Tag Archives: bread

11 of My Very Best Fall Recipes

fall-recipe-roundup

Crisp fall air and leaves turning shades of red and burnished orange, the crackle of them under your feet as you walk down the street with hands snuggled deep inside your pockets.    Autumn is by far my favorite season.  The temperatures begin to cool down at night, calling for an extra blanket or a down comforter.    This is something I miss now that I live south of the Mason Dixon line.  It’s only been 3 and a half years, but I doubt I’ll ever really get used to the lack of (distinguishable) seasons.

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Potato Dill Biscuits

Potato Dill Biscuits

Remember a few months ago when I went to a food conference and was assigned as brand ambassador for Idaho Potatoes?  They asked me to come up with a recipe using dehydrated potatoes and after bouncing around a few ideas, we settled on this biscuit.   Biscuits

When I was in the “testing phase” of this recipe, The Girl asked me why would I use dehydrated potato instead of leftover homemade mashed potato.  She had a good question and I figured if she was wondering that, someone else would be too.  Here’s the answer:
Other than Thanksgiving (when all of us make extra on purpose), when do you have extra mashed potato hanging around?  Not very often, I’m guessing.  Also, I don’t want to wait for the occasion to have them just to make these biscuits and furthermore, I don’t want to make them just to wait for them to get cold so I can make biscuits out of them.   All that being said, the biggest reason for using the dehydrated potato instead of leftover mashed:  THEY WORK BETTER!  I kid you not,  the biscuits are amazing.
If you’ve had potato bread or rolls, you know that sweet smell and soft, fluffy texture that can only be found by using potato. It works in breads, so it stands to reason that it would be great in a biscuit as well. And it is.

I wanted to flavor these biscuits with some kind of herb and dill was my first choice.  If you aren’t a fan of dill, swap it out for rosemary, thyme or whatever herbs you prefer.Potato Dill Drop Biscuits PP
The texture of the potato biscuit is fluffy and tender. The crust is beautifully golden and when you break them open, they smell of sweet, buttery mashed potato. You can’t beat that.

Potatoes do not have gluten (the protein that gives bread its chewy texture), so these biscuits remain tender and moist.  They are a smidge denser than regular biscuits, but are by no means heavy.  They are my new “go-to” biscuit.  They are easy as can be, because it is a simple drop biscuit, which means no rolling out and cutting dough.  I’ve made a rather big batch and froze about half of them to use in another recipe that will be coming soon!  I’ll give you a hint: breakfast.
I’m already planning ahead for the holiday season and these potato dill biscuits will be on our table this year. I can already imagine stuffing them with turkey for a little afternoon snack…
Potato Dill Biscuits PP
Thank you again, to Idaho Potato® for sponsoring this post! They are wonderful to work with and it allows me to share tasty recipes with you!

Potato Dill Biscuits
Yields 8
A simple and delicious drop biscuit.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1- 3.4 oz. package Honest Earth® buttery home-style dehydrated potatoes
  2. 7 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 ½ cups)
  3. 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  5. ½ teaspoon white pepper
  6. 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
  7. ½ cup light cream + 2 tablespoons for brushing on top
  8. 1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  9. 1 tablespoon dill
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl: combine cream, eggs and yolk. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment: Combine flour and diced butter and let mixer run until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add dehydrated potatoes, baking powder, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix for a few seconds until it is combined.
  5. Pour cream mixture into bowl of mixer and mix until just combined, do not overmix.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and with a rubber spatula, fold dough from bottom of bowl to the top to make sure all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
  7. Using a 3-ounce scoop, portion 8 biscuits onto the sheet pan. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired.
  8. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, cool on pan for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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Potato Dill Biscuits - Pook's Pantry

Oh I couldn’t… Well, maybe just a little

 

bread pudding 010

Bread Pudding is one of those desserts people just don’t make very often anymore, since carbs have been deemed the devil and all…

So of course I’ve decided to make it, put 3 different kinds of chocolate in it and cover it with a sauce that tastes like melted ice cream.

I figure this is the perfect indulgence after a month of Lenten sacrifice.   It would make a great dessert anytime, quite honestly.  It is one of the easiest desserts to make because it requires very little effort and it does not demand hours of babysitting to ensure perfection. Thank you Very Much…

For this bread pudding, I prefer brioche (brioche is a buttery, eggy bread) but if you can’t find it use french bread, challah or plain white bread.  If you are lucky enough to live near a good bakery, ask them for the “eggiest” bread they have if they don’t bake brioche.

There really isn’t much to it: cut up some old bread, mix it up with a few other ingredients, let it soak for a bit while you get on with other things and then put it in the oven to bake.  I mean really, what else can you ask for in a dessert?

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Lavender Scones…

So here we are smack in the middle of the holiday season and there are pumpkin, gingerbread & peppermint recipes coming out of people’s ears and what am I making?  Lavender scones.

I don’t mean to swim upstream, it just seems to happen…  I’ve been on a bit of a scone kick lately.  I will admit I’ve been making cranberry scones too and THOSE are holiday’ish, but I needed a break from the sea of cinnamon and nutmeg.

They are ridiculously easy  (especially the drop kind like these) and they take very little time, which is a blessing during this frenzied time of year when time and energy are in short supply.   

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Sage & Onion Rolls

I opened the kitchen door to our house and the heady scent of yeast met me as soon as I crossed the threshold.  That is an unmistakable scent.  It stopped me in my tracks, book bag still slung across my shoulder. A smell I would soon start to look forward to.  Anticipation of very good things to come.  I came to appreciate the vast difference between store-bought bread and bread that had been brought to life in the gathering place of my home.   Yeast fermenting, bubbling away in a bowl set aside waiting to be introduced to a snowy pile of flour.  

We were starting our “bread” module in culinary school, I walked into the room and could hardly wait to get started.  There is something about the cool, smooth texture of bread dough that always makes me happy.  Rolling your shoulders forward and really kneading it; pushing with the heel of your hand and pulling it back toward you, feeling the dough come to life and slowly begin to change.  It transforms beneath your hands from a sticky mess into a beautiful, almost silky, elastic dough. 

My first restaurant job was as a “garde manger”, which literally translates as keeper of the food.  It is a bottom-of-the-food-chain position where most culinary graduates begin.  In addition to the hot and cold appetizers, soup and desserts, I was also tasked with making rolls.  In time it became my moment of peace in a whirlwind of chaotic activity.  Servers running from one place to the next, polishing forks and knives; line cooks taking stairs two by two trying to make their way from the walk-in cooler in the basement back upstairs into the kitchen to finish prepping for service; the clanging of pots and pans as dishwashers set clean ones at each of our stations.   Those few minutes kneading dough became the only moments of peace I would have for the next 10 hours.

 

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Pa amb Tomaquet (Bread with Tomato)

 Balcony in BarcelonaI had been dreaming about travelling to Spain for nearly a decade, so when I finally landed there back in April of 2000, I cried.   The moment my feet touched Spanish soil, I was almost in disbelief.    I was so overwhelmed that I could not contain my pure joy.  It felt as if the entire universe lined up and planted me exactly where I was supposed to be for that one perfect moment.  I wanted for nothing.

Flower stand along Las Ramblas
 
Boqueria
When people ask that hypothetical question “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?”  My answer has always been: travel.

After everyone has been taken care of; debts paid off, college funds set up, etc…  I would pack a bag, get on a plane and be a gypsy for a little while.   Those experiences would be priceless.

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Don Quijote, Sancho Panza & Miguel de Cervantes

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The windmills of La Mancha

I enjoy experiencing different countries through their food, culture, traditions, etc.   It reminds me that we are not all that different from one another.   I had been studying the language, history and politics of Spain and Latin America since I was 14 years old.   I was more than ready to be fully immersed and gain experiences I could not get from a book, no matter how much I studied.   Everything was different:  the food, the language, the sounds, the smells… and I couldn’t have been happier.

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Las gambas at Mercado Boqueria
Random Street in Spain

My first stop was a little tapas place in Barcelona.   I knew Spanish food, or at least I thought I did back then.  There were the obligatory patatas bravas, croquetas and of course the tortilla espanola, but I was in Catalunya and the menu was written in Catalan, not Spanish…  

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Red Shoes & Irish Soda Bread

 

“There are only two types of women that wear red shoes, and YOU my dear are no Spanish dancer”. 

That little gem came out of the mouth of my friend’s 86 year old mother, delivered in the thickest Irish brogue you could imagine.

We had been out shopping and she had purchased a pair of red shoes.   Upon showing off her new purchase, that was her mother’s response.  Did I mention that said friend was in her 50’s?!
I was still in my 20’s at the time and thought it was one of the funniest things I had ever heard, the fact that it was delivered with perfect comic timing from an 86 year old woman made it even better. Continue reading

On the Lanai…

I have this nonsensical love of the Golden Girls, to the extent that I kind of want to be them when I grow up.  Not any one of them in particular (although Blanche certainly had lots of fun), but more of an amalgamation of them.  

Dorothy’s intelligence and dry wit, Rose’s willingness to always see the good in people, Sophia’s crass humor and we’ve already covered Blanche’s obvious contribution to the mix.

I can fully appreciate sitting around the kitchen table with an entire (yes, an ENTIRE) cheesecake to work out life’s woes with your best pals, but my fascination is the lanai…  Just the word makes you relax a bit , doesn’t it?  (go ahead, say it aloud…  I’ll wait)

I remember hearing that word as a fourteen year old kid watching this show and not even knowing what it was, but liking sound of it. 
Eventually, when I pieced together what a “lanai” actually was, I thought to myself  “oh yeah, that’s for me”…

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Herbed Heirloom Eggs & Crispy Roasted Mushrooms

This weekend is Father’s Day and while most Dads will be grillin’ & chillin’, they’ll need a little fuel to get the day started.
This is a perfect breakfast or brunch to start Dad’s day.  It is substantial, but not too heavy and it is absolutely delicious.

The roasted mushrooms take on an almost meaty taste and texture and the slight crunch from roasting them is unexpected.

This Sunday,  treat Dad to a special brunch and let him know you appreciate him.

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Flour, Salt, Water, Yeast

These basic four ingredients that most of us already have in the pantry plus a few other add ins and that’s all that is needed to turn a few basic ingredients into focaccia.

I had been thinking about making it for months, but for one reason or another talked myself out of it every time… until now.  I was thinking that it was such a hassle (it’s not) and that it would be a process (it hardly qualifies as work) to make it…  blah, blah, blah.   It had been awhile since I had made focaccia and I had just forgotten how ridiculously easy it is. 

It is as simple as weighing some flour, mixing yeast & water and turning on a mixer.   I should be ashamed of myself for putting it off for so long, especially when it really is that easy.

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, a cup of flour weighs approximately 5 ounces. 
There are 16 ounces in a pound, so therefore 1 lb and 4 ounces of flour is 20 ounces.  Divided by 5 gives you 4 cups of flour.  I used a little more than that.  I weighed my flour first and then measured it so I could give you the cup measurement and for me it came out closer to 4 and a half cups.

I know with all this math, I’ve probably just talked you out of weighing flour but it really isn’t all that bad.   Please forgive the math lesson and let’s get on with the dough…

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