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


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Jachnun ~ BBB ~ Questions of BREAD ~ 12 hours baking

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What makes it bread?  Is it one or more ingredient? Is it how we use/eat it?  Is there any one thing about bread that makes it bread?  The Babes have danced around this question in various ways from time to time.  Coffee cake? Does it qualify as bread because it uses yeast … because we eat it like bread … or because we eat it drinking coffee for breakfast?  Does a quick bread using no yeast but baking soda qualify because it’s named bread?  What qualifies bread to be bread?

Lien  brought us to the kitchen table with this introduction and question and her answer to the question:  This recipe was stuck in my head for a while. I guess the 12 hour baking time did that. Then I wondered is this a bread? No yeast, but baking powder?! No yeast can still make real bread, think flatbread, wraps and so on. But baking powder is linked to pastry in my brain. Things like banana bread (with baking powder/soda) is called a bread in English, but for me that’s a loaf cake and absolutely not a bread. So I let it sink in for a while to decide if it was bread worthy or not. It is not sweet, not eaten with sweet things, even if it is a breakfast item. And it’s function is a bread… I can see it like that, and so it is, and that’s what we’re baking. … It feels like an adventure…

What makes bread BREAD?  Not sure I have the answer but this is bread by any qualifying test I can come up with.  What do you think?

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Jachnun ~ BBB

Serving: 9-12

500 g bread flour, 100 grams of the 500 white whole wheat
45 g date syrup, recipe called for 20 of honey
pinch of baking powder, generous
12 g fine salt
300 ml water to make spongy dough
60 grams butter, melted

*Zhug
1 teaspoon chili flakes, or 1 red fresh chili pepper (or 1 tsp chili flakes)
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
4 medium garlic cloves
Pinch of cardamom, ground
Pinch of cloves, ground
½ teaspoon salt
30 g coriander leaves (or parsley if you dislike coriander)
Olive oil, enough to make a sauce-like consistency

Place all ingredients in a bowl and crush it to a sauce in a blender or with a stick blender.
Place the Zhug in a clean jar and refrigerate.
(Fridge shelf life about 2 weeks)
Serve with:
8 eggs, poached
1 large tomato (or 2 smaller ones)

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1. DOUGH
Mix the flour, date syrup, baking powder, salt and water together to form a sticky wet  dough and knead for a few minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes to let the gluten relax.  Next time: use at least half white whole wheat flour.  I think using the bread flour probably gave this the gluten needed to give this dough needed stretch so I’ll stick with bread flour for at least 50%.

To develop gluten you now start to knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place it in a lightly greased bowl and give it a stretch and fold like this: Lift up the side of the dough and fold it over, turn the bowl and repeat this for about 7 or 8 times.
Cover with plastic and leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Or leave your dough until evening.

2. PAN & OVEN
You can use a (ovenproof) cooking pan or springform (about 20 cm in diameter). Given an ill equipped kitchen, I used a skillet with lid.

Fold a long piece of parchment paper lengthwise and place it in the pan, so the ends hang over the rim of the pot.
Preheat the oven to 105ºC/225ºF and place a rack in the lowest position in your oven.  I might try one notch up from the lowest position to see if it would reduce toughness on the bottom of the rolls OR I wonder if lining the bottom of the pan with bread would influence that.

I mixed my dough early in the morning and didn’t shape it until 6 in the evening.

3. SHAPING

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Divide the dough in 6 more or less equal pieces, shape them into a ball and leave to rest 10 minutes before the stretching begins. I divided the dough into 6 pieces and rolled three that size. But the last 3 pieces I divided in half which gave me 6 smaller jachnun.  I liked the smaller size best.  Next time I will divide the dough to make 12 rolls.
To shape these rolls you have to stretch them using butter, oil or margarine.  Butter, flavor … I used butter.
Grease your work surface, place one piece of dough on it, grease the top and start working to make it the thinnest possible, while greasing it constantly. It is best to do this by hand, other methods (rolling pin) do not give the thinness.
When the dough is very thin (preferably like fillo or strudel dough) fold 1/3 of one side over onto the dough, repeat with the other side (like a business letter). You now have a long strip, keep buttering/greasing the top, while you roll – starting at the narrow edge- the dough in a tight cylinder.

This video will show you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oygxy4i3u30

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When I shaped the first roll, the video rolled in my head and I found myself patting the dough flat and lifting around the edges, stretching it out.  I didn’t get the nearly perfect rectangle that she did in the video but the defects pretty much didn’t bother the final outcome.

4. Prepare for the oven
I placed my rolls in a single layer which allowed them all to color evenly and dark golden brown.  NOTE: Would a layer of bread on the bottom of the pan prevent the hardness on the bottom of the rolls?  Would just moving the oven rack from the very bottom rack up one would solve that issue?
Traditionally eggs are cooked in the pan with the rolls, I skipped that part but I did have one of the rolls warmed with a poached egg the second morning.  It’s perfect breakfast.
Take a double layer of aluminum foil, cover the pot, securing the edges of the pan. Use a lid or a sheet pan to place on top of the foil. (or use a lid if available to keep it tight).
Place it on the rack in the oven and bake for 12 hours.

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5. You should understand you have to plan the timing of this… or get up in the middle of the night.
Mixing the dough in the early morning, leaving it out on the counter during the day, shaping the rolls and putting them into the oven at about the same hour in the evening that you want to take them out in the morning worked beautifully for me.  A twelve hour bake at 225 F worked perfectly.

The next morning you take out the pan, place the jachnuns on a plate and serve it with eggs around them. Serve with grated tomato and Zhug (a spicy and hot dipping sauce) for breakfast.  Reheat well.

I’ve marked this a laminated bread because of all the butter plastered on the dough and stretching it thin and folding and rolling AND because the aroma when I took this warm from the oven reminded me of croissants.

The book “Breaking breads” has a slightly different recipe for Jachnun.  It calls for all purpose flour.  My feeling is you’ll get better gluten development and crumb using bread flour but I did not try all purpose.  Experience/intuition tells we this would traditionally have been bake using whole wheat flour and butter.   I might try this with all white whole wheat just to see what it does, it would be better for me health wise but I wouldn’t want to lose the gluten the bread flour seems to add.

Cafe Liz has  interesting points on Jachnun and is worth checking out as well.

And Zhug … don’t miss it. WOW glorious. Too strong for you, reduce the hot stuff and/or miss in a little goat cheese.
Lien I will forever be grateful for this “bread”.

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You can see the crumb here is very bread like … no yeast can be bread?  Now go dip that in a poached egg will you?  Well, it’s my idea of a little roll of heaven and it’s bread.  So, yeast does not define BREAD.  What defines bread as BREAD?  I’ll keep baking…

Bake with us … help define BREAD … be a Bread Baking Buddy.   It is an adventure bake. Wanna give it a go, be Brave and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Shape, bake, sleep, taste, take a picture, tell us about it and sent it to the Kitchen of the month (that’s me this time: notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com) subject: BBBread february. And I’ll send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge in return, to add to your post if you like ánd I’ll add you to the BBB Round-up, which will be on around March first. Deadline 29th of this month. Have fun baking!

By the way, this is Gorn’s latest love.

 


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RUSSIAN CHRYSANTHEMUM BREAD ~ BBB

This month’s bread is visually stunning, looks fancy and like it could be fussy.  But it’s not … fussy that is.

Lien, our Kitchen of the Month for November, introduced this bread as savory.  I changed around Lien’s suggested filling slightly but the lamb sounded good and I’m always in for savory.  We really really enjoyed this over several days, for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  I would absolutely bake this again just as I’ve written it below.  I would absolutely recommend you get in the kitchen and bake it too.

Russian Chrysanthemum Bread

Recipe By: Lien:  adapted from: http://www.stranamam.ru/post/8536219/
Yield: one large round loaf; or two smaller

DOUGH
350 grams bread flour
100 grams sprouted wheat flour
50 grams white whole wheat flour
7 grams dry instant yeast
20 grams ground flax seed
20 grams chia seeds
125 ml milk, lukewarm
125 yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
90 ml olive oil
GLAZE, I omitted this
1 TBsp milk
1 egg yolk
Equipment Needed
1 round cookie cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter
large shallow pie dish 28 cm in diameter
My FILLING
450 grams lamb ground, sauted
½ red pepper, seeds removed, chopped fine
1 poblano chile, chopped fine
3 garlic clove, chopped
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
80 grams grated smoked gruyere cheese, grated for topping/garnish
water, to give moisture or tomato sauce

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1. DOUGH I omitted sugar called for in Lein’s recipe and mixed yeast and salt with the flours, flax and chia seeds.  I mixed yogurt, egg and oil together.  Then I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet.  Knead into a supple dough.

2. Shape into a ball and let rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered with plastic foil. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until doubled.

3. FILLING I made this several days before baking.
Glaze the chopped onion and garlic in a frying pan. Leave to cool.
Mix the ingredients except the cheese for the filling well. Set aside.

4. SHAPE & FINAL RISE Lightly grease your pie dish.
Work with about ⅓ of the dough at the time.  I didn’t read this and divided the dough in half; really divide in 3 parts would work much better.

Roll it out to a thickness of about 3 mm. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.
Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each round and sprinkle with some cheese. Fold the circle in half, and fold the two point together. It now looks like a petal.

Place in the pie dish, starting around the border with the point of the petal facing to the center. Repeat until there is just  a little space left in the middle. Make three slightly smaller circles, fill and fold as the others and place them in the middle. Cover with lightly greased plastic  or foil and leave to rest and rise for about 45 minutes.

5. BAKE Preheat the oven to 180ºC  (356°F)

Whisk egg yolk and milk for the glaze and brush the bread with it. I sprayed mine with water.
Place the bread in the oven on a rack and bake for 25 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 170ºC (340°F) and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden.
When the loaf is done, take it out of the oven and the tin, place on a wire rack and brush with some melted butter. Let cool or eat warm.

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Notes:

Divide dough into three parts for easier handling.

Recipe makes enough dough for more than one 8 inch pie plate or perhaps I rolled my dough too thin.

Place small round baking dish in center if a dip is desired.

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Sometimes stunning can seem like a limit.  By that I mean, at least for me, when Lien introduced this as savory for some reason all I could think of was a meat filling (even though she suggested a bean filling as a meat substitute idea).  Now, that I’ve baked this I’m struck with how fabulous these little pull apart bites are and how incredibly versatile this bread could be.  Perhaps it started when Karen put up her Pizza Chrysanthemum Bread.

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Now, I have a constant running loop of “fillings” for this bread and they are not all savory: Peanut Butter & Jelly;  Garlic Butter;  Pepperoni Pizza;  Chicken Enchilada;  Refried Black Bean & Salsa;  Cinnamon Sugar;  Chocolate Chip with Peanut Butter;  …  and with the holidays coming up how about some traditionals like Mince Meat;  Pumpkin Pie; … well let’s just go with Pie as in Apple Pie …  Are you catching my drift?  This is a stunning shape for a bread.  The small bite size makes it perfect for so many different meals and snacks, it’s absolutely a natural for a party of any sort.

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Yes, we really did have it for breakfast.  Much better than an egg mcmuffin.

Go BAKE, Be a BUDDY.  Tell me you love me … well, just tell me you love BREAD will be good.

As Lien says it:  Become our Bread Baking Buddy, bake, blog, post, tell us about it and you’ll be added to the round up post on my blog (begin of December) ánd you’ll receive the Bread Baking Buddy Badge that you can add to your post if you want. So get baking and sent you details to notitievanlien (at) gmail (dot) com. Subject: BBBuddy. Deadline is the 29th of November. Have fun baking!


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A Simple Little Thing with Consequences

Most of us try to eat healthy.  Most of us try to cook with a variety of grains.  I’m a very firm believer in variety is good for the body and soul on so many levels.  I really do enjoy barley … but it hardly ever appears on my table except in soup and a rare risotto.  I had a half used package of prosciutto … yes I know prosciutto is a ham and not barley but just come along for a little will you, humor me … it was time to finish the package of prosciutto.

Enter from stage right:  Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, a new book recently appearing on my book shelf.  “Before it sits there so long it gets old and forgotten, perhaps it will have the perfect recipe using prosciutto.”  And so it did … well it had one … a very simple thing – it’s one exotic ingredient (truffle oil) I was just out of.  Without the truffle oil I determined it needed a little increase in flavor.

In addition to the bay leaf and rosemary called for in this, I used chicken stock to replace the water to cook the barley.  So I cooked a cup of barley.  Then it called for Prosciutto to be crisped in a little olive oil.  When ready to serve mix it all together.  No truffle oil to finish the dish with … ah, ha a teaspoon of butter.  That’s simple.  OK but that’s not really dinner is it?  The flavor was excellent.  Prosciutto and barley needs veggies!  What’s in the refrigerator … I wish I could ask what’s ready in the garden but the answer wouldn’t really help since there’s jalopeno and herbs?  In my refrigerator on this day there was asparagus and broccoli.  Both went in for the last 8 minutes the barley simmered.

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto … Asparagus and Broccoli

Now, perhaps you may think that because I really redid the recipe, the book might be a waste.  I would disagree.  Without the book, I don’t think I’d ever have gotten to this dish.  Any cookbook that provides me with a jump into new territory is good with me.

The consequences: the next morning it became a wonderful breakfast;-)

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto ... Asparagus and Broccoli ... with an egg = breakfast!

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto … Asparagus and Broccoli … with an egg = breakfast!

Stay tuned for further barley consequences …

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals p 140