Tag Archives: cast iron

Flat Bread Journal

A year of baking flatbreads – on the griddle. That’s what I want to do this year.

English Muffins are probably the flat-bread that has most recently been on your plate

English Muffins are probably the flat-bread that has most recently been on your plate

Part of my inspiration was the reading this

52 loaves

He bakes every week for a year, trying to perfect one recipe – but I’m looking for range, not just depth

And that inspired me to pick up this….

The Bread Journal

The Bread Journal -A Year of Weekly Baking CHART YOUR PROGRESS toward baking the perfect country loaf in this weekly baking journal. Lists, check boxes and prompts provide a satisfying record of every decision. That’s what it says, I kid you not.

Which begs the questions:

  1. When did bread become perfect?
  2. When did the country loaf become the ideal?

But I digress…

I’ll start with English muffins and move on to oatcakes and farls, to tortas and testa and spend some time with Johnnycakes – these are my jumping off points,  the beginning, so  it’ll be interesting to see where this will go.

I’m starting with English muffins because I’ve made them before, and I have a variety of recipes for them. Some call for more of a batter and muffin rings, which I’ve pretty much left behind, and others call for rolling and cutting with a biscuit cutter, which I can easily live without, and most of the rest are a dough that is cut into pieces that are rolled into individual little loaves that are them cooked up.

And then there’s the griddle issues…..

mine is cast iron

cast iron griddle - 12 " - I bought this either at Charlie in North Plymouth or at the Bradlee's that was in Kingston - it was over 30 years ago, so it all blends together

cast iron griddle – 12 ” – I bought this either at Charlie in North Plymouth or at the Bradlee’s that was in Kingston – it was over 30 years ago, so it all blends together

Even if it weren’t perfectly fine and familiar, the temptation for a soapstone griddle…

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty? How much would this weigh? I could lift griddles instead of kettle-balls as a get-fit program…

is tempered by the expense of something new, and expense in time as trying to figure out how it works, and how to make it work better, as well as the cash outlay – and then there’s whatever the shipping would be to move a hunk of stone to my doorstep….all expenses I can well do without for the now, and for a good piece of now to come.

And this is the first English Muffin recipe I”ll be trying. It may be the first English muffin recipe I ever tried.

The Better English Muffin

1 C milk

2 Tbl and then 1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

3 Tbl butter

1 ¼ C warm water

2 packets dry yeast

2 ½ C whole wheat flour

2 ¼ C AP flour

¼ C wheat germ

Cornmeal

  1. Scald the milk and add 2 Tbl of brown sugar, the salt and the butter. Put aside and cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir the 1 tsp of brown sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir again and wait for it to bubble and froth.(about 5 minutes)
  3. Mix the flours together with the wheat germ in a large bowl.
  4. Gradually mix in the lukewarm milk mixture and then the yeast mixture.
  5. Knead until it forms a soft dough. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
  6. Put the dough in a covered bowl and let it rise in a warm place 15 minutes.
  7. Punch the dough down and divide into 16 pieces.
  8. Roll each piece into a ball.
  9. Place each little dough ball on a cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet.
  10. Press down on the dough to flatten them, about 3” diameter circles. Cover and let rise for another ½ hour.
  11. Heat a griddle on high and grease lightly with butter.
  12. Place dough circles on hot griddle and cook for 5 minutes each side.
  13. Cool on a wire rack.
  14. Before serving, split each muffin in half with a fork, toast thoroughly and butter.

Ruth Ann Manners and William Manners. The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cookbook. M. Evans and Co: New York. 1978. Pp.118-9.

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Filed under Bread, Journal, Recipe

Getting a round to it

Corners are cool….

Huey Lewis and the News Hip to Be Square

Huey Lewis and the News Hip to Be Square

but eventually even I have to get a round to the pizza.

It’s not that I haven’t made round pizzas. Try finding a not-round pizza pan, for one thing.

But more recently, Rachael Ray – yes, Rachael Ray  – showed me a pizza that was both round and involved cast iron.

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

It was the September issue…..which I didn’t really have time to read until the first week in December.

Rachael Ray EveryDay Magazine September 2013

EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine September 2013

So, make some  dough…..you remember.

Rache would have you buy it, but now that you know how easy dough is, and that you can hold on to it in the fridge until you need it so you can make it ahead and have it on hand, why would you buy it?

The other secret  to Cast Iron Pizza is that the seasoning in the dough – really necessary. Even if you don’t use a premix, use some basil, use some oregano get some flavor in it.

You will also need a 8 inch cast iron frying pan. Or skillet. And a lid for said pan. I just has to be a lid that will cover the pan, it doesn’t have be be that pan’s lid.

A close  up of the pizza in the magazine

A close up of the pizza in the magazine – that’s arugula on top; arugula is also known as rocket.

Many cast iron pans have the size on the back – look for an 8. Another clue – the paper for the magazine is approximately 81/2 x 11, which means the picture in magazine in the magazine is close to life size. These are single serve pizzas. Which works out rather well for a single girl.

Cast Iron Pizza

1 pound of dough, divided into 4 –  4 oz. balls. Knead some seasoning in if you bought it – even a little Romano cheese will perk it up. Big Pan Pizza makes about 2 1/2 pounds of dough FYI.

(flour, to keep the dough from sticking)

Olive oil

tomato sauce, heated (I use Pastene kitchen ready tomatoes  – I like the tomato flavor )

Fresh or dried herbs for seasoning

cheese – mozzarella ( I used some lovely mozzarella from Wolf Farm, grated, but fresh, cut into a small dice would work well here.A little Parm or Romano is always good for the center )

Other toppings – arugula or peperoni or …..

  1. Heat the pan  – the 8 inch cast iron pan – over medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure that the lid is nearby.
  2. Flatten one 4 oz ball of dough and stretch it into an 8″ round ( I just did this in my hands and didn’t roll it out at all).
  3. Put 1 tsp of olive oil in the hot pan and swirl it to completely cover the bottom. Put the dough circle in the pan
  4. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes (that’s 90 seconds) You’re just setting the bottom.
  5. Flip the dough, cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until the bottom is brown. (My first bottom got a little black….so I turned it down for the next three)
  6. Turn the dough again. Top with heated sauce (a 1/4 of a cup – I used my big spoon). Sprinkle on cheese. Other toppings? Now’s the time to add.
  7. Cover for another minute (or two) until the cheese is melted.
  8. Move it out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Wipe out the pan.
  9. Repeat until done.
  10. Mangia!
Pastene Kitchen ready tomatoes

Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes

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Filed under Christmas, Pizza, Recipe