Recipes

Recipe: Griddle-Baked Pitas

I have only attempted pita bread once before, and it did not turn out so well. I attempted it again this past weekend, and the pitas turned out beautifully. My pitas are not perfectly round….but neither are my pancakes. I just am too impatient to make a nice circle! I just want to eat the foods. 😉

Having a few years of bread making under my belt helped with making better pitas this time, I think. I understand a little more the science behind yeast and the other ingredients. When I made it this time, it seemed so easy. So, maybe I was just too new to the whole making my own breads thing the first time I made pitas. Who knows. Regardless, they were yummy!

This recipe uses the bread machine. I suppose you could do the dough step by hand, I just haven’t tried it with this recipe. I like putting the bread machine to work for the dough making. Also, this recipe doubles very well (and easily). The original recipe here only  make 6 pitas, so if you have more than a couple of people in your family, you may want to double it.

Griddle-Baked Pitas

3/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup warm water

4 tsp oil

1 cup bread flour

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp yeast

Olive Oil

Add the items in the order recommended by your bread machine and run the dough cycle. When finished, punch down and dump onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 6 balls then flatten by hand into 6-inch rounds (or whatever shape you happen to make!). Place on floured parchment or a baking sheet and cover to rise for 30-45 minutes, until puffy.

Heat griddle (I did my electric griddle between 300 and 350 degrees) to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of pitas with oil. Cook on griddle, 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned (my griddle took more like 6-7 minutes to brown them) and puffy.

Makes 6 pitas.

These pitas would be good for pita pizzas, if you like making individual pizzas. I know my kids do!

 

Recipes

Recipe: Italian Beef Sandwiches

IMG_0498

I love Italian Beef sandwiches. My mom makes them so good, with just the right amount of pepperoncini. I took down her recipe a few years ago….and have never made them. Part of the reason is I am afraid mine will not turn out as good as hers and I would ruin the recipe (even though I feel like this is the easiest crockpot recipe in the world!). Another reason is because my boys don’t really like shredded meats. It takes a lot for them to eat shredded beef or chicken. Most of the time I just avoid shredded meat sandwiches, unless it is loaded with barbecue sauce. 🙂

I stumbled across a new Italian Beef sandwich recipe that looked pretty tasty, so I figured I would try that one out….that way if I ruin it, I wouldn’t have any bad feelings towards my mom’s recipe. (Yes, I have a lot of issues. Just bear with me here…) 😉

After forgetting to add buns to my grocery list, I decided to use the 40 minute bun recipe I had also come across recently. I had another 40 minute bun recipe that I have used but not enjoyed lately.

So, new beef recipe and new bun recipe – my fingers were crossed!

After letting the beef cook all day, the house smelled amazing and the meat tasted AMAZING. I knew it would be way too spicy for my family, though, so I ended up taking the meat out and pouring out the juices into a bowl. I added the meat back into the crockpot and finished cooking it the last two hours in water I added. It helped mellow out the spiciness, and the juices I saved were added to the individual buns for those that wanted it a little more spicy (which only ended up being myself and two of the girls…so I am glad I took it out when I did). Next time, I think I would NOT add the juice from the pepper jar and just do water with the whole peppers, removing them with an hour or two left. But, the flavor was still SO GOOD! And we add cheese to everything, so a little white cheddar sprinkled on the meat added to the flavor too.

And the bread recipe did not turn out the first time I tried it; the came out as very dense balls. I think I didn’t have the water warm enough, so they couldn’t do their quick rise. I made them a second time and the turned out perfect (as you can see in the picture above). I will add that recipe below as well.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

1 cup water

1 jar pepperoncini (I would just do the peppers, not the juice…unless you like it super spicy)

2 TBSP dry italian dressing mix ( I used homemade)

3 pounds beef chuck roast

Add all to the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

Shred and add to buns. Enjoy!

40 Minute Buns

2 TBSP active dry yeast

1 cup plus 2 TBSP warm water (I microwave the water for 1 minute)

1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp salt

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add oil and sugar, stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add egg, salt and flour to form soft dough.
  2. On floured surface, knead about 3-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide into 12 pieces, shape each into a ball. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to racks to cool.

I sliced them in half and added the cheese while they were still warm, so the cheese melted a little before I added the warm meat.

Such a yummy, homemade meal!

Recipes

Bake It Tuesday

I have checked out numerous bread books from the library over the last few years. I absolutely LOVE the book Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. Last week I tried a Glazed Raisin Bread from the book, but it wasn’t very fluffy. It was super dense, and I wasn’t happy with it. The taste was great, but the texture and heaviness were not right.

Today, I plan to try that bread again. It has a lemon glaze on it….so yummy! Some of my kids and my husband did not enjoy the lemon part of the glaze, so I may just fall back on my cinnamon roll glaze for the bread, but we shall see. 🙂

If I get the bread to turn out better, I’ll post a picture. And maybe the recipe, if I am changing things about it. It would be a great breakfast bread, for those of my family that like raisins. The kids that don’t just picked out the raisins.

Are you baking anything today?? Please share!

Kitchen

Bake It Tuesday

Well, last week’s baking plan didn’t actually happen on Tuesday. I did end up making bread and cookie bars, but not until Friday and Saturday! I was so lazy last week. It was awful!

The bread I made Saturday (2 loaves, I should add!) is almost gone, so I will be baking 2 more loaves today. I am always amazed at how our bread eating habits fluctuate. Some weeks, we do not hardly eat any bread. Other weeks….I can’t seem to make it fast enough!

The cookie bars are pretty much gone as well, so i will probably make some granola bars with our local honey. I am considering some peanut butter cookies as well. I have a taste for peanut butter chocolate chips anything right now!

Are you baking this week? Care to share?? 🙂

Kitchen

Bake It Tuesday

Today we have some running around to do that didn’t get done yesterday. We did our grocery shopping but weren’t able to pick up our eggs and chicken or milk from the two farms. So, we are headed out this morning to finish those errands.

I am hoping to get some things baked at nap time, but I also have a crochet order to fill….so we shall see what gets done. 🙂

My baking goals for this week are bread (by hand, makes 2 loaves), cookies or some sort of cookie bars, coffee cake, and muffins. Big goals, but I am hoping I can get it all made.

I love baking for two reasons:

1. It warms up the house on really cold days, like today.

2. I don’t need any type of air freshener often because whatever is baking fills the house with its scent!

Is anyone else baking today or this week? Feel like sharing?? 🙂

Kitchen

Bake It Tuesday

Today I have a couple of things to bake for our week.

Bread – making this by hand with THIS recipe. This should help get us to the weekend or even through Sunday, depending on how much everyone is craving bread. 🙂

Cookies – of course! We eat homemade desserts often. I will probably make peanut butter chocolate chips cookies, using coconut oil instead of butter. That helps save our butter for the delicious bread!!

Muffins – banana chocolate chip and maybe apple cinnamon. Muffins are awesome for quick breakfasts…if you make them ahead of time. I will probably make more than a dozen of each because with 7 people (all of whom eat at least 2 muffins in a meal) they don’t last long!

I am tempted to make a pumpkin pie just because it is Thanksgiving this week, but I know there will be LOTS of yummy goodies at my mom’s on Thursday. Seriously, we have some really great bakers in our family. Thankfully, my two married brothers have wives that are awesome bakers! So, we are looking forward to eating later this week. haha!

 

Kitchen · Recipes

Bake It Tuesday

 

I have been baking our own bread for a few weeks consistently now. I go through spurts of baking our own and then usually fall back into buying from the store (sometimes organic wheat bread from Costco and sometimes just the cheap $.99 loaf at Meijer). My reason for wanting to keep up with making our own bread is because of how simple the ingredients are in homemade bread. There are no preservatives, so it obviously is not as shelf stable as a loaf from the store. It is, however, much healthier.

Here is a list of the ingredients from my homemade white bread:

milk, oil, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast, egg

(Yes, a whole wheat bread is even healthier than the white bread, but just for the sake of comparing ingredients I am using the white bread with white flour. )

And this is the list from a loaf of Butternut White Sandwich Bread (obtained from foodfacts.com):

Just look at the number of ingredients! Sure, several are similar to homemade bread, but why does it need so many others? Well, because it has to stay fresh for more than a week at the store and then another week or so at a home. Ironically, it IS NOT fresh by the time we purchase it at the store. It has chemicals added to it to keep it soft and edible.

Does that seem strange to anyone else?

I’m not picking on anyone that buys store bread. I’m not saying those who make their bread are superior. I just think it is something to consider. Our bodies could do without those added preservatives and other things. Sure, it takes extra time to make a loaf or two at home…and then more time a few days later…and more time a few days after that. I understand the convenience of buying several loaves inexpensively at the store and freezing them for later use. BUT, homemade bread takes way better than store-bought and it is much easier on our bodies.

With all the health issues out there, why not switch over from store-bought to homemade bread and save your body from absorbing the unnecessary ingredients and chemicals?

Here is an easy White Bread recipe to get you started!!

2 1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup oil (i use olive oil)

6-7 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

3 tsp salt

4 1/2 tsp (or 2 packets) yeast

1 egg

1. Heat milk and oil on stove to 120-130 degrees (do not boil!).

2. In mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast and egg. Pour in warm liquids and beat with mixer for 3 minutes on low/medium.

3. Stir in remaining flour, until dough becomes sticky and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn onto floured surface and knead by hand for 1-3 minutes. (Add small amounts of flour to top of dough while kneading, if dough is still sticky.)

4. Grease a large glass bowl and place dough into bowl, turning so all sides are greased. Cover with a clean white towel and set in warm place for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size (on top of the refrigerator or in a laundry room work great!).

5. Grease 2 bread pans (9×4 or 9×5). Punch down risen dough, split into 2 equal parts and shape into loaves. Place into greased pans. Cover with the towel again and place in warm area to rise a second time for 30-45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake risen dough for 40-45 minutes. If tops brown quickly, cover with foil for remaining bake time.

7. Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack. Cut once cooled (if you can make it that long…we never can!)