Molly Yeh’s fabulous blog, My Name is Yeh, caught my attention back in 2013 when I first started blogging.
I was thrilled to feature Molly in one of my first blog posts, and the yummy Asian Challah I included in that post is still a family favorite. Molly’s blog has gone on to receive all sorts of awards, and now she’s just published her first cookbook, Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm and like her blog, its a winner.
In Molly on the Range, Molly shares stories, recipes, and photos from her life on a midwestern farm. In 2013 she and her now-husband moved from New York City to his family’s fifth generation farm on the North Dakota/Minnesota border. What followed were stories of learning intricate family recipes, throwing picnics in the snow, and creating countless whimsical cakes in her farm kitchen. Fans started flocking to her blog, and magazines, food websites, and other media outlets started taking note, too. Yeh won blog awards by the handful, and a mega-blogger was born.
In addition to more than 120 recipes, Molly on the Range is filled with Yeh’s signature, beautiful photography and essays about her midwestern life written in the quirky, friend-to-friend voice that her many fans know and love.
Celebrating Molly’s Jewish/Chinese background, Molly on the Range contains recipes such as Asian Scotch Eggs and Mum’s Matzah Brie to favorite desserts such as Cardamom Vanilla Cake and Marzipan Mandel Bread that reflect the Scandinavian influences from her new hometown. Molly on the Range will delight everyone, from longtime readers to those discovering her wonderful writing and recipes for the first time.
Molly’s Cardamom Orange Kubaneh recipe from the book is featured below. (Thanks Molly!)
Cardamom Orange Kubaneh
Reprinted from “Molly on the Range” by Molly Yeh. Copyright © 2016. By permission of Rodale Books.
Makes 1 loaf
From Molly: “If a croissant bought a gym membership and started bulking up its muscles so that it was no longer a delicate flaky pastry but a hunky filled-out Chris Hemsworth–type, that would be kubaneh. Kubaneh is a buttery, layered Yemeni bread that is traditionally slow-baked overnight on Shabbat and enjoyed for Saturday morning brunch with grated fresh tomato and hard-boiled eggs. I don’t think I met a single person in Israel who didn’t have a Yemenite neighbor growing up whose grandma made it every week. Just mentioning kubaneh would send their lips smacking and their eyes to the back of their head. Typically kubaneh is made of your basics: flour, water, salt, sugar, yeast, and butter (or margarine, for a parve alternative). But the sucker requires time and ideally a special kubaneh pot (see Note), and while baking it slow and low is the traditional route, slow cooker directions are also included here and will yield almost identical results. The following gives a nod to my Scandinavian neighbors with a bit of cardamom and also to my mom who often poured orange juice in her white bread dough. It’s a very untraditional kubaneh that will make your house smell like IKEA while producing a slightly sweeter loaf reminiscent of cinnamon swirl bread. It’s excellent on its own, with jam, or a slathering of cream cheese or labneh.”
1¼ cups warm water
¼ cup orange juice
2¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
In a medium bowl, combine the water, orange juice, and yeast and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl (or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook), mix together the flour, salt, orange zest, ¼ cup of the sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon of the cardamom.When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture and stir to combine. Knead by hand on a floured surface (or with a dough hook) until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough, 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but try not to add too much).
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
To make the filling, stir together the butter and the remaining ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon cardamom.
To shape the loaf, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 5 equal parts. Working with 1 part at a time (leaving the remaining parts covered), pat it out or roll with a rolling pin into an 8 x 5-inch rectangle. Spread it with a layer of filling, roll it up lengthwise like a jelly-roll, then coil it up like a snail and spread the outside with a thin layer of the butter mixture (this can get a little messy! But it doesn’t need to be perfect). Place it in a kubaneh pot (see Note for alternatives) and repeat with the remaining dough and filling, placing the rolls snugly together. Any leftover butter should get distributed on top of the dough. Proceed below to the oven method or slow cooker method.
Oven method: Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or wrap it tightly with foil (or both if the lid is loose) and let the dough rise for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 225ºF and bake for 6 hours. Let cool slightly and enjoy.
Slow cooker method: Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or wrap it tightly with foil (or both if the lid is loose) and place it in a large slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours or overnight. Let cool slightly and enjoy.
This bread is best enjoyed immediately but can be reheated in the oven the next day with the lid on. Bake at 225ºF for 30 to 45 minutes.
Note: A kubaneh pot is a high-sided lidded aluminum pot about 7 inches wide. Without one, you can get by using an ovenproof 2½- to 2¾-quart vessel (such as a Dutch oven), either with a lid or wrapped tightly with a few layers of foil.