Easy baking recipes, dishes and non-bake stuff are just what a girl needs to start appreciating all those interesting kitchen appliances! Like an oven for example! Now, that thing used to seem very friendly when my mom was around. Then I got married, got an oven of my own (it came with the husband actually) and guess what? It started giving me the “Look.” Seriously…now that mom was not around, oven was so not looking like the user friendly appliance I remember. I approached it carefully, used it warily and somehow, at some point we befriended. I have a few great baking recipes for beginners to thank for that and I really wanted to run them by you today. Check them out.
1. Stale Bread Pizza
First on my list of easy baking recipes is a real piece of cake… err pizza! It’s my brother’s favorite dinner option, my mother’s creative way to use yesterday’s bread, it’s super tasty and a definite must-try if your family members tend to be as picky about their bread as we are.
Cheese, Ham, Ketchup (+ everything else you like on your pizza)
Cut your bread up in thin slices, whisk the eggs, dip each slice in the eggs and arrange in a non stick baking dish to form a pizza-bread. Once you’ve molded them all, spread ketchup on top, adding ham, oregano as well as everything else you might have in your fridge and wouldn’t mind having on your pizza. Cheese comes last then it’s into the oven (preheat it to 200°C/400°F) until it gets a nice, golden tan. Cut, serve and bon appetit!
This soft, tasty cake is very popular in Serbia and, having experimented with it just three days ago, I can definitely see why! The best thing about it? You can be the world’s worst cook and it will still come out perfectly! Seriously! Short of burning it or mistaking salt for sugar, there is no way to ruin it! And here’s what you’ll need:
6 Tablespoons Sugar
8 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Oil
100gr Chopped Walnuts or Almonds
50gr Dried Fruit of Choice
1 Orange (Juice and Zest)
¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder (3-4 grams)
Separate egg whites and beat them into a hard cream. Add sugar then add yolks, working the mixture with your mixer at the same time. Turn the mixer off at this point, then add the rest of the ingredients one by one, giving the mixture a few spoon strokes after each ingredient just to keep it well blended. Pour into a greased cake mold and bake for about 20-40 minutes in the oven preheated to 200°C. Use a toothpick trick to make sure it’s done – stick it into your cake and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
3. Bread Sticks
This next super easy baking recipe will not only help you rediscover your oven but turn out to be a lifesaver in the event of a last minute visit or a late-night craving! These taste absolutely heavenly, aren’t the bready, hard to chew type but a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth kind of thing and require only the most basic of skills! Furthermore, I don’t think baking for beginners has ever been this easy or tasted this great! Do correct me if I’m wrong but not before you try these:
1/2kg Flour (1.1 pound)
1 Cup White Wine
1 Cup Oil
Salt (to taste)
12gr Baking Powder
Mix flour, oil, baking powder and white wine, kneed well then add salt (if unsure, taste the dough). Knead the dough some more then cut into three equal pieces. Thin each piece into a 10cm high, 2 fingers thick strip, then sprinkle sesame on one side (you can coat each side with beat egg whites first to make sure the seeds will stick) and linseed on the other. Cut into strips (about 1cm wide), twist each like a rope and bake in an oven preheated to medium heat until they turn they get a nice golden tan.
4. Oven Baked Cheese Filled Peppers
Speaking about those great recipes that can make baking for beginners effortless – here’s one interesting, relatively traditional side dish you might want to taste! It's one of my favorites and, now that I’ve mentioned it, I must admit that it’s been ages since the last time I’ve made it! Must correct that mistake as soon as possible but not before I give the recipe, of course!
7-10 Sweet Long Green Peppers (depending on the size of your baking dish)
14-20 Tablespoons Soft White Cheese
Chopped Parsley and Dill Weed
Remove the tops and clean the inside of your peppers, then fill each one with a mixture of soft white cheese and chopped herbs. You’ll need about two tablespoons for each pepper and you can use strips of bacon or tomato slices to close each one or choose to leave them as they are. Place peppers into a non-stick baking dish and bake on medium heat until they go soft. That’s it! Seriously – that’s it!
5. Sanja’s Chicken Baklava
The credits for this dish go to my friend Sanja, a girl who got stuck with the job of feeding me a number of times and always managed to put her heart and soul into all that beautiful, great tasting food she made! And Chicken Baklava…well, I believe the world really needs to know about it! It’s one of those easy baking recipes that simply calls out for all kinds of compliments to the chef and once you see how quick and effortless this is going to turn out, you’ll want to make it all the time!
2 Large Chicken Breasts
Thin Slices of Smoked Ham or Bacon
Boil chicken breasts, let them cool down then tear into small pieces. Grab a medium sized baking dish or a classic round cake mold and layer the ingredients starting with bacon/ham, adding chicken and following up with shredded cheese. Repeat the process until you run out of ingredients, making sure you end with a layer of cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden, leave it to cool down and cut into small, baklava-like squares.
I’ve copy-pasted this recipe from my sister-in-law and she found it in the back of the box of Giotis béchamel sauce – go figure! But, seriously, no alterations whatsoever and it’s the best pastitsio recipe ever! Now, for all of you who live outside Greece yet crave for a small sinfully delicious piece of Mediterranean, here's how to make it. And I promise you, this still falls under the category of baking for beginners! It does require some cooking but is pretty easy nevertheless!
700gr ground beef and lamb meat
1 Big Onion
¼ Cup Oil
Chopped Parsley (about a handful)
250gr Tomato Juice or 2 Big Tomatoes
1 Package (500gr) Macaroni for Pastitsio (No 2)
200gr Shredded Kefaloturi (or Parmesan)
200gr Shredded Kefalograviera (or graviera, or gauda)
1 Tablespoon Butter
Salt, Pepper, All Spice
Béchamel Mixture (one box or 174 grams)
1 ½ L Milk
Combine chopped onion and oil and cook until translucent. Add ground meat, cook about 10 minutes then add parsley, salt, pepper, all spice, tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes. Let it simmer until most of the water evaporates. Let the filling cool down a bit before stirring in two (whisked) eggs. Cook pasta, drain it and mix ¾ of cheese in. Layer a very thin layer of pasta on the bottom of an oiled baking dish, spread the meat filling over it then cover with the rest of the pasta. Combine béchamel mixture and milk following the instructions in the back of the box then pour béchamel over the top layer of pasta. Sprinkle melted butter on top, top up with remaining cheese and bake on 200°C for about 40 minutes or until it gets a nice golden glow.
7. Easy Cheese Pie
Lastly, here's a great recipe for all you cheese lovers! You might even have all the components in your kitchen right this minute. If you've never tried a cheese pie, now's the time to start, with a homemade pie no less!
1 Pack Phyllo Dough (500gr or 10-12 sheets)
200 Grams Feta Cheese
3 Tablespoons of Greek Yoghurt
Separate the sheets and test their thickness. In case they are very thin layer three for each pie, in case they are a bit thicker use two. Make a creamy filling by combining feta cheese, 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and one egg. Now layer one sheet of Phyllo, sprinkle three tablespoons of olive oil, use your hand to splash some water onto it, cover with another sheet and spread the cheese filling leaving the top quarter empty. Roll it and place in a greased baking dish. Repeat until you run out of Phyllo dough then coat each pie with a mixture of one egg and one tablespoon yoghurt. Pay special attention to the sides, adding water or oil to soften them up and prevent them from getting all dry and flaky. Bake on 200°C for about half an hour or until it gets a nice color.
Would you like to update this list and help make baking for beginners easier? Do share! My list of recipes runs pretty short but I’m desperately trying to learn! And I’ll be a good student, I promise! What do you say? Have a great, tasty, easy baking recipe for me? I’m all ears!