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Popovers

I have tried several different popover recipes and I’ll give you the one that works best. I’m still on the hunt for a better one, though. This is based upon a recipe by Ina Garten (2001 Barefoot Contessa Parties). Popovers are a little like puffs (think cream puffs), in that they are egg based. In a perfect world I suppose that you could quickly remove your perfectly rounded popovers from the oven, slice off the tops, and fill the popovers with Chicken a la King. I have never been so lucky. This does not detract whatsoever from how good they are. The recipe calls for room temperature eggs and milk. I am never so advanced in planning. One trick I do use is to preheat the muffin tins for 2 minutes before pouring in the batter.

Whisk together 1-1/2 cups flour, 3/4 tsp. salt, 3 extra-large eggs, 1-1/2 Tbsp. melted butter and 1-1/2 cups milk. I use a 4-cup measurer as a bowl so I can pour the batter into the muffin tins without a mess.

Place buttered, greased, or sprayed muffin tins (18) in 425 degree oven for 2 minutes exactly. Fill each hot muffin cup half full of batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. DO NOT PEEK!

Remove from oven. Don’t they look crazy! Serve as quickly as possible. They fall very fast. Have your guests open with a fork, being careful not to burn themselves, and spoon Chicken a la King over the top. Delicious!

Popovers Ingredient List

1-1/2 cups flour

3/4 tsp. salt

3 extra-large eggs at room temperature

1-1/2 Tbsp. melted butter

1-1/2 cups milk at room temperature

Whisk all together. Makes 18.

Today I am baking Swedish Limpa. The recipe is based upon a recipe found in one of my two favorite bread cookbooks: Electric Bread by the late Suzan Nightingale. Electric Bread is a cookbook for using a bread machine. I gave away my bread machine several years ago when my daughter talked her dad into buying me a Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook attachment for Christmas. I like having more control over the process of bead making, but the variety of recipes in Electric Bread is amazing so I’ve tweaked them for use in my mixer.

One of the things I’ve learned about making yeast breads in a mixer is that the best kneading takes place before the dough gets stiff, before adding that last cup or two of flour. That’s when you let the machine go for five minutes or so. Then add the final flour to make a stiff dough that’s not too sticky.

Swedish Limpa

3 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup warm milk

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. molasses

2 Tbsp. soft butter

1 Tbsp. orange zest

1/2 tsp. anise seed

1/2 tsp. cardamom

3/4 cup flat dark beer (stir an open beer until the bubbles disperse)

1/2 cup rye flour

1-1/2 tsp. salt

2-1/2 cups bread flour (approximate)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add all ingredients except bread flour, start with 1-1/2 cups. Mix and knead very well. Gradually add bread flour until the dough is stiff and not sticky. Cover and let rise until double. Punch down and form into a loaf. Place in greased 9×5″ loaf pan. Cover and let rise until double. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool on rack.

This makes a great ham sandwich or toast in the morning for breakfast. I’ll bet a grilled cheese sandwich would be memorable as well.

What kind?