Archive | Bread RSS for this section

What’s for Dinner: Pizza Stuffed Bread

Yeah, so definitely not a healthy option today.

Oh well, it happens.

Today, I made a pizza stuffed bread. Another twist on my many takes on the pizza flavors we all love. Who doesn’t like Pizza? Actually, one of my aunts doesn’t.

A nice crust, ooey-gooey cheese, and the perfect sauce. Yum!

What you need:

  • 1 [Italian] bread
  • Mozzarella cheese, sliced or diced
  • Marinara sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Extra virgin olive oil

What I did was:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut a deep opening on top of the bread, from one end to the other, without cutting the bottom. Open the bread a little so you have room to fill.
  3. Take several slices of mozzarella cheese and cut them so they fit in the cut space you are filling. Cubes would obviously be easier but slices is what I had to work with today.
  4. Lay the cheese evenly inside the bread, filling the whole length.  Sprinkle with black pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  Spoon marinara sauce into the bread then add more of the mozzarella cheese on top.  Sprinkle a little bit more garlic and red pepper flakes on top, then drizzle the bread with extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Bake in your preheated oven until the cheese is fully melted and the bread is brown and crispy on all sides… which took about 13 minutes for me.
  6. Serve warm!

I had fresh basil at home and I meant to top the bread with them, but forgot last minute in a rush to get it to the table for iftari.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

Monkey Bread. Pull apart breads. Whatever you want to call it. It’s delicious. And that’s all that matters in the end.

I’ve done a stuffed [pizza] monkey bread in the past, but today’s is more of a side dish. Or a snack. A fun twist on garlic bread. They are individual [or mini] monkey breads.

You will need:

  • 2 cans of [refrigerated] biscuits
  • 6 tablespoons of [unsalted] butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of [dried] parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup of [grated] Parmesan cheese

To make the Garlic [Monkey] Bread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a non-stick muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray for extra precaution.
  2. In a bowl, combine your melted butter, garlic powder, parsley, and parmesan cheese.
  3. Cut each of the biscuits into 6 pieces and place in the bowl where you have combined the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix, so you evenly coat all of the biscuits.  Divide the biscuit pieces evenly among your muffin pan. I did some with four in it, and others with six in it.
  4. Bake [in your preheated oven] for about 14 minutes.
The above quantitiies make 16 good sized individual pull-apart breads. Next time, if I’m just making it for my family, I’d definitely cut it in half.

These are best when served warm. They were great on their own, or I’d recommend serving these with marinara sauce [or whatever your favorite pizza-like sauce may be]. Today, I made these alongside Bang Bang Shrimp and another version of my baked fries. I also think serving this alongside spaghetti or any [red sauce] pasta would be a nice combination.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Homemade Seasoned Croutons

Most people enjoy their croutons with salads. I like doing that just the same but… I love eating croutons with fish!

Weird combination? Perhaps. But I just love what the warm tilapia does to the croutons. Kinda crunchy, but kinda moist. Just perfect.

I’ve been wanting to experiment with making my own croutons for a while since I eat them so much, so today I did just that. And let’s just say: somethings are just better bought.

While I LOVED the fact that I got to personalize it and whatnot, cutting the bread wasn’t exactly fun. I gave up after about one third of the loaf. Now if someone would cube the bread for me, I’d be more than happy to make the croutons at home more often.

I loved how they turned out – the taste was great. And I loved that I knew exactly what was in it… because I made it!

Here’s what I used:

  • Loaf of [store-bought] bread.
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Parsley flakes
  • Basil leaves
  • Black pepper

Once you get the bread cubed, it’s very easy to make. I just don’t have the patience to cut through the crusty bread.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the baking stray with foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Add cubed bread pieces to the baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle [lightly] the bread with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle on garlic powder, parsley flakes, basil leaves, and black pepper. Or whatever you want! The fun part of making your own things at home is you get to choose the flavors you want and love.
  5. Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes. Or until they are lightly brown and crunchy!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Garlic and Cheesy Breadsticks

I’m still working on updating with recipes for things I’ve posted about in the past. These Garlic and Cheesy Breadsticks: I’ve made alongside my homemade pizza(s), as snacks, and as an appetizer for a super bowl party amongst other things.

You need:

  • Pizza dough, enough to cover a pizza pan (homemade or store-bought)
  • [Olive] oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Dried Parmesan
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Warmed marinara sauce, for dipping

To make the breadsticks:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out your pizza dough, thinly, and place on a baking pan.
  3. Brush the pizza dough with oil. Sprinkle your dough with fresh parmesan, dried parmesan, dried parsley flakes, garlic powder, [very little] salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut the bread into strips and serve them warm with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

I made these alongside two types of homemade pizza the first time I made them, but they are great to serve as a snack as well.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Homemade Biscuits

I am not usually a fan of biscuits, but for some reason I’ve been wanting to make my own for a while now. Probably because the rest of my family love biscuits as a side order or a snack. These homemade ones, that I made today, turned out great — soft, fluffy, moist, and absolutely delicious.

They are quick and easy to put together, and take a very short time to bake in the oven. Easy and quick, just the way I like it.

To make the biscuits, you will need the following:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of cake flour [No cake flour? No problem!]
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of butter (half a stick plus one tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk

How I made it:

  1. Preheat oven to 500. Yes, it’s an incredibly high temperature and it worried me too… but it only cooks for about six-seven minutes.
  2. Put 4 tablespoons of butter (which is half a stick), straight out of the fridge, into a food processor and pulse it about 4-5 times until the butter is in very small pieces.
  3. To your food processor, add in your cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse several (3-4) times, until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Transfer your mixture into a bowl and stir in your buttermilk until the dough is combined.
  5. Then, transfer your dough onto a floured surface. Pat, lightly, until it it is about one inch thick.
  6. Use a cookie cutter (whatever size you want… I chose a smaller one than the size of normal biscuits) to cut your biscuits and then transfer them each onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Once you have cut as many biscuits as you can in the first batch, lightly form a dough again from the scraps. Repeat this step to cut as many biscuits as you can from your dough. I was able to make 15 small biscuits.
  8. Melt the remaining one tablespoon of butter and brush the top of each of the biscuits.
  9. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. I kept a close eye on mine because I don’t usually make anything at such a high temperature!

The above quantities will make about 6-8 medium sized biscuits, or about 15 smaller biscuits (pictured are the small-sized biscuits I made).

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like these biscuits that are originally from Red Lobster. I devour them, and probably fill myself up with them before I am even served my dinner. And then take some home at the end of the night. I love them.

Tonight, I made them from scratch at home!

What you need:
Ingredients for the biscuit:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cake flour**
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened [cut it into small pieces for your convenience]
  • 2 cups of mild shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of (reduced fat) buttermilk

Ingredients for the butter mixture to brush on top:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 3/4 of a teaspoon of parsley flakes

Here’s how I made mine:

  1. First, move your oven rack up to the upper or upper-middle position (I kept mine on the second of five racks). Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line two of your baking sheets with foil for easy cleanup (parchment paper or a Silpat would work too).
  2. In a [mixing] bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and garlic powder until it is combined well. Add in the cubed [softened] butter and use a fork (or your hands — hands made it much easier and quicker) to combine the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. You’ll end up with some pea size pieces of butter that are visible, and that’s all right.
  3. At this point, add in your mild shredded cheddar cheese and mix it well. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until everything is combined.
  4. Scoop your mixture with your hands (you could also use either two spoons or a 1/4 measuring cup, but I found it stuck to the scoop — hands worked best) to scoop the biscuit mixture onto the baking sheets. Pat them down to make them uniformed, but I’d leave the free-form shape.
  5. Let the biscuits bake for about 12 minutes, and them remove and brush with butter mixture (see step 6), and then bake for an additional 5-6 minutes until the top of the biscuits are golden brown.
  6. For the topping that you will brush on top of each of the biscuits: take half a stick of melted butter, and add 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder and 3/4 of a teaspoon of parsley flakes. Stir it nicely until it is well combined.

The biscuits can be served at room temperature, but are best served straight out of the oven!

The above quantity made 16 perfect biscuits for me. The consistency, texture (inside and out), and taste were matching. I thought it’d taste similar, but I was pleasantly surprised how great they turned out.

I found several recipes online for these biscuits, but they just didn’t seem right or had ingredients that I didn’t want to use (like shortening or oil). Others called for garlic salt (and I don’t like things that are too salty). Many used oregano and I didn’t think that was the correct herb to match the taste. I also didn’t want to use a biscuit mix like most of them called for. I like shortcuts like everyone else, but sometimes you want to do it right from scratch. Another challenge: most recipes, if not all, seemed to need cake flour. For some reason, neither of the two major grocery stores I frequent seemed to carry cake flour. Not sure what the deal with that is, considering when I Googled it, I was told that most, if not all, major grocery stories had them right by the other flours in the baking aisle. Yeah, apparently not where I live.

So I improvised. **Here’s a tip for you if you find yourself in the same predicament as me. You can make a substitute for cake flour at home if you have cornstarch and all purpose flour (AP flour). Basically, 1 cup of cake flour equals 1 cup of AP flour minus 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Confused much? I hope not. Basically take a cup of AP flour, but take two tablespoons out of it and put it back in your flour container. Then add two tablespoons of cornstarch to the remainder of the flour. A cup of this mixture can be substituted for every cup of cake flour you need for your recipes.

If you are using cake flour as part of your recipe, use a combination of 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 and 1/2 cups of cake flour AND OMIT THE CORNSTARCH!.**

Check out other things I’ve made recently:
Open-faced Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
Oven-Fried Chicken
Homemade Dinner Rolls with Rosemary and Black Pepper

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Homemade Dinner Rolls with Rosemary & Black Pepper

Today I made homemade dinner rolls from scratch [with rosemary and black pepper]:

Very quickly, I learned that I need a Stand Mixer. That a hand mixer simply won’t do. Not going to lie, but it was pretty hard to control the bowl and the hand mixer with the dough using the hand mixer.

But the end result was great, so I guess it was worth it.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) of yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (plus more for greasing bowl and pan [I used the non-stick spray instead for those two parts])
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed rosemary leaves
  • 3 and 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter (I would say I ended up using 1 and a half tablespoons)

How I made it:

  1. Add the lukewarm water to your mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so, until it becomes frothy. Mine didn’t become too frothy even by the 15-20 minute mark, but it still ended up fine. Just make sure your yeast hasn’t expired — most are instant these days so the end result will probably still be fine as long as your yeast is still good.
  2. Add your oil, egg, sugar, black pepper, and rosemary to the bowl.
  3. Then add the flour and mix on the low-to medium speed until the dough holds together, which takes just a few minutes. Then, increase speed to medium and knead the dough for an addition 3-5 minutes until the dough is formed.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough sit for about 20 minutes.
  5. Afterwards, add in salt and mix the dough on the low speed for one minute.
  6. At this point, transfer your dough to a large bowl that has been lightly greased (I used the non-stick spray, but you can also grease it with oil or butter). Cover your bowl with a damp towel once again and let it rise in a warm place [I let mine rise in the oven — KEEP THE OVEN OFF] until it has pretty much doubled, which takes about 1-1 1/2 hours.
  7. Grease the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch baking pan.
  8. Divide your dough in half and break off 7 pieces of dough, each about the the size of a golf ball, from each half.
  9. Roll each piece of dough into rounds and place in the pan about 1/2-1 inch apart (they should fill the pan after the final riser).
  10. Cover the pan with a damp towel and let them rise for another 20 minutes + the time it takes to preheat the oven. The rolls should expand to fill up the entire pan so if you can see more than a couple of spots of the bottom of the pan, let them rise for a little while longer.
  11. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Brush the rolls with half of the melted butter and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are golden brown [I pulled mine out around 25-27 minute mark]. Remove them from the oven and brush with the remaining butter. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Side notes:

  • This recipe yields: 14 dinner rolls (1 9-inch pan of rolls)
  • After step nine, you can choose to freeze the dough at this point, if you are making it ahead of time. If you are indeed freezing, wrap the pan tightly in foil and place in the freezer. The day you want to bake the rolls, remove your pan from the freezer and let thaw on the counter – plan on about 2-2 1/2 hours for thawing and rising.
  • I served this today alongside my Oven Fried Chicken [that also had rosemary in them].
This picture above is before I brushed on butter after it came out of the oven.
P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s For Dinner: Cheese Pizza Monkey Bread

So I’ve had this recipe saved for a while, but I didn’t own a Bundt pan.

So I made this today to test out for Eid-ul-Fitr and made some changes along the way to my liking… and with a lot less butter! The original recipe called for like 5 tablespoons of butter. Yeah, not happening. I cut that down to 1 tablespoon pretty much. I think the idea of that much butter in anything that’s not dessert… is way too much!

It tasted great, looked amazing… and I’m happy with the way it turned out.

The family thought it was great as well, so that’s always a plus.

The best part? It’s easy (took me about 10-15 minutes to prep and about 15-20 minutes to bake) and delicious!

Here’s how I made it:

You will need:

  • 1 Tube Pillsbury Grands Flaky Biscuits (the 16.3 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (to grease the pan and brush on top of the bread)
  • Grated or cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 tablespoons marinara sauce
  • Any other topping you would like to add, (peppers, chicken, etc.)
  • Bundtform Cake Pan

This porportion makes 8, so you can adjust according to how many you want to make.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To prep the bundt pan, I spread butter on the pan and then sprinkled 1/2 tablespoon of dry Italian seasoning along the sides and bottom. Make sure the seasoning is even and spread out throughout. Melt the remainder of the butter, and keep on the side for later.
  3. Then take each of the biscuits, and at the top of the biscuit pull it apart. Make sure it’s the flaky one because it makes pulling them apart a lot easier. Then stuff the inside with 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce, cheese and any other toppings you prefer. Once you have your fillings inside, [inch the top back together to seal and secure the biscuits back up.
  4. Place the biscuits seam side up on its edge in the pan.  Once you have all 8 of them stuffed, and set in the pan, brush on the melted butter on top of each of the 8 biscuits. I also then sprinkled more Italian seasoning — this is optional since when you flip the bread, this part will be at the bottom.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is a rich golden brown color.  Once it is out of the oven, flip onto a serving platter. With a non-stick pan, it should easily slide out.

About the Bundt pan, I’d say a good non stick one would make all the difference. I was nervous about it falling apart or something once I tried to flip it right out of the oven, but it slid out so easily thanks to the non stick pan! I got mine from a local store, but I’ve linked to the same one online.

Side note: is it just me or does everyone test out recipes before serving others? I love cooking and all, but I always make a test run of any new recipes and have my family try it first. Today, I made this but made dessert first: Dirt Pudding Cups. Doesn’t sound too good, but it was also a hit!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Home-made Pizzas and Breadsticks

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button: