It’s been awhile since I have written but now it is bread baking season and I have no long camping trips planned. I have perused my cookbooks and have listed various dishes I want to cook and bake. Sometimes I find recipes of interest on the internet as well as other blog sites. I also have tried and true recipes that I repeatedly use. Not always of interest to write about. But then there is this…
It is important to use kitchen twine. I found that I did not have enough, 3 lengths of 24 inches, so used a length of cheesecloth for the third string. I had to carefully tweeze threads out of the indentations after baking but no real harm done.
The instructions were to tie the twine not too tightly. I think they must have made several loaves to get the right tension. I think I should have not used the cinnamon stick to hold up the twine. I probably thought that the bread would rise enough on the second rise to make it taut. But it did not. Still, it does look like a winter squash of some kind!
My cinnamon sticks are apparently too old. It did not fill the kitchen with a wonderful aroma while baking.
I ate a wedge for breakfast and found it had good flavor and a dense texture, but not too dense.
This was baked with a new batch of yeast packets. I had baked a pumpkin yeast bread earlier in the month but found that the yeast had gone past…disappointing because it was less than a year old and I had it stored in the fridge. So if you have a big batch of yeast in a container somewhere check it for life before investing it in baking bread.
This weekend’s treat from Mom’s green recipe notebook is lemon bread. The clipping is from the back of a Kroger flour bag from who knows when? Mom collected a lot of these recipe clippings and sometimes hand wrote and/or typed them out in red or black ink with her own adjustments. I don’t know how many of these she actually made. So this journey is for her. Thanks Mom for all the baked goodies that you did make and the ones you may have hoped to bake.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon extract
1/2 cup milk, I used unsweetened almond milk.
Grated rind of one lemon, it’s juice, and additional 1/3 cup sugar
This apparently doubles as bread or cake according to the recipe. We ate it almost all in one day; it was so tasty!
Preheat oven to 325 but I put it at 350 degrees F. Grease 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan. I put a piece of parchment paper lengthwise to aid in removing loaf from the pan after baking.
Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar then add eggs one at a time beating well each time. Here is where I added the lemon extract. Add dry ingredients alternately with the milk. I forgot to add the lemon rind. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.
At this time warm the lemon juice and dissolve the 1/3 cup sugar in it. Here is where I added the lemon zest. This works nicely in a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Pour this over the loaf and return to the oven for 5-8 more minutes.
What is for supper when I’ve used up everything in the produce drawer, the meats in the freezer are too big to thaw quickly, and I have to be at work? It’s a cold rainy fall day so soup seems in order. But what soup to make with frozen mixed vegetables as the main ingredient? There’s not even a potato in the house!
Building a soup, as my sister says, can be an adventure in creativity. Here’s what I found to use. I had a half a box of beef broth in the fridge. There were remains of green onions in the produce drawer. I found a bit of ground beef hanging about the fridge freezer. Earlier I had found the ground turkey and mistook it for an Italian sausage, hubby had made sausage and peppers a few weeks before, so it was still in the freezer waiting for a use.
Beef broth, enough to cover the ingredients in the crock pot, about 2-4 cups;
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
White ends of two green onions, sliced
One garlic clove, minced
14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, these had basil, oregano, and garlic seasonings
¼ pound ground beef
½-3/4 pound ground turkey
Fresh herbs, parsley and spicy oregano
I sautéed the onion and garlic with the ground meats until the meats were browned. I used a bit of olive oil in the pan as well. I put this and the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot and covered with the beef broth. I set this on low and let it cook all day.
Sixty minute rolls are a staple from the Fleischmann’s Yeast bread book my Mom gave me eons ago. These are a tasty dinner roll that does not take hours and hours to make.
3 ½ to 4 ½ cups of flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages yeast; I use instant yeast which is 3 teaspoons plus a scant bit more.
1 cup milk; I did not have milk of any kind in my refrigerator so I opened a can of evaporated milk
½ cup water
½ stick butter = ¼ cup
Mix 1 ½ cups flour and next three ingredients in the mixer bowl. Heat the milk, water, and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F). Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add ½ cup flour and beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough and knead until smooth and elastic. I do all of this in the KitchenAid with the dough hook. Place in greased bowl and cover; let rise 15 minutes.
At this stage I read that that first rise is to be done by placing the dough bowl in a pan of hot water. This is news to me! I have been making these rolls forever and have never done that. One thing about making bread and knowing how it works, I apparently mostly read the ingredients, skim over the directions, add up the rising and baking times, and just go about the business of baking bread. So this time I did put the bowl in a pan of hot water mainly because it was a cold and rainy day.
After rising, turn dough out on lightly floured board and shape into rolls as you like. The recipe gives directions for Curlicues and Lucky Clovers. I decide on Lucky Clovers. Divide dough into 24 pieces, shape into balls, put in greased muffin tins, cut crosswise into the top of the dough almost to the bottom.
Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes. Bake these in a 425 degree oven about 12 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks.
I am working from home (miracle of miracles) part of the time. When going into the agency I am wearing a mask. Said mask is to last 5 shifts. I made a cloth mask to wear over it although contact with people is minimal, making being in the office a very grim place to be. But I am working and am not furloughed and am counting my blessings.
On weekends I bake. This past weekend I made a cake and Hubby and I ate it in two days. Not a good thing. Lunchtime on tele-working days has resulted in an apple pie and a chocolate snack cake over the past two weeks. Oh, and cookie dough. The problem with cookie dough is that I freeze rolls of it and then can slice and bake a dozen cookies each day, which I did, and we ate! Weekends have bread baking sessions. So when Hubby went out to the grocery store he bought plenty of flour.
Looking through my Fleischmann’s yeast cook-booklet I came across Verona Loaf. At the time of this bake I had been running low on flour so wanted a recipe that did not call for 7-8 cups. Verona Loaf calls for half that. Although it says “loaf” it is made in rounds or boules. This recipe makes two. And is more than just flour, salt, water, and yeast.
3 ¾ to 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 packages active dry yeast (I use instant yeast so 2 teaspoons)
¼ cup softened butter
¾ cup very warm tap water (120-130 degrees F)
3 eggs, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup cold butter
In large bowl thoroughly mix 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, lemon peel, and yeast. Then add softened butter. Gradually add hot water to dry ingredients and mix at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs, vanilla and ½ cup flour and beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make soft dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk about 45 minutes.
I am using my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. I use the dough hook throughout. I use speed 2 for medium although maybe that should be 4 which I use for high speed because 6 just seems too fast.
After the first rising comes the interesting part. This will now be laminated similar to puff pastry. First turn dough on floured board and roll dough to ½ inch thickness. Cut 2 tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces and place on center 1/3 of dough. Fold 1/3 of dough over butter. Now place the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter, also cut into small pieces, on top of the folded third. Bring remaining third of dough over to cover the butter. Now roll the dough into an 18 inch strip, fold in thirds, and wrap loosely in wax paper (or parchment) and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Repeat rolling procedure and folding into thirds and refrigeration. Repeat twice. Next, on floured surface divide dough in half. Lightly knead each half and shape into a ball. Place in 2 greased 8-inch round pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 35 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. I have found that my oven requires the maximum bake time plus 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. (Sprinkle with sugar while warm. I’m not certain I did this last bit.)
Quite a while ago Hubby asked if I could make Cinnamon Bread, or at least I think he did, but I did not make any. King Arthur Flour’s website is a gold mine of baking recipes for us home cooks. I saw this and thought I would make this. I used to bake breads all winter long but not this winter. Not sure why? Here is the link to the original recipe from KAF: Cinnamon Bread. I made a few adjustments.
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup instant dry milk
3 tablespoons potato flour
7/8 to 1 1/8 cups warm tap water
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Whisk dry ingredients together in large bowl of stand mixer. Put butter and water together in Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds. Add the liquid to the dry, stir to combine, and then knead for 7 minutes at Speed 2. I first used the lesser amount of water but the recipe said the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl. With the lesser amount the dough cleaned the sides right away so I added the extra 1/4 cup. This made a more sticky dough that seemed to match the description from the recipe.
Place the dough in a greased bowl. To do this I scrape the dough to one side of the mixing bowl, spray with cooking spray, then scrape the dough to the sprayed side, and spray the rest of the bowl and the top of the dough. Cover and let rise until doubled. This took about an hour and 15 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased work surface. I did this. I had never not used a floured work surface for bread making. And this worked out well. Pat the dough into a 6 inch by 20 inch rectangle. Lucky for me my butcher block work surface has a pattern of 2 inch squares all over the top. So measuring the rectangle was to perfection!
Make the filling: 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons flour. Beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush this on the dough before sprinkling on the cinnamon mixture. This is to keep the swirl from making gaps in the bread while baking. Roll into a log starting with the short end. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal. Place in your lightly greased or sprayed loaf pan. Tent loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until 1 inch over the rim of the pan.
The size of your loaf pan will matter. I spent my morning measuring the three I have and they are all 9″ x 5″ pans. This loaf, per KAF, will rise more nicely in an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pan. In the 9″ x 5″ pan it will rise to the rim. Mine rose very slightly above the rim in 1 hour and 20 minutes time.
Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven. “Allow the bread to completely cool before slicing.” Yeah right!
This was yummy and makes a nice toast with my coffee. I just have to be sure I don’t eat it all in one day; that would wreak havoc with my goal of losing a few pounds!
I like recipes from which I learn something. From this one I learned that one could substitute potato flour for instant potato flakes, using an egg wash helps the filling stay in place, and one can use a lightly oiled work surface for shaping bread dough.
I have not written nor baked in a while. We have been eating ordinary meals. You know, baked frozen fish, grilled chicken or burgers, frozen vegetables, scrambled eggs with onion and peppers, and open-faced grilled cheese with tomatoes. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a pinch! Sometimes I just do not feel like cooking, so when Hubby comes home he throws something together. The open-face grilled cheese with tomatoes are one of his specialties.
At my last camping weekend I brought along the Settlement Cookbook to look through. There are some bread recipes that looked good. Simple and straightforward breads, quick and raised. My mother had given me a paperback Settlement Cookbook when I got my first apartment. I knew how to bake but not how to cook. This book was my guide to cooking meat and vegetables. I remember making biscuit dough cinnamon rolls from this book. Unfortunately like most well-used cookbooks it fell apart and eventually I could not justify saving the torn thing. 😦
At a tag sale (yard sale, garage sale, depending on what region of the country you hail from) there was this newly revised Settlement Cookbook. So I bought it for sentimental reasons. This edition was published in 1965, 1976.
I was originally looking at the banana bread since I had extra ripe bananas in the house. But I froze those so the pressure was lessened. I had some dried apricots so the apricot bread was my choice for the afternoon. I figure I have to bake while the weather allows.
Alterations to the recipe as pictured above are as follows:
why would one grind the dried apricots? I roughly chopped them.
I used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour; to be healthy.
I did not have to strain the orange juice because the juice I like does not have pulp.
The batter smelled quite orange-y. The loaf came out very nicely colored and crunchy on the outside. The inside is quite nice with the squares of apricots and nuts throughout. For the future I might add a teaspoon of ginger and/or cinnamon for added kick!
I suppose spreading it with apricot preserves might be a bit too much!
I came home from work one day this past week and wanted to make something in a loaf pan. I took a handful of cookbooks outdoors and sat at the patio table looking through them to find something to make. I know that a traditional pound cake is a loaf cake but I wanted something else. This recipe is from my KitchenAid cookbook published in 1992. It is the larger cookbook, spiral bound, and not the one that comes with the mixer. I have that one as well but my sister said this larger one does not have all of the recipes from the smaller one, so I kept them both.
I have two lemons that need to be used. I have buttermilk but this recipe did not call for that. After deciding on this recipe I find a similar recipe using buttermilk on the back of the walnut package. Oh well, maybe next time.
I actually did a mise en place. Even chopping the walnuts and zesting the lemon before starting to make the batter. Highly unusual for me with baking in that I always assume that I have everything I need.
This is a tasty and moist bread. It is very nice to have with morning coffee. It would be nice with afternoon tea.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk; I used vanilla almond milk.
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel; I zested one medium sized lemon and juiced it for the lemon glaze (see below).
Put butter, sugar, and eggs in the mixer bowl and beat for one minute at speed 6. I was amazed at how this higher speed creamed everything together so much nicer that using the lower speeds. Combine dry ingredients and add alternating with the milk, ending with the flour. Stir in the zest and the nuts.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake at 325 F for 55-65 minutes. Brush with Lemon Glaze and cool in pan for 15 minutes; remove and cool on wire rack.
Lemon Glaze: 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 3 tablespoons sugar. The recipe says to bring to a boil over medium heat and stir until slightly thickened. Well, I put the juice and sugar in a small microwave safe bowl and nuked it for about 90 seconds in 30 second intervals. I poured this over the warm bread.
I had just read that breads and cakes made with citrus zest supposedly taste better the next day after the flavors permeate. I sent a piece to work with Hubby the next day and he reported that this is so.
This turned out to be a bit of a labor intensive “quick” bread but lovely to eat. But first a few thoughts.
We are having a major snow storm so I did not have to go to work this day. It is a wonder to be “non-essential” and yet so much expectations and pressure at work to do more with less as each day goes by.
It will be a good day to try a new recipe or bake something yummy. But I have not been too inspired lately. The political situation has taken over my brain!!
In honor of the Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl commercial celebrating immigrants I got out my Anheuser-Busch Great Food Great Beer cookbook to find something to make. I could cook or bake. There are some great recipes in there! But I did not have one or two essential ingredients for some of the main dishes. What? You say. When did that ever stop you? What can I say? There was a lovely gingerbread cake recipe but it called for 1 1/2 cups of butter and I thought that was a lot of butter when trying to lose some weight.
So, it being winter in New England, I got out my The New England Table cookbook to find something. There’s a lovely lemon pudding cake and a cranberry-pecan quick bread. Guess which one I chose? Although I may bake the other as well. Wait and see!
I had everything for this recipe except the buttermilk. But it is so easy to make your own sour milk. And just because I had no milk doesn’t stop me either. I used diluted half-and-half. I also thought I would make it healthier by substituting half the flour with whole wheat pastry flour. I also toast the pecans in a dry skillet on top of the stove instead of in the oven. And I got to use my mortar and pestle to grind cardamom seeds. And that aroma was heavenly!
2 cups flour; I used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup unbleached all-purpose
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom; this was two pods
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup buttermilk; I put a teaspoon of lemon juice in the measuring cup (you can also use vinegar), added 1/3 cup half-and-half, and added water to the 2/3 cup mark
finely grated zest and juice of one large navel orange; I zested a fresh orange but used 1/4 cup prepared orange juice; I wanted to eat the orange for my morning snack!
1 extra large egg; mine was just large
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries; oops! the recipe calls for these to be coarsely chopped; I put them in whole
3/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped; I did remember to chop these
The labor intensity of this quick bread comes about for toasting the pecans, grinding the cardamom seeds, and making the buttermilk. Okay, that may not sound like a lot, but I did not read the entire recipe ahead of time and so scrambled to get these things done while putting together the batter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or butter a loaf pan, standard size of 8 1/2 x 4 inches, and dust with flour. (My standard loaf pans are actually 9 x 5 inches).
Sift or whisk the first 6 dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix the egg with the sugar until it is thick and yellow. Mix the butter, buttermilk, orange zest and juice in a small bowl. (This I forgot to do and had to scramble to put these in together but not as a mixture). Blend this mixture into the egg-sugar mixture. Then add the flour just til combined. Stir in the cranberries and nuts. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. My oven took only the 55 minutes. Test bread with toothpick or cake tester.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool.
I, of course, did not wait for this to cool completely before trying a slice. When cutting warm bread remember to hold the loaf and gently cut with a serrated bread knife.
This was yummy. Not so good for a reduced calorie count for snacking as it is hard to eat just one slice!
Just because baking is a science, doesn’t mean that substitution and innovation results in disaster. Once you know how to bake you can have the confidence to change things up a bit. That may be ingredients but also technique. Happy baking to all!
On this cold New England winter-ish day, I bake bread. I also made a nice supper in the crock pot. Tomorrow I may even bake cookies.
I sat at my kitchen table early this morning and wrote out my Christmas cards. Hubby has put the wreath on the front door and we play Christmas music. I have been looking at my cookbooks, not in them, just at them wondering about doing any Christmas baking. We did purchase Red and Green M&Ms so that is Christmas-y! We take the dog to a dog park. It is not crowded and is in a wooded area. Leo (our new old dog) is great. There was one other dog and Leo put up with the puppy’s antics. We also stopped at the Home Depot to buy a kitchen trash can with a lid because “you know who” thinks “dumpster diving” is productive daytime activity!
Back to bread. I have made this bread before but don’t remember how long ago. It has good stuff in it like cornmeal and oats. It is from the Soulard Market cookbook.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast; I use 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/3 cup butter
2 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup molasses
2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water
In the large mixer bowl, I combine the first five ingredients. In a glass quart measuring bowl I put the water, butter, and molasses. I microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, 30 seconds at a time, until the mixture is about 125 degrees F. Between 120 and 125 was close enough for me. Stir that into the flour mixture. Add enough of the all-purpose flour to make a stiff dough. I then kneaded this with my bread hook for 5 minutes.The dough was not very stiff so I kneaded in about 1/2 cup more white flour. Still none to stiff but I did not want it to be too dry so I pushed the dough around the bowl while I sprayed with cooking spray so it would rise in a greased bowl. Cover this with a tea towel and let rise until double. In just one hour it had reached the top of the mixing bowl.
In reading the recipe it says to punch dough down and shape into round loaves. I don’t remember these as being free form loaves, so I spray my two loaf pans and shape into loaves. Now let these rise for another hour or so.
These are nicely risen. Make an egg wash with the egg and tablespoon of water. Brush this on top and sprinkle oats on top. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes. If making round loaves check after 35 minutes for doneness (is that a word?).
Why does my bread not stay as high and risen as before baking?
Do I use too much yeast?
Did brushing on the egg wash deflate them?
I suppose I could call the baking hotline or I’ll just internet search it. I could even look in some of my bread-baking cookbooks. Meanwhile we enjoyed this bread with supper and then for toast at breakfast.
Fall is here and the cooler weather begs for bread baking. A few years ago my son told me about the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. Now this recipe is all over everywhere, even on King Arthur Flour, recipe. I use the recipe for The Master Recipe: Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf) from the book.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour, measured with the scoop-and-sweep method
cornmeal or pizza peel (or baking sheet)
I use an empty 5 quart ice cream tub. And I don’t care if it forms a seal when covered in the refrigerator. This is a super simple bread recipe. It does make an artisan bread so is not the same texture as sandwich bread or the standard bread kneaded with two risings. But it is good. If you are a novice bread baker this is a good bread to begin your bread baking.
Put your water in the tub. Sprinkle on the yeast and the salt. It may not dissolve completely. No worries. Add the flour all at once and mix with a long wooden spoon until no dry spots; all the flour is incorporated. Cover loosely and let sit at room temperature for at least two hours. I forgot about mine and it sat for 4 hours. (Binge watching television shows occupied my time!) And then put in refrigerator. The original recipe says it should be refrigerated at least 3 hours.
I baked the first loaf the next day. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Reach into the tub and pull our about 1/4 of the dough. Oh, flour your hands first and sprinkle cornmeal on your pizza peel if you have a baking stone or on your baking pan. I used a baking pan because last spring my baking stone broke in two and I have not yet replaced it.
Add a little more flour to the dough in your hand and stretch the top onto the bottom shaping into a ball, smooth on top and bunched on the bottom. Put this on your cornmeal sprinkled pan. Let rise and rest about 40 minutes. Depending on how fast your oven preheats you want it to be 450 F when you are ready to bake your bread.
To be authentic there are instructions to heat a pan of hot water at the bottom of the stove but I did not do that for this loaf, nor for the second loaf!
Just before putting it in the oven, sprinkle the top with flour and slash the top with a serrated knife. This allows for an oven rise through the surface. Bake in the 450 F oven for 30 minutes. The loaf should be firm and nicely browned.
Truth be told this does take more than five minutes per loaf. The actual time you spend with the dough is about that though. With a batch of this dough in my fridge I can come home from work and have bread on the table in just over one hour: 5 minutes shaping, 40 minutes rising, 30 minutes baking.