Ok lovely readers, here we go! This is my first attempt to bring my dabbling in Jewish cooking from just the holidays and big occasions into the everyday. This twist in what my blog is going to be gave me a renewed energy to dig around for recipes, well, that and the fact the temperature dropped 30 degrees and I actually felt like doing anything!
As I was going through and marking ideas, I stumbled on a recipe for mandlen. These are also often called “soup nuts” (go ahead, giggle, I won’t tell) and are something that you can buy pre-made from a rather large and well known supplier of Jewish foods. The name is the Jewish word for almond, and is a remark on their shape and size.
Well, it caught my eye immediately because my husband will eat these by the handful if they are within his reach, and I always love when I can impress him by making something he assumed you could only buy. It isn’t necessarily a good motivation, but it is kind of fun.
As I worked on this recipe I was excited by how easy it was! This is a great dough to experiment with if you aren’t confident that you know how dough is supposed to feel when it comes together. Consider it a stepping stone for challah. These are great eaten out of hand, or added to soup. I bet they would also make a great crouton substitution. Any other ideas?
Just a note, this recipe makes just enough for two people to enjoy in their soup. I’d recommend at least doubling the recipe since these will keep in an airtight container for a while.
Adapted from The Book of Jewish Food
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour plus more for kneading
Wooden Spoon (or whatever type you like)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Break the egg into the bowl. Add the oil and salt and whisk it all together
2. Add 1/2 cup of flour and stir together with the wooden spoon until it is in a nice doughy ball. It may be a little sticky but shouldn’t be too goopy.
3. Put a little flour on the counter top and dump the ball of dough out of the bowl. Start kneading the dough, adding a little bit of flour at a time if it seems to be sticking to your hands. You may only need a pinch more flour or you could add up to another 1/4 of a cup. That is ok! Just try to use as little as possible.
5. Set the dough on the counter top and cover loosely with whatever you have handy (paper towel, plastic wrap, dish towel). Walk away and let it rest for 20 minutes.
6. Using your hands, roll and stretch the dough until it is in a long rope about 1/2 inch thick. Seriously, use whatever technique you have from your playdough days! It doesn’t have to be pretty and the dough is not delicate.
8. Bake for 30 minutes. At about the 15 minute mark you can flip them over so they bake more evenly. You will know they are done when they are a nice toasty, golden brown color!