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Jacque Pepin 20 minute bread - really good

On an episode of Fast Food My Way, he and Claudia made a very quick 'bread'. 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, salt to taste and 1/4 tsp of baking soda (or was it powder?) and some olive oil. Then cooked it covered in a non-stick pan coated with olive oil with a tablespoon or two of water poured around the edges.

My first attempt was in a 12" pan (couldn't really tell what size he had). Too big. The bread was too thin and I actually undercooked it. Second attempt was a 10". Better, but kind of bland really. Third attempt last night I added a tablesppon or two of chopeed fresh rosemary and one medium crushed garlic clove. Cooked 8 minutes on first side and 7 on the second. It was wonderful. The wife and kids declared it a big hit. From start to finish, 20 minutes.

Anyone else tried this? What's your variation. I would imagine other herbs or green onions might be good in it.

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  1. I saw that one but didn't write it down. Do I remember correctly that the pan was covered? I would have thought it a 10" pan. Did you use soda or powder, and how much oil? I'd try chive, scallion, or sauteed shallots, and maybe some finely-grated Parmesan.

    4 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Yes, 10". After putting the batter in the pan, he put a couple of tablespoons of water around the edges and covered it.. Medium high heat. It is 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1/4 tsp baking powder, salt to taste, about 2 tbs of olive oil and then whatever you want to add. All your suggestions sound great. It definitely needs something other than just the basic recipe.

      1. re: bnemes3343

        After you flip the bread, do you cover it for the second side?

        1. re: janetms383

          Yes, in the video, that's how he did it, covered for the 2nd side.

      1. re: janetms383

        If you mean CI's Almost No-Knead Bread recipe, no. This has no yeast or rising time. Jacques mentioned that he'd played around with the idea after eating a similar bread at a Tibetan restaurant.

        Thanks for the specifics, bnemes.

          1. re: greygarious

            I'm reminded a bit of American Indian fry bread, which is also simple flour, water and baking powder dough. While usually deep fat fried, it can be cooked on griddle, in which case it is called 'dry bread'. In that case it is more like a thick flour tortilla. His batter is a wetter than fry bread dough. I also found a recipe online for the Tibetan flatbread (Balep korkun), which uses 2c flour to 1c of water.

            The Tibetan version might be under salted by American tastes. Historically salt was a precious commodity, brought by yak trains over mountain passes. I've seen some low salt Italian bread recipes, which were, supposedly, a response to the high cost of salt in days when governments taxed it or held a monopoly on its production and sale. I believe in the Italian case they compensated for the salt by using herbs like rosemary.

            In south Texas they make a 'pan de campo', a country bread, which is a like a big biscuit baked in a fry pan or dutch oven. Bannock is another name for this style of bread.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannock_...

            1. re: paulj

              I was thinking that also Paul, but the recipe I have for Navajo Fry Bread uses powdered dry milk.

          2. re: janetms383

            I tried this tonight and was really disappointed!! I used 1 1/.2 c flour, 1 cup water and - no offense to anyone, but based on comments, 1 t baking pwd 1/2 t salt and 2 T olive oil. I mixed in rosemary, oregano and garlic. I think it needed more salt, but the texture when it was baked was really kind of gummy. Too much olive oil?? I also did not have a stiff batter, more like thick pancake batter.

            Any suggstions? I need to find a computer to watch the video.

            1. re: janetms383

              I made it tonight and had the same results -- very gummy. We ate it anyhow, but it was weird. My first thought is that I should replace my baking powder, which I know is well over a year old (maybe 2 or 3 even). I also wonder if my one cup of water was a tablespoon or two generous. My dough was thick, but didn't seem quite as stiff as theirs in the video.

              I had a little problem getting the right heat setting too. I flipped it after 8 minutes, but it wasn't browned at all. I turned up the heat a tad and it browned nicely on the second side, then I flipped it again and browned the first side.

              However I really suspect the baking powder is the main culprit.

              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                No, I don't suspect the baking powder. You've used it for other things, haven't you?

                Baking temperature and time is more likely the problem. Before you go about blaming the baking powder, try it in something more conventional like pancakes or muffins, even biscuits.

                I don't think the batter is particularly sensitive to the flour to water ratio. It isn't as wet as pancakes, but not nearly so dry as biscuits. Also the fat proportion is fairly normal for pancakes, but much lower than for biscuits. And the baking manner is a hybrid as well - sort of a thick slow pancake, where as biscuits are done in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

                1. re: paulj

                  No, I seldom use baking powder which is why it's so old. I'm sure it's been at least a year, probably longer (I almost never make cookies, muffins, pancakes, biscuits, etc.). There was an article in Cook's Illustrated where they made biscuits with baking powder of varying ages, and they found a sharp dropoff in leavening power starting at 6 months.

                  I agree that the temperature was a problem, and I do think I had a little extra water. Time, maybe, though I gave it extra time which dried it out a little yet it still didn't achieved the fluffy texture that the video shows. I do suspect the old baking powder.

                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                    My baking powder was brand new!! I'm thinking maybe I didn't go with a high enough heat at the begining but I didn't want to burn. I did notice a lot of "oily properties". Was 2 T oil too much?

                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                      How was the salt?? I used 1/2 teaspoon, but even with rosemary, oregano and garlic, seemed like I could have use more salt....?

                  2. re: Karen_Schaffer

                    The heat could be part of the problem. You'll need a blast of pretty high heat to get the bread to really rise before it starts to set.

                    Although I was fairly disappointed with this too.

                    1. re: aravenel

                      I thought heat might have been the problem. Was texture your problem as well?

                      1. re: janetms383

                        Yes. The first batch I made had a problem like yours--very dense and chewy. Cranking up the heat for the first few minutes helped this.

                        Still not really to my liking, but it was much better.

                1. re: todao

                  Thanks todao, but I can't get into youtube at work.... and home is dialup so way too slow. Anyone with a printed recipe, or maybe can relay it to me??

                  1. re: janetms383

                    Expand all of the replies. I have the recipe in one of my responses. It's incredibly simple and quick and, with the addition of some interesting ingredients, very good. 20 minutes start to finish

                    1. re: bnemes3343

                      From your original post....

                      1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, salt to taste and 1/4 tsp of baking soda (or was it powder?) and some olive oil. Then cooked it covered in a non-stick pan coated with olive oil with a tablespoon or two of water poured around the edges.

                      So,. baking powder or baking soda and how much olive oil? Is it all mixed into a batter and then more olive oil in the pan? A covered skillet? How long to bake? Is it on the stove top?

                      1. re: janetms383

                        To clarify: Yes, 10". After putting the batter in the pan, he put a couple of tablespoons of water around the edges and covered it.. Medium high heat. It is 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1/4 tsp baking powder, salt to taste, about 2 tbs of olive oil and then whatever you want to add. All your suggestions sound great. It definitely needs something other than just the basic recipe.

                          1. re: janetms383

                            I think that if adding cheese, I'd put in half the batter - it's thick and had to be leveled with a spatula - then the cheese covered with the rest of the batter, so as not to burn it when the bread is flipped over.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              you wouldn't mix the cheese in? I was thinking rosemary, oregano, and parmesan

                              1. re: janetms383

                                With the med-high heat, I think cheese on either surface might burn. This is a flatbread.

                          2. re: bnemes3343

                            Judging from pancake and biscuit recipes I think the 'salt to taste' should be 1/2 tsp, possibly a bit more if it is supposed to be savory.

                            1. re: bnemes3343

                              I think JP said a teaspoon of baking powder, which is typical for this amount of flour.

                              1. re: paulj

                                Jacques did say ONE tsp baking powder. And he added a healthy amount of salt--about 1/2 tsp, I'd guess.

                                1. re: Ora

                                  No Jacues used 1/4 tsp of baking powder. I have it DVR'd and reviewed it again.

                                  1. re: bnemes3343

                                    I just watched it twice and I hear 1 tsp salt.

                                    1. re: mr99203

                                      I think you mean 1 tsp of baking powder (not salt). The salt was added as a large pinch.

                                    2. re: bnemes3343

                                      He quite clearly said 1 tsp BAKING POWDER. This blogger got the recipe 100% correctly: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...

                                      1. re: Ora

                                        Kids!! Settle down back there! Don't make me pull over.

                                        1. re: Ora

                                          doesn't matter if he said one tsp or 1/4 tsp, when you watch the video, the SIZE of the spoon is clearly 1 teaspoon

                                          1. re: janetms383

                                            The recipe in the corresponding cookbook calls for 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/3 tsp salt (for 1 1/2c flour)

                          3. re: todao

                            Thanks so much for that link! I am making that bread, a little drizzle of garlic butter and some tomatoe/basil salsa....sounds like a plan to me!

                            I enjoyed the entire video, I just love his cookling so much and I forget about him.

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              I watched the video and was shocked that he did it on the stovetop! Wouldn't it be just like a pancake??? CC, did you try it?

                              1. re: Val

                                No not yet, and I don't think so especially using the lid and steam. Perhaps it'll be like an Indian bread? He calls it Tibetin bread (it sounds like).

                                But you know what? It looks EXACTLY like this awesome bread called scoozi bread that's served as an appetizer at a couple of restaurants here. It's a thicker soft flat bread that has a some blue cheese in it and with it they'll have a basil, tomato, red onion salsa with olive oil and balsamic. Totally delicious.

                                I want to try it tonight or tomorrow. I'll be going for 7 mins per side 10 inch pan with a lid. Did you happen to watch him make the salmon burgers on arugula? I can't wait to make that one as well.

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  yeah, you're right..pancakes do not involve lids and steam...hmmm...well...will be interesting to hear your report. Yes, I did also watch the salmon burger part; they looked great!

                                2. re: Val

                                  Yes, and on the 3rd attempt, with the addition of some fresh Rosemary and garlic, it was fantastic. The family loved it. WIth a few tbs of olive oil in the batter, doesn't even require butter.

                            2. Was this the old Fast Food My Way or the new More Fast Food My Way?

                              1 Reply
                              1. Watch entire programs of "More Fast Food My Way"
                                http://www.kqed.org/w/morefastfoodmyway/