Tag Archives: bread

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

10 Apr


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!


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!


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

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

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


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!


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

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

Yield: 6 sandwiches

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


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!


Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

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

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


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

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

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

Mardi Gras King Cake

15 Feb


I’ve always wanted to attempt making a homemade King Cake for Mardi Gras, and this year, per my husband’s request and my sheer determination, I decided to go for it! I didn’t have a recipe to start, but then I saw that The Catholic Foodie has shared his tried and true recipe with the world. Any new recipe is a little intimidating, but with a little time and attention, this is literally a piece of cake!


This starts as a pretty normal bread recipe, but the hints of lemon and nutmeg really make it something special. I decided to add some pecans and cinnamon to the cream cheese filling to add a little more texture and flavor. As for the icing, you can either make colored icings instead of sprinkles, but just FYI – colored sugars are SO easy to make in whatever color you’re needing. Just put some granulated sugar in a ziploc bag, add a little gel food coloring, and smoosh it together for a while till it’s all incorporated. Voila – cheap and simple colored sugar – fit for a King Cake!


I hope yall had a fun Mardi Gras and are having a blessed Lenten season!

Mardi Gras King Cake

2 packets of active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1 cup warm milk (about 110 F)
5 large egg yolks, room temperature
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated if possible!)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vegetable or olive oil
1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 plastic king cake baby
5 Tbsp milk, room temperature
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Purple, green, and yellow food coloring or colored sugar

Yield: 1 large cake (about 15-20 servings)

For the dough: Combine the yeast and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. If you don’t have a stand mixer, don’t worry, you can do the same thing by hand in a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter and warm milk and beat for one minute at medium-low speed. With the mixer still running, add the egg yolks and beat for another minute. Add the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest and beat until everything is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball (or starts to climb up the dough hook). As with any dough, you may have to add water (a tablespoon at a time) or more flour to get the right results. Remove the dough from the bowl and, using your hands, form it into a smooth ball. Using vegetable or regular olive oil, lightly oil a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, rolling it around to coat it on all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for about 2 hours. You want the dough to double in size.

For the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, pecans, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Blend using a fork or an electric mixer on low speed. Set aside.

After the dough has doubled in size: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll it out into a rectangle about 30 inches long and 6 inches wide. Take the cream cheese filling and spread it out lengthwise over the bottom half of the dough. Flip the top half of the dough over the filling and seal the edges with your fingers, pinching the dough together. Shape the dough into a cylinder and place it on a lined baking sheet seam side down. Shape it into a ring and pinch the ends together, doing your best so that there’s no visible seam. Cover the ring with plastic wrap (or a clean kitchen towel) and set aside in a warm, draft-free place. Let the dough rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 F. Once the cake has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap or towel and brush the surface of the cake with 2 Tbsp of milk. Place cake in oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully place the cake on a wire rack so that it can cool completely. When it is completely cooled, insert the plastic baby from the bottom of the cake.

For the icing: In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, 3 Tbsp of milk and 3 Tbsp of lemon juice. Stir well with a fork or whisk. Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the icing over the cake with a spoon. Sprinkle colored sugars alternately in purple, green, and yellow. Or instead of using colored sugars, before icing, divide the icing into three small bowls and color them with purple, green, and yellow food coloring. Ice the cake, alternating the icing colors. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Source: Slightly adapted from The Catholic Foodie

Whole Wheat Bread Bowls

9 Oct

This is my second (and more successful) attempt at bread bowls. These had the perfect texture and weren’t too soft like the last ones that quickly sprung a leak. It’s amazing what egg wash can do. The outside was beautifully crisp and firm while the inside stayed nice and soft – so easy to hollow out!

This bread bowl recipe is definitely a keeper and reminds me of Panera’s version that I love so much. I made some green chile soup for my bread bowl (recipe to follow) and some simple chicken noodle for my hubby. And as much as I enjoy eating the bowl itself, I love taking the excess bread innards (that’s a weird term) and dipping them in the soup at the beginning. Good to the last bite!

Whole Wheat Bread Bowls

2 cups warm water
1/8 cup active dry yeast
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Yield: 4 bread bowls

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add warm water, yeast, honey, and olive oil, quickly mixing with a spoon. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast gets foamy. In a separate bowl, measure out flour and salt.

Add in flour gradually with the mixer on low speed. Knead with the dough hook (I used the two lowest speeds for this) for 10-12 minutes, occasionally pulling the dough off with your hands and placing it back in the bowl. Remove dough from bowl (it will be sticky) and place it on a floured workspace. Knead it a few times by hand, adding a few sprinkles of flour until it’s elastic and no longer super sticky. Oil a bowl with olive oil and place the bread in the bowl, flipping it to coat. Cover and set in a warm place (I set it on top of my oven, turned on) to rise for 1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

After 1.5 hours, punch down dough and form into a large round, using more flour if needed to decrease the stickiness again. Cut the round into 4 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover and let rise for 20-30 more minutes. Take the dough balls and roll them into tighter balls again, then brush each with beaten egg. Gently score the top of each loaf, then bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden. Let cool completely, then using a serrated knife, cut a round out of the middle and fill with soup!

Source: How Sweet Eats

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

21 Aug

I’ve been in a blogging rut lately. No real reason why, but it happened. Maybe I’ve been distracted by life or simply needed a little break, but I’m been determined to bounce back. I’ve been sitting on this recipe for over a year now and can’t explain the ridiculous wait. But friends, this glorious food was totally worth it.

Yes, you do have to set aside the time to make the dough and work through the rising process, but it’s a perfect project for your next free day at home. Trust me, your efforts will be rewarded in the form of a fresh, warm, cinnamon sugar treat made from scratch.

The bread basically tastes like a flat cinnamon roll – which tickled my fancy, because I love cinnamon rolls but am not a fan of loads of icing. Plus, the cinnamon and sugar that seeps to the bottom of the pan turns into a sticky caramel-like substance. What a nice surprise!

For a visual step by step, you should definitely check out Joy’s original blog post. Basically, once the dough has risen the first time, just roll out the dough on a floured surface and smother it with browned butter (aka: deliciousness) and tons of cinnamon sugar. Then cut it into strips, stack, and cut into sweet little squares. Pile them into your greased pan and bake until it’s golden brown and your house smells like a bakery. Remove, enjoy, and share if you want!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread


For the Dough:
3  cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
1/2 tsp salt
2 ounces unsalted butter (4 Tbsp or 1/2 stick)
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned (4 Tbsp or 1/2 stick)

Yield: One 9x5x3 inch loaf

In a large mixing bowl (I used just the bowl of my stand mixer) whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.

Whisk together eggs and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract.  Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together.  Keep stirring.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky.  That’s just right.

Place the dough is a large,  greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning.  If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.

While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too.

Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay.  Just roll it as large as the dough will go.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar.  Seriously?  Just go for it.

Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place loaf in the oven (on a baking sheet to prevent anything baking over and making a mess) and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.  The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw.  A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.   Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto  a clean board.  Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the  upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.  Serve warm with coffee or tea.

I think this bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Source: The fabulous Joy the Baker