Category Archives: Breads

Crepes

You can stuff anything into a crepe–sweet or savory–and it will be a new experience each time.  Some of my favorite fillings are nutella with banannas and raspberries; crockpot apple pie oatmeal; and marinated peppers, mushrooms, and onions.  They also go great with a scrambled egg filling of your choice, accompanied by a nice spicy bloody mary.  

If you’ve never made crepes before, the batter will be considerably runnier than a pancake or waffle batter, and the crepes themselves will be no more than 1/4 inch thick when baked.  If you have a 12″ no-stick skillet, try folding them the traditional triangular method.  I have a smaller skillet, so I roll mine, just like the picture above.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1T butter (melted)
1/3 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:
In a food processor, mix eggs for about 10 seconds.  Add milk and butter, and mix 10 additional seconds.  Add flour and salt.  Mix again for 10-15 seconds.  The batter should be considerably runnier than a pancake mixture, but should also maintain a slight thickness.  If its still too thin add additional flour 1 T at a time until desired texture is reached.  See video below for an example of my own ideal crepe batter consistency.  Let batter sit 20-30 minutes while you prepare the sauce and eggs.


When cooking crepes, heat a no-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Remove the skillet from heat and coat the pan with a small layer of vegetable oil (I use a pastry brush).  Scoop 1/4 C of the crepe mixture into the skillet and use your wrist to distribute the batter evenly around the circumference of the pan.  Return to stovetop.  When edges begin to brown (after about 1-2 mins), use you fingers and the tip of a cereal spoon to flip the crepe.  Cook for an additional minute.  Remove from heat, and store on a plate covered with foil, or in a warmer.  Repeat until batter is gone.  This recipe should make approximately 4 thin crepes.

You can fold your crepes simply by placing your filling in the center and then rolling them up, as in the picture at the top of this post; or place your filling on one half of the crepe, flap the other side over the top to form a half, circle, and then fold again to form a triangle.

You can fill these guys with anything under the sun: scrambled eggs and spinach; peanut butter and chocolate chips; or strawberries and creme fraiche.  Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top for the sweet ones.

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Buttery Beer Bread

This is a basic beer bread recipe, similar to most out there on the recipe interwebs.  The type of beer you use has a huge influence on the taste of the bread, so if you choose something like a stout, be prepared for a very beer-y tasting bread (awesome as a grilled cheese, by the way)!  If you want to start out with a more simple taste, a lager or wheat ale might be nice.

INGREDIENTS:

3 C all purpose flour (if you choose to use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 oz. bottle of beer (Note: I like to buy a 16 oz. pint and swig a little as I cook, so sometimes my measurements vary from the recommended 12. oz.)
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C-1/2 C butter, melted (depending on how crispy you’d like the top)

DIRECTIONS:

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl.  If you don’t have a sifter (like me) then just knock it all through a plastic colander with large holes.  Form a well in the center of the flour, but carefully–because you just went to all the trouble of sifting the ingredients!  Pour beer into the well.  Gently fold the sifted dry ingredients until lightly incorporated and moist.  It is important to not “over stir,” as your loaf will become hard like a biscuit when baked.

Pour into a greased bread pan.  Pour melted butter over top of mixture.  Bake 50-60 minutes, rotating pan once about halfway through.  Bread will be finished when a toothpick or butter knife comes out of the center clean.

Cool 10 mins.  Serve with a slab of melted butter, vegetarian chili, garlic basil grilled cheese, or tomato soup for a perfect winter meal!

Olive Oil Sesame Crackers

I really enjoy the challenge of making every part of a meal from scratch:  homemade crackers and freshly blended hummus are some of my favorites because they are such a simple standby snack–but knowing I did everything aside from picking the beans and grinding the flour (no gardening here in New York City!) is a cool feeling whenever I sit down to eat.  The experience means so much more.  I love baking all sorts of crackers, but this is my favorite standby.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 C olive oil, plus extra for pan coating
1 C room temperature water
1/2 T garlic powder
1 T mixed italian herbs (I like to use rosemary and thyme)
2 T sesame seeds (for sprinkling)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, garlic powder, italian herbs) in a large mixing bowl.   Stir lightly to distribute ingredients within the mix.  Add water and oil.  Mix with spoon until absorbed.

Move dough to a clean surface–no need to flour.  Knead until wet ingredients are completely combined and distributed.  Break dough in to 3 or 4 sections.  You can bake all sections at once, or store dough in fridge for 2-3 days.  (They also keep in the freezer for about a month).

Roll out one section of dough to no thicker than 1/8 inch.  It is important to roll as thinly as possible, as this will ensure a crispier cracker.  Sprinkle a layer of sesame seeds and light sea salt over the rolled out dough.  Run a rolling pin over the dough once more to press the seeds and salt into the dough.

Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into 1×1 or 2×2 inch squares, depending on your preferred size.  One at a time, place squares on olive oil coated baking sheet.  Bake 15-20 minutes, flipping the squares at least once when they begin to brown on the bottom to ensure an even crispiness.  I also rotate the pan when I flip the crackers.

Serve with hummus, cheese, Vegetarian Chili, olives, fruit–whatever you use crackers for!  Store  in an airtight container for up to a week.