Norm Berg's Onion Rolls

Norm Berg's Onion Rolls
Brooklyn Stlye Onion Rolls

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sourdough Pie Pastry toutoral

Hello, friends.
  The video below, is my method of making a large batch of wild yeast pie pastry.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Ultimate, Serindipitus Peach Pie

By: The Roadside Pie King. The original plan called for candied ginger and candied rosemary. Well don't you know I 
brought basil by mistake? Thinking to myself that this could be a fortunate stroke of 
serendipity, I decided to go with the flow. Please mind your eye on photos one through three, 
candied basil. The pie turned out so delicious, the first thing you notice is the bright not overly sweet
 fresh peach flavor. Then you are taken by the subtle underlying flavor of the spice mixture, 
herbs, and extracts. The resulting background flavor never overpowers this pie. Instead, the 
combination perfectly complements the fresh peaches. The candied basil/ginger add an 
interesting crunchy flavor to the pastry.

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The sugar and fresh basil ready to be possessed.
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The chopped basil and granulated sugar mixture is brought to a boil and reduced slightly to a syrupy consistency.
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The crystalline candied  Basil 
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The frozen fresh peaches peel like magic
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The reserved skins processed into a tasty slurry
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The semi frozen peaches are neatly sliced with no lost juices
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The basil/ginger candy before grinding
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The pie topping is ready for use
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Sugars and spices added to the filling
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Fresh basil & tapioca complete the filling (Mix it up good)
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Norm Berg's, Memories of Brooklyn Onion Rolls

This is my humble interpretation of Mr. Bergs formula. As shared by him, the creator himself 

at The Fresh Loaf web site. I had no dried onion, so instead, I used one small raw Vidalia onion. 

 I hear tell the substitution of finely diced fresh will not taste the same. However, I can attest

 that these smell out of this world! I can also guarantee this will not be the last time I make 

these quick easy rolls! Follow the link for his the original formula. I present this great formula, 

With thanks for the generosity of Norm, may he rest in peace. Truly a baker with a big heart!


1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
 1Tbs. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1Tbs. Canola/ vegetable oil


The Topping:

1. Steep the dehydrated onions in boiling water until they absorb as much liquid as possible.
2. Drain the re-hydrated onions well and save the steeping water
3. Add the poppy seeds, salt and oil to the onions mix well to combine.
4. Set aside till needed

The dough:

1. Combine the onion water and any additional water needed to equal 16 oz. with 1 beaten Lg. egg, the malt syrup, and the oil.
2. Mix very well until a homogeneous mixture is achieved.
3. Combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in your mixer bowl. Mix well on low speed till well combined (or by hand)
4. While the mixer is still running on low add the salt and mix for about 30 seconds or so until well distributed.
5. Add the wet ingredients into the mixer bowl continue to stir on low until all the dry ingredients are well hydrated about a minute. (or by hand)
6. Turn up the mixer speed to #2 and knead for about seven to ten minutes, until a very smooth elastic dough forms. This low hydration dough is stiff and will give your mixer/arms a good workout.
7. Place the smooth elastic dough ball in a clear bulk fermenting container, preferably with volume markers. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled.
8. Turn the risen dough out on to your workbench. ( No additional flour is needed) Punch down the dough to degas.
9. Separate the dough into 10 equal pieces of about 153 grams each and form them into tight little balls.
10. Place the shaped balls on to a tray that was lightly dusted with cornmeal.
11. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. This will relax the gluten for the next step. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
12. Spread out the previously prepared onion topping in a shallow plate.
13. Line a baking pan/cookie sheet with parchment paper.
14. Place each ball one at a time, top side down into the topping mixture. Press down on the dough ball firmly till it is about a 1/2" thick.
15. Arrange the topped flattened buns on to the baking dish. Leave enough room between them, so they don't touch.
16. Proof covered at room temperature until doubled. About 45 minutes to 1 hour.
17. Bake with a steam source at 450 degrees F. for Ten minutes.
18. Remove the steam source and vent the oven. Rotate the baking pan 180 degrees. Continue to bake for an additional ten minutes until the rolls are golden brown.
19. cool on a rack for at least 1 hour. (If you can resist eating them while still warm!)

Sunday, June 30, 2019



 Just like mom used to make. This was a special Saturday
 morning treat growing up. Mom
 would make a bunch of savory ones with egg. Then a bunch
 more sweet ones with powdered sugar!
 I found two small pizza dough balls in the refrigerator from the
 Ftira bake, (6 days old.) Just enough
 for, four nice size sourdough shingi, (fried dough!) 
Yum. Mom would be happy the old dough was not wasted.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Maltese/Gozitan Ftira/ Ftira Għawdxija

Today, we have a rustic flat bread pizza, from the island of Gozo. I submit for your approval:
Maltese/Gozitan Ftira/ Ftira Għawdxija. The toppings:
Olive oil, vine ripened tomato, anchovies, raw shallot rings, capers, sauteed shallots with shiitake mushrooms, garlic. and topped off with thinly sliced red potatoes. This my friends is indeed a culinary treat! The recipe is in the photos. I converted the crust (base) from a commercial yeast formula to sourdough, additionally I added my obligatory whole grains. As you can see this formula called for a very low hydration dough, which worked very well for this application.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hamelman's Vermont sourdough baguettes

We are approaching French baguette nirvana
The French baguette so simple such a table staple. This humble bread is one of, if not the most difficult of the French bread's to master. Alas, baking just a few baguettes only a few times a year is not conducive to mastering the techniques required. It was necessary to take inventory of my recent bakes. On the advice of my friend Alfonso, I took a step back and lowered the hydration for this bake to 65%. Also under the tutelage of Alfonso, I opted for a tried and true formula, Hamelman's Vermont sourdough. The formula was scaled to yield 1200 grams of dough. Even adding 1% bowl residue allowance, I came up short, not exactly sure why I ended with only a minuscule amount of bowl residue. Not a huge deal, just curious. The actual yield, was three baguettes @ 395 grams, instead of 400 grams.
The photograph of the finished loaves revealed that my slashes needed to be at a more severe angle along the length of the loaf. That is an easy fix next time.

Pre-shaped and resting peacefully

Guardedly optimistic of a good outcome. I am pretty happy with the pre-shape and shaping step. I feel like I pulled the skin plenty tight in the pre-shape step. The 15 min. rest made the final shape and roll go very smooth. Tomorrow I need to up my slashing game and find a wat to give these bad boys a nice steam bath. For now, back into the cooler. T Minus 14 hrs. till bake. Smile...

A visual examination reveled the baguettes are holding an indent. This is it, the end game!

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I was hoping for a little more air. I think my dull bread knife may be part of the issue. All and all, I am very happy with this bake. I now have a good result to continue to build on!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Spinich & feta stuffed Lamb Roulade with pomagranate reduction sauce.

Roasted Boneless stuffed Leg of Lamb.
Part #1- preparing and marinating the lamb.
Part #2 - Stuff roll and tie. (The end game) Not bad for a city boy with no training! It must be in the Genes!
Part #3 Roast till medium rare. Come up with a way cool sauce. Balsamic/pomegranate/pan dripping reduction.