Archive for January, 2015

Whole Wheat Maple Challah – AKA The Canadian Braid

Baked Goodies

I love yeast dough! I really do. I’m not sure why but I think it’s the fact that it kinda “gives back” what you put into it. Am I making sense? didn’t think so.

You see, yeast dough required patience and knowing which ingredients work together well and which don’t. And when you add the right ingredients in the right order and give the dough the time it needs – you’re fail proof.

Anyways, enough with my weird mumbling right? I’m here to let you all know that I made a Canadian Braid! I decided to name it that because obviously it has Maple in it, and also, because I like it 🙂

It’s Friday today and usually when I have the time and the muse, I make Challah bread for our Friday dinner. I usually just use sugar in the dough but this time I decided to upgrade with a bit of maple. So there’s maple inside and outside. Yumm.

A few tips before you give this a try though:

1) Since this is made of Whole Wheat flour, please make sure you knead the dough (using your hands or dough hook) a bit longer than usual. It’ll give it more softness and fluffiness once it’s baked.

2) Be patient. Whole Wheat takes a bit longer to rise. So go read a book or something while the dough rises 🙂

3) This dough turns out non tacky at all, but if it does for you from some reason (maybe the flour you’re using or room temperature) just rub your hands with a bit of oil and remove the dough from the hook with oily hands and then pat it with the oil as you place it in a bowl to let it rise. If you add more flour you might end up having a dry challah.

I think this is all. And now, the recipe.

 

Whole Wheat Maple Challah with MAple Glaze

Whole Wheat MAple Challah with MAple Glaze

 

Whole Wheat Maple Challah - AKA The Canadian Braid
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Jewish, Canadian, Challah
 
This challah is sweet, soft and just delicious. Made with whole wheat flour but tastes so much better that just any other whole wheat challah. It has a sweet after taste and of course a fantastic smell.
Ingredients
  • 500 gr Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Dry Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • ⅓ Cup Vegetable Oil (not olive oil)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Water
For the Glaze:
  • 4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Lukewarm Water
Instructions
  1. Place the flour, yeast, sugar, maple, oil and salt in a stand mixer bowl (or large mixing bowl if doing by hand).
  2. Add in ½ cup lukewarm water and using your dough hook, start mixing on low speed.
  3. Once it starts incorporating, gradually add in the remaining ½ cup water white mixing.
  4. Now increase the mixing speed by just a bit and let the mixer do its thing. Mix for about 4 minutes.
  5. The dough should now be fully incorporated, separated from the bowl and wrapped around the dough hook.
  6. Remove the dough from the hook and knead by hand a few times.
  7. Shape as ball and place back in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  8. Let the dough rest and rise until it doubles its size (about 1 hour).
  9. After the dough had doubled its size, remove it from the bowl and divide into the the number of strands you'd like to make your challah with (I made it with 4 so divided the dough into 4 pieces).
  10. Roll each piece of dough into a strand. Pinch all strands together before shaping (you don't want the braid to open while baking).
  11. Once done shaping, place the braided challah on a baking sheet layered with parchment paper and cover with a clean kitchen towel and set a side.
  12. Let the challah rest and rise again. This should take about 40 minutes now.
  13. Preheat oven to 190C (375F) and after 40 minutes, remove the towel and gently place the challah in the oven for baking.
  14. Bake 20 minutes until it's nice and brown.
  15. While the challah is in the over prepare the glaze by simply placing the maple syrup and water in a small saucepan and heating on medium heat while stirring, until it start to boil. Remove from heat immediately.
  16. After 20 minutes, remove the challah from the oven (you'll know it's ready if when you tap on it you hear a hollow sound) and immediately brush with the maple glaze (while the challah is still hot).
  17. Let the challah cool completely & enjoy.

Whole Wheat Maple Challah with MAple Glaze

Whole Wheat Maple Challah with MAple Glaze

I love yeast dough! I really do. I’m not sure why but I think it’s the fact that it kinda “gives back” what you put into it. Am I making sense? didn’t think so. You see, yeast dough required patience and knowing which ingredients work together well and which don’t. And when you add the […]

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Brown Rice Sesame & Coconut Energy Bars – Bonus: A Special Ingredient

Cakes and Cookies | Sweets

You know what they say “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but is it? Well, I’m not an expert but if you ask me, there are quite a few benefits to having breakfast.

Breakfast is an important factor, especially for a growing body like children and adolescences.

Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the kind containing doughnuts and cookies) will give you an improved concentration and performance in the classroom or at work, more strength and endurance to engage in physical activity and will even lower your cholesterol levels

Now, I’m no saint so I’ll admit, I don’t eat breakfast, and yes, I know it’s bad for me, but it’s just too busy in the morning and all I really want is my coffee. But if breakfast is going to be served (meaning, I won’t have to make it – on a weekday that is) I’ll take it! Oh I’ll embrace it for sure.

Being a mom, I can skip breakfast but if there’s something I don’t do, is make my kids skip breakfast. They have their healthy breakfast every day before we drive them to school. Whether it’s oatmeal, whole grain cereals, a health packed pudding or bread with a healthy topping; they’re getting their breakfast on!

A while ago I connected with “The Grocery Foundation” through “Food Bloggers of Canada”, and as I read about the foundation more and explored their contributions and campaigns, we clicked.

You see, this is a foundation that for the past 35 years had taken upon it, to make the lives of children better. How better you ask? They make sure that children that come from challenged families or communities are fed with nutritious foods and a healthy breakfast.

How do they do that? Simply by raising money to help fund nutritious breakfasts and snacks to children in various programs including school nutrition programs.

So anyways, when I heard that In Canada, 1 in 7 children start the school day on an empty stomach due to a lack of access to nutritious foods, I knew I wanted to be a part of the campaign. So no, I’m not going to (unfortunately) feed all those children (wish I could), but what I can do is promote awareness to the foundation’s “Toonie for Tummies” campaign (that will feed them) which only asks for a donation of a toonie ($2) – yes, that’s enough, imagine that.

Another thing I think I can do is make sure that all your kids (and you guys) are eating healthy and nutritious food. So I decided to share my newest recipe for No Bake Brown Rice and Sesame Healthy Energy Bar.

This one is packed with goodness, it has brown rice, flax seed (great for your stomach and a wonderful source of Omega 3), sesame, honey, and the bonus special ingredient – tahini; need I say more? And it requires no baking you guys! It’s ready in minutes and after it sits in the fridge for 2 hours you’re good to go!

My kids loved it! Heck, everyone loved it! And it’s a super great addition for the lunchboxes.

Breakfast is important and so is the content of your lunchbox! Make sure it’s a good one!

Brown Rice, Sesame & Coconut Energy Bars

 

Brown Rice, Sesame & Coconut Energy Bars

Brown Rice Sesame & Coconut Energy Bars - Bonus: A Special Ingredient
Author: 
Recipe type: Energy Bar
Cuisine: Healthy Cooking, Health Bar
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20 mid size bars
 
These are wholesome, nutritious and just plain delicious. With the tahini and coconut in them they make the perfect energy bar to have as breakfast or put in your lunchbox. And it's so easy to make too.
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Puffed Brown Rice (Unsweetened) - You can also use rice krispies
  • ½ Cup Sesame Seeds
  • ¼ Cup Whole Flax Seeds
  • ½ Cup Roasted Coconut Chips
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil (liquid) or Canola Oil
  • ¼ Cup Raw Tahini (not the prepared spread)
  • ⅛ Cup Brown Sugar
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix the puffed rice, sesame, flax and coconut.
  2. In a small saucepan, place the honey, coconut, tahini and sugar and mix over low heat until you get an even batter (it should be smooth – don’t heat too much so you don’t burn the tahini).
  3. Remove from heat once smooth and add to the sesame mix and using a large/ wooden spoon, fold everything together evenly, until it’s all covered with the tahini batter.
  4. Pour the batter into a 6”X12” baking pan covered with parchment paper (I lightly grease the paper to allow easy removal later on) and flatten using your hands or by placing a sheet of parchment paper on top and tightening the batter with your hands or by rolling a glass on the paper.
  5. Place in the fridge for 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours, remove and turn over onto a board. Cut desired size using a sharp knife (but not too small or it’ll crumble).
  7. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

Brown Rice, Sesame & Coconut Energy Bars

*The fund raising campaign will be taking place in various participating retailers across Ontario and Atlantic Canada from February 5-19 – Just check out their page.

 

Brown Rice, Sesame & Coconut Energy Bars

You know what they say “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but is it? Well, I’m not an expert but if you ask me, there are quite a few benefits to having breakfast. Breakfast is an important factor, especially for a growing body like children and adolescences. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast […]

Read More