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I decided to bring a variation of this Antipasti Platter to a Super Bowl Party I was attending, as I’ve made it for get-togethers at my house in the past and it always gets devoured. I mean, meat and cheese, ammiright? The problem is that I’ve always purchased beautiful, artisenal loaves of herbed focaccia bread, for everybody else to eat, leaving myself out. This time would be different. And since I knew that another party-goer would need gluten-free options, too, I decided to make this quick Skillet Bread, but with onions and rosemary. Great idea, right?

Well, at the last minute (as usual), I changed my mind (I mean, I made the skillet bread, I just felt like it wasn’t the exact bread this platter needed). I frantically googled and consulted my cook books, one of which is Dr. Fenster’s where I found a recipe similar to this one. Then, I stumbled upon this recipe, (with no eggs, I’m trying my hand at egg-free recipes these days) and decided to just go for it. I had exactly an hour to pull this off. Did I run out of time? Yes. I was quite late, and it could have used a few more minutes in the oven. But was it delicious? Damn straight. For once, a hair-brained scheme of mine paid off, but I can imagine Marco and the cats didn’t quite appreciate my frantic screaming and scrambling in the kitchen, yelling particularly at the oven which wasn’t magically cooking my bread fast enough. But hey, all in the name of good food. 🙂

Ingredients:
3/4 cup of buckwheat flour (or millet or sorghum)
3/4 cup of potato starch
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of psyllium husk
1 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast (this is what I prefer, no proofing needed)
3/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Topping:
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
Your Choice of Seasonings (I went with the original recipe, parmesan and italian seasoning, and it almost tasted like garlic breadsticks, which was awesome)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, sugar and psyllium husk. Whisk well before adding the yeast, so the salt doesn’t kill it. Then add the water and olive oil. Using a spatula, I did like a cut, lift, twist, and fold technique to knead the dough until it came together enough to knead briefly with my hands. You definitely want to lift and fold the dough to incorporate some air, so do your best with the utensils you have. This dough will definitely be…different, but don’t be tempted to add something to it unless you REALLY think you have to. It should be kind of gluey, just slightly sticky, it’ll almost hold a shape but then spread out. I hope that makes sense.

Grease a cast iron skillet with olive oil. I was able to use my hands to press the dough into the skillet, but it’s ok if yours a little too sticky for that. You can use a wet spatula to roll your dough into the skillet and, wetting the spatula frequently, press the dough all the way to the edges of the skillet. Brush with a little bit of olive oil, top loosely with plastic wrap, and then do the microwave-rising technique (except mine didn’t fit in the microwave so I improvised by covering with a giant bowl): wet a dish towel and then microwave it for about 2 minutes to get it so hot you can barely touch it, then loosely cover your skillet with the towel and either cover it with a bowl or put it back in the microwave, to create a humid environment in which the bread can more quickly rise! Isn’t that awesome?? Ok, so this bread won’t rise too much, mine just sort of poofed a little. I gave it 3 rounds of hot-towel-covering, for a few minutes each (would have liked longer, but I had no time).

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Mix up your melted butter and seasoning mix, and brush about half of it onto the top of the unbaked bread. (I was scared to press my fingers in the top to make holes because I didn’t want to loose any of the lift the dough had, it ain’t gonna get it back.) Bake for 35-40 minutes, and if you like a really browned top you can crank it up to broil for the last 3 minutes. Brush with the remaining melted butter mix, let cool in the skillet until cool to the touch, and then slice and eat as you wish! I served it with this Antipasti Platter and they killed it. As in, only 4 slices of salami were left, which I promptly ate (because, you know, I had to).

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Look at that beautiful, holey bread. OMG I can’t wait to use this to make a deep dish pizza!!!

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I made it again in stoneware and did press it down a little, which resulted in smaller holes in the bread, and since I accidentally undercooked it just a little I got more of a sourdough consistency. If I had had pizza sauce on hand I would have turned into a deep dish pizza right then, but instead I covered it in cheese and promptly ate half of it. It’s delicious. (I did, actually, turn this into a true Pizza Crust, and it’s still delicious.)

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