Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Irish Soda Bread - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - Fourth Installment!  The recipe is Irish Soda Bread.

Yum!  I love this kind of bread.  I will definitely make this recipe again.

This was simplicity itself, after the Rugelach.  Four ingredients...ahhh.  I was a bit skeptical, since I have made many loaves of Irish Soda Bread, but never made a white loaf without any butter in it.  The two types that my grandmother used to make (and that I have continued to make) are "Brown" (kind of like this recipe, but with the Irish-style whole wheat flour plus wheat germ) and "White" (more of a cake-like bread with dried fruit and plenty of butter in the dough).  But, I should have know to trust in Marion Cunningham ;-)  I loved the result - it was plain, but not too plain. 

The dough seemed rather wet:
 but it baked up perfectly, and was cooked through.  It even kept pretty well into the next day (despite what the recipe said about it turning "as hard as the Blarney Stone" (cliche alert ;-). 

It was great spread with jam for a mid-morning snack with tea.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rugelach - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - Third Installment!  The recipe is Rugelach.

This was a project that stretched over three days:
Day 1: Made the dough and fillings (prune and apricot lekvar)
Day 2: Rolled the dough out, filled it, and rolled it up
Day 3: Sliced the rolls and baked the cookies

Calling these cookies seems like a misnomer - they are like miniature rolls!   Talk about stuffed with filling....what a crazy amount of nuts and fruit.

I used four different fillings - one for each of the four rolls:
- Apricot lekvar
- Prune lekvar
- Chocolate hazelnut spread plus fruits and nuts
- Chocolate hazelnut spread plus nuts only

So, the first two rolls followed the recipe in the book, and the second two were improvised based on the chat and ideas on the web site.

The results were all very tasty.  I do love dried fruit and nuts - these were not as popular with our household members who are more chocolate-centric :-)  I used a mix of raisins, chopped dried apricots, and dried cherries for the fruit that got sprinkled over the filling.  I used a mix of nuts as well - walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamias (had a bit of everything left from holiday baking).  It was fun to have such a wild combination, as opposed to the typical thing with one kind of nut and/or one kind of dried fruit.
Giant layer of nuts and fruit

Some notes on the recipe:

  • Now that I'm looking at the photo on the TWD site, I think I put my rugelach on the sheet the wrong way - they should have been seam side down, rather than lying them down on the cut side!  Or did I just invent something new? ;-)
  • The lekvar was easy to make. 
  • The rolls seemed not to be securely enough rolled, and they unfurled during the baking process.  I wasn't sure how to seal the rolls shut, since they were so stuffed with filling, so maybe this is expected.
  • The recipe was right to warn about watching for too much caramelizing on the bottoms of the rugelach.
  • I had a fair amount of cinnamon sugar nut coating left over at the end.  I think I will save it for another baking project or sprinkling on my oatmeal.

Unrolled during baking