Margherita flatbread pizzas

Pizza is such a Friday night staple, but ordering in can be so bad for you. So to still enjoy our favorites without too much guilt we made these great flat bread pizzas! (Recipe below based on several recipes we’ve tried and combined to what we enjoy!)

Enjoy!

20140719-180256-64976271.jpg

Ingredients:
1/2-1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2-1 tbsp evoo
1-2 cloves garlic minced
4 plum tomatoes sliced thinly
Mozzarella cheese shredded or sliced to your liking
Fresh basil leaves lightly chopped
2 flatbreads

Directions:
Heat grill.
Combine crushed tomatoes, evoo and garlic in chopper and chopped well.
Grill flatbreads a few minutes on each side until toasted lightly.
Spread sauce on top of flatbreads and top with tomatoes, cheese and basil.
Grill until cheese is bubbly and tomatoes cooked. This will be quick. Keep an eye on the grill.
Serve immediately!

Advertisements

Bacon cheddar scones

I have fallen in love with scones lately. I love that you can make up the scone dough, shape and freeze. Then bake as you need them. This is a great way to always have something  yummy on hand for drop in guests, for that last minute snack or breakfast item you need without messing up your kitchen when time is tight. I found this recipe and immediately H fell in love with it! They are perfect as a breakfast treat or to pair with soups and stews!
I did use white onion as I forgot to grab scallions at the store. Dont use too much as they are stronger than scallions but worked perfectly!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
For the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly slices
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk (plus up to ½ cup extra, if needed)

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
2 tbsp. water

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas.  (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.)  Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.
Mix in the green onions, bacon, and 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture.  Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
If the dough is too dry to come together, mix in the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch disk.  Slice the dough into 8 to 10 wedges.
In a small bowl combine the egg and water and whisk together.  Brush each wedge lightly with the egg wash.  Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Product Review: Doctor Krackers

The next product review in my series of clean eating products is one of my all times faves, Doctor Krackers. OMG these are wonderful, especially the flat breads. They are quite hard to break or bite, but so worth the effort…LOL!
Dr. Krackers have a variety of crackers and flat breads which are great with cheeses, clean eating spreads, soups, stews, and my favorite way, with hummus or peanut butter spread on top! The flat breads are 100 cals and make for a great snack or use two in place of breads for a great lunch!
What I love most about these crackers/flat breads though, is the few ingredients it takes to make them, so less process, more wholesome goodness to enjoy, so it fits very well into our clean eating ways. They are not only delicious tasting, their Pumpkin Seed Cheddar crackers are my favorite and taste great with natural organic peanut butters, hummus, and a bit of low fat cheese melted on top. It is my go to afternoon snack!

All of Doctor Krackers flavors are great, healthy, and filling. Definitely check these out for a better go to snack. I tend to break them up and munch on them or eat them whole with a spread on top!

Here is my favorite kind:


Ezekiel Bread Products

Since the first of the year, I have been converting H and I to clean eating. So far we are doing pretty well..I am about 90% there and H is about 70% there! We have found we really enjoy cleaner eating not only because we feel sooooo much better, but we seem to taste and enjoy food more..nothing processed to get in the way of the natural taste of foods.
As you have seen on my blog, I am continually finding new blogs to explore for clean eating and now am trying to find cleaner premade food choices too…breads, cereals, snacks, etc. So far the granola bars, cereals, sweeteners, chips (black bean tortillas and ww tortilla chips), etc we have enjoyed, but breads have been a different story. We have tried several breads and buns, but find they are dry, bland or so full of stuff we can really taste what is going on, until I found Food for life baking company. Their products are PERFECT. Soft, tasty, grainy without being overly grainy, and pair great with burgers, chicken/tuna salads, peanut butter, great toasted, etc… We especially like how few ingredients it takes to make such a tasty bread. THe less processed the better for us!

Definitely give these products a try!

 


Herbed Dinner Rolls

Every year when we host these dinner parties for H work, I strive to out-do last years. Well this year I think I have with these rolls alone. They were easy to make as far as bread goes, but were SUPER good and paired perfectly with our dinner! I found this recipe on Annie’s Eats and was very happy with them!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 tsp. salt
4½ tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk (105-110F)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 cups bread flour
½ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme, sage, basil, dill, etc.)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. milk
Whole fresh herb leaves (for topping)

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and salt on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Mix in the yeast, sugar, milk, melted butter and flour.  Stir until a dough forms.  Beat in the chopped fresh herbs until incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Generously butter 18 muffin cups.  Punch the dough down.  Scoop the batter, dividing it evenly between the prepared muffin cups.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise about 45 minutes more, until slightly puffed.
Preheat the oven to 350F.  Uncover the rolls and brush the tops lightly with the beaten egg mixture.  Gently press a fresh herb leaf into the top of each roll so that it adheres completely.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.  Let cool in the pan a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (Note: Annie had to run a small paring knife around the edge of each roll to get them to release from the pan. Mine released fine but I realllly buttered them after reading her post!!) Let cool before serving.


Clean Sandwich/hamburger buns

For our pool party we were gonna grill up burgers, turkey burgers, hot dogs and whatever else people threw on the grill. To keep as healthy as I could at our party, I made up some of these great buns from Proceed with Caution. They do take two days to make but each step is pretty easy so it isnt as hard as it seems!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
Yield: 11 rolls (3 oz each)

Day 1:
Soaker:
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) milk, buttermilk, yogurt, soy milk, or rice milk

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl for about one minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 12 to 24 hours. (If you need more time, place in refrigerator for up to 3 days, but leave at room temp 2 hours before continuing with bread).

Biga:
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
3/4 cup (170 grams) filtered or spring water, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)

Mix all the biga ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. With wet hands, knead dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should be tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead again with wet hands for one minute. The dough will be smoother but still tacky. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Day 2:
Remove the biga from the fridge two hours before making the dough.

Final Dough:
All of the Soaker
All of the biga
7 tablespoons (56.5 grams) whole wheat flour
5/8 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
2 1/4 tablespoons (42.5 grams) honey or agave nectar (optional)
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil

Chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle flour over pieces to prevent sticking).
By hand: combine biga and soaker into a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients and stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are evenly integrated. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky, if not, add more flour or water as needed.

By stand mixer: combine biga and soaker with all the remaining ingredients into mixer bowl and mix on low speed for one minute with paddle (preferred) or hook. Switch to hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until dough becomes cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

Dust a work surface with flour, the roll the dough in flour to coat. Knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed, until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

Resume kneading for 1 minutes to strengthen the gluten and make any final water/flour adjustments. Dough should have the strength to pass the windowpane test, but still be soft, supple, and very tacky. Form dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

Transfer to lightly floured work surface. Form into either a loaf pan or into 3 ounce rounds for burger buns. For loaf pan bread, place dough in a greased 4 by 8.5 inch bread pan. For buns, place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Mist the top with pan spray (optional) and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a cloth towel. Let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the dough is ready to bake, place it in the oven and turn down the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the bread and continue baking 20 to 30 minutes more, until bread is a rich brown. or until a thermometer inserted registers at least 195 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least one hour before serving.

Nutritional Information
Per serving (3 ounce buns)
Calories: 174
Total Fat: 2 g
Sat Fat: 0.8 g
Carb: 35 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugar: 1.2 g
Protein: 6.8 g
Sodium: 344 mg
Cholesterol: 3 mg


Challah Bread

After seeing this on Annie’s Eats, I was quite impressed and so wanted to make it, but my bread skills arent very good, so I pushed the idea out of my head. I tried to come up with other breads to make, but this one kept coming back to my list, especially since I made a new year’s goal to try out new and exciting things in the kitchen. Well, this would be one of those recipes, one I was afraid of but needed to try. So, today I mustered up the courage and decided to make it. Surprisingly, it wasnt too hard to make and baked up well. Annie’s is of course, much prettier, but I am quite pleased with my results. This bread is fantastic tasting and will be great for french toast and other sandwiches.

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
3-3¼ cups (15-16¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
¼ cup sugar
1¼ tsp. salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk (white reserved for egg wash)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup water, at room temperature

For the egg wash:
1 large egg white
1 tbsp. water

For topping:
1 tsp. poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, egg yolk, melted butter, and ½ cup of the water.  Stir to combine.  Mix in the flour, yeast, sugar and salt just until the dough comes together.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough forms a ball and is tacky but not sticky (adding the remaining ¼ cup of flour gradually if needed.)
In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved egg white for the egg wash with the water.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½-2 hours.  Gently press down the dough to deflate it, re-cover, and let rise again until doubled in size, about 40-60 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide into two pieces, with one roughly half the size of the other (9 and 18 oz. by weight.)  Divide the large piece into three equal pieces and roll each into a 16-inch long rope.  Line all three pieces up alongside each other and pinch the pieces together at one end.  From the closed end, braid the pieces together and pinch together at the opposite end.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Divide the remaining smaller piece of dough into three equal pieces and roll each into a 16-inch long rope.  Line them up and braid as before, pinching the ends together.  Brush some of the egg wash onto the top of the larger braid, and then set the smaller braid on top.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until the loaf has puffed up and increased in size by about a third.
With an oven rack in lower-middle position, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Brush the loaf with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle lightly with poppy or sesame seeds (if using).  Bake the loaf for 30-40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of the loaf reads 190 F.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.