Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Bake"

Stromboli Roll

For some reason this Stromboli reminds me of the creatures from Tremors...Anyways...I love a good stromboli and this meets the criteria. They are really simple and you can fill them with practically anything your heart desires or have in the fridge. There are two forms  of strombolis. Typically the way I do is I roll out the pizza crust into the standard circle , layer all the goods on half of it, fold the other half over and crimp the edges. I felt like changing it up this time and I rolled the pizza dough out into a rectangle and rolled it up. Enjoy!


  • Pizza dough, recipe here (or you can use store bough)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Mozzarella cubes
  • Assorted Meats (I used pepperoni and sausage)
  • Assorted Veggies (I used red pepper and mushrooms)
  • Marinara Sauce
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Using a baking sheet, roll the dough out flat in the shape of a large rectangle. Brush with a thin layer of olive oil and lightly sprinkle the garlic powder. You want to keep the ingredients separate and layer them in columns, from left to right, starting with the mozzarella; this helps prevent the cheese from spewing out in the middle of baking (the mozzarella will be the center of the roll).Then order the rest of your ingredients however you like, I ended with pepperoni since that made for a nice top. Gently roll the dough up and tuck in each side underneath itself. Brush the Stromboli roll with egg wash, season with some salt & pepper, then cut a few slits in the top to help the roll breath through the baking process. 

If you are using sausage & peppers, sauté them up together in a sauté pan to cook the sausage and soften the peppers. Let them cool slightly before adding them to the roll. 


Braided Brioche

I figured since I posted two Chowder recipes, it was time for a bread post. One of my favorite meals in the fall is some homemade soup and a fresh loaf of warm bread. Brioche, over the years, has become one of my favorites. It's just so delicious, buttery, flakey and hearty. It's also very versatile, you can eat it plain or you can use it for sandwiches & french toast (just to name a few). This recipe, as much as I want to call it my own, came from one of my favorite cook books The French Laundry (It's on my store page ⬆). And actually the recipe isn't even Thomas Keller's (Owner of The French Laundry), he got it from Jean-Louis Palladin. Like many recipes in The French Laundry, this recipe takes some time to make. So, if you are making it for a specific event, you will have to start it ahead of time. Also, you don't have to make this braided, I just wanted to do it cause it seemed like fun. You can just toss the loaf in a butter loaf pan, which is what the actual recipe calls for. Enjoy!

  • 1/3 cup very warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees F)
  • One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (not quick-rising)
  • 2 1/3 cups (10 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 20 tablespoons (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch cubes, plus butter for the pans
Directions (In Loaf Pans)

Combine the water and yeast in a small bowl. Let set for 10 minutes, then stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. Set aside.

Sift together the flours, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the eggs and beat for 1 minute at low speed, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Slowly add the dissolved yeast and continue beating at low speed for 5 minutes. Stop the machine, scrape any dough off the dough hook, and beat for another 5 minutes. Add the butter cubes, about one quarter of them at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, beat for 10 minutes more, until the dough is smooth and silky.

Transfer the dough (it will be very wet and soft) in a large floured mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 3 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface and gently work the air bubbles out by folding the dough several times while lightly pressing down on it. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Generously butter two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-3-inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. With floured hands, divide the dough in half and shape it into two rectangles to fit the loaf pans. Place the dough in the pans and let the dough rise uncovered in a warm place until it is about 1/2 inch above the top of the pans, about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the brioche until it is well browned on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately turn the brioche out onto a wire rack.

If using immediately, let the breads cool for 10 minutes, then slice. If serving within a few hours or up to 2 days, promptly wrap the hot bread in aluminum foil and set aside at room temperature until ready to use. To freeze, wrap the hot bread in foil and promptly freeze; when ready to use, reheat (without thawing, and still wrapped in foil) in a 250 degree F oven until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. The bread can be kept frozen for up to 2 months.

If using the brioche for croutons or bread pudding, let the loaf sit at room temperature, uncovered, to dry for a day.

If you want to do the braided loaf, watch this video . Preheat your oven to 350 and place the braided loaf on a baking sheet and place in oven or preheat a baking stone and just cook the loaf right on the stone. You'll notice in the video, they place the braided loaf into a buttered loaf pan, you can do this as well. Do whatever makes YOU happy :)

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This is a delicious cornbread recipe that will make for a great side dish. Pair with a rack of ribs like I did in my 72 Hour Sous Vide Ribs or with a hearty soup like chili. Whatever the occasion this simple and cheap cornbread recipe will be sure to impress. An easy twist on a classic Americana recipe. 


  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cups of yellow cornmeal 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk, shaken
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided 

Place 12" cast iron skill in oven and pre-heat the oven to 450°F

First, slice the top off the jalapeno and seed. Then slice 6 jalapeno rings to top the cornbread with, medium dice the rest of the jalapeno. Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together, then mix in with the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the jalapeno's and 1 cup of shredded cheddar, do not over mix. 

Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and carefully butter the pan (on the bottom and the sides). Pour the batter into the cast iron skillet, top with jalapeno rings and the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test (toothpick should come out dry when cornbread is poked). It should be brown on the top and pulling away from the sides of the skillet. 

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