Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 203 other subscribers

Archive for the ‘Breads, Quickbreads & Muffins’ Category

postheadericon Mom’s Ham Salad

This ham salad was guaranteed to make an appearance in Mom’s kitchen twice a year; after Christmas and after Easter — the two times a year we had ham in a form other than center cut ham steaks which were always devoured completely at the meal when served.   But in my younger years, holiday dinners at our Coal Region home included far more folks than my immediate family and so what seemed to a kid like most humongous ham known to man-kind always appeared at the dining room table. Even with a lot of hungry mouths to feed, that meant plenty of leftover ham which was always a good thing!  Because leftover ham was only available twice a year, I looked forward to another one of my favorite holiday foods – ham salad!  I loved opening my metal Barbie (or Scooby Doo, or Monkees) lunchbox and finding a ham salad sandwich made on the square white bread I loved — you know the one — same “bottom” crust all the way around.  To insure I would have my “treat”, Mom always made sure to put some slices away immediately after Dad finished carving off the remnants of the Easter or Christmas ham. Even my ham-loving Pappy (grandfather) made sure to steer clear of the reserved ham; that yummy ham salad was so important to me!

I loved to help my Mom grind the ham for the salad through an old-fashioned, hand-cranked meat grinder clamped on to the side of the kitchen table.  I remember her years later, our roles reversed – she was now the observer watching me grinding and mixing – trying to hide the horrified look on her face as I pulled out my newly acquired food processor and commenced to tossing in the ham AND onion AND celery and EGG and employed the new preparation technique known as “pulsing”.    The look on her face may have been of dismay, but the look in her eyes as she gazed at that whirring wonder said, “Where have YOU been all my life?!?”  We officially retired the hand-cranked grinder for making ham salad that day.

This recipe is one that lends itself to customizing to your taste quite well…put the celery in or leave it out; use more or less mustard; use sweet or dill relish; add more mayo to make it creamier — see where I’m going with this?  There are many, many family recipes for ham salad, this is Mom’s and it is what I have always used. Sometimes, I don’t include eggs (after Christmas is usually egg-less — after Easter usually includes eggs because there are almost always hard-cooked eggs to be found in the fridge). Make it your own, however you do it, it is a classic way to use left-over ham in the Coal Region.

Mom’s Ham Salad

Mom’s Ham Salad

Ham Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound leftover ham, chopped in a food processor
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced sweet onion
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, drained OR dill pickle relish, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or as needed to get the consistency you favor
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Instructions

  1. Run the ham through a meat grinder
  2. OR
  3. Cut the ham, onion, and celery (and eggs if using) into small chunks then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped,
  4. Place ham, celery, onion, eggs, in mixing bowl.
  5. Add relish, mustard, and mayonnaise. Mix well, adjusting mayo to your taste.
  6. Chill and use as a spread on crackers, sandwich filling, to stuff tomatoes, etc.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/22/moms-ham-salad/

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Easter Resurrection Rolls or Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls

Super easy to make from only 5 ingredients and absolutely yummy, many families make these rolls at Easter to “tell” the story of the resurrection of Jesus.  Resurrection rolls (aka “Empty Tomb Rolls”, “Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls”) are dough with marshmallows wrapped inside, which become hollow as they bake and the marshmallow melts representing the empty tomb of Jesus on Easter morning.  You don’t have to have a particular religious affiliation, or any affiliation at all, to enjoy these rolls. They are a real treat for all and a great family baking activity, kids love making them, and kids of all ages adore eating them; how can you not like a soft billowy roll with a melt-y caramel, sticky sweet interior?  They should be served warm from the oven.

Each ingredient in Resurrection Rolls represents a part of the resurrection story.

  • The white marshmallow represents Jesus’ body .
  • The butter and cinnamon sugar mixture represent the oils and spices used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial according to the Jewish customs of the time.
  • The dough represents burial cloths.
  • The oven represent the tightly sealed and guarded tomb.
  • Time in the oven represents the three days Jesus was in the tomb.
  • The hollow space inside the baked roll upon opening represents that Jesus’  body was no longer in the tomb when the women came to see him on Sunday.

Easter Resurrection Rolls

Easter Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection Rolls / Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls

Ingredients

  • 16 large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 (8-oz.) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough, and separate each roll along perforations.
  3. Roll marshmallows in melted butter, and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Place one coated marshmallow in the middle of an unrolled crescent dough segment, and roll the marshmallow up in the dough taking care to completely encase the marshmallow by stretching, folding and pinching the dough around it.
  5. Place rolls on a parchment lined cookie sheet , and bake at 350˚ for about 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. If desired, immediately after removing rolls from the oven, brush with remaining melted butter and then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  7. Serve warm.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/02/easter-resurrection-rolls-or-disappearing-marshmallow-rolls/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Italian Easter Bread (Pane di Pasqua)

Bread has incredible significance in many cultures on Easter tables; on the Italian Easter table, bread has a religious significance — Christ is often referred to as “the bread of life.”  This Italian Easter Bread is braided with eggs for not only a festive look, but also signifies signs from nature of new life, just as Christians celebrate new life in the risen Christ. It is baked in the shape of a wreath to symbolize the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at the crucifixion. The three pieces of dough braided together represent the three elements of the Holy Trinity.  During Lent, many households abstain from rich foods and sweets. The end of Lent brings about a time to celebrate and indulge which often includes Easter breads which are sweet, egg-enriched, and often contain dried fruit which at one time was a luxury item. This particular bread is traditionally made for Italian and Greek Easter celebrations though many Eastern European countries also claim it as their own. It is no wonder that this bread often makes an appearance on Easter tables in the Anthracite Coal Region where those cultures are extremely well represented.

There are many family recipes for this bread, none are “right” or “wrong” and each is as delicious as the other.  This recipe features a slightly sweet  dough with tones of citrus and anise. If you desire, you could knead in some candied fruit or raisins to your dough. You will be using raw eggs which will cook as the bread bakes, so handle them gently when dying them and be sure to use food-safe dyes. The eggs get placed between the “ropes” of bread dough that form the braid,  so remember to braid loosely when working with your dough. The eggs get placed in the dough braid before the last rise and tend to want to roll outward during the rise if placed close to the outside of the braid, so keep the eggs slightly toward the inside of the dough circle when inserting them. Glaze is optional, the choice is yours. You can also dress up the glazed top with colorful sprinkles or sliced almonds. You can make this recipe as individual “nests” with a single egg in each if you desire.

Italian Easter Bread (Pane di Pasqua)

Italian Easter Bread (Pane di Pasqua)

Italian Easter Bread

Ingredients

    Bread
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to 100 F degrees
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced (you need approximately ½ c juice)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise or pure anise extract
    Braid
  • 6 raw eggs, dyed if desired in food-safe coloring
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water for brushing
    OPTIONAL Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

    Dough
  1. In a small bowl, mix the warm milk with the sugar until dissolved. Add the yeast and set aside until foamy, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, stir together 3 c ups flour and the salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the orange juice and zest, eggs, melted butter, and anise.
  4. Add the yeast mixture and orange juice mixture to the flour, stirring until moistened. Add the remaining flour to the dough, a little at a time, mixing until the dough comes together.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until soft and smooth. (or knead in mixer).
  6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough with oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a towel, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    Shaping
  1. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.
  3. Using both hands, roll each piece into a 24” rope. If dough does not want to stretch to form a long rope, cover it lightly and let it sit for a 10 minutes to relax.
  4. Lay the three ropes side-by-side, pinch one end of them together and loosely braid the ropes of dough.
  5. Gently place and shape the braid into a circle on a parchment lined baking sheet and pinch ends together to close the circle.
  6. Carefully tuck the raw eggs into the braid placing them on top and toward the inner edge of the braid to prevent them from rolling outward during the next rise.
  7. Gently brush the dough ring with egg wash; avoid getting too close to the eggs to prevent the dye from running.
  8. Let the ring rise until puffy and doubled, approximately 1 hour.
    Baking
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake tor 25 minutes or until golden and braid sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
    OPTIONAL Glaze
  1. Once the bread is cool, combine confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add more milk if necessary until smooth but not runny. Drizzle over the Italian Easter bread around the eggs
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/01/italian-easter-bread-pane-di-pasqua/

Individual Breads

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Pagach (aka “Pierogi Pizza”)

Pagach is made of mashed potatoes and dough (sometimes with cabbage or sauerkraut instead of potatoes).  It originated as a Lenten dish in Slavic regions. It is popular in Northeastern Pennsylvania (the “Coal Region) and Southwestern Pennsylvania, areas shaped by the large population of Catholic immigrants from Eastern European countries. Pagach can be served as a side or as a main meal. Many times it is made as Friday night supper since it contains no meat. Pagach can be rolled out round or in a rectangle.

The potatoes or cabbage filling will often include butter, onions, cheese, and seasoning. Think of it as if a pierogi and a pizza fell in love and had an offspring! Although, traditionally, the filling is encased in the dough, in many restaurants in Northeast and Southwest Pennsylvania, it is constructed as a typical “pizza” — the fillings placed on top of the rolled out dough then baked, hence the name  “pierogie pizza”.  Pagach is delicious while it’s still warm, but can also be eaten the next day. You could use it as a side dish, a snack, or as a meal on its own.

This recipe is for the traditional construction of the filled and flattened pagach and includes three fillings: potato, cabbage, and sauerkraut.

Pagach (“Pierogi Pizza”)

Pagach (“Pierogi Pizza”)

Pagach

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 3/4 cup scalded milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 -1/4 ounce packet dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 F)
    Fillings
    Cabbage:
  • 1 medium head cabbage, chopped fine
  • Butter
  • Saute cabbage in butter until soft.
    Potato:
  • 3 medium potatoes, mashed with no added liquid
  • Chopped chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Combine potatoes, chives, and egg
  • OPTIONAL: add shredded cheddar cheese to taste if desired
    Sauerkraut:
  • 1/2 pound sauerkraut, drained
  • Butter
  • Fry sauerkraut slowly in butter about 5 minutes.

Instructions

  1. Make filling of your choice, cool.
  2. In large bowl, pour milk over salt, sugar, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
  4. Add egg to lukewarm milk mixture.
  5. Add yeast/water mixture.
  6. Add about half the flour. Beat well.
  7. Add remainder of flour. Beat well.
  8. Turn out onto floured board and knead about 5 minutes.
  9. Place in greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk - 1-1/2 to 2 hours approx.
  10. Divide dough into 2 portions.
  11. Flatten/roll out one piece to about 2-inch thickness.
  12. Place desired filling in center.
  13. Draw up outside edges of dough to encase filling and pinch together to cover filling. The end result should look similar to a coin purse.
  14. Roll this "pouch" out gently to about 3/4 inch thick. Filling should remain inside dough. Think of a disk with the filling completely contained inside. Follow the same method for remaining half of the dough.
  15. Place each disk on a greased cookie sheet.
  16. Let rise about 1-½ hours.
  17. Bake at 375 F degrees about 20 to 30 minutes.
  18. When done, serve warm slathered with butter or sour cream. May also be brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/26/pagach-aka-pierogi-pizza/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Kolacz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Kołacz (from Polish:  Koło: “disk”, “circle”, “wheel”) is a traditional Polish pastry, originally a wedding cake (Kolacz Weslney) dating to the start of the 13th century, that has made its way into American homes, including homes in the Anthracite Coal Region due to the heavy influence of Eastern European immigrants to the area to work in the coal mines. Served around the Christmas and Easter holidays, this “cake” is a yeast-raised coffee cake similar to babka but made in a round pan without a central hole (wheel shaped).

Kolacz traditionally is made in four different varieties: with just crumbs (without filling), with cheese, poppy or apple filling. Some make a lattice top over the filling, others adorn theirs with braids and bird shapes. This recipe is for the popular cheese-filled version and has a crumb topping. This recipe traditionally uses pot cheese in the cheese layer. Pot cheese is very simple to make yourself, takes only three ingredients, and not a lot of time. It keeps in the refrigerator up to four days, so you could make it ahead for use. If you do not want to make pot cheese or cannot buy it, drained cottage cheese may be substituted.

Kolocz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Kolocz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Polish Kolacz

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 105 - 110F degrees
  • 3 cups flour or as needed
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve whites for use in filling)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    Cheese filling:
  • 2 cups drained cottage cheese (drain in cheesecloth lined colander until liquid is gone)
  • OR Homemade pot cheese (See "Notes" below for making your own pot cheese)
  • 2 whole eggs plus reserved egg whites from the cake
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
    Topping:
  • 1/4 of cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for use in the cheese filling.
  3. In stand mixer, beat the eggs with 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add yeast mixture and the remaining cake ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix well with a dough hook to obtain a smooth dough.
  5. Spray the dough with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
    Filling
  1. Separate the eggs.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the two reserved eggs whites from the dough to the other two whites and beat until stiff peaks.
  3. Place the pressed cottage cheese in another mixing bowl and add sugar and blend it together.
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time to the cheese mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add the egg whites in two steps, folding in gently after each addition.
    Assembly
  1. Spray a spring form pan with a non stick spray and line the bottom with a parchment paper circle.
  2. Divide your dough in to two parts.
  3. Spread one part on the bottom of the pan, add the cheese in a layer, then cover with the remaining dough.
  4. Brush top with melted butter.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes.
    Topping
  1. In a mixing bowl add cubed cold butter, sugar and flour and blend with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Sprinkle top of the cake with topping mixture and bake for 55 minutes.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil if it starts brown too quickly.
  5. Cool completely before un-molding and cutting.

Notes

Pot cheese is very east to make and is a consistency between cottage cheese and the firmer farmer's cheese. You only need 3 ingredients and a little time. This can be stored up to four days so you can make it in advance.

Ingredients: 6 cups of whole milk 2 cups of full fat sour cream 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Instructions: Combine the milk and sour cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. The milk will begin separating into curds. Add the salt and continue stirring for 30 seconds longer. When the curds are separated, turn off the heat. Cover the pot with a towel and let it set for two hours. Using a knife, run it back and forth across the pot in both directions to lightly break up the curds into smaller pieces Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the curds from the pan to a large colander lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Bring up the edges of the cheesecloth, squeeze lightly, then fasten or tie the ends together forming a pouch. Leave the pouch in the colander and set the colander over a bowl and let the whey drain off for 30 minutes. You can adjust this time to get the cheese to your desired consistency. Drain longer for a firmer cheese and less for a looser cheese. Transfer to a clean container and use immediately or place in the refrigerator. It will stay keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/21/kolacz-slaski-sweet-cheese-bread/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Super Easy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Sometimes, there is nothing better to me than a warm piece of garlic bread dipped in my favorite pizza or pasta sauce. Forget the pasta and meatballs – give me the garlicky dough and I will make a meal out of it! I also like easy. Don’t get me wrong, I often spend hours, or even the better part of the day, cooking, but I welcome a break once in awhile. A loaf of frozen bread dough in the freezer is often a great shortcut to yumminess and this super easy garlic pull apart loaf is a perfect example. Kids love getting involved in making this, and everyone in the family loves eating it.

Super Easy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Super Easy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Super Easy Pull Apart Garlic Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) frozen white bread dough, thawed

Instructions

  1. n a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, garlic powder and garlic salt.
  2. Cut dough into 1-in. pieces; dip into butter mixture.
  3. Layer in a greased 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Bake in preheated 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Turn out onto serving platter.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/14/super-easy-garlic-pull-apart-bread/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Irish Soda Bread

As St Paddy’s Day approaches, our thoughts often turn to irish foods and traditions. Soda bread is a quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as “baking soda”, or in Ireland, “bread soda”) is used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide.

According to The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread (I’m not joking…), “All recipes for traditional soda bread contain flour, baking soda, sour milk (buttermilk) and salt.  That’s it!!!  This was a daily bread that didn’t keep long and had to be baked every few days.  It was not a festive “cake” and did not contain whisky, candied fruit, caraway seeds, raisins (add raisins and it becomes “spotted dog” not to be confused with the pudding made with suet of the same name), or any other ingredient.” The bread was traditionally baked in a cast iron skillet.

The Americanized version of soda bread that many of us are familiar with often contains sugar, raisins or currants, citrus zest, even butter.  Back in the early 1800’s, when it was introduced, soda bread was a poor man’s bread and would not have been made with those relatively luxurious ingredients.

The cross on the soda bread has several explanations, Legend has it that folks did it to bless the bread and to “let the devil out” while it’s baking for good luck, and others say that it made it easy to divide into 4 pieces. It was also a symbol for a cross during Christian holidays. It also allows the heat to permeate the thickest part of the loaf, allowing for more even baking.  (This recipe from Tish Boyle Sweet Dreams)

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups (323 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups (185 g) cake flour * (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk ** (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flours, baking soda, sugar, and salt together into a large bowl.
  4. Add the raisins and caraway seeds and make a well in the center.
  5. Add the melted butter and buttermilk to the well and gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until a dough forms.
  6. Gently knead the dough with your hands a few times and shape it into a large ball with a taut top (don’t handle the dough too much – the more you handle it, the tougher it gets).
  7. Place the dough on the baking sheet and flatten it slightly. To make the cross on top, use a sharp, serrated knife the make a cut about 1 to 1-12 inch deep.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with some flour and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Wrap the bread in a tea towel when it comes out of the oven. Cool in the tea towel set on a wire rack.
  10. This bread is best eaten the day it’s made but can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and frozen for up to 2 months.

Notes

* To make your own "cake flour": Measure and add 1 cup all-purpose flour to a mixing bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the bowl. Mix to sift together the cornstarch and flour mixture. Use as needed in your recipe.

** To make your own 'buttermilk" Mix 1 T white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to 1 cuo whole milk. Stir and allow to sit for 10 - 15 minutes. Use as needed in your recipe. If you need more than a cup, just keep the ratios the same. For two cups, use two cups of milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/10/irish-soda-bread/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Paska Bread

Paska is a traditional Easter bread originating in countries with predominant Eastern Orthodox religion or cultural connections to the ancient Byzantine Empire and are a traditional element in the Easter holidays of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Slovakia among others; countries well represented in the Coal Region. The liquid drained from another Eastern European traditional Easter food, Hrudka (Egg Cheese) is often saved and used in the making of the Paska bread (using this liquid as the “water” in the recipe). Hrukda is often served on Paska bread with kielbasi or ham, topped with red beet horseradish. Christian symbolism is associated with features of paska breads and the dough is usually shaped into round loaves decorated with religious symbols made of dough.  The bread is often made on Good Friday, placed in a basket along with other items like hrudka, butter, eggs, horseradish, kielbasi and ham to be taken to church and blessed on Holy Saturday, then enjoyed at Easter morning brunch. These items were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at the table, people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the Coal Region and across the United States, especially in parishes with Eastern European roots. This recipe uses raisins; some family recipes do not. None are “right” or “wrong”, do what suits your taste!  This recipe has directions for using a stand mixer, it can also be made by hand.

Paska

Paska

Paska

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm (100 to 105F) water
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • OPTIONAL - 1 cup golden raisins
    Egg wash
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk, butter sugar and salt in a sauce pan over low heat until the butter and sugar are melted. Do not boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm (100 - 105F).
  2. Place the lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Leave for 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and mix on low-speed until combined.
  4. Add the lukewarm milk mixture, eggs and the remaining flour. Mix until combined. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer bowl. If the dough seems loose add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it pulls away from the sides of bowl.
  5. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 -8 minutes until you have a soft smooth dough which springs back slowly when you poke your finger into it.
  6. If adding raisins, knead them in now.
  7. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm spot for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide it into two pieces, one twice as large as the other.
  9. Form the larger piece into a ball and place it into a well-greased 9″ x 2″ round pan or springform pan.
  10. Divide the remaining piece of dough into three equal pieces, and roll each out into a 20″ strand. Create a braid with the strands.
  11. Place the braid on the round main loaf around the inside edge of the pan, or use it to form a cross over the top of the larger piece of dough.
  12. Cover the loaf and let it rise until doubled, about 45 - 60 minutes.
  13. Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center.
    Egg wash
  1. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water. Brush the mixture gently over the top of the dough.
  2. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Remove it from oven, turn out of the pan, and cool completely on rack.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/06/paska-bread/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Baked Paczki (Polish Doughnuts)

As the Easter season approaches, many of us in the Coal Region look to tradition for our final indulgences in foods that were often abstained from during the Lenten season.  The day before the start of Lent, known as “Fat Tuesday” (or Shrove Tuesday) in many regions is often referred to as “Donut Day” or “Fasnacht Day” in the Pa Dutch and Coal Regions. Due to our heavy influence of Eastern European cultures and immigrants, it is also known as “Paczki Day” in many Polish households. As with other cultures in our region, the making of paczki is traditionally a way to use up all of the fat, sugar, and fruit in the house–things that are forbidden during the strict Polish Lenten season. In Poland, Paczki Day, the day when all of the last paczki are consumed, is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. In the USA, Paczki Day is the day before Ash Wednesday. The difference between these and a basic doughnut is that paczki are made with a very rich, sweet yeast dough consisting of eggs, butter and milk. Sort of like a brioche doughnut. Traditionally, paczki are fried in hot fat, but many people either do not have the kitchen equipment to deep fry, or they prefer not to do so due to health or safety concerns. This is a recipe for BAKED paczki that are just as delicious as their fried counterparts and baking them gives you a great kid-friendly recipe and opportunity to involve the younger members of the household in the process to introduce them to family traditions! Paczki can be filled with a variety of fruit jams or cremes, but the most traditional filling is a stewed plum jam or rose hip jam. The easiest way to fill these is to use a pastry bag fitted with a Bismarck Tip. If you do not have a bag/tip, you can cut a slit in the side of the baked dough and spoon in some jam. Fill with your favorite fruit preserve or even lemon curd or custard. Baked paczki last longer than fried, but are still best consumed the day they are made.

Baked Paczki (Polish Doughnuts)

Baked Paczki (Polish Doughnuts)

Baked Paczki (Polish Donuts)

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups warm milk (105 to 110 degrees F)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
  • 1 large room-temperature egg
  • 3 large room-temperature egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (or rum)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Optional: Granulated sugar, Confectioners' sugar, and fruit paste or jam for filling

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolks, brandy or rum and salt until well incorporated.
  3. Still using the paddle attachment, add 4-1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for five or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. The dough will be very slack. If very soft or runny, add up to the remaining 1/2 cup flour.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk approximately 1-1/2 to 2 -1/2 hours. Punch down, cover and let rise again.
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2 to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Transfer rounds to parchment-lined baking sheets, cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.
  6. Heat oven to 375F degrees.
  7. Place pączki in the oven on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick tests clean when inserted into center.
  8. Remove from oven and roll in granulated sugar while still hot or confectioners' sugar when cool.
  9. To fill the pączki, let them cool completely then pipe or spoon in filling.
  10. Baked pączki are best eaten the day they are made.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/02/14/baked-paczki-polish-doughnuts/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

postheadericon Choose Your Fruit Coffee Cake

When I find myself staring at the walls or in the midst of a bad case of cabin fever…I make food.  I “cook” as much as I “bake” and if pressed to answer the question, “Which do you enjoy more?” my answer would be that baking squeaks out the win. After doing some soul searching on why that would be my choice, I realized that I have a huge file of recipes for baked goods that I can turn out quickly, often with less stress, mess, and fuss than non-desserts. Plus, there are just some days where a big ‘ole piece of cake wins out over a four-course meal in the happiness department. One of my favorite quick-to-whip-up snacks is this coffee cake which makes use of just about any fruit I might have hanging out in the fridge at any time of year. I have even used a jar of good quality jam as the fruit filling in a pinch (Oooo, I just made it easier to make – now I have no excuses not to!) This cake was a favorite of my parents. My Dad always had a cup of coffee while we were still gathered around the kitchen table after supper together every night and really liked something sweet to accompany it. After I found this recipe and made it the first time, Dad laughingly remarked it tasted “moor-ish” (he wanted “more”) and pretty much demolished the cake by the next day. After that, it became one of my most requested creations and we had a blast trying fruit after fruit throughout the year. We never did have one that emerged as a “favorite”…they were all greeted and devoured with enthusiasm. I cannot remember how many times I baked this coffee cake, but each and every time I do, in my memories I see us sitting at the kitchen table, sharing the laughs of the day with each other.  I think I’ll go stir up this cake — and some memories — right now. (Recipe from a classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)

Choose Your Fruit Coffee Cake

Yield: 9

Choose Your Fruit Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

Ingredients

    Fruit
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups sliced, peeled apricots or peaches; chopped, peeled apples; chopped pineapple; pitted cherries; blueberries, blackberries or red raspberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    Cake
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons cold salted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk (to sour milk, mix 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar with the milk, stir, and allow to stand for 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold salted butter

Instructions

    Filling
    Apricot/peach/apple/pineapple/cherry/blueberry filling – combine prepared fruit and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until fruit is tender.
  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into fruit. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thicken and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set filling aside.
    Blackberry/red raspberry filling – Combine fruit, water, sugar and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thicken and bubbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set filling aside.
    Prepare crumb topping
  1. Mix flour and sugar in a small bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.
    Prepare Cake
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. (325F degrees if using glass baking pan)
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, mix egg, buttermilk (or sour milk) and vanilla; pour into flour mixture. stir with wooden spoon until just moistened – some lumps may remain.
  4. Spread half the batter into a lightly greased 8x8x2-inch square baking pan.
  5. Spread cooled fruit filling evenly over batter.
  6. Drop remaining batter in small mounds on top of fruit filling.
  7. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  8. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Serve warm or cooled. Store covered with plastic wrap for up to two days.

Notes

Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake: Prepare as above, except substitute 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cut-up rhubarb and 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries for fruit. Continue as directed.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/23/choose-your-fruit-coffee-cake/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page