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Soft White Bread Dinner Rolls

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  White bread dinner rolls are quick to make and are a little bit more interesting than a plain loaf of white bread. Sometimes they just do the trick - these were ready in under 3 hours.  They were baked for a friend that had surgery this week and is on a temporary low-fiber, lactose free diet.  The hardest part of baking them was controlling myself from adding some whole wheat or artisanal flour or an egg and nuts.   You can make the dough into a medium size loaf if you're looking to make a sliced loaf. The crust is soft, the crumb is tight and reminds me of good quality (an oxymoron?) packaged white bread. The recipe is modified and updated from a Nigella Lawson recipe dating back to the early 2000's.  Choreography: Mix all of the ingredients, either in a stand mixer or in large bowl. Knead until smooth.  Proof (60-90 minutes depending on the ambient temperature)  Shape into rolls, dip into egg, roll in any seeds you like (optional) Short 2nd proofing , pre-heat the oven Bake

Cocoa-Cranberry Spent Grain Beer Bread

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    I wouldn't describe the pandemic as having any "upsides," although it undoubtedly  allowed many of us to spend time doing things we'd either never have considered or had thought about as an activity we could pursue "if there was time."  Time suddenly stood still, or at least slowed down, even if were working full time from the dining room table.  And this brings me to my deciding to learn about how to incorporate spent grains into my bread baking. Spent grains are the by-product of beer brewing. I'd heard about using them to bake, but I'm not a beer drinker and never thought about taking the time (time!) to source the grains. Enter the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020-21 and driving past a charming beer garden about 20 minutes from where we live.   Whether or not you consider a liquor store, brewery or distillery an "essential" business, in New Jersey these types of businesses are open, operating more or less on a take-out basis. The opportuni

Country Bread Loaf (with 50% pre-ferment)

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Jeffrey Hamelman's Country Bread, with a twist.  Baking during a pandemic has given me more time to play around with old favorites. This bread is made with a 12-16 hour pre-ferment, which for less experienced bakers is a bit less fussy than working with sourdough. Hamelman's instructions call for shaping the dough as a "boule" or "battard,"  but the book was written in 2004, before many of us had Emile Henry or other covered clay bakers. This dough makes 2 sizable loaves, so here I baked 1/2 in an Emile Henry loaf pan and the other half I formed into two smaller loaves and baked in a ciabatta pan.  Hamelman's original recipe calls for about 900 g of bread flour, for these loaves I replaced about a quarter of the flour with einkorn flour. He also calls for 1.8% salt, which, for us, is not quite enough. I increased the salt to 2% and do not add it at all to the pre-ferment. The dough is firm, at about 68% hydration.  Equipment: stand mixer, flexible scrape

Pandemic Era Sourdough Loaf

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Pandemic Era Sourdough Loaf   This recipe make one large size loaf                                                                                                 (Recipe is modified loaf from Maurizio Leo , The Perfect Loaf, “Sourdough with AP flour”)  This loaf is one of the millions of loaves made all over the world while the world is mostly shut down and we're all home baking. History books will make note #pandemic baking #bakinginthetimeofcovid #covidbaking as the moment non-celiac individuals rediscovered the wonders of gluten.  ·          You can make this loaf with all AP flour. We liked the texture and taste of this version with wheat and rye. ·           T his loaf is made in a regular loaf pan with good results.  For photos showing the same bread baked in a covered Staub round Dutch oven, see the end of the posting.  Don’t skip the steps, this is the procedure I use for almost all sour dough bread. It’s a combination of several baker’s techniques, and it alm

Sourdough Wheat and Barley Rustic Loaf

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I played around with barley bread recipes after visiting Orkney and Shetland (Scotland), where barley is a staple grain for eating and making Scotch (whiskey) and beer. Bere barley, an ancient barley variety, is not available outside of the UK. The dough made with bere barley is a bit "springier," off-white in color and a bit sweeter than when made with American barley. In any case, the resulting bread is very chewy, has a great crust and nice sweet yeasty smell.  Barley, like wheat and rye contains gluten and is not safe for people who are gluten sensitive. The percentage of gluten in barley is much lower than wheat; therefore wheat flour is required in order to make a good textured bread (rather than a cracker).  This is a slow rising bread, don't rush it, it affects the texture of the finished product. The process will take approximately 36 hours to complete once you have ripe sourdough starter.  You can stretch it out for another 12 hours or thereabouts, modi

Really Delicious Falafel

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This recipe is an amalgam of the falafel recipes  from Michael Solomonov & Steven Cook and Adeena Sussman It's the eighth night of Hanukkah and we have a last shot at eating something fried for the holiday. I re-learned something when I tried making these a couple of days ago (you are looking at a 2nd batch of falafel balls), which is sometimes the ingredient list & subsequent instructions really do make a difference in the final product. So a word of caution: do not try to substitute canned beans for the dry chickpeas in this recipe, it will not work.  This mean you have to plan ahead if you plan to make this recipe. The resulting falafel are not dry or cakey, which is often the case with pre-made frozen falafel balls. You can alter the spice mix to your liking, the constant for falafel are the chickpeas, onion, garlic, salt and cumin.  Choreography : This recipe needs to be started a minimum of 10 hours before cooking. The actual cooking takes under an hou