Monday, June 08, 2009

Kaiser Rolls-Knotted

This recipe makes great Kaiser rolls. It's a long one, but worth the effort. It requires a Pate Fermentee that is shown at the end of this recipe.

Kaiser/Hard Rolls

Makes 6 large rolls or 9 smaller rolls.

1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) pate fermentee
2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) unbleached bread flour
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch (.2 ounce) salt
1 teaspoon (.17 ounce) diastatic barley malt powder
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1 large (1.65 ounce) egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons (.75 ounce) vegetable oil or shortening, melted
10 tablespoons
to 3/4 cup (5 to 6 ounces) water, lukewarm (90 to 100 degrees)
Poppy or sesame seeds for topping (optional).
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting.

1. Take 8-ounces of the pate fermentee out of the refrigerator 1-2 hour2 before making the dough. Cut it up into about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1-2 hours to take off the chill.

2. Stir together the flour, salt, malt powder, and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the pate fermentee, egg, oil, and 10 tablespoons water. Stir (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) for 1 minute, or until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still some loose flour, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water.

3. Lightly dust the counter with flour, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead for about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine), adding flour, if needed, to make a dough that is soft and supple, tacky but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test and the internal temperature should register 77 to 81 degrees. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

4. Ferment at room temperature for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. If the dough doubles in size before 2 hours have elapsed, remove it, knead it lightly to degas it, and return it to the bowl to continue fermenting until doubled from original size or until 2 hours have elapsed.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 6 to 9 equal pieces (4 ounces for large rolls, 2 2/3 ounce pieces for smaller rolls). Form the pieces into rolls as shown on page 82. (attached) Mist the rounds lightly with spray oil, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough relax for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with baking parchment, lightly mist it with spray oil, and then dust with semolina flour or cornmeal.

6. Prepare the individual rolls by cutting them with a Kaiser roll cutter or knotting them. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the parchment, mist lightly with spray oil, and loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag.

7. Proof the rolls for 45 minutes at room temperature, then flip them over so the cut or folded side is facing up. Mist again with spray oil, cover the pan, and continue proofing for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the rolls are double their original size.

8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Uncover the rolls and prepare them for baking. If you want seeds on your rolls, mist them with water and sprinkle poppy seeds over the top. If not, just mist them with water.

9. Place the pan in the oven, spray the oven walls with water, and close the door. After 10 minutes, rotate the pan for even baking and lower the oven setting to 400 degrees. Continue baking until the rolls are a medium golden brown and register approximately 200 degrees in the center. This will take 15 to 30 minutes for large rolls, or less for smaller rolls.

10. Remove the rolls from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.

Pate Fermentee

Makes 16 to 17 ounces.

1 1/8 cups (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/8 cups (5 ounces) unbleached bread flour
3/4 teaspoon (.19 ounces) salt
1/2 teaspoon (.055 ounce) instant yeast
3/4 cup to 3/4 cup plus (6 to 7 ounces) water, at room temperature plus
2 tablespoons of additional water

1. Stir together the flours, salt and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add 3/4 cup of the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It is better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up.)
2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77 to 81 degrees.
3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 1 hour, or until it swells to about 1 1/2 times its original size.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to de-gas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Cheese Sauce

2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
10 Asparagus spears about 5” to 6” long
4 strips fresh orange zest/peel (3 by 1 inch)
2 TBS of butter
2 TBS of olive oil


Lemon Cheese Sauce:

2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of hot milk (not boiling)
1 dash of salt
1 dash of pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice


Heat oven to 400F.

Trim the asparagus to about 6 inches long. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them on a cutting board. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet until thin, even and flat.

Lay 5 asparagus across the narrow side of 1 flattened breast. Add 2 strips of zest and wrap the chicken around the asparagus to make a bundle. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining chicken and asparagus.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet on medium heat, and sauté the chicken bundles 2 minutes on each side, seam down first to maintain the shape of the roll. Transfer the chicken rolls to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet; cover with foil until ready for the final baking.

In the meantime, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in flour gradually and constantly until you have a paste (roux), gradually add the milk and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thick and bubbling. Season with salt and white pepper.

Slowly add a small portion of the heated sauce to the whipped egg yolks to “temper” the yolks. Whisk constantly so the yolks do not cook or harden. Add the remainder of the hot/heated sauce; add cheese and lemon juice. Stir 2-3 minutes over low heat.

Brush the chicken rolls with the remaining butter/olive oil from the sautéed chicken rolls, and bake the chicken rolls in a pre-heated 400F.oven for an additional 12-15 minutes.

Spoon cheese sauce over the entire chicken roll. Serve with your favorite salad and dressing. Raspberry vinaigrette goes extremely well with this recipe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shrimp/Scallop Etouffee

This recipe is a modification of Emeril's recipe for Etouffee. We don't do crawfish here (YUCK!) - way too muddy tasting. The combination of the shrimp and scallops was great. It takes bunches of prep chopping all the greens and stuff, but it's really worth the time and effort.

6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 1/2 cups fish or shrimp stock
1-1/2 cup peeled, diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8-10 Jumbo Shrimp peeled
1/2 Pound bay scallops
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cooked white rice, for serving

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and whisk in flour to combine well. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until roux is a peanut butter color.

Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, salt, red pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add shrimp, lemon juice, green onions, and parsley and cook for 15 to 20 minutes; add scallops and simmer for an additional 5-minutes stirring occasionally. Add remaining butter and stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve over hot rice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sicilian Meatball Soup

Flavored with Parmesan and garlic and studded with raisins, scrumptious Sicilian meatballs turn vegetable soup into a tempting meal. If the soup waits, the pasta may absorb much of the liquid; just add water or more stock.

1/2 pound ground beef
5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup small pasta shells or other small macaroni

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, the Parmesan, raisins, bread crumbs, egg, half of the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper until thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into 24 meatballs.

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and the remaining garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, rosemary, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
Add the remaining tablespoon parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the pasta to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the meatballs and simmer gently until the meatballs and pasta are done, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with additional Parmesan.