Puff pastry filled with savory delicacies like spinach and cheese or veggie meat crumbles? Yes, please! I use frozen puff pastry from the store. The cheese and spinach quickly come together if you have frozen spinach and shredded cheese. The veggie meat also comes together quickly, whether you use dry TVP or frozen Morning Star crumbles.
Puff pastry filled with veggie meat
You see, you have to wait about 40 minutes for the pastry to thaw. That gives you time to prepare your filling. For the spinach, you need to also thaw it, then drain it well. I have noticed that block cheese you shred is much tastier that the cheese that comes already shredded. So, take your pick. Do you have more time (to shred cheese) or more desire for convenience (and can compromise on taste a little)?
I made the “meat” puff pastry this week – shall we call it “meat pie?” It was so good, it was gone in one meal. Everybody ate their fill and then some. The kids have requested we put this one on a regular rotation.
Half way through the school year and I found yet another winning recipe: flat bread. My family loves this! One recipe makes eight flat individual size flat breads and they consume them in just a few hours.
Flat bread with Tumble, one of our stufties
I got this recipe from my mom’s husband, who is a wonderful home cook. My mom also used to make this flat bread when I was growing up, so I am very familiar with the taste and texture. I asked them both where they learned to make this bread and they smiled and said, “From our parents and grandparents.”
This week, we made dinner rolls. Just like that, I got tired of buying dinner rolls from the frozen section. We do not usually get them anyway. But for a big celebration like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we like to have dinner rolls on the table. We buy wheat rolls, which makes us feel like we make an effort towards health. However, I feel like we should step it up a notch.
Dinner rolls, fresh out of the oven
Enter this recipe for dinner rolls I shall tell you about. I have had this recipe in a cookbook somebody gave me when I graduated from college. Ah, the good old days when people gave me cookbooks for a graduation gift. Continue reading »
For this baking project, I went back to gluten free baking. I have to stay away from gluten as much as possible, you see. And I found this amazing website with great recipes that are both vegan and gluten free. It belongs to a friend of a friend.
Gluten free bread
Check out this gluten free bread recipe. Mine did not look exactly like it when cut, but it looked and tasted great. Of course, there could be many reasons why you don’t get something to look exactly like the picture in the recipe. For one, I replaced guar gum with xanthan gum.
One large bread pan, one medium
Not sure if that had anything to do with it. Then, oven temperatures vary. Gluten free baking is very fiddly. You keep something in the oven five minutes too long and the result can be disastrous. Continue reading »
The garlic knots were a success. The kids wanted to make them again the following week. This time, my daughter insisted we make them into “croissants.” What you do is you get the dough split into several pieces. Then, you rub them into long “snakes.” As you twist the long, thin pieces, you bring them together into a circle. They look really good.
Our daughter shaping the dough into “croissants”
I wanted to at least provide a variation on the same theme. Therefore, I proposed we use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. They came out delicious.
The crust got a bit more crunchy, but the inside was still fluffy. That’s a nice contrast to have in a pastry, of course.
Our garlic “croissants”
This time, I chopped the garlic instead of crushing it. It made it easier to spread over the croissants.
I read that you can freeze the dough or the finished product. Here’s the thing: we eat this whole recipe in one sitting. What has leftovers to freeze? Maybe I should triple the recipe and then just freeze the dough. But we are not that kind of family. We make it, we eat it, no leftovers.
The kids and I have started on a sourdough bread recipe. This week, we made the sourdough starter. This will have to ferment for at least two days before we can make sourdough bread in the bread machine.
Making sourdough starter
People either love or hate sourdough bread. I happen to love it. However, I have had to stay away from gluten for the past four years, due to gluten intolerance. As I have progressed more in my allergy treatment, it seems that I can timidly have a serving of gluten once a week or so, without pain and bloating. Continue reading »
We had zeppoli at Olive Garden a few weeks ago. I told the kids we can replicate it at home. They said, “Probably not, but we can try it.” Thanks for your confidence, kids! I looked for a recipe online.
Zeppole – Italian doughnuts
It turns out, the real name is “zeppole,” not “zeppoli.” Now I realize that Italian doughnuts do not exactly a loaf of bread represent. Hey, it’s dough raised with yeast. That counts for something. Continue reading »
The kids cannot get enough of focaccia bread. Finally, they were ready to sprinkle cheese, rosemary, and Italian seasoning on their focaccia dough before baking it. This is their third time making it. Third time’s a charm indeed.
Focaccia with sharp cheddar cheese, rosemary, and Italian seasoning
I also suggested that, when the bread is ready, they dip it in marinara sauce, warm or cold. They loved it. See? Taste buds can be trained and educated. When we hear so many parents complain their children will not eat vegetables or whole wheat bread or fruit, it’s a matter of patient education. Continue reading »
The kids cannot get enough of focaccia bread, so they decided to make another one this week. However, we had run out of all-purpose flour. What to do? We still had whole wheat flour and bread flour, both organic. I suggested they make it using the two flours, half and half.
Focaccia with marinara
This is a great exercise in “real life” for the kids. Many times the pantry can miss an item and, as a parent, you have to improvise to put food on the table. Plus I wanted them to see the difference in texture when using different types of flours. Last but not least, whole wheat flour gives you extra nutrition. Continue reading »
The kids made focaccia bread by using the pizza crust recipe from last week. They used the bread machine, as usual. The dough cycle takes one hour and 20 minutes, so you set it and go do some homeschooling. But don’t forget it. The dough will keep on rising in the machine and it makes a mess, sticking to the lid and the sides. You don’t want that.
To avoid having to clean more than I want to, I usually set an alarm on my phone. The kitchen is pretty far from the school room and I cannot hear the beep on the machine when it announces it is done. Continue reading »