We have pizza night once a week- usually on Sundays. We vary the type and toppings, of course. 🙂 During the initial lockdown, we started experimenting with many variations of garlic knots to eat with our special pizza. I now realize that pizzeria versions are soaked in an incredible amount of oil. I opted for a drizzle before and after baking instead.
We made them with different doughs and determined that a 24-hour pizza dough (one of my favorites) resulted in our preferred garlic knots. We also attempted to make them with sourdough pizza dough (of course!) but they were too puffy. We experimented with different baking temperatures as well. I found that a higher oven temperature and shorter baking time resulted in more tender garlic knots.
This recipe makes two batches of eight knots; I froze half and thawed them in the refrigerator prior to baking with excellent results. Great.
Yield: about 16 garlic knots
For the Dough:
153 grams (1 1/4 cups) 00 Flour
153 grams (1 1/4 cups) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
8 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
2 grams (scant 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast OR 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) fresh yeast
4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) good olive oil
202 grams (1 cup minus 1 T) lukewarm water
For the Topping: (make half if freezing half of the garlic knots)
5 to 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 pinches coarse salt
dash of red pepper flakes, or more to taste, optional
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
marinara sauce, optional
minced parsley, for garnish, optional
To Make the Dough (24 to 48-hours in advance):
In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flours and salt; make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the yeast, olive oil, and lukewarm water.
Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. This process will be more like mixing than kneading.
After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
Flour your hands and the work surface. Gently but firmly knead the mixture on the work surface for about 3 minutes. Reflour your hands and the surface as necessary. The dough will be nice and sticky, but after a few minutes of kneading it should come together into a smooth mass.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 and up to 48 hours before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure- which results in a chewy, pliable crust with great flavor.
To Shape the Dough:
Roll each dough ball into an 8-inch log.
Using a knife or bench scraper, cut each log into 8 pieces (approximately 1-inch each and equal in size).
Roll each piece into and 8-inch long rope. (You will have 16 ropes.)(I did this by hand but my kids also used a rolling pin.)
Tie each rope into a knot. (The ends can be tucked underneath or left out.)
Arrange the knots on two aluminum foil-lined baking sheets. (I ultimately preferred aluminum foil over parchment paper because of the high oven temperature.)(At this point some of the garlic knots can be frozen- see note below.)
Lightly cover and let them rest in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes. (I used a proofing oven.)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (I used the baking stone setting with a stone placed in the lowest position.)
When the rise time is nearly complete, prepare the topping.
To Prepare the Topping:
Combine the olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes, if using, in a small skillet.
Cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and reserve.
To Bake & Serve the Garlic Knots:
When the rise time is complete, brush the top of the garlic knots with a little more than half of the garlic-olive oil topping.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with remaining garlic-olive oil topping.
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and/or parsley, as desired. Serve plain or with marinara sauce for dipping.
Note: Cover and store leftover garlic knots in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Freeze Dough Prior to Baking: Arrange the shaped knots on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Freeze, uncovered, for 1-2 hours. Remove from the freezer. Knots should be frozen and no longer sticky. Place into a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter. Bring to room temperature, arrange on 2 foil-lined baking sheets, cover lightly, and allow to rest/rise in a warm spot for 1 hour before baking as above.
I love a quick cake. I have made this one on a couple of occasions! It is a wonderful seasonal treat. Apparently, it is named a “dapple” cake because the apple chunks create a rippled effect on the surface of the cake where the glaze can settle. The coffee in the batter balances the sweetness and gives it a beautiful brown color.
This recipe is from Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. I weighed the ingredients and used heavy cream in the glaze. We ate it for dessert but it could also be served as a coffee cake. Super moist and yummy.
Yield: One 9×13 cake, about 12 to 15 servings
For the Cake:
nonstick cooking for pan
320 g (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose, spooned and leveled
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
170 g (3/4 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (4 T, 57 g) canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, cold
3/4 cup (170 g) lukewarm brewed coffee
4 cups peeled, cored, and chopped Honeycrisp apples (cut into 1/2-inch/1.25 cm pieces)(I used 2 very large apples)
For the Glaze:
170 g (3/4 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 T (57 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (57 g) whole milk or heavy cream
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
To Make the Cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees (180 C), preferably on convection.
Spray a 9×13-inch light-colored metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. (I use binder clips to hold the parchment overhang in place to prevent it from falling onto the surface of the cake.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy.
Add the granulated and brown sugars and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly stream in the oil until well blended.
One at a time, beat in the eggs.
On low-speed, spoon in half of the flour mixture.
Slowly pour in the coffee.
Stir in the remaining flour until the batter is smooth.
Fold in the apples by hand.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly.
Bake until the cake is deeply golden all over, begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (I baked mine for 40 minutes but may check it even earlier next time.)
Let cool slightly in the pan set on a wire rack.
To Make the Glaze:
In a 1 to 1 1/2-quart (1 to 1.4 L) saucepan over high heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, milk, and salt.
Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring often, and boil until you can see it has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes depending on your pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. (I forgot to do this every time- by accident, of course )
Let the glaze cool just until it stops bubbling.
Pour the hot glaze over the still-warm cake. Working quickly, use a spatula to spread the glaze so thinly and evenly that it covers the entire the surface of the cake.
Let the cake cool completely, uncovered, on the rack.
Note: Leftover cake can be stored loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.
We have enjoyed this wonderful “snack” cake on a couple of occasions this fall. It is dangerously easy to make and was incredibly moist and very tasty. I forgot to drizzle the top with maple syrup on both occasions. Not necessary!
The recipe was adapted from Bake from Scratch magazine, via the Washington Post. The frosting is a little bit salty- which we liked- but the salt level can be adjusted to taste. We ate it chilled. Great.
Yield: One 9×9-inch cake, about 16 pieces
For the Cake:
cooking spray or unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the pan
2 1/2 cups (344 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (240 milliliters) pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade (I used grade A amber)
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) canola oil
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
1/4 cup (50 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade, plus more for drizzling
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
To Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, with the rack in the middle.
Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. (I used cooking oil spray.) Line the pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over the sides of the pan (the overhang will give you handles to lift the cake out after it’s baked). Lightly spray (or butter) the parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the maple syrup, oil, milk, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla, and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined and no streaks of flour remain. (There will be some lumps in the batter; this is okay.)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter eight times to release air bubbles.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until deep golden and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, covering with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. (It may dip in the middle, don’t worry.)(I baked mine for 30 minutes but would add 2 to 3 minutes next time to decrease the amount of dipping.)
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using the parchment overhang as handles, remove from the pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make the Frosting:
In the same (cleaned-out) bowl you used to make the cake, beat the butter with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. (You can do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, if you prefer.)
Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until combined.
Add the sour cream, maple syrup and salt, and beat at medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. (Add 1/4 tsp salt, taste and add the additional 1/4 tsp, to taste.)
Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, if desired, and serve. (I preferred to serve it slightly chilled.)
I woke up on a cold and rainy morning and read a post about this delicious coffee cake…had to have it. 🙂 My daughter and I started making it almost immediately.
The recipe was adapted from Nancy-C.com. She makes all sorts of crowd-pleasers. I modified the technique used to make the streusel topping, making it with melted butter to replicate my favorite New York-style crumb cake. The original recipe makes one 8 x 8-inch coffee cake. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Next time, I may make two 8 or 9-inch rounds so that I could freeze one to enjoy later.
Yield: One 9 x 13-inch cake or Two 8 or 9-inch cakes, about 16 to 20 servings (see note)
For the Coffee Cake:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
15 oz can pumpkin purée
For the Crumb Topping:
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
powdered sugar, for serving
To Make the Crumb Topping:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon.
Melt the butter in the microwave or small saucepan.
Pour the butter mixture and mix until all the butter is absorbed and you have a uniformly moistened crumb mixture. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
To Make the Cake Batter:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray preferred baking pan, line with parchment paper, lightly spray parchment; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin puree, blending everything well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Spread batter into the prepared pan.
Crumble the crumb mixture over the top, until the batter is completely covered.
Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes for 8 or 9-inch rounds, 30 to 35 minutes for a 9 x 13-inch pan, or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean. (I rotated the pan halfway through the baking time.)
Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack; dust the top with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. (I let the cake cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.)
Note: Half the recipe will fill an 8×8-inch pan. Use 1 cup of pumpkin purée. (Refer to the link above to the original recipe for proportions.)
One of my friends has been trying to convince me to make nachos for dinner for quite some time. My kids (who were well aware of this suggestion) were so deprived, they have ordered nachos on several occasions as an entrée when we’ve indulged at a Mexican restaurant. 😉
When I saw this recipe for “party nachos,” I thought that I could (and should) serve them for dinner! Crazy? Nope. My kids were thrilled. After all, nachos are a sheet-pan dinner. This version uses rotisserie chicken meat as a shortcut too.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Rick Martinez. I scaled down the proportions. However, I did prepare the full recipe for the rotisserie chicken and sauce, keeping half to use for tacos, etc., on another occasion.
The bottom layer was reminiscent of a enchilada pie, or taco or enchilada skillet meal- other weeknight favorites over here. The rotisserie chicken meat is coated with a fabulous, full-flavored sauce. This sauce brings these nachos to the next level. I loved all of the toppings too. Very cheesy.
When not being served for dinner, these nachos would also be a great appetizer or snack, of course.
Yield: Serves about 6
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped, divided
1 T achiote paste or tomato paste
8 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded (I substituted 2 ancho chilies plus 4 guajillo chiles)
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped (or 1 T adobo sauce to keep things mild)
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground cumin
1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from bones and shredded
1 10-oz bag frozen corn, thawed, drained
1/2 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, chopped
4 oz crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup) or finely grated Cotija cheese (about 1 cup)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 to 10-oz tortilla chips
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
thinly sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, avocado cubes, and pickled jalapeños, for serving, as desired
sour cream, for serving, as desired
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high until shimmering.
Cook garlic and half of onion, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes.
Stir in achiote paste/tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until brick red, about 1 minute.
Add dried chiles, chipotle chile, stock, cumin, and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit until chiles are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Place a rack in the center of oven; preheat to 350°, preferably on convection.
Transfer chile mixture to a blender and purée until smooth.
Return to saucepan, stir in chicken, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; season with salt. Remove from heat; set chicken aside until ready to assemble. (Reserve half of this saucy chicken for another use; only half is needed for the nachos.)
Meanwhile, toss corn, chopped poblano chile, half of the feta/Cotija cheese, and remaining onion in a medium bowl until combined; season with salt.
Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Arrange half of the chips in an even layer on the bottom of the baking sheet.
Top with half of the reserved chicken mixture, half of the corn mixture, and half of the cheddar.
Repeat layers with remaining chips, chicken mixture, corn mixture, and cheddar.
Bake nachos, rotating pan halfway through, until cheese is melted and edges of chips are beginning to brown, 8–10 minutes.
Serve topped with radishes, cilantro, avocado, pickled jalapeños, remaining feta/Cotija cheese, sour cream, and other desired toppings alongside.
Do Ahead: Nachos can be assembled 1 hour before baking. Cover with plastic and store at room temperature.
Last spring, when the “New York Pause” of self-isolation began, our family enjoyed many special Happy Hours. My son tried every flavor of San Pellegrino soda and my daughter’s beverage alternated between lemonade and Arnold Palmer. We have limited these indulgences to once a week (if at all) at this point. 😉
The kids and I made these soft pretzels on a couple of these occasions. I loved that we all shaped them differently! We ate them with a variety of mustards and with warm queso (from Trader Joe’s) on another occasion. The melted butter was essential.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur flour. I used active dry yeast and omitted the malt. Great.
For the Dough:
Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper.
Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 ounces.
Roll each piece of dough into an 18″ rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
Brush the pretzels with water and sprinkle lightly with coarse pretzel salt.
Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Note: This is correct; there’s no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired. (We thought it was essential!)
Serve with a variety of mustards and/or queso, as desired.
Yes! Another sourdough recipe- all so good! I love that this recipe combines two of the most popular items to bake during this period of self-isolation- sourdough and banana bread. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from theperfectloaf.com. I incorporated whole wheat flour, added turbinado sugar to the topping, and baked the loaf in a Pullman loaf pan, adjusting the baking time accordingly. I loved that this version included olive oil for moisture and honey for sweetness. Lovely.
We ate it as-is, but the original recipe recommends spreading full-fat Greek yogurt over the top of each slice.
Yield: One standard or Pullman loaf
240g (2 cups) spelt, whole wheat, all-purpose flour, or a mix
3g (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
3g (1/2 teaspoon) sea salt
125g (1 cup) chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
126g(1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup lightly packed) brown sugar
125g (3/4 cup, stirred down) sourdough starter
42g (2 tablespoons) raw honey
3 super ripe medium mashed bananas (almost black and mushy)
28g (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
4g (1 teaspoon) vanilla
zest of 1 lemon, optional
turbinado sugar, for topping, optional
Preheat your oven to 350ºF, preferably on convection.
Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan or Pullman loaf pan with cooking oil spray.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, mix a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans and a teaspoon or two of turbinado sugar. Set aside to be used as the topping later.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time. While mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add in sourdough starter, honey, mashed bananas, and olive oil.
Add in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture slowly, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary.
By hand, fold in the remaining walnuts or pecans and lemon zest.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Sprinkle on the reserved chopped nuts and sugar.
Bake for 45-50 minutes in a Pullman loaf pan or 55-65 minutes in a standard loaf pan. (It’s better to undercook this than overcook: you want it moist.)
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove onto a wire rack to thoroughly cool.
Note: This banana bread will stay moist for days after baking, but be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container to prevent moisture loss.