Focaccia Bread, Two Ways!

meyer lemon + thyme focaccia | bread in 5

My family loves eating bread, but some evenings, after school, work, and afternoon activities, there isn’t much time to bake a whole loaf in time for dinner. We recently re-discovered focaccia bread, however, and it has been a quick way to put bread on the table.

Focaccia is terribly delicious; it’s a perfect accompaniment to pasta or soup, and it even makes great afternoon snack. While focaccia can be topped with all kinds of ingredients, we prefer ours rather simple: onions and rosemary scattered on an olive oil-dough flatbread. We even keep the ingredients light to promote nice browning, and the results are a well-flavored bread with a crisp crust. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can try our Meyer lemon-thyme version; Meyer lemons are much sweeter than regular lemons and are a delicious option.

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The Flatbread Braid, New Video: How to Braid a Flat Circle

Braided

Zoe did a great post last month on a traditional braided loaf (made with peasant dough). I thought now might be a nice time to do a new video (it’s way at the bottom of this post), showing one of my favorite techniques, the flatbread braid. Flat or traditional tall, these techniques also work great with challah or brioche dough (but you need to bake those lower temp (350F) because of the egg and sweetener in the challah or brioche). As in the photo, you can turn around a straight braid to make a very festive ring, and I topped it with egg wash and poppy seeds. This dough is about 50/50 whole wheat and white flour, which is a wheatier version of the Light Whole Wheat (you don’t have to use the “old” dough). The 50/50 recipe appears in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a DayContinue reading

Olive Oil Flatbread with Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Spread

olive oil flatbread with asparagus and caramelized onion spread | bread in 5

The asparagus season is short, and since we’re on the very tail end of it, working it into a flatbread seemed like a good idea. Technically this might just as easily be a pizza, since there is sauce, some cheese, and a heaping of vegetables. Either way, it’s a delicious dinner. The caramelized onion spread is sweet, and adds a nice backdrop of flavor. The asparagus is peeled into ribbons, and this technique helps them bake easily, leaving a tender bite and a subtle flavor. Goat cheese lends just a bit of tang, and if you happen to have chives growing in your garden, topping it all off with chive flowers makes a beautiful presentation.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Torta

Thanksgiving leftovers

No matter how big your Thanksgiving feast is or how many people are gathered around your table, chances are there’s more leftovers than you know what to do with. Here is a way to use the extra turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, plus anything else that graced your holiday table and make it into something new. We feature an Italian Torta recipe in Artisan Pizza in Five, but why not swap out the layers for all those leftovers? It is tasty and gorgeous and goes together in a flash if you are cleaning out the fridge of all those half empty tupperware containers. Continue reading

Flatbread Sandwiches: Cool Kitchen, Hot Summer Meal

Here in Minneapolis we have been having a heat wave, and while grilling out can be a great way to keep the kitchen cool, some days it’s just too hot to even do that. So we came up with a quick and easy meal to help beat the heat, a dinner that just requires some stove top time and easy prep.

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Roasted red pepper for fougasse

Fougasse, stuffed or plain: New how-to video

Thanks for being patient with my roasted red pepper obsession.  Above, dropping the scorched peppers into a bowl to steam (see last week’s post on roasting your own peppers).  But now the embarrassing part:  I shot the video on a different day from pepper-roasting time, so I stuffed the fougasse with with tomato and cheese.  So it’s really fougasse in the pizza margherita style.  But you get the picture, or at least, the video:

Lamb Pita

Turkish Spiced Lamb Pita – (Lahmacun)

In addition to making pizza on superbowl sunday, I propose that you shake things up a bit with these Spiced Lamb Pitas. This is one of my favorite recipes in our new book. I love it for many reasons, but the story behind my first bite of Lahmacun is as rich as the bread itself.

I arrived in Istanbul with my husband and two sons (9 & 11 at the time), after a long trip from Minneapolis. As we entered into the city, with the sweetest cabby in the world, and the fastest driver I have ever seen, we realized we were not in the Midwest anymore. It was a feast of the senses. To say we were overwhelmed by the beauty, smells, sounds and traffic, would have been a gross understatement. No sooner had we put our bags down in the hotel, then the concierge called the room to say I had a “friend” waiting for me in the lobby. He whispered into the phone and said “Please, be careful of people who claim to be your friend in a new city.” His way of warning me about something. I didn’t know anyone in the city, and hadn’t made plans to meet up with anyone, so I heeded his warning and sent my husband to the lobby to find out who this mysterious “friend” might be. It was indeed a friend, a dear sweet woman named Serap, who I’d met in the States. She owns a delightful Turkish restaurant called Depot 62 in Manchester, Vermont. I had told her I’d be in Istanbul, asked her for tips on where to eat, but that was all I ever expected to hear. Here she was, the loveliest surprise in the world. She was visiting her sister in istanbul, and they took the day to give us a tour of the city. They fed us the most glorious foods and she introduced me to her favorite Turkish food; Lahmacun. I will never forget that day and this flatbread is forever linked with one of my most precious memories. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

This thin pita is topped with Spiced lamb, quickly baked, so it is still soft, topped with chopped onions, parsley and a squeeze of lemon, then it is rolled up like a crepe.  Continue reading

challah

Braided Flatbread Challah

(color photo above by Mark Luinenburg An interviewer recently asked me, “what’s new in your pizza & flatbread book that you didn’t already cover in “Artisan Bread…” and in “Healthy Bread…”?  My answer:  A lot!  Like how ’bout this Braided Challah Flatbread that requires zero resting time before it goes into the oven?  Braided enriched loaves like these are integral parts of many holiday traditions– Finnish Pulla, Swedish St. Lucia’s Bread, Jewish Sabbath bread, and others.  So this busy holiday season, you can be ready with super-fast festive loaves like these.  Detailed photos ahead… Continue reading

stuffed naan

Stuffed Naan

One of the most popular recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is our version of naan. It is a non-traditional way of creating the classic Indian flatbread, and it is incredibly fast and tasty. In Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day we decided to one-up ourselves and create a stuffed naan, made from a dough that has a slight tang from the addition of yogurt. This aromatic flatbread is filled with cilantro and onions, then baked until golden on a hot stone. When it comes from the oven we slather it in ghee and serve it hot. You’ll want to make several, because they go fast and they are as good hot as they are cold. Continue reading

Zucchini Flatbread with Roasted Tomato and Pine Nuts for the Minneapolis Bread Festival

Sometimes you just don’t know when to leave well enough alone.  This savory flatbread was in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2009), and I was making it tonight as a side dish for a simple baked Coho Salmon with dill.  I’m back on a pizza and flatbread kick again, since our new pizza and flatbread book is coming out in 28 days:

I wanted something to brighten up the flavor and color of all those soft lovely green things—roasted cherry tomatoes did the trick.  The tangy acidity was perfect for cutting the softer flavors of the zucchini, parsley, cheese, and nuts.  The tomatoes weren’t in the original recipe, and neither version has ever appeared on our website before, so here goes.  Plus, I’m going to be doing a demo this Saturday, October 1 at 10:15 am at the Minneapolis Bread Festival, and they’re asking for something like this.  Hope to see you at the festival, but if you can’t make it, give this a try here.  Our pizza book is available for pre-order on Amazon and will ship October 25. Continue reading