I concede this is not my finest hour. Convenience products are not my jam, but once in awhile even I must admit they just make sense. I grew up in a household filled with an array of convenience products. Everything from canned soup to boxed cake mix was trendy back then. My mom fully embraced the ease of getting dinner on the table for 5 hungry kids using these products. She especially loved the all-purpose Bisquick baking mix. Breakfast, lunch and dinner could potentially include a Bisquick recipe. It was magical. Two of her favorites were the Impossible Quiche and Impossible Coconut Cream Pie. Do you remember those?
Turns out one of my husband’s favorite food memories is when HIS mom presented the family with the Impossible Quiche. A couple of months ago, while I was away from home, he decided to pick up a box of the mix and recreate that childhood dinner. Just recently I discovered the small yellow box in the back of the pantry and food snob that I am said, “where the heck did this come from?”
The rest is history. Here is the recipe. It’s stupid good.
Buttery Bisquick Everything Bagel Biscuits
2 ¼ cups Bisquick baking mix
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage 5%)
½ cup ginger ale (Canada Dry)
¼ cup melted butter
Everything bagel seasoning
Heat oven to 425F. In a bowl, combine baking mix, sour cream, yogurt and ginger ale blending to form a sticky dough. Pour melted butter into a 9-inch pie pan. Using an ice cream scoop, drop scoops of dough evenly in pan on top of the butter. (You should have 10 scoops of dough). Sprinkle with as much seasoning as you like. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 10 pull-apart biscuits.
In these uncertain times there is one thing I know for sure. People find comfort in baking bread. Trending all over the internet are the most beautiful moist loaves of banana bread and artistic sourdough boules, baguettes and focaccia. Clearly, there are two kinds of bakers. Those who like to get a quick sweet fix in a banana bread and those that prefer the long, often days process, of an artisanal loaf.
What if we could meld these two unlikely classes of bread into one harmonious loaf? Wouldn’t it be nice….and what if we could all sit around the same table and break bread together?
Yes, let’s do it.
Sourdough baking is not all that complicated once you have become the proud owner of some sourdough starter. Starter is a simple mix of fermented flour and water. It contains wild yeast and lactobacilli bacteria. It is what makes the bread rise. It’s “alive” and it needs to be maintained or “fed”. Sourdough discard, on the other hand, is that leftover starter, not used in the days baking process. Many bakers either throw the discard in the trash or they try to reduce the amount of starter they maintain keeping as little as 10 grams. Still, others, like me, prefer to repurpose it into waffles, crackers and quick breads. A typical starter is equal parts water and flour known as 100% hydration. This makes it easy to swap out some of the flour and liquid by weight in most any baking recipe for the sourdough discard. Here is a link for a full explanation on how it all works: Cultures For Health
Sourdough Date ‘n Honey Banana Bread
1 ½ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (40 g) white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (150 g) pitted dates, chopped
3 tablespoons hot water
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup (125 g) sourdough discard
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon olive oil or plain olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of a lemon
½ cup chopped candied nuts
Heat your oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9” x 5” loaf pan with no-stick baking spray. In bowl whisk both flours, salt and baking soda; set aside. In food processor, pulse dates and hot water until finely chopped. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and date mixture until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. While mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add banana, sourdough, honey, olive oil vanilla and zest; blend well. Add flour mixture slowly, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary. Pour the batter into the 9” x 5” baking pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove onto a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.
In a world where good news seems scarce let me simply share a sweet recipe guaranteed to brighten your day and put a belly-satisfying smile on your face. This recipe for Strawberry Kropsua is kind of a cross between a pancake, a crepe and a souffle, but reminds me most of a popover.
In the photos above you will notice how the edges of the batter rise high above the pan leaving a center pocket making it perfect for all kinds of luscious fruit filling. Some might fill it with fresh apples and squeeze of lemon juice calling it a Dutch Baby pancake, but in my case I’m filling it with the fruit of the season…fresh strawberries tossed with a sprinkle of sugar and touch of vanilla.
Do I have you salivating now? Before I share the recipe we need to talk about two things. First, the cast iron pan. Please only use cast iron for the best results. The pan is pre-heated in the oven before pouring in the batter. I use 4-inch pans and here is a really important tip. Measure your pans across the bottom and not the top. That is the standard for measuring as with many pans the top is usually wider than the bottom. You are welcome.
Next thing you need to know is that I am sharing this recipe in metric measurements to insure accuracy. Buy a kitchen scale if you don’t already have one. Gluten development is the enemy of this recipe, so it’s important to add the exact measurement of flour and gently whisk it in. We all measure differently, but we all weigh ingredients the same. Capice? (ca-peesh). Too much flour will yield a dense kropsua and that’s just sad.
Place the flour in a batter bowl or mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg, sugar, salt and vanilla until blended. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until mixture is smooth. Let this mixture rest while oven heats up; this allows the gluten to relax. Place two 4-inch skillets in the oven. Heat the oven to 425F. When the oven comes to temperature, remove skillets from oven and divide butter among them. Place back in the oven for a minute to let bubbling of butter subside. Pour rested batter evenly into hot skillets. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and fill with strawberries.
For the strawberries:
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
Sweetener of choice (I like a tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup)
¼ teaspoon vanilla
A squeeze of fresh lemon or orange juice added in is nice and sunny
Toss it all together just prior to starting the kropsua