DDD #157 – Vegan Glazed Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake (Bread Pudding?)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image below to watch the video.


OK – I made this recipe up & it did not come out as I had intended.  I expected a more traditional cake texture but got the dense & uber moist bundt you see here that had the consistency of a rich bread pudding.  It was still delicious – but know that it is more accurately described as bread pudding.  If you are a baker & know where I went wrong – let me know.

Vegan Glazed Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake (Bread Pudding?)

INGREDIENTS

for the bundt

8 oz vegan cream cheese

12 TBS vegan butter

2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

pinch salt

4 vegan eggs

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

3/4 cup vegan milk

zest & juice of one lemon

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups blueberries (I used frozen)

for the glaze (optional)

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons water, vegan milk or lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

GARNISH – fresh blueberries, additional powdered sugar, lemon zest

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a bundt pan and coat with a thin layer of flour.

With a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, whip the cream cheese & butter until blended & sorta fluffy – about 3 minutes.  Whip in the sugar until combined.

Mix in the vanilla, salt, and vegan eggs. Add sour cream, lemon juice & zest & milk.  Blend.

Blend in milk, baking soda & baking powder.

Blend in the flour.

Fold in the blueberries by hand.

Bake approximately 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly dry with a few moist crumbs on it.

for the glaze

In a bowl – combine ingredients until smooth.

Let the bundt cake cool before inverting onto a plate.  Drizzle glaze and/or powdered sugar & decorate with extra blueberries.

 

 

 

 

DDD #151 – Crazy Super Easy & Quick Artisan Bread

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I had this sort of Artisan bread when I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Arkansas home of my friends Ed & Andrea.  Andrea has a cool food blog of her own called On Life & Beans.  HERE is her recipe for a large quantity of this sort of dough.   It is a simple, hearty, rustic bread that works well for everything.  Hers was delicious!

I started smaller than her recipe.  The secret to this bread is 1) making the dough & letting it rest for AT LEAST 2 hours but up to 12-18 hours and 2) putting a pan of water in your oven when you bake the bread – which results in a crazy awesome & crusty exterior.

There are few recipes more simple than this one.  You can make as much dough as you like & it will keep, raw, in your fridge for up to TWO WEEKS for you to rip hunks off of at will & bake yourself some fresh bread any day.  It’s kind of a miracle.  I cannot recommend strongly enough that you try this at least once.

Click the image below to watch the video.

Crazy Super Easy & Quick Artisan Bread

INGREDIENTS

6 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 TBS salt

1 1/2 TBS yeast (or 1 1/2 packets of yeast)

3 cups warm water

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the yeast into the warm water in a very large bowl.

Add the salt & let it dissolve.  Add the flour & blend with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated & you have a very sticky dough.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking oil & let it sit for 2-5 hours in a warm spot in your kitchen.

At this point, you can bake immediately or you can put the bowl of raw dough in the fridge.  It will keep for up to two weeks!!!  I let mine chill overnight but this is not necessary.  You can bake it after the two hour rising & get on with the show.  Here is how it looked after a night in the fridge:

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To bake, pre-heat the over to 450 and be sure to let it get to 450 before you put your bread in there.  I used a pizza stone that I never use for pizza – but only because the thing lives in my oven anyway – so why not put it to SOME use?  You could use a cookie sheet or a cast iron pan or cast iron Dutch oven.  Place a pan (or pie tin or something) on the bottom of your oven with a cup of water in it.  This is critical as it will steam your bread into – counter-intuitively – a very crusty exterior.  If you hate crusty bread (weirdo!) – skip the pan of water.

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I tore off a hunk of dough (about 1/2 the entire quantity I made) & rolled & stretched it a bit until I formed a loaf that was sorta smooth & round on the top.  I slashed the dough a few times with a serrated knife & then placed the dough on parchment paper & then put this on the pizza stone on the middle rack.

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I baked mine bread for 20 minutes.  Time will depend on the size of the loaf you make.  It should look nice & golden – even browned – on the outside.  Be sure to let it get golden or your risk a wet & doughy center in your loaf.

Remove from the oven & let cool or devour immediately.

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DDD #103 – Vegan Apple Pecan Bread Pudding

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the link above to watch the video.

Vegan Apple Pecan Bread Pudding

INGREDIENTS

5 packed cups leftover bread – broken up (I used hamburger buns)

1 cup chopped pecans or other nut

1-2 apples – cored & diced

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

1 TBS vanilla

2 cups non dairy milk

DIRECTIONS

Mix it all together. Treat a casserole pan with cooking spray & put the wet pudding in there & bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar or ice cream or whipped topping or salted caramel sauce (recipe for that coming soon!)

 

 

DDD #95 – Vegan Vietnamese Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich with Pickled Vegetables & Sriracha Mayo

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video. This fucker was awesome!  There are a few steps to assemble the ingredients but they are all easy.  You can make this with any sort of chicken substitute you might like.  I am obsessed with Beyond Meat strips.  They do not have an overpowering taste & can easily be manipulated & I like the texture, too. Seitan works nicely, too!

Traditionally, banh mi have pork in them but I haven’t found a decent fake pork – unless you believe that pork is “the new white meat.”  If so – this fake chicken could masquerade as fake pork, too.

This takes a few hours of planning ahead so that you can marinate the chicken & pickle the carrots & jalapeno & daikon.

If you cannot find vegan fish sauce – there are lots of pretty simple recipes for vegan fish sauce HERE.  Whatever you do, do not skip the marinade because it tastes great & the sriracha mayo is good enough to eat with a spoon.

 

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Marinated Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

Makes two sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

2 crusty rolls or some high quality baguette

8 oz faux chicken

1 avocado – cut into slices

1/2 cucumber – sliced thin

leafy lettuce

2 radishes – sliced thin

1 jalapeno – seeded & sliced thin

cilantro

Olive oil or cooking spray

For the pickled vegetables

1 carrot – cut into matchsticks

daikon – cut into matchsticks

1 jalapeno – seeded & cut into matchsticks

3 cups warm water

3 TBS sugar

2 TBS salt

4 TBS white or rice vinegar

For the marinade

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

6 garlic cloves (or to taste) – minced

4 shallots (or 1/2 small onion) – diced

2 TBS fish sauce (vegan version – or omit it)

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp Chinese five spice

1 TBS hoisin sauce

1 tsp sriracha (or to taste)

For the spicy mayo

1/4 cup vegan mayo

1 lime

3 TBS sriracha

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

For the pickled vegetables

Warm the water & add the sugar, salt & vinegar & stir until the sugar & salt dissolve.  Put the matchstick veggies in a bowl or jar & cover with the warm water mix.  Store in the fridge for at least and hour or two.

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For the marinade

Blend all the marinade ingredients & add the chicken to it.  Store in the fridge for at least an hour.

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For the spicy mayo

Blend the mayo with the sriracha & the juice of the lime.  Store in the fridge.

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For the Banh Mi

Prepare the cucumber, avocado, radishes & jalapeno.  Set aside.

Heat a frying or grill pan.  Treat it with cooking spray or olive oil & cook up the marinated chicken.  Set aside.

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Scoop the soft part of the bread out & throw it away.  Heat the bread in the warm oven for 5 minutes.

To assemble – simply spread some spicy mayo on the bread.  Then layer on some chicken.  Then pickled veggies (drained well!) & radish slices.  Add sliced cucumber & jalapeno.  Add lettuce & cilantro.  Add some avocado.  Smash it together.  Shove it in your face – and feel free to dip it in the extra spicy mayo.

See?  What’d I tell you?

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Vegan Crab Cake Po’ Boy with Avocado, Purple Coleslaw on a Homemade Pistolette Roll

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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See that gorgeous slaw?   My recipe for it is HERE.  It takes ten minutes & can be made even a day or two in advance.  I used just a hint of Just Mayo in it.  If you are curious about vegan mayonnaise – there is a great article about how the various brands fared against each other & against egg mayo – HERE.

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Because I am trying to spend as little money as possible on groceries & I needed a roll for my Po’ Boy – I had to make my own bread!  I used Deep South Dish’s recipe found HERE for Pistolette Sandwich Rolls.  There were several steps but none were difficult.  Plus – the whole house smelled like freshly baked bread – a WONDERFUL thing anytime but especially in colder weather.  Here are some photos of my process:

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I put a little dish of water in the oven while they baked & they came out golden & crusty on the outside & soft in the middle.  They would make amazing dinner rolls or as an accompaniment to cheese like – maybe – my Vegan Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Cashew Nut Cheese – seen just above.  That is a raw cheese and can be made in minutes.

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Vegan Crab Cake Po’ Boy with Avocado

Serves one

INGREDIENTS

As many Gardein Crabless Cakes as you desire – fried or baked (I fried mine in a little olive oil)

The roll of your choice

Avocado slices

Lettuce

Coleslaw

Sliced radishes (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Assemble your Po’ Boy!  It is just that simple.  Some bread, a bit of lettuce, a few avocado and/or radish slices, your crabless cakes & some slaw!  BOOM!  Enjoy!

I initially assembled the sandwich with the crab cakes whole but mashing them up made the Po’ Boy easier to eat & more appetizing to look at.  It looks like crab!

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Cranberry, Banana and Pecan Bread

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Another really easy one.  I overcooked mine a bit as I was distracted photographing another but it was still yummy!

Cranberry, Banana and Pecan Bread

INGREDIENTS

2-3 bananas – smashed

1/4 cup soft (room temperature) butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup pecans (or other nut) – chopped

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (whole or chopped)

TBS powdered sugar (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Blend the sugar into the butter & then add all the other ingredients.

Pour into a greased loaf pan & bake at 350 for about an hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Voila!

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Coconut Banana Bread

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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It’s still ON! The Christmas special!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

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Nothing to say except this is yummy & easy!

COCONUT BANANA BREAD

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

4 TBS melted butter

3 eggs

3 bananas – mashed

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups grated coconut

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DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients well & pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

See?

EASY!

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Chocolate Chip and Fresh Cranberry Bread

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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First order of business – it’s ON!

The Christmas special!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

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OK, kids – post number two of my four part sweet bread recipes.  These are easy as I don’t get all into whipping butter with sugar & making shit harder than it has to be.  Just stick it all in a bowl, mix it up & bake it.  This one is a crowd-pleaser!  Gorgeous & full of melted chocolate bits.  Mmmmmm!

Chocolate Chip and Fresh Cranberry Bread

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

6 TBS butter – melted

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 & grease a loaf pan.

Mix the ingredients up in a large bowl.  Pour into the greased loaf pan.

Bake for about an hour or until it is golden on top & a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean when you insert it.

Eat it before anyone sees it.  Pretend it never happened.

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Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey Banana Almond Bread

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Bananas & avocados.  Delicious when they are perfect.  Perfectly ripe, that is.  “Perfectly ripe” is a tiny window in time for these fruits.  And perfectly ripe is open to interpretation – especially with bananas.  I like mine with a bit of green on the peel & the inside still very firm.  Others like them at their candy-sweetest – once a few spots begin to appear on the skin.  But, so far, I have never met anyone who prefers them mushy & showing as much as brown on the outside – so – when I spotted a bunch of bananas in this sad & dejected state – I took them & decided to make banana bread.  As long as the fruit inside itself is not brown – no banana is too ripe for banana bread.  I made three versions of banana bread & another sweet bread without bananas so this will be one of four breads I will roll out in the next few days.

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Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey Banana Almond Bread

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe bananas

1/3 cup butter – melted

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 TBS Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey (optional)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

pinch cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup chopped almonds (and a few whole ones for decoration)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

If your almonds are whole – put them in a sandwich bag & crush them.  I used the bottom of the Jack Daniels bottle.  Save a few whole ones for decoration.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl.   Then, just basically mix up the ingredients.  Pour into a greased loaf pan, place a few whole almonds on top, if you want, and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted comes out clean.

Voila!

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Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pistachios and Honey

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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TODAY is the second anniversary of this blog!!!!  It is also my Moxie’s 5th birthday.  Isn’t she a character?   She is an amazing little rescue pup!

Now – as to crostini – they hardly require a recipe.  You can top them with whatever you like & in whatever quantity you prefer.   The title here says it all – Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pistachios and Honey.  Not a lot of mystery.

I want to say – just as an aside – that figs are almost IMPOSSIBLE to photograph poorly.  They are the supermodels of the food porn world!  Look at them!  Gorgeous!

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I used avocado honey that my friend Rose gave me – that she got  from a co-worker who is a beekeeper.  It is delicious!

So – without further ado – I give you Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pistachios and Honey!!

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Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pistachios and Honey

Quantities are really up to you & the amount of folks you are feeding.   I’d allot 2 or 3 per person.

INGREDIENTS

Baguette

Goat Cheese

Fresh figs – stemmed & quartered

Pistachio nuts

Honey

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread some goat cheese on sliced baguette & arrange them on a cooking sheet.  You might want to press some pistachios into the cheese now as it might be neater.  Bake about 10 minutes or until the cheese softens & the bread begins to brown. Add pistachios – if you haven’t already – and top with fig quarters.  Drizzle with honey & serve!

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Cinnamon-Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Irish Raisin Bread with Orange & Fig Jam

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So, yeah – it was St. Patrick’s Day – for what felt like a week.  By the actual day – it seemed obscene to mention it.  But it is seldom, if ever, obscene to mention melted, cheesy goodness!!

Here is what I had around – post festivities:

Leftover Irish Raisin bread

Leftover Cinnamon-Apple cheddar cheese

Orange-fig jammy spread

Awesome GMO-free, $7 a pound butter

And a powerful amount of indulgent self-pity.

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No photos of the leftover cheese exist except as it sits on the bread in the pan – here:

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My self-pity is very hard to photograph, though I assure you it exists.  I won’t get into what prompted it but I will say that this incredible sandwich went a long way in eliminating it.

The cheese sounds odd but you only taste cheddar at first.  Then – you think, “Hey!  Am I tasting cinnamon?”  And, as you swallow to consider that question – a delicate essence of apple haunts you.  Really quite nice.  But any cheddar will do.

I used this yummy orange-fig spread (usually found near the expensive cheeses) but any regular jam would do.

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So – here’s whatcha do –

You slice up some bread & cut the cheese thin.  Melt some butter in a frying or grill pan over medium heat & maybe spread some on the bread.  Put a slice of bread & cheese in that bad boy.

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Then slap some jammy goodness on the other piece of bread & put it, jam-side down, on the cheesy slice.  Maybe add some butter to the top.  Cover the pan to assure your cheese melts.  In a minute or two – press it together with a spatula & flip it.  Cook each side as long as it takes to get it to the golden-melty place you desire.

If your cheese is stubborn – a minute in a hot oven might fix that.

Slice it up, shove it your face & remember how much tastier it is than that wacky boiled meat people get into this time every year!

Slainte!

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Leftover Tomato & Artisan Bread Soup with Buffalo Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

Ok, kiddies.  I am going to post two different dishes today that are made from leftovers of the recipes I posted last week.  This one uses the Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bisque and the Crazy Super Easy & Quick Artisan Bread.

Simply, brush some olive oil on a slice of Artisan bread & toast it in your oven (at about 350 – 400 degrees) for about ten minutes.  Add a few slices of fresh mozzarella & return it to the oven for a few minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Plunk this bad boy into the center of a warmed bowl of tomato bisque.  Garnish with leftover basil oil (I forgot to!!) and some fresh tomato (I used some Heirloom cherry tomatoes), fresh basil & fresh cracked pepper!  Ymmmmm!

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Tomato, Avocado & Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Homemade American Cheese on Artisan Bread – or – Garlic Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

So – I have been building to these grilled cheese sandwiches for a few days now.  I posted the Homemade American Cheese recipe HERE

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and the Homemade Artisan Bread HERE

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And a Tomato Bisque recipe HERE.

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Now it is time to get down to business!  There is no need to make every item on this menu from scratch but it is, of course, more impressive if you do.  The two grilled cheese sandwiches I present here are only the tip of the iceberg of possibilities.  You can use any variety of bread you choose & any sort of cheese.  You can use canned soup (egads!).  These are presented as ideas & to spark your imagination.

I used red jalapenos because I had them & they are pretty.  Use green if you want to.  I used heirloom cherry tomatoes because, you guessed it, I had them.  These – I do NOT recommend.  They do not stay in place in the sandwich well.  I recommend a larger tomato & I recommend it be sliced very thinly.  That said – may I present:

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Tomato, Avocado & Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

Artisan Bread or other bread of your choice

Homemade American cheese or other cheese of your choice

Butter

Avocado – sliced thinly

Tomato – sliced thinly

Jalapeno – seeded & sliced thinly

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees & place a greased cooking sheet in there while it warms up.

Butter one side each of two slices of bread.

Melt some more butter in a frying pan.  Place one slice of bread, butter side down, in the pan & top with some cheese.  Layer the avocado, tomato, jalapeno & cilantro on top & top with more cheese.  Place the other slice of bread atop this, butter side up, and grill.  Or you can assemble the sandwich on the counter & place into pan complete.

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I used a pot lid to apply pressure.  After a minute of so, CAREFULLY flip the sandwich & toast the other side.  Repeat this until you get to the level of toasting you prefer.  Then – place sandwich in warm oven for another minute or so to completely melt the cheese.

Slice it up & shove it in your face.

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OR —-

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Garlic Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

3 cups chopped broccoli (about enough for about 3 sandwiches)

Bread

Cheese

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

S&P to taste

2 TBS olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees & place a greased cooking sheet in there while it warms up.

Butter one side each of two slices of bread.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan & saute broccoli & crushed red pepper until the broccoli is vibrant & it begins to soften.  Add garlic & continue cooking being careful not to burn the garlic.  After a minute or two, add a few TBS water & cook off on high heat – steaming the broccoli.  Remove from heat.

To assemble, simply melt some more butter in a frying pan.  Place one slice of bread, butter side down, in the pan & top with some cheese.  Layer the broccoli & more cheese & top with the second slice of bread.  I used a pot lid to apply pressure.  After a minute of so, CAREFULLY flip the sandwich & toast the other side.  Repeat this until you get to the level of toasting you prefer.  Then – place sandwich in warm oven for another minute or so to completely melt the cheese.

This is also now ready for slicing & face shoving.

Serve with Vegan Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bisque for increased pleasure!

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Crazy Super Easy & Quick Artisan Bread

8 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I had this sort of Artisan bread when I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Arkansas home of my friends Ed & Andrea.  Andrea has a cool food blog of her own called On Life & Beans.  HERE is her recipe for a large quantity of this sort of dough.   It is a simple, hearty, rustic bread that works well for everything.  Hers was delicious!

I started smaller than her recipe.  The secret to this bread is 1) making the dough & letting it rest for AT LEAST 2 hours but up to 12-18 hours and 2) putting a pan of water in your oven when you bake the bread – which results in a crazy awesome & crusty exterior.

There are few recipes more simple than this one.  You can make as much dough as you like & it will keep, raw, in your fridge for up to TWO WEEKS for you to rip hunks off of at will & bake yourself some fresh bread any day.  It’s kind of a miracle.  I cannot recommend strongly enough that you try this at least once.

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Crazy Super Easy & Quick Artisan Bread

INGREDIENTS

6 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 TBS salt

1 1/2 TBS yeast (or 1 1/2 packets of yeast)

3 cups warm water

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the yeast into the warm water in a very large bowl.

Add the salt & let it dissolve.  Add the flour & blend with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated & you have a very sticky dough.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking oil & let it sit for 2-5 hours in a warm spot in your kitchen.

At this point, you can bake immediately or you can put the bowl of raw dough in the fridge.  It will keep for up to two weeks!!!  I let mine chill overnight but this is not necessary.  You can bake it after the two hour rising & get on with the show.  Here is how it looked after a night in the fridge:

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To bake, pre-heat the over to 450 and be sure to let it get to 450 before you put your bread in there.  I used a pizza stone that I never use for pizza – but only because the thing lives in my oven anyway – so why not put it to SOME use?  You could use a cookie sheet or a cast iron pan or cast iron Dutch oven.  Place a pan (or pie tin or something) on the bottom of your oven with a cup of water in it.  This is critical as it will steam your bread into – counter-intuitively – a very crusty exterior.  If you hate crusty bread (weirdo!) – skip the pan of water.

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I tore off a hunk of dough (about 1/2 the entire quantity I made) & rolled & stretched it a bit until I formed a loaf that was sorta smooth & round on the top.  I slashed the dough a few times with a serrated knife & then placed the dough on parchment paper & then put this on the pizza stone on the middle rack.  No parchment paper?  No worries.  Cornmeal works to keep the dough from sticking.  Do not be alarmed if the cornmeal browns & smokes in your oven.  That is some excess flour you see on the parchment paper.  It smoked & burned & smelled bad & I will not get any on my paper in the future.

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I baked mine bread for 25 minutes.  Time will depend on the size of the loaf you make.  It should look nice & golden – even browned – on the outside.  Be sure to let it get golden or your risk a wet & doughy center in your loaf.

Remove from the oven & let cool or devour immediately.

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Simple Homemade Pita Bread

3 Comments

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This was easy because I made the dough in my bread machine.  It can certainly be kneaded by hand & left to rise – but this is a bread machine version.  They cost about $100 on Ebay & if you make pizza & other bread-based things very often – a bread machine is well worth the investment.

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Simple Homemade Pita Bread

make 8 little pitas

Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.  Place a cookie sheet or pizza stone in the oven while it heats.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups flour – with extra for kneading

1 cup warm water

2 tsp active yeast

2 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Place the ingredients in the bread machine & put it through the mix, knead & rise process….or do it manually.  Manually – in a large bowl, put the yeast in the warm water & stir until dissolved.  Add the remaining ingredients & work into a sticky dough.  Transfer to a floured surface & knead the dough for 5 or 10 minutes – adding flour as required – until you have a smooth workable dough.  Put the dough in a clean bowl that is either swiped with olive oil or floured & drape with a damp kitchen towel.  Allow it to rise for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake your pita – on a floured surface – knead your dough gently & divide into eight equal sections.  Roll each out to disk about 7-8 inches across and about 1/4 inch thick.

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I baked mine two at a time on a large cookie sheet that was red hot in the 500 degree oven.  I took the cookie sheet out, Palmed two pitas & flopped them onto the hot cookie sheet.  I then took a spray bottle & spritzed them lightly with tap water – and put them in the oven.  They do not need to be turned over in the oven.  Some puffed up – some did not.  Do not over cook them or you end up with a mini pizza crust!

They cook up quickly – 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the oven & serve with some homemade hummus!

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