Pide (by Jeremy Shapiro)

Let me present my next guest blogger here on kokblog: Jeremy Shapiro, a professional chef and incredible baker. For over 20 years Jeremy has been cooking in top kitchens in New York City and beyond. Today he is the head chef  in a super secret private club in New York where he lures customers with endless sweets and savory treats.

Jeremy is also creator and editor of  Stir the Pot, a food blog that he started in 2005. If you visit his site you will soon discover that bread is a major subject. Jeremy explores different kinds of baking methods as well as flour and grain types. He bakes both sweet and savory, including croissants, fruit tarts, rustic rye breads, pizza, baguettes, bagels, loaves and breads with airy crumbs & crispy crusts. This summer Jeremy started a Micro Bakery in his apartment kitchen (just bigger than a bread box according to him). I’m impressed by his energy; he seems to be active, baking and cooking 24 hours per day.

Jeremy also interviews people in the food world that he finds interesting, from professional chefs to home cooks like myself (ahem), including Ibán Yarza who has previously appeared here on kokblog as a guest blogger. He has also connected with Sandor Ellix KatzAnthony BourdainDan Lepard and many many more. I really recommend listening to his interviews, or just reading through the list of names. It’s a great and unusual recourse of inspiration.

Pide
by Jeremy Shapiro

While on my visits in Istanbul cooking for my friend in her restaurant, I would daily pass a pide restaurant. Though I never tried from this specific place, I was able to try some from a young knowledgeable baker employed by my friend. He’d show his amazing hand skills with dough’s supple and see through like durum, not the flour of the same name, but the roll up wrap style sandwich bread a common street food in Turkey. When I returned to NYC, I’d often yearn a good pide with suçuk or sujuk, a spicy sausage that can be ground or sliced to accompany a canoe shaped pide, filled with cheese, tomatoes, eggs. When I finally sourced an amazing Montenegro butchers suçuk I was in business. As well as playing with this dough for different guises, like a lamacjun or a Ramadan flat bread.

It’s a bit tricky to make pide with sourdough, so an easy and quick yeast dough is just as good.

Pide Recipe

500 grams flour (all purpose is fine)
15grams salt
12 grams yeast
25 grams sugar
300grams water

You could approach this basically like any straight dough, mix all the ingredients and bulk ferment till doubled. Then divide and shape according to your desired need. For a pide, or pizza you could take say 80g-100g of dough, roll it out with a rolling pin, or press your hands to flatten the dough oblong about 10 to 12 inches long. Keeping the ends pointy and the sides about 6 inches wide.

The choice of fillings can be anything, think local if you can, and seasonal… Though I love cheese, onion, tomatoes and egg, and yes, suçuk, that may not be a possibility to find those items. Some nice choices, beet tops and feta, or chorizo with pumpkin?

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more about Jeremy:
Bread Inspiration from a Master Baker
– zen can cook meeting Jeremy Shapiro
You can also follow Jeremy and his work on twitter, @stirthepots

 

An Alternative Menu for Thanksgiving

The other day I put together an alternative Thanksgiving menu together with Anna Brones, just because we like to share great recipes from some of our favorite food sites (check out the links below). I also suggest you read the story about Anna’s turkey struggles last year over at Foodie Underground.

The Complete Foodie Underground Thanksgiving Menu (With or Without Turkey)

Blini with Cranberry Orange Salsa
Bite-sized Porcini Tarts
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Dried Figs and Thyme
Fennel and Celery Root Soup
Garlicky Greens
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
Cranberry Pear Tart
Apple & Gingerbread Cake

Happy Thanksgiving!

This list was first published at Foodie Underground, 19 November 2012

Amuse-Bouche (announcement)

About two weeks ago Anna Brones launched Foodie Underground, a new place for honest food conversations.  I happened to be a happy member of the team and will be posting there regularly. My weekly column will illustrate humorous food-related captions by Anna Brones. The captions are quotes overheard in the kitchen, restaurant, at the food market or simply made up. The name of the column is Amuse-Bouche which means a single bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Bon appetit!

Kanelbullar

Yesterday was the day of Kanelbullen (the cinnamon bun) which Swedes celebrate by having ‘fika’ (a traditional coffee break in Sweden).  If you are as serious a bun eater as Anna Brones and myself, you will bake them yourself and have “fika” all day. Below is our last  article together on EcoSalon. It may be the end of EcoSalon, but it will not be the last time you see something from Anna and me, our collaboration will continue one way or another. This article was 1st published at EcoSalon, 4 October 2012.

Baking and Celebrating Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (on Cinnamon Roll Day!)
by Anna Brones (text & recipe) and Johanna Kindvall (recipe & illustrations)

Sweden is equated with many things, but there is nothing as iconic as the cinnamon roll. In Swedish culinary culture, every cup of coffee deserves to be served with a baked good. This tradition is called fika and at its core is the cinnamon roll.

I don’t mean the cream cheese frosting topped, so-sweet-it-makes-you-cringe version that is served in the U.S., I mean the classic Swedish pastry, with a hint of cardamom and just sugary enough. In a country where cinnamon rolls are a staple in every cafe and bakery, and every respectable Swede has made their own batch at least once in their lives, it should come as no surprise that Sweden is in fact the cinnamon roll’s presumed country of origin.

The beauty of the Swedish cinnamon roll is in its versatility. Depending on your mood, you can switch out a few key ingredients for a completely different taste. Cardamom infused filling instead of the standard cinnamon and sugar mix for example (kardemummabullar).

October 4 marks Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Roll Day) – an entire day devoted the the baked good. Since you probably don’t have the chance to sit in a warm Stockholm cafe on a crisp autumn day and order a kanelbulle from the counter, here are a few versions you can make yourself. Just be sure to serve with coffee.

Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Rolls
Makes about 30-40 buns

dough

2 1/8 cup (500 ml) milk
25g fresh yeast (or 2 envelopes dry active yeast)
2/3 cup (130 g) brown sugar
5 7/8 cups (840 g) flour
2 teaspoons whole cardamom seeds
½ teaspoon salt
5 ¼ oz (150 g) butter (at room temperature)

alternative 1: cinnamon filling
4 ½ oz (about 125 g) butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup (65 gr) regular sugar
2 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

alternative 2: cardamom filling
4 ½ oz (about 125 g) butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup (65 gr) brown sugar
4 teaspoons whole cardamoms
(optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

topping

one small egg (whipped together)
pearl sugar or sliced almonds

Prepare the dough: Crumble the yeast (if using dry yeast prepare it as required) in a big bowl. Heat milk until it is warm to the touch, about 100ºF (about 110ºF for dry yeast). Add the milk to the yeast and stir until yeast has dissolved.

Crush the cardamoms in a mortar and pestle.

Mix together flour, sugar, cardamom and salt before adding it to the milk and yeast mixture. Add in the butter in small cubes. Blend well, either by hand or by using a food processor. Knead it well for about 5-10 minutes.

Cover the dough and place in a draft free place and let it rise for at least 40 minutes.

Filling: Mix all ingredients for the filling to an even batter. It is important for the butter to be at room temperature so it’s easier to spread.

Divide the dough into two pieces and using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle), roll each of them out separately to the shape of a rectangle (see diagram above).

Spread half of the filling onto each piece of rolled out dough so that it covers the entire area. Roll the dough up beginning with the long side. Slice the roll into about 20 equal sized (about 1 inch wide) slices and place them with their cut side up on baking sheet. Repeat above procedure with the last piece of dough.

Let them rise for about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and brush all buns and sprinkle pearl sugar or sliced almonds on top.

Bake them in the oven at 225ºC (about 440F) for 8-10 minutes.

Note: You can also fold the dough as shown below which is more common when making the bun with cardamom filling.

This dough recipe was adapted from Mia Örn’s recipe on Kardemummabullar.

More Swedish baked classics

Semlor – cardamom rich bun is filled with almond paste and heavy whipped cream
Pepparkakor – Ginger Bread Cookies (at EcoSalon)
Lussebullar – Saffron Buns
Mazariner – Guest post by Anna Brones

Variations of my recipe: Swedish Cardamom Rolls by Fix Feast Flair

Autumn Foraging: Apples

In my neighbor’s garden there is an old apple tree. The tree and the garden is in need of care. It always hurts my heart when I see fruit of any kind fall to the ground before anyone even thinks of taking care of them. As nobody actually lives next door I think its ok to pick them. So I went over there to have a look. The apples didn’t look that great and they would probably be terrible in most things, I thought. I took a bite and smiled. It was a crisp bite and the taste was sweet and sour at the same time. This abandoned tree was in fact a Granny Smith or at least something very close to it. Granny Smith may not be my absolute favorite but an apple like this is excellent in an apple tart or a nutty manchego salad.

Apples in general are very useful in cooking, for both savory or sweet dishes. A chicken for example is really flavorful when roasted whole filled with apples and prunes. Different kinds of preserves such as apple compote, apple butter and apple chutney are fantastic treats that can be served with many different things, such as a sweet flavor in oatmeal, as a side to meat or together with cheese on bread. While growing up I remember having only apple compote with cold milk as an afternoon snack.

Then there are endless amazing cakes and pies that can be baked with apples. There is of course always the classic Tarte Tartine that was created by two sisters after a successful accident in the kitchen. A more unusual apple pie is the south Swedish version (Skånsk Äpplekaka) that is made with rye bread crumbs. It may sound strange but its absolutely delicious served with vanilla sauce.

If you have a lots of apples you should really consider making your own apple juice or cider. If my neighbor’s tree would give me more apples, I would definitively brew hard apple cider. Sandor Ellix Katz says, in his book “wild fermentation”, to brew apple cider is one of the simplest alcohol fermentation you can make. You just need fresh good quality apple juice (preferably juiced by yourself), a jug, a cheese cloth and a rubber band. He calls it Spontaneous Cider.

Last year I got really inspired by Joanna at Zeb Bakes when she made apple cider vinegar with the scraps and pieces that were left over after making apple cake. I think it’s really clever to use something that normally would be thrown away. Joanna’s vinegar was inspired by Carl Legge‘s experiments which he describes very well in his post Fermenting Revolution 2 – Apple cider vinegar. The below recipe is pretty much the same as Carl’s formula (Sandor Katz suggests less sugar in his book).

I think my neighbor’s Granny Smith are perfect for this recipe.

Granny Smith Cider Vinegar

  • ½ cup (about 120 ml) sugar (I used half regular sugar and half brown)
  • 4 ¼ cup (one liter) water
  • 6-12 small Granny Smith apples* (more or less if you are using scraps or whole apples)

Heat up the water together with the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved into the water take off the heat and let cool. This is important as hot liquid will not let the natural yeast start the process. During this time you can prepare the apples. I used whole apples, which I rinsed and cut into one inch (2-3 cm) pieces. But you can use leftover bits and pieces as well. Place the apples in a large glass jar or other suitable container. It’s good if the jar has a wide opening, according to Sandor Katz a larger exposure to air helps the process.

When the sugar solution is cool enough (about room temperature) pour it over the apple pieces. Place a plate on top to weigh down the apples (I took a bowl and a mortar). Place the container in a warm place. To avoid flies etc cover with a cheesecloth or kitchen towel (fastened by a rubber band). Stir and taste the apples every day. (After about 3 days I could see small bubbles and the flavor was sweet and fizzy. This as a good sign, the fermenting process is doing what it should do).

After 7-10 days, the apples have done their job and you will need to strain them through a sieve. Pour back into the jar and let stand for another 7-14 days. Continue to taste your batch regularly. It will soon start to taste more like vinegar than cider. When you are happy with the flavor, strain the liquid again and pour the liquid into sterilized bottles and seal them properly. The film that will be created on top is called “Mother of Vinegar” that can be used as a starter for your next vinegar.


* You can of course use any other kind of apple in this recipe. You can also make vinegar with other kinds of fruit and berries. Sandor Katz mentions in his book that almost any fruit scraps and peels etc can be used for making vinegar. He suggests pineapple, grapes or even overripe bananas.

This article was originally published at EcoSalon, 2 October 2012.

In this Autumn Foraging series see also Autumn Foraging: Rose Hips with a recipe of Rose Hip Sherry.