Hey, cats and kittens, and welcome back to an extra-delicious edition of Recipe of the Week.
First of all, let me apologize for how weird the timing of this column has been recently. My oven decided to up and die on me last week and — because it is a weird tiny European IKEA-adjacent oven that isn't even made anymore — they couldn't fix it, and it took a week to get a new one. This was very frustrating for everyone involved, but Jamie and Dan were both very patient with me during this crisis, and it's all gonna be OK.
Anyway. I have a new-to-me oven now, and was finally able to make last week's glorious, apple-y recipe. But before we get to that, I'd like to address the most up-voted comment, which wasn't a recipe, but a very good question from ZeroFoxGiven.
I'm surprised this hasn't come up before, but the truth is that I've never really encountered a winning recipe I didn't have something positive to say about. I feel like I've had some constructive criticism now and again, but you guys are actually pretty good at food, so this hasn't been an issue yet. I appreciate the question, though, and ZeroFoxGiven gets a trophy for asking it, which is "Waiting on a Friend," simply because I really enjoy this video.
Now back to the recipe — brought to us by Cait — which was not only delicious, but super cathartic to make if you find baking to be a stress-relieving activity.
I'll let you read the full procedure over on Jstory, because I feel weird about just copying and pasting someone else's recipe, especially one as excellent as this. If you do intend to make this gorgeous loaf, I recommend watching this little video, particularly if you've never made a bread like this before.
I wouldn't call this recipe "difficult," but it is fairly involved. It starts out simple enough. First you gotta let the yeast and a bit of sugar get real friendly, then you add your eggs and sugar and oil, then gradually stir in the flour until you get a dough that looks like this:
Next, you gotta knead the heck out of it. Just get real personal and give this bad boy a good massage. After 10 minutes of manipulation, your dough should look something like this:
Plop him (idk why it's a "him" all of a sudden) in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with a towel, and place it somewhere warm to rise for an hour. My kitchen was kind of cold, so I set him on a chair near my heater.
After an hour or so, your dough should be doubled in size and in need of punching down. Give it a couple of knocks with your fist, throw the towel back on, and let it rise for another hour.
Once that's done, it's time to roll it out. If, like me, you don't own a rolling pin for some reason, just grab an empty wine bottle.
Once you have a nice large rectangle, lay down some apple slices, sprinkle 'em with cinnamon and sugar, and fold it all up. (You should have a total of three rows of apple slices.)
Cut your roll into eight pieces, and arrange them in a pleasing manner in whatever kind of pan you happen to have, with an apple slice between each segment. I have no idea where my Bundt pan is, so I just used a regular 9-inch cake pan.
Brush that whole situation with egg and let it rest for half an hour before popping it in the oven.
I know I tend to overuse the word "glorious," but this bread is full of so much glory.
Not only is this loaf quite the looker, but it's a real tasty treat as well. It's just the right amount of sweet, with tart, slightly caramelized apples punctuating every few bites. I had never made challah before — I considered it to be something magical that only professional bakers could pull off — and was somewhat startled when I finally tasted it, because it tasted just like challah, and that made me feel very good about my baking skills.
This beautiful loaf is certainly deserving of a trophy, and that trophy is "Tables and Chairs" by Andrew Bird, because it contains the lyric "there will be snacks," and this is a mighty fine snack.
And now we must move on.
I love watching my grocery store produce section change with the seasons, and though I am sad that tomato season is over, I'm super excited about Brussels sprouts season, which is maybe the second best season, produce-wise. I used to think I didn't enjoy sprouts, but that's because I had only had them boiled, and boiling Brussels sprouts is a food crime of the highest order.
Roast them, however, and you have something that is truly delicious. Being me, I usually add bacon, fish sauce, and a little cheese, but we should all just be happy I'm eating a green thing.
Anyway. I think you know what I want from you. I want all of your most delicious recipes that feature a green, any green, be that green mustard, kale, or collard. I'll take sprouts. I'll take spinach. I just want to see all of your favorite ways to eat green plant leaves.