Wednesday, November 30, 2016

challah virus

Almost a month ago I caught  a virus called challah. The symptoms are pretty easy to describe, during night you knead challah dough and it repeats night after night until you use all duck eggs. And no, the recipe does not require duck eggs but it happened that I got one of the best gifts recently from my foodie friend Smiljana. She gave me free range duck eggs and I started to knead and bake like crazy. And not any recipe for basic challah dough, but the very special one from the Molly on the Range cookbook recently written by Molly Yeh, quin of sprinkles. Have to say that so far I only tried her mouthwatering cake recipes but the contagious video for this bread recipe was shared by Betty Liu - scallion pancake challah. And all is true, this dough is amazingly simple to make, trust the more experience blogger and follow all the steps described and you will end up making it on a regular basis. 

Scallion Pancake Challah / Adopted from Betty Liu / Recipe: Molly Yeh

makes 2 loaves

Basic Challah Dough 
4 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1  1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
6 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs (duck eggs for golden yellow color)
2/3 cup flavorless oil
1/4 cup additional sweetener: sugar, brown sugar, honey, or molasses
egg wash: 1 large egg yolk (duck egg yolk for getting this shiny crust on top) + 1 tbsp water

In a medium bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and additional sweetener.
When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with the dough hook until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. 7-10 minutes, adding more white flour as necessary.
Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. Or, stick in the fridge overnight and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping.

For scallion pancake challah
6 scallions, minced
3 tbsp sesame oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
salt and black pepper
crushed red pepper
egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 190C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 2 parts. Put one aside and cover with plastic wrap. Divide the other half into 3 equal parts and roll into 12 inch logs. Gently flatten each log so that it is about 3 inches wide. Brush with sesame oil, sprinkle with scallions, salt, black pepper, red pepper. Roll logs up lengthwise and pinch seams to seal. Lay logs next to each other and pinch them together at one end (see GIFs by clicking on Betty Liu name above). Braid and pinch at other end. Place loaf on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. Let rise 30 minutes.
Brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and black pepper coarse sea salt.
Bake until loaf is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 190F, around 28 minutes (30 minutes in my case :)).

This bread is really special, please make it and taste it. This virus is worth of spreading!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

bowl of happiness

Food can make you happy!

Orange soup/Bowl of happiness

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 450g)
one small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 500g)
one small onion, peeled and quartered
juice of one orange
few stripes of fresh thyme
olive oil
coarse sea salt for seasoning

optional for serving: basmati rice, avocado, fresh thyme, parsley, pickled red onions

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the chopped vegetables onto a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over and sprinkle fresh thyme leaves and salt. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes (or until all is tender). Remove from the oven and in two times puree vegetables in the blender adding orange juice and water (just enough to have smooth consistency, about 250ml). Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer for just a minute or two. Season with salt and serve into bowls.

Serve topped with cooked basmati rice, sliced avocado, pickled red onions, fresh chopped parsley and thyme leaves for extra happiness!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jedi breakfast

Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!

Jedi breakfast
honey and butter toast with galactic moons and stars
blue milk on a side

honey w butter spread
♥ 150g honey
60g butter/room temperature
Place honey in a bowl and mix with electric mixer for about 15-20 minutes. add butter and mix for few more minutes. place the spread in a jar and refrigerate for longer use.

Jedi toast
Make a toast from bread slices, and while still warm, spread honey and butter spread evenly and place moons and stars on top.

Double your powers!