Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lemon Poppyseed Biscotti (Mandelbread)

Crispy double baked lemon-poppy seed cookie. 
The cookie recipe is inspired by Judy Zeider (The Gourmet Jewish Cook)

Biscotti and Mandelbread are easy to make. No special equipment required other than mixing bowls, spoons, parchment paper and a baking sheet. No need to own an electric mixer. 

Choreography: Easy!! Mix the dough, no waiting, shape, bake, slice, bake again and voila! The best biscotti you've ever had. 

1 c sugar
1 c neutral oil (I use canola)
3 large eggs 
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon oil 
zest of one lemon
4 c all purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 c poppy seeds 
1/2 c lemon baking chips (optional) 

  • Measure all ingredients, preheat the oven to 375 degrees 
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Mix the sugar and oil completely. Add the flavorings, salt, and zest and continue to mix
  • Combine the flour and baking powder

  • Add the flour into the egg mixture. Stir until about half integrated and add poppy seeds and chips. Mix well

  •  Divide into 3 portions. Form into logs on parchment lined cookie sheet
  • Slip the cookie sheet into the oven, lower the heat to 350 degrees and partially bake for approximately 25 minutes 

  • Remove the cookie pan and working quickly, slice the cookie bar into 1/2 inch slices. Slip back into the oven and continue to bake for 15 minutes.  Turn off the oven and cool the cookies in the oven. 

  • Cool and store in a closed container for 2-3 days at room temperature. If the cookies are left for longer, store, covered, in the refrigerator. Alternately, double wrap and freeze the cookies. 

  • Other biscotti and mandelbread recipes found on Breadandbabka: Chocolate chili biscotti and Maple Walnut Biscotti

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Whole Wheat- Walnut Sour Dough Bread

This bread, adapted from a recipe in Amy's Bread, is a chewy whole wheat bread,
filled with walnuts and cracked wheat with a hint of maple. 

This sour dough bread requires a ready, ripe, medium stiff sour dough starter (rye , white or a combination).  The bread ingredients are mixed,  can be hand stretched & folded, covered, and left to enjoy a slow cool rise  (8-10 hours).  The nuts and cracked wheat are kneaded in after the first proofing period. The second proof should be carried out in a warm draft-free location (a less than 100 degree oven or proofing box is perfect) for about 90 minutes. Bake in a very hot oven, preferably on a baking stone, with steam. 

2 oz warm water mixed with 3/4 tsp instant yeast 
9 oz whole wheat flour
4.5 oz bread flour 
1 oz corn meal
1 scant Tbsp kosher salt 
8 oz cool water
8 oz sour dough starter  (see: Sour Dough Starter ) 
2 Tbsp maple syrup (dark is best)
6 oz chopped walnut pieces (toasting is optional)
5 oz cooked and  cooled cracked wheat (4 oz boiling water mixed with 3 oz cracked wheat)
2 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil for greasing the bowl 
Additional all purpose flour to dust the kneading surface and to dust proofing basket (if one is used) 

  • Combine and stir 1/4c water and yeast. 
  • Combine flours, corn meal, salt in another bowl 
  • Add the 8 oz water and maple syrup to the yeast mixture and then mix in the dry ingredients
  • Mix to form shaggy dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface 
  • Stretch and fold to form an organized dough that is stretchy. The dough will be slightly tacky. (About 5-8 minutes)  or knead in a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes until a smooth stretchy dough is formed 
  • Grease the mixing bowl, place the smooth dough into the bowl, turn so that all sides are greasy and cover with plastic wrap  

  • Place in fridge and allow to proof for 8-10 hours 
  • IN THE MEANTIME, chop the nuts and prepare the cracked wheat , set aside 

  •  Fold the walnuts and cracked wheat into the dough. Deflate and stretch & fold several times to evenly distribute the ingredients. 
  •  Divide the dough into two roughly equal pieces. Roll into a round shape
  • Flour a lined proofing basket and place the dough seam up. Place in warm draft free space and allow to rise for 90- 120 minutes, until the dough is approximately doubled in bulk 

  • When the dough has been proofing for about an hour preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, heat it in the oven.  Place a pan of water, or fill the oven steam pan with water 
  • When the oven is hot, turn the proofed dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and slip onto the hot baking stone.

  • Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 400 degrees and bake an additional 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing.
    This bread stores well at room temperature for 2-3 days. Re-heat for a few minutes to re-crisp the crust.  As the picture shows, this bread slices beautifully. 

Other sour dough recipes on Bread and Babka include Sour Dough Oatmeal Loaf  and Sourdough Honey Challah