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MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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28.6.13

LOFTY MILKY LOAF - FOSZLÓS TEJES KALÁCS

 
You have to give it to Google translator; it has no clue when it comes to Hungarian adjectives. Take the word “foszlós”. It comes up as sleazy haha. This is a milk-loaf with cotton candy lightness that rips into lofty strands of deliciousness. How it got to be this magnificent from mare all purpose flour? The secret lies in developing the gluten. By hand it means 15 minutes of vigorous kneading, not quite as long with a good stand beater and dough hook. The recipe makes a huge loaf so unless you have a professional model Kitchenaid, you will have to knead the dough in batches. It gets higher and loftier if the loaf is baked in a pan with high sides; I used a large tube pan for mine.
 
What happened to my whole wheat bread I have been working on? The good news is I am almost finished. I have a couple of more loaves to make and by then I will have arrived at the staple bread that can satisfy everyone in my family. My husband stopped buying bread; he now looks forward to what comes out of the oven. As for this little detour from seedier breads, it is the result of last weekend’s horror from the bug I picked up somewhere. It ruined the weekend, but by Monday the storm was over and I was ravenous, but not quite ready to resume the grains and fibre train. Along came the lofty milk loaf and the milk bread. All is well and when the loaf I kept is gone, we shall go back to birdseeds again.
 
3 cups whole milk
3/8 cup butter, melted
8-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
6 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp instant dry yeast
 
• Heat the milk to lukewarm.
• Melt the butter and whisk into the milk. Set aside.
• Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
• Add the sugar, salt and the instant yeast and whisk to combine.
• Add the milk mixture and stir to combine.
• Knead the dough until ludicrously elastic. By hand knead vigorously for 15 minutes. In a stand beater with a dough hook knead each batch of dough for 8 minutes.
• [Your beater will probably not be able to handle the dough all at once, so knead it in 3 batches]
• Combine all the dough and knead it into a large mound.
• Butter a large mixing bowl and place the dough in it.
• Sprinkle the top with flour and set it aside to double.
• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Butter a large tube pan generously, making sure the center flute and the corners of the pan are not missed. Or you may line the entire tube pan with parchment paper, it can be done.
• Turn the dough onto a board [with the floured top on the bottom].
• Cut the dough into 3 strands. Do not reroll the dough.
• Pulling and stretching lightly, bread the three strands.
• Place into the prepared tube pan and let it rise until the dough just about spills over the rim.
• Preheat the oven.
• Place the risen loaf in the oven and bake until nicely browned.
• Remove from the oven and let the cool down before removing from the pan.
• Slice and serve.

 
 

MILK AND HONEY WHITE BREAD


Adapted from Taste of Home, this turned out to be the best North American style white bread I ever made. The whole milk and the well developed gluten give it a lofty, light texture and yet it slices beautifully even with my dull breadknife. “Wonderbread” this one is not. I wanted to use less flour, but in the end I was glad I followed the recipe. One word of caution, when it comes to baking with flour, always use the half cup - scoop and sweep method. I really don’t think this recipe would have worked any other way. The dough was fairly hard and it took some effort to develop the gluten. I was glad I had a Kitchenaid and I didn’t have to knead it by hand.
 
2-1/2 cups lukewarm whole milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
8 cups unbleached flour
2 packages instant dry yeast
2 tsp salt
 
• Combine the milk, melted butter and the honey.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and the salt.
• Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix to combine.
• Kneed the dough by hand for 12 minutes or if using a beater with a dough hook [in batches of 2 or 3] knead each batch for 6 to 8 minutes.
• Briefly knead together the batches and place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
• Cover and let rise until doubled.
• Punch dough down and shape into two loaves.
• Place into well buttered or parchment lined 9X5 inch loaf pans.
• Cover and let rise until doubled.
• Preheat the oven to 375F and place the loaves in the oven.
• Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
• Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.
• Remove pans from the oven and let cool on wire racks.
• Yield: 2 loaves.
 
 

2.6.13

WALNUT SLICE - HABOS DIÓS SÜTEMÉNY



I used to call these Walnut Thingies. For some inexplicable reason I had the right proportion of ingredients, I guessed them correctly and they worked. Butter was the easiest to figure out and flour gave me the most grief.  I came to the New World with flavour memories, but my culinary knowledge was locked inside the pages of an old Hungarian cookbook. The book was old, the title page and part of the index was missing. The recipes were vague and metric. That first year we bought a kitchen scale before Christmas, but it only measured in pounds, so a lot of my time was spent converting the recipes to imperial measurements. When things didn’t work out I never knew if I made the mistake with the calculations or with the cooking. I managed to learn a few Hungarian dishes, but after I mail ordered a Purity Cookbook I switched to American style cooking. More than a decade passed before I bought myself a metric scale and slowly started to use the old cookbook again. For better or worse my children’s flavour memories got rooted in North American cuisine.

Immigrants that arrive in groups are more successful maintaining cultural traditions. There were pockets of Hungarians across Canada following the 1956 Revolution, but a decade later it was a different story. Anyway Hungarians tend to melt into the local population. I met some Hungarians, but beyond the language the Hungarians I came across were very different… really old world… insanely conservative… possession oriented and annoyingly rigid. I could have had more luck in a bigger city to find progressive thinkers from the motherland, but here was I, first in Rupert, 100 Mile House, Prince George and then in Kamloops [wherever Jim’s occupation took us] and I came to the conclusion that where you come from is less important than where you are going.

1/2 cup + 2-1/2 Tbsp butter, soft, but not melted
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1-1/2 + 1/8 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup apricot lekvár or thick, smooth apricot jam
3 egg whites
1-1/2 cups finely ground walnuts
1-1/4 cups icing sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Line a 9X12 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Let it overhang on two sides for easy removal.
  • Beat the butter and 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy.
  • One by one beat in the egg yolks.
  • Add the flour and the salt and mix to combine. Do not beat with the flour.
  • When the dough comes together, press it into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile finely grind the walnuts in a food processor and force the apricot jam through a fine mash sieve if needed.
  • Combine the finely ground walnuts with the icing sugar and set it aside.
  • Lightly heat up the jam. Do not let it come to a boil. You only want it a spreadable consistency.
  • Remove the baking pan from the oven.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
  • Gently spread the jam on top of the pastry layer. Be careful the pastry top will be fragile.
  • In a clean, grease free bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, gently fold the walnut mixture into the egg whites. Be mindful not to crush the egg whites.
  • Smooth out the top with an offset spatula.
  • Place in the oven fro 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the oven and let the slice cool down in the pan.
  • Grasping the parchment overhangs, remove the slice from the pan.
  • Let it cool and cut into narrow rectangles.

1.6.13

PAPRIKA SALMON – PAPRIKÁS LAZAC


I claim this dish as my own invention; this was the first pink salmon I fully enjoyed that did not just come off the boat. Jim buys dozens of wild pacific pink when they come to town, filets most of them and then freezes the portions for the coming year. The two small filets I prepared last night were from last year’s batch. When it comes to fish, I want freshly caught and preferably sockeye salmon. Very expensive! Last week we ran out of sockeye so here on end we will be having spring salmon until the arrival of this year’s bounty.
 
I tried to make a salmon paprikás before, but fish taste is not among the things I enjoy so no, there was no repeat of that one. But poaching the fish and then drenching it with paprika sauce turned out to be amazingly tasty. I guess we will be having paprikás lazac until this year’s sockeye catch shows up in the stores.
 
The paprikás sauce is not really a sauce; it is more of a flavouring. Hungarian cookbooks would call it paprikás zsír or paprika grease and yes there would be substantial amount of lard, oil or butter in it. But with the amount I used here, it doesn’t qualify as paprika grease. Most of the liquid came from the vegetables sweating off their liquid.
 
2 servings of salmon filets
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp butter
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into matchstick slices
salt to taste
 
• Remove the skin from the fish.
• Place in a non stick skillet and cover with cold water.
• Sprinkle with salt and bring to a slow simmer.
• Meanwhile, heat a different non stick skillet.
• Add the oil and the butter.
• When the butter is melted add the sliced onion and sauté on medium heat.
• Sprinkle with salt.
• When the onion wilts, add the tomatoes and crush them with a fork.
• Add the bell pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes.
• The salmon should be ready by now. Remove the salmon with a large slotted spoon and transfer to a heated platter.
• Remove the onion mixture from heat and stir 1 tsp Hungarian paprika into the mixture.
• Scoop the paprika sauce over the fish and serve immediately.


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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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