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Challah - Baloo

Maggie Glezer,  ​  of  fame, is working on a new book. It's all about challah and other traditional Jewish breads. In advance of publication, I tried her challah recipe from this month's Fine Cooking magazine.         A six stranded challah will test my braiding skills. Her diagram helped immeasurably.     Well, I didn't hurt myself.     2 hours later, ready for the oven.         I love this stuff!       Coulda baked a few minutes longer.       Shoulda cooled a bit longer, but very tasty.         read more

Making Sausage-Mexican Chorizo

  • by PeteModerator

  When I was first introduced to Mexican Chorizo I was very confused. What I knew as “Chorizo” came from Spain and it was a dried sausage, so the first time I ordered Chorizo and Eggs I was perplexed by what I received. My consternation didn’t last long, however, after taking my first bite. I immediately fell in love with this new (well at least new to me) form of sausage. And I’ve been in love ever since.   Chorizo is a great way to add a little spice and Southwest flair to just about any meat dish that calls for ground meat. I often like to add it to chili, use it... read more

Indian Inspired Vegetable Curry

  • by PeteModerator

  I’m a big fan of Indian food, but I have to admit that I haven’t spent much time cooking it. This is a situation that I am planning on remedying in the near future. But I don’t let this lack of actual experience hinder me from experimenting with the flavors of India. I have read enough and dabbled enough that I feel pretty confident that I can create a dish, that if not authentically Indian, is, at least, a well inspired creation that evokes the tastes and aromas of the subcontinent.   Probably the biggest hindrance to some one new to Indian cuisine is the large... read more

Apple Pancakes with Maple-Cider Syrup

  • by PeteModerator

  I don’t eat breakfast a lot. I think I’ve said that before, but it is worth repeating. Sometimes I grab a quick bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit on my way out the door, or if I have to stop for gas I might grab a donut and a coke (healthy I know!!!!), but that is pretty much it during the weekdays. On weekends we a much more likely to cook a breakfast even though that doesn’t happen regularly, but since we have the time and it is not something we do often we usually go all out and make up quite a spread. This past weekend it was I who decided to make breakfast,... read more

Pain a l'Ancienne

While the name translates to Ancient Bread, it couldn't be all that old. The key to this awesome bread is refrigeration. It's hard to imagine making it before the advent of the icebox. It's very simple to make as it has just flour, water, salt and yeast.    The blob above is what it looks like after about 8 minutes in the mixer.   This is a really wet dough. It feels very much like a ciabatta dough. I wouldn't try it without a mixer. It's mixed with ice water, 40º and put right into the fridge. It's this cold fermentation that necessitates the mixer. Ciabattas... read more

Pane Sicilliano

The first day is the building of pate fermentee. To minimize browsing boredom, I'll spare you those pics. This is the final dough, built with pate fermentee, bread flour and durum flour.   Here's the unfermented dough.     2 1/2 hours later it has more than doubled in size. You can see the 2 "blow holes" starting to develop. The dough is borderline slack.   The shaping happens in 3 steps: batard, baguette, "S". Once the baguette is shaped, you coil the ends in opposite directions until you run out of dough.   The sesame seeds are optional, but I had them... read more

Pita on Parade

Variations on or theme, or... ...Pita on Parade. Both of these start with the same dough.     These get shaped after the dough is fully fermented, and then proof for an hour.     They get topped with a mix of olive oil and za'atar, a funky middle eastern spice/herb mix.   Kinda like pita pizza.   This is the same dough, but is shaped right after it's mixed, before fermentation.   Look kinda like bagels to me.   A few sesame seeds and then the ferment for 1 1/2 hours.   Then they get rolled flat and proof for about an hour.   They bake... read more

Bagel On Board!

Really, I mean it! This method is part of my continuing adventures with Maggie Glezer  ​ . How could she offer a book on Jewish bread without a bagel recipe? She couldn't and wouldn't!   Everyone knows you can only get real bagels in New York. I can get them on almost any corner. So why would I make them?     Because I can! This blob is the beginning of greatness.     A little kneading and the dough comes together.   Unlike the last time, I did the strand thing this time. Tapered ends mean that the bagels are more uniform when you shape... read more

Split Pea Soup

  • by PeteModerator

  The cold weather is slowly descending upon Wisconsin. While there have been a few days, so far, where we have seen snow in the air, I imagine that it won’t be long before that becomes a regular occurrence. Unlike so many others, I don’t mind the winter, and except for the long drive to work, I rather look forward to the season. I don’t understand people, here in Wisconsin, that spend so much of their time griping about winter. I just want to look at them and say, “You live in Wisconsin, what do you expect? If you hate winter so much then move south!” I guess it’s... read more

Super Bowl Munchies

  • by PeteModerator

  I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a sports fan. Sure I love to go catch an occasional Major League Baseball game, and I can, occasionally, be found spending a Sunday afternoon watching football, but that it about it. I can’t spout off each players statistics. Heck, I usually don’t keep up with who is even playing for what team. When asked my opinion I usually just BS my way through and hope I don’t say anything too stupid. It’s not that I don’t like sports, I’ve just got better things to do with my time than sit around watching them, and have way too much... read more

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