Jalapeño Popper Cheesy Stuffed Pretzel Bites

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It’s been a minute since I made these. These poppers from The Slow Roasted Italian were one of my contributions to the Super Bowl spread back in February, but with March Madness back in full gear this weekend, I though some cheesy game food made sense.

But honestly, it’s not like I really need a special occasion for these when you’re talking cheese + beer + japaenos + salty pretzels. Just maybe someone to help us eat them!

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Making these pretzel bites went much more smoothly than the last time I tried making homemade pretzel buns. Let’s just say adding baking soda to boiling water can end up like those volcanos you used to make with baking soda and vinegar as a kid. I was seriously cleaning baking soda off my stove and oven forever (it was even between the glass on the oven door). So as you can imagine, I appreciated that this recipe added baking soda to hot water in a bowl. And I can promise you I set that bowl in the sink when I added it just in case!

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The dough for these bites starts off using a beer rather than water for the main liquid in the dough. The recipe was written using a Blue Moon, however I used a Belgain white beer. I think you could work with anything lighter in the lager-hefeweisen class, although I’m not sure you would want to go too dark or too hoppy for this recipe. If you’d rather not try the beer, the original poster comments that you could substitute water or milk.

Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Cheesy Pretzel Bites
From The Slow Roasted Italian

Ingredients:
12 ounces warm light beer warmed in the microwave to 110-120 degrees
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
12 ounces of bacon, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (4oz) can diced jalapenos (can sub chopped green chiles)
1 large egg
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt plus more for pretzel tops
2 Tbsp. baking soda
2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pour beer into a microwave-safe bowl and heat until it reaches 110-120 degrees F. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Add sugar and stir. Allow the yeast mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy and smells like yeast.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix cheese, cooked bacon, and jalapeños.

In a small bowl, beat egg and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Add flour and salt to the mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on to speed 1 for 3-5 minutes until the dough comes together in 1 ball. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed if the bread is too sticky. Turn the speed up to 2 and add flour slowly (1 tablespoon at a time) until the dough is no longer tacky, about 1-2 minutes. Take the dough out of the mixer and form into a ball. In order to divide the dough in pieces, first quarter  the dough. Roll each quarter into a fat log. Cut the log into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a long and cut into 3 more pieces. When you are done, you should have 36 pieces.

Fill a medium bowl with 2 cups of hot water and SLOWLY add baking soda. Place the baking sheet, baking soda after, and the cheese mixture on the counter within reach.

Roll each dough piece into a ball and then flatten it into a circle. Add 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the center. Carefully pull each side over the cheese and pinch to seal the cheese mixture completely inside. Set aside until you have 3 stuffed balls. Transfer the 3 stuffed balls into the hot water mixture. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and set on the baking pan. Continue until you have filled all the dough pieces. Brush egg wash onto the balls and sprinkle with course salt.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops are browned. Enjoy!

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

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I did it! The hubbs finally admitted my pizza crust was better than Trader Joe’s. I think it was the bubbles that got him (he loves when there are bubbles in a pizza crust when it bakes).

Either that or the fact that this crust can stand up to some serious pizza toppings.

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I’m not quite sure why I fell off the pizza dough bandwagon. At one point, when I was blogging more previously, I was pretty good about keeping some dough on hand. The great thing about pizza dough is that you can prep it, allow it to rise for the first time, and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.

This recipe makes 2 crusts, although they end up more of a hand-tossed style on thickness, so you might be able to stretch it into 3 pizzas if you really like a cracker thin crust. There’s a couple things we really like about this recipe. The first is that it is 100% whole wheat. The whole wheat version from Trader Joe’s definitely has its place in our house, but by the list of ingredients, it seems it’s probably about 50:50 whole wheat-white flour. The second is that it is so easy to work with when prepping the pizza. This is actually probably the winning factor for the hubbs since he’s the pizza baking guru in the house.

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Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1-1/2 Tbsp. (or 2 pkts) of active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of the mixer. Using the dough hook, mix on low until the ingredients are well combined and the dough has been allowed to kneed, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove the dough, form into a ball, and place in a covered bowl in a warm, draft-free place. If I am baking anything in the oven, I usually cover the mixer bowl with a towel and set it on the stove top. Allow to rise for 60-90 minutes or until the dough begins to “flatten” on top.

Form into two equal balls of dough. At this point, the dough can be rolled out to be used immediately for a pizza or frozen. If freezing, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer ziploc bag. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator) when ready to use.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Cinnamon Streusel

whole wheat coconut banana bread slice

Streusel. I think it makes everything better. You could probably even convince me to eat seafood if it was loaded with streusel. Maybe.

The streusel on this banana bread? It’s a level above other streusel. Like straight from delicious to addicting. The recipe comes from Jessica’s blog How Sweet It Is, and I would say she’s right in saying she’s will not ever make banana bread again without the streusel. I am right there with her!

whole wheat coconut banana bread before baking

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Coconut oil + light coconut milk + all whole wheat flour. This was my first time cooking anything with coconut oil. I know am way late on that train. While I had heard it was pretty mild, I was still surprised at the absence of coconut flavor/smell from the coconut oil itself. The bread itself came together nicely, and you already know how I feel about the topping. I made this twice, and still had just a little piece left for pictures. As for the baking process, I started out with the pan uncovered and added a foil cover around 60 minutes. My bread was done both times at closer to 75 minutes of bake time. Just watch it closely and use the toothpick test to tell when it’s finished.

The worst part? Letting it cool a little before you can dig in. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Whole Wheat Coconut Banana Bread
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:
1-2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 cup canned light coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
4 over-brown bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract

Streusel:
2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until well combined. Add coconut oil and coconut milk. Mix well, although the mixture may not completely come together at this point. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla, and coconut extracts. Slowly add dry ingredients stirring until just combined. Some pieces of flour throughout the batter are okay.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

For the streusel, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and coconut in a small bowl. Cut in the butter and mix with your hands until the butter is mixed in and the mixture is crumbly. You can form larger pieces of streusel by squeezing it together with your hands if desired. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the banana bread batter. Bake for 75-85 minutes until the center is set, covering the pan with foil if necessary to prevent the streusel from burning (I had to around 55-60 minutes). Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Overnight Crusty Bread

crusty bread from top

I’ve had a couple complete flops in the kitchen lately. I’m sure anyone who regularly cooks new recipes has a few that turn out just okay. Not horrible, but not good enough to spend time making again (especially in a blogger household!). These weren’t that. They were bad. Like throw it out because we will not eat it bad. The first was a pumpkin frozen yogurt that I attempted to make with plain greek yogurt. The second, a beer bread that I am attempting to blame on skunky beer 🙂 

As you can see, I was due for one of those “wow recipes.” This was it for us. In fact, my husband’s exact comment was, “Did you make this? It looks like it came from a bakery.” He’s already asking me to make it again, less than a week after I made it the first time.

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The best part about that. This might be one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. The only caveat is that the recipe needs an oven-proof pot with a lid. You spend 5 minutes mixing together 4 ingredients the night before. Let it sit overnight, put it in a pot, and bake it. That’s it. A hearty crusty loaf with little to no effort. Better yet, you can easily add herbs or cheese to the mixing part if you want. I think I’m seeing a repeat side to all those soups I’ve been talking about on here. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Overnight Crusty Bread
From Jo Cooks Amazing Recipes, Originally from Simply So Good

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups room temperature water

Mix the flour, salt, yeast in a large bowl. Add herbs or cheese if desired. Add the water and mix until the mixture has just pulled together. It will be sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set on the counter for 12-24 hours. 

When ready to bake, place a cast-iron or other oven-safe pot (with a lid) in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Flour your work surface and hands and form the dough into a rough ball. Take the pot out of the oven. Drop the ball of dough into the pot. Cover and bake (with the lid on) for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and bake for another 15-20 minutes to allow the bread to brown. Let cool almost completely prior to slicing.

Philly Cheesesteak

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One of the eating options at our undergraduate college was set-up fast-food style. It wasn’t a big name restaurant that you see at some of the big student unions, but a smaller operation ran by the same people that ran the cafeteria. You would walk up and literally write your name and order on a little slip of paper and hand it to whomever was cooking. They had you standard fast-food fare – burgers, chicken strips, mini pizzas, and Philly cheesesteaks. Those cheesesteaks were SO good. Horrible for you, I know, because they would drip grease, but how much do you care about that at 19?

To make a long story short, I haven’t had a Philly Cheesesteak in a long time because I know that it is definitely more of a splurge. You can imagine that I was really excited to find a makeover recipe in the March issue of Cooking Light!

philly cheesesteak meat options
philly cheesesteak

As I mentioned, it has been awhile since I’ve had a “real” cheesesteak, but these were pretty good in my book. The recipe came together really well. I did not include the mushrooms as they are not my cup of tea. My only note would be to be sure to make the cheese sauce just before you are ready to eat. I made mine too early, and ended up needing to reheat it. This did not go well as the sauce got really thick, but could be fixed easily enough. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Philly Cheesesteak
Adapted from Cooking Light March 2012

Ingredients:
1 (12 oz) flank steak, trimmed 
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 ounce provolone cheese, torn into small pieces
2 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
4 (3-inch) hoagie rolls, toasted  

Place beef in the freezer for 15 minutes. Cut beef across the grain into thin slices. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over 2 minutes or until beef just loses its pink color, stirring constantly (mine took about 3-4 minutes). Remove beef from pan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add bell pepper, and garlic; saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Return beef to pan; saute 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Stir in Worcestershire and soy sauce; keep warm.

Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch thick shell. Divide the beef mixture evenly amongst the bottom halves of the hoagies.  

Just before ready to eat, place flour in a small saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 1 minute or until just slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Drizzle sauce evenly over beef mixture; replace top halves.

SRC: Stromboli

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Hope everyone had a great weekend. It is Secret Recipe Club time here again! This month I was assigned The Keenan Cookbook. The blog is ran by Chris, Rachel, and Baby Boy, and Chris indicates that they make a great team in the kitchen with him doing much of the cooking and Rachel taking most of the photos. The recipes on their website often come along with personal stories, and I really enjoyed all of their posts.

So how did I settle on this stromboli recipe? In the spirit of posting recipes with memories and family connections, we have our own stromboli story here. While it was a much different recipe, stromboli is the first meal that my husband (then boyfriend) made for me.

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In the spirit of staying true to his recipe, I also made the pizza dough recipe that Chris suggests for this recipe. My other changes were minor – chicken sausage, turkey pepperoni, and smoked mozzarella. I also added some provolone cheese, although I am not sure this was a substitution. Chris doesn’t list this in his ingredient list, however his photo indicates there was some form of sliced cheese in addition to the mozzarella cubes. The dough recipe was different that others that I have made in that I felt the dough turned out stiff and hard to maneuver. Nonetheless, it baked up nicely and held in all the ingredients stuffed in this stromboli really well, so it may be worth a second try to see if my problems were user error.

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Be sure to stop by The Keenan Cookbook to check out his original version of the stromboli as well as all of their other recipes. I know I’ve bookmarked several other recipes to make myself. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Stromboli with Alton Brown’s Pizza Dough
From The Keenan Cookbook

Ingredients:
Dough:
4 Tbsp. sugar 
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 cups warm water
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
non-stick spray

Stromboli:
1/2 recipe pizza dough 
3/4 lb. chicken sausage
1/2 pkg. turkey pepperoni
1/4 lb. deli salami, sliced 
1/4 lb. deli provolone cheese, sliced
8 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp. dried parsley
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 egg white, slightly beaten

For the dough, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the ingredients in the following order: sugar, salt, olive oil, water, 2 cups flour, yeast, and remaining 2 cups flour. Mix on low until the dough just comes together forming a ball. Spray the hook attachment with cooking spray. Swap the paddle attachment for the hook and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed. Tear off a small piece of the dough and flatten. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light to see if you can see through it. If it tears, you will need to knead the dough for an additional 5-10 minutes. Form the dough into a smooth ball with your hands. Spray a large bowl with the non-stick spray and place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat the ball of dough with the spray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18-24 hours. I divided this in half, using half for the stromboli and the other half for a different pizza. The dough can be frozen by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and placing the wrapped ball of dough into a freezer ziplock bag. Remove from the freezer the morning you want to use it and place in the refrigerator. 

For the stromboli, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (approximately 30 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cook the sausage until cooked through. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle with the herbs. Layer with meats and then cheeses. Starting with the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough up. Pinch the seams to seal. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet and pierce with a fork in several places. Brush with egg white. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and enjoy!


Quick Whole Wheat Rolls

quick whole wheat rolls with hearty chicken and sweet potato stew

I am definitely less than prepared for Easter recipes. What can I say? Knowing that I work this weekend, I have not been planning any big meals for the day, and it sneaked up on me.

So, if you haven’t planned ahead (like me) and find that you may have used all your eggs for other purposes (hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, omelets for breakfast/dinner), you will be glad to know that you can still make these rolls for Easter dinner. Soft, light, whole wheat, quick. There are lots of adjectives that describe these rolls. The recipe is originally from Finding Joy in My Kitchen. In her post, SnoWhite states that she adapted her hamburger bun recipe to come up with these great rolls.

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As you can see from my pictures, I originally made them to accompany a soup we made this past winter, but they’d work equally as well as with any meal. One of the things you’ll notice about this recipe is quite a bit more yeast than usual (1 pkt = 2-1/4 teaspoons). Just go with it. I promise. Enjoy and have a Happy Easter!

(Printable Recipe)

Quick Whole Wheat Rolls
From Finding Joy in My Kitchen (adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventure)

Ingredients:
1-1/2 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup + 1 Tbsp. warm water
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups white whole wheat flour

Place the warm water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until the yeast is foamy. Add the oil, sugar, and salt. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, stirring until incorporated into the dough (may need to add extra flour – add just until the dough comes together).

Remove the paddle attachment and add the dough hook. Knead the dough on low for 3-5 minutes (can also do this by hand if desired) until well formed. Divide the dough into 9-12 sections and roll into balls. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and cover with a towel to avoid drafts. Set in a warm place and allow the rolls to rise for about 20 minutes.

While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Enjoy warm.

Cheeseburger Salad

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By far, the most popular day at our work cafeteria is taco Thursdays. They make both normal tacos and taco salads served in those big, fried taco bowls. I typically bring my lunch to work, so I have yet to participate in taco Thursdays. Nevertheless, if you would sit outside the cafeteria, I would bet almost every single person walking out of that cafeteria has one of those big bowls. While those taco salads may be delicious, part of the reason that I have not yet indulged is just that. With all the meat (which I doubt is lean), cheese, and the fried bowl, I’m sure those salads are far from health food. 

From tacos to cheeseburgers, doesn’t seem like too far of a leap up the “healthy meter” but hear me out. Lean ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, whole wheat homemade croutons with no heavy dressing. May be a little higher in sodium due to the condiments and pickles, but not so bad after all. 

cheeseburger salad with homemade crutons

This salad is actually adapted from recipe that I saw on Ree’s site The Pioneer Woman. In the two weeks since I first noticed the recipe online, we have already made it twice. The second time requested specifically by my husband. It is that good. Almost better when I reassembled the leftovers for my Thursday cheeseburger salad lunch 🙂 Enough said. Enjoy!

cheeseburger salad further out

(Printable Recipe)

Cheeseburger Salad
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
2 large whole wheat rolls, cut into 1-inch pieces
Butter-flavored non-stick spray
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 lb. lean ground beef (93 or 96%)
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
1/4 – 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
4 whole dill pickles, cubed
1/2 red onion, sliced

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray the pieces of bread with the non-stick spray and toss. Sprinkle with the garlic salt and parsley and mix. Spread the cubes on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for 15 more minutes or until brown and crispy.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. When cooked through, drain any fat from the pan. Add ketchup, mustards, and barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Keep warm.

To assemble each salad, divide the lettuce between plates. Layer on the meat, onions, tomatoes, pickles, cheese, and croutons. Serve immediately. The salad can be saved for lunch by storing the vegetables, croutons, and meat separately. Warm the meat up in the microwave just before eating, then assemble the ingredients.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread Take II

Happy 2012 everyone! We ate our black eyed peas yesterday so hoping that 2012 will be a great year here.  

I am not one to typically make resolutions with the new year as I feel that you can make a change any day of the year. The hubby and I did sit down on New Year’s Eve to make a 30 Things before 30 list. Kind of a bucket list of things we want to do before we hit 30 years with goals and fun things to do 🙂

Resolutions aside, I am ready to get back into our routine after the holiday hoopla. I sat down this past weekend to make a menu plan for the week and realized that I hadn’t planned out our meals since the end of November. With a meal plan ready to go for the next week, we’ll hopefully be back on track. While they aren’t actually on my menu for this next week, these pitas would certainly help this plan. Stuffed with meat and veggies for a fulfilling lunch or with peanut butter and a banana for breakfast, they meet the qualifications necessary for a great meal.

If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that this is not the first time that I have attempted to make pita bread at home. I am not sure if it was the recipe or more experience using yeast, but this recipe seemed to go much more smoothly than the previous one. Pita success.These even made great homemade pita chips 🙂 Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Whole Wheat Pita Bread
From Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
2-1/4 tsp. instant yeast (1 pkg)
1 Tbsp. honey
1-1/4 cups hot water (105-115 F), divided
1-1/2 cups bread flour, divided
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
cornmeal for sprinkling

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the honey, yeast, and 1/2 cup of the water. Stir gently to blend. Whisk 1/4 cup of the bread flour and 1/4 cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Add in the remaining 3/4 cup of warm water, 1-1/4 cups bread flour, and 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour until doubled in bulk.

Place the oven rack in a middle position. Place a baking stone in the oven (if using) and preheat to 500 degrees F. 

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten one ball at a time into a disk and then stretch into a 6-1/2 to 7-inch circle. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. Loosely cover with a kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or until slightly puffy. 

Transfer 4 pitas to the stone or baking sheet. Bake for 2 minutes, until puffed and a pale golden color. Gently flip over using tongs and bake for 1 minute more. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Garlic Naan

In the span of my lifetime, I am relatively new to naan. In fact, I am relatively new to Indian food in general. Most of what I have had was ordered for lunch at work from a little, local Indian restaurant back in Nebraska. One of our technicians would usually order for all of us there on the weekend, and it would come in Styrofoam soup cups and foil-wrapped packets. Most of the time I didn’t know the exact name of what we were eating, but I do know that I liked it! 
If you haven’t guessed, the foil-wrapped packets contained the hot, garlicly, buttery naan. To say this was one of our favorite parts of this meal would be an understatement. I guess since it was so foreign to me I always assumed that it would be relatively hard to make at home. Not true. After finding Jessica adaptations of Indian Simmer’s recipe on Tasty Kitchen and seeing Tracey have good luck with it in her kitchen, I knew I would give it a shot next time we made an Indian meal. Who knew that making naan didn’t even involve yeast?!?

In her post on Tasty Kitchen, Jessica mentions that she made a batch using whole wheat pastry flour. I try to make most things a little healthier when I can, so I went that route. I did notice that my breads didn’t rise quite as much as either Jessica’s or Tracey’s, but the taste was spot on. I brushed the top side of mine with minced garlic before cooking them to get that garlic flavor that I remembered, and it worked perfectly. Definitely garlic naan. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with a gas stove-top, so I simply cooked both sides of mine in the pan, pancake style rather than roasting the second side over an open flame. They actually still browned pretty nicely regardless. My only extra tip would be to only brush melted butter on the pieces that you plan to eat that night. It keeps better that way – if there is any left 🙂 Enjoy!

Garlic Naan
From Tasty Kitchen (adapted from Indian Simmer)
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup warmed milk, about 100 F (I used skim)
1/2 cup plaint non-fat yogurt
bulb of garlic
melted garlic (to brush over the cooked naan)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Combine the milk and yogurt in a measuring cup. Pour over the dry ingredients and start to mix with a spoon, keeping in mind that you might not need all of the liquid to bring the dough together (I needed it all, but I live in the desert). The dough will not look like a typical bread dough at this point. Do not worry. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set it aside in a warm place for at least 2 hours. 
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. The dough will become silky and smooth. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. You can add more flour if the dough is sticky. Roll the piece out to about 1/4-inch thick. The shape does not have to be a precise circle; it can be any shape. Push several garlic cloves through a garlic press. Brush one side of the bread with the minced garlic and wet the other side of the bread with water. I used a spray bottle and it worked really well, but you can also use a pastry brush.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When it is hot, place the naan wet side down and cover with a lid. The bread will stick at first, don’t worry. Let it cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you can see the dough bubbling. If you have a gas stove, you can cook the other side over the open flame of another burner, or you can flip the bread and cook the other side in the pan (like a pancake). Brush only the pieces you plan to eat immediately with melted butter.