Dorie’s Cookies “My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies” Recipe Review


A picky comment – the photography in Dorie’s Cookies is not my favourite. But as I continue to bake (and photograph) my own cookies, I’m realizing it is kind of hard to photograph cookies in exciting, unconventional ways. Respect to food stylists!

It is no secret that Cedric is a fan of chocolate chip cookies.

As I have previously explained, in our household, we like to make a batch of cookie dough and freeze individually portioned cookies so that when the need for something sweet hits, we simply have to throw a few cookie pucks in the oven and voila: instant fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies.


Recently, our freezer stash dwindled down to dangerously low supply levels and I decided it was time to make a new batch. Naturally, I knew I had to try a chocolate chip cookie recipe from my new Dorie’s Cookies cookbook – but which one?

I should have known that a cookbook devoted entirely to cookies would contain more than one chocolate chip cookie recipe – it is, after all, a classic. Here were my options:

  • Kerrin’s Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • My Classic Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Two-Bite One-Chip Cookies

I opted for “My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies” – Dorie’s latest remix of her original “My Classic Best Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe.


So what’s different about this recipe? Most chocolate chip cookie recipes vary only very slightly – but even the smallest change in sugar/butter/flour ratio, type of sugar used, cooking temperature, and cooking time can have radical effects. (Yes, chocolate chip cookies can be radical.) This particular recipe features a blend of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour and white and brown sugar for optimal chewiness. It uses baking soda, not baking powder, and it calls for a couple of unconventional spices (for chocolate chip cookies at least): nutmeg and coriander.


I didn’t have any coriander on hand (isn’t coriander cilantro? do I really want that it my cookie?), but Dorie says that we can use our discretion when it comes to including or omitting the spices. I kept the nutmeg but left out the coriander.


This recipe is as quick to make as any chocolate chip recipe is, though it calls for at least an hour in the fridge before baking. I rolled up most of my dough into individual cookies to freeze for later, but I did bake a few so that I could give this recipe the review it deserves.


The recipe says to bake for 9 to 11 minutes. I left mine in for 10, and they looked perfect coming out: pale in the middle (chewiness galore!), brown on the edges. The pictures in the cookbook look a little darker than mine, but after I let mine sit for a few minutes, they were the perfect texture. If I had let them get darker, I think they would have been too crispy for my liking.


Right out of the oven

The greatest challenge with chocolate chip cookies is knowing that they taste even better if you let them sit for a little while and cool fully – but also knowing that there is nothing better than a still-hot cookie with chocolate that oozes. I compromised: I ate my cookie straight out of the oven, and I left two cookies to cool fully for Cedric to sample when he got home.


We both really liked this cookie. I’ll have to try a few more of the freezer ones before I make a final judgment call, and I’m definitely looking forward to trying some of the other chocolate chip cookie recipes in this book (the Kerrin’s recipe includes buckwheat flour and kasha – I don’t even know what kasha is!)

One final note on chocolate chip cookies: some people wonder if there is really such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie. Oh, but there is – and for some reason, cafes and bakeries often serve substandard versions. As a kid, I loved the Tim Horton’s and Subway ones, but now the texture bothers me and so does the crystalized sugar taste. One local cafe (I won’t name names) serve puck-like chocolate chip cookies that are too hard and crumbly; another is disappointingly bland and low on actual chocolate.

So yes, it is possible to botch the chocolate chip cookie. And no, that is not a concern with this recipe – thankfully.


Dorie’s Cookies Chocolate Creme Sandwiches: a.k.a. Homemade Oreos, Baby

My new Dorie’s Cookies cookbook is seriously daunting.


There are so many cookie recipes. I get it – that’s the point. After all, it is a cookbook about cookies. But if you want to make cookies – any cookie, no particular kind specifically – it can get overwhelming.


I decided to try the Chocolate Creme Sandwiches for a friend’s birthday because they seemed pretty easy to make and I thought they would appease most palates – after all, this is Dorie’s approach to the classic Oreo. She describes her sandwiches as “a little less brittle and a little less sweet than the originals, but they’re just as snackable”.

There are two components to this recipe: the cookie and the “creme” (i.e., the delicious cream filling that is arguably the best part of an Oreo).

The cookies require perfectly average ingredients: all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and an egg white. The filling is even easier: butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and salt. You can colour and flavour your filling to your heart’s desire (anyone remember neon Oreos? The best!), but I decided to keep mine original for the first bake.


Making the cookie dough, I got the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I mixed the butter, sugar, and salt without any issues, added the egg white and vanilla as directed, and then introduced the dry ingredients. The whole thing seemed really dry – like I was missing a key liquid ingredient to bind the whole thing together. But after reading Dorie’s thorough cookbook introduction, she has convinced me that all of her directions are just so for a specific reason. I decided to have a little faith. Plus, this line helped me accept that this wasn’t going to look like a traditional cookie dough right away:

“… until you have a dough that holds together and forms clumps when pinched – it shouldn’t come together in a ball.”


I dumped the crumbly contents onto the counter and kneaded the mass, and wouldn’t you know – it came together beautifully! Sorry I ever doubted you, Dorie.


I split the hunk of dough into two and rolled each out between sheets of parchment paper – it felt somewhat wasteful, but it made it wonderfully easy and non-sticky. (I used the parchment dough for the actual baking of the cookies, too.)


The flatted dough rectangles rest in the freezer, then it’s time to stamp out the circles. I have a decent collection of cookie cutters, but oddly enough, I don’t have plain circles, so I used a little heart cookie cutter instead.


The recipe says it makes 22 sandwiches, so 44 cookies total, but I was able to get way more out of my dough. (I re-rolled the scraps into fresh dough while the first two trays were baking).


Pre oven

These cookies are chocolatey, so it’s hard to tell when they’re done. I trusted the cookbook’s guide of 12 to 14 minutes and kept mine in for about 13. The cookies maintained their shape nicely, though a few of them had little bumps of air.


Post oven

After they cooled, they had a satisfyingly crisp texture and tasted almost like a chocolate shortbread.


This is the whole recipe?!?!

In the meantime, I got to work on the cream filling. It came together easily, but it didn’t look like an awful lot of cream. I prefer my Oreos on the double-stuff side of things, so I wasn’t sure how this would fare.


I doled out my cream conservatively among my cookie pairs. In hindsight, I may have been better off only making 22 sandwiches as instructed – this would have meant more stuffing per cookie (but it would also have meant many naked cookies). Since my cookies were heart-shaped, not round, it was a little tricky trying to spread the cream inside the cookie.


It’s hard to describe the finished product. It tasted a lot like an Oreo, but also somehow different – a little more flavourful, maybe? The stuffing tastes more like vanilla icing than Oreo creme, but it works wonderfully with the cookies. They’re sturdy, too – mine survived a little jostling in my backpack before I shared it with the birthday party-goers.


There were a few that I overcooked in the final batch. I skipped the cream and went directly to the milk.

So far, Dorie is 2 for 2. Maybe as I bake a few more cookies, I’ll stop being so overwhelmed at the massive quantity of delicious recipes to choose from.

Bread Illustrated’s Morning Buns: The Best Recipe You’ve Never Heard Of


Even after a year of poring through my Bread Illustrated cookbook, I’m still coming across brand new recipes that, for whatever reason, haven’t caught my eye before.

Case in point: the recipe for morning buns.


What is a morning bun? Before I made it, I had never heard of this tasty little pastry. The opening vignette makes it sounds like a sort of combination cinnamon bun and croissant, and that’s pretty spot on – except it’s even easier to make than either of those recipes.

Morning buns have one bonus flavour that I definitely associate with mornings: orange. The recipe contains a bit of orange juice in the dough and orange zest in the filling, giving it a delicious hint of oranginess.


I mentioned that this recipe is easy to make – in fact, in can be made in a single morning (hey – maybe that’s why it’s called morning buns!) The folks at America’s Test Kitchen have devised a super simple way of cheating your way around a laminated dough, making it infinitely more practical to make than tasty – but notoriously finicky – croissants. Their trick: a solid large Ziploc bag. Put your dry ingredients in the bag (all-purpose flour, a bit of sugar, some yeast, and salt) and add in slices of chilled butter (I sliced mine then put them in the freezer for 5 minutes or so to ensure they were nice and cold). Then, you shake the bag around to coat the butter with the flour mixture, and roll it out a few times to form nice little butter flakes. It’s almost too easy (no such thing!)


The baggie contents are then transferred to a bowl, where the wet ingredients are added: the orange juice, some sour cream, ice water, and a single egg yolk. You’re supposed to mix “until combined”. I was nervous about overmixing, so I used a delicate hand, even though the dough looked pretty loose.


The next stage involves kneading the dough by hand. I was sure mine wasn’t wet enough, but after a bit of manhandling, I was surprised to see it came together relatively quickly (the recipe said 30 seconds – mine was closer to a minute).


Usually, when you’re making a dough, at this stage you have to chill it before rolling it out. You’d probably have to do that if you were baking the morning buns on a hot day, but I followed the recipe and rolled it out right away into a big 20 x 12 inch rectangle. It was easy to roll out and with a bit of flour dusting, I didn’t have any problems with it being overly sticky, nor did bits of it flake off for being too dry.


The large rectangle gets rolled tightly into a log, then flattened into a 12 x 14 inch rectangle. It’s like a mini lamination, I suppose. The log is loosely wrapped with greased saran wrap, then it goes in the freezer for just 15 minutes.


Those 15 minutes can easily be filled by preparing the muffin tins (which have to be lined with paperĀ and sprayed with cooking spray – a first for me) and throwing together the filling. The filling consists of white and brown sugar, a bit (2 tsp) of cinnamon, some orange zest, and a little vanilla.


When the 15 minutes in the freezer are up, the dough gets rolled out into a big rectangle and the mixture gets sprinkled on. The rectangle gets rolled into a log and reshaped, then the ends are chopped of to ensure each bun has a pretty little spiral.


After chopping the log into 12 pieces, each piece is plopped into a cup on the muffin tin – then, for the first time really in this recipe, it’s time for a long-ish wait for 1 to 1.5 hours. It was on the cool side when I cooked these, so I gave it a full 1.5 hours.


The bake starts with a burst of heat – 5 minutes in a 425 degree oven until the buns just start to rise – then it’s down to 325 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes (mine were in for 45 exactly). It’s an agonizingly long time because it doesn’t take long for the kitchen to start to smell really, really good.


Once out, the buns cool for 5 minutes, then you can discard the now-sticky paper liners and let everything cool on a wire rack. Thankfully, there’s none of the “Let cool for 3 hours” nonsense – the directions say “Serve warm,” so I happily obliged.


The morning buns taste like they’re way more complicated than they really are. I think the texture is similar to what my kouign-amanns would have taste like if I hadn’t botched that recipe. The outside is crisp and flaky, and there’s a kind of caramelly crispness to it from the sugar that has oozed through the pastry. They’re not nearly as cinnamon-y as a cinnamon bun, but the taste of cinnamon is there and it goes exquisitely with the orange.

The middle of the bun is kind of softish – not in an undercooked way, more like the middle of a croissant or other pastry.


I feared that Cedric and I would demolish the dozen more quickly than is socially acceptable, so I wrapped half of the batch up in saran wrap, put them in a freezer bag, and hid them away in the freezer. They thawed out very nicely.

I’m still not totally sure what a morning bun is, in terms of it’s exact definition or history, but this I know: I love them.

Bread Illustrated’s Flour Tortillas: You’ve Never Met a Tortilla Like This Before

Here’s what nobody tells you when you decide to become a bread baker:

You will never be able to go back store bought bread.

I mean any kind of bread.


Take tortillas, for instance. I acknowledge that my words ooze of bread snobbery, but I just can’t stomach spending $5 on a pack of bland, dry tortillas, when I know I’ve got all the ingredients needed to make my own delicious, flavourful ones at home.

Except, of course, making bread is time consuming. Mixing, waiting, weighing, rolling, and cooking 12 individual flour tortillas is painfully slow compared to the quick-and-easy route of store bought.

It’s a baker’s curse!


I’ve actually made the flour tortilla recipe from Bread Illustrated many times before, but for some reason, I’ve never posted about it. I decided to document the process during my most recent bake.

The Bread Illustrated recipe calls for simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, salt, water, and vegetable shortening. I use butter instead, and it works perfectly well.

Although they take a bit of time to whip up, the process of making tortillas is actually very easy – you don’t even need a stand mixer.


Using your hands, you rub the butter (or shortening) and flour together, kind of like you do when making pie dough, only there is way less butter so it kind of feels like you’re not doing it right. Everything comes together when you add in water and mix it all together. Even though I measured things out by weight, not volume, I found myself a little short on water, so I added a couple of tablespoons to make a nice lump of dough come together.


Next, you knead the dough for half a minute or so and divide it into 12 equal pieces. I’ve always just roughly eyeballed the pieces but this time, I actually measured them out so that they all weighed the same 2 ounces. You absolutely don’t have to do this (in fact, I suggest skipping it unless you’re a contestant on the Great British Bake Off: Tortilla Week).


The 12 pieces get rolled into little uniform balls, then you cover them with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up the 3 days. I kept mine in for a couple of hours.


The next step is where it gets a little tedious. You roll each ball of dough out between two layers of parchment paper until they become flat little tortillas.



One by one, the tortillas get cooked in a non-stick pan with a bit of vegetable oil – just one minute per side, but multiply that by 12 and you’re standing there for nearly half an hour. I made the most of my time by rolling out each piece while the tortilla before it cooked over the stove top.



If you’ve only ever experienced the store bought tortillas, I promise this will change your life. As with many basic breads (English muffins, dinner rolls, etc.), I have trouble describing just how good these are – the best way I can explain it is that they actually taste like something. They’re good enough to eat alone, especially if you heat them up a bit. We ate ours with Chicken souvlaki and homemade tzatziki – a meal more suited to pitas, but that tasted wonderful with these tortillas.

Bake these at your own risk – once you start, you’ll never be able to go back to the store bought stuff.

Dorie’s Cookies’ Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies

Christmas was very good for me this year. In addition to plenty of quality time with many of my favourite people, I was also lucky enough to land some pretty swell gifts, including a few tantalizing cookbooks. Among them was this one:


Meet Dorie’s Cookies. Yes, a cookbook exclusively about cookies – I LOVE it! In fact, this book contains more than just your traditional cookie: it has brownies, bars, madeleines, and lots of other nice things – but everything is generally cookie-like in nature and, by golly, the recipes looked darned good.

I’ll get back to Dorie and her cookies in a moment – but first, I want to talk about Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter.


I adore Trader Joe’s (please, oh please, let us have TJ’s in Canada one day), and I have often heard about the infamous cookie butter, but I’d never tried it myself. Before Christmas, I did a cross-border run to the Bellingham Trader Joe’s and I picked a jar on a whim to give to my friend, Jessica. I’m not sure why I had the inclination to do so – I’ve never talked about the cookie butter with Jessica, but she shares my affinity for delicious treats and I figured if it was something I wanted, it was something she’d probably like. As I wrapped it with her other gifts, I’m not going to lie: a tiny part of me wanted to keep it for myself.


Golden Retrievers not included.

You can probably guess what happened. Jessica gave me Trader Joe’s cookie butter for Christmas, too. No joke. The weirdest part is that this is not the first time we’ve gotten each other identical Christmas gifts. I am so, so grateful for our friendship and our ability to read each other’s minds.

After finally tasting the cookie butter, I can tell you that the rumours are true: it is absolutely delicious. It’s a sweet, gingery spread the texture of smooth peanut butter but with slightly crunchy morsels, and it is dangerously addicting. I loved it – but aside from eating it out of the jar with a spoon, I wasn’t sure how to use it.

Now back to Dorie’s. As I flipped through the recipes, tackling the impossible task of deciding which to conquer first, I came across this one for Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies. After a bit of research, I discovered that Biscoff is the exact same thing as TJ’s cookie butter. Boom: I had my first recipe.


This is a wonderful, weird recipe that uses all kinds of good stuff: the gingery cookie butter, of course, but also oatmeal, cocoa powder, and chunks of chocolate. I knew I couldn’t go wrong.


One of my favourite sights. (Stained cutting board and all.)

I love cookies because, generally, they are pretty easy to make. (I’m sure that will come back to haunt me as I tackle some of the more complex recipes in this book). This one is no exception: whisk the dry, cream the butter and sugar (and cookie butter), add an egg, add the dry stuff, then add the chopped chocolate.


I should note here my New Year’s resolution for baking: I hereby vow to ditch measuring cups, where possible, and to solely rely on my food scale instead. I know – I should have been doing it this way all along. Now, I will.


This recipe directs you to stash the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours before baking. I read the preamble stuff in this book and my takeaway is this: if Dorie writes out a specific instruction (like pop the dough in the fridge), she does it for a reason – don’t ignore her. Another tip I liked: after preheating the oven, leave it alone for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to get it nice and hot. Since cookies don’t bake for long, the right temperature makes a big difference.


I used an ice cream scoop to produce uniform mounds of dough, then, as directed, I rolled each into a ball and squished it a little flat with the bottom of a jar. The instructions said to space the cookies about an inch apart, which ended up being about right – I had a few that spread to touch, but most kept to their own nicely.


Dorie says to let the cookies cool for 3 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. When I tried at the 3 minute mark, they were still too soft. I let them sit about 10 minutes total before moving them.


These cookies taste not quite like any cookie I’ve ever had before. The oatmeal gives texture, but I wouldn’t call them an oatmeal cookie. The cookie butter is almost undetectable flavour-wise – they don’t taste like the gingery cookie spread, but there is a little something in them that’s different that would be hard to put your finger on if you didn’t know the ingredient list. The cookies are definitely chocolatey – just the right amount.


If you follow the directions exactly, as I did, you’ll end up with an absolutely perfect cookie consistency: firm but soft and chewy, just begging to be paired with a glass of milk. Best of all, my final product looked identical to the picture in the cookbook itself – always a good sign.

Based on my first batch of cookies from Dorie’s Cookies, I have a strong feeling I’m going to have quite a nice time baking my way through this book. More cookies coming your way soon!

Bobbette & Belle’s Fleur de Sel Caramels: From Chaos to Caramel


I had the brilliant idea to make fleur de sel caramels from my Bobbette & Belle cookbook and to give them out at Christmas time.

This, despite my fear of candy thermometers and all things candy making.

I just love caramel, and I knew that deep down, I had what it takes to make delectable, chewy, soft caramels. And it turns out that I did – I made many incredible morsels of caramel that certainly held their own against the fancy schmancy ones that sell for like, $12 for 6 pieces. But the road to tasty caramels was not an easy one.

Here is the truth: this post does not have very many pictures of the actual baking process. There are three reasons why:

  • When I decided to make the recipe, Cedric wasn’t home and I didn’t realize that he had taken the camera – which, to be fair, is his camera – until I was already underway.
  • It was already dark out and the non-natural lighting in my kitchen is super harsh and makes for ugly pictures.
  • Most importantly, the process was so chaotic that even if I’d had the camera and the lighting had been natural and perfect, there’s no chance that I would have had the time (or non-sticky hands) to snap pictures.

So let me tell you the story of the fleur de sel caramels using mostly my words.


While the Bobbette & Belle recipe did ultimately produce some fine caramels, the directions were a little off. Step one is to spray a 10-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and to line it with parchment. Now, I don’t have a 10-inch pan – but I do have two slightly smaller ones, so I prepped them both. Looking back, if you only used a single 10-inch square pan, you would end up with INSANELY thick caramels. Pro tip: use two pans.

The next step appears to be very simple: you mix sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter (all my favourite superfoods) into a saucepan, let it boil, stir constantly, and let the whole thing heat to 248 – not 245, not 250 – degrees Fahrenheit. But here’s where Bobbette & Belle confused me a little: they say to use a medium saucepan.

I put the ingredients into my medium saucepan, but everything already almost came to the top of the pan. I knew that once the mixture was boiling, it would likely overflow – a bigger pot was needed.

I have two other pot options: a big old spaghetti pot and a blue Le Creuset dutch oven. The former was presently in the fridge holding some leftover chili (specifically, the Oh She Glows vegan chili – soooo good), so I transferred the ingredients from the medium saucepan to the blue Le Creuse pot.

I turned on the element, set up a candy thermometer, and grabbed my digital thermometer for back up, then let nature do its thing.

Eventually, the mixture started to bubble – my cue to start “stirring constantly”, as per the instructions. As I mixed, the contents of the pot (as I predicted) started to rise. And rise. And rise.

My thermometer wasn’t remotely close to 248 degrees – yet I was quickly running out of space in my pot. As it approached the lip of the pot, I realized that if I didn’t act VERY soon, the whole thing was going to overflow.

I now had a predicament. The medium saucepan would be too small – I needed the big spaghetti one in the fridge. But in order to use it, I would have to take it out of the fridge, toss the leftover chili, and wash and dry the pot. This would entail taking the currently boiling pot off the heat and taking a break from constant stirring. Surely pausing a recipe midway would not be a good thing.

But what choice did I have? Just as the mixture starting to bubble over (and smoke like crazy), I turned off the now-sticky element, moved the pot, and started the process of preparing the spaghetti pot.

Long story short, I poured about half of the contents of the blue pot into the spaghetti pot, temporarily dismantled the smoke detector, and set both of the pots up on clean elements. I now had to juggle stirring both pots while constantly checking the temperature of each to ensure I caught it at just the right time. The candy thermometer was reading much colder than the digital one, so I kept dipping the digital one in and out of the pots – which caused strings of sticky caramel to streak across my kitchen and my clothes.

The race was on to see which pot would reach 248 degrees first. I sincerely hoped they both wouldn’t hit the temperature at the same time because there was no way I could pour two pots of bubbling caramel into two pans at once. Luckily, the blue pot hit 248 just before the spaghetti pot. I abandoned the spaghetti pot momentarily, stirred in a bit of vanilla and salt into the blue pot, then poured its contents into the first prepared baking tin. I sprinkled some fleur de sel over top, then returned my attention to the spaghetti pot, which was rapidly creeping up on 248.


I took this photo with my phone – you can see hints of the chaos happening in my kitchen.

Once both pans had been filled, my kitchen looked like a total, utter caramel-covered war zone. While the caramel set (it needs to be cooled for 2 to 3 hours), I scrubbed the kitchen back to its original state of cleanliness. At last, it was time to cut the caramel.

The slabs of caramel are transferred from baking pan to cutting board. This is actually pretty easy, as the Bobbette & Belle instructions tell you how to make a parchment cradle of sorts. The knife gets sprayed with a bit of non-stick spray (good caramel hack!), then the chopping begins.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 7.10.59 PM

Another poor quality phone photo – but mmm.

I was relieved to feel my knife glide easily into the caramel – I hadn’t overcooked it, and the fact that it held together solidly meant that I likely hadn’t undercooked it, either. Success!


Then, the tedious part: wrapping the caramels. I cut small squares of wax paper and, one by one, wrapped each individual piece. At first, I tried wrapping them kind of like a present, but then I switched to a salt-water-taffy-esque twisted wrap. This recipe makes about a hundred caramels – that’s a lot of wrapping.

When my weary joints had twisted the last caramel, I placed them into little boxes and stored the boxes in a sealed Ziploc freezer bag. I didn’t freeze them – I just left them at room temperature. The recipe states that they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks and, in my experience, that is spot on.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 8.04.08 PM

I came. I caramelled. I conquered. The caramels were delicious and my recipients savoured each and every sweet-and-salty bite. But man, these were a beast to prepare. If you dare make them yourselves, be warned: you’re going to need a bigger pot.

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Bread Illustrated’s Skillet Pizza

It’s been nearly a year since I first cracked open the pages of the Bread Illustrated cookbook. In that time, I’ve made a few different pizza variations. There was the fluffy, cloud-like thick-crust Sicilian-style pizza. There was a thin-crust flatbread style pizza. There were the calzones, which I ended up baking a second time with a proscuttio/cheese mix that was delicious.


My most recent pizza attempt was for a recipe that seemed to be too easy to be true: skillet pizza. This recipe is in the first chapter of the book, “Starting from scratch” – a.k.a., foolproof recipes that just about anyone can do. As such, I had somewhat low expectations. I didn’t expect it would measure up to the other (very delicious) recipes I’d tried. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised.


The skillet pizza dough is simple to make and doesn’t take much time. There’s no stand mixer required – instead, you pulse together bread flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, and some ice water in a food processor to form the dough. I used a whole wheat bread flour, which made for a delicious crust.


The dough is then kneaded together by hand, then left to rise for a couple of hours. The recipe includes an easy tomato sauce recipe (which I bungled by forgetting to drain the liquid from the canned whole tomatoes – it was salvageable, luckily) and recommends simple toppings: some fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. You could probably add a little more, but this isn’t a super hearty crust and the bake time is pretty quick, so I think going heavy handed on the toppings could easily result in a sad, soggy pizza. I erred on the conservative side and stuck to the recommended toppings, and it was quite tasty.


Cedric was eating a chocolate chip banana muffin and wanted it in the shot…

The uniqueness of this recipe is how the dough is baked. The recipe yields two smallish (11 inch) pizzas. You roll out each piece – the dough rolls very easily, by the way – and put it in an olive oil-coated skillet. You cook it on high on the stove top for 3 minutes (make sure the sauce doesn’t dribble out, or it could get a little burny), then pop it in a hot, 500 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes.


My timing was a little off for the first pizza, and the oven wasn’t entirely done preheating when I popped the pizza in, so I finished it off with a couple of minutes under the broiler before serving it.

Tip: Don’t forget that the handle of the skillet will be BURNING HOT. I very nearly forgot – that would have been disastrous.


We drizzled our pizzas with some Nona Pia’s balsamic reduction (straight outta Whistler) and dug in for an unexpectedly delicious – and very easy – pizza dinner. The pizzas were sort of personal-pan sized. I ate about three quarters of one, while Cedric ate one and the rest of mine.

Bread Illustrated keeps on surprising me – just when I think I’ve baked all the best looking recipes, an unexpected hit emerges. Three cheers for skillet pizza!

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