Food

The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - CONTENTS - • Text, pho­tos and styling: PAS­CALE PEREZ-RU­BIN Trans­lated by Ju­liane Helmhold.

With the weather chang­ing and fall al­ready here, we pray for rain and es­pe­cially for win­ter – an ex­cel­lent time to make rib-stick­ing, com­fort­ing pas­tries, both sweet and salty. That is why I chose to ded­i­cate this week to yeast dough, one of my fa­vorites.

In con­trast to the pop­u­lar be­lief that yeast dough is very dif­fi­cult and com­pli­cated to work with, I think the ex­act op­po­site is true. The fact that I make yeast pas­tries ev­ery week­end, whether they be halla or cake, bread rolls or other pas­tries, serves as proof.

Yeast dough is easy to pre­pare and per­fect for man­ual knead­ing, al­though I have to ad­mit that I pre­fer to al­ways pre­pare it in an elec­tric mixer with a knead­ing hook. From this I learned that dif­fer­ent pro­cess­ing speeds are re­quired when us­ing the elec­tric mixer, in or­der to best im­i­tate knead­ing the dough by hand. Of course, from the out­set you can pre­pare the dough with man­ual knead­ing, with­out an elec­tric mixer or food pro­ces­sor.

Yeast dough must rest – or, rather, it must be given time and the ideal con­di­tions in or­der to dou­ble in size. One of those con­di­tions is warmth. If you are short on time, you can def­i­nitely let the dough rest in the re­frig­er­a­tor and work with it the next day.

I have cho­sen to present you with a num­ber of yeast recipes. They are quick to make, and all share a sim­i­lar tech­nique of prepa­ra­tion and an in­trigu­ing de­sign. The three sweet pas­tries start, of course, with soft and airy yeast dough, which is di­vided into small and medium-sized balls, which are ar­ranged on a bak­ing tray side by side. The magic hap­pens when bak­ing them, as the dough balls ex­pand and con­nect.

The dif­fer­ences be­tween the pas­tries are in the ma­te­ri­als that con­nect them, their fill­ings, their coat­ings and, of course, the fla­vors that vary from one pas­try to an­other.

The first recipe is a cin­na­mon yeast cake. Dough balls are rolled in but­ter, sugar and cin­na­mon and ar­ranged in a cir­cu­lar mold – and they con­nect dur­ing bak­ing and turn into a moun­tain of sweet, brown dough balls that you eat by pulling the balls away from the cake.

The sec­ond recipe con­tains medium-sized yeast balls with a fill­ing of raisins, al­monds and jam, which are dipped in melted but­ter. Th­ese dough balls are ar­ranged on a well-oiled round pan and con­nect while bak­ing. They are then coated with sugar syrup.

The third recipe in­cludes rolls of rich, airy yeast dough, bathed in but­ter, which are ar­ranged and flat­tened in a bak­ing tray. They are soaked in sugar syrup af­ter bak­ing.

Th­ese three kinds of sweet buns should never be cut with a knife. They are served at the cen­ter of the ta­ble and the guests pull them off one by one.

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