Friday, March 30, 2012

Rava Dosa with Coconut Chutney

Just one of the things I love most about Indian cuisine is the fantastic variety of breads they have.

Back in my childhood picky days, when my mother had a beau who would take us for Indian food that I looked at with some suspicion - I could always be counted on to eat the bread. In fact I was known to order several different kinds of Indian bread and no actual dinner. (Yes, I was a little on the plump side, why do you ask?)

As I grew up my tastes expanded, thank goodness, and I know that one of the greatest joys with Indian flatbreads is tearing them in pieces and using them as scoops for delicious curries and chutneys and dals... you get my point. No forks necessary, you eat with your bread. Awesome.

This dosa is made with semolina flour, yogurt, and fresh chile and cilantro for great flavour. You make it crepe-style, but it has no eggs so it is a bit more fragile. Fortunately it is sturdy enough when cooked, you'll know when you can flip it when it releases from the pan and is nicely spotted brown.

The chutney is a lovely condiment that complements the dosa - just throw in a simple veggie or chicken curry and you have a wonderful meal!

Rava Dosa
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

2 cups semolina flour
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 red chile, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped fine
1 Tbsp fresh or dried curry leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
½ tsp salt

Up to 2 cups warm water

Directions:
Put all the ingredients, and just one of the cups of water, in your blender. Purée. Add the last of the water bit by bit until you have a nice, smooth, crepe-like batter.
If you have added too much of the water, you can blend in a bit of white flour
Pour into a bowl and let stand for one hour.

Heat up a crepe pan or shallow frying pan on medium. Give it time to truly heat up to temperature. Throw in ¼ tps butter and spread it around the pan. Pour in an almost full ladle of the crepe batter (stir before using) and swirl around to get at least an 8 inch circle. Cook for a couple minutes on each side - until browned in places, and stack with wax paper in between. Repeat with the rest. (I got 9 dosa) Serve warm.

Coconut Chutney - make ahead
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

1 cups grated coconut - fresh or frozen is best, but I had dried so used that.
2 chiles, chopped fine (ribs and seeds removed if you want less heat)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup water

Fried
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 dried (soaked for 10 minutes and drained) or fresh curry leaves
½ tsp hulled urad dal

½ cup - 1 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup crushed pineapple (optional)

Blend the first batch of ingredients into a paste using a small food processor or a mortar and pestle. Set aside in a bowl.
Heat up the olive oil in a cast iron pan.
Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop, add in the shallots and sauté, stirring. Add in the curry leaves and the urad dal. Keep cooking until the shallots are nicely translucent. Let cool.
Combine the fried ingredients with the coconut paste, thin out with yogurt and add in the cilantro -and pineapple if desired.

Let rest in the fridge for the flavours to combine for half a day. And bring out a half hour before serving to take the chill off, adjust flavourings if necessary.



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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weeknights with Giada!

Weeknights with Giada
Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner
by Giada De Laurentiis

Hardcover, 240 pages
Also available as an eBook 

Another beautiful book from The Food Network's darling, Giada De Laurentiis! In this cookbook, Giada kicks off her heels and gets comfy with quick and easy family cooking. The recipes are indeed simple, relying on a good mix of fresh ingredients and pantry staples to get a family-friendly meal on the table with little fuss.

This book follows in her style of beautifully presented and photographed recipes, but takes into account how busy families can be these days. The ability to get good food on the table quickly and with ease is important to everyone these days. Sure, we like to take our time when we have it, but many nights we just don't have the time or energy.

Weeknights with Giada delivers on its promise of quick and simple recipes to revamp dinner - busy nights don't have to mean take-out - especially when you can make tastier food at home!

This weekend we tried out Giada's Chicken with Tarragon and White Wine - Deliciously tangy and deeply satisfying - and easy!

I paired the chicken with a simple salad and Giada's Carrot and Yam Purée, what a great alternative to mashed potatoes! Good for the body too. These will both be on regular rotation for us from now on.

And to top those off... I baked up her Apricot Oat Bars -a soft and delicious dessert, halfway between a granola bar and a cookie. I might just eat them all myself.

Photo courtesy Amy Neunsinger, Weeknights with Giada
Giada invites you to try out her Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Yogurt Sauce from her new book, Weeknights with Giada!

Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Yogurt Sauce

For all the salmon lovers, like me, this one’s for you. The salmon cakes can be prepared in an easy three-step process and served at room temperature. I use crushed saltine crackers instead of bread crumbs in the filling and to coat the salmon cakes because they keep their crunch and actually become crunchier as they cook.

Serves 4 to 6

Salmon cakes
1 (14.75-ounce) can boneless, skinless pink salmon, drained
1 large egg, beaten
1⁄3 cup chopped fresh chives
26 saltine crackers, crushed (1 1⁄2 cups)
1/2  cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup mayonnaise, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Sauce
1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon cakes: Using a fork, flake the salmon into ½-inch pieces into a medium bowl. Add the egg, chives, 1/2 cup of the crushed crackers, the corn, mayonnaise, mustard, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix gently until just combined. Form into 10 patties, each about ¾ inch thick (if the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add extra mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time). Carefully coat the patties in the remaining crushed crackers and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter together over medium heat. Add the salmon patties and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Drain the patties on paper towels.

For the sauce: In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Arrange the salmon cakes on a platter and serve the sauce alongside.

Excerpted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis Copyright © 2012 by Giada De Laurentiis. Photographs copyright © 2012 by Amy Neunsinger. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Armchair Book Review: The Devil's Cinema

The Devil's Cinema
The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell's Kill Room
Written by Steve Lillebuen

Hardcover, 352 pages
Also available as an eBook

The Devil's Cinema is a remarkable account of Edmonton's Mark Twitchell, an aspiring filmmaker who looks like the boy next door, charms friends and investors alike, and is fascinated by Showtime's Dexter.

So fascinated in fact, that he may have acted out his own Dexter-like fantasies, in a rented garage that he set up as a "Kill Room", ostensibly for his film career.

One night a 38 year old gentleman named Johnny Altinger thought he struck it lucky when a gorgeous gal on an online dating website invited him over for a weekend of fun and frolicking. The directions she gave him were kind of odd though, so he emailed a copy of them to a friend. Johnny soon went missing, his friends receiving out of character messages from him through his social networking sites, and his closest friends started up a search for him. At first dismissed by the police, they soon got their attention and a full scale search was started.

Without giving too much away, I have to say that Steve Lillebuen did a fantastic job researching and writing The Devil's Cinema. He was there at the beginning as a reporter, and then dedicated several years of his life putting this book together, with unique access to all the people involved in the story and investigation. He writes the story expertly, saving some surprises along the way so that the reader enjoys an almost novel-like experience as they read this incredible account.

People interested in true crime, mystery, and popular culture will love The Devil's Cinema.

Journalist Steve Lillebuen's website - http://www.stevelillebuen.com/

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pane alle Noci (Walnut Bread!)

You were expecting something sweet? Like banana bread? That would be wonderful too, but today I have a delicious bread that's perfect with cheese, tuna salad, or toasted with peanut butter. And it's high in omega-3s!
About Omega-3s

Mounting scientific evidence suggests that omega-3s lower cholesterol, protect the heart, defend against some cancers and help ease symptoms of inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Getting more omega-3s into the diet of Canadians has become a priority for top nutritionists.
WalnutInfo.com

This is the ultimate bread for crostini and goes wonderfully with a cheese platter. Enjoy!

Pane alle Noci - Walnut Bread
adapted from Tessa Kiros Twelve
for I♥CC, Getting a Little Nutty

150 g whole wheat flour
350 g white flour
310 ml tepid water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ Tbsp salt

150 g California walnuts, roughly chopped

Place all the ingredients into your stand mixer, except the walnuts, and mix for 3-5 minutes until incorporated and smooth. Add in the walnuts and continue to knead. You will likely have to turn out onto a lightly floured board to knead all the walnuts in.
When you have a nice smooth dough evenly studded with walnuts, form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat, and let rise, covered, for 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
Divide dough into two even pieces and form into loaves. I like long loaves, but you can do what you like.
Let loaves rise 40-60 minutes, covered, until well puffed and ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 200°C 20 minutes before baking.
Slash and brush with milk (optional) and bake for 25-40 minutes, depending on how you shape your loaves. My long skinny loaves took 25 minutes.
Let cool on racks.

Walnuts are nutritional powerhouses and perfect for your spring cooking repertoire - click here for more great California Walnut recipes!

This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Armchair Novel Review: Vanished by Liza Marklund

Vanished
Written by Liza Marklund

Trade Paperback, 528 pages
Also available as an eBook


Liza Marklund has been called Scandinavia’s undisputed queen of crime fiction. She draws on her background in journalism to write the #1 international bestselling Annika Bengtzon series.

In the series, we see Annika go from nervous intern to editor of the newspaper - but not in chronological order. Each book has its own point in time, a fascinating way of writing a series, resulting in the reader being able to jump in with any of the books and enjoy a great story.
"In what order should I read your books?"
"Doesn't matter. Start wherever you like. I didn't even write them in chronological order, I started with the 4th...This has never been a problem anywhere – except for Germany. I've done over a hundred readings all over Germany, and as soon as the audience gets a chance, this is usually the first question they ask: Warum?? Why on earth did you start with the fourth book in the series?!? They seem to like to get their things in a good and orderly fashion over there, one two three four...
"
The books are dark, as Scandinavian crime novels tend to be, and Annika's character is refreshingly complex. 

In Vanished - Annika is doing night research in her limited capacity at the paper. A call comes in that nobody wants to deal with and the woman is given to Annika to talk to. She has set up a foundation called Paradise that wipes out people's identities and leaves them untraceable for their own protection from criminals who would do them harm. She mostly deals with women and children, an issue close to Annika's heart. She wants the paper to write about her foundation. 

Annika is at the same time wearied by the numerous waste of time phone calls she gets, intrigued by this foundation and the services it provides, and suspicious as to the woman's motives for calling her. She sets up a meeting that starts her on the path of intrigue involving Eastern European criminal organizations, theft, fraud, and personal danger. This is also the book in which she meets Thomas. A must read for fans of Nordic mysteries!


Check out Liza Marklund's website here - http://www.lizamarklund.com/
And her Facebook fan page here - http://www.facebook.com/LizaMarklund

Other books in the Annika Bengtzon series:
Red Wolf
Exposed
Nobel's Last Will
Lifetime
A Place in the Sun


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Armchair Novel Review: Phantom by Jo Nesbo

Phantom
by Jo Nesbo

Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Also available as an eBook

I first fell in love with Jo Nesbo when I read The Leopard last year, and immediately read all the other Harry Hole books in the series.

We can thank Stieg Larsson for turning North America on to Scandinavian writers, and in my opinion Nesbo is the very best. He writes a gripping, complex mystery that grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. His detective, Harry Hole, puts the agony in protagonist. He goes down the rabbit hole of murder and intrigue while barely surviving his own demons. Truly he is the most tortured of heroes, and the most complicated.

Phantom is his magnum opus, in my opinion. The best in the series. I was affected for days after I read it and haven't stopped thinking about it since.

Harry is back in Oslo after three years in Hong Kong. Oleg, his long love Rakel's son and the closest he has had to a son of his own, has been arrested in a drug-related murder. Oleg's mother is happy to see Harry back, but she is the only one. Harry's personal investigation into Oleg's arrest leads him down into the shadowy world of street drugs and organized crime. This book is the most personal and the grittiest of the series, and the most brilliant. Nesbo refers to it as the darkest and grimmest. I'm still reeling.

Watch an interview with Jo Nesbo on his newest book Phantom!



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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spinach Cannelloni!

How was your St. Paddy's day?
Me? I was falling asleep by 9pm. I just don't party like I used to.
And I didn't cook anything especially Irish this year, although I am Irish in heritage.
But I did cook up something green. Or, green on the inside.
Spinach Cannelloni! The real kind, with crepes.
It is labour intensive, but you can break down the parts and make some earlier.
And of course if you have a television and stereo in your kitchen and a well-stocked bar, the hours will just fly by.
So go on, eat your greens! You'll be happy you did.

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
adapted from Tessa Kiros, Apples for Jam
for I♥CC Go Green!

Crepes - makes 12
3 large eggs
1½ cups AP flour
Pinch salt
3½ Tbsp melted butter
1 cup whole milk

Whiz together in a blender or a in a pitcher with a blending stick. Let rest 30 minutes to an hour. Thin with a bit of milk if necessary to get crepe batter consistency.
Heat a nonstick crepe pan to medium and cook up half a ladle at a time, swirling to get a thin, round crepe. It only takes a minute on each side to get to golden. Layer cooked crepes with wax paper between, and cover until needed. This will keep them soft and from sticking to each other.

For a side dish I just roasted some asparagus with cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, S&P and some Parm. 15 minutes at 400°F.
Tomato Sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 14-oz can of Italian stewed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
½ cup red wine
Kosher salt and black pepper

Warm the garlic in the oil until you can smell it, then add in the tomatoes and basil. Cook until hot, then add in the wine. Season to taste with S&P, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Blend until smooth.

Filling
1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out
1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups fresh ricotta (I used yogurt cheese)
1 large egg
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh grated nutmeg, kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Combine in a bowl, season and set aside.

Bechamel Sauce
4½ Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
2¼ cups whole milk, warmed
Fresh grated nutmeg, kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Heat butter in a medium pan on medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk gently but constantly for a couple of minutes until the flour is cooked through. Add in the milk a little at a time, whisking til smooth. When all the milk is in and you have a smooth sauce, continue to cook for another few minutes and season to taste. 

Assembly & Bake
Preheat your oven to 350°F
Butter a lasagne dish
Spread a little of the bechamel on the bottom of the dish.
Take a crepe, put 1/12th of the filling in it and roll up. Place in the pan, seam side down. Repeat with the rest to make 2 rows of 6 crepes.
Cover with the bechamel sauce, then the tomato sauce.
Sprinkle on ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until bubbly.
Let sit 10 minutes before serving. 


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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Bread Baking Babes bake Swedish Rye!

I read a lot of Swedish and Scandinavian murder mysteries and one thing I have noticed - they all seem to live on coffee and sandwiches. So I guess they have great bread!

Bread Baking Babe Astrid challenged us to make a Swedish Rye from The Tassajara Bread Book, circa 1970. I actually have this book, my copy is from 1973 and is well-loved. I was happy to try the Swedish rye, and fondly remembered my first attempts at brick bread baking when I was younger, from this very same book. Somehow I have gotten the hang of this bread baking thing over the years, thank goodness.

I have to admit that I am rather fond of my stand mixer and did my mixing in there for the most part. I just finish up the kneading on the board. I use instant yeast, because I find it blends better, put the whole wheat flour in the dough and used the 1 cup of white for kneading, but otherwise followed the directions.

I sprinkled them with caraway after the egg wash as we really like caraway, and formed them into torpedoes or mini French bread shapes and baked them in my French bread pans for about 30 minutes.

The recipe delivered and the dough was easy to work with. The resulting bread was absolutely delicious. It has a tight crumb and is great with sharp cheddar and cured meats. I also like it toasted with a thin smear of plain peanut butter. Yum!

Check out Astrid's post for step-by-step photos and information on how you can be a Bread Baking Buddy this month!

Swedish Rye Bread
adapted from Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown
adaptation by Astrid

1.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast (2 packets)
1/3 cups honey
1 cup dry milk
grated peel of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons anise seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 cups unbleached white flour

2.
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup oil
4 cups rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (for kneading)


    Dissolve the yeast in water. Add the honey and dry milk plus the oranges and seeds
    Add the flour to get a thick batter.
    Add one cup of flour at a time, stirring good after each addition. The more flour you add the more you knead to go into a beating mode with your spoon. Best way is to stir up and down in a circular mode from the bottom of the bowl to the surface of the dough. Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time. After the 4 cups of flour you should have a thick mud-like dough.
    Beat well with a spoon (100 strokes).
    Continue to beat until you have a smooth dough. Again pull your spoon under the dough and bring it up to the surface again in a circular mode. The batter will be more elastic while you are doing this as more and more air gets incorporated.
    Let rise for 45 minutes.
    Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place.
    Folding in the remaining ingredients. Do not stir! Do not cut through the dough, this will improve the elasticity and strength of the dough.
    Sprinkle on the salt and pour on the oil. Stir around the side of the bowl working carefully your way towards the center. Rotate your bowl a little with every stroke you do. Repeat until all of the salt and oil is incorporated.
    Sprinkle the flour 1/2 a cup at a time onto the dough. Again fold it in while rotating your bowl.
    Continue until the dough comes away from the sides of your bowl. Now the dough is ready to give it a good knead!
    Plop your dough on your kneading board and scrap all remainings from the bowl onto the dough.  Keep in mind that your surface should be floured enough to prevent the dough from sticking to much on the board.
    Flour your hands and the top of the dough. From the middle of your down stretch it away from you and then fold it back onto the remaining part of the dough. Continue to push down and forward.
    Turn the dough a quarter turn. Again continue with the pushing and folding.
    Turn, fold, push. Rock forward. Twist and fold as you rock back. Be careful not to stretch the dough too much and tear it. Add flour to the boards as needed.
    While you continue with the kneading the dough will become more and more elastic, smooth and shiny.
    When you are finished, place the dough in your lightly oiled bowl smooth side down, then turn it over so the dough ball is covered lightly with oil. This will prevent the dough from forming a crust on the top while rising.
    Cover the bowl with a damp towel again and set aside to rise in a warm place. (50-60 minutes until doubled in size)
    Punch down your dough with your fists steadily and firmly about 15-20 times.
    Let rise again 40-50 minutes until doubled in size again.

    Preheat your oven at 350°F.
    Turn your dough onto the board again.
    Form the dough into a ball. Cut the dough into two even pieces and form smaller balls again. Let rest for 5 minutes.
    Knead the dough and fold it about 5 times, this gives the dough added spring. After the final push turn the dough a quarter turn.
    Roll up the dough into a log shape. Seam at the bottom, flatten the top of the dough. Square the sides and ends. Turn the dough over and pinch the seams all the way.
    Put the dough seam side down into your pan. Press it down into the pan with your fingers.
    Cover and let rise again. This will take 20-25 minutes.
    Cut the top with 1/2 inch deep slits to allow the steam to escape.
    You and brush with eggwash and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame if you want!
    Bake for about 50-60 minutes.
    Remove from pan to cool down completely. (On racks)

The Bread Baking Babes
This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Tuscan Sun Cookbook!

The Tuscan Sun Cookbook
Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen

Written by Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes
Hardcover, 224 pages
Also available as an eBook

You may already be familiar with Frances Mayes, she has been dubbed "The Bard of Tuscany" by The New York Times. Her many bestsellers on Tuscan life have earned her a a warm place in millions of readers' hearts.

In this intimate cookbook Frances and her husband Edward, an award-winning poet, share one of the aspects of Tuscan life dearest to their hearts. The food! The book is beautifully photographed and filled with memories, anecdotes and information about Tuscan cuisine. There are over 150 delectable but unfussy recipes for you to enjoy at home, so that you can bring a little of Tuscany to your kitchen. Beautiful!


Chapters include:
La Cucina
Keys to the Pantry
Antipasti
Primi
Secondi
Contorni
Dolci
Aperitivi e Digestivi


This weekend we tried the Chicken with Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Chickpeas. A brilliant tray bake with succulent chicken, red wine, lots of herbs and brilliant pantry staples. Perfect with a little rice or pasta and a green salad.



And since there is wine in the dinner, there should be wine in dessert! Massimo and Daniela's Wine Cake is perfect after dinner fare - try it yourself!

The Tuscan Sun Cookbook
Massimo and Daniela’s Wine Cake

Massimo and Daniela preside over Bar Tuscher in a venerable palazzo in Cortona. All the expats in town are lured by their house-made desserts and the intimate tables, so perfect for a private conversation away from the piazza. When I walk into town in the mornings, I’m assured of a quiet spot for writing in my notebook. Although I’m torn between their warm cornetti filled with berries and this tender vin santo–scented cake, the cake usually wins.
SERVES 8

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for the pan
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups (11 ounces) whole-milk ricotta
3 eggs
1/3 cup vin santo
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour a nonstick 9-inch springform tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and ricotta until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then incorporate the vin santo. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl, then slowly and thoroughly beat them into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle the pine nuts on top, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is firm but springy to the touch and a promising aroma fills the kitchen. Cool before removing the cake from the pan. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top.

Learn more about Frances Mayes here - http://www.francesmayesbooks.com/
And join the recipe club here! - http://www.therecipeclub.net/

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Savoury Sesame Bread Rings

Bread bakers are people who like to play with their food. They likely excelled at play-doh as children and have carried on this tradition in their kitchens. This is a bread that will take you back to those halcyon days of childhood and put to use your excellent snake rolling skills.

This long Jewish bread is perfect for tearing and dipping and goes great on a mezze plate. I served it with two great dipping choices, below, plus quinoa salad, and dolmades. Mezze madness!

Savoury Sesame Bread Rings
Ka'kat
adapted from Alford and Duguid, Flatbreads and Flavors

1 tsp instant yeast
1½ cups warm water
3 cups flour plus another ½ - 1 cup more
1 tsp salt

1 egg, whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Mix the yeast, water, 3 cups flour, and salt in the stand mixer with the dough hook until well combined. Add more flour, a bit at a time, until you have a nice smooth dough. (I needed about another half cup altogether.) Mix for 3 minutes with the stand mixer and dump out onto a floured board and continue to knead until you form a nice, smooth ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour.
Punch down and divide into 4 pieces. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Take each quarter and roll into a 36 inch rope. Make a loop with the rope and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with the others, making 2 fit on each sheet.
(If you have smaller sheets, make smaller ropes)
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until starting to turn golden, rotating pans if necessary.
Let cool on racks. They are also good warm.
Serve with dipping choices, below. 

Yogurt and Tahini Sauce
Adapted from Alford and Duguid, Flatbreads and Flavors

3 Tbsp tahini
6 Tbsp plain yogurt
6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried chile flakes
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh pasley

Mix together and refrigerate until serving.

Another great way to dip is to have some good olive oil and some Zatar. Dip the bread in the olive oil and then the spice mix. Delicious. I did both.

Zatar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp dried thyme leaves, ground
½ tsp sea salt
½ - 1 tsp ground sumac

Combine and serve with the bread and olive oil. Keep leftovers in your pantry in a sealed jar.

This bread has been YeastSpotted!

Check out the other March Flatbread bakers!
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