Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Apple-Walnut Rosh Hashanah Babka

This gorgeous cake is a third iteration of a delicious yeast-apple-cinnamon cake. The recipe that inspired me initially is the Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread from King Arthur flour. That cake was inspired by a packaged Entenmann's Apple Twist found in supermarkets across America. King Arthur Flour recently uploaded the Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread, challenging bakers to bake and post photos of the cake. After baking and then modifying the recipe the result is the babka pictured above.  This year this babka, in another shape, was served as one of our Rosh Hashanah desserts. The one in the photo was brought to a friend's Yom Kippur break-fast.

Although this cake isn't particularly complicated to make, the dough is pretty soft and a bit sticky, so I'm advising that you get a bit of experience with a firmer, drier, yeast dough before moving onto this babka.

I find that babka dough benefits from a very cool slow rise in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. This might sound complicated, but actually helps you divide the project into two sessions which I find easier to schedule.

stand mixer
mixing bowls, spoons
measuring spoons, cups
silicone spatula
large bundt pan
flexible dough scraper

3 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 c almond flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp margarine, softened
1 tsp Lor Ann oil Buttery Sweet Dough bakery emulsion OR 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 c  almond milk , at room temperature (after mixing you may find it needs another Tbsp or two of liquid)

spray oil or 2-3 Tbsp oil for pan plus a bit of flour to prepare pan

1 large apple, grated or finely diced
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp intant clear jel (modified food starch)
pinch kosher salt
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup finely diced walnuts

1/3- 1/2 c honey
1/3 c finely diced walnuts

1. Measure the dough ingredients. Pour the almond milk into the mixing bowl, add the yeast, almond flour and less than a cup of flour. Mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes
2. Add the sugar, salt, margarine, flavoring, egg. Mix
3. Slowly add the remaining flour, mix at medium speed for 4-5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Scrape down the dough with a flexible scraper or silicone spatula. The dough will be loose. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 8- 12 hours.

immediately after mixing
after 8 hours of resting/chilling in the fridge

4. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl. 
     Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.

5. Using a flexible scraper or silicone spatula, push the dough onto a floured surface. Stretch and fold several times to improve stretchability. Flour the rolling pin and roll out to a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick, 18 x 24 inches. The dough is sticky, best to work quickly while it remains cold. Use the flexible scraper to help roll the dough. Do not worry if the roll has "wrinkles" in the dough. 

6. Slice cross-wise into slices, about 1 or 1.5 inches thick

7. Lay the slices, cross wise up in the pan. Layer like brick work (2nd layer pieces covering space between the aligned first layer pieces).

8. Proof in a warm, draft free place for about an hour. The cake will not quite double, the slices will be puffy.  
9. After 40 or 45 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

10. Slip the cake into the oven turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. The top will be golden. You can also check the internal temperature (190 degrees).

11. Cool completely, using a thin spreader or spatula, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Place a plate over the cake and invert. If the cake does not come loose, try to work the sides slowly and invert again.

12. Warm the honey.  Brush the cake with warm honey and sprinkle with nuts.

13 Slice and serve or cover loosely. The cake will stay at room temperature for a couple of days, otherwise, cover and store in the refrigerator. This cake will serve 10- 12 people. 

Other babkas you may be interested in trying: Apricot-Cinnamon Babka  and   Chocolate Babka with variations including Lemon Babka

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rosh Hashanah Baked Chicken Dumplings (uses the boiled chicken from soup)

Baked Chicken Dumpling
What to do with boiled chicken from your R'H chicken soup 

This is one answer to the dilemma of what to do with the boiled chicken left from the soup we're all making for Rosh Hashanah. Other than me, and only on the night that it's cooked, no one in our family likes to eat boiled chicken. So to me, this is like the perennial problem of what to do with left-over turkey from Thanksgiving. 

I make these before the holidays and serve them immediately, although you could make them, freeze and use like kreplach. 

This is not so much a recipe as it is a guide. The filling is generally 2c meat to 1c vegetable. 

cutting board, knife
cookie sheet
parchment paper 
pastry brush , small bowl 
large mixing bowl

Recipe proportion:
  • 1 package (50 pieces) dumping wrappers (square or round)
  • 2 cups finely chopped chicken mixed with 1 c finely chopped vegetable filling.
  • Vegetable filling: 1 small onion, 1-2 cloves garlic, 1 can water chestnuts, 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, about 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 2-3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce, 2-3 Tbsp sesame oil. If you like you can also add celery, parsley, dill, etc. 
  • Egg, lightly beaten
  • Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top of dumplings 

Mix well in a bowl and add 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch, flour or tapioca starch.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, lightly spray with oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Brush egg onto one side of the wrapper. Add 1 scant Tbsp filling in center of the wrapper on the side washed with the egg.  Fold over and seal edges. Place on cookie sheet. 

After you fill the cookie sheet, lightly brush with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Bake 10-12 minutes until the dumpling begins to lightly brown. 

Yield: 40- 50 dumplings

Other Rosh Hashana favorites on Bread and Babka:
Apple Cake
Tishpishti: Sephardic Semolina Honey Cake

Monday, July 10, 2017

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies 

If it's not a holiday, I'm not enamored of baking complicated-to-make cookies and prefer cookie baking be a smooth, non-intense activity.  These cookies are pretty straight forward; the dough is adapted from a stand-by chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook (Rosso & Lukins).  You can decide you want to bake these and get the whole project done in a bit over an hour. 

Choreography: Mix and bake! No waiting period. 

hand mixer or stand mixer
measuring cups, spoons
2 baking sheets
parchment paper to line the cookie sheets 
1 Tbsp cookie scoop (optional, but handy to use)

1 c (2 sticks) margarine or butter
1 c brown sugar
2/3 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp LorAnn oil - buttery sweet dough bakery emulsion (this is optional, but really makes a nice 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c almond flour
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder 
1 1/2 c mini chocolate chips 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
2.Cream margarine (or butter) with both sugars.
3. Add flavorings and salt to the eggs, mix and pour into the sugar mixture, mix well
4. Combine flours and baking powder. Add to sugar-egg-fat mix 
5. Pour in chocolate chips, mix until just blended. This recipe is a drop cookie and does not require chilling. 
6. Scoop/drop dough (about 1 Tbsp dough per cookie) and drop onto the lined cookie sheet, leaving at least an inch between each piece of dough. I drop 12-14 cookies on one sheet. 
7. Bake in heated oven - 11-13 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Cool for five minutes before moving onto a cooling rack and cool completely. 
8. Store loosely covered at room temperature for several days or in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

Yield: 4.5-5 dozen cookies 

Find other cookies on BreadandBakba. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Embutido: Filipino style meatloaf (kosher friendly recipe)

Embuitdo, a (pork) meatloaf made throughout the Philippines can be made in a kosher-friendly version. I made the pictured loaf with beef and contains no grated cheese (Edam or Cheddar is typically used in the traditional version). The meat mixture is filled with a variable number of filling ingredients, although the ingredients always contain an olive-raisin-sweet pickle (or pickle relish) mixture.

Ground beef, veal, chicken or turkey works well. At one time ovens were rare in the Philippines and were found only in the kitchen of the wealthy; therefore, traditionally the meat mixture is wrapped in aluminum foil and steamed, I would imagine that before foil the mixture may have been wrapped in banana leaves. My version is baked in a water bath and completely cooled prior to opening the foil and slicing.

Embutido is also a dry cured sausage from the Iberian peninsula. During the three centuries that Spain colonized the Philippine Archipelago Filipino cooks created several Spanish inspired recipes indigenous to the Philippines. The Spanish inspired combination of olives,  raisins and tomatoes in Filipino Embutido is also found in recipes from Cuba, Portugal, and Mexico- all cuisines influenced during their individual periods of Spanish colonization.

Embudito is no more complicated to make than American-style meatloaf.  Ground meat is mixed with a number of ingredients and "rolled" around a center filling of sausage and sliced hard boiled egg. The meat is formed into a roll, placed on a sheet of aluminum foil , which is rolled and twisted around the meat roll. The wrapped meat roll is steamed/baked for an hour and cooled completely before slicing. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.

a large mixing bowl, spoon
knife, cutting board, measuring cup
heavy duty aluminum foil
waxed paper
medium roasting pan (approximately 9 x 13)

Ingredients :
3 lbs ground meat
3-4 Tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 c bread crumbs
4 hard boiled eggs
2 sausages (Chorizo, or another favorite sausage. Filipinos often use canned Vienna Sausage, for which there is no kosher substitute), sliced in half lengthwise
approximately 1 cup of each of the following ingredients diced:
     sweet gherkin pickle (or use pickle relish)
     pimento or fresh sweet pepper (optional)
1 cup raisins
1/4 c chopped parsley (optional)
1/2 c chopped pitted olives (Spanish or green Israeli style)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
2. Mix the meat with ketchup (or tomato paste), pepper and bread crumbs. Filipinos traditionally will add a raw egg into this mixture; I don't find it makes a difference and leave it out.

3. Prepare the filling ingredients.

4. Mix all filling ingredients into the meat EXCEPT the sausage and hard boiled eggs.
5. Divide meat in half and form flattened rectangles of uncooked meat on a sheet of waxed paper.
6. Place 2 sausage slices along the middle length  of the rectangle of meat. Lay 1/2 of the egg slices, yolk side up alongside the sausage slices.

7. Fold the waxed paper over and roll the meat over the sausage filling. Close the seam and roll the meat back and forth to seal the seam.
8. Move onto a piece of aluminum foil and roll the foil around the meat, twisting the ends, forming a tightly closed log. Repeat with remaining meat. Pour off the water from the pan.

10. Slice the meat. If you are planning to rewarm, leave the meat in the foil, loosely re-wrap and warm in the oven. Alternately, Embudito is often served at room temperature.
11. Serve with cooked potatoes, rice or quinoa.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Moussaka (vegetarian)

Moussaka is a traditional Greek pie/casserole made with lamb, eggplant, cheese and 2 sauces (tomato and a white sauce).  The tomato sauce, in typical Greek style is laced with oregano and cinnamon. 

I found this recipe many years ago, in a fundraising cookbook, "For Good Sports and Other Cooks," published in 1975 by the Denver Chapter of the American-Israeli Lighthouse Rehabilitation Center. A dear departed college friend, who was a fantastic cook, gave it to me when I was visiting him in Denver. The recipe, as I prepare it, has morphed a bit over the years.   The cookbook was highly innovative for a "Jewish" cookbook at the time in that there were many recipes of an "international" nature. The cookbook is not kosher, but nevertheless I have, over the years, found plenty of recipes to try (and love). 

The recipe is not complicated and I'm planning to share it at a bridal shower where guests have been asked to bring a recipe or two for the young couple. 

There are four components: 2 sauces, sliced eggplant and shredded/grated cheese. 

knife, slicer, casserole dish (I used a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish), saucepan, measuring spoons and cups. 

2 eggplant, peeled and sliced (best, but not required to slice and a dry a few hours prior to cooking)

Quick Tomato Sauce:
2-3 Tbsp olive oil 
2 medium onions, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 - 8oz can of tomato sauce (I use Muir Glen)
1- 4 oz can tomato paste plus 4-6 oz water
1 - 8oz package vegetarian "crumbles" (I use Morningstar Farms)
S&P to taste 
1/2- 1 tsp each: oregano , basil, ground cinnamon 

White Sauce:
2-3 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp flour
2 c whole milk or 1c half & half and 1c skim milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2- 3/4 c grated cheese (e.g. Colby, Edam, Gouda)

1. Make the tomato sauce by sauteing onions until translucent, add garlic and continue to saute for another few minutes.
2. Add the crumbles, tomato paste, water and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the spices and herbs, add a bit of water if needed to keep the sauce thick and smooth. Cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Heat oven to 350 degree.
6. Grease the baking pan. Take eggplant slices and make a single layer covering the bottom of the pan. Spoon sauce over the eggplant, covering in a thin layer. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and shredded cheese over the sauce.
7. Repeat to make a 2nd layer on top of the first. If you have eggplant slices, lay on top of layer two.
8. Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter, stirring in the flour and spices and cook for a minute or two. Stir and add milk. Simmer and stir until it bubbles and thickens.
9. Pour over the eggplant. Place in oven and bake approximately 45 minutes until very bubbly and browned on top.

Serves 4 amply.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Almond-Butter Chip Cookies (gluten free, vegan, kosher for Passover)

This is a Passover cookie with no eggs and no matzah meal.

When I made this cookie my son assured me that it did not taste like Passover, by which he means he likes them. The cookies are hand mixed and quick to make. 

large mixing bowl
measuring spoons, cups

6 oz package ground almonds or hazelnuts (don't use nut flour)
1/4 tsp sea salt 
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 c almond butter
1/2 c (scant) honey
1.5 Tablespoon vanilla extract 
1/2 c white chocolate chips
1/2 c semi sweet chips 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 heavy weight cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
2. Combine the ground nuts and baking powder , combine well 
3. In a small saucepan, combine the almond butter, honey and salt. Heat until the almond butter begins to melt. Mix well.  Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract. 
4. Add the melted almond butter mixture into the ground nuts. Mix with a spoon. Cool mixture. 
5. Add the chips
6. Portion small balls from the dough (about the size of a walnut). Place on prepared baking sheet
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookie will have a tendency to brown quickly on the bottom, you can use 2 baking sheets if this happens to your cookies 
8. Allow to cool on the sheet before you move the cookies. Store in a covered container. These cookies will store well in the refrigerator 

Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies 

Another Passover favorite: Gluten Free Brownies

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hamantachen with almond flour (NOT gluten free)

This recipe is a pareve version of the recipe printed in the on-line edition of The Forward from the fabulous bakery, Breads Bakery (located in New York and Tel Aviv). 

Breads Bakery is a fabulous bread and pastry bakery located in Tel Aviv ("Lechamim") and Manhattan (Union Square). In addition to bread, they also have a wonderful assortment of Jewish pastries (both European and Middle Eastern). This dough is different from any hamantachen dough I've ever made: no baking powder/soda, low ratio of eggs to flour and the addition of almond flour. Unlike the original recipe, I used margarine (Earth Balance) instead of butter. 

The filling in the cookies pictured above is Fred's (my husband and one of my taste testers) rendition of Surinam Haroset  adapted from the New York Times Passover Cookbook . Yes, he made the haroset last Pesach, I double wrap a few containers and use it over the year for baking. 

You can use your favorite filling, canned, jarred, or homemade. 

This dough is different than any other hamantachen dough I've worked with - it feels and acts more like marzipan.  It must be chilled for several hours (up to 24 hours).  You must let it come to room temperature before using (20-40 minutes) or it will be impossible to roll out. 

Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut circles. I use a glass with a 2.5" diameter, forming a smallish cookie (makes it easier to eat 2.........or 3!) 

measuring equipment (spoons, cups, scale)
stand mixer or hand mixer with large mixing bowl 
cookie sheet (s)
parchment paper 

6.6 oz margarine (13 Tbsp)- cut into small pieces
1.6 oz granulated sugar (1/4 c)
2.7 oz powdered sugar (very scant 1/2 c)
pinch of salt
2 large eggs (one for the cookie dough, one for the egg wash)
1.4 oz almond flour /meal
10.6 oz pastry flour OR all purpose flour (2 3/4 c + a bit more flour)

1. Combine the two sugars, making sure there are no lumps
2. Cream the butter, sugars and salt. Continue beating 3-4 minutes until very creamy
3. Add the egg and mix
4. Add the almond flour and mix
5. Add the wheat flour and mix until the dough forms a ball around the mixer blade (this will happen quickly.)  The dough will feel like a cross between play-doh and marzipan. Gather into a ball, place in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 2 hours up to 24 hours. 

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (30-40 minutes).       Divide into 3-4 pieces (for ease of working and rolling out the dough). Preheat your oven to 350 
7. Lightly flour-dust your work surface and roll out one piece of dough to about 1/16" . Using a
    biscuit cutter or glass, cut out circles.  Use a spatula to help lift the dough circles if they are sticking
    to the surface

8.Brush off any excess flour and brush the circles with egg wash 

9. Spoon a small amount of filling onto the center of each circle. Fold three points of the circles, 
    keeping the filling in the middle to form a triangle. Pinch the seams. Move to a parchment lined 
    baking sheet and brush each cookie lightly with egg wash. 

10. Bake for 13-17 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before moving to a 
     cooling rack. Cool completely before packaging. The cookies will stay at room temperature for a
     few days, but I prefer to store them in the refrigerator.  You can also double wrap them and freeze 
     for up to several weeks. 

If you're looking for other dough recipes, click here: Traditional Hamantachen  or Yeast Hamantachen