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Lori in PA

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Posts posted by Lori in PA

  1. Thank you all.

    Dorie, the fact that you are so approachable has done more to "sell" your latest book to me than anything else. And I'm not just referring to your accessibility on these forums -- your tone of writing in the cookbook makes the reader feel like a friend is recommending a recipe. "Try this. My family really liked it. And if you don't have walnuts, it's fine without them..."

  2. Thank you for the kitchen photos and the explanations. You talked about teaching your students to cook from the ingredients that are the best and freshest -- wonderful! Do you have other goals for your classes, as in, "If my students can only learn ______, _______, and ______, I'm happy."?

    What is your favorite sort of person to teach? Least favorite?

    What about living in Italy makes you happiest? What do you miss about the US?

    Is that enough questions for one post?

  3. I'm curious about Kafka's Roasting, too, Abra, because it has been on my mental wishlist for awhile. I have to eat a lot of protein, so I'd thought I'd get a good deal of use from it.

  4. Yesterday afternoon, I made Klary's Sukerbole or Sugarbread. Here is her description and recipe from an earlier post in this thread:

    Somewhere between a cake and a bread, this is a lovely loaf with crunchy-soft bits of sugar melting in a sweet white bread dough, very faintly spiced with cinnamon. To be authentic you should use soft sugarchips ( I think these are known abroad as pearlsugar), I could not find them anywhere in the regular stores, and ended up buying a large bag from a local bakery. You could substitute crushed lumps of sugar, only make sure that the lumps aren't crushed to a powder because you want texture and crunch in your finished loaf.


    500 grams of flour

    2 sachets dried yeast

    200 ml. lukewarm milk

    3 tablespoons syrup from the gingerjar

    50 grams of sugar

    75 grams melted butter

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon salt

    a grating of nutmeg

    pinch of saffron


    1 tablespoon cinnamon

    150 grams sugarchips

    Lots of butter and coarse sugar for your tin.

    Loaf tin: this recipe is for a 2.5 liter bread tin. I don't have one so I used a 2 liter cake tin for most of the dough, and baked the extra dough in a small round cake tin.

    Mix the flour and yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sugarchips and cinnamon. Mix to a dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, then set it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

    Mix the sugarchips with the cinnamon.

    Very thickly grease your tin with butter, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

    Punch down the dough a bit and start incorperating the cinnamon-sugarchips into the dough. Now the important thing is to not mix this too much. You want the finished loaf the have sugarlumps distributed unevenly through it, and you want ripples of cinnamon.

    Press the dough into a large rectangle, about the length of your loaf tin. Roll it up. Now push back the protruding bits of sugar into the dough.

    Place the roll of dough into the tin, cover with a cloth and leave to rise for another 20 minutes or so.

    In the meantime preheat the oven to 200 C / 390 F.

    Sprinkle the loaf with a bit more coarse sugar and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

    take it out of the tin the minute it comes out of the oven and leave to cool on a rack. Very good as it is, even better with a thicvk smear of butter. And as you can imagine, this make the very best breadpudding...

    I've wanted to make this bread for a long time. I found sugar I thought might work at an IKEA store a couple of hours from my house last winter, I think, and it's been sitting in my pantry, uncomplaining about its neglect, ever since. I must warn you up front not to expect a beautiful result. I modified the recipe a bit, partly to its benefit but in one significant way -- not! :unsure:


    When I ran the metric amounts of ingredients through a converter, I was surprised to find it called for just over 2 cups of flour. It seemed clear to me that I was looking at a basic recipe for a rich sweet dough and the other amounts made me suspect I'd want about 3 cups of flour. That turned out to be true, and I ended up with a nice, soft dough. Also, assuming a sachet of yeast is the equivilent of an American "packet," or 1 scant tablespoon, I chose to only add 1 tablespoon instead of the two called for. I had no ginger preserved in syrup to give me some flavored syrup, so I put in 2 T. of ginger jam and stood ready to add a little extra liquid, but it wasn't necessary.

    After the first rising, I prepared to knead in the cinnamon/sugar pearls mixture:


    I tried to be careful as per Klary's instructions to not mix it in TOO thoroughly so as to end up with streaks of cinnamon-y sweetness. Handling the dough was satisfying, as always, and I felt confident that things were progressing well. The instructions call for a 20 minute second rising, but with half the yeast, I expected it to take more like an hour, which turned out to be true. Into the oven:


    Here comes the glitch. The instructions called for a bake temp of 390 degrees F, which seemed too high to me, so I baked at 350 degrees F. Thirty minutes later my loaf was brown and beautiful, so I tipped it out of the tin and totally ignored the instructions to let it cool -- are you kidding? This baby begs to be eaten warm! I sliced off a couple of pieces and presented them to my sons with a generous smear of butter and got appreciative comments all around. I sliced one for myself as my coffee maker hissed my snack's companion into my mug. I was all eagerness for this treat, but, alas, the next cut of the bread knife revealed unfinished doughiness one-third of the way into the loaf. Dismay! There was nothing for it but to pop Mr. Dutch Loaf back into the oven to cook some more. I knew the result wouldn't be pretty, and I even thought of you egulleteers and how disappointed you'd be in me, but it was needs must. Here is the sad-looking (but not sad-TASTING once you got past the first pathetic crusted-over slice) result:


    For a moment, I was tempted not to report at all, but I overcame my reluctance and am here to confess, "Bless me, Klary, for I sort of screwed up your good bread." There. I feel better. And, I have enough pearl sugar for one more go.

  5. I can just see it -- we'll send them a big homemade card reading, "For your Christmas gift, we're sending you to prison!" What a hoot! I am so appreciating all these ideas -- now I've got to get researching and choose, though I can easily imagine using this idea again and again for them -- they love "experience" gifts over "stuff."

  6. I just had this thought -- perhaps I am inspired to create recipes in the same way that someone is inspired to make something that sounds good to them when they flip through a cookbook.  In the cook or baker's situation, they are inspired by what they see or read; in my case, I am inspired by what I want, but I just go that extra step and create it.

    This is a very interesting notion, and I thank you for articulating it so well. As a strictly-home baker, I find that I'm never able to bake as much as I would like to, and am therefore a bit slow to change my habits. :wink: But I've noticed in recent months that my mental approach to baking has shifted. In the past, when the urge to bake has hit, I'd pull out a few books and flip pages until I'd lit on something I'd like to try and had all the ingredients for on hand. Recently, though, I'm more likely to start with an idea (e.g. "Hmmm, I'd really like a big chewy cookie that I can dunk in milk, and I want to use some dried cranberries and that great cinnamon from Penzey's"), and from there, to back into a pretty-close recipe that I then tweak as needed. It's a small thing, but it really feels like a whole new way of looking at the world.

    Exactly, Ruth. My husband is fairly new to baking and is definitely of the "flip through the books and see what looks good" persuasion. He sort of looks at me with awe/wonder/bafflement because I tend to start with an ingredient or even the season and figure out something from there.

  7. Can you give us a "typical" day in the life of Dorie Greenspan? I remember you saying that you bake daily -- is that true all of the time or just when you are working on a baking cookbook?

    Also, I love the photo of you in your New York kitchen -- there is abundant light, everything is close to hand, and you look so happy! Wonderful! What tricks have you developed to make working in cosy quarters easier? What do you love most about each of your kitchens? What about each makes you growl? (Or do you growl? I do, now and again...)

  8. Moby, your terrine is lovely. I'm especially enamoured with the cabbage exterior, which I think would be more appealing to my American, unsophisticated friends than caul fat. Did the cabbage give you any troubles in the slicing/presentation?

  9. Dorie, I am intrigued by this line in your biography:

    "Dorie divides her time between New York City, Connecticut and Paris, France."

    When I read that, I wonder if your living arrangements are a result of your career or if your career is a result of your living arrangements. Could you answer that and talk about how the goals you've had for your life and how you have or have not realized them? What do you wish you'd done differently? What are you so glad worked out the way it has?

    Also, without getting too personal, can you talk about how your family feels about your profession? For example, in my own life as a home cook who likes to try new things, I am blessed with some children who'd probably be happier with a mom who made Hamburger Helper or hot dogs every night. :smile:

  10. I'm nibbling an applesauce spice bar as I sit here typing. Very good. I didn't use parchment and unpan them before glazing, so no cookbook-worthy pictures, and I had to sub evaporated milk for the cream in the glaze because I'm home with a sick child and "fresh" out of cream, but in spite of these changes I'm pleased. I was curious about how they would compare with an old autumn standby of our family's called Fresh Apple Cake. They are similar and I'm sure both will be part of my repertoir from now on.

    I was concerned when I stirred the eggs into the brown sugar/butter mixture, because I had a small amount of curdling happen. Has anyone else noticed the same? It didn't seem to cause a problem with the finished product, though.

  11. Thanks for the replies. I don't care overmuch about the "rules," but I'd hate to be doing anything glaringly wrong. About Sam's cheese -- I know there are lots of cheeses "he's" never heard of, but my budget is pretty limited, so Sam and I will need to continue our aquaintance. Tell me this, though: today I bought a wedge of "Genuine Port Salut," which is a registered trademark owned by SAFR, Fromageries Bel's affiliate. It is a product of France. Is this really port salut cheese? If it it, does the fancy little D.C. fromagerie have port salut that is better? (I paid $6.77/lb.)

  12. Ok, say I want to serve a cheese board at my next dinner party. This is a casual gathering of my own family and another -- 8-10 people, including kids. We don't drink alcohol. My questions:

    --WHEN do I serve the cheese? Before dessert? Instead of dessert?

    --Do I try not to have cheese be a noticeable part of any other dish in the meal? Does that matter?

    -- How do we handle the practicalities of eating a soft cheese like brie? I have a set of spreaders that go with my flatware. Do I include one in the place setting for each eater and encourage them to use those for spreading brie on fruit slices? Related questions: Does one eat all of the cheeses with one's fingers or with a utensil? Which one?

    I've been including cheese boards in some of my dinner parties/family dinners for about a year, largely inspired by Lucy/bleu d'auvergne. I have a limited budget and access to cheese, so much of what I get is from Sam's Club and from the odd "gourmet" shop. Here is what I usually do:

    --Arrange 3-5 cheeses on a plate -- most often a brie or similar in a wedge, Cabot cheddar (from Sam's Club, broken into rough chunks), a wedge of bleu (bleu d'auvergne is my favorite), Sam's Club goat cheese crumbled into a ramekin (or sometimes blended with herbs or something), and something mild like Havarti or Port Salut. I set this plate out about 2 hours before dinner -- experience has taught me to hide it or the guests think it is a before dinner nibble-thing.

    --After the main dish/accompaniments, I bring out the cheese plate (one large one -- called a board on Gifted Gourmet's sites) with dessert plates for each eater and usually a plate of sliced apples or pears and/or grape clusters (or a bowl of whole fruit and assorted paring knives if I'm in a hurry). I usually leave the bread basket on the table. Sometimes The Husband gets some crackers, but for some reason they don't appeal to me when we have cheese during the meal.

    --I identify the cheeses for everyone. The crowd I entertain isn't very knowledgeable -- often someone has never heard of Havarti, for example, so I say what each is and tell a bit about its characteristics.

    This has been very well received by everyone, but I wonder about my questions above. I'll appreciate any help or advice anyone who knows more than me (and that's probably just about all of you) has to offer.

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