Tag Archives: flour

Steak Hand Pies

4 inch left, 3 inch right 4 inch pies left and 3 inch pies right

This is a second recipe from Baked In Vermont (Gesine Bullock-Prado) from the Food Network channel. I think these are an excellent idea and work well, but I would recommend a few changes.

Steak Hand Pies

Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado
Food Network’s Baked in Vermont series

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces beef tenderloin, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium potato, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 batch “Part Butter / Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough” chilled, see below
  • 1 large egg whisked with 2 Tablespoons water, for the egg wash

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, flour and paprika. Stir to combine. Add the thyme, garlic, potato, onion and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Divide one portion of the chilled pie dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round about 3 inches in diameter. You may use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut each round and even the edges if you desire. Repeat with the second piece of chilled dough.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Brush each round of dough with the egg wash. Divide the filling among the rounds, piling it in the middle of each round. Bring the sides of the dough up to meet in the middle and gently crimp the edges down in the center. Cut 3 small slits into each hand pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the pies with egg wash.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, cold, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • 4 Tablespoons shortening, chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal but there are still pea-sized chunks of fat.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture pulsing until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between you thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it ni half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

I felt the making of the pie dough in the food processor was not as good as I would like. Some of the dough stuck to the bottom under the blade and other parts of the dough seemed to stay dry. So I looked for a better recipe, and found a pie dough recipe by Alton Brown. Surprise! It too uses the food processor! However, it is much more detailed and doesn’t just dump the ice water into the processor. I imagine that Gesine used that as a basic recipe but tried to make it simpler. I have yet to try Alton’s recipe myself. Alton’s recipe needs to be doubled in order to provide as much dough as Gesine’s recipe.
I also decided that I liked 4-inch circles for the pies better than the 3-inch circles; I couldn’t get enough filling in the 3-inch circles and still get them to close. If you recheck the recipe, Gesine never says you need to cut a true circle; that is one of the reasons she divides the dough into 8 parts and rolls each out separately. I would just as soon require a circle cookie cutter and roll the whole disk of dough out as a single flat piece to then cut with the cookie cutters.

In the making of the filling, I felt there was a problem getting everything chopped/minced to the same size. I think that next time I might use a food grinder for the meat, potato and onion. A long time ago, Mom made hash about once every couple weeks and I would turn the handle on the manual food grinder for her. Now, my food grinder is connected to the stand mixer.
Another concern about the filling is that the recipe uses medium size potato and onion. Since I always end up with more filling that I can use in the amount of dough in the recipe, I have to assume that the potatoes and onions we get are bigger than those in Vermont. I tried weighing the amount of each of those before mincing / grating, and it appeared to be about 2 ounces each. I could get about a Tablespoon of filling in my 4 inch pies, and with luck, I got a total of 10 4-inch pies from the recipe of dough. I used guides and rolled the dough to 1/4 inch thick before cutting the circles.

Overall, the recipe is a good starting point for hand pies. I now have told you some of the ways I would change it to make it mine. I hope you enjoy the hand pies as much as I and my test group did.

Cheese Puffs

The Food Network channel had a new chef for a while with a show called ‘Baked in Vermont’. There were some interesting recipes, and I saved a couple to try, and I found places where the recipes made assumptions. I decided that I should publish the recipe with the thoughts I had about the assumptions. The first recipe was for Cheese Puffs.

This recipe is one of many variations on Pate a Choux. That is the pastry that is used for all sorts of things like cream puffs. To make the Cheese Puffs, you add hard cheeses to the dough before baking.

Once I established in my mind that this is a basic pate a choux recipe, I decided to look around at variations to see how important it is to follow this particular version. I don’t think it is important; if you have a recipe, there is one check to make and then you can probably use your recipe. That check is the measure of flour. I found that most of the recipes used 1 cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour. The variations are in the amount of butter, and sugar which I think is a wash.

So, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, then plan on adding 1.5 cups of grated hard cheese after you add the eggs and get them into the dough. This recipe calls for 1 cup of sharp Cheddar and 1/2 cup of Gruyere.

If you have never made a pate a choux before, this recipe is fairly good and you could stop before adding the cheeses to use the recipe for another purpose.

heese Puffs

Recipe courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado and Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan containing 1/2 cup of water, add the milk, butter, sugar and salt. Stir over low heat until the sugar, butter and salt have all melted. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a healthy simmer.
  3. Take from the heat and immediately add all the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, is smooth and no flour lumps remain. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until a film forms on the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring, careful not to scrape up the film, for a minute or two more.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer. Mix for a minute to dissipate some of the heat. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running. Pay attention to the consistency of the paste. It should be smooth and shiny, so you may only need 3 of the eggs.
  5. Fold in the cheeses
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop generous mounds onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them an inch apart. Place in the oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese puffs are golden brown.


Okay, here are some of the thoughts I had on the recipe. The original recipe put the cooked flour into a food processor for adding the eggs. When I did that, the second egg caused the knife blade to rise and come off the spindle. I decided to try using the stand mixer for adding the eggs and it worked well- so I changed that part of the recipe.

I used my silicon mats the second time I made the recipe and they work as well as the parchment paper. I have used both my #50 scoop and my very small scoop (#128?) and both work well. I cooked the smaller size puffs for a full 25 minutes and the larger size could probably used a minute of two more. I tried to cook that pan at the same time as the last pan of small puffs, and there seemed to be a problem in not rotating the pans halfway through. The top pan shielded the bottom pan and so they were not as well done as I would have liked.

Several of the recipes I found overheat the oven before cooking the pate a choux as does this recipe. I found that the overheating in a modern oven seems unnecessary. I tried using a preheat temperature of 375 degrees F, and there was no problem. The puffs did puff up and cook as I wanted them to cook. The shell of the puff hardens with cooking and they keep the puffed shape nicely.

Cloverleaf Rolls

rolls 008

Why Cloverleaf Rolls? For one thing, when you pull them apart each piece has some crust from the top, and some softer dough on the bottom. But then, too, they have more surface to put condiments on when you pull them apart; condiments like jelly, jam, preserves, honey and butter- and who doesn’t like to butter their rolls.

And then there are the possible toppings that you can bake onto the rolls. I chose plain, salt, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. I suspect that you might also have a favorite.

This recipe is also nice in that it is made over two days, so much of the work can be done ahead of time, and then only putting the rolls in the muffin cups and baking them is left for the second day; the days don’t even have to be consecutive. You can do the first part 2 or 3 days in advance if it helps make your party easier to schedule.

Cloverleaf Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (100 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 1 four-ounce packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • cooking spray
  • optional toppings, e.g. poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt

Directions

Day 1:

  • In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar and water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit until foamy- about 5 minutes.
  • Separate one egg; save the white for an egg wash, and the yolk will go into the dough with the other whole egg.
  • Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and, using the mixer, beat on medium until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, the whole egg and egg yolk, and the cooled melted butter; beat until combined.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the other 2 1/2 cups of flour about a half cup at a time, and mix until it is all combined
  • Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer the dough to it. Spray the top of the dough, loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days). The dough will double in size.

Day 2:

  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper, and divide it into 36 equal pieces (about 1 ounce each).
  • Coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Roll each dough piece into a smooth ball and place three balls in each muffin cup.
  • Coat the top of the filled cups with cooking spray, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in size, 60-90 minutes.
  • Add a tablespoon of water to the reserved egg white, and paint the tops of each roll with this egg wash. If toppings are being used, sprinkle the topping on the rolls at this time.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls until puffed and golden- about 10-15 minutes.


rolls 007

And here are some thoughts from my experience with this recipe. When I first put it together, I had too much moisture, and the dough balls did not keep there individual positions, but seemed to meld together on top so there was one very big roll. I have reduced the moisture, and now the recipe gives excellent results. Note that this is a yeast dough, but there is no kneading of the dough- the recipe is very easy except for getting all of the flour into the dough.

I found that I need to turn the ball of dough while adding the last 2 1/2 cups of flour. Otherwise, the dry flour seems to slip under the dough ball and hide, and stay dry; it is not part of the dough needed to make the rolls. So be certain that the dough ball picks up all of the flour, and none of it hides at the bottom of the bowl.

When dividing the dough ball into 36 equal pieces, you might want to weigh the first couple pieces you separate off to calibrate your eye for doing the rest. I found that what worked best was to cut rows from the ball, each about 1 inch wide, and then cut the row into individual pieces about the same size. A rather dull knife works well; I used a bench scraper, or a regular table knife.

The first row will be weird since it is on the edge of the ball and both ends are very curved and it is hard to see the long straight row that will make multiple pieces; leave this first row until you have done the second row, then you can see how to pull the long thin tails of the first row into the size pieces you need.

Even so, if you do not come out with just 36 equal pieces, you will need to determine which pieces are too large or too small and adjust their size.

Corn Bread

Marlys shows several optional ways for baking this recipe. I used the muffin tins, and everything came out perfectly. But, I remember Marlys making it in her old 10 inch cast iron skillet- the one she would never let me touch for fear I would wash it and ruin the seasoning of the iron. She also made it at times in the 8 inch square Corningware dish she had.

cornbread 003

Corn Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs

Mix together with wire whisk. While mixing, heat oiled pan in oven;
add batter.
Bake at 400°F for:

  • 12 muffin tins——20 minutes
  • 8″ square pan——25 minutes
  • 10″ fry pan———25 minutes

A word of caution about the recipe. Heating the oiled pans in the oven might cause the oil to smoke and burn. The oven is at 400 degrees, which is hotter than most oils used in recipes can take. (In the recipe, the oil is okay; it is when it is in the direct heat that it breaks down). For an oil that can take the 400 degrees, look for peanut oil, or even sunflower oil. Generally seed or kernel oils are good to about 450 degrees. When looking at the back of my Mazola corn oil bottle, it says that it burns at 375 degrees; and I agree after trying to use it to oil the pans.

cornbread 005

Muffin tins seem to vary in size; my tins are about 2.75 inches across, and just over an inch deep. The recipe seems to make a perfect amount for 12 tins; each tin was filled to the top and I ran out of mix. And the baking time was also ideal; you can see the good color on the corn muffins.