Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013, I Like You

Pretzel Twists and Molasses Cheddar Bread

Hey 2013, I've decided that I like you and you can stay. We woke up to another dreary weather forecast today with 100% chance of rain every single hour, so we decided to make the most of being cooped up indoors with a day of baking.

I tackled Rice Krispy Treats and Chex Mix. Ben decided to make soft pretzels for our friend Bethany and he also made up a cheddar cheese & molasses bread to go with dinner. Yes, my half of the kitchen is the bunny slope while B's is all black diamonds. But it all tastes delicious, so it's cool.

Our sous-chef helped by stirring Cheerios and then taking a three-hour nap so we could actually bake. She woke up just in time for taste testing.

I think it's safe to say that B has mastered the soft pretzel -- the soft pretzel, which we all know is one of the few remaining reasons to actually set foot in a mall, ever. Thankfully, Bethany brought up a similar point on NYE & thus the inspiration for the pretzel baking for Bethany.

Pretzel Braids

3.5c white flour
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1tsp diced garlic
2tsp salt
1.5c warm milk
1tbsp softened butter
1tbsp yeast

Rise twice, roll into 4 snakes, braid. Brush with hot water and sprinkle with sea salt prior to baking: 425 for 15 min
Pretzels will come out with a semi-hard crust.


In addition Ben experimented with a cheddar cheese bread. He was going for something complex to offset the tons of cheddar we had leftover from making pizzas. So he pulled together a molasses and wheat flour dough. It's a bold tasting bread. I'm really not sure how to describe it other than it all works together. Plus, it just looks like a great winter bread. It's delicious on its own & I'm sure it'll be great with dinner, too. We've been slicing slivers since about 3, so I hope there's some left.

Molasses Cheddar Cheese Bread
3c white flour
.5c wheat flour
1bsp molasses
1tsp white sugar
2tsp salt
2tbsp olive oil
2.5tsp yeast
1.5c water
cheese to cover (grated sharp cheddar)

Rise twice, roll into two pizza-shaped crusts, cover with cheese and bake: start at 425 reduce to 350 until done (about 30min).

I'll spare you the pictures of the Rice Krispy treats and Chex Mix, even though you'd totally be impressed with my skills.  Happy 2013 & happy baking & eating!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh, honey! Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Loaf
A couple of weekends ago, B made two loaves of honey wheat bread.  It was so delicious that I can't even remember the meals we had it with because they surely paled in comparison.  Truth be told, I think between the three of us, we nibbled & sliced our way through a whole loaf before dinner.  M has gotten so spoiled with B's baked goodness that she often snubs store-bought loaves.  Daddy's bread is on her regular list of demands, right up there with chuice, meelk, crackah and raizzzinzz. 

Sliced Honey Wheat Bread

Both the crust and crumb came out beautifully, don't you think?

Here's his recipe:


1cup white flour
3/4cup water
1 tbsp sugar
instant yeast


Add to make dough:

1cup wheat flour, 1 cup white flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1.5 tsp salt
3/4 cup water

First proof: 2hrs

Second proof: 2hrs

Shape, score and bake: @375 for 5min, @350 for 35min

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Garlic Nots

Tonight's experiment was little garlic bites.  B was not pleased with the outcome but I have to disagree, seeing as I'm up to about my 10th helping. M & I got back from a walk in the cool, overcast weather with the leaves dropping on our heads & the house smelled amazing - just like fall. Along with these bites, B made baked cinnamon and clove apples and acorn squash stuffed with ground sausage, rice & carrots (and some other deliciousness).

I'll share the stuffed acorn squash recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, since B says the garlic bites are not share-worthy.

Here's where the knots went not:  The taste was wonderful, but they were a little crackery on the outside. That just means I have to get in my fill tonight, as they'll probably taste pretty dry tomorrow. He says he should've cooked for a much shorter time at a higher heat, for a softer crust. He started at 400 & went down to 350 too quickly.

Thank you to BN for getting me back on the bread blogging bus. It's been many months and breads since I've shared. Check out her awesome blog here:  http://myfakefoodblog.com/

Pastry cutter
Brushing on olive oil + garlic

Acorn squash with garlic bites

Friday, April 27, 2012

Braided Pepper Biscuits

braided pepper biscuits

Today B made braided pepper biscuits from an Italian-inspired recipe in one of his bread books.  They didn't make it on my must-have list, but it was fun to try a different taste.  Without meaning to, we had them exactly as the bread book suggests, right before lunch.  They're crunchy, more like an English biscuit, and very, very peppery - kind of like the top fell off the pepper shaker.  I might go a little easier on the pepper next time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

French Baguettes

Tonight B made french baguettes with jambalaya.  Perfect comfort food for a cool, drizzly night and a disappointing Tarheel basketball loss.

B spent four years in Louisiana and picked up a love of Cajun cooking while he was down there.  He also uses Tony Chacere's like some people use salt.  It's like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, except that instead of Windex, it's Tony Chacere's - works on everything.  Not that I'm complaining because I get to enjoy amazing jambalaya like this:

The baguettes came out wonderful.  The smoky smell of the jambalaya mixed with the sweet, warm smell of the bread while it was cooking, and the kitchen smelled amazing.  There's nothing better than warm bread, right out of the oven.  It was soft and perfectly golden brown on the outside.  And B added fennel to the jambalaya which gave it a robust flavor, adding heaviness to the heat of the other spice. 

B said he found a Julia Child tip that helped him perfect his baguette recipe.  The tip is to let it rest for five minutes after the initial mixing.  That way you can assess whether or not it needs more flour or water, or if it's ready to go.

Here's B's Baguette Recipe

Dry Ingredients:

3.5 cups flour (King Arthur's AP)
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 T. white sugar
1.5 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg and
1 T. melted butter in
1.25 cups lukewarm water

Extra (glaze):
2 T. butter to be melted later with
Pinch of kosher salt

Mix dry ingredients, then mix in wet.

Let rest for five minutes.  (assess whether more flour/water is needed - thanks, Julia)

Knead to soft dough.

Let rise for 1 hour in covered bowl.

Gently knead a few times.

Let rise for 1 more hour in covered bowl

Gently knead a few times.

Let rise for 1 more hour in covered bowl (3 hrs. total rise).

Gently knead, then shape into 3 baguettes. Dust baking sheet with
cornflour, place loaves on sheet. Start preheating oven to 425F.

Let rise 30min. Brush top with 1 T melted butter and pinch of kosher salt.

Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F and

Brush top with 1 T melted butter and pinch of kosher salt.

Bake an additional 20-30 minutes at 325 until loaves sound hollow to a


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Biscuits and In-Laws

B's biscuits have officially turned from experiment into sure thing.  This morning B's parents were in town and it was perfect weather for eating on the back porch.  It was an ideal springtime breakfast complete with biscuits, grits, french omelettes, orange juice, coffee and fruit.

Dogwood in bloom
Biscuit fan


Here's the recipe B uses for the biscuits

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wild Mushroom Gorgonzola Rolls

Wild Mushroom Gorgonzola Rolls

Last night, B made what might've been his best rolls, yet.  He'd left the recipe out on the counter for several days building up the anticipation.  They were rolls filled with wild mushrooms and what was supposed to be camembert cheese.  Sadly, the Teeter knew nothing of camembert so B improvised with some leftover gorgonzola.  They look like everyday dinner rolls, but they're incredibly filling, and have a wonderfully complex taste.  Two could be a whole meal!  I can see how something milder like camembert or brie would be good, but the wild mushroom gorgonzola combo made for an interesting taste that paired well with lasagna.  M even downed one in between throwing peas and carrots on the floor. 

B trying to size the rolls

Delicious inside

Here's the recipe.  Adapted from The New Bread Book


1 3/5 cups King Arthur white flour
 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sea salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water
4 1/2 oz wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese


Mix all dry ingredients with the butter and water in mixer until combined
Knead on roll pat or lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, until smooth
Put in slightly oiled bowl and cover with damp dish towel
Let rise for one hour, until doubled in size
Punch down dough and knead for 2 - 3 minutes
Divide into about 16 rolls
Use rolling pin to roll out each roll slightly and place 1 tsp mushrooms with 1tbsp gorgonzola
Wrap dough around filling and place the seam-side down to bake on greased baking sheet
Leave to proof for about 25 minutes, until about double in size
Preheat oven to 425
Bake for 10 minutes at 425, cut to 400 and bake for another 20 minutes (until golden grown)

Cool and enjoy!