I’ve never had much success with bread. Every few months I’ll decide to try a new recipe and it just never ends up quite like I want it to. It could be that I’m using American recipes and French ingredients. Maybe it’s my oven. Maybe I don’t quite let the bread rise enough before baking. Who knows. When I was dreaming up an elaborate menu for New Year’s Eve at the end of last year, I wanted to make some sort of bread to go along with everything. I guess I like the satisfaction of making an entire meal from scratch. Obviously, for such a fun occasion, I couldn’t let myself end up with a mediocre side dish. I happened to get the December issue of Bon Appétit in the mail right around this time and I knew that these popovers were just what I needed. No yeast, more of a batter than a dough, and filled with nutmeg and freshly ground pepper.
These came together really easily and were no fuss in the oven. I threw them in and took a peek every few minutes but they browned nice and slowly, and puffed up and over my muffin tin in about a half an hour. The end result is a light but dense pastry, kind of like Yorkshire pudding, eggy and full of flavor from the spices. They were heavenly with a small slab of butter that melted when they were hot out of the oven. I do recommend eating these warm. We had leftovers and I reheated them throughout the week to eat with salads, or even with cheese.
Nutmeg and pepper popovers
Recipe from Bon Appétit, December 2012
2 C flour
2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 T salt
1 t freshly ground pepper (I used a mix of different peppercorns)
1 t nutmeg
2 1/2 C milk
3 T melted butter + more to grease your muffin pan
This recipe will no doubt remind you of making pancakes, but the high egg content will give these popovers a whole new texture, somewhere between pancakes and custard. Start by whisking all of the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In another large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk. Add the flour mixture to the beaten eggs and stir to combine. Pour in the melted butter at the last minute and stir just enough to bring the batter together.
Preheat your oven to 425°. Grease a muffin pan and divide the batter among it, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the outside is golden brown and they pop over your baking dish.