This is the season of soup. It’s cold outside here in MN and nothing is better than a cup of hot soup. Oh, and there is all that leftover Turkey to deal with and the beautiful butternut squash proliferation at the grocery store. To go with all that soup you’ll be making, there is nothing better than homemade bread. This fougasse is a traditional French flatbread. It is both crispy, due to all that crusty surface and tender on the inside. It’s like a fancy breadstick. Because it is a flatbread, it is faster to make, since you have such a short resting time. My husband made a big batch of butternut squash soup from Amanda Paa’s new book Smitten with Squash. To go with the aromatic soup, I added lots of chopped garlic to the bread dough and the result is fantastic. Continue reading
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.
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.
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
(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
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
Today our new book is finally available and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day into our happy family. We are so excited for you to get baking from it, so we’re posting one of our favorite doughs from the book. I have to admit it took us a while to decide which one to share, since our favorite seems to change with our moods. This Olive Oil Dough is fantastic for a thin crust, a thick crust and so many of our worldly flatbreads. No matter the technique you decide to try, you’ll love the results.
We like to make the classic Pizza Margherita, it’s the ultimate in Italian toppings. In fact, the colors resemble the Italian flag and the pizza was named for the Italian queen, Margherita, because she fell in love with it. Nothing but tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. So pure and so tasty.
Jeff and I wrote Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day because we love pizza. So, when it came to making a video about the process, it had to reflect what a riot we have together creating these recipes. You basically can’t bake a pizza without creating a party, whether it is for a night in front of a movie or a big gathering of friends in the back yard. Pick the crust and toppings to suit your mood and within minutes you have pizza, lots and lots of fresh pizza. In fact, we invite you all to join us for a PizzaPartyin5 on November 15th, see below for more details.
We knew instantly who could capture the heart and soul of this project; Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple. Their work is visually stunning and they have such a joy about them, which is captured in their images. When they said they would do this video with us, I danced around my kitchen, I haven’t stopped yet. We hope you enjoy watching the video just as much as we did making it.
Here are some more images that Todd and Diane captured the day of the video shoot. * Continue reading
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
… …and I’m having trouble finding time to finish editing the video. Zoe and I have two more busy weeks of last-minute editing for our pizza and flatbread book (which will be out in October of 2011). I’ll get the new video up here as soon as possible (on how to get steam into your oven), but meanwhile here’s a re-print of an old post– on roasted red pepper fougasse– a gorgeous stuffed flatbread from France, which looks ahead to next year when we’ll be talking about flatbread all the time. Continue reading