I am doing a terrible job of using my basil plant to its full capacity. I constantly forget that it’s hanging out on our balcony, growing away for us. But when I remember to us it, it is always awesome. Fresh basil on pizza with some sliced tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella, perfection. Fresh basil in a loaf of bread, awesome. I’ve gotten so much better at making bread, thanks largely to my birthday mixer. I am a terrible kneader, as I am sure my family will attest, so having a mixer that can do so much of the work for me has allowed me to make fluffy, stretchy, beautifully consistant loaves. I am in heaven, as is my husband. So here is my latest loaf, a cheesy, basily loaf that according to Gen is reminiscent of pizza… It makes great bread for a sandwich, oh my it would be heaven for grilled cheese! It is also awesome when sliced open, slathered with some garlic butter and chives and broiled for garlic bread. Make it: moral of the story.
Also, thanks for your patience with my very-brief hiatus. I needed that time.
Mozzarella & Basil Bread
Adapted from here.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, more as needed
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsps milk
- handfull of fresh basil, about 1/4 cup (or 2 tbsp dried basil) *technique time: layer all your leaves of basil together and lightly roll lengthwise. Cut this roll into thin strips, BAM you’ve cut all your basil in one shot.
- 1 egg, beaten for eggwash
- Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a cup, stir lightly and allow to sit for 10 minutes, until creamy.
- In a large bowl combine the creamy yeast mixture with 1 cup of bread flour to form a loose batter.
- Stir in 1 more cup of flour and the salt.
- Add in the third cup of flour with the shredded mozzarella, milk, and roughly chopped basil. Mix in additional flour if needed, until a soft dough forms and pulls away from bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and knead until the dough is thoroughly mixed, but still sticky, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour into the dough as you knead, if necessary. Form the dough into a ball, and place into an oiled bowl, lightly oil the dough to keep it moist. Cover, and allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.
- After it has doubled, punch it down in the bowl, to deflate. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and knead for about 3 minutes. Form into a football, tucking the seam at the bottom. Place on a parchment-lined (or greased) cooking sheet. With a sharp knife, slash the loaf in your desired pattern… nothing elaborate. Cover again and allow to rise for 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Uncover the loaf, brush lightly with your beaten egg.
- Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Allow it to cool for about 25 minutes before slicing. Seriously, try.
Cheese is shredded and basil is plucked!
*Basil ribbons… not precise or even, but delicious!
Crisp crust, fluffy interior with little cheesy pockets. I cut it before it had time to cool, I was just that excited.
My lovely husband brought me lovely flowers. Ooooooh.
I found this recipe a couple years ago and have only made it a handful of times since, which is silly because it is delicious and easy. These ‘fries’ are crunchy and juicy (the mushroom is juicy… this is a good thing) and are the perfect vehicle for the surprize star of the show, the basil aioli. Now, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I make some tasty mayonnaise and it is made even better with the addition of a handful of basil, some garlic, and lemon. Don’t be afraid of making mayonnaise, it’s easy and WAY better than store bought. But, if fooling around with raw eggs isn’t your thing (or if you are vegan), by all means, buy some, just don’t let anything stop you from making these!
Baked Portobello Fries with Basil Aioli
Lightly adapted from this gorgeous blog’s recipe.
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs (other bread crumbs will do, I just had these on hand)
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese or pecarino
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp of oregano
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 4 portobellos
- 3 large eggs, beaten (or to veganize, use dijion mustard and no cheese… or daiya, as suggested to me by my great friend, Lauren!)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray (I was at a friends, we made do with aluminum foil and olive oil, but I don’t recommend that).
- On a plate, mix together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
- In a small to medium bowl, beat the eggs.
- Cut the portobello mushrooms into 1/4″ slices. One by one, dip the portobello slices in the beaten eggs and transfer to the place with the bread crumb mixture, being sure to coat the mushrooms thoroughly. Place the bread crumb covered mushrooms on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, checking on them after 10 and flipping them to ensure thorough baking.
- 1 room-temperature egg
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard (your favourite kind)
- salt and pepper to taste
- your favourite oil (remembering strong-tasting oils like olive oil will make your mayo taste like that flavour)
- 1 tbsp white vinegar (more to taste, depending on your tang levels)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup packed basil leaves
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
- 1 medium garlic clove, pressed
- Pinch of salt
- Mayo-making time! I will do a picture tutorial for this, just not today. In a tall, clean container (a jar works), put your egg yolk and a half of the egg white (discard the rest of the white). Add your mustard and some salt and pepper. Using a hand blender (easiest way by far, but you can also use a whisk or a food processer or a blender) blend the egg a bit. Slowly drizzle in oil. You will see the mayo coming together (emulsifying). Once you’ve reached a consistency and amount that you like (it will grow forever, more oil = more mayo), add the vinegar and mix it together. You may want to add a little bit more oil at this point to thicken it up a bit more, as the vinegar might loosen the mayo. Taste, adjust as needed.
- Now that you have delicious homemade mayo, make it into aioli!
- In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Stir well. Chop the basil well and add into the aioli, at this point you can hand-blend it quickly to make a nice smooth dip, or stir the basil through for big bites of basil flavour.
Ready to be baked!
I was over at Caelin’s for this recipe… so of course there was Jamesons.