Much like the weather, the recipes our readers made in April were quite unpredictable. Based on overall pageviews, there was a great blend of different flavors and cuisines, including Middle Eastern and Indian, that you can enjoy no matter the weather outside. Check out the top five recipes everyone was making this month, and then view the top 25 in this collection.
1. One-Hour Pizza
For our One-Hour Pizza recipe, we employed a handful of tricks to get a crust that was crisp, tender, and light without the need for a prolonged proofing period. First, we used a high percentage of yeast and warm water in the dough to make sure it proofs in 30 minutes. We also used a combination of semolina and bread flours. Finally, to create a light and tender crust, we rolled the dough between two sheets of lightly oiled parchment paper immediately after mixing so that it could relax while it proofed. [GET THE RECIPE]
2. Cast Iron Baked Pepperoni Pizza Dip
To bring pizza party flavor to a fun, easy appetizer, we turned classic pepperoni pie into a rich, cheesy dip that we could bake and serve right in the skillet. The cast iron's excellent heat retention ensured that the cheese didn't separate or become congealed but stayed warm and gooey until the skillet had been scraped clean, with no need for Sterno or a hot plate. For the rich base of our dip, we combined cream cheese, mozzarella, and pizza sauce. Stirring in crisped pepperoni finalized the familiar flavor profile. Naturally, the perfect partner for our creamy, saucy dip was pizza dough. We rolled out ½-ounce dough balls, tossed them with garlic oil, and baked them right in the skillet. The cast iron created a crisp, golden bottom on these pull-apart garlic rolls. The dip mixture was then spooned into the center of the skillet, inside the ring of parbaked mini rolls, and the whole thing was baked in the oven. We topped the dip with fresh basil and reserved pepperoni crisps. Partygoers can simply pull off a garlicky roll and use it to scoop out some cheesy dip. [GET THE RECIPE]
3. Beef Short Rib Ragu
For this ragu, we chose a rich, beefy cut of meat—boneless short ribs—and paired it with umami-rich ingredients to produce a deeply flavored sauce that required far less time and work. Boneless beef short ribs contributed a velvety texture and robust flavor while porcini mushrooms, tomato paste, and anchovies added savory notes to make this relatively quick sauce taste as though it had taken all day to make. Braising it in the oven made it a largely hands-off proposition, and removing the lid partway through cooking browned the meat, deepening its flavor and eliminating the messy step of browning it before braising. [GET THE RECIPE]
4. Duchess Potato Casserole
Pommes duchesse is a classic French preparation of piped individual mounds of egg-enriched mashed potatoes. They can be made in advance, they look festive, and they taste great with a variety of entrées; however, they are rather fussy to prepare. To make this dish easier to pull off, we skipped the piping and baked the mashed potatoes in a baking dish. Our mashed potatoes, made from buttery Yukon Golds, are enhanced with butter, egg yolks, half-and-half, and nutmeg. To give the casserole a crisp, golden brown, attractive finish, we coated the top with a mixture of butter and egg whites and then scored the surface with a paring knife before baking. [GET THE RECIPE]
5. Ultimate Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
For the ultimate flaky biscuits, we grate the butter so that it’s evenly distributed in the flour mixture, which is key for flakiness. Freezing the butter prior to grating ensures that it stays in individual pieces throughout the mixing and shaping process. Using a higher-protein all-purpose flour provides the right amount of structure for flakiness (rather than fluffiness, which you’d get with a lower-protein flour) without toughness, while buttermilk gives the biscuits tang and sugar lends complexity. To produce the maximum number of layers, we roll out and fold the dough like a letter five times. Cutting the biscuits into squares is easy and avoids any wasted scraps (or tough rerolls). And finally, we learned that letting the dough rest for 30 minutes and trimming away the edges ensures that the biscuits rise up tall and true in the oven.
Want to see the rest of our top 25? Check out our Most Popular America's Test Kitchen Recipes in April collection.