Category Archives: Bread

CO2 is our friend

Past loaves I didn’t post

I have made so many loaves it has been hard to stay motivated and update the site that often. I have to keep my life documented, so now it’s time to post them.

Bread for Mother’s Day

I made my Mom an organic Vegetarian Lasagna for Mother’s Day. So of course she needed a nice loaf to mop up all the sauce left on the plate. This has been my favorite recipe as of late which is why it’s what I made for her.

Ingredients for Today’s Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cups Organic Unbleached White Flour
  • 1/2 cup Organic Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Reverse Osmosis Water
  • 3/4 tsp Organic Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 tsp Organic Unbleached White Sugar
  • 1 tbs Kosher Salt

Veggie Lasagna

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 Organic Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles (boiled for 4 minutes)
  • 8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
  • 16oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Fine Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg

SAUCE:

  • 24 oz Crushed Tomatoes with Basil
  • 12 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 tbs Dried Basil
  • 1 1/2 tbs Dried Thyme
  • 1 tbs Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp  Sugar (to balance the acidity in the tomatoes)
  • 2 tbs Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Onion (minced)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic (minced or garlic press)
  • 2 small Zucchini (diced)
  • 1 large Crookneck Yellow Squash (diced)
  • tsp Butter

 

Directions

  1. I read the back of the noodle pack for assembly instructions :)


 

I got a bread stone today!

BEST PURCHASE EVER!

This is my first loaf on the bread stone.  It has risen more than some of my previous loaves after only six minutes of baking! The bread stone was $50 which is pretty expensive, but it should last me for life. I save over $2 on every loaf that I bake so I think it was worth it. If I bake 25 loaves I get my money back!

Bread stone loaf

wheat and white on the bread stone
The loaf on the left is 1 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cup bread flour. The loaf on the right is 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup unbleached white flour and 1 cup whole wheat. I added 1 tbs of basil and 1 tsp of garlic powder to both loaves for some fun flavor.

 

The bread stone makes the bottom crust perfectly crunchy, it doesn’t burn in the slightest, and the rise is better than ever! Heck yeah bread stone!

How I use it:

Pre-heat oven to 500° with the bread stone in the oven. An hour after my last rise I form my loaf on the counter and then plop it on the bread stone and make my cuts on the stone. It seemed easier to do it that way but it was freakin’ hot.

My Go-To bread recipe!

whole wheat basil mocha cheese bread
My most recent loaf, Whole Wheat Basil Mocha Cheese.

I know this is a lot of text, but I wanted to share how I make my bread with everyone now that I’ve had some time to experiment!

First of all, where do I get my ingredients? I buy almost everything from the bulk bins at our local organic store. It is way cheaper than buying the processed stuff in packages and is better for our health!  Below is a list of everything I use on a regular basis.

This is the list I keep stocked:

  • 5 lbs~ (.99c / lb) organic unbleached white flour
  • 2 lbs~ (1.49c / lb) organic whole wheat flour
  • 2 lbs~ (.89c /lb) organic bread flour
  • 3-5 packs of organic dry active yeast (Red Star is fine)
  • Salt (I use Kosher Salt in the red and white box)
  • Sugar or Honey (I use both, it depends on the loaf.)
  • A little bit of olive oil and butter

Tools you need:

  • 1 or 2 Big glass bowls, ceramic is fine. (Pro tip: Metal bowls have electrical conductivity that negatively interacts with the rising process. Bad for bread.)
  • Thick wood stirring spoon that won’t break.
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Parchment Paper
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cloth kitchen towel
  • Bread Pan, Baking Sheet, or Pizza Stone. I use a Pizza/Bread Stone and a Metal Bread Pan.

FOR THE BREAD MAKING PROCESS!
Put in the big bowl in order:

  •  1 cup white flour
  •  1  1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  •  1/2 cup bread flour
  •  1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  •  1 tsp of sugar or honey
  •  1 tsp table salt or 1 tbs of kosher salt
  •  1.5 cups of warm water (it is best if the water is warm to the touch but not hot to the touch. yeast activates at around 110 deg but if you go over 110 they will die. luke warm water is a safe bet to help them wake up.)
  1. Now mix all that stuff up until it is a big sticky mess. It will take 2-5 minutes of mixing to get it a nice consistency.

    From here I have two methods to share:

 

A) “the ez way” using a metal bread pan:

  1. Scrape all the dough together into a ball.
  2. Let it rise for 8-12 hours in a warm spot.
  3. it should have risen a lot, now you scrape out the stringy dough into a lightly buttered bread pan, lightly flour the top and punch it down with your fist 6-10 times. don’t be scared, bread likes to take a beating.
  4. cover it with parchment and towel again for one hour.
  5. now it is ready to bake.
  6. slice the dough however you please with a sharp buttered knife (think bakery bread) so that you control the rise and it doesn’t blowout the bottom of the loaf!

Baking Instructions for this method:

  1. pre-heat oven to 500 deg.
  2. cook uncovered for 13 minutes at 500 deg.
  3. remove bread from oven, cover with tin foil
  4. lower temp to 425, put bread back in and cook for 45 minutes.
  5. remove from oven, let it sit in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool.
  6. remove from pan, set on wire rack and wait 1 hour to cool.
  7. eat.

 

 

B) “the hard way” using a pizza/bread stone:

  1. put a piece of parchment paper down on the counter with a bit of white flour on it, scoop out the dough on to the parchment.
  2. get some flour on your hands so the dough doesn’t stick then knead it for about 3-5 minutes. whenever the dough starts sticking to your hands put a tiny bit more flour on your hands. we don’t want our dough to feel thick, so if it starts to get like playdough, you went too far. kneading is a slow methodical process, not a vigorous exercise.
  3. when done kneading make a ball with your dough and let it sit on the parchment while you clean out the bowl.
  4. put 1 tsp olive oil in the bottom of the now clean bowl and place the ball of dough in it. pour 1 tsp olive oil on top of the dough and rub it around so that you protect it from the air.
  5. let sit for 8-12 hours in a warm place
  6. now it’s time to couche the bread! repeat step 2 (reduce the kneading process to 1 minute) and then make the couche and sprinkle a bit of flour on the cloth, I use a cotton towel that isn’t fuzzy. form your loaf how you want it to look and couche it! let it sit for an hour.

Baking Instructions:

  1. pre-heat oven to 500 deg with the bread stone inside the oven.
  2. grab your oven mits and remove the bread stone from the oven and place it wherever you can
  3. you will now you will have to uncouche your bread onto the bread stone without burning yourself and keeping the loaf shape intact!
  4. slice your loaf how you see fit
  5. place back in the oven and cook at 500deg for 13 minutes
  6. cover the loaf loosely with tin foil
  7. lower temp to 425 and cook for 45 minutes.
  8. remove bread from oven and let it sit on a wire rack for one hour to cool.
  9. eat.

Method two takes a little bit more time, effort, equipment and practice to pull off, but it helps develop more gluten and make the co2 pockets larger. It may seem like a lot of work, but once you do it a few times it becomes really easy. I think I only put 10-15 minutes of actual work into a loaf of bread.

Basil Cheese loaf

I have been experimenting with the ingredients to try and find a simple yet complex tasting loaf. I have been adding cheese and herbs to increase the flavor in my breads. I know the next step is to make a starter who I will care for and love once it is living, but I’m not sure I have the motivation to take care of another *thing* right now. So, more cheese bread!

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Author: Pinch of Yum ·  Prep time: 10 mins  ·  Cook time: 45 mins  ·  Total time: 55 mins  ·  Serves: 16
This cake was really good! Next time I won’t use as much sugar in the topping. It would only need about 1/4 cup of sugar and I will spread it thin over the top. I was supposed to bake a loaf of bread to bring to my Mom’s house for dinner but I felt like making this apple cake instead. Ironically she had made an apple desert too! Her’s was healthier than mine was with more nuts and larger chunks of apple so eating them together was delicious! What a lucky combination!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can sub milk+vinegar, or plain yogurt+milk)
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (I used Wealthy heirloom)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix ingredients in order given (except the last 3 ingredients).
  3. Pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan.
  4. Combine last 3 ingredients to make a topping and sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. It’s delicious when served warm!

Cinnamon Banana Bread!


I was sitting around reading Pinterest and laughing at rage comics on reddit when I saw a link to a quick breads site. I checked it out and wrote down this recipe and threw it together in about 10 minutes. I don’t have a picture of the finished product yet because it is in the oven, but I will in 28 minutes! It smells DELICIOUS.

Update: I have a picture of it in the pan as you can see, but I couldn’t get another one before it was half gone. It is delicious.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp B.Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups Mashed Overripe Bananas

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350· (175 C). Lightly butter 9×5″ loaf pan.
  • In a glass bowl, combine flour, b.soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • In a separate glass bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  • Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in pan for 10 min then pot on a wire rack.

Quote from Diana right now: God DANG that smells good!

Extremely tasty Garlic Aged Cheddar loaf.

This was my first attempt at creating a delicious garlic cheddar boat! It is fairly simple as long as you have the few ingredients necessary and don’t mind waiting overnight. This is a no-kneed recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cup Filtered Water
  • 3/8 tsp Dry Baking Yeast
  • 1/8 tsp Sugar
  • 3 cup Flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat and 2 cup unbleached white flour)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 5-6 whole Pealed Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Aged Cheddar
  • 2 tsp Dried Basil (Optional)

Directions

Let us start by activating the dry yeast. To activate dry yeast you need water between 100-110º. If your water is too hot you can kill the yeast, if too cold the yeast will not wake up. It takes 30 seconds in my microwave for 1-1/2 cup of water to become warm to the touch for me. Once you’ve warmed the water add the sugar and 1/4 tsp of the yeast. Stir and cover. Let it sit while we mix the other ingredients.

In a large glass mixing bowl add flour, salt and 1/8 tsp yeast. Stir until properly mixed. Now add the water, yeast and sugar mixture. Stir with a stiff wooden spoon (I’ve broken a few spoons doing this lol) until it forms a silky yet stringy consistency that you can form into a ball in the bottom bowl. It will ooze out of formation after you’ve made the ball, but you should still be able to make one for a moment.  Cover and let it sit overnight.

Once your starter has sat overnight it will look like the image on the left above this. The image to the right is what you will be doing next. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and flour it generously. Scrape out the dough onto the floured paper and use your floured fingers spread it out to about 10″ x 10″. Lightly grade cheese and sprinkle 3 cloves of pressed or minced garlic over the dough, also and optional Basil if you choose to use some! Now fold all the sides to the center, left and right first, followed by the close and away sides. Pinch together to seal the seem. Flip and lightly cover with the parchment paper to let rise for another two hours.

Loosely wrap the dough in the parchment paper and cover with a towel. Let it sit somewhere warm for two hours. Now that we have waited for the second rise put your bread pan in the oven and preheat to 500º. Take the hot bread pan out of the oven and lightly butter it. Open the paper and transfer the dough to the hot bread pan, the dough may stick a little and that is ok, just scrape it all into the bread pan. Slice down the center of the dough and put loosely grated cheese and garlic in the cut. Pinch the cut closed, cover loosely with foil and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil once the timer goes off let it cook for another 15 minutes with no foil. Remove from the oven, turn the pan upside down over a cutting board and give it a slight tap, it should fall right out, let it sit for 20 minutes and enjoy!


Bonus: Sprinkle basil or thyme on top to add some color. If you love garlic as much as I do, stick whole garlic cloves right in the dough.
And for the finished product!