Sunday, March 9, 2014

Yogurt Olive Oil Tart Dough

Pie pastry dough made with olive oil bakes up surprisingly crispy and light, without a hint of oiliness. This one with yogurt, a variation from The French Market Cookbook, is easy to make and roll out. It sets off a vegetable tart to perfection. 

My favorite pie crust recipe is light and flakey and is made with shortening, specifically Crisco when I can get it and butter when I cannot. It can be found here but what’s the point of owning a new cookbook if you don’t try new things, right? So for the leek and zucchini tart Tatin that I will share for Sunday Supper later this morning, I decided to branch out and make one with olive oil and yogurt. Success! Still light, still flakey and probably a whole lot healthier too. Author Clotilde Dusoulier says not to use low fat yogurt but that’s all I had. In fact, mine was zero percent fat, but the crust still came out great.

1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup or 125g plain yogurt
1/3 cup or 80ml olive oil

Measure your flour and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. This helps aerate the flour so you don’t have to sift it.

Add in the yogurt and olive oil and use a pastry blender to cut them into the flour.

When the dough comes together, knead it for a few turns and then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Could not have been quicker or easier! 

When you are ready to bake, follow the instructions for preheating your oven and baking in whatever tart recipe you are following. As mentioned, I used this to bake a vegetable tarte Tatin and you can find that recipe right here.

Meanwhile, let your furry helper clean out the yogurt pot so it can go in the recycling bin.

***This post contains affiliate links.***

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Sweet Bread for #TwelveLoaves

Think brioche with a little extra sugar and cream cheese added to the sweet dough instead of butter and you get the idea of how this is going to taste. Add in some good quality strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and even more cream cheese for the perfect snack or breakfast loaf. It’s great straight out of the oven and fabulous toasted. 

This month Twelve Loaves is baking up bread with strawberries. The whole time I was away in Uganda, I was mulling this over in my mind. I have the ability to work on and work out a recipe with one section of my mind, even while the rest of me is reading a book or shopping or bouncing along dusty trails or even cooking something else. Perhaps it’s my super power. Anyway, this came to me between wild animals and waterfalls. Would it be possible to bake a yeast bread using cream cheese instead of butter for the fat? I couldn’t wait to get home to start testing.

I am delighted to report that not only is it possible, it’s delicious.

For the dough:
1 packet (1/4 oz or 7g) dried yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise.)
3/4 cup or 90ml whole milk
3 cups or 375g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g full fat (not whipped) cream cheese
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
1/2 cup or 120g cream cheese, chilled
3 1/2 oz or 100g fresh strawberries (about six medium-sized)
1/4 cup or 80g good quality strawberry jam

Egg white to glaze
Optional topping– about 1 oz or 25g pearl sugar

Warm your milk slightly (I use a quick zap in the microwave.) and then add in one tablespoon of the sugar. Sprinkle on the yeast, stir and set aside for a few minutes. Your yeast should get foamy.

Add your three cups of flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with the rest of the sugar and the salt.

Add in milk/yeast mixture along with the egg yolk and mix with the bread hook.

It’s going to look dry and like it won’t come together.

You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the dough off the hook and put it back in the bowl and then keep mixing but soon, you will have homogeneous soft dough.

Now add in half of the cream cheese and mix until fully incorporated. (It’s like adding butter to brioche.)

Now add the second half of the cream cheese and mix until it is incorporated. Form the dough into a ball with your spatula and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm place. I usually put the bowl in my kitchen sink which has been partially filled with hot water.

Meanwhile, prepare your bread pan by greasing it with butter or non-stick spray or lining it with baking parchment. I am a huge fan of lining with parchment.

Right before your hour rising time is up, hull and chop the strawberries. Don’t do this too far ahead or they will get wet and mushy.

The dough after an hour rising time
On a well-floured surface, push your dough out into a rectangle of about 14” x 12” or 34cm x 30cm.

You can use a rolling pin if you really want to but this is a soft dough and I just pressed it out easily with my hands.

Spread it with the strawberry jam and sprinkle on the chopped strawberries. Cut your chilled cream cheese into small cubes and scatter them out on the jam as well.

Start rolling up the dough on the long side.

When you have a tight roll, seam side up, fold each half into the middle.

Gently turn the dough over and lay it fold side down in your prepared loaf pan.

Allow to rise in a warm place for another hour, but set your timer for 45 minutes.  When it rings, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Don’t forget to set the timer again for the last 15 minutes of rising time.

After one hour rising time

When your full hour is up, beat your egg white and brush it on the loaf with a soft pastry brush.

Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired.

Bake 45 minutes or until done in your preheated oven. Ever since making the peanut butter and chocolate braid  last month, I’ve been using David Lebovitz’s tip of measuring the internal temperature of a loaf to determine doneness. A properly baked loaf is 180°F or 82°C or in the middle.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you can wait that long.


February was a delicious month of Chocolate breads! Now we are ready for spring and chose Strawberries for our March theme!

Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring strawberries. (It could be a bread accented with fresh or dried strawberries or even strawberry preserves!) Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc.) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with strawberries. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your recipe to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2014, posted on your blog by March 31, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the fabulous Alice of Hip Foodie Mom

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ploughman’s Lunch Muffins #MuffinMonday

A traditional ploughman’s lunch of cheese, bread and pickle is offered at every pub of note across the United Kingdom. Close your eyes and eat a couple of these muffins alongside a pint of ale. If you can conjure the smell of stale cigarette smoke, consider yourself on an English holiday. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I adore a pub lunch! 

First, a clarification: When I say pickle, I’m talking about something that is a cooked mixture of spices and vegetables, perhaps with some raisins and tart apples, not pickles of the dill/cucumber variety, although those might well be incorporated in a homemade version. Think sweet and sour chunky chutney. I buy the Branston brand which is made in the United Kingdom and is essential on any sandwich my British husband makes. There is always one jar in the refrigerator and a backup jar in the cupboard. A few jars make it into each shipment when we move, just in case the next place doesn’t have a supply. This pickle goes beautifully with extra sharp cheddar and beer in a savory muffin.

2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 1/2 teaspoon regular sea salt
Few good grinds fresh black pepper
7 oz or 200g extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup or 145g Branston Pickle
3/4 cup or 180ml beer

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your 12-cup muffin pan liberally with canola, butter or non-stick spray or line with paper muffin cups. Since we are going to be baking with cheese, I suggest you also lightly spray the paper liners with non-stick spray if you are using those. I find that helps the paper peel off the muffin more easily.

Grate your cheese.  Put aside a large handful of about one ounce or 25g for topping the muffins.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and stir well.

Add in the larger pile of grated cheese and stir again.

In another bowl, measure out your oil, egg and Branston Pickle. Add in the beer and whisk with a fork to combine.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Top each with some of the reserved cheese.

Bake in your preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan to cool completely.


For those who are paying attention, it says Est. 2010 because that's
when we finally bought the piece of furniture that is the bar in our house.
Simon received the pint glasses as a Christmas gift the same year.

***This post has an Amazon affiliate link for the Branston Pickle.***