Tag Archives: bread

English Muffin Bread

I have an arsenal of bread recipes at my disposal, some are my own, others come from friends, books, and the interwebs.  The bread I am sharing with you today is from the 1977 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book.

I’ve made this bread several times and not once has it disappointed.  It’s a no frills, rustic loaf that is well suited for jam and toast or grilled sandwiches; my most recent favorite is tofurkey, leeks, and Daiya cheddar cheese.  When steam-baked it develops a wonderful crusty exterior and dense chewy interior.

English Muffin Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp active dry yeast

1 Tbsp raw sugar

1-1/4 cups warm water

3/4 Tsp salt

In a large bowl combine flour and yeast, set aside.  In a medium sauce pan heat water, sugar, and salt until warm (115-120°) stirring to dissolve sugar.  Add wet ingredients to dry mixture, stir until a soft dough forms.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Gently press dough down; cover and allow to rise for an additional 10 minutes.

Grease a 1-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Place dough in casserole and sprinkle top with cornmeal.  Cover, let rise ’til doubled in size  (40 minutes) and bake at 400°F for 40-45 minutes.  If the top begins to brown too quickly tent with aluminum foil.  Place loaf on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.  Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book

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Strawberry Maple Banana Bread

I’m always looking for new ways to use what I’ve preserved, especially when it comes to fruit spreads!  Cookies made with jam are nothing new for me, but bread-baked preserves were something I’ve yet to try!

Strawberry Maple Banana Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup strawberry jam

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 flax egg

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.  Grease a loaf pan and set aside.  Over medium heat, toast walnuts ’til warm and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Be sure to keep the nuts moving so they do not burn.  Set walnuts aside.

In a large bowl, combine jam, butter, flax egg, maple syrup, and almond extract.  Add mashed bananas, stir thoroughly.

In a small bowl, sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Slowly begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well each time.  Stir in toasted walnuts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.  Allow bread to sit for 5 minutes before removing from pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.

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Sun-dried Tomato & Kalamata Olive Bread

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about sun-dried tomatoes.  I mentioned how they can be packed in oil and safely stored in the fridge.  Well, after several weeks of eying them up, ever-so-safely tucked away between the pickles and garden-fresh produce, the time had come for me to start putting those babies to good use!

Sun-dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive Bread – makes 2 small loaves or one large loaf. 

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s organic all-purpose)

1 cup sifted whole wheat bread flour (I use Daisy because they are organic and local!)

1 cup sifted oat flour (This one I picked up at my bulk foods store. Although not labeled, most of their flours are organic!)

1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tsp salt

1-2/3 cups warm water

1-1/2 tsp sun-dried tomato oil

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

oat bran for sprinkling

Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl; add water, oil, olives, and tomatoes.  Gently mix ingredients until a sticky dough forms.  Turn dough out on a well-floured surface; knead until smooth and slightly elastic for about 10 minutes.  Wash and oil the bowl you mixed the dough in and return dough to bowl.  Cover and place in a warm, draft-free area, and allow dough to rise until doubled in size, 45-90 minutes.

Gently press your finger tips into the dough to deflate; place dough on a generously floured surface and knead again.  Place dough back in bowl and allow to rise another 30-60 minutes.  Repeat the knead and rise cycle up to four times; by doing so it will improve the texture and flavor.

After the final knead, divide dough into two equal pieces, or keep whole for one large loaf.  Sprinkle oat bran onto your work surface and shape dough into loaves, be sure to coat all sides of the dough.  Allow dough to rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes.  Place a baking stone on the middle oven rack and a large water-filled baking dish on the very bottom rack; heat oven to 500°F.

Place loaves on stone and bake for 10 minutes, then turn heat down to 400°F if the crust looks very pale, 350°F if the crust is browning, or 325°F if the crust is browning too quickly.  Bake until the loaves are crusty and brown and sound hollow when you tap them: in total, about 30-40 minutes.  Allow loaves to cool on a wire rack before slicing.  If you will be serving them with oil for dipping you can tear them when cool to the touch.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Rosemary Focaccia

This past May, I spent an evening with my friends, Bill and Lauren; they too share my enthusiasm for all things local, organic, and of course, homegrown!  Because I am a passionate advocate for healthy food, low-impact living, and organic gardening, it only seems natural that I end up being the go-to person for related questions and advice.

My friends were very interested in starting an organic garden, as well as purchasing their transplants from me.  We had decided to make a night of it.  I’d bring their plants, my hot artichoke dip, and a fresh-baked apple pie (they were in charge of the main course) and we would share an evening of delicious food and great conversation!  And that is exactly what we did.

For 4 hours I talked (pretty much non-stop) about food, the food system, and organic gardening.  Lauren had a pen and paper at the ready, while her hubby, Bill, absorbed every word I spoke.  I’m friends with a lot of like-minded individuals and in our shared idealistic world, we would all be homesteading, off-grid, in our own little community!  Ahhhh… the dream!

For that evening’s dinner, Lauren grilled California-style veggie sandwiches, which were served on warm-from-the-oven focaccia, paired with a tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad.  Everything was delicious!

With the back-to-back-to-back, oppressive heat waves that have been taking place, I’ve been relying on my grill for dinner.  Two weekends ago I baked a double batch of focaccia to be paired with my evening meal of fresh-from-the-garden veggie sandwiches.

Rosemary Focaccia – adapted from the Pioneer Woman (I’m still trying to get Lauren’s recipe!)

1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1-1/2 cup warm water

4 cups King Arthur all-purpose organic flour

1 tsp  salt

1/3 cup olive oil

large sprig of fresh rosemary, minced

course alaea salt, for sprinkling

olive oil for drizzling

Sprinkle the yeast over warm water and let stand for 10 minutes.

Whisk flour and salt, then drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour.  Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  Form the dough into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil.  Place the dough into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, set it aside for 1-2 hours.  If you do not plan on using the dough right away it can stay in the fridge for several days.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough in half and roll out into a rectangle.  I reserved the second portion to be baked later that week.  If you are baking both sections, place each one on a separate cookie sheets and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Cover each one with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove the plastic wrap (dough will be puffy) and use your fingertips to gently press dimples into the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle with rosemary and coarse salt.  I baked each one separately, so 20 minutes was just the right amount of time to yield a golden brown surface.  If you are baking both, 30-40 minutes is recommended.

Cut into pieces with a pizza wheel.  Serve immediately.

Since I reserved some of the bread for the next day’s meal, it needed a bit of freshening up.  I placed two pieces on the top-level of the grill for 3 minutes and it worked like a charm!

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Strawberry Bread

I have a confession to make; I suffer from seasonal gluttony disorder, especially when it comes to strawberries!  I just can’t help myself, I have to put them in everything.  All the time!  I’m also guilty of squirreling them away, whether they’re frozen, in assorted jams, or dehydrated!

Sunday I noticed I had quite a few over-ripe bananas in my kitchen, so I thought banana nut bread.  Then my seasonal gluttony kicked in and I immediately switched gears from bananas to strawberries.

I used a basic bread recipe and gave it a complete overhaul; what I ended up with were two very dense, moist, almost dessert-like loaves of bread.   Then add a slathering of my strawberry-rhubarb jam and it was dessert!!

Strawberry Bread

2 C mashed strawberries, frozen or fresh

1/4 C oat bran

1/4 C flax seed meal

1-1/2 C all-purpose flour

1 C whole wheat flour

1-1/3 C raw sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 C sunflower oil

1/4 C coconut oil

1/4 C apple sauce

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tsp vanilla extract

1 Tsp cinnamon

1 Tsp baking soda

1 Tsp salt

1 C chopped walnuts (which I totally spaced on and didn’t realize until the loaf pans were in the oven)

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, orange juice, vanilla, and 1/3 C sugar; mix and set aside to allow the strawberries to release their juices.  In a large bowl, combine flours, flax meal, oat bran, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; whisk to incorporate.  Make a large well in dry ingredients and add strawberry mixture, oils, apple sauce, eggs, and remaining sugar; stir well, add walnuts, stir again.  Pour into two well-greased loaf pans (I use spectrum shortening) and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the loaf and comes out clean.  Remove bread from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!

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Baked

Maybe it’s a comfort thing, but for me there is nothing more inviting or heart warming than the aroma of fresh-baked bread.  During the winter months I rock my breadman like I am their spokesperson.  This is mostly due to the fact that these 250-year-old peg windows are a bit DRAFTY!  In a house with 16 windows, you’d think I get a warm spot, but NOOOOOO.  Plus, in the winter I tend to get a bit lazy, and, well, you know. 🙂

This butter top bread is perfect for toasting, dipping in soup, or sopping up some curry!

Butter Top Bread

5 C flour
2 Tsp salt
1/3 C potato flakes or potato flour
1/4 oz yeast
1/3 C sugar
1 lg egg
1 1/2 C warm water
4 Tbsp butter + 2 Tbsp melted

Mix yeast with warm water, set aside and allow to proof for 10 minutes.  In a med bowl mix dry ingredients; in a large bowl mix wet ingredients.  Add dry to wet mixing until a smooth sticky dough forms.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for several minutes.  Place dough into a greased bowl; cover and rise for 90 minutes.  Divide in two and place in loaf pans.  Cut lengthwise with scissors almost to bottom.  Cover with greased plastic wrap for about an hour.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until top is golden.  Remove from oven and brush with butter.

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