Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dalmation Dol Cake - Daring Kitchen Challenge September 2016


I first started real baking after my dear mum passed away when I was just 9 years old. Mum was a great Italian cook. She was amazing with delicious traditional Italian meals, even her tripe was to die for! However she was also a great baker of classic Australian favourites such as sponge cake,
 and pineapple tart. Of course, we missed this all so much when we lost her even though Dad was a very accomplished cook and taught me so much.
So I started baking apple pies, cakes and even tried my hand at bread at about 12 years old. Over the years, I have found that it is baking that really makes me happy. Take some butter, flour, sugar and eggs and couple of little variations in technique and baking and you have a myriad of different baked goodies. Swap the ingredients around a little and add a couple of different flavours and all of a sudden you are visiting another country.
This month Jason from Daily Candor took the Daring Kitchen to Dol on the Dalmatian island of Bra. Nope, I didn't know where that was either! Bra or Brač is an island in the Adriatic Sea within Croatia. Jason tells us that "The cake is named for the rugged stones from the nearby caves, and is known locally to be a bit of an aphrodisiac (!). The cake has won considerable acclaim within Croatia, and every year the town of Dol hosts the annual Night of Hrapouša competition which draws over a thousand attendees, some ten times as many people as the resident population of the village.

The cake is very different from other cakes in terms of both texture and flavor. The bottom layer is a fragrant almond-based sponge with orange-vanilla notes, while the top is a lemon-scented fragile brittle made of walnuts. It is extremely rich, and even those of us with a major sweet tooth can handle only a thin slice or two. Fortunately, it keeps at room temperature for a good week, and for several months if frozen immediately after making."

Now, don't do what I did and overcook the topping. You're going to find it impossible to slice through the hard nut topping. So do as Jason instructs in the recipe ...."Stop when the liquid takes on a beige/caramel color."




Dalmation Dol Cake ( I reduced the cake to a 4 egg version, the measurements in red)

Servings: Makes 12-16 slices
For 8” / 20cm springform pan (if using 12” / 30cm pan, double the ingredients) (18cm)

Ingredients
250g / 9oz / 1 3/4 cups whole almonds (roasted or raw, depending on preference) (167g)
400g / 14oz / 3 1/2 cups walnuts (halves and pieces) (267g)
600g / 1 1/3lb / 3 cups granulated sugar (400g)
1/2 orange (1/3 orange)
1/2 lemon (1/3 lemon)
1 ½ Tbsp kirsch, maraschino or other cherry-flavored liquor (15ml)
6 large eggs (4 eggs) (145g egg whites)
1 tsp vanilla extract (left as is)


Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 480°F / 249°C / Gas Mark 9 1/2.

2. Pulse the almonds in a food processor to yield a meal.


3. Add to your standing mixer bowl (or another large bowl if you’re using a handheld mixer) the following: the zest and juice from ½ (1/3)  orange, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 ½  tbsp (15ml) of cherry-flavored liquor and 200g / 1 cup (134 g) of the sugar. Mix gently until homogeneous.


4. Separate the 6 (4) eggs, adding the yolks directly into the mixer bowl. Retain the whites separately: 4 ( 88g) whites in one bowl, the remaining 2 (44g) in another. Mix the ingredients from step 3 with the yolks until it yields a uniform batter. Pour into another bowl if using a standing mixer.


5. Clean out your standing mixer bowl (or get a new, clean bowl if using a handheld mixer) and place the 2 (44g) egg whites from step 4 in the bowl. Beat until you have somewhat stiff peaks.

6. Add half of the beaten egg whites and half of the almond meal to the batter. Fold in to incorporate and stir gently to homogeneity. Then add the remaining almond meal and egg whites, folding in and stirring gently as before.


7. Place a circle of parchment paper at the bottom of the springform pan. Pour the resulting cake batter into the springform pan on top of the parchment paper.


8. Bake according to this schedule (move to step 9 after placing in the oven):

5 minutes at 392°F /200°C / Gas Mark 6 (drop the oven to this temperature immediately after placing cake inside)
15 minutes at 350°F / 176°C / Gas Mark 4
15 minutes at 320°F / 160°C / Gas Mark 3

Begin checking the cake approx 5 minutes after lowering the temperature to 320°F / 160°C / Gas Mark 3 (or approx 25 minutes after beginning to bake). When a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven. If the center has swollen due to baking, press gently with the back of the wooden spoon to flatten the surface.

Note that a larger cake (in a 12" / 30cm pan) will likely take longer to bake sufficiently.




9. While the bottom cake is baking, place the remaining 4 (88g) egg whites, 400g / 2 cups (266g)  sugar and the walnuts in a large pot. Turn up the burner to medium-high heat and stir aggressively for approx 15 minutes, making sure the bottom of the pot doesn’t scorch. Stop when the liquid takes on a beige/caramel color.



 10. Add the zest and juice of ½ (1/3) lemon and the remaining ½ tsp of vanilla extract to the walnut-caramel mixture. Stir to spread uniformly throughout the mixture.



11. Pour the resulting walnut mixture over the bottom layer of the cake. Make the top even with the back of the wooden spoon.


12. Place the cake back in the oven (should still be at 320°F / 160°C / Gas Mark 3) and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the top takes on a golden color.


13. Allow to cool for 90 minutes. Then gently remove from springform pan, peel off the parchment paper,...


...  and present!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Scandinavian Rye Bread - A Baker's Odyssey Challenge #49


A few years ago I wandered into a large book store in Brisbane while on holidays. While my children were browsing, I made my way to the second floor which held a substantial selection of cookbooks. There I sat a little stool and surrounded myself with beautiful books. I knew our luggage would be heavy so I limited myself to choosing one book.


Little did I know that by choosing that book, on that day, would lead to Greg coming into my life and I now count Greg and his lovely wife Dorothy as dear friends.

On my return from holidays, I poured over that book. I wanted to make so many recipes. Rarely, if ever do that many recipes from one book interest me that much! So I decided to bake my way through the book. By chance, Greg happened upon my  blog and made contact. One thing led to another and this year Greg told me that he and Dorothy were making their first trip to Australia and  could we meet? So a couple of weeks ago my hubby and I spent a lovely weekend with Greg and Dorothy in the North Queensland city of Cairns.
How lucky am I?
Greg is a wealth of food knowledge and Dorothy is so incredibly accomplished in her field but they are two of the most humble and gentle people I have ever met. For me this was a small sliding door moment - buying a cookbook led to welcoming the author and his wife into my life. 

I don't often post personal photos but this is an exception - Greg and myself in the beautiful tropical sunshine.



We talked and talked! We ate great food and wandered around together. We discussed Greg's books. At one stage I turned to Greg and said, "Oooh, I have just made your Swedish Rye Bread! It's delicious!" Greg gave me a funny look. Aaaah, sorry Greg, it was Limpa I was talking about! In my head I had renamed it Swedish Rye Bread. Do you ever do that?

This Limpa which is a Scandinavian Rye bread is adapted from the recipe in A Baker's Odyssey. I have been baking bread for a long time and I would say without a doubt this is one of the most flavourful loaves I have made. Served warm out of the oven with lashings of butter it is irresistible but the next day it slices well and toasts beautifully. This bread will not disappoint!




Limpa ( adapted from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent)
makes one small round loaf

200ml water
20mls molasses
20g butter
230g bread flour
75g dark rye flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Heat the water, molasses and butter in a small pan over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture registers around 50C. Remove from heat while you measure and prepare the remaining ingredients.
To make the dough I like to use a stand mixer but it can all be done by hand.
Combine the flours and yeast then stir in the salt, orange zest, anise seeds and caraway seeds. By this time your liquids should have cooled down a little. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough is formed. Allow to rest about ten minutes. Then if using a stand mixer attach the dough hook and knead for 5-8 minutes. Alternatively knead by hand for 8 minutes. In either case you should end up with a smooth and elastic dough. It will be a little sticky but don't add any more flour.
Form into a ball then place the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Lightly flour the work surface, turn out the dough and pat gently to remove the large air bubbles. Form the dough into a ball by cupping your hands around the dough and rotating it. Pinch the underside together to seal and form a ball.
Place on a baking tray which has been lined with nonstick paper and cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise for a further 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
In the meantime heat the oven to 230C. When the dough is ready and the oven is hot, take a spray bottle filled with water and spray the inside of the oven, close the door. Uncover the dough and place into the hot oven which you spray again with water. Shut the door immediately and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack. Serve with lashings of butter!



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pavlova - Daring Kitchen challenge for August 2016





This month I hosted a Daring Kitchen challenge and challenged the members of the Daring Kitchen to make a pavlova. I know, not that daring really, is it? But that was the whole point. I wanted this to be more of a creative challenge...take the main ingredient of a pavlova and let your culinary  imagination go wild. Daring Kitchen members came up with some wonderful creations. Have a look here. Or have a look at these wonderful blogs here, here, here or here.


I have been making Pavlova for many years and it is standard dessert fare at many Australian gatherings. The classic Pavlova is a dessert consisting of a crisp, light meringue base topped with fruit and cream. Most often the centre of the meringue is of a marshmallowy consistency. However Pavlova can be stacked layers, mini Pavlovas, or lightly baked and rolled with a filling. The meringue can be flavoured with nuts, spices, chocolate, cocoa or coffee powder and filled with custards, mousses, bavarians, mascarpone, fruit curds or yoghurt.
The recipe I provided is one I have used for many years, so long that I don’t know where it came from but it is very similar to most recipes for the Classic Pavlova. I prefer my Pavlova baked to quite crunchy with little marshmallow in the centre. I usually top with fresh whipped Chantilly cream and fresh fruit such as strawberries, kiwi fruit and passionfruit. On this occasion I made a passionfruit curd to drizzle over the cream and topped with green and gold kiwi fruit and toasted shredded coconut.

Notes:
This recipe can be halved or increased quite easily just keep in mind that the cooking time will vary. I often make this into a 6 egg white pavlova.
Make sure your whisking bowl is clean and greasefree. If in doubt rub with paper towel dipped in white vinegar or lemon juice before use.
Have everything ready on the bench because once you start mixing, your pavlova you can’t be interrupted.
Use eggs at room temperature to ensure the best whip. The egg whites must not contain even a trace of yolk. To be sure separate each egg individually.
I like to use cream of tartar to stablise the whites. I have read that a ½ teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice or even a pinch of salt can be substituted but I
can’t verify this.
If you can’t get superfine sugar, whiz regular sugar in the food processor.
Do not open the door during the cooking then when baled. allow to cool slowly in the oven with the door ajar.



Recipe 1: Pavlova


Servings: 8 to 10 serves or less if your guests are hungry
Ingredients
4 egg whites (approx. 120g or 8 Tbsp using 57g / 2oz eggs), at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup / 225g / 8oz caster/ superfine sugar
3 tsp / 8g cornstarch (Australia ­ cornflour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
Directions:
Preheat the oven 135°C / 275°F / Gas Mark 1 and prepare a large flat tray by lining with nonstick baking paper.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Continue beating while gradually adding the sugar one tablespoon at a
time. Continue beating until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved.


Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still "gritty" with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.


Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the sifted cornstarch, followed by the vanilla and the vinegar.
Pile the mixture onto the baking paper lined flat tray. It should be about a 20 ­ 25cm / 8 ­ 10" circle. Hollow out the centre a little.

Bake for 1 ¼ hours. If your oven runs hot and the pavlova is colouring simply lower the temperature by 5 or 10 degrees.
Cool in the oven with the door ajar.


Once cool store in an airtight container unless using straight away.

To Assemble the Pavlova just before serving


1 baked and cooled pavlova, as per recipe
2 green kiwi fruit and 2 gold kiwi fruit, sliced, or you choice of fruit
1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Passionfruit curd, recipe below
Chantilly cream, recipe below
Remove the baking paper from the pavlova and place on a serving tray. (I recently saw Nigella Lawson prepare a pavlova and she simply turned it upside down
on a serving tray, removed the baking paper and decorated the pavlova. Once decorated no one could tell it was upside down.)
Spread the Chantilly cream over the pavlova, drizzle with as much of the curd as you like, decorate with slice kiwi fruit and sprinkle with toasted coconut.


Recipe 2: Passionfruit Curd


Makes: 2 ½ cups / 600ml / 20 fl oz
Ingredients
150ml / approx. 1/2 cup + 2tsp strained passionfruit pulp
2 Tablespoons of passionfruit seeds
20ml / 1 metric Tbsp / 1 US Tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
170g / 1 1/2 sticks / 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
200g / 9/10 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Directions:
In a medium saucepan place passionfruit pulp, lemon juice, butter and sugar. Cook over a medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
In a bowl place eggs and additional egg yolks and whisk eggs until combined.


Whisk the eggs and slowly pour in the passionfruit mixture. It is important to keep whisking while you do this. Strain the passionfruit curd mixture through a
sieve back into the saucepan to remove any “eggy bits”.

Add the passionfruit seeds and continue to cook over a low/medium heat until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. At low heat this can
take as long as 10 minutes. At medium heat it can take as little as 5 minutes.
Be careful not to overheat and overcook the mixture – you will then have passionfruit flavoured scrambled eggs. I like to not risk further cooking of the curd
by pouring the cooked mixture into a glass jug until cooled.

Once mixture has cooled place in a sterilised jar and store in the fridge. Passionfruit curd will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Recipe 3: Chantilly Cream

Ingredients
300ml / 1 1/4 cups / 10 fl oz full fat cream (about 35%)
16g / 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
5ml / 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine all ingredients.
Using a hand whisk or electric whisk, beat the cream in a stainless steel or glass or china bowl (not plastic­ doesn't seem to whip as well).
It is whipped properly when it is still soft and billowy but holds its shape when the whisk is withdrawn.
Once the cream is whipped, cover and store in the fridge.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Multi Coloured Pasta - The Daring Kitchen July, 2016 Challenge


There is pasta and then there is PASTA. This is PASTA. Coloured with vegetable puree. Sliced and rolled until we have striped pasta. I had always wanted to make coloured pasta but I never thought of striped pasta until this.

Dulcie from The Taste Trail  challenges us at The Daring Kitchen to make our own patterned pasta from scratch. Dulcie had been developing all-natural rainbow pasta recipes for a couple of years and now thought she would share what she has learnt. Her famous last words were "I promise, it is not as complex as the end results would lead you to believe."

You find Dulcie's detailed instructions on the Daring Kitchen site. While I based my pasta on her recipe, I found my juicer wouldn't produce enough vegetable juice so I simply used the very fine puree of roasted beetroot and steamed spinach to colour the pasta. I also used a different method to achieve the stripes.

For each portion of dough, I used 200g pasta flour with one egg and a couple of tablespoons of fine vegetable puree until it came together into a smooth and pliable dough.

Once the pasta was made and rested in the refrigerator overnight, each colour was rolled slightly with a rolling pin then passed through the pasta machine rolling and folding until it was well worked, smooth and each a uniform shape. I joined the prepared pasta one on top of the other dampening with a little water ensure they stuck well.


Then the portion was cut evenly in two...



...and layered up!


From this I cut thick slices, which were rolled a little by hand before being passed through the pasta machine.


I filled my fresh pasta with ricotta, parmesan and greens from the garden, such as silverbeet (chard), rocket and parsley.


And prepared colourful ravioli.


A quick cook in boiling, salted water.


Before being tossed with loads of butter, garlic, basil and parmesan cheese. YUMMO!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Norwegian Fattigman - A Baker's Odyssey Challenge #48


A fried pastry is always good! Many traditional cuisines fry pastry for special occasions. In the Italian tradition the fried thin pastry goes by many names crostoli, cenci, galani, sfrappole, bugie, stracci... the list seems endless. In Australia for some reason we have renamed the Italian fried pastry - storch...perhaps a form of stracci! In any case, I'm not making Italian fried pastry! I am making Norwegian fried pastry called Fattigman which is flavoured with cardamom. This recipe is the 48th recipe I have made from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent.

Fattigman

6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups plain flour
oil for deep frying

Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat for another 5 minutes until the mixture is thick. On a low speed add in the butter, brandy, vanilla, cardamom and salt.

In a small bowl beat the cream until it thickens a little. Fold in the egg mixture and then with a wooden spoon mix in the flour. It will be a thick, sticky dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


The next day prepare to fry the fattigman. I used a deep frying pan which I filled with oil to about 2 - 3cm of oil. Use a deep fry thermometer to ensure the oil stays between 180C - 190C and heat the oil as you roll out the dough.

Dust a work surface with flour and divide the dough into quarters. Take one quarter and keep the others covered so they don't dry out. Dust with flour and roll out the portioned dough until very thin. It should be no more the 1/16 of an inch which is about 1.5mm. If you can get it thinner, all the better.
Flour the work surface to prevent sticking.


Traditionally fattigman is cut into large diamond shapes

with a slit in the middle of each piece.



The tip on the diamond is pulled through the slit. However I think it is perfectly ok to cut the fattigman anyway you wish,


Lower each pastry into the hot oil. Wait about 5 seconds then flip them over to brown on the other side. Flip them over again after about 5 or 10 seconds and keep repeating until the fattigman are blistery all over. It should only take 30 seconds in all. Remove to paper towel to drain.

Repeat with all the dough,


It is not traditional but you can give them a dusting of powdered sugar before serving.

These will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight container.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Swedish Jam Strips - A Baker's Odyssey Challenge #47



Homemade jam drops were synonymous with school lunches when I was growing up. Everyone's mum made them. Those were the days when lunch boxes were packed with sandwiches, homemade cake or biscuits and a piece of fruit. Peer into a lunch box today and you'll find it's a little different. It annoys me to see the variety of prepackaged food available specifically for school lunch boxes and a lot of it has little nutritional value. In fact a lot of it is down right rubbish! What a shame today's society has little time for homemade cakes and biscuits. Baking is now almost considered an art! What would our grandmother's say?


I would think this is a Swedish version of the Australian jam drops especially as a finger or the end of a wooden spoon is used to make the indentation.

Swedish Almond Jam Strips from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent

3/4 cup ground almonds
220g butter
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons castor (superfine)sugar
pinch salt
1 2/3 cup allpurpose plain flour
3/4 - 1 cup seedless raspberry jam

Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons boiling water

Prepheat oven to 180C/350F and line a couple of baking trays with non stick paper.

In a stand mixer beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat until fluffy. Scrape the bowl and add in the almonds. Gradually mix in the flour. Beat until just combined. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a thick disc. Divide into 4. Roll each into a log about 30cm long by 2 or 3cm thick. Place on prepared tray. Leaving the ends of the log intact make a shallow depression the length of each log with your finger or the end of a wooden spoon. Fill the depression with jam taking care not to overfill. Bake for 25 minutes. As soon as the strips come out of the oven prepare the glaze by mixing all the ingredients together until smooth adding a little more water if necessary. With a teaspoon drizzle the glaze over the jam. Cool the strips for 5 minutes then transfer to cutting board and cut strips at an angle. Transfer to wire rack to cool.





Monday, July 4, 2016

Savoury ring cookies - Kahk from A Baker's Odyssey challenge #46


Back in 2011 I baked Greg Patent's Granny's Kahk. Since then I have regularly baked that delicious savoury biscuit so I thought it was about time I tried the yeasted version in A Baker's Odyssey. Flavoured with sesame, anise and nigella seeds these are also a treat. Great with cheese, olives and drinks. Really these remind me of the Italian taralli. Have you tried taralli? Or have you tried kahk?


Savoury Ring cookies from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent
Makes 36

1 7g packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon mahlab seeds, ground
1/4 cup warm water
60g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups all purpose plain flour
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl mix together yeast, mahlab seeds and warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes, the yeast will start to bubble. In a saucepan melt the butter. Remove from heat then add the extra water.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, seeds and salt. Make a well in the centre and stir in the yeast mixture and butter and water mixture. I found the mixture was very dry at this stage and needed to add a little more water to bring the mixture together. Knead the mixture on a work surface for a few minutes. Lightly oil the bowl and place the ball of dough in the bowl turning a couple of times to coat with a little oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and line a couple of baking trays with non stick paper.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 30 even pieces. Allow the dough to rest again for 10 minutes. Working with one piece of dough at a time roll each piece of dough into a 12cm/5in long rope. Shape into a circle overlapping the evens to secure. Place on prepared baking trays and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Delicious Greek Kourabiedes from A Baker's Odyssey Challenge #45


I think right about now my daughter will be tucking into a couple of these with a Greek coffee in hand, gazing out over the azure ocean in Santorini. That's right, I bake them in my humble kitchen in Northern Australia and she samples the real thing in it's natural surrounds. I know she will have a wonderful time in Greece and as her mother's daughter, will enjoy all the delicious food on offer.

I baked these buttery crisp delicacies for a biscuit platter. I love anything dusted with icing sugar!



Kourabiedes adapted from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent

1/2 cup unblanched whole almonds, toasted
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup castor (superfine) sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
icing sugar to coat

Chop the almonds into very small pieces with a sharp knife or pulsed in a food processor until chopped but not ground.

With a wooden spoon beat the butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar, beat well then beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in the almonds. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Stir to combine. When the dough comes together form into a square and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a couple of baking trays with non stick paper. Divide the dough into 36 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then shape into a crescent about 7cm x 1.5cm (3in x 1/2in). Place on prepared baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check them early because they brown very quickly. Cool on a wire rack. Coat with icing sugar when cool.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Piroshki - Two challenges in one!


This month in the Daring Kitchen we were challenged to make Piroshki by Sara at Sassy Suppers.

Sara tells us that ..."according to Anne Volokh in her book The Art of Russian Cuisine, pirozhki have been sold as street food since Peter the Great’s time. They have also been served during elaborate banquets both in Russia and Paris. At the turn of the century, one could find fabulous pirozhki at the Filippov Bakery. The hand-held fried pies would be stuffed with all sorts of things . . . meat, mushrooms, rice, eggs, cheese and jam. Pirozhki are still sold on the street in Russian cities today and many a home baker has a favorite recipe."

I have also been waiting to try a couple of piroshki recipes from that great book by Greg Patent "A Baker's Odyssey" so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try baking and frying piroshki in a Piroshki Fest! This is adds to my personal challenge of baking through A Baker's Odyssey with recipe #45 and #46.

A Baker's Odyssey provides two fried piroshki recipes one of beef and the other mushroom.  A yeast dough is generally used for fried piroshki. In this case the dough for the mushroom piroshki was sweetened with a little sugar.

I used the gorgeous sour cream pastry provided by Sara in our Daring Kitchen challenge to bake Beef Piroshki using the beef filling in A Baker's Odyssey. With the remaining beef filling I made fried piroshki. And to complete the Piroshki Fest, Lithuanian Mushroom Piroshki from A Baker's Odyssey completed the meal!

Yep, I was all piroshki-ed out by the end. The verdict - Beef Piroshki filling from A Baker's Odyssey is moist and delicious and is a perfect combination with the sour cream pastry or fried in yeast pastry.

For the sour cream pastry recipe please click here but this time I won't provide the two recipes from A Baker's Odyssey...just a little incentive to buy a copy for yourself! If you would like to join us next month in the Daring Kitchen check it out here for yourself


The sour cream pastry was rolled very thinly before being topped with the beef filling, folded and sealed ready for baking.


The yeast dough was soft and tender and easy to work with.


Little pillows of goodness encased in sour cream pastry were crimped around the edges.


My fried piroshki browned very quickly due to the sugar content in the yeast dough but the tender dough was cooked through. This minced beef filling was moist and flavorful with hints of thyme and dill.


These baked piroshki were deliciously moreish with golden, flaky pastry.



With a dab of sour cream they were perfect.