On Recipe Comments and A Simple, No Yeast Bread

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Finished product.

If you’ve looked at many recipes online, you’re probably familiar with what I’m about to describe. I’ll read a recipe, then glance down at the comments to make sure there’s no “this recipe sucks” consensus. Often, there are some really funny comments, though unless they are master trolls I don’t think making me LOL was what the commenters intended. Almost every other comment seems to be of the “this was a good starter recipe, but…” variety. I’m sure some people are just genuinely sharing their preferred version, but whatever their intentions they often come off as “this was a good starter recipe, but you’re an idiot and this is how to make it better.” The best is when the commenter describes the changes he or she made that essentially turn the recipe into a different thing altogether. I swear I’ve seen stuff like “This is a good starter recipe for chicken enchiladas, but instead of chicken I used pork and instead of a tomato-based sauce I used a honey glaze. 2 out of 5 stars.”

(By the way, any musing about recipe comments MUST include a link to this epic comment thread about a rainbow cake. If you’ve never read this, read it. You won’t be disappointed!)

Because I’m a cranky old man apparently, I’ve stopped going to a bakery here in Dali that has okay bread and instead my wife and I have been making our own for the last few months. The problem with Sweet Vanilla, the bakery in question, is that every time you walk in there it’s a different bread shop. One day they’ve got decent rye bread, wheat bread, and white bread; the next day all they’ve got is a couple of stale baguettes. And recently, when I’ve bought loaves and asked staff members to slice them, they come back with a paper sack full of four brick-sized “slices” of bread. The third time I received these bricks I uttered “This place is dead to me” under my breath and I haven’t been back since then.

Too cheap to go to another local bakery, the relatively expensive Bakery 88, I’ve been using this recipe for Exquisite Yeastless Focaccia once or twice a week. Exquisite is a tad ambitious, but it’s very good!

Following is my first ever “This was a good recipe but…” I already hate myself.

Really though, the way I make it is very similar to the linked recipe above. We just thought it was a little salty, which might not even be the recipe’s fault. It’s very possible that in a mindless moment I mistakenly used two teaspoons instead of the one called for in the recipe. I don’t know!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (your preference), divided in half
  • 1 cup (not hot) water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • seasonings to sprinkle on the dough before you throw it in the oven: black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius (425 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease a pan (I use butter, but olive oil or whatever should work).
  2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and half of the parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  3. Gradually add the water to the mixture and use a fork to help it form a dough.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball. It should be sticky, but not too sticky! Coat the dough ball in the olive oil.
  5. Spread and press the dough out on the pan into a half-inch thick rectangular/circular shape.
  6. Sprinkle on your preferred seasonings (mine listed above).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack. Take it out, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, then bake for 5 more minutes.

Great to spread cream cheese or pesto on, or to just eat as is along with a meal. I used this bread and Steve’s Artisanal Reduced Carbon Footprint Pesto to make a sandwich I brought to work last night. Check it out below.

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Spread and pressed onto the pan.
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Finished product.
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Sliced in half it makes a really nice sandwich bread. Last night’s dinner was a pepperoni, pesto, and tomato sandwich
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2 thoughts on “On Recipe Comments and A Simple, No Yeast Bread

    • You’re not wrong. I swing by there once in awhile to pick some up and make bacon, egg and cheese bagels at home. 5 RMB per bagel is not all that bad, and they’re passable bagels.

      Like

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