English Muffin Bread

From One Good Thing by Jillee

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Are you unsure of your bread making abilities? Perhaps you short on time? Do you love english muffins? Are you breathing? If you answered yes to any of these, go make this recipe NOW. It is so easy. It is so delicious. It is so good. This makes the absolute best toast. I may have eaten three pieces today, but you know, I’m sharing with a toddler, so that’s fine, right? We ate it with spinach and smashed eggs for dinner one night and we had it with butter and jam for breakfast the next morning. This really is an english muffin in bread form. I mean, just look at the nooks and the craggy-ness:

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Yum. Just yum. It has become an instant family favorite (although Myla loves any excuse to eat some homemade jam). This bread comes together super fast. There is no kneading, and only one rise (please be sure to use instant yeast, not active dry yeast, or this won’t work with one rise). You are a few short hours from some of the most airy, creamy, luscious bread. And if you eat multiple pieces at a time…I won’t judge.

Ready? Here we go…

Mix all ingredients together.

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Then spoon into four well greased loaf pans.

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Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans…

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…and bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.

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Brush with melted butter.

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Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting.

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Makes terrific toast.

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Add homemade (thanks mom!) strawberry rhubarb jam, or whatever you have.

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Devour.

Yield: 4 loaves, recipe can be easily halved (but why would you?)

Ingredients

5 1/2 c warm water

3 packages (7 1/2 tsp) rapid rise yeast **be sure to use instant yeast, not active dry yeast**

2 T salt

3 T sugar

11 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

Directions

Mix altogether, then spoon into (4) well greased loaf pans. Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans (it took about 1.5 hours for me), and bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. (Keep an eye on it. You’re looking for golden brown.) 10 minutes before done (or once you get them out of the oven, like I did), brush with melted butter. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting. Makes terrific toast, freezes well.

Light Brioche Burger Buns

From Parsley Sage & Sweet

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Look no further – here are the homemade hamburger buns you need to make. They are nothing like the limp packaged buns you purchase. These are sturdy enough for the juiciest burger. They toast to perfection. True to brioche nature, there is a hint of buttery richness, which is surrounded by a slightly sweet and mildly yeasty flavor. Utterly delicious.

This weekend I made the Pioneer Woman’s black bean burgers, which are excellent by the way, and I had to make the burger buns myself.  This recipe seemed quite popular, and for good reason; it is uncomplicated, delicious, is easily doubled, and leftovers freeze well.

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In a measuring cup, combine warm water, milk, yeast and sugar.

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Let stand until foamy, about five minutes.

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In the mean time, beat one egg.

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In a large bowl, combine both flours with the salt. Add the butter to the flours and salt and rub into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter, making crumbs, like you would a pie dough.

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Stir in the yeast mixture and beaten egg until it forms a dough.

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Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter or board. and knead, scooping the dough up, slapping and turning it, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

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Knead, scooping the dough up, slapping and turning it, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

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You want the dough to remain slightly tacky, as the more flour you add, the tougher they will be when baked.

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Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl.

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Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, divide dough into 8 equal parts.

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Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on the lined baking sheet.

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Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.

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Set a large pan of water on oven floor. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center.

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Beat remaining the egg with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash, then brush on top of buns.

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Sprinkle with sesame seeds ( I used both sesame and poppy seeds, and sauvignon sea salt), pressing them in gently to adhere.

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Bake, turning the sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. These can be frozen, then placed in a freezer bag for up to 2 to 3 months.

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Yield: 8 four to five inch hamburger buns

Ingredients

1 c warm water

3 T warm milk

2 tsp active dry yeast

2½ T sugar

2 large eggs

3 c bread flour

⅓ c all-purpose flour

1½ tsp salt

2½ T unsalted butter, softened

Black and white sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds (optional)

Directions

In a measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. In the mean time, beat one egg.

In a large bowl, combine both flours with the salt. Add the butter to the flours and salt and rub into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter, making crumbs, like you would a pie dough. Stir in the yeast mixture and beaten egg until it forms a dough. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter or board. and knead, scooping the dough up, slapping and turning it, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. You want the dough to remain slightly tacky, as the more flour you add, the tougher they will be when baked.

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper or sharp knife, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.

Set a large pan of water on oven floor. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center. Beat remaining the egg with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash, then brush on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (I used both sesame and poppy seeds, and some sea salt), pressing them in gently to adhere. Bake, turning the sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. These can be frozen, then placed in a freezer bag for up to 2 to 3 months, When ready to use, let thaw at room temperature and heat or toast slightly, if desired.

Irish Soda Bread

From Eat Cake For Dinner

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Seriously easy. Seriously delicious. Irish soda bread is a must for St. Patrick’s Day.  Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, it’s like a biscuit.  A giant, buttery, irresistible biscuit.  I ate some for lunch, and added a bit of butter and leftover lemon curd.  It would be fantastic as is, with marmalade, jelly, jam, honey, as a sandwich (leftover corned beef, Swiss cheese and spinach, perhaps) or as the bookends to a grilled cheese sandwich.  This bread shouldn’t be limited to one day a year.

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First, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  

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Ignore the dirty oven floor.  Thanks.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  

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Cut 2 tablespoons of cold butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture.  

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Using your (clean) hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is completely incorporated.  

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Most butter pieces were this size or smaller. Do your best, but don’t fret too much.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk.  

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**Sidenote** I never buy buttermilk.  I make my own using distilled white vinegar or lemon juice.  Just add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup of milk. Let sit for five minutes, and then you’re good to go.  The milk will curdle – it’s supposed to!  You won’t taste the vinegar or lemon either, I promise.

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Use a fork to work the ingredients together.  

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Add up to another 1/4 cup of buttermilk, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.  It will be rather sticky. 

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Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a 6” round.  

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Place dough into an 8” inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet.  If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can use a baking sheet, but the outside won’t get as crispy.  Use a sharp knife and cut an “x” into the top of the loaf, about 5-inches long and 3/4-inch deep.  

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Mine was a little lopsided.  I’m going to call it rustic. 

Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Cool for a few minutes, slice and serve. 

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Ingredients

3 c all-purpose flour

1 c cake flour

2 T sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 T unsalted butter, cold plus 1 T melted butter for brushing loaf

1 3/4 c buttermilk*

Directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Cut 2 tablespoons of cold butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture.  Using your clean hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is completely incorporated.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk.  Use a fork to work the ingredients together.  Add up to another 1/4 cup of buttermilk, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a 6” round.  Place dough into an 8” inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet.  If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can use a baking sheet, but the outside won’t get as crispy.  Use a sharp knife and cut an “x” into the top of the loaf, about 5-inches long and 3/4-inch deep.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter.  Cool for a few minutes, slice and serve.  Best if eaten on the day it is made.

*Make your own buttermilk.  Add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup of milk.  Let sit five minutes, then use as needed.

Lemon Braided Bread

Adapted, just barely, from the Smitten Kitchen

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Maybe the weather is warming up.  Maybe you need a bread to match the sunny sky.  Maybe you love lemon.  Maybe it’s a Saturday.  Whatever your reason, you need to make this bread!  I was looking for a bread that had a little extra special something to it.  The sun has been out, and I wanted a sweet treat to go with the sweet weather that this spring has brought.  I have wanted to try this bread for several months, but never had the right opportunity.  I am glad I finally got around to it.  Our family loves lemon, so I added extra lemon curd to the filling; I think next time I will also increase the cream cheese filling as it was slightly lost among all the lemony goodness.  The recipe called for pearl sugar on top, but I didn’t have any, so I used turbinado sugar instead.  This bread is buttery, lemony, has a cream cheese filling, and is easily doubled – I’m not sure what more a person could want.  It’s positively gorgeous to look at, and it’s even better to eat.  And it’s probably all gone by now, but I’m not admitting anything.  Hiccup.

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Yield:  1 Loaf – this recipe is easily doubled to make two loaves

Ingredients

Sponge

6 tablespoons warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Dough

Sponge (above)

6 tablespoons sour cream

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs, 1 beaten for dough, 1 beaten with 1 teaspoon water for brushing bread

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Lemon cream cheese filling

1/3 cup cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3-1/2 cup homemade (see link for recipe) or prepared lemon curd

Turbinado sugar (or pearl sugar if you have it) for sprinkling on top

Directions

Make Sponge:  In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.

Make Dough by Hand:  (See link for directions on using a stand mixer) Whisk together sour cream, butter, egg, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in sponge. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon as best as you can; you may need to get your hands in there to form it into a shaggy ball. Turn ball of dough and any incorporated scraps onto a counter and knead until a smooth, soft dough forms, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled.

Make the Filling (while dough rises):  Combine all the filling ingredients (except the lemon curd and sprinkling sugar) in a small bowl, mixing until smooth and lump-free. Reserve the filling and lemon curd until ready to fill the braids.

Prepare Bread:  Gently deflate the dough and roll it out on a very well floured counter to a 10″ x 15″ rectangle. Transfer rectangle to a large piece of parchment paper (an absolute must!). With the side of your hand, lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, dividing it into three equal columns. Spread the cream cheese filling down the center section, leaving the top and bottom two inches free of filling.  Spread the lemon curd over the cream cheese filling.

To form the mock braid, cut crosswise strips one inch apart down the length of the outer columns of you dough (the parts without filling). Make sure you have an equal amount of 1-inch strips down the right and left sides. Be careful not to cut your parchment paper; a bench scraper works great here. Remove the four corner segments. To “braid”, begin by folding top flap down and bottom flap up over the filling. Lift the top dough strip and gently bring it diagonally across the filling. Repeat on the right side, and continue down the entire braid, alternating strips until you are out. You can tuck the last couple that hand off decoratively under the end of the braid.

Carefully transfer the dough and the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic and set it aside to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, until puffy.

Bake Bread:  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash, and sprinkle with pearl or coarse sparkling sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and your apartment smells like a doughnut factory. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

*Do ahead:  (See link for more tips)  For this braid, I assembled the whole thing, braided and filled, put it on its baking sheet, loosely covered it with plastic and refrigerated it for the afternoon (also can be refrigerated overnight or up to a day, or frozen for up to a week). When ready to use it, take it out, bring it back to room temperature and let it complete its second rise before you brush and bake it.

Bread Bowls

From Handle the Heat

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A few weekends ago, I found myself in another one of Wisconsin’s icy winter blasts.  Winter was not yet over, and I needed soup and warm bread to cope.  What else was I to do, but turn leftover roast into a thick and rich homemade beef stew.  Then the desire for warm bread to accompany it became a slight obsession.  I mulled over thoughts of freshly baked rolls or a loaf of soft bread to dip into the stew.  But alas, none of it sounded quite right.  Then I stumbled upon a recipe for bread bowls.  Yes!  This was what I was longing for.  Sweet, fluffy, slightly yeasty bread that could lend itself to a generous pat of butter as well as soak up a hot stew.  These came together easily, and were a hit with the entire family.  Stew, winter, and bread.  It was a satisfying weekend.

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Yield:  6 bread bowls

Ingredients

4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) instant yeast

2 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

4 cups bread flour

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons fine salt

1 egg white

Directions

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer stir together the yeast, water, olive oil, and sugar. Add the bread flour and stir until combined. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and on low speed, gradually add in the all-purpose flour and then the salt. Turn speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. You can also knead by hand for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Stretch each portion into a tight ball, pinching the bottom with your fingers and rolling around on the counter to seal and shape. If the ball is too loose it may deflate while baking, so be sure to make a nice tight shape. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet. Slash the top with a sharp knife to score in an X shape. Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place an empty broiler tray on the top shelf.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush over the dough. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the door. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.

Cut a large round from the top of each loaf and scoop out the center. Fill with hot creamy soup and serve immediately.

Nut and Seed Bread – paleo and dairy free

From A Tasty Love Story

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I saw this post one afternoon and wondered, would this type of bread be any good?  I am all for healthy foods, but no flour?  Mostly nuts?  I like my healthy food to taste like I’m not eating healthy food, and this did not sound like it to me.  I was a bit of a skeptic.  I decided to give it a try anyway, and boy am I glad I did.  I adore this bread.  I feel good about eating this bread.  It’s like a little lunch time treat.  Added bonus – it’s so quick and easy to make.  Myla and I topped it with some apricot spread and it is just heavenly!  I like the strong tart flavor of apricots along with the nutty heartiness of this bread, but I suspect your favorite fruit butter or spread would work lovely here, as well.  Or perhaps some ricotta and honey, or a simple dash of cinnamon.

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Yield:  1 loaf

Nut & seed bread a’ la Jonas 

Ingredients

3 cups almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc. use two or more (I used walnuts, pecans, and almonds)

1 1/2 cup seeds sunflower, flaxseeds, pumpkinseeds etc. use two or more (I used these three)

5 eggs (you can substitute 2 of the eggs for 4 egg whites, for higher protein)

1/3 cup oil, whatever you prefer (I used olive oil)

A pinch of salt

1 Tbsp honey (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 °F.  Grind seeds, and half of the nuts to flour-like structure. Chop the other half of the nuts a little less refined.  In a bowl combine all of the ingredients and stir well together.  Pour batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake in oven for 50 min-1 hr.  Let it cool before removing from the pan.

-The bread keeps moist and delicious up to a week in the fridge. You can easily freeze it as well.