Thursday, April 5, 2012

Italian Easter Egg Bread

easter egg bread
This is a traditional sweet bread found around Easter time. It is a very decorative bread that can be the center of the table with some greenery, chicks, and maybe a chocolate bunny added for effect.

1 cup warm milk
1 package yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup melted butter
3-3 1/2 cups flour
Colored eggs (raw, the eggs cook in the oven)
Sprinkles and powdered sugar icing (optional)

Mix the first 7 ingredients. Add the flour and knead to form a soft dough that is not sticky. Form dough into a ball and allow to double in bulk (about 1 1/2 hrs). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two pieces. Roll each piece into a snake and wrap them around each other. Form this into a ring. Nestle the colored eggs into the dough and allow the dough to rise another hour. Brush the dough with egg wash (for a shiny deep brown) or just melted butter. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. The finished bread may be decorated with icing and sprinkles if you like.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rosemary Ciabatta Recipe

rosemary ciabatta
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. It adds a great taste to breads like this rosemary ciabatta.

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (more if you like)
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup dough starter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup water

Mix these ingredients together and add 2 1/2 cups of bread flour. It will be a wet dough. Mix just to combine. Allow this to rise covered for 3 hours. Then stir it/fold it over itself. Let rise 1 1/2 hours. Fold it over itself again and let it rise 1 more hour. Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface. Being gentle fold it over itself and then slightly flatten it out. Cut the dough into squares as bit or as little as you like (don't try to make them perfect squares). Place them on a greased baking sheet and let them rise 2 hours. Bake in a steamy oven on 500 degrees for 20 min (450 if your oven burns easily). The result will be crispy, chewy, light ciabatta with a hint of rosemary.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Multi-grain Seed Bread

multi-grain bread
This is a dark, hearty bread that is very healthy for you. I like it as an alternative to plain old whole wheat bread.

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten

Mix the flours, seeds, and vital wheat gluten together in a bowl. Set aside. Combine all the other ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the flour and knead a few minutes until a soft dough forms. Move to a greased bowl and let the dough rise until fully doubled. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into two loaves. Place them into greased loaf pans and let the dough rise until it comes just to the top of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes. I like it served toasted with butter or cream cheese.