Recently in bread Category

Buttermilk biscuits

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These buttermilk biscuits are delicious and easy to make. Though I can't really take the credit because it's Alton Brown's recipe.

2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter, cut in 1/4" dice
2 tbsp. shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Mix together the ingredients through the shortening. Work the dough with your fingers so there are little crumbly bits of shortening or butter surrounded by flour. Add the buttermilk and make a sticky dough.

Put out onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Make into a 1" thick disc and cut out biscuits. I used a 2 1/4" cutter for the biscuits above. Form the leftover bits into a disc and repeat.

Put on a sheet pan spritzed with spray oil. Here they are rolled and cut, ready for baking:

ate.2012.08.24.c6.jpgBake for 15 minutes at 450°F

And coming out of the oven, before separating and moving to a wire rack:

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They freeze well. For best results, take the frozen biscuit out the night before and defrost at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap.

Bruschetta

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Bruschetta, with tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil on a small piece of toasted wheat French bread, a tasty appetizer!

Toast the bread.

Drizzle with a little olive oil then rub with a clove of garlic.

Add tomato, fresh mozzarella and season with salt and pepper.

And a leaf of basil. It can also be made with chopped tomato and chopped basil.

Serve!

Update 7/20/2013
: Here is is, made on a slice of my homemade ciabatta bread.

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Ciabatta failure #3

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I love the crunchy-on-the-outside and air-filled Italian bread known as ciabatta. It is also my nemesis and one of the things I have never been able to bake successfully, as evidenced by failure #1 and failure #2.

I finally succeeded in making this, with Ciabatta #4!

I'm reading Michael Ruhlman's Ratio, which is an excellent book, by the way, and he makes it sound like the easiest thing to make. How can this be? So I set out to make his ciabatta.

20 oz. bread flour
12 oz. water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant yeast

Combine the ingredients with the paddle attachment then knead in with the dough hook for 8 minutes or so. Or, in my case, since my Kitchen Aid broke during this exercise, spend a lot of time and energy kneading by hand.

Let double in size, a couple hours.

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Knead on a floured surface. Let rest 15 minutes.

Pull on the ends to form a rectangle about a 1 foot long and 1 inch thick.

Dust a peel with semolina flour and transfer the dough to the peel. Let rise for 1 hour.

15 to 30 minutes into rising, put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450°F.

Gently coat the bread with olive oil and kosher salt after it's done rising.

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Cook for 10 minutes at 450°F then lower the heat to 375°F and continue cooking for 30 more minutes. The internal temperature of the bread should be 205°F.

Let rest for a minimum of 45 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

And the result is... plain white bread.

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Now this is really tasty white bread, but it's not ciabatta. I ate the other half slice it was so tasty. I suspect in this case the problem may have been insufficient kneading since I ended up doing it by hand. I wasn't able to pass the window-pane test before my arms were ready to give out.

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Whole wheat pita bread #2

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This whole wheat pita bread is delicious! It's surprisingly light and fluffy for whole wheat, and you'll never want to eat a store-bought pita after making this!

5.0 oz. whole wheat flour (1 cup)
10.0 oz. white whole wheat flour (a little more than 2 cups)
1 tsp. instant ("bread machine") yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
8.0 oz. milk
2.0 oz. water (give or take, to make a nice ball of dough)

The white whole wheat flour is from King Arthur and is made from winter wheat and it's still 100 % whole grain. It's also high gluten, so it behaves more like bread flour than plain whole wheat flour.

Mix all of the ingredients with the dough hook with the mixer until a ball of dough forms, adding water as necessary. Knead for 8 minutes. You should keep an eye on the mixer - this is a really tough dough and it completely jammed my Kitchen Aid mixer once.

Update 6/26/2012: Now I know the mixer was on its last legs and completely failed when making Ciabatta #3. Who knew that even the new Kitchen Aid "Professional" 6 quart mixers have plastic housing on the gear assembly? Mine cracked, which then caused the worm gear assembly to slip and strip off several teeth. A new all-metal housing, a new gear and grease are on the way.

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Remove the ball of dough from the mixer bowl, lightly oil the bowl with spray oil, return the ball of dough to the bowl and flip once. Loosely cover with plastic wrap (or a towel) and let rise for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place until doubled in size.

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Divide into 3.0 oz balls. You should get 8 and probably have a little left over. Let rest for 10 minutes, then roll out into circles 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

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Put 4 circles on each of two half sheet pans with silpats and let rise for 30 minutes. You could also use parchment paper. I think the idea is to make sure the bread doesn't stick to the pan when it puffs up, since presumably it won't puff up.

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Bake for 4 to 5 minutes at 450°F on the bottom rack of the oven until puffed up.

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This is pretty much the same recipe as my original recipe, except this time I used 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 white whole wheat flour instead of bread flour. I also simplified the steps, since with instant yeast (bread machine yeast) you don't need to go through all the steps you do for active dry yeast.


Medianoche rolls

The Cuban medianoche ("midnight") sandwich, is in my opinion, the most amazingly delicious sandwich ever created. One essential part is the slightly sweet, soft, white medianoche roll. It's worth baking a batch.

When doing some other research on this sandwich I saw a mention that the medianoche roll is like challah. I never really thought about it that way, but it is. That would be a good substitute if you didn't want to bake your own bread.

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This is an unusually small batch of 4 rolls, but it can easily be scaled to make more.

1 egg
1.5 oz. sugar
3 oz. warm water (105°F to 115°F)
0.100 oz. instant yeast
6 oz. bread flour [actually, quite a bit more was necessary]
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 c. coconut oil (or lard, or shortening, softened)

Beat the eggs in the mixer bowl. Add the sugar.

Add 3 oz. of warm water.

Add the yeast, bread flour, salt. I think the amount of flour required is probably closer to 8.0 oz. because the dough was way too soft and I kept adding flour. But the total amount of dough at the end was about right.

I used coconut oil, but you could also use softened lard or shortening.

Combine the ingredients then kneed with the dough hook in the mixer for 6 minutes. Add flour as necessary to make dough that's not too sticky and does not stick to the bottom of the mixer bowl. This required quite a bit of flour, so I clearly did not start out with enough flour.

Lightly grease a bowl with spray oil. Form the dough into a ball. Spritz with oil. Cover and let sit for 2 to 3 hours until it doubles in size.

Divide the dough into four 4 oz. servings and form into a ball then a slightly oblong shape. Place on a silpat on a sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Optionally make an egg glaze with one egg and a little water and brush the tops of the rolls. I did not for this batch.

Bake for about 20 minutes, maybe a little less.

Remove the rolls from the sheet pan and let cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is roughly based on the Three Guys from Miami Cuban Food With Attitude web site.

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Whole grain anadama bread

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This is my variation of the anadama bread recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice (Peter Reinhart). It uses white whole wheat and 9-grain flour instead of regular bread flour. And it's half a recipe.

It's good, but not as good as my whole wheat and oat bread. But it's always fun to try something new.

The night before make the soaker:

3 oz. cornmeal
4 oz. water

Combine the cornmeal and water, cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.

Dough:

5 oz. white whole wheat flour
0.110 oz. instant yeast
4 oz. warm water (90°F to 100°F)

5 oz. 9-grain flour
0.2 oz. salt
2 oz. molasses
0.5 oz. coconut oil (or substitute shortening or unsalted butter)

Combine the white whole wheat flour, yeast, water and soaker in the electric mixer bowl and combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment for an hour.

Add the remaining ingredients and combine. The dough should be a little sticky. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes in the electric mixer, adding water or flour as necessary so the dough is a little tacky.

Oil a bowl and transfer the dough ball to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 90 minutes.

Shape the dough into loaf shape and place in an oiled 9x5 bread pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Proof for 60 to 90 minutes until the bread rises above the edges of the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F then rotate the pan. Bake another 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and the interior temperature is 185°F to 190°F.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

Update: It makes a very tasty French toast, too!

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Sriracha Chex Mix

chex1.jpgThis is pretty much the normal Chex Mix recipe, but I added some sriracha to make it extra spicy. Delicious and terribly addictive.

3 cups corn Chex (3.1 oz.)
3 cups rice Chex (3.1 oz.)
3 cups wheat Chex (3.1 oz.)
1 cup mixed nuts (5 oz).
1 cup bite-sized pretzels (2 oz.)
1 cup bite-sized cheese crackers such as cheez-its (2 oz.)
1 cup bagel chips (2 oz.)

2 oz. butter (4 tbsp., half a stick)
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 tbsp. sriracha (more for extra spicy)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt

spray oil (such as Pam)


Preheat oven to 250°F.

Combine the top dry ingredients in a large bowl, big enough to easily mix the ingredients together.

Melt butter in the microwave (about 40 seconds), then add in the other seasoning ingredients and stir to combine.

Drizzle some of the the seasoning liquid over the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir. Repeat several times until you've used all of the sauce and the pieces are all evenly coated.

Lightly spritz two sheet pans with spray oil (Pam).

Bake uncovered for 1 hour, stirring, flipping and making sure they're not sticking to the pan every 15 minutes. After each stirring, switch the top and bottom pans in the oven and rotate them 180°.

Remove from oven, let cool for 20 minutes and store in airtight containers or a gallon zip-lock bag.

Makes 22.1 oz. of completed Chex mix. That's a good-sized bowl or a full 1 gallon zip-lock bag.

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For a 1.0 oz. serving (approximately 22 servings per batch), from caloriecount.about.com:

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Also, all of the cholesterol appears to be from the butter. If you substituted Earth Balance or some other buttery substitute, the recipe should be cholesterol-free. And if you also leave-out the Cheez-Its it should be dairy-free.

And vegan, I think, as long as you use vegetarian Worcestershire sauce - the regular stuff has a small amount of anchovy in it.


Since I only eat it 1.0 oz. per day, by the end of the month the last bit of the bag starts to get a little stale. The solution is not to vacuum seal it in a bag, which was a disaster even at low vacuum pressure. Chex is not as structurally sound as you'd think. This time I vacuum sealed it in jars, which I think will work much better. No breakage, at least.

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Update
10/8/2012: Increased the amount of butter from 2 oz. to 2 1/2 oz. and sriracha from 2 tbsp. to 3 tbsp. The extra butter adds more liquid, which makes it easier to make sure each bite gets a little sauce.

Update 1/25/2012: Reduced the butter back to 2 oz. and increased the Sriracha from 3 to 3 1/2 tbsp.

Update 7/21/2013: I was noticing that the corn and rice Chex are gluten-free now. If you left out the wheat Chex, pita chips, and Cheez-its and substituted Snyder's gluten-free pretzels, it would be gluten-free, I think. Maybe throw in some more nuts, or maybe a GF cracker of some sort?

Update 11/1/2013: I started giving the sheet pan a little spritz of spray oil (Pam, for example). It's not really necessary with all the butter, but it does make it easier to do the first flip and makes the pans easier to wash when you're done.

Update 12/3/2013: I modified the steps. I used to spread the dry ingredients on the sheet pan and then drizzle the sauce over it. It works better to drizzle the sauce while the dry ingredients are still in the bowl. It coats more evenly and without the excess sauce on the sheet pan it doesn't stick as much and is easier to clean up.


Whole wheat cinnamon raisin walnut bread #2

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I updated the version I made earlier time and now it's even better! Though now you have to start the day before you want to make bread, which is pretty much the case with all of the bread that I make, so no big deal there.

4 oz. whole wheat flour
0.02 oz. instant yeast (1/8 tsp.)
3.5 oz. water at 70°F

Combine the whole wheat flour, 0.02 oz. instant yeast and the water. Let sit at room temperature for 3 hours, then refrigerate overnight. This is the poolish and the spending the night in the refrigerator brings out more of the flavor in the whole wheat.

4 oz. King Arthur white whole wheat flour (or substitute bread flour)
0.33 oz. granulated sugar
0.16 oz. salt
0.09 oz. instant yeast
0.08 oz. ground cinnamon
0.83 oz. egg (half a large egg, though I used the whole thing, 1.9 oz.)
1.5 oz. water, milk or buttermilk (I used water, and I think this might be too much liquid)
0.5 oz. refined coconut oil (can substitute shortening)

4.0 oz. raisins
2.0 oz. chopped walnuts

0.5 oz. sugar
0.05 oz. ground cinnamon


The King Arthur white whole wheat flour is a high-gluten spring wheat flour and is 100 % whole grain. You could also just use regular bread flour.

Stir together the dry ingredients (through cinnamon) in the mixer bowl. Add the ingredients through the coconut oil and mix with the paddle attachment until a ball of dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 6 minutes. Adjust the texture of the dough by adding flour or water as necessary.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead in the raisins and walnuts by hand for a few minutes to evenly distribute them in the dough. Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Let rise for 2 to 3 hours until doubled.

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Transfer back to a floured surface and form a 5" x 7" rectangle.

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Combine the second group of sugar and cinnamon and coat the rectangle with the cinnamon sugar mixture, except for a small strip along the edge where the roll will be sealed up

Roll starting from the short side. Roll somewhat loosely. It should fill the length of a 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" loaf pan when done, as it will spread out as you roll it. Pick off any raisins or nuts on the surface of the loaf.

Transfer to a lightly oiled loaf pan, seam side down.

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Proof for 90 minutes.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F, rotate the loaf pan 180° and bake for another 20 minutes until the center temperature is 190°F.

Remove from the oven, immediately remove the loaf from the pan and cook on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours.

raisinbread2.jpgThis version was quite delicious!

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The recipe is fairly significantly modified from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, pp. 147 - 149. It has a much better explanation and tips. And the recipe in the book is double this recipe, which explains the half an egg thing. In case you're keeping track: I switched to using whole wheat poolish, from shortening to coconut oil, and added the layer of cinnamon sugar in the rolling process.

Here's another loaf:

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Whole wheat cinnamon raisin walnut bread

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Update: I made a new version of this recipe that I like much better. I'd suggest the new recipe.

This is a great recipe for whole wheat raisin bread. There's very little added sugar unlike many mass-produced raisin breads.

8 oz. King Arthur white whole wheat flour
0.33 oz. granulated sugar (you may want to add more)
0.16 oz. salt
0.11 oz. instant yeast
0.08 oz. ground cinnamon
0.83 oz. egg (half a large egg, though I used the whole thing)
0.5 oz. shortening
2 oz. whole milk (or buttermilk) at 70°F
3 oz. water at 70°F
4.5 oz. raisins
2 oz. chopped walnuts

The King Arthur white whole wheat flour is a high-gluten spring wheat flour and is 100 % whole grain. It works well in this recipe. The original recipe uses unbleached bread flour, which would also work well, but wouldn't be whole grain.

Stir together the dry ingredients (through cinnamon) in the mixer bowl. Add the ingredients through the water and mix with the paddle attachment until a ball of dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 6 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead in the raisins and walnuts by hand for a few minutes to evenly distribute them in the dough. Let rise for 2 hours until doubled.

Transfer back to a floured surface and form a 5" x 7" rectangle. Roll starting from the short side. It should fill the length of a 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" loaf pan when done, as it will spread out as you roll it. Transfer to a lightly oiled loaf pan and proof for 90 minutes.

Another option would be to sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on the rectangle before rolling. That would make that swirl effect inside the loaf.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F, rotate the loaf pan 180° and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the center temperature is 190°F.

Remove from the oven, immediately remove the loaf from the pan and cook on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours.

This recipe could be made without the nuts with no other modifications. I considered substituting coconut oil for the shortening, which would remove the trans-fats but I was already changing the flour and I didn't want to change too many things at once.

The recipe is basically from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, pp. 147 - 149. It has a much better explanation and tips. And the recipe in the book is double this recipe, which explains the half an egg thing.

Whole wheat and oat English muffins and dinner rolls

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I really love my whole wheat and oat bread dough recipe. I've used it to make loaf bread, dinner rolls, hamburger buns and even English muffins! It's 100 % whole grain and amazingly light. It has a little honey in it, but no other added sugar.

I happened to need both English muffins and dinner rolls, so I made a 1.7x batch of dough. One of the great things about having everything weighed instead of using, say, cups of flour, is that it's possible to easily make a 1.7x recipe. Try doing that with a 1 cup measure!

Soaker

4.8 oz. oats, coarsely ground
6.8 oz. water @ 70°F

Use regular (not instant or quick) oats. I ground them for about 30 seconds in the food processor until coarsely ground. Add 4 oz. of water in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the next day.

Poolish

7.7 oz. whole wheat flour
0.035 oz. instant yeast
6.8 oz. water @ 70°F

Mix together the yeast, water, and whole wheat flour until a paste forms and all of the flour is hydrated, but not longer. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. Then put into the refrigerator overnight.

Dough

6.8 oz. King Arthur white whole wheat flour
3.4 oz. whole wheat flour
0.3 oz. salt
0.2 oz. instant yeast
1.7 oz. honey
0.5 oz. vegetable oil
2 eggs lightly beaten

For English muffins, follow this recipe.

For dinner rolls, follow this recipe.

It's dairy-free but not vegan because of the eggs and honey.

Tight plastic wrap helps keep the English muffins flat during the second proofing.

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An abundance of timers doesn't hurt, either.

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