Here’s an easy, delicious, and gorgeous recipe i tried for the first time and was pretty successful! Taken from my old Betty Crocker International Cookbook. When i posted it on facebook, a friend noted that it would make a great Challah bread for Shabbat and some of YHWH’s Feasts! Unbeknowst to me at the time, the little write up for the recipe in the cookbook suggested exactly that!
French Cheese Braid
“The rich yellow dough used to make this braid (the French call it natte) is similar to the Jewish holiday bread called Challah, but somewhat richer in flavor and flecked with bits of cheese. It is delicious as a luncheon or light supper bread served with soup and salad.”
1 package active dry yeast (i use 1 tablespoon)
3/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Real salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
6 ounces Swiss or Gruyère cheese, shredded or diced (about 1 1/2 cups) (i use mozzarella or cheddar)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (I use my Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook). Place in a greased bowl; turn greased side up. (i spray the dough and bowl with my Misto olive oil sprayer and leave the dough in the same mixing bowl). Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, 1 to 2 hours. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. (If you can’t find a warm spot in your house, set the bowl in a bowl or pan of hot water)
Punch down dough; knead in cheese until well distributed. Divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into a rope, 15 inches long. Place ropes together on lightly greased cookie sheet. Braid ropes gently and loosely; do not stretch. Pinch ends to fasten; tuck under securely. Brush lightly with oil. Let rise until double, 40-50 mintues. (May have to set your sheet on top of the pan of hot water again)
Heat oven to 375F, Beat egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water slighty; brush over braid. Place on oven rack below center of oven. Bake until braid sounds hollow when tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. If braid is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
My experience is that this baked fully at 25 minutes and the braid needs covering at about the 18 minute mark.
This is perfect bread to accompany soup!
Nearing the end of Jerry’s two weeks of liquid diet!
3 cups home made chicken stock
1 bunch of asparagus
2 cups milk
Cut the tips off the asparagus (i cut them about 2 inches long) and set aside. Combine the rest of the asparagus (i cut the stalks into 3 inch lengths so they’d fit in my 3 quart pot more easily) into the chicken stock along with the quartered onion. Heat to just boiling, turn down heat then cover and simmer about an hour. Add the milk, heat through, then strain soup through a cheese cloth after removing vegetables with a slotted spoon. Add some salt if you like. I never add pepper for this purpose of healing from hernia operation because it’s imperative that he not have any indigestion.
Use organic, local, and dairy products from grassfed cows if possible.
Jerry is a picky eater and even he liked this one!
The latest in my adventures into liquid diet entrees.
Cream of Lettuce Soup
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter from grassfed cows
2 cups finely chopped dark green lettuce
1/4 cup organic white wheat flour
3 cups home made chicken stock
1 cup milk, cream, or half-n-half from grassfed cows
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper (optional)
Cook and stir onion in a 3 quart sacepan over low heat until tender. Stir in finely chopped lettuce. Cover and cook over low heat until lettuc wilts, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper (optional); cook and stir 1 minute. Add chicken stock, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Remove from heat and whisk in milk, return to stove and heat to just boiling. Remove from heat and it’s ready.
If you need to strain this one, you could, but if you cook those onions and lettuce to be really soft, you may not need to.
The chooks (laying hens) practically stopped laying eggs this winter, so bread making had to be adjusted. This super easy and relatively quick recipe is officially to make burger buns, but creativity can turn them into hot dog buns, loaf bread, or slice thin and broil with cheese and/or garlic butter or make mini-pizzas. Cut smaller rounds for cocktail buns. Recipe modified from the original found in the very helpful “Dining On A Dime” cookbook.
Try to use homegrown, local, or organic ingredients whenever possible. There are several search sites online to help you find sources near your home.
Easy Hamburger Buns
5-6 cups flour (preferably unbleached white and/or stone ground – using 100% stone-ground can affect how high the buns rise)
2 pkgs or 2 Tablespoons yeast
1 cup milk (organic or local, real (raw) from cows grazing on pasture)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil ( i use olive oil if i use oil, but mostly i use home made applesauce)
1/4 cup sugar (organically grown cane to avoid GMO)
1 Tablespoon salt (Real salt)
butter, melted (same as milk)
Stir together 2 cups flour and yeast. In a saucepan over medium, heat milk, water, oil, sugar, and salt to very warm (120ºF-130ºF/50ºC-55ºC). Add liquid all at once to flour mixture Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes) on medium speed with electric mixer or 300 strokes by hand. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough; mix well. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll out on a well-floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch round cutter (or rim of glass). Place rounds on greased baking sheets. Let rise in warm place (80ºF/27ºC) for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425ºF (230ºC) and bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush melted butter on the tops whilst still warm. Make 12-20 buns. (depending on how thick you cut them). For burger buns, I like at least 15, otherwise it’s just more bread than one needs to make a nice sandwich.
Substitutions and ideas:
I use 1/2 cup of prepared applesauce instead of olive oil.
Add 1/2 cup of ground seeds (i’ve used chia, but flax, sesame, or hemp would likely work as well)
Try 1/2 and 1/2 with unbleached white flour and stone-ground whole wheat.
I warm the oven for about 10 minutes, then turn it off and place the buns inside to rise. However, this slows down the process, because they need to be taken out before preheating the oven for baking.