Sep 292011
 

Muesli Challah

I love researching the history of food, and one of the foremost experts on the history of Jewish Food is Gil Marks. I am going to have the immense honor of dining with him and hopefully picking his brain a bit. His entry about Challah in his book, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, explains the different traditions of the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities for eating bread on Shabbat: whereas Ashkenazi communities had little access to white wheat flour, and so reserved it for the challah on Shabbat, the Sephardi world had easier access to white flour, and so the difference between weekday and Shabbat bread was not so much in the type of flour used, but in different variations of the bread itself, including adding sesame seeds, or even switching to whole wheat flour.

After reading this entry in Marks’ encyclopedia, I wondered if my ancestors would think that my festive challah made from whole wheat, rye and white flour would be fitting enough for our holiest holidays, and I hope the answer would be yes. I have a recipe for muesli buns that I thought would make an interesting challah for this year’s Rosh Hashana, and it didn’t disappoint. It might be a bit unconventional, but I am an unconventional kind of girl. I also made my tried and true challah for the plain eaters in the family.

This year, as every year, we celebrated Rosh Hashana with family and friends in Jerusalem. It was an interesting group as we represented the best of the Israeli table, one that represented several different countries: Israel, Holland, England, Germany, France, the Philippines and the United States. We thought of loved ones we missed who are no longer here or are far away, we laughed, and we thought of all of the things we want to do to make this year more sweet, more healthy, more prosperous, and most importantly more peaceful.

May you be inscribed in the Book of Life and we hope you have happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful new year.

Chag Sameach,

Baroness Tapuzina and Mr BT

Muesli Challah

Yield: 2 medium loaves

500 grams (4 cups) whole wheat flour

300 grams (3-1/3 cups) rye flour

300 grams (3-1/3 cups) all purpose flour

30 grams (2 tablespoons) salt

50 grams (2 ounces) fresh yeast

740 ml (3 cups) cold water

100 grams (3.5 ounces) raisins

100 grams dried figs (3.5 ounces), cut into quarters

100 grams prunes (3.5 ounces), cut into quarters

100 grams hazelnuts, roasted

100 grams Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

400 grams mixture of flax seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.

Honey for drizzling on top

Add the flours and salt to a mixer with a dough hook and mix until combined. Crumble the fresh yeast over the flour mixture and add the cold water. Mix initially at low speed and then increase the speed to medium until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl. The dough will still be a little sticky. If the dough is too dry, add water, a tablespoon at a time. Lower the speed and add the dried fruits and hazelnuts. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel or cellophane, and let rise for about 1 hour until it doubles in size.

Punch the dough down and place on a clean, floured, work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into eight pieces, hand-rolling each piece into a long snake, and braid into two loaves with four strands each. Brush each loaf with honey and sprinkle the seed mixture on top.

Place each loaf on a lined baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C (350F). This bread freezes well.

For buns: Make half a recipe and divide the dough into 12 pieces and bake for 15 minutes.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2011/09/29/rosh-hashana-5772-muesli-challah/

Sep 032011
 

I have been talking for the last several years about driving up to the north for the day and going to the Moroccan Fantasy (פנטזיה מרוקאית) store in Hatzor Haglilit to find a tagine. I have always joked that I must of have been Moroccan in a past life because I love Moroccan architecture and design, food and music.

Morocco Fantasy Store

Finally, Mr BT and I went there a few Fridays ago and when we first drove through the industrial zone and entered the parking area of the store, the front of the store didn’t look like anything special.

Tagines

But then we looked to our right and gasped in delight at the sea of tagines,

Tables_Sinks

tiled tables and sinks,

Planters

and beautiful planters.

Moroccan_Fantasy_Inside

The moment I walked in the store, I knew I was home. It fulfilled all our expectations and more.

Moroccan_Painted_Screens

The first place I gravitated to was the back of the store where they had beautiful hand-painted

Moroccan_HandHammered_Doors

hand-hammered,

Moroccan_Doors

and my personal favorite, hand-carved doors which I could picture as the entrance to our master bedroom.

Moroccan_Lamps

Moroccan_More_Lamps

The other thing that caught my eye were the beautiful light fixtures.

Tagines_Vases_Pots

But after coming back down to earth, I focused on the real reason I came to the store, which was to buy a tagine that I could cook with. They have beautiful decorative tagines for serving, but you cannot use them for cooking.

Tagines (1)

When buying a tagine for cooking or serving, make sure they have a label on them that says “sans plomb”, which means “without lead”. And of course, always make sure you buy from a reputable dealer.

Fire_Base_for_Tagine

If you want to cook with a tagine in the traditional way, you can buy a stand for it and cook using wood or charcoal. I decided to forgo this for now, but will buy one in the future.

Tagine

I came home with a rustic tagine perfect for making one of Paula Wolfert’s lovely recipes. But, I will be going back to buy doors, tiles, lamps….. Mr. BT’s bank manager had better watch out!

Moroccan Fantasy
Industrial Zone
Hatzor HaGlilit
Open: Sunday-Thursday 0800 – 1600
Friday 0800 – 1430
Telephone: 04-6800744 or 050-2766965

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