Pizza dough + mango pizza

Lovingly and constantly used from the Smitten Kitchen

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This recipe is all about the pizza dough. It is FANTASTIC. I have been making it for the last year and have no intention of switching to any other recipe. First, it’s so easy to do. No kneading required. One bowl. Mixed in five minutes. Second, it turns out perfect every time. Consistency like this makes me happy. Last, this dough tastes amazing. It cooks up crunchy, all golden, blistered and charred just like an artisanal dough. We always devour it, no joke. The rising can take a while, but I always make this in advance and freeze the dough, so I use the long rising time (remember more rising = more flavor). The dough is super soft, so be patient while stretching it and shaping it. It takes me maybe five minutes to shape it – I use a round pizza pan, so I shape it on the pan and just continue to rotate the pan and stretch the dough. Please check out the original post (link above) for more detailed information or for varying formulas based on available rising time. Make this dough, I guarantee you will be just as smitten with it as I am. 

My dough is in the freezer – I made the last batch about a month ago. This is my sample of dough from the freezer, thawed at room temperature, in the sealed bag, from about 9 am until 5 pm.

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Be patient. Stretch the dough out.

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I’ll say it again. Be patient. Stretch the dough out.

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**For this recipe, begin between 8 and 9 p.m. the evening before for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 22-hour dough). Deb at the Smitten Kitchen has done an AMAZING job at guiding you through this recipe, or this recipe adjusted for different time frames. Check out the original post for more information!**

Yield: 2 twelve inch round pizzas (or two 9×13)

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour

Slightly heaped 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt

1 1/4 cup water, plus an additional tablespoon or two if needed

Directions

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon. The dough will be craggy and rough; this is fine, but if it feels excessively so, add another spoonful or even two of water. Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 22 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled.

About 30 minutes before dough is ready, begin draining tomatoes if you’ll be making your own sauce (again see link for excellent advice on this dough). Prepare pizza stone and paddle sprinkling it with cornmeal. You can also use any old baking sheet you have around, however, the pizza tends to stick to these, so it is recommended that you prepare it by adding a very light, thin coat of olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray before sprinkling it with cornmeal. Heat oven to its highest temperature, usually between 500 and 550 degrees F. If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven so that it heats too.

Flour your counter very well. Scrape dough out of bowl onto floured counter; in the time it has risen it should change from that craggy rough ball to something very loose, soft, sticky and stretchy. Flour the top of the dough, and divide dough in half (or more pieces, if you’re making smaller pizzas). Form them into ball-like shapes. Grab first round with floured hands and let the loose, soft dough stretch and fall away from your hands a few times before landing the dough on your prepared baking sheet/paddle. Use floured fingers to press and nudge dough into a roughly round or rectangular shape. Add desired fixings and bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating if it’s baking unevenly, until the top is blistered and the crust is golden. Repeat with remaining dough.

Do ahead: Once risen and formed into ball-like shapes, the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 day days.  Or, as I prefer, triple this batch and make six pizza doughs at once. I usually just throw the divided dough balls in plastic freezer safe bags and store them in the freezer. Then, the night before I am going to use it, I just pull it out of the freezer (leaving it in the bag so it doesn’t dry out) and place it in the refrigerator to thaw.  If I decide that morning to make a pizza, I pull the dough out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter inside the sealed bag at room temperature until that evening when I’m ready to use it.  I’ve had great success doing it this way, and I dirty less bowls (yay!).

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BONUS Mango Pizza Recipe

Ingredients

1 ball of homemade pizza dough (above)

1 ripe mango, chopped into small bite sized pieces

About 1/3 cup of your favorite pizza sauce (I use Pomi brand tomatoes, drained, with salt, pepper, and herbs – here I also added dry basil)

1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (use the dry block kind, NOT the fresh stuff – it’s too watery)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Small handful fresh basil

Directions

Preheat your oven to the highest setting (500 or 550 F). Fit the dough to your pizza pan (see above). Add sauce to the pizza, then the mango and fresh basil. Finally, top with cheeses. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating if needed. Slide pizza onto a cutting board and slice into desired pieces.

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Mango chocolate bread

From Roxana’s Home Baking

Finally, a mango recipe and a yeasted bread recipe combined – and it includes chocolate! I searched and searched to find a suitable mango bread recipe. This bread is a bit crunchy around the outside and is soft on the inside, but it bakes quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it. It reminds me of cinnamon raisin bread – whole wheat flour adds heartiness, subtle sweetness from the mango, a lightly sugared top, warm cinnamon flavor throughout, and of course the chocolate chips mixed in just put it over the top. I think this would be great toasted and with a pat of butter. Mango week just got a whole lot tastier. 

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Here we go! In a mixing bowl sift together the flours, salt, cinnamon and sugar.

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Make a well in the middle, add the lukewarm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir and leave until the yeast dissolves and bubbles appear.

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Add the pureed mango and slowly start to mix.

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Add the melted butter and knead until all is incorporated and the dough comes clean form the sides of the bowl. This should take 2-3 minutes if using a stand up mixer.

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Finally add the chocolate chips and knead a little more.

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Take the dough out of the bowl, placed it in a clean greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until doubled in volume.

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It’s going to be anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on your room temperature.

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When the dough is doubled, shape it into a log and place it on a baking sheet. Handle the dough as little as possible.

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Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes to an hour.

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Meanwhile heat the oven to 425F. Bake the bread in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Leave it to cool, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!

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Yield: one large or two smaller loaves

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 teaspoons yeast

1 cup puree mango

5 tablespoons melted butter (vegan if desired)

3/4 cup chocolate chips (vegan if desired)

confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions

In a mixing bowl sift together the flours, salt, cinnamon and sugar.

Make a well in the middle, add the lukewarm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir and leave until the yeast dissolves and bubbles appear.

Add the pureed mango and slowly start to mix.

Add the melted butter and knead until all is incorporated and the dough comes clean form the sides of the bowl. This should take 2-3 minutes if using a stand up mixer.

Finally add the chocolate chips and knead a little more.

Take the dough out of the bowl, placed it in a clean greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until doubled in volume. It’s going to be anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on your room temperature. Ideal would be ~70 degrees.

When the dough is doubled, shape it into a log and place it on a baking sheet. Handle the dough as little as possible.

Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 425F.

Bake the bread in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

Leave it to cool, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!

Ezekiel bread – grain version

From Food.com

“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” (Old Testament Ezekiel 4:9)

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I was brought to the inspiration of this bread by my Instagram account – thanks to @beachyogagirl and her daily meal of Ezekiel bread and smashed avocado (YES). I love being surrounded by inspiring people doing amazing, every day things. I use some forms of social media for just this purpose. I follow people who are passionate about what they do – from fashion to food to yoga.  Who doesn’t love a space filled with positivity, support and and an uplifting sense of community instead of the all too often competitive and tear someone down mentality that social media sites can be known for? More to the point, inspiration (for food or otherwise) can be found anywhere. Don’t be afraid of a recipe, just try it! (bread making tips from me here)

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Most Ezekiel bread is made from sprouted seeds, which are ground into flour. While incredibly nutritious, it also seemed a bit time consuming, so I opted to try this version instead. I looked through many of the recipes out there – this one uses lentils and a combination of wheat, barley, millet and rye flours. I rewrote some of the instructions so they were more clear, but otherwise followed the original recipe. This bread is dense and heavy and will surely satiate any appetite. It is packed full of only good for you ingredients and is bursting with protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and vitamins A and C, to name a few. And most importantly, it is glorious under some chicken salad, heavenly with a smashed avocado on top, and is even delicious with a generous dollop of peanut butter (according to my toddler, but hey, peanut butter makes everything good, right?).

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Here we go!

Cook your lentils according to package directions. Let cool. (I did this step a few days in advance and stored them in the refrigerator).

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Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, add honey and let sit for 10 minutes.

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In a large bowl, mix the wheat, barley, millet and rye flour together.

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Blend lentils, oil and small amount of water (from the  remaining1 1/2 cups water) in a blender (I used my immersion blender and it worked great).

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Place the mashed beans into a very large mixing bowl with the remaining water.

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To the bean mixture, stir in two cups of mixed flour.

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Next, add the yeast mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in  the salt and remaining flour.

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Place on floured surface and knead until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to bring the dough together.

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Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

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Let rise until double in bulk, 1-2 hours (it will be really heavy).

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Knead again and cut dough and shape into 4 loaves.

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Place in 4 greased loaf pans. Let rise until double in bulk, about 45-60 minutes.

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Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from pan and place loaves on wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Yield: 4 loaves

Ingredients

4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 c warm water, divided

1 T honey

1 lb dried lentils, cooked

8 c wheat flour

4 c barley flour

1⁄2 c millet flour

1⁄4 c rye flour

1 T salt

4 -6 T olive oil

Directions

Cook your lentils according to package directions. Let cool. (I did this step a few days in advance and stored them in the refrigerator).

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, add honey and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the wheat, barley, millet and rye flour together.

Blend lentils, oil and small amount of water (from the  remaining 1 1/2 cups water) in a blender (I used my immersion blender and it worked great). Place the mashed beans into a very large mixing bowl with the remaining water.

To the bean mixture, stir in two cups of mixed flour. Next, add the yeast mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in  the salt and remaining flour.

Place on floured surface and knead until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to bring the dough together.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double in bulk, 1-2 hours (it will be really heavy). Knead again and cut dough and shape into 4 loaves. Place in 4 greased loaf pans. Let rise until double in bulk, about 45-60 minutes. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from pan and place loaves on wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing. Freezes well.

**tip: slice your bread before freezing, so you can just grab what you need, no need to thaw the entire loaf**


Ian Knauer’s Bread

From The Farm hosted by Ian Knauer (book here!)

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I have been hopelessly addicted to watching The Farm. It’s on Amazon instant video, and I think I watched the entire 13 episodes in four days (who does laundry during nap time anyway?). I am now completely head over heels in love with the book. There are several bread recipes listed in this soul feeding cookbook and I plan to make them all (is that too ambitious? please tell me it’s not).

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First up is a skillet bread used for BLT’s, as inspired by the show. This bread will be making repeat appearances at our dinner table this summer. It is so ridiculously easy – simple, quick, with few dirty dishes (yes!) and it turns out perfect. As in super crusty and crunchy on the outside and incredibly soft and moist on the inside. It was dreamy for BLT’s and made delightfully soft while still crunchy garlic bread. It holds up well for several days, retaining that super soft interior and crusty exterior (just be sure to store it in a paper bag). It is safe to say that I am completely, utterly smitten. I think you should be, too.

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Here we go!

In a large bowl, mix flour, yeast and salt with your hands.

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Add in warm water, and mix with your hand until incorporated.

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This is a very wet and sticky dough.

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Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.

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Knead by slapping the dough on your work surface, pulling the dough toward yourself…

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…and folding it over onto itself. Dough will be very sticky.

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Knead until the dough comes together and becomes smooth. Lightly flour the surface of the dough, scrape it up, and fold the edges of the dough into itself to make a round form.

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Flour a bowl (such as the bowl you mixed it in) and cover with a kitchen towel.

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Let rise for one hour.

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Once doubled, repeat the folding process by flouring your work surface and folding the dough over into itself to make a round form (fold edges or corners inward). Dough will be very soft and smooth.

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Put the dough in a 10″ floured cast iron skillet and lightly flour the top.

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Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for one hour. 

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After the dough is doubled, cut steam holes in the top. Do what you like – slashes, an “x”, or use your kitchen scissors and cut into the dough creating rows of spikes (done here). 

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Bake at 475 F for about 45 minutes – tap the bottom, it will sound hollow when done. Store in a paper bag. 

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Ingredients

4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (can use bread flour, too, if that’s what you have)

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 tablespoon salt

1 3/4 cups warm water

Directions

In a large bowl, mix flour, yeast and salt with your hands. Add in warm water, and mix with your hand until incorporated. This is a very wet and sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Knead by slapping the dough on your work surface, pulling the dough toward yourself and folding it over onto itself. Dough will be very sticky. Knead until the dough comes together and becomes smooth. Lightly flour the surface of the dough, scrape it up, and fold the edges of the dough into itself to make a round form. Flour a bowl (such as the bowl you mixed it in) and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for one hour. 

Once doubled, repeat the folding process by flouring your work surface and folding the dough over into itself to make a round form (fold edges or corners inward). Dough will be very soft and smooth. Put the dough in a 10″ floured cast iron skillet and lightly flour the top. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for one hour. 

After the dough is doubled, cut steam holes in the top. Do what you like – slashes, an “x”, or use your kitchen scissors and cut into the dough creating rows of spikes (done here). Bake at 475 F for about 45 minutes – tap the bottom, it will sound hollow when done. Store in a paper bag. 

Cheesecake Factory’s honey wheat brown bread

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From Kitchen Trials

Sweet, light, fluffy, soft. This bread. Oh my, this bread. Words are hard to describe how much I love (scarfed down?) this bread. I have never eaten at the Cheesecake Factory, but the original poster of this recipe hit on something pure gold(en brown). I made it earlier this winter and when an event at my husbands place of employment required me to bring food I (naturally) suggested I would bring bread. This was one of our favorites, and I was once again reminded why. It’s quick to put together, though rising times take a while. In the end, it’s totally, completely, deliciously worth it. This recipe originally makes 6 mini baguettes, but I split each would be baguette into four pieces and made rolls, which worked better in a buffet type situation. I also sent along whipped butter with a bit of honey mixed in. Excuse me, while I polish off the last of the leftovers…DSC_0963

Here we go!

In a medium bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof (it will be foamy on top at the end).

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Using the paddle attachment in your stand mixer, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt.

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Add the yeast mixture, butter, honey, and molasses. Also, add your food coloring here if using. You can adjust the colour while it’s kneading, so just add a little at a time.

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Mix on medium-low speed until combined. The dough will be fairly thick and a little tacky.

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Swap out to the dough hook, and knead on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. This dough is thicker than your standard white bread, so it will be a little tacky, but will not pull or stick to the bottom of the bowl while kneading (but will when the mixer is stopped).

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Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

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Let rise is a warm spot for two hours, until doubled in size.

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Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces, and shape into mini-baguette style logs, roughly 6″ long and 2″ wide. See link at top of page for directions on this. OR, divide each baguette into four and make rolls (what I did here). Be sure to keep dough that you aren’t currently working with covered lightly with plastic wrap or a towel, to keep it from drying out.

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Place the cornmeal on a plate (if using), and set the loafs in it to lightly coat the bottom. Place the loafs on a lined baking sheet, with lots of space between them. Lightly wet the top of the loafs with your hand and some water, then sprinkle on a light dusting of oats. Spray the tops of the loafs with Pam (to keep the wrap from sticking), then cover VERY loosely with plastic wrap.

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Set in a warm place and let rise for another 60 to 90 minutes, until nearly doubled in size again.

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Bake in a 350℉ oven for 25 to 35 minutes. The crust will be soft and squishy to the tough. Bread is cooked when the internal temperature is 190℉, so feel free to use an instant read thermometer to check.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. If baking ahead of time, store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap once completely cooled, for up to 2 days, though it’s best eaten the day baked. Gently warm in the oven before serving.

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Yield: 6 mini baguettes or 24 rolls

Ingredients

1½ c warm water (105℉)

1 T sugar

2¼ tsp instant dry yeast (1 package)

2 c bread flour

1¾ c whole wheat flour

1 T cocoa powder

2 tsp espresso powder (or instant coffee)

1 tsp salt

2 T butter, softened

¼ c honey

2 T molasses

caramel colouring, or dark brown food colouring (optional – I never use this)

¼ c cornmeal, for dusting the bottom of the shaped (not baked) loafs (optional)

oats, for dusting the top of the shaped (not baked) loafs (optional)

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof (it will be foamy on top at the end).

Using the paddle attachment in your stand mixer, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Add the yeast mixture, butter, honey, and molasses. Also, add your food coloring here if using. You can adjust the colour while it’s kneading, so just add a little at a time. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. The dough will be fairly thick and a little tacky.

Swap out to the dough hook, and knead on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. This dough is thicker than your standard white bread, so it will be a little tacky, but will not pull or stick to the bottom of the bowl while kneading (but will when the mixer is stopped).

Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise is a warm spot for two hours, until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces, and shape into mini-baguette style logs, roughly 6″ long and 2″ wide. See link at top of page for directions on this. OR, divide each baguette into four and make rolls. Be sure to keep dough that you aren’t currently working with covered lightly with plastic wrap or a towel, to keep it from drying out.

Place the cornmeal on a plate (if using), and set the loafs in it to lightly coat the bottom. Place the loafs on a lined baking sheet, with lots of space between them. Lightly wet the top of the loafs with your hand and some water, then sprinkle on a light dusting of oats. Spray the tops of the loafs with Pam (to keep the wrap from sticking), then cover VERY loosely with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let rise for another 60 to 90 minutes, until nearly doubled in size again.

Bake in a 350℉ oven for 25 to 35 minutes. The crust will be soft and squishy to the tough. Bread is cooked when the internal temperature is 190℉, so feel free to use an instant read thermometer to check.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. If baking ahead of time, store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap once completely cooled, for up to 2 days, though it’s best eaten the day baked. Gently warm in the oven before serving.

Peter Reinhart’s Bagels

From Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

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It can get chilly here up on the ridge, so the smell and taste of freshly baked bread is often welcomed (mostly by me). A few weeks ago was just such a weekend; gloomy and rainy and in need of bread. When looking for different breads to bake, I often browse some of my favorite cooking blogs, pinterest, and the few cookbooks I have on hand. These bagels are from Peter Reinhart’s amazing book, which I’m going to start working my way through (so stay tuned!). As such, I must work my way alphabetically through the book (because the thought of working haphazardly through it makes me shudder). So I begin with B, and delicious bagels. I made 12 bagels, but they were extremely large – next time I plan to try mini bagels. I did use the recommended malt syrup and high gluten flour (but only half). Be warned, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. But if you are looking for something to occupy a cloudy weekend, long for a bit of a bread-baking challenge (in effort, not difficulty), absolutely love bagels, or need an arm workout, then please try these bagels. They are completely worth the work. They are soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, what’s not to love?

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Day 1

To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl.

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Add the water…

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…whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter.

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly.

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It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

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To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining ¾ cup flour to stiffen the dough.

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Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour–all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81°F. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

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Immediately divide the dough into 4½ounce pieces (12) for standard bagels, or smaller (24 pieces for mini bagels) if desired.

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Form the pieces into rolls.

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Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

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Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Proceed with one of the following shaping methods:

Method 1: Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2½ inches in diameter. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)

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Method 2: Roll out the dough into an 8-inch long rope. (This may require rolling part of the way and resting if the pieces are too elastic and snap back, in which case, allow them to rest for 3 minutes and then extend them again to bring to full length. Wrap the dough around the palm and back of your hand, between the thumb and forefinger, overlapping the ends by several inches. Press the overlapping ends on the counter with the palm of your hand, rocking back and forth to seal.

Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

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Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

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Day 2

The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

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Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds).

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After 1 minute flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side.

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While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.) If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination. I used a combination of sesame and poppy seeds.

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When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.

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Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Revel in your hard work, and enjoy a fresh bagel.

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Yield: 12 large or 24 mini bagels 

Ingredients

Sponge
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour (I used half and half)
2½ cups water, room temperature

Dough
½ teaspoon instant yeast
3¾ cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour (I used half and half))
2¾ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar (I used malt syrup)

To Finish
1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal (what I used) or semolina flour for dusting
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, rehydrated dried minced garlic or onions, or chopped fresh onions that have been tossed in oil (optional – I used poppy and sesame seeds)

Directions

Day 1

To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining ¾ cup flour to stiffen the dough.

Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour–all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81°F. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

Immediately divide the dough into 4½ounce pieces (12) for standard bagels, or smaller (24 pieces for mini bagels) if desired. Form the pieces into rolls.

Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Proceed with one of the following shaping methods:

Method 1: Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2½ inches in diameter. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)

Method 2: Roll out the dough into an 8-inch long rope. (This may require rolling part of the way and resting if the pieces are too elastic and snap back, in which case, allow them to rest for 3 minutes and then extend them again to bring to full length. Wrap the dough around the palm and back of your hand, between the thumb and forefinger, overlapping the ends by several inches. Press the overlapping ends on the counter with the palm of your hand, rocking back and forth to seal.

Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

Day 2

The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.) If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination. I used a combination of sesame and poppy seeds.

When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Revel in your hard work, and enjoy a fresh bagel.

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.