April 30, 2009


Maureen E, 27 April 09, Festival Food

2 lbs ricotta pot cheese
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 lb butter
1/2 c fruit–golden raisins and apricots usually, cut into small bits
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 c sugar
1/2 c whole almonds and candied fruit for decorating

Drain ricotta. Combine fruit and nuts in rum and vanilla; let soak 1 hour.

Beat butter and cream cheese into the ricotta.

Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until it starts to bubble, NOT boil.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until it changes color and gets sluggish. Add slowly to heated cream, stirring CONSTANTLY! Cook over low heat until it is a thick custard (big batch takes 20-30 min). It will curdle if it boils–DO NOT BOIL. Take off heat; add fruit and nuts.

Set in bowl of ice water, stir until cool–fold gently into cheese mixture.

We usually use the little green potting pots (clean, obviously) to mold the pascha but you could use any sort of container with a drainage hole. Line it with cheese cloth and pour in the mixture. Place in a tray and put a weight on the top if you want. Let set in the refrigerator at least overnight (you’ll probably want it to stay in the fridge longer). Unwrap, turn it out on a plate as you would a cake. Decorate with fruit and nuts.


Maureen E, 27 April 09, Festival Food

Original recipe:
1 c lukewarm milk
6 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 tsp powdered saffron (1/2 tsp tumeric)
1/4 c rum
2 c powdered sugar
5-6 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
10 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 pound butter–cut into bits
1/2 c slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 c golden dried or candied fruits–apricot, papaya, mango, etc., cut into small bits

In 2008 we did 1 1/2 times the recipe and used 15 eggs. We also substituted 1/2 margarine and 2 Tbs butter for the 1/2 lb butter. While all butter is wonderful, it also leads to an extremely dense bread and rising problems. Usually we use 1/2 c golden raisins and 1/2 c mixed fruit, 3 Tbsp yeast for 1 1/2 times the recipe.

Dissolve yeast in milk with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Keep warm until it doubles in volume. Soak raisins and dried fruit in rum/brand and saffron/tumeric.

Combine powdered sugar, 4 cups of flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture, vanilla, and egg yolks. Add fruit and rum mixture and mix until smooth (or as smooth as possible with fruit). Add butter a little at a time. Dough will be soft. Kneed or mix 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Add up to 2 more cups of flour until dough is shiny and elastic.

Place in buttered bowl. Cover. **Place in a warm spot** Let rise until double. Punch down. Add almonds.

The traditional kulich shape is tall and fairly skinny. We use old tin cans to bake it in. The smallish coffee size is ideal but any largeish tin can should work. Line with foil and waxpaper, grease heavily. Fill can a little over half full with dough. Shape the top into a smooth dome. Cover with towel and put back in your warm place. Let rise until almost to the top of the can.

Preheat oven to 350/325 degrees. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the cans, then lower to 300 degress. Bake for one hour, or until done (depends on heat of oven and size of cans). Cool 5-10 minutes before removing from can.

Glaze with thick white icing: 1 c powdered sugar, 1/2 t vanilla, 1 Tbsp milk.


Maureen E, 8 Jan 09, Recipe Thread

Lebkuchen (Betty Crocker Christmas)
½ c honey
½ c molasses
¾ c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 t lemon peel, grated finely
1 T lemon juice
2 ¾ c flour
1 t ground allspice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground nutmeg
½ t baking soda
1/3 c cut-up citron
1/3 c chopped nuts [We like our Lebkuchen plain and leave out the citron and nuts. You can decorate the cookies with almond slivers though.]
For glaze:
1 c sugar
½ c water

Mix honey and molasses in saucepan. Beat to boiling, remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar, lemon peel, egg, and lemon juice. Stir in next 8 ingredients (or 6 if you’re leaving out the citron and nuts). Cover, refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll about ¼ dough at a time to ¼ inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into rectangles or circles [circles for me]. Place about 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake until no indentation remains when lightly touched, 10-12 minutes. Brush glaze over cookies.

Mix 1 c sugar, ½ c water in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat (do I need to add stirring constantly?) to 230 degrees, remove from heat. Stir in ¼ c powdered sugar. If it becomes sugar while you’re brushing the cookies, heat slightly and add a little water until it’s clear again.


Maureen E, 8 Jan 09, Recipe Thread

Stollen (originally from The Cooking of Germany)
Italicized ingredients can be omitted if desired.
1 c dried currents
1 c golden raisins
1 c mixed candied citrus peel
¼ c candied angelica, diced

½ c candied cherries, halved
½ c rum
¼ c lukewarm water
2 pkgs (T) yeast
¾ c sugar
5 ½ c + 2 T all-purpose flour
1 c milk
½ t salt
½ t freshly grated lemon peel
2 eggs at room temperature
¾ c unsalted butter, cut into bits [this year we used ½ cup of butter, ¼ c margarine left over from something else]
8 T melted unsalted butter (This is approximate. If you commonly dab your rising bread with bits of softened butter, or turn it over in a greased bowl, you really only need 2 T melted butter.)
1 c blanched slivered almonds [since we had both almond paste and almond extract this year, we left this out]
1 can almond paste
¼ c powdered sugar, sifted

Combine fruit and candied stuff in bowl. Pour rum over, soak for at least 1 hour. We usually just do candied cherries. This year it was ½ c, but I’d increase that a bit next year. Of course, I like candied cherries. We also didn’t do the rum because Stollen is flavorful enough without it.

Prepare the yeast by dissolving it in lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar.

Drain fruit, reserving the rum, pat dry. Place candied fruit in a bowl, sprinkle with 1 T flour, turn about with spoon until flour is absorbed. Set aside. (You may want a bit more than 1 T flour—I put too much in but I’d say you want it to actually stop being absorbed.) Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, ½ c sugar, and salt. Heat to lukewarm, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Take off heat, stir in almond extract, lemon peel. [This next bit is the way I did it this year and everyone agreed the Stollen was excellent. So.] Pour milk mixture then yeast mixture into large mixing bowl. If you have an upright mixer, I’d use it. Mix well.

Add about 4 c of flour, mixing after every cup or so. Add the eggs and the ¾ c unsalted butter. Let rest ten minutes. Add enough more flour to make a sticky dough, keeping in mind that you’ll be kneading in at least ½ more cup. [End my method.]

Turn out dough onto board with ½ c flour. Knead until dough is worked into flour. If necessary add more flour. This is where prior bread experience is handy. It should make a nice elastic dough. At some point in the kneading, press fruit into dough about ½ c at a time, knead it in but be careful not to overhandle as it will discolor the dough. (This is why you flour the fruit earlier.)

Coat deep bowl with 1 t melted butter, drop in dough. Brush top with 2 t melted butter. (Or grease your bowl with non-melted butter or what have you, drop in the dough, wiggle it about a bit and turn it over.) Cover, set in a warm place for 2 hours or until dough doubles.

Punch dough down and divide in two equal parts. Let rest for 10 min. Roll out into strips 12” long, 8” wide, ½” thick. Brush with 2 T melted butter and sprinkle with 2 T sugar. Fold strips lengthwise by bringing one long side over to center of strip; press down edge lightly. [If you are doing almond paste, before folding the Stollen over, roll the paste out into a cylinder about ½ in thick. Put it in the middle of the rolled out dough and fold the dough over, sealing in the almond paste.] Fold other long side across it, overlapping seam by 1 inch. Press edge gently (or not gently—you don’t want it springing up) to keep in place. Taper ends of loaf slightly. Should be about 3 ½-4 inches wide and 13 inches long. Place on greased cookie sheet, let rise until double. Bake at 300 until golden brown and crusty, about 45 minutes. You can brush with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar to help seal the bread and keep it soft. Just before serving, sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.


Maureen E, 8 Jan 09, Recipe Thread

Springerle (originally from Festive Cookies of Christmas)
4 eggs
2 c sugar
1 t anise extract
¼ t baking powder
grated peel of ½ lemon
4 c cake flour
4 t anise seed

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar, beat until mixture is almost white and thick enough to ribbon. Add anise, lemon peel, and baking powder. Gradually add sifted cake flour. Dough should be very firm. Add a little flour if necessary. Chill at least 2 hours (and usually more like overnight).

Dust wooden mold (Springerle have special carved wooden molds. You can get them individually or on a rolling pin. The rolling pin is faster but leads to great aggravation for everyone involved.) with cornstarch, tap off excess. Be sure it’s dusted, but also be sure that it doesn’t have too much cornstarch or flour in the cracks or else the mold won’t come out. It’s actually been a couple of years since I’ve been involved in making these, but I’d say err on the side of too little cornstarch/flour because this dough isn’t very very sticky (or shouldn’t be) and you do want the picture to turn out. Turn dough onto lightly-floured board, roll to ¼ inch thickness. Press molds into dough, bearing down firmly and evenly. Cut cookies apart with a floured knife (I think we just always use a sharp kitchen one and don’t bother about the flouring). Place on cookie sheet which has been greased and sprinkled with anise seed, about 1 inch apart. Cover with a tea towel, let stand in a cool place overnight.

The next morning, place in a 375 degree oven; immediately turn it down to 300 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on cake racks (in my handwritten copy of the recipe I somehow combined these two so that it says “cool on rakes.” Erm.). Store in airtight containers. Keeps for months. We have, on occasion, eaten Christmas Springerle the next fall. These are very hard cookies and excellent for dunking in tea or coffee. Or hot chocolate.

The Man’s No-Knead French Bread

Maureen E, 14 October 2008, from the Recipe Topic

From Herbcraft by Violet Schaefer. I’ve only made this once, but it was possibly the best French bread I’ve ever had.
1 pkg yeast
2 c lukewarm water
4 c flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt

To dry ingredients add any: (dried) basil, sage, dill, anise, rosemary, fennel
During mixing: (fresh) parsley, anise leaves, dill

Dissolve yeast in 1 c water. Add to flour sifted with salt and sugar (or just mix flour, salt and sugar together first). Add just enough of a second c of water to stir up a soft, sticky dough. Let rise until double, punch down, and divide into 2 loaves. Put in pans, buttered (or do the traditional baguette shaped loaves on a greased cookie sheet). Let rise until double. Put in cold oven and start at 400 degrees. Bake until brown on top and hollow-sounding. Remove from pans at once and cool on rack.

I put in about 1/2 t of fresh basil when I made it and would put in more next time.



Oatmeal Bread

Maureen E, 14 October 08, from the Recipe Topic


This is a fairly heavily adapted version of the “Smuggler’s Notch Oatmeal Bread” from the King Arthur flour website. It’s a fairly new recipe to us, but has quickly become a family favorite.
1/4 c butter softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1 3/4 c rolled oats
2 1/2 c hot water
2 t yeast
5-6 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t saltDissolve yeast in 1/4 c warm water. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Stir with fork. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and oats; stir in 2 1/4 c warm water. Add yeast. Add dry ingredients; mix with a large spoon. Let rest after adding 4 c flour, then add rest. Sprinkle cutting board or countertop with flour, turn out mixture onto it. Knead for several minutes by hand. Let dough rise in bowl, 1-1 1/2 hours. When it has doubled, return it to cutting board. Divide dough in half.

Grease two bread pans. Shape dough into loaf, place in pan and pat down. Allow to rise a second time, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When loaf has fully risen, slash top [we never do this step]. Bake about 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack.




Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Maureen E, 14 October 08, from the Recipe Topic


Honey Whole Wheat Bread
This came from the Indiana State Fair in…1993, I think. Early 90’s anyway. They had (have?) a Honey Queen and hand out honey recipes. This is our favorite.

2 pkgs dry yeast
1/3 c honey
1/4 c shortening
3 c whole wheat flour
3-4 c all-purpose flour
Butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c warm water
1 T. salt
1 3/4 c warm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 c warm water in mixing bowl. Stir in honey, salt, shortening, 1 3/4 c warm water, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Stir in enough of the all-purpose flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly-floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up. Cover, let rise in warm place 1 hour. Punch down and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Brush lightly with butter [we’ve never done this, but you’re welcome to if you like]. Let rise 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place loaves on low rack. Bake 40-45 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.