Category Archives: dough

Alfajores

The oft mentioned Beth has once again come up with an amazing addition to the blog. Alfajores are cookies that are usually traced back to Moorish origin, however, they were made famous in the country of Argentina. Beth entered into a long-term relationship with these cookies which has endured the years. They’re very happy together.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS brandy
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups flour
1 cup corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup grated coconut
1 can condensed milk made into dulce de leche

The first thing you have to do it make the dough. If you don’t you’ll find yourself in the unfortunate situation we did, wherein we were forced to sit on the deck in the sun and drink cocktails for 2 hours. You have been warned, do not fall prey to the same fate as these depraved souls!

To make the dough, cream the butter and the sugar. This really means to mix up, preferably in a mixer. I used the trusty Kitchen-Aid but if you don’t have one, make sure that your butter is room temp. If it isn’t at room temp, break it up with forks and squish/mix the sugar into it. I would put on some mixin’ music, something like “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate.

Once the butter is creamed add the egg yolks, vanilla, brandy, and lemon zest. In another bowl mix up the flour, salt, cornstarch and baking powder. Now combine the wet with the dry!

Those should all be rolled all up into this amazing ball. Once you have a nice ball, fridge that saucy sweater monster for about 2 hours. The next thing is easy. Get out a pie pan and open the condensed milk. Pour it into the pie pan and cover with foil. Place that whole thing in a deep tray and fill half way up the pie pan with boiling water. Take that tray and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. We’re making the gooey middle of the cookie here, just bear with me.

 

Now assuming that the your dough has been chilling for about 2 hours, take it out, flour a surface and roll it out baby! You want your dough about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick. Then cut cookies out of it. I used a wine glass. I later used it for another purpose.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes in a 400 F (205 C) degree oven. Once they are done, let em cool a bit. Take the condensed milk out of oven. If it is thick and gooey, you’re done. If still kind of watery keep cookin’. So many things in like are like that! Then set up your alfajores cookie-makin-station. A pile of coconut, dulce de leche (your baked condensed milk) and the cooked cookies.

Take a spatula and cover the cookie with the dulce. Smash another cookie on top of it. Like this:

Then take it for a proverbial naughty “roll in the coconut.”

And now, you are done done done. Try desperately not to eat them all in one sitting.

When the Apfelschnecken Beckons

Apfelschnecken is one of the true triumphs of German pastry cuisine. While visiting the lovely Katharina and her family in Munster I had the good fortune to make it with her! And you know what they say, you can’t say no when the schnecken beckons! I actually held her new baby while she did the cooking but who’s counting?

Note Schnecken means snail in German. I hope I don’t have to explain that one.

Da dough:
6oz lukewarm (3/16 liter) milk
2 1/2 cups (500g) flour
1 oz (one package) dry yeast (about 30g)
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 eggs
salt to taste
A little less than 1/2 cup (100g) butter (very soft or melted)

Da filling:
1-2 TBSP of melted butter
1/2 cup applesauce
2-4 apples, sliced into small bits
raisins
(nuts, if you like)
cinnamon-sugar

To spread on top before baking:
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 TBSP milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)

Mix ingredients, place the dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen cloth. Let the dough rest for about 45 minutes until it doubled its size. I’ll show you doubling in size after a 45 minute rest…er…moving on. Once that puppy has risen it’s time to get physical with your dough. Throw down the dough on a floured surface.

Using a rolling pin or if you are my friend Marissa, a pint glass covered in flour, to roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. It is easiest if you roll out the dough into a square. You’ll see why later.

Mix the warm butter and applesauce together and spread onto the rolled dough. If this doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. Sprinkle the apple pieces, raisins, and cinnamon-sugar like you know what you’re doing. We all know you don’t but everyone pretends not to notice.


Roll the whole thing up like Cuban cigar and cut into slices. Place them on the baking sheet (with baking paper or grease that mother).

Mix egg yolk with milk and spread a little bit on each Schnecke. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon-sugar and butter, if you have some left.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Check them from time to time while baking.

This is important because Katharina and I may have burned them the first time around, but of course through the miracle of the internet we are able to bring you not-burned pictures. Yay, apple-snails!

Enjoy!

 

Home made Pizza

So you may think this is beyond you but really it’s not. Your own pizza. Amaze your friends. Amaze your small pets and animals. Amaze yourself as you triumphantly promote the gods of gluten to bow to your very whim. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water about 45 C (110 F)
1 tsp dry yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose four

Topping:
Your discrection!
What I used:
Tomato basil marinara sauce
goat cheese
tomato
mozzarella
basil

Directions

In a big ass bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let the yeast orgy commence for about 10 minutes, until they’re all tuckered out and foamy.

Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour into until the dough starts to gel like a really good conversation in a college bistro.

Toss that dough onto the counter but first make sure to put down some flour. Knead it like the antidote for all of the world’s problems are in there and (until all of the flour has been absorbed). Then form that puppy into a ball of awesome!

Throw it in an oiled bowl, preferably oiled by a circa 400 a.d. Egyptian oil merchant, and turn to coat the surface. Cover the bowl with a towel to prevent nasty stuff from getting in there. Let it sit an hour or so.

Once the dough has doubled in size, like a mountain becoming slowly erect, roll it out onto a floured counter again. Divide it in 2 for thin crust or use it all for thick crust (preferred by women around the globe!) Swish it into a ball again and let her rise again!

Once that has doubled again preheat the oven to 425. Squish the dough into the bottom of the pan and toss it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Pull it out and add your toppings. (In my case: Marinara sauce, goat cheese, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil.

Bake it all for about 20 more minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and so be the crust!

Enjoy!

Marissa’s Pie Crust

Here she is again. Popping up where you least expect her, Marissa. Half a world away and she’s still a wonderful active contributor to the blog. This crust is yum and pretty much (you thought I wouldn’t say it but I kind of have to) easy as pie. We used it for our pumpkin pie but you can choose any filling you like.

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (not hard, but not too soft because that makes the dough hard to work with)
1 cup cold water

Directions: First mix salt and flour. You know you want to so just do it. Cut the butta into the flour with two knives until it turns into crumbles. Now when I say cut, it isn’t in the “I’ll cut you” kind of low budget mexican ganster film way. We just use butter knives here. Although pictured is a bad-ass kitchen implement if you’re doing a lot of baking. She’s called a pastry cutter, and this one’s named Cassandra.

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Then pour the water into the dry ingredients and get your hands in there! Marissa says, “I like to start mixing with one of the knifes or a spoon, and then finish up with the dough between my fingers.”

Mix until uniform and then split into two balls (just a standard Saturday night for some of us). Wrap it up, swaddle it (if you will) in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about an hour or so until it firms up. Marissa says, “If you don’t have time for this step, it’s not critical, but it just makes the rolling process a little easier.” I don’t know about you but when it’s firmed up the rolling process is always easier.

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When that puppy’s good and firm, roll it out on a floured surface and get your pie on! Grease the pie pan.

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Once you’ve got it big enough for the pie pan you can use a simple trick to get it in there. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, drape it over the pan and unroll it. Now crimp the edges like it aint no thang and viola, you’s a masterbaker!

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We filled it with a secret concoction of pumpkin pie-ish stuff. You can fill it with pretty much what ever you want: meat, fruits, and if you like Stephen Sondheim you can fill it with people who’ve done you wrong in the past…

Enjoy.

Potato Plum Dumplings

First of all I want to apologize to Ivana because she sent this to me like a million years ago and now plums are out of season and well, crap. The lovely Ivana is the only Batter Junkie to ever guest blog twice, well with the exception of dear mama. Here is a scrumptious recipe from Croatia filled with potatoey plum goodness. Make sure to make 15 of them because they’ll be going fast. For those of you who are wondering they are kind of different but they are so yummy!

Ingredients:
15 seedless plums
3 cups of flour
3 large potatoes
1 egg
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp of baking powder
sugar for the plums

How to do it:
Cook the potatoes with their peel. After they are done, let them cool a bit and remove their peel. In one bowl sift flour, add potatoes, egg, baking powder, salt and butter. Mix together and make fine dough. In case the dough falls apart a bit, you can add a bit of milk.
Roll out the dough and cut into small 15 pieces.
Make sure the plums are pitted. If you fail to do this your dumplings could be a little too crunchy. Fill the plums with sugar and put them on each piece of dough. Fold the dough around the plums to make little balls. Put the balls into heating salty water and cook them until they come to the surface.
In a baking tray, mix a lot of vegetable oil and breadcrumbs. Roll each ball into this and put them in an oven for 10 minutes (200′).
Serve them warm with sugar or sour cream.
Dobar tekThanks Ivana
Enjoy!

Spicy Chicken Spanakopita

These are wonderful warm and cold, so logically they make great to-go lunches. I made a whole tray of these puppies and Rana took them to school for a week. I’m sounding more like a house boy every day. “House boy,” Rana will say, “fetch me that pitcher of sangria.” Oh well it’s a living.

These little wraps are versatile and long lasting, like your’s truly. The most important thing you need here is filo dough. If you don’t have that, its just a lot of messy filling and makes it a much less portable snack. This is based on a recipe from Jamilahs Kitchen.

Ingredients:

3 cloves of garlic (I usually add more)

250 gr (1/2 lb) ground or finely chopped chicken (turkey and beef work too!)

1/2 cup raw spinach

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/4 cup drained pickled artichoke heart

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce (mixture of balsamic vinegar and hot sauce works also)

1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

phyllo dough

1/4 cup of melted butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200 C (390 F).

Add the garlic to a little olive oil in a fry pan. After a minute or two toss in the chicken, spinach 1/4 of the feta (so 1/8 of a cup) of feta. Season with salt and pepper and pour in the worcestershire sauce. Now you want to let this reduce a bit. Stir continuously until the liquid starts to thicken a bit in the fry pan. Right before you’re about to remove it from the heat throw in the kalamata olives.

Pour the entire contents of the pan into a lar mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining feta and the artichoke hearts. The artichoke hearts will soak up some of the liquid.

Now we must prepare the papous for our filling. Here comes the fun part. Ok so it’s a royal pain in the tush but whatever. Mix the melted butter and olive oil in a bowl. Place one sheet of filo on a flat surface (the counter if you will) and brush it with the mixture of butter and olive oil. I only used olive oil because I had no butter but I’m sure butter would, as it always does, add to the flavor. Now place a new sheet of filo on top of the buttered one and butter it. Continue this process until you’ve got about 4 layers.

This is where we combine origami with cooking. Now cut the layered filo into about 5 inch wide strips lengthwise trying to leave the longest amount of dough (shown below). Plop a spoonful of the amazing filling onto the bottom left of the strip and fold like you would a flag. Continue to do this until you are out of dough or filling or your head is about to explode, whichever comes first.

Step 1

Step 2

The Hokey Pokey

Place them on a cookie sheetand brush them with the olive oil butter mixture. At this point you can sprinkle some seeds or zatar or something over the top but it is not necessary.

Put them in the oven. They should bake about 15-20 minutes. When they are golden brown, they are done. I caution you from personal experience and over-exuberance that they are quite hot inside when they come out. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before you even attempt to eat them or you’ll be scraping a fresh layer of skin off of the roof of your mouth.

Ok friends, until next time.

Enjoy.

Knishes: Not just fun to say

Have you ever wondered what a Knish is? Well, wonder no more, for I’m about to show you how to make them. Knishes are essentially stuffed dough so there are two parts; the dough and the stuffing. Saw that one coming, didn’t you? Here is my augmented recipe. I got the original from Gabi Moskowitz over at brokeassgourmet.com

Dough:
4 eggs, lightly beaten (save one of the egg whites)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp vegetable oil (I use saffola)
3 cups  flour

Filling:
2 large potatoes cleaned with skin left on
2 tbsp unsalted butter (or olive oil)
1 small onion chopped up
1/2 tsp fresh thyme or rosemary
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
300grams (1/2 pound) of chicken, beef, or turkey (ground or chopped)

Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F).

Mix the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt and flour). Add in the eggs and oil until it turns into a soft dough. Cover the dough (to protect it’s modesty) put it in a warm place, and play the dough some Barry White records. While the dough is resting, begin the preparation of the filling.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, enough to cover the potatoes, and toss them in. Make sure they are chopped into little chunks because they will cook more quickly. I leave the skins on.

While those are boiling, chop up your onion and toss the butter or olive oil into a fry pan. Saute for a few minutes and add your choice of meat. Continue to fry until browned. Add thyme or rosemary and salt and pepper. Now doesn’t that look tasty?

By this time, your potatoes should be soft. This might be a personal problem… If they are not, then simply boil them longer. Mush the potatoes up in a large bowl. If you’re fancy use a masher. If you’re not, use whatever tool is closest. Add your meat mixture and the cheese. Now that your filling is done you’re ready to knish it up.

Go find that dough. It’s been resting and listening to sexy music so it’s ready for action. Knead it for a few minutes. Divide and roll it into two eight inch long cylinders. Now things are heating up. Cut each cylinder into eight equal pieces. Now you have 16 little dough coins. Lay the coins out flat on a surface dusted with flour. Use a rolling pin or in my case a pint glass, to roll them out into flat discs as shown below.

 
Scoop out about 2 Tbsps of the filling and drop it in the center of the dough discs. Grab all of the edges, and pull them up to form a tulip shape.

Place all of the knishes on a tray. The look like little sacks of gold, and they are, just wait. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg white onto each finished knish.

 And this my friends is what they look like when you’re done. These are lots of fun, and can reheated later if you can’t eat them all in one go. Enjoy your sacks of gold.

Labels: dinner, dough, main, potatoes