This is something I figured out I thought I would share.
Even though I like to use instant yeast over active dry, I ended up with a big bag of the dry stuff. It is nice to be able to mix it with the dry ingredients. I also found it frustrating to prep it in a separate bowl first and then have a hard time getting all the yeast particles off the rim.
First of all, many recipes tell you to put sugar in the yeasty water to make sure it is still alive. If you use your yeast regularly, you have a pretty good idea of whether or not it is still peppy. You can simply skip that step.
Second, I realized you can make a well in the flour and prep the active dry yeast right there, in the bowl.
First you put the yeast. This is a picture of this weeks challah dough recipe (I bake challah every friday, for the Shabbat). After experimenting with all kinds of flour mixtures, I realized the all AP flour seems to make the best challah's for me.
Then the warm water. While you are waiting for the yeast to wake up the flour is already in 'autolyse'. Plus, if your eggs are cold, the warm water takes off their cold edge by the time you mix it.
This, of course is a wonderful cake, as are all the components of the 'Bostini' recipe.
I avoided this cake a long time because of the whole 'flower nail' thing. I finally decided to just give it a go with a regular nail. Also, I wanted to make another heavenly cake for the upcoming Simchat Torah holiday.
I thought this might work. When it went into the oven with the batter poured around it, it was standing up, but when I took it out of the oven it had sunk to the bottom. Oh, well. Seemed to come out O.K.
Batter ready. Love the orange zest.
Egg whites. I could not find the cream of tartar (I always say that with a heavy pirate voice 'AR' and a squinted eye), so I had to wing it.
Batter ready. Looks O.K.
The 'Ez Man' was with me for moral support.
I personally could not see the point in putting this cake upside down. It seemed to sink slightly anyway and I could have taken off the spring-form right away as it was not firmly attached.
O.K., so they are not actually 'cupcakes.' I did not have any cupcake liners so I just made the recipe in regular cake pans. The Yellow I made in a pound cake pan and the white velvet in a layer cake pan.
The white cake tasted pretty much as you expect a layer cake to taste. The Yellow cake on the other hand was much lighter a cake than I am used to having in the pound cake shape. It was slightly disconcerting. In fact in made the cake 'seem' to taste slightly heavier, though if you paid attention you could tell that it was really a light, layer cake type cake. I am glad to say that it baked well though with out any issues. So it is OK to use a pound cake pan for this kind of cake.
The egg mixture.
The batter from the white velvet. The white velvet was definitely a favorite with the kids over the yellow cake for some reason.
Omi Girl was with me for moral support.
Some raisen challah I made for the sukkot holiday.
I used some left over challah dough for the some of the lachmagine. It came it out pretty good but the next day it was a bit tougher than the standard thinner dough.
Here is our sukka.
My wife used some leftover baguette that I made for her french onion soup. It was delish!
You place the bread in and cover with cheese. Than put the whole bowl in the toaster to melt it. Careful, it is hot!
This is a Tzizit cake. At three years old there is a Jewish custom for a boy to have his first hair cut - the 'upshernish'. The boy starts wearing sidelocks and tzizit, as commanded in the Torah (bible) as the official start of his Jewish Education.
The Ez Man before:
The Ez Man after:
Ezra Raiding the cookie table.
Aleph Beit Cookies. We take the boy wrapped in a talit to the bet medrash and learn Aleph Beit with him. We put honey on the letters that he reads so that it will be sweet to him. This is called the 'arayn-fir-nisht.'
Lovely danishes. Baking isn't about the food itself really. Its about people getting together and sharing in each others pain and joy.
Here is the batter from Marcy Goldman's Everybody's Jewish Apple Cake recipe. Very easy to make No mixer needed.
My wife's opinion is that, this cake, while not as nuanced as one of Rose's cakes, is classic, satisfying and 'homey' (in yiddesh, "heimish").