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Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs

Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs

Episode 31

 

Guest: Dr. Beth Ricanati

Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs

Who thought baking Challah could be so magical? Well, it is and especially as seen through the eyes of my guest this week Dr. Beth Ricanati. We talk about Challah and how it can connect with you, through Jewish history, as a way to think about your own well-being and of course all about baking Challah. I can guarantee you that  before you finish listening to this episode you’ll want to have your own  Challah baking in your oven… and you can! Check out the recipe section for the ‘how to’ and have a wonderful time with me as we think about bread as the staff of Jewish life.

Challah

It seems like a simple recipe but there’s so much Jewish history and love behind it. This particular Challah recipe was given to my guest, Dr. Beth Ricanati by a good friend of hers many years ago in a class at the JCC on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Please enjoy the experience of baking this Challah and of course sharing in the eating!

Challah

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast loose
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup warm water almost too warm, but not hot!
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4+ cups flour

Instructions

  • Mix yeast, sugar & warm water together in small bowl (1); let stand ~ 10 min. This mixture will start to bubble.
    Meanwhile, in a lg mixing bowl, mix eggs, salt, sugar, oil & 2 c flour together (2). Now is a great time to say, “I am making this dough in the merit of _____ (name someone…maybe a friend who is sick that week, or someone you are happy for, sad for, mad at, etc.)
    Add yeast mixture (1) to flour mixture (2).
    Add ~ 1½ cups of flour to mixture. Dough should start to form a ball, separating from the bowl.
    Place dough on a floured surface & knead, lifting up with one hand & then the other. Knead at least 5 mins as dough becomes increasingly elastic. If still sticky, add a bit more flour to dough. Knead dough into a ball.
    Place dough back into oiled bowl, cover & place bowl somewhere warm for 1 – 1½ hours to rise, ~ doubling in volume.
    Preheat oven to 375º. Remove cover from bowl, place dough on floured surface. Take a small piece of dough (~size of an egg), double wrap in plastic wrap & say the prayer over separating the challah (technically only say if more than 5 lbs of flour used, but more on that later)*. Discard this piece of wrapped dough & cont.
    Punch out dough one more time. Cut dough in half, one for each challah. Then divide each half into 3 equal pcs. Roll out each piece, crimp together at the top and braid into a loaf. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough. May let rise again at this step.
    Paint each challah with a mixture made of egg yolk plus a little water.
    Bake ~ 25 – 30 mins, or until bread rises & is golden brown. Remove, cool.
    Place challah on platter, cover and wait for Shabbas dinner. Eat and enjoy!
    *Baruch Ata A-Do-Nay Elo-haynu Melech Ha-Olam Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tziyvanu L”Hafrish Challah. (Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to separate the Challah.)

 

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Episode 29

 

Guest: Chef Zachary Engel

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Chef Zach joins me in Part 2 to talk about his new restaurant endeavor in Chicago – building Galit, his first restaurant from the bottom up. The goal: to bring fine dining, as in Israeli Cuisine to Chicago. 

 

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award = New Restaurant Galit!

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award = New Restaurant Galit!

Episode 28

 

Guest: Chef Zachary Engel

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award= New Restaurant – Galit!

What’s it like to be a young Chef with a dream to open your own restaurant? I thought it would be interesting to get inside the process and to hear first hand about what it takes to find yourself in a new city about to open your own place. I talk with James Beard winner Chef Zach Engel about his path to Gailit, his new restaurant opening in Chicago in early 2019. This is Part 1.

 

Beets with Black Garlic Tehina, Pumpernickel and Dill

Beets with Black Garlic Tehina, Pumpernickel and Dill

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. red beets
  • 1 lb. chiogga or candy cane beets
  • 4 slices pumpernickel rye bread
  • ¼ + ⅛ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed ground
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed ground
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cloves black garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ cups raw tahini (preferably Soom brand)
  • 1 ½ cups ice cold water
  • 3 sprigs of dill

Instructions

  • For the Roasted Beets:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make sure all the tops are removed from the beets and wash them under cold water to remove any dirt but don’t peel them. Toss the beets in 1 tablespoons salt and ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place the beets in a single layer in a large baking dish. Add any excess water from the bowl to the pan. If you don’t have excess water, then add a ⅛ cup to the bottom of the pan. Wrap the edges of the pan tightly in foil.
  • Bake the beets for about 1 hour. To check them, gently lift the edge of the foil and place a small knife inside. If the knife slides in very easily they are done. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes. (If they’re not fully cooked put the foil back around the edge of the pan and check them every 15 minutes).
  • Once the beets are cooled but still warm, remove the foil. With a dry dish towel in your hands, gently rub off the skins of the beets and place in a large bowl. Gently rinse any excess skin off in cold water.
  • Cut the beets into ½-inch slices or cubes and set aside or refrigerate if using later.
  • For the Pumpernickel Crumble:
  • Change the temperature on the oven to 225 F.
  • On a baking sheet, lay down the slices of pumpernickel rye bread. Drizzle the ⅛ cup of extra virgin olive oil on the slices and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt and the caraway and dill seeds.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until very crispy. Remove and cool fully.
  • Break the dry pieces into chunks and place in a food processor with a blade. Pulse at 3 second intervals for about 2 minutes until it becomes a medium crumble.
  • For the Black Garlic Tehina:
  • Crush the garlic cloves on a cutting board with the side of a large knife and add to the lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the garlic cloves and any peels from the lemon juice. Place the lemon juice in a blender with the black garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of salt. Puree on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
  • In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the raw tahini for about 5 minutes on high speed.
  • Decrease the speed to medium and slowly drizzle in the black garlic-lemon juice. The tehina will get very grainy and tight in texture but will get smooth immediately after.
  • Slowly add the ice cold water with a steady stream. Once all the water is incorporated, turn the speed on high for 5 minutes. You’ll see the tehina become smooth and glossy and become very airy like an aioli or a mousse. (Note: It’s best to add most of the water but not all of it. You can always add more if you would like it thinner).
  • To Assemble:
  • Pick the dill from the whole sprigs and chop very lightly.
  • Place the tehina on the bottom of the plate in a large circle. Toss the beet pieces in a little olive oil and salt and spread on top of the tehina. Sprinkle the pumpernickel crumb with a heavy hand and then follow with the chopped dill.

This recipe is based on a traditional salatim seen all over Israel with some bold flavors. It’s great for large parties and easy to make some of the components (or all of them) a day or two beforehand for less time in the kitchen while hosting!

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis!

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis!

Episode 27

 

Guest: Stacey Ballis

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis

I’m back with culinary writer Stacey Ballis. It’s time to talk about Jewish food and for Stacey that means Kugel. Now you can choose to make your favorite family recipe OR you can try Stacey’s favorite. She is kind enough to provide some essential kugel pointers too! Be sure to listen till the end of the episode when Stacey discusses her kitchen re-do and all the things you’d want to consider if you were redesigning your own dream kitchen.