Waking up to a healthy breakfast is a lot easier with the help of Chef Carrie Levin and her “Good Enough To Eat Breakfast Cookbook.” Levin, who owns New York’s Good Enough to Eat restaurant, shares her popular recipes for pancakes, pumpkin bread and strawberry butter.
PETER PAUL PANCAKES
Makes 10 pancakes
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
4-Grain Pancake batter (see recipe)
1 cup chocolate in pieces or chips-about 6 ounces
Toast ½ cup of the coconut by spreading it out on a cookie sheet and putting it in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Shake or move the coconut around with tongs to get even toasting.
Preheat the griddle. Prepare the batter. Portion out the chocolate and coconut for 10 pancakes. (How chocolately or coconutty you want them to be is up to you-experiment, and don’t get too anal about the portioning.)
After buttering the griddle, pour the fist pancake. Immediately distribute the chocolate and untoasted coconut evenly over the surface. This is done quickly so they will sink into the batter. (Don’t mix the chocolate into the batter beforehand.) Proceed to the next pancake, and so on. Go back and check your first pancake. They should cook about 3 minutes on the first side and an additional 2 minutes after turning. Remember my early admonition about not patting the pancakes with the spatula or turning them more than once.
Top the Peter Pauls with some toasted coconut and serve with maple syrup.
Makes 13 five-inch pancakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping tablespoons old-fashioned oats
2 heaping tablespoons tasted what germ
2 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon sugar
» teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk
» cup whole milk (or 2%, 1%, skim)
5 tablespoons melted butter (reserve 1 tablespoon for the griddle)
Preheat griddle to medium or medium-high. Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients. Combine with beaten eggs, buttermilk, and milk in a bowl, cutting together with a fork. Cut 4 tablespoons of the melted butter into the batter. Drizzle the remaining butter over the griddle and spoon on the batter. The pancakes should cook about 2 minutes per side.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT BISCUITS WITH STRAWBERRY BUTTER
Makes 24 to 26 biscuits
1 cup vegetable shortening plus a little more for greasing the pan
4 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (2 packets less ½ teaspoon)
2 tablespoons sugar plus a pinch for the yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
5 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for flouring
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the baking sheet (s) with some vegetable shortening.
Dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in the warm water and let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes. It will foam up a bit.
In the mixer bowl combine the 5 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Use a very slow speed for all mixing, particularly for this first step, or you’ll have flour all over the kitchen-and make sure you stop the mixer before you add ingredients.
Add the shortening and blend it in until you reach a coarse, gravelly texture with little bits of shortening throughout the flour mix. Pour in the yeast and blend in for a few seconds. Now add the buttermilk and mix in until you see the dough come up around the paddle-this will happen pretty quickly-and stop.
Lift the dough out of the mixer bowl and place it on a clean, dry board. Push the dough down with your fingertips until it is 1 to 1 » inches thick. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, push the cutter at an angle against the near edge of the dough, then roll it away from you and down into the dough to cut the first biscuit, With a twist of the wrist lift the first biscuit out and place it on the greased baking sheet.
There will be little hooks in the dough from cutting the first biscuit. Push the cutter into on of those hooks, absorbing it into the second biscuit, then roll down to cut, and use a little twist to lift out. Place the second biscuit on the baking sheet right up against the first one. Proceed this way, cutting biscuits and packing them on the baking sheet (s), until you’re out of dough.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are slightly golden. Take them out of the oven and brush the tops of melted butter.
Makes 1 » cups
1 cup (2 sticks) soft butter
3 ounces (4 tablespoons) Strawberry Jam
Beat the butter in the food processor until it is white. Add the jam and beat until smooth.
Makes 1 loaf
1 packet dry yeast
» cup warm water
3 to 4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
» teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted butter (3 for dough, 1 for rising, 1 for pan)
1/3 cup warm milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
» cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Combine the yeast and pinch of sugar in the warm water and let the sponge brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
In the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 3 cups of the flour with the spices and salt. Mix 3 tablespoons of the butter, warm milk, pumpkin puree, and the brown sugar together in a bowl, then add it to the mixer and beat. Stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides and add 1 egg (beaten separately). After the egg is beaten in, add the sponge and beat until the dough comes together around the dough hook.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides to see that all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough. You may have some residue at the bottom of the mixer-don’t worry about that, you can use it for flouring and kneading. If the dough seems sticky, add a little flour and beat until it becomes silky and resilient.
Put the dough on your board and roll it out into a thick circle. Spread the raisins and nuts (if you’re using them) over the dough and then knead them in. Be careful not to tear the dough. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into a glass bowl with a tablespoon of melted butter. Roll the dough to coat it with butter, cover with a towel, and set in a warm (65 to 75 degrees), draft-free spot to rise until double in size (about 1 hour).
Knock down the dough and knead until silky and smooth. Form the dough into a loaf shape, pushing in the sides, and put it in the buttered loaf pan, seam side down. Put the pan in the warm spot and let the dough again double in size (30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the second egg and the tablespoon of milk together and glaze the risen loaf. Put the pan in the oven in the center of the middle rack and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan twice during cooking.
When the bread is a toasty, chestnut color, take it out of the oven and tip it out of the pan onto a clean dish towel. Thump on the bottom with your index finger. If you hear a hollow sound, the bread is done. (This is the only surefire way I have found to test doneness.) If it doesn’t sound hollow, return it to the pan and the oven.
Let the Pumpkin Bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes and out of the Pan for another 10. Slice with a bread knife. If you keep it around for a day or two, it will have dried out somewhat and be perfect for Pumpkin Bread French Toast.
PUMPKIN BREAD FRENCH TOAST
½ cup buttermilk or whole milk
» teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch black pepper
8 slices Pumpkin Bread
Butter for the pan or griddle
Preheat the griddle or frying pan. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and pepper in a glass pie pan. We’ll call this the custard. Dip each slice of bread into the custard, coating each side, and then arrange the slices in a pyramid on a plate. If the bread is very fresh (soft), don’t soak the slices too long or they will fall apart when you pick them up.
Butter the griddle and lay on the slices. If you’re using a frying pan, make sure the butter is hot before putting in the bread. As butter heats it loses its opacity (clarifies). You don’t want the butter to smoke or burn. If this is a worry, you can drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil into the butter. The butter will still burn, but not as quickly. Cook the toast to a rich brown-lift a corner with your spatula to check-and turn. Continue to cook until done. You can test for doneness by patting the toast lightly with a finger. As the toast cooks it will start to feel denser to the touch. If your griddle or pan is super hot, you can sear the surface of the toast and the inside will be mushy. If the heat is too low, the toast will take too long to cook and will get dry. Play with the heat and touch to get your toast perfect. If you use a frying pan, shake it in a forward-backward motion to make sure the toast doesn’t stick. Serve immediately with maple syrup.