Specialty Breads

Easy & Flavorful English Muffins

Suggested Equipment: KitchenAid Stand Mixer 4.5 Qt, Lodge Cast Iron Pan, Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baker's Sheet, OXO 11 Pound Stainless Scale with Pull-Out Display, Silicone, Non-Stick Baking Mat
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup, warm whole milk (110 °F)
  • ⅓ cup, warm water (110 °F)
  • 3 tablespoons , unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons, honey
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons , instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 ½ cups (19 1/4 ounces), bread flour, plus extra as needed
  • 2 teaspoons, salt
  • ¾ cup (3 3/4 ounces), cornmeal
Instructions:
  • Whisk milk, water, melted butter, honey, and yeast together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves. Whisk flour and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Using dough hook with mixer on low speed, slowly add milk mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and continue to mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (If after 4 minutes dough is still very sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons extra flour; dough should clear sides of bowl but stick to bottom.)

  • Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup cornmeal in rimmed baking sheet. Transfer dough to clean counter and shape into 12-inch log. Divide log into 12 equal pieces and cover with greased plastic. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep other pieces covered), round dough into smooth, taut balls. Arrange dough balls on prepared sheet, spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover dough balls with plastic and let rise until nearly doubled in size, 45 to 75 minutes.

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using greased metal spatula, press dough balls into flat, 3/4-inch-thick rounds (about 3 inches in diameter). Dust tops of muffins with remaining 1/4 cup cornmeal.

  • Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Place 4 muffins in skillet and cook until deep golden brown on first side, 1 to 3 minutes, occasionally pressing down on muffins with spatula to prevent doming.

  • Flip muffins, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until well browned on second side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer muffins to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining muffins in 2 batches, wiping skillet clean before each batch; transfer to sheet.

  • Bake until muffins are fully set and register 210°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffins to wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes before splitting with fork and toasting. Serve. (Cooled, unsplit English muffins can be stored in zipper-lock bag for up to 2 days.)

Notes:

For a full video tutorial, check out my English Muffin TikTok

 

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen. 

Additional Images:
  • images/recipes/breakfast-sandwich-eggslut.jpeg
  • images/recipes/breakfast-sandwich-innout.jpeg
This recipe is great if you're craving English muffins and want them ASAP. They have a great taste...

Bomb Garlic Bread

Video URL: https://www.tiktok.com/@tasteandtraveler/video/6852294210763181317
Video Hosting Platform: TikTok
Video Image Thumbnail:
Suggested Equipment: Microplane, OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowls 3 Piece Set
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • 1 stick (1/2 c.), salted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cloves, garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons, fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch, ground pepper
  • 1, French baguette, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup, Parmesan, grated
  • Optional Garnish:,
  • , Fresh parsley, chopped
  • , Parmesan, grated
  • , Fresh chives, chopped
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.

  • In a medium bowl, combine butter, garlic, parsley, and pepper.

  • Spread butter mixture liberally over your halved baguette.

  • Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over your buttered bread.

  • Bake at 425ºF from 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

  • Sprinkle with optional garnish. Cut and serve warm! :)

Additional Images:
  • images/recipes/Bomb_Garlic_Bread_-_2.png
The title says it all...bomb garlic bread. Easy to make and more flavorful than your typical plain...

Flaky Pastry Dough

Video URL: https://www.tiktok.com/@tasteandtraveler/video/6850088900078193926
Video Hosting Platform: TikTok
Video Image Thumbnail:
Suggested Equipment: French Rolling Pin, OXO 11 Pound Stainless Scale with Pull-Out Display, Pro Dough Pastry Scraper, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
Difficulty: Medium
Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces , Unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces by weight), Unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp, Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup, Ice water
Instructions:
  • Freeze the butter, in cubes, for 15 minutes until it is very cold but not solid.  

  • Hand method: Combine flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl and cut the butter into smaller pieces with a knife or pastry cutter. Pinch and press the butter and flour mixture to help flatten the pieces of butter. (This will help you build butter layers and result in a flakier dough.) Add about half the ice water to the flour mixture with a fork. Add more water, a little at a time, you might need more or less than 1/4 cup ice water. When no more loose flour is left in the bowl and your mixture just sticks together, you are done. 

  • Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Using the heel of your hand, press the dough to flatten against the counter, pushing away from you slightly to smear the pieces of butter into the flour. Fold the dough on top of itself, and continue pressing and smearing. Use a bench scraper to fold, if you need it. Repeat 5 or 6 more times of pressing, smearing, and folding, until the dough no longer feels shaggy and is smooth but not sticky. When the dough is soft, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. At this point, you can freeze the dough and store it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.

  • I used this pastry dough to make 8 savory hand pies. However, this is a very versatile recipe and would be excellent for a pie or tart crust. For my pies, I shaped them and baked at 375ºF for 1 hour, until they were golden brown.  

Notes:

Adapted from Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables by Joshua McFadden.

Additional Images:
  • images/recipes/pastry-dough-hand-pie-full.jpg
I mean look at those layers! This flaky pastry dough can be used for so many recipes. I've recently...

Mini Flavorful Bagels

Video URL: https://www.tiktok.com/@tasteandtraveler/video/6829065328916516101
Video Hosting Platform: TikTok
Video Image Thumbnail:
Suggested Equipment: KitchenAid Stand Mixer 4.5 Qt, Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven, 4.5 qt, Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baker's Sheet, OXO 11 Pound Stainless Scale with Pull-Out Display, OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt, Silicone, Non-Stick Baking Mat
Difficulty: Medium
Ingredients:
  • 350 grams, water, plus more for boiling
  • 650 grams, bread flour, divided
  • 3 grams, active dry yeast
  • 25 grams, granulated sugar
  • 25 grams, diastatic malt powder (if you can find!)
  • 10 grams, salt
  • , nonstick spray, as needed
  • 25 grams, malt syrup, molasses or honey
  • 10 grams, baking soda
  • Toppings (optional),
  • 10 grams, black sesame seed
  • 10 grams, dried onion flakes
  • 10 grams, salt, Maldon flake
  • 7 grams, Poppy seed
  • 5 grams, sesame seed
  • 5 grams, dried garlic flakes
Instructions:
  • In a stand mixer bowl, combine 350g water, 250g of the flour, and the active dry yeast. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the mixture proof at room temperature until it doubles in size and makes frothy bubbles that collapse when you tap the bowl on the countertop. This takes about two to four hours. (Look for a foam that resembles the one on a root beer float. If you don’t see this yet, just give the yeast a bit more time to work its magic.)

  • In a bowl, combine the remaining 400g of bread flour with sugar, diastatic malt powder (optional), and salt.

  • Reattach the bowl containing the sponge (from Step 1) to the stand mixer and fasten on the dough hook. Set the mixer to low. Gradually spoon in the dry ingredients and let the dough mix until it becomes stretchy and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 15 to 20 minutes. (This will be rough work for your stand mixer.) Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  • Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Cover with plastic wrap. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, divide it into 65g portions and set them on the pan. Keep the entire sheet covered as you work, tucking each new portion underneath the plastic wrap to keep any crust from forming.

  • Form the portions into balls. Here’s how we do it:
    First, form a dome. Make a circle with one hand, place a piece of portioned dough halfway inside it, and use one finger of your other hand to turn the dough while gradually pushing it through the circle. You want to end up with a nice, taut dome.

    Next, turn that dome into a ball. Hold the dome with the concave underside facing up. Pinch the dough closed across the "bowl," then roll the seam on the work surface until smooth. When you finish each piece, return it to its spot under the plastic wrap on the sheet pan.

  • Refrigerate your dough babies for 20 minutes.

  • Working with one ball at a time, use two fingers to pinch a hole through the center of the dough, turning it while you work. Once you break through the dough, turn it on its side (like a spinning wheel). Stick both of your index fingers through the hole from opposite directions, and spin them around each other, slowly stretching out the hole until you can fit three fingers through it. Return the shaped dough to its covered spot on the tray. (You might need a second tray.)

  • Allow to proof at room temperature until a dough ring floats when set in a bowl of water. This will take about 20–40 minutes. (If the test ring sinks, proof a bit longer.)

  • Make sure the tray(s) are wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, and let them cool in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days) to allow flavors to develop.

  • In a large pot over high heat, bring 5L water, malt syrup (or substitute), and baking soda to a boil.

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Now is also the time to prepare your toppings. Have them out and ready.

  • Working in batches, drop the bagels into the water and boil for 60 seconds, then flip them with a spider strainer or fork and boil for another 60 seconds. Transfer them, smooth sides up, to a lightly greased parchment paper-lined half-sheet pan.

  • If you’re adding seasoning, now’s the time to sprinkle it over the tops of the bagels.

  • Transfer to the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 7 minutes, spin the tray around to ensure even cooking, and continue baking until bagels have a nice, brown color—about 7 more minutes.

  • They are best fresh out of the oven so eat them up!

Notes: Recipe from ChefSteps.
Additional Images:
  • images/recipes/Mini_bagels_-with_salmon.jpeg
  • images/recipes/IMG_7131.jpeg
The best bagel recipe I've tried. A light crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. The closest...

Delicious and Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Video URL: https://www.tiktok.com/@tasteandtraveler/video/6820809253482204422?lang=en
Video Hosting Platform: TikTok
Video Image Thumbnail:
Suggested Equipment: KitchenAid Stand Mixer 4.5 Qt, OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowls 3 Piece Set, OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups, all-purpose flour (I substituted 1/4 cup for 1/4 cup ground flaxseed)
  • 1 teaspoon, baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon, salt
  • 1 teaspoon, cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon in batter, 1/2 teaspoon sprinkled on top before baking)
  • 1/2 cup* (or 1/4 cup if adding yogurt below) , butter
  •  3/4 cup, brown sugar
  • 2, eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cup (about 3), mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon, vanilla
  • 1/4 cup, plain yogurt* (optional, adds flavor and moisture)
  • 1 cup, toasted pecans (optional)
  •  1/2 cup, mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • , Turbinado sugar (coarse sugar) 
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan (Line pan with parchment paper for easy removal).

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed (optional).

  • In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in yogurt (optional), eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla until well blended.

  • Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just until moistened. If adding chocolate chips and nuts, fold in now.

  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar on top.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool and enjoy!

Notes:

This recipe is my go-to banana bread recipe. It is moist and flavorful and reminds me of my childhood. It is super simple to make and so satisfying. I love it which chocolate chips and sometimes nuts. It is the perfect morning snack with a cup of tea or an after-dinner treat that will leave you dreaming of moist banana bread. It's hard to mess up and I easily substitute ingredients for healthier alternatives. Enjoy!

TIP: Use mini chocolate chips or roughly chop regular size chocolate chips. If they are too large, they will sink to the bottom when cooking.

Additional Images:
  • images/banana_bread-loaf.png
  • images/recipes/banana_bread-slice_upright.jpeg
This recipe reminds me of my childhood. By far my favorite banana bread recipe. Super moist and goes...

Rustic Flatbread

Suggested Equipment: California Olive Ranch XVOO, KitchenAid Stand Mixer 4.5 Qt, Lodge Cast Iron Pan, OXO 11 Pound Stainless Scale with Pull-Out Display
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup, warm water (110 degrees), plus extra as needed
  • ¼ cup, plain yogurt (see notes for alterations)
  • 2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons, instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons, sugar
  • 2 ½ cups (13 3/4 ounces), bread flour, plus extra as needed
  • ¼ cup (1 1/3 ounces), whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons, salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted
  • , coarse sea salt
Instructions:
  • Whisk water, yogurt, 1 tablespoon oil, yeast, and sugar in 2-cup liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves. Whisk bread flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Using dough hook with mixer on low speed, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and continue to mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (If after 4 minutes dough is still very sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons extra flour; dough should clear sides of bowl but stick to bottom.)

  • Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide into 4 pieces, and cover with greased plastic. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep other pieces covered), round dough into smooth, taut balls. Let balls rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  • Grease 12-inch cast-iron skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, press and roll 1 dough ball into 9-inch round of even thickness, sprinkling dough and counter with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Using fork, poke entire surface of round 20 to 25 times.

  • Using paper towels, carefully wipe out oil in skillet, leaving thin film on bottom and sides. Mist top of dough lightly with water. Place dough in skillet, moistened side down, then mist top surface of dough with water. Cover and cook until bottom of bread is browned in spots across surface, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip bread, cover, and continue to cook until lightly browned on second side, 2 to 3 minutes. (If bread puffs up, gently poke with fork to deflate.)

  • Brush 1 side of bread with about 1 teaspoon melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately or transfer to ovensafe plate, tent with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining 3 dough balls, melted butter, and sea salt. Enjoy!

Notes:

Yogurt Alternation: I have made this recipe several times and have switched out the yogurt each time. I have used anything from coconut yogurt to sour cream to vegan cream cheese. The yogurt adds moisture and a bit more flavor and therefore can be substituted for anything with a similar texture. (I substitute because my mom loves her yogurt and during the COVID-19 stay in place order, I don't want to use up anything she will miss.) 

This flatbread is super versatile and goes great with anything from homemade hummus to shakshuka.  If you are looking for a lighter bread with a pocket, try my homemade pita.

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen. 

Additional Images:
  • images/recipes/pita-flatbread-hummus_spread.jpeg
  • images/recipes/hummus-flatbread.jpg
If you need a good, flavorful flatbread in less than 2 hours this is the recipe for you. You don't...
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