Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Granola and Hello Again. Long Time No Speak.

It has been such a long time since I've posted! Wow. Many times over the past few months I have tried to start writing a post and I've trailed off somewhere in the middle of the first paragraph, leaving a string of half-written, half-baked posts behind me. Dear readers, if there are any of you who still visit my blog, please let me explain to you why I have taken a three month break from my blog. I started work in September at a large-ish law firm here in Tel Aviv. In Israel, before being allowed to take the bar exam, potential lawyers must complete a year of articling. I've been giving so much to my job, with its crazy eleven hour work day, that I just have not had it in me to write at night or on the weekends. It's pretty much consumed 90 percent of my waking hours.

The thing is, this blog post is a small victory for me.It took me about four months of work, but I think I finally got to the point in my year where I'm managing to strike some sort of a balance between me and my internship (Leah 1, Intership 0). Either way, I miss baking and blogging- so here is the last thing that I baked. This recipe comes almost straight from allrecipes.com with a few minor changes (its called Megan's Granola. I don't know who you are Megan, but you've really added to my quality of life. Thank you.). I've had it for brekkie almost every day for a month with yogurt and its delicious. Hope you give it a try! Oh- and fyi this recipe makes TONS. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Megan's Granola
8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 1/2 cups oat bran (I used wheat bran)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (I used a mixture of almonds, hazelnuts, and pumpkin seeds)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (I left this out. It's crazy expensive in Israel)
3/4 cup honey
1 cup vegetable oil (I used about 3/4 of a cup)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups raisins or sweetened dried cranberries (or any dried fruit! I love dried cherries in this).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, and nuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

Two things: I love granola because it is endlessly adaptable to what you have on hand and your preferences. Change it up! Personalize the recipe to suit your tastes.

After you take the granola out of the oven smush it down with a large spatula and let it cool on the pan completely- then when it cools remove it from the pan and break it up with your fingers. It will be in bigger chunks like store bought granola!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Knead Bread

Today I finished law school! I'm on my way to hand in my last paper of my degree. Tomorrow I start work as a legal intern in one of the many law firms in Tel Aviv. So why am I spending my last day of freedom in the kitchen? Because of a certain dark secret that I have: I'm terrified of going hungry at work. I can't explain it, but when tomorrow comes around I'll practically bring a whole cupboard full of food with me. 

So what's my sandwich bread of choice for tomorrow? The KAF No Knead Bread. This has got to be the easiest thing I've ever made. I love baking bread, and I love kneading dough- but really, what beats a gorgeous loaf served up after only ten minutes of hands on time? And EASY hands on time- like mixing, and putting in the oven. 

  • So heres the recipe- but check it out on the KAF blog too for step by step pics and instructions: 

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
Mix everything together. Leave the dough out for two hours, then cover and put in the fridge for two hours or up to seven days. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450, and place a pan underneath your baking rack. Sprinkle the  top of the dough with flour and grab a hunk of it. Place on a floured surface and shape into a round (see pic above), or a loaf, or a baguette. Sprinkle with flour, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rest for 45 minutes. When ready to bake, slash the top of the loaf. Place in oven, and carefully pour one cup of warm water into the pan below your baking sheet. (I like to mist the loaf too). Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden.

I'm submitting this loaf to yeastspotting

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Horror Story

It was Tuesday morning. I was at a wedding last night until 2 am so it's no surprise that I made this mistake. I guess it could happen to anyone. I just didn't expect it to happen to me. 
I woke up groggy- but with one thought going through my mind- "must. bake. bread". I've had the dough all ready to go, sitting in my fridge now for a few days. Still in my pjs, I dumped the dough out and started shaping it into one large boule. I turned on the oven and made myself some coffee. 
One hour later: still kinda groggy, I slashed the loaf, and loaded it into my tiny oven. I breathed a sigh of relief that I had accomplished my morning's task. Now I could relax- "but wait! one more thing!" I thought to myself, "I have to steam the oven!" I went into the other room and grabbed my trusty spray bottle, opened the oven door, and shpritsed away like there was no tomorrow. Seconds later a sweet, familiar smell hit my nose like a punch in the face. I looked down in horror as the shock settled in.... What I was holding in my hand was WINDEX, and not water in a spray bottle. And just like that, the fate of my beautiful crusty white loaf was sealed. It was toxic. My bread was ruined. So was my morning. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010


After five years of university I can see the end coming close. It's been a long journey. I've studied hard, studied not so hard, made friends and said goodbye to some. I dated and dumped and got dumped and got married. I baked. I started a blog, and in two weeks I'm going to start work in a law firm. As the newest legal intern in the firm I imagine that I will boldly type, translate, photocopy and correlate. I will learn how to make good coffee. And somewhere along the process I will bake brownies and bring them into the office and make the other interns like me. Sounds like a good plan, eh?

With only one paper left to finish before I get my degree Doniel and I decided that now is the best time for our honeymoon. So I'll leave you with one last recipe for now- for laffot (plural form of laffa). A laffa is a thick, soft flatbread. It is traditionally baked in an oven called a taboon- small rounds of dough are slapped onto the side of the taboon and removed minutes later all cooked and puffy. It is often used as a wrap for sh'warma, and they're sold all over Israel in markets and bakeries. When I lived in Jerusalem I used to go to the shuk (market) all the time and buy one laffa for about a shekel, and some lebeneh (strained yogurt) and cusbarah (coriander) and have lunch. I miss that! 

Try serving this with some Za'atar spice- it's a delicious middle eastern spice blend made of sumac and sesame seeds, and so delicious sprinkled over the laffa as it cooks, or for dipping! Yum! Here are some links for za'atar on Amazon: 
Zahtar (Za'atar) Spice, Hoosier Hill Farm, 1lb, Green Zatar, Za'atar Seasoning - Kosher

Here's a recipe for laffa- I made them on a heated up frying pan with a tiny bit of oil and they came out fab. They were easy to make. I'm sending this off to yeastspotting

recipe from Breadman Talking (awesome bread blog!)

3½ c bread flour ?(I used all purpose)
25g (1oz) instant yeast
1½ c water
1 tbs sugar
½ tbs salt
2 tbs olive oil

1. Mix the yeast and flour in a mixer with a kneading hook. Add the water, sugar, salt, & oil and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny, and slightly sticky.
(alternatively- mix by hand in a bowl, and then knead on the counter till smooth). 

2. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Turn in the bowl to make sure it is covered in oil and cover with cling wrap and allow to rise to double its size. This will take about an hour or so.

3. Divide the dough into 6 parts, rolling each into a ball. Cover with a moist towel and leave for 10 minutes to rest.

4. Roll each ball into a disk 30- 35cm  (12 to 15 inches) across.

5. Toast with oil in a frying pan. Turn over when brown scorch marks begin to appear. Then, toast for minute. Stack the laffot, covered by a towel. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Most Amazing Wrap Ever

looks all innocent, but its really the best wrap you'll ever have. 

I realize that with this post I may lose all credibility I ever had as a food blogger. Either way, I am totally willing to risk it for this post. It's that good. I'm not sure where I found this recipe for the first time... I think it may have been a British blog devoted to cheap student meals. (side note about being a student and this wrap- it works. I have often made this to take with me to the library. Unfortunately I am STILL taking exams, and so you may spot me a few more times in the library, trying to sneak this wrap past the librarian. Also, as a further aside, my mother is a librarian- please don't tell her I sneak food into the library, thank you.) 

I urge you to try this... be a little adventurous and give this taste mix a try. I'm practically addicted to these wraps (as shown in photo above. Thank you Doniel for the pic.) so without further ado.....

Peanut Butter-Chili Sauce Wraps with Cucumbers and Carrots 
(ten points to anyone who can come up with a better name for this recipe) 

  • quarter of an onion, sliced thin 
  • one cucumber and carrot, julienned (sometimes I peel the carrot, and continue peeling instead of slicing)
  • sweet chili sauce (chili matok in Hebrew) 
  • peanut butter 
  • lemon juice
  • tortilla 

Spread tortilla with a thin layer of peanut butter. Layer cucumbers, carrots and lemon juice in the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle with onions and sweet chili sauce- careful with the sauce- if you put too much the wrap will leak. Fold up tortilla, eat and ENJOY! 

Please let me know what you think of this if you try this out! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vegetabley Dinner Rolls

Its the time of year when tons of food blogs around the world are talking about the fresh bounty of the summer season. Corn, berries, all sorts of beans and peas, cherries- these are all examples of fruits and veggies that are not easy to find in my area. Every time I read another blog post telling me the best way to use up all those extra cherries (cherry jam! cherry pie! cherry jam!) I feel more and more dejected. No cherries for me. Only the whithered veggies that I forgot to use up last week, forgotten in the refrigerator drawer. Well, damn it! I'm going to use those vegetables and flaunt them in the face of all those cherry eaters. Take that.
A few notes about these rolls: Depending on how liquidy your vegetables are, you may need to add some extra flour to the dough. You can try squeezing out excess liquid from the vegetables before starting to avoid adding more flour.

These rolls are especially delicious the next day, made into cucumber sandwiches! I'm submitting this recipe to yeastspotting- a gorgeous weekly showcase of yeasted foods.

Vegetabley Dinner Rolls
Heavily adapted from The Bread Bible
Makes 12 rolls

2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/4 cups water
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 lb vegetables, grated (such as: eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, carrot, onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers, etc)
1 tbsp olive oil
generous pinch each of basil and oregano

1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Poppy seeds

Mix all the ingredients together (except for the egg and poppy seeds) until you get a shaggy mass. Let rest for ten minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead the dough until smooth but still sticky, about 10 minutes.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Shape the dough into 12 balls and arrange, just touching, into a pan. Proof until the balls double in size, about 30 minutes. Brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg, then sprinkle poppy seeds on top.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

(healthy) Awesome Cookies and an Equally Awesome Salad

The theme of this week is antitrust. My antitrust exam is on Monday, and so far I'm eating and sleeping monopolies, market share, cartels etc etc. I have another four exams to go (four!).

When I get stressed I tend to gravitate towards food. Especially when I am reading notes- I know it sounds weird, but when I'm doing something with my hands, like, say, eating popcorn, I can get through more notes than when I am not. A word on popcorn, while we're on the subject: Don't listen to the internet when it tells you to soak your corn kernels before you pop them because it will make better, fluffier popcorn. It's a lie- You'll just end up with burnt popcorn.

Anyways, the point of my story is that I'm taking exams and I'm eating. So here I have two healthy recipes: a delicious, hearty salad, and awesome sugar free cookies that are great for an afternoon snack. The cookie recipe is straight off of the blog 101 cookbooks, and they are surprisingly filling. They also soften up a ton if you keep them in a container for a few days, so I would suggest either freezing whatever you are not going to use right away or halving the recipe. Next time I make these I'm going to experiment by adding some shredded carrot in them, or maybe adding some nuts or raisins. 

"Nikki's Healthy Cookies

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm, or olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 5 minutes seems to be about right in my oven. Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies."

Awesome Salad

one large handful of salad greens
red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cubed
large scoop of beans (white beans, black beans, fava beans, chickpeas, etc)
large scoop of cooked quinoa (did not include this in this salad. but should have.)
half a sliced apple

2 teaspoons  olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste) 
11/4 tsp dried thyme 

Mix up dressing in a jar or whisk dressing together in a bowl, and pour over salad. Add in any nuts, veggies or beans that you feel like having that day. Eh voila- salad!  

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lentils and Rice: the lazy way

Busy week. Jewish fast day on Tuesday (no food or water all day until 8:30 pm!) Terrible heat all week- at least 35 degrees every day, and HUMID!! It's a good thing I've started wearing scarves because otherwise my hair would be out of control frizzy. As I'm sure you are not interested in the frizziness of my hair I will get back to the topic at hand: Lentils.

Lentils are awesome- besides being packed with protein, fiber and all sorts of minerals, they are ridiculously cheap. One 500 gram package costs 5 shekels- the equivalent of $1.30. Mix some lentils with rice and not only do you have a complete protein meal, but you did it for under a dollar. Kudos to you man!

Usually I make lentils and rice the not lazy way:
I toast up some cumin and fennel seeds in oil in a large pot, add copped onion and garlic and fry them until golden, I toast the rice for a min, then add enough water to cook the rice in. Add the lentils, and enough additional water (1 part lentils to 2 parts water- so if you added a cup of lentils, add another 2 cups of water) to cook. And then I season! Paprika, cumin, curry, cayenne, salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic... and let it cook for about half an hour.

Now for the lazy way:
  1. pick through lentils and discard any funky looking ones, and stones. soak lentils in water for about an hour. Drain them and add to a large pot with lots of water.
  2. Add about 1/2-3/4 c of rice. (Really you can use as much rice as you fancy, just make sure theres enough water in the pot).
  3. Chop up an onion and add it to the water. Add some smashed garlic, salt, a bay leaf if you want, and any spices that float your boat. I like to add cumin and curry, but sometimes I add parsley, thyme and sage.
  4. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for about half an hour until the rice is cooked and the lentils are tender.

Friday, June 25, 2010


don't be fooled by its ugly appearance... this baby tastes AMAZING

I just finished the longest exam I ever took on US securities law (Waddup Prof. Steinberg!) It was a take-home exam that took me three whole days to write, non-stop. For the last six hours of writing I listened to Shakira's "This Time for Africa" song so many times that I had to stop myself from unintentionally writing waka waka eh eh in my exam. 

"What did you eat while you were writing non-stop?" you may ask. Excellent question. 
I made strombolini. Sometimes I find a recipe online that gets stuck in my head and won't leave me alone. I think about them while I'm spacing out in class and before I go to sleep at night. This is one of those recipes. I found it while cruising the Fresh Loaf website, and before long I was thinking about all the different fillings I could make it with. 

The dough is really simple- you just mix everything together and knead it till smooth. Let it rise, roll it out into a rectangle and fill it with anything.... Don't roll the dough out too thin like I did or the dough will break when you roll the strombolinis up. 

I spread mine with tomato paste and some vegetables that I took out from a soup I was making (before I poured the water in)- caramelized leeks and onion, and roasted peppers, and cheese. Yum. You could really fill this with anything though- sausages/salami and mustard, any combo of veggies and cheese, or artichokes, olives, etc etc. Delicious!!! Trust me, they don't look like much but that didn't stop me from eating three in one sitting (please ignore my sheepish expression). 

Oreganato Bread- courtesy of "dstroy" from the fresh loaf
4 C flour
3/8 C polenta or corn meal- thats a little under half a cup
2 tsp granulated garlic or 2 T crushed fresh garlic
3 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 T instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 - 1 3/4 C water
Mix all the dry, add water and mix, then knead it for approx. 10 minutes. Let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.Roll it out flat into a rectangle and top with any of your favorite toppings. Roll it up jelly roll style and slice it into 1 inch thick slices. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours then bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cheese Danishes and a Wedding

cheese danishes!

and chocolate danishes!

easy peasy

Well, I'm back in class. Literally- I'm right in the middle of learning about internet law. Well, "learning" is kind of relative at this point. Either way, I'm in class. Since my last post I've gotten around to doing a few things. I got married. I made cheese danishes.

This recipe is dead easy- just dump all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl, and mix together till it's all combined. Then knead it for a few minutes till you get a smooth and elastic dough. Let it rise for about an hour and a half or until double in bulk. Then turn the dough out- and working in batches, roll the dough into rectangles. Mix together all the ingredients for the filling in another bowl. Cut the dough into small squares, and fill with the cheese filling. Close the dough any way you wish- I closed mine by folding a corner into the centre, and then folding the opposite corner in. Repeat with the remaining two corners. Bake at 350 for about fifteen minutes.

You can fill this dough with any type of filling you want- cooked fruit, chocolate, chocolate spread, hazelnut spread- you can even go savory with mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce.... yum!

I'm sending this recipe into YeastSpotting- a stunning weekly showcase of yeasted breads, cakes, etc.

1 kilo flour
2 c lukewarm water
200 grams butter or margarine
1/2 c sugar
50 grams instant yeast

750 grams 9% white cheese
1 egg
5 Tb sugar
1 pckg instant pudding
2 pckgs vanilla sugar

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Semolina Fennel Cranberry Bread (with pine nuts)

Happy Bloggiversarry to Leahsleavenedbread! One year ago I started my blog on a whim. I took pictures of whoever was around and chose a domain and a blog name. Today the friend that was in that first picture is my fiance (in two and a half weeks he'll be my husband!), and I have made enough money on adsense to buy myself at least three cups of coffee. Success!

My grandmother and uncle are arriving on Monday, my father, future in-laws and sister and family arrive a week later for our wedding. This can only mean one thing- time to bake some bread! Lots of people eat lots of bread= I should make lots of bread.

This bread has been on my recipe "to do" for months now. When I was in New York last September a friend told me that I had to get to this bakery in Manhattan for the best loaf of bread she has ever had. Unfortunately the bakery is not Kosher, so I looked for a similiar recipe so I could make it at home. Susan at Wildyeast has an amazing, detailed recipe that I used. The bread was really easy to make, and delicious! I highly recommend trying it out- and if you live in my area give me a holler and you can come get some sourdough starter so you can make it too!

The recipe can be found here. I substituted cranberries for the currents, quartered the recipe, and shaped the bread into a batard instead of a baguette.

The dough rising in the bowl

One loaf, ready to pop in the oven!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's been so long- I almost forget how to do this. But here I am again, still in my pjs, coffee cup in hand, spent the morning photographing cookies and ate so many that I completely forgot about breakfast. Looks like it's coming back to me.

I found this recipe on "Tasty Kitchen"- a communal recipe website started by the Pioneer Woman (whose blog never fails to make me laugh). The recipe promised to be as tasty as a banana cake, and much easier to make. I fell for the line and got my spatula and mixing bowl!

These cookies were not hard to make, but then again they weren't the best cookies I've ever had. They were only a little bananaey and were a little heavy from the oats. They did grow on me after a while, though. I would say make them during the week, keep them around for a snack, but don't make them as a dessert for your fancy dinner party.

You can find the recipe here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Biscotti D'anici

Well, I've been meaning to post for a while, but my last two baking attempts were failed macarons that came out of the oven flat flat flat. That's no good, and I can't have two posts about my baking failures in a row (see pics of tomatoes and failed croissants).

So Friday I decided to bake something a little easier- biscotti. These twice-baked cookies are delicious on their own or dunked in tea or coffee.

My Grandmother used to take us to costco to buy Nonni's biscotti d'anici, and my older sister Rivka used to lug containers of it back to Israel. It's delicious. When I wanted some and there was none to be had in a country where Costco does not exist, I decided to make my own. I went to "hamishkal", a spice store in Givat Shmuel and bought five shekels worth of anise seed (thats about $1.50), found a recipe and made my own!

Even if you don't like the taste of anise seed, it's very muted in these cookies. They are still worth making!

So here's the recipe, adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens' "New Baking Book":

Biscotti D'anici
  • 1/2 c butter or margarine
  • 1 c sugar
    1 T anise seed, crushed
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c chocolate chips or chocolate pieces
In a large mixing bowl beat butter until soft. Add sugar, anise seed and baking powder. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs until combined. Add the chocolate chips and flour. Beat in as much flour as you can with the spatula or mixer, and add any remaining flour by mixing the dough with your hands until you get a unniform ball of dough. Divide dough in half.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape each portion of dough into an 11-inch log. Place about 5 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten logs slightly until about two inches wide.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool logs for about an hour (I waited much less than this, but be careful if you cut them before they are fully cooled- they could crumble.) With a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Lay slices cut side down on a cookie sheet.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for ten minutes. Turn slices over. Bake 10- 15 minutes more until dry and crisp. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pictures of tomatoes and One Lemon (and some failed croissants)

I'm prepping you. I'm luring you in with nice pictures of tomatoes (and one lemon), so that when I show you pictures of my failed "sun-dappled" croissants at the end of this post you'll only think about how nicely the sun plays on the baked goods, and you won't think about how much they don't look like how croissants are supposed to look. Hey, at least i'm giving you a heads up.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wild Rice and Onion Bread

I’m just going to get right down to it: this bread is sooo easy. Make it, impress your friends. Just dump the ingredients in a big bowl. Mix. Wait a few minutes, knead it a bit. Refrigerate, wait a bit, and bake. Easy peasy, and it’s delicious. Make sandwiches with it, or toast it. Don’t be intimidated by the detailed instructions, they are actually very helpful. I made this recipe using regular flour (I found that there is not such a big difference between bread flour and regular flour here, and the difference is not worth the cost), and leftover brown rice. I used dehydrated onions, but you can most certainly use regular onions. You can find the recipe on The Fresh Loaf's website (where else?)

I’m sending this bread yeastspotting and to Jamie, at Life's a Feast for Bread Baking Day #26, Happy Birthday Jamie!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Apple Cake and Four Months to Go

I’m getting married in four months (yay! let the countdown begin!). I have a dress I need to fit into. Despite this fact, I have recently determined to start blogging again- which does not only include baking and cooking- but eating! Big time. I just can’t help it though…I find these recipes filled with butter and chocolatey amazingness, and flour and brown sugar, and all good things transformed into one delicious dessert and I have to make it! Some would consider this counter-intuitive, but I think, what better way (besides finishing my degree!) to spend the next four months? Right? Right!

The other day I came home and my mom was in the throws of putting together an impromptu dinner for my sisters, brothers-in-law, fiancée, and his brother. While she was throwing stuff into a big pot on the stove while simultaneously chopping up onions and tomatoes she said “I wish we had a cake for dessert!” Well, never fear! Apple cake is here! My mother has had this recipe since seventh grade. It’s on a beat up recipe card in her red recipe box that I’ve known since I was little, and I thought it would be just the thing for dessert. The only problem was that by the time the apple cake was out of the oven sister and brother-in-law #1 went home to put my darling niece to sleep, sister #2 left, sister #3 went out with friends, and awesome fiancée and his brother went to play basketball. Oh well. More cake for me and my mom.

Apple Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ c. oil
  • 1 c sugar (scant)
  • 1 ½ c flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp b powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3-6 baking apples
  • Rind of 1 orange + juice
  • Cinnamon sugar (1 tsp cinnamon+ 5 tsp sugar)

Beat eggs. Add sugar, and continue to beat. Add oil, orange rind, and juice. Add sifted flour baking powder, and salt. Pour a little less than half the batter into the bottom of a greased square (8 *8) pan. Place sliced apples on batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Spread the remaining batter over the apples and cinnamon. Sprinkle the top with a little of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake at 350 for one hour, or until baked.

Now excuse me, I have to get back to my breakfast of leftover pizza and cheesecake.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome Back and Soft Dinner Rolls

Ok, here we go. I haven't posted in a while, and its that time of night again- I'm done studying for the day but I'm not quite ready to go to sleep. Never-ending exams have started again. That means no class, and a wide-open schedule. I have a month and a half of tests to study for and papers to write. Still, right now, things are good and happy and quiet. It's like those few tranquil minutes right after you wake up in the morning- quiet, peaceful- just you and that cup of coffee.... Anyways, I'm getting ahead of myself. Tonight I decided to break my three month blog block., and that perfect song. I found a recipe on Jamie's blog that looked so enticing that I had to make it. I changed it a bit to suit what I had on hand (no buttermilk or cream, or bread flour) and they still turned out great. The original recipe can be found here on her fabulous blog, lifesafeast.

Layla Tov and good night friends. Enjoy the recipe!

Soft Dinner Rolls:
makes 12 rolls

1 lb (500 g) flour
2 T (30 g) sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ heaping (6 g) instant yeast
1 cup (250 ml) soured milk (1 T vinegar + enough milk to make one cup. Stir, and wait five minutes before using)
¼ cup (60 ml) plain yoghurt
4 T (60 g) unsalted butter, preferably at room temperature
1 large egg + 1 egg for wash

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients, besides the egg, in a saucepan, and gently heat until the butter melts, stirring. Crack the egg into the dry ingredients, mix slightly, and add the remaining wet ingredients. Mix together until a sticky dough forms. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes).

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk (about one hour). Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Let rest for a few minutes, and then form dough into rolls by rolling the pieces in the palm of your hand. Arrange on baking tray or round cake pan, leaving enough room for the rolls to expand. Cover and let rise again until doubled (about 45 mins). Preheat oven to 325 F/170 C. Brush each roll with the beaten egg, and bake for about twenty minutes until golden.