16 April 2009

Uber Bread

I’ve been working on eating a low(er)-glycemic diet. Toward this end, I’ve modified my multi-grain bread recipe into what I call my Uber Bread – the ultimate in healthy, tasty, dense bread.

Soak ½ cup of wheat and/or oat berries overnight. In the morning, drain them, then put them in a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool to tepid.

Once the berries have cooled, combine and proof
2 teaspoons yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces liquid (I use 1 cup room-temperature milk and ½ cup of the liquid that I cooked the berries in)

Once the yeast has proofed, mix in
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour
½ cup oat bran
½ cut wheat bran
½ cup flax meal
½ cup oats
the cooked berries
1-plus cups white flour (as needed to knead)

Knead until dough is smooth and springy.

Coat with olive oil, cover, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place. (This might take a couple of hours.)

Once doubled in bulk, punch down and knead again. Divide in half and form two loaves. Sprinkle a pizza stone with coarse cornmeal (I use polenta) and place the loaves on it. Cover and allow to rise a second time. Once risen, place in a 350-degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes.

13 April 2009

A Few Passover Recipes

Feels like I've been cooking all week!

I hosted a seder for nine people last Wednesday for the first night of Pesach, and attended a friend's very abbreviated seder last night.(Mostly it was a dinner party that used Passover as an excuse to gather, although we did tell the Exodus story and eat all the ceremonial foods, so I guess it counts as a seder.)

My charoset (which is chunky, not paste-like) is delicious, and at least one friend says it's the best she's ever had. Also, both the desserts I made were a big hit. So here, in my inimitable style, are the recipes for those three dishes. There's still two more nights of Passover, if you want to give them a try. Or heck, eat them any old time of the year!

Finely chop and combine:
2 apples
approx. 1/2 cup raisins
approx. 1/2 cup dates
approx. 1/4 cup dried cherries
1 orange
approx. 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and cloves
moisten with kosher blackberry wine or grape juice. If using grape juice, squeeze in the juice from half a Meyer's lemon, too.
Mix well and let sit, covered and refrigerated, for several hours so the flavors mingle nicely.

Serve as a fruit salad, or as a Hillel sandwich (matzah with horseradish and charoset).

Claire's Passover Sachertorte

Preheat oven to 325

Butter the bottom -- but not the sides -- of a 9 inch spring form pan

Melt 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Guittard)

Beat 5 egg whites until stiff

3/4 cup sugar (although I used about 1/2 cup of agave nectar)
3/4 cup butter
either 1 teaspoon orange rind, or a splash of orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
3/4 cup finely ground almond meal
5 egg yolks

Beat in the melted chocolate

Gradually fold in the stiff egg whites

Pour into spring form pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour.

Top with a chocolate glaze:
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
another splash of orange liqueur (or 1 Tablespoon orange rind)

Once cooled, add cherries or raspberries, or a raspberry coulee

Almond/Chocolate Lace Cookies

Preheat oven to 350.
1/2 cup (one cube) butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons 1/2 'n 1/2
1 Tablespoon flour

When melted, stir in
3/4 cup finely ground almond meal

Place 5 or 6 teaspoons of batter on a well-greased and floured baking sheet. Give them lots of space, because they'll spread out wide and thin.

Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove, allow to cool for a minute or so, then place face down on a paper towel to finish cooling. Repeat with the rest of the batter. You should wind up with 24 to 30 cookies in all.

Once all the cookies are baked and cooled, drizzle them with chocolate made by melting about 1 ounce of cocoa butter and 4 to 5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips together.

Place the chocolate-drizzled cookies in the fridge so the chocolate can harden.