Farmhouse Kitchen, March 2023
Welcome back, friends! This month’s recipes are all about bread, and each one will have you turning out some of the most delicious versions of the easiest bread recipes around. In fact, these all begin with store-bought bread in some form, so they are perfect for busy families or those of us who just want more time to enjoy with our loved ones.
Leading the pack is an amped-up classic, Cinnamon Toast. Your first thought was most likely, “Who needs a recipe for cinnamon toast?” Trust me when I say this is honestly the best cinnamon toast you’ll ever eat. The trick that makes this so different from any other cinnamon toast lies in making a paste of sorts with softened butter, cinnamon, sugar and just a pinch of salt. This paste gets spread over the bread and baked. It’s important to get that buttery goodness all the way to the edges of the bread, because after you bake it for a while, you’re also going to broil it. Getting that butter spread to the edges helps keep the bread from burning under the broiler. Broiling it gets the sugar all caramelized, bubbly and crunchy — almost like the torched sugar topping on creme brûlée. I seriously had to stop in the middle of writing this and make a batch. It’s just that good!
Coming in second is a standout Garlic Bread. This is a staple on most family tables and is simple to make, but if you ever want to kick it up 10 notches or so, all it takes is a few extra minutes. By adding freshly minced garlic to melted butter along with your seasonings, you’ll end up with garlic bread that will quickly take on the starring role of your entire meal.
Rounding things out is a recipe from a beloved Alabama Farmers Federation family member, Jan Parker of St. Clair County. I’m sharing her recipe for delicious Tomato Focaccia from back in July 2015. You’re going to love this recipe, and it sure doesn’t hurt that it begins with a Pillsbury pizza crust! From the first time I saw this recipe, I knew it was going to be a hit, and I certainly was not disappointed. Using the pizza crust is such a smart shortcut, and I’m already dreaming up different variations on her recipe.
No matter what you’re serving, a basket of warm bread just makes the meal. I hope you’ll enjoy these new ways to make old standards even more special. Until next month, may your days be filled with delicious meals shared with people you cherish. Y’all enjoy!