Archive for the ‘Yeast Bread’ Category


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: 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.


TwD Baking with Julia: Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf

October 2, 2012

I was excited when I saw that the Tuesdays with Dorie group was baking a pumpkin recipe this month. I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season recently, and that got me primed for pumpkin. Steve Sullivan‘s mini Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaves were just the fall treat I needed.

This is a yeast bread featuring pumpkin, fresh cranberries, toasted walnuts, and raisins. After an overnight rest in the refrigerator, it’s divided into three pieces to make three mini loaves. It rose well and browned nicely in the oven. The bread, while not overly pumpkin flavored, has a soft texture which is a nice contrast to the juicy cranberries, crunchy walnuts, and chewy raisins.

I had high hopes for this, and ended up liking it even more than I expected! I gave one loaf to my mom and planned to give another to my neighbor, but I decided to slice and freeze the third loaf so that I can grab a slice or two whenever I want. I bet it will be good toasted.

Break out of the quick bread rut and give this a try! You can find the recipe on page 108 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to Rebecca of This Bountiful Backyard for hosting this week. She has the recipe posted on her blog today.


TwD Baking with Julia: Whole Wheat Loaves

September 18, 2012

I ended up taking the entire summer off from the Tuesdays with Dorie group, but when I saw that Michele was hosting this week’s recipe, I knew I better get my Baking with Julia book out and get going.

The weather is finally cooling off, so it was a great time to make some bread. This recipe, from Craig Kominiak, was easy, and I couldn’t believe how quickly it rose. It includes both honey and malt extract, which I believe gives the wheat flour a bit of a boost to help it rise.

Until recently, I only had a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, and would use it for all recipes that needed a loaf pan. I finally wised up and bought an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and it was a great purchase. I had a lot of flat, squat loaves before that! I try to be practical, but sometimes you really do need several sizes of one type of pan.

Grilled cheese sandwiches made with this bread were delicious! It was also great toasted for breakfast. As good as this was, I want to make it again and add some Harvest Grains Blend from King Arthur. I like all kinds of seeds and grains in my wheat bread.

Get going and bake some bread! You can find the recipe on page 83 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to this week’s hosts: Michele of Veggie Num Nums and Teresa of The Family That Bakes Together. They will have the recipe posted on their blogs today.


TwD Baking with Julia: Chocolate Truffle Tart

February 21, 2012

The second recipe in February for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is Chocolate Truffle Tartlets. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, although I spent V-Day in a different city and had dinner with a group of colleagues. Not ideal, but we were all in the same boat, and we made a game of watching couple after couple ride past the restaurant in a horse-drawn carriage. So I had a pre-V-Day dinner with my husband and then we had this lovely tart when I was back in town.

It looks a little bit like rocky road, but what’s really going on in that tart is milk chocolate, white chocolate, and chopped cookies mixed into a smooth-as-all-getout chocolate filling, all resting in a chocolate crust. If you have a chocolate craving, this is going to satisfy it!


  • The recipe makes six individual tartlets. Instead, I cut the recipe in half and made a 6″ tart, plus I had enough leftover crust and filling to fill a 3″ ramekin.
  • I used 60% chocolate in the filling and stirred in milk and white chocolate chips.
  • I think just about any kind of cookie or biscotti would work. Here’s what I used (they are crunchy; not sponge-cakey like some lady fingers):

True to its name, this is like a smooth chocolate truffle in a crust. A little goes a long, delicious way. This is something I would make again, especially for a a chocolate lover. My husband preferred the deeper ramekin serving, because it had “more guts.” Since there’s so much chocolate in the filling, we both agreed that the chocolate flavor in the crust was lost. Although the crust was good, I would be comfortable making this with any type of tart crust, even if it didn’t have chocolate in it.

You can find this recipe on page 382 of Baking with Julia. This recipe is hosted by: Spike, Steph, Jamie, and Jessica.

Note: I’ve been having trouble commenting on some blogs. If there’s a Name/URL option, then I’m fine, but if I have to sign in with my WordPress ID, I often can’t submit a comment.


Helpful information about yeast, and my commenting woes

February 10, 2012


If you are on the King Arthur Flour mailing list, you may have already seen this article about yeast. Yeast and I get along pretty well, but I learned a few things and got some good tips about how the different types of yeast behave and how to tweak rising time, so take a look!

Commenting Woes

I use WordPress, and off and on, have trouble commenting on some Blogger blogs. This is one of those times, and I wasn’t able to comment on some of the lovely loaves that were posted for the Tuesdays With Dorie/Baking with Julia group. I hope it resolves itself; if not, I will be reading your blogs but will not be able to comment. I’m really happy with WordPress, so no, I’m not going to switch teams. If anyone has a solution, please let me know; I did some searching and didn’t come up with anything that worked for me.


Baking with Julia: White Loaves

February 7, 2012

The Tuesdays with Dorie group baked its way through Baking: From My Home to Yours, and now we’re on to a new book, Baking with Julia. Welcome new bakers! Tuesdays with Dorie was so fun that I knew I wanted to keep going and join the new group. I got the book for Christmas, and it was great to crack it open and start baking. And so I present to you, a White Loaf.

Yep, white loaf bread; a nice, basic recipe to kick off the new group. Although the recipe is for White Loaves, I cut it in half and made White Loaf. There are only two of us, and one loaf of bread at a time is plenty.


  • I cut the recipe in half and made one loaf.
  • I always use instant yeast, so I used a little bit less yeast than called for in the recipe (no scientific calculation – I just eyeball it and use less than called for).
  • My loaf was done after baking for 30 minutes.

The day I baked this, we had it with soup for dinner. Spread with a little butter (er, Smart Balance), it was a tender and tasty accompaniment to a steaming bowl of soup. It was very well-received by my husband, who was more excited than I expected him to be about white bread (hmmm…maybe I overdo it with the grainy, wheaty breads!). I was all excited to make toast with this, but somehow I didn’t get around to it. I did see a piece of toast that my husband made and it looked lovely.

You can find this recipe on page 81 of Baking with Julia. This week, Laurie and Jules are hosting, and Jules has the recipe on her blog.

One more note: I kicked the Facebook habit and deactivated my account. I was friends with a few other bakers and wanted to mention that just in case you noticed that I disappeared from your friend list or your page likes. Facebook just wasn’t enhancing my life. Will Twitter do it for me? I don’t know, but I’m giving it a try. You can find me @BakeWithJill. I’m just getting started, but hope to find my tweeting groove and find some good people to follow. Suggestions welcome!


Tuesdays with Dorie Rewind: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

September 27, 2011

A few weeks ago, the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made Golden Brioche Loaves. Well, that brioche recipe makes a lot of dough, so in addition to a loaf, I made Brioche Raisin Snails, and now I bring you my final installment: Pecan-Honey Sticky Buns.

Another brioche success! These were decadent and delicious. I timed my baking so that I could give away most of them – spread out the calories, as I like to say. By the way, Michele also baked some brioche and is posting it today. I don’t know the details, so I’ll be checking out how hers turned out and what recipe she used.

What I did: When I made the brioche dough, I took half of it and prepped it for the sticky bun recipe by rolling it out, spreading it with cinnamon filling, and rolling it up. Tightly wrapped, it stayed in my freezer for a few weeks. The day before baking, I put the dough in the refrigerator. The day of baking, I made the topping (butter, honey, pecans, and brown sugar), sliced the log of dough into rounds, and let it rise before baking. 

How it went: With the dough already made, this went quickly. Also, since the dough had been frozen, it was super-cold and easy to slice, which made my life easier. The buns are baked on top of the topping, so they need quick flip as soon as they come out of the oven. I’m happy to report that I didn’t burn myself or get any topping on the floor!

How it tasted: My husband and I each ate one warm from the oven and loved them. My husband liked how they were sticky on the outside but not soggy. Our neighbor reported that he put them in a bowl, chopped them up, and topped them with half-and-half. As long as he enjoys them, he can do what he wants. He gets points for creativity, and for making these even more rich.

Open your copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours to page 51 and get sticky! Or, you can find the recipe here.


Tuesdays w/Dorie (Rewind): Brioche Raisin Snails

August 30, 2011

I finally made Brioche Raisin Snails, the mysterious pastry that the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made back in 2008. As a raisin lover, this has been on my radar for quite some time. When Golden Brioche Loaves were selected for last week’s recipe, it was the kick I needed to get going on the snails. If you remember back to last week, I divided my dough in half and used 1/3 of the 1/2 to make a mini brioche loaf. The other 2/3 turned into these lovely pastries.

I gave some of these to a friend, and right away she told me that she remembered eating brioche with me at Paris Las Vegas and I loved it and was wondering how I could make it at home. That was at least seven years ago and I don’t remember it. (To clarify, I DO remember the trip to Las Vegas, and I even remember eating at the Paris buffet; it’s just the part about the brioche that slipped my mind.) Even though I haven’t spent the last seven years dreaming about making brioche, I still think it’s pretty cool that I made it.

What I did: I made the brioche dough on day one You can read more about the brioche process here. I also made pastry cream on day one. On day two, I warmed up the raisins with some dark rum (I skipped the part where you set them on fire), rolled the dough, spread on the pastry cream, sprinkled on the raisins, rolled it up, and cut it. After some rising time, the snails went in the oven.

How it went: I’ve made pastry cream before using different recipes, and every time, including this time, I think I messed it up. But in the end, I didn’t scramble the eggs and I think it was fine. I’m not the neatest roller of dough or slicer of dough, but it all went pretty well. I should have remembered that trick of using dental floss to slice soft dough, but I never remember that at the right time.

How it tasted: Buttery, tender, studded with boozy raisins, drizzled with a sugary glaze. My husband, who does not love raisins, and doesn’t usually get past a courtesy taste of anything with raisins, loved them and ate several. My dad, who does love raisins, did not love these. He didn’t think they had enough flavor. I kind of see his point, as these are not a flavor explosion, but the flavors that were there worked for me. My friend loved them and told me to start writing my business plan, and my mom told me to open a bakery. For now, I think I’ll stick to my home kitchen.

This recipe was hosted by Peabody on March 18, 2008, and you can see her version of the recipe (she made some changes) here, or you can click here to see the version of the recipe that’s in the book. But wait, you have a copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours, don’t you? Just open it to page 56 and get your snails on!


Tuesdays with Dorie: Golden Brioche Loaves

August 23, 2011

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers is Golden Brioche Loaves, selected by Margaret from Tea and Scones. A piece of brioche would be quite nice with a cup of tea, wouldn’t it?

I’ve eaten brioche just a handful of times, and every time I think I’m not going to like it that much and then can’t stop eating it. And once again, I thought, well, I’ll just make a mini loaf because I’m more excited about the other recipes that use the brioche dough. One bite of a mini slice from my mini loaf and I was wishing I’d made a large loaf! Ah, but nothing is stopping me from making this again.

What I did: I made the full recipe (with three sticks of butter!) because Dorie asks us very nicely not to reduce it. She also very nicely provides several other recipes that use brioche dough, and one that uses dried-out brioche, so there are a lot of options. I mixed the dough on a Friday night. Here’s what I did Saturday morning:

  • I took half the dough and prepped a batch of Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. The rolled-up and filled dough is in my freezer, ready to thaw and bake another time.
  • I took the other half of the dough and used 1/3 of it for a mini Golden Brioche Loaf, and 2/3 of it for Brioche Raisin Snails. This was a lot of math before 9am, but it all worked out.

How it went: The brioche dough isn’t particularly difficult to make. It’s a yeast bread, so if you’ve made bread, the process will be familiar, although most yeast bread doesn’t contain three sticks of butter! The butter gets mixed in slowly, and in the end, you have a smooth, silky dough. After rising, the dough goes into the refrigerator for the night. The next day, it gets a second rise in a loaf pan and baked, or it gets prepped for another recipe. Below is my 1/3 of 1/2 batch of dough baked into a mini loaf. I’ll tell you about the snails and sticky buns in separate posts.

How it tasted: My husband took a bite and said “It’s like a bite of spring air.” He went on to say “If it was any lighter, it wouldn’t exist.” I don’t think I can top those quotes, but I’ll say that I enjoyed it quite a bit and find it amusing that something with so much butter and eggs in it can be so light. It was delicious plain and even better topped with apricot jam.

Open your copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours to page 48 and get going on some brioche! If you want to try before you buy, click over to Tea and Scones; she will have the recipe published today.

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