Focaccia Scones

These scones are bites of flaky heaven– garlic, onion and rosemary sauteed until fragrant, brushed with olive oil and baked until golden. I am a huge fan of quick breads that you can mix up in under twenty minutes and these scone-biscuit hybrids definitely fit the bill. They’re easy enough for everyday eating and fancy enough for company.

These seem to be the best when eaten on the same day they’re made, so if you’re making these for a party I would make these ahead of time through the dough step or the pan step and just pop them in the oven about 25 minutes from mealtime.

Tasty Flaky Scones

Focaccia Scones

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

Time: 30 minutes, 10 min prep, 20 min cook
Servings: 6-8 Scones

Ingredients

2-1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2-5 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
1/4-1/2 onion, preferably red, finely diced
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (1-2 tsp dried)
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp low-fat plain yogurt (or cold butter)
3/4 to 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (or buttermilk)

Olive oil (for brushing)
Sea salt flakes (optional)

Special Tools: None!

What To Do

Set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Rosemary, Onion & Garlic

Crush the garlic with the flat side of your knife, and then chop. A Chef’s knife works best for this. Next, dice the onion. You can omit the onion if you like.

Mincing Rosemary, the Easy Way

To mince the rosemary, separate the stems into the younger, tender stems (green or whitish-green- bottom left) and the older stalks (brown, woody-looking- top right). You can mince the green rosemary springs right on the stalk, but you’ll want to remove the rosemary leaves from the woodier stems before mincing.

Onions Garlic & Rosemary

Heat the oil in a frying pan, and toss in the garlic, rosemary and onion. If you prefer very well done onions, cook the onions for a couple minutes prior to adding in the garlic and rosemary.

Add the fresh ground black pepper

Grind some black pepper into the pan and cook the ingredients for 60 seconds and then remove from the burner.

Sift dry ingredients in a bowl

In a medium or large mixing bowl, pour in the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Whisk dry ingredientsStir together using a whisk or a fork.

Flour Coated GoodnessAdd the 2 tablespoons of yogurt and the sauteed herb oil to the flour mixture. Mix well using a spatula. The garlic and onion pieces should be well coated with the flour mixture.

Add yogurtPour in 3/4 cup of the yogurt and mix until incorporated.If the mixture is too dry, add more yogurt by the spoonful until the dough just comes together.

Sticky dough ballThe dough will be pliable and sticky.

A Circular ShapeFlour a workspace about the size of two dinner plates (or whatever you think you need) and smush the dough into a roughly circular shape (around 8 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick).

Dough WedgesUsing a butter knife (or other dull knife) coated in flour, cut the dough into equal wedges. The flour will keep the dough from sticking to the knife. You may need to recoat it a few times.

Wedges on a PanCarefully move the slices to the baking pan. Brush each with a generous amount of olive oil using a kitchen brush or spoon. If desired, sprinkle a pinch of flaked sea salt onto each scone.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Golden Scones

Remove from the oven and serve hot!

Enjoy!

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Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Bread. It can be both rustically simple and exquisitely divine. Few other foods evoke such feelings of reverence (and boredom– White bread?!? Come on!). This simple quick bread is on the rustic side of the scale, though you might be inclined to thank a deity when you realize you’ve just found a way to use up all of that old Natty your friends brought to your last party.

I love this bread (and AllRecipes for the recipe) because it satisfies my cravings for piping hot homemade bread in just over an hour. And as an added bonus, my apartment gets that awesome baked goods smell! Whether you pair this with a soup (like my Crushed Lentil or Barley & Lentil Vegetable Soup) or eat it hot right out of the pan (perhaps slathered with a thin generous layer of butter), this bread is super satisfying.

His bread is buttered on both sides.

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Time: 60 min (10 min prep, 45-50 min bake)
Servings: 12 (… if you’re not hungry)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (Any beer- old or new- works. I’ve used Great Lakes Brewing Christmas Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald, Bud Lite, Miller High Life–sooo classy, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy with Lemonade)

Special Tools: Bread loaf pan (9×5 in), sturdy mixing spoon/spatula

What To Do

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.

Spray your bread pan with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT beer. With a whisk, fork or mixing spatula, mix the dry ingredients evenly.

Pour in beer- slowly! If your bowl isn’t large enough, wait until the foam has evaporated or whatever foam does, stir once, and pour the rest of the beer in. Mix until the ingredients form an elastic but stiff dough.

Pour the dough into the bread pan.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until the bread passes the toothpick test (insert a tooth pick halfway into the dough. If it comes out clean, the bread is done).

Cool and serve, or eat hot right out of the pan!

[More great bread quotes]

Cornbread

I make this cornbread probably every other week, and each time it only lasts a couple of days…

Anyway, this is an easy and versatile bread that you can customize to your particular tastes and the dish its accompanying. My most recent iteration included jalapeños- the perfect amount of kick.

Cornbread

The gnomes are coming... for the cornbread!

Makes 20ish pieces

Cook Time: 10 min prep, 25-30 min cook, 10 min cool (if you can keep your hands off them!)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 cups plain yogurt or buttermilk
½ cup milk
¼ cup brown sugar or maple syrup
2 eggs, beaten
Non-Stick Spray (or melted butter)

Optional: diced jalapeños, minced garlic, shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese (choose ONE of these, or none)

What To Do

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Coat a 9×13 inch pan evenly with non-stick spray or butter. You could also use a cast iron skillet.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Since I dislike sifting things, I usually just dump everything into the bowl and mix together with a wire whisk.So dry! Like a desert. In your mouth.

In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients (yogurt, milk, brown sugar and eggs) and whisk until mixed.

Yin and yangFold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir (slowly) until combined.

If you’re adding in any optional ingredients, drop them into the bowl now and fold them in. I added jalapeños and diced crushed garlic to this batch, but you could add shredded cheddar cheese, sun dried tomatoes, onions or peppers.Pour (spoon, really- this mixture is pretty thick) the cornbread dough into the prepared baking pan. Be sure to spread it evenly- smooth it out with your spatula if needed. I topped mine with shredded pecorino romano.

Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cook longer if you prefer drier cornbread.

Once the toothpick comes out clean, remove the cornbread from the oven and cool for ten minutes before serving… or scarf down half the pan. Your call.

Serve warm with (garlic herb) butter or your favorite soup!