Friday, April 16, 2010

Olive Spelt Bread

Our assignment this time, for the Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day" baking group, was to make Olive Spelt Bread on page 96 of the book.

I've become fond of spelt, it has a milder whole grain taste than whole wheat.  This recipe called for green olives, which I just happened to buy on sale.  It included yogurt, to give it a jump start on the "tang" flavor.

My style of baking is vegan.  I decided to use soy yogurt.  I had a difficult time finding plain soy yogurt.  The plain soy yogurt that I did buy had a definite vanilla flavor, but I decided to use it anyways.

We really liked this bread, but I will probably make it with milk-style yogurt next time.  

If you would like to see the other recipes made by other people in this group, just click on this link:

HBinFive is hosted by Michelle
of Big Black


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pistachio Macaroons

I really loved the "Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes A Day" recipe for the Pistachio Twist.  It contained pistachio nuts and rosewater.  What a sublime combination!  I brought that bread to a friend's house on New Year's Day, and we just couldn't stop eating it!

I couldn't forget that wonderful combination of flavors.  There has been a macaroon recipe in my files that had this combination of flavors.  I decided to try it, after having it in my files for about 5 years.  This recipe is an adaptation of a Matthew Goodman recipe in his book "Jewish Food:  The World at Table."

In this book, Mr. Goodman tried to save many recipes from Jewish communities all over the world. For the pistachio macaroons, he states that pistachios are a very common ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, especially by the Syrians.

To me, a macaroon should have coconut.  This was more like a meringue; it had beaten egg whites.  I couldn't find shelled pistachios here (boy do I miss Trader Joe's!), so I shelled 1/2 pound before grinding the pistachios.  I added sugar and rosewater.  Then folded in beaten egg white.  Here is my adapted recipe:

Pistachio Macaroons
1/2 pound of shelled pistachios
1/2 cup sugar 

2 egg whites
1 teaspoon rosewater

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. I used my Silpats.
2. Grind the pistachios with the sugar in the bowl of a food processor, leaving some chunks for texture; transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold them, with the rosewater, into the pistachio mixture.
4. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls in balls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 inch between. Bake until lightly browned, 17 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. (Very important to use an airtight container, or they could get hard.
Makes about 20.

We both loved it!  This one is a keeper--if I can get a good price on pistachio nuts! 

Hope you enjoy it, too!