side dish

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

Posted by on Jul 22, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, French, quick bread, side dish | 0 comments

Eat your cheese in delicious, airy form in Gougeres, aka French cheese puffs!

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

This is a savory version of pate a choux, the dough used for cream puffs and eclairs. In this case, though, you fold in a generous amount of grated cheese.

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

What kind of cheese? Go for ones that grate and melt. Traditional choices would include Gruyere or Comte, or be a rebel like me and use English cheddar. (Scandalous, I know.)

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

I modified this recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s version in her lovely tome Around My French Table. I felt like I learned something new every time I baked up a serving of these puffs, and I wanted to include all that info to prevent people from repeating my mistakes.

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

Such as, see the aluminum foil in these pictures? Don’t use that. Do parchment instead. I didn’t take pictures of how I mangled these gougeres, which were hopelessly stuck to the foil despite a spray of Pam.

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

The recipe results in about 30 puffs. These things keep well, unbaked and frozen, but only for about a month. After that, the puff declines and an eggy taste is more pronounced.

Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

This recipe, modified from Dorie Greenspan's version in Around My French Table, combines grated cheese and pate a choux dough. The puffs bake up light, airy, and delightfully cheesy! Do the full recipe at once (it makes 30, using a tablespoon scoop) or freeze unbaked choux for later.
Course: Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cheese, quick bread
Servings: 30 puffs
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • tablespoon scoop
  • mixer

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk or half & half
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose four
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely-grated cheese (6 ounces) such as Gruyere, Comte, Emmenthal, or cheddar

Instructions

  • If baking now, position racks in oven to be at the top and bottom. Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Line two large baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper; do not use aluminum foil.
  • If preparing the gougeres now, with plans to freeze and bake later, line a pan with waxed paper and clear some space in the freezer so the puffs can set.
  • Place milk, water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a fast boil. Add flour all at once, then lower heat. Promptly start stirring batter with a wooden spoon or sturdy whisk. The dough will come together, but keep stirring with vigor for another couple minutes until the dough is very smooth and looks dryer.
  • Drop the dough into the big bowl of a stand-mixer or a bowl where a hand mixer can be used. (Or, if mixing by hand, be ready for an arm work-out.) Let the dough set for a couple minutes, then add the eggs one by one. Beat, beat, beat that batter, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. If it separates, that's okay--keep beating it! It needs to reach a stage where it is thick and shiny. Beat in the grated cheese.
  • The batter must be immediately doled out onto pans to either bake or freeze. Use a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized scoop to measure out the batter; if baking, space out about two inches apart.
  • Slide baking sheets into oven. Immediately lower temperature to 375-degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate pans from front to back, top to bottom. Continue baking another 12 to 15 minutes, until gougeres are golden and firm. Note that they will not puff until the end of the bake. Serve promptly.
  • If freezing some or all of the gougeres, freeze on waxed paper, then place in a freezer bag or lidded container. Bake straight from the freezer--do not thaw them! Place on parchment or a greased surface to cook, with gougeres in a central location in the oven. Eat frozen gougeres within a month, as they will otherwise taste increasingly eggy and have less rise.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, side dish, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    This recipe for Hokkaido-style milk bread rolls makes 8 delicious soft, airy, amazing rolls.

    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    I couldn’t help but be intrigued when I saw this recipe featured in a King Arthur Flour catalog. It relates to the cultural fusion that plays a major role in my latest book, Breath of Earth.

    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    See, yeast breads in Japan were a real life kind of steampunk innovation. European bakeries began to open in major Japanese cities in the 1800s, but they didn’t become more popular until later in the century when bakers began to fuse more Japanese flavors like adzuki paste into rolls. These kinds of sweet bread (kashi-pan) play a small yet vital role in my next book, Call of Fire.

    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    This particular roll isn’t sweet unless you add some jam on your own. These are more of a combination between a standard dinner roll and an egg-based bread like challah.

    I usually don’t make breads that involve a pre-ferment stage, but I was pleased with how easy this was to make. I had the dough mix and rise in my bread machine, but you can mix this by whatever method you choose.

    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    This is modified from the recipe at King Arthur Flour. They note there that this can also be made in loaf form. I also have my own recipe for doing a full loaf of Japanese-style Milk Bread (Shokupan). This is my usual load bread that I make about twice a week.

    I can tell you, my husband wouldn’t mind if I made these rolls a lot more frequently as well.

    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

    This recipe, modified from King Arthur Flour, produces 8 airy and delicious Hokkaido-style milk bread rolls. It uses a fermented starter called a tangzhong that is mixed into the bread dough.
    Course: Bread, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: yeast bread
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    Tangzhong (starter)

    • 3 Tablespoons water
    • 3 Tablespoons whole milk or half & half
    • 2 Tablespoons bread flour

    Dough

    • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
    • 2 Tablespoons nonfat dry milk
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
    • 1/2 cup whole milk or half & half
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 4 Tablespoons, melted
    • 1 egg optional, or extra milk to use as a wash

    Instructions

    To make the tangzhong:

    • Combine the starter ingredients in a small saucepan on low heat. Whisk until no lumps remain and continue to beat until it's thick and the whisk leaves no lines across the bottom of the pan; this takes 3 to 5 minutes. Pour it into a cup and set it aside to cool to room temperature.

    To make the dough:

    • Combine the remaining dough ingredients and add the tangzhong. Continue to knead by hand, mixer, or bread machine until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Add more milk or flour if necessary to achieve the right texture.
    • Shape the dough into a ball and set it in a lightly greased covered bowl for about 60 to 90 minutes. It should be puffy, not necessarily doubled in size.
    • Prepare a small cake pan by lining the bottom with a cut round of parchment paper. Use nonstick spray on the base of the pan so the parchment stays in place, then spray the top of the paper and the sides of the pan.
    • Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place them in the pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and let the rolls rest for 30 minutes to an hour; keep an eye on them in case they rise fast!
    • Preheat the oven at 350-degrees. Gently brush the rolls with milk or an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water).
    • Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden brown on top. To check for doneness, use a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the middle roll to see if it is at least 190°F. If the rolls must cook longer, cover them with foil if they are very brown.
    • Remove rolls from the oven. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
    • OM NOM NOM!

     

    Bready or Not: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

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    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, gluten-free, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    Churro Chex Mix is addictive. It is dangerous. It might cause a sugar high that keeps you awake for a full day.

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    This stuff has made the rounds on lots of food blogs. I looked at about five different recipes, read the comments for more tips, and threw together my own version. I was concerned that some of the recipes featured a lot of Chex that looked, well, naked.

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    I wanted my mix to be slathered in happy sugar and cinnamon. I soon discovered that the pale pieces still have a lot of sugary-ness. It’s just invisible. Subtle. Ninja-like.

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    Note that Nestle cinnamon chips melt in a very thick way. It might be necessary to add a lot more butter (because these things weren’t unhealthy enough already) to make it easier to stir the melted goop into the cereal.

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    Also, depending on the ingredients you use, this can be served-up gluten free! Heck, you could even use Cinnamon Chex or the Cascadian Farms cinnamon cereal and just decrease the amount of added cinnamon.

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    Just be warned: this makes a LOT. Be ready to share it with a lot of friends!

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

    A Bready or Not Original from the High Priestess of Churromancy: This Churro Chex Mix is quick to make, and the recipe makes a lot! Kept in a sealed container, it should stay fresh for up to a week.
    Course: Appetizer, Snack
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: chocolate, churros, gluten free
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 9 cups Rice Chex cereal about 1 cup less than full regular box
    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 bag cinnamon chips
    • 1 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 3 tsp ground cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Pour Chex cereal into a ginormous bowl. Combine sugars and cinnamon in small bowl so that it's ready to go. Also set out a few large rimmed cookie sheets; line them with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
    • In a microwavable bowl, melt the 1/4 cup butter, cinnamon chips, and white chocolate chips. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then 30 seconds, then stir, continuing in small careful bursts until the chips smooth out. Be careful: the chocolate burns fast! Nestle-brand cinnamon chips tend to melt extra thick, so add another 1/4 cup butter (or more) if needed to make it more fluid.
    • Pour some melted mix over the cereal. Stir. Add more melted goop. Sprinkle in some sugar mix. Stir. Keep adding more melted mix and sugar mix until it's all gone and things are mostly covered. (Note: it's okay if some Chex still looks kinda naked, because it's still likely covered in sugar!)
    • Shift the Chex out onto the cookie sheets and spread it out so it's not too chunky. Let set an hour or so, then throw it in a sealable bag or a few big plastic containers.
    • OM NOM NOM!

     

    Bready or Not: Churro Chex Mix

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    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    Bready or Not has featured a whole lot of sweets in recent weeks. Let’s switch to something delicious and healthy instead: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad.

    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    This still has a little bit of sweetness going on. Butternut squash is naturally awesome that way, and a sprinkling of cranberries adds some extra oomph. Add some pecans for crunch and feta because CHEESE, and this creates a bowl of happiness. The quinoa adds protein and kinda enjoys the ride along with all the other flavors.

    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    I cobbled this together from several other recipes. I wanted something that I could invest some time in and then use as a quick-fix dinner for several more days. I parcel it into three or four containers, depending on the size of the squash, and my meals are set! Or, you could use this as a gluten-free main dish or side dish to feed a group.

    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    I can offer a few useful tips, too. I cook quinoa in my Zojirushi rice cooker. One cup of uncooked quinoa makes a LOT once its cooked, more than my salad recipe requires, but cooked quinoa keeps well in the fridge and can also be frozen and thawed weeks later without any issue.

    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    If you’re intimidated by cutting butternut squash, there is a safe and easy way to do it!

    Next week’s Bready or Not officially kicks off my October-November tradition of pumpkin and autumn-themed recipes! Time to bust out the stretchy pants.

    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

    A Bready or Not Original! This salad takes some initial work to assemble, but it creates a big bowl of autumnal deliciousness! Serve as a main dish or side dish for a crowd, or use it as a solo meal over several days. This is gluten-free, healthy, and full of happiness.
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish
    Keyword: cheese, gluten free, vegetable
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash
    • olive oil or avocado oil
    • sprinkle pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
    • feta cheese

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven at 425-F.
    • Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spread out the chopped squash and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle spices of choice and some salt. Roast squash for 20 minutes.
    • While the squash is roasting, measure out the cranberries and place in a small bowl. Cover the cranberries with water and let them soak. Measure out the pecans.
    • When the 20 minutes is up, toss the squash in the pan. Drain the water from the cranberries, discarding water. Add the plumped cranberries and pecans to the squash, and season more, if desired. Cook another 10 minutes or so, until butternut squash is fork tender with roasted coloration.
    • Transfer the pan's contents to a large bowl. Gently stir in the quinoa. Serve hot or stash in fridge for later, and heat with microwave. Add sprinkle of feta just before serving.
    • OM NOM NOM!

     

    Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

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    Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

    Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, side dish, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

    Back when I first started Bready or Not in 2011, one of my first recipes was for Soft Dinner Rolls. I’m featuring it again today because it’s still a family favorite, and one I make regularly.

    Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

    I used to be very intimidated by working with yeast. Would the dough rise? How would I know when it was ready? I used box mixes for a while and built up my confidence to handle the stuff from-scratch.

    These soft rolls have never failed me. Other doughs are persnickety; this dough is not. The result is soft, and it bakes up into soft, luscious rolls.

    Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

    These are the rolls I make every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can make them weeks in advance. They thaw fast. They keep for as long as six days in a sealed bag. Most importantly, they reheat and taste as fresh as ever (and can even be reheated another time, too).

    If you’re shy about yeast rolls, give these a try! If you’ve already mastered yeast bread, add these to your repertoire–they are worth making again and again.

    Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

    On the subject of yeast, the only kind I use is SAF Instant Yeast. I store it in a sealed plastic tub in the freezer; the yeast granules don’t freeze, but the cold preserves the yeast.

    Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

    A Bready or Not Original! This straightforward yeast roll recipe produces soft, tender dinner rolls. They keep for about a week in sealed bags, and can be frozen and reheated later with delicious results! Recipe makes 12 to 15 standard dinner rolls.
    Course: Bread, Side Dish
    Keyword: yeast bread
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup warm water 110 degrees (temperature especially important if mixing by hand)
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast or 1 packet bread machine yeast

    Instructions

    If making by hand

    • Mix all ingredients together and knead until soft. Place the dough in a bowl and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise 45 minutes to 1 hour; knead down again. Let rise another 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    If making in a bread machine

    • Add ingredients in the order specified. That often means the liquids first. Set the machine on dough cycle and start; this should run for about 2 hours.
    • Prepare a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan by greasing lightly with butter. When the dough is done, lightly flour a mat or flat surface. Gently flatten the dough with hands. It's so soft, a rolling pin isn't necessary. Use a biscuit cutter or other round shape to cut out rolls. Place them spaced out a bit on the pan; it should produce 12 to 15 rolls, depending on the cutter. Lightly cover pan with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour, or until rolls have doubled in size.
    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, watching them for desired brownness. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
    • Completely cooled rolls can be frozen in gallon freezer bags for several months. Sealed rolls will keep well at room temperature for at least 6 days.
    • OM NOM NOM!

     

    Bready or Not: Soft Dinner Rolls

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    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, gluten-free, healthier, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    Roast your own edamame to make a delicious protein addition for salads, noodle dishes, or sandwiches–or as a healthy snack by itself!

    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    Dry edamame is expensive in stores, often sold in small bags. My local Sprouts carried dry edamame in their bin section for an awesome price and I bought it often, but then they remodeled last year and the edamame vanished. Sigh.

    So I decided, heck, I’d make my own!

    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    A pound bag of frozen edamame is $2-4 in stores. It takes some planning and minimal work to roast it, and you can make it as crunchy as you like. I like to keep the beans a little chewy.

    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    I do a lot of sweets on here, but this is the kind of food I like to do for myself as a treat. Om nom nom!

    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    Modified from Bams Kitchen.

    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

    Thaw and roast edamame for a cost-effective and delicious addition to salads, noodles, wraps--or as a healthy snack all by itself.
    Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
    Keyword: gluten free
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 16 ounces shelled edamame 1 bag, frozen
    • olive oil or avocado oil
    • sea salt
    • pepper

    Instructions

    • Take the sealed edamame bag out of the freezer and set it on a plate in the fridge to defrost overnight.
    • Next day, open up the bag and place the shelled beans in a colander. Rinse and sort through to make sure they are thawed. Set out towels and let the edamame sit out to dry in a single layer; blot the top with another towel. The beans should be completely dry before roasting.
    • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place your edamame on the sheet. Drizzle with oil and stir them for complete coverage. Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
    • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, with breaks about every 15 minutes to stir the edamame. The longer they cook, the crispier and browner they get, so bake to preferred taste!
    • Eat right away, or store in a sealed container in the fridge. Roasted edamame is great as a snack, or in all sorts of dishes!
    • OM NOM NOM!

     

    Bready or Not: Roasted Edamame

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