Focaccia di Frutti

Week Twenty-Three: Breads With Fruit


Fruit is one of those foods that you don’t generally associate with yeast bread.  Well, I don’t, anyway.  I’m not a big jelly or jam fan (with the exception of my Nanny’s grape jelly, which is like sugar gold), and I’ve never been much for that whole “sweet and savory” combination.  I do like a crunchy sliced pear with bread and a cheese plate, but that’s not really what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about using fruit as a major flavoring ingredient in a yeast bread.  Let’s leave quick breads out of this for the time being; everyone and their brother has a banana bread recipe.  But imagine bananas in a hard-crusted, airy-crumbed artisan loaf – it just seems a bit wrong, doesn’t it?  Or is it just me?  It’s certainly intriguing, but I can’t recall having seen a whole lot of fruit in yeast breads, other than maybe some raisins or currants.

If you know me, you know that one thing I dearly love in the kitchen is a challenge.  Dare me to produce a birthday cake so unusual that most people wouldn’t want to try it, based solely on the description; and I will dare you to not enjoy the chocolate, pear, walnut, and blue cheese cake I unveil before your eyes.  (It was delicious and shockingly rich.)

Given my love of challenges, when thinking about the theme for this week, I challenged myself to not produce a week of quick breads.  It’s simple to imagine all sorts of muffins and tea breads studded with various fruits; but essentially, they’re all the same.  Tea bread base + fruit = fruit bread.  Tasty.  Dull.  Boring.  Blah.  But if you put some puréed mango into your sourdough?  Now that’s interesting!

This first bread is a take on that old favorite, focaccia.  The dough is a little different from the first time I tried focaccia, as this one is enriched with a little milk, but the technique is basically the same.  Italians have a long tradition of creating sweet breads, most notably with panettone, that centerpiece of the Christmas table.

You may or may not recognize that this bread is quite similar to schiacciata con l’uva, or “flatbread with grapes”.  “Schiacciata” literally means “flattened”, and is quite flat, as you might expect with such a name.  This bread, however, is much fluffier than a traditional schiacciata, more like a traditional focaccia, so I’ve kept that name.  Also, schiacciata dough is typically sweeter than this one, and doesn’t have the grapes mixed into the dough, which this recipe does.

This bread turned out fluffy and rich with a definite fruity, grape flavor.  Slightly crusty on the outside, the interior was light and airy, with the occasional pleasant crunch from the pine nuts.  I did not give the dough an initial bulk rise; I just immediately put it into the baking pans.  But if I were to make it again, I would definitely give it that first extra rise.  The flavor of the dough was just not as complex as I’d like (and as I’ve grown accustomed to producing!).

Another misstep was that I got a bit distracted while the loaves were baking.  Keep an eye on these; those poor little raisins can get burnt to a crisp in a moment!  So I didn’t get the pretty contrast of yellow raisins and purple grapes that I was envisioning, but it was still attractive.

Otherwise, this bread was a success!  The flavors were just lovely – who knew grapes, raisins, and olive oil were so good together?  I can definitely see tossing in a little rosemary to the mix, for a little complexity.  And to serve, I can’t imagine anything better than a slather of a good and creamy mascarpone, as is traditionally served with schiacciata.  Give me a glass of Chianti (or any dry red, for that matter) on the side, and I might just skip a proper dinner for this!



Focaccia di Frutti
Makes two 9 inch rounds

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup black or purple seedless grapes, halved
1 cup golden raisins
6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1 scant cup) unbleached bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup hot milk (120° to 130° F)
3/4 cup hot water (120° to 130° F)

1.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot, but not smoking.  Add the pine nuts and cook until just beginning to turn golden brown.  Remove from heat, add the grapes and raisins, and toss to coat.  Set aside until cooled to room temperature.

2.  Lightly oil two 9 or 10 inch cake pans, and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, salt, and yeast.  Add the water and milk.  Using the dough hook, mix at low speed until the dough comes together, scraping the bowl if necessary.  The dough should look a bit dry.

3.  Add half of the grape mixture (including oil) to the dough.  Set the remainder aside.  Mix on low until the mixture is incorporated into the dough (you may need to add a bit of flour to help it out).  Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes, adding a little extra flour by tablespoons if needed to achieve the proper consistency.  The dough should be a little slack and sticky, but not too wet.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide into two equal pieces, and form each into a round ball.  Flatten, stretch, or roll each piece out to a 10 inch round (or to the size of your cake pans).  Place each in a prepared cake pan.  Cover loosely with lightly-oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

5.  After 45 minutes, uncover the dough.  Use your fingertips to push dimples into the surface of the dough in a regular pattern.  Cover again with plastic wrap, and let rest until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° F.

6.  When dough is fully proofed, divide the reserved grape mixture in half.  Evenly distribute the mixture across the tops of the risen loaves, and drizzle any liquid over the top.  Bake the bread at 400° F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and baked through.  If the raisins start to burn before the bread is fully baked, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and finish baking as directed.

7.  Remove the focaccia from the pans and let cool at least 15 minutes on a wire rack before cutting.  Serve warm.


1.  If you like, some herbs such as basil, thyme, or especially rosemary would go beautifully with the grape mixture.  Just throw in 2 or 3 teaspoons with the grapes and raisins (step 1 above).

2.  Focaccia will keep frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to 1 month.  Thaw in a 350° F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until warm.

Posted in Savory, Sweet, Yeast Breads | Leave a comment

Thyme Corn Muffins

Week Twenty-Two: Breads With Herbs


For those of you not in the know, thyme and corn are amazing together.  Amazing.  Seriously.  Sure, you could just toss some dried thyme into some Jiffy cornbread mix; but trust me with this from-scratch recipe, it’s really spectacular, and could hardly be easier.

Instead of relying on oil or dairy for the moisture, I’ve used a banana in this one.  Maybe it sounds strange, but it really seems to work.  You don’t so much taste a banana flavor as a vague hint of fruit.  (And this from a girl who can’t even stand to have bananas blended into her smoothies; it always seems to overwhelm everything else.)  If you really have an issue with bananas, though, you could certainly use applesauce, or a really ripe pear, or any other fruit purée you like.  Ripe bananas seem to be omnipresent in my house, though, so that’s what I used.

What you end up with is a barely-sweet, moist-centered, crispy-crusted muffin, redolent with the sweet flavor of cornmeal, but the fluffiness of wheat flour.  And shooting through it is the suave and herbal flavor of thyme, contrasting and complementing the muffins in perfect balance.

These muffins would go beautifully alongside any fish entrée, or with a simple store-bought rotisserie chicken, or with any slow-cooked dish (vegetarian or not, either way would be just as good).  They’re even apropos to serve with coffee for breakfast, if you so desire.  You can see I didn’t shy away from that application – they were just perfect for a quick nibble before running out the door!


Thyme Corn Muffins
Makes 9 muffins

3 1/2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, picked from stems
1 very ripe banana, mashed
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large egg

1.   Preheat oven to 375º F.  Grease 9 cups of a standard muffin tin, or line with paper cups.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and 1 tablespoon thyme leaves.  Set aside.

2.  Mash the banana in a liquid measuring cup, and add enough milk to measure to 3/4 cup.  Add the butter, olive oil, and egg.  Mix with a fork until well combined.

3.  Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until just moistened.

4.  Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of thyme leaves over the top of each.  Bake the muffins at 375º F for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, and firm when pressed lightly.  Remove muffins from tins, place on a wire rack, and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.


1.  These muffins are best served warm, but will keep well for 1 to 2 days in an airtight container.  Any longer than that, and they should be kept in the freezer, and thawed in a 350º F oven for 5 minutes or so. 

2.  If you have any reserved bacon drippings, you can (and probably should) substitute that for the butter.  Delicious!

Posted in Quick Breads, Savory | Leave a comment

Sage Crackers

Week Twenty-Two: Breads With Herbs


I’m not sure where I first saw it, but years ago, I clipped a recipe for the most beautiful potato “chips”.  The idea was to thinly slice red new potatoes, toss with oil, then bake in a single layer with one solitary sage leaf under each one.  The result was a bowl full of crispy, red-rimmed sage cameos, each unique, and each incredibly delicious.

My father (never really one for a strong herb flavor) thought the sage a bit overpowering; but I disagreed.  In my opinion, each bite of potato carried with it just enough of the heady scent of sage, just enough to balance the woodsy, sultry perfume with the earthy starch of potato.

That recipe remains in my permanent recipe file to this day, and I often remember it fondly, as the taste haunts my tongue.  But unfortunately, as sublime as they were, the recipe never seems perfectly appropriate to pull out when company comes over.  It’s either a bit too fussy, or the sage would compete with the main attraction on the plate, or would be too much starch for the menu.

They’re so stunning, you almost want to set them out alone as an hors d’oeuvre, but that doesn’t feel exactly right, either.  I mean, baked sliced potato?  Maybe if you served it with some fabulous spread; but then you rather destroy the appearance, and you’re essentially left serving herbed potato chips.  I don’t know, maybe that’s okay, but it’s not quite my style.  Plus, they don’t stay crisp terribly long; you’re almost forced to make them at the last minute, which is when I’m usually worrying about the entrée (and a hundred other small things).

But then, I hit on the idea of keeping the presentation, but ditching the ingredient: use a cracker dough instead of potato!  Who doesn’t like crackers?  You don’t need to worry about clashing flavors, covering up the pretty leaf pattern, or making things at the last second.  These will stay crisp and beautiful for days.  Problem solved!

Finding a proper cracker recipe to adapt was the next step.  I needed a specific sort of dough, one that could be either rolled out and cut, or could produce slices from a chilled log of dough.  And I didn’t want anything too bready; I wanted crisp and flaky here.  Oh, and there shouldn’t be any overwhelming flavors to compete with the sage, but they should be a bit more interesting than water crackers.

Armed with my demands, my search finally ended on the King Arthur Flour website, with a recipe that promised an easy-rolling dough that would produce crispy crackers that were a bit dense, not nearly as airy as a traditional soda cracker.  The dough was rich with butter and cream, but had no unusual flavorings.  Perfect!  So I omitted some sugar, added some milk, mixed, rolled, and decorated with the prettiest sage leaves I could find.

The dough worked beautifully, producing buttery crackers that were not too flaky, but not at all dense and heavy.  Each sage leaf sat in perfect contrast on its little cracker pillow, coolly suggestive of the seductive flavors in store.  And oh! the smell as they baked!  The sage wafted out in fragrant waves, filling the house slowly with its singular scent.  You want to attract attention?  Bake these, and see who comes nosing around your oven!

One trick to this recipe is to start baking these crackers with the leaf-side down, then flip them over to finish browning.  This helps each leaf adhere to the cracker base.  (Two days later, they hadn’t fallen off yet, and this after being jumbled together in a plastic bag!)  Additionally, this means you dock the underside of the crackers (which releases steam while baking, and keeps your crackers from puffing up), preserving the pretty leaf design on top.

The end result, as you can see above, was everything I was aiming for.  I got to keep my perfect little sage leaf vignettes, each bite carrying just enough sage flavor to complement the cracker underneath; but gained a company-worthy version of those long-ago potatoes.  You absolutely don’t need anything to serve with them (though a nice wedge of cheese is never a bad idea), since the flavors are bold enough to stand alone.  And if there’s someone in your group who doesn’t like sage (I’m looking at you, Dad), well, that just means there’s more for everyone else.


Sage Crackers
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes about 50 crackers

9 ounces (about 2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg
3 tablespoons cream
3 tablespoons milk
1 to 2 bunches sage (enough for 1 leaf per cracker)

1.  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.  With a pastry blender or fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Some pea-sized lumps are okay.

2.  In a separate bowl, use a fork to blend the egg, cream, and milk together until smooth.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.  Using a rubber spatula or a fork, gently stir until a soft dough forms.  If crumbly, drizzle additional milk or cream over, by tablespoons, until the proper consistency is achieved.  The dough should not be wet, but should still hold together when pressed.

3.  Form the dough into an flat round, about 1 inch thick.  Wrap well with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.  While the dough chills, pick about 50 of the flattest and nicest-looking sage leaves, and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 425° F.

4.  Lightly oil a large baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.  On a floured surface, roll the dough out relatively thinly, between 1/16 and 1/8 inch thick.  Periodically lift and rotate dough to ensure that it is not sticking, dusting with additional flour if necessary.

5.  If making square crackers, cut dough into 1 inch strips with a round (pizza) cutter, or a bench scraper.  Arrange sage leaves diagonally on the strips, pressing each one gently into the dough, then cut each cracker to size.  If making round crackers, cut the dough into rounds using a 2 to 2 1/2 inch round cutter.  Press 1 or 2 sage leaves gently into the dough.

6.  Transfer each cracker to the prepared baking sheet, leaf-side down.  Dock each cracker several times with a fork.  If the butter seems soft in the dough, or if you can see that it has melted a little while cutting, cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up the dough.  Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut into desired shapes.  Refrigerate if necessary.

7.  Bake crackers leaf-side down at 425° F oven for 6 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, and turn the crackers over.  Sprinkle with salt if desired, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned.  Remove crackers to a rack to cool completely.


1.  In step 7, it may help the salt to adhere to the crackers if they are brushed with a little olive oil or melted butter first; or, the extra salt may be omitted totally.

Posted in Quick Breads, Savory | Leave a comment

Parsley Pesto Bread

Week Twenty-Two: Breads With Herbs


Parsley is one of those magnificently overlooked and underappreciated herbs.  Many people, conditioned to believe that it is purely for garnishing plates, don’t even give it a second glance.  But parsley can absolutely hold its own with other exalted herbs, such as thyme, mint, and basil.  In fact, it makes one heck of a pesto – which I’ve used here, swirled into a crusty bread.

Unlike a pesto made from basil, which can taste almost sweet at times, a parsley pesto has an exuberant bite, one that demands a light hand, if you don’t like the flavor.  Personally, I’ve developed a palate for fresh flat-leaf (aka Italian) parsley, having used it often as a major component in seafood dishes, and chopped as a garnish for just about everything else.  I find a light dusting of fresh parsley will complement practically anything you like.  It does have an assertive flavor, but one that melds beautifully with so many other seasonings and spices.

The bread used here is not quite your standard white bread.  It uses milk and olive oil to enrich the dough, and a bit of honey for the slightest sweetness.  But the main difference here is the use of all-purpose flour, as opposed to bread flour.  This is important, as all-purpose flour will produce less gluten than bread flour will.  The dough is handled quite a bit, with the rolling out and twisting and all, so you need a flour that won’t get so easily overworked, and therefore tough.

Speaking of the rolling and twisting, you may have seen this shaping technique before.  I’ve borrowed it from that wonderful and sweet Jewish bread, the babka.  You can think of this as a savory babka if you insist, but the dough itself is far less rich than that confection (ignoring the obvious differences between this pesto filling, and the traditional cinnamon or chocolate babka filling).

What you end up with here is a slightly rich bread, not at all over-the-top, but not exactly the standard non-fat artisan loaf either.  The crust is pleasantly crispy, and the interior has a wonderfully light crumb.  But the real treat is the swirling pattern of pesto writhing its way through the entirety of the bread, flavoring every bite with a pop of parsley, olive oil, pistachio, and pine nut.  The elaborate shaping (detailed below in pictures) ensures that the delicious pesto is evenly distributed throughout each slice, neglecting not one inch.

So if you’re one of those people who can only see parsley as that sorry little sprig on the side your main entrée, to be pushed aside and thrown away when done with the “edible” stuff, let me show you the error of your ways.  Try this bread, and if you still hate parsley when you’re done, let me know.  I’ll finish the loaf off for you by myself.



Parsley Pesto Bread
Makes 1 loaf

For dough:
1 pound unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
5 ounces hot milk (120º to 130º F)
5 ounces hot water (120º to 130º F)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 teaspoon honey

For pesto:
1 to 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, packed
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ounce freshly-grated parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons pistachios, toasted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1.  To make the dough, whisk together 14 ounces of the flour (setting aside the remaining 2 ounces), the salt, and the yeast, in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Combine the the milk and water, add the olive oil and honey, and stir until the honey is melted.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture in the mixer bowl.

2.  Using the dough hook, mix at low speed until the dough comes together, scraping the bowl if necessary.  Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 6 minutes, adding the reserved flour as needed to achieve the proper consistency.  The dough should be a little slack, but not too wet, and should form a cohesive mass.  It’s okay if it sticks to the bowl a bit.

3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead a few times, until a skin forms around the outside of the dough.   Pull the skin taught around the dough, forming a round ball.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides with the oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4.  While the bread rises, make the pesto.  Blend all ingredients together in a small food processor, and season to taste.  The pesto should look a little drier and more crumbly than most pesto does.  Place in a small container, cover, and set aside.

5.  Butter or oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  When the dough has fully risen, punch down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Press the dough into a rectangular shape, and divide in half lengthwise.  Roll each piece out to a 20 by 6 inch rectangle, or as big as the dough will allow.


6.  Spread each half evenly with the pesto, leaving a half-inch border along the edge.  Fold the short edges of the dough just slightly over the pesto, to make a clean edge, and roll the dough up lengthwise (starting with a long edge).  You may need to use a bench scraper to help with this, especially if the dough is sticking.


Press the edge to seal.


7.  Lifting each piece carefully with floured hands, gently stretch each piece until it becomes about 30 inches long.  The gluten should be relaxed enough to do this easily at this point.  Cross one roll over the other.


Continue crossing the dough pieces over each other, until you have fully twisted the two together.


Pinch the ends of the dough to seal.


8.  Bend the twist into a U-shape, so that the ends are next to each other on the counter.  Twist the two arms of the “U” together, so that the dough is twisted on itself again.


Pinch the end to seal.


9.  Gently transfer the twisted dough to the prepared loaf pan, tucking the end under if necessary.


Cover loosely with lightly-oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  The dough is ready when pressed gently on the edge with a fingertip, the depression fills in very slowly.  Preheat the oven to 425° F.

10.  Uncover the dough.  Drizzle or carefully brush the risen loaf with olive oil, taking care not to deflate it.  Sprinkle kosher salt evenly over the top.  Bake the loaf at 425º F for about 30 minutes, or until nicely browned, and an instant-read thermometer registers 200º F when inserted into the center.  Remove from pan, and let cool at least 1 hour on a wire rack before cutting.


1.  This bread needs to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing, as the added steam from the pesto needs to fully disperse into the interior of the bread.  If sliced too soon, the crumb will not yet be fully set, and the decorative swirl inside will be ruined.

2.  Okay, sure; you could buy pesto for this.  But I designed this pesto specifically to be a bit dry; most store-bought pestos are quite oily.  That extra oil and moisture would be a detriment to the texture of the bread in this case.  If you baked a loaf plain, then spread the pesto on a slice afterwards, that would be a different story.  In this case, however, where the pesto is actually baked into the bread, it is more beneficial to keep the moisture level down.

Posted in Savory, Yeast Breads | Leave a comment

Mint Chocolate Muffins

Week Twenty-Two: Breads With Herbs


Oh, mint and chocolate.  Two flavors, each so wonderful on its own, but elevated to the euphoric when combined.  Admit it – unless you’re a robot, you probably like mint and chocolate.  Vanilla may rule the ice cream roost for the general populace; but in my house, it’s mint chocolate chip ftw.  My afternoon weakness is a certain and particularly excellent bar of dark chocolate with crunchy mint bits.  And need I bring up Thin Mints?

But it’s not a combination you often see in breads; and why not?  Chocolate and bread go together, mint and bread go together; what could possibly go wrong?  Nothing, is what.  But, partly to play it safe, I elected to use these flavors in a quick bread.  I’m sure a crusty, airy, long-rising yeast bread would have handled the task beautifully (and I do intend to try it someday).  But the truth is this week, I was craving something soft and gooey, rather than crunchy and hearty; something with a really robust hit of chocolate, rather than sporadic bits here and there.

Today, I’m featuring a recipe that I’ve adapted from the indomitable Dorie Greenspan.  One of my modifications is the use of a fresh herb, but in a different manner than one usually sees.  Instead of chopping the mint and adding it into the batter, I’ve extracted all the minty goodness by steeping the leaves in milk, then turning the minty milk into buttermilk, with the magic of white vinegar.  (It’s magic, I tells you!  It turns into clumpy buttermilk right before your eyes!)

The recipe calls for some optional peppermint extract.  If you’re using a large bunch of mint (I probably had about 1/2 cup of leaves, packed), you may not need the extract.  I added about 2 drops, just to try it, and the mint flavor was subtle, but present.  If you like a very strong mint flavor, or if you don’t have many leaves, you may want to add the full 1/8 teaspoon.  Just remember, though; a little peppermint extract goes a very long way!

But as for the muffins themselves, overall: oh, my, yes.  Chocolate!  Mint!  Chocolate-mint!  They’re soft and moist, with a pleasant and appropriate crunch to the crust.  You may find them a bit undersweet, but I like to taste the deepness and bitterness of the chocolate.  Obviously, the darker the chocolate you use, the more bitter; you can certainly use another type, even milk chocolate, if you prefer.  Even white chocolate would not be out of place.  But if you, like me, are head-over-heels for the crisp freshness of mint paired with the darkest of dark chocolates, just give this one a try.  With this in your repertoire, you need not wait for Girl Scout Cookie season for your chocolate-mint fix ever again!



Mint Chocolate Muffins
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan, via
Makes 16 muffins

1 1/4 cups milk
1 bunch mint, leaves picked, stems discarded
1 teaspoon white vinegar
4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
9 ounces (about 2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)

1.  Heat the milk and mint leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the milk steams and bubbles just begin to form around the edges, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, cover, and let steep until just barely warm, about 30 to 45 minutes.

2.  Strain the milk into a measuring cup, pressing on the mint leaves to extract all moisture.  Discard leaves.  Add vinegar to milk, stir, and set aside.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375° F, and position a rack in the center.  Grease 16 cups of 2 standard muffin tins, or line them with paper muffin liners.

4.  In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and half of the chopped chocolate.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again for 10 second increments until melted together and smooth, stirring after each interval.  Add the olive oil, and stir until combined.

5.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the egg and bourbon to the milk in the measuring cup, and stir with a fork until well combined.  If the milk doesn’t smell very minty (or if you’d like a powerful mint flavor), add the peppermint extract.

6.  Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients.  Using a spatula, gently and quickly stir until just blended together.  Some lumps and streaks of flour may remain.  Being careful not to overmix the batter, fold in the remaining chopped chocolate.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, until each is 3/4 full of batter.

7.  Bake at 375° F for 20 minutes, or until fully baked and the muffins feel slightly firm when pressed lightly.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool 5 minutes before removing muffins, and letting cool completely on the rack.


1.  Do not use chocolate chips for the chocolate, as they will not melt properly.

2.  Instead of the bourbon, you can substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract if you like.

Posted in Quick Breads, Sweet | Leave a comment

Basil-Lime Popovers

Week Twenty-Two: Breads With Herbs


I love cooking with herbs!  You can use the same basic ingredients, but completely change the flavor and atmosphere of any dish, simply by swapping one herb for another.  For example, the rosemary crisps from yesterday were bold and showy, but would’ve been cooling and fresh were mint substituted, or they would’ve begged for a pairing with seafood had dill been used.

In any of the breads this week, you can absolutely trade one herb for another; but all these recipes were developed or adapted with a particular one in mind, depending on the other flavorings, or even the specific grains used.  The herb for today, basil, is often seen with Mediterranean flavors, such as in a traditional pesto, with raw tomato and mozzarella for insalta caprese, or what-have-you.  But one oft-overlooked and quite tasty pairing is to partner basil with lime.  Maybe it sounds a bit strange, but trust me on this!  The lime seems to bring out basil’s less-sweet, more herbal side, while the basil softens lime’s harshness and tang.  It’s unusual, fabulous, and will keep people guessing for sure!

But all that aside, I don’t really know what happened with these popovers, you guys!  The flavor was lovely, but they came out so flat!  When I made popovers previously, they came out fluffy and airy and beautiful – but these were nothing of the sort!  They weren’t so much popovers as popunders, since the tops remained flat as pancakes, but there was a little mountain-shaped air pocket that formed under each one.  So sad!

I think the main culprit was the use of too much butter to grease my (nonstick) muffin tins.  In baking, the popovers need to almost grab onto the sides of the pan in order to rise, but not grab so much that you can’t remove them from the pan.  The grease on the sides of each cup also provides a lovely crispy crust, which is part of the charm.

So in oiling the pan, you need an even hand: not too much grease, and not too little.  Apparently, I overdid it.  You could see the butter sitting in little pools on the edge of each popover, which probably weighed the rising batter down a bit, too.  The texture, other than being a bit dense, was pretty good.  It was nicely doughy on the inside, and properly crispy on the outside.

I’m not really sure what to tell you here.  I’ve made much better popovers in the past, and I refuse to accept defeat here.  The flavor of the basil and lime together was so lovely that I almost made a second batch, just to see if I could do better the second time around.  (Yes, they are that easy to whip up!  Did I mention that?  They’re so easy!)  But I think I’m going to save that for my second week of re-do’s, which will happen at the end of June.  Stay tuned!


Basil-Lime Popovers
Makes 9 popovers

4 1/2 ounces (about 1 cup) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1.  Preheat oven to 425° F at least 20 minutes before baking.  Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.  Butter or grease 9 cups of a standard muffin tin, or six cups of a popover pan.

2.  Measure out the flour and salt, and combine in a small bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, water, and olive oil.  Add the lime zest and basil, and whisk to combine.  Add the lime juice, whisk, and immediately add the flour mixture.  Whisk until fully combined; a few lumps may remain.

3.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.  Immediately lower temperature to 375° F, and bake in lower third of oven 30 to 45 minutes (see note 1 below), or until well-puffed and golden brown.

4.  Remove popovers from the oven.  Using a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the side of each popover, and bake 5 minutes more.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Popovers are best served warm.


1.  Popovers made in standard (1/2-cup) muffin cups should bake about 30 minutes before cutting slits; bake closer to 40 or 45 minutes if using a popover tin.

2.  For the highest-rising popovers, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, and heat your (ungreased) pan in the oven.  Grease quickly before filling tins with the batter.

3.  Be sure to add the lime juice to the milk and egg mixture at the very last second, just before whisking in the flour.  Add it too early, and the citric acid will curdle the milk, giving you buttermilk popovers.  Now that I think about it, is that a bad thing?  Or is that why they didn’t pop over?

Posted in Quick Breads, Savory | 2 Comments

Rosemary Pepper Crisps

Week Twenty-Two: Breads With Herbs


It’s Memorial Day!  I’m making this a short post, since it’s a holiday and all; but in the spirit of the day, this is a recipe that’s perfect for any party or gathering.  Fast, easy, and amazingly tasty, it’ll match up to anything, from cheese and wine, to an accompaniment for soup, and everything in between.

This bread is not quite a flatbread – it’s a bit too crisp for that – but it’s not quite a cracker either – it’s a bit too chewy.  What it is, though, is a lightly airy bread (from the baking powder), redolent with whatever herb you choose, that’s still hearty enough to stand up to any dip or topping.

I’ve chosen to use rosemary and black pepper for this, since I adore that pairing of flavors.  The spice and kick of black pepper seems like a perfect foil for the almost-pine-like, not-quite-minty pungency of rosemary; and the match sets off the fruitiness of the olive oil beautifully.  You can obviously use whatever herb or spice you like in this; but I suggest using a lot of it.

Somehow, these crisps just seem to demand a little showiness, a little swagger in their flavoring.  These are no water crackers to take a backseat to a fine and subtle cheese; no, these crisps can hold their delicious own, nothing extra needed.  But whether you choose to eat them out of hand, or to pair them with something else, you’d be hard-pressed to find a faster, better, more impressive cracker.  Give it a shot – I bet the compliments will come faster than the plate will empty!


Rosemary Pepper Crisps
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Makes 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (a scant 2 cups)
2 to 3 teaspoons dried rosemary, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for topping
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) water
2 1/2 ounces olive oil (about 1/3 cup)

1.  Twenty minutes before mixing the dough, preheat oven to 450º F.  Place a baking stone, or a large baking sheet upside-down, in the oven to heat also (see note 4 below).

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, rosemary, pepper, salt, and baking powder.  Add the water and olive oil, and stir together until a rough dough forms.  Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times, until smooth.

3.  Divide dough into 3 even pieces.  Place each on a piece of parchment paper, using plastic wrap to cover the pieces not being used.  Roll each out to a 10 inch round, or as thinly as possible.  Sprinkle each with salt.

4.  Transfer each piece to the heated baking stone or baking sheet, cooking in batches if necessary.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown in spots.  Remove from parchment and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Break into irregular pieces to serve.


1.  Crisps can be made a few days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. 

2.  Feel free to use whatever herb or spice you prefer; but make sure it is of good quality, as the flavor is quite prominent.

3.  I used some fresh rosemary that had dried in my refrigerator, which I ground coarsely in a mortar and pestle.  Fresh rosemary would be just as delicious, and should be used in slightly less quantity.  Store-bought dried and ground rosemary should be added to taste, as it can vary widely in pungency.

4.  If you don’t have a baking stone, position the oven rack in the top third of the oven.  The heat from the roof of the oven will help cook the crisps at a greater intensity, and give better color.

5.  Be sure to let your oven heat for at least 20 to 30 minutes before baking.  This will ensure more even cooking, and give a more tender result.

Posted in Quick Breads, Savory | Leave a comment


Week Twenty-One: Gluten-Free Breads


This is my last gluten-free bread, so I had to go out with a bang.  (What, you thought I was going to end with another tapioca-starch-riddled flop?  Feh!)  This bread is absolutely amazing.  It’s so fast, so good, and so endlessly customizable – you won’t believe it’s gluten-free!  Personally, this wheat-addict can’t get enough of it.

It’s called farinata (meaning “floured”), if you’re in Italy, and socca (meaning, um, “socca”), if you’re in France.  I’m sure there’s some who will argue about minute and crucial differences between the two; but they’re basically the same thing, a thin bread based on chickpea flour and olive oil.  Yes, that’s right: farinata is not only gluten-free, but dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, and I’m pretty sure it cleans your car and makes your bed, too.

Farinata is a specialty of Northern Italy, mostly around Tuscany.  In France, you will find socca in the Southeast, but particularly in Nice.  Often called “chickpea crêpes” due to the resemblance of the batter and cooking method, farinata differs from crêpes in that it’s seen in a variety of thickness, rather than the standard wafer-thinness of crêpes.  Additionally, farinata is almost always served plain, with no toppings or condiments.  Yes, it’s so good, you don’t need a thing to go with it (but it doesn’t hurt to serve it alongside something else, either).

Usually heavily seasoned with black pepper, with or without a simple herb in the mix, farinata takes beautifully to any flavoring you like.   Personally, I adore the punch and slap of black pepper, and the way it matches the spice of a good olive oil in the batter; but feel free to tone it down if you prefer something a bit milder.  You can also match the flavors to any cuisine you like: use garam masala for an Indian meal, or cumin and cilantro for Tex-Mex, and on and on.

I happened to find some nigella seeds at the Indian/Pakistani grocery where I bought the chickpea flour, so I snapped them up, and topped one of my farinata with them.  (If you’ve never had nigella seeds, try them; they’re fabulous!  They’re called “black cumin”, and do share some similarities, but don’t quite have the smoky depth of cumin.)  The rich herb-y spice went fantastically with the bread, and the seeds gave a welcome texture as well.  The variations are endless; but I recommend trying the classic recipe first.  It’s quite peppery, but so, so good!

This sort of bread is, I think, the key to good gluten-free baking.  You’ll never  be able to perfectly mimic wheat flour by using science-class ingredients, and I have been fairly disappointed with every try.  (Plus, for someone who likes to eat as few processed foods as possible, it feels a bit wrong.  I mean, what the frig is xanthan gum, anyway?)  But by embracing different grains for their own, unique qualities, you might just find one that you love.

Take chickpea flour, for example.  We’ve all had chickpeas, right?  And we’ve all had hummus, and it’s the best thing ever, right?  But who knew you can make flour with chickpeas?  Apparently, it’s a big thing in India and Pakistan, though, because it’s those grocery stores where you can find it most often, sometimes labeled “gram flour”.

So you can’t eat wheat flour.  Big deal!  Yes, you’ll be missing out on some classics like a true French baguette; but you might not otherwise know about some equally delicious (if a little different in form) foods, like farinata, or almond-meal blueberry muffins.  Being a celiac forces you to be a little more adventurous with your food, and forces you to make things from scratch a lot more – both of which I think are generally lacking in the American temperament, so I can’t help but appreciate that.  I know avoiding gluten is rarely fun and games; but I believe in the virtue of hardship.  You know, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, necessity is the mother of invention, all that.  While I’m grateful that I can eat gluten, I’m also quite glad that I experimented with gluten-free breads this week.  It’s given me new appreciation for the hardships and hassle involved in gluten-intolerance, but it’s also brought me some great recipes.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!


Makes 2 to 3 nine inch rounds

1 1/2 cups chickpea (or gram) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 to 4 tablespoons for oiling pans

1.  Set an oven rack in the top third of the oven.  Set a cast iron pan (see note 3 below) in the oven, and preheat to 475º F.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and pepper together.  Add the water and 1/4 cup olive oil, and whisk until smooth.  The batter should have the consistency of heavy cream.  If needed, adjust with extra chickpea flour or with extra water.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 or 4 hours.  Any longer than that, and the batter should rest in the refrigerator, but can sit there for up to 24 hours.

3.  Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (depending on the size of the pan) into the hot pan.  Carefully tilt the pan to coat with the oil.  Pour the batter into the hot pan to the desired depth (see note 4 below).  Keep in mind the bread will hardly rise in the oven.

4.  Place the pan on the upper oven rack, and bake for about 5 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

5.  Turn the broiler on, and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the farinata begins to brown darkly in spots.  Remove the farinata from the pan, and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.  Repeat the oiling, baking, and broiling procedure for the remaining batter.  Cut into wedges, or irregular shapes, and serve immediately.  Farinata are best eaten fresh and warm, but may be cooled and frozen, wrapped tightly.


1.  Though I usually give amounts in weight, not volume, I’ve given the volume measurement for the chickpea flour because it measures in a cup relatively well, and because the hydration level can vary pretty widely, and still produce a good bread.

2.  No matter what anyone says, you can absolutely produce good farinata without a wood-burning oven.  No, it won’t be as smoky; but it still tastes really, really good.  It’s a conspiracy from Big Wood Oven, I tells ya!

3.  You can use any size cast iron pan.  Cast iron will best retain heat, and produce the best result, but if you don’t have one, or if you would prefer a giant, thin bread, you can use a pizza pan with a rim.  A cake pan will also do the trick.  But if you don’t have any of those, a rimmed baking sheet will do if all else fails; it will just end up rectangular.  In any case, you should heat the pan up with the oven.  Be warned that the high heat may warp a metal pan.

4.  You can make the farinata any thickness you like, from crêpe-like thinness, to a hearty half-inch thickness.  Generally, though, farinata are on the thinner side, and will cook more evenly as such.  For thick farinata, you may want to reduce the oven temperature to 425º F.

5.  If you have more than one pan, you can absolutely cook more than one at a time.

6.  If you want to sprinkle seeds or other flavorings on the top of the bread, you should do so after pouring the batter into the hot pan.

Posted in Savory, Unleavened Breads | 1 Comment

Gluten-Free Almond Honey Bread (Or Cake)

Week Twenty-One: Gluten-Free Breads


Okay, you guys.  This week, I have literally been counting my blessings, thanking my lucky stars, and everything in between, that I do not have celiac disease.  Not that I’m saying anything about lifestyle choices, or what have you; I’m just extremely grateful that it’s not something I have to deal with, much in the same way that I’m extremely grateful I don’t have to deal with diabetes, cancer, or lupus.

Because, holy cow, gluten-free breads are generally awful!  Or at least, the ones I’ve been cranking out have been, anyway (with the exception of those blueberry almond muffins, which were delicious).  Maybe I’m as yet unskilled in the obviously delicate and finicky art of gluten-free baking, which is a definite likelihood; but they don’t tend to hold much of a candle to glutinous breads.

This bread is, sadly, no exception – though it did turn out pretty well, all said and done.  My dough took forever to rise, probably because my liquid was cold when I added it, and I think I undermeasured my yeast (but I’m not entirely sure there).  Not only that, but while cooking, it turned an amazingly dark color before it was fully baked.  I have amended the recipe to account for those problems; but even with all that, it still turned out to be a fairly decent, um, bread.

Though the “crust” turned out dark, it lent a sort of burnt-caramel note, which was not unpleasant with the sweet almond flavor.  You’ll note that I put the word “crust” in quotes there, because my “bread” turned out very soft, more cake-like than anything else.  The crumb was soft like a cake, sweet like an under-sweet tea cake, and full of almond and honey flavors.  I’m sure the fault was mine, since the original recipe called for millet flour, and I just could not find any.  “What difference could that make,” says I, “I’ll just substitute sorghum flour, and it’ll be fine!”  Well, not exactly.  I’m fairly sure that had I used millet flour, it would’ve turned out far more bready.  But that’s in the past now.

What I give you below is either a soft almond bread or a yeasted almond cake recipe, but both are gluten-free; so, win!  If you wanted a gluten-free cake, you could certainly increase the amount of sugar to play that up.  I found the flavor overall to be moderately sweet, but not any more that of a standard muffin.  The almond flavor was not overwelming, as I feared it might be, but was more of a seductive backdrop.  It was in perfect balance with the honey, just enough to make you wonder exactly what that familiar flavor was.

The texture ends up an awful lot like an angel food cake, which is not a bad thing for a cake, but not necessarily what you want in a bread.  If you’re making a layer cake, I suggest cutting the crusts off, so you have a pristine canvas for decorating.  The interior did turn out a rather gorgeous pale color, which would be just beautiful with any type or color of frosting.  Oh my gosh, you could just frost this bread with Nutella (yes, it is gluten-free)!  It’s the best of all possible worlds; who cares if it’s bread or cake when it’s covered with Nutella!  I might go home and do just that.  Almond-honey cake with chocolate-hazelnut frosting, anyone?


Gluten-Free Almond Honey Bread (Or Cake)
Adapted from Natalie Naramor of Gluten Free Mommy
Makes 1 round loaf

1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour (see note 1 below)
1/2 cup tapioca flour (starch)
1/2 cup almond meal
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
3 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup warm milk (120° to 130° F)
1/3 cup club soda or carbonated water, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 eggs, beaten to blend

1.  Grease a 9 inch cake pan, and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment.  Grease the parchment.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, almond meal, salt, sugar, and xanthan gum.  Whisk in the yeast.

2.  Combine the honey and warm milk, and stir until the honey has dissolved.  Add the club soda, butter, vinegar, and almond extract.  Add to the flour mixture in the bowl.  Add half of the egg mixture, and mix with the paddle attachment until incorporated, scraping the bowl if necessary.  If the mixture looks dry, add the remaining egg by tablespoons until the consistency resembles cake frosting, or thick batter.  It should hold its shape, and not be runny.  Continue to beat at medium speed until dough is smooth, scraping bowl down as needed.

3.  Scrape the dough into the prepared cake pan.  Using a nonstick or oiled spatula, smooth the top.  Loosely cover dough with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

4.  30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 325° F.  Bake the bread until baked through, and the top is nicely browned, about 40 to 50 minutes.  An instant-read thermometer should register around 200° to 205° F when done.  Check on the bread after 30 minutes, and tent loosely with aluminum foil if it starts darkening too much.  When fully baked, run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the bread.  Remove the bread from pan, peel off the parchment paper, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.


1.  The original recipe called for millet flour, which I was unable to find, so I substituted sorghum flour.  Use whichever one you prefer.

2.  If you would like to make this into a cake (a cake with yeast? why not!), I suggest adding an additional 2 or 3 tablespoons of white sugar, and possibly also increasing the milk to 1/3 cup.  Proceed at your own risk!

Posted in Sweet, Yeast Breads | Leave a comment

Gluten-Free Yeasted Beer Bread

Week Twenty-One: Gluten-Free Breads


I know, I know, I’ve made beer bread not once, but twice already.  But they were different both times, and this third time is different-er still.  This time, it’s not a quick bread, which kind of hurts me a little.  I mean, it’s beer bread!  It’s supposed to be extremely fast, and extremely good, right?

Well, not this time, unfortunately.  The only thing this recipe has in common with that classic, favorite beer bread recipe is the beer.  Wait, no it doesn’t, either!  This has to use special gluten-free beer!  I guess, then, the only thing it has in common is… um, butter and sugar.  That’s a bit like calling a cookie and a slice of cake the same thing.

So we’ve got butter and sugar, and everything else had to be scrapped, including the one major selling point of my beloved beer bread: the ease and speed of the thing.  It seems like a sacrilege to go from such speed to such plodding slowness, and still call it “beer bread”, hence the word “yeasted” in the recipe title.  I like to differentiate.  (Yes, I’m aware that I’m comparing apples to oranges in comparing the two breads.)

So it is more of a time-investment, but sadly, the reward is less than enticing.  Please know that I’m a huge fan of slow food (as many hungry and patient dinner guests of mine know), and I generally believe that the best things in the kitchen take some time.  But I don’t believe in waiting ages for something sub-par.

Not that this is a bad bread, exactly; the flavor was basically good, and the texture was actually quite convincingly similar to a wheat-flour bread, but it just tasted somehow flat.  (I compensated for that, while writing the recipe out, by upping the salt a little.  Maybe it will come out better for you.)

I understand that I’m not selling this bread very well.  In fact, I may well be angering (or at least annoying) a few celiacs out there, with my devotion to my gluten-filled and off-limits beer bread.  But I feel incapable, with my limited experience, of judging gluten-free breads against other gluten-free breads.  Honestly, this week is the first time I’ve ever tried making the stuff, and I’ve never needed to buy it.  I can only compare to what I know; and what I know has gluten stretching from here to Timbuktu (figuratively speaking).

So all said and done, this may be a very good option for celiacs.  This bread did end up with a nice crust, tender crumb, and was not at all heavy, dense, or dry.  Each slice had a nice array of air pockets, of even size.  The flavor was quite reminiscent of classic beer bread – a little sweet, a little buttery, a little complex, yet mild – but it did taste flat.  It was very easy to slice, though, so I imagine it would make great sandwiches.  But would I make it again, considering I am not a celiac?  Probably not.  *Gallic shrug.*


Gluten-Free Yeasted Beer Bread
Adapted from Natalie Naramor, at Gluten-Free Mommy
Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour (starch)
1/2 cup certified gluten-free oat flour (see note 1 below)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 bottle (12 ounces) gluten-free beer, room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites

1.  Grease a large (10 x 6) loaf pan, or two small (7 x 4) bread pans.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, flaxseed, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt.  Whisk in the yeast.

2.  Combine the butter, beer, vinegar, and molasses, and stir until the molasses have dissolved.  Add to the flour mixture in the bowl.  Add half of the egg mixture, and mix with the paddle attachment until incorporated, scraping the bowl if necessary.  If the mixture looks dry, add the remaining egg by tablespoons until the consistency resembles cake frosting, or thick batter.  It should hold its shape, and not be runny.  Continue to beat at medium speed until dough is smooth, scraping bowl down as needed.

3.  Scrape the dough into the loaf pan, or divide between the two loaf pans.  Using a nonstick or oiled spatula, smooth the tops.  Loosely cover dough with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

4.  30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Bake the bread until baked through, and the top is golden brown, about 40 to 50 minutes.  Remove bread from pans, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.


1.  Oats are still considered of dubious safety for many celiacs, even if the oats are certified gluten-free, so proceed at your own judgement.  Regular oats are very easily (and are, in nearly all cases) contaminated with gluten, and should be avoided like wheat.

2.  Be sure your beer is gluten-free!  Most are not; when in doubt, leave it out.  You can substitute club soda, for a non-alcoholic option, if you like.

Posted in Savory, Yeast Breads | Leave a comment