St. Patrick's Grilled Cheese

Yesterday I was browsing my favorite food blogs, looking for St. Patrick's Day inspiration. My dad and I are both fasting from meat for lent, so corned beef and cabbage were out. And anything with Bailey's would be out of reach for my younger brother, fifteen, and sister, eighteen. And then I came across a beautiful skillet bread recipe by Nicole from bakingsbites.com. I absolutely love her blog, and this recipe is super super easy, and easily adapted for either sweet (more sugar) or savory (less sugar). 

When I poked my head in our fridge to grab the milk, I noticed my mom's cheese drawer and a beautiful idea formed in my head. Grilled cheese is one of my most favorite foods. We had a bunch of this amazing gruyere and for people who don't like swiss, a mild cheddar, provolone, and shredded jack also worked, although the cheddar got a little oily. (My brother had his with all of the above.) We also had a fresh tomato, a chicken breast leftover, and some spinach. If only we'd had some bacon or smoked ham!

I simply cut the wheel-shaped bread into wedges, sliced those horizontally and stuffed them full of my ingredients. Warm them, covered, in a skillet over low heat and voila! My favorite combination was just gruyere, spinach and tomato, with a little extra salt and pepper.

2 cups flour (plus extra for kneading)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tbs - 2 tbs sugar
1 cup buttermilk (I use regular milk, add 3/4 tsp cream of tartar, and let it set for ten minutes)

Just whisk together dry ingredients, add the milk (I made a well and added milk slowly, but I'm not sure it was necessary; just something I picked up from other bread making), and knead as little as you can, only until it's no longer sticky. I had to add about 1/4 cup of flour to get to this point. Shape it into a ball and roll it out to match the size of your skillet. "Bake" it, uncovered, over low to medium heat for about seven-ten minutes per side, until the crust is golden brown and the bread is set.

For my savory bread, I added onion powder, dried parmesan cheese, and cracked pepper to the dry ingredients; when I rolled it out, I coated one side of the crust in corn meal. I also made a dessert soda bread, adding cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice (1 tbs, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2) and raisins and walnuts to the dry ingredients. When it was done, I drizzled creamed honey over the warm bread and dusted it with powdered sugar. (Only half of it was eaten, so for breakfast I cut it open, toasted it, and spread it with butter.)

Happy cooking!

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