Blueberry Muffins

These are the famous Jordan Marsh department store muffins.

1/2 cup (8 tablespoon/4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) blueberries, fresh preferred
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar, for topping

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or line the tin with papers, and grease the papers.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition.

Beat in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.

Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter, stirring just to combine and distribute.
Scoop the batter by the heaping 1/4-cupful into the prepared muffin pan; a muffin scoop works well here.

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired. It’s traditional — go for it!

Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Can you use coarse white sparkling sugar instead of granulated sugar on top of the muffins? Sure; but they won’t be “true” Jordan Marsh muffins.

If you use frozen berries, don’t crush any of them. Rinse several times in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels before using; this will help prevent the muffins from baking up blue-green.

Room-temperature butter is easier to work with than ice-cold butter when preparing muffin batter. If possible, remove butter from the fridge an hour or so before starting the recipe.

Peach Streusel Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter melted
2 tablespoons oil preferably pecan or grapeseed
2 large eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced peaches

For the streusel:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line them with muffin cups.

To make the muffin batter, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until creamy, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until well combined and a thick batter is formed. Fold in the peaches.

To make the streusel, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg until well combined. Stir in the butter and pecans until everything well combined.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full with the batter, then evenly top with streusel. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and when a knife inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Serve warm.

Dosas and Uttapams

1 cup urad dal/black lentils (split or whole, with or without skin)
500mL water + 2.5 Liters + additional 500mL for dosas
4 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed powder, freshly ground
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup red onion chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, freshly chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
vegetable oil for cooking (vegetable oil sprays are also pretty useful here)

Clean the lentils to remove any stones that might be present. Rinse under running tap water, place in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day drain the water and grind the lentils with the 500mL of water to a smooth paste with a blender. There should be no clumps in the batter. Transfer to a bowl and cover and let it sit for at least 12 hours or at this point you can either refrigerate the lentil mixture and use it within 2-3 days.

The next day transfer the lentil mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, fenugreek powder, salt and yeast. Add the half of the 2.5 Liters of water to batter and stir to form a smooth batter. Transfer the batter to a large container or stockpot (one with deep bottom will be useful when the fermentation causes the batter to rise and prevent it from overflowing. Allow the batter to sit covered (not airtight) for at least 6 hours before using. The batter will ferment and rise.

On the day of cooking, mix the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chili, cumin and salt in a medium bowl and keep aside. (This will be used to top the uttapams)

To prepare Uttapams: Heat a large non-stick pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high. Pour and spread a teaspoon of oil on the surface of the pan. The batter will be thick resembling the consistency of a pancake batter. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter in the center and allow it to spread by itself into an 8 inch circle. Sprinkle about two generous tablespoons of the mixed tomato-onion mixture over the top of the uttapam and then drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil. Cook until the edges get golden brown and they start to come off from the sides. Using a silicone spatula, release the uttapam from the sides, and flip to cook on the other side for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes. Prepare the rest similarly. Serve hot.

To prepare Dosas: Add 500mL of water to the batter and stir. The consistency should be thinner like that of a crêpe batter. Heat a large non-stick pan or cast iron skillet on medium-low. Pour and spread a teaspoon of oil on the surface of the pan. Using a ladle pour about 1/2 cup batter in the center of the oiled pan and spread the batter with a circular motion using the ladle starting from the center moving outwards to form a large thin crêpe (don’t use too much pressure or it will tear the dosa as it begins to cook). Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon oil over the dosa. Cook until the dosa begins to turn golden brown and begins to leave the sides of the pan. Using a silicone spatula, release the uttapam from the sides, and flip to cook on the other side for about 3 minutes. Prepare the rest similarly. Serve hot.

Aloo Paratha

For the dough:
Atta or whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Warm water – as needed
For the filling,
Potatoes – 2, medium-large
Oil – 2 tsp
Onions – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Aamchur powder or lime juice – 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
For making and serving aloo parathas,
Ghee or oil – to cook parathas
Butter
Thick yogurt
Red onions, sliced
Ketchup or other sauces

Take atta in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and oil and mix with your fingers. Add warm water, a little at a time, and knead till the dough comes together. The dough must be soft and supple, so add as much water as needed. Knead dough for a few minutes till smooth. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Boil, peel and smoothly mash the potatoes. Set this aside in a bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add onions and saute till translucent. Add turmeric, cumin and garam masala powders.

Add the mashed potatoes and mix well. Season with salt. Add aamchur powder or lime juice for tanginess. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and give it a final mix.

Allow the potato mixture to cool down before filling the parathas. The mixture should be smooth and fairly dry as well.
Divide both dough and potato mixture into 8 balls.

Flour your work surface lightly. Roll a dough ball into a 3″ circle. Place a portion of potato filling in the middle and gather and pinch the dough at the sides to make a sort of pouch.

Roll this stuffed dough pouch carefully and evenly till fairly thin. Sprinkle a bit of flour if you find it too hard to roll.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle till almost smoking hot. Rub a bit of oil or ghee on the griddle and place the rolled paratha on top. Cook on medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add a few drops of oil or ghee on top of the paratha and flip. Cook the other side for a minute or so. Both sides must be fully cooked with some browning. Press down with your spatula at the sides to help with the cooking.

Once done, remove aloo paratha to a bread basket or casserole dish to keep warm.

Repeat till you make all the parathas. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to simultaneously roll and cook the parathas!

Serve parathas warm with a generous dollop of butter on top. Serve along with thick yogurt, achar, or sliced red onions!

If not serving immediately, store parathas in a covered container with a clean kitchen towel so that they do not sweat and become soggy.

Parathas can be refrigerated for a day and re-heated on a hot griddle or in the microwave.

NOTES:
1. Atta is a kind of fine-milled whole wheat flour used to make Indian flatbreads like chapatis, rotis and parathas. Easily found in Indian or specialty grocery stores.

Rava Idli

Oil or ghee – 2 tsp
Cashew nuts – 4-5, broken
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Rava/sooji/semolina – 1 1/2 cups
Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely grated or chopped
Green chili – 1, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 6-8, cut into thin ribbons
Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, shredded (optional)
Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Water – as needed
Salt – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1/4 tsp

Heat oil (or ghee) in a large skillet. Fry the cashews, drain and keep aside.

Then add the mustard seeds and urad dal. Fry till the seeds crackle and the urad dal turns light golden.

Then add the rava/semolina and roast for a couple of minutes on medium heat, stirring all the while.

Remove this mixture to a large mixing bowl and cool slightly. Then add the fried cashews, ginger, green chili, curry leaves, cilantro and carrots. Sir to combine and add yogurt. Mix well till it the mixture is uniformly moistened. Add a little water to make a smooth, but thick batter. The batter should be thicker than a regular pancake or dosa batter. Cover the bowl and rest for half an hour.

After half an hour, add salt and baking soda to the batter and mix well. Adjust with a bit of water if batter seems to have thickened further.

Meanwhile, heat water in a steamer vessel. Grease and set aside the idli plates.

Pour batter in the idli plates and steam in the steamer vessel for 8-10 minutes or till idlis are cooked (check with a toothpick to see if it comes clean).

Remove from steamer, rest for 5 minutes and remove the idlis from the idli plates using a spoon.

Serve idlis immediately with hot sambar and spicy chutney powder. Store leftovers in a hot-pot or casserole. These can be re-heated in the microwave or lightly steamed again.

Idli, Dosa, and Uttapam Batter

For the batter,
Idli rice – 2 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Cooked rice or rice flakes (called aval/poha) – 1/2 cup (do not use both)
Salt – 2 tsp (or to taste)
Water – as needed

For idlis,
Batter – as required
Oil – for lightly greasing the molds

For dosas,
Batter – as required
Ghee or oil – as required

Batter: Wash the rice, dal and fenugreek seeds in cool water a few times. Soak them in a generous amount of water in a large bowl for at least 4-6 hours. If you are unable to grind the batter that day, you can refrigerate the rice and dal and use the next day.

When you are ready to grind the batter, wash and soak the aval/poha in water for 5 minutes, just enough to soften it. Skip this step if you are using cooked rice. You only need either of these ingredients, not both.

Fill the blender only half-full with the drained rice and dal. Add water to just come up to the level of rice and dal; do not add a lot of water. Grind to a smooth consistency (a fine sand-line gritty texture is also fine). Do this in batches if needed.

Pour the batter into a large container. Make sure to fill the container only halfway, to allow room for the batter to rise during fermentation.

Mix the batter well with your clean, bare hands. Cover the container lightly and rest in a warm place (on the countertop or in a toasty oven) overnight.

Once the batter is risen (it will also smell fermented), add salt and mix gently to combine.

Make idlis and dosas with this batter. Refrigerate the batter if not using immediately to prevent further fermentation and souring of the batter.

Idlis: Fill the steamer vessel with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lightly grease the idli molds with a few drops of oil. Pour the batter to fill the molds. Slightly under-fill the molds so that the idlis have room to rise.

Place the molds in the steamer vessel, cover with the lid, and cook for 8-9 minutes. You can check if the idlis are done with a toothpick (it should come clean). If you overcook, the idlis can become dense and hard.

Remove the hot idli molds from the vessel, let cool for a few minutes, then gently remove the idlis with the help of a spoon. It should come away easily since you greased the molds.

Dosas: Place the well-seasoned dosa pan on medium heat.

Sprinkle a few drops of water, if it sizzles, the pan is ready. Add a few drops of sesame oil to the pan and gently wipe with a wad of paper towel.

Pour a ladle-full (around ¼ cup) of batter in the center of the dosa pan. Starting at the center, quickly make concentric circles of increasing diameter with the rounded cup of the ladle. This will form the dosa shape. Pour a few drops of ghee or oil on the dosa and around the edges. Cook for a couple of minutes till the bottom is golden brown, then flip with a wide spatula and cook the other side for a few seconds. If you have spread the batter thin enough, you may not even need to flip the dosa. Remove the dosa to a plate and serve immediately or keep it warm while you finish making more dosas.

Serve idlis and dosas hot along with sambar, coconut chutney, tomato chutney, chutney podi, etc.

Uthappam: Use the regular dosa batter to make thick, pancake-like dosas. Top the dosa with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, cilantro and pinch of red chili powder before turning it over and cooking the other side. You can also add grated carrots and other vegetables like fresh peas. This is a great option for using up leftover dosa batter that has become too sour.

NOTES:
1. If the blender motor becomes hot while grinding, turn it off and wait for some time before starting it again.

2. If your dosa pan becomes too hot, use a lightly moistened towel to wipe the surface.Then add a few drops of oil, wipe with a paper towel, and make the rest of the dosas.

3. Dosas can also be made like a thick pancake without spreading the batter thinly. In this case, you will definitely need to flip and cook the other side too. Such thick dosas are called spot dosas or set dosas.

4. Leftover idlis can be stored in the fridge overnight. Re-heat them gently in the microwave or in a steamer vessel. Dosas on the other hand, are best served fresh.

Gobi Paratha

Dough
2 1/2 cups chapati flour (or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee, melted (or oil)
2/3 cups warm water

Cauliflower filling
2 cups shredded cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ginger, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Dough
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Drizzle in melted ghee and rub with fingertips until mixture has consistency of course breadcrumbs. Add the warm water, bit by bit, to form a dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Place dough into a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Dough should rest here for at least 15 minutes.

Filling
Mix grated cauliflower and salt in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as you can and put handfuls into another bowl. (This is important to do because dough will not cook properly if there is too much moisture from cauliflower.) Mix strained cauliflower with rest of filling ingredients.

Assembly
Divide dough into 10 even pieces and roll into balls. Flatten a ball and dip into dusting flour. Roll out to 3 inch diameter. Place one tablespoon of filling in the center. Wrap the edges up and pinch closed at top like a dumpling. Make sure the top is sealed and smooth out the crease. Repeat for all ten dough pieces.

Turn on skillet to medium heat.

Sprinkle your rolling surface and the top of the filled dough ball with some flour and roll out to 6 inch diameter. Make sure to roll out with sealed side on top.

When the skillet is hot (you can check with a drop of water – when it sizzles the skillet is hot), place a paratha on it. When bubbles start to form, turn the paratha over. Cook for 10 seconds and spread 1 teaspoon of ghee or oil over the top surface of the paratha. Flip over and spread a bit of ghee or oil over the top of this side of the paratha. Press the puffed areas with a spatula lightly. Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the dough is cooked and the paratha is golden-brown with spots on both sides.

Chapati

Chapati
Ingredients (makes 6 rotis)
1 cup of flour
~1/2 cup lukewarm water
extra flour for rolling
Method
Sift the flour into a bowl and slowly add water while kneading until you get to a dough that is soft, smooth and pliable. The longer you knead the dough the better but 5 minutes of heavy kneading will do.

Take the dough ball and cover with a damp cloth for a minimum of 30 minutes (you can also make the dough and put in your fridge for making another day).

Divide the dough into 6 dough balls or loee and roll them in flour.

Flatten each each dough ball with your palm and roll out to a 6 inch diameter, using extra flour so it does not stick.

Heat an iron skillet on medium heat. When it is hot (water drops should sizzle immediately), place roti on.

Let it cook and when you start to see bubbles form in many places, flip it over and cook until the other side does the same.

Over a medium flame, with flat tongs or chimta place the roti until it blows up or browns on both sides. (If you are cooking on an electric stove, you can press the roti in different places with a cloth to make it blow up a bit right on the skillet)

With the tongs, hit the roti against a surface to shake off any excess flour.

Butter one side with ghee and place in an airtight container lined with paper towel.

Dosas

1 cup urad dal (black matpe beans; see headnote)
2 cups raw basmati rice (see headnote)
1 tablespoon methi seed (fenugreek; see headnote)
Water
1 teaspoon salt
Flour (optional)
Vegetable or coconut oil (liquefied)

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the urad dal and rice separately in a fine-mesh strainer to clean and remove any excess starch. Place the rice in one bowl and cover with water. Combine the urad dal and methi seed in a separate bowl and cover with water. Soak each for 6 hours.

Drain, reserving the soaking liquid from the dal.

Combine the dal and a little of the reserved soaking liquid in a high-powered blender; puree until very smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Clean out the blender, then add the rice and some of the reserved soaking liquid; puree until no individual grains or pieces are apparent.

Pour the pureed rice into the pureed dal, stirring until well incorporated. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter or slightly thinner. Season with the salt. Cover the bowl with a plate or loose-fitting lid. Let the batter sit at room temperature to ferment for about 8 hours. It will increase in volume and should smell slightly sour when ready. (In warm weather, keep the batter away from sunlight; in cool weather, place the batter in an oven or microwave (turned off) to ferment away from drafts.)

Refrigerate the fully fermented batter if you’re not going to make dosas right away. Otherwise, heat a griddle or 12-inch nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter onto the griddle or pan, and very quickly use the bottom of a ladle or bowl to spread it, in one rapid, clockwise motion, into a thin round that’s 6 or 7 inches across. (If the batter seems too thick, add water to the mixture in the bowl in small increments; if it is too thin, flour can be added to thicken it.)

Use a spoon to sprinkle a small amount of oil on the edges of each dosa for crispness and to ease removal from the cooking surface. When the dosa’s underside is a golden brown, gently roll so that one end is a little wider (a slightly loose cone shape), or fold in half. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining dosa batter.

Source: Adapted from Ananda Poojary, owner of Woodlands in Langley Park.

Baked Lemon French Toast

6-10 slices day-old bread (challah, miche, white etc.)
6 large eggs lightly beaten
2 cups half & half (10%) cream
1 cup milk (whole (3%) milk, if possible)
1 Tbsp vanilla
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup brown sugar
To serve:
Fresh blueberries, blackberries or raspberries, for topping
Icing/confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Mint leaves for garnish
Maple syrup for drizzling

Grease your baking dish with butter. Lay your bread slices in the dish in a single layer, slightly over-lapping, but ensuring that the layer is as flat to the bottom of the pan as possible.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, milk, vanilla, lemon zest and brown sugar. *Note: You may not need to use all of the soaking liquid. A lot will depend on the thickness and type of bread you are using.

Pour mixture over bread slices only until the bread is almost all covered, with only the top edges of the bread slices exposed. Use a fork to gently move the slices so that the soaking liquid seeps between the slices, as well.

Allow to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, pressing down with a fork and adding a bit more of the soaking liquid if necessary, once some has been absorbed by the bread before putting in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until set and lightly golden. *If necessary, loosely cover with aluminum foil for the last part of baking if top seems golden enough before the bake is set.

Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and scatter fresh fruit over top. Serve with maple syrup, for drizzling.

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

4 egg whites and 2 egg yolks from 4 large eggs, separated and chilled
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cake flour
1/4 cup milk, chilled
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Unsalted butter, for greasing and serving
Maple syrup, for serving
Confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and fresh berries, for serving (optional)

Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl; set aside. Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, the vanilla and baking powder to egg yolks and whisk until blended. Add flour and milk; whisk until fully combined.

Add lemon juice and salt to egg whites. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip mixture on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Continue to whip over medium while gradually sprinkling with remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Turn speed to high and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture doubles in size, about 1 minute. Take care not to overbeat meringue.

Heat a lidded nonstick skillet over the lowest heat setting and set the lid aside.

Using a rubber spatula, scoop about 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture and gently fold almost combined. Repeat with half the remaining meringue until almost combined, then fold in the remaining meringue just until no streaks remain.

Carefully grease the warm skillet and the inside of four 3-inch-wide pastry rings (they should be at least 1 1/2 inches tall) using the butter. Check the heat of the pan by sprinkling a bit of water in it: Droplets should steam off the surface, but not dance or sputter. Place the greased pastry rings in the warm pan and ladle a scant 1/2 cup batter into each ring. Place lid on top of skillet and cook pancakes on very low heat until they start to rise and a few small bubbles start to form on top, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove lid, carefully slide a flat spatula underneath each pancake and position another spatula on top, then gently flip pancakes in their rings. Immediately replace lid and cook until pancakes are cooked through and spring back to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a platter, grease the skillet and pastry rings and repeat to make 4 additional pancakes.

Top pancakes with a pat of butter and drizzle with maple syrup; serve immediately. Serve with any combination of confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and berries, if desired.

Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

3 large egg
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (more or less to taste)
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups pitted sweet cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds, well-toasted
Powdered sugar
Lemon wedges

Heat oven to 425°F.

Whisk egg, sugar, flour, milk, extract and salt together until the batter is blended but lumpy; you can also do this in a blender.

In a 12-inch ovenproof frying pan, melt butter.

Add cherries and cook until warmed, about 2 minutes.

Pour in batter and transfer to heated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and rumpled-looking. (Err on the side of more cooking time with these pancakes, because the longer, within a range, they cook, the more rumpled and golden they get.)

Remove pancake from oven and quickly scatter with toasted almonds, dust with powdered sugar and squeeze lemon juice over. Serve in wedges, piping hot.

Chocolate Dutch Baby

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
6 tablespoons (50 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, any variety, sifted if lumpy
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk (I use whole)
4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
Shaved dark chocolate and powdered sugar (to finish)
Fresh berries and syrup (to serve, if desired)

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk eggs, sugar and salt in the bottom of a medium bowl. Add flour and cocoa, whisking until mostly smooth (some tiny lumps are okay, but whisk out what you can). Drizzle in milk, whisking the whole time.

Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove over high heat. Add butter and melt, tipping the pan around so it butters the sides too. Turn heat off and scrape batter into pan. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until pancake is billowy.

Remove from oven and grate chocolate over, to taste. Dust generously with powdered sugar. Cut in halves or quarters and eat with berries and syrup, if desired.

Extra Billowy Dutch Baby (Sweet or Savory)

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (ideally whole milk but most varieties will work)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

If savory: Freshly ground black pepper, wilted spinach or sauteed greens, bacon or ham cheese, herbs or comte, herbs (shown here with ham, gruyere, and chives)

If sweet: Powdered sugar, lemon juice, syrup, fresh berries, shaved chocolate or chocolate sauce
1 tablespoon sugar both optional)

English Muffins

1 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk, warmed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided, plus more
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Cornmeal (for dusting)

Whisk yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add buttermilk, butter, oil, salt, and 3½ cups flour and beat on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Increase speed to medium and beat until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but is very wet and sticky, about 5 minutes.

Spray a medium bowl with nonstick spray, transfer dough to greased bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill overnight (the cold rise makes the dough easier to handle, produces better flavor, and creates more nooks and crannies).

Dust 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets generously with cornmeal (you want to cover all the parchment). Spray a clean work surface with nonstick spray, turn out dough, then spray dough. Using a bench scraper, divide dough into 12 equal pieces (they should be about 3 oz. each). Working with 1 piece at a time and using bench scraper, fold dough inward onto itself on 4 sides. Turn dough over with bench scraper so that folds are underneath and transfer to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing evenly on sheets.

Sprinkle each piece with cornmeal. Spray plastic wrap with nonstick spray and loosely cover baking sheets, oiled side down. Let sit at room temperature until dough is nearly doubled in size, 60–70 minutes.

Heat a large skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron, over low. Place another rimmed baking sheet in the center of oven and preheat to 350°. Working in 2–3 batches and keeping remaining dough covered, slide 2 thin metal spatulas from opposite sides underneath dough, also getting underneath cornmeal to avoid sticking or deflating dough, and transfer to skillet (do not overcrowd). Cook until bottoms are dark golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is dark golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Using spatula, transfer muffins to preheated sheet in oven and bake until cooked through and sides are dry to the touch but still spring back, 5–10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let muffins cool at least 30 minutes before splitting with a fork and serving.

Do Ahead: English muffins can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool and store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature. Toast lightly before serving.

Classic French Toast

6 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
6 3/4 inch-thick slices challah, brioche, or Pullman loaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Pure maple syrup, jam, or powdered sugar (for serving)

Preheat oven to 250°. Lightly beat eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a large shallow baking dish (a lasagna pan is perfect). Add bread, turn to coat, then press down gently on bread until you feel it start to soak up custard mixture—this is key for a luscious, not dry, texture. Let soak, 10 minutes.

Flip bread and soak on second side, pressing down gently from time to time, until bread is saturated but not soggy, another 10 minutes or so.

Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, carefully lift 3 slices of bread from custard, letting excess drip back into dish, and cook in skillet until golden brown and center of toast springs back when pressed, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer toast to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you cook remaining slices of bread with 1 Tbsp. butter and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

Serve French toast with butter, maple syrup, jam, and/or powdered sugar.

From Bon Appetit.

Cheddar Beer Bread Rolls

6 cups/815 grams bread flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
4 tablespoons/55 grams unsalted butter (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted), plus more for the bowl and pan
1/4 cup/60 milliliters honey
2 cups/480 milliliters beer, such as pale ale
1 3/4 cup/200 grams shredded sharp cheddar, preferably white

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine bread flour, yeast, salt, 2 tablespoons softened butter, honey and beer. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes. The dough should come together around the dough hook.

Increase speed to medium and continue to mix for 2 minutes more, occasionally stopping to scrape the dough from the hook. Add 1 cup/115 grams of the Cheddar cheese and mix until incorporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until nearly double in size, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 even pieces. Gently round each piece of dough into a ball, and place into the prepared pan. (The rolls may not touch now, but they will fill in the gaps when they rise and bake.)

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until they look visibly puffy. Toward the end of rise time, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the rolls with 2 tablespoons melted butter, and top each roll with 1 tablespoon of the remaining white Cheddar, being careful to keep the cheese away from the edges of the pan.

Bake the rolls until golden brown, and the cheese on top is melted and browned (the rolls should have an internal temperature of 190 degrees), 17 to 22 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving

Ham and Cheese Scones

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup diced ham, bacob, or pancetta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Add cold butter, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in buttermilk, cheese, ham and chives until a soft dough forms.

Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pill, roll the dough into an 8? circle, about 1-inch thick, and cut into 8 wedges.

Place scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and lightly browned.

Serve immediately.

Hush Puppies

2 cups cornmeal
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup grated onion
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 large egg yolk
1 cup buttermilk
6 large egg whites
Canola oil, for frying

In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Stir in onions.

Combine egg yolk and buttermilk; stir into cornmeal mixture until combined.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff.

Gently fold into cornmeal mixture.

Fill a large deep skillet with 2 to 3 inches oil. Heat oil until it reaches 375* on a deep-fry thermometer.

Working in batches, drop batter 1 t at a time into the oil and cook, turning once until the hush puppies rise to the surface and are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Serve immediately.

Basic Cornbread

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 cups buttermilk

Mix it all together until smooth. Pour into a black iron skillet that has been greased with butter or bacon fat. Bake in a 425-degree oven until top is brown and firm.

A little more elaborate (from Simply Recipes):

1 tablespoon bacon drippings
2 cups cornmeal OR 1 1/2 cups cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 large egg (optional)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat pan with bacon drippings: Put the bacon drippings in a 9 or 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet and put the skillet into the oven. Then preheat the oven to 400°F with the skillet inside. (If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use an uncovered Dutch oven or a metal cake pan.)

Make the batter: Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, baking soda, salt, sugar if using) in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg (if using) and buttermilk until combined, then mix that into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter.

Pour batter into hot skillet and bake: When the oven is hot, take out the skillet (carefully, as the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread batter and make sure it is evenly distributed in the skillet.

Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

4 Rest bread in skillet, then serve: Let the bread rest for 10 to 30 minutes in the skillet before cutting it into wedges and serving.

To store, let the cornbread cool, then remove from pan and wrap in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temp for 2 to 3 days