The Bread is in the Baking

Rikki Wynn - Baker and actor, currently living in Portland, OR.

If you like what you see please follow and like my blog on facebook.

Question or comments about the cooking?

When we processed the hens and were taking out the insides I kept repeating “did you save the liver? I want to make pâté!”
I’m pretty sure my friends were a little annoyed by it. But I’ve never made pâté before and fresh chicken livers seemed like the best way to get started.
I looked online for some recipes, but all of them called for far more chicken liver than I had and so many ingredients and usually had bacon in them. Which is totally fine, I like bacon as much as the next Portlander, but I wanted something simple. So I came up with my own recipe. I chose ingredients that I like and that I thought would bring out the flavor of the liver. I think I did a good job. The pâté is rich and smooth and the sage adds a brightness to it.
Chicken Liver, Mushroom and Sage Pâté
5.5 oz chicken liver
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 a small yellow onion, diced
5 small cremini mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup red table wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp fresh sage and a few whole leaves to garnish
Melt the butter and add the onions in a small pan. Sauté the onions until they begin to brown. Add the mushrooms and liver. Sauté until they begin to brown as well and then add the wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the wine is reduced. Put everything in a food processor and process until smooth. Fill 3 ramekins with the paté and cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill. Once the paté has chilled, eat it spread on some nice bread.
Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

When we processed the hens and were taking out the insides I kept repeating “did you save the liver? I want to make pâté!”

I’m pretty sure my friends were a little annoyed by it. But I’ve never made pâté before and fresh chicken livers seemed like the best way to get started.

I looked online for some recipes, but all of them called for far more chicken liver than I had and so many ingredients and usually had bacon in them. Which is totally fine, I like bacon as much as the next Portlander, but I wanted something simple. So I came up with my own recipe. I chose ingredients that I like and that I thought would bring out the flavor of the liver. I think I did a good job. The pâté is rich and smooth and the sage adds a brightness to it.

Chicken Liver, Mushroom and Sage Pâté

5.5 oz chicken liver

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 a small yellow onion, diced

5 small cremini mushrooms, diced

1/4 cup red table wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp fresh sage and a few whole leaves to garnish

Melt the butter and add the onions in a small pan. Sauté the onions until they begin to brown. Add the mushrooms and liver. Sauté until they begin to brown as well and then add the wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the wine is reduced. Put everything in a food processor and process until smooth. Fill 3 ramekins with the paté and cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill. Once the paté has chilled, eat it spread on some nice bread.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

November 15, 2013 @ 8:33 PM 2 notes

I stumbled upon a recipe for deep fried olives on the internet and I knew I wanted them.
However, I hate making fried food. it’s so messy and leaves the house smelling like grease. Who wants that? The kitchen is also right next to my bedroom so my room occasionally takes on the smell of the kitchen. I did not want my room smelling like fried olives.
 I then found them at a bar in Seattle and tried them: they were just as good as I thought.
Finally I realized there was a very easy fix. Fry them up outside! I have a deep fryer, so I don’t need the stove top. All I needed was an extension cord!
The amounts for this recipe are suggestions, not solid amounts. Moving the olives from the flour to eggs/milk to the bread crumbs tends to gum things up a bit, so add more bread crumbs as you need them. And while you’re at it, might as well fry some other things up too! I chose to fry some button mushrooms up too.
Fried Green Olives
5 1/2 oz jar of green olives (stuffed or not- depending on what you like)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk or 1 egg well beaten
Vegetable oil for frying - if you’re using a deep fryer, you’ll need about 3 cups, if you’re using a pan, you’ll need just enough to so that your olives are about half covered by the oil in the pan.
Strain your olives and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set up 4 wide bowls - one with flour, one with egg/milk, one with bread crumbs and salt and pepper and the last bowl with paper towels for after the olives are fried.
First, toss all your olives in the flour until they are all lightly coated, then into the egg/milk and then into the bread crumbs.
While you’re doing this, you can heat up the oil, or you can choose to do it afterwards, since oil heats up fast (and hot oil is really scary).
Check the temp of your oil by placing a bread crumb into the oil. Does the oil bubble around the bread crumb? Add the olives to the oil. If not, wait till the oil does begin to bubble around the bread crumb. When your olives are in the oil rotate them every 10 seconds to make sure they are browning evenly. With a slotted spoon, strain the olives out of the oil as they brown into the bowl with the paper towel.
Wait about 10 minutes before you start eating these- the inside can get very hot!
Fried olives are best served with a little aioli or spicy mustard.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 20 minutes

For more food photos please check out my facebook page! I promise the rest of them aren’t instagram photos. View Larger

I stumbled upon a recipe for deep fried olives on the internet and I knew I wanted them.

However, I hate making fried food. it’s so messy and leaves the house smelling like grease. Who wants that? The kitchen is also right next to my bedroom so my room occasionally takes on the smell of the kitchen. I did not want my room smelling like fried olives.

 I then found them at a bar in Seattle and tried them: they were just as good as I thought.

Finally I realized there was a very easy fix. Fry them up outside! I have a deep fryer, so I don’t need the stove top. All I needed was an extension cord!

The amounts for this recipe are suggestions, not solid amounts. Moving the olives from the flour to eggs/milk to the bread crumbs tends to gum things up a bit, so add more bread crumbs as you need them. And while you’re at it, might as well fry some other things up too! I chose to fry some button mushrooms up too.

Fried Green Olives

5 1/2 oz jar of green olives (stuffed or not- depending on what you like)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup milk or 1 egg well beaten

Vegetable oil for frying - if you’re using a deep fryer, you’ll need about 3 cups, if you’re using a pan, you’ll need just enough to so that your olives are about half covered by the oil in the pan.

Strain your olives and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set up 4 wide bowls - one with flour, one with egg/milk, one with bread crumbs and salt and pepper and the last bowl with paper towels for after the olives are fried.

First, toss all your olives in the flour until they are all lightly coated, then into the egg/milk and then into the bread crumbs.

While you’re doing this, you can heat up the oil, or you can choose to do it afterwards, since oil heats up fast (and hot oil is really scary).

Check the temp of your oil by placing a bread crumb into the oil. Does the oil bubble around the bread crumb? Add the olives to the oil. If not, wait till the oil does begin to bubble around the bread crumb. When your olives are in the oil rotate them every 10 seconds to make sure they are browning evenly. With a slotted spoon, strain the olives out of the oil as they brown into the bowl with the paper towel.

Wait about 10 minutes before you start eating these- the inside can get very hot!

Fried olives are best served with a little aioli or spicy mustard.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 20 minutes

For more food photos please check out my facebook page! I promise the rest of them aren’t instagram photos.

May 17, 2013 @ 1:05 PM 2 notes

Since it’s fall, I also wanted to talk about baking bread in the cold.
Baking in the summer/spring is really easy. It’s nice and warm outside, so your bread rises quickly left out on the counter. However, in the winter, bread won’t always rise so well because your house isn’t as warm. A nice way to help your bread along is to turn your oven on it’s lowest possible setting for about 5-10 minutes (till the oven is about 70-85°F. Then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven. This is also a quick way to get dough that you’ve let sit overnight in the fridge back to room temp.
Now to talk about this recipe:
These are a nice fall twist on your basic dinner rolls. The rolls only have a hint of pumpkin. They taste great right out of the oven or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese. I might add a little bit of whole wheat flour next time I make them to give them more of a bite.
I didn’t change any ingredients from the original recipe. I don’t wait for my yeast to froth, I know it’s alive, so I just added all the wet ingredients together at once.
Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Yields 12 buns
1/2 cup (118 ml) barely warm milk 2 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 large egg 1 cup (245 grams) pumpkin puree (recipe here!)2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups bread flour
In a large bowl Stir the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter, spices, salt and yeast. Gradually add bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball.
Knead the dough for ten minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve hot.
Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours View Larger

Since it’s fall, I also wanted to talk about baking bread in the cold.

Baking in the summer/spring is really easy. It’s nice and warm outside, so your bread rises quickly left out on the counter. However, in the winter, bread won’t always rise so well because your house isn’t as warm. A nice way to help your bread along is to turn your oven on it’s lowest possible setting for about 5-10 minutes (till the oven is about 70-85°F. Then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven. This is also a quick way to get dough that you’ve let sit overnight in the fridge back to room temp.

Now to talk about this recipe:

These are a nice fall twist on your basic dinner rolls. The rolls only have a hint of pumpkin. They taste great right out of the oven or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese. I might add a little bit of whole wheat flour next time I make them to give them more of a bite.

I didn’t change any ingredients from the original recipe. I don’t wait for my yeast to froth, I know it’s alive, so I just added all the wet ingredients together at once.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Yields 12 buns

1/2 cup (118 ml) barely warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 cup (245 grams) pumpkin puree (recipe here!)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour

In a large bowl Stir the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter, spices, salt and yeast. Gradually add bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball.

Knead the dough for ten minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve hot.

Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours

October 31, 2012 @ 4:16 PM 5 notes

One of my friends loves olive bread.
How can you blame him? It’s pretty tasty. When we go grocery shopping together he grabs one of the olive rolls as we are about to get in the check out line, munches on it as we wait and exclaims how awesome olive bread is.
He moved recently, so he doesn’t live near that grocery store anymore which means he hasn’t been getting his olive bread fix. He’s also just started nursing school and he has a lot of homework, so I haven’t seen him much. I texted him earlier this week and gave him grief about not seeing him for the last month. He apologized and said I could come over for dinner that night. I could tell he was really stressed, so before I headed over to his place I made some olive bread dough. He said it helped a lot.
This is a very simple recipe and the dough is nice and light. The addition of whole wheat flour give it a really nice mouth. The next time I make it, I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days so that it gets a bit more of a tang to it.
Feel free to check out the original recipe to see what I changed. I changed some of the proofing times and when ingredients were added. I also made bread rolls rather than loaves.
Also, the butcher blocks at my house are ridiculously stained with blackberries, and it was late at night when I finished the rolls so my attention to cleaning off the counter was a little lacking. I might replace the picture later, but I really wanted to get the recipe up.
Olive and Rosemary Bread Rolls
16 oz white bread flour
6 oz whole wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
6 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
415 ml warm water
2 tbs honey
1 tsp of olive oil for greasing
Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt together. Pour the water/yeast/honey mixture over the flour and mix it in with your hands or with the dough hook on a standard mixer until the dough comes together into a soft ball. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.
Pour 1 tsp olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn the dough in the olive oil until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 14x6 inches.
Cover the rectangle of dough with olive pieces and rosemary. Carefully roll the dough up into a ball and knead the dough a couple of times to work the olives and rosemary evenly into the dough.
Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.
Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into balls the size of your fist (you’ll get about 10 rolls out of this). Carefully shape each roll into a ball or rectangle (whichever shape your prefer), on a wooden cutting board covered in parchment. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 430° F.
Place a large pan upside down inside the oven on the middle rack and another pan at the bottom of the oven, right side up.
Remove the plastic wrap on the rolls and make light slash marks in the center of each roll. Spray the rolls lightly with water and move them and the parchment paper on the upside-down pan.
Right before you close the oven, pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and quickly close the oven.
Check on the rolls after 15 minutes. Make sure there is still water in the bottom tray and spray them with a little bit more water and close the oven again. Check the rolls every 5 minutes after this until the rolls are a golden brown. They should be done after the first 5 minutes, but it may take a little longer.
Remove the rolls from the oven onto a cooling rack.
Let cool for a while (if you can) and eat!
Total Time: About 3 hours (welcome to let dough proof longer at any time in the fridge, just let it come back to room temp before baking) View Larger

One of my friends loves olive bread.

How can you blame him? It’s pretty tasty. When we go grocery shopping together he grabs one of the olive rolls as we are about to get in the check out line, munches on it as we wait and exclaims how awesome olive bread is.

He moved recently, so he doesn’t live near that grocery store anymore which means he hasn’t been getting his olive bread fix. He’s also just started nursing school and he has a lot of homework, so I haven’t seen him much. I texted him earlier this week and gave him grief about not seeing him for the last month. He apologized and said I could come over for dinner that night. I could tell he was really stressed, so before I headed over to his place I made some olive bread dough. He said it helped a lot.

This is a very simple recipe and the dough is nice and light. The addition of whole wheat flour give it a really nice mouth. The next time I make it, I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days so that it gets a bit more of a tang to it.

Feel free to check out the original recipe to see what I changed. I changed some of the proofing times and when ingredients were added. I also made bread rolls rather than loaves.

Also, the butcher blocks at my house are ridiculously stained with blackberries, and it was late at night when I finished the rolls so my attention to cleaning off the counter was a little lacking. I might replace the picture later, but I really wanted to get the recipe up.

Olive and Rosemary Bread Rolls

16 oz white bread flour

6 oz whole wheat flour

2 tsp yeast

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh rosemary

6 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

415 ml warm water

2 tbs honey

1 tsp of olive oil for greasing

Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt together. Pour the water/yeast/honey mixture over the flour and mix it in with your hands or with the dough hook on a standard mixer until the dough comes together into a soft ball. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.

Pour 1 tsp olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn the dough in the olive oil until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 14x6 inches.

Cover the rectangle of dough with olive pieces and rosemary. Carefully roll the dough up into a ball and knead the dough a couple of times to work the olives and rosemary evenly into the dough.

Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.

Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into balls the size of your fist (you’ll get about 10 rolls out of this). Carefully shape each roll into a ball or rectangle (whichever shape your prefer), on a wooden cutting board covered in parchment. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 430° F.

Place a large pan upside down inside the oven on the middle rack and another pan at the bottom of the oven, right side up.

Remove the plastic wrap on the rolls and make light slash marks in the center of each roll. Spray the rolls lightly with water and move them and the parchment paper on the upside-down pan.

Right before you close the oven, pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and quickly close the oven.

Check on the rolls after 15 minutes. Make sure there is still water in the bottom tray and spray them with a little bit more water and close the oven again. Check the rolls every 5 minutes after this until the rolls are a golden brown. They should be done after the first 5 minutes, but it may take a little longer.

Remove the rolls from the oven onto a cooling rack.

Let cool for a while (if you can) and eat!

Total Time: About 3 hours (welcome to let dough proof longer at any time in the fridge, just let it come back to room temp before baking)

October 11, 2012 @ 3:23 PM 55 notes

It’s amazing how much milk you use to get a ball of mozzarella the size of a small cantaloupe.
You need a gallon of milk, to be exact.
I didn’t realize how easy it is to make mozzarella. Apparently ricotta is the easiest cheese to make, but as much as I love ricotta, I set my eyes on mozzarella. I’ve been wanting to make mozzarella since I saw this video. However, using a microwave to make cheese creeps me out, so trying to make mozzarella was set on the back burner.
I’ve been working at a store that sells cheese making supplies and I finally decided that it was time to give it a shot. You don’t need many items to make cheese. However they are all necessary, which is why I’m putting everything you need in the list of ingredients. I used a recipe from the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll.
The recipe I used said to use a slotted spoon for straining the cheese curds, but I chose to use cheese cloth instead. Other than that, I did not mess with this recipe, I don’t know nearly enough about cheese to start changing things… yet.
I suggest you read through the recipe and set up everything close to the stove.
Mozzarella
1 1/2 tsp of citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup of cool water
1 gallon whole milk
1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup unchlorinated water
1/4 cup kosher salt (or more to taste)
A candy thermometer
A large stock pot
About half a yard of #50 cheese cloth
A large bowl
A strainer
Heat the milk up to 55 degrees F and stir in the citric acid solution. Continue stirring the milk, heat it to 90 degrees F and then take it off the burner. Slowly stir in the diluted rennet in an up and down motion for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Check the curd, there should be a clear separation between the curds and the whey. If there isn’t, let it sit for a couple minutes longer. Break the curd up, set the pot back on the burner and heat the curds up to 110 degrees F while gently stirring the curds. Remove the pot from the heat and stir the curds slowly for about 3 minutes.
Place the strainer in the large bowl and cover the strainer with the cheese cloth. Pour the curds in the pot through the cheese cloth/strainer. Gather up the sides of the cheese cloth and squeeze as much of the whey out of the curds as you can. Pour the whey back into the pot, stir in 1/4 cup of salt and bring the whey up to at least 175 degrees F.
Careful this next part gets hot!
Dip the curds in the whey for a couple seconds and then knead the curds with your hands and repeat until the curds come together to form a smooth elastic ball. When the cheese can be stretched like taffy, it is done.
Either eat it now (so tasty) or place the ball of mozzarella in a cold water bath and store in the fridge.
Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

It’s amazing how much milk you use to get a ball of mozzarella the size of a small cantaloupe.

You need a gallon of milk, to be exact.

I didn’t realize how easy it is to make mozzarella. Apparently ricotta is the easiest cheese to make, but as much as I love ricotta, I set my eyes on mozzarella. I’ve been wanting to make mozzarella since I saw this video. However, using a microwave to make cheese creeps me out, so trying to make mozzarella was set on the back burner.

I’ve been working at a store that sells cheese making supplies and I finally decided that it was time to give it a shot. You don’t need many items to make cheese. However they are all necessary, which is why I’m putting everything you need in the list of ingredients. I used a recipe from the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll.

The recipe I used said to use a slotted spoon for straining the cheese curds, but I chose to use cheese cloth instead. Other than that, I did not mess with this recipe, I don’t know nearly enough about cheese to start changing things… yet.

I suggest you read through the recipe and set up everything close to the stove.

Mozzarella

1 1/2 tsp of citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup of cool water

1 gallon whole milk

1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup unchlorinated water

1/4 cup kosher salt (or more to taste)

A candy thermometer

A large stock pot

About half a yard of #50 cheese cloth

A large bowl

A strainer

Heat the milk up to 55 degrees F and stir in the citric acid solution. Continue stirring the milk, heat it to 90 degrees F and then take it off the burner. Slowly stir in the diluted rennet in an up and down motion for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Check the curd, there should be a clear separation between the curds and the whey. If there isn’t, let it sit for a couple minutes longer. Break the curd up, set the pot back on the burner and heat the curds up to 110 degrees F while gently stirring the curds. Remove the pot from the heat and stir the curds slowly for about 3 minutes.

Place the strainer in the large bowl and cover the strainer with the cheese cloth. Pour the curds in the pot through the cheese cloth/strainer. Gather up the sides of the cheese cloth and squeeze as much of the whey out of the curds as you can. Pour the whey back into the pot, stir in 1/4 cup of salt and bring the whey up to at least 175 degrees F.

Careful this next part gets hot!

Dip the curds in the whey for a couple seconds and then knead the curds with your hands and repeat until the curds come together to form a smooth elastic ball. When the cheese can be stretched like taffy, it is done.

Either eat it now (so tasty) or place the ball of mozzarella in a cold water bath and store in the fridge.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

June 18, 2012 @ 10:50 PM 6 notes

Focaccia!
It just rolls off the tongue so nicely doesn’t it?
This bread is wonderful with soup, salad, to make sandwiches.. or just because you want bread. Which is why I made it.
Focaccia is tasty, easy to make and it comes out with a light airy crumb underneath a thin crispy crust. The original recipe called for thyme, but I used oregano instead and I added some thinly sliced tomatoes to the top. The next time I make it I will probably sprinkle Parmesan over it too (unless you’re vegan).
Oregano Focaccia
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbs sugar
5 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little more to brush over the bread)
2 tsp salt
1 tbs dried oregano
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Using a standard mixer with a dough hook (or your hands) slowly mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding the flour a 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth ball of dough begins to form.
When the ball of dough has formed, lightly dust your hands with flour and gently knead the dough into a ball. Coat a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, coating the dough with the olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let the dough rise till it has doubled in size (1 hour-1 1/2 hours).
Cover a 15”x10” baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough out so that it fits evenly within the sheet. Cover the now flattened dough again and let rise for another hour.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 F and cut a tomato into thin, even slices. Before you put the dough in the oven, brush it lightly with more olive oil, places the tomato slices evenly across the dough and sprinkle it with some salt.
Bake the focaccia in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack immediately after taking it out of the oven.
Total Time: About 3 hours View Larger

Focaccia!

It just rolls off the tongue so nicely doesn’t it?

This bread is wonderful with soup, salad, to make sandwiches.. or just because you want bread. Which is why I made it.

Focaccia is tasty, easy to make and it comes out with a light airy crumb underneath a thin crispy crust. The original recipe called for thyme, but I used oregano instead and I added some thinly sliced tomatoes to the top. The next time I make it I will probably sprinkle Parmesan over it too (unless you’re vegan).

Oregano Focaccia

1 3/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 tbs sugar

5 cups flour

1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little more to brush over the bread)

2 tsp salt

1 tbs dried oregano

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Using a standard mixer with a dough hook (or your hands) slowly mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding the flour a 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth ball of dough begins to form.

When the ball of dough has formed, lightly dust your hands with flour and gently knead the dough into a ball. Coat a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, coating the dough with the olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let the dough rise till it has doubled in size (1 hour-1 1/2 hours).

Cover a 15”x10” baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough out so that it fits evenly within the sheet. Cover the now flattened dough again and let rise for another hour.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 F and cut a tomato into thin, even slices. Before you put the dough in the oven, brush it lightly with more olive oil, places the tomato slices evenly across the dough and sprinkle it with some salt.

Bake the focaccia in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack immediately after taking it out of the oven.

Total Time: About 3 hours

March 14, 2012 @ 2:20 AM 3 notes

This makes for a lovely appetizer!
So I started looking at this blog Roost, which has some awesome pictures and creative recipes. I really wanted to make her recipe for Rainbow Chard Tartlets because it just looked so delicious, so it’s been on my brain for about a week. Unfortunately, almond meal is really really expensive. It’s $10 for a pound. So I had to get even more creative than her recipe and ended up melding it with another recipe found here.
So instead I give you this, probably equally as tasty, but a little different.
Rainbow Chard Tart with a Polenta Rosemary Crust
Crust
1 Cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tbs rosemary
3/4 Cup Polenta or Corn Grits
1 Egg
Fresh Ground Pepper
Filling
1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems and leaves chopped
1 onion, diced
1 big garlic clove minced
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
2 TBSP olive oil
Bring the broth, water and salt to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta  and continue to stir. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10  minutes and stir every two minutes to prevent the bottom from burning. Turn  off the heat and let it sit, covered, another 5 minutes. Stir in the  cheese, egg and lots of fresh ground pepper. It should be thick. Allow  it to settle another 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9” pie plate/tart pan. Transfer the polenta  to the pie plate and using wet fingers, press to form a crust in an even  layer on the bottom and up the sides.
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 oregano.  Cook for 7-10 minutes until the stems are tender. Add the garlic and  cook for another 30 seconds or so and then 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 and Add the cooled chard mixture. Mix well and scrape the  filling into the prepared shell.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until set.
Total Time: A little over an hour View Larger

This makes for a lovely appetizer!

So I started looking at this blog Roost, which has some awesome pictures and creative recipes. I really wanted to make her recipe for Rainbow Chard Tartlets because it just looked so delicious, so it’s been on my brain for about a week. Unfortunately, almond meal is really really expensive. It’s $10 for a pound. So I had to get even more creative than her recipe and ended up melding it with another recipe found here.

So instead I give you this, probably equally as tasty, but a little different.

Rainbow Chard Tart with a Polenta Rosemary Crust

Crust

1 Cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 Cup Water

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 tbs rosemary

3/4 Cup Polenta or Corn Grits

1 Egg

Fresh Ground Pepper

Filling

1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems and leaves chopped

1 onion, diced

1 big garlic clove minced

3 large eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

2 TBSP olive oil

Bring the broth, water and salt to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta and continue to stir. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes and stir every two minutes to prevent the bottom from burning. Turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, another 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, egg and lots of fresh ground pepper. It should be thick. Allow it to settle another 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9” pie plate/tart pan. Transfer the polenta to the pie plate and using wet fingers, press to form a crust in an even layer on the bottom and up the sides.

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 oregano. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the stems are tender. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so and then 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 and Add the cooled chard mixture. Mix well and scrape the filling into the prepared shell.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until set.

Total Time: A little over an hour

December 19, 2011 @ 11:59 PM 9 notes

It’s  a beautiful Saturday in Portland OR, and I have finally gotten into the  swing of living in a house off campus. 
Our kitchen is small, but it’s mine so I’m not going to complain (and then I started to complain and stopped baking there and it was horrible). I don’t have to worry about someone  stealing my knives when I leave them in the kitchen (I thought this and then realized, I totally did). I’m also loving my  housemates, so that’s good too (and then I didn’t).Today, my cooking in crime  companion, Eddie, and I decided to throw health to the wind and pull out  the deep fryer my mom gave me. This is the first time I’ve used it  since I got it 4 months ago. It just sat in my dorm room ominously  staring at me from below my desk.
But we used it and none of us got burnt (too badly, Eddie said he kept feeling it hit his chin).This recipe is easy and tasty, we used pepper jack cheese instead of the Cheddar found at the blog Whisk the Pantry.Jalapeno Poppers8 Jalapeno, seeded
3 tbsp cream cheese, softed
3 tbs pepper jack cheese cut into long rectangular sticks the size of each of your Jalapenos
1/2 Cup milk
1 Cup crushed panko
1/3 Cup flouroil for deep frying
Coring the jalapenos can be a  bit of trouble. Using a small knife works really well and don’t worry  about cutting the sides of the pepper, it doesn’t create much of a  problem. Spoon the cream cheese into the  jalapeno and then shove a stick of pepper jack into each jalapeno. Dip  the stuffed jalapeno first into  milk and then into the flour. Wait for  several minutes for the flour dry  out slightly. Then, dip it into the  milk again and now into the crushed  panko. You can repeat the milk  & panko step twice to get a nice  thicker panko crust. Wait for the  coat to dry out slightly between the  steps. In a medium pan, heat the  oil to 365F and deep fry the jalapeno  for 2-3 minutes or until golden  brown.Total Time: 20 minutes  (Picture taken by Eddie Barksdale) View Larger

It’s a beautiful Saturday in Portland OR, and I have finally gotten into the swing of living in a house off campus.

Our kitchen is small, but it’s mine so I’m not going to complain (and then I started to complain and stopped baking there and it was horrible). I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my knives when I leave them in the kitchen (I thought this and then realized, I totally did). I’m also loving my housemates, so that’s good too (and then I didn’t).
Today, my cooking in crime companion, Eddie, and I decided to throw health to the wind and pull out the deep fryer my mom gave me. This is the first time I’ve used it since I got it 4 months ago. It just sat in my dorm room ominously staring at me from below my desk.

But we used it and none of us got burnt (too badly, Eddie said he kept feeling it hit his chin).
This recipe is easy and tasty, we used pepper jack cheese instead of the Cheddar found at the blog Whisk the Pantry.

Jalapeno Poppers
8 Jalapeno, seeded

3 tbsp cream cheese, softed

3 tbs pepper jack cheese cut into long rectangular sticks the size of each of your Jalapenos

1/2 Cup milk

1 Cup crushed panko

1/3 Cup flouroil for deep frying

Coring the jalapenos can be a bit of trouble. Using a small knife works really well and don’t worry about cutting the sides of the pepper, it doesn’t create much of a problem. 
Spoon the cream cheese into the jalapeno and then shove a stick of pepper jack into each jalapeno. Dip the stuffed jalapeno first into milk and then into the flour. Wait for several minutes for the flour dry out slightly. Then, dip it into the milk again and now into the crushed panko. You can repeat the milk & panko step twice to get a nice thicker panko crust. Wait for the coat to dry out slightly between the steps. In a medium pan, heat the oil to 365F and deep fry the jalapeno for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Total Time: 20 minutes  
(Picture taken by Eddie Barksdale)

October 23, 2011 @ 4:57 PM 5 notes

I’ve been meaning to make this bread for the last couple of weeks, but I  haven’t had time. Now I’m back at school and finally have a day to  relax.
I got all the ingredients and my friend Eddie and I got down to  business. This is a ingredient intensive bread, so get ready to do some  shopping! Overall we stuck with the original recipe,  we cut back on the flour by 3/4 of a cup and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and  added garlic to the filling and I don’t have a cake pan at school so we  used my mini loaf pans instead. The downside of using the small pans is that not all the tomato pieces  stayed with the bread, so we left it with the tomatoes on the bottom  when we served it. I’ll have to invest in my own cake pan and make it  the way it’s supposed to be done and see if it makes a difference. The  upside of doing it this way is that makes portions really easy. I used 5  mini pans which made 10 portions.Upside-Down Tomato Basil BreadDough 2 1/2 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepperFilling 4-5 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (basil from store produce pkg, about 1 oz) 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (or three-pepper mix) fresh-ground red pepper flakes, to your more hot/less hot taste -or- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakesTomato Topping 3 large or 4 small-medium tomatoesMake Bread Dough: Stir the yeast into warm water in mixer bowl; let stand about 10  minutes, until yeast looks bubbled and creamy. Fit mixer with dough  hook. Stir in olive oil first, combining with yeast, then mix in flour,  Parmesan cheese, sea salt, ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes.  Kneading about 5 minutes, until dough is combined, soft and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap, then  dish towel. Set aside and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Dough  should feel very smooth, moist and soft. You can start making the filling and cutting up the tomatoes for the  topping while the dough rises. You won’t need more than 45 minutes to  prep and make the filling.Make Filling: In small bowl, place chopped fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil,  sea salt, ground pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well, and  set aside.Tomato Topping: Remove cores and chop tomatoes to small, rough pieces. Place in bowl (without accumulated liquid) and set aside.Assemble Tomato Basil Bread Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Lightly oil (with olive oil) bottom and sides of 10″ round cake or  springform pan (can also use 9 x 13 metal pan, Pyrex dish, or similar).  Drain any excess juices from chopped tomatoes, then spread evenly over  bottom of pan. Set aside. Turn risen bread dough out on lightly floured surface. Gently pull and  stretch dough to a rough rectangle, approximately 11″ x 24″. Using  spatula, gently spread Filling evenly across dough to cover, reaching  edges. Starting at long edge, roll dough up jelly roll style, as for  cinnamon rolls. Try to roll evenly and without air gaps. With seam side  facing down, make sure filled roll is solid and combined by patting  sides and edges. Using a thin, sharp knife (serrated is best) cut 1″ slices from dough  roll. Arrange slices, spiral side down, on top of chopped tomatoes in  prepared pan. In a 10″ round pan, you will have little to no room  between slices (if using a larger pan, arrange slices barely touching,  with small amounts of space between them.) Cover lightly with plastic  wrap and allow to rise slightly, about 20 minutes. Place filled pan on wider sheet pan or foil (important – to catch  drips!) Bake on lower rack 40 – 45 minutes, until top rolls are medium  brown, feel hollow when tapped, and tomato juices have bubbled and  thickened. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 5 minutes.Total Time: 4 hours Picture courtesy of Eddie Barksdale View Larger

I’ve been meaning to make this bread for the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t had time. Now I’m back at school and finally have a day to relax.

I got all the ingredients and my friend Eddie and I got down to business. This is a ingredient intensive bread, so get ready to do some shopping!

Overall we stuck with the original recipe, we cut back on the flour by 3/4 of a cup and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and added garlic to the filling and I don’t have a cake pan at school so we used my mini loaf pans instead.

The downside of using the small pans is that not all the tomato pieces stayed with the bread, so we left it with the tomatoes on the bottom when we served it. I’ll have to invest in my own cake pan and make it the way it’s supposed to be done and see if it makes a difference. The upside of doing it this way is that makes portions really easy. I used 5 mini pans which made 10 portions.

Upside-Down Tomato Basil Bread

Dough

2 1/2 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


Filling

4-5 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (basil from store produce pkg, about 1 oz)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (or three-pepper mix)
fresh-ground red pepper flakes, to your more hot/less hot taste -or- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Tomato Topping

3 large or 4 small-medium tomatoes


Make Bread Dough:

Stir the yeast into warm water in mixer bowl; let stand about 10 minutes, until yeast looks bubbled and creamy. Fit mixer with dough hook. Stir in olive oil first, combining with yeast, then mix in flour, Parmesan cheese, sea salt, ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes. Kneading about 5 minutes, until dough is combined, soft and elastic.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap, then dish towel. Set aside and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Dough should feel very smooth, moist and soft.

You can start making the filling and cutting up the tomatoes for the topping while the dough rises. You won’t need more than 45 minutes to prep and make the filling.

Make Filling:

In small bowl, place chopped fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well, and set aside.

Tomato Topping:

Remove cores and chop tomatoes to small, rough pieces. Place in bowl (without accumulated liquid) and set aside.

Assemble Tomato Basil Bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Lightly oil (with olive oil) bottom and sides of 10″ round cake or springform pan (can also use 9 x 13 metal pan, Pyrex dish, or similar). Drain any excess juices from chopped tomatoes, then spread evenly over bottom of pan. Set aside.

Turn risen bread dough out on lightly floured surface. Gently pull and stretch dough to a rough rectangle, approximately 11″ x 24″. Using spatula, gently spread Filling evenly across dough to cover, reaching edges. Starting at long edge, roll dough up jelly roll style, as for cinnamon rolls. Try to roll evenly and without air gaps. With seam side facing down, make sure filled roll is solid and combined by patting sides and edges.

Using a thin, sharp knife (serrated is best) cut 1″ slices from dough roll. Arrange slices, spiral side down, on top of chopped tomatoes in prepared pan. In a 10″ round pan, you will have little to no room between slices (if using a larger pan, arrange slices barely touching, with small amounts of space between them.) Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise slightly, about 20 minutes.

Place filled pan on wider sheet pan or foil (important – to catch drips!) Bake on lower rack 40 – 45 minutes, until top rolls are medium brown, feel hollow when tapped, and tomato juices have bubbled and thickened. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 5 minutes.

Total Time: 4 hours

Picture courtesy of Eddie Barksdale

October 23, 2011 @ 1:19 PM 4 notes