9.19.2012

Ham, Cheddar, And Mustard Pull Apart Bread





A great deal of situations can be solved with ham and cheese..
Say for instance… ….. breakfast.. lunch.. dinner..
As a kid, a ham and cheese sandwich was made daily for me... as my after school snack. My grandmother made it using pimento cheese and tomato, lettuce and juicy leftover baked ham. My mom went down the road of  Oscar Meyer ham, that square yellow cheese encased in the coolest plastic envelope and mustard slapped on 2 pieces of Sunbeam white bread.. Even with the basic of ingredients my mom’s sandwich with just the ham, cheese and mustard always cut diagonally was hands down the best.
So as the years have passed my fondness for these 3 fixings meticulously placed between 2 layers of bread has just caused me to find more ways to bring the sandwich to life…
Lately, I’ve had this crazy obsession with bread baking.. some recipes turn out better than others . But we shall discuss that at a later date..
One of my favorite breads is Pull Apart bread mainly because I feel it maybe the best thing ever created..that is at least until I bake another loaf of bread that has a better wow factor..
There is no less than.. one hundred, fifty-two thousand and 60  different variations...I have so many ideas that I can barely think of anything else to cook..
But, I had trouble bringing any of these ideas to existence until I was able to create those fluffy overlapping layers of bread bubbling over with melted cheddar cheese, succulent slices of ham and the tangy taste of mustard.

How did I do?

Ham, Cheddar, And Mustard Pull Apart Bread..

adapted from Smitten Kitchen 
Print me

You might need these..


Bread

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup luke warm water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Filling

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup deli ham chopped

Start with the dough: In a large bowl whisk together the yeast and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in olive oil, salt, sugar and flour. If you have a stand mixer, using the dough hook attachment..knead the dough for 5-6 minutes or until elastic. If you prefer the old school way, turn dough out onto a lightly flour surface and knead until elastic.. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled medium/large sized bowl cover with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour. Make the filling while waiting




For the Filling:

Using a saucepan melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce until combined and smooth. In a separate bowl combine cheddar, ham, paprika and black pepper mixing all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate mustard sauce and ham and cheddar mixture until ready to use.


Put it all together:

Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter
On a heavily floured surface roll dough out to 12 in wide X 20 in long
Brush mustard mixture evenly over the dough, then slice the dough vertically into 5 strips.
Sprinkle 1/4 of the ham and cheddar mixture over one strip and then top with another strip. Sprinkle another 1/4 of the ham and cheddar mixture over this strip and then top with another strip. Continue this process with the remaining strips.  My mother carefully pointed out that I also need to say that the last strip should not be topped with the ham and cheddar mixture. : )
Using a very sharp knife, cut the bread stack into 6-7 segments.  The dough will stretch somewhat as you cut it so you maybe able to get 8 segments out of it.




Layer the dough in the loaf pan in a flipbook like form.. or more like stacking each one behind the other ( To make it easier, turn your pan to the short side and stack one on top of the other)
If you run out of space in the pan, just press the dough in to make room for more segments.


Cover pan with more plastic wrap and set aside to let rise for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350

Bake loaf for 25-30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. The dough pulls apart when warm.. so let cool for only a few minutes before serving..

I know.. I know.. this is a lot of work.. but the end result is insanely good! Think mustard flavored bread with melted cheddar and juicy ham...




If you are not like me and able to save some .. this bread is even better the next day sliced, then toasted and topped with scrambled eggs....



9.13.2012

Biscoff & Bourbon Milkshakes



I have a confession to make..
 I really.. really don’t like to fly
Which is somewhat crazy because I have to travel via the friendly skies.. a lot.. ..
It's way too often that I find myself  walking down that enclosed claustrophobic like tunnel to board some Delta flight.
Don't get me wrong..it's not the actual flying part.. just the take off, landing and jittery bits in between… 
As the pilot makes that call informing the passengers to prepare for takeoff.. My mind starts to race with morbid thoughts of impending doom.
I’m chastising myself because I do this every time, at what point will I no longer need to have a death grip on my seat handles…

Better question, will this hold on my seat allow me to walk away unscathed in the event of an emergency?

Well...yes.... of course it will.




The only thing that helps soothe my fears are those individually packaged little golden brown cookies they never seem to give you enough of .. Biscoff cookies… yes those.. I always ask for more then one.. maybe 3..to assist with my mile high phobia.
So of course I’ve become slightly dependent on them.. and that dependence has lead to an addiction that has me constantly looking down the aisle in anticipation of that noticeable packaging with the contents to assuage my shaking hands..
So imagine my euphoria at learning these cookies come in a jar, which would make them spreadable.. Meaning, of course that I brought 3 jars and immediately started spreading... on bread, bagels, apples, crackers..everything
Nothing was safe from me and my knife covered in Biscoff.


Then I started seeing all these recipes using my beloved spread from cheesecakes to milkshakes.. One particular milkshake recipe completely blew me away and was all sorts of perfect. (there was just something missing) So one night during a gathering of what my friends and I have named "Drunken Life" Night (picture a table, some inebriated adults and the game of life.. as in the board game..fun times)I introduced my milkshake creation to my friends.
They each gave me a questionable look wondering why I’m making milkshakes for adults..
"Hey don't knock until you try it"
There was a brief interlude of silence as the first taste of my mouthwatering shakes were consumed..
Then my good friend  broke the silence by asking me if that noticeable burning sensation that he was feeling in his chest was an indication that I added Burbon to the milkshakes..

Well, Yes as a matter a fact.. I did..and so should you..


Do you think they would let me take this on the plane ?.. I believe it would help calm my nerves.


Bottoms Up..


You might need these...
Recipe adapted from The Little Kitchen 

1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup of biscoff spread
1/2 cup bourbon (This will make a strong milkshake.. modify the amount of Bourbon to your liking)
4 large scoops of ice cream

Using a blender mix all ingredients together until well blended and smooth.. This made 2- 8 oz milkshakes...Garnish with homemade whipping cream (or reddi-whip.. which is much easier if you have been drinking these as you made them..like I did) crush up some Biscoff cookies and sprinkle on the top...

9.04.2012

Pecan Pie Granola




Here in the south there is no shortage of Pecan Pie recipes.. Leading to its availability at just about anywhere.. Like the food section in the Quick Trip by my house. Although, there is something about gas station pie that screams…
DON’T DO IT…
But boiled peanuts, now that’s different.. of course you can eat those out of that dingy jar that’s probably been there all week.. It’s ok really..

Like I was saying, Pecan Pie is a southern desert made mostly (but not limited too) Pecans, molasses, brown sugar, corn syrup and eggs; and just about everyone’s grandmother, mother, sister, uncle, dog and cat has a recipe for it.. I’ve tried several of these recipes and I’ll say that my taste tend to lean toward the ones with a few cups teaspoons of Bourbon..
This chewy toasted pecan delight often encased in buttery pastry, was served at just about every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Baptism, Wedding, Thank The Lord Jesus it’s Sunday Dinner I’ve eaten since I was running around trying to show people my knickers..
But never at breakfast.. Which always had me wondering how can I have my slice of Pecan Pie for breakfast..


Pecan Pie Granola.





You might need these:

4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt



Heat oven to 350
Mix together oats, pecans, coconut and flax seeds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, syrup, brown sugar and salt. Pour oil mixture over rolling oats mixture, and toss thoroughly.


Evenly spread out oat mixture on two rimmed baking sheets .
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden.


Let granola cool completely before storing in a container.

This Granola is good.. Pecan Pie would be better... but I think this is a much healthier option....

I think..