Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Category Archives: Breads & Dough

Sausage & Pepper Pizza

The other night I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and thought about making up some Sausage and Pepper’s.  Then I thought about having some pizza instead.  That was when I realized I would just combine the two. 

In the past when I’ve used pizza crust, I’ve told you that I purchase the dough either from the store or one of our local pizza places.  I’m not one of those people who has the talent for bread and dough making.  And, I do believe it’s a talent that some people just seem to have. 

Finally, I decided to try my hand at my own pizza dough, and after making batch after batch of it, I won’t ever be buying a store bought dough again.  Well, actually, that isn’t true.  If it’s on sale or if I’m in a rush I would still buy the store made version.  But, I will admit that working with freshly prepared pizza dough was a wonderful experience.

Here is how I made just one of my most favorite pizza versions.

PIZZA DOUGH:

Pizza Dough recipe from Family Circle  Magazine 10/17/10 issue

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Packet Active Dry Yeast (* I used Freischmann’s Pizza Dough Yeast)
  • 2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt (I used Kosher, so I added a little extra)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Place water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast.  Let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugard and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Tur out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 clour as needed.  Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. **SEE NOTE**

**NOTE:  If you find yourself making the dough on a cold day and don’t have a warm spot to place it, this is what I have done and it’s worked well.  I turn the oven to 200 degrees until just heated.  Turn off the oven and wait about 15 minutes.  Then I place the bowl with the dough, which I cover with a clean dish cloth, in the oven and allow to rise.  It will usually rise this way in less than an hour. 

TOPPING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:

  • 1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Bulk Sausage
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/4 Cups Pizza Sauce (Use your favorite here)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or as much as you and your family prefer)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large sauté pan, break up the sausage and brown completely.  This will take about 15 or more minutes.  You want to make sure the sausage is fully cooked and evenly browned. 

Once the sausage is done, remove it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. 

In the same pan that you just browned the sausage in, add the sliced onions and peppers.  Depending on how lean your sausage is, you may have enough excess grease left in the pan to cook up the onions and peppers.  If you don’t, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until just soft.

Take your risen dough and form it into whatever shape you prefer.  I did this in a 16″ pizza pan and it came out perfectly. 

Since the toppings are pre-cooked, I decided to pre-bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings. 

Place the dough in the oven and allow to pre-bake for about 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top the crust with the pizza sauce, sausage, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese. 

Return the pizza to the oven and cook until the top is bubbly, the cheese melted, and the crust is a golden brown.

Sometimes, if I feel like the bottom of the crust is not cooking to the crispness I like, I will slide the pizza off the pizza pan directly on the oven rack half way through the baking process and finish it that way.  If you are using a pizza stone, you won’t need to do this.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes.  Slice into 8 equal pieces using a pizza cutter and serve.  Enjoy!

I’ve shared this recipe over at Kim’s blog (Previously known as “Quit Eating Out”) “Recipes to Run On”.  Check out Kim’s site by clicking on the link below and view some other links to some great bloggers.

 

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Cornbread Casserole

When I was cleaning my bedroom the other day I came across a book I had forgotten I bought.  Last year my son’s school had a book fair and I picked up Taste of Home’s “Fast Fixes with Mixes”. 

I sat looking through it that night and found several easy and tasty looking recipes I wanted to try.  I knew exactly which one I would try first and that was their version of Cornbread Casserole.

It took about 5 minutes to throw together and about another 25 to bake.  Everyone in my house loved it except, of course, my 8-year-old son.  He loves cornbread but was upset that there was real corn in this recipe.  Go figure.  My oldest tore through it.  I served it with my Taco Soup and it was an easy meal on a busy night.

Mix everything together in one bowl!

Pour into greased baking dish.

Bake, scoop and eat!

 

Cornbread Casserole:

From Taste of Home “Fast Fixes with Mixes”

  • 1 – 8.25 oz. Box Cornbread Mix (I used Jiffy)
  • 1 – 14.5 oz Can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. Can of Creamed Corn
  • 1 – Large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together well.

The recipe calls for a 11 x 7 x 2 baking dish.  I have a CorningWare dish that is right around that size so I used that.  Grease the baking dish and pour in the mixture.  Spread the mixture with a spatula until level.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just slightly brown on the top.  You aren’t looking for a deep golden brown because you want this to remain moist.  Mine took 25 minutes exactly on the middle rack.

Serve while hot.  This is moist, rich and sweet, just like I like my cornbread.

Enjoy!

Broccoli, Chicken & Cheese Braid

If you have ever been to a Pampered Chef party you have probably eaten this simple but delicious dish.  The first time I ever had it was at my sister in law’s house one Christmas a few year’s back.  Not long after that I attended a Pampered Chef party my friend had and enjoyed it once again. 

If you have never tried it than you must.  It’s great as an appetizer or as a meal in itself.  Not to mention, it’s an easy way to get broccoli into your children without them complaining.   Even my husband who hates broccoli will eat this and not complain.

And don’t let the presentation intimidate you.  I’m far from artistic and even I can throw this together in a matter of minutes and have it look pretty.

Begin by mixing up all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Set this to the side.  On a large cookie sheet, or better yet, a baking stone, unroll the first package of crescent rolls.  Placing them with the widest part across the top of the cookie sheet. 

Open the second roll of crescent rolls and roll them out the same way, placing them directly under the first roll and pinching the seams together.  Roll out with a rolling-pin until all seams are sealed together and you have a large rectangle.  You can use your hands to shape this out better once you have rolled it together.

Using a sharp paring knife, begin slicing 1 1/2″ – 2″ wide by 3″ long strips down each side of the dough giving you 8 slits on each side.  This should leave you approximately 6″ of solid space down the center of the dough.  Place your filling in this center spot and shape into a rectangle.

Now begin your braiding from the top down.  At the very top you should have a small piece of dough in the center.  Take this and fold it up to the top of the filling.  Then take a strip from the left and cross it over to the right.  Take the strip on the right, and cross it over to the left, overlapping the first strip.

Continue this pattern until you have reached the bottom and have crossed all your side strips of dough over one another.

Once you reach the bottom, fold the bottom flap of dough up to the top and press together to form a seam.

When done, your loaf should look like this.  Or something like it anyway.

Beat 1 egg and brush along entire surface and sides of the dough.  Place in the oven and bake until golden brown.

BROCCOLI, CHICKEN & CHEESE BRAID:

Recipe from Pampered Chef

  • 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Fresh Broccoli, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper (I just used 1 small red pepper)
  • 1 Garlic Clove Pressed (I used 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dried Dill (they call for 2 tsp. of their own dill mix but it tastes just as good using just dried dill)
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • (2) 8 oz. Packages of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 Whole Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. Slivered Almonds (*optional I did not use them)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.. Chop chicken, broccoli and bell pepper and add to a large mixing bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients, except for the egg and the almonds.  Mix together well.

Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12″ x 15″ rectangle baking stone or cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep using a paring knife.. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn.  Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg over dough using pastry brush. Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Using a thin spatula, gently run it along the bottom of the loaf on the pan to loosen.  Place on a cutting board.  Allow to rest for another 5 minutes.  Slice into pieces using a serrated knife. 

Enjoy!

 

Coconut Bread

If you love coconut you will absolutely love this moist and delicious coconut quick bread.

If you like coconut, you will absolutely love this moist and delicious coconut quick bread.

There are many food blogs I love to visit that are both mouth-watering and inspiring.  One of these blogs is from Kathy at Polwig.  If you aren’t sure what Polwig means, check out Kathy’s blog and she will tell you.  It’s a brilliant choice for the description of her blog, which features both cooking and raising children.   There is something for everyone, so give her blog a visit.  You won’t be disappointed.

When I was reading her blog a few weeks ago I came across a photo of this Coconut Quick Bread and could not get that recipe out of my brain.  Finally, I made this bread this other day and was not at all disappointed.  It lived up to the mouth-watering picture and turned out easy, perfect, moist and dense.

I’m not going to give you the recipe here, but I will give you the link to Kathy’s site and you can check out how to make this Coconut Bread for yourself. I will tell you the few changes I made.  The recipe originally called for vanilla extract, but I had a bottle of coconut extract so I used that instead.  I also had some pecans just waiting to be used in something, and since I’m a nut for nuts, I added about a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.  Perfection.

I do have one suggestion when you toast the coconut for this bread.  Actually, two suggestions.  The first one is don’t even think about leaving the oven when you do this.  It goes from toasted to burnt in mere seconds. Literally.  I opened the oven, checked and figured it could go just a “bit” more. I opened the oven 30 seconds later and it was black and burnt to a crisp.  Luckily I had enough coconut to toast a second batch.  This batch I actually stood right next to the oven the entire time turning it and watching it closely.

The second suggestion would be to toast a little extra coconut.  If you are like me you will be eating some of this goodness right out of the oven and wanting to make sure you still have enough for the recipe.  I could have eaten a bowl of just toasted coconut and nothing else.  Consider yourself warned.

This would be a great bread to make for the holidays and package up for gifts.  It’s something different when you think of the typical Banana Nut or Zucchini quick breads.  Which are both equally delicious as well, but the coconut puts a completely different twist on things and makes for something out of the ordinary.

Try it!  We truly enjoyed it!

Thanks, Kathy for sharing a great recipe!

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Texas Garlic Toast

My kids love Texas Toast.  The ones you buy in the freezer section with either garlic butter or garlic butter with cheese.

I had none the other night to make with dinner, but I did have a whole loaf of this

It was simple and good, and they wiped out every piece.

I buy loaves of this bread all the time for making french toast and I’m not quite sure why I never got the idea to make garlic bread with it.  It’s perfect for this or french toast because of it’s thickness.  

Texas Garlic Toast:

  • 8 Pieces of thick bread like Texas Toast or Freihofer’s French Toast Bread
  • 1 Stick of salted butter left at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Place the room temperature butter in a bowl.  Add the parsley and garlic powder and stir together well.  You want the butter to be soft enough to be able to really cream this all together.

Lay out each piece of bread and spread on the butter in an even coat covering the entire top surface of the bread.

From here you can either stack it and place in the refrigerator until ready to use (which I did), or you can lay it out on a baking pan, butter side up, and toast it.

Set the oven to 375.  Toast the bread until golden brown, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.  This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.

If you have it, which I didn’t, top with some shredded mozzarella before toasting.

Enjoy!

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