Showing posts with label breads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breads. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TWD: Sweet Cream Biscuits

Guess what today is!! It's my turn to pick the recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie, the fabulous baking group that I joined nearly two years ago. 50 recipes later and the rotation finally got to me. I must say that I've come a long way since my very first recipe with the group - the summer fruit galette. Boy, that was good! I knew I was in for a lot of tasty treats and a few extra pounds after eating that galette. In two years, I've made my first pie dough from scratch, first cheesecake, first soufflé, first custard, first rice pudding, learned how to marble a cake, figured out what in the world rugelach is, acquired lots of new bakeware, and made the best darn ice cream I've ever had.

So the time has finally come for little old ME to pick a recipe for the entire group to make. And what did I pick? Well, I picked the Sweet Cream Biscuits. I compiled a bucket list about a year ago and put "make biscuits from scratch" on my list. They're something I've always wanted to make and never had. And since all of the best sounding desserts had already been chosen within the group, I decided that finally getting to try my hand at biscuits would be a fun task.

And boy, I never knew biscuits could be so difficult to make. It sounded like some other TWDer's were having problems as well. A few people complained their biscuits didn't rise much and were a little hard. Well, I baked my first batch... and had the same results. Just flat little round things that were too hard.

So I looked for some tips. It seems the most common thing I read about was handling the dough too much... which I figured was my problem. I tried a second batch and they came out better, but still not perfect. Here's how they looked... not bad, but not real good either.

So I researched a little more. And I shopped for new flour... and fortunately I found the crown jewel of biscuit making in the south - White Lily flour. So I used the new flour, barely handled the dough at all - to the point that I worried I hadn't mixed it enough, and tried another new technique I'd read about - not twisting the biscuit cutter as you press down on the dough to cut your biscuits.

And... it worked. Sort of. The biscuits were a lot lighter and they rose higher. For some reason there were a couple that came out sorta flat, but most of them were great. I guess biscuit making takes some practice!

At any rate, they were delicious. My husband insisted we have sausage gravy with them, so they were completely smothered in it. Soooo good and calorie laden. Totally sinful. Now that I know how to make biscuits and sausage gravy, I might be gaining a few pounds, because I know my husband will be asking for it frequently.

Thank you to all the TWD members for baking along with me this week! I hope everyone enjoyed the biscuits!

Here's the recipe for anyone who'd like to try it. And I'll be posting the sausage gravy recipe tomorrow, so check back!

Sweet Cream Biscuits
(from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 23)
Makes about 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Serving: Ideally these biscuits should go from oven to table and be served with cold sweet butter.

Storing: You can keep the biscuits in a plastic bag overnight and give them a quick warm-up in the oven the next day, but you won't recapture their freshly made flakiness.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gorilla Bread

I'm assuming that most people have either had monkey bread, or have at least heard of it. If not, you're totally missing out. And here's your chance to try something like it, but even better. This Gorilla Bread is like a kicked-up version of monkey bread. Way more fattening. Way more filling. Way more tasty.

The bread was selected for this week's installment of the group My Girl, Paula. I'm happy... and slightly embarrassed... but mainly happy... to say that when we were asked for suggestions of what we should choose from Paula's book to make this month, it was ME who suggested this one. The most buttery, sugary, cream cheese-ey, heart attack inducing selection. Yep, that was me.

This Gorilla Bread was really outstanding. It totally puts monkey bread to shame. It's made very similarly, with the store-bought cans of rolls smothered in seasonings and baked up in a bundt pan. But with this one, you insert a square of cream cheese in the center of each roll before putting it into the pan to bake. And you pour a brown sugar/butter mixture over top of it. The recipe also calls for nuts, which I omitted, though they sure would have been pretty on top.

Here's a picture of it still in the pan, waiting to be taken out and completely devoured.

The bread is perfect for breakfast or dessert and is easily reheated the next day to enjoy leftovers. My hubby really liked it with his coffee in the mornings. And I liked it at pretty much any time of the day. Very delicious!

Gorilla Bread
(from Paula Deen)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside.

3. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese.

4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts.

5. Bake for 30 minutes (Mine needed a tad bit longer to cook all the way through). Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Butter Dips

Well, my husband has decided he's going on a diet and getting back in shape. Typically I'd be dieting with him, but that's pretty much out of the question with my little turkey in the oven. He requested a nice healthy salad for dinner the other night and of course I delivered with pleasure, because I do enjoy a fresh salad. But, what to make with it? Well I knew just what I wanted - butter dips.

This is a seriously delicious and unique bread recipe. Not at ALL healthy, but I didn't tell my hubby that! Hey, the pregnant girl needs to indulge just a little.

These are really quite easy to mix up and get on the table. They're called butter dips because they're little squares that are literally dipped in butter. The butter is melted in your 8x8 pan, and then you drop in the squares of dough, turning them over to coat them really well with the butter. It all gets sucked right in while baking and makes it so moist and flavorful.

I'm including the original recipe below, but just a few things to note as you're baking: the recipe states to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, however I've found that when I let them go a full 25 minutes they're just a tad bit overdone. Start checking them a few minutes early - around minute 22 just to make sure they're not getting too brown. Sometimes I can't fit all of the squares into the pan if I've rolled them too thin. Don't be afraid to squish them all in together - they're still really easy to break apart after baking. They're really great when served with soups and salads.

Butter Dips
(from Chow Times)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup butter

1. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in cheese and green onions. Add milk and stir slowly with a fork until dough clings together.

2. Turn the dough onto a floured board, coat the dough with flour and knead lightly about 10 times. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 1-inch squares.

3. Melt butter in a 450°F degree oven in a 8×8 square baking pan. Coat all the sides of the squares in the melted butter. Bake in same pan for 25 to 30 minutes. After baking, flip the little buns over in the pan to coat the top with any remaining butter. Pull apart and serve with soup, chili, salad or a casserole dish.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pineapple-Cheddar Cornbread

I always know summer is approaching when our calendar starts becoming packed with out-of-town trips. A trip up to New York to visit my husband's family, a Memorial Day trip to Virginia for a family reunion... and that was just May. But wanna know one of my favorite things about taking trips? I buy a ton of magazines to keep me occupied for the long drives. Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, Good Housekeeping, Gourmet... just to name a few. And you better believe I have a huge pile of clippings by the time we get home.

Well, this recipe was like striking gold in the very, very back of a Better Homes and Gardens. Man, this is delicious cornbread! I don't think I can rave enough about it! Even my husband, who is so not a fan of cornbread, gobbled this right up. He usually complains that cornbread is too dry. But this bread? Just the opposite. It's moist and flavorful and... did I mention it's just delicious?

This bread is so easy to make and is a fantastic side dish to just about any meal. The cheese really gives it a great flavor while the pineapple makes it incredibly moist. This is not your run of the mill, ordinary cornbread. Make this with dinner tonight, you won't be sorry!

Pineapple-Cheddar Cornbread
(from Better Homes & Gardens)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, lightly beaten
14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
8-oz. can crushed pineapple (juice pack), drained
4 oz. cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease and flour a 2-quart rectangular baking dish (I used an 8-inch square pan); set aside.

2. In medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture on low speed just until combined. Stir in corn, drained pineapple, and cheese. Spoon batter into prepared dish.

4. Bake about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cut in squares. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TWD: Fresh Mango Bread

I have never in my life cooked with a mango. But I really love when the Tuesdays with Dorie selections are something other than pies and cookies. So I got really excited to give this a try. I had to go in search of mangoes, because my usual grocery store didn't carry them. I finally found them at the Fresh Market, where I can always count on finding any fruits and vegetables that aren't at the grocery store.

And wow, mango is surprisingly good! I ate several pieces of it as I was dicing it, and thought it was delicious. The bread came together very easily. My batter seemed a bit dry, even after stirring it for a while. But it tasted fantastic after it was baked. I love the flavors in it! I made a loaf for my neighbor who I owed a big thank you for watching over our house while we were on vacation, and I made a mini loaf for my hubby and I. It won't last long, I'm sure!

Thanks to Kelly of Baking with the Boys for the great selection this week. If you'd like to make this bread yourself, she'll have the recipe, so go check out her site!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Parmesan-Herb Biscuits

Don't these biscuits look heavenly? I mentioned recently how I need to add more variety to my cooking and baking. My labels on the right hand side say 37 Main Dishes and 39 Desserts. Wow, you can really see what I like to make.

So when I came across these super simple parmesan-herb biscuits in Bon Appétit magazine, I figured I'd try them. The recipe originated from Taku Glacier Lodge in Juneau, Alaska. I loved the combination of herbs and cheese and thought they sounded delicious. And they are.

The dough comes together so easily. Dry ingredients are whisked together and then the butter and ice water are added. Flour up your hands really well and shape the dough into a big square.

Then pull out a knife or a pizza cutter (which worked perfectly), and cut the dough into nine squares.

Move the biscuits to a baking sheet with sides touching, and bake at 400° F for about 30 minutes.

They're super simple and beautiful. I love their golden brown appearance and their wonderful smell.

Let them cool for about 15 minutes and then go to town! They're wonderful. They pair perfectly with breakfast - try making an egg and bacon sandwich. Or add a little country ham for a nice southern ham biscuit. Or just eat them alone. It doesn't matter, they're good either way!

Parmesan-Herb Biscuits
(from Bon Appétit magazine)

2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried basil
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ cup (or more) ice water

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Whisk first 9 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter and cut in with fingertips until very coarse meal forms. Gradually add ¾ cup ice water, tossing until moist clumps form and adding 1 or 2 tablespoons more water if needed to form a slightly sticky dough.

2. Gather dough into ball. Sprinkle work surface with flour. Using floured hands, press dough into 6-inch square. Cut dough into nine 2-inch square biscuits. Arrange biscuits with sides touching on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Separate biscuits slightly and cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 9 biscuits.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TWD: Blueberry Muffins

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection is Blueberry Crumb Cake, chosen by Sihan of Befuddlement. I bought the ingredients for this recipe early last week and was excited to make it. But somehow all of these other baked goods ended up in our house. Cheesecake, brownies, cookies... I don't know where they came from. Actually, that's a lie. I made them. The cheesecake was for a get-together that never actually ended up getting to the get together (long story). And the brownies were for another get-together in which we ended up with leftovers. So there are already way too many baked goods in our house.

I contemplated skipping... but then I remembered my husband's office. I hadn't sent anything to work with him in a while. And the ingredients were just sitting there. How could I not make it? So I decided to make Blueberry Crumb Muffins, instead of the cake. Easier to pass muffins around at work, is what I figured.

So the recipe came together really easily. I made 12 muffins and baked them for about 25 minutes. I had a ton of the crumb topping leftover and it's currently sitting in the fridge. I haven't really figured out what I'm going to do with it, but suggestions are welcome!

And then I started washing all of the dishes. And I'm now on incident number two that involves me bleeding as a result of a TWD recipe. I was very unsuspectingly washing the blade to my food processor when it slipped and sliced open my thumb. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I could say ouch a few dozen more times, but I'll spare ya. I've led a fairly boring life when it comes to injuries. I've never broken a bone, never had stitches, and before I gave birth to my son, had never had an overnight stay at the hospital or even an IV. And I had two brothers... so I'm not sure how I managed that. But yesterday I reeeeally sliced myself like never before. I wrapped my thumb up in a towel and held it over my head to try to stop the bleeding. I frantically called my husband saying, what do I do? And then when he really didn't have a good answer, I called my sister who's a nurse and said, what do I do? I think I over-reacted a little. It finally stopped bleeding and I've been applying neosporin like it's going out of style. And I'm pretty sure we're about to run out of band-aids.

But I think I'm going to survive. It's a good thing or else I'd never have gotten to eat one of these DELICIOUS blueberry muffins. Gosh, they're good. Go visit Sihan's site for the recipe. Stat!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Well, since you can't have any sort of Indian food without Naan (at least according to my husband), I found myself making it last week. I was thisclose to going to the store to look for it, but I had to do the pep talk again and convince myself to at least try it. Thankfully, that handy Best International Recipe cookbook I found at the library had a great section on Naan with detailed instructions.

Have you ever just wanted to keep something you checked out from the library and hope they don't notice? Well, that's how I feel about this cookbook. It's a huge, hardcover book that has $35 printed on the inside flap. A bit pricey for a cookbook, but maybe I could put it on a birthday list. Until then, I'll keep renewing it until I max out the limit. Hopefully no one else in my county wants this book. If so, too bad-so sad, it's gonna be at my house for a while.

But back to this fabulous Naan. If you haven't ever had the pleasure of trying it, think pita bread, only more yummy. Naan is soft, but chewy, and is great for tearing into small sections and dipping it into stews or using it to soak up sauces (like the masala sauce). Or, you can just eat it plain, because it's reeeally good.

You start with a great dough comprised of a combination of flours. The recipe says to use bread flour, though I substituted all-purpose and it was fine. To that, you add a bit of whole wheat flour to give it that slight wheaty flavor. And what's really unique about this is the addition of the plain yogurt. The ingredients are all mixed together in a stand mixer and the dough rises for about 45 minutes. After it's risen, it can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days - a great make-ahead tip.

The dough is then cut into eight pieces and shaped into balls.

Then roll each piece into a small circle. This is the slightly hard part, unless you're really good with the rolling pin.

Here they are being cooked on the stovetop - incredibly easy. As you can see, mine weren't perfect circles. I was going for a rustic look.

Once cooked, transfer them to a wire rack to cool, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with some salt. Wow. Yum.

Indian-Style Flatbread (Naan)
(from Cook's Illustrated's Best International Recipe)

2 and 1/2 cups (13 and 3/4 ozs.) bread flour, plus extra as needed
1/4 cup (1 and 3/8 ozs.) whole wheat flour, sifted before measuring to remove coarse flakes of bran
1 package (about 2 and 1/4 tsp.) instant or rapid rise yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup water, at room temperature
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Combine the flours, yeast, sugar, and 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix with the paddle attachment until blended, about 15 seconds. Add the water, yogurt, and olive oil and mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 30 seconds.

2. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed until smooth and glossy, about 8 minutes, adding additional bread flour in 1 Tbsp. increments, allowing 20 seconds between each addition, as needed for the dough to clear the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and lightly knead by hand for 1 minute.

3. Shape the dough into a large ball, transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (At this point, the dough can be lightly punched down, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

4. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, cut into 8 equal portions, and roll each portion into a round ball. Set the balls aside on the counter (or a baking sheet), cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, lay on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 6-inch circle using a rolling pin (if the dough is sticky, sprinkle very lightly with flour). If using the sesame seeds, brush the tops of the dough rounds lightly with water, sprinkle each with 1 tsp. seeds, and gently roll over with a rolling pin once or twice so the seeds adhere to the dough. Set the rounds aside on the floured counter (or a floured baking sheet) and cover with greased plastic wrap.

6. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until hot, 5 minutes. (If using a lighter pan, heat for only 2 to 3 minutes.) Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, lift the dough and gently stretch about 1 inch larger, and lay it in the skillet. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface of the dough, about 30 seconds. Flip the bread and continute to cook until the bottom is speckled and deep golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Flip the bread over again and cook until the bottom is speckled and deep golden brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

7. Transfer the bread to a wire rack, brush lightly with butter, season with salt, and let cool for about 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds. Wrap the breads loosely in a clean kitchen towel and serve immediately. (The bread can be wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 300-degree oven until warm, about 15 minutes.)

Makes 8 rounds.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

French Toast Stuffed with Bananas and Walnuts

Well, I am trying very hard to recuperate from my holiday sugar high. Unfortunately I don't think it's really going to end until after New Year's, when I'm vowing to start back up my diet and do some exercising again. This holiday season seems to have been filled with more food than ever, and while it's really been enjoyable, it's just not good, if you know what I mean.

I've had this particular recipe for Stuffed French Toast bookmarked for quite a while in one of Paula Deen's cookbooks. In her The Lady and Sons, Too cookbook she has a chapter of recipes from some of her favorite Savannah restaurants, and this recipe for Banana and Walnut Stuffed French Toast piqued my interest from that chapter quite some time ago. So when planning out our Christmas morning menu, I remembered this and knew I had to make it. The result was great - this is very tasty and so easy. And I had all of the ingredients on hand, which means now I have no excuse not to make this over and over and over again... maybe New Year's Day breakfast?

French Toast Stuffed with Bananas and Walnuts
(adapted from Paula Deen)

6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup (1 oz.) coarsely chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
8 slices egg bread
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1. In a large, shallow bowl, using a fork, beat the eggs until lightly frothy. Stir in the milk; set aside. Peel the bananas into a small bowl and mash them with a fork. Stir in the walnuts and the nutmeg. Spread the walnut mixture evenly over half the bread slices, leaving a 1/4-inch border uncovered on all edges. Top with the remaining bread slices and press down gently. Turn gently and let soak for a moment, until evenly saturated on both sides. Remove from the bowl and repeat with the remaining 2 sandwiches.

2. In a frying pan or on a griddle large enough to hold all the sandwiches at once, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and fry until the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the sandwiches with a spatula and fry until the second side is browned, about 2 minutes longer. Serve hot, with jam or maple syrup.

Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pumpkin-Filled Cinnamon Rolls

A few weeks ago I compiled a kinda-sorta bucket list. Just a list of things I want to do or places I want to see over the next several years. It was kind of fun to do! One of the things on my list was to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I am a die-hard cinnamon roll fan and I just looove their ooey gooey goodness. So I've always wanted to make the perfect cinnamon roll.

Well, I think I may have done just that. And instead of the normal cinnamon-filled kind, I decided to mix in some pumpkin to make them even more flavorful and wonderful. It totally worked. These rock!

My all-time favorite kind of icing on a cinnamon roll is cream cheese flavored. So I frosted them with a great cream cheese icing recipe and it all came together perfectly.

Anyone who's ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch knows what a tedious process it is. If you want these for a weekend breakfast, you'll need to start the dough the day before. Just pop the dough in the fridge after it's done with its first rise, and pick up the directions where you left off the next morning. These are so perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast. Enjoy!

Pumpkin-Filled Cinnamon Rolls
(dough recipe adapted from Betty Crocker)

3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 packages regular or quick active dry yeast
1 cup very warm milk (120 to 130 degrees F)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 large egg

2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. To make dough: mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add warm milk, 1/4 cup butter and the egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Place dough in large well-greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour 30 minutes or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

3. Prepare filling: place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well blended.

4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin into 15x10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Spread with filling. Roll rectangle up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch and shape until even. Cut roll into fifteen 1-inch slices with dental floss or a sharp serrated knife. Place slightly apart on a well-greased baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until double.

5. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Prepare cream cheese frosting: cream butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Mix in the vanilla and then the powdered sugar until well blended. Frost cinnamon rolls in the pan if eating them warm. Or, remove them to cooling racks and frost when cooled.

Makes 15 rolls.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Beer Cheese Bread

It's a rather well-known fact that I'm not a big fan of beer. You wouldn't guess it knowing some of the people I've hung out with over the years. And of course then there's my husband, who loves the stuff and even brews his own beer. That's right - I gave him beer mixes for our anniversary a few weeks ago. I'd love to support his hobby, but I just can't bring myself to like anything he's made. Shame on me.

So... beer cheese bread? Really?


I've developed a newfound fondness for beer. I've finally found a use for the beverage - pour it into a batch of bread and voila! Tasty!

I served this with hot bowls of chili. Moist, comforting, perfect.

Beer Cheese Bread
(from Cooking Light magazine)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
13.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
12 oz. bottle lager-style beer (I used Yuengling)
2 Tbsp. melted butter, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic, cook 1 minute.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

4. Spoon batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. butter over batter. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. butter over batter. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Try some variations to this recipe: Use cheddar cheese, a hard cider, and add apple chunks for Apple-Cheddar Beer Bread. Or, substitute jalapenos for the onion, use Manchego cheese and a Mexican beer for Manchego-Jalapeno Beer Bread. So many possibilities! Happy baking!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pumpkin Apple Bread

This is by far one of my favorite things to eat at Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law Jen gave me the recipe a few years back and I'm hooked. I make it every Thanksgiving.

I've never been one who is fond of anything pumpkin. I always pass up pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread... just never seemed appetizing to me. BUT, then I tried this pumpkin apple bread and the apple and the streusel topping is just enough to make it all come together and turn me into a pumpkin fan. I still can't believe it. If you make one new thing this Thanksgiving, make this bread!

The recipe makes 2 loaves. You could cut it in half and just make one, but trust me, you'll be sorry! I always make one for Thanksgiving day, and put the other in the freezer to enjoy later. This is AWESOME bread, and you have to try it!

Pumpkin Apple Bread

1 Tbsp. flour
5 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground clove
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
16 oz. can solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 and 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

1. Make the topping: In a bowl, blend all ingredients until it resembles coarse meal. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter 2 loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined. Fold in apples and divide into loaf pans.

3. Sprinkle each loaf with topping mixture and bake loaves in the center of oven for 55 - 65 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

4. Let the loaves cool for 45 minutes then remove from pan. The bread keeps well wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, chilled for one week and frozen for up to one month.

Makes 2 loaves.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TWD: Kugelhopf

Kugel-huh? Another week where I have no clue how to pronounce the recipe I'm making! But I guess that's part of the fun of the process though.

The choice of Kugelhopf for this week was selected by Yolanda of The All-Purpose Girl. The recipe is posted on her site if you'd like to go get it.

Well, I now know that Kugelhopf is a French treat. It's considered to be part bread, part cake and is really quite unique and fun. It's traditionally baked in a kugelhopf pan, however I don't have the luxury of owning one. So I resorted to my handy bundt pan which worked well enough for me. I couldn't see myself buying the correct pan unless I knew I'd make this several more times.

The recipe was rather time consuming and a tad bit complicated. I felt like it had to rise soooo many times. First in a warm spot, then in the refrigerator, then the next day another 2 hours in a warm spot. Sheeeesh, this is the hardest I've worked for a TWD yet!

I was a little worried throughout the process because I don't own a stand mixer with a dough hook. I resorted to my little hand mixer for all of the mixing and I didn't feel as though it was really getting the job done. I mean, 5 straight minutes of mixing followed closely by another 10 straight minutes was hard on the arms. And without the dough hook, I was never sure I was getting it done right.

But it all seems to have come out correctly. I made a tiny version in a 5-inch springform pan for my hubby and I to share. And I made the one in the bundt pan for some friends with whom we had dinner plans over the weekend. It was really quite good. Our friends thought it tasted like a croissant and I do agree. Quite a unique taste and very scrumptious!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Marmalade French Toast

I'm not usually a big breakfast person, but every once in a while I get a hankering to do something fun. I'm the type of person who usually eats a bowl of cereal - usually Raisin Bran or Fiber One or some other not-so-fun, but healthy, kind. Hey, it's my one meal where I can easily get in all of those good vitamins and fiber and a little calcium from the milk. A rather boring but good way to start the day. But that's neither here nor there... we're talking about the yummy, fattening, french toast here.

This french toast is made the night before. Yes, the night before! That means you don't have to worry about thinking straight first thing in the morning. All I had to do was make sure I set the oven at the right temp. And thankfully I managed not to screw that up.

So here's the skinny on this recipe - marmalade of your choice between slices of sourdough bread. And that's what's fun about this recipe - make it how you like it. I used orange marmalade, but pick what you like. And you can even switch out the sourdough for something you like better. Put it all in a baking dish, cover it with a milk/egg/sugar/spice mixture. Let it all meld together overnight, then pop it in the oven and you've got a savory breakfast!

Marmalade French Toast

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
16 oz. loaf of sourdough, or other favorite bread
12 oz. jar fruit marmalade
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 large eggs

1. Spread butter or margarine on one side of each bread slice. In a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish, arrange as many of the bread slices as you can fit, buttered side down, and slightly overlapping. Spread the marmalade evenly over bread, then top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

2. Combine milk and next 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with honey or syrup.

Makes 12 servings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Banana Crumb Muffins

I was perusing the website trying to find a breakfast idea for some company I had coming when I came across these. I eyed the blackening bananas on my countertop and said, yep, this is the one. I had everything on hand and didn't even need to buy anything.

These banana muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful. They were really easy to whip up and made 10 plump muffins. The brown sugar topping gives them a little extra sweetness. I have this thing I do when I'm eating something yummy... I save the best part for last so that I can really savor it. That's what you'll want to do with the tops of these muffins. So good! They were so gorgeous coming out of the oven too... puffing up out of the tins. Irresistible!

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 and 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. flour, and cinnamon. Cut in 1 Tbsp. butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Black and White Banana Loaf

Better put on your stretchy pants or loosen your belt, because it's that time of the week again!

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection was made by Ashlee of A Year In The Kitchen. She chose the Black and White Banana Loaf, which is on page 232 of the book we're cooking from - Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The complete recipe can be found on her site.

This is quite the twist on traditional banana bread. Chocolate and Rum? Oh my! The recipe calls for one and a half bananas, and I instead opted for just one large ripe banana to avoid the batter being too runny. For the rum, I used Captain Morgan's spiced rum and it really gave a kick! I wasn't expecting to be able to taste it much, but I sure could. It was a tad bit of a turnoff to me, but for some reason the more I ate, the better it tasted. Hhmmm...

I substituted in some skim milk, but the remainder of the recipe I followed exactly. It turned out delicious! I loved the mixture of the plain banana and chocolate sections. My marbling wasn't quite as pretty as the picture in the book, but I think it turned out great for a first try. I love having a loaf of this in the kitchen... I snag a piece every time I walk by.

Tune in next week for blueberry sour cream ice cream!