Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TWD - Irish Soda Bread

Happy belated St. Patty's Day!  Hope you were able to celebrate with some of the traditional Irish foods.  Our Tuesdays with Dorie / Baking with Julia selection fit right in with the theme.  Carla and Cathleen chose Irish Soda Bread from page 214 of the Baking with Julia book.

I chose to make the bread as presented and had planned to make it again with raisins as another traditional variation, but alas, Lassie, I ran out of time.  You could let your imagination run wild with ways to vary it.  The basic recipe is pretty simple with only four ingredients.

Wait!!!  I only see three!  Maybe you can guess the third.  If not, see if you can spot it a little later on.

Now, don't be scared when it looks like a raggedy mess.

It actually comes together quite nicely with very little effort and no need for a mixer.

Don't forget to slice an "x" in the top before you bake it!

The bread is very dense and went well with the soup we had for dinner.

I had an abundance of apricot lekvar left from the rugelach from a previous post and it added a nice touch to the meal as well.  No dessert needed!!!

The information in the book said that you needed to eat it the same day, but I wrapped it in plastic wrap and it still had some nice moisture to it the next morning so I sliced it and made some cinnamon toast for breakfast.

This recipe was a nice change from the more difficult rugelach that we made earlier. I hope you've discovered the fourth ingredient by now but no need to worry you can always check with out hosts listed above or pick up a copy of the book.

Have fun cooking and I'll try to get another post in before the next Tuesday's with Dorie event.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWD - Rugelach

This week's selection for Tuesdays with Dorie / Baking with Julia is Rugelach, hosted by Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker.  Rugelach is a rustic, rich cookie with a butter and cream cheese dough that is filled, rolled, sliced and baked.  

The recipe is on pages 325-326 of the Baking with Julia book or posted on the blogs of the hostesses calls for a filling of apricot or prune lekvar, assorted nuts and dried fruits, and a cinnamon/sugar mixture.  There is a reference to a recipe for the lekvar (which I made) or you can find it at specialty grocery stores or online.

So that's the background, now here is how it went down:  

  • My plan was to make it over the weekend at our lake house.  I got the pastry dough and lekvar made then ran out of time and had to pack it all up in the cooler and bring it back to our other house.  
  • When I made the dough, I broke the cardinal rule of cooking and baking by not measuring all of the flour into a separate prep bowl.  Instead I was putting the three cups of flour directly into the food processor by half cup quantities.  Somewhere in the middle of mixing I was interrupted and lost track of where I was.  I believe I shorted it by a half cup of flour.
  • The apricot lekvar was easy and came together nicely.  I may make it again sometime with some added spices and/or herbs and use it as a spread on toast.  The only problem was that I needed two cups and the recipe said that it made 3/4 cup.  This led me to make 2 1/2 times the recipe so that I would have the right amount plus a little bit left.  As it turns out that one recipe makes quite a bit more than 3/4 cup.  I'm really glad I like it as a spread!!
  • My last mistake was not using a double pan with my second batch.  They burned a little bit on the bottom.  Batches 1, 3 and 4 were double panned and the result was a nice crunchy bottom
All that said, they look kind of sad but still tasted pretty darn good...even better with a glass of milk.

Now that I know the pitfalls, I will probably try to make them again soon and play around with some different fillings.  Nutella or chocolate would be close to the top of my list.