Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bread Festival!!!

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FIRST, a look back in time. Bread, in one form or another, has been one of the principal forms of food for man from earliest times. The trade of the baker, then, is one of the oldest crafts in the world. Loaves and rolls have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

In the British Museum's Egyptian galleries you can see actual loaves which were made and baked over 5,000 years ago. Also on display are grains of wheat, which ripened, in those ancient summers under the Pharaohs. Wheat has been found in pits where human settlements flourished 8,000 years ago. Bread, both leavened and unleavened, is mentioned in the Bible many times. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew bread for a staple food even in those days people argued whether white or brown bread was best.Further back, in the Stone Age, people made solid cakes from stone-crushed barley and wheat. A millstone used for grinding corn has been found, that is thought to be 7,500 years old. The ability to sow and reap cereals may be one of the chief causes, which led man to dwell in communities, rather than to live a wandering life hunting
and herding cattle.

According to, Wheat has been cultivated by man since before recorded history. It is conjectured by anthropologists that hungry hunter/gatherers first stockpiled the grain as a storable food source. When it got wet, it sprouted, and people found that if the grain was planted it yielded yet more seeds.

Grown in Mesopotamia and Egypt, wheat was likely first merely chewed. Later it was discovered that it could be pulverized and made into a paste. Set over a fire, the paste hardened into a flat bread that kept for several days. It did not take much of a leap to discover leavened (raised) bread when yeast was accidentally introduced to the paste. Instead of waiting for fortuitous circumstances to leaven their bread, people found that they could save a piece of dough from a batch of bread to put into the next day's dough. This was the origin of sour-dough, a process still used today.

In Egypt, around 1000 BC, inquiring minds isolated yeast and were able to introduce the culture directly to their breads. Also a new strain of wheat was developed that allowed for refined white bread. This was the first truly modern bread. Up to thirty varieties of bread may have been popular in ancient Egypt.

It was also during this time that bread beer was developed. The bread was soaked in water and sweetened and the foamy liquor run off. Beer was as popular in ancient Egypt as it is in America today.The Greeks picked up the technology for making bread from the Egyptians; from Greece the practice spread over the rest of Europe. Bread and wheat were especially important in Rome where it was thought more vital than meat. Soldiers felt slighted if they were not given their allotment. The Roman welfare state was based on the distribution of grain to people living in Rome. Later the government even baked the bread.

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Through much of history, a person's social station could be discerned by the color of bread they consumed. The darker the bread, the lower the social station. This was because whiter flours were more expensive and harder for millers to adulterate with other products. Today, we have seen a reversal of this trend when darker breads are more expensive and highly prized for their taste as well as their nutritional value.In the middle ages bread was commonly baked in the ovens of the lord of the manor for a price. It was one of the few foods that sustained the poor through the dark age.Bread continued to be important through history as bread riots during the French Revolution attest. The famous quotation attributed to Marie Antoinette that if the poor could not get bread for their table then "let them eat cake," became a famous illustration of how royalty had become ignorant of the plight of the lower classes. Actually, Marie Antoinette never said this and was merely being slandered by her detractors.Still thought of as the "staff of life", for centuries bread has been used in religious ceremonies. Even the lord's prayer requests of God to "Give us this day our daily bread" - meaning not merely loaves, but moral sustenance. Today, even with the competition of a growing variety of foods, bread remains important to our diet and our psyche. It has a prominent place in at the local market, in our cupboards, and even in our language. The word "bread" is commonly used as a slang term for money. It connotes importance as when we say that some aspect of our work is "our bread and butter". In many households bread is still served with every meal.

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Check these link for more historical details:
The story behind a loaf of bread -
History of Bread -

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Bread has a long history for a reason. It is a healthy and nutritious food that fills the stomach as well as the soul....Discover the magic that is in the very taste and smell of fresh baked bread!

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A SEED. The wheat grain as a seed is fitted for reproducing the plant from which it came. The germ is an embryo plant, with a radicle which can grow into a root system and a plumule which can develop into stems, leaves and ears. The pericarp is a tough skin which protects the inner seed from soil organisms which may attack it. The inner seed coats control the intake of water by the seed. The endosperm is the food reserve on which the young plant lives until it has developed a root system.

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WHICH IS MILLED. The purpose of milling is to reduce the wheat grain to a. fine powdery flour. A single grain makes about 20,000 particles of flour. In wholemeal flour all parts of the grain are included, but in producing white flour the seed coats and the embryo are not used. Instead, they are flattened and removed as small flakes, by sifting over nylon or silk mesh. These flakes are referred to collectively as wheatfeed.

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FOR OUR NOURISHMENT. The flour which comes from the grain of wheat is used in making bread and biscuits, cakes and confectionery, puddings and pies. This wheaten flour is rich in carbohydrates (for energy), protein (for growth and development), the essential B vitamins (for good health, good nerves and good digestion) and important minerals like iron (for healthy blood) and calcium (for strong bones and teeth).
Flour gives us dishes that are good to eat-and the nourishment essential to good health. What is more, the seedcoats, or wheatfeed, not used in making white flour are valuable food for livestock, and so help to provide us with eggs, bacon, meat and milk.

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Flours vary in their composition and, broadly speaking, are defined by their rate of extraction. This refers to the percentage of whole cleaned wheat grain that is present in the flour. The three basic flour categories are:
Wholemeal - 100 percent extraction, made from the whole wheatgrain with nothing added or taken away.
Brown - usually contains about 85 per cent of the original grain, some bran and germ have been removed. This flour is frequently labelled as "85per cent flour" rather than brown.
White - usually 75 per cent of the wheatgrain. Most of the bran and wheatgerm have been removed during milling.
Other varieties of flour:
Wheatgerm - white or brown flour with at least 10% added wheatgerm.
Malted wheatgrain - brown or wholemeal flour with added malted grains.
Stoneground - wholemeal flour ground in traditional way between two stones.
Organic - flour milled from a wheat grown and processed naturally without the use of chemicals.

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All-Purpose Flour: A general, common use white flour used in most baking and craft recipes, also known as “Plain Flour”. Made with a blend of high-gluten and low-gluten wheats and can be purchased bleached or unbleached.
Almond Flour: This flour is made from ground almonds and has the consistency of cornmeal. It’s recommended to use blanched almond flour for baking (not unblanched) and is a good alternative for low-carb and gluten-free diets.
Bread Flour: An unbleached, high-protein white flour. Breads/dough made with bread flour produce a high volume and chewy texture (benefits from the high gluten content). You can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour but expect some difference in the results (you can get close though by adding a tablespoon of wheat gluten with the all-purpose flour). Bread flour should not be substituted for all-purpose flour.
Buckwheat Flour: This is made from ground buckwheat (hulled) and is gluten-free. Buckwheat is a seed, not a grain. Commonly used in multi-grain breads and pancakes.
Cake Flour: This is a finely milled, bleached flour that is lighter than all-purpose flour. High in starch and lower in gluten than other wheat flours. A good choice for baking light cakes and pastries. A substitute recipe for cake flour: Add two level tablespoons of corn starch to a one cup measuring cup, then fill with bread flour. Sift three times then use as needed (source: Handy Substitute Recipes For Baking).
Coconut Flour: A high fiber, gluten-free, low-carb flour made from ground coconut meat. Unless a recipe calls for coconut flour (where you’ll have good results in a variety of baked goods like muffins and cakes), you can use it in baking with regular recipes by substituting up to 25% of wheat flour with coconut flour.
Corn Flour: This is a non-wheat flour made from ground yellow corn and is gluten free. Can also be made from wheat but will be named “wheaten corn flour”. A substitute for corn flour is corn meal first ground fine (to the consistency of flour) in a blender or food processor. A heavier, coarser type of corn flour is Maize Flour.
Graham Flour: A coarse wheat flour that is made by grinding the bran, germ, and endosperm separately before being combined together again. This is sweet and nutty to the taste. Can be substituted with whole wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio.
Mesquite Flour: A fine, soft flour made from ground mesquite pods (dried) and can have a sweet, mesquite flavor. Can be used as a thickener (for sauces, puddings, etc.) and can replace up to 25% of wheat flour in baking recipes. Gluten-free.
Oat Flour: Is made from ground oats (hulled), contains little gluten and is a good thickener and binder. Can be used in baking breads and cookies, replace up to 25% of wheat flour and increase the leavening agent a bit.
Pastry Flour: Has a low-gluten, high-starch content, and is a fine white flour that is used in baking delicate pastries, pie crusts, biscuits and cookies. A good substitute for Pastry Flour is a 50/50 mix of Cake Flour and All-Purpose Flour.
Potato Flour: Made from ground, cooked (and dried) potatoes. This is a gluten-free, high-starch flour which can be used as a thickener for gravies and sauces and can also be used in baking (replace up to 25% of wheat flour). This does have a pronounced potato flavor.
Rice Flour: A fine flour made from grinding rice (white). This flour is gluten-free and can be used in baking, homemade noodles and popular in pancakes. Brown Rice Flour is made from brown rice and is heavier and coarser than White Rice Flour and is also higher in protein and fiber. You can replace up to 25% of Brown Rice Flour with wheat flour in baking.
Self Rising Flour: This is all-purpose flour with salt and leavening added and is good for making flaky biscuits, pancakes, waffles and light pastries. A good substitute for self rising flour is: In a one cup measure, place 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, then fill to top with flour. Mix well. Source: Handy Substitute Recipes For Baking.
Semolina Flour: A high-gluten flour made with ground hard durum wheat. Good for making homemade pasta and breads. A substitute you can use is Durum Wheat Flour (1:1 ratio).
Soy Flour: Made from finely ground soy beans (hulled). This flour is rich in protein, gluten-free and has a slight nutty flavor. Non-yeast baked goods can have up to 30% of wheat flour replaced by Soy Flour, yeast items can have up to 15%. Refrigerate Soy Flour to keep fresh (defatted soy flour is fine stored at room temperature).
Spelt Flour: This flour has a nuttier flavor than whole wheat flour. Contains gluten but can be easier to digest by many who are allergic to wheat flours. Can be used to substitute wheat flour in baking (breads, cakes, muffins, etc.) but you may find it doesn’t need as much liquid (spelt flour is more soluble) or as much kneading (the gluten is more fragile).
Tapioca Flour: Is made from cassava root (the plant source of tapioca). Can also be known as Tapioca Starch. This is a grain-free white flour that is starchy, a bit sweet, and gluten-free. Good thickener (for sauces, pie fillings, etc.) and can be used in baking.
Whole Wheat Flour: Is made by grinding whole grains of wheat (includes the wheat’s bran, germ, and endosperm). The wheat germ content can make the flour go rancid more quickly than other flours, in Canada some of the wheat germ is removed to help prolong the shelf life. Can replace up to 50% of all-purpose flour in baking. Whole Wheat Flour is available in both brown and white.

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Yeast is a plant, according to the biologists, and is capable of reproducing itself. A piece of yeast consists of minute cells, with walls composed of cellulose, and an interior of living matter called protoplasm. You can feed it with a solution of sugar to make it grow, or it can be 'killed' by 'starvation' or heat. The ancients did not use yeast as we know it today; they prepared a leaven or 'barm' (which has the same action) from ground millet kneaded with 'must' out of wine-tubs. Wheat bran was also used, kneaded with a three-days-old must, dried in the sun, then made into little cakes. When required for making bread, the cakes were soaked in water, then boiled with the finest flour, after which the whole was mixed in with the meal. Another old method for making barm was to prepare cakes of barley meal and water; these were baked on a hot hearth, or else in an earthen dish upon hot ashes and left until they turned reddish-brown. Afterwards, the cakes were kept shut up in a vessel until they turned quite sour. When wanted for leaven, they were first steeped in water. Eight ounces of this was enough to make a quantity of bread of about 14 lb. or 6.3kg to rise. The primary function of yeast is to supply carbon dioxide gas which inflates the dough during proof and the early stages of baking (oven spring).

ENEMIES OF OUR DAILY BREAD.The Flour Beetle is a black insect about eleven-sixteenths of an inch long with dotted or striped wing-cases, and it loves the dark. They and their larvae are easily separated from the flour by sifting, but the eggs will remain. Bakers and millers take great precautions in fighting these enemies, and scald out utensils and bins before putting new flour in them. An eel-worm causes a disease in corn called Ear Cockle. If an ear of corn is affected by the disease, it will be seen that many of the kernels have been replaced by little black balls like peppercorns. If one of these balls is cut open and viewed through a microscope, a cottony substance will be seen which is composed of a mass of tiny transparent worms. These can attack the young wheat plant, feeding upon its juices. Later, they move to the corn ears, forming fresh peppercorns. These tiny creatures are very hard to destroy; some have lived after having been dried for over twenty years; they can be frozen, or heated to 125º F several times without being killed. Other horrid diseases of wheat are Bunt, Rust or Corn Mildew, and Smut; the last two can cause havoc with a crop-as much as 60 per cent loss has been suffered by some farmers in the past. The common cockroach is a pest, too, in the baking industry. It loves the warmth and the flour in the bakehouse, but cannot stand the light. The presence of the Flour Mite is always a sign that the flour is unfit for use, and is old and damp.

225g (1 ½ Cups) Strong plain white flour or plain wholemeal flour
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon sugar
15g (1 level tbspoon) soft tub margarine
1 sachet (6g) easy blend dried yeast or fast action easy blend dried yeast
150 ml (2/3 cup) warm water - NOT HOT!
For Decoration:
1 small egg beaten with a little milk
sesame seeds
poppy seeds
Mixing bowl
Measuring Jug
Wooden Spoon
Greased baking tray
Piece of cling film lightly brushed with oil
Kitchen Scissors
Pastry brush
What To Do:
Get an ADULT to help!
Wash your hands thoroughly in soap and water.
Collect all the tools and ingredients together.
Put the flour in the mixing bowl and add the sugar and the salt.
Add the margarine and rub into the flour using your finger tips.
Add the dried yeast and stir into the flour mix
Add all the water at once to the flour mix and stir together using the wooden spoon.
Use your hands as the dough gets tough and when it leaves the sides of the bowl clean (add a little more flour if it is too sticky), put the dough onto a floured surface.
Now the hard work! The dough will feel tight and lumpy and you must 'knead' it to make it smooth and stretchy. Push your hands into the dough, gather it back into a ball, turn it slightly and then repeat. Do this for about 5 minutes until the dough feels smooth.
Shape the dough into your own design or use one of the ideas below and place it on the greased baking tray.
Cover the shape with the oiled cling film to stop it drying out and then put the tray in a warm place so that the yeast can work and make the dough rise. In winter this might be the airing cupboard, or in summer the kitchen itself may be warm enough.
Now set the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8
When the loaf shape has about doubled in size (after about 30 minutes), remove the cling film and place the tray in the centre of the oven.
Bake the loaf for 20-25 minutes. It should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Put the loaf on a wire rack to cool and the tuck in!

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1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 F or so)
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
1. Heat the shortening, salt, water, sugar and milk in a saucepan until it is warm (115 F or so - shortening should be just melted) - remember to stir constantly. Pour this heated mixture into a good sized mixing bowl.
2. Stir in two cups of the flour and beat well. Now add the yeast and stir until mixture is smooth. Continue to add flour until a spoon will no longer stir.
3. Pour out mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough moderately stiff. Shape the dough into a ball. Place ball into a lightly greased bown and cover and let rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in volumn. (This should take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.)
4. Punch down the dough ball on a lightly foured surface. Devide the dough in half and shape it into two balls. Again, cover the dough and let rest (this time for about 10 minutes.) Meanwhile, grease two 8X4X2-inch loaf pans. Shape the two balls into loaves and place them in the pans.
5. Brush some melted butter onto the exposed surface of the loaves. Cover and let rise yet again until the loaves double in size. (Takes about 45 minutes to one hour.)
6. Bake the loaves in a 375 F degree oven for about 45 minutes or until top is sufficiently browned and tapping on the top of the loaf yields a hollow sound. It is best to cool on a wire rack to avoid condensation.
Makes 2 loaves.

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2 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110 F or so)
1/2 cup instant dry milk
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1. Grease with butter twenty-four to thirty 2-inch muffin forms.
2. Add yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water to a small bowl. Stir this until the yeast is disolved then set aside. Pour the dry milk into a large mixing bowl along with the remainder of the water, the egg, butter, sugar and salt. Blend these ingredients well.
3. In a separate bowl combine the two flours - blend well. Beat 2 cups of the flour mixture into the liquid mixture. Now add enough of the flour to make the batter thick. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. Divide the dough among the muffin forms - try to fill them about 2/3 full. Cover and let rise for about and hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for twenty minutes or until the rolls brown. Let cool on a rack to prevent rolls from becoming soggy.

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1 cup warm potato water
2 package active dry yeast
4 tablespoons honey
6 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs - beaten lightly
1 cup riced or thoroughly mashed potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bread flour
1. Potato water is made by placing 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into a saucepan. These are covered with water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until mushy. Drain off the potato water into a separate container and let cool. Thoroughly mash the potatoes and set aside; they will be needed later.
2. Add yeast to the cooled potato water (should be just over 100 degrees) and stir until yeast has dissolved. Now add 2 tablespoons of the honey. Beat in a cup of the unbleached flour until a smooth batter results. Cover the dough and set aside for about 30 minutes.
3. Blend the milk, butter, eggs, potatoes, salt, the remainder of the honey in a large mixing bowl. Add the risen dough and stir well. Beat in the bread flour until the mixture is smooth. Now gradually add unbleached flour until the dough is soft and workable and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
4. Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Round the dough into a ball and place in a warm, buttered bowl. Be sure to coat the entire ball with the butter. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
5. Butter three loaf pans (8 1/2-inch). Punch down the dough...and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough lightly for a only a minute or two. Now divide the dough into three equal portions and form them into loaf shapes.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. The loaves should bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

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2 cups sour dough starter 1 cup warm potato water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup light oil
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 cups bread flour
melted butter
1. Potato water is made by placing 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into a saucepan. These are covered with water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until mushy. Drain off the potato water into a separate container and let cool. Or it may be made the easy way by using 2 tablespoons of instant potato flakes added to one cup of warm water. Be sure to stir until the flakes are dissolved
2. In a large bowl mix the sourdough starter, potato water, sugar, oil and salt. Add in and beat 2 cups of bread flour until mixture is smooth. Cover with a heavy towel and let rest for 2 1/2 hours. The dough ball should be light and bubbly.
3. Now add more flour until the dough is soft. Knead for 10-12 minutes. Place dough in a warm greased bowl. Be sure to grease the entire dough ball. Cover with a towel and let rise for two to three hours.
4. Punch down the dough and divide in half. Knead each piece. Form the dough into loaves. Meanwhile, grease a cooking sheet with vegetable oil. Place dough on cooking sheet. Now cover and let rise for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
5. Oven should be preheated to 425 degrees F. Tops may be slashed with a knife. Add butter and bake for 10 minutes. Now lower temp to 375 degrees F and bake an additional thirty minutes. Eat hot or let cool on wire rack.

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2 tsp yeast
7 1/2 C whole wheat flour (divided)
3 C warm water (divided)
2 tsp salt
2 T honey
2 T oil
1. Put honey in large bowl, add 1 C. warm water, sprinkle yeast on top, agitate a bit to dissolve. Put in warm place for 10 minutes.
2. Add other 2 C warm water, beat in 3 1/2 C flour.
3. Stir in salt and oil.
4. Add rest of flour 1/2 C or so at a time. When it gets too stiff to mix, turn out on a floured surface and mix in most of the flour by hand, saving some to use while kneading.
5. Cover dough with a damp towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.
6. Knead dough 20 minutes, using up most or all the remaining flour. [I never manage to use it all, probably due to my brutal flour measuring methods.]
7. Cover with damp towel (the dough, of course) and allow to rest 10 minutes.
8. Knead a few times, make ball, and put in oiled bowl. Cover with that damp towel and put in a warm place to raise (rise?) 1 1/2 hours.
9. Knead gently a few times, return to bowl, cover, put in warm place for 1 hour.
10.Divide dough in half [Each half of mine is usually 1 pound 12 oz - 800 g.]
11.Knead the dough balls a few times, cover with the damp towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.
12.Form loaves (a delightfully ambiguous term) and place in well greased (or Pammed) pans, find that damp towel again, cover, put in a warm place for 1 hour.
13.Preheat over to 350 degrees.
14.Slash tops of loaves [A straight longitudinal line the length of the loaves is OK, but so boring! Be imaginative.] Bake 45-50 minutes. Turn out on a rack to cool.
Note: This recipe will also work in most models of bread-machines.

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(Wheat and Oats Bread)

¾ cup warm water
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary or chopped fresh
½ small minced onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg yolk
Sesame seeds
1. Add top 7 ingredients together and stir lightly and let sit for about 5 minutes.
2. Add flours with additional oat flour if you need a little more to firm up the dough. (no more than 1/3 of a cup).
3. Knead dough for about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Oil bowl and dough ball and let proof for about 1 ½ hours.
5. Punch down and let proof for an additional 45 minutes.
6. Sauté onions and rosemary in olive oil until onions are caramelized.
7. Roll dough out to about ¼ inch thickness - long and thin so dough is wide enough to fit into loaf pan.
8. Spread onions along dough.
9. Roll just off so that you have a long and thin spiral.
10.Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
11.Let proof an additional 30 minutes.
12.Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes.

2 cups warm water (110 F/45 C)
64g (1/3 cup) sugar
1 1/2 tbsp (2 pkgs) active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
720g (6 cups) bread flour (or all purpose flour)
1. Dissolve sugar, warm water, and yeast in mixing bowl cover with towel and let sit for 10 minutes. it should have a nice foam on top. it means the yeast is working properly.
2. Add oil, salt, and set on lowest speed with paddle attatchment. gradually add flour about a cup at a time until approx. a cup remains. switch to dough hook. add remaining flour and mix on speed 2 for 4 minutes (if not using a mixer this is where you would turn it out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 7-10 minutes incorporating the last cup of flour).
3. Scrape down sides and i usually make sure i have the counter very clean and i dump the dough out onto the counter and add a touch of oil into the bowl and put the dough back in the bowl. turn to coat, making sure to coat the sides of the bowl also. cover with a kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place. i like my oven with the light turned on. let proof for 1 hour or until doubled in size (if using the kitchenaid, just up to the top of the bowl).
4. Punch down dough. dust counter with flour and dump dough out onto counter. depending on what you want to make
loaf- cut in half, roll out into rectangle about 12x8, roll up like a jelly roll and pinch seam closed. placed into well oiled loaf pan.
makes 2 loaves.
5. Rolls- cut into 4 pieces and then each of those pieces into 8. shape into ball and place 8 into well oiled 9" round cake pan. makes 4-9" pans (32 rolls)
6. Cover and place in a warm draft-draft free spot until doubled in size. for approx. 1 hour. again i like to use my oven with the light on.
7. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) but remember to take out the bread/rolls first if you are proofing them in the oven!!!
Note: Loafs take about 25-30 minutes and rolls take about 18-20 depending on your oven.
If you want a soft crust, you need to rub the outside of the loaf or rolls with butter or margarine right after you take them out of the oven.

These are yummy! So much better than store bought.
•4 1/4-4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour OR wheat flour
•1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
•1 1/4 cups milk
•1/3 cup honey
•1/4 cup margarine or butter
•1 teaspoon salt
•2 eggs
1.Combine 2 cups flour and yeast in a large mixer bowl. Heat milk, honey, margarine and salt just until warm (115 to 120°F) and margarine is almost melted, stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture; add eggs.
2.Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds; scrape sides of bowl constantly. Beat for 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
3.Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 mins). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, then turn it once. Cover dough and let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 hour). Punch dough down; divide in half. Cover again; let rest 10 minutes.
4.Cut each dough half into 18 equal pieces. Roll into balls, and place in greased 2 1/2-inch muffin pans. Let rise until doubled (about 30 mins).
5.Bake in a 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on a wire rack.
6.Makes 36 rolls.

[Source: Adapted from Amber’s Delectable Delights,]
1 (1/4 oz) package fast rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast)
1 cup warm water (105°-115° F)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour, separated
cooking spray or oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. With the mixer on low speed, add the remaining 1 cup flour and mix until it is incorporated into the dough. Switch to the dough hook, and continue kneading on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
2. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, about 2 hours.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Punch the dough down and divide into 12 – 14 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place into two round, lightly greased cake pans, spacing evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes. Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Mix together the melted butter and honey. Five minutes into baking, brush the butter/honey mixture on top of rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp margarine
1 cup warm water (for yeast)
2 pkgs yeast (1 oz ea)
egg substitute equiv. to 1 egg (beaten)
5 1/4 cup flour (I usually use a mix of 2 1/4 c. whole wheat and 2-2 1/2 c. unbleached white flour)
1. Mix hot water (3/4 c) with sugar, salt and margarine. Mix warm water (1c) with yeast in large bowl. When cooled to warm, mix in the margarine mixture. Add egg substitute. Add flour and knead unil smooth. Place in a large greased bowl with a cover or use plastic wrap/foil/wax paper to cover. Let rise in refrigerator until doubled.
2. Take whatever you want or need from this dough. Form into rolls and let rise again.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

• 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
• 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
• 2 tablespoons white sugar
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2cups bread flour
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
1. In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3. Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

3 Cans biscuits
1 cup sugar
2tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter
Brown sugar
1. Cut biscuits in quarters mix the sugar and cinnamon and roll biscuits till covered.
2. Place in well greased bundt pan.
3. Melt butter and add enough brown sugar to the left over cinnamon sugar to make at least 1 cup.
4. Add to melted butter and heat through.
5. Pour over biscuits in pan and bake at 350 for about 35 mins
6. Cool 5-10 mins
7. Turn out on plate and enjoy!
Note: I always use 4 cans biscuits and 1 /1/2 sticks butter and double the rest of the ingredients!

This is a super simple but delicious recipe!
The recipe offers just a hint of lemon in it! To make it more flavorful use a lemon cake mix and sub a small amount of the water for lemon juice /flavoring. Whatever you like! Even add a lemon glaze.
1 Yellow Cake mix
1 box lemon instant pudding
¼ cup poppy seeds
4 eggs
½ cup oil
1 cup hot water
1. Blend all ingredients (but poppy seeds) for 4 mins
2. Blend in poppy seeds
3. Bake in 2 greased and floured bread pans, at 350..40-45 mins or till done.
Note: Can be frozen.

[adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg,]
Makes one loaf.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F
In mixing bowl stir to combine:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2-3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2-3/4 Cup Ghiradelli 60% Chocolate Chips
1/3 Cup Chopped Crystalized Ginger
Set this bowl aside.
In another bowl Whisk:
2 Large Eggs
Then add and stir to combine:
6 Tbsp Melted Butter that’s had time to cool
1 1/2 Cups mashed RIPE Banana – 3-4 bananas – MEASURE it!
1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 tsp Vanilla
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
Stir just to combine – DO NOT OVER MIX!
Pour batter into greased loaf pan
Bake in center of the 350°F oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
About 50-60 minutes
Cool, slice, eat!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Cream butter and add sugar, a little at a time. Beat in eggs. Add vanilla, bananas (mashed), and sour cream; mix well. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; mix well. Add coconut and almonds. Mix all together and pour into a lightly greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until done.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Cooking spray
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
4. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

[Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's book,]
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached AP flour
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas ( approx. 3 bananas)
1/4 cup well stirred whole milk plain yogurt ( I used the creme fraiche)
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a loaf pan.
1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
3. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger. Stir well and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork. Add banana, yogurt, butter and vanilla. Stir well.
5. Pour banana mixture into dry ingredients. Stir gently til just mixed. Batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy but all the flour should be incorporated.
6. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top.
7. Bake 50 minutes to an hour or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top is getting too browned, tent top with foil.
8. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Then take out of pan and cool completely before slicing..if you can wait that long!

Makes 3 loaves.
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour ( or 3 1/3 cups bread flour with the remainder a combination of whole wheat
flour, wheat germ and/or non-fat dry milk to make 4 cups total.)
4 eggs
1 - 2 cups more flour
Raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon
Glaze: (optional) 2 cups confectioners sugar mixed with enough milk to make a smooth, runny consistency.
1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter( cut into pieces), milk, water and sugar to 120 degrees.
2. Pour this wet mixture into a standing mixer bowl and, on low speed, mix in the yeast and flours.
3. Add the eggs, keeping the mixer on low speed.
4. Add more flour, up to 2 cups more, to make a stiff dough.
5. Switch to a dough hook and knead for 10 minutes( you may need to stop the hook occasionally to push the dough off the hook).
6. Grease a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl and turn over( to grease both sides).
7. Cover and place in a warm, draft free place.
8. Once the dough is doubled in bulk, punch it down and place on a floured surface to rest about 5 minutes.
9.Divide into 3 sections and roll each section into a rectangle shape.
10. Sprinkle raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon onto the top ( how much you ask?.. as much or as little as you like!). Then roll it up tightly, pressing down slightly as you roll to avoid getting air pockets or holes. Place into lightly greased pans.
11. Cover and let it rise again til doubled in bulk.
12. Preheat oven to 350 and bake about 25 to 35 minutes or til it's golden brown.
Glaze: Once it's out of the oven you may want to coat the top with a glaze. Do this while it's still warm.

[from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite,]
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced French bread
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Combine butter, blue cheese, Parmesan cheese chives and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix well. Cut bread into 1-inch slices but leave slices attached at bottom of loaf. Spread cheese mixture between slices.
3) Wrap loaf in a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Fold foil around bread and seal tightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm. Yield: 10 servings.

(for the Bread Machine)
Place in your bread machine in order:
3 1/4 tsp Yeast
2 Cups Rye Flour
1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
1 3/4 Cup Bread Flour
4 tsp Caraway Seeds
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
4-5 Tbsp Molasses (not blackstrap)
1 Tbsp Oil
1 1/3 Cups Hot Water

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth.
2. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. 3. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
4. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic and garam masala. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat grill or skillet to high heat. (We just use a skillet)
6. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes.
7. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

14 ounces white whole wheat flour
2 tsp of yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup of muesli (I like Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons of oil
5 ounces of warm milk
6-8 ounces of warm water
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, brown sugar and muesli. Mix in the oil and the milk. Slowly stir in the water until the dough forms a sticky looking ball. Allow it to rest about 5 minutes. Knead 8-10 minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable.
2. Shape the dough into a ball and place in greased bowl. Turn once to coat and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
3. Shape the dough into a log and place in a loaf pan. Mist the top with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it rise for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the dough has crested above the loaf pan.
4. Bake in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes or until the bread is a warm golden brown. The internal temperature of the bread should register 190. Remove from pan to cool. Store well wrapped. This bread will keep nicely for a few days.

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese---extra sharp is best!
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1. In your mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of flour and the yeast and set aside. In a saucepan, warm milk, 1 tablespoon of butter and the salt until 120-130 degrees. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes on high speed. Scrape the side of the bowl as necessary. Add the cheese and slowly add the flour until the dough forms a ball. You likely won't use all 3 cups of the flour.
2. Knead for 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Don't be surprised to find that you can no longer see the cheese. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for an hour or until doubled. Preheat oven to 375.
3. Turn dough out onto an oiled counter and pat in a rectangle approximately 6 by 8 inches. Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut into about 48 squares. Let rest while you melt the remaining butter and combine it with the oregano.
4. Carefully shape each portion of dough into a small ball taking care to stretch the ends under to form a smooth taut surface. Roll each ball in the butter and place in a oiled 1.5 quart casserole. You will want to stack them smooth sides up. Cover and let rise until double, about 30-40 minutes.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil the last few minutes if you find it browning too quickly. If you tap the underside, it should sound hollow. The bread should slide out from the dish neatly and easily. Serve warm.

1 bulb of garlic
4 slices of thickly sliced sourdough (French or Italian would work nicely too)
Sea Salt
Olive Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the top off a bulb of garlic and place the bottom portion on a square of tinfoil. Drizzle a little olive oil over the bulb and wrap it in the tin foil. Place the wrapped tinfoil in the oven and bake 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven, unwrap and let cool until it can handle it.
2. Squeeze the cloves out of the bulb into a bowl. Drizzle in a little olive oil, about a teaspoon or so, and sprinkle in some sea salt. Mash the cloves with a fork and stir around until the oil and salt are mixed in. Set aside.
3. Heat a grill pan (the actual grill would work fine too) over medium high heat. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with additional olive oil. Grill each side of the bread until hot and crispy. Spread the roasted garlic mixture on each slice. Serve immediately.

The size of your baguette will determine how much butter and garlic you'll use. My dad uses roughly one head of garlic for each stick of butter.
1 loaf artisan French bread or wide baguette
1 - 2 heads of garlic
1 - 2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 bunch of chives (optional)
zest of one lemon (optional)
As told to me by my father. Slice that loaf of bread right up the middle so you have two halves (he uses his serrated knife for this). Now set them on their backs, cut side up. Mince the garlic or push it through one of those crushers - either way is fine. Now add it to the butter you should be melting in a small saucepan.
(This is where he got really animated). Now take a basting brush (or any brush for that matter - pastry, etc) and start slathering the garlic butter all across that bread. Really go for it, let it soak in. He then says to me, "heck, sometimes I even pour it on." (At which point I can't help but think that my mom would be mortified). Make sure you get all those garlic chunks evenly distributed. Now sometimes my dad makes a garlic bread in advance and freezes it (don't ask). If you are going to freeze the bread for later, this is when you do it - you don't want to bake, then freeze.
He recommends the 'double-bake' as he calls it. This is when you bake at a standard temperature (350 degrees) for 10 to 15 minutes to heat the bread (particularly if it is coming out of the freezer), and then brown it off for color under the broiler for a minute or two.
When the bread is finished broiling let it cool for a minute or two. This is when I sprinkle with the lemon zest and chives (and to be honest, I sprinkle a bit of zest on the bread before it goes in the oven too because I like that roasted lemon flavor alongside the garlic.) Slice and serve.
The short version of this recipe:
Cut, slather, bake, brown, slice.

(Makes 4+ servings)
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
2 ramps/wild leeks (chopped and mashed in mortar and pestle)
1 baguette (sliced)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1. Mix the butter and ramps.
2. Spread the ramp butter the slices baguette and sprinkle the cheese on top.
3. Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.
Use with:
Creamy Asparagus Soup with Morel Mushrooms and Ramps

[Adapted from Joy of Cooking,]
Makes 8 pita at 3 ounces each.
Combine in mixing bowl:
2 1/2 Cups plus 2 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Dry Yeast
2 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 1/4 Cups room-temp. Water
Mix by hand or on low speed for one minute until ingredients are all blended.
Knead by hand or with a dough hook on low for 10 minutes.
Dough should be smooth, soft and elastic – adding more flour is/as needed.
The dough should be slightly tacky, but not sticky.
Transfer dough to a greased mixing bowl – turning dough over to coat all sides. Cover with saran wrap and let rise at room-temp until doubled in size – takes an hour to an hour and a half.
Punch down dough and divide into 8 pieces – rolling each piece into balls.
Cover and let rise 20 min.
Preheat oven to 450
Use a pizza or baking stone or use an inverted baking sheet as your “hearth”.

3 medium russet potatoes, cooked, mashed, cooled
2 tsps salt
1/2 cup reserved potato water, lukewarm
7 g or 2 1/4 tsps active dry yeast
2 Tbps olive oil
4 3/4 cups high gluten flours (flour for making bread)
optional: spoonful of dry oregano or dill
Steps (I knead my dough by hand) (Ben’s note: so did I):
1 to 3. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm potato water for 5 mins. Then mix it with potato, salt and olive oil. Gradually add in flour, knead, it looks dry and crumbly (pic 1) in the beginning, but it’ll come together soon (pic 2). For a while you feel the dough very sticky but don’t be tempted to add too much extra flour; later on it turns out just slightly sticky but not wet (pic 3). Knead the dough until smooth, covered and rise for 30 mins. It will have risen noticeably, although it may not have doubled. Pre-heat the oven 375F, place a baking stone in. 4 – 6. Cut the dough in half, take one half, flatten, start rolling from one end until almost to the other end, gently pull that end, stretch it gently, dust its edge with flour, and finish rolling. Rock back and forth a little to taper the ends. Repeat the other dough. 7. Places the doughs on the floured towel, seam side down, covered, rise for 20 mins. 8. When ready to bake, throw three ice cubes onto the oven’s flour, shut the door immediately. Transfer the doughs by using the peel (baking sheet for me), let it roll onto the baking stone, seam side up. Before you last shut the door, throw two more ice cubes in. Bake the bread until the crust very brown, 45 – 50 mins, you should hear the hollow sound when you tape the loave bottom. Rest them 20 mins before slicing.

1/3 cup warm water ( 105-115F)
1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups unbleached AP flour
7 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp. salt
1 cup cold water
1 tsp. kosher or coarse sea salt
chopped fresh or dried herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives, etc. (optional)
1. Combine 1/3 cup warm water with yeast and a tsp. of sugar in a 2 cup measure with pouring spout. Stir to dissolve yeast. Let it rest 3-10 minutes til foamy.( If it doesn't foam, the yeast is not active. Discard and begin again with fresh yeast).
2. Using the dough blade, place flour with 3 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. salt into the work bowl of processor. Process to blend 10 seconds.
3. Add cold water to yeast mixture, stir to blend.
4. With machine running, add the liquid through the small feed tube in a slow steady stream, as fast as the flour will absorb it.
5. When liquid is absorbed and mixture has formed a ball of dough that has cleaned the sides of the bowl, process for 45 seconds longer to knead.
6. Coat dough with 1/2 tbsp. olive oil.
7. Place in a resealable zip lock bag, squeezing out the air and seal, allowing space for dough to rise.
8. Allow dough to rise 1 hour in a warm, draft free spot.
9. Spread 1 tbsp. of remaining oil in a jelly roll pan(15 x 10") . Punch dough down and let it rest 5 mins.
10.Press dough into pan until it fills it totally.Cover with sheet of oiled plastic wrap and let it rise again 1 hour.
11.Preheat oven to 450F .
12.Make dimples in the surface of the dough with your fingers. Drizzle with remaining oil and smear with your fingers. Sprinkle with coarse salt and herbs.
13.Bake about 20 minutes or til deep golden.

This recipe makes a hearty, dense flatbread. If you tend to like your breads slightly lighter, I'd recommend starting with 1/2 unbleached all-purposed flour & 1/2white whole wheat flour to see how you like it. You can play with the ratio in future batches based on that. If you have trouble finding white whole wheat flour, using all unbleached all-purpose flour will work. I have a note to myself to try a spelt flour version as well, and to add some wheat or oat germ that has been pulsed into a flour in a food processor. For those of you who are curious, I have been using King Arthur brand White Whole Wheat Flour. And once last thing, if your whole grain flour starts to smell soapy and generally off, it has probably gone rancid, and needs to be replaced.
4 1/2 cups / 1 lb. 6.5 oz / 640 g White Whole Wheat Flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon instant yeast / active dry yeast
1 cup / 5 oz / 140g seeds (I use equal parts chopped pepitas, sunflower & poppy seeds)
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds, toasted and crushed

1/4 cup / 60ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups / 475 ml water, ice cold
semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting baking sheet
1. Stir together the flour, salt, yeast, and seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer. 2. By hand stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is absorbed. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 7 minutes or so, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. As you are mixing, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl (to me it looks a bit like a tornado). Add a touch of water or flour to reach the desired effect. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured counter top. Cut it into 6 equal pieces and mold each into a ball. Rub each ball with olive oil and slip into plastic sandwich bags. Refrigerator overnight.

4. When you are ready to make flatbread (anytime in the next few days), remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before making the bread. Keep them in a warm place, covered, so they don't dry out. 

5. At the same time place a baking stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you don't have a baking stone, you can use a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

 Generously dust a peel or a sheet pan with a bit of semolina flour or cornmeal and get ready to shape your dough. Uncover or unwrap the dough balls and dust them with flour. Working one at a time, gently press a dough round into a disk wide enough that you can bring it up onto your knuckles to thin it out. You can pull it as much or as little as you like. The dough in the lead image was pulled about 6-7-inches, and the one further down the page was pulled paper thin. If the dough is being fussy and keeps springing back, let it rest for another 15-20 minutes. Place the pulled-out dough on the prepared pan, and jerk the pan to make sure the dough will move around on the cornmeal ball-bearings (you don't want it to stick to the pan).
7. Add your toppings if you are using toppings (less is more!) and slide the topped pizza onto the baking stone. Bake until the crust is crisp and nicely colored - I start checking on it after 7 minutes or so, but it can take quite a bit longer depending on how thick or not thick you've pulled it. Remove from the oven.

Makes six 6-ounce flatbreads.

Quinoa Skillet Bread
For this recipe I use Bob's Red Mill Coarse Grind Cornmeal. I used a local whole wheat pastry flour here. But I suspect any whole wheat pastry flour will work, and spelt flour might be an interesting alternative as well. I used a dried Sardinian mixed herb blend, but I Herbes de Provence would be great too. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet you can use a 9x9 inch glass baking dish, or equivalent.
butter to grease pan, about 1 tablespoon
1 cup / 4 oz / 115g whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup / 4 oz / 115 g yellow cornmeal (coarse)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups / 7 oz / 200 g cooked quinoa, room temperature*
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, barely melted and cooled a bit
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 cups / 475 ml milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white or white wine vinegar
1 cup / 240 ml heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C degrees and place a rack in the top third. Butter a 10-inch oven-proof skillet (or equivalent baking dish). I used a cast-iron pan with 2-inch deep sides. Roughly ten minutes before you are ready to bake the skillet bread, while you are mixing the batter, place the skillet in the hot oven.
2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and dried herbs.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, quinoa, and melted butter until well-blended. Add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and stir again. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the batter comes together. It will seem very thin, don't worry.
4. Pour the batter into the heated skillet. Pour the heavy cream into the center of the batter. Have faith, and do not stir. Carefully place in the oven and check after 45 minutes, the skillet bread is done when the top becomes lightly browned and the center just set. Somewhere between 45-60 minutes typically. I like to finish things up with a few seconds under the broiler to brown the top nicely. You can serve this I like this warm or at room temperature, sliced in a grid, sprinkled with a touch more salt (if needed).
Makes one 10 1/2 skillet.
*To cook a sizable pot of quinoa: Combine 2 cups / 12 oz / 340 g of
well-rinsed (dried) quinoa with 3 cups / 700 ml water and 1/2 teaspoon
fine grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover,
reduce heat and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until quinoa is tender
and you can see the little quinoa curliques. Fluff with a fork.

[Adapted from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall,]
I've been enjoying this combination of seeds, but feel free to experiment with other combinations if you prefer, based on what you have on hand, or what is available in your area. You can also make this with whole-wheat flour in place of the spelt flour.
2 1/2 tablespoons EACH sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds,
poppy seeds, flax seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 3/4 cup / 9 oz / 250 g spelt flour
2 cups / 9 oz / 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 3/4 cup / 14 oz / 400 ml buttermilk
a bit of extra buttermilk/milk
1. Preheat your oven to 400F / 205C. Place a rack in the center of the oven. In a small bowl combine all the seeds and set aside.
2. Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in all but 2tablespoons of the seeds. Make a well in the flour, pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the dough just comes together. If you need to add an extra splash of buttermilk because the dough is too dry, you can. As Hugh says, "Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute, just long enough to pull it together into a loose ball but no longer - you need to get it into the oven while the baking soda is still doing its stuff."
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and mark it with a deep cross across the top, cutting two-thirds of the way through the loaf with a serrated knife. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds, making sure plenty of seeds make it down into the cracks.
4. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden crusted on top and bottom (you may want to move the oven rack up for the last 15 minute if you need more color on the top of the loaf). Cool on a wire rack.
Makes a single loaf.

5-8 slices of one day old bread (ciabatta, Italian, or other artisan bread)
1 large tomato
1 clove of garlic, crushed
coarse sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
.25 cup shredded mozzarella
3 large leaves of fresh basil, cut into pieces
1. Deseed the tomato and dice it. Place it in a bowl with the crushed glove of garlic and drizzle a little olive oil over it and sprinkle it with the sea salt. Cover it and let it marinate at least as long as it takes to preheat the oven. I like let mine marinate for a few hours, often getting it ready before the day's activities begin.
2. Turn on your oven's broiler. While it heats up, brush each side of the bread with a bit of olive oil. Spoon tomatoes on each slice and sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella. Be sure to discard the garlic otherwise someone will get a very intense mouthful! Place the bread on a cookie sheet and repeat with remaining slices.
3. Nip the pan under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, watching it carefully until the cheese is bubbly and the ends of the bread are beginning to turn golden. Before serving sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve hot!
Note: You can easily adapt this recipe for what you have on hand. If you don't have any of the fresh ingredients, feel free to drain a can of diced tomatoes and use that instead. You can add dried basil (or oregano is delicious too!) to the tomato marinade in place of topping it with the fresh basil.

(Parmesan Cheese Crisps)
Finely grate about 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese. On a parchment lined baking sheet, place heaping teaspoons of the cheese. Flatten with the heel of your hand or the bottom of a glass. You can sprinkle with fresh ground pepper or a little of your favorite dried herb. Bake in a 375 oven for about 10-12 minutes or until thin and golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

8 oz of artisan bread, cubed (Italian, French, etc)
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt (or 1/2 c. sour cream OR just omit the yogurt & use 1 c. milk but it won't be as thick)
2 small onions, diced
2 cups of fresh, favorite mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces of cheddar, shredded (or other good melting cheese)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. If baking right away, preheat oven to 375. In a pan, add a splash of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Saute the onions until they are tender and remove to a plate. Cook the mushrooms in the same pan, adding a little more oil if necessary to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When they are browned, turn off the heat and set aside.
2. Spray a casserole dish or a 9 by 13 pan with spray oil or brush with olive oil on the bottom and the sides. Place half of the bread cubes on the bottom, then half of the onions, half of the cheese and half of the mushrooms. Repeat the layer with the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste--I used about a teaspoon of salt and about 7-8 twists of my pepper grinder. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture.
4. If you are not baking the strata right away, cover it and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. If you are baking the strata, put in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Dig in!

2 cups warm water
1 3/4 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4-5 cups of bread flour (this one will depend on the weather/temperature. I needed slightly more than 5 cups when I made it yesterday)
4 garlic cloves sliced thin
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped OR your choice of fresh herb chopped small
Sea salt & Fresh ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil.
1. In a bowl, combine water, yeast, olive oil sugar and salt. Add in the flour one cup at a time and mix until smooth. Let rest 15-20 minutes in the bowl. Remove from bowl and knead for about 5 minutes or so or until smooth. The dough will be fairly soft; don't worry if it's sticking to you just a wee bit.
2. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with oiled saran wrap and place in the fridge until it's time to bake. You can and should leave it in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours (or even overnight) for maximum taste but it's not necessary. It will taste good even if you take it out after an hour. Anyways.
3. Remove bowl from fridge and let come to room temperature. It will take about 90 minutes and the dough will also noticeably rise. Preheat oven to 500. Prepare your baking stone if you are using one. Remove dough from bowl, being careful NOT to degas the dough (and never punch dough down! That's just really, really mean) and place on lightly floured counter. Divide into four pieces.
4. Shape each piece into a 8 inch rough circle. Be kind and don't overwork the dough. Think rustic. If not using a baking stone and just using an ordinary cookie sheet/pan, place dough onto lightly oiled pans. Sprinkle with garlic and rosemary and drizzle with olive oil.
5. Bake approximately 10 minutes until golden brown--or just starting to turn golden brown like mine because you are running out of time and will end up consuming most of it as you walk laps around the track watching your son/brother at soccer practice!

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (or a splash of vinegar or lemon juice added to slightly less than 1cup of milk)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 by 5 loaf pan. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly and set aside.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and beat for 3 minutes.
3. Pour the mix in the pan and sprinkle the topping on top. During baking, some will sink into the bread to form a the sugar-cinnamon vein. If you double the topping, most of it will sink to the bottom which is delicious too.
4. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to insert the toothpick into the bread and not the sugar-cinnamon vein! Remove from pan and serve warm or cool Store under a glass dome or in a plastic bag.

4 ounces sourdough starter
25 ounces bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
12-14 ounces water
sweet Sopressata, thinly sliced, 8 ounces
Provolone cheese, thinly sliced, 8 ounces
1. Combine the sourdough starter, the flour and the salt. Slowly add the water until the dough forms a ball. Knead 8-10 minutes or until the dough is soft and supple. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Allow to rise for 7 hours. Every 2 hours during the first six, stretch the dough and fold in on itself twice. This helps strengthen the dough.
3. Preheat the oven to 500. Carefully turn the dough out onto your workspace and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, pat dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Don't worry about pulling out a ruler; eyeball it. Lay out your provolone on the dough, leaving a small frame of dough around the edges. Top with sopressata. Roll the dough up from the long side. Tuck ends under and pinch seams.
4. Carefully lift the roll onto a no-edge cookie sheet(or a peel) lined with parchment paper. Repeat shaping process with other half of dough and set the second roll on the parchment paper about 6-8 inches apart. Mist with Pam or other oil spray and cover with saran wrap. Allow to rise 60-90 minutes.
5. Uncover the bread and slash the loaves with a sharp knife of lame. If you have a baking stone, jerk the loaves parchment and all onto the stone. Otherwise, place the cookie sheet in the oven. Mist the walls of the oven with water until they are good and steamy and close the oven door. Repeat in 30 seconds. Lower the oven's temperature to 450.
6. Bake for 10 minutes and then check the loaves. Rotate as necessary to ensure even browning. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown. Serve hot and with pizza or spicy marinara sauce.

Ingredients for the dough:
8 ounces of bread flour
1 teaspoon of yeast
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
6-7 ounces of warm water
Ingredients for the topping:
1/2 cup of finely, fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
Garlic powder (to taste, I only like a few shakes)
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Mix in the olive oil and add the water slowly until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball. You may need a little more or a little less water depending on how 'thirsty' your flour is.
2. Knead the dough by hand 8 to 10 minutes or by machine 7 to 8 minutes or until the dough is soft, smooth and supple. It should not feel sticky or tacky. Place in an oiled bowl, turn once to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for approximately 2 hours or until doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 450. On a pizza pan or a flat cookie sheet, carefully turn out the dough. Trying to degas as little as possible, shape the dough into a 9-inch circle. Mist with spray oil and allow to rise 45-60 minutes uncovered. It will get quite puffy looking.
4. Brush the butter on top of the dough from edge to edge. It might look like a lot but don't worry. It will be worth it. Sprinkle a few shakes of garlic powder across the top, as much as you like if you really like garlic or just a bit if you want only a hint of the flavor. Sprinkle the teaspoon of coarse sea salt across the top. Evenly spread the Romano Cheese on top.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 450 degree oven or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot. Good with marinara sauce but not needed. Also, good re-heated the next day.
Makes 6 large bread sticks.

Ingredients for the Dough:
2 packages of instant yeast (4.5 teaspoons)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 ounces warm water
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg
18-20 ounces all purpose flour
6-8 ounces whole milk, room temp.
Ingredients for the Topping:*
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Garlic Powder
Coarse ground Sea Salt
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, salt and warm water. Let sit for a few minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
2. On medium speed, with the paddle attachment, mix in the butter and the egg. When combined, slowly add the flour and the milk, alternating until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook (or knead by hand) for a few minutes until you have a soft, supple dough.
3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rise for about 20 minutes in a warm place. Divide the dough into 16-18 pieces and roll each piece into a long thin rope. Fold the rope in half and twist. Place on a lightly greased pan or a pan with parchment paper. Repeat with other pieces. Lightly mist with spray oil and cover. Let rise for about 20 minutes.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. While the bread sticks are hot, brush melted butter over them. Sprinkle with garlic, salt and Parmesan. Serve hot!
*This dough is very versatile and easy to work with. You could easily grate 4-8 ounces of cheese to put in the dough or add in your favorite herbs. For the topping, you could use another cheese or sprinkle herbs over them. (Rosemary and Romano anyone?). I would advise against omitting the butter; that's what keeps them soft! If you plan on dipping them in marinara sauce, you might find brushing them with a bit of olive oil to suit you better.
Feel free to experiment--especially with your toppings! I only showed you what I happened to put on tonight. Ours were kept pretty plain because we were having fresh fettucine with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto and I wanted to keep our bread simple.

11 ounces all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (that's 1 packet)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7-8 ounces of warm water
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
8 hotdogs of your choice
2 tablespoons melted butter
Pretzel salt, kosher salt or other coarse salt
1. In a bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Beat in the water slowly until it forms a rough ball. You'll want to go slow because you'll find in the winter you'll probably need the greater amount of water, in the summer the lesser, etc.
2. Knead for about 5 minutes by hand or mixer until it's a soft ball. If you are mixing by hand, do NOT add additional flour. Spray your counter top lightly with spray oil if you find the dough sticking. Otherwise, simply knead with sure quick movements. When properly kneaded it shouldn't be sticky to the touch but instead will be quite smooth and relaxed. It should pass the windowpane test.
3. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn once to coat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Let it rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500. Make a slit lengthwise down each hot dog allowing the knife to slice about a third of the way through.
4. On a lightly greased surface, turn out the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes, uncovered. Then, roll out each piece into a long rope about 25 inches or so and wrap around a hot dog. The dough will cover the dog from end to end. Quickly dip the entire thing in the 1/2 cup water mixed with sugar, place the dog on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Be sure your ends of dough are tucked under the dog. Repeat for remaining 7 dogs. Let all the dogs rest for 10 minutes.
5. Bake the dogs for about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Brush the dogs with the butter. It will seem like a lot of butter but really it's not a lot at all and it IS all needed to keep your pretzel delicious and soft. Serve immediately.

(Photos by and

4 cups Flour
1 tbsp. Dry Active Yeast
1-2 tsp. Salt
2 cups Warm Water
Oil for bowl
How to make it:
1. In a bowl, mix together the flour and the salt.
2. In another bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and half of the flour/salt mixture. Using your hands, mix until it forms a dough. Then, cover with a dish cloth and let sit at room temperature for 3 hours. It should triple in size.
3. Gently incorporate the rest of the flour/salt, using your hands.
4. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. It should be supple and elastic when you stop kneading.
5. Lightly oil a bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover with a dish towel. Let sit for 1 hour. It should double in size.
6. Preheat oven to 450°F. Knead again. Then cut dough into 3 parts and form each part into a long baguette. Place on a baking sheet. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
7. Place a bowl of water in the oven. Bake baguettes for about 25 minutes (maybe less). Remove the bowl of water after 15 minutes of baking.
Tip for French Bread Baguette Recipes:
Baguettes are particularly crusty and light because they are cooked at extremely high temperatures and are vaporized. Even though domestic ovens can't go as high a real French bakery ovens, you can still make an excellent baguette, by remembering to put a bowl of water in the oven. And, of course by baking at a very high temperature.
Do you like whole wheat baguette recipes? Just use 1 cup White flour and 3 cups Whole Wheat flour!
Serving Ideas:
French bread baguette recipes can be used in a variety of ways: for breadfast with butter and jam, to accompany soups, for sandwiches, cut in thin slices for foie gras, to serve hors d'oeuvres… or really with anything at all because French bread baguette recipes are just so delicious!!!

(Photos by VanillaIcing)

(Photos by,,

3 teaspoons yeast
½ cup butter, unsalted, melted
1 ½ cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 to 4 additional cups of flour
4 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1. Put the yeast, ½ cup of melted butter, the 1 ½ cups milk, eggs, ¼ cup sugar, and 2 cups flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix it on medium high for 3 minutes.
2. Add flour, 1 cup at a time while the mixer works on speed 3 or 4. Once the dough begins to come together switch out the paddle attachment for the bread hook. Continue to add flour about ¼ cup a time with the mixer on speed 2.
3. Once the dough totally clears the sides of the bowl stop adding flour and let the machine work the dough on speed 2 for 3 or 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and feel the dough. It shouldn’t stick to your fingers, if it does add more flour. If it’s too dry add more milk or water. Continue to let the mixer work the dough until it is smooth and elastic in texture.
4. Put the dough in a buttered bowl and let it rise in the refrigerator until doubled in bulk. Punch it down gently and let it rest a few minutes. Divide it into two equally sized pieces. Roll each out until they are about 15 inches square in area.
5. Brush each sheet of dough with melted butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly across the dough square. Roll the dough into a tube and pinch the edges to seal them to the tube. Cut the tube into even rounds, about 1 “ to 1 1/4” in width will give you about 12 to 15 rolls per dough sheet. Butter a round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment. Arrange the rolls in each pan, let them rise for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the ambient temperature. Bake at 375 ° F for 25 to 30 minutes or 350° F convection bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for a bit, remove from pan and top with a simple icing made from sifted powder sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk.

(Photos by, Yes_becky,

Recipe Croissant #1 -- Basic
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter (first amount)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 cup cold butter (second amount)
1. Combine milk, first amount of butter, sugar and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. While mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast in the water and add it to the milk. Place the liquid in a mixer and add the flour. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough is elastic and sticky.
3. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Place in refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
4. While recipe croissant dough is chilling, soften the remaining cold butter by pounding with a rolling pin.
5. Roll the dough on a floured board to form a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Spread the butter over 2/3 of the rectangle closest to you. Fold the unbuttered third over the center third. Then fold the bottom 1/3 over the doubled portion. Swing the dough around a quarter turn. Roll it again into a 1/4-inch thick oblong. Fold again in thirds.
6. Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more. When the dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and repeat the folding and turning twice more. Then roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness once more. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares then cut the squares on the bias to form two triangles. Roll each triangle beginning with the wide side, then shape the rolls into crescents. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave enough room for each croissant to triple in size. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before baking.
7. Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and continue to bake another 15 minutes.
8. Remove recipe croissant from the oven. Cool and enjoy.

Recipe Croissant #2 -- an Easy Recipe
1 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar (second amount)
1 beaten egg
1/2 cups melted and cooled butter
4 cups flour
1 cup cold butter (second amount)
1 egg beaten with cold water for wash
1. Stir warm milk and sugar together. Add yeast then let stand 10 minutes. Stir well. Add flour; beat well. Add milk, sugar and egg. Beat until smooth. Add butter; beat and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, place the 4 cups of flour and the chilled butter. Cut butter into flour until pieces are the size of beans (not too small). Pour the liquid batter into the flour mixture; stir until moistened. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Remove from refrigerator. Press into a compact ball on a floured board and divide into 4 parts. Roll each into a circle 12" or 16". Cut each circle into 6 or 8 pie-shaped wedges. For each croissant, roll a wedge towards the point. Shape into a crescent and place on ungreased baking sheet. Let rise at room temperature until doubled. This could take in excess of two hours.
4. Brush each with egg beaten with cold water. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place croissants in oven. Lower temperature to 350 F and bake recipe croissant for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.

Recipe Croissant #3 -- Whole Wheat
2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup warm water (first amount)
2 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 egg
1/2 cup water (second amount)
1 tbsp water
1. Combine yeast and warm water, stirring to dissolve yeast. Let sit about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 of flour; add water and honey; whisk until smooth. Cover bowl and let stand 1 1/2 hours.
2. Combine remaining flour with butter, and flatten butter pieces. Pour yeast batter into flour mixture; fold together with spatula; just moisten flour without breaking butter pieces.
3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Pat dough down and roll into a 18" x 12" rectangle; if too sticky, sprinkle with flour. Use a metal spatula to fold 1/3 of dough toward center; then fold from other side, 1/3 of dough over first 1/3. Lift folded dough off work surface, and scrape surface clean. Sprinkle work area with flour and repeat, rolling and folding 3 more times. Dough must be hard; if not, freeze for 45 minutes.
4. Pat dough into rectangle. Cut into 6 equal parts. Each part will make 4 croissants. You will work with one piece at a time, and hold others in refrigerator until ready to use. Roll each piece individually into 5 1/2" x 14" rectangles. Cut into two 5 1/2" x 7" pieces. Cut each piece diagonally to form 4 triangles; roll from wide end to point. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Curve ends to crescent shape.
5. Beat egg with water to form a wash; brush croissants with this and set them aside 1 hour. Wash again with the egg/water mixture. Bake at 375 degrees until puffed and brown. Let cool and serve.

(Photos by,

(Photos by,,,

Egg Bagels recipe
4 medium eggs.
2 packets of yeast.
8 cups of flour.
2 cups of warm water.
¼ cup of salad oil.
1 tablespoon of salt.
1 tablespoon of sugar.
Preparation Instructions:
1. Mix together all of the ingredients, then knead for about ten minutes.
2. Place the mixture in a greased bowl; then cover and allow rise in warm spot for twenty minutes.
3. Once risen, punch down and divide into 30 pieces. Allow to rise for fifteen minutes.
4. Drop bagels in boiling water and boil for about three minutes, turning once.
5. Place on greased sheet and brush on egg yolk glaze.
6. Bake at 450°F for 20-25 minutes.

Simple Bagels recipe
4 ½ cups of flour.
2 packets of active dry yeast.
1 ½ cups of water, at 110°F.
3 tablespoons of sugar.
1 tablespoon of salt.
1 gallon of water.
1 tablespoon of sugar.
Preparation Instructions:
1. In a suitably sized bowl combine 1 ½ cups flour and the two packers of yeast.
2. Combine the 1 ½ cups of warm water, 3 tablespoons of sugar and salt; thenp our over flour mixture.
3. Beat at low speed for about thirty seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly.
4. Beat for three minutes on high speed.
5. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
6. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Continue kneading until smooth and elastic; then cover and allow to rest for fifteen minutes.
7. Cut into twelve portions; then shape into smooth balls. Punch a hole in the middle of each with a floured finger. Pull gently to enlarge hole to about two inches.
8. Place on a greased baking sheet; cover; and allow to rise for twenty minutes.
9. Broil five inches from heat for about 90 seconds on each side.
10.Heat 1 gallon water and 1 tablespoon sugar to boiling; then reduce heat.
11.Cook bagels, about five at a time, for 8 minutes, turning once in the middle.
12.Drain and place on greased baking sheet.
13.Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.

New York Bagels recipe
2 quarts of water.
2 large eggs.
1 egg white.
1 potato, peeled and quartered.
1 packet of active dry yeast.
4 cups of all-purpose flour.
2 cups of boiling water.
¼ cup o¾f vegetable oil.
1 ½ tablespoons of sugar.
½ tablespoon of salt.
Cornmeal, to dust cookie sheet.
Preparation Instructions:
1. Put the potato into boiling water and boil for fifteen mins.
2. Discard the potato and allow the water to cool to about 110°F.
3. Transfer one-third of a cup of the potato water to a small bowl; then sprinkle the yeast over top of water and stir to combine. Set aside for three minutes.
4. Sift the all-purpose flour, salt, and ½ tablespoon of the sugar together into a suitably sized bowl; then add the yeast mixture. Stir in another 2/3 cup of the potato water and the vegetable oil. Add the eggs and stir to form a dough ball.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the ball is firm.
6. Place into a greased bowl, turning the dough so all sides are greased.
7. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place for about 60 minutes until the dough has risen to about double its original size. Punch the risen dough down to flatten and remove from bowl.
8. Cut the dough into eighteen equal pieces and shape each piece into a six-inch long, ¾-inch thick rope.
9. Bring the ends of each rope together and pinch to close, using a little water on the ends to help secure them. Cover all rings with the towel and allow to rise for 20minutes.
10.Preheat your oven to 450°F.
11.Lightly grease a cookie sheet and dust with cornmeal.
12.Bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil and add the remaining sugar to the boiling water.
13.Drop the bagels into the boiling water one at a time, cooking each for 3 minutes, turning once in the middle. As each bagel is removed from the water, place it on the cookie sheet.
14.Paint the tops of the bagels with the egg white that has been beaten with 1 teaspoon of water.
15.Bake for fifteen minutes or until the bagels are a golden brown color.

Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel recipe
1 six-ounce plain bagel.
3 thin rings of red onion.
3 ounces of thinly sliced smoked salmon.
¼ cup of thinly sliced cucumber.
2 tablespoons of chive cream cheese.
½ teaspoon of drained capers.
Preparation Instructions:
1. Slice the bagel in half and spread the cream cheese on the cut sides.
2. On one half, layer the cucumber, smoked salmon, red onion, and capers.
3. Place the other half, cream cheese side down, over filling. Serve.

Crab Spread for Bagels recipe
12 Bagels.
8 ounces of cream cheese.
6 ½ ounces (1 can) of canned crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed.
1 tablespoon of chili sauce.
1 teaspoon of prepared horseradish.
Snipped chives or parsley.
Preparation Instructions:
1. Toast bagels lightly under the broiler until golden brown.
2. While the bagels are toasting, stir together the cream cheese, chili sauce, and horseradish in a suitably sized mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
3. Stir in the crab meat.
4. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with snipped chives or parsley.
Serve the spread with the toasted bagels.

Bagels in Bread Machine recipe
2 tablespoons of yeast.
3 tablespoons of sugar.
1 tablespoon of salt.
4 ¼ cups of bread flour.
1 ½ cups of water, 110 degrees.
Water, for boiling.
1 gallon of water.
1 tablespoon of sugar.
Preparation Instructions:
1. Place the dough ingredients in your bread machine as directed in the manufacturer's instructions.
2. Set the bread machine on dough cycle.
3. When your machine signals, remove dough to well floured surface and cut into 8 equal pieces and shape to form donut shapes.
4. Cover and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.
5. In a large kettle, bring about the gallon of water with the sugar to simmer.
6. Preheat your oven to 475°F (240°C).
7. After the bagels have rested, put them in your oven for 5 minutes, turning once after 3 minutes.
8. Remove the bagels, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
9. Place 3 bagels in simmering water for total of 5 minutes, turning after three minutes.
10.Remove the 3 bagels from water.
11.Drain on paper towels while simmering remaining bagels.
12.Place simmered bagels on a greased baking sheet.
13.Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 25 minutes or until brown.

Whole Wheat Bread baked on Quarry Tiles
Makes one big 2 ¼ pound loaf
2 cups whole wheat flour
(Bob’s Red Mill or similar)
2 cups unbleached bread flour
(Pendleton Mills or similar)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
1 ¾ cups water at 100º f
1 Tablespoon Canola oil for greasing bowl
Extra flour for kneading and finishing
Make the dough:  Put the dry ingredient into a bread bowl.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the water.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, mix to incorporate.
Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured counter, and knead vigorously for 8 to 10 minutes.  Bring the edges of the dough in to the center several times toward the end to develop the gluten.
First rise: Sprinkle canola oil into a clean bowl, put the dough into it and then turn so that the oiled part is up.  Cover bowl, and put into a warm place to let double in size.  This will mean 2 hours at 80º or 3 hours at 70º.
Second rise: Punch the dough down and let rise for a further 2 hours at room temperature.
Shape loaf and final rise: On the counter, deflate the largest bubbles from the dough turn its edges under to make a loaf, and let sit for 10 minutes to dry. Coat the crevices of a banneton with whole wheat flour (if you’re aiming for the crust as shown in the photo), or rub flour into a cloth napkin and lay it into a round basket about 11” across.  Sprinkle whole wheat flour onto the loaf, put rounded side down in the basket or banneton,cover with a cloth and let proof for an hour.
Bake the loaf: Preheat your oven lined with quarry tiles for at least half an hour at 450º.  When the oven is hot, turn the banneton or basket over onto a floured paddle and slip the proofed loaf directly onto the hot tile.  Bake for 15 minutes at 450º, then lower the temperature to 400º and bake for a further 40 minutes. 
Cool on a rack for half an hour before digging in.
The underside of the quarry tiles may be sharp. Handle them carefully.
You can stack the quarry tiles 2-deep with excellent results.
You can use a pizza stone instead of quarry tiles if you like with similar results.

Flaming Good Bagels
Makes 12 bagels, 3 ounces each

¼ teaspoon saffron
¼ cup boiling water

23 ounces (4 ½ cups) of high-gluten bread flour
2 ½ teaspoons of salt
1 ¾ teaspoons of yeast
1 5/8 cups of water (including the saffron water above)

2 jelly roll pans or sheet pans fitted with parchment paper

Water for boiling

1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
Sesame seeds
Poppy seeds

Make the dough: Put the saffron and 2 or 3 ounces of boiling water into a ramekin or small bowl and let steep for 5 minutes. Put the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bread bowl and mix with the handle of a wooden spoon. Strain the saffron water into a 2-cup measure and add room-temperature water to measure 1 5/8 cups. Pour the water into the dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary to make a stiff dough.
Knead the dough in the bowl for a minute and then put it onto a sprinkle of flour on the counter, cover with the bowl and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
After the rest period, knead vigorously for 5 minutes to develop and stretch the gluten. Put it into the unoiled bowl, cover and let rise in a 60º environment for 3 ½ to 4 hours.
Stretch the dough: Once the dough has plumped up to nearly twice its former size, move it to a work counter and press as much air out of it as you can by creating an elongated dough cigar. Curl the edge of it in on itself along the length to create a length of dough with smooth skin.
Stretch the cigar into a snake of dough around 2 feet long, curling and squeezing out the air. Pinch together imperfections along the length, spiral the dough onto the counter, cover with the inverted bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
Next, stretch the bagel dough out to nearly 4 feet long, smoothing it by rolling on the counter with your palms. If the dough resists stretching, do not force it – let it rest before continuing. Once you have made a 4-foot long snake, cover it and let rest for a further 10 minutes.
Shape the bagels: With a serrated knife, cut the dough snake into 2 equal lengths. On an unfloured counter, roll each piece with your palms until it is 3 feet long, and cut in half again. Now cut each of the 4 pieces into three, giving you 12 pieces of dough about 6 inches long, most of which have 2 freshly cut ends.
Take a piece in both hands and stick the cut ends together with your thumbs and bent forefingers, wrapping the dough around your other fingers to keep the hole open. Pinch together as best you can (no worries here, the bond will hold if you don’t pull it back apart) and set each back onto the counter. Once you have shaped all 12 bagels, go back to the first and, holding the cut ends together with one hand, stretch the rest of the bagel with the other into a bracelet of dough.
Final rise: Put the bagels onto parchment-lined pans, stretching them out one last time if the hole threatens to close. Let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes, covered with a cloth.
Heat the woodfired oven: Your fire should be 2 hours old, with enough heat to sustain for an hour’s baking, but not so much heat that it will scorch the bagels. Keep the fire to either the left or right of center, in order to heat the oven deck. Every 20 minutes for the last hour or so, move your fire side to side to evenly heat the floor tiles. A half hour before the bagels are ready, put two thin sticks of dry wood on and 2 wrist-thick pieces and bring to a flame. A few minutes before putting in the bagels, push the mature coals to the back center of the oven, near the wall, and brush the ashes off of the floor.  There should be 6 to 8 fist-sized chunks of glowing hardwood coal and a good bed of embers, but no flame when the bagels go in.
Heat the conventional oven: Heat quarry tiles or a pizza stone on the center rack of your oven at 400º for at least 30 minutes. For more on this, see ‘Baking bread on quarry tiles’.
Make an assembly line: Boil 3 quarts of water. Have a 12-14 inch sauté or frying pan ready on the stove. Put a rack to one side with a pan under it to catch the excess egg and seeds. Mix the egg and water until frothy in a ramekin and have a brush handy. When the bagels have risen for 45 minutes, put the water into the sauté pan and keep at a boil.
For woodfired baking, have two wooden peels ready to one side, and move the fire around as noted above.
Boil and coat the bagels: Put 3 bagels face down into the boiling water, for 30 seconds only. After 30 seconds (no more!), gently flip the bagels with a spatula and boil on the other side for a further 30 seconds. Remove to the rack. Repeat with the other bagels.
After they have cooled for a few minutes brush the boiled bagels with egg wash two times to ensure a good coating. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seed or poppy seed onto each bagel. Brush some with egg and leave unseeded for plain bagels. Carefully move the bagels back to the parchment before baking.
Bake the bagels in a woodfired oven: Slide the bagels on their parchment mats to within 8” of the coals. Close the door completely. Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned where the face is to the fire. Carefully turn the parchment, using a peel and a gloved hand, and bake for a further 7 or 8 minutes, again with the door closed. This time will vary with oven temperature and fire strength.
When they are brown and lovely, remove the bagels from the oven, place them on a rack and allow them to cool for half an hour.
Bake in a conventional oven: Bake the bagels (six at a time) on the parchment paper directly on the quarry tiles for 10 minutes at 375º, turn carefully around and bake for a further 10 minutes, until the bagels are brown and lovely. In the last couple of minutes, you may want to raise the heat a little and turn on the convection fan to improve color. Let cool for half an hour, and then devour!
Final notes: After making bagels three times in the past week, I almost left the woodfired aspect of this out. They came out beautifully every time, but it’s tricky anticipating the fire, the boiling bath, the shaping and the rising time of the bagels all once. I recommend that anyone who has a woodfired oven try making the bagels at least once in a conventional oven in order to get the hang of the process.
I’d like to thank my son for convincing me to make larger bagels; my friends Posy, Josh and Hannah for their help and feedback; and that entrepreneurial hippy from New York for setting me on the right track. Flame on!

Crowd-pleasing Dinner Rolls
Makes 5 dozen rolls
For the sponge made the day before:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup water at 100º
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
Before bedtime:
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup water
On the day:
¾ cup milk (I use 2% lactaid)
1½ sticks butter (6 ounces or ¾ cup. Salted is fine.)
¾ cup sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
2 eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons butter for shaping and panning
3 glass lasagna pans (best) or sheet pans
  1. At around dinnertime on the evening before you need these rolls, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup water and a teaspoon of active dry yeast in a quart-sized mixing bowl and whisk together. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature until frothy.
  2. Before bedtime, add another ½ cup flour and another ½ cup water to the sponge and whisk again. Cover with plastic and let sit in a cool place overnight.
  3. Next morning, scald ¾ cup milk in a saucepan (steam but don’t boil), and cut 1½ sticks butter into it when hot. Remove from heat, add the ¾ cup sugar and let cool to nearly room temperature.
  4. Put 3 cups flour into the bowl of a mixer (or big bread bowl, if mixing by hand). Add the sponge, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1½ teaspoons of yeast, and the contents of the saucepan. Scrape the saucepan with a spatula to get the sugar off the bottom. Break 2 eggs over the bowl. Using a flat beater, mix at medium low (#3 on a Kitchen Aid stand mixer) for 6-8 minutes, until you have a very smooth batter. By hand this will be 100+ strokes.
  5. Switch to the dough hook, add 2 more cups of flour, and mix at speed #2 for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board or counter and knead for 3 or 4 minutes, and then put into a clean bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 2 ½ hours, until doubled in size.
  7. Scrape dough out onto the counter, using a small amount of flour to keep it from sticking, and form it into a long snake, turning the edge in on itself to create a smooth skin. When your snake is about 4’ long, cut it into 5 smaller lengths and roll each length into a snake about 18” long. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Using a dough scraper or blunt knife, cut the snakes of dough into 1½” lengths, so that you have about 5 dozen. Turn each of the rolls upside down so that the soft underside is now on top and tuck what had been the top under with your fingers, stretching the soft skin over it in a mound.
  9. Butter the bottom and sides of 3 glass lasagna pans or metal sheet pans. Spread some butter onto the palms of your hands. Turn each roll lightly in your buttered hands and set them an inch apart in the pans. Let the shaped rolls rise for 1½ hours, until they are just touching each other.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes at 375º or until medium brown on top. Cool on racks. For best flavor, let cool for an hour or more before serving. Note: For best results, put a pan of boiling water on a bottom rack of the oven during baking. Also, if using a convection oven, you can bake rolls on two racks at once, but be sure to lower the temperature to 350º after 5 minutes and rotate pans halfway through. Baking times will vary. 

Woodfired Soft Pretzels
Makes 2 large 8 ounce pretzels
2 cups Bread Flour
3 Tablespoons spelt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon yeast
¾ cup water at room temperature
3 quarts water for boiling water bath
Sheet pan and rack for applying topping
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water for egg wash 
1 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher or large-grained sea salt)
Parchment paper for rising and baking
Make the dough: In a large bread bowl, mix the bread flour, spelt, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and dry yeast together. Make a well in the middle and pour in the water. Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon to incorporate the water and flour mixture. Scrape down the sides and bring it all together in a ball of stiff dough. Knead this rough doughball for a few minutes to smooth out the lumps of dry dough.
Put the dough onto a sprinkling of flour on a counter, invert the bowl to cover the dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
Knead and proof the dough: Knead the dough for 5 minutes and, when soft and supple, stretch it to form a fat snake. Curl the dough snake in on itself, put it back on the counter, cover with the bowl and let sit for an hour or two. It is important at this time to think about stretching your dough to improve the strands of gluten. The longer the better.
Fold your dough snake in thirds and knead for a minute or two to get the air out. (A dough this stiff doesn’t so much rise as plumps up.) Stretch it back into a fat snake, cover and let rest for another hour.
Heat the woodfired oven: Your fire should be 2 hours old, with enough heat to sustain for an hour’s baking, but not so much heat that it will scorch the pretzels. Keep the fire to either the left or right of center, in order to heat the oven deck. Every 20 minutes for the last hour or so, move your fire side to side to evenly heat the floor tiles. A half hour before the pretzels are ready, put two thin sticks of dry wood on and 2 wrist-thick pieces and bring to a flame. A few minutes before putting in the pretzels, push the mature coals to the back center of the oven, near the wall, and brush the ashes off of the floor.  There should be 6 to 8 fist-sized chunks of glowing hardwood coal and a good bed of embers, but no flame when the pretzels go in.
Heat the conventional oven (alternate): Heat quarry tiles on the center rack of your oven at 400º for at least 30 minutes. For more on this, see ‘Baking bread on quarry tiles’.
Form the pretzels: Roll your dough snake out until it is about 3 feet long, and cut it into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece out until it is 27 inches long. You may have to let your dough rest a few times to accomplish this without tearing the gluten.
Cut two pieces of parchment 7” x 10” for woodfired, or to fit a sheet pan for conventional baking. Hold the ends of one dough rope and let the middle sag down to sit on the parchment two inches in from the edge. Let the rope of dough make most of a circle on the pan and then twist the ends once around to form a loose knot a few inches from the ends. Bring the tips toward you to overlap the curve of the dough, dividing the area of the circle roughly into thirds.
Repeat with the other piece. Let the pretzels rise for 45 minutes, covered with a cloth. Stretch each pretzel out slightly halfway through to improve its shape.
Make an assembly line: Boil 3 quarts of water. Have a 12-14 inch sauté or frying pan ready on the stove. Put a rack to one side with a pan under it to catch the excess egg and salt. Mix the egg and water until frothy in a ramekin and have a brush handy. When the pretzels have risen for 45 minutes, put the water into the sauté pan and keep at a boil.
For woodfired baking, have two wooden peels ready to one side, and move the fire around as noted above.
Boil and coat the pretzels: Put a pretzel face down into the boiling water, for 40 seconds only. After 40 seconds (no more!), gently flip the pretzel with the backs of two spoons and boil on the other side for a further 30 seconds. Remove to the rack.
Brush the pretzels with the egg wash twice to ensure a good coating. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt onto each pretzel. Carefully move the pretzels back to the parchment and arrange the final shape.
Bake the pretzels in a woodfired oven: Slide the pretzels on their parchment mats to within 8” of the coals. Close the door completely. Bake for 7 minutes, by which time the pretzels will have miraculously sprung up to twice their former height. Carefully turn the parchment, using a metal peel and a gloved hand, and bake for a further 7 or 8 minutes, again with the door closed.
When they are brown and lovely, remove the pretzels from the oven, place them on a rack and allow them to cool for about an hour (if you can wait that long!)
Bake in a conventional oven: Bake in sheet pan on quarry tiles for 10 minutes at 375º,  turn pan around and bake for a further 10 minutes, until the pretzels are brown and lovely. Let cool for an hour, and then devour!
Congratulations! If you have made it to this point, you are in touch with your inner German roots, and have earned the right to hang a pretzel outside your door. Not only can you bake, but you rock!

Gomasio Pretzels
Makes 4 soft pretzels
2 cups bread flour
3 Tablespoons spelt (or whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
¾ cups water at room temperature
2 sheet pans fitted with parchment paper
3 quarts boiling water
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water
3 Tablespoons Gomasio (see note)
1-2 teaspoons poppyseeds
Salt to taste
Note: I use the gomasio from World Spice Merchants here in Seattle, which contains both white and black sesame seeds mixed with Japanese sea salt. Other gomasios may vary.
Make the dough: In a large bread bowl, mix the bread flour, spelt, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and dry yeast together. Make a well in the middle and pour in the water. Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until the water and flour mixture are incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bring it all together in a ball of stiff dough.
Put the dough onto a sprinkling of flour on a counter, invert the bowl to cover the dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
Rest and rise: Knead the dough for 5 minutes and, when soft and supple, stretch it to form a fat snake. Curl the dough snake in on itself, put it back on the counter, cover with the bowl and let sit for an hour or two.
Fold your dough snake in thirds and knead for a minute or two to get the air out. (A dough this stiff doesn’t so much rise as plumps up.) Stretch it back into a fat snake, cover and let rest for another hour.
Shape the pretzels: Roll your dough snake out until it is about 3 feet long, and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out until it is 25 inches long. You may have to let your dough rest a few times to accomplish this without tearing the gluten.
Cut parchment to fit the sheet pans, and place the pans on a counter with the short edge toward you. Hold the ends of one dough rope and let the middle sag down to sit on the parchment two inches in from the edge. Let the rope of dough make most of a circle on the pan and then twist the ends once around to form a loose knot a few inches from the ends. Bring the tips toward you to overlap the curve of the dough, dividing the area of the circle roughly into thirds.
Voila! You have made a pretzel. Repeat with the other pieces. Let the pretzels rise for 45 minutes, covered with a cloth.
Make an assembly line: Preheat the oven to 375º and boil 3 quarts of water. Have a 12 inch sauté or frying pan ready on the stove. Put a rack to one side with a pan under it to catch the excess egg and seeds. Mix the egg and water until frothy in a ramekin and have a brush handy. When the pretzels have risen for 45 minutes, put the water into the sauté pan and bring back to a boil.
Boil, coat and seed: Put a pretzel face down into the boiling water, for 30 seconds only. After 30 seconds, gently flip the pretzel with a spatula and boil on the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove to the rack.
Brush the pretzels with the egg wash (I do two at a time), repeating to ensure a good coating. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of gomasio, a little poppy seed and a sprinkling of salt onto each pretzel. Carefully remove to the parchment-lined pan from which it came.
Bake the pretzels: If yours is a convection oven, you can bake two racks of pretzels at a time. Bake at 375º for 10 minutes; switch racks and turn the pans and bake a further 10 minutes for perfect pretzels.
For a standard oven, bake at 400º, one pan at a time, for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tanzanian Safari Bread
Makes 2 loaves, 28 ounces each
32 ounces King Arthur’s, Pendleton Mills or Stone Buhr bread flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons yeast (more for quick method)
1/3 cup evaporated milk (I use 2%)
1 ½ Tablespoons honey
2¼ cups water at 80º
2 pyrex loaf pans, 1 ½ quart size
1 Tablespoon butter for coating loaf pans
An 8” cast iron skillet
Warm water for coating the loaves and producing steam
Quick Method: Start to finish about 5 hours when risen at 80º. Requires 1 additional teaspoon of yeast in the dough.
This yields a yeasty bread with a slightly gummy crumb, a medium crust and a high-rising bloom so long as the oven is provided with a cast-iron pan for steam creation in the first minutes of baking.
Make the dough: Dry mix the bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt and 2 ½ teaspoons of yeast in a large bread bowl. Add the evaporated milk. Mix the honey with the warm water and add all at once. Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon and, when incorporated, knead for a minute with your hands.
Let rise until doubled: Turn the dough ball onto a lightly floured counter, let rest for 10 minutes under the inverted mixing bowl, and then knead for at least 5 minutes until soft and pliable. The dough will push back when the gluten has developed. Clean out the mixing bowl; put the dough into it, cover with a piece of plastic wrap or damp cloth and let sit in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk for 2 hours. (Warm means 75 to 80 degrees, which can be an unheated oven with the light on or a warming cupboard, if available. At room temperature, this doubling might take 3 hours.)
Punch down and rest: Deflate the dough by putting your fist down into the middle of it. Turn the edges in toward the middle, invert the dough and let it rise again for about an hour. After second rise skip to shaping as below.
Slow method: This bread is made the afternoon of the day before, punched down and shaped late in the evening to be ready for baking in the morning. Likely the one used by our Tanzanian bakers in the field, it yields a loaf with a drier composition and a less-gummy crumb, but only a medium bloom when baked. Otherwise, this is an excellent white bread that will stay fresh longer than the quick method.
Make the dough and let rise: Form the dough as above, without any extra yeast. Knead and put into a large bowl, cover and let rise in a very cool place for 6-8 hours. Ideal temperature is 45 to 50 degrees.
Shape and let rise: In both methods, treat the dough the same way, but expect more flabbiness in the slowly risen dough.
Cut the dough into two equal pieces of about 28 ounces. Butter the bottom and sides of two glass bread pans. Knead each piece of dough lightly to exude the air without entirely flattening the dough, turn the edges in and turn the rounded side up, creating a cigar shape. Tuck the tails under and place the dough skin-side up in the bread forms.
Let the quick bread rise for about 45 minutes at room temperature, and the long-rise dough overnight in a 50º environment, covered with a cloth.
Baking the bread:  Adjust the top oven rack to be slightly lower than the center of your oven. Put a small cast iron frying pan on the floor or lower shelf of your oven and preheat the oven to 425º for 30 minutes.
When the bulge on the resting loaves is 1” higher than the sides of your bread forms, brush the tops of the loaves with water.
Put the two loaves into the oven, pour 4 ounces of hot water carefully into the cast iron frying pan to effect a burst of steam, and quickly close the oven door.
Lower heat to 400º and bake for 20 minutes.
Turn the loaves, lower the heat to 350º, and bake for a further 25 or 30 minutes, at which time the crust will be dark brown and the bottoms as seen through the glass pans will be golden brown.
Remove from pans and cool on racks for 45 minutes before chowing down. Serve with slathers of European butter, if available.
Variations: Leaving out the evaporated milk, adding 3 Tablespoons of butter, and/or using all-purpose flour for half the bread flour will yield different results. Try some of these changes and see what happens!
Final Note: I did produce a pretty fair loaf of this in my Dutch oven yesterday, baking it on a thin layer of coals and piling about 10 coals onto the top. Fact is, it rose so well that the top of the oven pushed open, so I had to finish it inside.

Lago di Como bread
Makes 2 loaves, 28 ounces each 
3 cups water, 70º F
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rye flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 Tablespoon flax seed meal
2¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon yeast
1½ cups all-purpose or bread flour 
¾ cup flour for bench work
Two notes:
  • This is a wet dough that requires a plastic bowl scraper in order to work it properly. If you don’t have one, you can cut a plastic lid in half and use that.
  • For best results, let rise in a cool place (60º) overnight. If you really must have it in less time, use 2 teaspoons of yeast and let rise at room temperature.  
Make the dough: Put first seven ingredients into the bowl of a 6-quart Kitchenaid mixer, insert the dough hook, and mix on mark 2 for 10 minutes to make a smooth batter. Add 1½ cups additional flour and continue mixing for a further 7 – 10 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl twice to incorporate all the flour. Cover and let sit for 20 – 30 minutes before kneading. This dough can also be mixed by hand in a large bread bowl.
Knead the dough:  Generously flour a work surface and pour the wet dough onto it, scraping clean the bowl. Using the plastic dough scraper, pull the 4 corners of the dough in to the center and let sit for a few minutes. Repeat. Working with as little flour as possible, knead the dough for 7 minutes, scraping the counter as necessary.        
1st rise: Put dough into a clean bread bowl, cover with a dish towel and a piece of plastic wrap. Let rise for 6-8 hours or overnight.
 2nd Rise:  Use the scraper to pull the sides in from the bowl to deflate the dough. Let rise another 6-8 hours or overnight (this leeway depends on when you make the dough).
Shape and put into baskets:  The loaves will need to rest in baskets for 1 hour and 45 minutes before baking, so when using a woodfired oven pay attention to the timing.  Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.  Divide the dough into 2 equal parts (about 28 ounces each).  Without pushing too hard, press the largest bubbles to the edge and release the air at the edges while keeping the rest of the dough springy.   Tuck the edges under lightly to make mounded balls, and place these on floured cloth napkins in bread baskets.   Sprinkle the tops with flour and bring the corners of the napkins over to meet loosely on top. Let rise for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Baking in a woodfired oven: Your fire should be at least 1½ hours old, and 2 hours old in winter. Push the mature coals to the back center of the oven, near the wall, and brush the ashes off of the floor.  There should be 6 to 8 fist-sized chunks of glowing hardwood coal and a good bed of embers, but little or no flame when the loaves go in.
Turn the loaves out onto floured peels.  Shape lightly, tucking edges under without deflating the dough.  Slash a design if desired.  Slip each loaf into the oven to have a long side parallel to and 8 inches from the coals. Close the door.
            After 20 minutes, turn loaves so the other side faces the fire.
            After 20 minutes, turn loaves so one end faces the fire.
            After 10 minutes, turn loaves so the other end faces the fire.
            After 10 minutes, remove to cool.
Baking in a conventional oven: Heat quarry tiles on center rack at 400º for at least 30 minutes. Slip loaves directly onto the tiles. Bake for 20 minutes, lower heat to 375º, and turn loaves around. Bake for a further 35 minutes.
Let cool for 1 hour or more on a rack before digging in. Enjoy!

Greek Easter Bread
Makes one 2 ½ pound loaf
4 Tablespoons butter
2 heaping dessertspoons of honey
2 eggs
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1½ teaspoons salt (2 if using unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon anise extract
20 ounces (about 4 cups) unbleached white flour
1 1/3 cup water at room temperature
¾ cup additional flour for bench work
A 14” pizza pan fitted with parchment paper
4 red hardboiled eggs 
1 eggyolk+1 teaspoon water for wash
4 teaspoons of raw hulled sesame seeds
Note: A flexible bowl scraper (or a Tupperware lid cut in half) comes in handy for working this dough.
Make the dough: In a mixer fitted with a flat beater, cream together the butter, honey, eggs, yeast, salt, anise extract and 1 cup of the flour. Beat well for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water and ½ cup flour, beat for a minute; another 1/3 cup water and ½ cup and beat, etc., until you have used up all the water and all but a cup of the 20 ounces of flour. Beat for a further 2 minutes.
Scrape off the flat beater, scrape down the bowl, and put in the other cup of flour. Switch to the dough hook; run mixer 10 minutes on low (mark 2 for Kitchenaid). Scrape down bowl if necessary. The dough is not stiff enough for the hook to pick it up, but this mixing will improve its structure.
Knead the dough: Sprinkle half of the benchwork flour onto a counter or board, scrape the dough onto it and, using the scraper, quickly fold the edges in to the middle. Put a bit of flour onto the dough and let it rest for a few minutes while you clean out the bowl.
Knead for 5 minutes, adding flour as necessary until you have used up the ¾ cup of extra flour.
First rise: Put the dough into the bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 3½ hours.
Second rise: Use the bowl scraper to pull the dough in from the edges, releasing the air, and then let rise 1½ hours at room temperature.
Make the braid: Turn the dough out onto a barely floured counter. Cut a 5-ounce piece of dough off and put it to one side, covered. Now, make bulk of the dough into a snake about 2 feet long, rolling it on the counter under your hands to stretch it out. Let it rest for a few minutes. For the next step you will want a clean section of counter 3’ wide, with no flour on it or the dough will slip instead of roll.
Roll the dough snake out to 3’ long, and cut into three equal pieces of about 12 ounces by weight. Roll each of the three pieces out to nearly 3’ long. Your dough ropes should be 5/8” in diameter and roughly uniform.
Put 3 ends together, cross two ropes and throw the third across the Y. Braid until the ropes are used up, keeping the dough slack to keep the braids loose and thick.
Make the loaf: Lift one end of the braid off the counter and slip the parchment lined pan under it, and then lift the other end around to form a circle. Overlap the two ends of the braid by an inch, and push your thumb down in at that point. The first egg will go into that depression.
Adjust the braided ring on the parchment to make it as round as you can, and push your thumb down to make depressions at the other 3 quadrants. Carefully put in the eggs.
Roll the leftover piece of dough into a snake the thickness of a pencil. Around the eggs, snip 4 places with scissors to receive the ends of the dough that crosses over them. Cut pieces of dough to make the crosses.
Final rise: Cover lightly with a cloth and let rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400º. If you’re using a pizza stone or quarry tiles (recommended), let them heat up for at least 30 minutes.
Glaze and bake: Mix the egg yolk and the water in a ramekin, and brush the egg wash over the dough, being careful not to cover the eggs. For best coverage, brush a second time. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400º. Turn oven down to 350º and bake for another 25 minutes, turning the bread around halfway through the baking.
Let cool for at least an hour before sharing with your Greek friends. Kali Oreksi!
Dyeing Eggs
Method for 6 dyed eggs
6 large white eggs
3½ cup boiling water
½ cup vinegar
2 teaspoons blue food coloring
½ teaspoon red food coloring
  1. Scrub the raw eggs with liquid dish soap and warm water, rinse well and pat dry.
  2. Put 3½  cups cold water into a 1 ½ quart saucepan and gently put in the eggs. Turn heat to medium.
  3. Add the food coloring.
  4. Bring slowly to the boiling point, which should take 10 or 15 minutes. Slow is better, so as not to crack the shells.
  5. Once the water is near the boil, add the vinegar.
  6. Boil the eggs for 8-10 minutes and remove from heat.
  7. Let the eggs stay in the hot water/dye solution for a further 15 minutes before removing to a rack to cool.
(Photos by,,, and as indicated in the links provided.)

1 comment:

Katherine Thayer said...

The senior residents of always have a bread in their meal.

Le Bonhuer....

Meet Perry

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Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
I got a confession to make. I am food addict, over-indulgent! I crave for anything especially sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, strawberries, halo-halo, leche flan, banana Q, breads, pasta, Nasi Goreng....tell me what you got in your fridge ;-D. Thank heavens for I got my mum's genes, I can gain and lose pounds that easy and quick. I am here to share with you my food recipe collection (almost forgotten in a corner of my room) and search for new, exciting recipes, meet good people, and discover more about the world of baking. I am no professional baker or chef (just a wanna-be for now) but we'll get there in time. In sha Allah. Afterall, DREAMS just got to start somewhere, and it starts right here, right now! Meantime enjoy this food journey with me among other stuff....amigos to the kitchen! [Thank you for visiting my blog,you're always welcome to come by! Feel free to dig deep into the posts, much treasures there. And leave your comments, I'd appreciate your words....] [P.S. Borrowed articles/photos can be deleted anytime, please advise.Thank you.]

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