Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe

cranberry orange bread
This is a great holiday bread (as well as for any other time of the year).

1 1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup dough starter
1 tsp yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup dried cranberries

Mix the first 6 ingredients. Add the cranberries and then the flour. Knead just until it comes together. Allow the dough to rise 2 hrs then fold it over itself. let rise another 1 1/2 hrs and fold it over again. Repeat this once more. On a lightly floured surface shape the dough into 2 round loafs. Place them on a greased baking pan and let them rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Yeast Bread: Rustic Loaf

pumpkin bread
When people hear "pumpkin bread" they immediately think of the sweet quick bread version, but this is the yeast bread version. It is not very sweet. Instead the pumpkin shows its savory side. It can be made sweeter by folding in some cinnamon sugar at the last shaping, and dusting the finished loaf with powdered sugar. Raisins may also be used in the dough.

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
1/2 cup walnuts (or more)
2 cups bread flour
2 cups all purpose flour

Mix the first 7 ingredients together. Then add the nuts, followed by the bread flour. Add enough of the all purpose flour to make a soft dough. Knead lightly and form it into a ball. Allow dough to rise 2 hrs, tap it down and form into a ball again. Let rise 1 more hour. Shape dough into 2 round loaves and let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 min. Enjoy it slightly warm.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe

homemade hamburger bun
I made homemade hamburger buns to go with some Carolina barbeque, and cole slaw. I don't know what was better the buns or the barbeque. The buns were light and tender yet held up well when wet with the vinegar sauce. Here's the recipe:

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 package yeast
4 cups all purpose flour

Mix the first 7 ingredients then add the flour. Knead a few minutes to form a soft dough. If it is too wet add a little more flour but you should not make the dough stiff. Place the dough in a greased bowl and let rise 2 1/2 hrs. Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into 2 in balls- as many as you can make but make it an even number.

Place one ball on top of another and press it down with the palm of your hands. It should be just under 1 in thick. Then using you thumb press the center of the dough patty down slightly. Repeat this with all the dough. Place each patty on a greased baking sheet about 2in apart and let them rise 1- 1 1/2 hrs.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 min until golden brown. Cool completely before attempting to cut them in half. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bread Sticks: Use for Leftover Dough #3

bread sticks
If I have a little leftover dough left from making pizza or italian bread. I like to flatten it out with my hands. Cut it into half inch wide strips and place them on a greased baking sheet to rise for 1/2 hr. I then bake them at 400 degrees F until brown and crisp. While they are warm I brush them with garlic herb butter and sprinkle parmesan cheese on them. Simply wonderful dipped in marinara sauce, soup or plain. Olive Garden eat your heart out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Raisin Nut Tea Ring Recipe

Do You remember my raisin nut buns? If not the recipe can be found here-Raisin Nut Buns

They are tasty as is, but you can bump up the presentation and wow factor a notch if you turn it into a tea ring. Simply follow the recipe for the buns up until the cutting stage, Take the dough log and turn it into a ring by connecting one end to the other (wet the dough and pinch tightly to seal). Now with scissors cut diagonal slashes into the dough about 3-4in apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 min and serve warm or room temperature with a powdered sugar glaze.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cheesy Bread Sticks: Use for leftover dough #2

Cheesy bread sticks are a popular takeout item at pizzerias around the country. They are very simple to make. You can make them using the same dough as Italian bread, pizza, or sandwich bread.

Simply take a ball of dough and roll it into a circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet and moisten the top with water to make it sticky. Then sprinkle the surface of the dough with a mix of grated cheese (I like mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan). Don't make the cheese too thick, and lightly press it into the dough. Allow the dough to rise for about 1/2- 1 hour and then cut it into strips but leave the strips touching. Bake at375 degrees until browned. The sticks will pull apart wonderfully. Serve warm with pasta sauce or garlic butter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From the Archives: Cross Buns (Just in time for Easter)

Easter is almost here so I thought I'd post a recipe for the traditional easter bun. I don't vary much from tradition, but feel free to add sultanas, or chocolate chips in place of the raisins or to add your favorite nut.

1/2 cup warm milk,1/2 cup warm water (you may use all milk for more richness)
1 whole egg and one yolk
1/4 cup melted butter, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil (you may use all one or the other)
1 package yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix these ingredients together. Then add...

1 1/2 cups raisins
3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour (enough to make a soft but not sticky doough)

Knead for 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise 2 hrs. Punch it down. Form dough into a long snake and then cut it into peices- size depending on how big you want your buns. Shape into balls and place on a baking sheet with an inch and a half between them. flatten then slightly. Let them rise an hour (if they touch dont worry). Brush each bun with an egg wash (beaten egg and a tsp of water). Take a knife and press a cross into each bun, then bake until golden brown at 375.

While the buns are baking prepare the frosting by mixing 2 tbsp each of softened butter and cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 tbsp milk.

When the buns have cooled slightly pipe the frosting onto them in the shape of a cross. Serve warm with butter. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Experimental Loaf #3: Cheddar Cheese Bread

With this loaf I experimented adding some left over sharp cheddar cheese (the yellow kind)to my recipe for white bread. The result was the above loaf. The bread had a good texture and enjoyable taste warm. Cool it was not as good, but passable. I will certainly experiment with cheese breads in the future.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Homemade Focaccia Recipe

For me one of the best breads to make sandwiches out of is a nice, light, tender, flat piece of focaccia. Focaccia is extremely easy to make. Here is my recipe.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
herb butter for brushing over the top(I use Italian seasoning mixed with melted butter and olive oil)

Mix all of the ingredients minus the flour until well combined. Add the flour and mix just until it forms a dough with no dry places. Allow the dough to rise for 4 hrs in a warm place. Punch it down and turn it out onto a greased sheet pan. With you finger tips flatten it out to about an inch thick. Allow it to rise 1 hr. With your finger tips make dimples in the surface of the dough. Brush it generously with herb butter, and bake at 375 until golden brown and delicious (about a 1/2 hr).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Monkey Bread: Use for Leftover Dough #1

Monkey bread is basically a cross between sticky buns and doughnut holes. I have no idea how it came into existence but it was probably result of someone having leftover dough and not knowing what to do with it. So they said "well, sugar and butter makes everything better so..." and monkey bread was born. If you have left over sweet bread dough, like that which you make cinnamon buns out of you can make monkey bread.

Simply roll the dough into 1in balls. Then dip each ball first into melted butter and then into cinnamon sugar (mix brown and white sugar) and place the balls into a greased loaf pan, bundt pan or ramekin piling then on top of one another. Drizzle honey over the top of the dough balls so it oozes between them and let them rise 40 min. Bake at 350 degrees F until done (25 min for a small pan, 40 min for a large). Serve warm and enjoy. I guarantee if you put a pile of these out on movie night you can forget the popcorn- no one will miss it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Experimental Loaf 2: Flax Seed Bread

We've all heard of the health benefits of flax seeds. They contain omega-3 fatty acids which lower bad cholesterol (LDL). They also help lower blood triglycerides and to maintain a healthy blood pressure. For these reasons I supplement my diet with flax seed oil. I also like crackers with flax seeds in them. I thought it would be good to make a loaf of flax seed bread. The idea is good but my recipe needs work. While edible, I felt the taste was a little off. I used flax seed meal and whole flax seed on the dough. I believe I added too much flax seed meal thus making the flax seed flavor too strong. Next time I will use much less. I liked the texture of the whole flax seeds so I'm keeping that element the same.