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So as we all know, and will continue to learn and relearn, I love carbs in all its forms. But I have never been that big a fan of rye bread. It’s heavy and I hate caraway seeds and their licorice-esq flavor.
‘But wait,’ I hear you think as you look back up at the title, ‘isn’t this a rye bread recipe?’ Well yes it is. I bought some rye flour for another recipe (these divine gingerbread cookies that I will post up here one of these days - stay tuned) but I had to buy 5 pounds of it. And that is a lot of rye flour.
And I love my new Hairy Biker’s cookbook. And the rye bread they made in Norway looked promising. And I figured since I didn’t even own any caraway seeds I could find something else to put in and… well…. I love carbs.
And I love this bread! I didn’t think I would. But I so do. It was good with pasta the first day I made it. It was amazing toasted and smeared with apple butter in the following days.
This is a delicious bread. And no licorice in sight. Or taste.
Scandinavian Rye Bread
3/4 cup whole milk (or, well… I had 1%)
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp dark brown sugar (I only have light so I did 1 tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tbsp of molasses)
1 pkg of yeast
2 1/4 cup rye flour
2 cups white flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp rosemary (yep dried and crushed rosemary. Who needs caraway seeds)
Heat your milk, water, and sugar in a saucepan until lukewarm and the sugar is dissolved.
You do not want this too hot or you will kill off the yeast (on the show they called it Blood temperature and I like that so you know… make your milk blood temperature!)
Getting far, far away from the heat, add in the yeast…
…stir to dissolve, and leave it alone for 10 minutes until it is all nice and bubbly and Alive!
In a large mixing bowl combine your flours, salt, and rosemary.
Dig a well (read: hole) in the center and pour in your yeast milk mixture.
Stir until you can’t and then knead with your hands. This is a stiff dough. Knead like a crazy person. Make your shoulders burn! No pain, no gain! You can do it! You can feel sore tomorrow or you can be sorry tomorrow! Do it! One more knead! For yourself!
Anyway, once you have beaten the dough into submission and it is a nice smooth elastic dough (it will take about 10 minutes) put it into an oiled bowl to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down your dough, give it a few more turns kneading, and form it into a rough oval shape. Give it four shallow cuts on top, place on a greased tray, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let it rise again for another hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes. It should be risen and sound hollow when rapped on the bottom.
And it will smell oh so fragrant and wonderful.
I have been watching a new Baking show. It is not on in the United States, which is very, very sad. The show is called the Hairy Bikers Bakation. Apparently they have a regular baking show too, but this one is two middle-aged, ugly Scottish bikers riding around Europe and baking things. And it is hilarious.
This is not a Hairy Biker recipe. I want to buy their cookbook but the whole not- syndicated-in-the-United-States thing makes it more difficult. Though watching the show did give me an incredible desire to make bread. Warm fresh-from-the-oven delicious bread! And to go to Norway. Or really anywhere. I love to travel.
So I am actually really jealous of my little sister. She has been accepted to the 1000 Shillings journalism fellowship this summer and will be traveling to Uganda.
1000 Shillings is a micro-loan company striving to connect people around the wold though storytelling and artisan products. They support local women as they start first with jewelry and then moving on to their passion. My sister is an english major with a lot of journalism experience, and so her summer is going to be spent writing their stories and helping to empower the women to stand on their own as small business owners. I am so very proud of her. And yeah… still a little jealous.
Now here’s the pitch. Think this sounds cool? Got five bucks to spare? She has to raise the money for her trip and plane ticket. She is not asking for much at all; whatever you’ve got will be a big help. She has a Go Fund Me site and is looking to raise $1000. If you would like to help her, we would both be very grateful (and I’ll try to get her to bring me back Ugandan recipes to share with you all!) Click HERE .
Thanks! And now on to the bread!
This bread, (not from the Hairy Bikers, but don’t worry-its only a matter of time till I get that cookbook!) is from a really old copy of The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines. It is a spin on his Ancient Roman bread. I say spin but really what I mean is we follow his recipe and then add a whole mess of chopped olives into the dough. Mmmmmm. If you don’t like olives, don’t put them in. It’s still a very tasty loaf of bread.
Olive Bread (Ancient Roman Bread)
I halved the recipe to get one nice-sized loaf. Feel free to double if you have more people eating. Though I might have eaten the whole loaf myself….
1 envelope of yeast
1 1/4 cup tepid water
3 cups flour (you can feel free to mix in some white whole wheat flour as well if you got it)
1 tsp salt dissolved in 1 tbsp of water
Put the yeast, tepid water, and salt water in a bowl. Stir to dissolve and leave it to proof.
Add in the three cups of flour and mix until it forms a ball.
Need some help kneading? (Hehe NEED some help?) I did an in-depth description/ tutorial over here
Once your dough is smooth and elastic, set it in a greased bowl to rise for a good hour - hour and half. It should be doubled in bulk.
In the meantime chop up a bunch of olives. I like using a mix of black and green but use whatever olive combination you like. Kalamata olives are also really good in this bread.
Punch down your dough and let the real fun begin. You are gonna want to knead in the olives. It is actually a very similar process to the kneading in the cheese when making the Cheese Bread but a little juicier. And the olives do have a tendency to pop back out the other side. I just stick them right back in when they do.
Once you have all your olives incorporated in (more olives makes for a tastier bread but a much more difficult kneading experience - it is a toss up) it is back into the bowl for a second rising.
After another hour the dough should again be about doubled in bulk. Carefully turn it out and form into a round loaf.
Place the dough on a greased pan and let rest while you preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake for 25-30 minutes (mine took the full 30) and, though it will be really hard, allow to cool a little before slicing. I made it all of 10 minutes before I had to have a slice.
This is really good served with spaghetti or just some olive oil for dunking.
Be sure to check out this bread, and so many other yeasty creations, on YeastSpotting!
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Every year my mother’s church holds a Women’s Workshop. And every year my mother makes homemade bread, both as demonstration and to be served with lunch. (Incidentally if you are here from the Women’s Workshop - Hi! I hope this will help you make this bread on your own!)
Some years it is a different type of bread, some years it is a different technique. This year it will be technique which is highlighted. And really this is an impressive looking loaf. But it is really doable. And will just completely wow any non-bakers you show it to.
The technique comes from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook - she uses a filled fig, olive oil and sea salt challah.
For this loaf, we used my favorite bread, Egg Bread.
Follow the egg bread recipe until the dough has risen and is doubled. This needs to be the entire two loaf recipe: don’t halve it! This will make a beautiful large double loaf of bread.
Punch it down.
And give it a few turns kneading.
Divide the loaf into four equal pieces.
Roll each out with your hands into a rope or snake about 16 or 18 inches.
Try to get them as even as possible.
Line up two ropes perpendicular to each other. Weave the third rope under and over the two perpendicular ropes.
Do the opposite with the fourth (so over then under).
You should end up with a plus sign, or tic-tac-toe board, on your work surface.
Now you weave by bringing the underneath rope over on top of the rope to the right.
Keep going round and round, always bringing the rope underneath over onto the top of the rope to the right, until you just have little ends which will not fit around.
Take those little ends and simply tuck them underneath your loaf.
Carefully transfer the entire loaf onto a cookie sheet.
And yes, your ends will come untucked; just stick them back under.
Beat an egg until smooth.
Brush all over the surface of the loaf.
Let the dough rise about 20 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes…
…until golden brown and hollow sounding on the bottom.
Which, by the way, the bottom is beautiful too.
Whoever you show this to should be drop dead impressed! And it’s tasty!
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A while back I promised to describe how to make a braided loaf . I didn’t forget you all. See!
This works really well with that egg bread recipe (plus, it is my favorite homemade bread) but really this technique would work for any dough that has braiding as a presentation option.
If you know how to braid hair, rope, whatever, that will make this easier. But hopefully even if you don’t know how to braid, this will be helpful enough that you can go out and make beautiful and impressive braided loaves.
How to make a braided loaf
Start with a batch of dough risen and ready to be shaped.
Punch down your dough and give it a few good turns kneading.
Divide the dough in two. Put one half of the dough aside. (We are assuming you are making two loaves. If you are only make one, skip this step.)
Knead your dough ball a few more turns and divide into three as-equal-as-you-can-get pieces.
Using your hands, form each of the three balls of dough into a snake.
Again try to get them as equal as you can and place the three snakes parallel to each other on a lightly floured work surface.
Now take a deep breath. Working in the middle of each snake, cross the right snake over the middle.
Next bring the left snake to the middle.
Repeat alternating right then left always bringing the piece you are moving to the middle until you reach the end of the dough.
You do want to try and not braid too tightly, but if this is your first go then a tight loaf is forgiven.
When you get to the end, do your best to tuck the ends under each other and get them to stick (sometimes this is easier said than done).
Now you can either flip the loaf around or just work up, whichever is easier for you. Starting from the middle you are gonna braid the other half of the dough, but this time you need to put the piece you are working with under the middle piece instead of over it. So you will pick up your left piece and bring it under the middle piece to become the middle. Do the same with the right, under the middle to become the new middle.
This will form the second half of your braid.
Tuck your ends together and transfer (carefully) the loaf to a greased cookie sheet.
Do the same thing with the second ball of dough if you are making two loaves.
Allow to rise.
And bake according to the recipe.
This is an impressive way of serving your bread and it cuts beautifully.
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This was one of my Dad’s favorite breads. Even after he was diagnosed with diabetes, this was still on the top of his list for ways to cheat the diet. It’s a sweet and tart quick bread, really just full of lemon flavor.
Plus, it is super easy to make and keeps well for a few days. And I am always looking for something delicious to have with my tea!
Lemon Tea Bread
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
grated rind of 1 lemon
glaze (1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
Cream the shortening with the sugar. Beat well with an electric mixer or KitchenAid. (My KitchenAid is, alas, still in storage, waiting for us to move and get it back out - so electric mixer it is for me.)
Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and, alternating with the milk, and beginning and ending with the dry mixture, slowly beat into the egg/shortening mixture.
I usually do mine in three steps: half the dry ingredients, the milk, the other half of the dry ingredients. Stir in lemon rind (Be sure to keep the lemon, as the juice from this now de-rinded lemon is perfect for the glaze.).
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes…
or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the bread is cooling, you can make up your glaze. Simply combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice, stirring like crazy to get out any lumps.
I like using the juice of the fresh lemon from the bread but, depending on your lemon, you may need to supplement with bottled lemon juice to get the full two tablespoons.
Pour the glaze over the bread.
Allow it to harden.
Slice as needed for consumption.
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My fiancé loves breakfast. Like whoa. I am not as big a fan. Heavy greasy things in the early morning and I just do not mix. I like eating my breakfast around 11, thank you. After sleeping in most of the morning… and being lazy… maybe reading a few chapters of my book… mmmm yeah that would be nice, but… hmmm… Yep, still in bar review mode. Lazy mornings are still a distant memory. But soon, soon it will be over.
The last time my fiancé came to visit, my mother made this bread. It was amazingly good, the top crust slightly crunchy and sweet, the middle soft and delicious, and the bottom.. oh, the bottom of the bread caramelizes into gooey sticky perfection. It does take a little preplanning and a little finesse but the results are delicious. Now a slice of this and a big mug of tea… that is a perfect breakfast for me!
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
For the dough
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 ounces butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs beaten (best if they are at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
For the filling
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 ounces butter, melted
Whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt the milk and butter until the butter just melts. Remove from heat and add in the water and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Carefully pour the milk butter mixture into the flour and mix. Add the eggs and stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated. This will be difficult and will seem to take forever.
Keep stirring. Add in the remaining flour and beat for about 2 minutes. The dough will still be sticky.
Allow the dough to rise in a greased bowl until doubled in size, about an hour. At this point you can also put the dough into the refrigerator and allow to raise slowly overnight. If doing this, then just be sure to remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling out the dough.
Mix together the cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg for the filling. Melt the 2 ounces of butter and set aside. Also grease a 9X5X3 loaf pan.
Punch down the risen dough and knead for a few good turns. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to roughly 12 inches tall and 18-20 inches wide.
Spread the melted butter across all of the dough and cover the surface with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
And I mean cover!
Carefully slice the dough vertically into 6 equal strips and stack the strips on top of one another.
Now cut the strips horizontally into 6 squares. Place the squares into the loaf pan standing on end. It helps to tip the pan on one end as you stack the slices up the pan.
Cover with a towel and allow the loaf to raise in a warm place for another 30 - 45 minutes until again doubled.
Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. You will also want to put some aluminum foil or another baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any overflows or drips. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow the bread to rest for about 20 minutes (if you can.. this is not an easy step… I won’t judge you if you rush to the eating). It can be tricky to get the loaf out. The easiest way is to run a butter knife around the bread, loosening the sides, then place a plate on top of the loaf and invert the pan. Using a second plate, flip the bread back over to create a perfect beautiful gooey delicious breakfast.
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As you have have probably figured out by now…I have a carbs problem. Especially homemade bread. Especially homemade by my mother. And of all of the many and wonderful types of bread that my mommy has made for me though the years, this is my absolute, all-time, hands-down, favorite bread-Egg Bread. Or as it’s officially named: Country Fair Bread.
I remember as a little girl wanting to “help” my mom make bread, and so she would always give me the job of “getting out all the flour lumps”. It was years later before I realized that this step is more of a “getting the little girl to sit still and be quiet” step than strictly necessary. But you know what.. we had lump-free bread dough, by god!
This bread is almost challah. And when you warm up the butter and milk and pour that into the yeast and flour.. that is the perfect smell from my childhood.
You can either braid the bread or, as we did here in the name of ease and speed, just roll it up into loaf pans and it will make a beautiful, delicious loaf perfect for butter or jam, or… if you have any extras… delicious toast.
Country Fair Bread (Egg Bread)
5 - 51/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 package yeast
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and dry yeast. (This is where you give it to the little girl to beat out all the flour lumps.. preferably with a look of intense concentration and her tongue sticking out a little.) Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan, just until warm; you don’t want to scald the milk.
Add the eggs and the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture (and be sure to breathe deeply the transcendent aroma).
(Side story about this step. Once my mom was making this bread for a church function and was just going right along. She poured in the milk, she added all the flour and turned out the dough to start kneading… and then noticed the eggs still sitting on the counter. The eggs that give the bread its name… sitting nice and room temperature and waiting on the counter. Surprisingly, you can knead in the eggs at this step and it will turn out almost right… but the kneading-in process is a little gross and highly not recommended!)
After mixing very well you want to stir in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a board and knead until the dough is smooth, elastic, and springs back when
Form the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down and divide into either two equal parts (at this point you could divide it into six and braid into two loaves. In the future there will be an entry all about braiding dough, promise.)
Roll into two long rectangles and roll up into two cylinders. Place each into a greased loaf pan.
Cover and let rise again for another 1 1/2 hours. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Allow to cool to warm, slice, and try not to eat it all in one sitting.
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I blame the experiments into sourdough but I have been really into finding interesting ways to make bread rise and unique textures.
Now I know that this might get me kicked out of the country or at least the cool kids club but I hate beer. I can’t stand the taste of it. Or the smell. Or really… anything about it. So it was a very perplexing moment when I found myself standing in the beer section of the supermarket trying to figure out what I should buy to make these bread recipes… I went for the pretty packaging and the local brewery cause.. yeah support local.
I wanted to try both recipes… I definitely think the no-knead one worked out better for me (don’t tell my fiancé - he loves Alton Brown!) but that is not a reason why you shouldn’t give them both a try.
Cheesy Beer Bread
From Alton Brown
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (I use white whole wheat)
1tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt (add 1/2 tsp more if you are using a different/less salty cheese)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
12 ounce cold beer
Preheat over to 375. Spray a 9X5 loaf pan with Pam or other non-stick spray.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl (the beer will foam up so it really needs to be a large mixing bowl). Add in the cheese and stir.
Then pour in the beer and stir just until mixed.
Spread the batter in the loaf pan and bake for 50 - 55 minutes.
Remove and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool another 10 minutes. This bread is best warm.
It has a really good cheesy flavor but also a little bit more beer flavor than the next one, but takes a lot less time and effort to make.
No-Knead Beer Bread
You will need to start this one the day before you make it.
From Sunday Hotpants
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white wheat flour (though you can opt for 3 cups all-purpose flour if you like - or don’t want to run to the store again and get wheat flour special)
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp water at room temperature
1 cup beer at room temperature
1 tbsp wine vinegar (we didn’t have any so I used apple cider vinegar and it came out perfectly tasty)
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Dig a well and add the water, beer, and vinegar.
Mix together until a shaggy ball forms, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 - 18 hours. I left mine for closer to 18 than 8.
Lay a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil inside a 10-in frying pan and spray with Pam or other non-stick cooking spray. Transfer dough onto a floured surface and give it 10 - 15 turns. (Yes, I know, this is called a no-knead bread and here I am telling you to knead it. I can’t make any explanations or excuses for this. It just is. And I guess No-Knead bread sounds better than Knead 10 - 15 Times and That’s it Beer Bread.)
Place dough, seam-side down, into the frying pan and allow to raise until doubled, about 2 hours.
About 20 minutes before baking, place a 6 to 8 quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, with lid on, in the oven and heat to 500 degrees.
Make a slash across the top of the the loaf and, using the edges of the paper or foil, place the loaf (CAREFULLY!!!!!) into the preheated Dutch Oven and put back in the oven, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 20 minutes until the loaf is a nice brown.
Carefully remove the bread from the pot and allow to cool before devouring.
I decided I needed to make something in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and there is no way I was gonna eat corned beef (plus by now you all have surely figured out I am something of a carb addict) sooooo…. I decided to try my hand at Irish Soda Bread.
I was a little overwhelmed with how many variations there are on that theme but this recipe just looked good and delicious. And my bread turned out absolutely beautiful!
Irish Soda Bread
From: In Words and Pictures
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp butter at room temperature and cut into slices
1 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (don’t have buttermilk? No worries: simply add a teaspoon of lemon juice to fresh milk and let it sit for a while)
Plump your raisins in a bowl by covering them in hot water and allowing them to sit till needed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together 4 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or a fork, or even go for it with your fingers) work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drain and stir in your raisins.
Dig a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk and beaten egg into the well. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is too stiff to stir. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and give it one or two turns of kneading. Be careful here not to over-knead! You just want it to come together to form a rough ball. And the dough will be a little sticky.
Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and shape into a rounded loaf. Score the top with a deep X shape.
Bake 35-45 minutes (mine was actually more like 50 minutes) until a thin knife or long skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
If your crust starts to get too dark, as mine did, you can tent aluminum foil around it and let it finish baking.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
In my head this is basic bread. This is the go-to homemade white bread. My mom makes it every month for Communion and regularly just for us to eat. It is an easy and forgiving bread (unlike some other yeast adventures I have shared with you all).
Side note: no, I have no idea why it is called Cuban bread - I assume it is a Cuban recipe…. but honestly I don’t know.
From Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads (via my mother)
5-6 cups flour
2 pkg yeast
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups hot water
Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, salt, and sugar.
Dig a well in the center and pour in the hot water.
Beat well for about 3 minutes. Work in the rest of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and springs back when poked. (For a more detailed description of kneading see this post).
Let the dough rise for about 15 minutes, then shape into two round loaves. Slice the top of each loaf with a knife. (I tend to be a little over-creative with my designs, sometimes doing christmas trees or abstract boxes or whatever… some are more successful than others.)
Place a pan of water in a cold oven. Place the bread in the still-cold oven and turn on to 400 degrees. Bake 45 - 50 minutes, until the bread is brown and makes a hollow sound when the bottom is rapped.
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