Sous Chef Sunday: Copy Cat Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread

Little Caesar’s $5 hot and ready pizzas have saved my butt at dinner time on more than one occasion. Still I think it’s safe to say that they’re crazy bread is pretty much always the star of their show.

Copy Cat Little Caesar's Crazy Bread

Soft and slightly chewy, brushed with garlic butter and sprinkled with a heavy-handed amount of Parmesan cheese. They’re pretty much the best version of a bread stick. Arguably, ever.

Copy Cat Little Caesar's Crazy Bread 2

I’ve never been good at the whole delayed gratification thing, and even though the closest Little Caesar’s to us is only about 10 miles away, when a craving hits that’s just too far. And that’s one of the reasons I love this make-at-home copycat version so much.

Craving satisfied 🙂

For big and little people alike.

Copy Cat Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread

1 can of refrigerated pizza dough, or one batch of Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Roll out your pizza dough onto a clean surface, into a roughly rectangular shape (doesn’t have to be perfect or exact).
2. Cut dough in half lengthwise, and then cut 8 strips vertically (making 16 small bread sticks). Place each strip onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
3. While the bread sticks are baking, melt the butter and stir in the garlic salt. Remove the cooked bread sticks from the oven and brush on the garlic butter mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.

Stuffed Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread with Spinach & Feta

You know those times when you’re sitting there editing your photos and you just know that they didn’t do your food justice? Well, maybe not, depending on how many of you blog, post an obscene amount of food photos of everything you eat on Instagram, or (long shot) use them to make professional-ish family recipe albums. Just me??

Try as I may, I can never seem to get that money shot of this pull-apart bread that just screams to my readers, ‘oh my gawd, run to your kitchen and make this NOW.’ Which is a real shame. It’s that good. But I (in the effort of full disclosure) won’t let that hold me back a single second longer from sharing this mouth-watering recipe with you.

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Cheesy Bread 2

Inspired by Domino’s stuffed cheesy bread, except with noticeably less cheese. It was on purpose, I promise! It’s not nearly as rich as the original, and it may have less cheese stringing for miles and miles, but it delivers the same flavors, flawlessly. And with less calories.

Hey, sometimes that’s important.

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Cheesy Bread

Fresh spinach leaves, feta cheese, and freshly minced garlic are sandwiched between buttery, flaky layers of bread with a crispy mozzarella crust on top. Get ready to have your taste buds rocked.

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Cheesy Bread 3

Stuffed Cheesy Bread with Spinach & Feta

Bread Dough:

1/2 cups water
2/3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast, or regular yeast, proofed
3-4 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:

3-4 tbs butter, softened
2-3 large hand fulls of fresh baby spinach
1/2-3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
one bulb of garlic diced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. In a small sauce pan add water, buttermilk, butter, sugar and salt and heat until the butter has just melted. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
2. Once the liquids have cooled add them to the mixing bowl of your electric mixer. Using the dough hook on medium speed mix in yeast and flour one cup at a time. Stop adding flour once the dough has come together and is only lightly sticky.
3. Turn the mixing up to high speed and mix for about 2-3 minutes or until the dough is elastic.
4. Turn the dough out into a buttered bowl. Cover with a dish towel and set it someplace warm to rise for about one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Once dough has risen, on a lightly floured surface roll dough out until it is 1/4-1/2 an inch thick. Using a sharp knife cut dough into 3×3 squares.
6. Using your hands stretch each square out so it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Spread each square with butter, spread with some minced garlic, feta cheese and then place 2-4 spinach leaves on the top.
7. In a buttered bread pan, place each square in sandwiching the filling with each layer. It gets a little messy but that is ok. Squeeze each square in the pan.
8. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the top of your bread pan.
9. Bake at 350 on the middle rack of your oven for 15-20 minutes, sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the bread has browned on top and when you flick the top it sounds hollow.

recipe adapted from Bakeaholic Mama

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

This recipe bakes up into an incredibly moist bread, that lives up to its  easily thrown together name, with a yummy swirl of cinnamon tucked inside. The crumb topping? Yes, sir!! A drizzle of glaze? Oh my!!

But still, even with all that, for me, it’s still none too sweet ( I know, I know some of you are wondering if there ever could be such a thing) and therefor goes hand in hand with my morning cup of coffee. Talk about the best part of waking up! Which I will will totally be pairing with my spiffy Nikon camera lens coffee mug that the hubs surprised me with 🙂

image

Ain’t she spiffy?!

Ok, back to today’s recipe… I love quick breads. They’re easily one of my favorite things, and ways, to bake. Why, you’re probably wondering? Because just like the name implies, they’re quick and easy, there’s no proofing or yeast of any kind involved, and no portioning batter out into cupcake liners and/ or special pans. All of which can get a bit messy. Plus, they’re easy to double so you can put the extra loaf in your freezer (if it makes it that far!).

But we don’t stop there. This dense, delicious loaf is perfect for sharing. Sharing is caring, right? So make a loaf, and make another to spare. You’re sure to bring an unexpected bit of ‘sweet’ to someone’s day.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

 Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

 2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Swirl:
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

For  Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

For Glaze:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp water

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
2. Add the oil and mix until small lumps begin to form. Add the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Mix JUST UNTIL batter forms (do not over mix). The batter will be lumpy, and that’s okay.
3. Mix together the 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon.
4. Pour and spread 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan (Line a 9x5x3 loaf pan with foil and lightly grease) . Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top.
5. Pour and spread 1/3 of the batter over the cinnamon sugar layer. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over top.
6. Pour and spread the remaining batter over the layer of cinnamon sugar. Set aside to prepare crumble topping.

For crumble topping:
1. Mix together the flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until a crumble forms (I like to use my fingers about halfway through the “cutting”).
2. Sprinkle the crumble over top of the bread batter.

Bake:
Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

For the glaze:
Use a fork to whisk together the water and the powdered sugar until thick glaze forms. Drizzle over the freshly baked bread

recipe adapted from Something Swanky

Cheddar Ranch Bread

Everybody here goes absolutely ga-ga for the combination of bacon, ranch, and cheese. They really love our snack supper nights because they usually incorporate some combo of those flavors, like in our cheddar, bacon ranch pull apart bread. But this mama doesn’t always have time for all that, even though it is totally drool-worthy. So on those busy nights, I opt to forgo the frying of bacon and instead make a variation that’s a spin-off of those favorite flavors, and our good old fashioned garlic bread. This updated version makes a perfect addition to almost any of our favorite pasta dishes. Add in a salad and we’ve got a quick meal to make any hungry-body happy and dinner that’s ready in a snap.

Cheddar Ranch Bread

Cheddar Ranch Bread

 1 full-size loaf of Italian bread (sourdough would also work well)
½ c. butter (softened), or butter spread
2 tbsp. buttermilk Ranch seasoning mix
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
freshly chopped or dried dill, optional

Directions

1. Stir together spread and Ranch seasoning until smooth.
2. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the bread in half lengthwise, and spread the seasoned butter out evenly over both cut sides. Sprinkle the cheese over the buttered bread, and sprinkle a little fresh or dried dill over the top if desired.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown. Serve immediately.

recipe adapted from The Weary Chef

English Muffins

I grew up eating English muffins all the time. For breakfast, for a quick after school snack. Shoot, I can’t tell you how many times my Grandma made us English muffin pizzas for lunch. Now, here we are years later, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve made them for the sons for lunches.

Morning, noon, or night the sons love an English muffin. They love them for breakfast in our freezer breakfast sandwiches. The love them smothered with jelly. They love them toasted with BLT fixins for lunch. I could even serve them English muffin pizzas for dinner, and they’d be perfectly content. The possibilities go on and on. English muffins are a beautiful blank canvas to top with whatever you are feeling that day.

 English Muffins 2

This recipe couldn’t get any easier and is perfect for any baker, regardless of their experience level. I also love that this recipe doesn’t have me suffer through long rise times, and before I know it I can be opening one of these, hot off the griddle, with a fork and digging in. While their insides aren’t filled with all the signature fissures of a store-bought English muffin, their texture is still craggy enough to trap and hold plenty of butter and jam — which is the point, after all.

English Muffins

English Muffins

3 2/3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
1 envelope active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup plain yogurt, Greek or regular
fine cornmeal
oil

Directions

1. Whisk together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add water and yogurt, and mix into a soft dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth, adding more flour if it gets sticky. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
2. Roll dough out to a thickness of about ¾ inch. Cut out 12 circles with a 3 inch round cutter. Sprinkle a baking sheet with semolina, and cover each side of muffins with it. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until almost doubled in size.
3. Heat a flat griddle pan until hot and brush with oil. Add the muffins and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 12 minutes, six minutes on each side, until firm and golden brown. Turn only once. Serve with butter and jam.

Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

Are you like me? Are you filled with Christmas spirit all month long? Do you try to bring a Christmasy something into each day and/or meal for your family? Well, if you don’t I highly recommend it. If you do, you can probably vouch for how a little bit here or there, magically gets everyone in the Christmas mood. It’s like magic, and as a Mom, it’s a beautiful thing to behold. There’s no question we all love bread in th is family, and I try to have some sort of option (if it’s appropriate) with our dinners. Knowing I’m trying to slip a little holiday cheer into pretty much anything and everything right now, I figured why make dinner rolls or a plain loaf of bread, if I can put a pull-apart Christmas tree on the table?

 Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread 1

At the grocery store, I had seen a tree-shaped cake pan, and I thought it would be pretty cool for baking bread. Then I thought about it some more and figured that I could make a free-form tree shape instead. Making and then using cheese-filled dough balls, the sons and I created a Christmas tree shape with our loose interpretation of a star on top. We needed some green and used some dried parsley flakes for that, but if you’re feeling more traditional sprinkle some rosemary on top. Rosemary’s much more Christmas tree like in texture anyway. I figured at least a few of our seems would leak filling during baking, but wasn’t overly concerned. The sons decided that it worked perfectly because our tree had snow on it too!

Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

 Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

1 can (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust, or pizza dough
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tbsp dried parsley or fresh rosemary
1 cup warmed marinara sauce for dipping

Directions

1. Lay out, or roll out depending on if you’re using refrigerated pizza crust or actual dough, pizza dough onto a cutting board and stretch to a 10 x 15 inch size. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 28 equal squares. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and shredded cheese, stirring until evenly combined.
2. Add roughly one tablespoon of the cheese to each dough square. Seal the seems and then gently roll the dough in your hand to form a ball. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet in a Christmas tree shape as shown in the picture above. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 17 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
3. In a small pot, melt the butter and stir in the garlic powder. After removing the pull-apart bread from the oven, brush the top with butter and sprinkle with your herbs. Serve pull apart with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

I have been in search of the perfect Crusty Bread recipe. You know, the kind you find in great Italian restaurants that have a gorgeous crackly crust and a chewy inside, perfect for dipping in olive oil? Well here she is folks.

 No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

The dough comes together in minutes and requires only four ingredients and hardly any effort on your part. FOUR! All she needs is a little time to become something wonderful. This is the easist bread you’ll ever make. For anyone who’s terriefied of baking bread (once upon a time I was too) this is your new BFF. Seriously, this is THE easiest bread I think you can make.

No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread 2

This recipe is adapted from Jim Lehay’s minimalist approach to bread baking: let time do the work. Throw your ingredients together tonight and be enjoying fresh baked bread tomorrow. And what isn’t more comforting that the smell of fresh bread floating in the air as the days and nights get colder?

No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

No Knead Artisan Bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup water

Directions

1. In a mixing bowl add the dry ingredients. Using your hands, or a fork, blend the dry ingredients.
2. Pour in the water and mix. Pull together the dough using your hands or a wooden spoon.
3. Scrape any excess flour from the bottom and sides of the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well incorporated and form into a ball. Don’t worry the dough is supposed to be stringy.
4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the bowl to avoid the dough from drying out. Allow to rise in a warm dry, and draft free place for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
5. Dust a large piece of parchment paper, measuring about 24 inches with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Scrape the risen dough onto the floured parchment paper.
6. Sprinkle some flour on the dough to prevent it from sticking to your hands.
7. Lightly pat down the dough with your hands to form a piece of dough measuring approximately 10×10 inches.
8. Fold the both side edges to the center of the dough take the top edge and fold into the center, doing the same with the bottom edge of the dough.
9. Turn the dough and place the folded side of the dough on the parchment paper and dust with flour to prevent sticking .
10. Loosely wrap the dough in the parchment paper and place on a baking sheet and cover it with a tea towel again.
11. Transfer to a warm and dry place and allow to rise a second time for 2 hours.
12. Place the cast iron Dutch oven with its cover, on the second rack from the bottom of your stove’s oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Dust the smooth side of the risen dough with flour to prevent it from sticking to the bottom while baking.
13. Once the oven has heated up. Remove the pot from the oven and take the cover off. Place the dough, folded sides up and cover. Bake for 30 minutes at 500ºF
14. Remove the cover and continue baking at 375 for an additional 15-30 minutes.

Strawberry Bread with a Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

Umm banana bread what?!

Look out kids there is a new snack food on the block and its kicking that old fashioned banana bread to the curb!

Boom.

The old timer’s going down!

Seriously, this strawberry bread is beyond delicious.

We all know I’m not one to exaggerate (much) and although it may seem like I say that every new recipe I post is the newest bestest thing to hit your tastes buds this bread . . . ohmywordthisstrawberrybread!

You need it in your life!

Today!

See this spring I made my first strawberry bread and since then it’s quickly become a summer staple, which I’m sure we’ll see continue to return year after year. This time I thought I’d jazz it up a bit by adding a a little something extra. I ended up adding a sweet strawberry glaze (or if I’m being honest– icing), because go big or go home – amiright?

Fresh strawberries meet an almost cake-like bread. You could forgo the glaze and just spread each slice with butter or strawberry flavored cream cheese and it would be just as delicious!

Like I said, you need this in your life.

ASAP.

Glazed Strawberry Bread

 Glazed Strawberry Bread

recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups 

1 cup chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cups flour

Glaze

1/4 cup strawberry jam or preserves
1/4 cup (2 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. Put the chopped strawberries in a small bowl. Add flour and stir/toss making sure they’re coated well. Set aside.
2. In a mixer, or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes of vigorous mixing. Next, add the eggs and vanilla mixing until fully incorporated, scraping the sides, as necessary.
3. Add in the baking powder and salt and mix to completely combine.
4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly begin adding in the flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour, but alternating between the two.
5. Continue mixing until batter is smooth and evenly combined.
6. Using a spatula, fold in the strawberries until they’re fully incorporated, evenly, into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 in. pan.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick or knife that’s inserted into your loaf comes out clean.
8. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Glaze

Beat the strawberry jam/preserves, cream cheese, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Spread over the cooled bread, allowing it to drip down the sides. Wait about 10 minutes to allow the glaze to ‘set’ before slicing and serving.

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

The gardening gods have seen to it that this summer I have more zucchini than I knew what to do with. Fortunately for me, that’s led to finding all these awesome new recipes, and I’m constantly, and pleasantly, being surprised by all the wonderful ways I’m discovering this summer that zucchini can be used. And for someone who does not particularly like surprises, that’s saying something. Flecks of zucchini give a delicious third dimension to the popular lemon and quick bread combination in this moist, breakfast/dessert hybrid. Seriously, lemon and zucchini are a match made in flavor heaven. Who knew?!  This little loaf is easy to make. Quick breads are a perfect starting point for non/new bakers and an easy, old faithful recipe for those who’re already in the ‘fold’.

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 Sons 'R' Us: Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread 2

recipe adapted from Lil Luna

2 cups cake flour*
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini
 
For The Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
 
*To make your own cake flour: for each cup of all purpose flour, remove one tablespoon of flour and replace by adding one tablespoon of cornstarch

4 Sons 'R' Us: Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir to equally incorporate and set aside.
2. Add eggs to the bowl of a mixer and beat well. Continue mixing and in the oil and sugar until evenly combined. Next add in the lemon juice, buttermilk, and zest to the batter and blend until combined completely.
3. Gently fold/blend in the zucchini until fully incorporated.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend together until evenly combined.
5. Add the batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until done.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool some. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Allow the bread to stand for a bit so that the glaze ‘sets’ before serving.

Crockpot Rosemary & Olive Oil Bread

During the summer months, we will do anything to not have to turn on the oven!  The extra heat is one thing we just do not need in the house when the temperature outside is in the 100’s! Crock Pot Bread also comes in really handy for holidays, dinner parties, or anytime you need to free up oven space! Enter the crock pot.

Yes, you can cook just about anything in a crock pot these days, but bread?  Absolutely! This recipe is super simple to make!  Honestly? I actually like it better than most oven-baked breads.  Baking the bread in the crock pot keeps all of the moisture inside the bread ensuring it’s nice and fluff, while still giving it a crisp outer crust.

While it is fully cooked after the two hours and pleasantly crisp, the outside will still be a bit pale. I just pop it onto a baking sheet and set it under the broiler for a minute to give it that perfect toasty finish.

Crockpot Rosemary & Olive Oil Bread

4 Sons 'R Us: Crockpot Rosemary & Olive Oil Bread

recipe adapted from Host The Toast

3½ cups all purpose flour
1 packet dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
1¼ cups warm water
4 tsp dried rosemary, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, divided
Parchment paper
Paper towels or a clean dishcloth

Crockpot Rosemary & Olive Oil Bread 2

Look at that gorgeous ball of dough, soon  to be bread. In. My. Crockpot. <Swoon>

1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit 10 minutes. The mixture should become bubbly.
2. Stir in half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon), half of the rosemary, the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and all of the flour. Mix until fully combined. Work it together with your hands, if necessary.
3. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in. Cover it with a kitchen towel/ dish cloth and leave the dough in a warm, draft-free area. Let it sit and rise for 1 hour.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently roll it into a ball on a floured surface. Let it sit for another 20 minutes.
5. Set the crock pot to high. Line the crock pot with two pieces of parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches hanging out of each side of the crock pot. Place the dough in the crock pot and sprinkle it with the remaining salt and rosemary.
6. Drape paper towels or dish cloth over the top of the crock pot and then place the lid on. This should capture any moisture that would sit on the lid and prevent it from dripping back onto your bread.
7. Cook the bread for 2 hours, and remove from the crock pot. It will most likely still be a bit pale on the outside. It tastes great this way, but I like to put mine on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put it under the broiler for a quick 3 – 5 minutes to get a crunchier, darker crust.
8. Let cool before slicing. Serve with extra olive oil drizzled on top or with dipping oil.