Hummus {FFwD}

Part of what I enjoy about French Fridays with Dorie is making something completely new and unfamiliar to me, like last week’s Endive, Apples, and Grapes. It’s fun exploring new flavors, trying new ingredients, and learning new techniques.

But there’s also something enjoyable about a trying a recipe that’s a new version of an old favorite. And that’s what this week’s offering was for me.

I love hummus, and I never go to a Middle Eastern restaurant without trying the house version. And I’ve made lots of hummus over the years. One of my favorite recipes is from the Moosewood Cookbook, but I’m always game to try a new one.

This was a good, solid hummus. Not remarkable in any way. But quite tasty. And it was especially good served on flatbread that I made with this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

I don’t know if I’ll make Dorie’s version of hummus again, but I’ll definitely make the KAF flatbread to use as a base for hummus and other dips and spreads.

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Glazed Baked Cider Doughnuts {Recipe}

I’ve had my eye on a doughnut pan for a while, and the other day at the outlet mall one somehow jumped into my bag. So for Sunday morning breakfast, we had delicious cider doughnuts with a cider glaze.

This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour and uses their delicious boiled cider. It makes six doughnuts, just right for the pan, but could easily be doubled.

Cider Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a six-cavity doughnut pan.
  2. Combine butter, oil, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl of mixer. Beat until smooth, then add boiled cider and egg, beating well after each addition.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl.
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to mixing bowl, stirring well on low speed after each addition. Add flour in three additions and milk in two, beginning and ending with flour.
  5. The batter will have the consistency of quick bread batter. Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the tops.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the doughnuts are baked through and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
  8. While the doughnuts are cooling, make the glaze. In a small, shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon boiled cider, and 2 teaspoons cream, milk, or water. Stir to mix and add additional cream or powdered sugar as needed so that the glaze has the consistency of molasses.
  9. Dip the tops of doughnuts in the glaze. If necessary, scrape away any excess glaze with a spatula. Place doughnuts on wire rack over waxed paper.

Makes 6 doughnuts. Try not to eat them all yourself.

Parisian Fruit Tarts {ModBak}

This is the first tart recipe in the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of The Modern Baker, and although I generally bake the Challenge recipes roughly in order, this was actually the 11th recipe I made from this section. We started baking from this section at the beginning of April, and I wanted to wait until the fruit at the grocery was a bit nicer looking before I made this tart.

This tart has three components — crust, pastry cream, and fruit filling. Each one is fairly easy to put together. The recipe calls for press-in cookie dough for the crusts, so that’s what I used. Based on my previous experience with this crust recipe, I refrigerated the dough before pressing it into 4 1/2-inch tart pans. The chilled dough is much easier to work with, and chilling some of the dough while working with the rest keeps it firm enough to handle. I baked the crusts for about 15 minutes at 350°F until the crusts were nicely browned and baked through.

The tart recipe includes a recipe for pastry cream, but I decided to take a shortcut and use King Arthur Flour pastry cream filling mix, which makes a rich, delicious pastry cream with no cooking or fuss.

The fruit was also very easy to prepare. I made an apricot glaze by boiling strained apricot preserves and water, then reducing it by about one-third. While the glaze was cooling, I washed, peeled, and sliced the fruit — kiwi, mango, blueberries, and blackberries. I had wanted to use fresh pineapple and strawberries, too, but I bought them too early and they weren’t in the best shape by the time I made the tarts.

After layering the fruit in a bowl, I poured in the glaze, then mixed it all gently with a rubber spatula. To assemble the tarts, I spread a layer of pastry cream in the shells, then piled on the fruit.

We absolutely loved these tarts. The crunchy cookie dough, creamy filling, and sweet-tart fruit all worked perfectly together. I will definitely be making these again and again for my family and friends. And since you can use any mixture of fruit you want, the possibilities are endless.

If you grew up eating “fruit pizza” made with canned sugar cookie dough and cream cheese filling, you owe it to yourself to try the real thing. You’ll be amazed at how easy these stunning and delicious tarts are to prepare. You could also make this as a single large tart, like my friend Abby did, to take to a party or carry-in dinner.

Either way, I guarantee it will make more of an impression than fruit pizza.

English Muffin Bread {BOM} {Recipe}

The Facebook Artisan Bread Bakers December BOM (Bread-of-the-Month) was English muffin bread, a simple loaf bread. This bread is easy to mix up and requires only one rise, in the pan.

The recipe was inspired by a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. Here’s my version:

English Muffin Bread

Ingredients:

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon instant yeast
• 1 cup milk
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

Directions:

1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. The liquid should be hotter than lukewarm, but not so hot that it would scald you.
3. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
4. Beat at high speed for 1 minute, or mix thoroughly with a dough whisk or sturdy spoon. The dough will be very soft.
5. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
6. Scrape the dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
7. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the dough is almost finished rising, uncover the dough and preheat the oven to 400°F. 
8. Bake the bread for 20 to 22 minutes, until it is golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
9. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf

This is a simple, delicious bread that is perfect for toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, and French toast

Leek and Potato Soup {FFwD}

This week for French Fridays with Dorie, I made Leek and Potato Soup. This soup is simple, delicious, versatile, and comforting. It’s easy to throw together — once you chop some onions, garlic, leeks, and a potato, all you have to do is put it all together. There are quite a few variations suggested in the recipe, and you could easily come up with many more, making this a great recipe to have in your repertoire, as the possibilities are endless.

This soup is perfect for wintry weather days, but it can also be served cold in the spring or summer. And it can be served chunky, smooth, or somewhere in between. If you can’t find a variation of this soup that you like, you don’t like soup.

To assemble the soup, I began by cooking onion, shallots (my addition), and garlic in butter over low heat. I added leeks, potato, thyme, sage, chicken broth, and milk, and seasoned with salt and white pepper.

I brought the soup to a boil, lowered the heat, covered the pan partway, and simmered the soup for 40 minutes, until the vegetables were soft. I decided to purée the soup in the pot with my immersion blender. I left a few chunks in it, but for the most part, it was smooth.

After ladling the soup into a bowl, I topped it with freshly ground black pepper and white truffle oil and served it with Irish brown bread made with Irish wholemeal flour from King Arthur Flour.

This soup is easy enough to make on a busy weeknight, versatile enough that you can probably make it with ingredients you have on hand, and so delicious that you will want to make it again and again.