Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category


TwD Baking with Julia: Focaccia

February 5, 2013

Here’s the deal: this focaccia was good. I topped it with fresh rosemary, black and green olives, and kosher salt.


But…just a couple of weeks earlier, I made the focaccia recipe from the Flour cookbook, with the same toppings. It was outstanding; therefore, this recipe had a lot working against it from the get-go. However, I will note that the recipe from Flour has a heck of a lot more olive oil in it, which is probably what makes it tastier, but also makes it much more decadent than an average bread recipe. I’d like to have more focaccia in my life, so I’m hoping to find a recipe that’s a happy medium.

Perhaps you, too, need more focaccia in your life. This recipe, baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group this week, is on page 143 of Baking with Julia, or pop over to Wandering Through, where Sharmini will have the recipe posted.


Hummus Bread (the hummus is IN the bread!)

January 20, 2013

Hummus in bread instead of on bread? I love, love, love hummus, but this was a recipe I wouldn’t have given a second look if it weren’t for sent me several links from King Arthur’s website. I was intrigued by the hummus bread, so I thought what the heck, I’ll bake it with her. And it was awesome! The hummus makes it moist, but it’s not super-heavy. It was delicious served with a bowl of hearty vegetable chowder for dinner, and, oddly enough, it was great topped with hummus. Hummus on hummus bread!

Hummus Bread

There’s hummus in the bread! Sesame seeds too!

Recipe Notes

  • The bread recipe is designed for a bread maker, but I followed the instructions for making it by hand (I used my stand mixer).
  • The recipe includes a hummus recipe. I used one of my favorite hummus recipes instead (this one from Cooking Light). You could use store bought hummus too.
  • One of the recipe’s ingredients is Whole-Grain Bread Improver. I just bought some and this was my first time using it. I can’t say what the bread would be like without the improver (which is primarily vital wheat gluten), but it rose beautifully, and I’ll give some of the credit for that to the improver.
  • I didn’t have garlic oil, and didn’t want to simmer garlic in oil (which I how I assume you’d make garlic oil), so I used olive oil and sprinkled a little garlic powder in it.

This is a great recipe to try if you like hummus or if you have some hummus to use up. Be sure to click over to Michele’s blog to see how hers turned out.


TwD Baking with Julia: Pizza with Onion Confit

January 8, 2013

When I looked at the recipe for Pizza with Onion Confit, it was one of those it looks pretty good, but I’m just not sure recipes. But it certainly looked good enough to try, and since I missed both recipes that the Tuesdays with Dorie group made in December, I knew I better get on it and make some pizza.


And now it’s one of those I’m so glad I gave it a try recipes. I’m always up for trying another pizza crust recipe, and I really liked this one. The edges were chewy, and the base was sturdy enough to support a pile of moist onions that were slow cooked in a little butter and red wine vinegar and a lot of red wine. I followed the suggestion in the book to add some goat cheese, olives (I used green), and a sprinkle of parmesan. It was a great combination of flavors and made for a really enjoyable dinner.

When I first looked at the recipe, it seemed time-consuming, but it really wasn’t bad. I made a full recipe of the crust a day ahead of time and stored it in the refrigerator. The next day, while cooking half a batch of onion confit, I divided the dough in half and brought half up to room temperature and froze the other half for another time. The onions need to cook for about an hour, but they do their thing on the stove and need to be stirred only occasionally.

A couple of additional thoughts for next time:

  • The pizza crust dough might make good breadsticks. Shape like a breadstick and brush with butter or garlic butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. That thought kept coming to mind as I ate the outside crust.
  • As good as a vegetarian version was, some bacon might be really tasty with the onions and goat cheese.

This was another Steve Sullivan recipe (he also contributed the Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf recipe that I loved so much). You can find the recipe on page 157 of Baking with Julia, or pop over to The Boy Can Bake, where this week’s host Paul has the recipe posted, along with lots of tips on making pizza crust.

PS: Sorry Steve Sullivan, but I disagree with you: this was quite good reheated the next day!


Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

December 5, 2012

When I was browsing King Arthur Flour’s recipes to find a Burger Bun recipe, I came across these dinner rolls, and they immediately went on my to-make list. First I made a half-batch to decide if I should make them for Thanksgiving. We inhaled them before I could get a photo, and they immediately went on the Thanksgiving menu. Michele also made rolls, and as with the burger buns, she tried a different recipe so that we could compare.

Tender and tasty, these are great on their own, but it doesn’t get much better than a bite of warm roll spread with butter.

Both times that I made these, I followed the instructions for making them a day ahead of time: after the first rise, the dough is shaped into rolls and partially rises before going into the refrigerator overnight. The next day, they come out of the fridge and rise the rest of the way before baking. This worked great on Thanksgiving – I baked them in the morning and warmed them before dinner. Everyone was happy that we had homemade rolls!

More tips:

  • If you have a scale, use it: weigh the dough, divide by 16, and that’s how much each roll should weigh. I used to think this was too much trouble, but it’s worth a few extra minutes to have equally-sized rolls.
  • The recipe is designed for 8-inch round cake pans; I have 9-inch cake pans, so I put 10 rolls in a 9-inch pan and 6 rolls in a 6-inch pan.

Are you ready to bake some rolls? You can get the recipe for Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns here on King Arthur Flour’s website. I also spotted some other good-looking rolls on King Arthur Flour’s site. I didn’t have a chance to make them yet, but that’s the recipe Michele tried, so hop over to her blog to see more rolls!


Beautiful Burger Buns

November 16, 2012

I’ve made various bread recipes, but this was my first try making burger buns. Why did I wait so long? These Beautiful Burger Buns from King Arthur were fantastic. Butter brushed on top adds to the flavor, and the texture is soft but not air-filled and squishy like packaged buns can be. They were quick and easy to make, and I’m thrilled to have four more in stashed in the freezer.

I served these with these Bulgur-Bean Veggie Burgers – my favorite veggie burger recipe. If you’re looking for a non-vegetarian burger recipe, these Curry Turkey Burgers are fantastic – the curry paste punches up the not-so-flavorful ground turkey. I buy curry past in tiny cans and still have leftovers when I use it in a recipe, so this is a great way to use up the leftovers.

Michele made burger buns too, but she tried a different recipe and made a vegan version, so do check out her blog to look at her photo and recipe – they look fantastic! As good as mine turned out, I need to try her recipe too!


TwD Baking with Julia: Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

November 6, 2012

Muffins were on deck for the Tuesdays with Dorie group this week. As much as I love a challenge in the kitchen, I also appreciate a simple muffin recipe that’s quick to mix and doesn’t make a lot of dishes. This recipe fit the bill! I made them late in the morning and we enjoyed them for an afternoon snack.

I made 1/2 recipe which gave me 8 muffins, though I should have made 9. The muffins overflowed a bit and the crumb topping glued itself to the muffin pan, making them a bit difficult to get remove from the pan. Once they were out, they were tasty – sweet, crunchy crumb topping on top of a tender muffin flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. They were best the day they were baked, and still really good the next day.

Tip: I had some buttermilk in the freezer that I defrosted for this recipe, and it worked great. It seems that I always need less buttermilk than I need to buy, so last time I had extra, I froze it in 1/2 cup portions. David Lebovitz recently wrote a post about freezing cream, and I’m going to try that next. Update: I tried it and it worked! The frozen, defrosted cream whipped up nicely. It will be great to have cream in the freezer for those times I need just a little bit.

Ready for a quick, nicely spiced muffin? You can find the recipe on page 207 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to Alisa from Easier than Pie for hosting this week. She has the recipe posted on her blog today.


TwD Baking with Julia: Bagels

October 16, 2012

Another yeast recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group; this time it’s Lauren Groveman’s bagels. Here is my first batch: three sesame and two plain.

Thanks to good timing, the bagel episode of Baking with Julia was shown on my PBS station a few days before I planned to make them. It helped a lot to see her technique for forming the bagels, as well as to see what they should look like at different stages.

There are some steps involved in making bagels, but it didn’t end up being as involved as I feared. The process for making the dough is much like other bread doughs. After a rest in the refrigerator, the dough is formed into a ring with a large center (it will puff up and the hole will close if you don’t make it big enough). The bagels are then boiled in a water bath with sugar and baking soda before being baked. I bought a skimmer and I’m glad I did, because it worked great for fishing the bagels out of the water.

I made the dough one day, baked 5 bagels the next day, and then baked 5 more bagels the day after. The bagels had a chewy crust and tender center, which is exactly how I like a bagel to be. The second batch was darker, which made the crust chewier.

Recipe notes:

  • On the TV show, she used 1 tablespoon of barley malt syrup and 1 tablespoon of sugar, but the recipe in the book calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar and no malt syrup (on the show, she said that if you don’t have the malt syrup, you can use 2 tablespoons of sugar). Since I have malt syrup, that’s what I used.
  • Another good tip from the show was to put some toppings on the peel or baking sheet before you put the bagels on it — that way there are toppings on the top and the bottom of the bagel.

There’s nothing like a bagel warm out of the oven, especially if it’s your own oven!  You can find the recipe on page 87 of Baking with Julia. The book also includes a method for making bagel chips, as well as the recipes for the spreads that Groveman made on the show. Thank you to Heather’s Bytes for hosting this week. She has the bagel recipe posted here.

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