Archive for August, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Potato Sourdough Bread

August 28, 2013

 

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This sourdough bread, made with roasted sweet potato and pumpkin seeds is from Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery. I like how the breads sort of look like split sweet potatoes.

If you would like to see a detailed photo tutorial with a recipe, take a look at this Hoppy Okapi blog post (and also take a look at Farine’s post).

The only change to the recipe that I would make is to eliminate the ground cumin. The spice does complement the sweet potato flavor, but is, I think, a bit too definite. Every bite I took, I thought: This is cumin flavored bread and I’m not sure how I feel about eating cumin flavored bread.  The bread flavor would have been subtler and more versatile without the cumin.

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Speculoos Spiced Apple Butter and Apple Butter Swirl Challah

August 19, 2013

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In Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking Across America, there is a recipe from Macrina Bakery for apple cinnamon monkey bread that is really a loaf of sweet dough rolled up with apple butter and cinnamon sugar (another version of this recipe appears in the Macrina Bakery cookbook, and you can also see For The Love of Bread’s version).

I thought this would be a great idea for challah, with the cinnamon sugar left out to make it more bread and less dessert (although cinnamon sugar could only make it taste better . . . ). (Update: I made this recipe again, adding raisins and cinnamon sugar–excellent!)

Then I had the idea to spice the apple butter like those oh-so-popular speculoos cookies (also known as Biscoff).

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I’m keeping a sourdough starter going, so I looked around for a sourdough challah recipe. After trying one sourdough challah recipe and not being completely satisfied, I decided to try a sweet dough recipe that uses sourdough starter and a little yeast.

Of course, you can use whatever challah dough you like. If you use a dough sweetened with honey, you will have apple honey challah, which is perfect for the upcoming holidays. I didn’t add raisins this time, but I will add them next time I make this recipe.

My daughter, who has been resisting sourdough bread, said this was the best challah I ever made. The challah tastes like babka (it would really be like babka if I added cinnamon sugar and raisins). The veins of apple butter give intense apple taste without making the challah soggy as sometimes happens with apple challah when the  apple exude moisture. I served extra apple butter on the side as a spread for the challah.

By the way, if you think apple butter sounds dull, imagine this: an apple farm in September, the crisp Autumn breeze wafting the enticing scent of ripe apples, freshly made apple cider and warm doughnuts. You end up going home with way more apples than you can eat. Then, to make use of that insane amount of apples, you make this apple butter recipe and your home is filled with the aroma of spice and apples. It is the fragrance of Fall in a jelly jar.

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Mazel Tov Rachel and Roy (Red Velvet Cake and Mocha Cake)

August 18, 2013

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Two interlocking heart cakes: one red velvet with cream cheese frosting, one mocha cake with milk chocolate frosting. The design is reverse piped buttercream (see here for tutorial and here for another example).

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Porotos Granados

August 2, 2013

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Porotos Granados, a thick stew of beans, corn and winter squash is a traditional summer dish in Chile. The name means (I think) “choice beans” or maybe “bean stew.” I’m not entirely sure.

In any event, you might be wondering why such a hearty sounding stew would be traditionally a summer dish. Here is the reason: the stew is supposed to be made with fresh shelled beans, which show up in the market in the summertime when they are harvested. Also, the dish makes use of fresh corn, basil and sometimes tomato and bell peppers, which are also summery ingredients.

Of course, if you can’t get your hands on fresh cranberry beans in the farmer’s market, do not despair. You can use canned beans or dried beans. Not quite the same, I know, but delicious and well worth making nonetheless.

My starting point was a recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall’s River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. Out of curiosity, I looked up other versions of this recipe, and I ended up adding a change here and there based on those other recipes.

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