Category Archives: bread

Old Soft Tortillas Made New Again

So many times we make fish tacos or something and then have leftover soft tortillas, which usually go to waste. Instead of letting them go to waste this time, I made tortilla chips. These took so little time to prepare and the taste was so fresh. You can season them any way you wish. I used some salt and onion powder.

Ingredients:

1- Leftover soft tortillas

2- Seasonings of your choice- The amount of seasoning will depend on the number of chips

3- Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

1- Cut tortillas into chip size. Put the chips into a ziploc bag along with the seasoning and shake to distribute the seasoning

2- Line a baking sheet with foil and spread chips on the sheet in one layer

3- Drizzle chips lightly with olive oil

4- Put in oven and bake about 10 minutes or until dry

Enjoy with salsa!

Cinnamon Rolls

Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to enjoy these since I’m getting over a stomach virus that put me in the ER for the day on Monday, but at least I can enjoy the smell! I decided to make these because a)I had everything home and I didn’t feel well enough to go to the store and b) it’s horribly cold outside.

Most cinnamon rolls take about 5 hours to make, but I’ve cut the time down to about 2 hours with this recipe. I omitted the scalded milk and added some other time saving steps. They turn out just as wonderful as the 5 hour kind and even better than store bought:)

Ingredients:

2 cups of warm water
1/2 cup sugar + another 1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Canola or Vegetable oil
5-7 cups cups of flour

Directions:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and salt. Mix. Add the oil, 2 eggs, 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Stir in 3  more cups of flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading it, adding in more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed until dough is no longer sticky. Let the dough rest in a lightly oiled bowl for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbs butter in the microwave. In another bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tbs cinnamon (less if you don’t like the cinnamon flavor as much). Put both the butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture aside.

After 20 minutes, roll the dough into a rectangle that’s about 24 to 30 inches long by about 16 inches wide. Spread melted butter on top with a pastry brush and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Starting at the wide end, roll into a log. Cut the cinnamon rolls into equal sized slices (approximately one inch wide each or slightly more) and place close together (touching even) into two greased  pans. Cover with saran wrap and put in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes (See picture)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown).
Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of the pans.

And for icing, you can either make a cream cheese icing or a regular white buttercream icing. Since cream cheese icing is the standard, here’s a simple recipe:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add the vanilla extract and cream another 30 seconds. (Always add flavorings directly the fat in your mixture). Add the powdered sugar and mix slowly at first and gradually picking up speed, until creamy. Put on cinnamon rolls only after they are very cool.

Challah

Now I’m not Jewish, but when I see the freshly baked challah start to come into the market around Hanukkah, I can’t help but get in the kitchen and make one myself. Challah is so deliciously sweet and it makes the kitchen smell wonderful (even more wonderful when there is beef stew simmering in the dutch oven!) Challah is a bit like a brioche in that it’s a sweet bread made with eggs and fat (in this case, oil).

All the recipes I found made 2 loaves, but we can’t eat all of that, so I halved the recipe (the one loaf version is the one I present below). Also, instead of the usual 6 braid challah, I made a very pretty 3 braid round challah. What will make the bread even BETTER is if you have a pizza stone, which is what I baked mine on. It radiates the heat of the oven evenly and creates a bottom to the bread that is so wonderfully and perfectly crispy and a top that is beautifully and evenly browned. I’ll add some notes into the recipe for using the stone.

You’ll need a good chunk of time to make this because there are 3 risings. During one of the risings, I went for a run, but don’t leave to go to mall or anything without sticking the dough in the refrigerator, which is actually a nice thing to do because it really creates a deep, nice flavor. You can leave the bread in the refrigerator for a few hours. If you opt to do this for ONE of the risings, bring the bread back to room temp before working with it.

This recipe is adapted from Joan Nathan. She always says that three risings make for the best breads. And 2 egg washes make for that nice, shiny, slightly crispy crust.

Challah:

2.25 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
2 eggs for dough, plus 1 egg for brushing bread
1/2 tablespoon salt
about 4 cups all-purpose flour (you may use a cup of whole wheat)
1/4 cup raisins per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained (I did not use raisins, but they’re a nice addition)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup, plus 12 tbs lukewarm water.

2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. At this point, gradually add flour one cup at a time. When the dough starts to hold together, it is ready for kneading. I like to knead by hand, but you can use the dough hook on your stand mixer too.

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.  After 30 mins, punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour. When you punch dough down, don’t literally punch the dough, just flatten it lightly with your palm.

4. After 30 mins, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. You will make a 3 braid challah. Make 3 equal size balls, roll out to equal length, about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Pinch the tops together. Braid as you would a normal braid. If you’re making a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together.

5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaf. Keep remaining beaten egg in the refrigerator for later use. Let rise covered for another hour. If using a stone, start preheating at 375 degrees for the final 30 mins of rising time.

6. After 1 hour, brush dough with remaining beaten egg. Take stone out of the oven, if using, and move dough to the stone. Or use a cookie sheet. Put the dough on the middle rack.

7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 minutes, or until golden. If using a thermometer, it should read 190 degrees. Cool on a rack.

And, don’t forget, when the bread gets a little stale, it makes the most amazing French toast!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Breakfast for dinner tonight! We made whole wheat blueberry pancakes (https://dessertcomesfirst.wordpress.com/?s=pancakes) with turkey bacon and these delicious buttermilk biscuits. The recipe calls for all purpose flour and cake flour. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use this formula (1 cup flour-2tbs of the flour+2tbs corn starch). I wouldn’t suggest doing this if making a cake, but the method works well in a pinch. For the cup of white flour, as always, you can use half whole wheat and half white flour.

Buttermilk Biscuits (Oven: 500 degrees)

1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup white)
1 cup cake flour (or 1 cup flour-2tbs of the flour+2tbs corn starch)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¾ cup cold buttermilk (well-shaken)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 500 degrees F.

2. Place the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.

3. If making by hand, use two knives or a blender to quickly cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.

4. If making by hand, stir in the buttermilk with a rubber spatula or fork until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball.

5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and quickly form into a rough ball. Do not to overmix. Pat the dough into a ¾-inch-thick circle. Cut out the dough rounds with a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass. Push together the remaining pieces of dough and cut out several more dough rounds. Discard the remaining scraps.

6. Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake on ungreased cookie sheet until the biscuit tops are light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Glaze

I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve baked with pumpkin this season, but I guess that’s probably because we’ve been apple picking twice already. Yesterday I bought a huge can of pumpkin and began my pumpkin baking with scones. These scones are pretty similar to the ones ar Starbucks. They’re baked at a higher temperature, so they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Buttermilk is also used instead of butter to make them less dense. I didn’t add anything additional into the mix, but you can choose to add raisins, craisins, or nuts. After baking them, you can also choose to make a cinnamon glaze to drizzle over the cooled scones.

Ingredients:
Oven: 400 degrees
Makes 8 scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 – 1/2 cup buttermilk (Start with 1/3 cup and add more liquid if the dough feels too dry)
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the egg wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten and 1 tbs milk

Directions:
Prepare baking sheet by either lining with parchment paper or spraying with non-stick spray and pouring flour over it- tap off excess.

1- Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking poweder, baking soda, salt
2- Add the butter to the flour mixture and cut in with a pastry blender. The mixture should resemble course crumbles
3- At this point, stir in any raisins, etc.
4- In another bowl, mix together pumpkin, buttermilk, vanilla and add this to the flour mixture
5- Mix until dough comes together- don’t overmix
6- Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead four to five times
7- Pat dough into a circle about 7″ in diameter and 1.5″ thick- Cut in half and then cut each half into 4 pieces
8- Brush with the egg wash
9- Put scones on baking sheet and put another baking sheet underneath to prevent overbrowing in the hot oven. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean
10- Let cool on wire rack. Once cool, you can make the drizzle (recipe below).

Cinnamon Drizzle:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1- Add enough milk to make a paste
2- Stir in cinnamon
3- Spoon over cooled scones

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

For dinner, we had bowtie pasta with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and basil. We had a salad, a light red wine, and these yummy whole wheat dinner rolls on the side. The rolls were a last minute addition. They were so easy to throw together, only 50 minutes rising time total. You use a muffin tin instead of forming them by hand, thus making the prep process even easier. It’s important to add the all purpose flour because adding only whole wheat flour will result in a product that is too dense. Here’s the recipe:

RECIPE:
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast- one package
1 cup warm water
2 tbs melted shortening
1 egg
1 cup flour

(Oven: 400 degrees)
1- Mix together whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast
2- Add in warm water, melted shortening, egg
3- Mix until smooth- I had to add little more flour because the dough was too sticky.
4- Place a small amount of olive oil in the bowl, cover with a kitchen cloth and let rise in a warm, dry place for 30 mins. Should double in size
5- Punch down after 30 mins
6- Grease muffin tin then spoon dough in (should be exactly 12 rolls- eyeball how much dough to put in each)
7- Let rise another 20 mins
8- Bake until golden (15ish minutes)

(Recipe courtesy of cooksrecipes.com)

Have fun 🙂

English Muffins

We’ve really been working on eating organic foods lately. I’m tired of putting food in my body that has been made with weird chemicals with unpronounceable names. To me, there’s nothing more organic than handmaking and kneading bread at home AND what can be better than homemade English Muffins with those tasty nooks and crannies topped with some freshly churned herbed butter? Also, we’re in our bread and baking curriculum at school and have been teaching the kids about yeast (what fun!), so needless to say I’m in bread making heaven! Some of the recipe I’ve been doing at home but just have not gotten a chance to post include: homemade dinner rolls with freshly made butter, braided challah, herbed focaccia, and I also perfected my pizza dough recipe, which I will have to post. But anyway, I digress. For the English Muffins, I found two recipes online and, of course, in true form, I didn’t like either of them by themselves so I decided to combine/amend them. The recipes came from petebakes, which is a baking blog I frequent, and The Culinary Institute of America. Oh and the best thing about this recipe is that it is only 6 ingredients and most items can be readily found in the pantry already!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup water, warmed to 110F
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornmeal, or as needed
Oil
Directions:
1- Place the yeast and warm water in the bowl of a mixer and stir to completely dissolve. Let the yeast proof until foamy, about five minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture.
2- Mix the ingredients until the dough comes together. When it starts to come together, begin to knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 mins. (That’s the proper way, but I usually knead right in the bowl to save clean up!)
3- Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour.
4- After an hour, punch the dough down one or two times.
5- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls and flatten the balls into discs.

6- Sprinkle cornmeal onto a cookie sheet and coat both sides of the discs with cornmeal.
7-Cover with saran wrap and let them rise for another hour.
8- Heat the oven to 350 F and heat up a skillet on medium heat on the stovetop. Brush the skillet with oil and gently transfer the discs to the skillet a few at a time.
9- Allow them to cook on the skillet for 5-8 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned. Flip and cook the other side for about 5-8 minutes more.
10- When the muffins look as if they are about to burn, remove them from the skillet with a spatula and transfer quickly to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes. Do no wait until all of the muffins have been cooked on the skillet before moving them to the oven – as the first batch is baking, move the second batch of muffins to the skillet.
11- Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and cool before slicing or serving. Store them as you would muffins you buy in the store – in a sealed Ziploc bag in the fridge or freezer.
Have fun:)

Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Drizzle

So I had leftover pumpkin and decided it was finally time to make those scones I have been saying I would make. Like the pecan pie, I’ve never made pumpkin scones. Again, I found a recipe that looked good and had at it. They were SO easy to put together and only 10 minutes to bake. The drizzle took 2 seconds to put together. Like the other scones I made, I made sure to line the baking sheet with foil and coat the foil with non-stick spray. They didn’t stick at all. Oh and make sure you let them cool all the way before adding the drizzle. I was a bit anxious and put it on too early, but oh well!

Here’s the recipe:
(recipe courtesy of green tea blog with some of my additions)
Oven at 425 degrees

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the drizzle:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
some cinnamon and nutmeg- eyeball it
2 tablespoons milk

In one bigger bowl, mix all dry ingredients. With a fork, your hands, or a pastry blender mix the small pieces of butter in the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse meal.

In a separate smaller bowl, combine the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.

Put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix or you’ll end up with tough scones. Once combined, pat the dough into a circle until about 1/2 inch thick or so. Cut the dough in half and then cut triangular scones. Bake for 10-12 minutes and cool.

Drizzle:
Mix all three ingredients together and stir to combine, but remember don’t drizzle until the scones are cool!!

Have fun:)

Coffeehouse Buttermilk Scones


I had a ton of buttermilk leftover from making the Apple Cider donuts last weekend, so I needed to find a recipe that used buttermilk. I never made scones before, so I decided to give this recipe from joyofbaking.com a try. They came out perfectly. I really like the flavor they have. I didn’t have parchment paper home, so I used foil and I sprayed it with a very little bit of non-stick spray. They stuck ALOT, but I think using more non-stick spray would have worked well. I baked them for 15 minutes and left them in the broiler for a little more than a few seconds on each side of the pan (I rotated it once). But timing all depends on your oven/broiler.

(recipe courtesy of joyofbaking.com as adapted from Sara Foster’s The Foster’s Market Cookbook and Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

Recipe:
2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
Egg mixture for brushing tops of scones:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top baking sheet with parchment paper. (This prevents the bottoms of the scones from over browning during baking.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one well-beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and then turn your broiler on high. Sift confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar heavily over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 6 scones.
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