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Niskayuna woman sweeps Altamont Fair prizes

Niskayuna woman sweeps Altamont Fair prizes

Susan Barczack of Niskayuna swept first-place honors in this year’s recipe contest at the Altamont F

Susan Barczack of Niskayuna swept first-place honors in this year’s recipe contest at the Altamont Fair.

The fair, held last week, had contests in two categories: “Best Bread: Any Style, Any Flavor” and “Top Batter Bread.”

Barczack won first place in both categories for her recipe for Think Pink Cardamom Buns (best bread) and her For The Cure Banana Bread (top batter bread).

Adria Ermolenko of Schenectady was second and Paula Miller of Slingerlands was third in the Best Bread section.

Ermolenko took second for her pesto rolls, and Miller finished third for her Italian sausage bread.

The baking battle was backed by Fleischmann’s Yeast. The contest raised money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Barczack will now compete for the National Grand Prize, worth $1,000. She won $250 in Altamont — $150 as the Best Bread winner and $100 for Top Batter Bread honors. Ermolenko earned $75, and Miller $50.

Here are Barczack’s top-placing recipes.

Think Pink Cardamom Buns

3⁄4 cups mashed potatoes

11⁄2 cups water (from boiling potatoes)

1⁄4 cup butter

6 cups unbleached flour

1 tablespoon salt

1⁄4 cup sugar

11⁄2 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon mace

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1⁄4 cups nonfat dry milk, crushed if granulated

3 eggs, beaten

3⁄4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3⁄4 teaspoon cardamom

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg

For glaze:

1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 drops red food coloring

1 to 2 tablespoons warm water

Make mashed potatoes by boiling a couple of peeled potatoes until soft. Drain, reserving liquid. Mash well with a little reserved liquid. Measure 3⁄4 cups mashed potatoes and 11⁄2 cups reserved liquid. Add 1⁄4 cup butter to liquid, stir to melt.

Put 11⁄2 cups flour, salt, sugar, cardamom, mace, yeast and dry milk in mixer bowl. When the water/butter mixture is at 120 degrees, add to dry ingredients. Beat with paddle attachment 3 minutes on low speed. Add room temperature mashed potatoes and 2 eggs. Beat 1 to 2 minutes.

Switch to dough hook. Add 4 cups flour, kneading in machine for 4 minutes. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead by hand another minutes until smooth. Spray a bowl with vegetable oil spray, place dough in and spray top. Cover and let rise 45 minutes until doubled.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and divide in half, setting one aside. Roll out into a rectangle, about 10 inches by 12 inches. Brush surface with some of the beaten egg to cover evenly. Combine the 3⁄4 cup sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, and sprinkle over surface.

Roll up the wider side tightly, pinching last edge to seal. Cut in half and each half into 4 pieces. Place pieces cut-side-up into a greased round cake pan (9 inches or larger), cover and allow to rise 1 hour. Repeat with the other half of dough, or form into a loaf or rolls as desired. Rise and bake the same as the buns.

Place buns into a preheated 350-degree oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes until done. Meanwhile, make glaze by combining confectioners’ sugar, food coloring and water. Remove buns from the pan when cool enough to handle, lightly brush on glaze and cool on rack.

‘For The Cure’ Banana Bread

2 to 3 bananas

8 to 10 strawberries

2 eggs

1 cup bread flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons flax meal (optional)

3⁄4 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 to 2 cups bread flour

Pink sugar sprinkles

Place bananas in blender, blend briefly, should be about 1 cup. Add strawberries, vanilla and eggs, should be about 2 cups blended. Set aside.

Place flour, yeast, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flax meal in mixer bowl with paddle attached. Heat milk and butter to 120 degrees, stir to melt butter and add to dry ingredients. Beat on low 3 minutes. Add banana mixture and blend 1 minute. Add 1 cup flour and blend 3 more minutes.

Using dough hook or by hand, add another 1⁄2 to 1 cup flour, making a stiff batter. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.

Stir batter. Grease bread pan (sprinkle with colored sugar sprinkles if desired) and carefully spoon batter into pan, filling a little more than halfway.

Use the rest of the batter in another pan or form. Cover, let rise about 45 minutes (it must stay below the rim of pan before baking). Sprinkle lightly with colored sprinkles if desired. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes until done.

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