apple and honey pizza + wheat harvest!

Today is the last day of wheat harvest! It was earlier than expected this year because it was such a hot and dry summer. The wheat fields are soooo pretty so I'm kind of sad they'll all be picked now but one perk of this earlier wheat harvest is that Eggboy will have some breathing time before beet harvest, some of which will be spent at summer camp!!! Since it’s been a good few years since I took a camera out to the fields, I thought it would be fun to have Chantell and Brett come out and capture the harvest, the wheat, and a fun thing to do with the wheat: mill it into flour and make pizza with it! 

Wheat harvest is less intense of a harvest than sugar beet harvest because you can only harvest the wheat when it’s very dry, meaning that you can’t really start until 11am, and then you have to stop at sundown, so there’s still time at night to sit on the couch and eat a taco and watch half an episode of Breaking Bad. (Sugar beet harvest goes 24 hours a day… no time for couch or TV.) But that doesn’t mean it’s less dramatic!! The way the fields are so golden and create big poofs of dust when the combines roll through creates the coolest scene. 

Once it’s harvested, the wheat, which is hard red spring wheat, gets brought to the mill in town where it’s ground into flour and shipped all over the country. Some of it becomes King Arthur Flour! Some goes into pancake mix. And some of it (the high protein variety) gets sent to the Bronx to make bagels!!!

And then there’s like .00000001% of it that Eggboy has brought in for me to blend in the Vitamix and play around with. I added some to challah and it came out reeeeally dense. It was bad. But that density works really well in pizza dough, so I’ve been adding it to my current favorite pizza dough, which is based on the recipe in Bread Toast Crumbs. It’s a no-knead recipe that only needs to rise for an hour and a half, so it’s the best on pizza Fridays when I forget to make dough the day before. And the nutty whole wheatiness of our home-milled flour goes splendidly with this new concoction: apple and honey pizza! With apples from our trees!!!

Apple and honey pizza is a Rosh Hashanah-ready recipe I’ve been wanting to make for a while and it works because sharp sharp cheddar, pepper-y arugula, and punchy balsamic all balance out the sweetness of the apples and honey so it definitely does still feel like a good salty savory situation. In a slightly dainty move, the crust here is really thin and crisp, so you could totally house the whole thing for supper or serve it as an appetizer flatbread thing. There’s no real sauce, just some slow cooked olive oily onions, and brie would be en excellent alternative to the sharp cheddar. Overall it strikes a perfect combo of sweet, salty, and acidic, so it's fully ready for a sweet (yet balanced!) new year!

apple and honey pizza

serves 2-4

ingredients

Dough:

1 1/3 c (173g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 c (86g) whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 c (236 ml) lukewarm water

Toppings:

1/4 c (50g) olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6 oz (170g) sharp cheddar, shredded
1 apple, thinly sliced
leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
Black pepper
Kosher salt
4 tsp honey
Crushed red pepper
2 handfuls of arugula
A drizzle of balsamic glaze
 

clues

In a medium bowl combine the flours, salt and yeast. Mix in the water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours (or overnight).

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat and add the onion and thyme sprigs and cook for about 45 minutes, until very very soft.

Preheat the oven (ideally with a pizza stone) to 500ºf, cut out two big sheets with parchment paper, and dust liberally with flour. Divide the dough into two parts, and place each on a piece of parchment. The dough will be very sticky, so don't be shy in dusting it with enough flour as needed to handle it. Roll out until the dough is very thin, just a little thicker than 1/4” (and again, feel free to dust dust dust with flour as you're rolling). 

Discard the thyme leaves from the onion mixture and transfer the onions and the excess olive oil to the dough, spreading it around to distribute evenly. Top with the cheese, apple slices, rosemary, and black pepper, and sprinkle the edges with salt. Using a pizza peel or baking sheet, slide the dough onto baking stone and bake until the cheese is splotchy with brown marks; begin checking for doneness at 7 minutes. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can simply bake on a baking sheet. 

Drizzle the pizzas with honey, sprinkle with crushed red pepper, top with arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Enjoy! 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

apron by enrich and endure, necklace by marian bull

orange juice challah

I realize that posting a Rosh Hashanah recipe almost a month in advance is a bit… much… but Christmas decorations are out before Halloween now, so just give me this, ok??? I’m excited. The older I get and the less I care about presents (unless it’s a Caboodles), the more I care about holidays that revolve around big feasts and merriment and being cozy and autumnal, so Rosh Hashanah: check. Thanksgiving: check. Beet Harvest party: check. And wheat harvest has begun, so we are on the fast track to fall and all of my favorite days. It’s on like donkey kong, fronds!!!!

First we did have to endure a couple of weekends in the 90s though, which I’m hoping will be dunzo asap because this coming weekend I’m judging a hotdish competition outside, and surely a hot hot hotdish competition would have less than optimal comfort. However, rain or shine or shvitz, I’m willing to put myself second in the name of choosing an East Grand Forks hotdish champion. There better be a tater tot entry this year. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t one last year.

This past weekend we had visitors! The Butnick Cohens of Manhattan came over and we ran through wheat fields, ate cheesy pickles, made challah, spent good quality time in the climate controlled indoors, and attended the Prince cover band street dance and it was all extremely fun!!!!! I got Stephanie a Caboodles and she got me one so now we have Friendship Caboodles and my life is complete. I organized all of my nail polishes in mine. 

Speaking of 90s things, this challah is inspired by a thing my mom used to do in the 90s, which was pour a bunch of orange juice into bread dough. It sounds weird, but it works! It makes the bread slightly tangy, sour, and sweet. And it’s oddly good with turkey sandwiches. Kind of in the same way that cranberry sauce works with turkey. The OJ bread my mom used to make was just a simple white sandwich bread, but this year for Rosh Hashannah I figured what better way to ring in a sweet new year than with OJ challah?? The hit of citrus in this is subtle and great. It would be equally at home as a turkey sandwich or as a sweet french toast, it’s a versatile little loaf! I’ve made eight mini loaves here, but you can totally make fewer larger loaves, just increase the baking time.

L’shana almost tovah!


orange juice challah

makes 8 little loaves (or fewer, bigger loaves)

ingredients

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 c (236ml) warm water
1/2 c (118ml) orange juice, from about 2 oranges
6 c (780g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 c (50g) sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 c (132g) flavorless oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tb water
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
 

clues

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and orange juice. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until slightly foamy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, orange zest, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and 2 eggs.

Add yeast mixture and egg mixture to the flour mixture; stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook on medium speed for 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (Alternatively, chill dough in refrigerator overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping.)

Divide dough into 8 pieces. Divide each into 4 logs and shape according to the gif above (alternatively you can make mini swirls or mini 3-strand braids or even just blobs!). Place on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing evenly apart, cover loosely, and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until they are golden and have an internal temperature of 190ºF; begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire wrack to cool slightly and enjoy. 

Challah is best eaten within 24 hours, after that it’s ok if you toast it or use it for french toast. It also freezes well!
 


tahini caramel apples

...and my rosh hashanah menu!

wednesday (eggfamily is coming over!)

apples from our tree // our trees are bursting, the apples are snappy and tart, oh and i make pies now… (more on this later)

marzipan honey // when i passed through new york last week on the way to stephanie and ben’s wedding i stopped at breads for car snacks and they were selling marzipan honey!!! i didn’t dare buy it because can you imagine the expletives that would come out of your mouth if a jar of honey spilled in your suitcase? so i plan to simply put honey from eggbro's bees and marzipan in my cuisinart and blend it up. 

potato challah!! // ohmygosh so many of you have made this already and every time you post a photo of it i scream and smile. your braids all look fantastic!! this is why i know 5778 is going to be great. 

matbucha // this will be my first time making it but i figured it’d be a nice accompaniment to the challah and a great way to use up the tomatoes from our garden! 

brisket // it’s been a while since i just did a classic, red wine braised, oniony and carroty brisket that makes the house smell exactly like rosh hashanah, so that is what i shall do. (hi yankee candle, can you make a brisket and challah scented candle??) i’ve blocked off like five hours of my day today to track down a brisket though because finding a brisket in this town is as hard as getting through the newest season of bojack. it can be done but it’s definitely not easy. 

something with zucchini // i have not figured this out yet but i need to bc we are now in possession of three zucchini that are twice the size of sven cat!!!! and sven cat is a very large northern cat!! i am leaning toward this zucchini kugel topped with walnuts and capers and tons of herbs, a la marian zucchini.

apple pie, with the marzipan crumble from alanna’s book // i know, i know, who is this pie maker cat lady that i have suddenly become??? we are going to talk about this soon, it’s gonna be fine. but there's this recipe i’m working on that has hawaij in it and omg it’s so good. ok bye.

thursday (low-key, eggboy and me, and probably what women want on hbo)

shakshuka challah! // i’m going to reserve some of the challah dough from wednesday, make lil rounds, spoon some shakshuka sauce and eggs into them, and then cover them with herbs and feta.

matzo ball soup // i’ll probably go the very classic route with this too, or i may use my fave roasted vegetable stock with it so i can use more of our garden vegetables. 

annnd....

tahini caramel apples!!!

i love a caramel apple. i love unwrapping all of the little pieces of caramel*, eating things on sticks, and brushing my teeth for an extra long portion of time. and picking apples from our tree makes me so happy, it’s like living on rock candy mountain. we are no strangers to tahini going with caramel (see: hawaij carrot cake), so it felt right that tahini caramel should go on apples. 

*this is an outdated hobby, as they don't even sell the individually wrapped caramel squares at my grocery anymore, it's all the unwrapped little balls

i went through a few variations of homemade caramel for these apples, which tasted fine, but getting the consistency just right took so much time and energy that i kind of started dreading making them. it wasn’t, like, fun dough-kneading energy, it was sweating-over-a-hot-pot-of-caramel-for-way-too-long-wondering-if-i’m-going-to-burn-it energy. so i dug out this brick of caramel that’s been sitting in the back of my pantry for two years, melted it down, mixed in tahini, and it worked like a charm and came together in like five minutes! it also tasted great, better than the homemade caramel even, since it wasn’t seasoned with stress and sweat. so conclusion: we're going with easy peasy store-bought caramel here. the tahini does a great job of cutting the sweetness from the caramel and kind of bridges the gap from tart to sweet. and the tiny bit of cinnamon adds a nice autumnal warmth!

you know what else is so good?? pouring any leftover tahini caramel onto a sheet of waxed paper and covering it with chopped pretzels. let it harden and cut it into squares. wrap in cute candy wrappers and eat as desired.

shana tova, friends!!!! 

🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯🍎🍯


tahini caramel apples

makes 6-8 apples

Ingredients

6-8 tart apples
1 ounce (28g) toasted sesame seeds
11 ounces (312g) caramels
2 tb water
1/4 t cinnamon
1/3 c (75g) tahini
 

Clues

Wash and dry the apples. Insert sticks into the top, place them on a waxed paper lined baking sheet, and refrigerate them for at least 20 minutes. Place the sesame seeds on a plate and set aside. In a small or medium saucepan, combine the caramels, water, and cinnamon, and heat on medium heat, stirring with a heat-safe rubber spatula, until the caramel is melted. Stir in the tahini until smooth and reduce heat to low. Dip the cold apples in the caramel, letting any excess drip off, dip them in the sesame seeds, and then place on the waxed paper (or on parchment cupcake liners). Firm up in the fridge for about 20 minutes and enjoy! These should keep in the fridge, covered, for up to a couple of weeks. 
 


-yeh!

pictured: pot / spurtle / small plate / big plate