Monday, January 25, 2010

Vintage Baking

...well, sort of. I used the Bosch mixer with dough hook (from my previous post on Modern Baking) this year for some Christmas baking. I made two recipes that were taught to me by Paul's grandmother (Babi - pronounced Bubbee) around the time we were married. Paul absolutely loved Babi's cooking and baking. She had given me the recipes for Rohliky (crescent rolls) and for a Czechoslavakian bread that is so yummy. There's also a recipe for a coffee cake that Babi didn't teach me, but Paul had the wisdom to jot it down so we still have it today.

Babi had demonstrated the kneading and had given me explicit instructions on the procedure for making these. It was very labor-intensive. I had made these early on in our life together, but once we had all three of our children, I never tried it again. The thought of all that kneading/resting/rising was hard to imagine with little ones running about. However, with the new tool of the mixer and dough hook (which was not available, at least in a useful form for heavy doughs, back then), I felt emboldened to try again. However, I did do at least one thing that was vintage - I sifted the flour. Babi had specifically told me to sift the flour, even the pre-sifted kind. I had broken my sifter years ago, so needed to buy a new one. The best reviews (at least in my judgement) came for this type of sifter:

Hand-crank Flour Sifter

I set Paul and Tyler to the task of being my sifters, to Tyler's great delight, what fun! I had mixed success. The Rohliky: I think I over-mixed it, and, in spite of all the butter already in these, I needed to use more in the part where I brush the rolled out dough with butter! Here's a photo of some of them (I would have taken a photo of a whole pile of them, but by the time I thought of it, most of them had been eaten!):

The bread, which is a raisin-almond bread came out very nicely. The recipe makes three loaves. I brought one loaf to Christmas at my sister's house, and gave a loaf to my in-laws (Babi was my mother-in-law's mom, and she was very happy to have this again). The last loaf was for our house, and it went very quickly. Here's a not-too-in-focus photo of our loaf (and it is really terrible focus - don't click on this photo, unless you want to feel dizzy!):

I was very happy to do this again and in a simpler way.

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