Bob Recipe: Parsley Cheddar Biscuits


from:  Grassland
Product:  Butter

Bob Recipe:  Parsley Cheddar Biscuits

2 1/2 c flour
3 Tbsp powdered Buttermilk
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 c shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 c water
1 c finely-chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 425 F.  In a large bowl, combine flour, buttermilk, baking powder, salt, baking soda and butter until blended.  Stir in cheese.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in water.  Stir just until moistened.  turn-out onto a lightly floured board.  Roll into a 12″ log.

Brush flour from work surface and roll log in chopped parsley, pressing to adhere.  Slice into twelve 1″ thick rounds.

Space biscuits apart on a greased baking sheet, and bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown.


Folding Bread Proofer and Yogurt Maker by Brod & Taylor and Soft and Moist Pumpkin Dinner Rolls recipe


Meet my new favorite kitchen product…the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer, we truly get along so well, specially now that the cold months are here.  I love breads, and I mean yeasted breads that require proofing (rising) in controlled temperature and humidity.   So many variables in bread making, and the last thing that you don’t want to happen is not having the dough to not double in size after a minimum rising period.  Then one panics, and resorts to old tricks like having the bowl of kneaded dough rest with another bowl containing hot or boiling water to create steam inside the oven.  With buttery rich doughs like brioche and sweet doughs, it will be a challenge.  But not anymore with the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer.  So many features I really marvel about this product.  Easy set-up, only need preheating and it even includes a water tray to create that humid environment that bread dough loves.  Easy storage, folds away easily, yes I repeat, folds to fit your kitchen drawers or cabinets.   No plastic wrap or damp cloth covers anymore and you can even keep an eye on the rising dough through the clear window on top of the proofer.  Not just for breads, this fantastic product is also great for tempering or melting chocolate, and making thick and creamy yogurt.  This Brod & Taylor proofer is definitely the perfect Christmas gift for bread lovers and bakers.  Highly recommended.  And enjoy the 4 You tube video series showing you the use of this product (

Thanks Katie Hlavinka of Avalon Communications for sharing this press release:

Brød & Taylor Proofer Affording Home Chefs Professional Bread, Yogurt and Chocolate Results
Flat-folding device a must-have for every health-conscious kitchen

Brød & Taylor’s Folding Proofer is making it easy for consumers to bake delicious, artisan breads with healthy ingredients in the comfort of their own home. Rather than purchasing off-the-shelf bread with superfluous and sometimes unrecognizable ingredients, at-home bakers can control exactly what goes into the finished product and onto the table. More than just for bread though, the multi-tasking proofer also enables the creation of creamy, homemade yogurt and perfectly melted chocolate!

The countertop proofer makes the task of from-scratch breads and pastries easier than ever before by affording individuals the same tools and techniques that professional bakers enjoy, most importantly, accurately controlled fermentation and rise temperatures with optimal humidity. As a result, consumers can produce the best flavors from their own sourdough, gluten free, whole grain or even artisan bread recipes and enjoy them warm, fresh from the oven without relying on high-end bakeries. What’s more, the proofer folds flat for storage so even the tiniest kitchens can take advantage of its bread-making benefits.

Healthy homemade bread isn’t the only chore the Brød & Taylor folding proofer accomplishes, though. It can also multi-task by providing a safe, controlled environment for making yogurt at home, excelling as a large capacity, versatile yogurt maker. With adjustable temperature control, the Brød & Taylor proofer is capable of making up to two gallons of fresh yogurt in only four hours, opposed to the 10-12 it can take when using conventional yogurt makers with smaller capacities. Consumers can also use their own glass containers, avoiding contact with plastic. Those that prefer longer culture times can lower the temperature for 24 hours or more. That’s good news for the 75 percent of consumers who, according to a 2011 Mintel report, eat spoonable yogurt. Armed with a Brød & Taylor proofer in their kitchen, consumers can make healthier yogurt at a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

The Brød & Taylor proofer also takes the guesswork out of melting and tempering chocolate. Unlike a microwave, which tends to overheat, or a double boiler, which is notorious for water seizing, the proofer melts chocolate gently at the ideal low temperature for both tempering and holding.

The accurate, low temperature control of the folding proofer enables an entire realm of additional kitchen tasks that involve fermenting or culturing including making tempeh, probiotic vegetables – even homemade soy sauce.

All of these capabilities will cause even professional bakers to wonder how they ever lived without the Brød & Taylor proofer in their home kitchens. “Genius design, I love that the proof box instantly folds flat and fits neatly in my tightly-packed kitchen cupboards. I have used it to proof bread and make batches of the most exquisite yogurt. It gives professional results at home.” Zoe Francois of hails the product for its “genius design.” She raves, “I love that the proof box instantly folds flat and fits neatly in my tightly-packed kitchen cupboards. I have used it to proof bread and make batches of the most exquisite yogurt. It gives professional results at home.”

Health-conscious bread, yogurt, fermented food and chocolate lovers who would like to control the ingredients that go into their favorite foods while enjoying professional results can learn more about the Brød & Taylor proofer (MSRP $159) online at

About Brød & Taylor
Brød & Taylor’s primary mission is to assist people in efficiently and affordably creating wholesome recipes in their own kitchens by providing them with the tools they need to incorporate pure or organic ingredients. For additional information on the company, please visit

I chose a rich dough (with egg, milk, butter) recipe to try out Brod & Taylor Bread Proofer.   It was also a cold day (more cold days ahead!).   And these are always the very challenging conditions in making yeast breads.    Regardless, the Brod & Taylor delivered…the dough placed in large glass bowl doubled in size in 1 1/2 hours, awesome!

“Soft and Moist” Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk, heated in microwave to lukewarm
1 teaspoon sugar + 2/3 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup bread flour
5 cups all-purpose flour (variable)
Additional 1/4 cup melted butter to brush tops of shaped rolls before and after baking

Set the proofer to 75 F and put the water tray in the middle of the warming plate with 1/4 cup water in it.  Place the rack on top of the tray.

Suspend yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm milk; let stand until foamy.  Combine remaining 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, pumpkin puree, egg and salt in a small bowl.   Place 1 cup bread flour and 3 cups all-purpose flour in a large bowl.  Add the butter mixture and yeast mixture.  Mix by hand or use a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.   Add enough flour until a soft dough is formed.  Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, springy and not too sticky, adding enough flour.   Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl.  Allow the dough to ferment or rise in the proofer fot 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.   Cut dough in 16 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.  Arrange 12 balls in a pam-sprayed 13 x 9 aluminum foil pan and remaining 4 rolls in a pam-sprayed small square pan.  Place the 9 x 13 pan in the proofer to let dough rise again for 30 minutes.  Cover remaining 4 rolls loosely with saran wrap and let proof.   Heat oven to 350 F.  Brush tops of the risen rolls with half of the melted butter.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.  After removing the rolls from the oven, brush again with the remaining butter.   Enjoy!

Peach Caramel Sticky Buns

Cinnamon-filled sweet bread a la Cinnabon — no one can ever resist that.  So it is not a surprise if the hundreds of copycat Cinnabon recipes enjoy worldwide views every day, every hour, every minute.   Ann, a reader of my blog ( commented about the Almost Cinnabon Cinnamon rolls recipe I posted months back:  “just made them and a tad disappointed. quite dry, just taste like a normal bread roll with some cinnamon flavour 😦 any ideas where I went wrong…..followed recipe. thanks anyway).”  I made the cinnamon bread recipe again, used the same exact measurements for the bread dough, but finally opted to make sticky buns instead with peach caramel sauce.   Bread is definitely a bit of a challenge, but always reminder that the variable ingredient is the flour, go easy and stingy or your bread will really be dry.  Adapted from Almost Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls by Ellen Goltz (Journal Gazette).

1 ( 1/4 -ounce) package yeast or 1 tablespoon
1 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon + 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour (may add more)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, softened

Peach Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons evaporated milk or liquid coffee creamer
2 cups fresh or frozen peaches, peeled and diced

For the peach caramel sauce:  Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add brown sugar, corn syrup and milk or cream.  Mix together and add in peaches.  Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes.  Divide into two Pam-sprayed 9-inch round pans.  Set aside.

For the rolls: Dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, margarine, salt, eggs and flour (start with 3 cups flour); mix well.  Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is 21 inches long by 16 inches wide. It should be 1/4 -inch thick.

To make filling: Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut the dough into 12 slices, and arrange 6 slices in the prepared pans.   Allow to dough to rise again for another 30 minutes.   Bake in preheated 350 F oven for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Then invert onto serving trays.

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“Saving My Bananas” Banana Bread Loaf

Bananas ripen fast during summer…and when they really turn brown and unappealing…then mashing these very ripe bananas just would be the next best thing to do, throw in some few more ingredients and voila…Banana Bread.




1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
3 very, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

In a large mixing bowl, aerate together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar with a wire whisk (you may need to sift to make sure no large mass of brown sugar in the mix) .  In a medium bowl, beat together to blend well the eggs, oil, mashed bananas and condensed milk.   Blend dry and liquid ingredients until just mixed.   Pour batter into greased and lined with parchment paper 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 F for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Lemon-scented Pull-apart Rolls

Great for breakfast, for snacks….or anytime of the day.  And you can bake them in loaf pans for giveaways too.

For the dough:
1 tablespoon active dry or instant yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar

For the lemon glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar into the warm water in a small bowl.  Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy.  In a small saucepan, scald whole milk, 1/4 cup sugar and butter just until warm and butter is almost melted.  Add salt, vanilla and eggs.  Place 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl and mix in dissolved yeast and milk mixture.  Beat in with wooden spoon until blended.  Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place dough in lightly-oiled bowl, turn to coat and cover with a plastic wrap.   Let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is well risen when indentation remains when you press one finger in the dough.),  Punch down dough and divide into 12 or 15 rolls.  Place rolls in lightly-oiled 9 x 13 baking pan.
Drizzle with the melted butter.  Mix lemon zest and sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of the lemon sugar mixture over the rolls. Cover and let rise till doubled.  Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture on top.  Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from pan.  Combine the lemon glaze ingredients. Drizzle over rolls while still warm.

Book Review: Inside the Jewish Bakery AND a tried-and-tested Sweet and Rich Challah recipe

I love baking bread…and my hubby appreciates that the I don’t consider the kneading, proofing (and the waiting can be as short as 1 hour or as long as overnight in the fridge) and shaping homemade breads as one stressful and intimidating kitchen activity.   He enjoys freshly-baked or warmed homemade breads to start the day…and there’s always sweet and soft homemade breads in the house for him to slather with honey butter.  And I’m very much enthusiastic about finding more bread recipes to try, and get my big bag of flour replenished every 2 or 3 months.

I was delighted when this “good-looking” book, Inside the Jewish Bakery, finally came in the mail (thanks to Trina Kaye, Lisa Ekus Group and Camino Books).   Bread formulations and applications are pretty much universal that I don’t have to embrace Jewish religion or culture to appreciate reading this book.   It’s got all the elements of a good cookbook — there’s interesting narratives of Jewish/Yiddish culinary traditions (specific type of dress to denote the different status of the bakery’s staff, all breads made from scratch and of real ingredients — butter, eggs, and sugar), and of course, the many pages of recipes, complete with detailed instructions and clear directions.  In just the Challah bread, which may not be available in all bakeries, but is well embraced by the foodies and homebakers all over the world, there are more than 2 ways to braid a Challah bread.    I enjoyed the inclusions of old photos from the early 1900s, specially the scribbled bread formula in a baker’s notebook — only proves again the point that baking is such an exact science.   Use a wrong formulation and expect an unacceptable baked bread.    The colored photos in the middle section of the book were so mouthwatering — so deliciously photographed that I could see myself making elephant ears and a chocolate loaf babka soon.

I’m giving my 2 thumbs-up on this and encourage you to get one for a nice addition to your cookbook collection.”  It is a gem of a baking book for all bakers, including homebakers.   The recipes in the book were downsized for the homebaker, but the book is lavished with detailed instructions (including the hows and whys) and images of baking steps and finished products.  Again, one doesn’t have to be Jewish to appreciate this book….one particular recipe that is well-embraced is the Challah (Egg) bread.   Several versions were provided in the book, including an eggless water version.  The difficult part of this bread is in the braiding; the authors (Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg) made sure to offer simple shapes and braids.  It will be a while to master the 6-strand Bakery braided Challah, so for my practice, I followed the easier braiding technique from Baking Illustrated book.  I can’t wait to do the Chiffon Cake recipe in the book that only calls for less than 2 cups flour for a regular chiffon cake, mmm, I am that intrigued.   This book brings back my memories of watching in fascination professional bakers kneading, rounding, folding, stretching and shaping bread doughs inside their bakery work area.

Other recipes in this handsome book —

Pumpernickel Bread
Rye Bread
Kaiser Rolls
Danish and Puff Pastry
Apple Strudel
Fruit-Filled Buns
Yeast-Raised Doughnuts, including Honey Glaze
Wine Cake
Seven-Layer Cake
Checkerboard Cake
Linzer Cookies
Chinese Almond Cookies (this is on top of my to-do list)
Passover Coconut Macaroons and Cream Puffs

(Excerpt from Inside the Jewish Bakery by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg © 2011 Camino Books
Reprinted with permission.  To learn more about the book go to

1 3/4 cups bread flour  (225g)
3/1/2 teaspoons Instant yeast (14g)
1 cup Water (225g)
4 cups bread flour (565g)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (155g)
2 1/4 teaspoons table salt (14g)
3 Large eggs, beaten (150g)
1 egg yolk, large (18g)
1/2 cup Vegetable oil (100g)
1 large Egg, lightly beaten for glazing (50g)
2 Tablespoons poppy, sesame or chernushka seeds (15g)

1. Combine the first quantity of four, instant yeast and water into a mixing bowl, or the bowl of the mixer and beat by hand into a smooth, thick paste. Set in a warm place, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes until sponge mixture becomes frothy.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, and oil until blended and set aside.

3. Add the liquid ingredients to the sponge. Use the flat (paddle) beater to blend at a low speed until blended, then gradually ass remaining flour, sugar and salt and continue mixing until the dough is evenly is evenly hydrated and comes together in a shaggy mass, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Switch to the dough hook, if using a stand mixer, and knead at low speed for 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough forms into a smooth, glossy ball that leaves the side of the bowl. If kneading by hand. turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead for 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Form the dough into a large ball, put into a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or cling wrap and let ferment until doubled in bulk, 60 to 90 minutes.

6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and knead it for 1 minute or so, then divide into 2 pieces of approximately 24 ounces/680 grams each.

7. Divide into as many pieces as appropriate for the braid you’re using. Roll each piece into a tight ball, cover them with a damp towel and allow them to rest for 20 to 30 minutes to relax the gluten.

8. Using your hands, roll each piece into a long sausage that is thick in the middle and tapers to a point at the ends.  (Sarah:  I followed Baking Illustrated easy braiding — Divide each  24 oz dough into 2 pieces, 2/3 and 1/3 portions.  Shape the large piece of dough into 3 ropes.  Line up the three ropes of dough side by side.  Pinch the top ends together.  Take the dough rope on the right and lay it over the center rope.  Take the dough rope on the left and lay it over the center rope.  Repeat this process until the ropes of dough are entirely braided.  Pinch the ends together, tuck both ends under the braid and transfer to prepared baking tray.  Do the same braiding process with the smaller piece of dough.  Brush the larger braid with egg wash and place smaller braid on top.)

9. Put the braided loaves on a piece of baking parchment, cover them with a damp towel and allow them to proof until the dough doesn’t spring back when a finger is pressed into it.

10. About 30 minutes before bake time, preheat your oven to 350F/175C with the baking rack in the middle. (Sarah: I preheated oven to 375 F and reduced to 350 after placing the baking tray inside the oven).

11. Brush each loaf lightly with the beaten egg (Sarah: I thinned with 1 tablespoon of water), wait one minute then give them a second coat.  Sprinkle with poppy, sesame or chernushka seeds to taste.

12. Slide the loaves and parchment onto your baking stone or bake on a sheet pan for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the loaves halfway through baking so they will brown evenly.   Transfer the finished loaves to a rack and let cool for at least an hour before cutting.

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Here’s the press release provided to me….

Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age Of Jewish Baking
By Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg
Camino Books; October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-933822-23-5

Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the

Golden Age of Jewish Baking

“This is a book of enormous importance, both as social history and for its traditional recipes. The authors have managed to artfully entwine bread and Jewish cultural identity like the very challah that has become its popular symbol. I learned many things I hadn’t previously known and wanted to capture in my own loaves the tears I felt welling in my eyes as I was reminded, through their words, that bread is always more than just bread.”
-Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

There is nothing like being in a bakery, staring at counters full of baking delights, trays full of breads and bagels, and deciding what to buy.  I should know; I grew up in a Jewish bakery.  My fondest memories are of watching my father make bread and bagels, whistling while he worked, greeting friends and neighbors as they came to shop.  In fact my first after-school job was working the counter in my father’s bakery.

Small, family-run Jewish bakeries that once lay at the heart of  close-knit urban neighborhoods all over America have fallen victim to the demise of the old-school bakers, shifting demographics and economic realities.  But two authors, Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg seek to keep the memories of these Jewish bakeries alive with their new book, Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Ages of Jewish Baking (Camino Books; October 2011; $24.95/hardcover; ISBN 978-1-933822-23-5). More than a collection of recipes, Inside the Jewish Bakery chronicles the history and traditions – as well as the distinctive baked goods – of Ashkenazi Jewry in Eastern Europe and its immigration to America.   Utilizing a vast array of sources, the authors have crafted an engaging “edible history.”

“We wrote this book to preserve and celebrate the tastes and traditions of real Jewish baking and feelings of community they evoked. As such, this book is more than just another compendium of recipes and instructions; rather, it’s about a time when life was slower, simpler and perhaps a little better,” explains Stan Ginsberg. “Both Norm and I grew up in New York City’s outer boroughs in the decades following World War II. We both lived in close-knit, largely Jewish neighborhoods where neighbors knew neighbors, shopkeepers knew their customers, and mothers felt safe enough to park their baby carriages—infants included—unattended outside stores while they shopped. Business was based on trust, and rarely was that trust betrayed.”

Inside the Jewish Bakery provides home bakers of all skill levels recipes to recreate the authentically Jewish breads, pastries, cookies and cakes that once filled the shelves of neighborhood bakeries. The recipes themselves are based on the professional formulas used by America’s Jewish bakers during their Golden Age, adapted and tested for home kitchens.

Several chapters showcase traditional Jewish breads such as Challah and Rye and the authors provide a range of recipes that span the histories of these breads and the many ways to present them.  Chapters also cover the roots and Americanization of bagels, bialys and a vast assortment of rolls. Ginsberg and Berg have also included chapters on pastries, cakes and cookies, showcasing recipes that have all but disappeared from American bakery shelves.  There is even a chapter devoted to Passover baking.  Other recipes include:

Passover Coconut Macaroons

Passover Honey Cake

Russian Coffee Cake

Pound Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake






Egg Kichel (Bowties)

Linzer Cookies

Black and White Cookies

Sandwich Cookies
In order to make high-volume bakery recipes easy for the home cook, the authors broke down their recipes into two elements: formulas for the doughs and batters that are the basis for most of the recipes, and the techniques used in mixing, shaping and finishing.

“Baking is a form of chemistry, and professional bakers use formulas exact as those in a chemist’s lab. The formulas in this book have never appeared in print, but were passed down from one generation of bakers to the next, whose task it was to carry on the old traditions and skills. Over the years, Norm accumulated thousands of these formulas. Many of them survive in battered notebooks, jotted down in baker’s notation; others were never written down but survive only in memory. Many more have been lost forever as aging master bakers leave this world and fewer younger people step up to carry on their craft.”

Inside the Jewish Bakery takes you inside a fast-disappearing tradition. It is a book that is timeless in its appeal and is a must-read for anyone interested in history, culture and baking.  For home bakers who love and appreciate the lost art of the full service bakery the recipes preserved inside this unique cookbook recall those special Sunday mornings, holiday dinners and family occasions.

Inside the Jewish Bakery is your ticket to the sumptuous tastes, techniques and memories of baking that were and [now] are a luscious amalgamation of many centuries and many countries, united under the banner of Jewish cuisine, a diverse heritage that is as much about what is on the plate as all that preceded it.”

Marcy Goldman, author of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, and The Baker’s Four Seasons


Stanley Ginsberg, a native of Brooklyn, grew up in a close-knit neighborhood where generations lived side by side. He learned to cook and bake from his grandmother, who lived just upstairs in the same apartment building, and has continued cooking and baking ever since. His baking repertoire is eclectic, with a bias towards traditional Yiddish breads and pastries, as well as Central and Eastern European-style artisan breads. Stanley spent the greater part of his professional career as a business and financial writer, with time out for a stint on Wall Street. He and his wife, Sylvia, have four adult children and two standard poodles, and currently live in Southern California.

Norman Berg, a Bronx native, graduated from the baking program at New York City’s Food and Maritime Trades High School and spent the next 25 years as a professional baker and general manager at several bakeries that became Bronx institutions, including Weber’s, Enrico’s, Yonkers Pastry and Greystone Bakery. Over the years, Norm amassed more than 1,000 recipes for breads, cakes and pastries of every imaginable variety. Norm and his wife, Janet, still live in the Bronx. Their son, Nathan, followed in his father’s footsteps and has a successful career as a pastry chef at several well-regarded Bronx and Westchester, New York restaurants.

Too learn more about the book go to

Todd Wilbur’s Cinnabon Clone Recipe Works

I recorded CMT Top Secret Recipe show featuring Todd Wilbur’s attempt to clone the “best in the world” Cinnabon recipe, to make sure I wouldn’t miss a single detail.  You can find the recipe in the CMT facebook page.   Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Makara cinnamon in the stores so I just settled with Costco-bought ground cinnamon….still smelled “cinnamon-y” in my kitchen, yum!   Don’t forget the baking soda (to give that nice golden brown color) and also let the dough rise in the fridge overnite for easy rolling and slicing.  Todd Wilbur rocks (you must request to add as friend in facebook)!  Food Network should do Todd Wilbur’s series instead…haven’t watched Food Network for while, I couldn’t stand the cupcake wars (sorry).



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Product Review: Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana (with tasty Italian recipes)

Making a simple chicken parmigiana (parmesan) isn’t that really simple.  Ok.  Start the clock.  I need  3 breading plates (flour, eggs and bread crumbs), a cutting board and a mallet, Pyrex dish, a skillet or frying pan, a stockpot to cook spaghetti or linguine, thawed chicken breasts, home-cooked or jarred tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese.  Mmm, this is not looking easy anymore.   Dip pounded (I hate this part!) chicken breasts in flour first, then in seasoned egg mixture and last  coat with bread crumbs.  Brown breaded chicken in hot oil.  Cover bottom of Pyrex dish with tomato sauce, then arrange fried chicken over sauce and sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake until chicken is done, cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.   And cook the pasta al dente is next.  If I do this for dinner on weekdays, I’d surely miss my favorite reality TV shows — sorry, I love Chicken Parmigiana (it’s the only dish I order when dining out in Italian restaurants) from scratch, but TV dinners usually win.

So I was really excited when Steve Riley of Dietz & Watson sent me an email, ” I wanted to see if I could interest you in a sample of our New Chicken Parmigiana, a service deli item by Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson, for review”.   There’s no way I’d ignore Steve, he didn’t even need to give me a pitch, I make Chicken Parmigiana every month.

I received the perishable shipment of Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana in good condition, and in really huge box…and I planned an Italian dinner that night for me and my hubby.

Got to have garlic bread.  Got to have Greek/Italian salad.  And I opted not to have pasta this time (glad I made that decision…it’s making sure the taste of Chicken Parmigiana wasn’t masked with  too much yummy tomato sauce, for my product review.  You’ll find the recipes of the garlic bread and the salad below.

Back to Dietz & Watson latest offering….Chicken Parmigiana.   If you’re in the deli counter, you’d ask for slices…thick slices if making Chicken Parmigiana.   And why I love love this deli-style Chicken Parmigiana…it’s easy to fix and I don’t have to “thaw, mess and wrestle” with chicken breasts and I don’t need to make tomato sauce to go along with it.    I completed the breading and frying in a breeze…the chicken required no seasoning (Momma knows best, it’s cooked to perfection, really!) — plain flour, just beaten whole eggs and bread crumbs (plain, Italian or even panko).   Inasmuch as chicken was already cooked, a little bit of oil was all that was needed to produce a delicate light browning in the breaded Chicken.

Dinner was served….and the verdict:  5 thick slices of breaded, boneless and skinless Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana all consumed.  That hot chunky chicken parmigiana was really yummilicious.  That was so good that I’m not sure I’ll be able to try it as a hoagie or a wrap (but it crossed my mind to cut chicken in chunks and arrange on top of my Hawaiian chicken pizza, I can’t wait!).     My hubby and I were all smiles…bellies smiling with delight too.   You really can’t mess up with this easy to make Chicken Parmigiana, I even enjoy it without tomato sauce, mozzarella and pasta.

I made one final experiment before I’m confident and going ahead with posting this review of Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana.    I brought a large portion of the chicken parmigiana to the studio and showed my producer how fast and simple it was to cook it.   I offered the cooked breaded chicken to very young Maya and Christian (producer’s grandkids, ages 9 and 6, and really picky eaters).  They loved this delicious fried chicken…and they ate them all with plain toasts.

So I say…thanks to Momma Dietz for perfecting this product and making it ready for the deli slicer (to check stores availability, visit

I love this quick Chicken Parmigiana (from the deli), it’s tasty, delicious and so full of flavor…and it’s loved  by both “picky” kids and grown-ups, it’s one good reason for me to visit my favorite deli counter.  And it works everytime…with or without the cooked pasta and tomato sauce.

Here’s the press release (thanks again Steve Riley and I agree with you when you mentioned, ” Sarah, I think you’ll like it a lot!), followed by “few minutes prepping, few minutes cooking” recipes.

Every so often a food company comes up with an item so unique and so delicious that it simply garners attention. Such is the case with the new Chicken Parmigiana, a service deli item by Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson.

Aside from its taste and uniqueness as a service deli item for slicing, the way the product was developed is an interesting story in and of itself. While Dietz & Watson is a national company with sales in excess of $400 million and distributed in every state, it is still run by the 3rd and 4th generations of the family that started the company in 1939, and R&D and new product development still takes place in a sometimes informal fashion.

In the case of Chicken Parmigiana, too much tomato sauce was ordered for an event in 2010, so instead of letting a few gallons go to waste, the family and people in the lab racked their brains for ideas for a deli product using the leftover sauce. The result was Chicken Parmigiana, and after more than a year perfecting it, it is now available in service delis.


Chicken Parmigiana from the Deli Sliced Thick or Thin Spawns Unique Recipe Ideas for this Italian Classic

In a January 2011 CBS “Early Show” cooking segment, contributor Katie Lee called Chicken Parmigiana “one of those perfect comfort foods most people love.”

With that in mind, Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson, one of the nation’s oldest and most well- known purveyors of premium deli meats and artisan cheeses, has developed a unique Chicken Parmigiana item for service delis that is the first of its kind.

It is made from fresh, extra lean chicken breast coated and cooked in corn flour crumbs with aged parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and topped with a tangy marinara sauce.

“My mom always loved making Chicken Parmigiana when we were growing up, and so many people love it that we decided to create a Chicken Parmigiana deli item,” said Louis Eni, Dietz & Watson President & CEO. “We’re still a family company after nearly 75 years, and we still develop new items with that family feel in mind.”

Louis Eni’s mom is Ruth Dietz Eni, company chairman and affectionately known as Momma Dietz. A University of Pennsylvania graduate and a working mom before there really was such a thing, Ruth loved to come home after a busy day and cook special meals for her kids, whose palates are every bit as finicky as hers. Today, her kids are grown, and Louis, Chris and Cindy work side-by-side to help her run the company as CEO, COO and CFO, respectively, along with two of her grandchildren, Lauren Eni and Christopher Yingling.

“When we developed this new item, we wanted it to taste just like the Chicken Parmigiana you make from scratch, and using fresh, whole chicken breasts, natural Italian spices, real aged Parmesan cheese and a wonderful corn flour crumb coating, we couldn’t go wrong,” said Momma Dietz. “After we perfected the product, the next step was coming up with some great, easy to prepare recipes, and we came up with some real winners.”


Founded in 1939 by Gottlieb Dietz, Dietz & Watson remains true to the original old-world recipes and Gottlieb’s commitment to “quality above all”. Creating the freshest and leanest beef, ham, pork, turkey breast, and chicken breast, Dietz & Watson’s products are enhanced with all-natural spices and seasonings for increased flavor.  In addition to the natural seasonings and spices, all of their products are free of artificial flavors, colors, fillers, extenders and MSG. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Dietz & Watson continues their tradition of family and their commitment to expecting the best. Under the lead of Gottlieb Dietz’s daughter, Ruth Dietz Eni (Chairman), Dietz and Watson continues to lead the industry in Premium Deli Meats and Artisan Cheeses. In addition to the guidance from Ruth Dietz Eni, the company is lead by founder Gottlieb Dietz grandchildren, Louis Eni (President and CEO), Chris Eni (COO), Cindy Eni Yingling (CFO) and now the fourth generation, Lauren Eni and Christopher Yingling have joined to company to carry the tradition further.

Product Profile: Momma Dietz Chicken Parmigiana

    Gluten Free    No MSG    Nitrite Free

Momma Dietz’ Chicken Parmigiana, made from succulent, extra lean chicken breast coated & cooked in corn flour crumbs, aged parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and topped with a tangy marinara sauce. Now that’s Italian!


Chicken Breast, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of Sugar, Salt, Parmesan Cheese ([Milk, Salt, Cheese Culture, Enzyme], Whey, Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid), Isolated Soy Protein, Natural Flavors, Sodium Phosphate, Yeast Extract, Whey Butter, Modified Corn Starch, Buttermilk Solids, Cream And Butter Extract, Maltodextrin. Coated With: Corn Flour, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Egg Whites, Leavening (Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Natural Flavors, Paprika, Browned In Canola Oil. Topped With: Tomatoes, Corn Oil, Salt, Natural Flavors, Parmesan Cheese([ Milk, Salt, Cheese Culture, Enzyme)], Whey Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid) Whey Powder, Sugar, Salt, Lactic Acid, Water, Gelatin.

Classic Chicken Parmigiana Dinner

Serves 4

1 ½ pound Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana, sliced into four pieces (6 ounces per serving)

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup flour

2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

1 pound Dietz & Watson mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 tomatoes, sliced

8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions

8 ounces tomato or marina sauce

1 bunch fresh basil

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.    Pour flour into a shallow pan, and pour breadcrumbs into a separate shallow pan.

3.    To bread the chicken cutlets, dredge chicken Parmesan pieces into flour mixture, coating thoroughly on boat sides. Shake off excess flour.

4.    Dip chicken pieces in egg wash, making sure each piece is coated.

5.    Place chicken pieces in shallow pan with breadcrumbs and pat into breadcrumbs on both sides to cover.

6.    Heat oil in a large pan to 350 degrees. Fry chicken pieces until breading turns golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

7.    Remove and let drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

8.    Put chicken pieces on a baking sheet, layer slices of tomato and fresh basil leaves on top, drizzle with a little marina sauce and top with cheese. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.

9.    Serve with pasta and more sauce, if desired. Garnish with basil.

My Easy Greek/Italian Salad

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained well

juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Make the dressing.  In a food processor, combine lemon juice and dried oregano.   Slowly blend in olive oil.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad.   Mix lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber in a large bowl.   Pour dressing over and toss to coat.

Garlic Bread

1 loaf french bread (Sam’s Club, my pref), sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I use Dorot’s cubed frozen parsley)

1/4 teaspoon salt

butter or margarine (tastes like butter) to spread on sliced bread

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Prepare garlic spread:  Use food processor to combine olive oil, garlic, butter, parsley and salt.  Spread butter or margarine evenly over cut surface, then spread the garlic spread on top.  Bake the bread for 10 minutes until bread is nicely browned on the edges.  Cut the bread into serving pieces.

To complete the memorable celebration…a matching glass of Chardonnay, oh yeah!

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Potato Rolls


1 tablespoon dry yeast
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm (110°F) potato water (water used to boil potatoes in)
1 cup lukewarm milk
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed potatoes
2 cups bread flour
4 1/2 cups (approximately) all-purpose Flour

Boil 1 large or 2 medium peeled potatoes until easily pierced with the tip of a knife.  Remove potatoes from water.  While still warm, mash potatoes and margarine with potato masher or fork.  Set aside.

Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in lukewarm potato water ; set aside.  Combine in a  large mixing bowl lukewarm milk, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and beaten eggs.  Add bread flour, 3 cups all-purp0ose flour and the yeast mixture; mixing well.  Stir in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a dough suitable for kneading.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Place kneaded dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.   Cut (24 pieces) and shape into rolls.  Arrange the rolls on a greased baking sheet (I line bottom of baking sheet with parchment paper).  Cover again with plastic wrap and proof for another 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Brush tops with 2 tablespoons melted butter.   Bake rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Who wants Cinnamon Knots this time?

Frosted cinnamon rolls — these pretty, tender, featherlight butter-rich breadrolls with brown sugar filling and cream cheese frosting are simply irresistible — are so popular with my family and friends that I usually make double batches.    Cinnamon rolls can either be iced or glazed, but popular choice is always the sweet cream frosting.    I’ve been trying to come up with some alternative frostings or spreads, but I guess with the case of cinnamon rolls, the wicked and rich cream cheese frosting is very much preferred.

I still make cinnamon rolls, but lately, my family and friends have been requesting for these cinnamon knots.  They still have this oh-so-satisfying homemade cinnamon aroma sans the frosting  — and that’s the very good news.  I got this recipe from Taste of Home Contest Winning Recipes.    But I made few minor changes.  I add a teaspoon of sugar as food for the yeast.  Also I stir in instant vanilla pudding mix with the dough ingredients.  The 2 cups of sugar for the topping was a lot; I could use the remainder for another batch of cinnamon knots.  So measure only 1 cup of sugar and reduce the ground cinnamon to 1 1/2 tablespoons.   Next, I divide the bread dough only in half instead of dividing into three portions.   And really, you’d want these Cinnamon Knots EVERYTIME.   After the first bite, I’m confident you won’t be craving anymore for frosted cinnamon rolls.   Here’s the recipe:

Consider this a cousin of Cinnamon rolls, so yummy especially when served warm.

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (or melted)
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 teaspoon sugar as food for yeast)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (with flour allowance)

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, suspend yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water to activate, about 5 minutes.    Add 4 cups all-purpose flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt.  Stir in enough flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough in half.  Slice each dough into 12 portions and form into balls.  Roll each ball into a long strip/rope.  Combine sugar and cinnamon (topping).  Dip strip into melted butter, then generously coat with cinnamon-sugar.  Tie into a simple knot and place on parchment lined ungreased large baking pans, about 2 inches apart.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  2 dozens of marvelous treats