6 Easy Bread Recipes You Can Make in a Skillet

A good skillet or pan — one made from cast iron, for example — can be one of the most useful items in your kitchen. If you’re only using these go-to tools for stir-frying vegetables, searing pork chops, or cooking chicken, you’re missing out. Breads, too, can be made in your skillets, either on the stovetop or in the oven. Quality skillets, Cooks Illustrated explains, will evenly distribute heat to your food and last a lifetime. The even distribution of heat is particularly key when making breads, since one side or spot will not cook or bake more quickly than another. So prove your skillet skills by making one of these six breads.

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1. Cast-Iron Skillet Focaccia

A flat bread that can be seasoned with just about any herb or spice and olive oil, focaccia bread is a flavorful alternative to your basic dinner roll. Plus, with Jamie Deen’s Food Network recipe, you won’t need to knead or deal with yeast, since you’ll be using a store-bought dough. You could also check your local pizzeria to see if they sell dough to the public.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-pound) package store-bought pizza dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on the center rack as it preheats. Bring the pizza dough to room temperature. Dust the counter surface with bench flour. Stretch out the dough to a 12-inch circle. Drizzle the hot skillet lightly with just 1 tablespoon of oil. Lift up the skillet by the handle and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan completely.

Add the dough to the hot skillet and carefully stretch it to go halfway up the sides. Press your fingers into the dough to make small indents. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, red onions, and rosemary. Top with the freshly grated Parmesan. Bake on the middle rack until lightly golden brown, about 35 minutes. Slice into wedges to serve.

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2. Skillet Biscuits

Jamie Deen isn’t the only member of his family turning to the skillet for bread baking. His mom, Paula Deen, has an easy way of making biscuits, baking them in a skillet instead of on a baking sheet. The number of biscuits will depend on the size of the biscuit cutter you use and how thinly you roll the dough.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal. Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. Knead dough with your fingers and add milk when necessary. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness. Cut with small biscuit cutter. Butter bottom of skillet and place biscuits in pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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3. Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway

Bon Appétit’s skillet soda bread comes with all the trimmings, a distinctly American way of making the bread. Fine Cooking explains that the real version only includes flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. Although it isn’t the most authentic way to make soda bread, there is no denying the appeal of the added ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 2½ cups raisins
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 2½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter heavy ovenproof 10- to 12-inch-diameter skillet with 2- to 2½-inch-high sides. Whisk first five ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse crumbs form. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend. Add to dough; using wooden spoon, stir just until well incorporated (dough will be very sticky).

Transfer dough to prepared skillet; smooth top, mounding slightly in center. Using a small sharp knife dipped into flour, cut 1-inch-deep X in top center of dough. Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 75 minutes. Cool bread in skillet for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

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4. Flour Tortillas

When making these flour tortillas from Food.com, start with ½ cup water or milk, and add more if necessary when forming the ball of dough. You don’t have to stick with regular all-purpose flour, and can experiment with wheat, spelt, or your own flour mixes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening or ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ to ¾ cup warm water or milk

Directions: Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Into the dry ingredients cut in the shortening, or add oil if you are using, and mix with your fingertips to combine. Add the milk or water, working the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball forms. Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 to 10 balls (for small tortillas) or 6 to 8 balls for larger ones; cover them again with the damp cloth.

Lightly dust a counter or pastry board with flour, and roll out each ball of dough into a circle or oval approximately ¼ inch thick. For nicely rounded tortillas, trim off any ragged edges and discard. Don’t roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry and slightly wrinkled, with a few brown spots on both surfaces. Do not over cook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in damp tea towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas.

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5. Dinner Rolls

To make the dinner rolls from Bread World without an iron skillet, make sure you plan on using is a nonstick, ovenproof skillet. You’ll also need to check the rolls after 13 minutes, since baking time will differ from the times listed for the iron skillet.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ to 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 envelopes RapidRise Yeast (such as Fleischmann’s)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl. Heat water, oil, and 2 tablespoons butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add ½ cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; shape into balls. Place in a greased 10-inch iron skillet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush over rolls. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; brush with any remaining butter, if desired. Serve warm.

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6. Cornbread

To make the best cornbread, there are many who insist you need to use bacon fat, like chef Frank Stitt. “Corn bread made with rendered bacon fat makes for a unique eating experience,” Stitt — the owner and executive chef of Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant, and Chez Fon Fon in Birmingham, Alabama — told Williams-Sonoma. “One of the key things that we do is really heat up the bacon fat until it is super hot, and we mix that into the batter.” Test out his method with Southern Living‘s recipe. If you aren’t convinced, use vegetable oil instead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¾ cups white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Butter, for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with bacon drippings; heat in oven for 10 minutes. Whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add cornmeal, stirring well. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with butter.

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