May 1904 Archives



This morning I made malasadas. Not the hard way: making a yeasted dough and kneading and all that. The easy way, with storebought dough. If they sell frozen dough in your grocery store, it's very easy to make a simple fried dough. Maybe not so authentic, but frying makes even grocery store bread dough wonderful. If you have a breadmaker that will give you a ball of dough, you can use that, instead.

Simple Fried Dough

1 loaf thawed frozen bread dough
deep frying equipment (deep fryer or deep pan, thermometer, and basket)
peanut oil
fine-granulated sugar
a little flour for rolling out dough

Let the dough go through the rising required on the package. This means planning is required. When it's ready to "bake," slice the dough up into pieces about as large as you want. I usually slice a 1-pound loaf into ten slices.

Prepare the deep fryer. I usually fry at about 350F or 360F. When it's ready, roll out one slice of dough as thin as you can make it, and pop it in the oil. Because good dough is elastic, it's best to do the rolling out just before you fry, so the dough stays thin and cooks all the way through.

Let the dough fry until it is golden brown -- a couple of minutes, at most. Turn it. When it's golden brown all over, remove it from the oil and allow it to cool on paper towels. When you can handle it, roll it in the sugar to coat it all over.

Allow to cool as long as you can resist. These are best warm to hot, but they are still very very good when cool.

Manischewitz Mini Potato Knishes


A few weeks ago, in a fit of nostalgia for my college days on Long Island, I bought a box of Manischewitz Mini Potato Knish mix. And today, in another fit of nostalgia (brought on by the visit to Saul's), I made them.

Hey, these things aren't bad!

Knishes are really very simple creatures: mashed potatoes or flour, onion, pepper, fat, and egg. Some people add sour cream to make them creamier, but I don't like those as much as the non-dairy kind.

Yes, I do realize butter is dairy.

Here's a basic recipe:

Potato Knishes

6 potatoes
4 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 onion, minced
3 eggs, beaten
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. salt

Prep: Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a cookie sheet.

Peel and boil potatoes until tender. Saute onion in 1 tablespoon butter until crispy, then drain the butter. Beat the eggs, except for the yolks, adding salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes, then add the onions and beaten eggs.

Shape the dough into squares on the buttered cookie sheet. Brush top and sides with beaten egg yolk. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes at 350F, or until brown. Makes about 12 knishes if you like them small; 6 if you like them large.

Saul's Deli, Berkeley, California


Another lackluster meal at Saul's. I keep trying to like it, but they keep not quite living up to my expectations. Maybe it's the lack of really interesting vegetarian options (dudes, this is Berkeley), or maybe it's the excessive use of vegetable shortening in the baked goods, but I can't quite wrap my mind around being excited to go to Saul's.

The pickles are tasty, but you really should only eat so many pickles in one sitting, and I mean that as sincerely as possible.

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