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Easter is approaching, so Kelly (A Messy Kitchen) cleverly chose an Assyrian confection, Nazook (or should it be spelled Nazuk? Or is it Nazouk? Or perhaps it’s Nakhshoon…). In Armenian, it is called Նազուկ. But whatever it’s named, it’s delicious! (continue reading )
The bagel, in its peripatetic history, has moved from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the delis of the United States […] [H]owever, most people’s idea of a bagel seems to be of a vaguely squishy unsweetened doughnut, possibly with some sort of godawful flavoring mixed into it (with the “blueberry bagel” being perhaps the most offensive), generally purchased in lots of six in some supermarket… possibly even frozen. These are not those bagels.
These bagels are the genuine article. These are the bagels that have sustained generations of Eastern European Jewish peasants, the bagels that babies can teethe upon (folk wisdom has it that the hard, chewy crust encourages strong teeth), the bagels about which writer and humorist Alice Kahn has so aptly written that bagels are “Jewish courage.”
-Carolina Rodriguez, Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels
For the past few months, I’ve been obsessed with thinking about how bread used to be made.
In “Oxford Encylopedia of Food and Drink in America”, Andrew F. Smith wrote: Commercially produced yeast first appeared in the United States in the 1860s [and by] the early twentieth century factory-produced live cake yeast was widely available. And it wasn’t until after WWII that dry yeast appeared on store shelves.
This means that it seems very likely that those people from the Eastern European Shtetls captured their own yeast. I can’t imagine that they had supermarkets stocked with packages of yeast in their villages….
I am neither Jewish, nor did I grow up eating bagels. But I am definitely a purist where bagels are concerned. I can’t stand the commercially produced soft buns with holes in them. I’m not even that crazy about the so-called Montreal-style bagels that are sold by the fancy coffee shop down the street. (continue reading )
Yesterday, we made bread again. Of course, we baked it in our fabulous cast-iron combo cooker that T gave to me last Christmas.
When putting the ingredients together, I’m still opening Robertson’s book to page 48, the ingredients list for “basic country loaf”. But we’ve made a few changes. Because, of course, every kitchen is different. (continue reading )
How time flies! The BBBabes have been baking together for 10 years!!
Well… Some of the BBBabes have been baking together that long.
I’m not one of the original BBBabes, even though I was lurking on the edges, gazing on in envy, right from the start. But eight years ago, after one of the original BBBabes retired, I was asked to join officially. At the time, I thought that I should probably justify my invitation to become a BBBabe by actually making a few more of the recipes they’d chosen. (Of course, it is taking me ages to work my way through them all. …I’m still not even close to being done.)
When will I learn to read things all the way through? […] [In] the preferment for this: I whisked ¼ tsp (.9 gm) yeast (my scale won’t measure fractions of grams) with 240gm water. Then I measured out 100 gm unbleached bread flour and put it in the bowl. And saw that I was supposed to put only 80 gm of yeasted water into the flour:
Add 1/3 cup of this yeasted water (discard the rest) to the flour and beat this very sticky starter until it is well combined. – Maggie Glezer, “Royal Crown’s Tortano”, Artisan Breads Across America, p. 203
– me, blog from OUR kitchen | Catching Up in 2010: Royal Crown’s Tortano (BBB February 2008), July 2010
But it turned out to be beautiful bread, in spite of my difficulty with reading. So when Tanna suggested that we bake the Royal Crown Tortano again for the BBBabes’ 10th anniversary, I was thrilled.
However. Being almost incapable of doing things the same way more than once, I decided I HAD to use our Jane Mason starter to make this 10th anniversary version of the Royal Crown Tortano. How could I not?