How did you all like this savory turn of events?
Our bakers are unanimous — this bread is très bon!
Cheesy bread, anyone? Leave your links here, bakers!
Just a few bakers tackled the Mega Easter Pie this week — and we’ve got some great variations on the recipe!
We’re making Nato’s gigantic meat and cheese pie next – posting date is March 27!
- 3 cups (385 g) all-purpose flour, chilled
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Ice cubes
- 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1⁄2 onion, diced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 3 ounces (85 g) roasted red peppers, drained and diced (about 3⁄4 cup)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 pound (455 g) basket cheese, or 1 pound (455 g) fresh ricotta, drained well
- 3⁄4 pound (340 g) smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 pound (225 g) cooked ham, cubed (we prefer Black Forest)
- 1⁄2 pound (225 g) prosciutto, diced or rolled and sliced into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) slices
- 1⁄4 cup (30 g) grated Romano cheese
- 1⁄4 cup (30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup (30 g) cubed soft provolone cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. In a measuring cup, stir 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) water with several ice cubes until it is very cold, then discard the ice.
- Toss the cold butter in the flour mixture to coat. Place the mixture in a food processor and pulse in short bursts until the butter pieces are the size of hazelnuts.
- Pulsing in 4-second bursts, slowly drizzle the ice-cold water into the food processor through the feed tube. As soon as the dough comes together in a ball, stop adding water.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it in half. Flatten each piece into a disk, and wrap each disk first in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until firm, about 1 hour. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before proceeding.
- In a medium skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil and crushed red pepper over medium-low heat until the oil begins to shimmer, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Using nonstick cooking spray, coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan.
- Line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk 2 of the eggs. Add the basket cheese, mozzarella cheese, ham, prosciutto, Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese, parsley, lemon zest, and pepper and stir together. Add the cooled onion-and-pepper mixture. Use your hands to toss everything together until thoroughly mixed.
- Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of our and roll out the first disk of chilled dough into a 14-inch (35.5-cm) round, about 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the prepared pan and carefully work it into the bottom and build it up the sides. There shouldn’t be a lot of overhang, but if there is, trim it back to 1 inch (2.5 cm) at most. Add the meat-and-cheese mixture.
- Adding more flour to the work surface as needed, roll out the second disk of chilled dough into a 12-inch (30.5-cm) round. Center it on top of the filling with about a 1-inch (2.5-cm) overhang over the sides of the pan. Working carefully, crimp the bottom and top doughs together. Try not to let the dough extend out over the lip of the pan, as this will make it difficult to remove from the pan without breaking.
- Make an egg wash by whisking together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top crust with the egg wash. Cut 3 steam vents into the top crust.
- Place the pie on a half sheet pan and bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour.
- Cool the pie in its pan on a rack for about 2 hours. Unmold the pie from the springform pan, remove the metal bottom, and transfer the pie to a serving plate. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
We’re down to our last six recipes in Elements! This week, a chocolate muffin with a surprise inside. Posting date is Sept. 21!
Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
For the Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped, divided
3 ounces (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 cup hot coffee
3⁄4 cup hot water
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sanding sugar (optional)
Make the Cream Cheese Filling
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is lump free. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, and salt, beating until completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Fold in the white chocolate chunks. Refrigerate the filling while you make the muffins. (The cream cheese filling can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.)
Make the Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly along the bottom and up the sides of each cup.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, place the cocoa powder, 2 ounces of the chocolate, and the butter. Pour the coffee and the hot water over the chocolate and butter and wait 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Add the oil, vinegar, and eggs and whisk again until the batter is completely smooth.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed (be careful not to overmix). Fold in the remaining 6 ounces of the chocolate. Note: If you are using largish chocolate chunks you should toss them in flour so that they will not sink to the bottom of the mix.
Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of chocolate batter into each prepared muffin cup (about one-quarter full). Tap the bottom of the pan against the counter to level the batter. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese filling to each cup, then cover the cream cheese layer with the remaining chocolate batter. Make sure the batter is just flush with the rim of the pan. If you want, sprinkle the muffin tops with sanding sugar right before baking to create a crunchy muffin top (and who can say no to a crunchy muffin top?).
Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Move the muffin pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Gently loosen the muffins with an offset spatula or small knife, remove the muffins from the pan, and let them finish cooling on the wire rack.
The muffins can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 2 days. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Links here for these cheesy-peppery cookies….