Focaccia

I have to make Focaccia for my Professional Cook Level 2 Practical exam…well, I don’t HAVE to make Focaccia but it seems Dinner Rolls are frowned upon as …. That’s such a Grandma thing to make….well, hello? I AM a Grandma! I also have the choice of making a Baguette but the truth is, mine always tend to have gaping holes in them!  Anyway, I decided to make this Focaccia instead of my tried and true Dinner Rolls.
I have to admit, the second time I made this recipe, I was quite impressed! The first time, I made as recipe suggested and it came out thin and crispy – second time, I let the Focaccia proof for about 45 minutes before I baked it.

The original recipe came from my ancient The Canadian Living Light and Healthy Cookbook, page 38.

soft and chewy flatbread
Soft and Chewy Flatbread

Focaccia
2 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) Sugar
2 cups (1 cup) warm Water
1 Tbsp (1 1/2 tsp) Active Dry Yeast
5 cups (2 1/2 cups) Bread Flour
2 oz (1 oz) Butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp ( 3/4 tsp) Salt
Olive Oil for brushing loaf(ves)
Himalayan Salt
Rosemary
Thyme

*I only need to make 1 for my practical exam so I have listed the ingredients for a single Focaccia in brackets

In large bowl, dissolve sugar in water; sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Using wooden spoon, stir in 3 cups (1 cup)  of the flour, butter and salt; beat until smooth.
Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease all over.
Cover with plastic wrap or damp tea towel and let rise in warm place for about 75 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough and divide into 2 portions ( No need to divide dough if only making one Focaccia).Form each portion into a ball.
Place on lightly floured surface and sprinkle with flour.
Cover an d let stand for 20 minutes.
Stretch and pull out each portion of dough into 16 inch (40cm) long oval.
Place on ungreased baking sheet.
Using side of hand, make ridges 1 inch (2.5cm) apart down length of each oval.
Brush each loaf with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, thyme and salt.
Cover loosely with tea towel and let proof in draft free for 45 minutes.
Bake in 375F (190C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from baking sheets and let cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 Focaccia  (1 Focaccia)
Each Focaccia serves 4 – 6 depending on use.

 

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

When you are craving Cinnamon Rolls but no time to bloom, ferment and proof the yeast variety, this will hit the spot!

cinnamon roll biscuits
Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

4 cups Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt

2/3 cup (150g) Butter, cold, cut into cubes
2 cups Milk
2 tsp Vanilla

Filling
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
Milk, to right consistency

Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
Lightly grease a 9X13 (33cmx23cmx5cm)

Filling:
In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Softened butter in microwave for 10 seconds; set aside.

Dough:
In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Using a pastry blender, two knives or rubbing together with hands, cut in cold, cubed butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Using a fork, gently stir in milk and vanilla, to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto floured surface and gently knead 10 – 15 times; let rest for 10 minutes.
On floured surface, gently roll dough out into a 15″x9″ rectangle.
Carefully spread softened butter all over the surface of dough, leaving a 1/4″ border; sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Beginning with 15″ side, roll up dough, pinch the long edge to seal.
With a sharp knife cut into 12 equal pieces.
Place rolls into prepared pan and bake in preheated 375F oven for 20 – 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.
When golden brown, remove from oven and cool, in pan, on wire rack.

Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting
In medium mixing bowl combine softened cream cheese and butter until no lumps remain.
Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk; stir until smooth.
Add another cup of powdered sugar and stir – adding a splash or two of milk, to right consistency.
Stir until smooth; spread over slightly cooled Cinnamon Roll Biscuits.

Yield: 12

 

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

I came across this delicious recipe over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake.  Please do head over to her site to check out her vast array of recipes!

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins Total time: 1 hour 45 mins Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) package manicotti shells

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 jalapeño peppers, minced

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken)

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup sour cream

1-1/3 cups salsa, divided

1 (8-ounce) can enchilada sauce

¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

See a Quick Sausage Alfredo Recipe

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13″ x 9″ pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In large skillet, cook onion, garlic, and jalapeños in butter until softened. Remove from heat and stir in chicken, cream cheese, and sour cream; stir until blended. Let cool 20 minutes, then add ⅓ cup salsa.

Cook the manicotti shells until almost al dente according to package directions; drain. Stuff the shells with the chicken mixture.

In small bowl, combine remaining cup of salsa and enchilada sauce; mix well. Place ½ cup of this mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Top with stuffed manicotti shells. If there is leftover chicken filling, just put it on top of the stuffed shells. Pour remaining sauce mixture over and sprinkle with both cheeses.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until mixture is bubbly and cheese is browned.

Shepherd’s Pie Soup

Shepherd's Pie Soup
Shepherd’s Pie Soup

 

I had some leftover Roast Beef but didn’t want to make a traditional Shepherd’s Pie; found this recipe over at Canadian Living  for a soup version and went with it.

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/shepherds_pie_soup.php

Bannock on the side was a delicious addition!

http://aysontespli.ca/?p=408 Bannock

 

 

Peach Crisp

peach crips
Simple Peach Crisp…nothing better!

Recipe for this Peach Crisp was adapted from my Apple Crisp Recipe; simply subbed in Peaches for the Apples…okay, truth be told? I doubled the Crisp mixture! What can I say? I love that stuff!

The link to my Apple Crisp:

http://aysontespli.ca/?p=453