Tag Archives: bread

mmm.bread

Tried my hand at whole wheat baguettes today. They turned out omgyum. 


They will be sliced up and used in some homemade french onion soup. Can’t wait!

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irish.soda.bread.facts

I made some homemade butter last week, and the by product is always buttermilk. So of course that means I get to treat myself to some fabulous toast this week in the form of Irish Soda Bread. It’s one of the easiest recipes for bread and bakes up into a fabulously wonky peasant loaf.

  • Mix 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda & 3/4 tsp salt* in a bowl (*note: if you are using the buttermilk remaining from your homemade butter, skip the salt as your milk will already be salted)
  • Add 1 cup buttermilk to the mixture and stir to form a soft dough
  • Either knead on a floured surface or in the bowl for 2-3 minutes
  • Form the dough into a round loaf about 8 inches across – cross hatch with a knife to spiff it up
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350*
  • The bread is done when it sounds hollow after a light thump

 

For a softer crust, wrap in a clean tea towel and set the bread on it’s side to cool.

I did a little research into the history of soda bread while the bread was baking and it’s pretty interesting stuff! Did you know that the cross hatch on the bread is considered “blessing the bread” and is meant to let the fairies out and keep the household safe?  The cross also allows the bread to be broken easily in the hand in the event that an unexpected guest arrived – breaking bread to share. It is a bread based in poverty as it is made with the simplest of ingredients – the baking powder replaces yeast – and is formed in different shapes based on region? Interesting!

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dinner.rolls

I few people asked me if I had any great dinner roll recipes this Thanksgiving. Truth be told, I didn’t. However! I do have a great hamburger roll recipe, and thought, why couldn’t that be used? So I gave it a try myself and omg…..those rolls are so good. Follow the recipe just as you would for the hamburger buns, but form smaller dough balls. Slather with butter. Shove in face. Repeat.

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We did the traditional Thanksgiving spread, including mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, giblet gravy and stuffing (not much of a healthy vegetable to be seen – I’m ok with that), and of course, a giant turkey. Like, 23 pounds of giant turkey. I know – that’s huge. But of course we use all parts of it and feel that if you’re going to go through the trouble of brining and basting and whatevering, you might as well make it a big ass bird. The stock has already been simmered in the pressure cooker, and the meat has been separated for leftovers, etc (I can’t wait for the husbands epically awesome turkey enchiladas tomorrow – homemade enchilada sauce from scratch – with turkey drippings!!).

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homemade.hamburger.buns

According to my scientific calculations, it has been way too long since I’ve updated (that’s science). So I bring you a delicious recipe for homemade hamburger buns as an apology offering. This is the first time I’ve done them, but they turned out so well (and are so stupidly easy) I don’t think I’ll be buying them anymore. One more thing off the shopping list! And one more thing that makes all my friends think I’m an even bigger hipster homesteader. (I’m ok with that).

  • Add 3 1/2 cups bread flour to your stand mixer
  • Proof 1 TB yeast in 3/4 cup warm water
  • Add 1 large egg, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 TB melted butter and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt to your flour and start the mixer using the bread hook attachment
  • Add water and yeast to flour and mix. Slowly drizzle more warm water to dough if it is not pulling together
  • “Knead” with the hook for 5-8 minutes
  • Form a ball with the dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise until doubled (I rise on the heating pad – so much faster!)

After your dough has risen, gently punch down and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll the dough into a ball and set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Remember to fold the bottom of the roll into itself so the weird edges don’t rise up and out creating mutant buns. Press the ball into 3 inch or so flat circles, lightly flour, and allow to rise (covered) until doubled.

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Brush with melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes (until brown) in a 375* oven.

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We ripped into one last night as soon as it cooled and they were pretty amazing. The hands on time it takes to make these is so minimal – probably as long as it would take you to go to the store. So, why buy it? Make it.

 

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sandwich.bread

My new weekly thing seems to be to make a loaf of bread and I really look forward to it. Not only do I think fresh baked bread is probably the best thing in the world (my Death Row meal would most likely consist of 6 fresh baguettes and a few sticks of butter), but it’s getting easier and easier to rock a fabulous loaf as I tweak the recipe a bit each time. And I’ve got it.

  • Proof 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh yeast in 1 cup warm water
  • Add 3 cups bread flour, 2 TB melted butter, 2 TB sugar and a dash of salt to your mixer
  • With the dough hook, add water to bowl and mix at a medium speed
  • If flour is still dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time – too sticky means it will stick to the bowl and not knead properly (then you have to use your hands to do it and that’s just crazy talk)
  • Allow the dough hook to knead the dough for 5 minutes
  • Set dough ball in lightly oiled bowl, cover with tea towel and rise on a heating pad until doubled in size

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Punch down dough and roll onto a well floured surface. Roll in a loose rectangle shape until the dough is about half an inch thick. Roll the dough onto itself forming a big tube, then bring ends to meet in the middle. Lightly form the loaf with your hands to ensure the tucked in ends stay and and place in your loaf pan. Lightly flour top, replace tea towel, and rise once again on your heating pad until the dough rises 2 inches or so above the sides of the pan.

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Bake for 25 minutes in a 350* degree oven and bask in the delicious smells of your kitchen.

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Cool (as long as you can stand), cut, and eat. Your bread will last about a week if kept sealed in a plastic bag, but is best used for sandwiches within the first 3 days. So. Good. And easy!!

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french.bread

Last weekend I went a little crazy at Costco and bought the 50# bag of bread flour. Why? Because it was only $20 and I use bread flour for almost everything (it makes things lighter and fluffier and awesomer). So of course I get to make as many loaves of fresh bread as I want. With gumbo on the menu for tonight, I thought a loaf of nice, sexy, French bread would be the winning touch.

  • Proof 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast in 1 1/4 cup warm water (80-90 degrees)
  • Add 3 cups flour, 2 tsp sugar & 1 tsp salt to mixing bowl
  • Mix with dough hook until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary
  • Rise in an oiled bowl until doubled
  • Punch down, roll out into a rectangle on a well floured surface, then roll to form a tube – pinch ends together and rise, covered, for another 30-45 minutes, slice lines just before baking
  • Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes (add a dish of water to the oven while baking for a crisper crustkitchenaid

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And yes. I tastes even better than it looks.

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bread.and.butter

We have been making our own butter now for quite awhile and it’s probably the easiest thing in the world aside from growing mold.

Take a gallon of heavy cream, pour into the bowl in your mixer with 1/2 TB salt and run it on medium speed until the butter separates from the buttermilk (about 10 minutes). First you will get whipped cream, then it will slowly start to solidify. Press your butter into blocks or containers and save the buttermilk for some yummy Irish Soda Bread (or ranch dressing as the husband likes to make):

  • Mix 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda & 3/4 tsp salt* in a bowl (*note: if you are using the buttermilk remaining from your homemade butter, skip the salt as your milk will already be salted)
  • Add 1 cup buttermilk to the mixture and stir to form a soft dough
  • Either knead on a floured surface or in the bowl for 2-3 minutes
  • Form the dough into a round loaf about 8 inches across – cross hatch with a knife to spiff it up
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350*
  • The bread is done when it sounds hollow after a light thump
  • For a softer crust, wrap in a clean tea towel and set the bread on it’s side to cool

I can’t think of many things better than fresh bread…unless of course you’re pairing it with fresh butter. Excuse me while I go unhinge my face….

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