Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Yeasty Homemade Bread Bowls

baked bread bowls
This is shaping up to be more than a Month-of-Few Ingredients. I have been tackling fears, too, throughout the month, so it is appropriate that I take on one more on this last post for a Month-of-Few Ingredients. To recap, I told you of food fears: puff pastry (so I made two desserts with puff pastry), pie crust (one recipe), and yeast. How could I leave one undone? Today I am making bread bowls to take on my last food-fear. Aren’t you proud of me? <patting self on back>

I buy bread bowls once every couple of months, but I hate the search for them, and I know they are filled with preservatives for grocery store shelf life. This recipe, I thought when I saw it, would free me from those anxieties. And I trust Recipe Girlrecipes. Lori Lange is a great cook and has never led me astray.

Back in the day, when I was fearless (and sometimes clueless), I did make yeast breads. I grew up in a home where my mother made seven loaves at a time so we’d have bread for packed school lunches. (My brother used to sell his, but that’s another story.)

As an adult, I regularly made three-flour braided bread (white, whole wheat, and rye). Sometimes it turned out very well and sometimes not. I never could figure out what made the difference. The humidity level? The temperature? Yeast freshness? Too much (or too little) kneading? I gradually developed my yeast-fear because I couldn’t count on the results.

DH bought me a bread machine many years ago. At first, I put my own recipes into the machine. But, with varying levels of success, again, I started using the packaged bread machine mixes. Shameful, right?

But here I am again to try. Maybe success with this recipe will lead me to trying others. I love fresh, homemade, well-made bread. I might even try pizza dough with yeast next! Nah! I’m sticking with my yogurt pizza dough.

Lori’s Homemade Bread Bowls call for bread flour. If you make a lot of bread, you might have that around, but if not, you can make your own for when you need it. 

First, you need to buy vital gluten. For each cup of all-purpose flour, mix in 1 teaspoon of vital gluten. Store unused vital gluten in the refrigerator or freezer.  Bread flour has more gluten than all-purpose flour, and gluten gives bread its strength. Whereas cookies and cakes can be crumbly, you don’t want that for your bread.

I’m not going to mess with this recipe. This is as written by Recipe Girl, Lori Lange.

Homemade Bread Bowls (makes 4)
rising bread
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups warm water, 110º F
  • 5 1/3 cups (680 g) bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 to 7 minutes to activate. The mixture will smell like beer once it's done.
  2. Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add bread flour and salt to mixing bowl. Start the mixer on low speed until the dough begins to come together, about 2 minutes.
  3. Increase speed to medium and knead dough for 3 minutes until the dough has formed into a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and allow dough to rest for 1 hour until dough has doubled in volume.
  4. Punch dough down and place on a lightly floured work surface. Weigh dough and divide into four equal parts. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Deflate each portion. Working with one portion at a time, shape into a tight round ball. Use your fingers to pinch the seams together at the bottom of the ball. Place rounds seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the rounds as far apart as possible. Cover dough and let rest for 40 minutes to allow rounds to proof.
  6. Preheat oven to 450º F. Place an oven safe pan (high-rimmed baking sheet, lasagna pan, or cast iron pan) on the bottom rack of oven. While the bread is resting, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. This water will be used to steam the bread, giving it that nice crunchy crust.
  7. Uncover dough and place in oven's center rack. Gently and carefully pour hot water into the pan on the bottom rack. Close oven door and do not open until steaming is finished. Bake bread bowls for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on the outside and internal temperature of bread registers at least 190º F. For even crispier bread, turn off oven and allow bread to remain in oven for another 5 to 7 minutes.  Allow bread to cool on wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing into.
  • If mixing by hand, use a large bowl and a sturdy spatula to combine ingredients. Stir until dough starts to form. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand until dough is smooth.
  • The steaming at the start of baking allows a nice, crispy crust to form on the bread bowls. If you choose to omit this step, the bread bowls will have a softer exterior.
  • Do not substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour. Bread flour contains a higher amount of protein which helps to create the bread bowl's structure.
  • Dough can be mixed the night before baking. After mixing dough together, transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to rest overnight. When ready to roll bread, allow dough to sit at room temperature for 40 minutes before deflating and dividing into portions.

DH’S Rating: 5 Tongues Up   What’s not to like about homemade bread, right?

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Twitter: #recipe for yeasty bread bowls by @good2tweat at http://bit.ly/2lSLnBc

Facebook: Do you like bread bowls for holding your stew and salads? Make your own from the recipe at Sharon Arthur Moore’s blog, Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time. http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/2017/02/month-of-few-ingredients-yeasty.html

Monday, February 27, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Melt-Your-Heart Chocolate Cake

Yum! Chocolate Lava Cake
I have a number of recipes that didn’t make the cut this month. February would have had to have had at least another 20 days for me to use up the collection I have. So here we are, one day from the end. I want to do a dessert, and I have four options.

Do I go for the unusual/interesting/may-not-have-heard-of option, two that are variations of ones you probably already do, or a dessert that screams elegance and fancy restaurant? And which one would DH likely give up Five Tongues to? I mean, I like validation, too. So fancy dessert it is.

I almost made this for Valentine’s Day, but I decided to save it to give DH an unexpected treat. He loves lava/molten chocolate cakes because they are so chocolatey dense. Being warm, I think they also fall into the comfort food category.

The Internet, unsurprisingly, abounds with lava cakes/melted chocolate cake recipes. Interestingly, three versions I found (maybe there are more) are attributed to Carnival Cruise Lines. The recipes are related but different of their Melting Chocolate Cake, a signature dessert for Carnival. Why so many versions? Beats me, but it might have to do with which chef they ask. Seems like cutting down a recipe for thousands to one for six might affect proportions. I can’t explain it.

Back in the day, I used to make lava cake for a crowd in the slow cooker. Not as pretty, but it serves a bunch. If that interests you, check out this slow cooker chocolate lava cake.

In one version of Carnival’s Melting Chocolate Cake, you watch a video (which I suggest if you haven’t made a melted chocolate cake before). In the vid, sometimes they tell you the ingredients, and sometimes you have to figure it out, but the technique is very clear and helpful for your first time with lava cake.

In another version, posted on the Internet with somewhat different ingredient amounts (four eggs or seven eggs?), the recipe gives a different cooking temperature. What’s with that???

Anyway, here’s the version of Lava Cake I ended up with. I don’t know about the others with different amounts of ingredients and different cooking temps, but I can assure you this one works beautifully!

Chocolate Lava Cake (serves 6)
6 tablespoons butter
6 ounces best quality chocolate (Ghiradelli), ½ 85% cacao & ½ 60% cacao
¾ cup sugar
4 eggs
¼ cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or spray 6 ramekins with butter-flavored, non-stick cooking spray. Place ramekins on sturdy baking pan.
Put butter and chocolate in a double boiler and stir gently with spatula until all chocolate is melted into the butter. Remove from heat while mixing other ingredients.

Put sugar in a small bowl. Crack in one egg and whisk until the egg/sugar mixture turns lemon yellow. Add in one more egg and whisk again. Continue with remaining eggs, always whisking thoroughly after each addition. This will take several minutes. Don’t rush it.

Add flour and thoroughly incorporate into the egg/sugar mixture.

Slowly pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture, whisking completely after each addition.

Distribute batter among the ramekins. After filling, shake or tap each ramekin on the baking pan several times before putting into oven.

Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately serve in the ramekin, or wait a couple of minutes, and up end each on small dishes to serve upside down. The lava cake right out of the oven will look molten-y. It is done even if it doesn’t look it to you. The top will look like regular chocolate cake if served upside down out of the ramekin.

You can add sprinkled powdered sugar, ice cream, or whipped cream if you like.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up  As expected. Warm, deep, dark chocolate. What’s not to love? Because it’s so rich, it should be served after a lighter meal. Sort of like a reward after eating your stir fry veggies. “Very chocolatey. Glad it’s so small,” DH said. Yep, the best things are in little packages.

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Twitter: #recipe for you-won’t-believe-how-easy chocolate lava cake. Check out the post by @good2tweat at http://bit.ly/2lN9AHc

Facebook: Do you love chocolate lava cake/molten chocolate cake? Find out how easy it is to do them at home. See Sharon Arthur Moore’s blog, Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time at http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/2017/02/month-of-few-ingredients-melt-your.html

Two more recipes to look at:



A reminder:
House rules for what counts as an ingredient:
Salt and pepper are not ingredients.
Oil is not an ingredient when it’s for the cooking pan, not the recipe.
Water is not an ingredient.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Pizza Party Dough

My pizza with anchovies-YUM!
We entertain out-of-town guests good bit. Depending upon how long guests are staying we might end up making individual pizzas for lunch one day. Our observation is that whether we’re talking youngsters, grown friends of our sons, or old geezers like us, people like playing with food.

Yep. Now some fastidious types don’t get into the early part (mixing the dough), but everyone loves decorating their pizzas with just the ingredients in the just the right amounts that he or she wants.

Back in the day, I would buy fresh dough at an area grocery store, and we’d make our individual pizzas (or one big one apportioned by each person’s choices—with anchovies, I knew my section was safe from poaching). Have I mentioned how yeast and I don’t have a very successful relationship?

So when I found a pizza dough recipe from The Impatient Foodie that didn’t require yeast (Wahoo!), I was all over it! I had to have a go. 

Messy, messy, messy. Yep, kneading this dough is messy. That may be one reason children
kneaded pizza dough
love making it. But it couldn’t be easier or quicker. I do the initial mixing of flour and yogurt, then hand balls to each guest to knead.

Fill small bowls with toppings that you know they’ll like: sauces (red and white), cooked protein (anchovies, pepperoni, ham, sausage, hamburger), veggies (black olives, tomatoes, green onions, yellow onion rings, bell and hot peppers, mushrooms, spinach, or just about anything else), cheeses (fresh mozzarella, Asiago, parmesan, romano, and more), and you might even put out a dish of pineapple. Herbs, like fresh basil, are nice.

Really, this part is the most creative. What kinds of pizzas will your guests make?

If you really want to make this pizza party about pizza, make the dough with honey yogurt or vanilla yogurt. Add cinnamon and sugar to the dough after spreading into pizza rounds. After baking, top with a jam for “red sauce” and arrange with fresh fruits.

So what are the ingredients in this magical three-ingredient pizza dough wonder? Here you go!

Pizza Party Dough (one large or two individual pizzas)

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1-1½ cups self-rising flour, plus more for kneading (see NOTE)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray.

pizza dough rounds
Mix yogurt and 1 ½ cups of flour, adding in more flour until you have a smooth ball. You’ll do this part with your hands.

Keep as a single ball or divide into two balls.

Knead dough ball on a floured board for 8-10 minutes, adding in more flour if dough is too sticky. (It is, trust me!).

With fingers and palm of hand, spread dough ball on prepared pan. Brush surface with olive oil right to edges of the pizza disk. (These will have that artisan, rustic look you pay big bucks for in specialty restaurants.)

Add toppings of choice and bake for 10-12 minutes. With a nice crisp salad, this makes a spectacular lunch and gets your guests involved.

NOTE: If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can substitute 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 ¼ tsp. baking powder, and ¾ tsp. of salt well sifted several times.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up “What’s not to like. I made this pizza my way.” DH is one of those who doesn’t like the messy kneading part of this recipe. He doesn’t mind the toppings, but the kneading . . . He claims he was toilet trained too early since his mom didn’t like messes, thus, nor does he. Sigh!

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Twitter: #recipe for no-yeast Pizza Party Dough with three ingredients by @good2tweat athttp://bit.ly/2lWz8E9

Facebook: On Sharon Arthur Moore’s blog, Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time, learn to make three-ingredient, no yeast Pizza Party Dough at http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/2017/02/month-of-few-ingredients-pizza-party.html

A reminder:
House rules for what counts as an ingredient:
Salt and pepper are not ingredients.
Oil is not an ingredient when it’s for the cooking pan, not the recipe.
Water is not an ingredient.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Chicken Pinwheels

B.D.H. (Before Dear Husband), I had a male friend with a German heritage. Of course, I learned to make beef roulades and spaetzle to capture his interest. It is reminiscent of the applesauce cake I made in high school for a boy from church whom I wanted to notice me. I was so shallow back then! I know now my sparkling personality is what should draw them in. Or not. As the case may be.

Anyway, roulades are rolled meat (coming from the French for “to roll”) with a filling cooked in a pot of boiling broth. In more recent times, we fry or bake the roulades. Today’s chicken recipe, and dozens on the Internet, show some modern versions of the original heavier ones.

There are lots and lots of rolled-up chicken recipes out

there. The common components layered on the chicken, seem to be some green leafy vegetable, some sort of cheese, and an herb. Using that principle, you can create any number of flavor profiles with your chicken.

I found one with feta cheese, and arugula. I found one with blue cheese and spinach. There’s one with parmesan and shallots. Some have you wrap the cheese in some chicken filets with spinach or water cress or some such and brown in a skillet before putting in the oven to finish. There are lots and lots of options. We received some herbed cheeses for a gift that will end up inside a chicken pinwheel in the near future.

Instead of the tarragon in the following recipe, I’m going to use one of my spice blends next time. I think a Greek-spices chicken with feta would be lovely!

Here’s my today’s take on chicken pinwheels.

Chicken Pinwheels (serves 4)
4 strips of bacon, partially cooked
2 chicken breasts, sliced to make four filets (or buy 4 chicken filets)
4 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons tarragon
Small handful of spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put chicken into the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and drain the fat. (See NOTE)

Meanwhile, if making your own filets, slice the chicken in half long ways. Cover with plastic wrap and, with your rolling pin, flatten the pieces to about ½” thick. Be gentle so you don’t tear the chicken.

On each piece of chicken, put one tablespoon of cream cheese and spread to cover the filet. Sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of tarragon on the cream cheese on each filet. Cover with spinach leaves.

Roll up each filet. Wrap a piece of bacon around the center of each filet, keeping the ends of the bacon and the seam of the chicken together. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Bake for 40-55 minutes depending on the thickness of the pinwheel. Use a meat thermometer to get a temperature of 160 degrees in the thickest part.

NOTE: I always prepare my bacon in the oven rather than frying it. You can put it on a rack in the pan so the grease drains as it cooks. I use what I need from the package (like four strips today) and then put the rest in a zipper bag to use in other ways, like BLTAs (bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwiches).

DH’s Rating: Five Tongues Up  “What’s in this? I like the bacon and chicken together.” He ate two pieces. He was only “supposed” to eat one. When I mentioned that I was full from eating my one, he responded. “Yeah, I should have only had one and a half. It’s filling.” So why did he eat both???

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Tweet: @Good2Tweat’s #recipe for Chicken Pinwheels with cream cheese, tarragon, spinach, and bacon at http://bit.ly/2mondwe

Facebook: You say roulade, I say pinwheel. Whatever you call rolled up meat with a stuffing, you’re bound to like these Chicken Pinwheels with cream cheese, tarragon, spinach, and bacon from Sharon Arthur Moore at http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/2017/02/month-of-few-ingredients-chicken.html

A reminder:
House rules for what counts as an ingredient:
Salt and pepper are not ingredients.
Oil is not an ingredient when it’s for the cooking pan, not the recipe.
Water is not an ingredient.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Month-of-Few Ingredients: Guinness Stout Bread

Don’t you just wish! No, this is my Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Glaze. Not even close to today’s recipe, but I wanted to show you one of the offerings I made for the bake table at our church’s flea market this weekend. In fact, if you’re around 59th Avenue and Cholla this weekend, stop in to the West Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Flea Fair. Get the cake or one of my macaroons, a nutty muffin, or a loaf of my famous beer bread, the topic of today’s post.

I don’t know about you, but I had me at “Guinness.” I cook a lot with Guinness Extra Stout. I put it in chili, beef stew, and gingerbread. And, of course, this beer bread.

This is bread without yeast, but it tastes like a yeast bread because of the beer. However, it is dense, and not yeast-bread like. I based my version of this quick bread on this beer bread recipe.

This is one of my all-time favorite breads. It is hearty and goes well with soups or just to eat with butter. It doesn’t make great sandwiches because of its crumbly texture, but serve a slice alongside that shrimp salad for lunch and feel as if you’re getting a hearty meal.

Guinness Stout Bread
3 cups self-rising flour (see NOTE)
1/4 cup sugar
12 ounces beer (I use Guinness Extra Stout)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a bread loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Using a spoon fill the measuring cup with self-rising flour. This is important. Don’t just fill the cup by dipping into the flour. You want the flour layered, not packed.

Mix the flour and sugar. Add the beer.

Add the beer (very foamy at this point) and stir around just until all the dry ingredients are mixed with beer. This will be a thick batter.

Pour into prepared bread loaf pan and even out the top and fill in the corners.

Pour melted butter evenly over the dough.

Bake one hour. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.

NOTE: If you want to make your own self-rising flour for this recipe, add 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt to 3 cups of flour. Sift several times to fully incorporate the ingredients.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up! He loves beer so anything I make with beer gets an automatic five tongues! It disappears quickly. See, I know how to keep him happy!

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Twitter: Beer bread, yummy. #recipe for Guinness Stout Bread by @good2tweat at http://bit.ly/2mqUVAs

Facebook: If you want an easy bread your guests will eat up fast, check out Sharon Arthur Moore’s blog, “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” for Guinness Stout Bread. http://bit.ly/2mqUVAs

A reminder:
House rules for what counts as an ingredient:
Salt and pepper are not ingredients.
Oil is not an ingredient when it’s for the cooking pan, not the recipe.
Water is not an ingredient.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Pie Crust, One More Time + Arizona Sunshine Pie

Okay, here we go. Another thing I fear in cooking. It’s not an ingredient this time, it’s the product of ingredients. Pie crust!!!

Everyone who cooks wants me to try their pie crust recipe. Infallible, they tell me. Except, I fail.

Mr. Pillsbury and his Dough Boy friend and I have had a long and happy relationship with pie crust. I thought it would last to the end, but here I am to give homemade one more go. Cross your fingers for me (toes, eyes, and anything else you can cross).

I know some things about making pie crust through my various efforts through the years and from tips from friends and experts (not that my friends aren’t experts, but you know what I mean).

I know over mixing is a cardinal sin. Handle it as little as you can to get the right texture. I know there are recipes using vinegar and recipes that don’t.  I know that there are several ways to grease up a pie crust: lard, vegetable shortening, and butter. I know you want to roll it out with as little additional flour as possible. I know using ice water is important. Most of the time.

So, good start, right?

So, why now, am I trying this again. Jan D’Atri’s Arizona Sunshine Pie is very good in Mr. Pillsbury’s offering. Why do I think I can improve on that?

Well, I love vintage cookbooks and recipes from old newspaper clippings and handwritten recipes somebody’s grandma called “Best Pie Crust.” I’m a sucker for them, so when I came across this recipe, I couldn’t resist. I mean, look at the title! Simple ingredients. The downside? Almost no directions, because, of course, everybody knew how to make pie crust back in the day.

There you have it. That, and my unsuccessful-pie-crust past, were what I had to go on. You’ll note that this recipe makes 3 crusts. Three? Hmm. Okay, so I needed one for this pie. I considered third-ing the recipe, but I was afraid to mess with the proportions (1 teaspoon of vinegar divided into thirds?), so I made three. Two are in my freezer for quiche or pasties later on. Also, I don’t buy lard, but I know that lard and Martha White flour were why my grandmas’ pie crusts were so good. I used Crisco.

 Here are some pictures of my stages.

cut in shortening

dividing into thirds

the right consistency

After rolling out the pie crust, I carefully folded it over to lift it into the pie plate. Not so pretty, eh? Yeah, well. I did patching to make it cover the whole plate. It will taste the same, right, and mostly it will be covered by this delicious pie.

When Jan D’Atri, a local celeb whom I’ve mentioned here before, shared the recipe for Arizona Sunshine Pie, I had to try it because we have scads of lemons every year. I’ve made it several times, and it’s always a hit. This is beyond easy. And it just happens to have five ingredients! Coincidence? I think not.

Arizona Sunshine Pie
1 lemon, largest you can find
4 eggs
1 stick butter, melted (8 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)
1 ½ cups sugar

Filling Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut lemon in small chunks leaving rind on. Remove seeds. In a blender or food processor, blend together lemon chunks, eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar until mixture is smooth and creamy. (It should be fairly runny.) Pour into unbaked piecrust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

If crust becomes too brown, cover gently with foil and finish baking. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. (NOTE: I used some of yesterday’s whipped aquafaba.)

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up  Bless his heart, he doesn’t know if this is a good pie crust, so his rating is for the overall pie. I’ll tell you about the pie crust.

It was very quick and easy to make. It was a little tough, but still flakey (note to self: don’t work it so much), and the flavor was good. I’d give myself 3 ½ tongues up for the crust. I will make pie crust again with this recipe. I just may be breaking up with Mr. Pillsbury.

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Tweet: Use up all those lemons available now. #recipe for Arizona Sunshine Pie from @jandatri on @Good2Tweat http://bit.ly/2l5TBm4

Tweet: Do you have trouble with pie crust like I do? With #recipe from @Good2Tweat struggle no more. http://bit.ly/2l5TBm4

Facebook: Today you get a two-fer: easy pie crust recipe AND Arizona Sunshine Pie (from local celeb Jan D’Atri). See what’s for dessert at YOUR house tonight. http://bit.ly/2l5TBm4