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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.

            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"

                                1. I made some for lunch. Did a 50/50 mix on the olive oil by combining it with 50% butter and sprinkled a few herbs into the batter before introducing it to the fry pan. The most enjoyable part of the process was flipping it successfully - I get a rush when I get that right.
                                  I found that baking it for the initial time on one side and less time on the second side (as Pepin suggested) it worked better flipping it every five minutes to get it more evenly browned. I also found that his recommendation for "medium - medium/high heat may have worked fine with his gas stove but my electric range didn't have to work that hard and I got better results at medium/low.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: todao

                                    I had some problems with sticking since I used my hard anodized dutch oven rather than nonstick pan. The baked texture was somewhere between a pancake and biscuit. The wetness of the dough was between the two as well.

                                  2. Jacques bread has me really curious. If you search the internet, recipes for this Tibetan bread is more a dough, not a batter as you see on his utube video. For this I kept wondering what Val mentioned about it being like a pancake? Here is another bread that I've wanted to make for sometime,and it is made from a dough.
                                    I am so curious as to what the consistency of JP's bread is like, I wouldn't want a pancake, but more of a bread. For those of you that have made his bread, is there a stretch to the dough? Or is it cakey like cornbread?

                                    1. Made this bread last night. Note that it is ONE TEASPOON of baking powder. Also, you'll need a fair amount of heat, at least at first, in order to get the bread to puff up. Turn it down a bit afterward so you dont burn it.

                                      Even with the added baking powder and heat, I wasn't terribly impressed with this. It was quite dense and chewy. I know it's a quick bread, but it just wasn't what I was looking for. I don't imagine I'll be making this much. I was hoping to be able to cut it in half and use for sandwiches, but it didnt work out that way.

                                      Did anyone else get a better texture?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: aravenel

                                        On the show, daughter Claudine was stirring it up, clearly needing a lot of elbow grease to do so. It was a very thick batter. Keeping in mind that Pepin's source was Tibetan cuisine, I'd expect the bread to be sturdy; it is intended to serve as a vehicle for getting stewed dishes to the mouth and sopping up juices. I haven't made it yet but will do so when next I cook something appropriate for it to accompany (in that episode, they made lamb curry).

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          With 1 1/2c flour, 1c liquid, the dough is too soft to handle. It has to be poured into the pan, and then spread out with a spatula. The proportions are the same as for spatzle (a quick German noodle), except spatzle uses eggs for part of the liquid.

                                          When I made it last night, I served it with a pork stew. It was well in that role, sopping up the liquid etc. It's not thin enough (at least if made in a 10" pan) to serve as a scoop.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            I was going to say, that batter looked to be very much like the spaetzle batter I make. If it's good and works as a quick bread that's all that matters. I will still try it, your stew sounds like a good place to use it.

                                        2. re: aravenel

                                          It is definitely NOT 1 tsp of baking powder. It is 1/4 tsp, as per the show I DVR'd and have watched a couple of times. And as per this thread, the bread needs some help from the addition of herbs or garlic or cheese (or all three). And as others have said, it is probably best served with a dish where you can use the bread to sop up the flavors of the the stew or whatever.

                                          1. re: bnemes3343

                                            I just watched it again, and it's definitely 1 full teaspoon of baking powder. To check, I made it twice, once with 1/4 tsp, and once with a full teaspoon. The one with the 1/4 tsp came out dense and almost inedible; the one with a full tsp puffed up fine.

                                        3. I don't mean to be negative about chef pepin's bread, but this is what I think he might of been trying to achieve.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            For those of you who have actually made it - is it 1/4 teas. or 1 teas. baking powder. I can't tell from the video and I want to make it.


                                            1. re: Canthespam

                                              I made it with 1 tsp, and had no problems that I would attribute to that amount. I had problems with sticking, but that was due to the choice of pan. 1 tsp is typical for this amount of flour. I don't know how different it would be with just 1/4.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                So what's the baking powder for if you're using all purpose flour? wonder if you even need it.

                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  The baking powder is the only leavening; without it the bread would be tough and flat(ter).

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Yes I know that it does that, but doesn't it need some time to deveop to do what you say? I mean he dumps about 2 cups of batter into a 10 inch fry pan it really doesn't have a chance to rise. I mean given the cooking time and all. From the video or instructions I never saw that they let the batter rest, or anything, just saying.

                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                      Nope, baking powder-raised things do not need to rest. Double-acting baking powder's first reaction begins when it's combined with liquid, and its second reaction begins with the heat of the oven (or in this case, covered pan, which simulates a hot oven). If you think about it, even pancakes get a little spring via baking powder in their few minutes in the pan, no rest necessary. And if you make muffins, quick breads, and other things leavened with baking powder, you mix the batter and put it straight into the oven. Thisbread works on the same principle.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        Some batters are best with a rest period. On this video Claudine asks about letting it rest. If it is not a yeast bread (which needs one or more rising periods), the purpose of resting is usually to let the flour hydrate (absorb the liquid) fully, and to relax any gluten that developed during mixing. Such as rest period is typical of a crepe batter, which does not have baking powder or soda.

                                                        If the batter just has baking soda, it needs to be baked right away, since it starts to react with the acid immediately upon mixing. With double acting baking powder there is more leeway. Some muffin batters can be fridgerated and used latter.

                                                        I wonder what the original Tibetan bread used. Letting batter sit overnight or longer was a common way of letting wild yeast grow and develop a sponge. Ethiopian injera and south Indian idli are two such breads (besides the more familiar sourdough).

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          Right, I was answering Chef Chicklet's question, which was, doesn't the batter need to rest for the leavening action to work. Resting may accomplish some end in various batters, depending on the ingredients, cooking method, and desired texture, but they don't need to rest for the purposes of leavening, the way yeast and fermented doughs do. As you say, some baking powder-leavened doughs can be stored, but they don't *need* the wait.

                                              2. re: Canthespam

                                                In the youtube video, he clearly says a teaspoon of baking powder.

                                            2. I made this last night, using 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 50% AP flour and 50% Spelt flour. I added lots of chopped scallions and fresh dill, lots. The batter was pretty wet so I didn't add any additional water to the frying pan. I was very pleased with the results -- I served it with smoked salmon. Had friends over for dinner and to watch Academy Awards.

                                              1. He used 1 tsp powder. He is actually interrupted in the program and just says "baking" so it confused me for so long but looking back it is clearly a powder not a soda container.
                                                It's on YouTube if anyone wants to watch it again - searc for bread flip 221 pepin to locate it.
                                                Happy baking - stove top!

                                                1. I made this tonight for the first time (1 tsp bp) because it doesn't heat up the kitchen for a long time. I used half AP flour and half white whole wheat, and added cheese powder (the orange stuff) and granulated shallot, about a tbsp of each. Turned out well - for those who haven't tried it, I'd say the finished product is similar in taste and texture to Chinese scallion pancakes, but thicker. Next time I'll wilt some scallions and add them to the batter. I don't think it cooks long enough to use raw scallion.

                                                  1. I am late to this discussion. But here is a link for a Tibetan bread recipe, but it requires the bread to rest for 15-20 min after cutting it into portions. http://blog.tylerbell.net/2007/11/01/...

                                                    1. The key is to use good quality flour, taste the batter for salt content, and heat the 10 inch skillet properly with the oil... bread is easy when you know what you're doing, but it's easy to overlook the simple things that will mess it up... DO NOT over mix... just barely bring it together, if you think it's not quite mixed than you might have over mixed it... if you use a GOOD skillet and it is hot, the heat will be equally distributed and it will not burn, but keep your nose on alert! you must add those few tablespoons of water to properly steam the bread... seems like a little detail, but very important.... and when making the dough, consider that humidity effects the moisture of the flour, so if the flour has been exposed add less water than you think you might need... but DONT OVER MIX... you'll end up with a crappy salty pancake!

                                                      1. Here is a link to JP's recipe and a picture of same. http://www.eattoblog.com/jacques-pepi...

                                                        It looks similar but not quite like Indian (native American kind) fry bread. Without a doubt, it would be quick.

                                                        Cook's Illustrated's "almost no knead" bread is easy and more tradtional but takes a lot longer including a rise time.