Sunday, March 25, 2012

French Baguettes

Tonight B made french baguettes with jambalaya.  Perfect comfort food for a cool, drizzly night and a disappointing Tarheel basketball loss.

B spent four years in Louisiana and picked up a love of Cajun cooking while he was down there.  He also uses Tony Chacere's like some people use salt.  It's like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, except that instead of Windex, it's Tony Chacere's - works on everything.  Not that I'm complaining because I get to enjoy amazing jambalaya like this:

The baguettes came out wonderful.  The smoky smell of the jambalaya mixed with the sweet, warm smell of the bread while it was cooking, and the kitchen smelled amazing.  There's nothing better than warm bread, right out of the oven.  It was soft and perfectly golden brown on the outside.  And B added fennel to the jambalaya which gave it a robust flavor, adding heaviness to the heat of the other spice. 

B said he found a Julia Child tip that helped him perfect his baguette recipe.  The tip is to let it rest for five minutes after the initial mixing.  That way you can assess whether or not it needs more flour or water, or if it's ready to go.

Here's B's Baguette Recipe

Dry Ingredients:

3.5 cups flour (King Arthur's AP)
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 T. white sugar
1.5 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg and
1 T. melted butter in
1.25 cups lukewarm water

Extra (glaze):
2 T. butter to be melted later with
Pinch of kosher salt

Mix dry ingredients, then mix in wet.

Let rest for five minutes.  (assess whether more flour/water is needed - thanks, Julia)

Knead to soft dough.

Let rise for 1 hour in covered bowl.

Gently knead a few times.

Let rise for 1 more hour in covered bowl

Gently knead a few times.

Let rise for 1 more hour in covered bowl (3 hrs. total rise).

Gently knead, then shape into 3 baguettes. Dust baking sheet with
cornflour, place loaves on sheet. Start preheating oven to 425F.

Let rise 30min. Brush top with 1 T melted butter and pinch of kosher salt.

Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F and

Brush top with 1 T melted butter and pinch of kosher salt.

Bake an additional 20-30 minutes at 325 until loaves sound hollow to a


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Biscuits and In-Laws

B's biscuits have officially turned from experiment into sure thing.  This morning B's parents were in town and it was perfect weather for eating on the back porch.  It was an ideal springtime breakfast complete with biscuits, grits, french omelettes, orange juice, coffee and fruit.

Dogwood in bloom
Biscuit fan


Here's the recipe B uses for the biscuits

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wild Mushroom Gorgonzola Rolls

Wild Mushroom Gorgonzola Rolls

Last night, B made what might've been his best rolls, yet.  He'd left the recipe out on the counter for several days building up the anticipation.  They were rolls filled with wild mushrooms and what was supposed to be camembert cheese.  Sadly, the Teeter knew nothing of camembert so B improvised with some leftover gorgonzola.  They look like everyday dinner rolls, but they're incredibly filling, and have a wonderfully complex taste.  Two could be a whole meal!  I can see how something milder like camembert or brie would be good, but the wild mushroom gorgonzola combo made for an interesting taste that paired well with lasagna.  M even downed one in between throwing peas and carrots on the floor. 

B trying to size the rolls

Delicious inside

Here's the recipe.  Adapted from The New Bread Book


1 3/5 cups King Arthur white flour
 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sea salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water
4 1/2 oz wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese


Mix all dry ingredients with the butter and water in mixer until combined
Knead on roll pat or lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, until smooth
Put in slightly oiled bowl and cover with damp dish towel
Let rise for one hour, until doubled in size
Punch down dough and knead for 2 - 3 minutes
Divide into about 16 rolls
Use rolling pin to roll out each roll slightly and place 1 tsp mushrooms with 1tbsp gorgonzola
Wrap dough around filling and place the seam-side down to bake on greased baking sheet
Leave to proof for about 25 minutes, until about double in size
Preheat oven to 425
Bake for 10 minutes at 425, cut to 400 and bake for another 20 minutes (until golden grown)

Cool and enjoy! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Outback Bread

Rye and Molasses "Outback" Bread

Outback Bread
Last night's bread was a repeat experiment with a little tweaking.  B made the bread from Outback Steakhouse (the thing people eat while they keep an eye out for their Bloomin' Onion).  It's a rye and molasses loaf.  He made it several years ago but wanted to test it again with overnight proofing: his new favorite thing.  We enjoyed it with a wonderful roast that B had cooking all day, making the house smell amazing.  It was St. Patty's day, and the whole meal was close enough to Irish stew with soda bread, that I'm going to say it counts as Irish.  We enjoyed it along with a little red wine while we watched VCU put up a good fight against Indiana in the NCAA tournament.   

Roast with rye
Here are some notes:  First, as you can see in the pictures, the bottom stuck to the pan and fell off.  B used olive oil to grease the pan and says he should've used something more like butter or shortening.  Of course, stuff like that never messes with the taste.  He also says he would've steamed the bread while cooking (put a pan of water on the lower rack while cooking in the oven).  That's because the crust was a little harder than what you get at Outback.  He also would've added honey and lessened the molasses, skewing to honey for a sweeter taste.  I liked the molasses, though.  Recipe below.

He adapted from this "Chef Pablo" recipe.  (recipe below includes tweaks mentioned above)


  • 2 packages instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • Butter to grease pan
  • cornmeal to sprinkle on pan and on top


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix yeast with dry ingredients.
  3. In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients with warm water, molasses, honey, salt, olive oil and rye flour.
  4. Mix this until smooth.
  5. Knead the dough for a few minutes and then let it rise overnight in a greased bowl, covering with a towel.
  6. Punch the dough down and shape into 2 large round loaves
  7. Place the loaves a few inches apart on a buttered and cornmeal-dusted loaf pan. Sprinkle a bit of the cornmeal over the top of the loaves as well.
  8. Let shaped loaves rise about an hour (should double in size).
  9. Place pan of water underneath in oven to steam while cooking.
  10. Bake loaves at 375 for about 35-40 minutes or until the crust makes hollow sound when tapped.

 Enjoy!  Happy baking.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Picadillo Pockets in Homemade Baguettes

A long time ago, when B was first getting into bread making, I came home one Wednesday to the announcement that Wednesdays were "bread days."  Wednesdays became my favorite day of the week (well, after Friday, Saturday and Sunday).  Now B does most of his bread making on the weekends, but today was a revisit of that lovely tradition.

B went for Cuban-inspired picadillo pockets in homemade baguettes.  The recipe for the filling was from Food Network.  It was a delicious blend of ground beef, cinnamon, raisins, tomatoes, olives and other yumminess.  The recipe called for frozen pizza dough, but B, of course made his own.  All in all, it's a grown-up and way-better-tasting Hot Pocket, with no worry of mouth burns.


For the bread, B followed a traditional baguette recipe, but left it overnight in the fridge to proof (his new secret to amazingly fluffy bread). It made for a delicious meal and enough for tomorrow night, too. 

Baguette "Pocket" Recipe

3 3/4 cups of flour
1 2/3 cups of water
1/4 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients in mixer
Knead by hand for around 10 minutes
Fold every 20 minutes for next hour
Refrigerate overnight (about 24 hours)
Roll out, leave for an hour, then fill two pockets with ingredients and shape an additional loaf
Makes 2 pockets and one more traditional baguette loaf
Bake pockets at 425 for around 15 minutes, then bake baguette for 20 minutes

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Double bread day

Biscuits and Rye Pitas

Today we enjoyed not one, but two, of B's bread creations, and I've finally come out of my bread coma enough to talk about them.  First we had BN over for a little Sunday brunch and had to add the Tupelo Honey biscuits into the mix.  BN brought mimosa fixings and a delicious pineapple and berry mix, and B also fixed french omelets, groats and grits.  I set the table and fixed the coffee, so as not to be a total loafer.  Thankfully neither BN or B seem to mind my culinary shortcomings.  The food and the company was so delightful that we sat there for a couple of hours until I'd enjoyed two big biscuits and most of my wonderfully over-sized mimosa (who said huge red wine glasses aren't for mimosas?!).  Back to the bread, though, B shaped the biscuits a little rounder this time - last time they were almost english-muffin shaped, and I think I like the english-muffin shaped ones a little bit more, but it feels like blasphemy to say such a thing because amazing biscuits are amazing biscuits.

The brunch spread

Somehow by this evening we were ready and able to eat again.  B had left a rye dough in the fridge overnight and made rye pitas to go with a vegetable gumbo.  He was happy to find that leaving the dough overnight really increases the thickness and sponginess of the pita bread.  They still popped in the middle, but were almost like a roll inside.  It was delicious, again, pairing the rye with goat cheese.  Recipe for rye pitas is below.

Pitas, pre-oven
Rye Pitas
Rye Pita with Vegetable Gumbo


Here's B's recipe for Rye Pitas

2 cups white flour mixed with 1 cup of rye
1 3/4 cup water
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons standard yeast

Mix ingredients into dough using mixer
Let it rise and punch down
Proof 24 hours in refrigerator
Preheat oven to 500-degrees
Shape into 8 pitas (about 4 inches), rolling into shape with rolling pin
Pop into oven at high heat (500-degrees) 4:30 minutes each (B uses a flipped over cookie sheet to cook)
Remove and let cool

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Goat Cheese Potato Rolls

Goad Cheese Potato Rolls

Last night's experiment created these lovely little rolls that would be good with a soup, or really any dinner.  Because B. baked while I was out for a rare girls' night, I had one as a late-night snack (um, okay, two). 

As far as rolls go these were really tasty (but they can't compete with last week's biscuits or some other cheese breads we've tried recently).  Because they have a lot of flour and not much salt, it makes them taste mild and hearty, like a bagel. That's why they would be really good with soup or something light.  B. says if he makes them again, he'll add more salt.  There was just a hint of the goat cheese in the taste.

Today, he's going to use the leftover dough to make pitas.  Yay!

Here's the recipe:

Goat Cheese Potato Rolls

1 lb red potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
5 oz whole milk
3.5 oz goat cheese
5 cups white bread flour
1 T sea salt (that's B's suggested amount, bumped up from the recipe he followed)
1 oz fresh yeast
15 oz water, body temp.

(same dough, but proofed overnight, punched down, and ready for pita making)

Mash the boiled potatoes with whole milk and goat cheese.  Sift flour into bowl with salt and make a well in the center.  Dissolve yeast in 2 T of water and add to well in the flour.  Add potato mixture and slowly mix in remaining water until you have a soft dough.

Place dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes (until dough is smooth and elastic).  Let it rise in a slightly oiled bowl, covering with damp dish towel until x 2 in size.

Preheat oven to 425.

Punch down dough and knead again for 2 - 3 minutes.  Shape into 30 small, round rolls.  Place them on baking sheet and dust with flour.  Cover and let proof for about 20 minutes.

Bake rolls for 10 minutes at 425, and then turn oven down to 375 and bake for 15 additional minutes.  Rolls should come out golden and sound hollow when thumped.  Cool and enjoy with soup or other light entree.