Sheilah Kaufman: Hi, I am Sheilah Kaufman, Cooking Teacher, author of 26 cookbooks, Food Editor and Culinary Lecturer. I am here today to share some of my favorite recipes for the Jewish High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with you. I want to talk to you about something I found most people don't seem to know. My mother taught how to bake when I was eight and as I traveled around the country teaching cooking and baking, I found that most people don't seem to know this.
Most cooking is the kind of thing where if you want to throw something extra in the pot or invent your own recipe, it's not too hard. But when you come to baking, you're talking chemistry and unless you're really good at chemistry you don't want to fiddle with the recipe for cake or cookies or baked goods because they're based on chemical formulas.
Well, the first thing I found is that people would try and measure flour in this. This has a lip, this is a liquid measuring cup. There is no way you're going to get an accurate amount of flour or sugar in here. I remember one night in class I had woman who stood for half an hour, she would put a little bit of flour in and she would look or she would take a little bit out and then she would stomp it down on the counter top, it's wrong. Flour and sugar do not belong in here, only liquids belong in here.
That means, everybody should have a set of measuring cups. Metallic the best because they won't stretch out in the dish washer. But, you never ever dip your measuring cups into your flour or sugar, and of course after you dip you're supposed to take a knife and level them off. If you dip and your recipe called for two cups of flour by dipping and leveling you have two-and-a-half cups of flour. That means you have a half a cup of flour or sugar that in the chemical formula has no place to go. Remember, you have a chemical formula so much flour binds with so much eggs, so much sugar, so much fat, so much salt, so much leavening.
When you have a half a cup extra, it has nothing to bind with. So instead of your cake being nice and tall, cake is going to be short. Instead of having very fine tiny holes, your cake is going to kind of thick holes, little holes. If you're sensitive like I am, you're always going to taste that extra flour in the back of your throat. So what you do?
My mother used to take a fork and she kind of flushed and fluffed the flour before she measured. But she would take a spoon or a smaller measuring cup and just dumped the flour in and she would take her knife and level it off. This is exactly what you should be doing too, because we're going to baking a wonderful apple cake today and we really want the measurements to be precise.
When we make our challah, it's hard to determine how much flour is actually going to be needed again depending or where you live, the humidity and altitude. So we're going to start with five cups as the recipe suggests, and we'll be very careful about adding a sixth cup or any amount in between, kind of feeling our way as we go.
So come on and join me in the kitchen as we learn recipes and get ready for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.