My New Kitchen Toy


Introducing my new kitchen toy – A Grill Press Pan!  2 years ago for my birthday I got a Panini Press, I loved it while it lasted…first one lasted about 6 months, second one (replacement) maybe 8 months.  So I have been without Panini/grilled sandwiches for quite some time.  Last week I hosted a Pampered Chef Party and this was the Host Special (it was a steal!).  I was quite excited to give it a try.




I didn’t have a whole lot in the house so this is what I managed to put together… While the grill was preheating I prepared the sandwich. I made a garlic mayo, with turkey breast, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese


Butter is sizzling as soon as it hits the grill!


Doing its magic under the heavy press…


Looks fantastic!!



This sandwich was simple but so delicious!  I don’t know what happens to a sandwich when you put it in a grill press/panini press, but there is literally magic that goes on in there.  I have eaten this sandwich many, many times, but grilling it just brought it to a while new level.

I must say I think I like the stove top version much better then the electric one.  This one seemed to have more even heat and I was able to control the heat more, as I can see the flame and there is nothing to break down on this one.  The outside was beautifully crunchy adding such great texture to the sandwich.

I look forward to creating many, many more delicious sandwiches…stay tuned!

Daring Bakers Make Dutch Crunch Bread

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Normally when I see that bread is our monthly challenge I am a bit disappointed. Firstly because I don’t like making bread and second I want to make ooey gooy treats!  This month I was grateful to see bread because it is Lent, and for Lent I give up ALL JUNK.  I don’t have any sweets (it’s killer really, I would give my eye teeth to have a Cadbury Mini Egg right now), chips, pop etc.  It is hard making a lovely baked good and not being able to eat it, so yipppy for bread!

I had never heard of Dutch Crunch Bread, it is also refered to as Tiger Bread.  Dutch Crunch doesn’t refer to the type of bread, but rather the topping that is spread over the bread before baking.  As the Dutch Crunch is more of a topping we were able to use any bread recipe we wanted and just had to add the topping.  I stuck with the recipe they provided in the challenge, seemed simple enough for me.

Dutch Crunch Braed

Dutch Crunch Topping

Servings: This recipe should make sufficient topping for two 9×5 loaves (23cmx13cm) or 12 rolls. If you make only 6 rolls in the first soft white roll recipe, you can cut the topping recipe in half.

We’ve provided this recipe first because it is the mandatory aspect of the challenge. Note, however, that you should not prepare the topping until the bread you’ve selected to bake is almost finished rising (~15 minutes from baking).

Ingredients ( I halved the recipe for 8 buns)

2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C)
2 tablespoons  sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon  salt
1½ cups rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour) (increase by 1 cup or more for home-made rice flour)


1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, as shown below, it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary . Let stand 15 minutes.

(I had to ass at least a 1/4 cup more water to get it the right consistency, it was dry and crumbly)

Much better

2. Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. Just to use a spoon and kind of spread it around. You should err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
3. Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends. With the Soft White Roll, you can place the rolls directly into the oven after applying the topping.
4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.

Soft White Roll


1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-110º F) (41-43°C)
1 cup warm milk (105-110º F) (41-43°C)
1½ tablespoons  sugar
2 tablespoons  vegetable oil (plus additional olive or vegetable oil for greasing bowl during rising)
1½ teaspoons  salt
Up to 4 cups all purpose flour


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit for about 5 minutes (The mixture should start to bubble or foam a bit and smell yeasty).

5 Minutes later

2. Add in vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of flour. Using the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon, mix at medium speed until the dough comes together.

3. Add remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

5. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size

6. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 equal portions (if you’d like to make rolls) or 2 equal portions (if you’d like to make a loaf) (using a sharp knife or a dough scraper works well). Shape each into a ball or loaf and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (try not to handle the dough too much at this point). ( I made 8 buns, they were a good size)

7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
8. Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping as described above. While the original recipe recommends letting them stand for 20 minutes after applying the topping, I got better results by putting them directly into the oven.

9. Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated moderately hot 380ºF 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating. ( I had to put oven on broil for a few minutes to get the nice brown top)

They looked perfect!

They were a little to heavy/dense for my liking, was expecting a softer roll,

but that could have been error on my part

The second aspect of the challenge was to showcase your Dutch Crunch Bread in a sandwich of your choice!  This was right up my ally, I LOVE sandwiches!!!  If I had to pick one type of food to life on for the rest of my life it would be sandwiches.

Brushed the cut bun with homemade garlic butter and toasted it on the bbq

BBQ pork tenderloin and grilled onions

Cheese and lettuce

This sandwich was delicious!  It was a good challenge, I will probably not make it again though, not a fan of making bread.

Thank you Sara and Erica

My New Love!

I got an early birthday present  from Mike this year, a Panini Press!!! I have always wanted a one but thought it would be a bad idea because I know I will eat waaaaaaaaay to many sandwiches. And yes I am that excited about it to make a post, although I did not pose with it as I did with my Kitchen Aid Mixer, I was made fun of too much!

This not only is a panini press its a griddle and a grill

So of course for dinner that night we had to have panini sandwiches.  Off to the store we went to get some bread and buns and a few other ingredients to make our own sandwiches.

Italian bread, pesto, chicken, roasted red peppers and cheese

Marinara Sauce and Cheese

Ham, cheese, onion, black olives

Chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, black olives, marinara, mayo

The final product

WOW! Were they good!  I think mine, the top one, would give St. Veronus a run for their money.  I really hope the novelty wears off soon….eating too many sandwiches!