Posts Tagged ‘Bread’

Last week it was my turn to bring breakfast into the office.  I wanted to do something a little special, different than the usual bagels/donuts and with a Valentine’s Day twist.  So, I decided to do biscuits and sausage gravy.  As you can see, I decided to use a heart-shaped cutter on the biscuits.  I thought they were adorable!  And, of course, they are so tasty!

Recipe from Chef Alex (one of the chef instructors at my culinary school) – hence why this recipe is in grams instead of cups.  Get your scales ready!

255g. Bread flour
213g. Cake flour
11g. Salt
28g. Sugar
21g. Baking powder
170g. Butter
340g. Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Keep all ingredients as cold as possible.  Mix dry ingredients – preferably by hand.

Cut butter into small cubes and cut into the dry ingredients.

Add buttermilk and mix until shaggy.  Cover and rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out on floured surface.  Fold over itself twice and roll out again.  Cut with biscuit cutter or cookie cutter of choice.  Place on sheet pan (with sides of biscuits touching) and bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown.

Paint with melted butter after removing from the oven, if you wish.

Husband Rating – 5 out of 5 – “Nailed It!”


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Soft Garlic Knots

What is your favorite smell?  Maybe it is fresh cut grass, old books or summer rain…but for me, it is fresh baked bread.  There is no better smell on this planet!  Add garlic and butter to that fresh baked bread, and I’m SO there!

This recipe has been floating around the blogosphere for as long as I have been blogging.  Why oh why has it taken me so long to make these?  Honestly, I don’t have a good answer for that.  But, I can tell you that it will not be long before I make these again.  They are fabulous!  Soft, chewy, buttery, garlicky.  **drool**

Recipe adapted from Amber’s Delectable Delights (originally from King Arthur Flour).

For the dough
3C. Bread flour
1/4C. Milk
1T. Granulated sugar
2t. Active yeast
1-1/4t. Salt
2T. Olive oil
1C. plus 2T. Lukewarm water (it was very humid here today, so I didn’t use the last 2T.)

For the topping:
2 cloves Garlic
2T. Melted butter
1/2t. Italian seasoning

To make the dough, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the milk, olive oil and water, and mix until ingredients have formed a dough.  Switch to the dough hook, and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer dough to a slightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.  Roll each into a rope, about 10 inches long, and tie each into a knot.  Take the end that is lying underneath, and bring it over the top, tucking it into the center.  Then take the end of the knot that is lying on top, and tuck it underneath and into the center.  Transfer rolls to a baking sheet lined with a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 45 minutes, until very puffy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  To make the topping, finely mince the garlic and combine with the melted butter and Italian seasoning.  Brush or drizzle the glaze onto the shaped rolls.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Husband Rating – 5 out of 5 – “OMG, these are awesome!  I’m so full from dinner but want another.  *whispers* I already had 3.”

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Pita Bread

Almost a year ago our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Mediza, went out of business.  I was so sad.  They had the best pita bread I’ve ever eaten.  Warm, fluffy, clearly homemade and perfect with roasted garlic hummus!  The only other Mediterranean restaurant near us (I won’t name names) clearly uses store-bought pita.  It’s just awful.

Anyway, I got very excited when  I saw this recipe for pita bread on Brown Eyed Baker.  It looked just like the pita we longed for from Mediza.

This pita bread is wonderful!  I don’t think I’m ever going to go back to store-bought pita ever again!

3C. Flour
1 1/2t. Salt
1T. Sugar or honey
1 Packet instant yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2C. Water, roughly at room temperature
2T. Olive oil

Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar.  Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon.  All of the ingredients should form a ball.  If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place in the bowl of your electric mixer (with the dough hook attachment) and mix on low for 8-10 minutes.

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil.  Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there.  Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough.  You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 in. thick – 6 in. in diameter.  If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well.  If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven.  This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface.  They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes.  If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary.

Husband Rating – 5 out of 5 – Perfect!

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My First Loaf of Bread!

I’ve been scared of yeast for some time now.  I’ve worked with it a few times, but always managed to kill the little buggers.  But, when my Mom asked me to bring bread to a family gathering I figured that since I’ve managed to conquer some of my other cooking fears through this blog, it was time to take on yeast again.

My friend Brian had made this bread (from Mother Earth News) during our Thanksgiving with friends last week and was telling me how stupid-easy it was, and he was right!

Make this bread today!  You will not regret it!

1/4t. Active dry yeast
1 1/2C. Warm water (between 105 and 110 degrees)
3C. All-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
1 1/2t. Salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Husband Rating – 5 out of 5 – Delicious!!

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I love croutons.  Probably more than a person should.  One year, back in high school, my twin brother bought me a half dozen boxes of croutons as a Christmas present.  Is that love, or what?

I always just buy my croutons but tonight had a demi baguette of day old bread and thought “what the heck, let’s give it a whirl.”  I’m so glad I did. These are delish!  The perfect way to top off a simple dinner salad.


1 French demi baguette, cut into cubes
2T. Butter
2 Cloves garlic

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut bread into bite-sized cubes and set aside in a bowl.

In a small saucepan melt butter.  Add pressed garlic cloves and cook lightly to infuse the butter.

Pour butter mixture over bread cubes and toss to coat.

Spread cubes evenly on a foil-lined baking pan.  Cook for about 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.  The short cooking time allows them to be crunchy on the outside and slightly squishy in the middle…perfect!

Husband Rating – 3.5 out of 5 – “Very tasty, but too big.”

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