Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A New Twist on Baking

The final holiday farmers' market at Local Roots is coming up quickly: this Saturday! And since it's billed as a tasting market, I wanted to try some different things for my table of baked goods.

Not only did I want to try new recipes, a unifying theme also seemed appropriate. Going for the holiday vibe would be too obvious, of course, so I decided to follow the inspiration the Renaissance Man offered and indulge his love of rope-work and knot-making.

Fortunately, that works well with baked goods, especially breads. So in planning this week's selections, I chose items that could be braided, knotted, twisted, or spiraled before baking to result in beautiful designs as well as delicious food.

Though my usual baklava has been a big hit, I thought for the tasting market I'd try a recipe for orange chocolate baklava I found in the Scharffen Berger cookbook a couple of years ago. And wouldn't you know it, the recipe called for laying the filo dough out flat, brushing and layering it, and rolling it up into a spiral. Granted, my first efforts at making filo spirals were somewhat mixed, but I think customers will still enjoy the decadent variation on a classic favorite.

Tonight I pulled out the recipe for rosemary walnut cider bread and tore the dough into pieces. I rolled each piece into a long rope and proceeded to make these Celtic knots (as suggested by the Renaissance Man, who didn't realize that this has long been a favorite design of mine, though not in bread dough).

They rose beautifully (unlike last week's batch of rosemary walnut cider bread, when I killed off the yeast with too-hot cider) and turned out perfectly.

And how fitting it was to give this dough an ancient Celtic twist -- especially as I had found myself thinking back to something I had read about cider being used for communion in the Celtic Church. Why knot?

Still to come will be a whole wheat challah and possibly some soft pretzels and pesto scone twists. And if I think of anything else, you'll be sure to hear about it in the market report this week.

I'm knot kidding!

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At 12/20/2009 2:51 PM, OpenID eatclosetohome said...

Knotwork cider bread!

At 12/20/2009 3:06 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

They are pretty tasty! Unfortunately, they didn't sell well... sigh...


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