Culinary Update No. 3: Chocolate Bread Rolls

This was a Jamie Oliver recipe, but I had an unfortunate run-in with my salt... as in WAY too much of it. Anyway, here's the damage.
I made a basic bread dough (following J.O.'s recipe and using my Kitchen Aid). This is a picture of it rising beautifully.
While the dough was doing its thing, I crushed up some serious 70% Ghirardelli chocolate.
When the dough was ready to go, I rolled it out, coated it with a LOT of butter, and sprinkled it generously with chocolate crumbles. Then I rolled it up, jelly-roll style, and sliced it. This is what they looked like (messy) after assembled.

And about halfway through baking. The saltiness mellowed a bit after a couple days, so they were edible, but should have been more delicious. Not a total loss, but not a triumph, either.

Culinary Update No. 2: The Great Franzbrötchen Bake-Off Post

While at home in Indiana in August, I finally got around to trying to bake Franzbrötchen, my very favorite pasty in the entire world. I used to eat one (or two) of these every morning while I was living in Hamburg and I've mourned every morning since leaving there that they weren't available. When I was in Berlin last summer, dear W. brought some for me to freeze and ration out over the summer.

Anyway, that same dear friend gave me a book called Das Franzbrötchen: Wunderbarer Plunder aus Hamburg. It's a (pretty hilariously earnest) collection of texts and poems about (and odes to) the Franzbrötchen. After reading some of them I discovered that there was a RECIPE. This one purports to be the best recipe, though the recipes I've found on the internet are really plentiful and varied...

Anyway. Here's what we did. (Excuse, please, the bad translation and lack of measurement conversion - in my mother's kitchen we had the ability to work in metric.)

FRANZBRÖTCHEN - freely interpreted from a recipe by Dieter Schemberger


450 g All-purpose flour (Type 550)
30 g yeast
250 ml Milk
50 g Butter
1 Egg yolk (in retrospect I realize we forgot this)
1/2 tsp Salt

We basically threw all this (minus the egg yolk) into the Kitchen Aid and let it do its thing. We ended up adding a little more flour because our dough was looking a little loose. It turned out to be a nice, elastic dough. Let the dough rise for about 15-20 minutes, then roll out into a rectangle of 30 x 25 cm. (Precise Germans!)



150 g. Butter
50 g. Flour

Mix these together and form into a sheet about 15 x 20 cm and lay on top of the dough rectangle. (This was a little misleading. We basically had to spread it onto the dough.) Then fold the edges of the dough over the Butter surface and press down. **Then roll out the dough to about 30 x 40 cm and fold over twice to make 3 layers. Put the dough into the fridge for 15 minutes. Repeat from ** twice more. Finally, roll the dough out to a surface of 25 x 70 cm.

BELEG (the Good Stuff)

50 g Butter (we used considerably more, because I like my Franzbrötchen a little greasy.)
100 g Sugar and Cinnamon (we just used LOTS of cinnamon and 100 g sugar, basically.)

Mix these ingredients and spread the mixture on top of the dough.

Fig. 1. Here you can see the dough with the Good Stuff spread all over. We're in the process of rolling it up.

Then roll up the dough lengthwise (zu einer langen Schlange - into a long snake!) and cut into slices about 3 cm thick.
Fig. 2. Here we've rolled up the dough and are pinching it together so that the good stuff doesn't squish out.
Fig. 3. at the bottom of this photo you can see the slices. At the top, I've just finished forming one.
Fig. 4. Here I'm forming the Franzbrötchen using the "Kochlöffel-Trick" - basically you press the handle of a wooden spoon into the center of a slice, causing the middle to buckle and the sides to turn slightly upwards. Then you press them flat and put them on the baking sheet. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but the results are most satisfying.

Fig. 4. These are the finished product. These emerge out of the oven after they've been baked about15-20 minutes at 180° C. They turned out kind of ugly, but in my experience, the uglier they are, the better they taste.

**Thanks to Dan for documenting the process!

Culinary Update No. 1

A few weeks ago I made Spaghetti Casserole, which turned out to be a massive amount of a kind of anti-lasagna. Quite delicious. Here's what happened.
I cooked a LOT of spaghetti, drained it, doused it with good olive oil and let it sit.Meanwhile, and afterward, I cooked a LOT of homemade tomato sauce (canned crushed tomatoes, about 4 cloves of garlic, a little onion, fresh basil, mushrooms, zucchini).I mixed it all up with a good deal of cheese (parmigiano reggiano, romano, mozzarella), and baked at 400° until done. Quite delicious.


Zombie Feminism

Zombie Feminism. This is a really interesting article about a bunch of movies I've always disregarded out of hand. Pretty fascinating. Now I kind of want to see Zombie Strippers, which I had thought sounded like a bunch of dreck. And maybe it is, but I'm interested in the concept this article suggests. What do you all think?


Semantic groaning

Two phrases I don't ever need to hear again:

"Wow factor" - when did this come into vogue and when will it disappear?

"Shock and awe" - after seeing it in a few too many different contexts, I can't take it any more. I kind of wish that whoever is elected passes a law outlawing all phrases coined by the Bush administration. That includes Homeland Security. What a silly faux-patriotism-inciting name.


School Days

I used to wake up in the mornings to the sound of the 8:40 bell for Morning Prayers at Memorial Church. Now I hear it as I come out of the Harvard Square T stop.


More news

Delinquent blogging leads me to need to do another news digest with previews of coming attractions. In no particular order.
  1. The new semester starts tomorrow.
  2. In order to make it to campus in time to organize myself, I have to leave my house by about 7:45 AM. EVERY DAY. Does. Not. Compute.
  3. We finally filed for Dan's Green Card. Thus commences the waiting game. No, we still haven't seen the movie.
  4. Dan starts work tomorrow!
  5. In August, I baked Franzbrötchen!
  6. Last week sometime I baked chocolate rolls.
  7. I also cooked the inaugural Butternut Squash of the season.
  8. We have Besuch from Deutschland!
  9. My work status currently SUCKS. But will be okay.
  10. We got pluots in our Boston Organics box this week! What the hell are those!?
  11. I learned the German word for quince. Quitte.