Rye Bread with Cardamon and Golden Raisins


Every year for so many years I fail to recall, I have made this bread during the holiday season.  Why then, I have no idea because the bread is not just for winter or anything in particular.  It makes three loaves and a good present; maybe that was the original reason.  It also takes more time than ordinary bread; I usually have time off during this season.

2 packages yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups light cream or evaporated milk

2 cups unsifted, unbleached flour

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup butter, melted and cooled

2 tsp. fresh ground cardamon

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup milk

2 cups rye flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 – 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water. Stir in the cream or evaporated milk.  Add the 2 cups flour; beat until smooth.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  Stir in the eggs, sugar, butter, golden raisins, and cardamon.  Beat until smooth.  Add the milk and rye flour and stir until combined.  At this point using a dough hook makes it easier.  Add the whole wheat flour and enough of the unbleached flour to make a stiff dough.  Sprinkle remaining flour onto a board or granite counter top.  Knead until smooth.  Oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl and turn to grease both sides.  Let rise until doubled.  Punch down and work into a smooth ball.  Divide into three equal portions.  Place in three pans of your choosing (I use one regular loaf pan and two cake pans).  After dough has risen to double in size, bake in a 350 degree oven.  While loaves are still hot, brush with butter.  Allow loaves to cool before removing from the pans.

This bread is especially good with Swiss cheese or other similar cheeses and makes a tasty left over turkey sandwich.

 

 

Spicy Brisket for a Crowd


Originally, I had no intention of posting this.  I was simply making an easy dinner for ten guests on a hot summer day.  However, I received so many compliments that I decided to post it even though I took no pictures.  The only time I ever cook brisket occurs when quite a few people are coming over and I do not want much to do just before the food is served.  There is another rather odd reason I like to cook brisket in the summer:  I can use my electric roaster and plug it into the outlet on the patio and not heat up the house.  Since I do not particularly like barbecue, I try to do something different.

1 4-5 lb. brisket, trimmed of fat

1 large purple onion, coarsely chopped

Cumin, enough to completely cover the top of the brisket when sprinkled over it

2-3 Tbls. mild Mexican chili seasoning

1-2 tsp. coriander, ground  (optional)

Brown sugar

1 bottle cheap, dry, red wine

1 15 0z. can chopped, salt free tomatoes

4-5 jalapeño peppers (optional)

Place the brisket in a roaster fat side down and pour in the red wine to a depth of 1 1/2 inches.  Cover the top with the cumin and chili seasoning.  Evenly scatter the chopped onions over the top.  Bake at 325 for 2 hours.  Turn the brisket over so that the fat side is up.  Bake another 1-2 hours.  Turn the temperature down to 275 and turn over again so the the fat side is down.  Cover the top of the brisket with the tomatoes.  Sprinkle two small handfuls of brown sugar evenly over the top of the tomatoes.  If using the coriander, sprinkle it over the brown sugar.  Check to make sure the broth is not becoming too dry and add extra wine as needed. Bake another 1-2 hours.  If using the jalapeños, cut into halves and deseed. Add them about one hour before serving.  Usually, I cook brisket 6-7 hours.  I do not want it to become too dry, but I do want the broth to cook down so that it creates a natural sauce for the meat without using any thickening.  Just before serving, slice the brisket into pieces and stir around so the sauce covers all the pieces of meat.  I like to use the jalapeños this way because it does not increase the “heat” for those who do not like hot food, but there are tasty tidbit of hot for those who do.  Enjoy!