Archive | Bread RSS feed for this section

Cranberry Orange Hot Cross Buns

20 Apr

IMG_5203

Happy Easter to all of you – I hope that yall are having a beautiful day! Hot cross buns are traditional to eat on Good Friday, so I’d made a batch to munch on during Holy Week. I’ve made a similar version before but they were pretty plain without any dried fruit. So naturally I wanted to jazz them up this time with the cranberry and orange flavor combo which is one of my favorites! Especially since I don’t like raisins, which is the usual dried fruit that’s added. Sorry to all you raisin lovers out there, but you can sub any kind of dried fruit that your heart desires.

So whether you make these for the holidays or just because, I hope you enjoy! And because I’m reminiscing about spending last Easter in Rome, “Buona Pasqua” to you all!

Cranberry Orange Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast (also equals 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp granulated white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Plus 1 egg and 1 Tbsp milk or water for an egg wash before baking

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
A few drops of orange extract (optional)

Yield: 1 dozen

Directions:
To make the buns: In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the milk until lukewarm (about 100 degrees F). Add the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and stir to combine. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.

Meanwhile in the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Once the yeast is foamy, gradually add to the flour mixture and beat until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the melted butter, egg, and orange zest and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on medium low speed, with the dough hook, gradually add the cranberries and continue to knead the dough until it is silky smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is lightly greased. Cover with plastic wrap  and place in a warm spot to rise until it has almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).

When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down to release the air, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a small round ball and place on a lined baking sheet. (lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat) Place three buns to a row, four rows altogether. They should be spaced so they have enough room to double in size.) Cover the buns with a tea towel or lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with a nonstick cooking spray and place lightly over the buns. Place in a warm spot until almost doubled in size (about 60 minutes).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the tops of the buns with an egg wash (one beaten egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon milk or water) and brush the tops of the buns with the wash. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about15 minutes, or until the buns are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and orange extract if using and mix until smooth. Add a little extra powdered sugar if it’s too runny, till you get the consistency you want. Place the glaze in a paper cone or small plastic bag. Cut the end of the cone or bag and pipe a cross on the top of each bun.

Source: Slightly adapted from Joy of Baking

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

10 Apr

IMG_5188

I’m certain I’ve said it before, but Friday pizza night is a huge staple in our home. Our family did it growing up, I’ve continued it in my marriage, and now I can’t wait to share the tradition with our little one who will be here in THREE WEEKS! Pardon me while this blows my mind…still can’t believe we’ll be meeting our baby so soon!

IMG_4796

I’ve used the same homemade pizza crust recipe for the past 3+ years and have been totally happy with it, so you know it’d take an awesome new recipe to make me change my ways. I saw this recipe for garlic bread pizza crust and my eyes were sold by the delicious photos alone. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but is smothered in extra butter, garlic, and parmesan at the end. Ya know, if that’s your thing. I followed the full garlic extreme recipe the first time I made it and was in heaven, and then tried it again without the extra additions. (photo at the top is the toned down version, photo below is the full blown garlic bread type) The simple version was of course a bit healthier but still full of flavor and has a perfect texture. And as you can see below, the full recipe has the extra buttery, cheesy, garlic blasted goodness around the edges which is decadent and a nice indulgence once in a while. The recipe is meant to make one pizza – we don’t like crazy thick crust so I actually divide it in two get double the pizza out of one batch of dough. And as you can see, it’s still not super thin!

IMG_4797

In fact, this two for one has been a big time saver! On one of my days off, when I have the time to make a full batch of dough, I’ll divide it in two and then freeze them for the next two Fridays. SO easy! To do this, after letting the dough rise for the 1 1/2 hours, take two plastic zipper bags (quart size works for me) and spray the inside of the bag with olive oil or non-stick spray. Divide the dough into two, put one half into each bag, and pop them in the freezer. Then, just put the dough into the fridge for about a day before you’re going to use (I transfer mine on Thursday nights) to defrost. Then while you’re prepping your pizza ingredients on the day of, take the defrosted dough out of the fridge to come to room temp, roll, top, bake, and enjoy!

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

Ingredients:
1 1/8 cups warm water (100-105 degrees)
3 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tbso honey
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
Whatever pizza sauce and toppings you want!

Optional – for extra garlic bread flavor:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Yield: 2 pizza crusts

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey, and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder, and dried basil, stirring with a spoon or mixing with a dough hook until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed) in to the dough, kneading it with the dough hook or using your hands on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover bowl with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape on a pizza/baking pan. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

Continue to make your pizza with your desired toppings. Bake the pizza for 23-25 minutes (or longer if needed, depending on your toppings), or until crust and cheese are both golden. Let the pizza set for a minute, then slice and serve!

If going all out with the garlic bread flavors:
While the dough is rising again, melt 3 Tbsp of butter. Mix it with the garlic and 1 Tbsp of parmesan cheese. Before adding your pizza toppings, using a spoon or pastry brush, douse the outside edges with the butter and garlic mixture. You can spread the butter all over, just make sure to focus on the edges. Use it all up! While the pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last Tbsp of parmesan. Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately brush the outside edges with parmesan butter, using it all up. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan over the top and serve!

Source: How Sweet Eats

Freezer Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches

6 Jan

IMG_4709

Happy New Year to all of you – hope it’s been treating you well so far! We’re off to a great start in our home and can’t believe that in a few months we’ll get to finally meet our little one. Something that my dear husband already accomplished this year was running a full marathon on New Years Eve morning and then a half marathon on New Years Day. What an ambitious guy – I’m proud to say the least!

The two or three weeks leading up to the races, he strove to eat really well to get his body ready for the task at hand. One thing I wanted to make for his quick and healthy breakfasts were sandwiches that you can make ahead, freeze, and reheat. I found a recipe online that ended up being a keeper. You simply bake an egg in a ramekin, cook some turkey bacon, pile them onto an English muffin, freeze, and zap in the microwave for an awesome on-the-go breakfast. The only problem is that I got hooked on them too, so now have to make even more!

IMG_4708

The beautiful thing is that you can personalize these with a variety of things depending on what you like or how healthy you want to make it. You could use a biscuit instead of a muffin, ham, Canadian bacon, or sausage instead of turkey bacon, or even add a slice of your favorite cheese.

These are definitely becoming a staple in our house – they’re delicious, easy to make in bulk, and much cheaper than store bought sandwiches. Hope you enjoy too!

Freezer Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
Salt & pepper, to taste
6 English muffins
6 slices turkey bacon

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray ramekins with nonstick spray. Crack one egg into each ramekin and use a fork to break the yolk and mix the egg a bit.

Bake the eggs for 15 minutes, until set. Let them cool for about 10 minutes and gently slide the eggs out of the ramekins. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper, if wanted.

Cook the bacon in the oven or on the stovetop according to package directions. Let it cool completely.

Slice the English muffins and cut each piece of bacon in half. Put one egg on each muffin and top with a slice of bacon. (you could also add cheese at this point)

Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and freeze. To reheat, remove the sandwiches from the plastic wrap and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute on 50% power. Flip the sandwich over and microwave for 1 more minute on regular power. Enjoy!

Source: Slightly adapted from Flying on Jess Fuel

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

5 Dec

IMG_4546

I hope that all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving last week!

Here’s a recipe that’ll make you some fast friends if you bake some and share. The bright citrus mixed with tart cranberries and some home picked pecans are the epitome of holiday flavors and will make your house smell great!

IMG_4500

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pecans, chopped coarse
1 Tbsp grated zest (from 1 large orange)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups cranberries (6 ounces), chopped coarse

Yield: 1 loaf

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a small bowl, stir together orange juice, zest, buttermilk, butter, and egg; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir liquid ingredients into the dry until just moistened. Gently stir in cranberries and pecans. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees; continue to bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely before serving, at least 1 hour.

Source: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, originally from Baking Illustrated

Banana Nut Muffins

11 Nov

IMG_4429

This recipe has been in our family for quite a while and is always my go-to when I need to use up some super ripe bananas. I remember my mom would make these for us when I was a kid and they freaked me out at first. You know how when baking with fresh banana you get those tiny black strings? I thought they looked like little worms and didn’t want to eat them at first. But, once I got over my irrational fear and took a bite, there was no turning back.

These muffins can be made with or without nuts. They’re super easy to make and everyone is sure to love them. I hope they become a staple in your family like they have been in mine!

Banana Nut Muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 super ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen muffins

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.

Line a muffin pan with liners and scoop the batter, filling 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle some chopped nuts on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Let them sit in the pan for a few minutes then put them on a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container as needed.

Source: My mother, originally from my Aunt Carole

Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins

27 Aug

IMG_4175

So lets be real. Muffins are just an excuse to have cake for breakfast, right?

I had some very ripe bananas to use and didn’t want to make my usual banana nut variety of muffins, so thought a chocolate banana combo would be awesome. And indeed it was! Between the cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and chocolate chips, these are totally dessert for breakfast. But there’s banana involved, so they’re redeemed by at least a little nutritional value. (At least that’s what I tell myself.)

While the chocolate is the star of these muffins, you do still get an obvious banana flavor in each bite. You can add nuts if you want, but I felt like leaving it out this time. Also, you can skip the muffin approach and bake this into a loaf instead. (like the original recipe) Just spoon the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Either way, it’s good eats! Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins

Ingredients:
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen muffins

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with papers and set aside. Stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy, then beat in the chocolate, eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until incorporated. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the chips.

Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin pan (about 2/3 full) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, about 20 minutes. Put the pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes before taking them out of the pan. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack or enjoy while still warm.

Source: Slightly adapted from Mama’s Gotta Bake

Parmesan and Black Pepper Cornbread Biscotti

22 Aug

IMG_4204

I’ve made plenty of sweet biscotti in my day but this was my first time to make a savory version. This crispy treat pairs perfectly with soup and works as a great utensil for dipping and scooping. Feel free to go light on the black pepper, but I’m a total pepper person so used the full 2 teaspoons. The parmesan and cornmeal makes for a nice crunchy texture and is such a delicious alternative to your usual cornbread. Enjoy!

Parmesan and Black Pepper Cornbread Biscotti

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 – 2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs, divided

Yield: 12-16 pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and black pepper to remove any lumps. Stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan; set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil, butter, buttermilk, and 2 of the eggs. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened.

Spread dough onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper and pat into a 12″ x 4″ rectangle. Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the dough with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with the reserved parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack. Lower the oven to 300 F while it cools.

Gently slide the loaf onto a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice into 1/2″ thick slices. Place slices, cut side down, onto the lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes; flip biscotti and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the biscotti is golden and crisp. Let it cool before serving. Eat on it’s own or dip it into soup. Store in an airtight container.

Source: Fake Ginger, slightly adapted from Southern Living