02 July 2020

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Cookies came to my attention four years ago when our friend Bill, who may well be our most uncookingest friend ever, sent me the recipe, which he got from a friend of his from Hildesheim, Germany, who sends him a batch every year at the holidays.

He said, "I'm not really sure what it is about them that's gotten such a hold of me, or whether this is just yet another eccentricity on my part ..." (I am a huge fan of eccentricity!), but he eagerly awaits the annual shipment from Brigitte. And with an introduction like that, I simply had to try them. 

Though Bill has never made either Brigitte's recipe or my translation of it, or even tasted mine, he knew from my photo that something was off. Mine were pale, tiny diamonds. He said his cookies were darker, larger and, rather than perfect diamonds, parallelograms. Go ahead, I'll pause while you look that up!


Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse - A Traditional German Cookie (this photo is of the "not quite right" version / www.delightfulrepast.com


So four years later Bill sent me a link to an in-German recipe with photos. Just as I suspected, the paleness of my cookies resulted from using a smaller amount of the dark spices and skipping the egg wash. Also, perhaps, because my almond flour is made from blanched almonds.

So this is my Hildesheimer Pumpernickel do-over, though I still stand by the quality of my first less authentic version!

This was only my second German recipe on the blog--the first was Golumpkis. So I didn't know whether to call them cookies, as in the US, or biscuits, as in the UK; so I Googled it and came up with "kekse." 

Have you ever even heard of this cookie? I'm sure you'd like it. Guten Appetit! Or, as Bill signed his last missive, Semper Famelicus!


Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse 


(Makes about 4 to 5 dozen ) 

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
2 large (2.19 ounces/62 grams in shell) eggs, divided
3/4 packed cup + 2 tablespoons (3.5 ounces/100 grams) ground hazelnuts or almonds (nut flour/meal) or half of each (I used Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour)

A little water, only if needed (See Note below Step 2) 

* For gluten-free: use 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum in place of flour. 



1 In small bowl, whisk together flour (or gluten-free ingredients above), baking powder, spices and salt. 

2 In a large mixing bowl, with either a wooden spoon or electric mixer, cream butter well. Add sugar; continue creaming. Beat in 1 whole egg and 1 egg white (reserving the yolk for the egg wash) until well mixed. Beat in almond and/or hazelnut meal, then beat in flour. If dough is too dry, mix in a little water (see Note below) just a teaspoon at a time. Scrape out onto piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape into a rectangle about 5x7 inches/13x18 cm, wrap and chill for about an hour. 

Note: Even when the dough is "right," it won't be a cohesive dough without using your hand; so don't be too quick to add water. Squeeze it with your hand to see when it will hold together. My dough was a bit dry, so I added just a teaspoon of water, working the dough with my hand, getting up all the dry bits. The dough should be quite stiff and leave a clean bowl. 

3 When the dough has chilled for an hour, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. On very lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough into 1/8- to 3/16-inch/3 to 4 mm thick rectangle, about 11x16-inch/28x41 cm (trimmed; you can reroll the trimmings or leave them in place to bake rough "cook's treats"). Cut lengthwise into 9 or 10 strips 1.125- to 1.25-inch strips (but don't get too fussy about the measurement since these aren't going to be perfect little diamonds!), then cut across strips diagonally to form parallelograms 2.5 inches long. Slide the sheet of cut dough onto an 18x13-inch half sheet pan.

Note: I just made the strips 1.125-inch wide because that happens to be the width of my 18-inch metal kitchen ruler. I think that just makes life simpler, don't you?!

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com


Note: I love my OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel for Nonstick Pans for tasks like this. It doesn't cut through the parchment paper and doesn't mar countertops or pans.

4 Beat the reserved egg yolk with a teaspoon of water. Brush the top of the cut dough. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. While still warm, cut again, if necessary. Cool completely on wire rack.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 


Jean

18 June 2020

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Olive Oil Carrot Cake can, of course, be made with another oil; but I only ever have on hand extra virgin olive oil. I use it for everything, even frying (not deep fat). This isn't the place for a sharp, bitter, or super expensive oil; use a nice fruity extra virgin olive oil. 

My recipe calls for a different technique than you usually find in carrot cake recipes. Instead of mixing completely by hand, I use an electric hand mixer for part of the recipe (as in Olive Oil Apple Cake). 

It is an easy cake, but special care must be taken when mixing in the olive oil. Be sure to add it in a slow, steady stream, fully incorporating it as you go. This eliminates the thing some people don't like about carrot cake, the oiliness of it.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com


Cream Cheese Frosting is the classic frosting for any carrot cake, and there's a reason for that--it's really good! I don't go crazy with the cream cheese, though. Just a little 3-ounce package gives the frosting plenty of cream cheese flavor.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting (this picture - a quick watercolor sketch of carrots) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Found a "practice" sheet of carrots done a year ago and thought it would be fun
 to crop it for this post.

It would have been delightful to show you a picture of a beautifully frosted layer cake here, but I frosted the two layers separately so that I could drop one off for friends who are without an oven just now.

When we're out of lockdown and attending large gatherings again, you might want to make my easily transportable, serve-it-from-the-pan, feeds-a-crowd Carrot Sheet Cake. Happy summer!

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting


(Makes one 13x9x2-inch cake or two 8-inch round layers)

The Cake

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5.6 ounces/160 grams) raisins
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces/298 grams) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml or 7.5 ounces/213 grams) extra virgin olive oil

2 firmly packed cups peeled and coarsely shredded* carrots (from 12 ounces/340 grams carrots)

* Peel and shred the carrots just before making the cake so that they do not lose moisture. Don't buy pre-shredded carrots for this; they are too dry to use in cakes.

The Frosting

1 3-ounce (85 grams) package cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 firmly packed cups (12 ounces/340 grams) unsifted powdered sugar

About 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) milk

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease and flour one 13x9x2-inch baking dish or two 8-inch round layer pans.

Note: You need 2-inch-deep 8-inch round layer pans; this is too much batter for shallower pans.

2 In 1.5-quart bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In small bowl, measure out raisins and nuts. Remove a tablespoon of the flour mixture to mix into the raisins and nuts, being sure to separate all the raisins.

3 In 4-quart mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4 With hand mixer running on medium speed, gradually pour the olive oil in a thin stream into the egg mixture, so that it is completely incorporated. This can take up to 7 minutes; don't rush it.

5 By hand, fold in the flour mixture. Then gently stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake single cake about 45 to 55 minutes, layers about 40 minutes. Cool in pan(s) on wire rack(s) about 10 minutes; remove from pan(s) and continue cooling on rack(s). Must be completely cool before frosting.

6 In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar (no need to sift) and mix until thoroughly combined, adding milk at the end. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

04 June 2020

Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons

Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons / www.delightfulrepast.com

Fig Rolls were something I hadn't made since I was a teenager, and they popped into my head one day when I was painting a pair of figs. But I didn't want to "waste" my fresh figs on a recipe that is best made with dried figs, so it went on the backburner for a while.


Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons (this photo - my watercolor sketch of two figs) / www.delightfulrepast.com

In recent months, during "all this" (and that's all I'm going to say about the pan*em*c), many grocery items have been hard to find. I was so happy to get my hands on some lovely organic soft dried figs last week, so at last, fig rolls. 

So many recipes out there have grossly mismatched amounts of dough and filling. What's the point of having massive amounts of filling left over? My recipe uses all the filling, and I make three round cookies out of the pastry trimmings, so there's no waste.


Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons (in a lovely tin)  / www.delightfulrepast.com


My dough recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood's, but I was on my own for the filling because his and so many other recipes make too much for the amount of dough and are not to my taste in one way or another

If you're used to Fig Newtons, you'll find these are not quite as sweet (and they have no corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy oils or additives). A trivia question for you: Were Fig Newtons named after a) Sir Isaac Newton, b) another person named Newton, c) a town in Massachusetts?


Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons / www,delightfulrepast.com

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Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons


(Makes 12)

The Dough

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 firmly packed tablespoons (1.31 ounces/37 grams) dark brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten (medium in UK)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Filling

3/4 packed cup (5 ounces/142 grams) coarsely chopped soft dried figs
1 firmly packed tablespoon (0.44 ounces/12 grams) dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml) water

1 tablespoon lemon juice


1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

2 In medium mixing bowl with electric hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar well, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until combined; it will look curdled. 

3 On low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three batches until thoroughly combined. Scrape dough out onto a square of plastic wrap (clingfilm), forming it into a smooth square as you wrap it. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

4 Make the filling. In a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring chopped figs, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover (lid slightly ajar) and simmer for 10 minutes, until mixture is thick and water is absorbed. Transfer* to a 2-cup glass measure, use an immersion blender to make a paste, stir in lemon juice, and let cool.

* The mixture will not be sufficiently deep even in the small saucepan to use the immersion blender, so you need to transfer it to a deeper, narrower container, such as the 2-cup glass measure. 

5 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. On a lightly floured piece of baking parchment paper, roll out chilled dough to a rectangle over 10x8 inches (25x20 cm) and 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) thick. Trim* rectangle to 10x8 inches (25x20 cm). Cut in half lengthwise to make two 10x4-inch (25x10 cm) strips of dough. Also, cut the parchment paper in half because you'll be using it to help you fold over the dough after filling. 

* I save the trimmings and make them into 3 round cookies.

6 Spread half the fig filling down the center of each dough strip and carefully fold in one side of the dough, using the parchment to help you; run a wet finger over the edge of the dough over the filling. Using the parchment, fold over the other side of the dough, overlapping the first side a bit and pressing to seal. Turn the two logs over, seam-side down. Trim the ends and cut each into 6 equal slices. Place them on the baking sheet on their parchment. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Before trimming the ends and cutting the slices, you can press the two logs down a bit to make a flat top, as I do, or leave them round as some do. 


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

21 May 2020

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

This easy yeasted cinnamon-nut coffee cake is what I had in mind last month when I said about my Pan Bread recipe: You can even turn it into a coffee cake by using melted butter instead of olive oil and giving it a swirl of cinnamon sugar and a streusel topping. 

And you can certainly do just that, but this recipe takes it just a step further, while still keeping it super easy. I've enriched the dough with an egg, milk and a bit more butter. And I have you easily shaping the dough on the countertop before plopping it unceremoniously into the pan.

Still no need to knead or drag out the heavy-duty stand mixer; just stir it with the handle of a sturdy wooden spoon. I'll be making this again soon. And as soon as I can get my hands on some good yellow peaches, I'll be making Peach Kuchen, another easy coffee cake.

Of course, I eat it with tea. How about you?

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake


(Makes one 13x9-inch coffee cake)

The Dough


3 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (16.25 ounces/461 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, set aside for shaping 
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package/0.25 ounce/7 grams) instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons (0.25 ounce/7 grams) salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cardamom
2/3 cup (5.33 fluid ounces/158 ml) milk plus 2/3 cup water, heated to very warm (120 to 130F/49 to 54C)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, melted, divided

1 large egg

The Filling


1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

The Cinnamon-Nut Topping 

1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) finely chopped pecans or walnuts 
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt


The Glaze 


1/2 packed cup (2 ounces/57 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water, milk, juice or brandy
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 Start dough 3 hours before you plan to serve the coffee cake. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cardamom. Add heated milk and water, egg and all but 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and stir vigorously with dough whisk or large spoon until combined and then for one minute. Cover and let rest for about 20 minutes while you make the filling and topping and prepare the baking dish.

Note: I always use one of my ThermoWorks thermometers (Thermapen or ThermoPop) to check the temperature. It's important that the temperature be in the given range. If the liquid is too hot, it can kill the yeast.

2 Make the filling; in small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Make the topping; in small bowl, stir together nuts, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

3 Spray sides and bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with a sheet of parchment paper long enough to go up the short sides of the pan. Spread 1 tablespoon of the oil or melted butter over the parchment. 

4 Working from the reserved 1/4 cup of flour, lightly flour work surface. Scrape the sticky dough onto the flour. Lightly flour the dough and press it into roughly a 13x9-inch rectangle. Spread cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough loosely and place it lengthwise in the prepared baking dish. Press the dough down to fit the dish. 

5 With fingers, rub on the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle the nut topping evenly over the buttered dough. With buttery fingers, press the nut topping into the dough. Cover loosely and let rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

6 During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

7 Let stand 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack (This is when you'll be so happy that you used the parchment paper!) or leave it in the pan.

8 Let the coffee cake cool about 20 minutes; make glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, liquid and vanilla extract. Drizzle over lukewarm cake. Cut into 15 or more squares.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

07 May 2020

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Decided to make chocolate chip peanut butter cookies when Mr Delightful mentioned a craving for peanut butter cups. So that he wouldn't resort to buying candy, I thought I'd add some chocolate chips to my peanut butter cookies, even though I am not a huge chocolate fan myself.

Many recipes for peanut butter cookies make a point of insisting that only processed peanut butter can be used. One thing I insist on, though, is organic natural (also called "old-fashioned") peanut butter, just peanuts and a little salt, must be stirred--no stabilizers, shortening or sugar.

If you happen to live someplace where peanut butter is not readily available, you can easily whip some up with a food processor. Natural peanut butter is just shelled and roasted peanuts, skins removed, processed (food processor or blender) with perhaps a bit of peanut oil (maybe 1 tablespoon to 8 ounces of peanuts, just guessing) and salt to taste.

Texture is everything in a cookie--can't stand a gummy peanut butter cookie! You can use 1 1/4 cups (6.25 ounces) of unbleached all-purpose flour for my recipe, but I really like the texture and extra nutrition you get by using some coarsely ground old-fashioned oats in place of part of the flour. Try it and let me know how you like it!

Of course, you can double this recipe. I just made a small batch because I'm low on my favorite flour and there is none to be had anywhere these days.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies


(Makes 22 3-inch cookies)

1/3 cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
1/4 packed cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (4.5 ounces/128 grams) natural peanut butter
1 large egg (medium in UK)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (3 ounces/85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate mini chips

1 In food processor with metal blade in place, process oats for about 30 seconds until ground into coarse flour. The mini food processor that goes with my immersion blender (also known as stick blender or hand blender) is perfect for small amounts like this.

2 In small bowl, whisk together flour, ground oats, baking powder, soda and salt.

3 In medium mixing bowl, by hand or with electric hand mixer beat butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

4 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Shape #40 scoops* (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Shaping into balls before pressing results in perfectly smooth cookies, edges and all. (If you don't mind a less smooth look, just press the scooped dough down. That's what I often do!) Place 3 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment. With your fingers, flatten into a 2 1/4-inch round (or use a fork to flatten each in a crisscross pattern into a 2 1/4-inch round). Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.

5 Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container. 

* If you don't have one of these 7/8 Ounce Size 40 Stainless Steel Round Squeeze Disher, you need to get one now! How do people make cookies without it!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

23 April 2020

Pan Bread - Super Easy No-Knead Yeast Bread

Pan Bread - Super Easy No-Knead Yeast Bread / www.delightfulrepast.com

For some reason this pandemic spurred a worldwide wave of breadmaking. A lot of novices weren't thrilled with the results, I'm told, and the run on flour and yeast is dying down. If you're disenchanted with your efforts at traditional yeast bread, this is for you. All the flavor, none of the work. 

Pan bread is the name I gave years ago to a yeast bread that anyone can make. Even if you've never made yeast bread before, if you have a bowl and a 13x9x2-inch pan, you can make this bread. In fact, if you're planning to dine in 3 hours, stir up a batch right now!

If you like, you can turn it into focaccia by giving it a sprinkling of herbs before baking. You can even turn it into a coffee cake by using melted butter instead of olive oil and giving it a swirl of cinnamon sugar and a streusel topping. But if you're a fan of the flavor of yeast bread, you'll even like it perfectly plain.

Mr Delightful likes it with butter. Always good, yes, but sometimes I like to dip it in a little dish of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Makes me feel like I'm in a nice restaurant. Remember restaurants? And, yes, I do consider "the bread basket" a legitimate appetizer!

Pan Bread - Super Easy Foolproof Yease Bread (versatile - it's all in the way you slice it!) / www.delightfulrepast.com


This bread is so versatile, you can even make 12 slices of sandwich bread or toast by cutting it into 6 squares and splitting each square, as I did for the plain and perfect tomato sandwich above.

Check the Bread category of my Recipes page for all kinds of breads, including Classic White Sandwich Bread and Wild Yeast True Sourdough Bread.

Pan Bread - Super Easy No-Knead Yeast Bread / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Pan Bread 


(Makes one 13x9 "loaf")

3 1/4 cups (16.25 ounces/461 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package/0.25 ounce/7 grams) instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons (0.25 ounce/7 grams) salt
1 3/4 cups (14 fluid ounces/414 ml) very warm (120 to 130F/49 to 54C) water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or melted butter, divided

Options: caramelized onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs



1 Start dough 3 hours before you plan to serve the bread. In large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast and salt. Add water and 1 tablespoon of the oil or melted butter and stir vigorously with dough whisk or large spoon for one minute.



2 Spray sides and bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with a sheet of parchment paper long enough to go up the short sides of the pan. Spread 1 tablespoon of the oil or melted butter over the parchment. Scrape the sticky dough into prepared pan and press it into pan with oiled fingers. Cover loosely and let rest for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


Pan Bread - Super Easy No-Knead Yeast Bread / www.delightfulrepast.com
This is the Nordic Ware Half Sheet Cover. I use it over buns proofing in the half sheet pan, over bread pans and over this 13x9x2-inch baking dish. It has saved yards and yards of plastic wrap over the years!


3 During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Just before baking, dimple (gently poke) the dough with oiled fingers and drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon of the oil or melted butter. Sometimes I skip the dimpling and just rub on the oil or melted butter; it's fine either way. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. 

4 Let stand 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack. (This is when you'll be so happy that you used the parchment paper!) Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 16 or 24 squares and serve warm. 

Or cut it into six squares and split them horizontally to make 12 slices of sandwich bread or toast.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

09 April 2020

Sheet Pan Home Fries - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway

Sheet Pan Home Fries - No Muss No Fuss - soooo much easier, you'll never make them in a skillet again / www.delightfulrepast.com


We all need comfort food, like my Sheet Pan Home Fries, now. And I thought giving away a really good knife would be a real perkative in the midst of all this this. But first ...


The Sheet Pan Home Fries


While there's nothing difficult about making home fries, it's more trouble (and mess) than it needs to be when you're in the middle of making other things as well. Too much checking and turning, and I always end up using too much oil to keep them from sticking. 

It took me a long time, but I finally wised up and haven't looked back since. I thought, why not just throw them on a sheet pan and put them in the oven? I didn't want to get fussy about that either. I know a lot of people roast vegetables in the oven and do a lot of turning, and I didn't want to be bothered with turning.

So I lined a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking problems, tossed my potato chunks with a few simple ingredients (you can season them however you like) and just a modest amount of oil, popped it in the oven and just let it go. Fabulous! All part of my streamlined cooking strategy to save time.

It also saves time on cleaning because there are no grease splatters on the stove to clean up. No skillet with stuck-on bits to soak and scrub. And, even more important for those of us who really care about making every simple dish as good as it can possibly be, the potatoes are perfectly cooked, evenly cooked.

And if what you're looking for is Roasted Potatoes for Sunday Lunch, just hit that link and make a batch of the most perfect Roasties. Are you a home fries person or a hash browns person? If the latter, you must try my Pomme Rosti.


Sheet Pan Home Fries - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

The New West KnifeWorks Knife


I grew up with a mother who was a world-class cook with the worst --THE WORST--knives in the world, so I was determined that when I grew up I would have good knives. And I gradually acquired very good knives. But a couple of years ago I discovered the truly remarkable knives made by New West KnifeWorks (NWKW).

The NWKW knives are as beautiful as they are useful and a joy to work with. Call me shallow, but the first thing I noticed about the Ironwood 5-Inch Chopper was that it is the most gorgeous knife I've ever seen. That desert ironwood handle is beautiful. It is a richly textured, incredibly dense hardwood that with minimal care will last forever, making this an heirloom.

The handle is ergonomic, the blade is razor-sharp, and together they make a well-balanced knife that is just big enough to be my go-to "chef" knife for most of my cutting board work. For the tasks that require a bigger blade, I can pull out a chef knife; but this should take care of about 90 percent of my slicing and chopping. It cuts through tough potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower like butter. Chopping chocolate and nuts is effortless.

Go to the section below the recipe for details on this very generous giveaway. If you don’t happen to need a knife, you know someone who does; and this knife would make a great and generous gift.


Sheet Pan Home Fries - No Muss No Fuss - soooo much easier, you'll never make them in a skillet again / www.delightfulrepast.com

Sheet Pan Home Fries


(Serves 4 or 5, can be easily doubled*)

2 to 2.2 pounds (32 to 35.27 ounces/0.9 to 1 kilogram) russet potatoes
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon marjoram

1/4 teaspoon thyme


* To serve a crowd, double ingredients and bake on 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan.

1 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan with baking parchment paper.

2 Peel potatoes and cut into roughly 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes. In 1.5- to 2-quart bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, marjoram and thyme. Spread in a single layer on parchment-lined quarter sheet pan.

3 Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


New West KnifeWorks Knife Giveaway


This giveaway is open to readers in the US* who are 18 years of age or older. To enter, leave a comment below (one entry per person). Tell me the first thing you'd make with the knife. Please include your email address in the body of your comment. Must enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday April 22.

* If you are outside the US but would like to have this sent to someone you know in the US (you would have to send them a gift card separately on your own), go ahead and enter!

Winner will be chosen by random drawing and be announced here in the comments before noon Eastern time on Thursday April 23. If I don't hear back from the winner of the random drawing by noon Eastern time Sunday April 26, a new winner will be selected from the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline). 

Disclosure: New West KnifeWorks provided a knife for review purposes and one for the giveaway. The views expressed here are entirely my own. I always tell my readers what I really think!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

26 March 2020

Spiced Crab Apples

Spiced Crab Apples - A Versatile Condiment, Pickle or Garnish / www.delightfulrepast.com

Spiced crab apples and spiced peaches, as well as pickled eggs and pickled onions, were things I grew up with. I never really thought about their origin, but given my mother's origins, I'm wondering if these foods are British. 

I had childhood friends whose mothers were from various parts of the world, but I never encountered any of these foods on their tables. Suppose I could Google it, but maybe one of you can tell me.

Crab apples are, I'm told, called such because of their size and not their cultivar. Crab apples are 2 inches or less in diameter, and the ones I used for this recipe, an organic heirloom variety, were way less than 2 inches in diameter.

Spiced Crab Apples - A Versatile Condiment, Pickle or Garnish / www.delightfulrepast.com


If you do canning, I'm sure you could do that with spiced crab apples. But my mother was not into canning for long-term shelf storage, so she made this kind which you can store in the refrigerator for up to a month. She served them with things like pork roast and turkey. 

This seems like a lot of bother for something so small as to be more of a garnish than a side dish! But the spiced crab apples are rather adorable and quite fun to serve for a special occasion. They also work well on a cheese board or charcuterie platter.

But plan ahead. They're ready in a week, but even better at 2 or 3 weeks, and they keep for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. I just made 1 quart, but you can easily double or triple the recipe.

Spiced Crab Apples - A Versatile Condiment, Pickle or Garnish / www.delightfulrepast.com
If you like it, please remember to Pin it and share it!

Spiced Crab Apples


(Makes 1 quart)

1 3/4 cup (12.25 ounces/347 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
7/8 cup (7 fluid ounces/207 ml) apple cider vinegar
7/8 cup (7 fluid ounces/207 ml) water

1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) tiny crab apples


1 Have ready a wide mouth 1-quart canning jar. In a 3-quart stainless steel saucepan, whisk together the sugar and spices. Whisk in the vinegar and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Take off heat for 5 minutes.

2 In the meantime, wash the apples well, leaving the stems intact but removing the fuzzy blossom ends. Pierce the blossom end twice with a skewer or very sturdy toothpick. 

3 Add the apples to the slightly cooled liquid. Bring up to a gentle simmer and simmer the apples for about 15 minutes. Don't let the mixture boil or you might end up with skins falling off the apples and the apples getting overcooked. 


4 Carefully remove the apples from the liquid and put them in a wide mouth 1-quart canning jar. Pour the pickling liquid into the jar. The apples should be completely immersed. If some are floating above the liquid, you can weight them down with something. I have a bunch of 2.6-inch porcelain ramekins and use one of those. These 2.6-inch porcelain dipping sauce dishes would probably also work well. Put on the lid.

5 Let cool for an hour, and then refrigerate for at least a week or up to 4 weeks.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

12 March 2020

Chicken and Dumplings - Instant Pot (or Not)

Chicken and Dumplings - Instant Pot (or Not) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chicken and Dumplings is a real comfort food classic! And if you’d like to make it on the stovetop rather than in the Instant Pot, go to my original Chicken and Dumplings post. 

Also, go to that post if you’d like to read about the great dumpling controversy—you know, fluffy versus flat, dropped versus rolled. As you can see, I make fluffy dumplings. 

And fluffy they are. Never stodgy (unpleasantly solid and heavy). Sometimes I use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the milk, and sometimes not. Either way, they come out light, fluffy and delicious. 

Thing is, the Instant Pot is narrower in diameter than my Dutch oven, so there’s really only room for half the dumplings. If you’re serving it all at once (dinner for at least 6), you could transfer the finished stew to a wider pan that will hold all the dumplings. 


Chicken and Dumplings - Instant Pot (or Not) / www.delightfulrepast.com


I’ve often used bone-in chicken breasts and thighs rather than cutting up a whole chicken, but for this Instant Pot version I went with a whole chicken and did not cut it up. 

You see, I’m still on my Streamlined Cooking kick and not cutting up the chicken and not browning the pieces was a huge timesaver. The chicken comes out fall-apart tender and easy to remove from the bones. 

I was prepared to have to remove a lot of fat from the broth, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of fat, so I just went with it. That was another timesaver.

I hope you’ll try it soon and let me know how you like it. And, tell me, which dumpling team are you on, fluffy or flat?


Chicken and Dumplings - Instant Pot (or Not) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Chicken and Dumplings - Instant Pot


(Serves 6 to 8)

The Chicken Stew

1 whole organic free-range chicken (3.5 to 5 pounds/1.6 to 2.25 kg), giblets removed
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 medium (about 12 ounces/340 grams) yellow onion, quartered and sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups thinly diagonally sliced carrots (about 12 ounces/340 grams)
3 stalks (about 4 ounces/113 grams) celery, thinly diagonally sliced (1/2 cup)

2 cups (16 fluid ounces/473 ml) water
1/4 cup flour shaken with 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


The Dumplings


(Makes 18)

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon non-GMO baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk (1 tablespoon of which can be apple cider vinegar)

1 In 6-quart Instant Pot inner cooking pot, place the chicken (mine was an even 4 pounds); sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, marjoram and poultry seasoning. Top with onions, carrots and celery; pour in the water.

2 Put the lid in place and turn the steam valve to Sealing. Plug in the Instant Pot. Press the Pressure Cook key. Leave the indicator lights on High Pressure and Normal temperature, and change the cooking time to 25 minutes.

Note: It took about 25 minutes to come up to pressure and begin the cooking time.

3 When the "It's done" beep sounds and the indicator says "Off," set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally, then do a quick release by turning the steam valve to Venting. 

4 When the float valve drops down, carefully remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a large plate or bowl and let cool for about 20 minutes. When it's cool enough to handle, use 2 forks to remove the skin and take the meat off the bones. Cut it into bite-size (about 1-inch) pieces.

5 Shake together flour and water until mixture is as smooth as possible; then pour it through a strainer into the stew. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding the additional 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, if needed; press Saute and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to thicken. Stir in the chicken.

Note: You can stop right here if you want to and finish the dish tomorrow or the next day. See the Note at the end before proceeding.

6 While stew returns to a simmer, make dumplings. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Drizzle melted butter over flour mixture, stirring with large fork. Stir in milk. Let stand for 5 minutes before scooping onto stew.

7 Stir in the parsley (and a cup of frozen peas, if you like). Spray a #40 scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) or round measuring tablespoon with cooking spray. Drop level scoops or rounded tablespoons of dough onto simmering stew. Cover and simmer dumplings for 20 minutes, then test one to see if toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If not, cover and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Note:  Only half the dumplings will fit in the Instant Pot. If you want to cook all the dumplings, you will need to transfer the stew to a wider pot, such as a 5.5-quart Dutch oven. And, if you are not an experienced dumpling maker, you will likely find it easier to do that anyway because cooking the dumplings is a bit tricky in the Instant Pot. You have to go back and forth between Saute and Slow Cook to keep the stew at a simmer. I did it one time, just to see if and how it could be done, and it worked. But I'll do the dumplings on the stovetop next time.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

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