Tag Archives: bread

Pull-Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread


Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 large loaf sourdough bread
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup green onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut bread diagonally in both directions to create small diamonds.

Note: be careful not to cut bread all the way through; cut 3/4 way down the loaf, making sure the bottom is still connected.

In a microwaveable bowl, combine butter, garlic and poppy seeds and microwave at 20-second intervals until melted.

Stir green onion into butter.

Wedge your fingers into the diamond cut-outs in the bread to open them up and drizzle melted butter and green onion down into the cracks.

Fill cracks with shredded mozzarella (it’s ok if some pokes out on top), then wrap loaf in aluminum foil.

Place wrapped loaf in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully unwrap and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.
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Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins


(makes 16 muffins)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 2/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 large eggs
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons flour
cooking spray
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring frequently until the oats turn a golden brown (about 6 to 8 minutes). Transfer the oats to a food processor and process into a fine meal (about 30 seconds). Place in a large bowl.

Add the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the oats and mix well. Make a well in the center of the mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, canola oil, lemon zest, and eggs. Add to the flour mixture and stir until moist.

Toss the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons flour and fold them into the batter. Grease the cups of a muffin pan with cooking spray and pour the batter evenly among them. Sprinkle the tops evenly with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in the center. Remove the muffins from the pans immediately and let cool on a wire rack.
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Cinnamon Fritters


Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar, garnish
vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven until it reaches 365 F.

Note: make sure there’s at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pot.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and melted butter until incorporated, then pour it into the flour mixture.

Stir everything until just combined.

Use a spoon to drop heaping amounts of batter into the hot oil and fry (4-6 at a time), flipping occasionally, until golden brown on all sides. Around 3 minutes.

Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then dust liberally with powdered sugar.
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No Knead Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water room temperature

Instructions

In a big bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula or a wooden spoon mix it until well incorporated.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Add your cast iron pot to the oven as it’s heating and heat it as well until it’s at 450 F degrees.

Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid from it. If you want to make sure your bread doesn’t stick to the pot you can sprinkle some flour or cornmeal on the bottom of the pot.

Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Remove the bread from the pot, it should fall out easily. Let cool completely before slicing into it and serving.

Recipe Notes

I used a small 3.5 qt Dutch oven. A small Dutch oven is better here so that the bread rises upwards, whereas if you were to use a big Dutch oven the bread would spread out over the entire surface of the pot.

If the dough mixture is too dry, add a bit more water, the dough should be sticky,

To add other ingredients to the bread such as dried fruit, seeds, herbs or cheeses, add them in step 1 when mixing everything together.

Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn’t expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.

To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.

Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.

One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.

Why is my bread chewy: Usually your bread will be chewy when there isn’t enough gluten formation or you’re using a low-protein flour. Make sure you let your bread dough rest for at least 12 hours to give it enough time for gluten formation.

Why is my bread dense: Usually bread will be too dense when there is too much flour. Keep in mind this dough will be pretty sticky, do not add more flour than specified. Other factors that come into play are humidity and age of flour. Little yeast, long rise, sticky dough are keys to a good, light loaf.

I don’t have a Dutch oven, what can I use instead: If you don’t have a Dutch Oven, a covered metal pot would work as well, just make sure it can stand up to 450 F heat. A 4 quart Calphalon soup pot with lid would work as well. If your pot doesn’t have a lid, you can cover the pot with heavy-duty aluminum foil, just make sure you seal the pot well.

How do I know when my bread is done baking: Tap the bottom! Take the bread out of the Dutch oven, turn it upside down and give the bottom a firm thump with your thumb, or a knock and if it sounds hollow it’s done.
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Naan Bread


Servings: 12

Ingredients

For Dough

2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water lukewarm
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg large
1/4 cup yogurt plain
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Other

12 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter melted
2 tbsp parsley chopped

Instructions

Heat the oven to 200 F degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Lightly whisk it all together, then let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the yeast dissolves and starts to foam.

To the same bowl, add the oil, yogurt, egg and whisk well. Set aside.

To the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour with the salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix for a couple minutes, until the dough comes clean from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, add a bit more flour, starting with a tablespoon at a time. The dough should be nice and soft but not sticky.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Turn OFF your oven, place the bowl inside and allow to rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size. I use this trick all the time to speed up the rising time. Mine only took about 40 minutes, so the time depends on your yeast and your environment.

After it rises, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a small ball.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1 tsp of olive oil. Roll out one ball at a time until it’s about 1/3 inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter. Add the piece of rolled dough to the hot skillet and cook for about 1 minute, the skillet should be very hot, so you’ll see bubbles forming as you cook the dough on the first side. Flip the dough and cook the other side until the bottom is golden.

Repeat with remaining dough until all of the pieces are cooked. Keep the naan covered in a towel so that it doesn’t dry out. When all of them are cooked, brush each one with the melted butter and garnish with some parsley.

Recipe Notes

Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn’t expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.

To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.

Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.

One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.

Make sure your water is not too hot or it could kill the yeast which will cause your dough not to rise at all. The ideal temperature for the water should be between 105 F degrees and 110 F for proofing. While 95 F degrees is the best temperature for yeast to multiply, that’s not warm enough for proofing active dry yeast.

Tip: To help your dough rise faster, heat up your oven to 200 F degrees, then turn off the oven. Place your dough in the oven, close the door and let the dough rise in peace for about 30 minutes.

Total time includes time required for the dough to rise, though that could vary from person to person.
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French Toast


Servings: 2 – 3 people

Ingredients

6 slices brioche or white sandwich bread, slightly stale (Note 1)
2 – 3 tbsp butter

Egg Mixture:

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Macerated Strawberries, optional:

8 oz strawberries, halved
1 tbsp white sugar

Serving:

Maple syrup, butter

Instructions

Whisk together Egg Mixture in a bowl. Vigorous whisk = avoid cinnamon floating on top.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a non stick skillet over medium heat.

Dunk a piece of bread quickly into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Place in pan. Repeat with more slices to fill the pan, but don’t crowd it (do 2 or 3 at a time).

Cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes on each side until the surface is golden, then transfer to serving plates.

Add more butter into the pan and cook remaining bread.

Serve with butter and plenty of maple syrup, and Macerated Strawberries if using.

Macerated Strawberries (optional):

Toss strawberries with sugar, set aside for 20 minutes+. The strawberries will soften and sweat, and create a bit of syrup.

Recipe Notes

1. Best bread for French Toast: brioche is hands down the most indulgent (typically used by trendy bistros, pictured in post), and after this good ole’ sandwich bread (preferably thick cut), followed by crusty artisan breads (sourdough etc), then everything and anything else (sliced bread rolls, french stick, baguettes, even things like Hot Cross Buns and other sweet rolls).

Slightly stale bread is better as fresh bread tends to soak up the mixture too quickly, causing the French Toast to be soggy inside. If your bread is super fresh, pop it in the oven at 180C/350F for 3 minutes on each side, just to dry it out slightly without colouring. Do not do this step if using crusty sourdough (doesn’t need it).

2. General notes:

– Cinnamon and vanilla is recommended, but still absolutely delish without.

– I personally don’t recommend using cream in place of milk. I know it might seem like it will make it richer, but I feel like it leaves a greasy feel in the mouth.

– The right egg to milk ratio is quite important – I think 2 eggs to 1/2 cup of milk is perfect.

– I don’t use sugar in the egg mixture because a) there’s plenty of sweet poured on top later; and b) it makes the bread prone to burning.
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Savory Cheese Muffins


Servings: 11 muffins

Ingredients

Butter and Cheese:

3 tbsp salted butter (unsalted + salt)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (Note 1)

Dry Ingredients

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda / bi-carb soda (Note 2)
1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

1 egg (large, 2 oz), lightly whisked
1 cup milk (full or low fat)
1/4 cup sour cream (or plain yoghurt)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or any plain oils, not olive oil)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (Note 3)
1 garlic clove, crushed

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F (standard) or 320F (fan).

Place butter and garlic in a microwave proof bowl and melt in 30 second bursts. Mix.

Brush a 12 hole standard muffin tin generously with butter, being sure to slather with some garlic. Reserve some butter to brush tops.

Whisk Dry ingredients in a bowl.

Whisk Wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Pour Wet into the Dry ingredients bowl. Mix 8 times. Add cheese, mix as few times as possible just to incorporate remaining bits of flour – no more than 7 big stirs (secret to soft muffs).

Divide between 11 holes in muffin in (I use an ice cream scooper). Batter should be thick and fill muffin tin to top (if in ball shape due to scooper, leave as is). See video.

Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden and crusty and spring back when touched in the centre.

Remove onto cooling rack, brush with remaining butter (microwave again if needed) and cool slightly before getting stuck into them!

Recipe Notes

1. I typically use grated Cheddar or Tasty Cheese (common in Australia). Any flavoured cheese will be terrific here, as long as it melts. Avoid Mozzarella – it doesn’t have enough flavour.

2. Baking soda gives these muffins a kick start with the rise so you get a lovely dome BUT if you don’t have it, then you can use an extra 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder instead. OR use self raising flour instead of plain flour and no baking powder and no baking soda.

3. Can sub with 1 tbsp dried parsley or 1 1/2 tsp of stronger dried herbs (thyme, oregano, mixed herbs, basil), or just skip. Still lovely flavour without!

4. These stay fresh for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. Best served warm. These can also be frozen for 2 – 3 months.

5. As always for baking recipes, I have made these using Australian cups (imperial measurements used by the most of the world, including Europe, NZ) as well as US cups. I actually made these while I was in LA at a friend’s house and they came out just as they do when I made them at home!

6. Add In options: Up to 1 1/2 cups of stir ins of choice, add with cheese. Sun dried tomatoes, chopped or large chunks of feta, chopped olives, ham, cooked bacon, grated zucchini (salt, leave for 20 minutes then squeeze out excess water), grated carrot, chopped spinach, bell peppers/capscium (cooked). Cooked mushroom slices, cooked chorizo, even chopped chicken. Let your imagination run wild. Makes 12 high dome muffins, or 13 – 14 sensible muffins.
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