Browsing Tag


Roasted Garlic Bread

March 21, 2011

When I was sick a couple weeks back, my love for bread and butter was renewed. Bagels, English muffins, toast, the only thing I really wanted to eat was toasted bread and butter in various forms. Typically, I steer clear of bread and pasta that aren’t of the whole wheat variety. But as I learned while I was laying on the couch, unable to cook anything else, I realized that sometimes nothing but good old white bread will cut it.

Growing up, we never ate much garlic bread. Actually, come to think about it, I don’t think my mom ever made garlic bread for dinner, which is probably why I never really developed a taste for the stuff. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that most garlic bread is made with either garlic powder, which always comes off as overly salty and slightly artificial.

So when I found myself with a baguette and a head of garlic I thought it was high time to give garlic bread a bit of an upgrade. Roasted garlic mixed with creamy butter, spread atop bread and topped with coarse salt, fresh cracked pepper and smoky paprika.

If you’re new to roasting garlic, be prepared for a treat. It’s amazing what a drizzle of olive oil and 40 minutes in the oven can do for a humble clove of garlic, and in turn, a loaf of bread. Instead of giving off a sharp, pungent flavor, roasting garlic creates a rich, sweet paste that can be spread onto crackers or bread.

Roasted Garlic Bread 

*1 medium-size baguette or ciabatta loaf, halved lengthwise
*1 head garlic
*Olive oil 
*3 Tbsp. butter, softened
*Kosher salt
*Black pepper
*Paprika (optional)

*Preheat oven to 450°F.
*With papery skin intact, cut the top 1/4 portion off the top (skinnier end) of the garlic head, exposing some of the garlic cloves inside. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and wrap completely in aluminum foil.
*Place foil packet in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from oven and cool until able to be handled, about 15 to 20 minutes.
*Squeeze garlic cloves out onto a plate. Discard papery skin. With a fork, mash the garlic until smooth. Stir garlic and butter together until well combined.
*Spread garlic butter onto bread halves. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and paprika, if desired. Bake on a baking sheet for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and slightly crisp. Slice and serve immediately.

Happy cooking!


Whole Wheat Apple CInnamon Bread

January 13, 2011

I have the most delicious bread for you. Serious goodness coming your way. It had such a profound impact on me that I made it last weekend, and then I baked another loaf this week and am already down to a single piece. In my own defense, I brought four slices to work yesterday.

While writing about this apple bread, I began to realize that I have a slight obsession with quick breads of every kind. So if, for some unknown reason, apple bread isn’t your thing, maybe one of these is:

Butterfinger-Pumpkin Bread 
Whole Wheat Flax Seed Banana Bread  
Banana Bread Ultimate

Since the snow keeps falling and the wind keeps blowing here, I don’t think I’ll be getting sick of hearty quick breads any time soon. Anyone else out there have a favorite quick bread recipe? Share them in the comments below! 

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Bread
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook 

The first time I made this bread, I skipped the refrigeration stage. While the bread was still delicious, it didn’t hold together like I wanted it to. The second time, with refrigeration, yielded a much more pleasing result. Don’t skip this step and save yourself some grief. 

*3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour
*2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)
*1 tablespoon baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 large eggs
*1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
*3/4 cup granulated sugar 
*2 tablespoons apricot or peach preserves
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
*2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped

*Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, flax seed, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
*In a second bowl with an electric mixer or by hand, beat together eggs, butter and sugar until creamy and well combined. Stir in preserves and ground cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chopped apples.
*Transfer batter to loaf pan and smooth top with a spatula. Refrigerate in the loaf pan for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and just slightly soft in the center. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the loaf and turn out onto wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to eat.

Happy Baking!


Butterfinger-Pumpkin Bread

October 28, 2010

Having candy on hand in my apartment is a rarity. In fact, I rarely even have chocolate chips lying around. Some baker I am. Thankfully, I live within walking distance of Target, making it easy to go grab supplies and a whole lot less tempting than having chocolate in the house. But last week while Joey (yes, I’ve decided to start calling him by his real name!) and I were up in Minneapolis, his mom sent us all home with a giant bag of Halloween candy.

Knowing I needed to get that candy out of my apartment fast, I saved a few pieces for my secret stash and got to baking with the rest. A majority of said candy was mini Butterfinger candy bars, which I think really go well with the flavors of classic fall baking. And by fall baking, I mean pumpkin treats. For a few weeks now, pumpkin bread has been on my list of things to bake and those extra Butterfingers were just the push I needed.

Adapted from Baking in America by Greg Patent, this recipe is killer. Crispy on the outside, sweet, dense and moist on the inside.  And the Butterfingers? It seems that pumpkin and Butterfinger were meant to be together. Give it a try and I think you’ll agree.

I’m off to get ready for the weekend. My mom and Joey are coming to stay with me and I’ve got cleaning to do! Do any of you have Halloween plans?

Butterfinger-Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Baking In America by Greg Patent 
(Printable Recipe)

*1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1 tsp. baking powder
*3/4 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. ground ginger
*1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*2 large eggs
*3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup sugar
*1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
*1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfingers (about 14 mini candy bars)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cardamom, and ginger. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat the eggs for about 1 minute, until frothy. Add both sugars and beat until creamy and thick, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, vanilla, and oil until smooth. Stir in the Butterfingers. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
*Bake for 50 to 60 (it was more like 65 minutes for me) until the loaf is well browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and turn the loaf right side up on the rack to cool completely. Cut with a serrated knife.

Happy Baking!


Braided Pretzel Loaf

July 14, 2010

Do you ever have those times where life just doesn’t seem to slow down and let you catch your breath? I am majorly having one of those moments right now, as evidenced by my lack of regular posting. But despite being torn in many different directions, the emotion that has most frequently filled my heart is not anxiety, it’s gratitude. For friends, family and an amazing boyfriend, love and support, change and new opportunities. For a new job!

Recently my mom sent me an e-mail telling me that somewhere around 70% of college graduates are now returning home to live because of a slow economy and jobs that are hard to come by. When I graduated in December, I felt blessed to have the opportunity to stay on with Better Homes and Gardens magazine as a part-time assistant food editor. The last six months have been an amazing time to learn, grow, and adjust to life on my own in the real world. Now, that world is about to get even more ‘real’ when I start my new (full time!) job as the Creative Services Food Editor for Meredith Integrated Marketing.

The move for me could not be more perfectly timed or easier, since my office will be located one floor down in the same building I am currently working. And the people? Well from what I know of those I will be working with, I have a lot to be excited about. As I adjust to the new position and responsibilities, I’ll explain more. But for now, I’m baking bread and feeling thankful for the things that have come my way.

Braided Pretzel Loaf 
(Printable Recipe)
*1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 120*F)
*1 pkt. active dry yeast
*1 Tbsp. sugar
*1 tsp. salt
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup whole wheat flour
Additional 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 large egg, beaten
*1 tsp. kosher salt

*Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
*In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast over the water. Add in the sugar and salt and stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes.
*Add the all-purpose flour to the bowl and stir with a large spoon to combine. Add in the whole wheat flour and work in the whole wheat flour with your hands. Add in an additional 1/2 cup to 1 cup flour, until the dough is still soft and pliable but not sticky.
*Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes.
*Place dough in a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place, free of drafts and allow the dough to double in size, about 45 minutes.
*Punch down the dough and divide into three equal sized portions. Roll each portion into ‘ropes’ about 12 inches in length. Press together the ends of one side of the ropes and braid the dough. Pinch together the second set of ends.
*Transfer dough to the parchment lined baking sheet and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
*Brush the braided dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.
*Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until dough is dark golden brown. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Happy Baking!


Chef Scott Peacock’s Dinner Rolls

June 26, 2010

Having a weekend at home is, to say the least, absolutely divine. Since it’s been almost two months since I’ve had a weekend like this, please excuse the short post. I’ve got a lot more weekending (is that even a word?) to get back to! Browsing the farmer’s market, a birthday barbecue, a wedding, and consuming way too much delicious food make for a wonderful couple of days.

Before I leave you, a word or two should be said about these heavenly rolls. My first Scott Peacock dinner roll was made by the chef himself. Trust me when I say they were beyond perfect and I ate one too many. Buttery all over with a crisp exterior and light, airy interior, these rolls are everything packaged rolls strive to be but never come close. If you make these rolls, people will fall at your feet, proclaim you a dinner roll master, and do favors for you in exchange for more rolls. Next time you need a favor, come with a smile and a basket of Scott Peacock’s rolls. You won’t be sorry.

Have a happy weekend! 

Chef Scott Peacock’s Dinner Rolls
Recipe Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and Chef Scott Peacock 
(Printable Recipe)
* 1 cup milk 
* 6 Tbsp. butter (room temperature) 
* 1 pkg. active dry yeast 
* 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F) 
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
* 3 Tbsp. sugar 
* 4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not unbleached) 
* 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
*  Melted butter

* Heat the milk to 120*F to 130*F; add the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk, eggs, and sugar to dissolved yeast and stir to blend. With a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups of the flour and the salt; stir until smooth. Add 2 cups of remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and only slightly sticky. (Only if needed, after 3 minutes of stirring and dough is overly wet, stir in 1 tablespoon flour at a time.
* Cover the surface of the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Cover the top of the bowl with a second piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours). 
* Lightly butter 24 muffin cups. Gently press the dough to deflate. With lightly buttered hands pinch off generous 1-inch pieces of dough. Fold the dough over, turning and tucking the edges to form a ball. Pinch the seam together to seal. Dip in melted butter and arrange three dough balls in each muffin cup. Let rise until fully doubled (about 1 hour).
* Heat oven to 400*F. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until well-browned. Remove from oven. Brush with softened butter. Remove rolls immediately from cups to a wire cooling rack. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 24 dinner rolls.

Happy Baking!