Avocado toast is everywhere, it seems. There’s a version on every fancy brunch menu, and at most coffee shops here in LA as well. A million recipes abound, all something to the extent of seasoned smushed avocado, on toasted bread. Let’s be real- it’s not freaking rocket science, but it’s delicious.
That said, we eat unreasonable amounts of it around our house. Most days, it’s merely toasted homemade bread, the avocado seasoned with lemon, salt and peppers (black and Aleppo). But more is more. So I regularly upgrade with yummy toppings, whether for company or mere kicks.
Some of our favorite assortments:
blackberries / shallot / basil / Aleppo pepper
sliced pear / Gorgonzola / spicy candied pecans / hot honey
garlic confit / tomato / prosciutto / balsamic vinegar
sliced radish / smoked salt
fried egg, Bad Seed chili granola (I stockpile this when I’m in New York.)
Try one (or all!) of these avocado toasts, and let me know which is your favorite!
Number four on my #15in15 list was to conquer homemade bread- mischief managed! After trying and tweaking a handful of recipes, I’ve landed on a no-knead bread that is easy enough to make consistently, tasty enough to enjoy, and healthy enough to justify. It’s not fancy in the least- it bakes in Pyrex bowls for crying out loud- but I’ve been making a batch every couple of days for the last few months, and it’s a slam dunk for our family.
We eat an unreasonable amount hot from the oven, use it for toasts and tartines (salted butter-homemade preserves, avocado-lemon-Aleppo, Elvis toast, and goat cheese-honey-fleur de sel are our favorites). It makes delish grilled cheeses and other sandwiches, and leftover bits and ends become croutons, bread salad, or and bread puddings.
Some recipe notes:
- I bake this bread in the second-largest size of this Pyrex set, a 4 cup volume. Any oven-safe bowl of similar size will work.
- Seriously, butter your bowls generously. It’s crucial for getting the loaves to release easily- we’ve eaten more than one loaf squashed from being pryed loose. If using a glass bowl, you want the butter to be thick enough to be opaque.
- I buy my yeast in bulk on Amazon, and keep it in the freezer- way thriftier and lasts forever.
- Speaking of yeast, I’m including directions for proofing the yeast, which isn’t necessary if you’re certain your yeast is fresh or you are using instant yeast- I skip that step for speed and ease most days.
Everyday Bread (adapted from Alexandra Cooks)
- 365 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour (do not use bleached)
- 120 grams (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
- room temperature butter, about 3 tablespoons
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours and salt. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over top, and let stand 10 minutes or so, till it’s a bit foamy. Stir yeast-water-sugar, then add to the flour bowl, and mix until all flour is absorbed.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour, until doubled. In our house, the sweet spot of timing is about 80 minutes, and since our kitchen is drafty, I use the microwave as a rising cupboard.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Grease two oven-safe bowls (such as the pyrex bowls I mentioned above) with at least a tablespoon of butter each. Use two forks to punch down your dough, turning it over and into itself, and scraping it from the sides of the bowl.
- Then, use your forks to divide the dough into halves, and place a portion in each greased bowl. This can get a little messy, since the dough is slippery. It works well to imagine a divider line and use the forks there to pull apart the dough, and then quickly scoop one half out. I sometimes weigh and even out the bowls if they look unbalanced.
- Set the dough in a warm spot to rise for 20 to 30 minutes, until it has risen to just above the top of the bowls.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º and bake for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If you’ve properly prepped the bowls, they should slip right out. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.