Archive for the 'bread' Category

Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

biscuit pizza 2 Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

We’ve been eating a disproportionate amount of pizza these past couple weeks… not only because it’s easy to cook on the grill (we’re currently without a kitchen), but because it’s easy and requires little in the way of dishes – just napkins that can be tossed in the garbage. (Doing dishes in the bathtub tends to make one acutely aware of just how many dirty dishes one generates.)

This particular pizza is not the thin crust variety; it’s made on thickly patted out biscuit dough, making it sort a of quasi-focaccia, but then again not really – it’s more like thick wedges of comfort; dough topped with cheese, served warm. You could, of course, add anything you might add to a pizza – and the dough itself can be stirred up in about a minute, without kneading (a bonus when you currently have no countertops) or the need to let it rise. Which means you can come home from work and have a pizza in the oven in about ten minutes – it’s also easy enough for kids to make themselves, if they’re the sort who come home hungry and like to bake.

biscuit pizza 1 Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

We baked this in the toaster oven – one of the small appliances that has saved our collective bacon since I decided it was a good idea to tear the kitchen out in order to force us to come up with a new one. My toaster oven is old and well-used, but London Drugs asked if I’d curate a short list of small appliances that make life easier during the back to school (and work) end of summer crunch, and the toaster oven is often overlooked, I think, for its ability to do far more than melt cheese on a bagel.

toaster oven 585x361 Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

You can bake a batch of biscuits in a toaster oven, which really is a regular oven, only mini, that sits on your countertop. Most people don’t realize you could bake a pie in a toaster oven. (And you might want to, if another heat wave comes along. Toaster ovens don’t heat up the entire house.) It doesn’t use as much power when you’re baking something small, like a banana loaf, or if you’re cooking or reheating a meal for one. (Sometimes you want crispy bits, which aren’t always possible in the microwave.) And they’re great for students with limited space – I have no idea how dorm rooms work these days, but I know I’d want some sort of kitchen setup, even if it was in a closet.

Like every other appliance, toaster ovens range from the inexpensive to the fancy (this Breville has an LCD screen and convection capabilities), but I’ve worked with many toaster ovens in many makeshift kitchens and on cooking sets over the years, and had success with most of them – I’d choose the Oster or Hamilton Beach (you can toast, bake or broil), or the Breville if you want to go higher end.

Happy long weekend, all! Enjoy this last summer hurrah.

Bubble Biscuit Pizza

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup tomato sauce or 1/2 cup pesto
2 cups grated mozzarella
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto the countertop, knead once or twice, and pat out about an inch thick.

With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares and place in a large bowl. Pour the tomato sauce and half the mozzarella overtop and gently toss to coat. Scrape out into an 8-inch cast iron skillet, or a greased cake pan or pie plate.

Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve warm. Serves 4-6.

* This post was sponsored by London Drugs to help get through the back to school crunch – and to help me pay my web hosting fees – but all words and thoughts are my own. Thanks, London Drugs!

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August 29 2014 | bread and one dish | 8 Comments »

Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

Carrot scones beauty Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

I have a hard time not mixing up a batch of scones every morning of the week. When it happens to be Easter morning, and we’re counting down the minutes to head over to Grandma’s house for an epic full-contact Hunger Games Easter egg hunt (5 boys between 5 and 10) I have a reasonable excuse to bake a batch. And just now, having read a sad tale of failed carrot cake and woe over wasted carrots and the grating thereof, it occurred to me that carrot scones should totally be an Easter morning thing. Right?

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With a honeyed cream cheese schmear that I not even intentionally served in an egg shaped ramekin?

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These are like a delicious marriage of carrot cake and scone, with a crunchy edge and steamy middle that makes a perfect vehicle for cream cheese – or butter and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Hop to it! Happy Easter!

Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

From Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook by Pierre and I

Scones:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 large carrot, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup milk, half and half or 18% cream
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or raisins

Schmear:
1 8 oz (250 g) pkg. cream cheese
2–4 Tbsp milk, half and half or 18% cream
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and blend with a fork or pastry blender (or pulse the mixture in the bowl of a food processor) until almost blended, with pieces of butter the size of a pea remaining. Add the grated carrots and toss to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together the milk and egg; add to the carrot mixture along with the chopped walnuts or raisins and stir just until the dough comes together.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the dough into a circle that’s about an inch thick. (For smaller scones, divide the dough in half and pat into two circles.) Cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife, and pull the scones apart from each other, leaving an inch or so between them.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

To make the cream cheese schmear, beat the cream cheese, milk, honey and vanilla until the mixture is smooth, fluffy and spreadable. Serve with the scones.

Makes about 8 scones.

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April 20 2014 | bread and breakfast | 6 Comments »

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