There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread to cozy up your home for the holidays. So what about the scent of hundreds of loaves fresh out of the oven? Delightful. Such is the aroma at French bakery Maison Kayser in New York City, where master baker Yann Ledoux has brought a French holiday favorite to America: chestnut bread. The specialty bread is available only during the month of December, but with just a few ingredients and a bit of patience while the yeast works its magic, you can make the seasonal classic at home.
A good breadbasket is a necessity on any Thanksgiving table. A warm, fluffy roll sops up the last gravy, cranberry sauce and potatoes on a plate better than any utensil ever could, and there’s nothing better for piling on leftovers than a fresh slice — especially when the bread is homemade. This year, fill up your Thanksgiving Breadbasket with cornbread, biscuits, rolls and more from your very own oven.
There’s no denying it, Thanksgiving can be a hectic holiday. If you’re longing for a new homemade recipe to add to your menu, then we’ve got the perfect solution. This year, leave those canned rolls on the store shelves. Yeast Rolls are the ideal authentic side dish that you can prepare intermittently as you’re doing the important prep work for the more-intricate dishes like the turkey. The appeal of this dish goes beyond its minimal degree of attentiveness; while you’re letting the Yeast Rolls do their thing, the nostalgic and delightful aroma of yeast will waft through your kitchen, making everyone feel at home at your Thanksgiving feast.
When I was growing up, my mom always kept a stash of stale bread destined to become breadcrumbs. It’s a thrifty way to make use of leftovers, and also not waste any of your grocery budgets. I always mean to do this, but the truth is I get impatient. To make breadcrumbs, the bread must be rid of all moisture. Depending on the temperature in your house, this could take weeks of waiting. You could speed the process up by baking the bread at a low temperature, essentially dehydrating it. Once I get to the point of turning on the oven, though, I want a bigger payoff.
What starts as a journey for homemade breadcrumbs eventually turns into croutons or crisps, like the recipe for these savory, cracker-like ones below. They’re perfect for topping with some creamy ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey, and they also lend some oomph to a charcuterie platter. If I manage to have any left, I give them a whirl in the food processor for seasoned homemade breadcrumbs, which brings my cooking endeavor full circle.
You’ll have to look to the side to find this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: Herbed Garlic Bread. Whether you serve it along side spaghetti and meatballs, roast chicken or chili, Tyler’s version packs an herb-y punch with fresh basil and parsley. Combine those with butter and garlic and your family will be quite content.
For more comfort food recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Herbed Garlic Bread
Last week we noticed how much Food Network fans loved our monkey bread post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. So to keep this delicious shareable treat trending, we rounded up three more monkey bread recipes for you to snack on, starting with Alton’s Overnight Monkey Bread. Alton makes his buttermilk yeast dough from scratch and slathers it with a buttery brown sugar mixture that’s flecked with rosemary and raisins. Prep this sweet and savory stunner the night before a big holiday brunch and you’ll have a stress-free and satisfying pastry ready in no time the next morning.
Sticky Monkey Bread: Food Network Magazine’s recipe boasts a thick homemade caramel sauce that oozes between each ball of dough. Spiked with dark rum, the caramel sauce forms a crackly outer crust and mingles perfectly with a layer of toasted nuts.
Give your breadsticks a fresh look for spring. Arrange refrigerated breadstick dough on a baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg. Place small, delicate herb leaves like dill, chervil, oregano or parsley on top, then brush with more of the egg and bake as directed.
(Photograph by Sam Kaplan)
How many times have you clicked on the television to see a family grinning over store-bought biscuits coming fresh out of the oven? You can’t blame them; the biscuits are so hot you can pull them apart. The easy method is all well and good, but whipping up a batch from scratch is the most comforting route of all. For once, stray from your classic Southern Biscuits and tear into one of these many variations.
Consider Paula Deen the biscuit master. Her recipes for Cheese Biscuits, Sour Cream Butter Biscuits and Fried Biscuits go along with any hearty meal, and her Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits and Sweet Potato Biscuits are made complete with a sweet edge.
Branch out with Food Network Magazine’s own biscuit concoctions. Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits (pictured above) and Bacon-Cheese Biscuits work wonders along a heaping bowl of chili, while Lemon-Thyme Biscuits and Dill Biscuits With Honey Butter embody the rejuvenating spirit of afternoon tea. The sweetness in Molasses Biscuits jives well with whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and fresh thyme. We bet you’ve never had Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits; they’re sweetened with sugar, spiced with nutmeg and spiked with finely grated cheese.
I bought my first cast-iron skillet in my early twenties. I didn’t have much of a budget for cookware in those days and all the advice I read said that cast iron was the best bang for my buck. All I really knew is that I didn’t want to deal with flimsy, peeling, nonstick pans anymore.
I was initially a little nervous about introducing cast iron into my kitchen, because I’d grown up with a mother who hated cast iron with a passion. She thought it was too heavy, fussy to care for and entirely unsanitary (because you’re not supposed to scrub it with soap. My mother is a firm believer in the power of a good, sudsy scour).
When my parents got married, she actually got rid of my dad’s beloved collection of cast-iron skillets. Forty-two years later, those long-gone skillets continue to be one of the few bones of contention in their marriage.
With this history, it’s understandable that I was uneasy about my own cast-iron purchase. Turns out my anxiety was entirely unwarranted. I fell hard for that first skillet, so much so that I added several others to my kitchen in short order. If my husband tossed out my skillets, I do believe it would be grounds for divorce.
Let’s get the hard part out of the way. This week, I’m suggesting you eat something most people spend the better part of their adult lives trying to eradicate from their lawns: dandelion greens. Not the flowers or stems or the puffy white seeds kids love to blow (thereby complicating your eradication efforts).
Just the long, green leaves that grow toward the base of the plant.
While we know it better as a weed, since prehistory the leaves of this plant have been gathered and consumed around the world.
Americans have been cooking with them for many years. In fact, Fannie Farmer included them in the first edition (1896) of her classic cookbook.
The taste is a bit of a cross between arugula and kale — slightly bitter and robustly peppery. They are about a foot long with a saw-tooth edge.