76 Years In The Making

I have a booklet that was printed in 1940 by the Fleischmann Yeast Company. This booklet was geared towards the restaurant industry. The large batch of basic sweet dough is a 210 lb. recipe.

Who used this booklet? Whose hand written notes are those in the pages? Where did they work? Did they like their job? What type of ovens did they use?.....my imagination takes me to a time gone by. In 1940 Hitler and Mussolini formed an alliance against France, Paris & London were being bombed, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president and the world was in turmoil. Yet, somewhere, someone was making bread that perhaps brought some normalcy and comfort to peoples lives; these breads were probably viewed as luxuries and reserved for special occasions like the holidays. I have to believe that no matter how hard conditions were that people could find some solace in honest food that was made by passionate people.

After looking at this book for several years and imagining who might have used it I decided it was my turn, 76 years after the original owner. I resurrected the sweet dough formula and made the Dutch cake, which is not a cake but a sweet bread with brioche characteristics.

The master recipe has an ingredient called "Sugar Yolks" which do not contain sugar. One pound of sugar yolks is 22 to 24 yolks. Two lbs of sugar yolks can be replaced with 3 pounds of whole eggs. Old recipes contain some interesting terminology like "C", this is what brown sugar is called in old baking books. I can only assume this terminology was used to avoid confusing one ingredient for another.

This is the dough from a small 18 lb batch. We added black currants, golden raisins and candied orange peel to the master recipe.

The dough divided into 1 lb. loaves after proofing for 2 1/2 hours.

The bread was egg washed and baked at 350° for 30 minutes. After the loaves cooled icing or powdered sugar was applied.

This is the genuine article. This recipe needs to be made more than once every 68 years.

The Fleischmann's Basic Sweet Dough Formula booklet.

Small batch is 33 lbs, large batch is 210 lbs.

The Dutch cake recipe using the dough formula.

A similar holiday recipe for stollen.

Grasshopper Taco

In Washington, D.C., at José Andrés' Oyamel restaurant I of course ordered the Chapulines, a legendary Oaxacan taco specialty that features sautéed grasshoppers

Not Your Mom's Spaghetti

A departure from the pasta-norm but definably not a departure from flavor!

Lemon-herb marinated chicken spiedini, romano spaghetti squash, tomatoes, basil infused olive oil, garlic toast, grilled lemon.

Pecan Pie Quandary

What size and shape to make? Well, no matter the shape they were all delicious!

The filling is made with Kentucky bourbon and a small dose of sorghum to give it depth, and of course the pecans plus the other usual ingredients.

Peaches and Cream Ice cream from the famed Comfy Cow in Louisville is the perfect accompaniment for any and all of these!

Large "Vertically Constructed" Pecan Tassies

If there was such a thing as the "Pecan Pie Mother Load" it would look like this!

The rustic cast iron dish seems so fitting and makes warming it up easy, which is a must!.....warm, gooey pecan pie goodness with some ice cream.....this is a dessert you can get possessive about, "If you want some dessert order your own! Get your fork out of my dessert!"

Solid Advice

A great reminder that cooking just doesn't happen by putting all the ingredients in a pan, it's a very intuitive skill that requires analyzing the product at hand, heat source, and desired finished product.....and hopefully this all happens in 5 seconds or less during a Saturday night dinner rush!