Cinnamon swirl bread, the kind without the raisins, is one of the best types of bread. Of course it’s not that versatile as a sandwich bread, I mean, you certainly can’t make a tuna sandwich with it (or you can, but I don’t think i want to), but toasted up with some cream cheese? It makes a perfect easy breakfast or pre-dinner snack! the best part about homemade cinnamon swirl bread is that it’s even better than that stuff you buy at the supermarket, you don’t even need to toast it or cream cheese it, it’s still the best snack! And it’s pretty, too; there’s no doubt in my mind that when you cut into it you’ll be proud of the cinnamon swirl you find inside.
Our friend Rachel makes such delicious challah and is always generous enough to share with us! The first time she brought me a loaf was when we went out to dinner on a Thursday night. She said she made six, so she could spare one. She brought another one when I invited her for a fish taco dinner at our apartment. I told her how much we loved it, so she shared the recipe with me, and now I can have Rachel Challah whenever I want (not that there’s a shortage of challah recipes out there)!
I have a confession to make. We made kaak a really long time ago. Probably more than 6 months ago, actually. We just never got around to writing up the post because the pictures were stuck on Adele’s camera, and because we had so many other interesting things to share with you. Better sooner rather than later, right?
Now that Passover won’t be back for another year, maybe we’ll make a giant batch of kaak for our freezer.
Kaak are bread sticks, but instead of being actual stick shapes, they are formed into rings. They are flavored with kemun, kizabrah, mahlab, and yansoon. Or cumin, anise, and cherry pit. I wouldn’t say that they’re hard to make, just time consuming. You need to shape each ring, then bake at two different temperatures. If you have two ovens, then this might be a little easier than it was for us. Anyone want to buy me a double wall oven? I promise you a batch of kaak! We baked these in Adele’s not-so-giant Manhattan kitchen. And hey, if we could do it there, then it can be done anywhere. You just have to have some patience. Continue reading
I didn’t make these muffins “corniest,” since I didn’t have any frozen corn, and it’s the winter so I definitely didn’t have access to fresh corn. I made them even though I was missing an ingredient because I was stuck home and really wanted to bake, and had everything else handy. I also thought corn muffins would be a fun breakfast! I think omitting the corn was a mistake, because they could have used some of the moisture and sweetness from the kernels. Still, cut in half and toasted with a bit of butter, they made a great breakfast! They would make a great companion to a savory meal too. Maybe some vegetarian chili?
I still have most of a bag of cornmeal left, so I’ll try these with the corn next time and I’ll keep you updated.
Pita bread isn’t hard, and it’s much better that the kind you can get at the supermarket (but not better than Shore Pita. What’s their secret!?). The photo below is my Syrian bread grilled cheese for dinner Monday, but before that I also used it for hamotzi on Friday night and with eggs for Sunday’s breakfast.
I love baking bread. It just makes the house smell so good. And I know it doesn’t have ingredients I can’t pronounce in it. It also allows for some really easy lunches – sandwiches! Though I’ve tried many bread recipes, my go-to recipe is always Amish white bread. It has the soft texture and flaky crumbiness that just works. I try to have some slices in my freezer at all times. Sometimes, I want some variety, though. Whole wheat bread, rye bread, and sourdough bread are great, but oatmeal bread? That’s something new to me. So when I saw Alton make bread using leftover oatmeal, I just knew I had to try it. And I did, the very same day. I didn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast, though. I cooked it just for use in the recipe. It was definitely worth it.
This bread is amazing with some salted butter or fruity jam. It’s great for breakfast, and healthy, too! Put some in the freezer for fresh bread the entire week. Those oats are good for your cholesterol, according to the Cheerios commercial. This is a bread that I’ll definitely be keeping in my bread-baking rotation. I might double the recipe next time, though. It takes a lot of time to only yield one loaf. And maybe try to make it in my mixer because after being spoiled by my dough hook, kneading by hand gets tiring (though it wasn’t nearly as hard as kneading bagels).
Oatmeal Bread, adapted from Alton Brown:
Make one loaf – I got 16 slices.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
- 11 ounces bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces cooked oats (to make this, use 3/4 cup oats and 1 1/2 cups water), at room temperature (you don’t want to kill that yeast!)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup (I used one tablespoon honey because I ran out of agave. Use both honey if you don’t have agave, or substitute with sugar)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw oats
- 1 egg + water, for eggwash
1. Combine yeast, flour, 1/4 cup uncooked oats, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Combine cooked oats, agave, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl.
3. In three increments, add dry ingredients to wet. Mix with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
4. Knead by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Add more flour if it’s too sticky.
5. Oil bowl, add dough, and cover. Let rise for an hour.
6. Punch down dough and shape into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan.
7. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
9. Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of raw oats.
10. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour (actually it took me 1 hour, 10 minutes), until the internal temperature of the dough reaches 210 degrees.
11. Cool on rack for 30 minutes before slicing.
I’m off to Ireland this evening! David and I are going to spend 10 days driving, hiking, exploring and photographing all over the country. I can’t wait to tell you all about it when we get back, but for now I will leave you with this recipe I made in preparation for my trip: Irish Soda Bread!
Soda bread is a quick bread that uses baking soda (hence the name) instead of yeast as a rising agent. It is an easy bread to make, since there is barely any kneading (10 times!) and no waiting for it to rise or anything; just mix and bake. It became popular in Ireland when baking soda was brought there and is still popular today.
When this first came out of the oven I thought I did something wrong, because it was kinda lumpy and ugly looking. But then I google-imaged Irish soda bread and I realized that it’s supposed to look like that!
So see you all in 10 days, and until then you have Jessica to keep you company. Don’t fret, she has a lot of interesting duck recipes for you!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
- Add the buttermilk and cooled butter and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is well combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 10 times.
- Shape it dough into a 9-inch round loaf and transfer to a baking sheet. Slash an X about 1/4 inch deep in the top of the bread.
- Bake for about 1 hour, or until the bread is golden and the bottom sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
I got a pumpkin from my CSA! It’s a baby bear pumpkin, how cute is that! I had all sorts of ideas of things to do with this pumpkin, but since it was so little I had to limit the pumpkin recipes. I ended up roasting the seeds to make bizir and then getting about two cups of puree. With one cup I made this pumpkin bread and I froze the other cup with intentions to turn it into ice cream soon.
This chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe has been in our family for ages. We have been making it at least once a year for as long as I can remember, always from fresh pumpkin. Jessica has the original copy of the recipe, which I’m pretty sure is a photocopy of a recipe that my mom used to use in her nursery school class. After going apple and pumpkin picking with her class she would always bring us a pumpkin to bake with; don’t we have the best mom!
I have memories of freezing the extras and being happily surprised a few months later to find pumpkin bread hiding among the ice cream in the back of the freezer somewhere. I think I’ll freeze some of this and then try to forget about it so I can find it later.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the recipe is pareve? No need for adaptation here! Just make sure to use pareve chocolate chips (duh!). Because I thought I had in my freezer, but they ended up being dairy, which is why I made the muffins chipless (yeah, that’s a word).
Luckily, I just got another baby bear pumpkin from my csa! Maybe I will make pumpkin pie! And ravioli! Maybe some soup or risotto, too! I think I may be getting carried away, but for some reason the fresh stuff is so much better than the canned kind. I know it’s pure pumpkin, but why is it so orange?
Here’s a copy of our handwritten recipe for you:
I love baking breads, and wanted to venture away from the boring white breads, whole wheat breads, challahs, and sticky buns. I wanted bread with flavor, something that wasn’t simple, and something that would definitely impress visitors (because really, anyone can make white bread).
When I decided on rye bread, I thought I was set. I wrote up a shopping list and was ready to try it the next day. But no rye flour at Shop Rite, no rye flour at Whole Foods, and no rye flour on Fresh Direct. I couldn’t even find a normal amount on Amazon! I thought I would never make rye bread…I finally went to Westside Market on my way to class one night and found some Bob’s Red Mill dark rye flour. Perfect! I thought about baking this bread during class and on my train ride home. I woke up early the next day and got to work. I continued working, and then worked even more, up until I had to leave for class the next night! Continue reading