Monday, July 16, 2018

Breakfast with the BBB - Singing Hinnies

These tasty little griddle cakes had me singing for the wrong reason at first.  That reason being that I accidentally dumped my flour and butter all over the flour as I was getting the milk out.  There was no saving any of it.  But stubbornness prevails and the second batch came together nicely and was griddled and consumed with delight.  They are quite rich, these fatty cuties (as they are known in Scotland), also known as griddle cakes or scones, and bannocks and are particularly well known in Northumberland in northern England.  Typically made with flour, butter, lard, salt, baking powder, milk, and dried currants, we were given the option of whichever dried fruit we preferred so long as they were scone-like and griddled.

I used (for the second batch) freshly ground einkorn, kamut, and oats, mixed with all purpose flour and went with dried cranberries for my add-in.  I do like currants, but didn't have any on hand.  These would be great with any sweet dried fruit since they are so rich and otherwise unsweetened.  Traditionally served with melted butter on top, like a crumpet, they were also delicious with jam added to that.  Since it is such a crumbly cake, more so than a scone for mine, I did not take the risk of splitting them and having them fall apart.  Easier to eat just topped anyway!  And I'm told you can freeze the cakes before griddling so that they are ready to go just a few at a time when you need them!  (Defrost before cooking, freeze up to 3 months.)

Devouring them while still nice and warm.

The host kitchen at Feeding My Enthusiasms chose this recipe to avoid turning on the oven this month, for which I am eternally grateful.  We don't have sweltering heat often enough for air conditioning to be found in most houses, so when it does get toasty, it gets miserable.  It was lovely to get a bread made that could just be quickly done on a stove top or griddle.  These are an easy and unique little breakfast bread, rich, tasty, and beautifully filling.  We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Singing Hinnies 
makes 8

225grams (8ozs) plain flour (I used 100g all purpose, 50g sprouted einkorn, 50g sprouted kamut, and 25g sprouted oats, all freshly ground for the sprouted)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
100g (4oz.) butter
50g (2oz.) currants (snipped dried cranberries)
Milk to mix to a dough (about 6-9 tbsp) (I used 6 tbsp)

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.  Rub in the fat (or cut in with pastry blender or two knives) (I used the mixer paddle) and stir in the currants or raisins. Add enough milk to make a firm dough.  (I let mine chill and rest for a bit to try to get more loft out of my whole grain mixture.)  Roll out onto a floured tray or board and cut with scone or biscuit cutter into rounds of chosen size, usually about 3 inches wide.

Heat a heavy pan (griddle or cast iron skillet work well) and lightly grease. Place scones onto griddle on a very low heat so that the scones can cook very slowly.  (I found 5 minutes per side to be a common number depending on a slightly higher heat.  I cooked longer.)  Turn once and cook on other side. To check that they are cooked remove one of the cakes and tap it gently – it should sound hollow.  The top and bottom should be browned but not burnt.  Let cool slightly and serve warm with melted butter on top.  Excellent with jam as well!

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition per singing hinny for a batch of 8 cakes:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pain au Levain with Whole Grains, Citrus and Herbs - BBB

I cheated on my low-carb diet with this bread.  Was it worth it?  Yep.  Not sorry.  So good.  Not much beats fresh bread with butter, especially when it has such lovely flavor.  Worth the double workouts.  It's an extended time recipe, which is what gives it such good flavor, but not too much hands on time, which makes it relatively easy.  Everyone in the house loved this bread.  Pain au Levain can be considered a "sandbox bread" I suppose, a basic (perfectly simple, yet flavorful on its own!) structure upon which to build whatever flavor you imagine.  The only rules for this loaf were that it include at least 30% whole grain flour of our choice, and some combination of citrus and herbs and/or seeds.
I chose lemon zest and lime thyme for the main components.  I originally wanted to add in some cooked millet for my seeds but am apparently out right now.  So I looked through my fridge stash and found some pine nuts and pepitas from previous recipes and decided they would do nicely.  A little rosemary to round it out and my flavoring was done.

Next time I will try the millet or just use toasted pepitas.  The pine nuts are good, but I like them even better toasted on the top of bread than within it.  They are so rich that they don't stay crunchy when baked inside the loaf.  Regardless, this was super tasty.  Very moist and chewy crumb, without being too chewy.  I chose Kamut and Spelt for my whole grains and ground them fresh with just a cursory sifting of the largest bran pieces.  I really like the flavor of the Kamut in particular, and the properties it gives to bread dough in combination with spelt.  It really is delicious straight up, but this bread would make excellent sandwiches.  I can see clubs, paninis, egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, all being very happy on this bread!

We would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Citrus Scented Pain au Levain with Herbs and Seeds
Makes 1 Very Large Loaf or 2 Medium Loaves

This bread will take 2-3 days, depending on how long you let it cold ferment, but is flexible as to timing.  Adapted from From the Wood-Fired Oven by Richard Miscovich

Levain: *
227 g | 1½ cups + ½ cup all-purpose flour
227 g | scant 1 cup + 2 Tbsp water
45 g | 3 Tbsp liquid sourdough starter
499 total grams **

* If you don’t have or don’t want to use a sourdough starter, you can make an overnight poolish. In that case, you will need to add a bit of yeast (about 2%) to the final dough.
** The total weight of the levain is 499 g. You are supposed to remove 45 g of sourdough to keep as your starter for future use which would leave 454 g of levain. If you choose to use all of the levain, just adjust the final dough accordingly.  (I added the extra back to my sourdough.)

Final Dough:
400 g all-purpose flour 
290 g whole wheat flour (baker’s choice) (I used 200g sprouted Kamut and 90g Spelt)
375-500 g water + 25-50 grams (to mix with salt) *** (I used 400g and then 30g for my flours)
14-17 g fine sea salt (I used 14 but would use 16 next time as the herb/seed mixture added  sweetness)
1-2 Tbsp Citrus zest, or as desired (I used the zest of one lemon)
20 g chopped herbs, or to taste (I used fresh lime thyme and rosemary from my garden)
150 g seeds, or to taste (I used ½ cup each toasted pepitas and pine nuts)

*** Adjust the hydration according to the type/blend of flour used. The addition of whole wheat flour makes the dough thirsty and the coarser the blend, the more water it soaks up.

Day 1:  In the evening – Mix the Levain or Poolish

Mix water and starter together in a large bowl. Add in flours and mix until fully hydrated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature overnight or for 8-10 hours.

Day 2:  Mix the Final Dough/Shape Loaves:

Add the water to the levain and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or whisk to disperse.  Whisk the flours together and add to the water/levain mixture.  (Reserve the salt until after the autolyse.)  Mix thoroughly using a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon to begin developing the gluten.

Add the citrus zest, seeds and/or herbs. Mix thoroughly using your hands. (I forgot to add them the first 20 minutes, so I folded them in with stretch and folds later.)  Cover and let rest (autolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Sprinkle the salt over the top and dissolve it with the 25-50 grams of water.  Use your fingers to pinch the dough to incorporate the salt evenly throughout.

Cover and let the dough bulk ferment for 120 minutes.  Stretch twice, every 40 minutes. (I ended up doing three stretches.)

Divide the dough, pre-shape, and then it rest (covered) for 20 minutes before final shaping to allow the gluten to relax.  Heavily dust two lined or un-lined bannetons with rice flour and place an optional sprig or two of thyme or rosemary at the bottom of the basket. (Couldn't find my rice flour, again.  Grain mill to the rescue!)  What I have found works very well for flouring proofing baskets is to spray lightly with a mist of water before flouring with the rice flour.  My dough pops right out with no sticking that way.

Shape the dough into an oval or round shape and place seam-side up in the baskets.  If you don’t have a proofing basket, place the loaf seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet to proof. Cover and proof for about 30 minutes at room temperature.  Place in the refrigerator to cold ferment overnight, 8-10 hours.

Day 3: Bake the Loaves

Place a baking stone or steel on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat to 450ºF for at least 45 minutes.  If you plan to use steam, place a steam pan on the top shelf.  Alternately, instead of baking the loaves on a baking stone with a steam pan, you could bake them in a preheated bread cloche, Dutch oven or Dutch oven combo baker.  I used steam. 

When the oven is sufficiently preheated, remove the loaves from the refrigerator.  Carefully invert the loaves from the proofing baskets (if used) onto parchment paper or a heavily dusted peel.  Score the loaves as desired.  Slide them onto the preheated baking stone or steel (if using) and bake for 35-45 minutes.  A larger loaf will take longer.

Remove the loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:

Approximate nutrition for one ¾" thick slice of bread as prepared here:

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mini Lemon Bar Tarts

I love my mom's lemon bars.  They are the best.  But they're not exactly transport and finger friendly.  You can take them to a potluck fine because there are plates.  But sharing at work or informal get together, church, whatever venue without plates, makes them a bit too messy.  I wanted to make a portable, bite sized, finger friendly version of mom's lemon bars.  I like tassies, specifically pecan tassies, because I like the ratio of crust to filling.  But in this case I did not want a tassie crust, which is a cream cheese pastry crust.  I wanted the shortbread-like crust of the bars.  And I definitely did not want a sugar cookie crust, which is all I found when I went looking for mini lemon bar tarts.  Lots and lots of lemon cookie cups.  Well that's just too sweet.  Lemon bars, in my opinion, should have a rich crust with just a hint of sweetness, and nice a puckery, sweet-tart filling.  I cannot abide a lemon or lime bar with a sweet, bland filling that tries to pass itself off as citrus based.  Blech.  So here is what I came up with, using my favorite-of-all-time lemon curd (10 minutes from blender to done), and a short crust that is just like the bar, but finger food friendly.

The dough should not be crumbly when done, but easy to mold and form into a ball in your hands without sticking to them.  The way I measure, 2¼ cups was perfect, but when my mom tried, it wasn't quite enough flour and we needed just a couple tablespoons more.  She lightens and spoons into the cup and then levels off.  I spoon but do not lighten much.  Next time I make these I will weigh my flour and put weights in for consistency.

I love how these tarts turned out!  Really not much more work than a batch of bars, and so cute!  Not to mention portion controlled.  They were well appreciated by all who tried them and disappeared quickly.  Hubby's work team loved them as well.  I think the comment was made that I could make more any time.  Soon.  Please.  They were the favorite of the four things I sent in and had no leftovers.

The curd recipe makes enough for all the tarts, plus enough for spreading on a couple scones or muffins.  And it really is a brilliant lemon curd.  Definitely my favorite of all time.  You can halve the recipe for the crust.  I haven't tried a half batch of the curd but it should work if careful with the heat.

Mini Lemon Bar Tarts
makes 4 dozen

cups flour (2¼-2½ depending on how you scoop)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup butter
¼ cup sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 egg yolks

Lemon curd:
makes about 2 cups

6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest (use organic lemons please to avoid pesticides)

Extra powdered sugar for garnish

For the curd:
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and no butter grains show, a few minutes. Pour into a saucepan and cook over low-med until thickened.  If using a thermometer it should be done around 170ºF.  It will thicken noticeably and coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil.

Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming.  Chill until ready to use.  Will keep up to a week in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.

For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Combine flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and lemon zest.  Mix in the yolks.  Gradually add the flour until the dough comes together into a loose ball.  It should be firm enough to roll into balls without sticking to the hands.  If dough is still sticky, add flour by 2 tbsp until it is no longer sticky.

Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.  Using a small cookie scoop, portion into scant tbsp sized balls and press into the liners.  I used the floured end of my marble pestle, it was perfectly sized.  You can use a wooden muddle, large wooden spoon handle, or there are tart tampers made for the purpose of pressing mini tarts.  You can also just press down with your thumb.

Bake crusts for 8 minutes and remove from oven.  They will have puffed up a little.  Refresh the holes in the crust shells with the end of your tamper (don't use your thumb this time, they are hot), and fill with a generous teaspoon of lemon curd.  Return to the oven and bake for another 6 minutes.

Remove baking tins from oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove the tarts carefully and finish cooling on the wire rack.  I found a seafood pick worked well to get them out, a bamboo skewer would also work well.  They are delicate when warm, so be gentle removing them.

When cool and ready to serve, dust with a little powdered sugar for garnish.  Don't do this too far ahead or the filling may absorb the sugar after a few hours.

Approximate nutrition per tart:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Red Pepper Coques with the BBB


Easy, delicious, make ahead(ish)...  All winning points for this month's challenge bread!  Karen chose a tasty Catalan-style flatbread known as Red Pepper Coques.  The dough is made the day before and will last up to three days in the fridge.  The topping may also be made ahead, leaving only rolling and assembly (and baking), when you want to eat these.  Preheat the oven while rolling out and it's an easy, delicious appetizer or light dinner served with a salad.  My daughter had many ideas for things these breads would pair well with, indeed having two pieces for dinner and two later for a snack.  At the last minute, I decided to steam some broccoli to add to our flatbreads and it was a good decision.  Very tasty and that was the flavor of choice for my eldest.  Steamed in the instant pot and shocked with cold water to stop cooking, they were fine to add with the rest of the topping and stay green and tender with just a touch of color.  Oh, I also added a couple leeks.  They needed to be used up.  Paired nicely with the onions and garlic.

Pine nuts aren't something I keep on hand because they are so perishable, but they were brilliant on this bread.  Such an awesome flavor after roasting!  Hooray for the bulk section and getting just the amount you need for a recipe.  Our host also was adamant that the sherry vinegar is super important to the flavor of the recipe.  Since I don't keep sherry vinegar I was going to use rice vinegar instead for a similar flavor.   Fortunately we happened to get a mini bottle of sherry vinegar in a recipe bundle the week before I baked.  I saved that and used red wine vinegar for that recipe instead so I would have the sherry vinegar for this one!

The dough is wonderful, comes together in a flash in the food processor, though it can be kneaded by hand or mixer as well.  This was my first time using the dough blade for my processor.  I am in love with using the infused olive oil in a bread dough now, so much flavor!  And the crust is delightfully crispy with a bit of chew in thee middle.  We loved the broccoli on top even though it didn't originally call for it.  However you choose to top this flatbread, it is most definitely worth a bake and we would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Red Pepper Coques
Makes 4 flatbreads to serve 6 to 8

468g (16½ oz / 3 cups) bread flour (100g fresh ground, sprouted Kamut, 170g light spelt, 200g all purpose)
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp instant yeast
102/3oz (11/3 cups) ice water (I used 300g for my flours)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I used a Tuscan herb infused olive oil)
1½ tsp table or fine sea salt

Red Pepper Topping:
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced (red onions + two small leeks)
2 cups jarred roasted sliced red peppers
3 tbsp sugar (I used 2 and might only use 1 next time)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
¼ cup pine nuts
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and yeast about 5 times to combine. Turn the processor on and slowly pour in the ice water.  Process for about 10-20 seconds.  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Add the oil and salt to the dough and process for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the dough forms a ball.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for a few seconds, forming it into a ball.  Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, and up to 3 days.

Heat three tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onions, red peppers, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and bay leaves.  Turn down the heat, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes over medium low. 

Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for another 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are golden brown.  Discard the bay leaves and transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl to stir in the vinegar. Cool completely before using. You can make the mixture in advance and refrigerate overnight.

To Prepare the Coques:

Knock down the dough and divide it into four equal sized pieces. Shape each piece into a tight ball and place seam side down on your work surface.  Cover with oiled plastic wrap.  Let rest for an hour. (Possibly due to the flours I used, my dough did not need so much time to rest, maybe 15-20 minutes initially and 3-5 minutes during rolling if it was springing back too much.  Really a nice dough!)
Place oven racks in the upper and lower third positions and preheat the oven to 500ºF.  Brush two half-sheet pans with 2 tbsp olive oil each. (I actually only baked half my dough on one sheet and saved the rest for the next day - that nice make ahead quality of the recipe.)
Place one dough ball on your work surface and roll it out to a 15-inch x 5-inch oval.  Place on the baking sheet, lengthwise.  There will just be room for two on each half-sheet pan.  Repeat with the remaining dough balls.  If the dough springs back, let it rest for another 10 to 20 minutes, (3-5) and continue rolling.  Dock each about 15 times with a fork.  Brush each piece of dough with the rest of the olive oil.

Bake the dough for 8 minutes, rotating the pans at the four minute mark. 

Remove the pans from the oven and spread them with the red pepper and onion mixture.  Sprinkle with the pine nuts.  (I added the broccoli at this time as well.)  Place the baking sheets back into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, switching and rotating the pans at the 8 minute mark.  Bake until the flatbreads are golden and crispy.

Remove the pans from the oven and let cool on the pans for about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with the parsley and transfer to a cutting board to slice and serve.  A pizza wheel works well to slice these!


The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:

Approximate nutrition for one slice of flatbread, given five slices per bread:

Approximate nutrition for half of a flatbread:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lariano Style Whole Wheat Sourdough with the BBB

This month Elizabeth suggested we make a whole wheat sourdough after the fashion of Lariano bread, from a town outside of Rome.  True pane di Lariano is made using a particular wheat grown there that evidently has a dusky gray color and peculiar grit to it.  I used fresh ground red fife for my whole wheat portion.  I originally meant simply to use up the wheat I had because I had not been happy with it, but after tasting this bread, I may need to give it a second chance.  Perhaps it was my recipe and not the wheat!  As my timing was all messed up for this recipe, it was gratifying to hear that my crumb was as it should be for this loaf.  Indeed, I think I have not ended up with such a nice crumb for sourdough, let alone whole wheat sourdough before.  
I began the leavener as I should but it did not float because I waited a bit too long the next morning.  So I gave it a little feed and waited another 45 minutes.  It just barely floated so I made the dough.  Got distracted after the first three folds and the last one didn't happen for another couple hours when it was too late to bake and too puffy to let it go at room temp overnight.  So I shaped the loaf, covered with a tea towel and wrapped it all plastic in a little fridge that runs warm.  It didn't really seem doubled the next morning, but I didn't want to over-prove as it was already puffy when I started.  (I had been gentle with the shaping and didn't deflate the dough that much.)  I gave it not too much time at room temp therefore, before slashing and spritzing well with water.  Baked it with steam for 15 and without for another 45.   It smelled absolutely delightful and rose sideways more than vertically.  I took it to share with family and everyone enjoyed it.  Just a light tang of sourdough with a lightly chewy crumb and crisp crust.  Of course it made phenomenal toast.

It is mostly definitely worth a bake and we would love for you to join in as a buddy baker this month! You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time. 

Lariano-Style Bread - Pane di Lariano Recipe
based on the recipe for Truccio Saré in The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook by Jim Lahey

Stiff leavener:

35g room temperature water
5g active sourdough starter
50g unbleached all purpose flour
a tiny pinch of fine sea salt (I didn't see this and left it out with little to no detriment)

Final Dough:

290g unbleached all purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour, sifted after weighing, save the bran (This was my fresh ground red fife)
10g flaxseed, finely ground (I ground golden flax in my spice grinder)
4g wheat germ (I used oat bran instead)
8g (1 tsp) fine sea salt (I first thought the dough tasted a bit much on the salt, but it was perfect after baking)
20g leavener (I used 30g - You can return the rest to your sourdough starter)
275g + 25g room temperature water
Rice flour for dusting the banneton or towel
Wheat bran for dusting the loaf (I used the bran I sifted out of my fresh wheat)

To make the stiff leavener:

Mix the water and starter in a small bowl.  Add the flour and the salt.  Using your hand, briefly knead the dough in the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 24 hours at room temperature, until tripled. When a small forkful of the leavener will float in a bowl of room temp water, it is ready to go.  If it doesn't, feed it a little more water and flour and give it half an hour, by which time it should be ready to go.

To make the bread:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, ground flax, and wheat germ (oat bran).  Pour in the 275g water and the leavener.  Mix with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until the flour is just incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-40 minutes.  Now mix the salt with the remaining 25g water and work into the dough.
Over the next few hours, every 30 minutes, stretch-and-fold the dough over itself from all four "sides" until you have done this 4-5 times.  At this point, the dough is ready to shape. (Since I had a good two hours between my 3rd and 4th folds, my dough was quite aerated for the final fold!)
Line a banneton or bowl with a tea towel, and sprinkle it with rice flour or a mixture of wheat flour and rice flour.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and shape it into a tight ball. Place the dough, seam side up, into the prepared banneton/bowl, and sprinkle with the reserved wheat bran.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1½ to 3 hours.  (Because of my overnight retard in the fridge after shaping, I gave mine only 30 minutes at room temp before baking to avoid over proofing.)
Place a Dutch oven into the oven and preheat it to 450ºF.  Once the dough has doubled in size, remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Place a piece of parchment paper lined plate over the dough, and flip the dough over so that the bowl is upside down. Remove the bowl and the towel.  Using the parchment, lift the dough and place into the hot Dutch oven. Slash the dough in a triangle pattern, cover with the lid, and place the pan in the oven.  Turn the oven down to 400ºF.  (If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can bake on a stone or in a cast iron pan, and cover with a large stainless bowl or foil roaster.  I simply baked on a stone with steam.)
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the loaf to a sheet pan, return it to the oven, and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 205ºF and the crust is dark brown.

Cool the loaf on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.   Reheat to have it warm, but don't cut right after the initial bake, it is still finishing cooking!

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nazook, Nazukeh, Gata, just call it Delicious! BBB Bakes...

It's my turn to host this month and I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we have!  I can't remember how I found the recipe, I think the pastry was recommended to me by a friend and then I googled different variations.  And there are many out there.  This is made in Armenia, Assyria, (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria) and other countries and is known as Nazook, Nazukeh, Gata, and I'm sure other names as well.  It is popular all year and a favorite of tourists, as well as being traditionally baked for Easter in some areas and eaten through Ascension, some 40 days later.  I found the recipe online but later found it comes from an Assyrian cookbook, so that is the source I have linked.
The second time I made these I used spelt flour for the filling, but found that the filling bubbled out much more than using all purpose flour, which surprised me because the starch is the same in spelt.  But next time, and there will be more times, I will either use more spelt for the hydration issue, or stick to all purpose.  I haven't tried adding rose water, which is often used and I think would be delicious.  The cardamom alone makes the house smell sublime.
They are absolutely wonderful eaten warm, either reheated or with a cup of hot tea or coffee.  We would love for you to bake along with us!  Just bake your version of this bread by March 30th and send me a note with your results and a picture or link to your post at eleyana(AT)aol(DOT)com with Buddy Bread in the subject line and I will include you in our buddy round up at the beginning of next month and send you a Buddy badge graphic to keep and/or add to your post.  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture is fine!  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results, new recipes are posted every month on the 16th.
You can probably halve this recipe but I suspect you would regret it once you tasted them...  They do freeze!

from Mom's Authentic Assyrian Recipes
makes 48 pastries

2¼ tsp (7g) active dry yeast (I used 2 tsp instant yeast)
1 cup (227g) sour cream
3¼ cups (390g) sifted flour
½ tsp (3 g) salt (My celtic sea salt weighs 2g for ½ tsp)
1 cup (226g) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tbsp (12g) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5g) lemon juice

1 cup (226g) butter, melted (+ 3tbsp melted, optional)
2 cups (240g) sifted flour
1 cup (198g) sugar
1 cup (113g) walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp (5g) vanilla
1 tsp (2g) cardamom

2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp (5g) yogurt


Dough: If using active dry yeast, add to the sour cream and stir in.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  If using instant yeast, add to flour.  Combine flour, salt and butter and blend with your fingers until crumbly.  Optionally, you can grate the cold butter on a wide cheese grater, which makes it very easy to incorporate into the flour. Add egg, oil, lemon juice, and sour cream and mix until incorporated.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, or until no longer sticky.  Add more flour if necessary.  (I did end up adding another 60g flour the first time when baking by weight, but not the second time when I did half spelt and half all purpose by volume).  Form into a ball, and to follow tradition, mark with a +, symbolizing a cross. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5 hours, or overnight.

Filling: Mix flour, sugar, walnuts, and cardamom. Add vanilla to melted butter and pour slowly into flour mixture while stirring.  Stir until the mixture is smooth.  (Mine ended up a beautiful streusel consistency, at first a paste and then nice and crumbly as it cooled.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Assembly: Melt the 3 extra tablespoons of butter and set aside.  Take dough from refrigerator and divide into 8 equal portions. (I did this and the filling by weight.)  Roll each dough ball into a 10 x 6” rectangle.  

Brush with melted butter.  (I found that the filling adhered to the dough just fine without the added butter and since there is a full pound in the recipe, decided it was fine to leave this step out.  Was going to try with but I forgot the second time.  Oops!)  Spread 1/8th of the filling over each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch border.  

Cover with a piece of parchment paper.  Press down lightly with your hands, so that the filling adheres to the dough.

Fold the edges in ½-inch over the filling.

Roll into a cylinder.

Gently flatten with the palms of your hands.  (Do this because they puff quite a lot in the oven.)

Cut each roll into 6 pieces and arrange on 2 parchment lined cookie sheets.

Brush liberally with the egg glaze.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown.  Excellent with coffee or hot tea.  (My oven runs hot and even baking at a lower temp, mine were done in 25 minutes.)

 Not too sweet, just sweet enough!

They do also come in a large cake for sharing, I tried that out too.

I don't think it is supposed to have quite as much filling as I put in, but it looks amazing, and a slice about ½" wide is quite sufficient. 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:

Approximate nutrition per pastry:


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