Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TWD: Irish Soda Bread

TWD:  Irish Soda Bread

I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe.  I've only had Irish soda bread a couple of times and I cannot say that it was all that memorable. Hey, sorry but I'm half Italian, a quarter Polish and a quarter Canadian French! This ended up really fantastic and I'm pretty eager to try other versions.  I wanted Nathan and Sarah to try our final product and I thought the recipe was too plain even with lots of butter, so we added three tablespoons of sugar and the zest of about one and a half lemons to half of the recipe and then to the other half cranberries in addition to the sugar and lemon.

Both Nathan and Sarah helped stir and then knead the dough.  But I think they actually got a little bored it was easier than making waffles! They are Broad Brook Bakers and all!

They don't look like much going in the oven but they came out crunchy and golden.

We ate after only about five minutes of sitting. Really great with butter! Nathan, Sarah and I pretty much munched on this all Sunday evening, pretty much constituting our dinner.


Nathan finished off the simple lemon version the next day. I placed in the toaster to heat and freshen up.

That's signing off for March.  See you in April!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TWD: Rugelach

TWD: Rugelach

I made this recipe years ago at Easter time.  My uncle, Chick, does not eat chocolate, so if I remember correctly I was in search of something out of the ordinary.  Flipping through the pictures in Baking with Julia, how can you not stop and admire this amazing cookie.  I can only hope, as every baker does, that it came out just a little better this time than the first time.

We tackled the apricot lekvar first.  I did not have Amaretto so my brother-in-law, Chris,  suggested Maker's Mark Whiskey.  It turned out to be a great suggestion.  The Maker's Mark is fruity in nature and it really gave the apricot a kick.

Sarah did not like the texture of the apricots.  She helped me place them into the pan and she did not want to touch them. Take a look at how she is gingerly adding them to the pan.

Sarah loves when she gets to work the Cuisinart.  She did all the pureeing.

The lekvar was really quite easy to make.  I started to dream how good it would be slathered on those croissants that we will one day take on in this baking adventure. If I used it as a spread, I might add a little bit more brown sugar.

I put together the dough using the KitchenAid and then let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight.

I chopped all the nuts without my Broad Brook Baker Sous Chef Sarah and got ready to assemble the next morning.

Sarah had fun adding all the layers on the dough.  She loves sprinkling!

I went a little too light on the first two rolls and then the next two were even that much more generous.

Take a look at this very clean, brand new oven.  As we all finish up this book in a couple of years I imagine this will not look the same!

I had two right out of the oven.  The dough is so flaky and rich at the same time.  I can't get enough of the cinnamon sugar coating.  We used raisins and cranberries for the fruit in addition to the apricot lekvar.  The nuts consisted of walnuts, almonds and pistachios.  I completely forgot that I had a bag of cashews, I bet those would have been good as well.

Extreme close-up.  Can you see in the lower part the green of the pistachio.  The cranberries and pistachios provide some really nice color.

I shared with some of the members of my children's school council today.  I could not resist so had another one tonight and it is still very crisp. I'm going to freeze a few to share with family later in the month.

Looking forward to connecting again in a couple of weeks.