It's time to snap out of the winter slug I've been in and think of Easter coming soon on the horizon. Time to fill the freezer with the baked treats we expect to see each year. I always, always, always do whatever can be done ahead of time well in advance.
We are a traditional kind of family. If a grandma made something and it was on the table every year then we've (Read: me) tried to make sure that food tradition continues. Our daughter is quite the historian and traditionalist and there were times we cringed for trying something new for fear it wouldn't be accepted or she would declare it a 'new tradition!' and we'd have to do it forever.
I let things go for several years but daughter now has two daughters and she wants the girls to learn what's a part of their DNA. She and the girls make PH's mother's noodles for each holiday. So, last year I made cruschiki
This year it's Busia's placzek. I don't do well with yeast. This bread is very eggy (6 large eggs) and buttery (3 sticks of butter) and holds about 5 pounds of flour. Busia used to make it in one huge mound filled with raisins. Well, putting raisins in it now would guarantee no one would eat it so that's one change I made. The old recipe also called for 2 oz. of compressed yeast. The kind that's shaped like a butter pat. I spent a day last week driving to several different grocery stores looking for compressed cake yeast and had luck at two stores 30 miles away. One had expired cakes on the shelf and one had cakes that would expire this week. I bought one.
Because this recipe is made with so many ingredients I don't want to ruin, this bread makes me nervous. I think bread can sense nervousness. It surely knows when I'M coming around.
I decided today was the day. I woke up earlier than I wanted to, schlepped into the kitchen to put the eggs and butter out to warm up and took out the yeast cake. It was moldy. Now I'm not happy. I know my grocery store doesn't carry it and I'm not going to drive the 30 miles to the store that did!
After googling how to convert cake to dry yeast I decided if this bread was ever going to be made in the future it was going to be with active dry yeast and I had to just bite the bullet and do it.
I gave our big, big Tupperware bowl to our son during the move and
remembered when I had to add 10 cups of flour to this gooey, buttery,
eggy messy dough that I don't have that bowl anymore. Digging in the
cupboards I found the turkey roaster and mixed the buttery, eggy dough
in that. I have just one loaf pan since the move so I really scrounged around for something else to bake this in.
I got an interesting round pan last time we were at Ikea so I tried
that and still had enough dough for three small personal sized loaves.
Next up, the lamb cake.