Breads, breakfast, Traditions

Warm English Muffins

Warm english muffin hot from skillet

Im a huge fan of the english muffin. I love the cornmeal crunch and nooks and crannies that butter can seep into. I also enjoy topping with my favorite seasonal jams. Spring favorite, there is always my orange marmalade. So when Jason ate the last english muffin- of course I pondered how to make. I will never store buy again. If you have a cast iron skillet you can make and freeze these light fluffy muffins to enjoy any day.

This is a two day process to make to ultimate product. But a two hour rest for the dough will suffice. I like to make the easy dough the night before and then skillet hot muffins in the morning. A kitchen aide is really needed or a short dough cycle bread machine.

Ingredients

  • Flour 2-3/4 c
  • 1-T salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2. 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1egg beaten
  • Light cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
  • Veg oil to make overnight bowl non- stick

Mix yeast, milk, water, sugar in a microwave safe glass container. Warm to 110 degrees

Add egg and melted butter mix.

With electric mixer. Take dry ingredients and slowly incorporate wet liquid. Then run on medium and mix for 7 minutes. Dough will be wet and really sticky with a stretch. This step is key and a hand mixer will not paddle the dough accurately.

Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes at room temperature. Transfer to a generously oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven 350

On a floured surface hand pat dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut muffins into 3 inch rounds. Reforming scraps. Do t over work.

Rest on parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly dust cornmeal on the tops as well. Cover with light flour towel to rise and rest 30 minutes. Start warming black skillet on low to med low. Dust pan with cornmeal. Bake muffins three or four at a time. 5 minutes on each side with a light lid checking after three minutes to be sure to not cook to fast and avoid burning.

Store in airtight container and consume in four days or freeze.

These muffins are so fresh and light in texture. So delicious.

Breads, breakfast

Grandma‚Äôs Elizabeth Angel Biscuits (baking powder biscuit)

I loved our visits to see my grandparents in Florida. I think I started my foodie mindset at a young age because all special memories have a flavor. Mine for these Florida visits were fresh squeezed orange juice from just picked oranges from PopPops back yard. Grandmas angel biscuits hot from the oven and amazing neon pink sea grape jam. My mouth waters for this again! One of the three I can share.

So Elizabeth never formally shared the recipe but my curiosity watching her in the kitchen. Ive gotten my version to them really close! I did replace the crisco with butter. Enjoy my memory.

Bisquick baking mix version

  • 2 1/2 cups Bisquick (sifted)
  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Flour for rolling/ kneading

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees

Sift bisquick and baking powder into bowl and pastry cut butter in to fine blend.

Add milk to just incorporate to a thick dough that is sticky.

Dont over mix- this will make biscuits tough.

Pour out onto floured surface fold kneading five or six times the created layers.

Roll out to inch thickness and biscuit cut rounds with cutter, glass or do squares with a knife. Place in buttered glass baking dish.

Let rest 10 min to rise – bake in hot oven 12-15 minutes based on thickness.

Enjoy hot! With butter, jam, ham, honey, … tum!

  • ( if not bisquick- replace with 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 stick more butter and 1/2 tsp salt)
Breads, Traditions

Cuban Bread – Carlos Santana style.

My husband has a friend and coworker named Carlos Santana. Not the famous musician we all know that sing oh ya como va… but this Carlos can do a-mean salsa shimmy to the sounds. Carlos lives for his yearly Miami visits to get his authentic Cuban sandwich that (pending which side of town) has finer swiss to plastic wrapped American cheese. Most have ham, pulled pork, cheese, honey mustard and possible a salami of sorts. Grilled hot panini style pressed flatter then pancake using a cast iron skillet for the base and top for the press. The secret to the famous sandwich that even-movies write story lines around( aka Food Truck) is the bread.

Carlos talks of the bread that is so unique and required that nothing else would do! Nothing! Here is a mad that when he visits his Miami home he hand carries pre made sandwiches to share and freeze for treats. The airport K9 must love his carry on.

So of course I had to take the challenge. When I heard his Birthday was coming up- I had to deliver this bread.

From my research- as Carlos said- is definitely unique. Its a 24 hour process that cant be rushed. It requires an active starter. A mix of flour water and dry yeast that sits , and bubbles and I would dare say takes on a personality of its own. How fitting for a sandwich with such fire and fame. Possibly a bit possessed. I have a new respect…

Starter 24 hours ahead:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
  • Mix and cover w plastic wrap in a cool place to allow it to come to life.

Bread:

I made mine in my bread-machine-dough setting. But all I read walked you thru basic bread mix with a rise time. A bit of talking to the dough and prayer was also noted. Yep.

Bread machine method.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs cup melted lard or crisco ( not hot)
  • Starter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3.5 cups flour
  • Water soaked bakers twine.

So the dough does have a extremely unique texture and feel. You can handle without flour and it sticking. If it does its just wring and throw it out. (This is read in the oldest of recipes) ha ha

I split mine in two and shaped two larger loaves. Next time Ill make three smaller loaves.

Take your dough and hand flatten into a rectangle. Fold in half lengthwise the roll into a loaf. Traditional- there is baking twine placed along top of loaf flipping to bottom to rest 20 minutes flipped back and baked in for the famous line in top. Scoring the bread with a knife is a no no. We are doing tradition here!

Bake 25 min at 425 degrees.

Never eat until it sits in open air 24 hours. ( another tradition- and texture requirement)

Finished product- I was quit proud and nervous to hear the feedback from Carlos. He would be honest.

He gave me a 95! Yay! But wait- what was missing? I want 100 percent perfect.

I guess the shape should be higher on the ends and thinner thru the middle. Ahhh! But still- I had never eaten this famous sandwich. When to my surprise it was delivered to my kitchen. Personally made by Carlos himself for us to panini.

We brushed with melted butter and smash grilled it in a hot iron skillet with a skillet on top. Wow!!! So stinking good!

No finished product pic… we ate it to fast!

Thank you Carlos Santana for teaching me some cuban culture and a new challenge for this Southern Country Cook!

Breads, Entrees

Italian night- lets Calzone!

I make my pizza dough with my bread-maker -dough setting. But this recipe is a good as your creativity. Frozen pizza dough can be good in a pinch.

For dough-in bread maker

  • 1.5 cup warm water
  • 2 packets self rising yeast or 5 tsp loose yeast.
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 4.5 cups flour
  • Dash of Italian seasoning

set on dough setting.

Once dough is ready cut into four even sections. Roll into rounds and get creative!

Filling-

Tbl sauce, pepperoni, 1/4 cup mozzarella, red pepper sliced thin, red onion , black olive. Fold and seal edges. Sprinkle w parmesan cheese.

Bake on lightly cornmeal dusted pizza stone or cookie sheet. 409 degrees- 15-18 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with side of marinara sauce.