Ready, Set, Dough!: Incredibly Easy and Delicious Ways to Use Store-Bought Doughs

Overview

Store-bought unbaked pie crusts, pizza crusts, sweet and savory breads, cookies, bars, and other ready-to-use doughs are put to truly creative and time-saving use in Ready, Set, Dough!

Helping to beat the clock without sacrificing taste and quality, expert quick-cook Melanie Barnard provides a complete range of appetizers, snacks, one-dish suppers, breads, and desserts no one will guess you didn’t make from scratch. By eliminating the tedious ...
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Overview

Store-bought unbaked pie crusts, pizza crusts, sweet and savory breads, cookies, bars, and other ready-to-use doughs are put to truly creative and time-saving use in Ready, Set, Dough!

Helping to beat the clock without sacrificing taste and quality, expert quick-cook Melanie Barnard provides a complete range of appetizers, snacks, one-dish suppers, breads, and desserts no one will guess you didn’t make from scratch. By eliminating the tedious and tricky part of baking--making the dough--you can serve up delicious Herbed Sausage Calzones, Grilled White Clam Pizza, Chicken and “Baked” Herb Dumplings, and other hearty main dishes in no time. Memorable desserts, ranging from a Rustic Apple-Cranberry Tart to Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Torte--as well as a delectable array of cobblers and pies--are a cinch to prepare. Need something for the bake sale your kids forgot to mention? Whip up a batch of Double Peanut Butter Cookies or Chocolate Chip Brownie Custard Bars. For breakfast, try one of Barnard’s trouble-free sweet breads--Baked Jelly Doughnuts or Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread, for instance. The quick and easy recipes in Ready, Set, Dough! will turn even a novice cook into a fearless baker.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In her latest book, the prolific Barnard (who also co-writes the "Every Night Cooking" column in Bon Appetit) provides fast and simple recipes for desserts and some savory dishes that use store-bought doughs of all kinds. She adds flavorings and other ingredients to refrigerated brownie dough to make Molten Chocolate Clementine Cakes, crumbles a streusel based on sugar cookie dough over Plum Pie, and adds almonds and white chocolate to that same cookie dough to make the pastry shell for White Chocolate Raspberry Chiffon Torte. Most of the recipes include excellent tips, and many of them offer two variations or more. Good-quality prepared doughs have become increasingly available the last few years, and with its imaginative use of these convenience products, this is sure to be popular. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767914246
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • Publication date: 2/10/2004
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Pies


Pies are my favorite things to bake. In fact, I like them so much that when it is the "high pie season," which is August in my part of the country, I host an annual pie party in the backyard. There are peach, cherry, plum, blueberry, pecan, lemon meringue, and chocolate custard pies. I even bake a couple of apple, strawberry, and pumpkin pies, though it isn't really apple, strawberry, or pumpkin pie season. About forty people come for about eighteen pies. Now I know that this translates to almost one-half pie per person, but somehow I never end up with more than a total of about eight slices as leftovers. Perhaps pies are other people's favorite things to eat, too.


All-American Cider Apple Pie


Apples are featured desserts in countries from Germany to France, but only America has a real apple pie--double-crusted and overstuffed with fruit. The Pilgrims, who brought apples to America in the first place, served the pie as breakfast--a very, very good idea! Today's American apple pie has as many variations as there are bakers. In the Midwest, a warm wedge is often served a la mode, with vanilla ice cream melting down the sides, and in Vermont, apple pie is usually accompanied by a wedge of Cheddar cheese. Apple pies can have streusel toppings, but the classic, old-fashioned version always is double-crusted.

This recipe originated with my Pennsylvania Dutch grandma, who sweetened the pie with "boiled" cider. She always brushed the top crust with milk, then sprinkled it with sugar, which resulted in a particularly crisp, rich golden brown crust.


1 cup high-quality apple cider

3/4 to 1 cup sugar,depending upon the tartness of the fruit

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 pounds (about 6 large) tart apples, such as Granny Smith

1/2 pound sweet apple (about 1 large), such as Golden Delicious

1 tablespoon lemon juice

One 15-ounce package refrigerated folded piecrusts

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon milk or light cream


1. Preheat the oven to 425F. In a small saucepan, boil the cider until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. Let the cider cool. Measure and set aside about 2 teaspoons of the sugar.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, mace, and salt. Peel and core the tart and sweet apples, and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. (You should have about 8 cups apples.) Add the apples to the sugar mixture along with the reduced cider and the lemon juice. Toss until the apples are coated with the sugar mixture.

3. Keeping one crust refrigerated, unfold the other crust, and ease it into a 9-inch deep pie plate. Heap the apple mixture into the piecrust, mounding it a bit in the center. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter it over the apples. Unfold the remaining piecrust and place it over the apples--it will just cover the apples and reach the bottom crust. Use your fingers to pinch the crusts together and flute or crimp decoratively. Use a small knife to cut eight 2-inch slits in the pie. Brush the top of the crust (not the edges) with milk, then sprinkle with the reserved 2 teaspoons sugar.

4. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400¡F. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375F. Carefully remove the pie from the oven, place a 14-inch square of aluminum foil on the rack, fold up the edges of the foil to form a rim, then move the rack to the center of the oven. (The foil will keep the pie juices from bubbling over onto the oven floor.) Place the pie on the foil and bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is rich golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

5. Cool the pie on a rack, then serve warm or at room temperature.


All-American Cider Apple Pie Tips

*Make apple pies in the fall and winter when apples are crisp and fresh.

*Choose firm, crisp apples with no bruising. The best, of course, are those that are local to your region. If you buy them in the supermarket, Granny Smiths are the most reliable tart apple, and Golden Delicious provide the perfect balance with their perfumy sweetness.

*A good apple pie should have lots of juices and a clear apple taste, so the thickener is best kept to a minimum. If you want a firmer pie, or if the apples are really juicy, increase the flour to 4 tablespoons.


All-American Cider Apple Pie Variations

*Toss 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries with the apples. Use only 3/4 cup sugar, since dried fruit is sweet.

*Substitute 1/2 cup brown sugar for 1/2 cup granulated sugar for a more caramel-apple flavor.

*Add 1 to 2 tablespoons brandy or rum to the apples for a bit of a kick.



Night Sky Blueberry Pie


Lots of berries are tempting to bake in a piecrust, but blueberries are the hands-down choice, since their flavor is enhanced and released by even a light cooking.

The brilliant, midnight-blue sky color of simmered blueberry juices looks really beautiful bubbling out of a decoratively cut top crust. So, the vents in this crust are cut out with small star or crescent-shaped cookie cutters. Save the cutouts, sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, and bake along with the pie, then sprinkle the pie or garnish the plate with these crisp little stars and moons.


3/4 cup sugar

5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, stems discarded

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

11/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

One 15-ounce package refrigerated folded piecrusts

1 tablespoon milk or light cream


1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Measure out and reserve 2 teaspoons of the sugar.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the blueberries, remaining sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cinnamon.

3. Keeping one crust refrigerated, unfold the other crust and ease it into a 9-inch pie plate. Heap the blueberry mixture into the crust. Unfold the remaining crust and place it on a lightly floured counter. Use lightly floured small cookie cutters in star or crescent shapes (or any shape you like) to cut out 4 or 5 shapes from the top of the crust, leaving at least a 2-inch margin uncut. Reserve the cutouts, and place the top crust over the blueberry mixture. Use your fingers to pinch the crusts together and flute or crimp decoratively. Brush the top crust with the milk and sprinkle with the reserved sugar.

4. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400¡F. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375F. Carefully remove the pie from the oven, place a 14-inch square of aluminum foil on the rack, fold up the edges of the foil to form a rim, and move the rack to the center of the oven. Place the pie on the foil and bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is rich golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

5. Cool the pie on a rack, then serve warm or at room temperature.


Night Sky Blueberry Pie Tips

*Frozen blueberries are fine if fresh are not available, but be sure to use them directly from the freezer before they thaw and become mushy. Blueberries are a fruit that freeze particularly well for pies.

*To freeze your own, spread fresh blueberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour until frozen. Spoon the blueberries into freezer-weight zippered plastic bags. Freeze up to 4 months.

*Blueberry pie can have a lattice topping, but the royal purple juices just look better bubbling out of a full top crust.


Night Sky Blueberry Pie Variations

*Add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the lemon zest in the recipe.

*Brush the bottom of the unbaked and unfilled piecrust with 2 tablespoons orange or lemon or ginger marmalade before filling.

*Stir 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger into the blueberry filling.



Old-fashioned Peaches and Cream Pie


Georgia is nationally acknowledged as peach country, but great peaches are grown and picked in many other regions from California to Connecticut, too. No matter where you buy them, the best peaches are "tree-ripened." Those hard rocks found in most supermarkets will usually (but not always) soften up nicely, but soft is not the same thing as ripe. Whether golden or blushed with a rosy tinge, the color is of little importance. Tree-ripened peaches announce themselves with an unmistakably lush, perfumed aroma, and a local peach is likely to be a little fuzzy-skinned (peaches destined to be shipped are the unfuzzy variety that holds up better in a box). So, fuzz and smell are the criteria by which peaches should be chosen.

Tradition holds that peach pie is lattice-topped, probably because peaches, unlike blueberries, are large enough to keep their shape in the lattice and soft enough, unlike apples, to allow the lattice to be evenly placed on the pie. Though flour or cornstarch are sometimes used to thicken peach pie, my favorite thickener for peach pie is quick-cooking tapioca, which cooks up clear but not artificially glossy.


1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick (about 7 cups)

One 15-ounce package refrigerated folded piecrusts

3 tablespoons heavy or light cream


1. Remove and reserve 2 teaspoons of the sugar. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the remaining sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Stir in the peaches. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes to soften the tapioca.(continued)

2. Preheat the oven to 425F.

3. Keeping one crust refrigerated, unfold the other crust and ease it into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Spoon the peaches and juices into the crust, spreading evenly. Dribble with 2 tablespoons of the cream.

4. Unfold the remaining crust and place it on a lightly floured surface. Use a small, sharp knife or a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to cut the crust into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide strips. Lay the longest strip vertically in the center over the fruit. Lay another long strip horizontally in the center over the fruit. Now alternate and crisscross vertical and horizontal strips, about 11/2 inches apart, on either side of the center so that there is a total of 5 vertical and 5 horizontal strips. Flute the edge of the bottom crust, pinching in the ends of the strips. Use any extra top crust to patch and build up the fluted edges. Brush the lattice with the remaining 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with the reserved 2 teaspoons sugar.

5. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400F. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375F. Carefully remove the pie from the oven, place a 14-inch square of aluminum foil on the rack, fold up the edges of the foil to form a rim, and move the rack to the center of the oven. Place the pie on the foil and bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is rich golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

6. Cool the pie on a rack, then serve warm or at room temperature.


Old-Fashioned Peaches and Cream Pie Tips

*To peel peaches, place them in a pan of boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds. Remove with tongs and run under cold water. Use a small knife to loosen the skin, then slip the peel from the peaches.

*If available, use two varieties of peaches for a more complex flavor.

*Make peach pie in the summer, when fresh, ripe peaches are available. Don't bother with canned or frozen peaches for pie.


Old-Fashioned Peaches and Cream Pie Variations

*Nectarine pie--related to peaches, nectarines are smooth-skinned (no need to peel), slightly firmer and sweeter than peaches. A couple of nectarines can be substituted for peaches in a pie, but if you make a whole nectarine pie, reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup to compensate for the increased sweetness.

*Blueberry-peach pie--fruits that have the same season often team up well in a pie, and this is especially true of peaches and blueberries. Substitute 1 cup blueberries for 1 cup of the peaches (about 2 peaches).

*For a Southern taste, add 2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum to the peaches.

*Substitute 1/2 cup light brown sugar for 1/2 cup granulated sugar for a more caramelized flavor.
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