Challah

I have been making challah for years in my stand up large mixer. I went to a challah bake and we all made challah by hand and there is no comparison. A much lighter delicious challah. Try it, you will not be sorry.

INGREDIENTS
2 Sachets Instant Yeast
1 Cup Oil
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs
4 ½ Cups Water – Have made with both cold and luke warm water.
2 kg All Purpose (Cake) Flour
2 Tbls Salt

METHOD
Oven 190ºC (375 ºF)
1 Using a large plastic bowl add the water and the yeast and using a wire whisk, whisk for 5 minutes.
2 Add the sugar and continue to whisk for 2 minutes
3 Add the oil and continue to whisk for 3 minutes
4 Add the eggs and continue to whisk for 3 minutes
5 Start adding the flour cup by cup whisking each cup in. Add the salt with the 2nd cup.
6 When you feel you cannot whisk anymore because the mixture is too stiff, remove the whisk and mix in the rest of the flour by hand.
7 Once all the flour is incorporated and you have a soft but not sticky dough, coat with a little oil.
8 Cover with plastic wrap and a blanket and allow to rise till doubled in size.
9 I often make the dough late at night and let it rise till morning out of the fridge.
10 Punch down the dough, separate a small piece of dough the size of a golf ball and say the blessing. Wrap the piece of dough in foil and burn it in the oven
11 Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces and plait.
12 Place on a baking tray and cover with plastic and a blanket and allow to rise until double in size.
13 Beat an egg and paint over challah and sprinkle with seeds.
14 Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
15 I often halve the recipe and make 2 large or 3 medium challah but then I do not say the blessing.

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Gluten Free, Dairy Free Soft Pretzels

img_8464PRETZELS
Makes 12 Pretzels

3 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour
2 Tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/4 Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 cups Warm Water (plus extra if needed)
1 Large Egg (room temp)
2 Tbsp Butter or Vegan Butter (I prefer Fleischmanns)

BAKING SODA DIP
3 quarts (3 liters) water
1/4 cup Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

EGG WASH
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp Water

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Pretzel Salt
Butter/Vegan Butter
Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions

Dough
1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, xanthin gum, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
2. Add the water, egg and butter. Mix until a firm dough forms, about 4 minutes in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. If the dough appears to be dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or enough for it to form a soft pliable dough.
3. Knead the dough until smooth, then transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover will cling wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled, 1 hour – 1.5 hours.

Shaping and Baking
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/ 280°C.
2.Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment.
3. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.
4. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 12 pieces. If dough is sticky, lightly flour kitchen surface.
5. Work with one pice at a time, keeping the other pieces covered. Roll the piece out and shape into a pretzel. Watch this video on how to shape pretzels.
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4. Add the baking soda and sugar to the boiling water and wait for the foam to subside.
7.Gently place the pretzels one at a time into the water, they will initially drop to the bottom and then they will rise. If they don’t rise within 5-10 seconds, use a slotted spoon to nudge them from sticking on the bottom. They can removed when as soon as they float to the top.img_8462
8. Remove the pretzels form the water and place on baking sheet. Brush with egg yolk wash and sprinkle with salt (or leave plain if you’re making them sweet).img_8460
9. Bake the pretzels until golden brown about 10-15 mins.
10. If you choose to make cinnamon sugar pretzels, brush with melted butter as soon as you remove from the oven and dip into cinnamon sugar mix.img_8450

No Bake Date Crunchies

INGREDIENTS
250G (8.8 ozs) Pitted Dates, Chopped
125 G ( ½ cup) Butter or Block Margarine
125ml ( ½ cup) Sugar
750ml (3 cups) Rice Crispies
Desiccated Coconut for Rolling

METHOD
1.Place the dates, butter/margarine and sugar in a saucepan.
2.Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes stirring all the time till soft.
3.Remove from heat and add the rice crispies and mix well.
4.Form into balls and roll in desiccated coconut.
5.Store in an airtight container. Can be frozen.

Risotto

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1 Litre (4 Cups) Chicken stock – I use instant
100G (2 fl 0z) oil
1 Small Onion Finely Chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) White Wine
1 sprig Rosemary, Finely Chopped
½ tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt
Pinch Safron – optional, added to the stock

METHOD
1.In a small saucepan heat the chicken sock then turn to low.
2.Use a medium frying pan and heat oil.
3.Add The chopped onion and saute until translucent, Add the rice and saute for a few minutes.
4.Add the wine on high heat and stir.
5.Add salt, pepper and rosemary and stir in.
6.Start adding the stock a ladle at a time stirring until the liquid has evaporated. Add another ladle and stir.
7.From the time stock is added it takes 20 minutes until the Risotto is ready. At this stage all the stock should have been used. Taste and when the rice still has a slight bite it is ready to serve.
8.I make it dairy free. If you want to make it with dairy use half butter and half oil to start with and then add ½ cup parmesan cheese at the end and stir in.

Papino (Papaya) Salad

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INGREDIENTS
1 Butter Lettuce
2 Avocado Pears
1 large or 2 small Papino (Papaya)
1/4 cup long grain rice

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DRESSING
Seeds of one Papino (Papaya)
1 Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Mustard Powder
1 tsp Salt

IMG_3379

METHOD
1. For the dressing place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. The seeds will be finely chopped.
2. Fry the rice in a dry frying pan until they start to pop and turn a light golden.
3. Remove from the pan and allow to cool
4. Wash and dry the lettuce and break into pieces. Place on a platter.
5. Peel and slice the papino-papaya. Peel and slice the avocado.
6. Arange the papino-papaya and the avocado on the lettuce.
7. Just before serving pour over the dressing and sprinkle over the rice.

Ginger Biscuits (Cookies)

INGREDIENTS:
125G(1/2 cup) Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
3 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tbls Syrup or Honey – warmed
Raisins or chopped dates for the filling.

METHOD
1. Oven temp 190◦ 375○
2. Cream butter & sugar.
3. Add eggs and warmed syrup-honey and beat again.
4. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients to form a soft dough.
5. Divide mixture in 3 logs.
6. Roll each log into a flat long shape.
7. Sprinkle with raisins or chopped dates and fold over to seal in fruit.
8. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 12 minutes or util golden.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
10. Cut them into biscuits at an angle.
11. Can also mix icing sugar and lemon juice and pour over when removed from the oven.

Sweet & Sour Pickled Cucumbers

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Use Isreali cucumbers to make these pickles. They are ready after 4-5 days.

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup vinegar
3 cups water
3 tbls sugar
1 tbls salt
3 cloves garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
2 chillies
24 baby Israeli cucumbers

METHOD
1. Place vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic cloves, chillies, bay leaves and peppercorns in a pot to bring to the boil.
2. Wash cucumbers and pack into a jar.
3. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and leave to cool.
4. Place in fridge and leave to pickle for 4-5 days before eating.

Rocket Salad with Oven Roasted Golden Beets, Caramelized Red Onions, Fresh Figs and Candied Pecans

IMG_8411
INGREDIENTS 
One packet fresh rocket
4 baby golden beets
One large red onion
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 fresh figs
1/2 cup Pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
Cinnamon

METHOD
Candied Pecans


1. Add the brown sugar to a frying pan and melt the sugar.
2. Add the pecans and coat throughly in the melted sugar.
3. Remove from the pan and place on a greased baking tray with foil.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and set aside to cool.

Roasted Beets and Caramelized Onions
1. Pre heat the oven to 400F/200C
2. Peel and quarter the beets.
3. Peel and cut the onion into wedges.
4. In one bowl, toss the beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. 
5.In a seperate bowl do the same to the onion but also add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and spread on a baking sheet.


6. Bake for 30 mins turning halfway.
6. Remove from the oven and cool.

Assemble


1. In a medium bowl toss the rocket with balsamic vinegar and place on a serving dish.
2. Over the rocket, add the golden beets and the caramalized onion.
3. Break up the candied pecans and scatter on top.
4. Tear or quater the figs and place on top.
5. If desired, drizzle with additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar to serve.

Authentic Phad Thai

INGREDIENTS 
(Serves 4)

14oz (350grams) Flat Rice Noodles
3 Tbsp Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Block of Firm Tofu (cut into small pieces)
16 Raw Shrimp Tail on
1/2 Can Bean Sprouts (1 Cup Fresh Bean Sprouts)
4 Sprigs Green Onion (Cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 Lime
4 Tsp Fish Sauce
4 Tbsp Chopped Peanuts
4 Tsp Palm Sugar (Can Substitute Brown Sugar)
2 Tbsp Tamarind Paste
2 Eggs
Optional: Thai Chili Peppers

METHOD

1. Place noodles in a bowl and cover with room temperature water. Soak for 10 mins (should be tender but not soft enough to eat)
2. Add oil to wok and add chopped garlic, tofu, shrimp, sprouts and green onion. Stir until shrimp is pink and cooked.
3. Add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, tamarind paste and noodles. If desired, you can add chopped thai chili peppers for added heat.
4. Stir continuously to combine, cook for 3-4 mins (until noodles are soft).
5. Push noodles to the side and add eggs, gently scramble until cooked.
6. Combine with noodles and serve.
7. Garnish with fresh lime, peanuts and sprouts.

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Pickled Peppers

INGREDIENTS
1 Kg (2 Pounds) Firm Red, Green & Yellow Peppers
A Few Chillies – Optional
2 Cups White Vinegar
1 Cup Oil – I have cut it down to 3/4 cup
1 Cup Sugar

METHOD
1. Slice the peppers into 1/4’s and remove pips
2. In a large pot bring the vinegar, oil & Sugar to the boil.
3. Add the peppers to the boiling liquid and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and pack into jars with the liquid.
5. Allow to cool and refrigerate until needed.

FOR MUSHROOMS & ARTICHOKES leave out the Sugar and add 1 tsp salt.