Posts Tagged ‘Breads’

From Dish Rachelle:


I love brunch but on a chilly January Sunday, sometimes I love lounging in my sweatpants even more. What’s a Dish to do?

The answer’s surprisingly obvious: if you can’t bring the people to the croque madame, bring the croque madame to the people. To be honest, this isn’t my go-to brunch order (I’m more of an omelette or pancakes kind of girl) but I recently saw two internet recipes that inspired me to give this gourmet ham, egg and cheese another shot.

The first is this breakfast sandwich post from Ideas in Food, one of my husband’s favorite cooking blogs. He sent it to me because he knows there’s a special place in my heart for “Egg in the Bread” aka “Toad in the Hole” because my parents used to make it for me when I was little and I still cook it for us every once in a while.

The second is Ruth Reichl’s grilled cheese recipe from her How to Make it Better series for Gilt Taste. I incorporated many of her suggestions here and as promised, my sandwich was better for it.

I’m not going to get overly precise in my measurements here because seriously, it’s brunch – if we can’t be laid-back before noon on a Sunday, then really, when can we be?

Also: do you know how to make ANYTHING better? Add cats.
Ingredients (serves two)

4 slices country bread

butter for spreading

shredded gruyere cheese (start with about a cup – if you need more, go for it)

1-1 ½ tablespoons chopped shallot

black pepper

2 slices of ham

mayo for spreading

more butter for cooking

2 eggs

Diet food, this isn’t:


Start by layering one slice of bread on top of another and creating a hole in the center using a cookie cutter. Extra points if it’s cat-shaped. Repeat for second sandwich.


Mix together the grated gruyere with the chopped shallots and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.

Butter the inside of each slice of bread. If the butter’s too cold and/or the bread’s too delicate, warm it in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Butter side up, sprinkle a healthy amount of the cheese mixture on two slices of bread (one for each sandwich). Avoid the hole in the center.

Cover the cheese with a slice of ham, tearing it into pieces if necessary to arrange it around the cat.

Sprinkle just a bit more cheese over the ham and then close the sandwich, lining up the holes. Spread a thin layer of mayo on the outside of the bread and flip, carefully, to repeat on the other side.


Once both sandwiches are closed, melt a tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Carefully place your sandwiches in the hot butter and crack an egg in the center of each one.

Cook on one side until golden brown, about 4 minutes, and then flip. Cook until bottom side is golden brown and the egg has reached a desired level of doneness.

Serve immediately, with a nice helping of dressed greens, Brooklyn brunch style.


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From Dish Paige:

Hello and welcome back to Saucy Little Dish! While we’ve been on summer hiatus, I started culinary school and have been very busy making my way through my International Baking and Pastry program. I figured, since I’ve already learned so many new things, I should share a few of them with everybody here.

I just finished a bread course, and one of the things we learned was that bread loves to ferment at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, in 80 percent humidity. Which, if you live in the Northeast, is exactly the temperature outside (and inside if you don’t have central air like me). I know you’re all thinking, “but it’s 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity in my apartment, why would I also turn on the oven?” Well, that’s the beauty of this formula (I call recipes for baking “formulas” now, it’s a professional thing *wink), the English Muffins are cooked on the stovetop!

Ok, so now it’s time to get super technical on you all. There are ten steps to yeast bread production. If you follow these steps, you will get bread. Great bread. Delicious bread. All formulas follow these ten steps. Follow the steps. Follow them and apply them to future bread endeavors:

1. Scaling/Measuring
2. Mixing/Kneading
3. Fermenting
4. Punching
5. Portioning
6. Rounding/Benching
7. Make-up/Shaping
8. Proofing
9. Baking
10. Cooling/Storing

Let’s go!

Milk – 9.25 fl. oz.
Active dry yeast 0.4 oz.
Pastry or cake flour – 1 lb.
Bread flour – 1 lb.
Baking powder – 0.4 oz.
Granulated sugar – 1.25 oz.
Salt – 0.25 oz.
Unsalted butter, room temperature 1.5 oz.
Water – room temperature 9.25 fl. oz.
Cornmeal – as needed for dusting

This formula uses the “sponge” method, which basically means that we are going to create a mini little starter (kinda like a sourdough) and let that get going a little bit before we mix everything together. Let’s go step by step:

Scale out all of your ingredients. Measuring by weight is the most accurate, so here you go.

Now make the sponge: Heat the milk until just scalded. Stir in the active dry yeast, then mix it with the pastry flour. Cover and let ferment about 15 minutes.

Once your sponge has fermented, mix together the rest of the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter and water and add the sponge. You can use your hands or a mixer fitted with a doug hook. Mix for about 3 minutes, then begin kneading for about 7 minutes until the dough is soft and somewhat sticky.

Cover and let your dough sit for 20 minutes wherever it is 80 degrees and humid. The dough should double in size and slowly spring back when poked with your finger.

You can literally punch your dough, or if you want to be nice, fold the outsides of the dough in on itself a few times in order to equalize the temperature. Let the dough rest again, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Here, with other doughs, you would divide it into however many loaves or rolls or whatever you have, keeping the section you’re not working with covered while you work on the rest. With this dough, we’re going to roll out it out to a 1 inch thickness.

Again, with other doughs, you would now take the portioned dough, roll it into a smooth ball and then let it take a nap for about 10 mins, covered. For the English muffins, cover them and let the rolled out dough relax just for a few minutes to relax the gluten strands. Otherwise, you’re going to cut out the shapes and they will shrink on you.

Shape the portioned doughs. For the muffins, cut them into the desired size. You can use biscuit cutters, or something circular that’s close to the size you want and trace it with a paring knife. I used a coffee mug for the small ones, and the top of a Chinese soup take-out container for large, sandwich size ones. Place them on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal and cover.

Let your dough take another nap, covered, until doubled in size.

Bake, or in the case of English muffins, cook on a skillet or in a pan until golden brown, about 3-7 minutes per side. The inside of your bread should be in the temperature range of 190-210 degrees.

You don’t want to put your hot breads in a plastic bag or aluminum foil because they will sweat. Use parchment to wrap them when warm. Once they are cool, use whatever you want! Just remember, bread you make at home will go bad way faster than what you buy at the store, so keep your English muffins in the refrigerator or freeze them for longer storage.

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From Dish Jodi:

Are you guys sick of seeing the top of my clothes dryer in all my Saucy pics? I am. Are you tired of pitying me and my 22 inch stove top and oven? I know I am tired of not being able to have more than two things bubbling on the stove at once, or an oven that JUST FITS a half sheet pan. It’s the end of an era. We’re moving this weekend.

The next time you see me, I will have a new kitchen – brand new – even all the appliances. Well actually, you will probably see me mid-reno – just using the bathroom sink and the grill outside – but THEN I will have a brand new kitchen!

But this week it’s all about packing our house, supervising the workers putting in new lights, floor, paint and getting the RENTAL UNIT ready to go. Yes, we are crazy and bought a duplex. We’ll live in the back and rent out the three bedroom front unit to help cover our mortgage. (I am starting to document this adventure here: http://soweboughtaduplex.blogspot.com/.  EEPS!

My amazing parents came this week to help us out and it’s been wonderful to have them finishing tasks, being around for deliveries and helping us pack. Last night, my mom and I did a big Fridge Clean Out Dinner – We made a mushroom, onion and broccoli fritatta, Neal made a crisp arugula salad and we decided to use up as much of the random crap in our cupboards for dessert. This turned into a quick bread packed with yummy things that may not have had a home in our new place. This was the combo we used – you can put in any stuff you want – chocolate chips? craisins? Other nuts? Use the dry ingredients, eggs and bananas as your base.

We also found a 4-year-old can of Four Loko we bought to try and have been too scared. It’s probably a collectors item. It’s from before they deemed the mix of caffeeine, alcohol, energy drink and what must be liquid plumber illegal. Why not throw that in too?


2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Three old bananas that have been in your freezer for months
2 eggs
4 T butter, melted
One can of contraband Four Loko
One bloop of almond oil because it was in your cupboard and why not
1/2 C of chopped pecans so you can wash that cute glass jar and pack it
1/2 C of toasted coconut from Oliver’s 2nd Birthday Dinosaur cake you made last September
1 C of chopped strawberries that are almost bad after you bought 2 pounds of them on sale this weekend

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Take a swig of Four Loko. Combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mash up the banana in a smaller bowl and mix with eggs, butter and oil. Combine wet and dry and mix until just combined.

Rinse that effort down with a big drink of Four Loko. The fold in the nuts, coconut and berries until evenly distributed.

Put in loaf pan and bake for an hour while you pack 10 boxes or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out dry or your can of Four Loko is more than halfway gone.

Let cool for 15 minutes or so, then turn out and let cool the rest of the way. Keep snagging slices between trips lugging boxes out to the garage. Probably don’t sleep well because you are so hopped up on Four Loko.

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From Dish Gwen:

Making pizza in a home oven can be a disappointment, but I promise you can cook up some extraordinary slices if you’re willing to follow a few rules.

RULE 1: Make your dough from scratch
RULE 2: Use good cheese
RULE 3: Crank your oven up as high as it goes
RULE 4: Put your uncooked pie directly onto a hot surface when it goes into the oven

Because of these rules, it’s going to take a couple hours to do this from start to finish, but it’s worth it.

pizza dough
– tomato sauce (canned tomato puree)
– fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and/or ricotta
– herbs, veggies, meat (it’s pizza – you can put whatever you want on it)
– salt
– olive oil

The dough is the same as my Focaccia recipe, only when it’s time to knead it you cut it up into fist-sized balls using your dough scraper.

Instead of kneading, roll the dough pieces into balls (some people do this in the air by folding the dough upon itself with two hands, others do it by cupping the dough in two hands upside-down on top of a floured surface and rolling it around in a circular motion – both methods take a little practice but it’s ok if the balls aren’t perfect).

Place your dough balls on a floured cookie sheet and cover them with foil or seran wrap so they don’t dry out, and let them rest for another hour.

Crank up your oven to its hottest setting (probably between 500 and 600 degrees). Sprinkle flour on a flat counter top or large cutting board and grab one of your dough balls using your dough scraper. Put the dough down on the floury surface and press the middle flat with your hand, turning it as you press it to create a flat circular disk about 12 to 14” across. Leave the edges untouched so they stay fluffy. Continue this for a while, gently tugging on the dough outwards with one hand while you press and turn it with the other. Feel free to lift the dough and let gravity stretch it out a little, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can toss it into the air like a real pizzaiolo. Just be careful not to poke holes in the dough with your finger tips (although if you do, you can patch it up and it’s not the end of the world).

Throw a large cookie sheet into the oven. If you have a pizza stone, use that instead.

Lay your stretched dough flat on a floured pizza peel or very flat dish (like a tray or upside-down cookie sheet – it’s key that it doesn’t have a raised lip), and spread a tablespoon- or small ladle-full of tomato sauce on it, leaving about an inch of the edge uncovered. I highly recommend going light on the sauce and other toppings, because a swampy, floppy slice of pie is always worse than a crispy one. Lay down a few slices of fresh mozzarella, or maybe some dollops of goat cheese or ricotta (or all of the above), spaced evenly across the pie. Add fresh basil, garlic, sliced mushrooms, and some pepperoni. Sprinkle lightly with salt and olive oil. Whatever you do, don’t dilly-dally because your dough is rapidly soaking up that sauce and it’s going to start sticking to the tray if you don’t move it soon.

It’s time to gently slide the pie onto the very hot surface that’s already in the oven. This can be tricky and awkward, but I’m confident you can figure out how to make it happen, and it’s worth the effort because it means you’ll get a nice crispy golden-brown crust. Cook the pie for 10 minutes or so, until the crust is brown and the cheese is melty. You can continually put pies in the oven and take out cooked ones until all your dough is used up – I’ve fit as many as 4 of these pizzas in my oven at once. When they’re all cooked, take them out of the oven and slide them onto plates or cutting boards, slice them up, and enjoy! Makes about 6 personal pies.

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From Dish Amelia:

About a month ago, my friend Alix (a wise, mischievous, and multi-talented gal) brought a loaf of bread she made to a party. Seems simple and good enough right? However, as soon as I tasted this perfect bread my hunger for it and the ritual of making it has only gotten louder. She pointed me directly to the recipe of Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. There are lots of videos demonstrating the process (the one with Mark Bittman being the most helpful to me) and Flickr pools, and variations to be plunged into. So, I may just be preaching to the choir here, but everyone should try it at least once, if you haven’t already. It takes all of three minutes to put it together, and you bake it the next day whenever you get to it.

3 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water

(and I have been adding a small handful of currants and a teaspoon or more of fennel seeds. ) (I will be adding at turns calamata olives, green chile, and cinnamon in the future…)

In large bowl, place ingredients. Mix with your hands, form into ball. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in warm spot, look at clock and note time. Bread needs 12-20 hours to develop and rise. When it has been this long, flour your work surface, scoop dough onto it, fold on itself a few times, and tuck it into a floured towel. Let rise for an hour or two more.

Twenty minutes before you’re ready to bake, put your oven at 450 and place a heavy lidded pot inside. (I use my red Le Creuset and it has acquired a lovely patina on the interior from this process.) When it is time, take out the pot with mitts, plop the dough in, give it a shake and cover. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes and remove lid for 15 more. Remove bread from pot and let cool. (Optional: you may want to turn off all the lights and listen to the bread for a few minutes as it cracks and hisses adjusting to its new life.) The bread is crusty and flavorful, stretchy and pillowy on the inside, with large holes.

You may want to have a hunk after yoga with some tea, and pretend its the 1970’s. But for real though, this is a bread for the modern person, and you need it. (Don’t knead it.)

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From Dish Danielle:

There are countless things to express gratitude for this time of year, but one thing I’m especially appreciative of is the wisdom of the American Grandmother.

A dear friend and I have been slowly cultivating a side project called ‘The Golden Skillet.’ We seek to preserve the culinary knowledge of our oldest female generations; to capture their personalities, stories, knowledge, and love of home cooking on film. Deborah & I have had the pleasure of working with four ‘Skillets’ so far, and with each one we meet, we are further humbled and inspired by the women we call our grannies, nanas, nonas, and gampies.

Deborah and I launched a Kickstarter account merely three weeks ago, with a goal of raising $5K. As a struggling young professional in the big city, I had my doubts about whether or not we’d reach our goal in 30 days or less. We made 60% of our goal within six days! …And in the last two weeks, our fundraising efforts ticked up past our goal. ‘Hot Stuff!’ as my Nana would say…

This post is in honor and THANKS to not only the incredible grandmother’s we’ve filmed, but to those of you who have given us your support and positive feedback (and I’m not just talking about moolah people) in our Skillet endeavors. THANK YOU, from the bottom of our cast iron, er, I mean, Golden, Skillets.

Ann Fernald’s Cranberry Island Gingerbread (without ginger!).
2/3 c canola oil
1½c sugar
1 large egg
1½c molasses
4 ½ c flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 tsp ground cloves
1½ tsp baking soda
1/3 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 16”x12” pan (or two 9”x13” pans).
Sift all dry ingredients together, including spices (but not including the sugar).

Mix oil, sugar, egg, and molasses with paddle attachment in a stand mixer. An egg-beater will also do, but this batter becomes very stiff and hard to mix by hand… at least for this dish. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet in three separate increments. Mix until just incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape sides of the bowl to be sure all the dry has been incorporated. Measure out buttermilk and add the baking soda to it. Fold buttermilk in by hand with spatula. Mixture should be very stiff.

Spread batter into pan(s) and bake for 30-40 minutes. Ann advises to bake them until just ‘under-done, so they’re chewy.’ You want the toothpick to come out with a little batter on the bottom of it.

Hula-hoop until they’re ready, then share with loved ones you’re grateful for.

Please take a moment and watch Ann Fernald, a total Golden Skillet, show you how it’s really done.

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From Dish Paige!:

Tis the season for partying, and let me tell you, I’ve been doing my best to keep up! Between birthdays, bachelorette parties, weddings and holiday celebrations, my calendar is full! This is also an excuse for me to come down to my beloved city and spend lots of quality time with my besties. With Saucy Little (one-time) Guest Dish Carla, we decided to make a little weekday brunch to share with some of our ladies. She was responsible for a delicious frittata, and I made some biscuits.

6 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes plus 2 tablespoons butter (for later)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
3/4 cup cheddar
3/4 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 450.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add in the butter and with a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until they butter is the size of a pea. Add in the rosemary and cheddar and mix well to incorporate. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Form biscuits about 2 inches in diameter and place on a lined baking sheet.

Melt the reserved 2 tablespoons of butter and generously brush over the biscuits. Place in the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Serve with other yummy brunch food!!!!!

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