Sunday, February 17, 2008
Comfort in Sundays.
A quick introduction: I wanted a place to record what I bake or cook, the events and things that inspire them, and the photography I take as the end result or process of doing it. So this is it. Hope you enjoy.
Every Sunday I don't work, I like to make my family brunch. I've done this for about 4 or 5 years now and I it's a nice tradition, and I hope to continue it until I move out. I grew up being dragged to Sunday morning mass (raised Catholic. not a Catholic now.) and sometimes the only thing that got me through was looking forward to my dad's omelettes, bacon, waffles, freshly brewed coffee, egg's Benedict. I've long since decided to stop going to church, but I have not stopped enjoying these things.
So to start this blog off the right way, a recipe I made for brunch this week from one of my all-time favourite cookbooks: apple kuchen. I like to think of this as a sweet focaccia almost. I had many apples to use up so I doubled this recipe and I changed the method a bit from what's in the cookbook itself, but it all ends up being about the same result anyway. If you're a fan of yeast breads, give this one a try.
Recipe adapted/changed from Nigella Lawson's "How To Be A Domestic Goddess"
2 1/4 to 3 cups bread flour (I used AP, it's fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 package rapid-rise yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (original calls for nutmeg and lemon zest. didn't have any lemons, I like cinnamon better)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cream
Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, whatever spice you like with apples
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon demerara or turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioner's)
1 tablespoon hot water
To make the dough, put 2 1/2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl with salt, sugar and yeast. Beat the eggs and add the vanilla, (zest, nutmeg) cinnamon to the lukewarm milk and then add these to the flour mixture. Mix until a soft dough forms, probably adding about 3/4 to 1 cup more of flour, and then add in the butter and knead until it feels smoother and glutenous. Cover with a clean towel or greased plastic wrap and let rise until it's doubled in size, or in the refrigerator overnight.
Punch down the dough and place it in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. It won't stretch all the way to the edges at first, so let it rest and then try again in a few minutes until it's almost stretched to the whole pan. Then let it rise for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it has occupied all the edges.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel, core and chop the apples. Stir together the egg and cream, and brush this over the dough. Then combine the sugars, spice(s) and almonds and toss with the chopped apples and then place these on top of the dough in the pan.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake until it's nice and golden brown on top, about another 15 minutes or so. Then combine the icing sugar and water, and drizzle over.
Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea and read the Sunday paper until 1 o' clock in the afternoon.