Showing posts with label Challah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Challah. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mark Bittman's Bread Pudding...and Giveaway!

Perfect bread pudding, right out of the oven!
There's a saying..."what you see, is what you get"...or a favorite of mine...IT IS, WHAT IT IS!...When life gives you lemons; you make LEMONADE...When your son brings you a homemade beautiful round Challah bread with raisins, from a Kosher kitchen...that has been blessed by a Rabbi...you eat half, freeze the other half...and make the best Bread Pudding...ever!
Linking to:
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @Zesty South Indian Kitchen
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage 
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherines Corner 

Not only did I feel blessed, but comforted...knowing, that this bread will be best, used  for french toast, or make a fabulous bread pudding...not just any old recipe, but my most favorite, trustworthy Mark Bittman's
"How to Cook Everything" Simple Recipes for Great Food!...don't expect pretty photos, and illustrations in this 944 page of a bright yellow soft covered book (comes in hard cover, as well)...you can certainly order this on Amazon, and get it for a great price, but mine was also NEW, which I purchased 2 years ago at Goodwill for 79 cents...a price which is no longer available for soft covered books. Today, it would cost me $4.00 even at Goodwill...but then you can probably get this at Amazon for the same price, and pay $3.99 for shipping. It's still a great bargain...either way!
I don't recall bragging so much about any cookbook, as I am totally in love with this one. I have managed to take it home several times...only, to find it back here at my daughter's house because we are both sharing the book.

This is how it goes...you decide to make a great dish, dessert, breads, anything your heart desires...you will find a simple version of it in this book; it virtually is, like a Bible...next, you go online, if you want to compare other similar recipes, and even find photos of it, and start comparing and creating it to your needs...but don't be "stingy"...be a friend, and mention the source! I can relate to your own creation of a fairly simple 'staple' recipe which do not require a source...but let's face it. We are not 'Martha Stewart'...or 'Giada'...or 'Nigella'...we don't have a cooking show, or have our own 'food magazine' like Martha Stewart...LIVING, which by the way, is one of my all-time favorite cooking magazines, next to Bon Appetit!
...but, you never know! Dreams can become a reality! You can become the next Food Channel 'cooking star'...or can go on T.V.'s CHOPPED program...and get yourself 'chopped off' after the first 'brutal challenge'...or, become the winner and take home the $10,000. which is not EASY!

I'm getting way off the subject here. I will share 2 recipes with you...the other, which I promised is my 'staple' banana bread recipe...and I do repeat...'staple'..because, both Lora and I make this once or twice a week, without consulting a recipe...just have it memorized after all these years, and totally cut down on the 1970's overload of sugar, and oil that they used in basic recipes. When I see a banana bread recipe posted with 1 cup of oil, and 2 or more cups of sugar, I just want to scream...NO, NO...you're killing us! (well, just a little dramatization of it) but seriously, who needs all that cholesterol and sugar, and most of the time with the overload of 'butter'...and let's not even go there...we all know what happened with Paula Deen; don't get me wrong, I love her dearly, and all her creative recipes, and her Southern "y'all" charm. We just need to stay, or get healthy, that's all!

Bread Pudding
adapted from: How to Cook Everything 
by, Mark Bittman

3 cups of milk, (I used low-fat)
4 Tbsp.=1 1/2 sticks butter, plus extra  for greasing the pan. (I used cooking spray to grease pan)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cups sugar plus 1 Tbsp.
pinch of salt
8 thick slices of white bread, crust removed
(I used leftover Challah)
3 eggs ( I used 4)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Over low heat in a small saucepan warm the milk, butter 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar, Just until butter melts. Butter, or spray an 8x8 square glass baking dish, or a casserole dish that can fit 1 1/2 quarts.

Cut or tear the bread in bite-size pieces (as in upper photo) and pour the milk mixture over it. ( I sprinkled the cinnamon, salt, and sugar, directly on the bread cubes, did not add in the milk mixt. to heat up)

Let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes, submerging
any pieces of bread that rise to the top.










Beat the eggs lightly, and pour over the bread mixture, stirring gently, being careful not to disturb the bread pieces. Mix together the 1 Tbsp sugar with the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle over the top.








This is how the mixture should look like...now, you are ready to bake it.









Bake 45 minutes...no longer than 1 hr. Center will be just a little wobbly, but it will settle as it cools a little.
Serve warm, or cold, with maple syrup, whipped, cream, or just plain powdered (icing sugar)

For chocolate pudding: Melt 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate with the milk, and butter, and proceed as above.

For Apple-Raisin filling: Add 1 cup peeled, grated, and drained apples, and 1/ cup or more raisins to the mixture, along with the eggs.

Elisabeth's Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup low-fat milk
3 rip bananas mashed
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix together. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a potato masher, or fork, and add the sugars to it; stir to combine. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs with the oil, and milk, beating with a fork, or whip just to combine well. Add the bananas mixture to the flour, and pour the egg mixture over the top...stir to combine.
Stir 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into the batter; spoon into the loaf pan, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees F.  Lower the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on rack, and it will release easily from pan, after it cools down slightly.

note:
This is my very own "tried and true" recipe, and it is 'fail proof' ...you must add the ingredients just the way I have it written, in that order, and also for the temperature, and time baked. For the sugar, you can use just white sugar instead both kinds, but increase to sugar to 1 cup. You can also substitute by adding equal amount of whole wheat flour to equal amount un-bleached all purpose flour. You can add raisins, chopped nuts, cranberries, dried cherries, or any kind of dried fruits. I would not recommend fresh chopped fruit, they will add too much moisture and make the bread soggy!

...one more thing; I just recently received this special back order issue, for my 2yr Blog Anniversary giveaway.
I have not heard from anyone if you are in interested in my special giveaway of the 100yrs of American cooking edition, which came out in 1999. I love this special issue, and kept the magazine for 13 years now, using some of the best recipes...ever!

Back in 1999, it cost $3.95...I back ordered a special order...brand new one, plastic sealed edition...which cost $12.99 (still a thrift price) for something so special..the shipping was (that's where they get you) another $3.99, well worth it!

Are you going to miss out on this giveaway gift that has century old culinary stories, including the famous Amircan Apple Pie that debuted in 1900, the famous Coca Cola, in the late 1899,  the famous Betty Crocker in the late 1930's, Julia Child in the early 1950's famous movie stars, our very own American Mac n' Cheese, with updated old recipes...just look at the famous American list of products that our known all over the world, and when they debuted!

Hostess Twinkies (1930)
Snickers (1930)
Bisquick (1931)
Fritos Corn Chips (1932)
Skippy Peanut Butter (1932)
Campbell's Chicken Noodle
and Cream of Mushroom  Soups (1932)
Ritz Crackers (1934)
Five Flavors Life Savers (1935)
Kraft Miracle Dressing (1935)
Kix Cereal (1937)
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner (1937)
Pepperidge Farm Bread (1937)
Spam (1937)
Lawry's Season Salt (1938)
Lay's Potato Chips (1938)
Nestle's Crunch bars (1939)

There's a lot more to mention...and the most popular of them all is the famous OREOS that just recently celebrated its 100 years in America and is now, famous, and well liked all over the world! Now, isn't this something for us to be proud of that's American?
...and don't forge the JELL-O which has been around since 1897...and took America by the storm in the 1920's...and making a comeback now, after declining since the late 80's.

...one more item...(among tons of others) THE CANDY MAN
who can forget the ever so famous HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE BARS?
Founded by Milton Hershey, in 1900...his chocolate was so well known an famous, by 1906, he got the town named after him!
So, there you have just some of the famous century information, along with photos and updated old recipes, and new ones, as well!
It's a whopping double issue of 254 pages, compared to this July grilling issue of Bon Appetit, of 122 pages. that costs you $4.99 an issue, if you don't have a subscription, which I've had for over 20 years!

I'm repeating this giveaway gift...just let me know if you would like it...no strings attached...but if you don't mention something about this amazing issue, then I will assume you're not interested in winning this!



 
OK...gotta go now. Luigi the little precious Chihuahua ...and Stella (not pictured) are hungry, and so am I...so let me hear from you...until then, have a wonderful Monday, Tuesday at some places...we're getting a tropical storm, rain, rain...and more rain!
xo
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Haphazard Weight Watchers Challah


My attempt at making Challah bread would be best if I could call out for my deceased female members of my family on my mother's side. Each and every member of my family made the best Challah bread, not just for the Sabbath on Friday...which was never really explained to me when I was a young child, but for other Jewish holiday traditions as well.


I never had to make my own Challah bread all theses years, up until the late nineties after my last aunt passed away...then, the tradition was broken. I was way too busy working days, at an affluent Jewish Country Club and 3 nights a week working for a mega wealthy household in Palm Beach as a Private Chef. Good thing I didn't have to do any bread baking...that would require a "separate position!"...end of that story!
If any one should doubt what this bread is all about, here's a little history behind it!

The braided challah, which is made with eggs, is the Jewish Sabbath‑and‑holiday bread. It is surrounded by folklore and tradition and loaded with symbolism. On festive occasions a blessing is said over two loaves, symbolizing the two portions of the manna that was distributed on Fridays to the children of Israel during their Exodus from Egypt. The breads are covered on the table by a decorative challah cover or a white napkin, which represents the dew that collected on the manna in the morning. Poppy and sesame seeds sprinkled on the bread also symbolize the manna that fell from heaven. 

Challah is made in various sizes and shapes, all of which have a meaning.
 
Braided ones, which may have three, four, or six strands, are the most common, and because they look like arms intertwined, symbolize love.

 Three braids symbolize truth, peace, and justice.

 Twelve humps from two small or one large braided bread recall the miracle of the 12 loaves for the 12 tribes of Israel. Round loaves, “where there is no beginning and no end,” are baked for Rosh Hashanah to symbolize continuity. Ladder and hand shapes are served at the meal before the fast of Yom Kippur—the ladder signifying that we should ascend to great heights, the hand that we may be inscribed for a good year. On Purim, small triangular loaves symbolize Haman’s ears; at Shavuot, two oblongs side by side represent the Tablets of the Law. The bulkah is a segmented rectangular challah.

Sweet challahs with honey or raisins are baked during the festive season to bring joy and happiness.

The name “challah” is derived from the Hebrew word used for “portion” in the Biblical commandment “of the first of your dough you shall give unto the Lord a portion for a gift throughout your generations.

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage 

Challah
from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook


1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoon corn oil
2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
(I used one whole egg, beaten with ! Tbsp. water)
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

In a small bowl, combine the water and 1 Tbsp. of the flour; sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the egg and oil.

In a food processor, combine the remaining flour, the sugar, and salt. With the machine running, scrape the yeast mixture through the feed tube until the dough just forms a ball. Knead the dough by pulsing until it is smooth and elastic, about 30 times.

Spray a large bow with nonstick spray: place dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm draft free place
until it double in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down the
dough; lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour.







 Divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms.












Roll into an 18-inch rope between the palm of your hands.












Pinch ropes together at one end, and braid loosely.













Be sure to braid the three ropes loosely to allow room for the dough to rise the second time.
Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in volume, about 1 hour.










Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 175 C. Brush the loaf with half of the egg white. Bake about 20 minutes...as seen in the photo...after 20 minutes. Brush with remaining egg white, and sprinkle with the poppy seeds, if you're using poppy seeds.








Bake until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom 10-15 minutes longer. Remove fro the baking sheet and cool completely on a rack.
Points value: 2

Note: this is an excellent small loaf of bread to bake, if you're not planning to make 2 loaves. 1 1/2 cups of flour, is such a small amount, compared to 3 to 5 cups used when baking breads. Simple and easy, just need practice with the braiding!






Not much to say about my weekend indulges...I practically ate the entire little loaf of bread by myself, before I got to share it with my family. Although, I did manage to lose 1 more pound...Total: 14lbs, and still going!

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