Monday, April 18, 2016

Something out of Nothing V: Bottom of the Bag Yuft' Bread (And a Word About Cheese Sandwiches)

A few years ago I learned that one unit of rye and two of oats (by weight, I imagine) was called yuft'  in 17th century Russia.  Ever since I have been thinking of possible uses for yuft'.  Yuft' granola is a strong front-runner, as is yuft'meal porridge.  This year, while taking inventory for my pre-peysekh bottom-of-the-bag bread I found I had close to three pounds of yuft' and seized the moment to make this bread.
Have a shufty as well at Bottom of the Bag BreadBottom of the Bag Pancakes, Bottom of the Bag Muffins and Bottom of the Bag Cookies from previous years, and Lindy’s Something out of Nothing roundup.

This bread is milkhik and requires some sufficiently terrifying identification as such. 

Something out of Nothing V: Bottom of the Bag Yuft' Bread

1 1/2 cups water
5 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal porridge
4 tablespoons salt (this seems like a lot of salt, but really, it needed even a little bit more)
8 ounces coconut oil, melted
8 ounces molasses
about 12 ounces kefir
2 cups yogurt
1 pound 9 ounces all-purpose flour
1 pound light rye flour
1 pound 6 1/2 ounces rolled oats
9 ounces whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups cooked kamut berries (3/4 cup kamut cooked in lavishly salted water for an hour)

An egg for egg wash
White and black sesame seeds
Coarse sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups water.  When it becomes foamy add the porridge, salt, and other liquid ingredients,  and stir to blend well.  knead in the flours and oats.  If you are using a mixer, this will need to be done in two batches.  The dough will be heavy and sticky.  Knead well for about twenty minutes and knead in the kamut berries.

Allow the dough to rise two hours .  Punch down and leave to rise overnight in the refrigerator.  Form the cold dough into six loaves and proof for about an hour and a half.

Heat the oven to 375.

Brush the loaves with two coats of egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt.  Place the loaves in the oven and lower heat to 350.  Bake for forty-five minutes or until they are well-browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

This made densely-textured bread that sliced up beautifully and was admirably suited to grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Since I have gone and brought up the subject of grilled cheese sandwiches, you must allow me to beg your indulgence on one small matter.  You will think that this is extra work and a bit of a bother, and you are right, but please pay heed.  If you are planning to add a slice of tomato, or some thin shavings of onion, or anything of that sort to your sandwiches, you must first grill the vegetables so that they are sizzling hot and only then assemble the sandwiches.  A sandwich with a slice of cold, raw tomato will never get completely hot and melty all the way through, and it is this that makes life worth living. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Peysekh Survival: Counting Down and Stocking Up

I do not know if I will be able to tough it out for the next nine days, but so far this year I have bought one (1) one-pound box of matzo meal.  This is all I need.  I almost never use more than that.  A few batches of matzo balls and enough leftover meal to dredge a few cutlets.  I am hoping that writing and posting this will keep me strong, because the awful truth is, I cannot wait to run out and buy more matzo meal.  I am so afraid of running out.  While I was congratulating myself on heroic self-restraint in the matzo-meal department, I ordered 12 liters of olive oil and four cases of wine.  Three and a half, really.  Three and seven twelfths.
Make lots of matzo balls. More than you think you will possibly need. You do not even need soup to enjoy matzo balls. Lora Brody suggests eating them cold with butter. I like them grilled. You may also cut them into cubes and use as a peysekhdik tofu-substitute.

Wonderful Matzo Balls

Break five lovely eggs into a bowl.  Season lavishly with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika.  Add a a quarter cup water and ¼ cup melted butter or Spectrum extra virgin coconut oil. (I will permit olive oil, but for anyone privileged to make a milkhik feast I really urge you to try butter because, like, wow.)  Beat the egg mixture and while gradually sprinkling in enough Streits matzo meal (just about one generous cup) to make a loose, muddy mixture. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Bring a large pot of wildly salted water to a boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer. Roll matzo-batter into balls the size of walnuts. Lower them gently into into the water and cook, covered, with n o   p e e k i n g, for 40 minutes.

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