donderdag 30 juni 2011

Daring bakers june 2011: Baklava and making our own phyllo!

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

This Challenge took me more then 4(minus all the resting time) hours to make, but the outcome was more then word it. Well it started out as fun and easy just mixxing the dough by hand(don't have a stand mixer:( yet). After kneadding for 20 minutes like the recipe calls for i was glad i had a little break, because the dough had to rest.
Then it was time for the not so fun part "the rolling of the dough". I just had a normal rolling pin, and i started watching the video Erica had provided. If you see that you think that everything is going to be fine, but now i think differently about it. I spended a lot of time of time rolling the dough, and when i was reday and had all the phyllo sheets to assemble the baklava in my pan. They where stuck together, i didn't used enough flour inbetween i prsume. So started over rolling again...

Finally my baklava was ready for the oven, and it statred smelling real good. But ofcourse whe couldn't take a bite because whe had to wait another 24 hour to soak in the syrup. It was deffinatly worth the wait. This baklava is Delicious! Thank you Erica for this Dare to bake/make something out of my kitchen comfort zone.

Preparation time: The recipe may seem simple but it is a little time consuming

Phyllo Dough Mixing/Kneading: 15-25 minutes
Resting time: 30-90 minutes (longer is better)
Rolling Phyllo: varies, approx. 2 minutes per sheet

Syrup: 15 minutes plus cooling
Baklava: 30 minutes
Resting: Overnight

Equipment required:

Measuring spoons
Wooden dowel or rolling pin
Sharp knife
Measuring cups
Stand mixer (can knead by hand)
Baking dishes – 9” x 9” is recommended
Plastic wrap
Medium pot
Pastry brush
Food processor /blender

Phyllo Dough:

*Note 1: To have enough to fill my 9” x 9” baking dish with 18 layers of phyllo I doubled this recipe.
*Note 2: Single recipe will fill a 8” x 5” baking dish.
*Note 3: Dough can be made a head of time and froze. Just remove from freezer and allow to thaw
and continue making your baklava

1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (185 gm/6½ oz) unbleached all purpose (plain) flour
1/8 teaspoon (2/3 ml) (¾ gm) salt
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) cider vinegar, (could substitute white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, but could affect the taste)


1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour and salt
2. Mix with paddle attachment
3. Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl.
4. Add water & oil mixture with mixer on low speed, mix until you get a soft dough, if it appears dry add a little more water (I had to add a tablespoon more)
5. Change to the dough hook and let knead approximately 10 minutes. You will end up with beautiful smooth dough. If you are kneading by hand, knead approx. 20 minutes.
6. Remove the dough from mixer and continue to knead for 2 more minutes. Pick up the dough and through it down hard on the counter a few times during the kneading process.
7. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil
8. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best ( I let mine rest 2 hours and it was perfect)

Rolling your Phyllo

** Remove all rings and jewelry so it does not snag the dough**

Use whatever means you have to get the dough as thin as you can. I have included a fantastic video at the end of the post on how to roll out your phyllo dough, using a wooden dowel, which worked perfectly for me. You may also use a pasta machine if you have one, or a normal rolling pin whatever works for you.

1.Unwrap your dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger then a golf ball. While you are rolling be sure to keep the other dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.
2. Be sure to flour your hands, rolling pin and counter. As you roll you will need to keep adding, don’t worry, you can’t over-flour.
3. Roll out the dough a bit to flatten it out.
4. Wrap the dough around your rolling pin/dowel
5. Roll back and forth quickly with the dough remaining on the dowel (see attached video for a visual, its much easier then it sounds)
6. Remove; notice how much bigger it is!
7. Rotate and repeat until it is as thin as you can it. Don’t worry if you get rips in the dough, as long as you have one perfect one for the top you will never notice.
8. When you get it as thin as you can with the rolling pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch it on the backs of your hands as you would a pizza dough, just helps make it that much thinner. Roll out your dough until it is transparent. NOTE: you will not get it as thin as the frozen phyllo dough you purchase at the store, it is made by machine
9.Set aside on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flower well. You will not need to cover your dough with a wet cloth, as you do with boxed dough, it is moist enough that it will not try out.

After i poured in the syrup.

Baklava Recipe

Adapted from Alton Brown, The Food Network
30 servings


For the syrup:
·1 1/4 cups (300 ml) honey
·1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
·1 1/4 cups (300 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) sugar
·1 cinnamon stick
·1 (2-inch/50 mm) piece fresh citrus peel (lemon or orange work best)
·a few cloves or a pinch or ground clove

When you put your baklava in the oven start making your syrup. When you combine the two, one of them needs to be hot, I find it better when the baklava is hot and the syrup has cooled


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved
2. Boil for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
3. Once boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain cinnamon stick and lemon, allow to cool as baklava cooks

Ingredients for the Filling:

1 (5-inch/125 mm piece) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (8 gm) ground cinnamon
15 to 20 whole allspice berries ( I just used a few pinches)
3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm/6 oz) blanched almonds
3/4 cup (180 ml) (155 gm/5½ oz) raw or roasted walnuts
3/4 cup (180 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) raw or roasted pistachios
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm/ 5 1/3 oz) sugar
phyllo dough (see recipe above)
1 cup (2 sticks) (240 ml) (225g/8 oz) melted butter ** I did not need this much, less then half**


1.Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
2.Combine nuts, sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse on high until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor chop with a sharp knife as fine as you can. Set aside
3. Trim your phyllo sheets to fit in your pan
4. Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo sheet
5. Brush the first phyllo sheet with butter and repeat approximately 5 times ending with butter. (Most recipes say more, but homemade phyllo is thicker so it's not needed)
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
7. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
8. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
9. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
10. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
11. Continue layering and buttering phyllo 5 more times. On the top layer, make sure you have a piece of phyllo with no holes if possible, just looks better.
12. Once you have applied the top layer tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.
13. With a Sharp knife cut your baklava in desired shapes and number of pieces. If you can't cut all the ways through don’t worry you will cut again later. A 9x9 pan cuts nicely into 30 pieces. Then brush with a generous layer of butter making sure to cover every area and edge
14. Bake for approximately 30 minutes; remove from oven and cut again this time all the way through. Continue baking for another 30 minutes. (Oven temperatures will vary, you are looking for the top to be a golden brown, take close watch yours may need more or less time in the oven)
15. When baklava is cooked remove from oven and pour the cooled (will still be warmish) syrup evenly over the top, taking care to cover all surfaces when pouring. It looks like it is a lot but over night the syrup will soak into the baklava creating a beautifully sweet and wonderfully textured baklava!
Next morning all syrup is absorbed
16. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cover and store at room temperature. Allow the baklava to sit overnight to absorb the syrup.
17. Serve at room temperature

After 24 hours when all the syrup schould have been absorbed.

Freezing/Storage Instructions/Tips: There are a few ways to store your Baklava. It is recommended that you store your baklava at room temperature in an airtight container. Stored at room temperature your baklava will last for up to 2 weeks. You will notice as the days pass it will get a little juicier and chewier. You may choose to store it in the fridge; this will make it a little harder and chewy, but does increase the shelf life. You can also freeze your baklava and then just set it out at room temperature to thaw.

Additional Information: I have included some videos and links to help you through the process

How to roll the phyllo dough -

Excellent 3 part video showing the whole process -

Making Hollow Baklava Rolls-

Making Baklava Rolls -

Nut Free Baklava –

Gluten Free Baklava

woensdag 15 juni 2011

Home-made granola with berry compote

In a few days it will be Fathersday, so this weeks theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is "Pops is tops". So it time to honour my dad with a home made meal, but i got stuck with this delicious granola recipe. My father eats granola at breakfast and dessert as he pleases. So it was time i make some my own, to give him this sunday.

I adjusted the original recipe. I used hazelnuts instead of mixed nuts. And after the granola was finished to make the dessert i changed the fruitcompote in a fruitpuree. The first time i made granola myself, and o boy how lovely is that. Again a winner i whil try to make granola more often.

original recipe can be found here.

• 200g mixed nuts
• 400g rolled or jumbo oats
• 100g pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
• 400g runny honey
• 200g strawberries, hulled and halved
• 200g raspberries
• 200g mixed dried fruit (raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots)
• 500ml plain yoghurt


Jamie says:This healthy pud is quick, easy – and tastes delicious!

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Place the nuts into a plastic bag, squeeze the air out and seal the bag. Gently bash with a rolling pin until they are lightly crushed, then tip them into a mixing bowl and add the oats and seeds. Warm up the honey to make it extra runny and stir it into the oaty mixture with a wooden spoon until everything’s lightly coated.

Tip the mixture onto a baking tray and spread out roughly with the wooden spoon. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is crunchy and a dark golden brown. Meanwhile, place the strawberries and raspberries in a pan on a medium heat for 10 minutes until nicely stewed.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool, then break up the toasted seeds, oats and nuts into clumps and mix in the dried fruit. There you have it: granola! Serve the granola in small bowls or glasses. Top with the plain yoghurt and the hot fruit compote. Any leftover granola will keep in an airtight container for about a month.

Tip: Use any leftover granola as a nutritious breakfast. Serve with natural yoghurt or a splash of milk.

dinsdag 14 juni 2011

Daring cooks june 2011: Potato salad

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

Last week tuesday the new herring season started in the netherlands, and as always it got kicked of with a fish auction. The profit of the first barrel at the auction is going to an charrity( a different one every year). After that the dutch people go mad for this fresh raw herrings. So thats why i decided to make an potatosalad with raw fish in it and it was delicious. If you like to know more about the duth herring look here and here.
An herring contains the following vitamins:A1, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D en E and is a good source for omega-3.

"A dutch"Potato salad with herring and red bellpepper
Original recipe can be found hereservings: 4

1 pound(1/2kg)small potatoes
8 slices whole-wheat bread
1 jar roasted red pell peppers preserved in water, drained
4 raw herring, skinned and deboned
fresh chives
Lettuce(use any kind you like, i used crisphead)

for the dressing:
3 spoons light mayonaise
3 spoons yoghurt
1 spoon white winevinegar
salt and pepper

1.Peel the potatoes and boil them till tender but not to soft, let them cool completly.
2.Toast the bread.
3.Drain the bell pepper and cut in small pieces.
4.Clean the fish(i had mine cleaned at the market)and cut into a 0,25/0,50inch pieces.
5.Cut/chop the chives into small pieces.
6.make the dressing: mixx together the mayonaise,yoghurt and the vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7.Put the lettuce on one big plate or divide on 4 smaller plates to make induvidual potions.
8.Whisk together the cooled potatoes, pepper, herring, chives and the dressing. put the salat on the plate you made already.
9. Garnish with some chives.

Jami thank you for this great and healty challenge!

zaterdag 11 juni 2011

wicked chicken with coleslaw

It's that time of the month again, Potluck week at the I heart cooking Club. So we can make any recipe of Jamie Oliver we want or crave. Since my Mr. R had been sick for most of the week i chose a light meal with chicken and bread and coleslaw on the side. He hadn't been eating for some days but was craving for a tasty sammie now he was feeling better. Whe liked this easy dinner a lot end i'm going to make this one more often. Thats for sure. Never had been making my one coleslaw either, and how easy is that! And even more delicious(i Thought) because it was made in my own kitchen and not in a factory wich puts in preservatives so it keeps longer in the groceriestore.

Recipe can be found here
(serves 4)

for the sandwich:
• 4 chicken thighs, preferably higher welfare
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 fresh rolls, halved

for the coleslaw:
• 2 carrots
• small white cabbage, outer leaves torn off, cut into 4 wedges
• 1 small onion, peeled and very finely sliced
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a handful of rocket(i used mixed salat)


Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Mix the chicken with the lemon zest and juice, the sliced chilli and the garlic, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and leave to marinate for half an hour.

Peel the carrots, throw away the peel and then keep stripping until you get a pile of carrot ribbons. Slice the cabbage as finely as you can with a sharp knife. Place the carrot and cabbage in a bowl with the sliced onion, the mayonnaise and the mustard. Mix well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the chicken thighs on a tray, skin side up, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the meat’s cooked through.

Take the chicken thighs out of the oven, leave to cool slightly until you can handle them and then pull the bone out of the middle (you might need a little knife to do this).

Toast the halved rolls under a hot grill or in the oven, and fill with rocket salad and a chicken thigh. Serve with the coleslaw and tuck in!

Tip: If you don’t like the idea of cutting out the bone, buy your chicken thighs ready boned.

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zondag 5 juni 2011

Salt cod soup (Zuppa di baccala)

I'ts sunday again the last day of the week to admit our weekly cooked up dishes at I Heart Cooking Clubs. This weeks theme to cook one of Jamie Olivers recipes is Somethings Fishy! I had the feeling for some nice hot soup today so made his italian sald cod soup, it tasted good i thought but Mr.R(my boyfriend) didn't agree with me on that. He thinks it was to hot by the use of the red chili pepper, i loved it.


• 310gsalt cod or 600g fresh cod, haddock or monkfish fillets
• 1 white onion, peeled
• 2 small carrots, peeled
• 2 sticks of celery, trimmed, pale green inner leaves reserved
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small dried red chilli, crumbled
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
425ml light chicken stock, preferably organic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon


Did you know that cod used to be a very highly prized, valuable trading commodity? Wars and battles were won on salt cod because, of course, in the old days ships were sailing for weeks or months and the sailors would have a very unhealthy diet. Having salt cod on board as a source of protein kept them going, and it meant they could jump off the boat with enough energy for a bit of fighting when it was required! All kinds of cultures began to salt fish – I suppose Iberian and Nordic countries are particularly well known for still doing it today. And certainly the Italians are more than partial to their fair share of it. Hundreds of years ago the only way to get fish into the centre of Italy would have been to use preserved fish like salt cod. It might sound obvious, but this is why Tuscan cooking is predominantly meat- and bean-based. In the old days the only common fish recipes would have used either preserved or fresh lake fish.

Unless you live in a country where it’s prevalent, like Portugal or Spain, salt cod can only be bought in good delis. Try to hunt out the real baccalà, but if you can’t find any then simply buy some fresh fish which can be salted overnight. As salt cod is preserved using copious amounts of salt, avoid seasoning this soup at all or do it right at the very end.

If using fresh cod, haddock or monkfish, pack it in a few handfuls of sea salt overnight and rinse it before using. If using proper salt cod, soak the fillets in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water a few times during this period. This way, the fish will rehydrate and the saltiness will be removed before cooking. (If the fish is more than 2cm thick it might need up to 36 hours’ soaking.)

Chop the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and parsley stalks. Heat a splash of olive oil in a saucepan, and add the chopped vegetables, parsley stalks and dried chilli. Sweat very slowly with the lid ajar for 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the stock and bring back to the boil.

Break up any larger pieces of tomato with a wooden spoon and drop the salt cod fillets into the hot soup. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, just until the fish has poached and flakes apart when prodded with a fork. Pick out any bits of skin. Gently fold the flakes of fish through the soup, taste and season with pepper, salt (if needed) and a little lemon juice. Chop the parsley and celery leaves and scatter over the soup. Drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

• from Jamie's Italy

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