So I told you how excited I was to roast a whole chicken in my dutch oven recently, but there was another thing I was really looking forward to making….bread. A perfectly golden round loaf of crusty white bread. I saw an article on it in Food & Wine Mag and absolutely had to try it. And I’m so glad I did, because I’m absolutely obsessed with homemade bread now. It tasted almost exactly like the crusty store-bought kind and the best part is–you can customize this recipe with any ingredients you want! For my next loaves, I’m planning to roast some garlic cloves and fold them into the dough, then top with rosemary. This would also be delicious with chunks of fontina cheese and prosciutto (OMG, yes).
An easy, basic bread baked perfectly in a dutch oven.
Author: gotham kitchen
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6-8 servings
4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, 10-15 minutes. Dough should be elastic and not sticky.
Place ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or saran wrap (I used the stand mixer bowl). Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size and does not spring back when you push your finger into it, about 2 to 4 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it to redistribute the yeast.
Spray the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot with oil. Put the dough in the center of the pot and place the lid on. Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Rub extra virgin olive oil gently over the surface of the dough with your fingers or pastry brush. Score the bread in an X shape with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the dough with salt (and/or any topping you'd like). Cover the pot and place it in the oven.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
I’m always in awe of homemade marshmallows when I see them in bakeries. So fresh and fluffy looking, cut in perfect little cubes. I’ve never attempted to make them because I assumed you needed a lot of special equipment and ingredients. SO WRONG. They’re super simple and I made these with ingredients I already had in my pantry. With no special tools. Not even a candy thermometer. And they were so much fun to make, especially cutting them into the perfect jiggly little cubes of goodness. These make a great last-minute holiday or hostess gift (if you need more ideas, see my guide here).
I didn’t have any candy canes on hand when I made these, but if I had, I would’ve crushed them and used them as a topping before dredging. You can also use this recipe as a base to flavor and color your marshmallows however you want using different extracts and food colors.
Easy homemade candy cane marshmallows. The perfect last-minute holiday or hostess gift!
Author: gotham kitchen
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 15 servings
¾ cup water
3 (.25 ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
⅔ cup corn syrup
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup confectioners' sugar
Red food coloring
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Coat generously with cooking spray.
Place ½ cup of warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer, and sprinkle gelatin on top.
While gelatin is soaking, combine ¼ cup of water, corn syrup, and sugar in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once beginning to boil, turn heat up to high and boil for exactly one minute.
Pour the hot sugar mixture into the mixing bowl and beat on high for 11-13 minutes (using whisk attachment), until the mixture is fluffy and forms stiff peaks (should be opaque and resemble marshmallow fluff). Add vanilla and peppermint extracts, and beat just until blended.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and gently shake side-to-side until marshmallow is distributed evenly.
Place drops of food coloring about every 1-2" and use a toothpick or tip of a knife to create swirls over the surface of the marshmallow.
Allow the marshmallow to rest for 4 hours or overnight. It should be solidified but still sticky to the touch.
Mix together cornstarch and confectioner's sugar in a shallow dish. Using oiled scissors or an oiled kitchen knife, cut the marshmallow candy into strips, then into 1 inch squares. Dredge the marshmallows lightly in the cornstarch mixture and store in an airtight container.
Every holiday for me is the same struggle. I typically wait up until Dec. 15 to even start thinking of gifts, then it’s a crazy stressed-out 2 weeks to get everything for everyone on my list. Well, last year I had a total breakthrough that changed the way I do gifting. I made things easier on myself by choosing an overarching theme for all of the gifts I give. For example, you could do a book theme and give everyone on your list their favorite genre of book, along with DIY bookmarks and cozy blankets and mugs for tea. Or a cooking theme and give everyone the best gadgets to make their favorite foods (i.e. my sister once got a ravioli maker with semolina flour from Italy and a jar of truffle pesto).
This year I’m going all-out DIY. I love receiving DIY gifts, especially ones that are food-related. They’re so thoughtful and you know the person put in the time to make it just for you. Plus, we all know that homemade jams are a million times better than the jellied versions you buy in the store.
See below my favorite gifts for diy-ing this year:
If you’re not familiar with preserved lemons, you need to be ASAP. They’re used primarily in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking but can be used in a variety of recipes (basically anything that calls for a salty lemon). These are extremely easy and cost-effective to make.
Homemade Fruit-Infused Vinegars
Sure, you could go to a fancy olive oil store and get a fruit flavored vinegar OR you could make it yourself. Easily. These would be so great for making homemade vinaigrettes.
This is one of my favorites because, well, everyone uses salt. And you can get as crazy or traditional on flavors as you want (like red wine and rosemary!). And think of all the creative ways you can package these!
Homemade Cajun Seasoning Blend
My mother-in-law gave me a DIY jar of Cajun seasoning once and i use it ALL the time. It’s great for jambalaya, gumbos, and as a standalone chicken and potato seasoning.
DIY Mushroom Risotto in a Jar
A great gift for your fellow foodies, this jar is filled with arborio rice, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and a variety of dried mushrooms. Just add broth and parmesan!
Homemade Cashew Butter Anyone who doesn’t love cashew butter is crazy. This stuff is the Cadillac of nut butters. Gift this liquid gold with a homemade jam (see #8) or a hearty bread mix.
Homemade Popcorn Seasoning If you want a gift with a longer shelf-life, gift these unique popcorn seasoning jars. Flavors include gingerbread, chocolate, and a spicy fiesta flavor. YUM.
Double Chocolate Coconut Cookie in a Jar Cookie mixes in jars have been circulating around Pinterest for a while, but this version takes it to another level with the chocolate-on-chocolate-on-coconut combo.