To get crisp, shattery, lacy rounds, pour a thin batter through a funnel or squirt it from a squeeze bottle. Or, for golden strands, push a cream puff paste through a cooky press or pastry bag.
Flavor the crisp breads with anise and sprinkle with sugar, or season with cumin seed to eat with chutney. The long, fluted strands get a dip in cinnamon sugar for sweetness. When they're seasoned with cheese, squiggles become a hot, savory bread. All these variations can be made ahead and reheated. Crisp Anise Lace Bread 1 package active dry yeast 1/3 to 2/3 cup water (about 110[deg.]) 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup warm milk (about 110[deg.]) 2 eggs 1 tablespoon crushed anise seed 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt Salad oil Powdered sugar
Soften yeast in 1/3 cup water. In a bowl, mix flour, milk, eggs, anise, sugar, salt, and yeast mixture until smooth. Cover and let stand in a warm place until almost doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
In a wok or deep 10- to 12-inch frying pan, heat about 1 inch salad oil to 360[deg.] on a thermometer. Stir batter; if needed, stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, to thin to the consistency of a thin pancake batter. Spoon into a squirt bottle (such as used for catsup, honey, or mustard) that has a tight-fitting top with about a 1/4-inch-diameter nozzle opening (trim tip, if needed, to enlarge). Or spoon about 1/2 cup of the batter into a funnel with 3/8- to 1/2-inch-diameter opening; hold finger over opening until ready to cook.
If using a bottle, make sure top is tightly secured then invert bottle and squeeze out a continuous strand of dough into oil; crisscross strands to form a lacy round 6 to 8 inches in diameter. If using a funnel, remove finger blocking spout and let batter flow, slowly moving funnel over oil so strands crisscross to make a lacy disk 4 to 6 inches wide. (Batter thickens as it stands; thin with water as needed.)
Cook bread, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. With wide, slotted spatulas, carefully lift out bread and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 200[deg.] oven until all are done. (If made ahead, cool and store airtight up to 1 day. Bake, uncovered, in a single layer in a 350[deg.] oven until warm, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.) Sift powdered sugar over bread. Serve warm. Makes 18. Crisp Curried Lace Bread
Follow preceding recipe for crisp anise lace bread except omit granulated and powdered sugars and anise seed; add 1 tablespoon crushed cumin seed and 1/2 teaspoon each cayenne and curry powder to batter. Spoon chutney on bites of bread. Cinnamon Squiggles 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine 1 cup water 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 4 eggs Salad oil Cinnamon sugar (recipe follows)
In a 2- to 3-quart pan, melt butter over low heat. Add water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, add flour all at once, and beat with spoon until mixture becomes a smooth, thick paste that clings together and comes away from sides of pan; remove from heat. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until paste is smooth and shiny.
Fill a large pastry bag or cooky press fitted with a 1/2-inch-diameter fluted or star tip with the paste. In a wok or deep 10- to 12-inch frying pan, heat 1 to 1-1/2 inches salad oil to 400[deg.] on a thermometer.
Squeeze paste into oil until you have a strand 4 to 8 inches long. Cut off with a knife. Press out another strand into oil; cook 3 or 4 pieces at a time, turning once, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels. Place in a 200[deg.] oven to keep warm until all are done. (If made ahead, cool, store airtight at room temperature up to 1 day, or freeze. Reheat cold or frozen bread, uncovered, in a single layer in a 350[deg.] oven until warm, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.) Sprinkle warm bread with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm. Makes about 2 dozen.
Cinnamon sugar. Mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Herb-Cheese Squiggles
Follow preceding recipe for cinnamon squiggles except omit sugar and cinnamon sugar. Add 1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced; 1 teaspoon dry basil; and 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves to the water. After adding eggs, stir 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese into paste.
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|Date:||Feb 1, 1985|
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