Steak & Ale Pie

Pastries, Savory, Pie | September 22, 2018 | By

Hey guys! It’s been a while since we’ve gone to the savory side of things on here, so I think it’s about time.

I’ve been watching the newest season of The Great British Bake Show, and first of all, if you aren’t watching this, get on it. It’s like a breath of fresh air compared to American food competition shows. Everyone is super nice to each other and the whole thing feels way more wholesome.

Steak Pie 2

And anyways, every time I watch a season of this show, when it comes to pastry week, those savory pies give me a craving. On Sunday morning a while back, I was watching the latest season, and the bakers where making savory pies that were KILLING ME. I had to have one.

Steak Pie 1

Also, side note, why don’t Americans eat more savory pies? I don’t know why it’s not a thing here, outside of chicken pot pie that is, because savory pies are so flippin good. It’s like full on comfort food. Flakey pie crust, gravy, potatoes, meat? It’s the perfect meal.

Steak Pie 6

So anyways, onto this pie. Because there’s a lot of steps here (and I have a baby to tend to), I’m using a couple of shortcuts here. The first is store-bought pie crust. I know, I know, I’m a baker, and listen, it’s not that I CAN’T make a pie crust. It’s that I don’t always have the time, and you probably don’t either. Anyways, I also bought pre-sliced mushrooms for this, huge help because honestly chopping takes time.

Steak Pie 3

I baked mine in a braiser-style dutch oven. If you don’t have one of those, you can also bake it in a regular standard 6-7 quart dutch oven, or similar oven-safe pot. Or if you have a deep dish square-ish casserole dish, that would probably work as well.

Steak Pie 4

As for the steak, I used short ribs. They were at a good price at my store. Now, I’m gonna be honest, I’m not great at cooking red meat, so I don’t have a ton to go on here, but the short ribs worked really well for me. I hear that any type of stew meat would work well here.

Steak Pie 5

So anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this one, it’s one of my favs lately!

Steak & Ale Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into half-moon slices
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds steak meat of your choice, I used short ribs
  • 2 pie crusts, prepared and rolled out
  • 8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms (or white mushrooms)
  • 1/2 can light beer, I used a pilsner
  • 1 tbs. tomato paste
  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 2 large yellow potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tsp. ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 3 tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 tbs. water
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper to taste for the top of the pie
  • Salt, pepper, & garlic powder as needed, see recipe instructions

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the sliced onions, olive oil, sugar, 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of pepper over medium-high heat until the onions are caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves, and place them into a medium bowl. After the onions are caramelized, scoop them into the bowl with the garlic. Set aside. 

  2. Place your saucepan back on the stove, and return to medium-high heat. Cut the steak into bite-size cubes, and toss with the 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and 2 tsp. garlic powder. Brown in your saucepan until the edges have reached a deep brown, and the meat is cooked through. Remove the steak from the pan, and place into a small bowl, set aside. 

  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking dish with the bottom pie crust, and prick with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, until it's reached a light golden brown. Set aside. 

  4. Back on medium-high heat, add the sliced mushrooms, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and beer into your pot. Cook until the beer has reduced significantly, and then add the onions and garlic back into the pan. Stir in the tomato paste, and then the beef stock. 

  5. Add the cubed potatoes, 1 tbs. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, rosemary, thyme, and 1 tbs. garlic powder, and boil for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes have cooked through. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until combined. Pour into the boiling stew, and stir constantly until it becomes very thick. Stir in the cooked steak. 

  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared bottom crust in your baking dish. Place the top crust over the top, and slice vent holes. Beat the egg, and brush over the top of the crust. Sprinkle with salt and pepper lightly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown. Serve hot. 

Steak & Ale Pie

Classic Vanilla Scones

Hey everyone!

We’re all having a super pleasant Wednesday today, right? Let’s make it even better.

Today I’m sharing another simple, classic recipe with you guys- this time we’re on scones. This is a really easy base recipe for scones, and I’m throwing in vanilla for flavor.

Vanilla Scones 4

As per usual, you can do a lot with this recipe. I’ve made it in several variations, and you can find some of those recipes here! You can flavor it with anything you’d like- one version I’ve yet to try is espresso with a maple glaze, I mean can you imagine?

So, we’re starting with your dry ingredients for this one- the process is really similar to biscuit making. You stir up flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, and then you cut in some very cold butter until the mixture is crumbly. Then, you’re adding in your wet ingredients- in this case it’s sour cream, cream, a dash of vinegar, an egg, and vanilla extract. Here’s about what it will look like:

Vanilla Scones 1

Then, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead in a little more flour as needed to make things less sticky, but don’t over-work it! Pat it into a circle that is about 1/2 inch-3/4 inch thick, and slice it up!

Vanilla Scones 2 Vanilla Scones 3

I like to brush the tops with a little extra cream and then sprinkle coarse sugar over the top for that perfect little crunch in the end. The sour cream makes these moist and tender, and really the perfect pastry to go with your morning coffee.

Vanilla Scones 6

The best part? You don’t need any special tools, and you can make the whole batch in just a few minutes. In fact, I suggest you DO make it in just a couple minutes so you can keep things cold before they hit the oven.

Vanilla Scones 5

Seriously though, basic scones are a delight. Now, I’ve never been to the UK, and I hear that their scones are incredible compared to those here in America, but these are pretty good if you ask me. Hope you enjoy and experiment with these!

Classic Vanilla Scones

Servings 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (plus more as needed for shaping)
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbs. cold butter
  • 3 tbs. sour cream
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (plus more to brush the tops)
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 egg, cold
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. coarse sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or clean hands, cut the cold butter into your flour mixture until it has coarse crumbs of butter running throughout. 

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, heavy cream, vinegar, egg, and vanilla extract until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and use a spatula to mix until a dough comes together. Turn your dough out onto a floured surface, and gently knead it until it just comes together, adding more flour if needed until the dough is not sticky, but still holds together. Pat the dough into a disc about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut it like a pizza into 8 even scones. 

  4. Place your scones onto your prepared baking sheet spaced evenly. Brush the tops generously with cream, and sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the scones are golden on top. Cool and enjoy! 

classic vanilla scones

Morning Buns

High Altitude Morning Bun Recipe

Pastries, Breakfast | April 9, 2018 | By

Today we’re gonna talk about pastry, a¬†world of baking to which I rarely venture. Pastry can be truly intimidating. I get it.

Specifically today I’m sharing a recipe for morning buns. Morning buns are kind of like a combination of cinnamon rolls and puff pastry. I’d say the filling is less gooey, and they are not typically iced. Or I should say, that’s at least my interpretation of these buns.

Morning Buns 5

There’s a ton of variations online, and some don’t actually use puff pastry at all, but instead more of a brioche. But I’ve found that the puff pastry route, whatever you want to call it, is more what I’m into right now.

Morning Buns 8

However, that also means making puff pastry from scratch. Eek.

Morning Buns 1

Puff pastry, at least whenever I think of it, sounds like far too much. It makes think of spending hours of time trying to roll out dough with a huge block of cold butter folded inside, with many, MANY rounds of chilling in the fridge. BUT, I found a recipe from The Flavor Bender, and it totally changes everything.

Morning Buns 2

This recipe for puff pastry only takes me about 30 minutes to put together, as long as you can work quickly to avoid letting the butter warm too much. After it’s done, you can keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it, and guys, it’s so good. It tastes awesome, it’s got ALL THE FLAKES, and it’s homemade pastry- you’re gonna feel like a flippin rockstar.

Morning Buns 3Morning Buns 4

So here’s the deal- I’ve adapted the recipe below from the one found on this fantastic blog. I prefer not to weigh ingredients, and I’ve also added a few little items to fit the recipe for morning buns better. I’ve done my best to recreate the instructions below (don’t worry, I promise it’s not that complicated) but I highly recommend you take a peak over at the original recipe for more image-heavy instructions- they were a huge help to me!

Morning Buns 10

So next we’re wrapping this amazing dough around some cinnamon and sugar, baking it up, and dipping it in more sugar. These pretty rolls are everything you guys- impressive, light, flaky, sweet, and perfect with coffee.

Morning Buns 7

To clarify, there’s still a lot of steps involved here, and definitely some chilling when you get to the actual rolls to make sure we keep that butter completely cold throughout. So I’d call this a weekend project, but a super fun and rewarding one at that!

Morning Buns 6

I hope you give ’em a shot- I’m telling you it’s totally doable and totally worth it!

Morning Buns

Servings 12 buns

Ingredients

For the puff pastry dough

  • 1 1/4 cups grated butter, frozen, 1/4 cup separated
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 3/4 cup very cold water

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

For the puff pastry dough

  1. Keep your butter frozen until you use it throughout the process. 

  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the 1/4 cup separated frozen grated butter until evenly distributed. 

  3. Slowly add in the cold water, stirring, until a dough begins to form, and the flour is completely incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead once or twice to finish incorporating all the ingredients. The dough should be fairly soft and easy to work with. 

  4. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 8 inches by 15 inches. Note that the size does not need to be perfect here. Sprinkle half of the remaining frozen butter onto two thirds of the rolled out dough. 

  5. Fold the dough into thirds, starting by folding in the side without any butter on it. Gently pinch the edges to lightly seal the dough. 

  6. Roll out the dough again, re-flouring your surface if needed, to the same size, and repeat the butter and folding process with the second half of the frozen butter. 

  7. Once again, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and fold into thirds, without any more butter (you should have used it all). Repeat the process two more times, so a total of 5 times. 

  8. Immediately wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using. 

For the filling

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside the remaining sugar in a bowl to use later. 

To assemble

  1. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Set aside. 

  2. Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it out on a floured surface to a large rectangle, about 10 by 16 inches. 

  3. Evenly sprinkle the filling mixture over the rectangle, and press down into the dough with your hands, or with your rolling pin. 

  4. Starting on the longer side of your rectangle, roll the dough into a tight spiral log. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes. 

  5. Remove the dough from the freezer, and trim off the edges of the log. Then, cut the log into 12 equal slices by cutting the log in half, each of those halves in half, and then each remaining piece into thirds. Place each slice into your prepared muffin tin, and place the tray in the fridge for 20 minutes. 

  6. While your rolls are chilling, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take the rolls out of the fridge and place directly into the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top through to the center. 

  7. Right after you remove the rolls from the oven, run a knife along the edges of each roll to loosen, and remove from the pan while hot- they will stick to the pan if you do not remove them quickly enough. 

  8. Cool the rolls for about 5 minutes, and then dip the tops into the remaining sugar that we set aside earlier. Enjoy warm! 

Brown Sugar Honey Biscuits

Pastries, Breakfast | March 25, 2018 | By

Hey guys! I’ve got about two more months before our little one comes into the world, and pregnancy is hitting me hard lately. I have to say, it’s all been pretty easy for me so far, we’ve been really really lucky, so I think a little struggle at this point is okay!

Honey Biscuits 7

Do you ever sit down and just know you want to make something, but you just can’t figure out what that something should be? That’s me like, all the dang time. I have stacks of recipe ideas and areas I’d like to explore, but decision making just isn’t all that easy, amirite?

I sat down to figure out what to bake a few weeks ago, and my husband suggested biscuits. But I wanted to do more than just a classic biscuit- something with a bit of a deeper, sweeter flavor. And this is so it. I was thinking of having honey on top, but then I decided it’d be nice to have a bit of a sweeter base- sweetened with honey on the inside of the biscuit too!

Here’s how everything looks as we bring it all together. First, mix your dry ingredients, and throw in some shortening:

Honey Biscuits 1

Next, cut that shortening in until it looks a little something like this:

Honey Biscuits 2

Moving onto wet, we’re pouring in buttermilk and honey to pull everything together:

Honey Biscuits 3

And once you’ve stirred and worked a little, it should look crumbly like this:

Honey Biscuits 4

Then we’re turning out the dough to knead it slightly to bring it together. Work quickly here- we don’t want to melt that shortening! Then pat it into a rectangle and fold into thirds, like this:

Honey Biscuits 5

The brown sugar extends through the entire biscuit, including on top, where it browns and becomes a crispy sweet crust that is too-flippin-good.

Honey Biscuits 11

Biscuits from scratch are super easy you guys. You don’t need special equipment (though a pastry blender can help some) and they come together really quickly. Best of all, it’s one of those satisfying things that you’ll come back to over and over again.

This recipe is adjustable, you just want to keep your wet and dry ingredients at the same ratio. It’s my go-to. You can add in topping sweet or savory, and season these pretty things however you please!

Honey Biscuits 6

Maybe this is just me, but I never had homemade biscuits growing up, which makes them feel really special even though they’re so easy to pull together. With a super simple recipe, you can really adjust and update it however you like, sweet or savory, and they become something everyone will be impressed by.

Honey Biscuits 8

I’m hoping that you find this dessert-style biscuit as satisfying as I did. We topped ours with more honey (whoops) and apricot jam, although they are seriously fantastic all on their own, or just with a little bit of butter.

Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Honey Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tbs. brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shortening, very cold
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs. buttermilk, cold
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbs. brown sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. 

  2. Using a pastry blender or just your hands, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

  3. Add in the buttermilk and honey, and stir together until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and pat into a long rectangle. 

  4. Fold the dough into thirds, and pat out to a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2.5 inch cutter, cut out your biscuits. You can re-use the dough scraps once. 

  5. Place the biscuits onto a lined baking sheet, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. 

  6. While the biscuits chill, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and mix the butter and remaining brown sugar together. 

  7. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter and brown sugar mixture, and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown on top. 

  8. Serve warm, with honey and jam or butter!

HoneyBiscuits

Marzipan Cinnamon Challah

Marzipan Challah Recipe | Challah Bread

I know we’re nearly into Spring now, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and toasty winter-style recipe for the season’s end.

Marzipan challah isn’t my idea, I first saw it on TV from Breads Bakery, and have since seen it done on a few other blogger websites as well. I wanted to give it a little twist, and also make it even more of a dessert style bread, which is where the addition of cinnamon comes in.

Marzipan Challah 8

I’ve never made challah, but man it’s fantastic. Even just the dough feels lush and soft and fluffy the whole way through. I’m into this bread, filled or not you guys.

Alright so, we’re starting with the dough. Once you’ve got everything completely mixed up and kneaded, here’s what you should be seeing:

Marzipan Challah 1

After letting it rise for the first round, it’ll look quick similar, but puffy and larger of course:

Marzipan Challah 2

Then, we’re going to start working on each of the ropes. You’ll flatten out each section of dough into a long rectangle, and put a little line of the marzipan mixture right in the middle:

Marzipan Challah 3

Wrap it up tight, pinch the seam, and roll it out to about a 16 inch rope:

Marzipan Challah 4

Then, you braid. Now listen, there’s just no way I can explain or show this to you any better than this video, so if you want to stick with this 6 braid design like me, check out this video. This was my first try, and you can tell my loaf is a little lop-sided. It’s cool, the ugly loaves are still delicious, I promise.

Marzipan Challah 5

After you let the dough rise once more, you’ll brush it with your egg white wash, and brush it good. Here’s what my shiny braid looked like:

Marzipan Challah 6

And that’s it really, then you’re just baking it until golden brown- easy peasy. I loved this bread you guys. It’s like the perfect little dessert bread treat, and it makes french toast you would just die over. See below.

Marzipan Challah 10

Seriously doesn’t that sound amazing? Well it was, and you should do it up too. Enjoy guys!

Marzipan Cinnamon Challah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 5- 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs. salt
  • 5 oz. baking marzipan
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 sup softened butter

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the water, half & half, and sugar. Microwave until the mixture reaches about 110 degrees.
  • Sprinkle in the yeast, and stir. Set aside to bloom.
  • While you wait for the yeast, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, and canola oil in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the yeast has bloomed and is foamy, stir it into the egg mixture.
  • Add in 4 cups of flour to start, along with the salt, beating for a few seconds on medium speed with a paddle attachment.
  • Add another cup, and switch over to the kneading hook attachment. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, and add more flour if the dough is not coming together.
  • The dough should still be soft and a little sticky. Scrap it out of the bowl, and onto a floured surface.
  • Form the dough into a ball, and cover lightly with plastic. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. For me this took about 20-30 minutes.
  • During this rise, in a medium bowl, mash together the marzipan, cinnamon, sugar, and softened butter until completely combined. Set aside.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Pat and stretch each piece into a long rectangle. Place about 1/6 of the filling in an even, long, strip in the middle of the rectangle. Roll the dough around it, and pinch closed, making a rope that is about 16 inches long.
  • Repeat these steps with all 6 pieces of dough and filling.
  • Braid or twist your dough as you wish, I used a classic 6-strand braiding technique.
  • Transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet with a little bit of flour spread on it. Cover lightly with plastic, and let the dough rise for another 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and whisk the reserved egg white with a splash of water.
  • The dough should puff up a bit, and rise by about 1/3 in size.
  • Brush the dough liberally with the egg white mixture. Be sure to get into the crevices and down the sides of the dough.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the dough has reached a rich golden brown.
  • Cool slightly before slicing and serving, enjoy!
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Challah Bread Recipe | High Altitude Bread

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