We love jalapenos in our house. I have a whole arsenal of recipes that include them- either fresh or jarred- and I make them pretty regularly. Last time I bought jalapenos, I ended up buying one of those giant bulk jars of Vlasic jalapenos (thinking I would save a few dollars) and we've had it for a couple of months. The thing is: the longer they sit there…the hotter they get. And while I've used about 3/4 of the jar, they're almost nuclear. I'll be sticking to small jars from now on.

Yesterday, I made…

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Jalapeno Pretzel Dogs

Remember that Auntie
Anne's Pretzel Recipe
we made the other day? We're gonna make it again 😀

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon
active dry yeast
2
tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
3
cups regular flour
2 cups Warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
to taste coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Also: (optional) 1 cup chopped jalapenos, drained and dried on a paper towel
(not so optional, after all, we are making hot dogs) 2 packs of bun-length hot dogs, your favorite variety, I like all-beef

Directions:

Sprinkle
yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar,
salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and jalapenos and knead dough until smooth and
elastic. If the dough is a bit sticky, add a bit of flour. Let rise at least 1/2 hour. 

prepare the baking soda bath.

Now, stretch your dough into a big, long, fat snake about 2 feet long or so. I then use a pizza cutter to cut off strips the length of the "snake" about the same width  you would use to make pretzels- about 1/3" or so- so you end up with a long, skinny snake. Now take your "snake" and spiral it around your hot dog. Dip it into the baking soda bath and place onto a greased (or foiled cookie sheet). Repeat, leaving about an inch of space between your dogs. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until nice and golden. When they come out, brush them with butter and sprinkle with salt.

Voila! These are also great to make for kids parties (minus the jalapenos)- just wrap them individually in foil and place them in a cooler to keep them warm. Man, that sounds stupid, but you know what I mean.

Today I made…

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The Ugliest Damn Pizza Bread Ever

OK, normally when I make this, it looks like a loaf of French bread and it's party-worthy. Today, it looks like my sous chef made it. I have no clue what happened. I baked it anyway and it's damn good, but it probably shouldn't be seen outside one of those restaurants where you eat in the dark. Opaque, are you hiring?

Basic Pizza Dough

* ½ cup warm water (about 110°)
* 1
envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
* 1 ¼ cups water, at room
temperature
* 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cups (22
oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
* 1 ½ tsp. salt
*
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

1.
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in
the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5
minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the
paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.
Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until
a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the
dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5
minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and
cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2
hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
3. Turn the dough out onto a
lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp
cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30
minutes.
4. Use both halves of the dough or wrap one half tightly in
plastic wrap and place in plastic zipper bag. Freeze for up to 2
months.

Pepperoni Bread

* 4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
* 2-4 oz sliced provolone
cheese
* 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
* Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup chopped jalapenos, drained and
dried on a paper towel

* 1 tbsp butter, melted
* pizza seasoning (I
use Papa Johns)
* 1/2 of the above dough recipe

1. Preheat a
pizza stone in a 500 degrees F oven for 20-30 minutes.
2. Dust a
clean work surface with flour. Roll out dough into a long oblong shape,
about 12-14 inches long and about 8 inches wide.
3. Visually divide
the dough into thirds long-ways. Down the center third of the dough
sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese, place half of the provolone,
sprinkle with jalapeno and Parmesan cheese and layer half of the
pepperoni. Fold one side of the exposed dough over the stuffed center.
Repeat a layer with the remaining cheeses, jalapenos, and pepperoni on
top of the dough half that covered the first layer. Fold the remaining
1/3 of the dough over the stuffed area and wrap it under the log. Wrap
the ends under the log as well.
4. With a sharp knife, make 4- 5
slits on the diagonal into the top of the dough to allow the bread to
vent while it cooks. Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter over the
top of the bread and down the sides. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
5.
When the stone has heated, carefully remove it from the oven and
sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place bread on the cornmealed stone and bake
for 12-14 minutes until nicely browned. Remove the stone from the oven
and allow the bread to cool on the stone for 5 minutes. Cut into
pieces using a pizza cutter.

NOTE: If you don't own a baking stone- a cornmealed cookie sheet baked at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes works just fine!

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