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Showing posts from 2015

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Mandelbread (Biscotti)

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I recently agreed to teach a gluten-free Jewish baking class. We're going to bake a few traditional Jewish-type cookies, all gluten free and in the case of this "Mandel bread,"  dairy-free and nut-free as well. Yes, I realize mandel means almond, and we should call this cookie a biscotti, but then it wouldn't be a Jewish baked treat for the purposes of this class. "Teaching" a baking class, to me, is more of a "bake along with other who love to or want to love to bake." I supply the recipe and some of the tips I've learned along the way, but honestly, we all learn and teach together.  When my children were young gluten-free baked goods were meant for individuals who had Celiac disease ; however, nowadays people avoid gluten for a variety of reasons. Gluten free baking is also very popular for Passover, but please be aware that the flour mixture used for this recipe contains garbanzo and fava bean flour which is not acceptable for Passover

Sweet- Potatonik

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Potatonik made with shredded sweet potatoes and shallots   Potatonik , a cross between a kugel and yeast bread, is ordinarily made with white potatoes and onion. This recipe is inspired by George Greenstein's recipe that can be found on this blog: Potatonik , as well as in Greenstein's baking book, Secrets of a Jewish Baker , a great book whose biggest draw-back is the lack of useful pictures.   Potatonik employs both yeast and baking powder as the leaving agents. The resulting texture is chewy and soft. Greenstein's "secret" in this recipe is the use of a "sponge" (pre-ferment starter). His instructions direct a 30 minute pre-ferment, but I've left the sponge to rise for up to 6 hours with no compromise in the final product. Mixing, baking and cooling the dough will take less than 2 hours (one hour of which is passive baking time). Choreography:  make the pre-ferment, cover and let rest in a draft free place prepare 2 medium loaf pa

Roast Chicken with Za'atar and Mandarin Oranges

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This recipe combines the savory flavor of za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix that can be purchased in Middle Eastern and Israeli food shops. Spice mixes vary, but will often include sumac, oregano, hyssop, sesame seeds and salt. Za'atar is a ubiquitous ingredient in Palestinian and more recently Israeli cooking.  Za'atar is often used in combination with olive oil or leben (Middle Eastern yogurt) as a dip for pita and lafah (a flat bread related to pita, without the hollow center). I have a challah recipe,   Challah with Za'atar and Apricots   that combines the savory, slightly salty taste of za'atar with the sweet/sour taste of dry apricots. Za'atar also works well combined with vegetables, chicken and lamb. I like working with complicated yeast dough, but when it comes to main dishes, the fewer ingredients the better and the simpler the cooking method the more I like it. This recipe is a simple roasted chicken that is marinaded overnight in a citru

Fig Babka

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This babka is a luxurious cake: a pound and a half of fresh figs and honey filling a rich yeast cake dough that includes slivered almonds. The juxtaposition of soft fruit, crunchy seeds and chewy almonds is delicious. The dough is similar to all babka dough: a very rich dough allowed the luxury of a slow rise and then shaped and filled. Having a generous neighbor with a fig-full tree is always a plus! Choreography: The cake has two processes, the dough and the filling. After the filling has marinated, separate most of the fruit from the liquid, leaving behind approximately 3/4 of the diced fruit for the filling.  This separated syrup/fruit will be cooked and further reduced forming a hot topping. The gluten in the flour needs to be extremely well worked and organized and therefore I do not recommend making this dough by hand. I found it most efficient to toggle back and forth between the two processes. If you need a long break the dough can be made and chilled in the fridge for