Category: Bread

Parmesan Black Pepper Grissini

I made this on NYE and it’s almost April. Slow and steady wins the race.

I’ve seen grissini pop up a fair bit lately, on Food52 more specifically, which reminded me of these. Those aren’t the ones I made, but they’re similar. They disappeared rather quickly at the NYE party, which is the highest compliment. I don’t want need to be told they’re awesome. Just eat. When they disappear, I’ll know.

They’re easy and difficult all at the same time. They come together almost too easy. It’s a simple dough. The rise time is next to nothing, so you can totally make them right before you’re walking out the door. I’m living proof. The only thing that was really a challenge for me was actually forming the dough. It was really a lot more dry and tough than I was expecting. They took forever to get to a reasonable length and more than one tore but I just pieced it back together. “A more rustic look,” I’d say. The sprinkling of parmesan and black pepper hides any deformity, and let’s be real, they taste good so no one cares. Rolling them out reminded me of my Play-Doh days. I probably wasn’t very good at it then either.

Inspiration: The Endless Meal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon active yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 egg, whisked in a bowl with a tablespoon of water
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter into the milk. You only want it slightly warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and pour it into a separate bowl to be safe. You’ll add the yeast next and don’t want to risk the hot pan overheating it. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It’ll start to foam on the top, so you’ll know it’s working.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and you pinch of salt. Add the cooled milk mixture to the flour and mix it together with a large spoon or your hands. It’ll be a dry, shaggy mess until it ultimately forms a ball.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes. The dough will be smooth on the outside. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 30 minutes.

When your time is up, preheat the oven to 350° and prep your baking sheets. Either grease them or lay down a Silpat. Split the dough into 24 equal pieces. I measured them because I’m a bit type-a, but as long as you get close you’ll be fine. Roll them out into long, skinny sticks. Place them on your prepared baking sheet with a little distance between them. Brush each stick with the egg wash and then sprinkle them with the parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Use your fingers to get as much parmesan to stick as possible.

Bake for about 15 minutes. They should be crispy and golden brown, the cheese especially. Let them cool before removing them from the pan. They’ll harden as they cool giving them more of a crunch.

Eating the baked on cheese off your Silpat is sort of optional, but it’s really not something to be missed.

Chorizo Cornbread

This bread! I have to tell you about this bread. I made it for the Super Bowl because snacks are all I care about. I go to parties for the company food because eating is my favorite hobby. If you follow on Instagram, you saw the ridiculous spread of stuff of at my parents’ house. The dining table was packed full of food and then there was pulled pork, chili, and clam chowder on the stove. So. Much. Good. Stuff.

Picking what to make for social gatherings get-togethers parties is equal parts awesome and overwhelming. There are so many choices. I had a whole bunch of things in mind like Pan Roasted Clams with Potatoes and Fennel, Cheddar and Horseradish Dip, and Green Chile Posole. Then Food52 posted this bread on Facebook or something and it was a done deal. New Seasons makes that obscenely good ground chicken chorizo that was perfect for this. The only substitution I made was trying out Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free (GF) flour blend. They don’t kid that it’s a 1:1 tradeoff. I would have had no idea it was a GF flour both in mixing or in the final product. If you’re toying with trying it for you or someone you want to bake for, it’s not a bad idea. It’s not cheap by flour standards, but I don’t bake a lot so it wasn’t a big loss.

The rest of the recipe I followed to a tee. Even the sifting. I never sift a dang thing, but I didn’t want to risk it with the new flour. The result was a deliciously cake-y corn bread. It’s definitely moist, but it has chorizo, cottage cheese, and buttermilk in it. For some reason the majority of the spice baked right out of the chorizo. Every now and then you get a spicy bite, but it’s definitely not constant despite there being a lot of chorizo in there. Since it’s not corn season, I just thawed a bag of frozen corn and used that. I left the bag in my fridge overnight. I was afraid they’d get soggy, but they didn’t.

I’d absolutely make this again. It was great by itself, under a pile of chili or pulled pork, and soon to be smothered in a poached egg. Poached eggs make everything better.

Recipe: Food52

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb ground chicken or pork chorizo
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6oz buttermilk
  • 8oz cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup corn kernels

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°. Prep a 9×9 or 11×7 pan with cooking spray or butter.

Brown the chorizo in a skillet on medium heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onion to the chorizo grease left in the pan. Stir occasionally. Let the onion soften an start to brown. The little charred bits of greasy onion are pretty awesome. Remove the onion to the chorizo pile once cooked.

In a large bowl, use a sieve and pour in the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Tap the side of the sieve over the bowl until everything goes through. Push any lumps if you have any. Add the cornmeal and salt. Make a well and add the remaining ingredients, including the chorizo and onion. Stir until evenly distributed and all the flour is wet. This should be thick and relatively dry.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and level out. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is browned and the top is springy beneath your touch. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares and eating. It’s great cold or warm.

Carrot Soda Bread

Whenever I make bread, I love it. I love it in the way only a mother could love it. It never comes out quite right, and I don’t think I’d ever share it with anyone, but the carb-lover in me really doesn’t care. The carb-lover is just proud I made something that borders on cakey so when you toast it [in the oven under the broiler because I’m terrified it’s going to break off in the toaster] it’s kind of crunchy and warm, but still dense and chewy in the middle. Anytime I make bread, it always ends up dense. I’m sure it’s over-kneading. Story of my life. I fear for pockets of unmixed flour in random bites, so I mix more than I should. Apparently my idea of “until just combined” is still a little past the right way to do it. I don’t bake enough to hone my skills, so it’ll have to do.

The idea is pretty genius though. It’s about as quick as you can get for making bread. Adding the shredded carrots adds fiber, color, and a hint of sweetness, which is just fine by me. I suppose the raisins are optional for the raisin haters out there, but you should really give them a shot. It makes for a slightly sweet, breakfast-esque bread. Or lunch bread. Or snack bread. You get the idea.

Inspiration: Food52

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup raisins

Preparation

Heat your oven to 400°. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the shredded carrot and butter milk. Stir until combined. Fold in the raisins and try to evenly distribute as much as possible. I used my hands for this. It counts as kneading so remember to work quickly and gently. Don’t make my mistakes.

Place the shaggy ball of dough on a 9″ cast iron skillet and bake until brown. It’ll make a hollow sound when you tap on it. This will take approximately 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing into it.

Coppa & Cherry Pepper French Bread Pizza

Sometimes you just need to gnaw on an entire half of a loaf of french bread. I almost went for the big one, but changed my mind last minute after carrying around the loaf in my basket through the entire store. I do that. A lot.

I spent way too much time agonizing deciding on what to buy sometimes. It gets pretty bad.

I switched mostly because I didn’t want to buy more cheese. A small brick of mozzarella was plenty. While I’m a cheeseaholic, I don’t like my pizzas too cheesy. Sacrilegious, I know.

Have you ever asked yourself, “how could I possibly make pizza that much more of a comfort food?” I do that all the time. This was a result of that. I even ditched any greenery for just a handful of sliced hot cherry peppers. They kind of overwhelmed the pizza with the tomato sauce. Hot coppa just disappeared into it.  I was more into the cheese and bread anyway, let’s be honest.

Ingredients

  • 1 small loaf of french bread [double the rest of you get the large one]
  • olive oil
  • 4oz shredded mozzarella
  • 10-12 slices coppa salami
  • 1 hot cherry pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • basil

Preparation

Preheat the broiler and have a baking sheet handy. Slice the french bread in half lengthwise. Brush the bread with olive oil. Stick it under the broiler for a few minutes until it’s golden brown and toasted.

While it toasts, heat up the tomato paste with Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. Add salt to taste. Brush the paste onto the bread. Top with half of the cheese. Place the coppa on in a single layer on each piece of bread. Sprinkle with the peppers and the remainder of the cheese.

Stick the bread back under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, slice into more manageable pieces, serve.

Coconut Bread

My fingers smell like garlic from stuffing whole cloves into a leg of lamb. I have hard boiled eggs cooling and a box of egg dye on the table. There is a solid milk chocolate bunny in the fridge. I’m wearing a white frilly skirt.

It must be Easter.

To be fair, I’m really only wearing the skirt because it’s supposed to be 70°+ again today. Glorious.

I hope you’re having an enjoyable Sunday whether you’re partaking in Easter festivities, sipping on some wine outside, or curled up on the couch.

I had another “food in a bowl” post on tap, but I figured we could roll with a coconut bread instead. It’s very spring-y, and is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I love coconut. Seriously adore it. I could eat it by the spoonful. This bread doesn’t just toy with it, it full on makes sweet love to it. I used coconut milk because that’s all I have on hand anymore [save for the occasional quart for Andrew], and regular shredded coconut instead of sweetened. I didn’t want it to be too cloyingly sweet. Then I can justify it at any time of the day.

I mixed this all up by hand instead of with the mixer. I’ve found that I tend to overmix when it’s involved. This was probably the most I’ve ever had a quickbread rise. I’m convinced it’s the manual labor.

Seriously, enjoy your Sunday.

Inspiration: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup (140g) shredded coconut
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, melted

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° and spray/butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan.

In a small bowl, or a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla until it’s smooth and creamy. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the sugar and coconut, thoroughly mixing it.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg mixture. Stir until well combined. Fold in the melted butter. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. The batter should be level.

Bake in the oven for 60-85 minutes. Mine took closer to 85 minutes in order to rise fully and start becoming golden brown on the top. A toothpick should come clean when you jab it in the center. Cool for five minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.