MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


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BBB Aloo Partha

Let me tell you, satellite internet is not wonderful. Well, at least the one we have here in the north woods isn’t.  When the wind blows, it rains, it snows, and sometimes it’s just  beautiful outside … our satellite doesn’t really care … it just randomly takes a rest. That’s what is’s done for the last three days and that’s my excuse for being so late. The only thing I miss about the big city is the high speed internet.

Karen is our Kitchen of the Month. Thank You Karen for the BBB’s very first bread recipe without yeast!  Aloo Paratha has long been on my list for baking and we loved these. Shamelessly easy to make.  Filling them is only limited by your imagination. Serve as a little bite with wine. Serve as a light lunch.  Serve with the evening soup. Be traditional, serve with a warming curry.

BBB Aloo Paratha

Recipe By: Karen of BakeMyDay from how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
salt
1 teaspoon ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
melted butter
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

1. Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor.  OK, let’s stop right there. I have a food processor, yes I do. I even gave in and went to the friend’s hanger where he’s kindly allowing us to store a lot of boxes while we try to put in a kitchen and get a storage shed built. Gorn even located said food processor and I unpacked it … or most of it. It seems the critical piece that makes the electrical contact was left out … hopefully packed in another box that will one day be unpacked … but that was not yesterday nor today. I’m reasoning that even today there are a huge number of cooks in India making paratha and even today a huge number are making paratha without the aid of a food processor … SOOOOOOOO like a good Daring Baker (thank you Lisa) and good Bread Baking Babe that I am I forged ahead mixing the dough by hand and even though it took slightly longer than 30-45 seconds (5 minutes actually) I did end up with a dough slightly sticky to the touch and continued on.

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Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
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2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt.  Sorry, we have to stop right here again … I don’t have a stove top upstairs in our “kitchen” yet and I just wasn’t willing to run outside in the rain to use the stove downstairs … so I baked the potato, I suppose I could have steamed them in the microwave but I baked them. Oh, and all that green … I added a nice handful of spinach.  Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Mash the potatoes along with half (all) the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (you may prefer more chile; sometimes aloo paratha are quite hot).

Divide

Divide

3. When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

4. Mound about 2 tablespoons (that was too much for the size I made, adjust accordingly)  of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Keep them stacked for two hours … perfect! The rain had stopped and I used the stove top downstairs to cook two of them.
5. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat.
Panni Aloo Paratha India + Italy

Panni Aloo Paratha
India + Italy

I did do two in this traditional stove top manner but … on two occasions I used the panni grill. While that doesn’t give the traditional look to the paratha, it produces a nice paratha.
Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.6.  variations: cauliflower, sweet potato …
Yep, we enjoyed these immensely with our wine in the evening. These are shamelessly easy to make. The dough can be held over in the fridge a day or two so it’s a delight when there is just the two of us to make these for several days in a row. They make wonderful little bites for a light lunch or a little bite with a glass of wine in the evening.
Now the only question remaining here is: Are you going to join in and become a Bread Baking Buddy?If you’d like to join in, simply bake this Aloo Paratha (yes, you may adapt) – and then send Karen a link to your post via email (bake my day at gmail dot com).  Submissions are due by November 29th.  Once you’ve posted, Karen will send you a fabulous Buddy Badge designed by our own Babe Lien for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post.  I hope you’ll join us this month!


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5th Anniversary BBB ~ Assyrian Spinach Pies (Syrian Sabanrhiyat)

On this our Fifth Anniversary, yes, really we’ve been Babes and Buddies for FIVE years, and I am here to tell you: “I no longer fear yeast.” There I’ve said it. In fact when I sat down to re-write this recipe in my own words, I have to think that to the novice in the kitchen who views yeast and baking with it the most frightful thing there is … I am an absolute hieratic. Truly I am not but I have become fast and best friends with yeast just as the Babes become friends. I have shared joy and tears with my yeast over the years just as I have shared joys and tears with my Bread Baking Babes for the last five years. We’ve all become friends and better friends. We’ve done it through repeated encounters, some really gloriously memorable … Royal Crown Tortano, our very first bread together, to name just one … and we shared loss and tears in real life … bread and friendship all around our virtual kitchen tables.

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We really enjoy almost anything I’ve cooked or baked with spinach so this interested me because it uses lots of spinach but then it also introduced us to a new to me spice: Ground mahlab, made from the pits of sour black cherries, adds flavor to the dough. I found it fairly subtle and will use more of it next time.

Assyran Spinach Pies

Recipe adapted from Greg Patent: A Baker’s Odyssey: Celebrating Time-Honored Recipes From America’s Rich Immigrant Heritage

DOUGH
1 tablespoon active dry yeast, (2 1/4 teaspoons) = 1 package
2 cups warm water (105° to 115°)
1/2 teaspoon ground mahlab, I’ll use 3/4 to a full teaspoon next time
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for kneading, use some white whole wheat next time

3 tablespoons ground flax (my signature addition so optional, you are free to leave it out)
1 tablespoons granulated sugar, I cut this back from 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil

FILLING
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to sauté onion, 3 tablespoons to filling mix
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 pound cleaned baby spinach, coarsely chopped
160 grams chopped walnuts, I increased this from 4 oz.
1 cup pomegranate seeds, increase these from 1/2 cup
2 cup crumbled feta cheese, increased from 1 cup
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt
1/2 – 1 cup lentils, optional but this was nice

Olive oil cooking spray
Plain yogurt for serving

Directions:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients: yeast, flax, mahlab, flours, sugar, salt.
Mix together water (I usually “warm” it by microwaving it about 15 seconds, it’s just above room temp then) and olive oil.

2. Pour water, olive oil into dry ingredients and mix together until the dough gathers into a rough ball. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes letting the flour absorb some of the water.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter until the dough becomes smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky dough ball – mine took about 6 minutes.

3. WASH AND DRY THE BOWL – now aint that a kick in the pants, how many Babes are going to follow that directive. We know Elizabeth will. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! and rub it lightly with olive oil Elizabeth won’t do that part.

Place the dough ball into a rising container … I have a wonderful straight side clear 4 qt container with lid: I can easily see when the dough has doubled in volume. The lid means I don’t have to use plastic or even a shower cap.

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Allow the dough to double in volume – mine took about 90 minutes: if you press a finger into the dough and relase it, a depression should remain and it’s ready for the next step.

4. If you follow the recipe directions and divide the dough into 24 pieces (about 2 oz each) you’ll get what I consider a reasonable portion size hand pie although we were all eating at least one and a half each. I actually weighted the balls and they ranged from 50 to 60 grams each. I might have enjoyed them more made slightly smaller say weighting closer to 40 grams … then I’d have had no quilt eating two and probably even three.

When the balls are formed, allow to rest so they will be easier to roll out.

If you’ve made the full recipe and don’t want to make them all at one go, my suggestion here would be to immediately cover however many you want to bake tomorrow or the next day and retard the balls in the fridge.

Allow the dough balls you plan on baking to rest for the 30 minutes before rolling them out.

5. Saute the onion in the olive oil, they should be nicely caramelized. Allow to cool.

6. Chop the spinach and mix with chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, feta, lemon juice – I used the lemon zest as well – and the olive oil. Mix all with the sautéed onions. I used a pinch of salt and some aleppo pepper.

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Good ideas for alternatives and additions: pine nuts, dried cranberry, dried cherry, goat cheese, small cubes or large grating of any cheese you like, lentils I added one night to some of the filling was a real winner.

7. Pre-heat the oven to 375°.

My large cookie sheet held 6 of these at the most. I lined the cookie sheet with a Silpat but parchment paper would equally as well.

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8. With a light to good dusting of flour on your counter, roll the dough ball into a thin 6-inch circle. I was generous with the dusting to prevent sticking. I tried to really fill these and used at least 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the filling for each one.
Check out this video for shaping or try the recipes directions: “Pile 1/2 cup of the filling, loosely measured, onto the center of the circle, leaving about 1 inch of dough exposed all around. Brush the exposed dough lightly with water. Imagining the circle to be a clock, lift up the edges of dough at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions to cover the top part of the filling and pinch firmly to seal, going all the way to 12 o’clock. Lift the 6 o’clock position of dough to meet in the center and pinch the two edges firmly to seal. The seams will look like an inverted Y. Set the pie on one of the prepared sheets. ”

9. Before putting into the oven, rush the pies with olive oil before baking. I brushed mine with a mix of half olive oil and half melted butter 😉

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10. Recipe suggested 375° I found I like them best at 380° (convection) and the full 30 minutes.

11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 375° to 380° depending on your oven.

12. My very favorite pizza dough is a recipe by Peter Reinhardt. That dough you mix up, shape it into balls, cover it and refrigerate it then for unto 5 days. The glory is it’s ready when you are.
For who knows what reasons – they might sound like excuses – I decided on the first night to treat this dough as if it were like that pizza dough. So if it’s any indication of just how much we enjoyed these, we had them 4 days in a row. One day I had them for breakfast lunch and then dinner. By the fourth day the dough was looser to work with but the pies and the crust was still wonderful.
I did some additions to the filling along the way – lentils one night, chopped up lamb chop meat one night – you get the drift.

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This is a terrific, easy and very versatile hand pie dough. I do think the filling with the spinach is terrific even though I believe it’s better with a little more cheese and spices. I guess I tend to favor excess flavor.

Notes:

Serve with: Everyone enjoyed these with plain Greek yogurt but we enjoyed them with the greek yogurt mixed with avocado, green salsa, red salsa … I’m sure there would be a delightful fruit salsa that would be excellent as well. We really enjoyed these tremendously the night I added lentils to the filling and I just knew in my heart that some ground lamb would be a wonder in these and it was.

Storing
Leftover pies can be frozen. When cool, arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer them to heavy-duty resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw the pies in their wrapping, then set them on a baking sheet and pop into a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Want to bake these and join the Bread Baking Buddies:

1.Bake the Spinach Pies, snap a pic & share your thoughts about how you liked it (or not liked it).

2.Send an email to Kitchen of the Month (that would be me this month). Please note in the subject line that this is for the BBB Buddy Bread.

3. I’ll have the Bread Baking Buddy Round up on the 29 and you’ll be in it IF you send me the above info by the 28th.

Now my question to you, especially if you are coming along as a Buddy: The spice/flavor/filling things: sumac, mahlab, spinach, pine nut, my feeling/taste tells me these are sort of mid-eastern and share a little astringent effect on the tongue. Anybody else have that thought/feeling/taste?

My Toast to All Babes and Buddies: Here’s to another great year in our virtual kitchens, the fully stocked back bench, classy panties and the wonder of bread and friendship rising.IMG_3028

Don’t forget to visit my fellow Bread Baking Babes to see how they baked

The Bread Baking Babes
Bake My Day – Karen
Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Pat
GirlChef – Heather
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Lucullian Delights – Ilva
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
Paulchens Foodblog – Astrid
Provecho Peru – Gretchen

and also… visit our Katie! She is the BBBBB (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire) who writes up such lovely round ups of all the BBB Breads every month!

This month we welcome a new Babe and believe me she is a BABE. Heather from GirlChef
Next bread for the BBB’s will post on the 16th of the month.


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My Lunch Salad

I do love left-overs.  I really do love them.  I mean what could be better than a meal just waiting for you. So especially when I’m making something I know is good, I’ll make extra.   BUT, I never serve left-overs; we don’t eat left-overs.  Left-over just sounds wrong doesn’t it, sort of tired, something to be forgotten.

Remember these from the little Lamb and Tomato Breads w lentil salad … right, we had left overs.

So, today for lunch I took the left-over lentils and beets, added one beefsteak tomato cubed, an avocado cubed, a small sliver of smoked salmon, salt & Aleppo pepper and …

Blam, is that the right word?  It was really a fabulous lunch.   Would you call this left-over?  Nothing about it seemed left-over to me.  I didn’t feel like I was eating yesterday’s dinner.   That’s why I call these

Fresh-Overs!