Category Archives: bread machine/ homemade bread

honey oatmeal bread

#2son has re-dubbed this “Elvish bread” –remember the bread that Frodo and Sam were given as “baon”(provision) for their mission to Mt.Doom? (J.R.R. Tolkien’s works)
my boy says one bite could fill his tummy and keep him feeling full all day. this was his lunch today, filled with chunky peanut butter, and he’s too full to accept an after-school snack :)

the recipe makes two loaves. after i tucked it in to rise, the dough went up so quickly that i got a bit alarmed that it might spill out into the counter. i could see it growing right before my eyes. i think it must have been the wheat gluten–it must have contributed to the soft fluffiness of its texture. ahh, the sweet, delightful mysteries of bread-making. someday i’ll study the science of it.

the recipe, follows… Continue reading

super-blizzard comfort food

the wind has just picked up, right on schedule. we’ve been glued to the Weather News–all the local channels are covering the super snowstorm and we are just holed up at home, keeping warm and watching the snow pile up.
sandwich loaf
from a King Arthur’s Flour recipe which i made before in my trusty bread machine.
to ease my mounting anxious restlessness i made some bread to go along with the little baby bries we got from Trader Joe’s. really tender and mild, you can eat the rind too!
soft and tender brie bites

when it’s cold, it’s perfect for making pastries. this recipe i’ve bookmarked for the longest time, i finally got to attempt. i recommend it highly! a tasty little appetizer treat. my two boys loved them. (daughter’s stuck in the dorm at her university.)
i would make it with stronger cheese next time too, instead of the cheddar and cream cheese.

they were made in muffin cups, and the pastry had to be blind-baked first. i puzzled over it for a while, and came up with the idea of using some muffin cup liners, instead of cutting out parchment circles, then putting the pie weights on before popping them into the preheated oven:
dough-filled, butter-greased muffin cups
blind-baking the little tarts before filling
tomato and cheese tartlets
i imagine a hearty red wine would accompany it very well. keep warm and safe, and make pastries!

harvest time

organic big boy tomatoes
our first harvest, ever. #2son was thrilled to do the honor of snipping them off the vines. i’m amazed! i always thought i had a black thumb and automatically killed off all green living things…but with the help of my two younger kids, them with their green hued thumbs probably inherited from their Chinese grandfather, they’ve harvested the big boy tomatoes.
all three of them heehee but we have more on the way if only the autumn chill doesn’t descend on us too swiftly.

how to enjoy the tender sweet fruity flavors?
hmmm. :glasses-slip:
it’s gotta be raw of course. think think think…

B-L-T on farmhouse loaf bread
BLT on farmhouse loaf bread.

thinly sliced, seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt, with three thin slices of a farmhouse bread loaf i made, special!, just for this treat, with buttery Boston lettuce and a quick swipe of mayonnaise and mustard on the side slices; and thickly sliced crisped bacon, everywhere.
big boy tomatoes, thinly sliced
at the first slice i took, the fragrance of tomato was so strong, i made daughter take a quick whiff and she said it smelled just like fruit! which it is!

laborious labor day weekend

once again, it was move-in day for the college kids this weekend…three round trips on I-93 did it for all his things.
i must say it is a lot easier than it was last year! the “unknown” then made us me quite apprehensive, just a tinge. okay, i’ll admit, a lot.
anyway, this year, #1son is very comfortably settled into a nice “house” instead of a dorm building. and once more we are very happy about his choice of a university that is just a hop on the train away :goodvibes !
i’d better be ever-ready when he calls, “what-cha cookin’ tonight Ma?”

brownstone living
#2son reflecting on big brother’s new accommodations…

i managed to cook the zucchini blossoms as planned, except i decided not to deep-fry them because they were very delicate. i just put them on top of the vegetable marinara i stewed. they were stuffed with a seasoned ricotta, parmesan and egg filling.
they were gorgeous delicious! peppery in flavor with a sweet sort of crunch. i was so pleasantly surprised that the kids fought over them. i had to promise more for next time! hopefully next time too i will have a nice photo…
stuffing zucchini blossoms w/ ricotta cheese
i used my new pastry filling tube and coupler from Bakers’ Tools… it made the filling easy, with minimal disturbance to the soft petals.

they also need sandwich bread now that school is about to start…yes my late nights watching old movies and sleeping in late (as much as the raucous other next door neighbors allowed…sigh!) mornings are over sigh! sigh!
the younger kids are embarking on the next phases of their personal journeys, high school and 3rd grade for daughter and #2son respectively.
whoa, time is flying flying flying :grandma: .
a loaf of breadrich bread loaf
i shaped their favorite burger buns into a 14-inch lovely loaf–it turned out really swell and perfect for those school lunch bags…

bring it on then… :bus:

still playing with my toys

baking bread book

so i’m always on the lookout for bread machine books, this time at my town’s public library. it has very detailed instructions and the introductory discussion of ingredients and techniques is just what i need.

i get to keep it one month, and could extend it for another month unless someone else requests it.
thing is, the book is out of print and requires some sleuthing to find a copy. :detective:

i could refuse to return it for 10 cents a day…hmmm.

just don’t be wondering where it is, i’ve got it.

and i tried this really good recipe for “milk loaf.” even the name of it makes you want to eat it.
the bread turned out really luxurious on the mouth, a seemingly impossible combination of dense and soft, great for sandwiches and French toast and just eating it straight out of the bread machine.
milk loaf

milk loaf (recipe for a medium loaf):

(follow the instructions on your machine for the succession of placement of ingredients)
1 cup milk (at room temperature; i used whole milk)
1/2 cup water
4 cups unbleached white bread flour
1 & 1/2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. granulated sugar
2 tbsps. butter
1 tsp rapid-rise active dry yeast

put ingredients in the bread pan in the order given by your bread machine manual.
set to basic/normal setting, medium crust.
remove the bread at the end of the baking cycle and let cook on a rack.

–from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Bread Maching Baking by Jennie Shapter, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 2001.

white pizza

CPK family cookbook
i want you to buy this cookbook.
because 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to children’s charities.
so i will make you want to buy it! when i opened up the cookbook this was the first thing i wanted to make: delectable white pizza with bacon. hold the tomatoes! these slices are loaded with wilted spinach (sauteed with garlic), bacon (i used prosciutto and chicken sausage), mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, and ricotta cheeses. my kids loved it! (though i had to make a second pizza of pepperoni and leftover spaghetti sauce laden with mozzarella. one member of the family has to have pepperoni :dash-d-knight: .)
i made the pizza dough in the bread machine which was a time saver….just used the manual setting, and shaped the pizza by hand.
white pizza, before
with “dollops” of ricotta, and shreds of fresh basil.

white pizza, fresh out of the oven

white pizza, slice
although i’ve only ever been to a CPK once, i must boast that i went to one actually in California, many years ago, with my brother, when we only had two kids each.

they’re famous for revolutionizing esoteric pizzas (bbq chicken! thai!) , and they also sell them in the freezer section of the supermarket.

the cookbook starts you out with three kinds of pizza dough, then ideas for toppings like jamaican jerk chicken, japanese eggplant, and Thanksgiving sweet potato pizza. it also features more than just pizzas (appetizers, salads, dessert pizzas) and tips on how to have a children’s make your own pizza party.
that’s just right up my alley!

my voluptuous buns

for our cozy little 4th of July family picnic (“staycation”) the kids asked for homemade cheeseburger.

i’ve been baking sandwich bread with my Dak bread machine, but still buying bulkie or kaiser rolls from the supermarket. i think they’re too soft and often times get downright soggy. i wanted hefty, dense… yet buttery and tasty, buns to defy the gravity and stand up to all the fixings we wished to pile on.

the store we’ve nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” sells designer brioche buns for almost $5 for four– count ’em, 4!– measly buns.

it was time to take matters into my own hands.

i searched for and found “Moomie’s Burger Buns,” from King Arthur Flour, the recipe that everyone was raving about. i made the dough er my Dak made the dough, on manual setting, and i shaped it into 8 luxurious dough balls, and let them rise into puffy glory.
"Moomie's Burger Buns"

brushed with egg wash and baked on a lightly greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes. we split and grilled them before stacking up our fixings.

my all-homemade deluxe burger

i think we’re getting spoiled!

how to “bake,” with a dead oven…

this girl’s gotta bake. that’s what i told husband, twenty years ago, very early in our marriage. as if he could return or exchange his new bride if he dared disagree!

it’s just something i have to do, the same way other people have to jog or run (yes you! you know who you are! :drunk: ), or weed gardens.
so what was i supposed to do with the oven dead and the errant part nowhere in sight?

i baked loaf after loaf of bread, with my “R2D2” dak bread machine. i hid away the leftover heels and tops of orange cream bread, french, brioche (the best for bread pudding), oatmeal honey, white. you name it, i baked it. er R2D2 baked it.

so i could make: bread pudding! after all, bread pudding is steamed ya?
Continue reading

oatmeal bread

current favorite bread from the auto bakery Dak bread machine: (what can i say, i’m hooked!) oatmeal bread from the King Arthur collection. it is tender yet hearty in taste and makes great slicing for sandwiches. i love it toasted medium-dark with lots of butter.

(the “scar” on the bottom is from the kneading paddle)
it’s supposed to be just mixed and then removed from the machine and baked in a loaf pan in the oven.

my oven’s dead.

so i just let the machine do all the work and it turned out fluffy-fresh and tasty. it even got a “special mention” in my neighbor’s kitchen!