Babushka Delight

As a child, Liz’s father did the bulk of the cooking in their home. Norm Robinson was a creative and resourceful culinary artist, never cooking from a recipe and always applying the creativity required when feeding a family on a meager budget. As a hungry child, when Liz began smelling tasty aromas waft from the kitchen she would consistently ask, “Dad, what’s for dinner?” And much to her chagrin he would he would respond, “Babushka Delight…and then insert a random number.” A variation of Baked Ziti would be called Babushka Delight #14 and Pork Chops and Rice entitled Babushka Delight #982…no rhyme or reason for the numbering system and never a dish or number repeated. Night after night, meal after meal, our table and stomachs were warmed with a series of meals made by a loving father each entitled Babushka Delight. As a child, anxious for dinner, Liz found his predictable answer a bit silly. Now, as an adult, when contemplating the daily questions, what shall we have for dinner?” she hears the trusted words of her father ringing clearly in her mind…”Well, tonight we are having Babushka Delight.”

Burke grew up working inside the delicious walls of a professional kitchen at his families business, Jacob Lake Inn nestled near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. While standing on milk crates Burke joined his parents to help peel potatoes, crack eggs, flip burgers, and sling hash. Through this process Burke developed the confidence of a chef, the speed of a line cook, and the creativity of a working mans Iron Chef.

Growing up in a foodie family has real benefits for a newly married couple. For Burke nothing brings a bigger smile than the potential of a handful of chopped onion, celery, carrot, and garlic sautéing in a few hearty splashes of a fine olive oil…and Liz is more than happy to sample the tasty outcomes.

Together Burke and Liz enjoy nothing more than a fine meal shared with family and friends. In keeping with tradition of both families, Babushka Delight is a collection of their favorite recipes and culinary creations.


The Texas Rich’s

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BREAD: Rosemary Garlic Bread

Rosemary Garlic Bread


1 1/4 cups Water (Warm, 110 degrees F)

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoon yeast

4 1/2 cups bread flour (or high gluten flour)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary--chopped

1 tablespoon fresh garlic--chopped

4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Mix the water, yeast and sugar together with 1/2 cup of the flour and let sit for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile heat the olive oil and garlic together over low heat for two minutes to lightly cook the garlic; do not brown.

4. Combine all ingredients and mix until a stiff dough is produced; knead for 6-8 minutes. (If you have a mixer with a dough hook the job will be much easier.)

5. Place the dough in a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap; or towel; let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Note if you lightly oil the dough before covering with plastic wrap, it will be easier to remove from the bowl without sticking after it has risen.

6. On a floured surface, divide the dough into two equal parts and form into two round loaves by shaping them with your hands.

7. Place on baking pans that have been sprinkled with cornmeal, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for thirty minutes.

8. Gently remove the plastic wrap without pulling on the dough, pierce the dough directly in the center with a sharp knife or use a chopstick or other pointed implement.

9. Push firmly from the top of the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan, quickly remove the knife or implement.

10. Immediately place the dough into the pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes, turning the pans around once after twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on wire racks. Enjoy!

This bread is great with goat cheese, olives and sundried tomatoes.

Note you may want to increase or decrease the amount of salt to your own liking. This recipe will work in bread machines although you may need to divide the recipe in half.


This is an amazing recipe! We invited Peter and Carrie to join us as we created this bread and we had such a great time working in the kitchen. Peter’s farther is quite a bread maker and uses a similar recipe. We decided to make two loves and back one in the Dutch oven and one in a normal baking dish. I think its interesting how each recipe calls for a different kind of baking pan. Ben says that dough is dough and regardless of what pan you use you will get bread in the end. However, I have noticed that the key to getting a crusty bread is using the Dutch oven. We have made bread in the Dutch oven several times and without fail the bread just has a different texture and taste. It all comes down to the amount of circulating air, a fact I did not understand until I started this project. This bread requires that you add roasted garlic and rosemary into the batter. Once we started roasting the herbs the whole house filled with the most delicious aroma. Peter and Burke a huge garlic fans and they decided to double the garlic in the recipe, which I thought was a bit over the top. We used dried rosemary, which was alright, but I think that next time I make this bread I will spring for the fresh stuff. Fresh herbs just add such a more complex flavor and I think that when combined with the roasted garlic you would not loose. This dough is far more sticky than I had anticipated and I began to wonder if I had made an error in the mixing process. As always it did take way longer to rise than I had expected. The loaf baked in the Dutch oven did have a greater flavor than the bread baked in a normal bread pan. This is a very dense bread and one piece was very filling. I think this bread would be a perfect compliment to tomato soup or used in a grilled cheese and apple sandwich. This would also be the perfect bread for a hearty stew. I think that my overall bread baking skills are improving and I this project has really been a great way for me to focus on the learning process.

My confidence is growing each week and still feels a bit nervous until I cut into the warm loaf. I think the think I need to work on understands when the bread is really done baking and how to determine when I have over mixed the dough. Sometimes the bread does not rise very much and I begin to get worried. However, both Ben and Melinda keep telling me that in time I will have a greater understanding and ability to just “know” when enough is enough. I do take great pride in the support and encouragement that I am receiving from both family and friends. I can see the value of helping a student find success and then build upon that momentum. This project has changed how I view learning new concepts and skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment