Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Cheese Puffers

December 28, 2021 at 10:25 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 6 Comments
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cheese puffers

I’ve never really thought about what would happen if a muffin and a popover had a baby, but apparently it would be a Cheese Puffer. Made like a popover that’s baked in a muffin tin, these are heavy on the cheddar cheese. I guess that cheddar-weight is why they don’t really “popover,” but they are custardy, with melty cheese pockets (I used my favorite Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar) and bits of chopped scallion on the inside, and a beautiful golden brown crust. I scaled back the recipe to just get these four…two were had with chili one night, and the other two with eggs in the morning.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: English Muffins

November 24, 2021 at 8:53 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 7 Comments
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English muffins

It’s Thanksgiving week and I can’t get enough carbs..homemade English Muffins will do quite nicely for breakfast. This is actually the second batch of English muffins I’ve made in the past week. The first was a different recipe (and slightly different technique) that I had to make for work. This recipe of Dorie’s is pretty straight forward. A quick-to-make, sticky dough gets a long chill (I went overnight) and is then shaped into rounds and griddled up free-form. After chilling, the dough wasn’t hard to work with and I think my muffins retained a fairly nice shape without using rings. Dorie stops short of cooking the muffins all the way through on the stovetop (the other recipe I made finished them off in the oven for about 10 minutes after griddling them to the desired color). She reasons that toasting the muffins becomes the final step in their cooking process. While this is true, my muffins were still a bit doughy inside when I forked them in half to toast them, and I do think a little dense as a result. Still delicious, though, and I will enjoy every last one, but next time I may think about cooking them a little longer, either in the oven at the end, or keeping them on the griddle a few minutes more if they aren’t getting too browned.

With two English muffin successes under my belt this week, I’m feeling pretty good about applying for that management position at Thomas’. If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, you can test drive this English Muffin recipe here. But get the book and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Swedish Limpa

August 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 4 Comments
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swedish lid

Baking bread isn’t my typical 90° day activity. I didn’t really have any other choice, though, if I wanted to get Beatrice Ojakangas’s Swedish Limpa made within the first two weeks of this month. Limpa, if you haven’t had it (I hadn’t myself until today), is a rye bread favored with orange zest, fennel, anise and caraway seeds and molasses and brown sugar. It’s often eaten at Christmas time in Sweden…in my house it will be eaten in mid-August.

I don’t have any anise in my spice collection and didn’t really feel like getting any either, since I’m not much of a licorice fan…I just used a bit more caraway and fennel to compensate. The recipe makes two loaves, which is a bit much for us, so I made half. The bread is traditionally baked in round cake pans, but I’ll be putting most of it into the freezer for later. With easy future toasting in mind, I baked my half-recipe in a 9″x5″ loaf pan instead.

This bread is delicious!  I’m the one who added the molasses and sugar to the dough, yet somehow I forgot until the first bite that it would be slightly sweet. And the orange zest, seeds and rye–yum! Seriously, heat wave be damned…I’m glad I turned the oven on for this one. The recipe notes say the bread goes well with meat and cheese, and I believe it, but it’s also not bad with just a smear of salty butter.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Persian Naan

April 5, 2016 at 12:02 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 8 Comments
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persian naan

This Persian Naan flatbread from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid uses the very same dough as the Oasis Naan we did almost four years (what the –??) ago.  So I’ve kinda done this one before, but it’s been a while.  The dough is actually as simple as it gets– water, flour, yeast and salt.  One proof, then shape and bake. The book instructions call for making it by hand…last time I used the food processor…this time I used the KitchenAid…do what you like and rest assured that it will all be good.

The dough bakes up nice and puffy and chewy.  It didn’t brown so well on top, so I brushed a little melted butter on at the halfway point and gave the naan an extra couple of minutes in the oven to get a bit of golden spotting.  This was a nice bread to have with our Sunday morning fried eggs and avocado.  It kind of reminds me of the grocery store Turkish pide bread that I fell in love with when we lived in Oz, but can’t get here.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s also a video of Alford, Duguid and Julia making the bread together, and the authors wrote this article that gives more naan tips.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

TWD BWJ Rewind: Pain de Campagne

March 29, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 7 Comments
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pain de campagne

Joe Ortiz’s Pain de Campagne is my first home sourdough bread experiment.  A whole wheat starter (called “the chef”) is refreshed over a period of several days, hopefully collecting wild yeast from the air in the meantime.  There’s a warning in the recipe intro that you might get a flat loaf– no guarantees in the world of wild yeast.  I could see the change in my starter over the week and I definitely noticed it’s sour smell increasing, so I had some hope for it, at least.

After almost four days, the final dough is ready to be mixed and later shaped.  My bread definitely rose and had a nice shape but it’s quite dense inside.  I didn’t really get any large air holes in the crumb and I see that I need to work on my slashing skills.  Still makes good, flavorful toast though, with a nice crust, and it won’t go to waste.  

pain de campagne

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see if anyone else did a rewind this week!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Buttermilk Bread

February 2, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 13 Comments
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buttermilk bread

Lora Brody’s Buttermilk Bread is one I’ve been wanting to make for a while now.  Sounds simple and homey and a nice thing to bake on a cold day.

The recipe in the book calls for making the bread dough in a bread machine, which I don’t have, so I made it in my stand mixer instead.  I  swapped a 50/50 water/liquid buttermilk combo for the water/powdered buttermilk in the recipe.  While I used the full 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, I think I could have gotten away with just 2 teaspoons. I basically followed the mixing instructions we used when we did the White Loaves years ago, since they seemed pretty standard for this type of bread.  I then switched back to Brody’s instructions for rising and baking.

This made a nice sandwich loaf, and maybe next time I’ll try it in the cloverleaf roll variation.  The bread has maple syrup in the dough, so there’s a hint of sweetness there, and I think the crust is really good (I’m the weirdo who likes the end pieces).  I’m looking forward to pulling slices from the freezer for grilled cheese!

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Camembert in Brioche

December 1, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 8 Comments
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camembert in brioche

The idea of chesse en croute kind of makes me giggle….seems like something from another dinner party era to me.  I do love a good retro treat though, so I was pretty excited to make Lora Brody’s Camembert (or Brie) in Brioche for Thanksgivng pre-dinner snacks.

The recipe in the book calls for making the brioche dough in a bread machine and caramelizing the onions in a slow cooker, but despite my ever-growing collection of gadgets and small appliances, I don’t have either of those in my kitchen arsenal.  I made the dough in my stand mixer instead (subbing warmed lowfat milk for the milk powder and water), with no problem, and followed the instructions to chill it immediately (without letting it rise first) before shaping.  I caramelized the onions in the oven with some thyme…even though I used small Cipollini onions, they did take a couple of hours, and next time I’ll probably just caramelize regular sliced onions on the stovetop.

I didn’t think we could take down the 9-inch wheel of brie the recipe uses, but I wanted a whole wheel rather than just a wedge, so I found a little 4-inch round of camembert and used that.  I only needed to make 1/3 of the brioche dough and use a few Cipollinis to cover it.  My 6-inch cake pans seemed too big to bake the cheese in, so I did it free-form, rolling the dough out into one round parcel that wrapped up the cheese, and making a little decorative twist out of some trim scrap.  Everything held shape very nicely in the oven, I’m happy to report.  Letting it rest for half an hour or so out of the oven keeps the cheese from being too runny and just spilling out of the crust.

Maybe this isn’t so much something from a bygone era as it is a classic.  Gooey, salty baked cheese, sweet onions and buttery brioche…it’s really so very good.  And quite stunning, too…a perfect holiday appetizer for a crowd.  I even reheated a leftover hunk on Friday, wrapped in foil in a low oven, and it was still just the thing with a glass of wine.

camembert in brioche

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  I do think this is the final recipe in the “Savory Pastries” section of the book….wow!  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Pita Breads

August 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 6 Comments

pita breads

Homemade Pita Breads are something that wouldn’t normally be on my baking radar.  I admit that most pitas from the grocery store are half-stale and fall apart when I split them, but I do live within walking distance of a shop called Damascus Bakery, where I can (and do often) get great pitas that are fresh made. Those pitas in the picture are actually ones I made a couple of years ago, back when we did Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Eastern Mediterranean Pizzas, a recipe that used the same dough as its base.

This was a pretty easy bread dough to make (and apparently, it can even be made a week ahead and kept in the fridge till you’re ready to pita).  It does use a sponge, but by now that no longer feels like an advanced technique.  The recipe gives instructions for mixing the dough fully by hand…I of course cheated and used the mixer.  You can bake the breads in the oven on a stone, as I did, or there are instructions for cooking them on a griddle on the stove-top.  In the middle of August, the latter may have been the better choice!  These puffed up really well and have a good pocket for tuna salad for lunch or a fried egg sandwich for breakfast.  They are also perfect for warm pita and hummus snack, obvi, and since they’re about half whole wheat flour, they have real flavor.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. There’s also a video of Jeffery and Naomi making the pitas with Julia.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Ka’kat

May 5, 2015 at 6:57 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 11 Comments
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ka kat

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  Maybe you are getting a tres leches soaking or quadruple checking a mole recipe to make sure you didn’t miss an ingredient.  If you are thinking about flatbreads today, you’re probably thinking about tortillas, but put Ka’kat on your radar for later.  I had never heard of ka’kat before, but Dorie says they are a very typical Eastern Mediterranean street food.  You can find them everywhere apparently, just like soft pretzels here in New York.  They’re made with a really straightforward yeast dough.  If you make it in the morning after breakfast, you can easily have fresh, warm bread snacks by lunchtime!

Although this is another recipe in the flatbread section of the book from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, my ka’kat (at least) came out round and chubby.  With sesame seeds on top, they did not look unlike mini bagels.  Ka’kat are often flavored with ground mahleb (also mahlab), which are little tiny cherry kernels.  This spice has a bit of that bitter almond flavor and is used in Middle Eastern, Greek and Turkish baking.  You probably won’t find it at your standard grocery store, but you can get it online (at Penzeys, for example) or in a Middle Eastern market.  I found whole seeds at Sahadi’s here in Brooklyn (I love that place!) and ground them to powder in a spice grinder.  All that said, the mahleb is totally optional.  It gives a very subtle aroma and taste, and I always like to buy an interesting new ingredient, but you can leave it out, no probs.

These were so tasty warm and soft from the oven.  I ate four– no kidding!  But they are little, yeah?  I dipped them into olive oil and dukkah (like I did with the Pebble Bread)…they’d be good with salty butter, too.   I made half a recipe and divided the dough into fifteen ka’kat to fit neatly on one sheet tray.  I have about half of them left in the freezer and I’ll definitely warm them up a bit before eating them.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

TWD BWJ Rewind: Pebble Bread

March 30, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 4 Comments
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pebble bread

A couple of weeks ago, the group made the Pebble Bread recipe from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, world travellers who have brought us a few other flatbreads you may or may not remember.  I was all geared up to make this one, and then I didn’t.  Sometimes I just run out of gas.  Thankfully we get a make-up week every now and again.

Pebble Bread is a round Moroccan flatbread; traditionally baked on hot pebbles, it gets dimply and a little puffed.  The not-so-traditional Western method we used here involves a bowl of water, your fingertips, and a heavy skillet…first dipping a rolled out dough round into water to create steam, next quickly dimpling it with your fingertips, then starting the bread in a skillet on the stovetop to cook the bottom, and finishing it under the broiler to cook the top. 

I only made half a recipe (four large-enough-to-share pieces of bread) and since I used two skillets and they take just a few minutes each to cook, I worked though the process pretty quickly.  Of course I totes torched the top of my first one under the broiler, but, just like my morning toast, it was nothing a little scrapey-scrape with a serrated knife couldn’t fix.  You learn, eat your mistake before anyone else sees it, adjust and keep going.

I’d call these a definite success.  I can’t roll pie dough into a nice round to save my life, but these breads all rolled out into perfect circles.  They had just enough puff and chew, and a good flavor from the overnight sponge (yes, you need to plan to make a sponge the day before you make the bread, but it’s virtually hands-off) and the barley flour in the dough.  I have a couple breads left in my freezer and I am very happy to eat all of them warm, ripped up and swiped first into olive oil and then into dukkah (which is actually an Egyptian nut and seed mix, but we found it all over the place when we lived in Australia, and ever since I must have it on a regular basis).

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see if anyone else did a rewind this week, and see the links page from the Pebble Bread a couple of weeks ago!

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