Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Once again, we took a short vacation, and this mom’s separation from her kitchen resulted in a serious baking outburst. So, my New Year’s resolutions have been successfully shipped to the carb heaven, where they will probably remain sugar-high-and-all for the next 10 months.

Poppy_Roll_WM-6

On a brighter note, this blog has reached 100,000 hits; which, I think, is worth a celebration!  So, Russian Friday it is – carbohydrates galore! 

Print this recipe

POPPY SEED ROLL

INGREDIENTS:

POOLISH:

  • 1.5 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tsp active dry east
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 160 g unbleached all-purpose flour

DOUGH:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1cup sugar
  • 50 g butter, melted and cooled to the room temperature
  • 600 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 (9 g) bag  vanilla sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

FILLING:

EGG WASH:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbs water

Yields: 2 rolls

DIRECTIONS:

Make poolish: whisk 2 cups of flour with milk and sugar with yeast, cover and let raise for about 1 – 1,5 hours.  The poolish is ready after it reaches its peak height and drops.

Mix the dough: whisk eggs, sugar, salt, and butter together till everything is dissolved.  Add the mixture to the poolish.  Slowly add sifted flour.  Mix to incorporate all the ingredients.  Place the dough on a floured surface and knead (adding flour, if needed) till the dough stops sticking to your hands – for about 10 minutes.

Place into an lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rest for another hour.

Make the filling: mix sugar with poppy seeds , cover with milk and bring to boil.  Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Blend in a food processor. Let cool down before spreading.

Poppy_Roll_WM-12

Make the rolls: divide the dough in to 2 halves. Working with each half separately, roll the dough into a 14 x 21 inch ((35 x 52 cm) rectangle about 0.2 inch (4-5 mm) thick. Spread half of the filling over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) edge.  Roll the dough into a cylinder, place it the seam side down on a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper   Make a wheel out of it, carefully pressing the edges together. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375⁰F/190⁰C, position the rack in the middle.

Prepare the wash: whisk the yolks with water.

Score the rolls, cutting the outer edges through.  The cut should be about 2/3 rd-s of the width of the cylinder.  Repeat the cuts every inch (3 cm), and slightly twist the edges facing them up. Brush the top of the roll with the wash and place in the oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Poppy_Roll_WM-9

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy

Read Full Post »

Ah, vacation… We had the best time ever hanging out with the family, riding bikes, enjoying the mountains.  However, I found myself missing the kitchen.  In fact I started having a serious baking withdrawal… Naturally, since we got back, I made 5 sourdough loafs of bread, 2 chocolate cakes, chocolate chip cookies, pitas, and naan… all in less than a week.

The old chocolate cake has been such a huge success, I decided to try a Russian version found in the winter’s Fine Cooking issue.  The potato adds a bit of moisture and keeps the dough fresh for up to 4 days!    Enjoy!

Print this recipe

SWEET RUSSIAN CHOCOLATE BRAID

INGREDIENTS:

Dough

  • 1 ½ cups plus 3 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbs water
  • 1 very small potato, peeled, boiled until tender, and forced through a sieve (to yield ¼ cup)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla powder
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbs cold unsalted butter

Filling

  • 1 cup Pastry Cream (recipe below)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS:

Make the dough. In a small bowl, mix 3 tbs of flour and yeast and water.  Let sit for about 10 minutes till foamy.  In a stand mixer combine the remaining ingredients, add the yeast mixture and mix until the dough is smooth for about 8 minutes.  It will be very sticky.  Dump the dough on a floured surface and knead with your hands for a couple minutes adding a little bit of flour to make it firmer. Transfer the dough in a large container, seal with plastic wrap, and rise for about 3 hours.

Make ahead.  Instead of letting the dough rise, you can place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 4 days.  Pull it out of the fridge and let it stand for 3-4 hours in room temperature before proceeding to the next step.

Make pastry cream (see recipe below) right after the you mix the dough to give it enough time for cooling down.

Shape the braid. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment.  Roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle about 13×16 inches and about 1/8 inch thick.  Apply the chilled pastry cream over the dough and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Roll it into a 16-inch cylinder.  Transfer to the baking sheet.  Cut the cylinder in half lengthwise and arrange both halves parallel to one another with a cut side facing up.  Wrap them around each other starting in the middle, pinching the edges of the braid together. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for another 35-45 minutes.

Bake. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F/175⁰C.  Position the rack in the center of the oven. Brush the beaten egg over the braid. Bake until golden brown for about 40 minutes.  Let cool on a rack for 1 hour before slicing.

As you see on the picture below, we couldn’t wait, so the chocolate is still melting under the knife!Yummm!

Print Recipe

PASTRY CREAM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tbs all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks. Warm up milk just until a skin forms.  Add milk to the mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.  Transfer back to heat and cook until the mixture is thick and glue (for about 5 minutes) constantly steering it with a wooden spoon.  Place a plastic wrap on top of the cream and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:

Read Full Post »

I love bread, I cannot lie. Our neighbors seem to enjoy it too. For months now I have been successfully trading bread for smiles, car washes, window cleaning, wine, and mmmmm my favorite nopales salad. Here is the loaf that has been really popular lately.

It’s a modification of my favorite Tartine recipe.  The natural leaven makes it taste amazing even several days after it was baked.  Try this bread fresh while still warm – and you are in danger of eating the whole loaf in one sitting.

Print this recipe

RYE BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200 g leaven
  • 800 g water (75⁰ F/ 25⁰ C)
  • 270 g whole-rye flour
  • 830 g unbleached bread flour
  • 20 g salt

Yields 2 loafs

DIRECTIONS:

Day 1: make leaven – combine 200 g water, 1 tbs of sourdough starter and 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour.  Mix well, loosely cover the top of the container with a plastic wrap, and let ferment overnight.  Discard the rest of the starter.

Day 2: Test the leaven: it’s ready if a tsp of it dropped in the water floats.

Once the leaven passes the floating test, combine all ingredients but salt and mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic and let rest for 25-30 minutes.

Save leftover leaven – it’s now your starter.

After the first rest, add the salt, and mix it well into the dough.  Let rest for about 3 hours, turning the dough upside down with wet hands twice during the first two hours.

After about 3 hours, when the dough has increased in size, dump it onto a floured surface and separate into two equal parts.

Working with one half at a time: with a bread scraper fold the dough edges in to form a ball.  Let rest, seams down, on a floured surface for about 25-30 minutes, covered by plastic or a floured towel.

Next, working with one half at a time, place it face down on a floured surface.  Carefully fold the edges with your hands slightly pressing them into the remaining dough: starting by carefully stretching the bottom edge and folding it to meet the opposite end; repeating with left, right, and finishing with the top edge. Form a loaf.  Place a loaf in a proofing basket, lightly sprinkled with rice flour, lined with a floured tile, face down, seam up.

Put the baskets in plastic bags and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

To bake: place an iron pot with the lid in the oven and preheat the oven to 500⁰ F/ 260⁰ C.  Dump the loaf into the preheated pot, seam side down. Cover with the lid, and bake the bread in it for 20 minutes at 475 ⁰ F/ 245 ⁰ C.

After 20 minutes remove the lid and let bake for 25 more minutes.

Let chill on a wire rack or eat while it’s hot.

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

Read Full Post »

I bet you didn’t know we have bagels in Russia! They are called bubliki and the same concept of boiled dough used in their preparation.  Furthermore, when Russian bubliki are made by me, they even look like American bagels. In real life the holes are a little bigger, and the texture is a little denser. 

The goal of this particular project was to make them healthier.  I used sprouted whole wheat flour, and the whole family was pleased with the result.  These bubliki turned out soft and airy, yet chewy – perfect!

Print this recipe

SPROUTED BAGELS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water, warm
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 3 cups sprouted wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • topping (optional) – poppy, sesame seeds, or other

Yields 12 bagels

DIRECTIONS:

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the sugars. Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Mix the remaining ingredients until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 balls, make holes in them with your thumb and spread the holes with your fingers to make them really wide – they will shrink when cooking.

Dust a tray with cornmeal and place bagels on it.  Cover lightly with a dump towel and/or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.  Refrigerate for about 12 hours.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator. Let them rest at room temperature for about 45 minutes. Bing a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and preheat the oven to 450°F/230⁰C.

Boil bagels for about 1 minute on each side – two at a time.  Remove them with a spotted spoon and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with your favorite topping, if you wish to.  Bake the bagels for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.  Remove them from the oven, and cool on racks.

If you do make some bubliki for your family, I suggest this Russian movie to go with them! На здаровье!

Read Full Post »

I spent my childhood years in Soviet Russia.  Back then most people practiced Communism as their main religion, and the cover page of our first school book had a large portrait of Dedushka Lenin.  People didn’t seem to be interested in church.

Unless it was Easter –  the most festive holiday of the year!  The preparations started way before the event.  Detailed house cleanings, taking care of graves, and cooking, cooking, cooking…

There are some similarities and differences between the way Easter is celebrated here, in the States, and back at home.  First of all, the dates.  Russian Orthodox Church is on Julian calendar, hence most holidays are 13 days later.  Sometimes Easter falls on the same day as here, and sometimes it’s a week or two delayed.  This year it’s on the 15th of April.

Traditionally Russian Easter eggs are bright red.  Most people boil them with onion shells collected over the year just for that purpose.   There are no Easter bunnies, and I don’t quite remember an egg hunt, but there were other games.  Nowadays there is a new brilliant invention in the field of egg decoration – egg labeling. You put an egg into a plastic shell, dip it into boiling water for a few seconds, and suddenly your shell takes the shape of the egg and sticks to it.   I got a few online and could not resist playing with them today.   

The highlight of every Russian Easter table is Kulich – sweet Easter Bread.  Light and fluffy, it has anything from raisins and dried apricots to almonds and orange zest inside; and a sweet dripping frosting on the outside.  It is usually decorated with letters “XB”, Russian abbreviation for “Christ has risen”.

This year we are planning to share our Kulich with everybody we know.  So, I made a practice run to make sure my old family recipe will do its miracles with American ingredients.  Oh, indeed, it was the sweetest most delicious bread I’ve ever made! 

Print this recipe

KULICH

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 25 g dry east
  • 1.5 cup sugar, divided
  •  1 kg unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 eggs, whites separated from yolks
  • 3 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 15 g salt
  • 250 g unsalted butter, melted, and cooled to barely warm
  • 150 g raisins, dried apricots, almonds (whichever you like, or all together)
  • 1 cup rum (optional)

FROSTING:

  • 400 g confectioner’s sugar
  • Orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 100 g hot water

Yields about 6 kuliches baked in 5.25” molds

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium mixing bowl combine milk, 1 tbs of sugar, and dry east.  Let ferment for about 10 minutes.  Add 200 grams of flour, mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment.  Depending on the temperature around your house, it may take from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for the poolish mixture to start heavy bubbling.

If using raisins, pour rum over them, and let soak while the dough is being prepared.

When the poolish is ready, with a hand-mixer beat the egg yolks with remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla.

In a separte bowl whisk egg whites so that they form a peak.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, butter,  poolish, egg yolks, and whites.

Cover with a plastic wrap, and let rise.  When the dough doubles in size (50 – 90 minutes), add drained raisins and/or other dried fruit and nuts.

Fill the molds with the dough, about 1/3 full.  Traditionally, kulich molds are very tall, lots of people actually use coffee cans. Panettone paper molds are the closest to the ideal that I could find in the States.  Cover the filled molds with a kitchen towel, and let rise for another 50-90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, till golden brown.

Remove kulich from the oven, and let chill on a wire rack.

When the kulich is cool, prepare the frosting by whisking all the ingredients together into a smooth mixture.

Apply the frosting on top of your kulich, allowing it to drip.

Decorate your Easter Bread with “XB” and or other patterns, if desired.

Христос Воскресе!

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

Read Full Post »

My dearest friend Alma and I went to the movies today to watch teenagers killing each other; enjoyed it tremendously and had some sodas and popcorn.  That soda (the ultra-enormous size “small” cherry coke) was the first chemical drink I’ve had in weeks.  The guilt level was so high – morally it almost felt like a hara-kiri sword going through my stomach.  The taste was so good –physically it almost felt like heaven… add Katniss Evergreen shooting everyone left and right – true paradise!

To prepare for this deliberately wrong (on so many levels) outing, I made a pretty healthy lunch.  This recipe is adopted from my bread bible, Tartine.  As a person, who grew up on semolina cereals, I was quite impressed – the loaf didn’t taste anything like those childhood breakfasts I’m trying to forget.  It was perfect for my avocado/sprout/goat cheese/sundried tomato sandwich!

Print this recipe

SEMOLINA BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200 g leaven
  • 750 g + 50 g water (room temperature)
  • 700 g semolina flour
  • 300 g all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 75 g fennel seeds
  • 75 g sesame seeds
  • 20 g salt
  • 200 g mixed seeds (poppy, fennel, and sesame) for coating

Yields: 2 loafs

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare leaven a night before by mixing 1 tbs of mature starter with 200 g oof water and 200 g of all-purpose flour.  Leave at room temperature loosely covered.

Test the leaven for readiness by dropping a spoonful in a glass of luke-warm water.  If the leaven is floating, it’s ready to be used.  If it drops, you need to give the leaven some more fermentation time.

Pour 750 g of water into a large mixing bowl.  Add the leaven, and mix it so it almost dissolves.

Add the flours and mix well till incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-45 minutes.

In the meantime toast and process the fennel and sesame seeds in a spice grinder.

After the initial rest, add salt, remaining 50 g of water, and ground seeds to the dough.  Mix well.

Follow the instructions of the basic country dough recipe, starting with “Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 3-4 hrs.”   Divide the dough into two when first placing it on a floured surface.  Instead of sesame seeds, use the multi-seed mixture used in this recipe.

When baking two loafs, after the first loaf is finished, reheat the Dutch oven for another 10 minutes at 500⁰ F /260⁰ C before placing the second loaf into it.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Close

Loading ...

Sorry :(

Can't connect ... Please try again later.

%d bloggers like this: