Challah Bread

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 11-10-2010

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This morning I was really cold! Our heat is still turned off. I decided the best way to warm up was to make some warm bread and hot soup. Since we celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday this year, we had an abundance of cooked turkey in the fridge. I decided I would make some turkey noodle soup and Challah bread to warm up on this cool morning.

My bread turned out amazing! Using butter in this bread makes it to die for. It’s soft and warm on the inside and golden brown on the outside.

Challah Bread
(makes one large loaf)

5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp quick rise yeast
1 cup skim milk (luke warm-warm)
2 tsp white sugar
6 tbsp salted butter (melted)
2 large eggs (beaten)
Olive oil spray
1 egg yolk
Poppy seeds

Preheat oven on your lowest setting. Once your oven reaches this temp, turn it off. In a large stainless steel  bowl add the flour, salt and sugar and mix well. Add the yeast and mix well. Stir in the luke-warm milk. Add the eggs, and continue to stir. Add the melted butter (making sure it is not hot before adding). Stir well. Knead the dough for 10 minutes straight to form a soft ball. If using a stainless steel bowl place spray some olive oil on plastic wrap and cover the bowl with it. Place in the warm turned off oven. Let rise for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Shape into braid (form 4 rolls and braid them). Place on a cookie sheet. Place in the turned off oven covered in the plastic wrap again for 30 minutes to rise. Remove from oven take off plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush with egg yolk. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until lightly golden. Enjoy.

You Say Focacia I say Focaccia

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 16-06-2010

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I was recently thinking to myself “its been ages since I have made any bread”. It’s true I don’t know how it happened but somehow I totally went off of bread making. I love making bread, so I am thinking it was probably work that got me off of my bread making spree. Needless to say I am back on the bread baking bandwagon.

This morning I made two loaves of Focaccia bread. Focaccia bread is one of my long lost loves. Years ago when we use to have a bread maker I made this type of bread ALL the time. It really was one of my favorites. However after our bread maker broke I hardly ever ate focaccia bread let alone made it.

This morning I was paging through my favorite vegetarian cook book when I came across a recipe for focaccia bread. I decided today was the day to make it.

Onion Focaccia Bread (adapted from Vegetarian – edited by Valerie Ferguson)

Onion Focaccia
(makes two loaves)

6 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white sugar
1 tbsp quick rise dried yeast
4 tbsp olive oil (plus extra to drizzle on top)
2 cups lukewarm skim milk
2 tbsp dehydrated minced onion
2 tbsp dried parsley
red onions (diced)
green onions (diced)
Chives (diced)
Grated low fat marble cheese

Preheat oven to 170 degrees F (or your lowest oven temperature). Once the oven reaches this temperature turn the oven off. In a large stainless steel bowl add: the flour, sugar, salt. Mix well. Add the yeast and mix thoroughly. Add 4 tbsp oil and the lukewarm milk and knead the for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic warp sprayed in olive oil. Let rise in oven for 30 minutes or until double in size. Remove from oven. Divide dough in half. On two pizza pans roll out each ball of dough until it is flat and pizza shaped. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed in olive oil. Let rise in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle desired amount of grated cheese over each bread. Sprinkle on onions, and chives. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over breads. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
Serve warm with a favorite soup, salad or pasta.

Kahlua Banana Bread

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 02-02-2010

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A couple days ago I was at Tyler’s place (in case you are wondering Tyler is my boyfriend) and Tyler was in his kitchen getting rid of all his expired food from the fridge and cupboards. He was about to throw out two quite dark colored bananas when I stopped him. I said “don’t throw those out, I’ll make something with them”. He gave them to me, and the next day I whipped up some super yummy banana bread. I made the recipe myself morphing one of my own banana muffin recipes into banana bread.

My rescued bananas

My rescued bananas

My Kahlua banana bread is a soft, and moist. It has a distinct Kahula flavor that I love. The shredded coconut, and walnut pieces give the bread a subtle nutty flavor.

My banana bread is a house hold hit, and less then 24 hours later it is almost all gone.


Here is my recipe.

Kahula Banana Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp white vinegar
¼-½ cup skim milk
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp Kahlua
1-1 ½  cup not packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/8-¼ cup unsweetened medium shredded coconut
3 medium sized bananas
Several pieces of your favorite chocolate (baking chocolate or another kind) cut into tiny pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (except the brown sugar). Mix well. In a blender add the bananas (in pieces), milk, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, and Kahlua. Blend until smooth. Add the blender mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan (I used 9X13 but a smaller pan would work too). Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until the banana bread is golden on top and a tooth pick comes out clean when poked.
Serve warm or cool.

Home Made Dinner Rolls

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 31-01-2010

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Yesterday my mom said she would be making her famous pea soup for dinner. I thought why not complement her soup with some home made rolls or buns.

I had never made rolls or buns before, so I thought it was a great opportunity to expand my bread making abilities. I found a recipe which had butter in it. I was excited to use butter since through out my whole life I can count on my fingers how many times I have eaten butter. I was raised on margarine, and until recently that is all I have ever really eaten or used in my cooking and baking (aside from oil of course). The recipe I chose to use came from the Vegetarian recipe book edited by Valerie Ferguson, that I have been getting a lot of bread recipes from lately.

Taste wise my buns or rolls (I kind of made both)  turned out really well. They were warm, soft, and a little bit buttery. Appearance wise they were just okay in my opinion. I am no expert bun or roll shaper. I had detailed instructions on how to make some really neat roll shapes, but despite my best efforts, I couldn’t make anything other then the standard bun shape work. Maybe there is a secret out there about how to shape a roll or bun that I have yet to learn…

Before baking

Before baking

After baking

After baking

Despite my uninteresting bun/roll shapes there were just a few buns left over after dinner.

Do you have any tips of how to shape buns or rolls?

Sun Dried Tomato, and Cheese Spiral Bread

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 28-01-2010

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Yesterday I was in the bread baking mood. I decided I was going to make a Sun-dried tomato bread recipe, that I had been eyeing for a little while now, in my favorite bread recipe book: Vegetarian a cooks guide to the sensational world of vegetarian cooking… edited by Valerie Ferguson (page 242). I started out only morphing the recipe a little bit (using less sun-dried tomato since I had less then the recipe called for, and instead using more onion), but ended up really creating my own recipe since the original recipe has no cheese in it, and it is also not a spiral bread.

I have been having a lot of success with spiral breads lately. The first loaf of bread I ever made from scratch was a spiral bread, and it turned out fabulous. My sun dried tomato, and cheese spiral bread turned out just as well as my onion and cheese spiral bread if not better! My bread is soft, with a mildly tomatoey  flavor, which makes it just a bit zesty. The onions combine well with the cheese to make it a very flavorful bread.

I ate my bread plain when it was still a bit warm. It really didn’t need to be eaten with anything else because it was so flavorful, and moist enough not to need any type of sauce or butter. I think my bread would go well with almost any type of meal. It would be wonderful with salads or to soak up the sauce of a saucy pasta dish.


Before baking

Before baking

After baking

After baking

Sun Dried Tomato, and Cheese Spiral Bread
*Makes 2 medium to take sized loaves of bread

6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp quick rise yeast
2 cups lukewarm milk ( I microwave it for one minute to get this temperature)
¼-½ cup sun dried tomato pieces
5 tbsp oil from the tomato jar
5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium to large onion (chopped and fried to brown)
1 cup grated low fat marble or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 100 degrees F. In a large bowl add the flour, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Stir in the milk and oil. Add the sun dried-tomato and about 2 tbsp of the onion. Knead the dough to form a soft dough (for about 10 minutes). Cover the dough with some greased plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1-2 hours (I use the oven at 100 degrees F this cuts the rising time in half, only use the oven with a stainless steel mixing bowl though!) until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll each ball out into a flat fairly thick rectangle. Spread the onions evenly over each rolled out rectangle. Sprinkle cheese evenly over each rectangle. Roll up the dough to form a large roll. Place in two bread pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the loafs are golden in color and sound hollow inside when tapped. Serve warm or cool.

Sun-Dried Tomato Bread Sticks

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 23-01-2010

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This morning I was thinking about making some bread. Since I wanted it to be done by lunch time and since it was already 10:30 am I decided to go for a recipe I have been eyeing for quite some time. The recipe is for tomato bread sticks. The recipe I have been drooling over for a few weeks now comes from a cookbook called: Vegetarian- a cooks guide to the sensational world of vegetarian cooking ( page 249) edited by Valerie Ferguson.

The bread sticks turned out very yummy. Warm, and soft, and full of flavor, these bread sticks were an all out hit. I ended up making thirteen and by the time lunch time was finished there were only two left (which I think are now gone).

I didn’t morph this recipe much. I used way more sun-dried tomato pieces then the recipe called for (the recipe said to use 6, and I used at least 15). I also used a lot more water then the recipe called for, as well as some of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar, on top of the oil that was called for in the recipe.

The dough

The dough

The formed sticks

The formed sticks

The sticks with the poppy seeds before baking

The sticks with the poppy seeds before baking

The baked sticks

The baked sticks


Sun-Dried Tomato Bread sticks
Makes 13-16 bread sticks

2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp quick rise yeast
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
2/3 – 3/4 cup lukewarm water
15 pieces sun-dried tomato (or desired amount)
A small amount of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar (1-2 tsp)
1 tbsp skim milk
1-2 tsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix well. Add the oil, and the honey Stir. Add 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Add the sundered tomato pieces, and some extra oil from the jar. Knead to form a soft dough. If the dough seems too dry add some extra lukewarm water. Continue to knead the dough for about 8 – 10 minutes. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 5 minutes. Divide dough into desired amount of bread sticks, and form dough into sticks. Place on a greased baking sheet. Let the rolls rise for 15 minutes in a warm location. Brush on the milk and sprinkle the poppy seeds over the sticks. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy.

I served my sun-dried tomato bread sticks with some sun-dried tomato, garlic, and cheese dip, and carrot sticks.




Onion and Cheese Spiral Bread

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 06-01-2010

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Yesterday I was feeling ambitious and decided to tackle the daunting task of making bread from scratch! I love home made bread, but ever since our bread maker broke quite a few years ago, I had never made another loaf of bread.  Making it from scratch was an new adventure.

I searched through one of my mom’s favorite cook books  for bread Vegetarian -a cook’s guide to the sensational world of vegetarian cooking with 500 recipes edited by Valerie Ferguson. I found a recipe that I liked on page 240 for Spiral herb bread. I changed the recipe a lot, since I didn’t feel like going to the food store to buy extra ingredients that I didn’t happen to already have.

My bread was a spectacular treat fresh out of the oven. It looked beautiful and tasted very flavorful. Since this bread is half whole wheat it’s also very filling! I served it with spaghetti.

The only thing I would change the next time I make this recipe is to put some onion actually in the dough of the bread rather then just in the spiral part of the bread. I may experiment with different types of onions as well.

Here is my morphed version of the recipe.

Onion and Cheese Spiral Bread
*Makes 2 medium sized loafs of bread

3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp quick rise yeast
2 ½ cups lukewarm skim milk (microwave for 1 minute)
Olive oil for greasing/spraying
1 medium to large white onion
1 garlic clove
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp Salt
1 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese
Dried basil
Dried parsley
Dried oregano
You will also need plastic wrap

Combine the flours in a bowl. Add the salt and mix well. Add the yeast and stir until well combined. Stir in about ½ or a bit less of the grated cheddar cheese. Add the lukewarm milk. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it looks like this.


Get a large sheet of plastic wrap. Spray some olive oil over it evenly. Wrap your dough in it, and let it rise for 2 hours or 1 hour if you try this trick (Preheat your oven to 100 degrees F. Once it reaches this temperature turn off the oven and put your wrapped up dough in it’s original bowl [if it’s stainless steel] in the oven for one hour. Don’t try this with a plastic bowl!). Your dough should have at least doubled in size now, like this.


While the dough is rising mince the onion and garlic clove. Fry it in at least 2 tsp olive oil until lightly browned with a generous amount of basil, parsley, and oregano. Remove from heat, set aside.

Remove plastic wrap. Divide dough into two balls. Roll each ball out separately into a large rectangle. Spread egg over each rolled out rectangle. Now spread the onion and herb mixture over the egg evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, and roll each rectangle up into a roll. Like this (yes the shape is a bit odd, but it seems to change after it bakes).


Place in two separate greased bread/loaf pans. Place the greased plastic wrap back on the dough while it rises. Let rise in a warm place until the dough rises to the level of the top of the loaf pan. Remove plastic wrap. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans, and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or store for later.





Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 02-09-2009

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This morning I was craving some banana bread. I took out our Mountain View Elementary School cookbook, and found the one banana bread recipe in it (on page 47). I modified the recipe greatly and came up with my own version. Here it is.

Banana Bread

¾ cup not packed brown sugar
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
3 large bananas
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum extract
½ cup sour milk (skim milk and white vinegar)
2 large eggs
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the walnuts, and chocolate chips.

In a blender add the banana, brown sugar, rum and vanilla extracts, sour milk, olive oil, and eggs. Blend until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until smooth. Add the batter to a prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy J

The banana bread turned out super yummy. It’s a simple, soft sweet bread with a little crunch from the walnuts.


Baking Bread

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 24-01-2008

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Today I decided to make some bread by hand. It has my first time making bread the old fashioned way. I use to make bread often when I was younger with the bread maker . However the bread maker died many years ago. I chose to make a basic french bread. A picked a recipe from an old book on the kitchen cooking/baking bookshelf.
 Here is the recipe from A Guide to Good Cooking–Five Roses Flour. I changed the 1.5 tablespoons of shortening to 1.5 tablespoons olive oil because it is a more healthy.
 I also modified the water from 1.5 cups water to one cup water one cup milk to add some extra calcium to the bread.

 French Bread

 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon sugar
 1 cup warm water
 1/2 cup warm skim milk
 3 teaspoons active dry fast rising yeast
 4 cups all purpose flour
 2 teaspoons salt

 Comine dry ingredients in this order: flour, sugar, yeast. Mix well. Add the salt. Mix well. Add moist ingredients. Mix well with a spoon. Now knead until the dough is a nice
 consistency. Now continue kneading the dough for 10 minutes. Now place a towel over the bowl and let the dough rise for one hour. Punch the dough down and knead a few times.
 Shape the dough into two long rolls. Place on a cookie sheet and let rise for 30-40 minutes. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy.

The bread was very yummy.