Archive for the 'bread' Category

11
Dec
11

This Week’s Events


If you are tired of the same old bread, if you want to try something different, something that will open up new wonderful worlds of flavor, you must attend the incomparable Levana Kirschenbaum‘s demo tomorrow evening at 7:00pm:

Monday, December 12th

Secrets of Whole Grain Quickbreads and Muffins. Served with salad and soup

Think of all the delicious and healthy breads and muffins you could be whipping up in minutes, and you may never again wait in line for those nasty baked goods the cart around your corner heaves all day long. All the following goodies are equally at home as loaves or muffins, and each batch will make you enough for a good two dozen muffins or a large loaf, so we’ll have fun mixing and matching!

We will be serving our goodies with soup and salad.

I’ll be demonstrating:

  • Caraway mustard bread
  • Apple oat bread
  • Irish soda bread
  • Spicy pumpkin bread
  • Zucchini pecan lemon bread
  • Steel-cut oat soup and salad

You can register for this demo at: http://www.levanacooks.com/kosher-cooking-classes/weekly-classes/

$45 / class. $120 for 3 classes. $200.00 + a signed cookbook for 5 classes
$25 — attending for dinner only
$35 — child class fee (ages 12 and under)

Tuesday, December 13th

These days a wine tasting is far more than just an event where you taste wine, it includes live music and more. Thanks to Aron Ritter‘s Kosher Wine Society, the standards have been raised:

PRE-CHANUKAH WINE TASTING EXTRAVAGANZA!

8 CABERNETS

ONE FOR EACH NIGHT OF CHANUKAH!!

8 OTHER HAND-SELECTED WINES!

and that’s not all!!

Join us for a Gala Chanukah Expo

Live Jazz, and Chanukah Eats!!

7:30pm – 9:00pm

Pre-Registered Online Price:

$25.00

$36.00 at the door

Zanger Hall

347 West 34th Street

(Between 8th and 9th Avenues)

New York, NY 10017

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

 CLICK HERE NOW!

Hope to see you there, gentle reader!

CS

15
Sep
11

Lilly’s Home Style Bake Shop


As I toured Lilly’s Home Style Bake Shop, the sweet aromas wafting through the air, I was transported back to my mother’s kitchen, where the promise of sweet delicious treats were imminent as she prepared Shabbos or Yom Tov cakes and cookies. This past Tuesday morning, I walked the plant with Ethan Lieberman who together with CEO Irving Guttman, started the company in 2004 and kept on expanding the premises as new machinery was needed to streamline production of their growing product line.

Sprinkling cinnamon onto babka dough...

From jumbo to regular sized bagels, to assorted breads and challah types of various shapes and sizes, to mouth watering cakes and danishes, to cookies and biscottis,  all beckoned before my gluttonous Hansel and Gretel eyes as the various doughs were being made, shaped and baked.

Racks filled with challah, chocolate danish, hamentashen and so much more...

Lilly’s (named after Ethan‘s – Avrumi‘s – mother) ships nationally under their own name and under various private labels – including well known supermarket chains and warehouse type wholesalers. The whole operation is supervised by Silliker, a third party approver which specializes in certifying the cleanliness and strict adherence to codes governing this type of operations. Kashrus is under OU supervision.

Fresh and moist! A tray full of chocolate babka, rainbow cookies, black and whites are awaiting me...

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! As for me, I’ll just grab another piece of that decadent babka oozing with chocolate… Get your own, kid!!!

CS

09
Mar
11

My Brother Bobby’s Salsa


Last week Tuesday I attended the International Restaurant and Food Service Show held at Manhattan’s Javits Center. There I met my friends Bobby and Valerie Groper from My Brother Bobby’s Salsa. The company started in 1993 and recently moved into its own state-of-the-art processing facility in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Bobby and Valerie Groper in their booth at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show

My Brother Bobby’s Salsa makes four delicious products:

  • Fresh Bruschetta Topping
  • Original Red Salsa
  • Hot Tomatillo with Corn Salsa
  • Tropical Black Bean Salsa

Everything is kosher certified by the OK, under the leadership of Rav Don Yoel Levy. All products use top quality, natural ingredients and no preservartives.

I used the Bruschetta Topping to make a succulent, super easy, Bruschetta Bread:

Bruschetta Bread

My version of Bruschetta Bread...

Ingredients

  • 1/2 loaf Italian bread, sliced open
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices Natural & Kosher Cheddar
  • My Brother Bobby’s Salsa Fresh Bruschetta Topping

Directions

  1. Brush olive oil over white surface of the Italian bread. Put in 350 F preheated oven for about 2 minutes.
  2. Melt cheese slowly in a pan over a small flame.
  3. Cover surface of bread with melted cheese.
  4. Top the cheese with bruschetta topping
  5. Sprinkle any leftover melted cheese over the topping.

It barely took more than 5 minutes and was a real treat. You can use any other flavor of cheese to melt, with shredded cheese you’ll even get better and faster result. Your bread loaf need not even be covered with sesame seeds, I used it because it was what I had handy, same goes for the cheese. Frankly, gentle reader, it was a very filling lunch.

Now I have to try the rest of My Brother Bobby’s Salsa products.

CS

04
Jan
11

Spelt Bread


[Gil Marks is the author of numerous books, including his latest, the highly-acclaimed Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. CS]

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with various grains in place of common wheat in breads. I’ve made rye bread many times over the years, but always with some wheat flour in the dough. A couple of weeks ago, I baked a 100% rye bread, which turned out rather flat and very dense and with a nutty, fruity flavor. It was perfect with lox. I have some einkorn flour in the refrigerator awaiting use in the near future. Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying spelt bread the past few weeks.

Triticum spelta L. (Photo from: plants/usda.gov)

Spelt (triticum spelta L.) – dinkel in German and Yiddish; farro grande in Italian; kusmin in Modern Hebrew — is a hexaploid species of wheat (it has 42 chromosomes), like common wheat. Spelt is a hybrid of emmer (a tetraploid wheat with 28 chromosomes) and a wild goat grass (Aegilops tauschii), possibly occurring north of the Caucasus or in Crimea. The kernels are slightly longer and more pointed than those of wheat, somewhat resembling barley in appearance. Spelt is a hulled grain (spelze in German and farro in Italian), meaning the husk remains attached to the kernel during threshing and requires much pounding and effort to extract the grain. (Common wheat and durum wheat are free-threshing grains in which the hulls easily slip off.) Spelt is also relatively low yielding. However, spelt grows well in poor soil and without the need for pesticides, since, as with most hulled grains, it naturally resists fungus and insects.

It was in Bronze and Iron Age (750-15 BCE) Europe where spelt found its greatest popularity, becoming the predominant wheat species of Germany and Switzerland. The word spelta, believed to be of Saxon origin, was first recorded in 301 CE in an edict of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the Romans possibly introduced to the grain after expanding the empire northward. Romans, however, preferred common wheat, which they spread through their domains. Ashkenazim mistakenly confused spelt with both the Talmudic shiphon (probably einkorn) and the Biblical kussemet (probably emmer or a generic term for hulled wheat, of which emmer was then the most prominent), as one of the Five Species of grain forbidden on Passover and also requiring the removal of challah. (As a member of the wheat family, spelt is still forbidden on Passover and requires challah removal.) Rashi (Pesachim 35a) translated kusmin into Old French as espelte, which is usually translated as spelt, but may actually mean hulled wheats in general, similar to the German Spelzen and Italian farro. Spelt was not grown in biblical or Talmudic Israel or Egypt and there is no archeological evidence for this grain anywhere in the ancient Near East or Egypt.

Green Kern spelt - Photo from allergome.org

In the late medieval period, as new species of naked wheat became prevalent in central Europe, spelt consequently lost its attractiveness. Nevertheless, spelt remained the predominant grain in southern Germany until the nineteenth century. Still, it retains a degree of popularity in parts of southern Germany and southwestern Poland. Today, spelt’s primary form is husked and kiln-dried, the resulting grains called gruenkern (literally “green kernels”). Harvesting green grains, such as barley for the biblical Omer offering, is an ancient practice devised to collect a small part of a springtime crop while still immature, thereby salvaging at least that portion, in case a heavy storm would potentially damage or rot the entire yield.

Primarily produced in parts of southern Germany and southwestern Poland, gruenkern is rare in America, but found in some specialty food stores. Germans use the greenish-tan kernels in soups, stews, puddings, gruels, breads (mixed with wheat flour), and fritters. Today, many German families, instead of shalet (cholent), slow simmer gruenkernsuppe overnight to commence Sabbath lunch. The first edition of The Settlement Cook Book (1901), the author from a German-Jewish heritage, included a recipe for “Green Kern Soup,” directing “2 qts. soup stock or poultry soup, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon celery, diced, 2 cups green kern, 1 cup Croutons, 2 cups boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt. Wash green kern in cold water, then cook in boiling salted water 2 hours or until tender, add the celery. As water evaporates add soup stock, page 66. If you are making fresh soup take the “top soup” and keep adding it strained to the green kern, until the desired consistency. Season to taste. Serve hot with Croutons, page 81. If you prefer, dry the green kern on back of stove, grind fine and cook until tender in the soup. Just before serving pour on one or two egg yolks well beaten and serve hot with Croutons.”

Spelt is also used in central Europe to make ale, noodles, pancakes, and bread. Spelt contains a lower amount of omega gliadins (proteins) that engender gluten than common wheat and, therefore, can sometimes be tolerated by those with wheat allergies to common wheat, which has been bred to contain a massive amount of gluten. For some, but not all of those who face problems with common wheat (not those with celiac disease), spelt is fine. Otherwise, the fat and amino acid content of common wheat and spelt are similar.

As to my spelt bread, the results were very good. Spelt bread is a bit more crumbly and not quite as high rising as common wheat loaves as well as a light brown hue. But it is still rather fluffy inside, has a crusty exterior, and with a somewhat nutty taste. In many ways, spelt flour can be used similarly to common wheat. However, spelt dough, since its gluten is more fragile and soluble, requires less kneading than common wheat, only 4 to 5 minutes by hand (wheat bread is typically 10 minutes of kneading). Also use less water than in wheat dough (which will weaken the gluten), meaning a firmer dough. However, the dough should not be too dry, or the bread will turn out too dense. I understand that bread machines, which I won’t use anyway, overstress the gluten and produce inferior spelt loaves.

In case you feel like experimenting, here’s my recipe for spelt bread (Dinkelbrot):

Spelt bread (dinkelbrot) - Detail from photo by: thefreshloaf.com

Spelt Bread

(1 medium loaf about 24 ounces)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees (40 to 46 C) for dry yeast
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • About 3¼ cups spelt flour (13 ounces/365 grams)

Directions

  1. To make the dough: Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup water. Stir in 1 teaspoon honey and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining water, oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Gradually add enough remaining flour until the mixture holds together.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes. (Less than wheat flour.) Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  3. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, divide in half, and form into a ball. Place, seam side down, on a parchment paper-lined or greased large baking sheet or in a greased 8-inch round baking pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).
  5. With a sharp knife, slit an X in the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Enjoy!

Gil Marks

13
Apr
10

Israeli Food Blogs – Part 3


Finally I found a recipe for a pareve potato bread. I always wanted to taste potato bread!

From Israeli Kitchen:

The recipe for this delicious, light bread came from  Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery. Browsing through that book is a pleasure. I start reading for fun, absorbed in food history, almost hearing Ms. David’s distinctive, elegantly British voice, and then hit the recipes. Oh, those crumpets and muffins, those brioches and yeast buns!

Every time I go through it, another recipe catches my eye. This time, it was potato bread. Ms. David took old recipes and adjusted them to her modern English kitchen. Here in Israel, I took this recipe and did the same.

One of the adjustments I made was to keep this loaf pareve (containing neither meat nor milk). Ms. David suggests using a mixture of warm milk and water for the liquid. Note: there is no fat nor commercial sugar in this bread.

Potato Bread

1 large loaf

Ingredients

White flour: 450 grm or 3 1/2 cups

Salt: 20 grm. or 2 tsp.

Warm, dry, mashed and sieved potato: 120 grm or 1/2 cup, firmly packed. One medium-sized potato should do it.

Yeast from fresh cube: 15 grm. or 1 Tblsp.

Water, warm: 280 grm. or 1 cup plus a little less than 1/2 cup

Method:

1. Boil the potato, in its skin, till it’s quite soft, but not disintegrating.

2. While the potato is cooking, put the yeast in a small bowl with the warm water. Allow it to dissolve.

3. Measure 3 cups of flour into a bowl and add the salt to it.

4. When the potato is done, drain it and bring the cooking pot back to the stove, shaking it over the flame to dry it out well. Remove the potato to a dish and let it cool just enough to handle. I didn’t peel my potato, but if you want to, go ahead. Mash it and force it through a sieve to eliminate lumps in the dough.

5. Rub the sieved potato through the flour as if it were fat for a pie crust, till the potato is “thoroughly amalgamated.”

6. Make a well in the center of the potatoey flour and pour the yeasty water in. With a spoon, throw flour from the sides over the liquid and mix it in.

7. Keep stirring and mixing. You will get a loose, sloppy dough. Don’t let that worry you, just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise. Between 2 and 3 hours later, it will look like this:

8. Knock it back and sprinkle in, a little at a time, another 1/2 cup of flour. Lightly knead, or fold and stretch the dough till it’s a cohesive mass. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 minutes. Both of these parts are important: you let the dough rest to absorb the new quantity of flour, and the damp towel is there to keep the top crust a little moisturized lest you get a crust too hard to cut.

Preheat the oven to 425° F 225°  C.

9. While the oven is heating, shape the dough into a loaf. You can place it into a loaf tin or leave it free-form. What I did was shape the loaf on a floured sheet of baking paper and roll the paper back and forth a few times under it. The normally bottom, seam side stayed up on purpose to let the loaf open along the seam – instead of slashing the loaf on the top side.  Let the loaf rise till light – again, covered with a damp towel – another 20 minutes or so.

10. Spritz, or brush the loaf with water.

11. Bake it for 45 minutes.

Cool on a rack. Wait till the bread is entirely cool before slicing into it. In fact, it’s better the next day. Good to eat plain or toasted; good for sandwiches; good for croutons. Just darned good bread.

[Photo by Mimi from www.israelikitchen.com].

The taste was super delicious, the aroma as it was baking and as it come out of the oven… ahhh… The above quoted blog is further proof you need not be a professionally trained chef, with years of experience, to create delectable food!

CS

25
Nov
09

Thanksgiving and the Jews


The first Jew to set foot in Colonial America, was Joachim Gans, who came here in 1584 having been recruited by Sir Walter Raleigh as he set out on an expedition to explore the Virginia territory. In 1654 a group of 23 Dutch  Jews arrived from Brazil, on the shores of New Amsterdam (New York), fleeing the Inquisition recently instituted in Portugal’s new colony. Like the Mayflower Pilgrims before them, this group came to the New World in search of opportunities and religious freedom. Life wasn’t easy; dreams could only be realized through an incredible amount of determination, hard work, sweat, tears and personal sacrifice.

I can just imagine these Dutch/Brazilian Jews in the new land celebrating Thanksgiving with a slowly cooked Moqueca Capixaba (a Brazilian dish consisting of: fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, chili pepper and additional ingredients). Fish was plentiful,  requiring no shechita.

As the years and centuries progressed, Jews realized unparalleled success in the New World, engaging in  fields of study and a variety of livelihoods unrivaled in our history… We educated ourselves and our children, excelling in areas in academia, maths and sciences, commerce, technology and the arts.  We suddenly had new freedoms and exploited unprecedented opportunities. 

In 1946, my dad, a teenager at the time, arrived to these shores,  on an orphan transport boat called the Ernie Pyle. In his hand was a shabby little suitcase that contained his Tefillin and a herring. Shortly after his arrival, speaking but a few words of English, he landed a job in a baby blanket factory, sewing & sweeping floors. His one meal a day was dinner at Ratner’s, one of the famous dairy eateries of its day, where he’d sit down to a bowl of soup and all the bread he could eat. The Hungarian wife ( and amazing cook) he married two years later, kept him happy and content in the kitchen and in life. May they continue together in health and happiness till 120!

Dad’s early days in the new land remind me of an old joke:

Abe Cohen goes to a restaurant every day for lunch. He always orders the soup du jour. One day the manager asks him how he liked his meal. Abe replies (with a Yiddish accent) “Vass goot, but you could give a lidle more bread.”

The next day, the manager tells the waitress to give him four slices of bread. “How was your meal, sir?” the manager asks. “Vass goot, but you could give a lidle more bread”.

Next day the manager tells the waitress to give him eight slices of bread. “How was your meal today, sir?” the manager asks. “Vass goot, but you could give a lidle more bread”.

The manager is now obsessed with seeing Abe say that he enjoyed his meal, so he goes to the bakery and orders a 6ft long French loaf. When Abe comes in – as usual – the next day, the waitress and the manager cut the loaf in half, butter the entire length of each half and lay it out along the counter, right next to his bowl of soup. Abe sits down, and devours both his bowl of soup and both halves of the 6ft loaf of bread. The manager now thinks he will get the answer he is looking for. When Abe comes up to pay for his meal, the manager asks in the usual way: “How was your meal TODAY, sir?” Abe replies “It vass goot, as usual, but I see you are back to giving only 2 slices of bread!”

How times and country have changed us all! America is still  a land of opportunity, if we can just get past the gauntlet of recorded voice messages that stand between us and our daily bread. Though the the ‘Goldeneh Land’ has lost some of it’s glitter, we have much to be grateful for.  We enjoy freedoms in this country that others less fortunate literally die for each and every day.  Though our health care system is in shambles, we have access to medical care, medication and vaccines that don’t even exist in other countries. We benefit  from technologies we never dreamed of; at our fingertips we have the power to transform the world or to destroy it.

In our tfilos we thank the Almighty each and every day, three times a day.  We acknowledge His mastery over Creation and bless His handiwork in everything we eat and partake of in His world. All our accomplishments are through His divine grace. Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the US, it brings families together from near and far, as collectively America remembers all we have to be thankful for.

Wishing those that celebrate this holiday a Happy Thanksgiving filled with good cheer, good conversation, good food, in the company of loved ones.

In the holiday spirit, I’ll leave you with a personal heimishe recipe for turkey stuffing and simple turkey baste. Enjoy!!

Challah Stuffing

(serves 10)

1 large challah, dried out (leave out overnight)
2 cups shredded carrots, sautéed
2 cup sautéed minced onions
2 cup sautéed finely diced celery
2 cups wild mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts (washed and drained)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, optional
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, and sautéed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cups chicken stock
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions:

Soak Challah in water, remove crust top when moistened, and squeeze out all water, break into small pieces. Add eggs, oil, stock and seasoning. Sautée vegetables; when cooled to room temperature, add into mix . Stuff inside turkey cavity, alongside turkey or bake in a separate casserole.

Turkey Baste

¾ c. oil
dried garlic powder
onion powder
sweet paprika
dried parsley, dried dill, salt and pepper.

Place sliced onions, celery, clove of garlic, (brussel sprouts-optional garnish) in bottom of roasting pan.  Add water.

Turkey

Place turkey in prepared roasting pan, tented with aluminum foil.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes per pound.  Baste 4-5 times with oil/spice mixture. Bake uncovered for last 15 minutes.

Here is my simple, homemade turkey (the guests always love its finger lickin’ goodness!):

turkey

As a dessert, some may want it as a side dish with the turkey, you might make this simple to follow but delicious recipe:

Cranberry Crunch Mousse

2 Rich’s Rich whip 8 oz topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Whip up topping. When whip is formed add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.

1 12 oz. package fresh cranberries
1 8 oz bag of mini marshmallows
8 oz honey glazed pecans chopped

Chop cranberries in food processor for about a minute, don’t pulverize. Fold cranberries, marshmallows and chopped pecans into whip mixture and serve chilled.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 8-10

SYR




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