Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

9.23,16

It’s the second week of my new series, Fresh Fridays, and I am stoked to share this recipe with you. When I was looking into what was in season in September and saw arugula was one of those items, I knew it was time to get savory.  A typical pesto is made with basil, but what if I changed it up and made it with arugula instead? When you look up this green there is one word that is first and foremost: bitter.  Which can obviously be an issue when using it en masse.  So I decided to try and counteract that bitterness in the arugula with some unconventional pesto ingredients.  The result was a very edible, very delicious filling for some braided bread.

I’d been wanting to try my hand at braided bread for some time since it was so pretty, and I’d seen lots of examples online.  Putting pesto in bread is hardly a new idea.  But for me, it was something I had yet to try.  And I thought making arugula pesto was a great idea, if I do say so myself.  So I went for it. This recipe makes two loaves. What I did with the other loaf? Well if you didn’t see on Instagram you’ll have to wait until I post it.

Arugula Pesto Bread
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For the Pesto
  1. 1 bunch (about 5-6 cups) of arugula, roughly chopped
  2. 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  3. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1-3 tbsp honey (to taste)
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. and pinch of sugar
  8. 1-3 tbsp olive oil
For the Bread
  1. 3/4 cup warm water
  2. 2 tsp sugar + 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  3. 1 tbsp instant yeast
  4. 1/2 cup flour + 5 cups flour, divided
  5. 3/4 cup sour cream
  6. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  7. 2 large eggs, beaten (plus 1 extra for egg wash)
  8. 2 tsp salt
  9. 2 tsp vanilla
For the Pesto
  1. In a food processor, add in half the arugula, the walnuts and parmesan, pulse to combine
  2. Add in second half of arugula, salt, sugar, pepper, lemon juice, and half of the honey, pulse to combine
  3. On low, stream in olive oil until a thick spread forms, taste and decide whether more honey is needed
  4. Set pesto aside
For the Bread
  1. In a small bowl mix together warm water, 2 tsp sugar, yeast, and 1/2 cup flour and cover loosely with plastic until 'sponge' rises and forms, it should be bubbling
  2. In the bowl of a stand up mixer, add in sponge, sour cream, butter, 2 eggs, salt, vanilla, and 4 1/2 cups of flour
  3. With the paddle attachment on low, allow to loosely combine, creating a shaggy dough
  4. Switch to a dough hook and on medium speed knead until a smooth dough is formed
  5. Move dough to a medium sized greased bowl, sprinkle flour over the top and loosely cover with plastic wrap until it rises, anywhere from 60-90 minutes (it should double in size)
  6. Once risen, divide in half, set half aside, and roll out other half on lightly floured parchment paper to a rectangle about 10" X 15"
  7. Using a ruler, make impressions lengthwise to divide the rectangle into three sections
  8. Take the ruler and make impressions horizontally about 1/2" apart all the way down the dough
  9. Cut the horizontal marks so strips of dough are on either side of the rectangle
  10. Spread pesto evenly down the center section of the rectangle, keeping the top and bottom 1/2" inch clean, sprinkle a little sugar over top of pesto
  11. Starting on which ever side you'd like, cross one strip over the pesto to the other side, follow with the opposite side, crossing over top the previous strip
  12. Continue down the entire rectangle, giving a braided appearance
  13. (At this point repeat with second loaf with same filling, therefore doubling pesto recipe, or with whatever filling you'd like)
  14. Place both on a baking sheet and cover with a towel for about 30 minutes, they will puff up
  15. Preheat oven to 375
  16. Remove towel and brush loaves with egg wash (beaten egg and some water)
  17. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until tops are golden
  18. Allow to cool before enjoying
Notes
  1. *Describing how to braid this sounds a lot harder than it is. Basically criss cross the strips. There are also a million pictures and videos online on how to do it.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atchArugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atchArugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atchArugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atchArugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

If you have something more sophisticated than kitchen shears please use them. I, however, do not.

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atchArugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

Guesses on the sweet loaf yet? It’s a childhood favorite that will be perfect for a party, like kid finger sandwiches.  Stay tuned for the reveal of loaf number two!!

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

I would definitely keep an eye on the bread starting around 20 minutes.  The original recipe said 25-30 in the oven, but around 22 minutes was good for me.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am that the bitterness baked out of this bad boy. It still tasted like pesto, received rave reviews, and the bread was so soft! The pesto on the inside was like a little surprise. There’s a great earthiness to using walnuts instead of pine nuts.  And while I tasted just the tiniest hint of honey, I think it really complemented the pesto, giving the rich arugula a chance to come through, without its bitterness ruining the spread.

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

I love baking all types of things, but making bread is something that feels a little special.  Maybe because its foundation is rooted so deeply in different cultures, something binding that so many can relate to.  Bread is so simple, and yet it’s probably one of the most intimidating things for most people to make.  If you want to understand my passion for bread I highly recommend watching the “Air” episode of Cooked on Netflix.  The whole series is pretty spectacular, but that specific episode focuses on bread and how air is used to create it, and how important bread is in countries all over the world.  It’s something that is the centerpiece of dinner.  When we should all be sitting around talking, taking time to ask how each others’ day was. Spending quality time with loved ones.  

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atchArugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

I brought this bread to an epic football Sunday hosted by some close friends. There were smoked meats, and homemade mac and cheese, and baked beans, and I was so happy to throw in some bread to the pile. It was a group of around 20 people, so sitting around a table wasn’t really an option.  But we all did find corners in the living room to sit and devour all this great food.  It’s weird, because it’s all centered around football (which I love, don’t get me wrong), but having this huge group of friends all want to gather and spend the day together is something I try not to take for granted.  I don’t talk about it here too much, but I do have a circle of friends that are beyond anything I’d hoped for. And it’s Sundays like those that I look around that crowded living room, every one with great food and a beer in hand, cheering on their team, chatting with their neighbor, that life feels like it’s definitely going to be ok.

Arugula Pesto Bread | Domestic B(i)atch

 

Whoa.  Didn’t expect me to get all deep about bread, did you? Well if nothing else, I encourage you to bake something and bring it to a game night.  Or football Sunday. Or any chance to be around people you care about and don’t worry about Snapchat all night. Just eat some bread, and listen to each other. It’ll be a great time.

 

Ps. Don’t forget to sign up for my baking class on Skillshare here!!

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Easy Vanilla & Lemon Smash Cake | Domestic B(i)atch

9.21.16

There are stages in your life that no one tells you about. You feel like you’re the only one going through it. But when you mention it to others, they all nod in understanding, like three years ago when my husband (then boyfriend) and I attended nine weddings within one year. Nine.  You read that correctly. But when I told friends this, they smirked and were like, “Oh yeah, so this is your year.” We’ve all been through it.  And now the next stage has begun.

All my friends have kids. It’s like one minute we’re drinking all the bourbon in Manhattan, and next, we’re drinking all the bourbon in Manhattan, but we have to take breaks to put the kids down. (My friends are cool and refuse to let their children totally reroute their priorities.) But it is crazy how I turned around and everyone now has children.  I even acquired a nephew last week! 

Even though I am someone who currently, and proudly, chooses to be child-free I do love hanging out with my friends’ kids.  It’s crazy to watch them start to have their own personality, begin to look more like mom or dad, realize my friends are more tired than I’ll ever be. It’s eye-opening. And while at this point in time I’m not very interested in having my own, I have no problem celebrating everyone else’s.  

So when one of my friend’s daughters was turning one (how is she one already?) I wanted to make her a cake. And I do mean her, the one year old.  What better way to practice making simple cakes then on a child?? Sorry Izzy, you were my guinea pig! But it worked! I made a simple, one-layer vanilla cake with lemon buttercream and it was easy, fast, and by no means did I get sad when her hand went in it. I encourage you to use the recipe, and tweak it to your liking.  Add cinnamon to the cake or the frosting! Make the frosting with some strawberry puree! Or make your favorite chocolate cake and use this lemon frosting because it would be divine.

The aftermath of this cake for the most part is undocumented, except for some Instagrammers at the party.  Izzy didn’t smash the cake as much as massage the top of it, which kept her calm at one point.  So I’m officially going to start selling therapy cakes to children and make a million dollars.

Easy Smash Cake
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For the Cake
  1. 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup MINUS 1 3/4 tbsp flour
  3. 1 3/4 tbsp cornstarch
  4. 1/4 tbsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 4 tbsp milk
  10. 2 tbsp sour cream
  11. seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (or one tsp vanilla extract)
For the Frosting
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1-2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  3. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  4. zest from 2 lemons
For the Cake
  1. Line and grease one 6" cake tin and preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside
  3. Whisk together milk and sour cream in a small bowl, set aside
  4. In a stand up mixer cream butter until fluffy, about two minute, the slowly stream in sugar, allow to combine
  5. Add in egg and scrape down sides of bowl
  6. Alternating, add in milk mixture and dry ingredients on low speed, allowing each to mix in before adding the next
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in vanilla seeds, allow to just combine
  8. Pour batter into cake tin
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tester from the center comes out clean
  10. Allow to cool on wire rack while you make the frosting
For the Frosting
  1. Cream room temperature butter until light and fluffy
  2. Add in lemon juice on low speed
  3. Pour in one cup of confectioners sugar to start, then slowly add more to reach desired consistency
  4. Add in lemon zest and allow to evenly distribute through the batter
To assemble
  1. Cut off top of cake for an even surface, then flip it over and use that as your bottom
  2. If desired, spread a quick crumb coat with a thin later of frosting, then chill for ten minutes
  3. Once chilled, frost rest of the cake and decorate as desired
Notes
  1. *Does the flour thing seems weird? Sorry, that's how you make your own cake flour. It's typically for every 1 cup of flour, remove 2 tbsp and replace with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Since these measurements are a little different due to only one layer, it looks weird. But this cake turned out great, so trust me.
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/
 Easy Vanilla & Lemon Smash Cake | Domestic B(i)atch

I used some simple white sprinkles and a glitter “i” to decorate, knowing a one year old wouldn’t really care, but for personal reasons still wanted it to look kinda chic.  Also, if it’s over 90 degrees, try and keep this in AC as much as possible.  My journey to another borough on a painfully hot day made this cake a little melty by the time I reached my destination.  But like I said, a one year old doesn’t care.  But at least it looked nice beforehand!

I also looked into my mixing bowl and got really sad that I had leftover frosting. So I took to the internet and found a recipe to use left over buttercream in cookies! It’s so easy, and I have to say, these cookies are pretty good. They’re not life changing, but they are light and obviously take on the flavor of your buttercream. Good stuff.

I had about 1 cup of leftover frosting, so I doubled the recipe and it came out great!

Leftover Buttercream Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup leftover buttercream frosting
  2. 1 cups flour
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with silicon mat or parchment paper, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Throw all ingredients into the same bowl as your leftover frosting
  3. Mix on low-medium speed to combine
  4. Spoon about 1" globs of batter on baking sheet
  5. Bake for about 11-13 minutes, until just starting to brown
  6. Allow to cool before enjoying
Adapted from The Cupcake Project
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/
 Leftover Buttercream Cookies | Domestic B(i)atchLeftover Buttercream Cookies | Domestic B(i)atch

Whipping up a batch of these while you get ready for whatever party this cake is for takes no time! And then you have two treats instead of one!

Think these things still sound hard? Maybe you should take my Skillshare class and realize how easy baking can be! Sign up here!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies | Domestic B(i)atch

9.19.16

So even though I took a few weeks off from the blog, I hardly stopped baking. Right around the time I went radio silent, I received an email from a website called Skillshare.  They had found my blog and invited me to teach baking online! Skillshare has built there website on what they call ‘bite-sized’ lessons.  This means most lessons are well under 30 minutes. The skills taught on the site range from culinary, to computer programs, to crocheting to learning to find your zen.  It’s a pretty large spectrum, and I was really excited to jump in.  So over the course of two weeks, whenever I had spare time I was taping and editing my lesson, ‘How to Make Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies.’

I am so so happy with the result and am in the midst of recruiting students.  You can enroll in my class here. And while a premium membership is only .99 for three months you will help me out greatly, because the more students I get, the more I’ll be featured on Skillshare’s homepage! And if you’re not interested in the membership at all, you can join for the 99 cents and then cancel after you become my student, you’ll still be counted and help me on my quest! 

Here’s the recipe in case you’d like to print it out.

Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. 1 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  8. 2 tsp vanilla
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
  10. 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt, set aside
  2. In a stand up mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time, allowing each to beat in completely before adding the next
  4. Add all of flour mixture
  5. Turn mixer to low speed and allow dry ingredients to mix in, once just combined, add in chocolate chips, scrape down sides as necessary
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill over night
  7. Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 375
  8. Roll chilled dough into 1 1/2 - 2" balls
  9. Place on lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (11 was perfect for me), take out cookies and let them cool, they may look under baked!! Do not bake them longer!
  10. Once cooled for 5 minutes on baking sheet, move to wire rack to allow to cool completely
Notes
  1. *You can use a cookie scoop if desired, but I feel like just eyeballing it is fine
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/

I was surprised that (through a lot of guidance from my husband) I ended up really enjoying the filming and editing process.  I wrote outlines, storyboarded, and took tons of shots to create what I wanted to be an engaging lesson. Best part? My whole lesson comes to a total of 11 minutes! So you can learn to make great cookies in the time it takes to brew some coffee.  

So head over to Skillshare, and be my student, I’m already thinking of the next lesson I can film.

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