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.”
When January 6 rolls around, I want to bake a Kings’ Cake or King Cake or galette des rois. We do not celebrate Epiphany, but it is a French thing. I teach my children French and many things about French culture. A few years ago, I posted about a galette des rois on this blog.
Galette des rois – our 2021 homemade version
Louisiana has a version of this cake, but it is not puff pastry. Plus, they eat it all the way until Mardi Gras, which is sometime in February. The French only indulge in this after Christmas and, maybe, until the end of January. Continue reading »
Last week, I made cinnamon rolls from scratch. My KitchenAid stand-up mixer comes in handy for this particular recipe. Be forewarned, there are typos and grammatical errors in this recipe. However, they will not mess you up. It’s just a warning for people like me, who are sensitive to such things.
My family loved these rolls so much, they asked me why I do not make them more often. Not sure what the answer should be. Not even sure what the answer is. I suppose I will put cinnamon rolls on the imaginary cooking schedule in my head – about once a week, like pancakes. Continue reading »
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.
We made garlic knots today. It reminded me that I have completely neglected this baking project for the last few weeks. You see, our November was super busy. It was one of those months that goes by in a flash.
These garlic knots are super easy to make. I got the recipe from Chef Ani. She is quickly becoming my favorite online chef. Continue reading »
This week, we used the sourdough starter to make sourdough bread. When you have a bread machine, you skip all the kneading. It only took ten minutes to measure ingredients into the machine and push start. Three hours later, we had this amazing bread loaf which everybody loved. I tried a little piece to see if I will react to the gluten. Since I did not, the next day I had a bigger piece. So far, so good.
The kids and I made this sourdough bread.
Next time I make it, I will use bread flour, just to see the difference. This first time, I used all-purpose flour. The recipe allows for either, or. 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 »