Gougéres

I have had my eyes on making these guys for the longest time.  The one thing keeping me back was that they called for Gruyere cheese, which is not the cheapest cheese at my local Giant.  It took a trip to the brand new Wegmans in Columbia with my friend Betsy for me to make the splurge.  I bought the cheese, went to see Magic Mike, and then made these little cheese puffs when I came home from the movie, I didn’t want to wait any longer.  I know that most people don’t start a baking project at 10pm, but I like to think of it as one of my secret single behaviors, like Carrie Bradshaw would say.  I don’t think I could get away with that behavior once I don’t live alone.  At least the cat is ok with it.

Enjoy!  And thank you for reading.

Ingredients
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, room temp.
1 1/2 cup grated Gruyere

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, water and butter to boil.  Once it is boiling, add all of the flour and lower the heat.

2. Begin stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.  It will begin to come together as dough.  Keep stirring for another minute, until the dough is very smooth.

3. Turn the heat off and put the dough into a sturdy bowl.  Let the dough rest for a minute, then add the eggs one at the time.  Stir vigorously between each addition and make sure that each egg is incorporated before you add the next.  The dough will look super wet and like it is breaking apart.  Just keep stirring and it’ll be ok.

4. Once all the eggs are added, stir in the grated cheese.  As soon as it is incorporated, you have to spoon out the dough.   Spoon out about 1 tablespoon of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.  Leave about 2 inches in between each scoop.

5. Put into the oven, turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for 12 minutes.  Then rotate the cookie sheets and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool before serving.

Freezing Directions: If you don’t want to bake them all at once, they freeze really well.  Just scoop them out and put a baking sheet into the freezer for a little bit.  When they are frozen, put into a plastic bag and keep in the freeze (I actually froze that above tray).

Source: Dori Greenspan’s Around My French Table

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Biscuits Supreme

I love these little biscuits.  My mom would make these when we were little for dinner, so I very much associate them with my childhood.  They have a handful of wheat germ in them, which gives them a really interesting, kind of nutty flavor.  I haven’t tried toasting the wheat germ before I add it, but I think that it would be another way to bring out that flavor.  Make some today!  Then freeze the extras so you always have one on hand for dinner or breakfast.  Enjoy!  And thank you for reading.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
handful of wheat germ

Directions
1. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar and salt.  Cut in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles lumpy crumbs.

2. Make a well in the center and add the milk all at once.

3. Stir, just til dough clings together.

4. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface for 10-12 stokes.  As you are kneading, add in the handful of wheat germ.

5. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a lined baking sheet.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees till golden brown.

7. Cool on a wire rack.

Source: My mother.

at her favorite spot, the bathroom radiator, waiting for the shower to turn on.

Sally Lunn Bread

I have had this recipe saved for the longest time, but just hadn’t had the time to properly try it.  A few weeks ago, I found myself with a whole free Saturday morning, and I decided to give it a try.  The dough was not hard to put together, and it seemed to rise every time it was supposed to.  It was kind of an eggy bread, especially with the addition of an extra egg yolk.  I used it as an accompaniment to the asparagus soup, but I think it might also make a great french toast.  Enjoy!  And thank you for reading.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. table salt
1 1/8 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%, but it probably doesn’t matter much)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (save the white for an egg white omelet!)

Directions
1. Mix 3/4 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  At first I used an electric mixer, but it wasn’t necessary.  Mixing it all by hand is very easy enough.

2. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter (about 105 degree, not quite to a boil).  The butter might not melt all the way.  Gradually pour it into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, until well-combined.

3.  Add the whole egg and egg yolk and stir briefly.  Add another 1/2 cup of flour and stir again for a few minutes.

4. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir the whole mixture until smooth.

5. Make sure that the dough is in a little ball at the bottom of the bowl (scrape down the sides).  Cover the top with plastic wrap.  Let it rise for 1 hour.

6. Prepare a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan by buttering and flouring it.  When the dough has risen for 1 hour, scape it into the loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.  After the first 15 minutes, remove the plastic wrap.

7.  While it is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then cool on a rack.

Source: Smitten Kitchen (check out her recipe for salted and honeyed brown butter spread…looks amazing, but I haven’t had the chance to try it yet)

Scones: Cinnamon Roll Style

I’ve been trying to rotate the posts I put up.  Healthier food one week….not as healthy, but still delicious the next week.  For this week, it’s time to share a wonderful breakfast treat!  I saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats, one of my favorite food blogs, and I knew I would really enjoy it.  The steps are a little more complicated than scones usually are, but it’s definitely worth it.  These scones come out moist and fluffy and delicious.  I also froze half of what I made, and they are just as good baked straight from the freezer.

I adapted Annie’s recipie slightly.  I didn’t include pecans or cinnamon chips in the filling (because I didn’t have any) and I omitted the glaze.  I like them more plain.  I’ll post directions for the glaze below.

Enjoy!  And thanks for reading.

Dough
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen whole
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling
Little bit of milk or cream, for brushing
3 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup cinnamon chips (optional)

Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk

1) Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) Grate the frozen butter.  I use my food processor, but you could also use a grater.

3) Whisk together the milk and yogurt, keep in the fridge until you need it.  Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Add the grated butter to the flour and use your hands to cover all the pieces of butter with flour.

4) Using a spatula to combine, add the milk/yogurt to the dry ingredients.  Place the dough on a floured surface.  Knead a few times, until all the dry ingredients have been worked in.

5) With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch square.  Fold the dough into thirds, like you would fold a letter. Then told the short ends of the dough into thirds, until you have a little square.  Put it on a floured plate and let chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.

6) While the dough is chilling, combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl (don’t combine the milk/cream).

6) After the dough is chilled, roll it out into a 10 inch square.  Brush the milk/cream on a dough.  Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough.  Roll the dough up into a tight log and place the log, seam side down.  Cut the log into 8 rough discs.

7) Place the discs on the baking sheet and brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden brown, about 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.

8) If you want to glaze them, combine the glaze ingredients with a whisk.  Drizzle over the cooled scones.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Work in progress!

Delicious Little Bread

This bread is very easy to make and I’m pretty sure that it’s on the healthy side.  Oats and whole wheat flour–it’s got to be, right?  Either way, it’s quick to make and delicious.  I have found myself making it on a regular basis because I like to have it around.  I think it’s got a little bit of a sweet flavor to it and it’s great toasted for breakfast.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing

1. Sprinkle yeast onto the warm water and stir until it dissolves.  Stir in the honey and set aside (about 5-10 minutes).  It should start foaming.

2. Mix dry ingredients (flours, oats and salt).

3. Add the yeast mixture to your dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.

4. Place the dough into a greased loaf pan and set in front of a warm spot (I use my space heater) for 30 minutes as it rises.

5. Bakes at 350F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

 

From 101 Cookbooks.  Originally adapted from Gran’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Notebooks of Dulcie May Booker.

Time for a picture of the cat helping with the dishes??

Dill and Cheddar Scones

Over the past summer and fall, I was part of a local CSA.  Each week, we received a variety of veggies and fruits and herbs from a local farm.  For a few weeks, a large handful of dill was part of the share and I had to come up with ways to use it.  I found these scones on Annie’s blog and they ended up being a delicious way to use up some dill.  I froze half of what I made, and enjoyed one for breakfast this past week.  I froze the scones after I had baked them, but you could also freeze the dough as well.

Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream (I used milk)
4 oz. extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, diced small
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1 egg beaten with  tbsp. water or milk, for egg wash

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine the dry ingredients (2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt).

3.  Add the diced butter and mix until the butter is in pea-sized bits.  I used my food processor, but an electric mixer would also work.  If you don’t have either a food processor or electric mixer, using either your fingers or two forks would be another way to add in the butter.

4. Whisk together the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour-and-butter mixture.  Combine until just blended.  In a separate bowl, combine the cheddar, dill, and 2 teaspoons flour and add them to the dough.  Mix until they are nearly incorporated.

5.  Put the dough on a floured counter and knead for about a minute, until all the cheddar and dill are spread out in the dough.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8 inch square, about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Divide the dough into 4, 4-inch squares and then cut those in half to make 8 triangles.  These come out fairly large, so you could cut them again into smaller triangles.

6.  Put the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or greased.  If desired, brush the tops with egg wash.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are browned.

From Annie’s Eats.  Originally from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Bread

I saw this bread on Joy the Baker and Annie’s Eats and knew instantly that I wanted to make it.  I have always loved cinnamon rolls, so I knew that I would absolutely love this bread.  I saved the recipe until I went home for a long weekend over this past summer.  I made it with my mom and sister and we all enjoyed pulling it apart when it came out of the oven.  Mine didn’t quite come out as pretty as Joy and Annie’s, but I think it still tasted great.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

For the dough:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk (or whatever kind you have on hand)
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the filling: 
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. For the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl with a dough hook.  Combine the butter and milk in a small pot and heat until the butter melts.  Turn the heat off and let it cool until it reaches 115-125˚ F on an instant-read thermometer (I didn’t have a thermometer, so I guessed).

2. Add the warm milk mixture, vanilla and eggs to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until a dough forms.  Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  You can add additional flour as needed.  When the dough doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl anymore, but is not sticky, it’s done.  It will probably take about 3-5 minutes.

3. Remove the dough from the bowl and put into another lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled (about 1 hour).

4. While the dough is rising, add the butter for the filling to a small pot and melt until browned.  Let cool.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

5. When the dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and put in on a lightly floured surface.   Deflate and roll into a ball and cover with a towel.  Let it rest for 5 minutes.

6. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12 x 20 inches and brush the dough with the brown butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.  Try to make it as even as possible.

7. Cut the dough into 6 even strips.  Stack the strips on top of each other and cute them again into 6 even slices.  Stack all the squares on top of each other and put into a greased loaf pan.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area (about 30-45 minutes).

8. Bake the loaf at 350˚ F for about 30-35 minutes.  The top should be golden brown.  When you remove it from the open, let it rest in the pan about 20-30 minutes.  Use a knife to loosen the loaf from the pan.  Enjoy!

Yield: 9X5 loaf

Adapted from Annie’s Eats; Joy the Baker.  Joy adapted it from Hungry Girl Por Vida.