Sometimes life get rather complicated. Choices need to be made. Sometimes the decisions are hard and the results, messy. Sometimes it takes a while to untangle, to sort through what is absolutely crazy and what is absolutely necessary. During these times, my brain tends to feel overworked. I spend some much time sorting out the questions of the universe that when it comes to food, I crave simple and comforting foods. Today’s recipe is my favorite bread recipe. It is simple, delicious, and uncomplicated.
I can not say enough good things about this bread. With some modifications (detailed below), you can use this recipes for many different types of breads. Without further ado, here is the recipe for the bread.
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and yeast. Mix for a few seconds or until yeast is distributed well. Add remaining ingredients and mix, adding more water if the dough is too dry. Turn up mixer to a medium speed and mix dough for 10 minutes.
- Spray all sides of the dough with cooking spray. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes or until dough has doubled.
- Once dough has doubled, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape bread into desired shape (more details on that below). Place bread on pizza stone (or a greased baked sheet) and cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Brush water over loaves. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf (if making a french loaf). Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- The dough is great for making several different kinds of bread. The dough can be shaped into long, skinny baguettes, ciabatta, and more.
- For baguettes, divide dough into two pieces and shape into two long rolls.
- For ciabatta, shape dough into a rectangle and flatten slightly. Do not slash bread.
- For sandwich bread, bake in a loaf pan.
- The dough can also be used to make mini baguettes and rolls.
As a kid, I was always the weird one who liked foods that traditionally were considered gross by many children. When I was little, I loved going into my Grandma’s fridge in her garage and grabbing a pickled egg or two. I also loved salad bars, cottage cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, and of course, brussels sprouts.
My almost three year old is similar to me in her love of “weird” foods. She has been known to do a happy dance at the mention of having collards greens for dinner. She, also, loves brussels sprouts.
Below is one of our favorite brussels sprouts recipes. It is so simple that it might not even qualify as a recipe. Simply roasted, drizzled in olive oil. and sprinkled with salt and pepper, these brussels sprouts are an easy side dish for a number of meats.
1 lb or so of brussels sprouts, washed and dried
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- On brussels sprouts, remove any discolored outer leaves. Cut brussels sprouts in half.
- In a good sized mixing bowl, add brussel sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to evenly coat brussels sprouts. Once coated, put brussels sprouts on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 30 minutes (on until leaves soften), stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Hello, there! I just realized yesterday that I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. I have not been purposefully neglecting my blog. Life has been busy with a somewhat new baby (3 months old this week) and an almost three year old.
But here is my promise to you, my loyal readers (all 4 of you… hi, Mom!) I will post some delicious recipes soon. (By soon, I mean this week… yay!)
Here is a brief glimpse at what I have been cooking over the last week.
Lebanese Chicken Skewers (found here)
The yogurt marinade is absolutely delicious!
Spinach and Bacon Quiche (found here)
I substituted 1% milk for the heavy cream to lighten things up a bit
Roasted Chicken (found here)
I made two roasted chickens- one for us, one for a friend. This recipe is a classic.
A couple of years ago, my father found out that his father was Persian/Turkish and from Lebanon. My father was adopted when he was only a few days old, so he had little knowledge of who his birth parents were and where they were from. Until I learned where my biological grandfather was from, I felt like half of me was a big mystery. Since learning of my heritage, I have been on a mission to learn Middle Eastern recipes, specifically Lebanese and Persian. In cooking these recipes, I feel connected to relatives and ancestors that I have never met.
I feel especially connected to my family when cooking with Lebanese style za’atar. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend. The Lebanese style blend contains sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, and sea salt. It is delicious on everything from roasted chicken to hummus. Sumac has a lovely red color and bright lemony taste. It is the perfect way to perk up many dishes.
Za’atar is the lead player in this recipe for fried chick peas. It perfectly complements the crispy fried goodness of the chick peas with its brightness herbaciousness.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit magazine
Olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained, peels removed
1 tablespoon of za’atar, plus more to sprinkle on at end
- Heat oil in a good sized pan. Once oil is hot, add chick peas and za’atar and fry until chick peas are crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Remove chick peas from oil to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with za’atar and salt and place in serving bowl.
* To remove peel from chickpeas roll the individual chickpeas in between your fingers. The peel should easy come off.
* Za’atar can be found at Penzey’s.
Today I am sharing one of my go to dinners- roasted chicken. This recipe produces a flavorful bird with crispy skin on the outside and juicy, perfectly cooked meat on the inside. In addition to being stunningly delicious, this chicken is also one of the easiest meals ever.
Whole roaster chicken (4-6 lbs)
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, smashed (or more)
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven heats, rinse and dry chicken.
- Place chicken legs up in roasting pan, season outside with a good amount of salt and pepper, fill inside with garlic and rosemary.
- Place chicken in oven and cook for 17 minutes for every pound (a 5.68lbs chicken needs about 97 minutes). During this time, leave the door closed.
- Once the time is up, check the temp to make sure the chicken has reached 160 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.
- Remove skin and set aside (for eating later). Proceed to carve chicken and enjoy.
Use the leftovers to make the best chicken salad ever. Combine chopped celery, onion, and chicken with mayo, and dill.
Use the carcass to make chicken broth. Throw carcass (with garlic, sans rosemary) in a stockpot (or crock pot on high) with onions and carrots, salt and pepper and enough water to fully cover the carcass (about a quart). Let boil for a couple hours until the broth is desired depth of color.
For most people, the mention of pancakes conjures up images of soggy and limp pancakes made with a boxed mix, only made appealing by copious amounts of maple syrup. This recipe for brown sugar spice pancakes produces pancakes that are slightly sweet, somewhat spicy and unbelievably fluffy. These pancakes don’t even need maple syrup (but, of course, a little never hurts).
The key to making enchantingly fluffy pancakes is patience. These pancakes cook low (no higher than medium) and slow and need time to puff up. The result is incredibly fluffy, almost cake-like pancakes.
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
5 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- In a good sized mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients, stir to combine. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
- While batter is resting, heat a large non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, ladle batter into pan. Let pancakes cook on first side until the top of the pancake starts to bubble and then flip and let cook until other side is golden brown.
Note: It cannot be stressed enough, don’t cook these hotter than medium. Lower and slower is the way to go!
Hello soon to be friends,
You have stumbled onto my little kitchen table on the internet. Pour yourself a drink, pull up a seat, and enjoy!
I can’t wait for you to see all the recipes that I have planned!