Homemade Sourdough, a Labor of Love

Anyone who’s had truly great sourdough bread knows it’s a thing of beauty. The flavor is truly unique. So much so that the starter or levain that you’re going to make or use is maybe the most hyper terroir thing there is. This is due to the fact that no matter where you get your starter from it will adapt over time to your natural yeast where you are. This isn’t a bad thing though. This just means it’s going to be unique no matter where you make it.  Continue reading

Celeriac, Chestnut, and Sourdough Stuffing

Stuffing, dressing, or whatever you want to call it, I fancy get it. In my post about being thankful for stuffing I explain my journey to get to this point. The recipe itself isn’t that complicated so take solace in that it can all go horribly wrong for all of us. That said with a little patience and focus this recipe is amazing and it both keeps well and reheats well. Continue reading

So Much More Than “Just Another Dinner Roll”

I frist discovered these rolls when I purchased The Gefilte Manifesto over a year ago. Since then I have been smitten with the book, the recipes, and these rolls. I enjoy them so much that I have made them many times just to have as a snack during the week. Each time I make them I learn a little more and they get a little better. What you need to know is that rye flour doesn’t behave the same why your all-purpose or bread flours do. Because of this your need to be patient with this recipe. I have good news though, these freeze beautifully so you can make them ahead to give them all the time they need.  Continue reading

Not Your Typical Bread but One You Don’t Want to Miss!

This post is for all the pickle lovers out there. Are there even people who don’t love pickles? Well that’s just silly. Pickles offer brightness and acidity to some dishes that need that to cut through all that richness and fit like hamburgers and deli meat sandwiches. What’s even better is when you can use your own homemade pickles. This can be a daunting undertaking but if done right it’s well worth it. It all started with both a good recipe and a good cucumber. Thankfully for the first The Gefilte Manifesto comes through splendidly.

One thing you’ll find is when you’re done making the pickles you end up with a lot of leftover pickle juice. Being one that is always looking for ways to use as much of anything I make as possible, I was curious when I came across their Pickle Brine Bread. Feeling adventurous I went ahead and made it not sure what was going to come out as the end result. Boy was I surprised when I sliced into this bread and get all the nice chewy texture of a really good whole wealth bread but then this amazing flavor! The pickle flavor was subtle but definitely something you could pick up on. The more I sampled this bread the more I realized this is the perfect bread for a basic deli meat sandwich.

It gives you enough structure to hold all your fixings and it is a close texture loaf so it will help soak up any juices. Then to round it all out that nice finish of the subtle pickle flavor make this a real winner. I have also used it for gefilte fish and chicken liver pate. So the next time you find yourself looking at pickle juice and wanting something interesting to do with it try your hand at making this loaf.

Pickle Brine Bread

  • 1 ½ ounces Warm Water
  • ¼ ounce Active Dry Yeast
  • ½ teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • 16 ounces Strained Pickle Brine
  • 2 ½ ounces Canola Oil
  • 112 grams Honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 360 grams Bread Flour
  • 532 grams Whole Wheat Flour

In the bowl of your stand mixer add the warm water, yeast, and salt. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes. It should look VERY bubbly!

Add in the rest of the ingredients and attached the bowl to the mixer fitted with the dough hook. Turn mixer on to a low speed. Once the ingredients have formed a mass kneed the dough for 7 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic and let rest for 2 hours. Once the dough is risen and doubled in size punch it down, kneed it on a floured surface and divide in half placing each half into two greased standard sized loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise for another hour until doubled in bulk again.

In the meantime preheat your oven to 350ºF. Bake the loves for about 45 minutes. You should be able to knock on the hardened crust and hear a hollow sound. Let cool in pans. Turn out and slice to serve. (I like to slice the two loaves and freeze them in baggies of the number of slices I know I will need for each meal.)

Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts

Cookbook Bravetart

Anyone who knows me knows I love to bake. My obsession started with cake decorating, then quickly shifted focus to chocolate chip cookies and now knows no limits… OK, well I still don’t sculpt sugar or chocolate. So when a new cookbook comes out about baking I think “been there, done that”. There never seems to be much new in the world of good cookbooks on baking. Sure everyone has their twists but they all seem to offer up the same set up recipes, slightly tweaked. Because of this, I tend to steer clear of cookbooks about baking, that was until Stella Park wrote BravetartContinue reading

Easter and Passover: How to Celebrate Both Through Food Without Overdoing It.

I was raised in a Christian household but we also celebrated some of the big Jewish holidays. We even went through a period of celebrating the sabbath every week. Depending on the time of year it seemed like there was either a heavier emphasis on my Christian upbringing, say like Christmas, or my Jewish heritage, like Passover. We still would celebrate Chanukah and Easter but if I thought of food I would say Christmas and Passover got priority. Then there are times they bleed together. This would best be explained but sharing that our traditional Christmas Eve dinner were, and still are, blintzes.  Continue reading

Busted Braided Bread No More! Troubleshooting a Recipe with Tremendous Success!

The idea seemed simple enough. Make a enriched dough add some amazing flavors. Complete the loaf with braiding and baking. What could go wrong? Well how about everything. It started with the best of intensions. I was going to make a special bread for easter. Time kept getting away from me but I was confident I could still get it done… Continue reading

Kurdish Fried Chicken with Black Rice and Kerchief Flatbreads from Kurdistan

Dinner this week I again turned to Taste of Persia. It was made of three main components chicken, rice and bread. Sounds simple enough but it wasn’t without it’s challenges. There was some scratching of the head and even a bit of harsh language directed at the recipes but in the end it was another total winner. The sweet rice, the tart chicken, and the soft bread with a giant pile of rough chopped herbs makes this a explosion of flavor and texture. Continue reading