Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rye-Onion Rolls

Savory Rye-Onion Rolls

With caraway seed topping 

This dough, a combination of wheat and rye flour, is easy to work with. I find that adding a bit more oil to the bowl than usual during the first rising makes the dough easier to form into small rolls at the point of shaping. The final dough is firm, but not stiff. After the second rising the rolls will feel puffy.  These rolls are a modification of Potato-Onion Rye Rolls from King Arthur Flour.

This is a simple to make dough that requires 2 relatively short rising periods (one hour each). The rye and onion are subtle but definitely create a bread that lends itself to savory or salty food rather than something sweet (think: cheese or meat, not peanut butter & jelly).  The dough can be refrigerated during the first rising, which can break the process into 2 days if that suits your schedule better than three to four sustained hours.


  • I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix and knead this dough, but it can be kneaded by hand.
  • Measuring cups, spoons, kitchen scale, large mixing bowl (if you are kneading by hand)
  • A baking pan (any shape you want as your outcome) or a cookie sheet that allows the rolls to rise and not touch each other. 
  • In this case I was delivering the rolls to a dinner party, I used paper disposable pans, which can be purchased on-line at King Arthur Flour or Plastic Container City ,a good source of baking equipment and packaging at very reasonable prices which requires a minimum of $25 for retail orders. . The paper pans must be places on either a cookie sheet or baking pan for support.
Disposable paper baking pan available at baking supply stores and on line. 
  • Cooking thermometer if you need to estimate water temperature or finished baked product. 

11 oz all purpose flour
6 oz medium rye flour
8 oz potato flakes
1-2 T vital wheat gluten
1.5 t kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1T granulated sugar
1.5 c warm water (about 100 degrees - see instructions for using yeast if you are new to yeast baking)
2 T neutral oil (canola, corn), plus more for greasing bowl
2 T dark molasses
.5 oz dried onion flakes

additional onion flakes and/or caraway seeds for topping or fillings (see directions and photos)

With dried onion flakes rolled into each roll. 

1. Measure out all of the ingredients, this short step will help make the process of assembling the dough easier.
2. Add all purpose flour, rye flour, potato flakes and salt to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of the electric mixer. I usually add the salt into the flour, to help it initially remain separated from the hydrating yeast.
3. On one side of the bowl add the yeast and tablespoon of sugar.
4. Add the warm water over the yeast/sugar. The water will spread, but by adding the water this way you are helping to ensure that the yeast is hydrated.
5. Start mixing at the low speed or with a wooden spoon.
6. Add the molasses and oil. Continue mixing.
7. Add the dried onions and increase the speed of the mixer or continue mixing by hand. If you are mixing by hand, you may need to start to use a scraper and your hand to ensure that everything is well mixed. Continue to mix for several minutes, the dough will form a ball and come away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will have low gluten because of the rye and potato and will not be particularly stretchy.  It will form a ball that holds together well.

8. Pour about 1 Tbsp of oil over the ball of dough, turn to make sure it's completely covered and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
9. Place in a draft free place (an oven that is NOT turned on works well) for 60-75 minutes to rest and rise.
10. ALTERNATELY: you can place the covered dough in the refrigerator at this point and allow to rest/rise in the refrigerator for a minimum of three hours and a maximum of overnight (10-12 hours). If you are chilling the dough, bring back to room temperature for about 30 minutes before proceeding.
11. The dough should be a bit greasy. Because the dough is lower in gluten it will not be very stretchy. It will be pliable, you will be able to easily divide into portions (12-16 rolls, depending on the size you ultimately want or need).
13. Grease baking pan (s) and shape. I shaped these rolls into knots and mini "jelly" type rolls.
Creating a "knot"
To make a "rolled" roll: make a 6 inch rope, flatten out, sprinkle onions & roll up. You MUST pinch the end into the body of the roll or it will open during baking.
14. Place the rolls into the prepared pan (s). Let rest/rise in a draft free place for about an hour. You can sprinkle seeds on top if you like.  The rolls will become puffy and fill the space between the rolls.  If you are rising the rolls in the oven, take them out and preheat the oven to 375 degrees about 10 minutes before the rolls finish rising.

15. Place the rolls in the upper 1/3 of the oven. If you are using paper pans place them on a baking sheet for support.  Lower the oven to 360 degrees and bake for 35-45 minutes. They will be light golden. If you like to double check yourself, the rolls should measure about 190-195 degrees internally.

Chocolate Chili Biscotti (Mandelbread)

Chocolate Chili Biscotti....or ....Molé Mandelbread.....

Mole Sauce, which originated in Mexico and is most commonly served as an accompaniment to meat, comes in several variants; the common ingredients to all versions are chili, chocolate and ground nuts. At GoldStone Farms we have lots of chilis and Fred makes a hot/complex chili powder in the fall. We turn up at people's homes with small bottles of his special chili mix (and the amazing BBQ rub he creates using his chili powder) with regularity. 

This twice-baked cookie makes use of  the mole basics: chili, chocolate and ground nuts. You can vary the amount of chili powder to adjust to your taste.  The use of slightly bitter unsweetened cocoa powder and a lower proportion of sugar creates a more "adult" cookie. They are slightly more crumbly than more typical biscotti/mandelbread.  Adult or not, the cookies are very good with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of milk..........

This is a twice baked cookie, mixed with a spoon in a mixing bowl. No small kitchen appliance is necessary!  The ingredients are mixed, flattened logs are formed on cookie sheets, the logs are partially baked, sliced while on the cookie sheet and baked again. The cookies are left in the oven, on the cookie sheet, to completely cooled. This biscotti variant is more fragile than regular biscotti, don't remove them from the cookie sheet before they are completely cooled. The chili taste mellows as the cookie cools. Store in a closed container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  Wrap the container and freeze for longer storage. 

Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups, spoons, kitchen scale 
Baking sheet lined with parchment paper (a good quality baking pan is an investment, your cookies won't burn and parchment aids in quick clean up)
Sharp knife for cutting cookie slices 

** Use a scale for measuring if you have one, you'll get more consistent results.
1 1/4 c neutral vegetable oil (e.g.canola, corn)
5 oz (3/4c) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (try to use "real" vanilla rather than artificial, it will make a difference in the final baked product)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 oz (1/2c ground nuts- walnuts or almonds work well)
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
20 oz (4 1/3 c) all purpose flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili (you can adjust up or down to taste)
3 oz (1/2 c) semi sweet chocolate chips 

1. Measure all of the ingredients, this short step will help you when you mix the ingredients and will improve the final product.
2. Stir all of the flour, baking powder and spices together making sure to disperse the baking powder throughout the flour mixture. 

3. Beat the eggs, oil and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. The mixture will look very yellow and thick. 

4. Add the flour mixture, cocoa, vanilla, nuts into the egg mixture. Mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix. 

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

6. Gather the dough and form 4 logs (about 6-7 inches long, 1.5-2 inches wide, slightly flattened on the top) on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a good quality baking pan, chocolate tends to burn and you want to protect the bottom of the cookie. 

6. Slip the baking sheet into the oven and LOWER the oven to 340 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The logs will be soft, yet set.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven. 

7. Leaving the logs on the baking sheet, being careful not to burn yourself,  use a small sharp knife and slice the cookie logs, creating slices that are about 1/2 inch thick. Separate the slices, but refrain from handling the slices too much (they are fragile and may break). 

8. Slip the baking sheet back into the oven. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, leave the baking sheet in the oven to cool. 

9. Once the cookie slices are completely cooled, store in a closed container.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Salt and Pepper Noodle (Lukshen) Kugel

Delicious savory kugel made on the stove top. 

Absolute comfort food. 
12 oz extra fine egg noodles, cooked and drained 
8-10 oz (approximately 2 large) thinly sliced onion, sauteed in 1/4c oil until translucent (and some are caramelizing) 
Mix the noodles with the onions in a large mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (more to taste). 
Pinch of ground chili powder (optional) 
Cool mixture 
Beat 3 extra large eggs and mix into the noodle-onion mixture. 
Heat 1/4 c oil, pour in the mixture, flatten and spread around evenly in the pan. 
Cook for 7-10 minutes, check the bottom of the kugel to make sure it's begun to brown.
Slice onto a large dinner plate. Place a 2nd plate on top. 
Invert the kugel and slide back into the hot pan. Continue to cook for about another 5 minutes. 
Slide onto a large dinner plate, cut like a pie and serve warm.