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Category Archives: Breads

Forget Those Supermarket Rolls – Go Krazy with Homemade Kaiser Rolls

Sean and I are both big proponents of sandwiches in this house and take every opportunity to make a good sandwich for lunch or dinner. Of course, there is nothing quite like a sandwich on a good roll to make it taste even better. The problem is finding the good rolls that you will love to eat. Unfortunately for us, we do not have a bakery in our town or nearby, which means you would have to settle for the rolls they offer at the local supermarkets. If you have ever had a Kaiser roll from New York City or one of the boroughs, you will quickly realize that the rolls offered outside of the city pale in comparison and or too soft, too dry and somewhat flavorless, making for a disappointing sandwich. The best solution available to me was to try to make these rolls on my own. I was hesitant at first, fearing it would be a lot of work to give it a try, but I came across this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen in their cookbook Bread Illustrated (one of my favorite cookbooks by the way). The recipe seemed very easy and straightforward, so I decided it was time to give it a try.

Homemade Kaiser Rolls

5 cups bread flour

4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups water, at room temperature

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg, at room temperature

4 teaspoons sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt

1 tablespoon poppy seeds, optional

Whisk the bread flour, yeast and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk the water, vegetable oil, egg, and sugar together in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup until the sugar has dissolved.

Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, set the mixer to low speed and slowly add the water mixture to the flour mixture and mix the ingredients until a cohesive dough starts to form, and no dry flour remains, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead the ingredients until the dough is smooth and elastic and clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom of the bowl, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead the dough by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place the dough seam-side down in a lightly greased large bowl or container, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Press down on the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a clean counter or workspace. Press and stretch the dough into a 12 by 6-inch rectangle, with the long side parallel to the counter edge.

Using a pizza cutter or chef’s knife, cut the dough vertically into 12 (6 by 1-inch) strips and cover the dough loosely with greased plastic wrap.

Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep the remaining pieces covered with the plastic), stretch and roll the dough into a 14-inch rope. Shape the rope into a U with a 2-inch-wide bottom curve and the ends facing away from you. Tie the ends into a single overhand knot, with a 1 1/2-inch open loop at the bottom.

Wrap 1 tail over the loop and press it through the opening from the top. Wrap the other tail under the loop and pinch the ends together to seal them. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, placing the rolls pinched side down on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 3 inches apart. Cover the rolls loosely with greased plastic and let the dough rise until it has nearly doubled in size and the dough springs back minimally when it is poked gently with your knuckle, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently brush the rolls with the egg mixture and sprinkle them with poppy seeds, if using. Bake the rolls until they are golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking process.

Transfer the rolls to wire racks and allow them to cool completely, about 1 hour, before serving.

The process of forming the rolls sounds more complicated than it is. Once you get used to doing it, they come together pretty quickly, though I have to admit I think mine could have looked nicer. Besides the looks, I have to say these rolls are excellent. They have the right texture and the crisp exterior that you want in a roll while still maintaining a moist interior crumb. There are stamps you can buy to imprint the rolls if you do not want to go through the effort of getting that rosette shape yourself (you can find them on Amazon or King Arthur Flour). We used the rolls that night for chicken sandwiches for dinner, and I have to say they are better than anything I can buy around here. While they are certainly not of the quality you will get fresh from the bakeries on Arthur Avenue, it’s a good one you can do yourself without a lot of work and still have a great roll for sandwiches. It’s definitely one I will be making again.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Breads, Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Uncategorized

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are looking for some great ideas of what to make this year or want something different beyond the usual corned beef and cabbage, New York Times Cooking has put together an excellent collection of recipes that cover everything you might need. From soda bread to side dishes to desserts and drinks, you will find it all. Check it out.

On a side note, I haven’t been around lately because I have been fighting a terrible cold for 2 weeks now. The cold has pretty much sapped all my strength and leaves me coughing quite a bit. When this has been combined with a heavy workload I have had recently, I have little time for blogging. I am hoping to kick the cold this week as it seems to be waning, and then I can get back to posting recipes. Please bear with me a little bit while I get my strength back. Thanks!

 

Source: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

 

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Bread Week, Part 4 – Go Dutch for Lunch with a Cook’s Country Dutch Crunch Roll

I always have grand ambitions to make my own sandwich rolls for things like hamburgers, sausage and peppers, or just to have for sandwiches for lunch or dinner. I do make them sometimes, but not nearly as often as I wish I had time to and have to make do with what we get from the local store (oh, how I wish we had a real bakery around here!). In any case, I was planning on making chicken sandwiches for dinner recently and decided I was going to make my own rolls for them. I had come across a recipe in Cook’s Country from April/May 2016 for a roll I had not heard of before called a Dutch Crunch. It is a regional roll that is well-known in San Francisco for its combination of a lightly sweet sandwich bread with a crunchy, unique topping. The pictures of the rolls in the magazine looked enticing, so I figured it would be a good one to attempt for dinner.

Cook’s Country Dutch Crunch Rolls

For the Dough:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees)

3/4 cup white rice flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the dough, using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the all-purpose flour, water, melted butter, sugar, yeast, and salt together on low speed until a cohesive mass starts to form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Grease a large a bowl and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough briefly to form it into a smooth ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and the dough to coat it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it is almost doubled in size and a fingertip depression in the dough springs back slowly, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Gently press down on the center of the dough to deflate it. Place the dough on a clean work surface and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a rough ball by pinching and pulling the dough edges under so that the top of the ball is smooth.

Flip each ball onto the smooth side and pat each ball into a 4-inch circle. Fold the top edge of the circle down to the midline, pressing on it to seal it. Fold the bottom edge of the circle up to meet the first seam at the midline and press it to seal it. Fold the dough in half, so the top and the bottom edges come together and pinch the edges together to form a seam. Flip the dough to the seam sound down and gently roll it into a 6-inch log. Arrange the rolls in 2 staggered rows of 4 on the prepared baking sheet. Set the sheet of rolls aside to rise at room temperature until they are almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the topping, 25 minutes before the rolls are finished rising, whisk together the warm water, white rice flour, vegetable oil, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and let the topping rise until it has doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Stir the risen topping to deflate it. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the topping over each roll and quickly brush the topping on to evenly coat the roll tops and sides.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake the rolls until the exteriors are golden brown and craggy and the centers of the rolls register 210 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center, about 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking process. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before serving.

The process of creating the shape of the rolls sounds more complicated than it really is. Once you do one and get it into the form you want it, the rest are pretty easy for you to do. The topping is pretty thick when you are spreading it on (think pancake batter thick), but it forms a really nice crust onto the roll that you will definitely appreciate. The rolls are soft and chewy on the inside, like you want a sandwich roll to be, and have a really nice crunch on the outside thanks to the rice flour. It is the perfect sandwich bread for anything you might like – deli meats, turkey, chicken, tuna, vegetables – and they hold up quite nicely. We all enjoyed them with our chicken sandwiches and had them for the rest of the week to use for lunch. Like any bread or roll, you do need to plan ahead and give yourself some time to make the dough and let it rise (and buy the rice flour if you don’t happen to have any), but this one that is worth the effort.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day (it is beautiful here again, 72 and sunny and I am wearing shorts in February in NY), and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Breads, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Sandwiches

 

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Bread Week, Day 2 -For Fun, Make This Light-As-Air Focaccia

For the second day of this all-bread week, I turn to a recipe I made recently for focaccia bread. I had purchased some Italian “00” flour from King Arthur Flour with the intent of trying my hand at making pasta, but then the whole kitchen renovation thing got started and I just never got to it. Now that the kitchen is done and I still have the flour I do still intend to make a go of homemade pasta, but first I tried the flour out in this focaccia recipe that King Arthur offers on the bag. If you have never had focaccia before, it is a flat-crusted, oven-baked bread that has a similar consistency to pizza dough and pizza crust. The primary difference between pizza dough and focaccia rests with the amount of yeast used. Pizza dough uses only a bit of yeast while focaccia uses more for a higher rise. I decided I wanted to give the bread a try out using the Italian-style flour to see how it would go.

King Arthur Flour Light-As-Air Focaccia

For the Dough:3 3/4 cups King Arthur Italian-Style Flour

3 3/4 cups King Arthur Italian-Style Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup plus 2 to 4 tablespoons water

For the Topping:

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt

Your favorite herbs (fresh or dry rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, etc.)

For the dough, mix together the Italian-style flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 1 cup of water and knead the dough briefly, for about 5 to 6 minutes, by hand or in the bowl of a stand mixer. If you’re using a bread machine, knead the dough for about 8 minutes. If you need the dough to be softer, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, to get the consistency you want. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold it over a few times to redistribute the growing yeast.

Place the dough on a lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and pat the dough into a rectangle of about 10 inches by 15 inches. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle it lightly with salt and your favorite herbs. Cover the dough with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Just before putting the dough in the oven, use your fingers to gently dimple the top of the dough, about every 2 inches. Bake the focaccia in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until it is golden brown. Remove the focaccia from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before cutting it into squares and serving.

The bread turns out perfectly, with a great rise and it has spectacular flavor. I used some dried Italian seasoning on top of the bread to give it some extra flavor and adding some good olive oil to the top works nicely. We all enjoyed the bread, and it can be great to use when you have a crowd over for a large dinner of spaghetti and meatballs or another Italian dish. I know some people use this as the crust for their pizza and I think it would work nicely for that as well. I have seen some people use it as a sandwich bread also. You could make this dough with all-purpose flour instead of the “00” flour, and I have seen recipes doing that, but this flour seems to lend itself nicely to the texture and feel of the bread.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in Appetizers, Breads, Cooking, Dinner, Pasta, Pizza, Side Dishes

 

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Coming Back with an Easy, No-Knead Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza

It seems like it has been ages since I have had time to post any recipes I have tried. Now that the kitchen is back to being a kitchen again (and it looks great by the way), and some other family stuff is behind us, I can try to get back to posting on a regular basis. I thought I would try to ease back into everything with a simple recipe that I put together for dinner on Friday night. This one is from King Arthur Flour, which is my favorite source for all things baking. I buy a lot of their items for the different breads I make, but they also make an excellent pizza blend flour that makes a wonderful crust for pizza. This recipe makes a simple, no-knead pizza dough that you can turn out pretty quickly and dress up with your favorite toppings to make a great meal anytime. The recipe was published in their last catalog, and I thought it would be a great one to try out.

No-Knead Deep-Dish Pepperoni Pizza

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/4 cups Pizza Flour Blend

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

4 ounces sliced pepperoni

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Grease or oil with olive oil a 9″ x 13″ pan. To make the crust, Stir the water, olive oil, pizza flour blend, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl to form a slightly sticky, soft dough. Let the dough rise, covered for 30 minutes.

Place the dough in the oiled pan and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Pat and stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Let the dough rest in the pan, covered with a towel, for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cover the crushed pizza crust dough with the crushed tomatoes. Top the tomatoes with the mozzarella, then the pepperoni, and finally the Parmesan cheese. Place the pizza in the oven and bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Remove the pizza from the oven and carefully lift it out of the pan and onto a cooling rack (if you have a large spatula, it is a big help here). Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting it and serving it.

The pizza crust recipe itself is the same recipe you will find listed on the back of the pizza flour blend bag from King Arthur. I typically make the dough in my bread maker, allowing it to do the kneading and rising over the course of two hours. This method cuts that in half and produces a nice crust perfect for use in a deep dish pan or rectangular pan. I added some spice to the tomatoes, mixing in some Italian seasoning for extra flavor, and you could easily add some basil, oregano or another spice blend that you might like on your pizza for added flavor. The crust comes out nicely, and you get a good size pizza out of it that has nice flavor and crunch to it. It is certainly one I will try again since we make pizza here about once a month.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I do plan to do a post about the kitchen and some of the new gadgets I have to play with, so keep an eye out for that. Until next time, enjoy the rest of yuor day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Breads, Cooking, Dinner, Pizza, Uncategorized

 

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54 Pastries You Should Absolutely Eat for Breakfast | Bon Appetit

For me, there is nothing like great pastry treat any time of the day, but pastries can be fantastic, something special for breakfast, particularly on a Sunday. I can always remember having jelly doughnuts as a kid on Sunday morning from the bakery and how wonderful it was. Well, you can make great pastries right in your own home, with everything from doughnuts to muffins and all in between, with these 54 recipes from Bon Appetit. Check it out!

I had hoped to start posting some recipes this week now that our kitchen is finished, but life has interrupted things, and I haven’t been home much to try much new and post anything. I do have some stuff backlogged and hope I will have more time later this week to start sharing again. Hang in there, recipes are coming!

 

Source: 54 Pastries You Should Absolutely Eat for Breakfast | Bon Appetit

 

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What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

The holiday meal is always a great one, but then you are left trying to figure out what to do with all of those leftovers from your roast, turkey, ham or other protein you made. Bon Appetit has put together 14 great recipe ideas with what you can make with some of those leftovers that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Check it out!

Source: What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

 

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