Tag Archive | Bread Recipe

Be a star breadwinner.

When my home is filled with the scent of bread baking in the oven it always brings back nostalgic memories of my childhood.

On Friday’s when I’d come home from school, and before even reaching the front door, the aroma of fresh baked bread filled the air as Friday’s was my mom’s baking day—breads, buns, pies and cookies—she made enough for the week ahead to feed a family of seven.

A slice of delicious love with creamy butter, and homemade jam awaited me for an after school snack.

When I had a day off from school, I would help, and it is at our kitchen table that I learned how to put love into baking and cooking. I made a lot of mistakes when trying it on my own, but my mother taught me that making mistakes is how one learns to make great meals.

As I watched her knead the dough for the breads, I saw how much love she put into each loaf, and how happy it made her when they came out of the oven, all risen and deliciously golden.

She would always make the sign of the cross, and say a silent prayer after she finished kneading the dough.

I followed this routine, as I knew she was giving thanks for the flour, yeast and all the food she was able to prepare.

I told her once that it was such a nice tradition to give thanks while baking.

She told me that it was one of the reasons she prayed while baking, the other reason was that she prayed the dough would rise. 🙂

ITALIAN BREAD RECIPE

Following is my recipe for making bread and buns. I did learn to knead the dough by hand, but thanks to modern technology, a stand mixer does a great job as well, and saves time.

I’m also sharing a tip on how to make your crust golden and crisp and the inside of the bread soft and chewy for a scrumptious slice of carb heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ¼ c warm water (between 100F & 110F)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 cups flour (You can use any of these flours: 00 or bread flour or all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • spray bottle with water
  • A tray of ice cubes or a oven-proof bowl of water

    Directions:
  • In a small bowl, add: yeast, sugar & water, and stir lighty. Cover with a cloth and let it sit for 10 minutes, or until yeast doubles.
  • Add the yeast into your stand mixer bowl (if not using a stand mixer, add into a large bowl), then slowly add 3 cups of flour and the salt.
  • Using a dough hook on the mixer, mix everything at low speed. Use a spatula to scrape the sides.
  • When all ingredients are incorporated well, mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. (If not using a stand mixer, mix with a large wooden spoon for 8 to 10 minutes).
  • Cover bowl with a dish towel and allow dough to rest for 1/2 hour.
  • After 1/2 hour, turn mixer to low, and add 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing on low until all the flour is incorporated. (If not using a mixer, use your hand to mix the dough well).
  • If the dough is wet and shaggy, add a bit more flour (about 1/4 cup or less) until you get a smooth consistency and it does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
  • Set mixer at medium speed, and mix for 8 minutes. (If you are not using a mixer, then knead the dough by hand for 25 minutes).
  • Once you’ve finished the kneading process, add some olive oil to a bowl, then put the ball of dough into the bowl and ensure dough is all coated with oil.
  • Cover bowl with a tea towel (or you can use plastic wrap) and let the dough rise in a warm (draft-free) area for one hour (should be doubled in size)
  • Preheat your oven to 400F (doing this at this point will ensure your oven is hot enough to bake the bread)
  • Put an oven proof bowl of water at the back of your oven
  • You can either use loaf pans or a baking sheet to bake the bread, whichever you use, line with parchment paper, and after the dough has risen, sprinkle flour on a surface and use this surface with floured hands to shape your bread into an oblong loaf.
  • Put your dough either on the baking sheet or in a loaf pan.
  • Using your spray bottle with water, spritz the dough, cover and let it rise for 40 minutes.
  • After 40 minutes, score the loaf with a sharp knife, with criss cross slashes or diagonal slashes
  • Put the dough in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • While bread is baking, spritz the loaf fully with your spray bottle every 10 minutes
  • To check if bread is done after 30 minutes of baking, you can use an instant read thermometer (190F means it’s done), or tap the bottom and it should sound hollow.
  • Once baked, allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

HOME MADE FRESH BUNS

You can use the same recipe and technique to bake buns.

Bake buns for 15 minutes.

The bread or buns would be great with a steaming bowl of Italian Barley Soup. Click here for recipe.

This blog post is dedicated to my mamma. A beautiful, witty, loving, strong woman who lives in my heart and memories every day of my life.

I’m sure she’s baking a lot of goodness in Heaven.

I love you, my Angel.

It’s a Kneady Time of the Year

Few things in life are more comforting during cool, crispy weather than fluffy socks, soft lounge-wear, favorite background music (Beatles, Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, Ed Sheeran for me) and the scent of freshly baked goods.

 

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ITALIAN BUNS

This warm and cozy bread recipe will guarantee that you’ll be
complimented on your hot buns.

 

 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 3 TBSP water (tepid at 100 – 110 F)
  • 3/4 tsp. honey
  • 2 cups bread flour (if you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 TBSP. olive oil (plus more for brushing)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add water and honey to a small bowl, and stir so that the honey is incorporated with the water, then sprinkle the yeast on top of water, and let set for 5 minutes (or until yeast has foamed). Stir well.
  2. Add flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk together, then make a well in the middle. If you don’t have a stand mixer, do the exact same thing, using a large bowl.
  3. Add the water, honey, yeast mixture to the middle of the flour mixture.
  4. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment and turn on medium, and let it knead until the dough forms a ball. If there is dough on the sides, simply scrape it off and let it continue kneading for 10 minutes. If you are not using a stand mixer, then knead with your hands on a floured board and knead. About 15 minutes.


    NOTE: Here is how you can check if your dough needs more kneading.
    Indent the dough with your fingertip, if the indentation fills back quickly, you’re dough has been kneaded enough and you’re ready to let it rise.

    If it stays looking like a deep dimple, continue kneading.

  5. Lightly oil (with olive oil) a large bowl, then form the dough into a ball, then roll the dough in the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm draft-free area for 1.5 – 2 hours, the dough should be doubled in bulk.

    NOTE: I let the dough rise in the oven with the oven light on.

  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then punch down the dough, form the dough into 12 balls, keeping the rest of the dough covered as you form the balls
  7. Place dough balls on the baking sheet, cover, and let rise in a warm draft-free area for 1 hour (or until doubled in size).
  8. Preheat oven to 400F
  9. Brush each dough ball with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. The buns should be golden, and you can tell if they are cooked by tapping the bottom of the bun—it should sound hollow.
  10. Once baked, remove from oven and put on a cooling rack. Can be enjoyed cooled or warm.

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Bake Someone Happy

 

 

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There’s something about rainy, and windy, cool days where you can hear the leaves rustling that brings out the baker in me.

It’s a way of embracing the change of season after the summer months by filling my home with the glorious scent of baked goods, and satisfying my sweet tooth, and my family’s hankering for home-made goodies are added bonuses.

 

Here’s a recipe that ticks all the boxes for everyone’s
sweet, tangy, and fruity taste buds.

 

Sweet Bread filled with Lemon Custard and Blueberries

 

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Lemon Custard Filling:

INGREDIENTS:

4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 lemons
1/8 tsp. salt
6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into cubes and let it get to room temperature so it’s soft

DIRECTIONS:

Note: If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own, with a pot and steel bowl on top, or another pot that fits the bottom pot.

Fill the bottom of a double boiler with 2 inches of water, and allow it to boil on high.
Once boiled, reduce to low heat and keep it at a simmer.

To the top of the double boiler, add: sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and egg yolks.

Whisk this mixture until it’s completely blended, and continue to whisk until the custard cooks. Constant whisking will prevent the egg yolks from curdling, and it will give you a nice, smooth custard.

Once the mixture is thickened (about 10 minutes), remove from heat, If curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk.

Note: If you find it’s not thick enough, turn up the heat a little, not too high and keep whisking for a few more minutes.

Once thickened, remove the pot from heat and stir in the butter pieces. Allow the butter to melt inside the mixture.

Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap so it is touching the top of the custard as this will prevent a skin from forming on top, and set aside to let it cool.


Blueberry Topping:

INGREDIENTS:

6 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP cold water

DIRECTIONS:

2 cups fresh blueberries (or your favorite berry)
½ TBSP butter, unsalted
½ TBSP, freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a saucepan, add sugar, cornstarch, salt and water and heat over medium heat, stirring until smooth.

Add the blueberries and bring to a boil.

Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from the heat, then add butter and lemon juice, stir until butter is melted.

Set aside and let cool.

 

Egg Wash:

Beat together:
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. water

Sweet Bread:

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP white sugar
3/4 cup milk, whole milk works better
2 TBSP butter, unsalted
2 tsp olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 TBSP yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:

Add: sugar, milk, butter and oil in a sauce and heat on medium low, stirring.

After all ingredients are warmed through, remove from heat and briskly whisk in the beaten eggs.

Add the yeast to this mixture and mix.

Pour mixture into a bowl and cover the bowl, let it sit for five to 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

Sift the flour and salt together, then add to the mixture, and mix gently, until all the flour is incorporated.

Cover and set aside at room temperature, and let it rise for one hour.

Sift the flour and salt together, then add to the mixture, and mix gently, until all the flour is incorporated.

Cover and set aside at room temperature, and let it rise for one hour.

Sprinkle some flour on your working surface, then gently roll out the risen dough into a rectangle. You can add a bit more flour one your rolling pin, so it doesn’t stick.

Once your dough is rolled out to approximately 16 x 12 in size, spoon the lemon custard in rows.

At this point you can do one of two things; you can braid the bread, gently criss-crossing, and using a spoon pressing the filling in so it doesn’t spill out while baking.

ANOTHER OPTION: Or, you can roll up the dough in the shape of a log, placing the seam underneath, then pinch edges of the log so the filling doesn’t pour out.

If you breaded the bread, add a dollop of the blueberry mixture, dotting the blueberry mixture on the opening, or you can also choose to add a few dollops of blueberry mixture inside the bread. You can use your imagination with the berries.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer your dough to this baking sheet.

Let bread to rise for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 F

Make your egg wash by whisking egg and water well, then brush the egg wash over the bread, and put the bread in the oven.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden.

Once you remove it from the oven, and it cools to warm, you can dust your bread with icing sugar.

Enjoy with your favourite hot beverage.

 

 

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Nothing says home like the smell of baking.

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I don’t eat bananas on their own, it’s not a fruit I gravitate toward, but my husband loves them, and he buys a few too many so that they can go soft and freckly so that I can whip up banana bread. I do love the smell of banana bread, and also the taste, now that I’ve nailed down a recipe I enjoy.

This recipe is not only basic, fast and easy, it is very forgiving and allows you a wide berth to add a variety of ingredients.

Have extra carrots or zucchini in your pantry? Grate them and add them to this recipe. You like nuts, seeds or dried fruit? Again, add them in.

The following recipe is my creation, but as I stated above, you can play around with the recipe and add your own ingredients. In this recipe, I use almond flour (making it gluten-free), however, you can substitute and use all-purpose flour or any baking flour of your choice.

 

Banana Carrot Bread

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Ingredients:

Yields one loaf.

3 bananas, mashed

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2  cup honey

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup carrots, shredded

1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chia seeds

2 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.In a large bowl add each ingredient one at a time, after adding these ingredients, stir to mix: mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, vanilla

In a large bowl add each ingredient one at a time, after adding these ingredients, stir to mix: mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, vanilla

To this bowl fold in: flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and stir until flour is moistened.

Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes, then turn loaf onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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