Challah

by: Miss Weiss (Special Ed Aide)

The Jewish holiday Shabbat begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. For this holiday, there is a special bread we eat called Challah. Every week I use this recipe to make Challah (often with my Mom!) for my family to enjoy at Shabbat dinner.  

Source: My family’s take on a Jewish tradition

Ingredients

Bread
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 standard ¼ – ounce packet) active dry yeast
⅓ cup + 1 tsp honey
⅓ cup canola oil, plus more for the bowl
2 large eggs + 1 large yolk
1 ½ tsp table salt
4 ¼ cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for your work surface

Egg Wash
1 large egg

Recipe Steps

  1. Make your dough: Whisk yeast and 1 tsp honey into ⅔ cup warm water and let stand until foamy, a few minutes
    • With a stand mixer: In the bowl of a stand mixture, whisk together yeast mixture, oil, remaining honey (⅓ cup), eggs and yolk. Switch to dough hook and add flour and salt. Use dough hook on moderate speed until it pulls all of the flour and wet ingredients together into a craggy mass. Lower the speed and let the dough hook knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth, elastic and a little sticky.
    • By hand: In a large bowl, whisk together yeast mixture, oil, remaining honey (⅓ cup), eggs and yolk. Add flour and salt all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a craggy mass of uneven dough. Turn dough out onto a floured counter and knead it into a smooth elastic dough, about 5 to 8 minutes. Try to use as little flour as necessary when kneading the dough; you don’t want to toughen up the bread.
  2. Both Methods: Transfer dough to large oil-coated bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.
  3. First Rise: Turn dough out onto a floured counter and gently press it down into a flat, oblong, shape. Fold the other half and press the dough down, flattening the dough. Fold the other half, pressing the dough down again. Your dough packet will likely be square-ish. Fold the corners under with the sides of your hands and form the dough into a round. Turn your empty bowl over on top of the dough and set it aside for another 30 mins.
  4. Weave your bread: See graphic for instructions!
  5. Transfer the woven dough to a parchment-covered baking sheet. Beat egg until smooth and brush over challah. Let challah rise for another hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees!
  6. Bake your loaf: Before baking, brush loaf one more time with egg wash. Bake in middle of oven for 40-45 minutes.

Blueberry Pie

by: Ms. Bonelli (Speech-Language Pathologist)

This recipe is special to me because blueberry pie was my grandmother’s favorite type of pie. Though this is not my grandmother’s recipe, it is very similar to the one she made. It is also the very first pie recipe I made on my ongoing journey to become a pie expert.   

Source: Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

Ingredients

DOUBLE CRUST PIE DOUGH:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
1/2 cup ice water + 1-2 tablespoons more as needed

FILLING:
5-6 cups (about 1 3/4 pounds), blueberries, fresh or unthawed frozen
3/4 sugar
A pinch of nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
1 recipe double crust pie dough (see above ingredients)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling on top of the pie

EGG WASH:
1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water, fork beaten

Recipe Steps

FOR THE DOUBLE CRUST PIE DOUGH:

  1. Put all ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl.
  2. With clean hands, quickly mash the mixture together, or use a pastry blender with an up and down motion, until the ingredients look like cracker crumbs with lumps the size of peas and almonds. These lumps make your crust flaky.
  3. Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and stir lightly with a fork.
  4. Squeeze a handful of dough to see if it holds together. Mix in more water as needed.
  5. Divide the dough in half and make two chubby discs about 5 inches across.
  6. Wrap the discs separately in plastic wrap, and chill for about an hour.

ROLLING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take out the dough discs and let them temper until they feel slightly soft to the touch and easy to roll out. Unwrap one disc and place it on counter top.
  2. Thump the disc with your rolling pin several times. Turn it over and thump the other side.
  3. Roll the crust out from the center in all directions until it is 1-2 inches larger than your pie pan.
  4. Fold the dough over the top of the pin and lay it in the pie pan carefully.
  5. Don’t worry if the crust needs to be patched together. Paint a little water where it needs to be patched and “glue” on the patch piece.
  6. Put the filling in the pie and repeat the process with the other side.

FILLING:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Put the blueberries, sugar, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, flour, and cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca in a big bowl, and mix lightly until the fruit is coated.
  3. Roll out the bottom dough and place it in your pie pan.
  4. Add the blueberry filling and dot it with little pieces of butter.
  5. Roll out the remaining dough, lay it over the fruit, trip, crimp, and cut 5-6 vents on top, or cut strips and weave a lattice top.
  6. Brush the crust with some egg white wash.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 35-40 minutes more. When there are 10-15 minutes of bake time left, open the oven, pull the pie out, and quickly and evenly sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar. Close the oven and continue baking for 10-15 minutes. Look for the steady bubbling of the fruit filling coming through the vents or latticework to make sure the filling is fully cooked.
  8. Cool the pie before serving so the fruit filling can set up.
  9. ENJOY!

Blueberry French Toast Bake

by: Mr. Owen (Physical Education Teacher)

This has become our traditional Christmas morning breakfast in the Owen household. We eat it (along with any breakfast food) with pure maple syrup. My grandfather was a maple syrup producer at my home in New Hampshire, so nothing but the real stuff in our house!  

Source: Family recipe

Ingredients

French/Italian Bread – 1 Loaf
Eggs – 1 Dozen
Milk – 1 Cup
Cream – 1 Cup
Sugar – 1/2 Cup (I only use a half cup since we use maple syrup on top, if you don’t you could add more if desired)
Blueberries – 1 pound
Vanilla Extract – 1/2 Tablespoon
Ground Cinnamon – I don’t measure – just give a few good dashes
Ground Nutmeg – I don’t measure – just give a few good dashes

Recipe Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Cut the bread into slices and layer in the bottom of a 15″/10″ pan.
  4. Add the blueberries amongst the bread.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over everything. I cut the pieces up and mix everything together using a big spoon to make sure the bread is well coated.
  6. Dash cinnamon and nutmeg over the top.
  7. Cook uncovered for 45 – 60 minutes.
  8. When finished the top should be golden brown, the blueberries should have burst, and a knife inserted in the center should come out clean.