Recently in Baked Goods Category

chard_tart_sm.jpgAn elegant savory tart full of chard, onion and thyme held together by eggs and Parmesan on an oregano whole wheat crust. Perfect for a tea or brunch. Can made ahead and served warm or cold.

Crust:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. cold water (I used less)

Makes enough to line a 28- to 30-cm (11- to 12-inch) tart pan.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease the pan lightly if it doesn't have a nonstick coating.

Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix it in with a fork. Add the water, mix with the fork until it is absorbed, then knead lightly (with just one hand, in the bowl) until the dough comes together into a ball.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and on the rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit your tart pan. Turn the dough by 45 degrees (a quarter of a circle) every time you roll the pin and back, adding a little more flour underneath and on the dough when it seems on the verge of becoming sticky. The trick is to do this in quick, assertive gestures to avoid overworking the dough.

Transfer the dough carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough (re-roll it and cut into decorative shapes to top the tart), and place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

You can then blind-bake the crust (prick with a fork first, cover with foil, and cook at 400°F for 12 minutes), or garnish it straight away, depending on the filling. Either way, it will take 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C (400°F) to bake thoroughly.

Filling:

1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems and leaves chopped
1 onion, diced
1 big garlic clove minced
4 large eggs
2 Tb. half and half or milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan
aged balsamic vinegar for garnish

Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chard stems (you will add the leaves later) and thyme. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the stems are tender. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add the chard leaves. Cook until the leaves are wilted and soft and any liquid has evaporated, 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Beat together the eggs and season with salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the chard mixture and parmesan. Mix well and scrape the filling into the prepared shell.

Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until set. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and serve warm with a drizzle of balsamic.

Original recipe (filling)

Original recipe (crust)


pizza_crust_sm.jpgWith no rise-and-wait time, this is the fastest homemade pizza crust I've found. The finished product is a perfect thin crust pizza: crisp and crackerlike but sturdy enough to support mounds of toppings without getting soggy. The technique of rolling out the crust on parchment paper and then transferring it directly to the pizza stone saves a lot of hassle (and burned fingers!).

3/4 cups (6 ounces) of water
1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast (if using instant yeast, you don't need to dissolve it during the first step)
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Makes 2 pizzas

About 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it on a rack in the lower-middle part of the oven.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat the water until it feels barely lukewarm when you test it with your finger (if the water is so hot that you can't leave your finger in it, wait for it to cool down). Add the yeast to the water and use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve.

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together. When it comes together into a cohesive ball (see image below), turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn't yet gotten worked in.

Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch--about five minutes.The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it's sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it's smooth and silky (below).
Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in two.

Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands and form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper.

Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. You can also use a rolling pin for this part. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Note: The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out. You'll bake the pizza right on the parchment paper. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, and you can slide the paper out before serving.

Topping and Baking the Dough:

Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of each pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Pile on all of your toppings except the cheese.

Using a bread peel or the backside of a baking sheet, slide your pizza (still on the parchment) onto the baking stone in the oven. If you don't have a baking stone, just bake it right on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza 180-degrees (most ovens have 'hot spots' your pizza will bake unevenly if it's not rotated). Bake for another 3 minutes and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for another 2-3 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crispy.

Remove your pizza from oven and let it cool on a wire rack. At this point, you can slide the parchment paper out from under the pizza. Repeat with second pizza.

Let both pizzas cool for about five minutes and serve.

Original recipe


soda_bread_sm.jpgThis hearty, rustic quick bread is my go-to when I want bread and only have an hour. It is only slightly sweet and so goes very well with all sorts of dishes. Best served warm & crunchy with butter and homemade jam.

1  cup  all-purpose flour
2  tablespoons  sugar
1  teaspoon  baking powder
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1 1/2  tablespoons  cold butter or margarine
2  cups  whole-wheat flour
1/4  cup  regular or quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2  cups  plain nonfat yogurt or buttermilk
Milk
In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in whole-wheat flour and oats.
Add yogurt; stir gently. If mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, just until dough holds together; it should not be sticky.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead gently 5 times to make a ball. Set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat into a 7-inch circle. With a floured knife, cut a large X on top of loaf.
Bake in a 375° oven until well browned, about 40 minutes - do not underbake! Cool on a rack. Serve warm or cool.

thincornbread_sm.jpgA light and crumbly cornbread with a full corn flavor. Very little sugar and no white flour, so my traditionalist southern dad would probably approve. A preheated cast-iron skillet is a must for a crispy crust.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal (or 1/2 coarse ground, 1/2 fine ground)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 12-inch skillet with one tablespoon of the oil, place it in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until frothy and then whisk in the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix thoroughly. Melt the remaining butter in a small skill (or your microwave) and whisk the butter into your batter.

While the fat in the large skillet is smoking, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the fat around to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet; it should sizzle. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown and the edge has pulled away from the side of the skillet. Remove from the oven and either serve hot, in six wedges, or let cool and reserve for Corn Bread Salad (above).

Original recipe


figbiscotti_sm.jpgA lovely citrus and cinnamon spiced biscotti with a light and tender texture, more like a cookie than your traditional break-your-teeth biscotti. Beating the eggs is an extra step, but don't skip it: it keeps the cookies from becoming tough.

1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried Calimyrna figs (6 ounces)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and anise. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they're pale yellow and hold a ribbon for 1 second when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in zest.
Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until combined. Fold in figs and walnuts. Lightly spray a parchment-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough in half on parchment. Spray hands with cooking spray; form each piece of dough into a 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)
Original recipe

Focaccia is a fairly flat yeasted Italian bread that is great as an appetizer with some olive oil. It's also my go-to bread to accompany brothy soups that aren't hearty enough for cornbread.

4 to 4 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1-2 tsp salt
1 tbs. olive oil
Coarse salt and/or Italian herbs
For the sponge: in a bowl combine 1/2 c. of the flour, the 1/2 c. warm water, and the yeast. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand overnight (or at least 2 hours) at room temperature to ferment.

Gradually stir in the 1 c. warm water, the salt, and just enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double (~1 hour)

Turn dough out onto a baking sheet or pizza peel WELL covered with flour or cornmeal (you'll have to slide the dough off of it, so make sure you can move it easily). Place an extra large bowl upside down over the dough to cover it; let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven and baking stone to 475 degrees.

Shape dough on baking sheet into a circle about 11 inches in diameter by pulling and pressing with your fingertips. (Don't stretch dough too roughly or it will deflate; you want to keep air bubbles intact.) Make 1/2-inch-deep indentations every 2 inches in dough. Brush dough with olive oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and/or spices. Carefully slide focaccia from baking sheet to preheated bread stone.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden, checking after 8 minutes and popping any large air bubbles with a sharp knife. Remove foccacia from bread stone with large spatulas. Cool on a wire rack ~15 minutes. Serve warm.

From: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
This is a easy, light-ish coffeecake with a distinct almond flavor. Other berries could also be used such as frozen cherries, raspberries, etc. 8 servings is a little optimistic, we got around 6 out of it.

1  cup  all-purpose flour
1/2  cup  granulated sugar
3/4  teaspoon  baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1 1/2  cup  fresh blueberries, divided
2/3  cup  low-fat buttermilk
2  tablespoons  butter or stick margarine, melted
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/4  teaspoon  almond extract
1  large egg
Cooking spray
1/4  cup  sliced almonds
1  tablespoon  brown sugar
1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add 1 cup blueberries, and toss well. Combine buttermilk, butter, extracts, and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until flour mixture is moist.

Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Top with 1/2 cup blueberries.

Combine almonds, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

8 servings (serving size: 1 (2-inch) square)
Calories: 188 (27% from fat)
Fat: 5.7g (sat 2.4g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.6g)
Original recipe

These biscotti are not too sweet, but full of banana flavor. Basically banana bread in dip-able form. Serve with coffee, tea, or milk.

1 3/4 -2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine banana, oil, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl; stir in flour mixture and pecans (dough will be sticky).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; shape dough into 2 (8-inch-long) rolls with floured hands. Place rolls on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake at 350° for 23 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut each roll diagonally into 12 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 250°; bake 15 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 15 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes ~2 dozen
Nutritional Information
Calories: 72 (25% from fat)
Fat: 2g (sat 0.3g,mono 1g,poly 0.6g)

Original recipe

Unlike traditional tortillas with just flour, oil. and water, these are made with baking powder to help them puff and milk to add a chewier texture. The result: almost as good as the ones I remember from Austin. =)

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil ( I used 1 TBS)
3/4 cups of warm milk
In a mixing bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the warm milk and oil. Knead until it forms a ball.
If need be, add a bit more milk especially if your dough is too stiff. Knead for an additional 2 minutes. The dough should be soft and supple.

Place dough in a bowl and cover plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

Form into 8 balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for an additional 10 minutes (optional).

Lightly flour your counter take a ball and roll out into a thin circle.

Heat skillet on high and then lower to med/low and place the tortilla to cook for thirty seconds on each side. It should puff a bit and form bubbles.

Keep cooked tortillas covered ...this will help them to not dry out. You can easily freeze the tortillas, especially if you double or triple the recipe.
Original recipe


Naan is a puffy Indian flatbread, similar to a pita, but lighter in texture. It's traditionally cooked at a high heat in a clay oven. This recipe uses a bread stone in a 500 degree oven with similar results. Note that the dough has a rise time of 3-4 hours, so make the dough just after lunch if you're planning on serving it for dinner. The buttery soft bread is a perfect accompaniment to spicy Indian dishes like Spicy Indian Soup (Mulligatawny).

2 cups of All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of baking soda
2 tablespoons of oil
2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt (curd or dahi)
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of clear butter or ghee to butter the Naan
1/4 cup All Purpose flour for rolling
Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.

Add sugar, salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well.
Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.
Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough. Note: after dough rise will become little softer.

Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.

Heat the oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot. Using a pizza stone will help to give naan close to same kind of heat as clay tandoor. Next turn the oven to high broil.

Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.

Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flipp them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven. You can place about 2 Naan on the baking/pizza stone at a time. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked(Naan should be golden brown color on top).

Take naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee. Wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.

makes about 6

Original recipe (with instructional video)

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