Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Winter Galette : cranberry, apple, maple


Galette's are easy(ier) than pie 

I love making galette's, which allow for more imperfections than making a beautiful pie with pinched edges. You needn't worry about rolling out a perfect circle when you roll out the dough and you can patch holes or tears prior to filling. It's easier to move the unfilled pastry dough onto a piece of baking parchment paper before filling and folding over.  The filling ratio for each galette is approximately 5 c of filling to one crust. The crust is sprinkled with a crumb filling to help absorb the fruit juices. 

Pie crust is not a health food. Making it pareve means margarine and/or Crisco, which is not any healthier than butter and lard. The ratio of fat to flour is high (about 1:2), so  suspend your commitment to health for this short period of time you make and consume anything with a "short" crust. 

I avoided making pie crust for years - not because of the health issue, but because it seemed like it was harder to make than it actually is. I use my food processor, which may not be the way a purist would do it, but it's fast and works. Most times that I bake I think of the TV show Lassie (I'm aging myself).  Timmy's mother often had pies cooling on the windowsill of the kitchen. We lived in an apartment in Brooklyn - the pies, if they could have existed, would have fallen down onto the street. So much for my pie baking fantasy. 

Here is a method for making a really good pareve pie (short) crust. You can vary it a bit by adding small amount of flavorings that will enhance the filling you are using. For example 1/4 tsp vanilla, cardamon or cumin really add interesting nuance to the crust and the resulting pastry. 

Short Crust (adapted from The New Basics Cookbook,  Rosso & Lukins, 1989) 
2 1/2 c all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-3 Tbsp granulated sugar,  cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar and 1/4 tsp cardamon (for sweet filling)
       or 1 Tbsp herbs (e.g oregano, basil, chives, marjoram) for savory pies 
1/4 c (1 stick) margarine , do not use "spreadable" margarine 
1/4 c Crisco 
up to 1/4 c ice water (add slowly , as needed) 
  • Add flour, salt and flavorings to the container of a food processor
  • Add cold margarine and Crisco in pieces to the container (about 1 minute)
  • Whirr until mixed and without stopping slowly add the ice water until the mixture pulls together in a ball (about a minute)
Divide the dough into 2 portions, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 2 days). If you are not planning to use the crust within 2 days, double wrap and freeze. To defrost, unwrap and allow to come to room temperature (about 45-60 minutes). 

This crust will make 2 medium galette, 2 single crust pie crusts or one double crust pie. 

1. Have pie crust dough prepared and ready to be rolled out
2. Prepare filling ingredients
3. Preheat oven (it must be hot- 400- 425 degrees) 
4. Roll out the crust, brush away excess flour 
5. Move crust to pie pan or baking sheet and fill  
6. Egg wash, sprinkle with sparkling sugar 
7. Bake 
Total time, with a crust that is prepared and ready to be used is usually less than 90 minutes 

food processor (for making the crust)
baking sheet, lined with
    baking parchment paper 
measuring cups, spoons, spatula 
bowl, paring knife 
large flat cookie spatula (for moving the dough) - this is optional, but a handy tool

Apple Cranberry Maple filling: 
2 c chopped walnuts
6 oz fresh (or frozen) cranberries 
12 oz peeled, chopped apples (approximately 2 apples)
12 oz peeled, quartered & thinly sliced apples (approximately 2 apples)
1 tsp orange oil 
2 tsp gingerbread spice mix
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch salt 
4 tsp instant clear jel (available from King Arthur Flour) or other pie thickener
1/4 c maple syrup  (I prefer dark maple syrup for baking)
1/2 c granulated sugar

Cake Crumb: mix ingredients and keep in a jar for those times you need to use for pie baking.
1c sugar
1c bread crumbs
1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 large egg mixed with 1 tsp cold water (for egg wash)
2-4 Tbsp sparkling sugar or demerara sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.  Roughly chop the cranberries and nuts in a food processor
3. Set the sliced apples aside.
4. Prepare the chopped apples and spices, combine the clear jel and sugar, measure the maple syrup.
    Mix together in a large bowl with the cranberries and nuts. 

5. Dust the work surface with a flour, roll out one portion of the dough to a rough circle or oblong that is approximately 12-14 inches in diameter . Sprinkle 1/3- 1/2 c cake crumb on top of the crust

6. Slide a piece of parchment paper under the rolled out dough. If the dough tears or there is a hole, patch with another piece of dough

7. With half of the apple slices, create a circle frame (2 slices deep). Fill the well that is created with half of the fruit filling

8. Fold the edges of the dough up and around the fruit filling. The fold over should be about 2 inches toward the center of the pastry. 
9. Brush away any loose flour Brush the exposed dough with egg. 

10. Repeat process to make a 2nd pastry. You can bake 2 on a large baking sheet, or place one pastry on each of 2 baking sheets. If you are baking with 2 baking sheets, rotate the baking sheets halfway through the baking time

11. Slide the pastry into the oven. Lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake approximately                    25- 35 minutes or until deep golden brown and bubbly.  Do not underbake.

12. Cool before serving, the juices will firm up.
13. This pastry freezes well for up to a month. Double wrap and freeze. Unwrap to defrost and warm 
     in the oven at 400 degrees for about five minutes. 

Other tarts/pies you may be interested in making include
Fig and Goat Cheese Tart
Viennese Style Fruit Tart
Mixed Berry Tart

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.