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Category Archives: Bread

Thanksgiving

I am so excited right now – I don’t know if it is from the mug of coffee I just finished or because I have found so many amazing recipes for Thanksgiving that I just can’t wait to share! Every year my parents host Thanksgiving. About 8 years ago I asked if I could help cook. This was around the same time I became very interested in nutrition, so my ulterior motive was to turn our traditional WI thanksgiving into a more wholesome, healthful, and nutritious meal.  Thankfully that first successful year has turned into tradition of homemade pies, fresh vegetables, and made-from-scratch cranberry sauce.

Each year I search for new recipes to try. In the last few weeks I have found dozens of fall dishes that I can’t wait to try (but will likely have to with this thing called medical school in my way). Here are some of the favorites I have found so far. As I make them, I will post the recipes with notes about how they were.

Brunch

Sides

Dessert

Breads

Leftovers

 

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I found a fabulous recipe in the Oct issue of Cooking Light – a healthy version of a cinnamon roll. I had never made real cinnamon rolls before. Sure, I’ve made the Pillsbury rolls that come out of that cardboard carton that pops when you open it, but I had never made the real thing.
I tweaked the recipe just a bit by adding whole wheat flour to make the roll even healthier. They are especially delicious warmed up with hot glaze on top.
Be sure you have about 3 hours set aside to make these. I started them at 6:30pm thinking I had tons of time, but at 9pm I was just putting them into the oven! The final product is well worth the work, just be sure you know what you are getting into before you get started.

Cinnamon Rolls
Cooking Light, Oct 2009

Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm, fat-free milk (100-110F)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast (I used my bread machine rapid rise yeast. There is a conversion on the jar)
  • 1 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp very soft butter (you can melt it, but don’t need to)

Directions

  1. Combine milk, 3 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg and remaining sugar to the bowl. Mix well.
  3. Mix the two types of flour together in a separate, small bowl. Stir 1 cup of the flour mixture into the yeast-milk bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and salt to the yeast-milk mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Add some of the flour mixture to the dough (only a tbsp or two to coat the dough) and begin kneading. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Continue to add flour as needed.
  5. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Turn the dough to coat and cover with a towel. Let stand in a warm place that is draft free for 35 minutes (an oven, off of course, works well).
  6. Gently press the dough with 2 fingers. If the indentation remains, the dough has doubled in size. Punch down the dough, cover, and let rise again for 35 minutes.
  7. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into an 11″ x 8″ rectangle.Spread the softened butter over the dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Be sure to use a lot!
  10. Beginning at the long side, roll the dough tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to seal.
  11. Cut dough into 18 – 20 1″ slices. Arrange 9-10 rolls on a greased cookie sheet or baking dish.
  12. Cover and let rise 35 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F (be sure the rolls aren’t rising in here…)
  14. Uncover rolls and bake for 22 minutes or until lightly browned (I did mine for 22 minutes and 1 pan was quite brown, so I think 15-20 minutes is a good point to check them).
  15. Let cool on a wire rack. Store in a sealed container.
Serve with vanilla icing. I used a quick method from good old Betty Crocker. Here is what I did:
  • Mix 5 tbsp powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla together. Stirring with a fork, slowly add milk 1 tbsp at a time, until a thin liquid forms. Refrigerate until use. Microwave before using.

Here is their icing recipe:

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Combine butter and cream. Stir with a whisk. Add vanilla and gradually add powdered sugar. Stir until blended. Serve warm.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2009 in Bread, Breakfast, Favorites

 

Bread, Cheese, and Wine

Flat Bread (from “The Best of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites”
Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 cup warm water (100-110F)
– 1 package dry yeast
– 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
– salt
– garlic powder

Directions
1. Combine whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup water, and yeast in a dish and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and reamining water into a bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir until dough forms. Knead dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes, adding the reaminnig all-purpose flour as needed.
3. Place dough in an oil-greased bowl, cover with a dish towel, and place in the oven (or any other draft-free location) to let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
4. When dough is done, remove from the oven and prehead over to 450F.
5. Punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half and roll each into the desired shape.
6. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Bake for 10 minute, or until crisp. Serve with cheese spread, or top with marinated vegetables.


Herbed Cream Cheese Spread

Ingredients:
– 1 packaged of neufchatel cheese
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– 2 tbsp minced basil
– 1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes

Directions
1. In a food processor blend all of the ingredients together. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of olive oil.

Wine

Ingredients:
– Your choice of wine (I chose my favorite: Sauvingon Blanc)

Directions:
1. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy

*Blacksmith Inn on the Shore is where Jason and I spent a few days of our honeymoon. It is located in Door County, Wisconsin and is probably the cutest place I have ever been. I highly recommend it.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2009 in Bread, Snack, Spread

 

Buns in the Oven

While Jason and I have been making our own bread for over a year, we have yet to make our own buns. We’ve made flat bread, biscuits, corn bread, and crackers, but never buns. On Saturday I decided this was going to change. I found a recipe online (I apologize for not having a source – I didn’t think to save it!) that used the bread maker, so I figured, why not? I am always up for something new.

I don’t think these buns could have been any easier and they tasted great. From now on we are definitely going to have real buns with our meals.

Ingredients
-1 cup warm water (105-115F)
-1 TBSP brown sugar
-1 TBSP oil
-3/4 tsp salt
-2 1/2 cups bread flour
-1 TBSP fast-acting bread machine yeast

Directions
1. Add the liquid ingredients, sugar, and salt to the bread pan. Then add the flour into the pan, making it into a mound. Scoop a little hole in the flour (make sure it does NOT go all the way into the water – you don’t want the yeast and water to touch yet) and pour the yeast in.
2. Set on dough cycle and push start 🙂
3. When done sprinkle some flour on the counter coat your hands with flour. Remove the dough from the pan and bread it into 6-8 balls (the buns pictures were broken into 6 balls).
4. Place balls onto a sprayed baking sheet. Lightly spray the balls with cooking spray and cover with a towel. Place in a draft-free spot (the oven works well, if it is off, of course). Let rise until doubled in size (I think it was about 45 minutes).
5. Bake at 425F for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

**I haven’t tried it yet, but I think you could do half whole wheat flour, half bread flour. You would need to let them rise longer and maybe add another 1/2 TBSP sugar and 1/2 tsp yeast. If you try it, let me know. I’ll update the post if I give it a try.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in Bread

 

Multi-grain Bread

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jason and I make our own bread. We have been doing it for almost a year now and haven’t considered giving up on it for a minute. It saves money and tastes much better than store bought bread. During the past year, we have eaten the same break 99% of the time. Sure, I have tried a whole wheat raisin bread and french bread before, but the original recipe is just so perfect, I did not see a need to change it. Since I have purchased my new cookbook, I have been trying all sorts of new recipes. I was thumbing through the bread section the other day when I stumbled across a recipe for Multi-grain bread. I figured that after a year of the same bread it was time for a change. 

The recipe was different than what I was envisioning for multi-grain bread, so I tweaked it a bit – I was actually quite nervous about this, because bread machines are very particular. You must be careful to follow the flour:sugar:liquid:yeast very carefully, or your bread will just end up being a big ball of cooked dough. This happened to me once when I first got the bread maker and eye-balled the amount of oats I needed for an oat bread…that time the bread ended up being for dipping and croutons. This time, however, everything worked out. I plan to make it again, but next time adding more whole wheat flour and oats. In doing this, I will also need to add another 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of yeast to ensure that it rises. 
Tips for making bread in a bread machine
  1. Always add the liquid ingredients, then the salt, and then the flour. The yeast should never touch the water before the machine begins, because if the water is not the right temperature, it will prevent the yeast from rising.
  2. When you add the yeast, make a well in the flour and pour the yeast in. Again, make sure the well does not expose any water.
  3. The yeast eats the sugar to ferment and produce carbon dioxide. 
  4. The salt kills the yeast. It is needed to keep the yeast from over fermenting and causing the bread to rise too much. However, too much yeast or the yeast coming in direct contact with the salt can prevent rising.
  5. If you use at least half whole wheat flour be sure to use the whole wheat setting on the bread maker. Also, be sure to use at least 1 tsp of yeast per pound of bread when using whole wheat flour.
  6. If the loaf is too big to cut slices, cut in in half horizontally first. Then slice it normally. This makes for smaller slices, but I personally would like smaller slices and be able to take more if I need, then larger slices that give you more than you need. 
  7. If your recipe tells you to put a specific temperature of water into the mixture, be sure you do so. If the water is too cold the yeast can’t work, but if it is too hot the yeast will be killed.

Multi-grain Bread

Adapted from the Multi-grain Bread recipe in The Best of Cooking Light, Everyday Favorites
Makes a 2 pound loaf

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Warm water (100-110F)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose, but bread flour definitely makes for a better product)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of regular old-fashion oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal flour (my flour had baking powder in it, so that may have led to a little more rising than normal)
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast
Directions
  1. Place the water, liquid ingredients, and salt into the bread pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flours together so well distributed. Pour onto of the liquid ingredients.
  3. With a spoon, make a small well for the yeast. Add the yeast to the well.
  4. Place the baking pan into the bread maker. Select the whole wheat setting and bake.
 
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Posted by on March 16, 2009 in Bread

 

Homemade Pizza

Once you have homemade pizza crust, other pizzas just don’t taste the same. I made my first homemade pizza crust 2 years ago and I can only remember buying pizza once since then! I got the crust recipe from The Big Book of Vegetarian. It is great because it makes four crust that can be frozen for later use, so you don’t need to make a new crust every time.

Here is a brief lesson in baking with yeast. Yeast eats sugar to ferment, so never omit sugar, no matter how “health conscious” you are trying to be. Also, sugar substitute will not work. Salt kills yeast; a little is good because it keeps the yeast “in-check” and prevents over proofs. However, too much will kill the yeast completely. The water temperature is VITAL for the yeast. If it is too cold, the yeast won’t ferment. If it over 115F, the yeast will die. I suggest temping the water every time you are making something with yeast.

Pizza is one of those foods that everyone seems to think is forbidden, when in actuality, it can be quite healthy. This crust is half white, half wheat and the pizza is loaded with veggies and topped with a little cheese. While it is not like the triple cheese and meat pizza from your local chain pizza joint, it taste 100% better and is 100% guilt free 🙂 My guess is that each slice has 1/2 – 1 serving of veggies, so eat up!

Wheat Crust (from The Big Book of Vegetarian)
[My notes are in italics]

Ingredients
-1 1/4 cups of warm water (105-115F)
-1 envelope or 1 scant tbsp of active dry yeast
-1 tsp sugar
-3 cups all purpose flour
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp salt

* The original recipes is 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour; however, I have made it with 3 cups of whole wheat and 2 cups of all-purpose flour and it is has turned out. The only downfall is when you freeze the latter dough and thaw it at a later date, it doesn’t roll out as well.

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the water, yeast and sugar; let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy. I usually heat the water in a glass measuring cup and then just add these items to the measuring cup to save dishes.
  2. In a food processor, combine the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, eggs, and salt. Pulse to mix. With the motor running, pour in the yeast mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and then process for 45 seconds longer (this takes the place of the kneading), or until the dough is smooth and elastic. I do not have a food processor big enough for this, so I do it in the old fashion way. I mix the flours and salt together in a large bowl, add the egg and mix well. I then add the yeast mixture and stir together. once 3/4 of the flour is incorporated with the yeast mixture, I take it out of the bowl and and work in the remaining flour. I then knead for 5-8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Put the dough in a large, oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free location for about 1 hour or until doubles in volume. I usually place this in the oven (obviously when it is off). I have had the yeast double in as little as 45 minutes.
  4. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal parts. shape the pieces into balls, lightly cover with dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes (the dough will NOT double in volume). Again, I usually stick this in the oven.
  5. Roll each dough out. If you plan to save the dough for later, roll it out large enough to fit into a freezer bag (but don’t put it in yet). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then put into a freezer bag. You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months or you can refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days.

If you plan to make the dough now, continue reading below…

Pizza Recipe

Ingredients
-1 thin crust pizza dough (see above)
-Olive oil
-Pizza sauce of spaghetti sauce
-Toppings of your choice
-Cheese of your choice, grated*

*If you are looking for a health option, choose low-fat, part-skim mozzarella cheese. White cheeses are lower in fat than orange cheeses.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Spray or coat a baking pan with olive oil. Roll out the dough to fit in the pan and place into the pan. Fold the edges over to form a small crust, if desired. Lightly coat the crust with olive oil.
  3. Bake the crust for 5 minutes on a lower-middle rack to crisp it up slightly.
  4. In a skillet, saute any vegetables you are using for the pizza in olive oil. Season as desired.
  5. When the crust is done, remove from the oven and lightly coat with pizza sauce. Pour some on the crust and spread with a spoon to evenly distribute. Top with vegetables (and any other topping you are using), followed by cheese.
  6. Bake the pizza for 5-7 minutes on the lower-middle rack. Let cool and cut into 12 pieces.
 
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Posted by on December 16, 2008 in Bread, Favorites, Vegetarian

 

homemade bread

Back in April, Jason and I really started to notice how expensive groceries had become. Partly due to our new location (surprisingly, they consider DeKalb a suburb of Chicago; this lets businesses jack up prices, making out cost of living much higher than NE Wisconsin) and partly due to the rising cost of groceries. One item we seemed to consume a lot of was bread. Being a nutrition guru, I enjoy a nice, nutty, healthy piece of WHOLE wheat bread*. Sadly, one loaf of the bread cost $3.89 at the local grocery store. We would go through nearly 1 1/2 loaves per week, making out cost about $5 per week just on bread. 

To solve the problem, we decided to invest in a bread maker. It has already paid for itself! While the recipe I normally make is not 100% whole wheat, it is delicious! I also feel like the simplicity of ingredients and lack of preservatives makes it worth the those 1 or 2 grams of fiber I am missing out on. There is a whole wheat recipe, but it seems to dry out within 2 days. I will post some more bread recipes as I try them. 
Summer Time Wheat Bread (from the Oster Bread Machine cookbook)
Ingredients
1 and 3/8 cups of water
1 and 1/2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tbsp salt
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry bread machine yeast
Directions
-Pour the wet ingredients, in order as listed, into the bread machine. 
-Sprinkle the salt over the top of the wet ingredients.
-Add the bread flour. Follow with the whole wheat flour.
-With your finger, make a small well in the flour that the yeast can fit in. This is very important, because the yeast is not suppose to come in contact with the water prior to starting the bread maker. 
-Pour the yeast into the well. 
-Insert the bread pan into the bread maker and bake on the Whole Wheat Setting. I prefer the light crust, since the wheat bread seems to get too hard if I use the medium or dark crusts. Ours takes 3 hours at 40 minutes.
-Our bread machine makes tall loaves (as you can see above). I can not seem to cut these without the insides ripping and I do not feel like I need a slice of bread that is really 1 1/2 slices of store bought bread. To solve this problem, I cut the bread in half lengthwise and then slice it. The pieces range for 1/2 to 3/4 the size of regular store bought bread slices, but they cut much easier!
*”White flour” is actually made of wheat,  but is bleached and enriched. Because of this, 
companies are allowed to call bread “wheat bread” when they use “white flour.” Most people who are looking to buy wheat bread are actually interested in “Whole Wheat Bread.” In order to call a bread “whole wheat” it needs to be made with 100% wheat flour (unbleached and unenriched; this means all of the naturally occuring nutrients in wheat and its fiber are still intact). 
The bread I make is more of a “made with Whole Wheat Flour.” However, it uses equal parts of bread flour and whole whe
at flour, so  I beleive it would be a much more nutritious option than other “made with Whole Wheat Flour” breads.Why do I think this? First, as I said above, there are no preservatives or added ingredients; just what is needed. Second, if you read a food label, the first ingredient is the more predominant ingredient by weight. Almost always, “made with Whole Wheat Flour” breads have “enriched wheat flour” as the first ingredient and the Whole Wheat flour is further down the list. Although in my recipe the whole wheat flour and bread flour are in equal quanities, I am 99% sure the Whole Wheat flour would go first, since wheat flour weighs more than bread flour per cup. 
 
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Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Bread, Favorites