July 29, 2010

Stove Top Bread, aka "Awkward Focaccia"

If I ever went to a reputable cooking school like the French Culinary Institute here in NYC, I'm pretty sure they'd kick me out.

Scratch that. I KNOW they would.

What was I thinking? Bread on a stove top? I.e. IN A PAN? Ok, it's cast iron, so I feel like I should get some points for that, but I'm feeling a little white trash here.

Really I just couldn't be bothered to turn on the oven. We're setting "record breaking highs" in NYC this month and it's blasted HOT. Plus this whole humidity thing bums me out. You know how TV adds 10 pounds? Humidity is kinda like that. Except it adds 10 degrees. Oi.

So, here's the scenario: I just got a rockin' breadmaker for my birthday and have been putting it to good use making a loaf of herb bread and some pizza dough, which I intended to use for homemade pizzas during the week. And then that humidity nonsense started and I just couldn't bring myself to turn on the oven. But having learned the phrase "waste not, want not!" from my grandmother, I couldn't just waste the perfectly good pizza dough.

Therefore, voila!

Pan Bread! or... Stove Top Bread! or... Awkward Focaccia!!

Do I at least get extra credit for not cooking it in butter or oil? Pretty please?

I'd give you the recipe, but there really isn't one. It's more like a process. Yeah, that's it. A process.

Just go with it.

First step: Make yer favorite pizza dough. Or just buy the pre-made kind at Trader Joe's. I won't tell.

Second step: After it's finished rising and all that jazz, let it settle down a bit to room temperature. This will cut down on the cooking time on the stove top so it will turn into bread and not burnt dough.

Third step: Get out yer cast iron pan and turn yer stove on medium-low. Roll out the dough to form a cute little circle. If it's not cute, start over and try again. It MUST be cute, people!

Just kidding. Please don't hate me. You can make it rectangle, or even oblong if you'd like. How'm I gonna know?

(new word: "how'm". Use it freely.)

Put that random-shaped dough in the pan and cover it with a lid. Let it cook there for a few minutes, until it starts to rise a little.

Fourth Step: Sprinkle yer favorite herbs on top. Press them into the dough a little, because next you're going to flip the dough over and cook the other side, and we want the herbs to get locked in. I used a rosemary herb blend with some minced garlic thrown in. The aroma itself was enough reason to make this bread! Heavenly!

Fifth Step: If you haven't already flipped the dough over to it's herb-laden side, do it now. Put the lid back on so it doesn't burn and the middle gets thoroughly cooked.

Sixth Step: After a few minutes cooking on it's herb side, flip it back over. It should be a little browned on the herb side and there shouldn't be any wet, glistening dough. At this point, you can add a little parmesan or mozzarella cheese to the top (cheesy bread! Yay!). If adding cheese, put the lid back on so it will melt, if you're going cheese-free, leave the lid off and let the bread cook just another couple of minutes. Turn the burner down to "low" if your bread is getting too browned. 

I happen to have a pretty weak burner, so medium-low works for me. 

Seventh Step: Use a pizza cutter to slice it into triangles, rectangles, those oblong-shaped things, whatever floats your boat! 

Now serve it to your family and pretend you've slaved over a hot oven for hours!

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  1. Now I think that's brilliant. And you totally get brownie points from me for using the cast iron skillet :)

  2. Thanks Sheri! I feel so validated now!! :)

  3. Okay, so I know you didn't *cook* it in oil, but please tell me you *dipped* it in olive oil with fresh cracked black pepper. Because it's just begging for that. It's not even 8:30 yet, and I would nom the hell out of that for breakfast.

    I think you were brilliant for cooking it on the stove. It's the inspired cook that does what she can with what she has. Your ingenuity is impressive.

    So glad to have spent Saturday with you, Kristin. We must hang out more!

  4. Aw, thanks Amber that's so sweet of you to say! And for SURE I dipped these in olive oil. Garlic-infused olive oil, actually. Can't go wrong there!

    Yes, we must hang out again! Soon!


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