I have a confession to make… I don’t like store bread. You know the type that lasts for weeks and comes in a plastic bag. Not only is this bread filled with preservatives, it also does not compare to home-baked bread.
When I studied abroad in Italy I became spoiled by great bread. We could get a baguette at the super market for a very low price. It was always fresh and baked daily. Since being back, it is very difficult to get bread like that. Some grocery stores have some awesome freshly baked bread (such as Harris Teeter) but they can cost $4.50 a loaf and they are only good for a day or two.
I just got back to my house at school yesterday and have little food around. I did however have a lot of flour and some yeast so I decided to make a loaf of bread. I have to admit it is a bit time consuming, it took over 3 hours from start to finish but the active time is very short, only about 20 minutes. While the dough was rising I ran some errands and cleaned up the house, so it did not seem long at all!
Honey Whole Wheat Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)
1 cup warm water
.25 ounce package active dry yeast
4 tablespoons honey
1-2/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup and 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons butter, melted
In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 2 tablespoons honey. Add bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
Mix in 1 tablespoon melted butter, 2 more tablespoons of honey, and salt. Stir in whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take some additionalwhole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch down and place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with some melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely
I love all things peanut butter, as a matter of fact I consider pb one of my favorite foods. I found this recipe for soft peanut butter cookies online and just had to try them! They are soft and crumble apart perfectly.
Commissary cookies has been a family favorite cookie recipe for years. This recipe comes from The Frog Commissary Cookbook. Frog Commissary is a restaurant and catering service located in Philadelphia, PA.
This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe because the cookies turn out perfectly chewy yet crunchy at the same time. Give them a try, you won’t be dissapointed.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 4 dozen)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until the mixture is light in color.
3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer at low speed, gradually beat the flour in to the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
5. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand.
6. Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
7. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
8. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
This year was the first year where we could really enjoy Christmas day. I lounged around in my PJs until 5:30 this evening and we watched movies, it was wonderful. We didn’t realize we were making dinner until today and we did not feel like going to the super market. We took a look to see what ingredients we already had in the house. We settled on Christmas Taco Chicken using red and green tortilla chips along with roasted corn and salad. For a thrown together meal it turned out wonderful!
Merry Christmas! Nothing says Christmas like a delicious red velvet cake. We have not yet had the chance to try this cake but I will update more about it tomorrow. **(We did cut into the cake! The picture is below) I decided to try something different and ice the cake with rosettes instead of traditional frosting. Although I have not mastered the rosette technique, I say it is still a nice, festive look for the holidays.
**The cake came out delicious, it was incredibly moist and dense, and the perfect amount of sweetness. We ate it along with my Aunt’s cheesecake which was an amazing combo. Red Velvet Cheesecake anyone?
3/4 cup oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 ounce red food coloring (liquid or gel)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract*
3 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans or line three muffin pans with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, oil, and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine yogurt, red food coloring and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
Alternate adding the yogurt mixture and flour mixture into the large bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans or lined muffin pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes (15-20 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
A staple in our home growing up was Dried Beef Gravy. It is similar to biscuits and gravy except that we dredge potato bread in our gravy instead of biscuits and we use dried beef instead of sausage.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find quality dried beef in all parts of the US. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a pretty good supply that is reasonably priced. The most important factor of dried beef gravy is the dried beef. It is important that it is high quality and has a smokey flavor.
DBG as we call it has such a comforting appeal that reminds me of home and my childhood. It is creamy, thick, and delicious.
2 T. Butter
Salt to taste
1. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and cook dried beef for about 2 minutes.
2. Add flour to pan and stir.
3. Add milk and bring to boil. Continue cooking until it has thickened to the right consistency. Pour over bread and serve.