All in Yeast Bread

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread is made with a yeast dough, which is very easy and forgiving.  If you feel  uncomfortable working with yeast, this is a great place to start because the presence of olive oil 1) makes the dough a bit easier to work with, and 2) prevents it from drying out if baked too long.  I love serving focaccia bread when I have company; it's neither time-consuming nor demanding, and I've found that guests always appreciate homemade bread.  It's also the bread I use if I'm serving "fancified" sandwiches for dinner (i.e. salmon or eggplant sandwiches).  Read more.

Eggplant Pan Pizza

Although it's really a fruit, eggplant is still one of my favorite vegetables.  Tom Brady might not eat it because it's a nightshade and therefore causes "inflammation," but I'm not a professional athlete so I don't mind.

Anyways, as much as I love Eggplant Parmesan, sometimes I think the crisp beauty of the breaded eggplant gets lost underneath all the sauce and cheese.  In my opinion, breaded eggplant is at its best when I can truly taste the crunchiness of the breading (made even crunchier with panko breadcrumbs!), so that's why I love my breaded eggplant atop a pizza.  The key is to slice the eggplant thin; otherwise you'll have too much topping, and your dough will run the risk of not baking through all the way.  Read more.

Pita Bread

I really like homemade bread.  I could eat it every night, and I probably do.  It almost doesn't even matter what kind of bread it is... if it's fresh out of the oven, I'm all in. 

But I love homemade pita bread.  Most of all, I love watching it bake.  I always gasp when I peek into the oven and see them puffing up; that magical moment exemplifies my love of cooking.  When I first started making pita, the whole process seemed random and it drove me insane.  Some pitas puffed while others didn't.  But I think I've finally figured it out.  Now when I make pita bread, they all come out of the oven looking and feeling like precious pillows.  Read more.

Pizza Dough

I eat a lot of pizza.  It is absolutely my favorite food.  My mom had never even heard of it until she was 17 years old and dating my father, a 1st generation Italian-American who probably thought everyone ate pizza growing up.  Everyone but her, apparently.  The way my mom always told the story, my father described pizza to her as "a pie with tomato sauce and cheese," but because she had been born and raised in Atlanta, the word "pie" made her think of pecan pie.  So she imagined pizza not as we know it, but as a pie crust overflowing with tomato sauce and topped with cheese.  Not the most appetizing visual.  Fortunately for me, she tried the real thing, loved it, married my father, and ended up making pizza once a week throughout my childhood.  Read more.