Tag Archives: bread

Easy-peasy drop biscuits

I’m not going to tell you that I like drop biscuits better than regular roll and cut biscuits. Drop biscuits are less evenly shaped, making them more difficult to use with things like sausage biscuits or whatever, and they are a teeny bit less flaky. BUT, they are a whole lot easier to make. Like way easier. If that means that I occasionally get biscuits on a Sunday-morning whim, well then…I am game. They are also a great topping for a quick “pot pie” over some chicken stew.

They don’t exactly look gross, do they?

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup very cold buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and then cooled just slightly (plus 2 tablespoons melted for brushing the tops after baking)
  1. Heat oven to 475 with rack in middle. Spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with oil and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl. Stir 8 T melted butter into cold buttermilk. The liquid will clump up a bit…that is very good. It’s what makes these biscuits fluffy and yummy
  3. Add wet ingredients into dry and fold together with rubber spatula. Fill measuring cup with batter and tap onto sheet. Space evenly across sheet- you should have 10 – 12.
  4. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Brush cooked biscuits with melted butter and serve!!

Focaccia!

I am in love and the bread that I love is focaccia. Holy salty, chewy, crisp goodness. And it wasn’t even hard! I blatantly used Cook’s recipe with minimal edits. Frankly, only a fool would monkey with a bread recipe the first time. It’s science, no? So, I am blatantly copying and pasting below:

Makes one 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch rectangle.   Published May 1, 1997.

Rapid-rise or instant yeast reduces the preparation time by more than an hour. If you use an equal amount of regular active dry yeast instead, let the sponge in step 2 develop for thirty minutes rather than twenty, and increase the first and second rises to one and one-half hours each.

Dough
1 medium baking potato (about 9 ounces), peeled and quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup water (warm, 105 to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , plus more for oiling bowl and pan
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
Topping
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon sea salt , coarse, (or 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt)

Instructions

  1. For the dough: Boil 1 quart water in small saucepan; add potato and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain potato well; cool until it can be handled comfortably and put through fine disk on ricer or grate through large holes on box grater. You will need 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potato for this recipe.
  2. Meanwhile, in large bowl of electric mixer or workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, mix or pulse yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water until combined. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (or put workbowl lid on) and set aside until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Add remaining dough ingredients, including reserved potato. If using mixer, fit with paddle attachment and mix on low speed (number 2 on KitchenAid) until dough comes together. Switch to dough hook attachment and increase speed to medium (number 4 on KitchenAid); continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. For food processor, process until dough is smooth and elastic, about 40 seconds.
  3. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough is puffy and doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. With wet hands (to prevent sticking), press dough flat into generously oiled 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly roll pan (see illustration 1). Or, halve and flatten each piece of dough into 8-inch round on large (at least 18 inches long), generously oiled baking sheet (illustration 2). Cover dough with lightly greased or oil-sprayed plastic wrap; let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough is puffy and doubled in volume, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. With two wet fingers, dimple risen dough (illustration 3) at regular intervals.
  6. For the topping: Drizzle dough with oil and sprinkle evenly with rosemary and coarse salt, landing some in pools of oil.
  7. Bake until focaccia bottom(s) are golden brown and crisp, 23 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly. Cut rectangular focaccia into squares or round focaccia into wedges; serve warm. (Focaccia can be kept on counter for several hours and reheated just before serving. Or, wrap cooled focaccia in plastic and then foil and freeze for up to 1 month; unwrap and defrost in 325-degree oven until soft, about 15 minutes.)

Bread salad (for roasted chicken)

This is really 2 different recipes- pan roasted chicken and bread salad. I’m starting with the bread salad and will post the chicken separately. You can use a different chicken recipe if you like (maybe whole roasted) or just top the bread salad with a store-bought chicken. It will be hard for it not to be delicious.

Bread salad

This bread salad is adapted from the de-licious Zuni Cafe in San Fran. I added artichoke hearts and tomatoes. The artichoke hearts did not improve the salad, but adding sliced tomatoes around the platter did. So do it.

8-10 oz leftover peasant-style bread (ciabatta, boule, etc- not sourdough), crusts cut off and torn into 2 inch pieces

6  Tablespoons mild EVOO

2  Tablespoons vinegar (sherry, red wine, champagne, but NOT balsamic)

1  Tablespoon red or yellow raisins, plumped in in 1 T vinegar and 2 T warm water

3  Tablespoons toasted pinenuts

3  Toes of garlic, slivered

1/4  Cup thinly sliced scallions

1/4  Cup chicken broth

Bunch of arugula- enough to cover the serving platter

Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Preheat broiler. Toss bread chunks in 2 Tablespoons olive oil, season with a little salt & pepper. Broil briefly, shaking or stirring once to distribute. You just want them to crisp up a bit

2.  Combine remaining olive oil, vinegar and S&P to taste. Toss bread pieces with 1/2 of vinaigrette in a wide bowl. Saute garlic and scallions in EVOO until soft, but not brown. Add to bowl with bread, along with pinenuts and drained raisins.

At this point, I have 2 different versions of step 3, depending on if you cooked your own chicken or bought it.

3a.  If you cooked your own chicken, it should be resting at this point. Keep the oven on- somewhere between 375 and 450. Add chicken broth to pan or broiler and cook over heat, scrapping up fond. Reduce to ~3 Tablespoons.  Toss reduced stock with bread salad and put on baking sheet or in pan, cook in oven for 10-12 minutes until warm and crisped again.

3b. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss bread salad with chicken juices (from bought chicken container) and place on baking sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until warm and crisped again

4. While bread salad cooks, prepare salad and carve chicken. Toss greens with remaining vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on a platter, covering all surfaces. Carve chicken into pieces.

5. Remove bread from oven and arrange on greens. Arrange chicken pieces on top of bread salad and serve.

I am a culinary genius

Not really, but I did say that after I tasted everything last night. Good lord. I made Pescado Veracruzano with kale, my easy bread and an avocado salad. I could east that supper once a week for the rest of my life. For the avocado salad, I mixed a little lime juice, honey, diced jalapeno, cumin, S&P and olive oil in a jar. Shook the hell out of it, cut the avocado in half, pulled out the stone and spooned the limey-cumin dressing in the hole and served. The simplest things are the best!Pescado supper