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Showing posts from February, 2013

Potatonik (Potato Pudding-Bread)

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Potatonik is related to kugel, except that it contains yeast, making it a hybrid between a potato kugel and a potato/onion bread. It used to be available in Jewish bakeries in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side (I would imagine in the Bronx as well, but we rarely went to the Bronx). It's a runner up to latkes in my opinion, and better than kugel, which tends to get hard and heavy if you don't eat it immediately. When we lived in Stuart, Florida (not a mecca for Jews at the time we lived there), there was a retired Jewish baker who worked for the Jensen Beach Publix. The way I was introduced to him was noticing one Friday afternoon that there was fresh potatonik at the bakery counter. I asked one of the bakery ladies how in the world they came to carry this product and they introduced me to the baker, who had retired to Port St. Lucie and didn't like being retired. He brought some of his New York style Jewish (Ashkenazi) recipes to the little Publix where the few Jews liv

Korn Bread (Kornbroyt)

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I baked this recipe because Bubby has been dreaming about how delicious it would be to have fresh kornbread. I don't know if it will live up to her imagination when she tastes it, but it looked very pretty coming out of the oven. This is not corn bread made with maize (corn) - it's a type of sour dough rye. This bread was started with the sour dough culture described in the posting outlining the process for starting a sour dough culture. In addition to rye flour, "first clear," a flour that is not readily available in the retail market is part of the recipe. First clear refers to the stage at which the flour is collected during the milling process. First clear flour is less refined than all purpose flour sold to the retail consumer, it is  higher in mineral and specs of bran and is commonly used in darker breads and in combination with rye flour, like it is in the korn bread. It is a high gluten flour, thus helping heavier rye breads rise.  My source for both

Starting a Sour Dough Culture

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I am, admittedly, a novice at working with sour dough. I have had some fairly successful sour dough breads and I believe I understand the process and even some of the chemistry, but I know I have a long way to go. Sour dough starters generally make use of "wild" yeasts - yeast that naturally lies on the surface of flour, grape skins, air in your kitchen and other fruits and vegetables. I did find several recipes for sour dough starters that used cultured bread yeast, but there is no reason to do this- with patience you'll be able to coax a starter from nothing more than flour and water. Starting and feeding a starter reminded me of how complicated, time consuming and important starters were to bread baking  in the not so distant past. Modern cultured yeast was not in production until the turn of the last century. I believe that baking is something you learn as you go; therefore there was no need for me to master the entire art and science of sour dough and wild yeas

Traditional Hamantachen (Baking Powder) - apricot, raspberry and haroset filling

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A non-yeast recipe, but I promised my kids that I would get it on the blog. This is my traditional hamantachen dough, it's adapted from Chocolate Chip Challah & Other Twists on The Jewish Holiday Table by Rauchwerger (UAHC Press, 1999).  It's easy and doesn't require chilling time (a huge plus when you have kids baking with you &  it's hard to plan in advance). The choreography is straight forward: Make the dough, it can be used immediately (wrap and chill or freeze before rolling out and fill if you want) OR continue Get jars/cans of filling (or if you want to, find a recipe for home made fillings Divide dough into 4 or 5 pieces, keep the unused portion covered Roll out dough (to about 1/4") on a flat surface that has been lightly dusted with flour, cut circles, fill, form cookies Place on a parchment lined baking sheet Bake 375 degrees for about 18 minutes (check after 12 minutes) Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes (you can burn yo

Yeast Hamantachen

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Yeast Hamantachen  Purim is coming in about 2 weeks, time to bake hamantachen..... MEA, you'll notice these are not the regular hamentachen I've been making with (or without) you over the years. Mikah, I'll include another posting with the other reciepe.  Those hamentachen are leavened with baking powder, these are made with yeast. Fred remembers yeast hamentachen at a particular Jewish bakery in Chicago and after making many many experimental cookies this past week Fred thinks I've hit on something he likes, albeit not exactly the cookie he remembers as a kid.  Thank you to Fred's medical students, Judy and Sydney, staff in my office, colleagues of Adam's at TJ Maxx for eating the cookie "seconds" and helping ensure that we didn't eat them all at home. The shape is crucial, although I'm not sure why. Like kreplach, hamentachen must be triangles, obviously it has nothing to do with the Trinity, but for some reason the shape doe

Some things to know about measuring flour and working with yeast

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 A bit of what you need to know about kneading :    get yourself a scale to weigh flour and some other ingredients (say it three times fast and then make sure you do it) Flour: You want to measure flour when you are using more than a tablespoon for two.  You know that I am not inclined to be exact in many of my activities, but this is important. Flour differs - not only type and brand, but most importantly for the success of your baking,  how dry or humid your flour is. This factor differs at various times of the year and the conditions under which the flour was grown & milled.  So invest in a digital scale, the same way you would a measuring cup or measuring spoons. If you have measured the ingredients and kneaded the dough and it's still sticky, flour your hands before you start adding additional flour to the dough. Be judicious about continuously adding flour, the end product might be too heavy and dry.  Remember, as well, that during the proofing th

Chinese Steamed Buns (meat fillings)

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Meat Fillings for Chinese Steamed Buns BBQ brisket filling (filling 1) 1 lb-  2nd cut brisket (the fattier the better) marindated (between 1 hour through overnight) in the following mixture: 3 Tbsp honey 3Tbsp hoisin sauce 2 Tbsp good quality soy sauce 1 finely chopped scallion freshly ground black pepper (about 1/8 tsp) 1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice powder (optional) 2 Tbsp sesame oil 3 Tbsp Sherry  (dry would be better, but the only kosher Sherry I know about is Kedem - not great quality and sweet)   Marinate the meat for a minimum of 30 minutes up to overnight (in fridge) . Pour the mixture into a disposable aluminum pan, place the meat in the marinade and cook in the BBQ, over indirect heat for about 90 minutes (the meat needs to be well done) While the meat is cooking, dice (finely) 3 scallions and 3-4 cloves garlic. Set aside Remove the meat and grill for several minutes on each side, reserve the marinade Place meat on a cuttin