Breakfast

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This past October Pickled Rose took a little trip to Las Vegas and did the unthinkable, GOT MARRIED!  The amount of love felt from all our family and friends was overwhelming in the best possible way, and is a day neither John or I will ever forget.   I have to apologize that in the midst of all the planning the blog took a backseat to invitations, gift bags, and vows.  Pretty lame, I know, but I promise that this recipe will make it up to you.

One of the best and most special wedding gifts I received was a stack of family recipes from my Aunt Chris.  I come from a long line of great cooks, and have learned so much about food from the matriarchs in my family.  I will cherish their wisdom, recipes, and memory forever.  This recipe comes from my Grandma Ebeling and does not disappoint.  Not only is the coffee cake easy to make, but it is so moist and delicious that you will want to keep it all for your self.  Every. Last. Crumb.

The secret ingredient in this recipe is sour cream.  It keeps the cake moist and balances out the sweetness of the filling.  Chopped walnuts add a wonderful crunch.  The inside of the cake is soft with swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar, and has a nice crumb to it.  The top is crunchy and sweet like any good coffee cake should be.  This is best served warm with a hot cup of coffee and is guaranteed to brighten even the dreariest of days.  

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Grease a 10" tube pan with non-stick cooking spray or good old fashioned butter.  I used coconut oil cooking spray.  Next prepare the filling by combining brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon in a small bow.  Set aside. 

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Next, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Add to creamed mixture, alternating between dry ingredients and sour cream.  Beat until batter is smooth.  

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Pour 1/3 of batter into bottom of the tube pan.  Smooth out until there is an even layer.  Top with 1/3 of the filling.  Repeat 2 more times, so that you finish with the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until the top is crusty and brown and a knife comes clean from the cake.

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Everything Bagels and Gravlax

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should make your own bagels:

5. You don't have to fly to New York to get a bagel that actually tastes like a bagel

4. Knowing your biceps are actually rock hard when you say "Got tickets to the gun show?"

3. The street cred and bragging rights

2. All of the inappropriate jokes and gestures you can make with the dough while poking holes into it

And the number one reason to make your own bagels is.... (drum roll drum roll drum roll drum roll)

1. THEY TASTE F*!#ING AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everything Bagels

Everything Bagels

So it may take 2 days to make them, and you might burn out the motor in your Kitchen Aid mixer, but the results are totally worth it.  You will never want to buy a store bought bagel ever again.  And what better to top that bagel off with than homemade gravlax?  

Gravlax is raw salmon that is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and dill.  The prep time is very minimal, but takes about 3 days to cure, so be sure to plan ahead on this one.  I received this recipe from my boss last Christmas, and it is as good if not better than any cured or smoked salmon that you can buy in the store.  The thing that makes his recipe a little bit different is that the salmon, once cured in the salt and sugar mixture, cures in olive oil.  This extra step keeps the salmon really moist and adds a layer of fruitiness to the fish.

Grava Lox

Gravlax

Gravlax

Ingredients:

1 piece of salmon, center cut if possible with the skin off, about 3 lbs. 

2 cups salt

2 cups brown sugar

2 bunches chives

1 bunch dill

1 cup olive oil

3 days ahead:

Combine the salt and sugar into a bowl.  Depending on the size of your fish you may or may not need more of the salt and sugar mixture.  You basically need enough of this mixture to cover the entire fish so that it is buried, and no parts of the fish are exposed.  In a non-reactive dish (ceramic or glass) spread an even layer of the salt and sugar mixture on the bottom of the dish.  Place the salmon on top of the salt and sugar layer. Next, chop up the chives and dill, and cover the surface of the salmon with the fresh herbs.  Then take the remaining salt and sugar mixture and cover the salmon completely so that none of the fish is exposed.  Cover the dish in plastic wrap so that the plastic goes around the whole dish.  Put the dish onto a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator.  The fish needs to be weighed down while it is curing, so I usually take a large soup pot and put it on top of the fish, and then fill the pot with items in my refrigerator, like a gallon of milk.  

The end of the 2nd day:

Take the fish out of the refrigerator and rinse off all of the salt and sugar.  There should be a lot of liquid in the dish, which is just the water that the salt has extracted out of the fish.  The herbs should be stuck to the surface and the salmon should have the firmness of a medium rare steak in the thickest parts.  Rinse out the dish and dry completely.  Place the salmon back in the dish and cover with olive oil.  Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator for another day or until you are ready to serve.  Slice the fish on an angle, thinly, and serve on bagels or your favorite bread.

Everything Bagels

Adapted from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice via Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

Sponge

1 teaspoon instant yeast

4 cups bread flour

2 1/2 cups water at room temperature

Dough

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

3 3/4 cups bread flour

2 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon malt syrup

To Finish

1 tablespoon baking soda

cornmeal for dusting

Everything Bagel Toppings

2 tablespoons dehydrated minced garlic, rehydrated

2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onion, rehydrated

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons caraway seeds

1 teaspoon salt

yields 1 dozen bagels

Day 1:

Prepare the sponge by stirring the yeast into the flour into a large mixing bowl*.  Add the water and stir until the sponge has the consistency of pancake batter.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until the sponge becomes very bubbly and has doubled in size, about 2 hrs.

Everything Bagel Sponge

Sponge after rising for 2 hours

Next, prepare the dough by stirring in the additional 1/2 teaspoon of yeast into the sponge mixture.  Then add 3 cups of flour, salt, and barley malt syrup.  Stir or mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment in an electric mixer.  Once the dough has formed a ball, add in the remaining 3/4 cup of flour to stiffen the dough.

Everything Bagel Dough

Finished Dough

Continue to mix the dough on low speed in an electric mixer for approximately 6 minutes or transfer the dough to a work surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand.  At this point, the dough should be extremely stiff, but smooth, where all the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed in.  There should be no raw flour on the dough. To make sure the dough has been kneaded enough, put it to the window pane test, where the dough should be elastic enough to hold its shape while stretched very thinly.  You should be able to see light through it, hence calling it the window pane test.  If the dough is too dry and rips, add a few drops of water to the dough and continue kneading**.  If the dough is too tacky add a little more flour and keep kneading.  You want a satiny smooth dough that should not stick to your work surface.

Everything Bagel Window Pane Test

Window Pane Test

Next, divide the dough into 12 equal 4 1/2 ounce pieces.  Shape the dough into balls and then poke holes into them, stretching them out so that the hole is approximately 1 inch in diameter.  Place the bagels onto lightly greased cookie sheets and loosely cover with plastic wrap that has also been sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray.  Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Once the bagels have rested they need to pass the "float test" before the rising can be slowed down in the refrigerator.  Fill a large bowl with room temperature water.  Place the bagel in the water, and if it floats within 10 seconds after being dropped in the water, you and your bagel have received an A+ and have passed the test with flying colors.  If your bagel passes the test immediately return the bagel to the cookie sheet and place all of your bagels in the refrigerator overnight.  If the bagel fails the float test, continue to let the bagels rest another 10-20 minutes and retest.  Continue to do this until your bagel passes the float test.   

*I used my Kitchen Aid bowl, but please note that unless you have a professional series mixer, do not attempt to make this recipe in your Kitchen Aid.  I have the 6 quart professional model, and my motor was having a hard time mixing the dough for this recipe.  Halfway through mixing I had to finish kneading the dough by hand to spare my Kitchen Aid's life.

** I found that I had to add water to my dough several time throughout the whole process.  Just a few splashes here and there re-hydrates the dough to make it easier to shape and work with. 

Everything Bagels before proofing

Shaped Bagels

Day 2:

Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.  Prepare two baking sheets by spraying them with non-stick cooking spray and then lightly dusting them with cornmeal.  Next, mix all of your topping ingredients together on a large plate and spread out in an even layer.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the baking soda.  Once the water has come to a boil drop in 2-3 bagels and boil for two minutes flipping the bagels over half way through.

Everything Bagels Boiling

Bagels Boiling

After the bagels have boiled for 2 minutes remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the plate with the toppings.  Coat one side of the bagel evenly with the everything bagel topping and place on the prepped cookie sheet.  Repeat until all the bagels have been boiled and topped.

Everything Bagel Toppings

Everything Bagel Toppings

Everything Bagels Before Baking

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, rotating the sheet pan every 5 minutes until the bagels are golden brown.  Let the bagels cool completely before slicing.

Everything Bagel Sliced

Now it's time to reap the fruits of your labor.  I topped my bagel with a nice layer of Cowgirl Creamery fromage blanc (similar to cream cheese, but with a tangier flavor and slightly grainy texture), a good heaping pile of gravlax, a few thin slices of red onion, capers, and a sprinkling of lavender salt.  I guarantee that you will be dreaming of your next bagel and gravlax before you even finish the last bite!

Everything Bagels and Grava Lox

Bagels and Gravlax 

Eggs en Cocotte with Green Garlic and Asparagus

Everything is coming up roses green garlic.  This little gem is a tell tale sign that spring has arrived, but sadly only sticks around for a very short time.  Kind of like that pesky groundhog, except it doesn't get scared by its own shadow.  If you've never seen green garlic before, it resembles a spring onion and has a milder, sweeter, garlicky taste than it's mature counterpart.  I can't seem to get enough of the stuff and want to make as many things with green garlic as I can before it vanishes from the farmers market.

eggs en cocotte ingredients

Last Sunday I decided to dust off the ramekins sitting in the cupboard and make some baked eggs, or eggs en cocotte, if you want to get all fancy pants.  The eggs are baked on a bed of roasted green garlic and asparagus, a hint of goat cheese, and then topped off with a touch of cream and a hefty sprinkling of lavender salt and cracked pepper.  The eggs are soft and creamy, with the yolks still runny, perfect for mopping up with some buttered toast.

green garlic and asparagus ramekins

I'll be honest, this was the first time I've ever made a baked egg, and it will definitely not be my last.  This dish was so good I even had to restrain myself from doing a little happy dance and licking the tiny dish clean.  Ok, so I didn't have that much restraint and licked the little sucker until every last morsel was on a roller coaster ride into my belly.  And I was not ashamed, not one little bit.

eggs en cocotte with green garlic and asparagus

Eggs en Cocotte with Green Garlic and Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus

2 bunches green garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

goat cheese

kosher salt

pepper

1 tablespoon butter

8 eggs

2 tablespoons cream

lavender salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut asparagus and green garlic into 1 1/2" pieces.  Put onto baking sheet, coat with olive oil, and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Roast veggies in oven for about 20 minutes until lightly browned and softened.  Next butter 4 ramekins and divide vegetable mixture into equal parts in each dish.  Top with just a few crumbles of goat cheese.  Crack 2 eggs into each dish and drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of cream on top.  Season with lavender salt and pepper. Then place ramekins into a rectangular cake pan and fill with about 2 1/2-3 cups of hot water or until the water goes halfway up the side of each dish.  Cook the eggs in the water bath in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the whites of the eggs have firmed up and the yolks are still soft and runny. Serve with slices of buttered toast. 

Sourdough Waffles

Once again, this is John. 

A little while back, I discussed sourdough starter, mostly in the context of bread.

But, you can use sourdough as a leavener in just about anything. Admittedly, I don't know enough about all the chemistry and mechanics involved in baking to come up with my own sourdough versions of things. Fortunately, I don't have to. There are plenty of people out there who have already attempted, and perfected, just about every sourdough application you can think of.

When I Googled "sourdough waffles" some time back, this was the first result. I've made the recipe a few times, and it makes the best waffles I've ever tasted. I've made a few very minor changes to suit my own tastes. I use slightly more baking soda than the original recipe calls for, as I've found that it gives them a much lighter texture, and I use a slightly different technique to incorporate the butter and milk. I also add some freshly-grated nutmeg. I perfer them this way, but only by a very slim margin. If you follow the original recipe to the letter, as I did the first few times I made them, you'll still get excellent results. 

That said, the recipe I post here will include my modifications.

Sourdough Waffles

Sourdough Waffles

The night before cooking

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup milk

1 cup active sourdough starter

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the microwave, melt the butter in a measuring cup, or some other microwave-safe container with a pouring spout.

Pour the milk into a small mixing bowl, and then pour the melted butter into the milk. Whisk to combine, and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine all of the other ingredients (flour, starter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla). Pour the milk/butter mixture into the batter, and stir until combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow it to sit overnight. 

The morning of cooking:

After sitting overnight, the batter should be very bubbly, and about doubled in size.

Waffle batter

First thing in the morning, it should look a lot like this, minus the egg

To the batter, add:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon, plus one small pinch, baking soda

Whisk in the eggs and baking soda until combined. Prepare according to your waffle maker's instructions.

This recipe makes about 10 waffles on our waffle maker. 

These waffles are crispy, light, and just slightly tangy, which is complemented nicely with a little bit of maple syrup.