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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crusty Overnight Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

The night before:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until all the flour is mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside (not in the fridge) for 12-18 hours. 

The next day:
Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven* and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape (roughly) into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. (I spray my hands with cooking spray first.) Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on how dark you like your crust. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

*You don't have to have a cast iron pot for this. Anything that can take the heat, will hold at least 2.5 quarts, and has a tight-fitting lid will work. I use my Calphalon dutch oven or a round Corningware casserole dish. I've also heard of people successfully using clay pots with lids, a pizza stone with a bowl to cover the bread, the insert of a crock pot (as long as the lid's handle isn't plastic), or an old cast iron dutch oven. You could probably also use a baking dish covered with aluminum foil.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Clone of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2-1/2 cups Bisquick
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Brush on Top
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add Cheddar cheese, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop approximately 1/4-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops  of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of the biscuits. Use up all the butter.

Makes a dozen biscuits.