30 January 2020

An Announcement

An Announcement - Nothing to Do with Pears / www.delightfulrepast.com
This post has absolutely nothing to do with pears, but I had to put up a picture of something. And pears made more sense than some of the stuff I paint, like autumn leaves, pine trees, trees in general, cats, birds and elephants! 

Each year as February 15 approaches, I consider the future of my blog. And never more so than this year when February 15 will mark the Tenth Blogiversary of Delightful Repast.

When I started blogging, I never dreamed I would be posting every week for 10 years. I know lots of bloggers post multiple times a week, but once a week was a real stretch for me.

I love developing recipes and writing them out in great detail so that my readers at every skill level can have success with them. I enjoy sharing my love of tea (the beverage and the ritual) and wine. And I slip in the occasional travel post.

One of my favorite types of posts is when I do a giveaway of a product or book or piece of kitchen equipment I use and love. 

The best part of blogging for me is something that many bloggers miss out on--engagement with my readers. I read and respond to every comment and, if the commenter has a blog, I visit the blog and leave a comment there. 

I really don't want to give all that up. So I've decided to post less frequently rather than stop posting altogether. I hope that will suit my readers as well as give me a bit more time for all the other aspects of my life.

Don't ask me how long it takes to produce one of my posts and do all the other things associated with blogging. I've never actually done the math on that because I didn't want to know!

Rather than posting every Thursday as I have all these years without a break, I am going to post every other Thursday. So don't look for a new post next week, but come by anyway and read an old post--there are more than 500 of them!

I'll be back on February 13 (10th blogiversary week), and I hope you'll join me! If you haven't subscribed, please do so and you'll automatically get an email notice when a new post is published. 

And just to get some food into this food blog post for you, here is what I'm making for dinner today: Slow Cooker Pork Loin Roast with Gravy.

Jean 

23 January 2020

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Cinnamon Buns came to my attention through Ron at Lost in a Pot, where you'll find lots of Swedish recipes. Then I read dozens of recipes for the buns. Then, of course, I went all Frank Sinatra and "did it my way!" 

My recipe uses my by-hand make-ahead method, whereas Ron mixes his kanelbullar dough in an Ankarsrum Assistent Original (that's not a typo, it's Swedish), a completely different type of mixer I first heard of a few years ago when writing a magazine article. 

I baked a half batch (12) one day, and a half batch the next, using a different shaping method, which I think makes a prettier bun for me. But I'll tell you how to do it both ways in the recipe directions. (Sorry I didn't take photos of the prettier buns.) 

My research indicates that even some "real" Swedish people making "real" Kanelbullar make a big roll and cut it into slices just like American cinnamon rolls. So I think what makes them Swedish is the use of cardamom in the dough. I don't know. And Ron says Kanelbullar never have icing, which makes me very happy!

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


As you might expect, I skip the traditional sprinkling of pearl sugar as I don't like to eat it and I think the buns are prettier without it. But those who do use the pearl sugar differ in when they put it on the buns; some after the egg wash before baking; others after a brushing of sugar syrup after baking. You decide.

The "authentic" Swedish Kanelbullar experience probably includes a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, but my inauthentic experience includes tea. What will you have with your Kanelbullar?

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar


(Makes 24)

The Cardamom Dough

3 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (16.25 ounces/461 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk, microwaved 1 to 2 minutes in 2-cup glass measure until hot but not boiling
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/grams) unsalted butter, cut into about 6 slices and added to heated milk

1 large egg, room temperature

The Cinnamon Filling

1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

The Egg Wash

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water


1 Start the dough the day before. In large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In 2-cup glass measure, microwave milk until hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes in my microwave; stir in pieces of butter to melt. Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved flour to form a soft dough.

2 Leave the dough in the bowl. Using the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, flour one hand and sprinkle some of the flour over the dough. Lightly squish the dough around in the bowl with one hand (not really kneading!), adding a little of the reserved flour at a time. If baking all 24 buns, proceed with Step 3a. If baking 12 one day and 12 the next, see Step 3b. 

3a Gently shape the dough into a smooth ball (it will be sticky). Place in lightly oiled bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure); lightly oil surface. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. 

3b Divide the dough into two equal (about 16 ounces/454 grams) pieces and shape each into a smooth ball (they will be sticky). Place each in a lightly oiled 4-cup lidded Pyrex bowl; lightly oil surface. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or lid. Refrigerate overnight.

4 Next day, make the filling (full or half batch) by creaming together filling ingredients; let cold dough (full or half batch) stand at room temperature for an hour or so to warm up a bit before shaping. Punch down the dough by pressing down in center and folding in edges; cover and let relax in bowl for 20 minutes. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com

5a Full batch: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and roll out to 18x12-inch (46x30 cm) rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling evenly over one long half of the dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Fold the plain half over the half with the filling to make an 18x6-inch (46x15 cm) rectangle.

5b Half batch: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and roll out to 9x12-inch (23x30 cm) rectangle. Spread a half batch of the cinnamon filling evenly over one short half of the dough, leaving ½-inch border. Fold the plain half over the half with the filling to make a 9x6-inch (23x15 cm) rectangle.

6 Using a straight edge and sharp knife or plastic pizza wheel, cut the filled dough into 24 (or 12, if half batch) 6x3/4-inch (15x2 cm) strips. Twist and tie the buns (or make a simple spiral), and place them on the lined baking sheet(s), spaced so as to not touch once they rise. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour or so.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


How to Twist and Tie the Buns: Holding onto one end of a strip, twist it several times, coil the twisted strip around your index finger twice, and tuck the end down through the opening in the center. OR just make a simple spiral of the twisted strip and tuck the end under the bun. That's what I did for my second batch, and I think it makes a prettier bun!

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


7 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. In small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush the risen rolls with the egg wash just before baking. As soon as you put the pan in the oven, reduce heat to 400F/205C/Gas6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until deep golden brown.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


PS I absolutely love my Nordic Ware Commercial Half Sheet Pan and Nordic Ware Half Sheet Cover. That perfectly fitting cover comes in handy for so many things, including covering rising buns without using plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.

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

16 January 2020

Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss

Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss / www.delightfulrepast.com

This is THE pizza dough, the pizza dough I've been making for many years. Needs no special equipment or skill. You don't need a heavy-duty stand mixer or a food processor or to know how to knead yeast dough. 

I have a heavy-duty stand mixer and a food processor, and I have been kneading yeast dough since I was a young girl; so why do I make my pizza dough this way? Because it's better this way. Better texture, better flavor.

This isn't exactly the technique of any of the famous bakers, but it's how I do it and it always gets raves. So I hope you'll give it a try. There's no fussiness about temperatures, or hydration percentages or folding techniques that leave you wondering why you didn't just make a kneaded dough in the first place.

Just stir it up in a big bowl, divide the dough into three portions, put each into a covered bowl, put the bowls in the refrigerator and let time do its magic on the dough. If you want to make a larger or thicker crust, divide the dough in half instead of thirds.

If you want to make one now and two at a later date, after the dough has been in the fridge for three days, wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap or put it in a freezer bag* and pop them in the freezer.


Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss / www.delightfulrepast.com


*If you have these freezer-safe 4-cup Pyrex round dishes with lids, you can skip the plastic.

The day before you want to use a piece of dough, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw and do its slow-rise thing. Then proceed the same as for the dough that was simply refrigerated.

I haven't frozen any dough in ages because we love pizza and will happily eat one three times in one week. And if you're cooking for more than one or two people, you'll want to make two or three pizzas on the same evening. 

See my original Make Real Pizza at Home - Part Three post for my precision timeline for making and getting two pizzas (you can easily extend it to three) made and served in a timely fashion.

And you'll find sauce, topping and baking details at The Best Homemade Pizza post. Are you a pizza fan? 


Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No Fuss / www.delightfulrepast.com
Don't forget to Pin it and share it!

No Knead Pizza Dough


(Makes three 12-ounce crusts for three 12-inch pizzas)

4 dip-and-sweep cups (20 ounces/567 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (9 grams) salt
1 teaspoon (0.125 ounces/3.5 grams) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 3/4 cups (14 fluid ounces/414 ml) water, room temperature

1 In large bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. With dough whisk or wooden spoon, stir in the oil and water until thoroughly combined. Stir for a minute. Stir in remaining flour a half cup at a time. The finished dough will be elastic and sticky.

2 Oil three 1-quart lidded bowls and their lids; set aside. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Cut the dough into 3 equal (12-ounce) pieces; I weigh them, of course, on digital kitchen scale. Sprinkle flour over the dough. With floured hands, gently round each piece into a ball.

3 Dip each dough ball into one of the oiled bowls, rolling the dough in the oil, flatten it a bit, and then put the lid on. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for three days. You can use it anytime from two to seven days after making it, but I like to give it three days to develop and build flavor. Be warned: At some point, the lids will likely pop loose because of the fermentation process, so be sure to weight down the lids so that a skin won't form on the top of the dough.

Note: You can also freeze the portions of dough, well wrapped in plastic or in the glass storage containers for up to a month. Move the frozen dough from freezer to refrigerator to thaw the day before you want to use it.

Tip: I use the Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan just like a pizza stone, preheated in the oven. You'll find my directions in the two posts linked to above the recipe.

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 January 2020

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew (with Dumplings, in these photos, or over Mashed Potatoes) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Beef stew is the perfect wintertime comfort food meal. Well-browned organic grass-fed beef gives it a depth of flavor that requires nothing more than the simplest ingredients to make a soul-satisfying stew.

This Guinness Beef Stew is a departure from my usual beef stews made with red wine. Even if I were a total teetotaler, abstainer from alcohol, I would use it in my cooking. A lot of my recipes call for wine, spirits or beer.

Though the alcohol is burned off in the cooking, if you prefer not to use alcohol at all just use some lower sodium chicken broth instead. For those who have allergy/sensitivity concerns, Guinness does not contain wheat but is made with barley.

Of course, you can put potatoes in this, just like my Beef Stew, but I decided to skip the potatoes this time and serve it over Mashed Potatoes. And I ended up making Dumplings as well—one of our guests was in need of serious comfort. Triple comfort food!

And I went old-school and cooked this on the stovetop this fine wintry day, but you can easily adapt it to slow cooker, (Slow Cooker Beef Stew) or pressure cooker (Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Beef Stew).

Are you into wintertime comfort food?

Guinness Beef Stew (with Dumplings, in these photos, or over Mashed Potatoes) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Guinness Beef Stew


(Serves 6 to 8)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 pounds (1.36 kg) lean beef chuck, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, optional
1 medium (about 12 ounces/340 grams) yellow onion, quartered and sliced
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) water
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) organic ketchup
1 14.9-ounce can (14.9 fluid ounces/440 ml) Guinness stout
3/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) organic “baby” carrots, halved OR about 5 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled, cut into 1-inch slices

1 In 5.5-quart Dutch oven (I use a Le Creuset 5.5-quart enameled cast-iron French oven), heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. You will brown the beef in 3 batches.

2 Dry the beef cubes a batch at a time with paper towels, add to hot oil and brown very well in single layer, sprinkling with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Transfer browned beef to large bowl. Repeat 2 times, adding remaining oil only as needed.

3 Add another teaspoon of olive oil if needed, and cook sliced onion, sprinkled with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add to browned beef in bowl. (BTW, this is my favorite kitchen timer ever.) 

4 In 2-cup glass measure, measure the water and whisk in the ketchup. ketchup (I know, I know, but I promise it adds a certain something and doesn't taste at all ketchup-y). AND adding it to the measured water measures IT without dirtying another measuring cup! 

5 Over medium heat, heat butter and whisk in flour, cooking about 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the water/ketchup mixture. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, scraping up the brown bits, deglazing the pan. Add browned beef and onions to Dutch oven.

6 Stir in the Guinness, thyme, marjoram, and celery seed. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Note: And, since you have a while before you need to prepare the carrots, you can read my stew-related story, Life Lesson in a Flame-Colored Pot.

7 Stir in carrots, cover (lid slightly ajar) and simmer another 1 hour and 15 minutes, if making ahead (then reheat and simmer for 30 minutes before serving); or 1 hour and 45 minutes, if serving now. 

8 During last 10 minutes, thicken with a mixture of 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup water; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over mashed potatoes.


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

02 January 2020

Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not

Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com

Steamed Persimmon Pudding is one of my favorite comfort food desserts during the cold months of persimmon season. This is the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker version. (Note: A persimmon is known as 'kaki' in some countries.)

If you’d like to make it on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, go to my original Steamed Persimmon Pudding post. There you’ll also find my recipe for Brandy Butter Hard Sauce.

It’s a classic sauce for this, but what I like even more with it is Custard Sauce (Creme Anglaise). Try both with it and let me know which you prefer. A little vanilla ice cream partially melting next to the warm pudding makes a lovely sauce as well.


Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com
Couldn't resist doing a little watercolor painting while waiting another day 
for the persimmons to ripen.

Both pudding and sauce can be made ahead. Just reheat the pudding before serving it topped with the cold sauce. I also like it at room temperature with whipped cream.

Be sure your Hachiya persimmons are perfectly ripe and squishy-soft. It’s handy to have a supply of persimmon puree in the freezer. Just cut your squishy-soft persimmons in half, scoop out the pulp and mash it with a fork; you shouldn't even need to use the blender or immersion blender to puree it. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice per cup of persimmon. Freeze in glass containers for up to 6 months.

I hate recipes that are vague; as in calling for "2 medium persimmons." First of all, "medium" of one variety of persimmon is not "medium" of another. And who decides what "medium" is? A recent batch of store-bought Hachiya persimmons averaged out to 7.25 ounces/205 grams, so that is my definition of a medium Hachiya persimmon.


Steamed Persimmon Pudding - Instant Pot or Not (with Brandy Butter Hard Sauce, this photo) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Steamed Persimmon Pudding


(Makes 6 servings) 

1/2 cup (2.8 ounces/80 grams) raisins
3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces/44 ml) brandy, rum or hot tea
3/4 cup (6.625 ounces/188 grams) persimmon puree*
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2.66 fluid ounces/79 ml) milk

1/3 cup (1.33 ounces/38 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts 

* From about 1 1/2 "medium" (7.25 ounces/205 grams) Hachiya persimmons

1 In small bowl, soak raisins in brandy, rum or hot tea for 30 minutes to plump them. Start them off with 15 seconds or so in the microwave, then cover them and let them steam. 

2 Butter well a 2-inch deep 7-inch round cake tin or 3-inch deep 6-inch round cake tin. Put a round of parchment paper in the tin and butter it as well. 

3 Stir baking soda into persimmon puree and let stand 5 minutes while proceeding with recipe.

4 In 1.5-quart bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. 

5 In medium bowl with a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then persimmon puree, followed by the vanilla and milk. Stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and raisins. Turn into buttered tin and cover tightly with foil. 

6 Place rack (with its handles up) in bottom of the Instant Pot cooking pot, and add 2 cups of boiling water to the pot. Center the pudding on the rack.

7 Put on the optional Instant Pot glass lid. Plug in the Instant Pot. Press the Saute key to select that program. Press the Saute key as many times as it takes to change the temperature indicator to Less. Press the Plus or Minus key to change the cooking time to 20 minutes to pre-steam the pudding before pressure cooking.

Note: You need to start with hot water because the Instant Pot set on the Saute function starts counting down the minutes right away (and does not display the minutes, just the word “Hot,” so I set a kitchen timer just to be sure!). 



8 When the beep sounds, it turns Off. Remove the optional Instant Pot glass lid and put the pressure cooking lid in place. Turn the steam valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook key. Leave the indicator on High Pressure and change the cooking time to 35 minutes for the 7-inch pan or 40 minutes for the 6-inch pan.


Note: Since it is already hot, it only takes about 4 minutes to come up to pressure.

9 When the beep sounds, it turns Off. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, then do a quick release by turning the steam valve to Venting. Then leave the lid in place for another 10 minutes.

10 Carefully remove the lid and wipe any condensation off the foil covering. Using potholders or oven gloves and the handles on the rack, carefully lift out the pudding and set on wire cooling rack. Remove the foil. The pudding should be slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan. Let stand for 15 minutes before unmolding onto a small platter. Slice and serve warm with whipped cream, brandy butter hard sauce or, my favorite, Custard Sauce.

Note: If making it ahead, even a day or two before, cover and store pudding at room temperature and then reheat before serving. 

11 While pudding is steaming, make Brandy Butter Hard Sauce or Custard Sauce. If you prefer your Custard Sauce cold, make it several hours or up to 2 or 3 days ahead. Hard Sauce can be made way ahead; it needs to be refrigerated at least 2 hours or up to 3 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
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