There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Monday, March 1, 2010

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil; Aloo Paratha; and Southwestern Focaccia with Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese (4 of 42)

On this episode of The Dough Also Rises we are baking variations using the 100% Whole Wheat Dough with Olive Oil.  Because this dough will only keep for 7 days I made two separate half batches.  The combination of 100% whole wheat and the olive oil made for a bread that did not rise as much or get as much “oven spring” as most of the AB/HB in 5 breads, at least for me, and yielded a loaf that was more dense and heavy than some of the others.  In my opinion this dough worked better for flatbreads than as a loaf. 
First, I made the Southwestern Focaccia with Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese.  I employed the services of Becca, my Commis, who was home from school for the weekend.

  (Don’t you love her dimple?)

Becca formed the dough.

Who says she doesn’t have skills?

While the dough was resting I browned some frozen corn in a frying pan, to get the “roasted” effect,  it being too brisk here on the North Coast, and I being too wimpy, to fire up the grill.  We made the sauce as directed, but it seems to me that a good salsa of your choice would offer a quick version that would work just as well. 

When  the dough had rested, we put on the toppings. 

When I had made focaccia in the past from doughs in AB in 5 they had a lot of “oven spring” and often domed up a lot in the middle.  I was a little worried about losing my toppings, but as noted above, this dough just did not give me that spring, which in this case was a good thing.
  The loaf ended up like a thick pizza, and was enjoyed by all. 

From the Southwestern Focaccia with Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese, which was kind of a Tex-Mex-Franco-Italian-Fusion thing, the assignment proceeded to the subcontinent for Aloo Paratha, a stuffed Indian bread.  We made ours folded, like a calzone, but one of our members, Aparna, in Goa, India, has offered a post on her My Diverse Kitchen blog discussing the origins of parathas, along with her recipe, and a video demonstrating the traditional method of forming them, in which they are rolled out.  It is well worth the visit. 
Although the recipe calls for making mashed potatoes for the filling, I had some leftover potatoes from Julia Childs’s Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise (scalloped potatoes) which I ran through my potato ricer.
I mixed the spuds with curry powder and peas, rolled out the dough, formed the paratha 

and baked it.

It turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself.

I also made a loaf, but given the type of dough it was pretty heavy, as mentioned above, and not my favorite use for this dough.   So, I made another focaccia, this one without any topping but salt and pepper.

Then, I split it horizontally, and made a panino (note the singular form, Ellen).  I put the cut sides up and down, with the top and bottom  crust to the middle, since the cut sides would brown better.  This was one of the 8 Tips for Making Great Panini from Kathy at Panini Happy.  In her recipe for a Bacon Tuna Melt Panini Kathy gives a shout out to AB in 5!

I filled mine with a tuna salad with home-made sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red and yellow peppers, and fresh mozzarella, and cooked it in my panini press.

Since I had some extra dough, I made some pesto knots, rolling out the dough, spreading pesto (frozen from last Summer’s garden) on it, folding it in half, rolling it again, cutting it into strips and tying them into knots (or twists).  They were quite tasty.  

I still had enough dough for something else, so I made a Chicago-style deep dish pizza, using a cast iron skillet.

I rolled the dough out larger than the skillet, which I oiled well,

and put the crust in, running it  up the sides.

Then, borrowing a trick from Broa in a Cast Iron Skillet, I put the skillet over high heat on the stove while I filled it, to give the crust a head start.  

Then I baked it in the oven at 450 degrees, and 30 minutes later, Voila!


I used the scraps from the crust to make some very good breadsticks, which served admirably to hold us over for the 30 minutes the pizza was baking.

All in all, I think this dough worked best for flatbreads.  But I also  I think that many of the other doughs work as well for flatbreads, and are more versatile.


  1. Hmmmm....I didn't know that panino was singular for panini! Any ways your panino looks wonderful. I'm really considering getting panini maker.

    Aloo Paratha looks great too, wish I'd of added more filling to mine like you did!

    My cast iron frying pan is just like yours and I never thought to make Deep Dish Pizza on the stove top! Great idea!

  2. Love your deep dish pizza. They all look so good.

  3. I have always wanted to make deep dish with this dough. I think now I will give it a try in cast iron. Great idea!

  4. Thanks for the tips about the the web site Panini Happy. I went there and loved it. So many tips....I need a way to eat all the great bread I have been making. Enjoy!

  5. All your breads look just great. I'm beginning to realise that this dough was much better a sa flatbread or where the dough had to be flattened out to take a filling!

  6. You did a phenominal job! I kept thinking you were finally running out of dough...but nope, not quite! Great ideas, especially the pesto knots! I'll have to try that with my frozen pesto!

  7. oh wow...look at all the good stuff! Shoot, I forgot that the dough is only good for 7 days...and here I was hoping to make pizza with what I have left. I love your deep dish pizza.

  8. All of your breads look great! I love how versatile this dough is.

  9. You did so many great things with this dough and have given me so many ideas for ways to use it! I think those pesto knots are going to have to be next on my list!

  10. oh my goodness, you baked up a storm! Love all your ideas. cute little pesto knots.

  11. Everything looks so good! Especially those pesto knots. Nice to have something to pull out of the freezer and bring back summer flavors. I meant to do that with my basil, but didn't get it before the frost did.

  12. That Southwestern Focaccia looks fantastic!!! It's amazing to me how many different things you can make with just one batch of dough. Very Impressive!

  13. I will definitely be using my cast iron to make a deep dish with the last little bit of dough I saved! Thanks!

  14. Wow, you certainly put that dough through its paces! What great ideas and good looking bread. You certainly are working those culinary skills. :)

  15. Great idea to put that skillet on the stove top to start the pizza. I hope i remember to try it will all the ideas everyone is coming up with.

  16. Everything you are making looks just wonderful. I can tell that in addition to making amazing bread you must also be brilliant and handsome(and have 3 fabulous daughters)!!!

  17. WOW Great job...........makes me hungry!!!

  18. You are a prolific bread baker! Everything looks great, and your experiments are inspiring.

    I think we have a similar interest in books. I also just bought Food Rules.

    I look forward to stopping by again!