

200 grams granulated sugar

156 grams light brown sugar

240 grams all-purpose flour

8 grams baking soda

3 grams fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Powdered sugar, for serving

Heat oven to 325°F.
Butter a 10-inch springform pan and dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm coffee, whiskey, 12 tablespoons butter and the remaining 3/4 cup cocoa powder, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted. Whisk in the brown and white sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into prepared pan. Tap the spring form pan lightly on the table to release any air bubbles. Transfer the cake to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 50 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
To get the powdered sugar lines, place pieces of paper across the cake in the pattern you want and dust over the paper pattern. Carefully remove the paper from the cake, making sure to not pour any of the excess powder on the paper onto the cake or to smudge the powdered sugar on the cake.
Total Time: About an hour and half.
The lovely picture was taken by my very talented roommate, Rachel King.
December 23, 2012 @ 3:48 AM 12 notes

I never thought you could make oatmeal cookies that melt in your mouth.
I have been proven wrong.
I made these cookies because I wanted something little and sweet to eat, but my house is out of all purpose flour (we’ve got plenty of other flours, of course). So I was looking for a dessert recipe that only called for whole wheat flour. Using only whole wheat flour in desserts can be a little… healthy tasting.
My favorite “healthy” food blog is 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are reliable and tasty and easy to tweak. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe so it doesn’t weigh the cookies down and the flour adds a nice depth of flavor to the cookies.
I also think it would be easy to substitute the flour for something else, if you’re looking for a nice gluten free cookie recipe. For this recipe, I added vanilla extract and left out the fennel seeds. In the original recipe, it says that the cookies do not last much longer than right after they come out of the oven, however I did not find this to be the case you just put them in an airtight container.
Lacy Oatmeal Cookies
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats and vanilla. Stir until well coated.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.
Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Eat immediately or keep in an airtight container for a week.
Total Time: About 20 minutes
Picture taken by the lovely and amazing Rachel King

I never thought you could make oatmeal cookies that melt in your mouth.

I have been proven wrong.

I made these cookies because I wanted something little and sweet to eat, but my house is out of all purpose flour (we’ve got plenty of other flours, of course). So I was looking for a dessert recipe that only called for whole wheat flour. Using only whole wheat flour in desserts can be a little… healthy tasting.

My favorite “healthy” food blog is 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are reliable and tasty and easy to tweak. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe so it doesn’t weigh the cookies down and the flour adds a nice depth of flavor to the cookies.

I also think it would be easy to substitute the flour for something else, if you’re looking for a nice gluten free cookie recipe. For this recipe, I added vanilla extract and left out the fennel seeds. In the original recipe, it says that the cookies do not last much longer than right after they come out of the oven, however I did not find this to be the case you just put them in an airtight container.

Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)

1 egg, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats and vanilla. Stir until well coated.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.

Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Eat immediately or keep in an airtight container for a week.

Total Time: About 20 minutes

Picture taken by the lovely and amazing Rachel King

December 20, 2012 @ 10:56 PM 4 notes

When it gets cold like this, you need a soup that warms you to your toes. 
I came down with a nasty cold the night before last so I decided to make some nice cold weather soup.
This was probably not the smartest idea, since I was so sick, I couldn’t taste the soup to season it. I should have just cracked open a can of soup (that I keep around for when I’m sick).
When I had some last night it did what it was supposed to do. Warm me up! When I woke up this morning, (miracle of miracles!) I could taste again! I had some of the soup this afternoon for lunch and it was very good and full of flavor. So I guess my intuitive guessing paid off.
My mom gave me these french onion soup bowls. I think she found them at a garage sale. They are very cute and cool off quickly so you don’t have to worry about burning your hands while you eat your oh so tasty soup.
I decided to make a vegetarian version of this recipe so I could share it with my housemates. Vegetable broth isn’t a very hearty broth, so I added mushrooms to the soup to deepen the flavor.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
2 ounce butter (1/2 stick) 
3 large onions, sliced
2 dried thyme
1 tbsp flour 
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup of red wine (I used Merlot)
5 small crimini mushrooms sliced
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 baguette sliced
Thinly sliced Gruyere cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat, sprinkle the onions with flour and cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the thyme, wine and mushrooms and bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the wine starts to reduce. Add the vegetable broth, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season soup to taste, with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler in the oven. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet. 
Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange 2-3 baguette slices on top of each bowl and sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere. Broil until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Total Time: About an hour and half View Larger

When it gets cold like this, you need a soup that warms you to your toes.

I came down with a nasty cold the night before last so I decided to make some nice cold weather soup.

This was probably not the smartest idea, since I was so sick, I couldn’t taste the soup to season it. I should have just cracked open a can of soup (that I keep around for when I’m sick).

When I had some last night it did what it was supposed to do. Warm me up! When I woke up this morning, (miracle of miracles!) I could taste again! I had some of the soup this afternoon for lunch and it was very good and full of flavor. So I guess my intuitive guessing paid off.

My mom gave me these french onion soup bowls. I think she found them at a garage sale. They are very cute and cool off quickly so you don’t have to worry about burning your hands while you eat your oh so tasty soup.

I decided to make a vegetarian version of this recipe so I could share it with my housemates. Vegetable broth isn’t a very hearty broth, so I added mushrooms to the soup to deepen the flavor.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

2 ounce butter (1/2 stick)
3 large onions, sliced
2 dried thyme
1 tbsp flour
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup of red wine (I used Merlot)
5 small crimini mushrooms sliced
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 baguette sliced
Thinly sliced Gruyere cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat, sprinkle the onions with flour and cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the thyme, wine and mushrooms and bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the wine starts to reduce. Add the vegetable broth, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season soup to taste, with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler in the oven. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet. 
Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange 2-3 baguette slices on top of each bowl and sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere. Broil until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Total Time: About an hour and half
November 28, 2012 @ 5:55 PM 3 notes

Sometimes all you want is just a tiny bite of something sweet.
I made these little guys for Thanksgiving.
I had a lovely friend-Thanksgiving this year. My first one! It made me feel all weirdly independent and adult-y! Which makes me think I have some growing up to do…We did our dinner potluck style, everyone was in charge of making one or two items for the dinner and we all chipped in for the turkey.
I decided to make the Thanksgiving pies: An apple pie  and a pumpkin pie. However, two large pies (with everything else we were having) seemed like a bit much for just 7 people. I tried to find a recipe for mini pumpkin pies online, but wasn’t really satisfied with what I found, so I ended up coming up with a recipe myself. They keep really well in the fridge, which is also nice.
I decided to use a cream cheese crust recipe (it’s actually a tweaked cream cheese dough recipe for the rugelach) because cream cheese dough is denser than regular pie dough and therefore more resilient when you’re constantly shaping it. The pumpkin pie filling is based on the pumpkin pie filling found on Smitten Kitchen, with some changes.
Two Bite Pumpkin Pies
(makes 48 mini pies)
Dough
2 cups flour
8 ounces cream cheese
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Filling
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 ounces pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together in medium bowl and then stir in the pumpkin puree till the mixture is smooth.
Grease a mini cupcake tin. Cut the dough into 48 small cubes. Roll the cubes into balls and place each ball in a muffin well. Using a lightly floured tart tamper (or the end of a rolling pin) push each ball into the wells of the muffin tin. The dough should form to the muffin tin well. Move the tart tamper in a circular motion to keep the sides of the tarts even. Re-dust the tamper/rolling pin between each well.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F and place the muffin tin in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. After the dough has chilled, place one tablespoon of filling into each well. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crusts of the pies are a nice light brown. Let the mini pies rest in the muffin pan for at least 10 minutes before popping them out, either by lightly tapping the pan upside down on the counter or pushing lightly on one side each pie with your finger.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 2 hours View Larger

Sometimes all you want is just a tiny bite of something sweet.

I made these little guys for Thanksgiving.

I had a lovely friend-Thanksgiving this year. My first one! It made me feel all weirdly independent and adult-y! Which makes me think I have some growing up to do…We did our dinner potluck style, everyone was in charge of making one or two items for the dinner and we all chipped in for the turkey.

I decided to make the Thanksgiving pies: An apple pie  and a pumpkin pie. However, two large pies (with everything else we were having) seemed like a bit much for just 7 people. I tried to find a recipe for mini pumpkin pies online, but wasn’t really satisfied with what I found, so I ended up coming up with a recipe myself. They keep really well in the fridge, which is also nice.

I decided to use a cream cheese crust recipe (it’s actually a tweaked cream cheese dough recipe for the rugelach) because cream cheese dough is denser than regular pie dough and therefore more resilient when you’re constantly shaping it. The pumpkin pie filling is based on the pumpkin pie filling found on Smitten Kitchen, with some changes.

Two Bite Pumpkin Pies

(makes 48 mini pies)

Dough

2 cups flour

8 ounces cream cheese

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

15 ounces pumpkin puree

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together in medium bowl and then stir in the pumpkin puree till the mixture is smooth.

Grease a mini cupcake tin. Cut the dough into 48 small cubes. Roll the cubes into balls and place each ball in a muffin well. Using a lightly floured tart tamper (or the end of a rolling pin) push each ball into the wells of the muffin tin. The dough should form to the muffin tin well. Move the tart tamper in a circular motion to keep the sides of the tarts even. Re-dust the tamper/rolling pin between each well.

Preheat the oven to 400 °F and place the muffin tin in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. After the dough has chilled, place one tablespoon of filling into each well. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crusts of the pies are a nice light brown. Let the mini pies rest in the muffin pan for at least 10 minutes before popping them out, either by lightly tapping the pan upside down on the counter or pushing lightly on one side each pie with your finger.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 2 hours

November 26, 2012 @ 3:12 PM 1 note

I can’t resist antique baking pans.
Usually baking pans are fairly inexpensive at antique shops. They’re usually made out of very thin tin, so, I guess, they aren’t really worth much. They are also a pain to clean, but how they look tends to make up for it.
I found these little jello tins at an antique shop. Now, I don’t like jello (the texture and the fake colors and the way it just slides down your throat…blech), but I love personal sized food. I knew they’d be the perfect size for some mini cakes.
Aren’t they so cute?
These little guys came out nice and spongy and just a bit moist. Usually at least one of my little cakes doesn’t pop out of the mold correctly, but they all popped out after the tins were tapped a couple times. They came out so perfect!
I left out the ginger in this recipe (although I’m sure it would add a nice little bite to them), and I add the powdered sugar for a bit of decoration.
Pumpkin and spice Cakelets
(Makes 5 very mini cakes plus 6 small sized bundt cakes)
1 cup pumpkin puree (Recipe) 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup water 1 1/2 cups white sugar 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Cover the tins with oil and then lightly dust them with flour.
In a large bowl, Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture until just blended.  Pour into the molds about 2/3 full.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Total time: About 30 minutes
Pictures taken by the amazing Rachel King! View Larger

I can’t resist antique baking pans.

Usually baking pans are fairly inexpensive at antique shops. They’re usually made out of very thin tin, so, I guess, they aren’t really worth much. They are also a pain to clean, but how they look tends to make up for it.

I found these little jello tins at an antique shop. Now, I don’t like jello (the texture and the fake colors and the way it just slides down your throat…blech), but I love personal sized food. I knew they’d be the perfect size for some mini cakes.

Aren’t they so cute?

These little guys came out nice and spongy and just a bit moist. Usually at least one of my little cakes doesn’t pop out of the mold correctly, but they all popped out after the tins were tapped a couple times. They came out so perfect!

I left out the ginger in this recipe (although I’m sure it would add a nice little bite to them), and I add the powdered sugar for a bit of decoration.

Pumpkin and spice Cakelets

(Makes 5 very mini cakes plus 6 small sized bundt cakes)

1 cup pumpkin puree (Recipe)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Cover the tins with oil and then lightly dust them with flour.

In a large bowl, Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture until just blended.  Pour into the molds about 2/3 full.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Total time: About 30 minutes

Pictures taken by the amazing Rachel King!

November 13, 2012 @ 12:13 AM 3 notes

Since it’s fall, I also wanted to talk about baking bread in the cold.
Baking in the summer/spring is really easy. It’s nice and warm outside, so your bread rises quickly left out on the counter. However, in the winter, bread won’t always rise so well because your house isn’t as warm. A nice way to help your bread along is to turn your oven on it’s lowest possible setting for about 5-10 minutes (till the oven is about 70-85°F. Then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven. This is also a quick way to get dough that you’ve let sit overnight in the fridge back to room temp.
Now to talk about this recipe:
These are a nice fall twist on your basic dinner rolls. The rolls only have a hint of pumpkin. They taste great right out of the oven or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese. I might add a little bit of whole wheat flour next time I make them to give them more of a bite.
I didn’t change any ingredients from the original recipe. I don’t wait for my yeast to froth, I know it’s alive, so I just added all the wet ingredients together at once.
Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Yields 12 buns
1/2 cup (118 ml) barely warm milk 2 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 large egg 1 cup (245 grams) pumpkin puree (recipe here!)2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups bread flour
In a large bowl Stir the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter, spices, salt and yeast. Gradually add bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball.
Knead the dough for ten minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve hot.
Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours View Larger

Since it’s fall, I also wanted to talk about baking bread in the cold.

Baking in the summer/spring is really easy. It’s nice and warm outside, so your bread rises quickly left out on the counter. However, in the winter, bread won’t always rise so well because your house isn’t as warm. A nice way to help your bread along is to turn your oven on it’s lowest possible setting for about 5-10 minutes (till the oven is about 70-85°F. Then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven. This is also a quick way to get dough that you’ve let sit overnight in the fridge back to room temp.

Now to talk about this recipe:

These are a nice fall twist on your basic dinner rolls. The rolls only have a hint of pumpkin. They taste great right out of the oven or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese. I might add a little bit of whole wheat flour next time I make them to give them more of a bite.

I didn’t change any ingredients from the original recipe. I don’t wait for my yeast to froth, I know it’s alive, so I just added all the wet ingredients together at once.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Yields 12 buns

1/2 cup (118 ml) barely warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 cup (245 grams) pumpkin puree (recipe here!)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour

In a large bowl Stir the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter, spices, salt and yeast. Gradually add bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball.

Knead the dough for ten minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve hot.

Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours

October 31, 2012 @ 4:16 PM 5 notes

I’ve overlooked squash in the past, but I’ve decided to make up for lost time.
Pumpkins.
Man, PUMPKINS.
Some awesome things about pumpkins:
-The word pumpkin sounds really funny. Seriously, say it over and over again and try not to giggle just a little.
-You can hollow them out and carve them into funny faces (or just shapes)
- There are ten billion recipes you can make with pumpkins. Okay, maybe not ten billion, but close.
Pumpkin curry is really tasty (sorry, no recipe for that today), pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread… they are just amazing. Many pumpkin breads and things call for pumpkin puree. Before you go out and buy a can of it at your local grocery store, STOP.
Go buy some pumpkins instead!
Making your own pumpkin puree is simple and tastes much better than that silly canned stuff. Also, it’s cheaper and you get pumpkin seeds to munch on too!
I got my recipe from a couple different sources, they’re all about the same, but if you’re looking for a fun site for more recipes (including this one), check out Chasing Delicious. He’s got some really great tips and tricks on his site, along with recipes.
Pumpkin Puree
The amount of pumpkin puree you get will depend on the size of your pumpkin(s). I used 3 pumpkins and got a little over 2 quarts of puree.
Preheat your oven to 375°F
You will need 1 or more pumpkins. Knock off the stems by tapping the stem against the corner of the table. The stems should pop right off. Cut in quarters and place the pumpkin slices on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. Bake the pumpkins for about an hour, or until soft.
Let the pumpkin(s) cool and peel the skin off the flesh of the pumpkin. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a food processor or with a hand blender, add water until you get your desired consistency. I used about 1/2 cup of water per pumpkin.
Now you can can it, or put it in a container in your fridge or freezer.
Total time: about an hour and half
Also, I wanted to say hello to all my new followers! It’s so exciting! If you have any questions about any of the recipes please send me a question. View Larger

I’ve overlooked squash in the past, but I’ve decided to make up for lost time.

Pumpkins.

Man, PUMPKINS.

Some awesome things about pumpkins:

-The word pumpkin sounds really funny. Seriously, say it over and over again and try not to giggle just a little.

-You can hollow them out and carve them into funny faces (or just shapes)

- There are ten billion recipes you can make with pumpkins. Okay, maybe not ten billion, but close.

Pumpkin curry is really tasty (sorry, no recipe for that today), pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread… they are just amazing. Many pumpkin breads and things call for pumpkin puree. Before you go out and buy a can of it at your local grocery store, STOP.

Go buy some pumpkins instead!

Making your own pumpkin puree is simple and tastes much better than that silly canned stuff. Also, it’s cheaper and you get pumpkin seeds to munch on too!

I got my recipe from a couple different sources, they’re all about the same, but if you’re looking for a fun site for more recipes (including this one), check out Chasing Delicious. He’s got some really great tips and tricks on his site, along with recipes.

Pumpkin Puree

The amount of pumpkin puree you get will depend on the size of your pumpkin(s). I used 3 pumpkins and got a little over 2 quarts of puree.

Preheat your oven to 375°F

You will need 1 or more pumpkins. Knock off the stems by tapping the stem against the corner of the table. The stems should pop right off. Cut in quarters and place the pumpkin slices on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. Bake the pumpkins for about an hour, or until soft.

Let the pumpkin(s) cool and peel the skin off the flesh of the pumpkin. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a food processor or with a hand blender, add water until you get your desired consistency. I used about 1/2 cup of water per pumpkin.

Now you can can it, or put it in a container in your fridge or freezer.

Total time: about an hour and half

Also, I wanted to say hello to all my new followers! It’s so exciting! If you have any questions about any of the recipes please send me a question.

October 29, 2012 @ 10:01 PM 5 notes

Apple butter is one of my favorite spreads.
It’s actually one of my favorite foods. It’s thick and creamy and tastes like fall.
I’ve been wanting to make apple butter for a really long time now, but it’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t call for a slow cooker or a food mill. Seeing as I don’t have either, I’d been putting it off. Finally I came to the conclusion that I would just have to come up with my own recipe because I couldn’t let these things hold me back.
I looked at a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one and realized that apple butter is just apple sauce that’s been cooked longer, so there is less liquid in it.
Words of warning, because I am not using a slow cooker you have to hang out in your kitchen the entire time, which is 5 hours. So I hope you have a good book to read while you wait! Or you could bake something else too! That’s what I did.
Apple Butter
(Makes about 5 pints)
4 pounds of apples, cored and chopped up (I left the skins on too)
1 cup of honey
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs vanilla
1 tsp of salt
Juice from one small lemon
Put everything in a pot and place on the stove on medium heat. Keep the pot covered with lid and stir the apples occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of your pot. Once the apple pieces have begun to fall apart, uncover the pot and let it continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Keep the heat below medium and make sure the apple butter does not boil, so it’s less likely to burn. Once the mixture begins to look smooth, take off the heat and move a hand blender through the pot so that the whole mixture is smooth. Place the pot back on the stove and continue to cook until the apple butter is thick and your spoon leaves “waves” as it moves through it.
At this point you can can it, or just put it in jars in your fridge. I would tell you how to can it… but my canning was pretty unsuccessful. Only one of my jars sealed. So if you would like to can your apple butter check out this site. They look pretty knowledgeable about canning.
Or ask your grandmother?
Total Time: About 4 hours View Larger

Apple butter is one of my favorite spreads.

It’s actually one of my favorite foods. It’s thick and creamy and tastes like fall.

I’ve been wanting to make apple butter for a really long time now, but it’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t call for a slow cooker or a food mill. Seeing as I don’t have either, I’d been putting it off. Finally I came to the conclusion that I would just have to come up with my own recipe because I couldn’t let these things hold me back.

I looked at a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one and realized that apple butter is just apple sauce that’s been cooked longer, so there is less liquid in it.

Words of warning, because I am not using a slow cooker you have to hang out in your kitchen the entire time, which is 5 hours. So I hope you have a good book to read while you wait! Or you could bake something else too! That’s what I did.

Apple Butter

(Makes about 5 pints)

4 pounds of apples, cored and chopped up (I left the skins on too)

1 cup of honey

2 cups of water

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs vanilla

1 tsp of salt

Juice from one small lemon

Put everything in a pot and place on the stove on medium heat. Keep the pot covered with lid and stir the apples occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of your pot. Once the apple pieces have begun to fall apart, uncover the pot and let it continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Keep the heat below medium and make sure the apple butter does not boil, so it’s less likely to burn. Once the mixture begins to look smooth, take off the heat and move a hand blender through the pot so that the whole mixture is smooth. Place the pot back on the stove and continue to cook until the apple butter is thick and your spoon leaves “waves” as it moves through it.

At this point you can can it, or just put it in jars in your fridge. I would tell you how to can it… but my canning was pretty unsuccessful. Only one of my jars sealed. So if you would like to can your apple butter check out this site. They look pretty knowledgeable about canning.

Or ask your grandmother?

Total Time: About 4 hours

October 18, 2012 @ 8:34 PM 10 notes

Apples are really an underrated fruit.
I mean, people take apples for granted.
But damn.
A good apple?
You just can’t beat it.
And there’s so much you can do with apple that’s just so great.
I have the good fortune of living with someone who has an apple connection. Their parents have a bunch of apple trees in their backyard so we got a couple boxes of apples for free!
I decided to make an apple galette with a non-traditional spin. I didn’t use any recipes online (although, I’m sure this was inspired by many recipes I’ve flipped through). I was going to make some mini pies, but galette’s are just so fun (and so much easier)!
A galette is a rustic free-form pie. They are very simple and really wonderful if you don’t have a pie tin. They also look really sweet and they sound all fancy so everyone thinks you’ve put more work into them.
You will probably have some filling left over, eat it while you wait for the pies to bake!
Cracked Pepper and Cheddar Apple Galette (Makes 1 large galette or 6 small)
Crust
1 1/4 cup white pastry flour
1 tbs sugar
1 stick of cold butter (8 tbs)
About 1/4 cup ice water
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cut up your butter in small pieces and place them in the bowl with your dry ingredients. If there is space in your freezer, stick the bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. The colder your ingredients are the better your crust will be.
Take the bowl out of the freezer and incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until most of the pieces of butter are the size of a pebble. Leave some larger chunks of butter as well, but not too many. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture until a nice soft ball of dough forms. If you’ve made the dough too wet, add more flour. Still too dry? Add more water.
Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least one hour. Overnight is better.
Filling
4 large apples or 5-6 small ones, cored and then sliced thin with a mandolin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
Milk or a whisked egg for finishing
Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl till the apples are all evenly coated and the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
To assemble the galette(s), roll out the dough* on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Rotate and flip the dough as you go to make sure it stays round. Your dough still isn’t round? It’s rustic! Who cares?!
Place the round of dough on a pan covered in parchment paper. To fill the galette, carefully arrange the apple slices in a circle starting from the center moving towards the edges of the dough. Keep the apples at least 4 inches (1-2 1/2 inches for a small galette) from the edge of the dough, once the circle of apples has been created, pile more apples in the circle formation upwards till the center is about 2 inches tall. Fold the excess dough up and over the apple slices, pinching the dough together so the only opening is in the very center of the galette.
Place the galette(s) in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Brush the galette all over with the egg or milk.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes (for the large galette, 20 minutes for the small) or until golden brown.
Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
*if you are making small galettes use 2 1/2 ounces of dough for each galette
Total Time: About 2 hours View Larger

Apples are really an underrated fruit.

I mean, people take apples for granted.

But damn.

A good apple?

You just can’t beat it.

And there’s so much you can do with apple that’s just so great.

I have the good fortune of living with someone who has an apple connection. Their parents have a bunch of apple trees in their backyard so we got a couple boxes of apples for free!

I decided to make an apple galette with a non-traditional spin. I didn’t use any recipes online (although, I’m sure this was inspired by many recipes I’ve flipped through). I was going to make some mini pies, but galette’s are just so fun (and so much easier)!

A galette is a rustic free-form pie. They are very simple and really wonderful if you don’t have a pie tin. They also look really sweet and they sound all fancy so everyone thinks you’ve put more work into them.

You will probably have some filling left over, eat it while you wait for the pies to bake!

Cracked Pepper and Cheddar Apple Galette
(Makes 1 large galette or 6 small)

Crust

1 1/4 cup white pastry flour

1 tbs sugar

1 stick of cold butter (8 tbs)

About 1/4 cup ice water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cut up your butter in small pieces and place them in the bowl with your dry ingredients. If there is space in your freezer, stick the bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. The colder your ingredients are the better your crust will be.

Take the bowl out of the freezer and incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until most of the pieces of butter are the size of a pebble. Leave some larger chunks of butter as well, but not too many. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture until a nice soft ball of dough forms. If you’ve made the dough too wet, add more flour. Still too dry? Add more water.

Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least one hour. Overnight is better.

Filling

4 large apples or 5-6 small ones, cored and then sliced thin with a mandolin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar

1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

Milk or a whisked egg for finishing

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl till the apples are all evenly coated and the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

To assemble the galette(s), roll out the dough* on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Rotate and flip the dough as you go to make sure it stays round. Your dough still isn’t round? It’s rustic! Who cares?!

Place the round of dough on a pan covered in parchment paper. To fill the galette, carefully arrange the apple slices in a circle starting from the center moving towards the edges of the dough. Keep the apples at least 4 inches (1-2 1/2 inches for a small galette) from the edge of the dough, once the circle of apples has been created, pile more apples in the circle formation upwards till the center is about 2 inches tall. Fold the excess dough up and over the apple slices, pinching the dough together so the only opening is in the very center of the galette.

Place the galette(s) in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Brush the galette all over with the egg or milk.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes (for the large galette, 20 minutes for the small) or until golden brown.

Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*if you are making small galettes use 2 1/2 ounces of dough for each galette

Total Time: About 2 hours

October 16, 2012 @ 2:35 AM 9 notes

One of my friends loves olive bread.
How can you blame him? It’s pretty tasty. When we go grocery shopping together he grabs one of the olive rolls as we are about to get in the check out line, munches on it as we wait and exclaims how awesome olive bread is.
He moved recently, so he doesn’t live near that grocery store anymore which means he hasn’t been getting his olive bread fix. He’s also just started nursing school and he has a lot of homework, so I haven’t seen him much. I texted him earlier this week and gave him grief about not seeing him for the last month. He apologized and said I could come over for dinner that night. I could tell he was really stressed, so before I headed over to his place I made some olive bread dough. He said it helped a lot.
This is a very simple recipe and the dough is nice and light. The addition of whole wheat flour give it a really nice mouth. The next time I make it, I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days so that it gets a bit more of a tang to it.
Feel free to check out the original recipe to see what I changed. I changed some of the proofing times and when ingredients were added. I also made bread rolls rather than loaves.
Also, the butcher blocks at my house are ridiculously stained with blackberries, and it was late at night when I finished the rolls so my attention to cleaning off the counter was a little lacking. I might replace the picture later, but I really wanted to get the recipe up.
Olive and Rosemary Bread Rolls
16 oz white bread flour
6 oz whole wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
6 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
415 ml warm water
2 tbs honey
1 tsp of olive oil for greasing
Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt together. Pour the water/yeast/honey mixture over the flour and mix it in with your hands or with the dough hook on a standard mixer until the dough comes together into a soft ball. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.
Pour 1 tsp olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn the dough in the olive oil until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 14x6 inches.
Cover the rectangle of dough with olive pieces and rosemary. Carefully roll the dough up into a ball and knead the dough a couple of times to work the olives and rosemary evenly into the dough.
Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.
Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into balls the size of your fist (you’ll get about 10 rolls out of this). Carefully shape each roll into a ball or rectangle (whichever shape your prefer), on a wooden cutting board covered in parchment. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 430° F.
Place a large pan upside down inside the oven on the middle rack and another pan at the bottom of the oven, right side up.
Remove the plastic wrap on the rolls and make light slash marks in the center of each roll. Spray the rolls lightly with water and move them and the parchment paper on the upside-down pan.
Right before you close the oven, pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and quickly close the oven.
Check on the rolls after 15 minutes. Make sure there is still water in the bottom tray and spray them with a little bit more water and close the oven again. Check the rolls every 5 minutes after this until the rolls are a golden brown. They should be done after the first 5 minutes, but it may take a little longer.
Remove the rolls from the oven onto a cooling rack.
Let cool for a while (if you can) and eat!
Total Time: About 3 hours (welcome to let dough proof longer at any time in the fridge, just let it come back to room temp before baking) View Larger

One of my friends loves olive bread.

How can you blame him? It’s pretty tasty. When we go grocery shopping together he grabs one of the olive rolls as we are about to get in the check out line, munches on it as we wait and exclaims how awesome olive bread is.

He moved recently, so he doesn’t live near that grocery store anymore which means he hasn’t been getting his olive bread fix. He’s also just started nursing school and he has a lot of homework, so I haven’t seen him much. I texted him earlier this week and gave him grief about not seeing him for the last month. He apologized and said I could come over for dinner that night. I could tell he was really stressed, so before I headed over to his place I made some olive bread dough. He said it helped a lot.

This is a very simple recipe and the dough is nice and light. The addition of whole wheat flour give it a really nice mouth. The next time I make it, I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days so that it gets a bit more of a tang to it.

Feel free to check out the original recipe to see what I changed. I changed some of the proofing times and when ingredients were added. I also made bread rolls rather than loaves.

Also, the butcher blocks at my house are ridiculously stained with blackberries, and it was late at night when I finished the rolls so my attention to cleaning off the counter was a little lacking. I might replace the picture later, but I really wanted to get the recipe up.

Olive and Rosemary Bread Rolls

16 oz white bread flour

6 oz whole wheat flour

2 tsp yeast

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh rosemary

6 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

415 ml warm water

2 tbs honey

1 tsp of olive oil for greasing

Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt together. Pour the water/yeast/honey mixture over the flour and mix it in with your hands or with the dough hook on a standard mixer until the dough comes together into a soft ball. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.

Pour 1 tsp olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn the dough in the olive oil until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 14x6 inches.

Cover the rectangle of dough with olive pieces and rosemary. Carefully roll the dough up into a ball and knead the dough a couple of times to work the olives and rosemary evenly into the dough.

Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.

Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into balls the size of your fist (you’ll get about 10 rolls out of this). Carefully shape each roll into a ball or rectangle (whichever shape your prefer), on a wooden cutting board covered in parchment. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 430° F.

Place a large pan upside down inside the oven on the middle rack and another pan at the bottom of the oven, right side up.

Remove the plastic wrap on the rolls and make light slash marks in the center of each roll. Spray the rolls lightly with water and move them and the parchment paper on the upside-down pan.

Right before you close the oven, pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and quickly close the oven.

Check on the rolls after 15 minutes. Make sure there is still water in the bottom tray and spray them with a little bit more water and close the oven again. Check the rolls every 5 minutes after this until the rolls are a golden brown. They should be done after the first 5 minutes, but it may take a little longer.

Remove the rolls from the oven onto a cooling rack.

Let cool for a while (if you can) and eat!

Total Time: About 3 hours (welcome to let dough proof longer at any time in the fridge, just let it come back to room temp before baking)

October 11, 2012 @ 3:23 PM 55 notes

There is really only one way to eat bagels. And that’s with tomato, lox and cream cheese.
Don’t even try to argue with me because you know it’s true.
I’ve been meaning to try to make bagels for a while. Of course, when the day came for me to make them, I hadn’t read the recipe all the way through before hand and didn’t realized they took two days to make. And I didn’t have two days.
So hopefully you’re reading this and you now know that bagels take two days to make.
See? I even put it in bold so that you’d be sure to see it.
So anyway, I had to wait till I had the time to make them.
Despite the time commitment, the dough is easy to make. I used Peter Reinhart’s recipe off of Smitten Kitchen. I made the bagels in two batches:
The first batch (and the ones in the picture) I baked at the end of the day. The bagels had been proofing in the fridge for 8 hours at this point. The bagels came out light and fluffy and right out of the oven and then became denser after sitting for a while. However the crumb was still too airy.
The second batch I baked two days later. These bagels were much denser and a couple hours later the crust was almost rock hard. They were also not as attractive.
I would prefer a bagel in between these two. Something dense, but still airy. Next time, I think I will let them proof in the fridge for a day and take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before boiling and baking them.
I was also not able to get my hands on high-gluten flour so I used bread flour and added 1/4 cup of wheat gluten to the recipe.
This recipe makes about 16 bagels, but it really depends on how big you make your bagels.
Peter Reinhart’s Bagels
Sponge 1 teaspoon instant yeast 4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
Dough 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour 2 3/4 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons brown sugar
To Finish 1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, cheese, really whatever you like on your bagels.
Day one: To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.
Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test*. If the dough seems to dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
*The windowpane test is when you take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough should not snap/rip and instead should stretch so that you can see light through it.
Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls.
Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter (half of this for a mini-bagel). The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)
Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans (Deb note: I got away with 1-inch space for the minis). Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the temperature and the stiffness of the dough.
The next day, preheat the oven to 500° F with the racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda.
Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minutes flip them over rand boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side.
While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination.
When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.
Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
Total Time: About 1 Day and 4 hours View Larger

There is really only one way to eat bagels. And that’s with tomato, lox and cream cheese.

Don’t even try to argue with me because you know it’s true.

I’ve been meaning to try to make bagels for a while. Of course, when the day came for me to make them, I hadn’t read the recipe all the way through before hand and didn’t realized they took two days to make. And I didn’t have two days.

So hopefully you’re reading this and you now know that bagels take two days to make.

See? I even put it in bold so that you’d be sure to see it.

So anyway, I had to wait till I had the time to make them.

Despite the time commitment, the dough is easy to make. I used Peter Reinhart’s recipe off of Smitten Kitchen. I made the bagels in two batches:

The first batch (and the ones in the picture) I baked at the end of the day. The bagels had been proofing in the fridge for 8 hours at this point. The bagels came out light and fluffy and right out of the oven and then became denser after sitting for a while. However the crumb was still too airy.

The second batch I baked two days later. These bagels were much denser and a couple hours later the crust was almost rock hard. They were also not as attractive.

I would prefer a bagel in between these two. Something dense, but still airy. Next time, I think I will let them proof in the fridge for a day and take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before boiling and baking them.

I was also not able to get my hands on high-gluten flour so I used bread flour and added 1/4 cup of wheat gluten to the recipe.

This recipe makes about 16 bagels, but it really depends on how big you make your bagels.

Peter Reinhart’s Bagels

Sponge
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature

Dough
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar

To Finish
1 tablespoon baking soda

Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting

Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, cheese, really whatever you like on your bagels.

Day one: To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.

Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test*. If the dough seems to dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

*The windowpane test is when you take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough should not snap/rip and instead should stretch so that you can see light through it.

Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls.

Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter (half of this for a mini-bagel). The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)

Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans (Deb note: I got away with 1-inch space for the minis). Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

The next day, preheat the oven to 500° F with the racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda.

Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minutes flip them over rand boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side.

While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination.

When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Total Time: About 1 Day and 4 hours

October 11, 2012 @ 2:31 PM 5 notes

I’ve been on a biscuit craze the last couple months.
Yes, months.
They are just so… good. Especially with an egg. Mmmmm….
I love to invite friends over for breakfast and make biscuit sandwiches with the fresh eggs from my chickens, spinach and salsa (because salsa should be put on everything).
I’m claiming this recipe. I don’t understand all these recipes that say “makes 8 biscuits” when they clearly don’t. I’ve taken a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe, doubled it, and switched out the buttermilk for yogurt.This recipe really makes 10 biscuits.
I love substituting yogurt for buttermilk or cream for two very good reasons:
1. I never have cream or buttermilk in the house. Who does?
2. Yogurt is better for you.
Also, I’ve used a completely different (and better) biscuit forming technique that I learned from someone who used to work at a great biscuit place in Portland (not naming it in the post, sorry).
So this recipe is mine now.
Greek Yogurt Biscuits
(Makes 10 large biscuits)

4 cups (514 g) all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small cubes
2 cup (20 g) Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and cut the butter into the flour mixture until most of the butter is the size of pebbles. Add the yogurt and mix until the dough begins to come together. 
On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough and shape into a rectangle and roll it out until it is a foot long and 6 inches wide. Make an envelope fold (fold the dough into thirds on top of itself). Roll the dough out again and repeat the folding process and then roll out once more. At this point the dough should feel tight.
Continue rolling the dough out until it is the same height as your cookie cutter. Cut as many biscuits out of the dough as you can and repeat the rectangle and folding process.
Place the biscuits on a tray lined with parchment and brush with  an egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

I’ve been on a biscuit craze the last couple months.

Yes, months.

They are just so… good. Especially with an egg. Mmmmm….

I love to invite friends over for breakfast and make biscuit sandwiches with the fresh eggs from my chickens, spinach and salsa (because salsa should be put on everything).

I’m claiming this recipe. I don’t understand all these recipes that say “makes 8 biscuits” when they clearly don’t. I’ve taken a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe, doubled it, and switched out the buttermilk for yogurt.This recipe really makes 10 biscuits.

I love substituting yogurt for buttermilk or cream for two very good reasons:

1. I never have cream or buttermilk in the house. Who does?

2. Yogurt is better for you.

Also, I’ve used a completely different (and better) biscuit forming technique that I learned from someone who used to work at a great biscuit place in Portland (not naming it in the post, sorry).

So this recipe is mine now.

Greek Yogurt Biscuits

(Makes 10 large biscuits)

4 cups (514 g) all purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small cubes

2 cup (20 g) Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and cut the butter into the flour mixture until most of the butter is the size of pebbles. Add the yogurt and mix until the dough begins to come together.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough and shape into a rectangle and roll it out until it is a foot long and 6 inches wide. Make an envelope fold (fold the dough into thirds on top of itself). Roll the dough out again and repeat the folding process and then roll out once more. At this point the dough should feel tight.

Continue rolling the dough out until it is the same height as your cookie cutter. Cut as many biscuits out of the dough as you can and repeat the rectangle and folding process.

Place the biscuits on a tray lined with parchment and brush with  an egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

September 19, 2012 @ 5:56 PM 3 notes

Oh, Creme Brulee.
It’s one of my favorite desserts. When I was in high school my parents gave me a creme brulee set for hannukah and I was so excited and then when I decided I was going to make creme brulee, I couldn’t find the set.
Then I moved to Portland and I found a set at a garage sale for $5. When I bought it the woman looked like she’d realized she could have sold it for more. Haha!
Then that sat on my shelf for another 9 months because I kept forgetting to get butane for the torch.
I finally got butane and let me tell you, there are going to be a lot more torched recipes on this blog…
I skipped a lot of the wait time on this recipe. It wanted me to let the custard sit over night (HELL NO, I WANT MY CREME BRULEE NOW). And then let it sit for another 4 hours… and I just decided to not do it. It turned out fine. So there. I don’t understand warming up the cream and vanilla bean and then letting it cool except that it might infuse the vanilla into the cream more. I did it, but I think you could probably skip that too.
I used all the tiny pans I had (creme brulee pans, brioche tins, muffin tins…) and I found that muffin tins worked and looked the best, so if you’re worried that you don’t have enough tins, you do. As for the torch… go get one. They are so much fun!
Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee Tartlets
Custard
720 ml heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise to expose seeds
10 egg yolks
80 grams granulated sugar, plus extra for torching In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat, pour into a glass or metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight.
Now is a good time to scroll down and start the tart crust!
 Reheat the cream mixture just to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside. In a large metal or glass bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar for about a minute until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Pour about 1/4 of the hot cream mixture through a sieve into the egg yolk mixture and whisk well to combine. Pour the rest of the cream through the sieve into the egg yolk mixture, and discard the leftover cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod. Whisk well to combine. Set bowl containing egg/cream mixture over a pot of barely simmering water to create a double boiler, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water itself. Cook, whisking constantly over the simmering water for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Once the custard has thickened (it will not be as thick as a pastry cream), remove from heat and whisk for another two minutes to start the cooling process. Once it has cooled a bit, set a layer of plastic wrap directly on the custard, this will prevent it from getting a skin, and chill for at least an hour or until it has thickened considerably.
Pate Brisee Tart Shells 400 grams (14 oz) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
100 grams (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar

2/3 cup water, chilled

665 grams (1 lb 7 1/2 oz) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt In a small bowl, combine sugar, water, and vinegar, stir to aid the dissolving of the sugar. Set aside in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Then, stir again to completely dissolve sugar. In the bowl of a standard mixer using the paddle, combine the flour and salt together. Add the butter, and stir on a medium until butter is cut in and evenly dispersed. You should have visible chunks of butter in your flour mixture, this is where the flakiness comes from.



Slowly add the water mixture with the flour until it is evenly dispersed. dump dough out onto a clean surface and knead gently a few times, just until dough comes together in one cohesive ball.

Cut the dough into two disks and roll out the dough. Wrap the dough you are not using tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter (or any circular cookie cutter that is about 1/2 wider than the bottom of your mold), cut circles out of each disc of dough. Press each disc into your tart mold (a muffin tin actually works perfect if you don’t have tart pans), being careful not to stretch the dough, as this will cause shrinkage when baking. Push the excess off the edge by rolling your rolling pin across the edges of your tart molds and slowly pulling off the excess dough around the edges. and make sure the dough gets into each nook and cranny of the tart mold. 

Freeze shells for at least 20 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line each tart shell with a small piece of tin foil and fill with beans, rice, or pie weights. Place tart shells on a baking sheet and bake for 20, or until shells gain a bit of color. Take out the weights and bake for another 5 minutes, until the shells are a light brown.

Let shells cool in molds for at least 15 minutes, then gently un-mold and cool completely on a cooling rack. You can make these ahead of time, then freeze until ready to fill.
Assembly Fill the tart shells with the custard. You can overfill them a bit and then use a off set spatula to scrape any excess off the top, leaving a nice flat surface for the torched sugar. Once all the tarts are filled, chill them for at least 15 minutes before torching. Sprinkle about a teaspoon or so of sugar in a thin layer over each tart, and use a kitchen torch to caramelize sugar. Concentrate mostly on the center, and torch gently around the edges being careful not to burn the edges of the pastry.
Let the tarts sit for a minute so the sugar has hardened before you serve them.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 6 hours
Picture taken by the amazing Rachel King View Larger

Oh, Creme Brulee.

It’s one of my favorite desserts. When I was in high school my parents gave me a creme brulee set for hannukah and I was so excited and then when I decided I was going to make creme brulee, I couldn’t find the set.

Then I moved to Portland and I found a set at a garage sale for $5. When I bought it the woman looked like she’d realized she could have sold it for more. Haha!

Then that sat on my shelf for another 9 months because I kept forgetting to get butane for the torch.

I finally got butane and let me tell you, there are going to be a lot more torched recipes on this blog…

I skipped a lot of the wait time on this recipe. It wanted me to let the custard sit over night (HELL NO, I WANT MY CREME BRULEE NOW). And then let it sit for another 4 hours… and I just decided to not do it. It turned out fine. So there. I don’t understand warming up the cream and vanilla bean and then letting it cool except that it might infuse the vanilla into the cream more. I did it, but I think you could probably skip that too.

I used all the tiny pans I had (creme brulee pans, brioche tins, muffin tins…) and I found that muffin tins worked and looked the best, so if you’re worried that you don’t have enough tins, you do. As for the torch… go get one. They are so much fun!

Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee Tartlets

Custard

720 ml heavy whipping cream

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise to expose seeds

10 egg yolks

80 grams granulated sugar, plus extra for torching

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat, pour into a glass or metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight.

Now is a good time to scroll down and start the tart crust!


Reheat the cream mixture just to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.

In a large metal or glass bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar for about a minute until the sugar is mostly dissolved.

Pour about 1/4 of the hot cream mixture through a sieve into the egg yolk mixture and whisk well to combine. Pour the rest of the cream through the sieve into the egg yolk mixture, and discard the leftover cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod. Whisk well to combine.

Set bowl containing egg/cream mixture over a pot of barely simmering water to create a double boiler, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water itself. Cook, whisking constantly over the simmering water for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to thicken.

Once the custard has thickened (it will not be as thick as a pastry cream), remove from heat and whisk for another two minutes to start the cooling process. Once it has cooled a bit, set a layer of plastic wrap directly on the custard, this will prevent it from getting a skin, and chill for at least an hour or until it has thickened considerably.

Pate Brisee Tart Shells

400 grams (14 oz) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

100 grams (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup water, chilled
665 grams (1 lb 7 1/2 oz) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine sugar, water, and vinegar, stir to aid the dissolving of the sugar. Set aside in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Then, stir again to completely dissolve sugar.

In the bowl of a standard mixer using the paddle, combine the flour and salt together. Add the butter, and stir on a medium until butter is cut in and evenly dispersed. You should have visible chunks of butter in your flour mixture, this is where the flakiness comes from.
Slowly add the water mixture with the flour until it is evenly dispersed. dump dough out onto a clean surface and knead gently a few times, just until dough comes together in one cohesive ball.
Cut the dough into two disks and roll out the dough. Wrap the dough you are not using tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter (or any circular cookie cutter that is about 1/2 wider than the bottom of your mold), cut circles out of each disc of dough. Press each disc into your tart mold (a muffin tin actually works perfect if you don’t have tart pans), being careful not to stretch the dough, as this will cause shrinkage when baking. Push the excess off the edge by rolling your rolling pin across the edges of your tart molds and slowly pulling off the excess dough around the edges. and make sure the dough gets into each nook and cranny of the tart mold. 
Freeze shells for at least 20 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line each tart shell with a small piece of tin foil and fill with beans, rice, or pie weights. Place tart shells on a baking sheet and bake for 20, or until shells gain a bit of color. Take out the weights and bake for another 5 minutes, until the shells are a light brown.
Let shells cool in molds for at least 15 minutes, then gently un-mold and cool completely on a cooling rack. You can make these ahead of time, then freeze until ready to fill.

Assembly
Fill the tart shells with the custard. You can overfill them a bit and then use a off set spatula to scrape any excess off the top, leaving a nice flat surface for the torched sugar. Once all the tarts are filled, chill them for at least 15 minutes before torching.

Sprinkle about a teaspoon or so of sugar in a thin layer over each tart, and use a kitchen torch to caramelize sugar. Concentrate mostly on the center, and torch gently around the edges being careful not to burn the edges of the pastry.

Let the tarts sit for a minute so the sugar has hardened before you serve them.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 6 hours

Picture taken by the amazing Rachel King

September 19, 2012 @ 5:04 PM 5 notes

Creme Brulee Tartlets?!
Stay tuned for the recipe!

Beautiful pictures taken by the wonderful Rachel King

Creme Brulee Tartlets?!

Stay tuned for the recipe!

Beautiful pictures taken by the wonderful Rachel King

September 18, 2012 @ 1:52 AM 5 notes

I’ve had rugelach on occasion. Not very often though.
Usually I’ll have one when I’m in Chicago visiting my dad’s side of the family. It reminds me of real deli’s. Deli’s we don’t have in the NW. It is flaky and rich and light while still full of flavor. I remember when I was little, we would buy them at the counter of this one deli/restaurant, Max’s, that we would always go to when we’d visit Chicago. They have the most amazing matzo ball soup.
We’d touch down in the O’Hare airport and my sisters and I would beg to go to Max’s for the Matzo ball soup.
The last time I was in Chicago I stayed with one of my cousins and she told me that we were not going to Max’s because my family always wants to go there and that there were other places besides Max’s to eat in Chicago. I laughed because in my head Max’s is the only place to eat in Chicago.
But anyway, rugelach.
One of my friends wanted to make rugelach. I’d never made it before, but I’m always up for trying a new recipe. Rugelach are really easy to make and don’t take too long. We had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and then rolling up all the little rugelach.
A couple weeks ago my boss had given me a a jar of vanilla peach jam she had made so we used it as the filling and I added lemon zest to the dough.
This recipe is from a wonderful Jewish cookbook my mom gave me: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.
Vanilla Peach Rugelach
Dough
2 cups flour
8 ounces cream cheese
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
1/2 confectioners sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Filling
1 cup peach jam
3/4 walnuts, chopped into small pieces
Garnish
1 egg
1/4 cup raw (or granulated) sugar
Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a round disk that is about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the peach jam evenly in a thin layer over the whole disk and sprinkle the walnut pieces over the jam. Cut the disk, like a pizza, into triangles with the wide side of the dough being about an inch thick. Roll each piece inwards toward the center of the disk and place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment, leaving about 1/4 inch between each cookie.
Beat the egg and brush each cookie with egg. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the cookies and place the tray in the over for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 2 hours View Larger

I’ve had rugelach on occasion. Not very often though.

Usually I’ll have one when I’m in Chicago visiting my dad’s side of the family. It reminds me of real deli’s. Deli’s we don’t have in the NW. It is flaky and rich and light while still full of flavor. I remember when I was little, we would buy them at the counter of this one deli/restaurant, Max’s, that we would always go to when we’d visit Chicago. They have the most amazing matzo ball soup.

We’d touch down in the O’Hare airport and my sisters and I would beg to go to Max’s for the Matzo ball soup.

The last time I was in Chicago I stayed with one of my cousins and she told me that we were not going to Max’s because my family always wants to go there and that there were other places besides Max’s to eat in Chicago. I laughed because in my head Max’s is the only place to eat in Chicago.

But anyway, rugelach.

One of my friends wanted to make rugelach. I’d never made it before, but I’m always up for trying a new recipe. Rugelach are really easy to make and don’t take too long. We had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and then rolling up all the little rugelach.

A couple weeks ago my boss had given me a a jar of vanilla peach jam she had made so we used it as the filling and I added lemon zest to the dough.

This recipe is from a wonderful Jewish cookbook my mom gave me: Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan.

Vanilla Peach Rugelach

Dough

2 cups flour

8 ounces cream cheese

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

1/2 confectioners sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

1 cup peach jam

3/4 walnuts, chopped into small pieces

Garnish

1 egg

1/4 cup raw (or granulated) sugar

Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a round disk that is about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the peach jam evenly in a thin layer over the whole disk and sprinkle the walnut pieces over the jam. Cut the disk, like a pizza, into triangles with the wide side of the dough being about an inch thick. Roll each piece inwards toward the center of the disk and place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment, leaving about 1/4 inch between each cookie.

Beat the egg and brush each cookie with egg. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the cookies and place the tray in the over for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 2 hours

September 13, 2012 @ 8:59 PM 2 notes