Monday, January 08, 2007

Pletzlach or Flam pletzel

Sometimes you read blogs and get inspired, sometimes you get inspired, read blogs and discover that the blogosphere is munching on onion covered yeast bread....

I had this one bookmarked with a bright orange post-it for ages (see, getting all defensive) and finally made a batch this weekend and in preparing the post discovered that flam pletzel and pletzlach are one and the same. Remembered Lindy (Toast) did a pletzlach post, saw Rebecca Pelz's recipe pop up in the NY Times (don't get your hopes up, this bread involves kneading and rising and rolling....) and the Wednesday chef.

But my description of who is baking pletzlach around the globe can never top "Mom" at Eat who says in this post: " I’m visualizing hordes of goyim across the blogosphere baking yeast-raised Jewish specialty breads, like these pletzlach, and causing Passover-observing Jews to choke on their matzoh."
Yeah that's me, the goy I mean! Especially when you read the recipe and see that I added some pesto on top. Gasp! There is no excuse for adding pesto other than the nearly finished big tub still resting in the fridge from eh.. last year's extravagance. And the best excuse of all: it is gooood! Do I hear someone choking? For the recipe I read Maggie Glezer's book: "a Blessing of Bread", we had to get to know each other but we're getting along fine now I sorted out the differences in flour/liquid measurements.

Basically you'll need one recipe risen challah dough, which is punched down, divided into pieces, shaped into rounds and covered to have their second rise.
Roll the rounds to flat disks (10-15 cm) with a rolling pin, cover and let rise again till puffy, they will get twice as thick, very airy and soft. Each rise will take about 1 hr (or 1.1/2).

Finally you'll get to garnish: top with very finely chopped onion, sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and poppy seeds. In this case I omitted the salt and smeared a scant teaspoon of pesto on top prior to adding the onions and poppy seeds. Maybe you'll need to press the onions with your fingers to prevent bald pletzels and blackened onions on your bakingsheets...
Bake in a preheated oven (375F- 180C) 25-35 minutes depending on size and oven.

This is the dough I used:

nearly 2.1/2 ts yeast (yes Dutch fellowbakers, indeed it is a lot!)
270 gr bloem (2 cups ap flour)
270 gr volkoren (2 cups whole wheat)
3 tbs olie (3 tbs vegetable oil)
2 ts zout (2 ts salt)
dash of pepper
250 gr + 3 el warm water (1 cup warm water)

Using your hands, bread maker or stand mixer to make a dough that is supple and soft, using whole wheat means you'll have to knead thoroughly to get the desired softness. Follow up with the directions mentioned above.

Eat as you like, with a bowl of heartwarming creamy soup, slice into wedges and enjoy with some wine, or sneak some in your son's lunchbox... They will reheat easily in the oven sprinkled with some water.


  1. Ha, ha, no choking here my girl just some great wonderful belly laughs across the waves and around the globe! I'd say the pesto was inspired and has to taste fabulous. Those are beautiful.


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