Onion Bialys

Have you had a bialy before?

This week our Tuesday with Dorie baking group is exploring a culinary baked goodie from Bialystok, Poland. Similar to a bagel, the bialy has it’s own personality thanks to the sautéed onions that are sprinkled on top of this doughy roll.

onion bialy

So, here is my question. If we have one bialy, we should have more than one bialies. Or is the plural form an exception to the rule so we could always associate the bialy with Bialystok?

Back to onion bialys. The recipe is by contributing baker Lauren Groveman. And that sautéed onion makes all the difference. My husband keeps saying that when I start frying onions, he can’t think of anything else… We enjoyed the bialys for lunch slathered with veggie cheese spread (cottage cheese, greek yogurt, fresh veggies, spices, extra virgin olive oil) along with curried cauliflower soup. Comfort food, indeed!

onion bialy peek

I made half a recipe and we did not completely O. D.

Shortening is a major page-turner in a cookbook for me. The onions got sautéed in grapeseed oil and I also used some whole wheat flour. I washed the bialys with an egg white before heavily sprinkling them with poppy seeds.

Vanilla Chiffon Roll

I always thought of chiffon as a fabric but as it turns out it doubles as a cake. This week’s recipe from our Tuesday with Dorie baking group is for Vanilla Chiffon Roll by contributing baker Mary Bergin.

vanilla chiffon roll

It is a chiffon cake rolled around chocolate walnut mousse. Since my oven is not big enough to accommodate a large jelly-roll pan, I decided to make a cake. After halving the recipe, I ended up with two 8-inch cake layers and enough mousse to spread in the middle. Instead of walnuts, I used roasted hazelnuts for the mousse and the final result was like dark chocolate Nutella. To finish the cake, I covered it with dark chocolate ganache. We enjoyed it on a lazy Sunday with some red wine. Half of the cake was enough for four of us.

For the recipe, please follow the link.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Country Bread

Happy New Year, Everyone! This is our first Tuesdays with Dorie post for 2014! Our recipe is for Country Bread by contributing baker Joe Ortiz.

country bread

Coincidence or not I bought a banneton in December and I did not get to use it with everything else going on. I have never used a banneton in the past so I was excited to try to proof the country bread dough in it.

country bread top

According to Dorie, with this country bread loaf you get the look of Pain de Campagne without having to deal with levain. This recipe takes around 12 hours of rising time for the dough plus one hour for baking. I started on Friday night and baked the bread on Sunday. I refrigerated the sponge overnight and the following day I did the two rises of the dough and put the dough in the fridge again. On Sunday, once I pre-heated the oven, I took the dough from the fridge and put it straight onto the baking sheet.

country bread slice

This bread is dense and crusty. The taste reminded us of hearty whole wheat bread. So far we enjoyed it with soup, we also made avocado and Asiago cheese sandwiches and PB & dark chocolate toast.

Happy Tuesday, everyone! And Happy 2014!

If you would like to see Joe Ortiz in action, please visit the PBS web site.

Gingersnaps

As always in December I promise myself that I will not be baking any (!) cookies and then I don’t know what happens but I keep baking and questioning if there will be enough cookies for everyone on my list. There are times when I hear myself: “You just went through a 5.5 lbs of flour in a week, are you sure you need to go get another bag?”

gingersnaps

I have been on a quest to find a good gingersnaps recipe for quite some time. As part of my searches, I decided to bake the gingersnaps from Baking with Julia last December. The cookies were a total disaster…I ended up making cheesecake crust with them and I still could not hide their sogginess and blandness. So, I admit that I was not enthusiastic at all when our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group picked this as one of our December recipes.

The only change that I made to the recipe was to increase the spices three times and to try the molasses glaze. The cookies took way longer to bake that the recipe suggested. They were crunchy with a very prominent molasses flavor and quite dense. I do not think that I will try this recipe for a third time. And if I do, I will use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, increase the spices, and skip the molasses glaze.

Do you have a good and tested gingersnaps recipe? Dorie’s Speculoos recipe from Around My French Table has been the closest to what I am looking for.

If you would like to give this recipe a try, please follow the link.

Challah

It’s Hanukkah! Imagine how many families around the world are breaking challah, the quintessential Jewish bread, as part of their celebratory meals and gatherings! We are proud to join in as part of our Tuesday with Dorie baking group.

challah

The challah recipe is by contributing baker Lauren Groveman. It is a brioche type of bread that is less sweet and less buttery than the traditional brioche. What goes into the dough seems to vary based on the different recipes, however, as some fellow bakers commented this recipe is not pareve and cannot be eaten with meat dishes.

challah_zig_zag

Braiding the challah is fun. I went with the traditional three-stranded braid. Don’t you love the zig-zags on top? But there are other possibilities of how to shape the bread. Think six-stranded braid or two braids on top of one another!

challah_slice

We tasted the bread right out of the oven, however, the taste was a bit to eggy to be enjoyed with our dinner. The remaining of the loaf stayed on the kitchen counter for a few days, then it went into the freezer, then it went into the slow cooker and transformed itself into an apple bread pudding.

bread_pudding

The bottom crust of the challah became too thick for my liking. That seems to be a problem that I keep experiencing with brioche dough. Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

Double Chocolate Cookies

Come to the dark side, we have cookies!

As part of the Vancouver International Film Festival we watched a documentary about the life cycles in a very remote village in northwest Greenland. In Niaqornat, the Village at the End of the World, the population is only 59 predominantly Inuit people. It was fascinating to see and hear the stories of people whose traditions have been jeopardized by climate change and financial hardship and who despite all that have the spirit to keep going.

double chocolate cookies

During the permanent darkness of winter, the rhythm of life in the village became slower and affected people’s moods. It was a dark period! Watching TV did not seem to alleviate depression, but perhaps tons of chocolate would be a good medicine?

This week our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group is making cookies. The Double Chocolate Cookies by contributing baker Rick Katz might offer a temporary solution for those of you who are having trouble living in darkness during the long winter months. The recipe uses 16 oz of chocolate and makes twelve cookies! Since there was only a small amount of flour in the recipe, I subbed it for hazelnut flour. So the cookies became gluten free and had those lovely mocha chocolate Nutella flavors. Chocoholics Anonymous Unite!

The description that this is half cookie, half brownie sums it up great. The recipe could be found in Baking with Julia.

Pumpernickel Loaves

This week our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group is combining unusual ingredients and making pumpernickel loaves. Dark chocolate, espresso powder, molasses, and prune lekvar blend nicely in a delicious bread recipe by contributing baker Lauren Groveman.

reuben sandwich

I made half the recipe and substituted the unsalted butter for olive oil and I skipped the shortening all together. We had a KitchenAid mediated communication with the dough. After the second rise, I refrigerated the dough and rolled and shaped it the next morning. The plan was to have Reuben sandwiches for Sunday’s lunch.

Just started reading Julia Child’s My Life in France. What are the chances that she and her husband had arrived on November 3rd at Le Havre, France – the very same day I was making one of her recipes? And also the very first meal that she describes having in Paris included oysters served with rounds of pale rye bread…

Back to Reuben sandwiches. Or should I say 3 by 3 Reuben sandwiches – three layers of sour cabbage, cashews, tempeh, and Asiago cheese topped with sprouts, red peppers, and mizuna greens on toasted pumpernickel.

Sour Cabbage and Cashew Spread

Ingredients

450 gr sour cabbage, drained well
150 gr raw cashews
3 tbs fresh dill
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
black pepper

Place ingredients in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and process until smooth.

Very delicious bread! We also tried it with tahini and honey and the agreement is that this bread is better suited for savory toppings. The recipe is lengthy but super easy and this video explains it beautifully.

Cheese and Tomato Galette

Our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group made this recipe from Baking with Julia back in June. It is by contributing baker Flo Braker. Since we are lucky to have one extra Tuesday this month, I am trying to catch up on the recipes that I have missed over the summer months.

The recipe uses basic galette dough that is topped with yellow cheese, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Sounds like pizza? Oui, mais non. C’est une galette!

ceci

After I started making the dough, I had a déjà vu that we had used this basic dough in the past. There was nothing resembling dough in my food processor. It looked like I was trying to make home-made glue… So, I kept sprinkling flour until the dough was not super sticky and was imagining turning it into a galette. I will be honest and say that I was ready for disaster. I was not sure how I will be able to stretch the dough into a circle, but it worked.

tomato galette crust

Our galette was topped with roasted cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and spiced with thyme, olive tapenade, thinly sliced fresh zucchini, and asiago cheese. The final result was a super crunchy and delicious pizza, I mean galette. The crust was a little bit too buttery for my taste but the crunch factor saved the day. The galette was baked in less than 30 minutes.

We did not have a chance to test if the dough will stay crisp when the galette is at room temperature. It was gone in no time!

tomato galette green

Looking forward to another month with an extra Tuesday. What should I pick from the summer recipes? Which one was your favorite?

X Cookies

Our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group made X cookies by contributing baker Nick Malgieri earlier this month.x-cookies tower

Since I had the original baking schedule in my agenda (X cookies for Oct. 15th and Danish Braid for Oct. 23rd), I was caught up by surprise when I realized that the two recipes are pushed by one week each and the last Tuesday of the month will be Make-Up Tuesday to bake any recipes that we have missed. Enough excuses and explanations… The more baking opportunities, the better 🙂

x-cookies

If you are wondering, what are X cookies, here is my quick and dirty definition – X cookies are cookies filled with spicy fig filling and shaped like X-s. They are typical Sicilian cookies and are also known as Cucidati or as Sicilian Fig Cookies, if you can’t twist your tongue to pronounce ‘cucidati’.

Let’s do a quick pronunciation exercise. Say: ku-chi-da-ti. Now, say it five times fast. Awesome! Doesn’t it sound lovely? Let me just say that your pronunciation will improve after you taste the cookies!

The dough for the cookies – pasta frolla, is rather quick and straightforward to make. The fig filling is the more intriguing part of the recipe. It is made out of dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and spices. I started the preparation of the fig filling three days in advance when I bought the oranges and made the candied orange peel. I plumped the figs in my favorite blended green tea by Steam – Fresh Bamboo Mint.

I followed Nick Malgieri’s original recipe from Baking with Julia, however I added 1 tsp of espresso powder and ¼ tsp ground cloves to the fig filling.

x-cookies print out

Shaping the cookies is the most intriguing part and it can’t be done if you have too much caffeine in your system. Shaping and baking the cookies took me around 1.5 hours… The cookies were piling high on the cooling rack and I am not ashamed to admit that I tasted cookies from every single baking sheet that I baked. After I pulled out the last batch from the oven, I thought that these cookies will last us until Christmas…Gone in 604800 seconds!

x-cookies cross

This is a variation of the recipe – the dough and the technique are the same, the fig filling ingredients are slightly different.

Double Apple Bundt Cake

Have I told you how I got myself in joining the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group in February, 2012?

I have a holiday tradition. I choose a new cookbook at the beginning of each year and I explore it slowly as the year unfolds. In 2011 that was Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. At the beginning of 2012, still without a new cookbook, I was browsing through Dorie’s blog. I remember reading that a new baking adventure is about to begin.

That was it! I was in. I ordered the book and was able to join the group one week later.

Today is Dorie’s birthday. In honor of her birthday and all the yumminess she has brought to our home, I baked a cake. Happy Birthday, Dorie!

With the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden Apple Festival happening last weekend, it was easy to pick a seasonal recipe. How does Double Apple Bundt Cake sound? The recipe is from Baking: From My Home to Yours.

double apple bundt cake

The cake batter in addition to freshly grated apples and traditional fall spices, calls for apple butter. British Columbia’s Gala, Granny Smith, and Ambrosia apples cooked slowly in my crockpot until they transformed themselves into apple butter.

red apples

I do not use any liquid, sugar, or spices when making apple butter nor peel the apples. Once the apples are thoroughly cooked, I blend them and cook a bit more.

Off we go to the Apple Festival!

apple pieThere was apple pie, of course. But look at that pie cutting tool. Very cool!

sliced apple pie

Even the tablecloths had apples.

apple stand

Hot drinks and candied apples stand

salish tasting

Apple tastings of one of the really delicious BC apples – Salish.

bagged apples

We bought a bunch of Salish apples. We love Salish apples!

northern spy

And this is the coolest apple name e-v-e-r!

When we got back from the festival, we enjoyed slices of Double Apple Bundt Cake and warm apple cider. There is no such thing as apple overload!

apple bundt slice

I increased the amount of cinnamon in the cake recipe and soaked the raisins in Jamaican rum. The cake was delicious, moist and with so many layering aromas. We loved it!

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