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Category Archives: Breakfast

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 3 – A Biscuit That’s Hard to Beat (Literally) – Cook’s Country Derby Biscuits

As we continue you along with bread recipes for this week, I get the chance to post a biscuit recipe that I recently tried. Usually, I don’t stray too far from the norm when I make biscuits. I have 2 recipes I rely on pretty heavily – one for quick biscuits and one for a traditional biscuit. However, when I saw this recipe in an old issue of Cook’s Country, I was intrigued. It is a recipe for what is called derby biscuits. Derby biscuits are basically appetizer biscuits that are perfect for use for small finger appetizers involving meats and cheeses. They are biscuits that have been around for hundreds of years, and the traditional recipe, according to Cook’s Country, is one where the cook needed to beat the dough as a way of leavening it. This was before the days of baking powder and baking soda. The biscuits themselves are very crisp and unique, perfect for use for appetizers. I decided I would give the recipe a try.

Cook’s Country Derby Biscuits

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled

1 cup milk, chilled

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until the ingredients are combined, about 3 or 4 pulses. Add the butter pieces and pulse the ingredients until the butter is reduced to pea-sized pieces, about 10 to 12 pulses.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the milk and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until shaggy dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured counter and knead the dough until it comes together entirely and feels smooth, with a few small butter flecks still visible, about 8 to 10 turns of the dough.

Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle that is about a 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut 22 to 23 rounds from the dough. Re-roll the scraps once to a similar thickness as the original dough and cut out 5 or 6 more rounds to yield 28 biscuits. Space the biscuits evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Prick each biscuit 3 times with the tines of a fork.

Bake the biscuits in the oven until the tops of the biscuits are a light golden brown, about 27 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet about halfway through the cooking process. Let the biscuits cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. Serve the biscuits warm or at room temperature.

Of course, the new recipe doesn’t involve beating the dough by hand and makes good use of the food processor and baking powder to mix everything and get the proper texture for the biscuits. The biscuits are very crispy on the outside and still tender on the inside, almost like a cross between a biscuit and a cracker. There is also a hint of sweetness in the biscuits from the sugar and milk that is quite nice. While I  initially served the biscuits with our dinner, I found they worked great for a breakfast biscuit with a piece of sausage on them. I think they would go very well for a small ham and biscuit appetizer or even with some cheese on them. I could also see them going nicely with some jam, preserves or jelly. One thing I will say about the recipe I tried – I didn’t get 28 biscuits out of the dough. I did get 20 (the small biscuits in the picture are what I call the “dog biscuits,” since I usually make 1 or 2 sized for him), and perhaps I didn’t roll the dough out into a large enough circle to get more, but in any case, I got plenty of biscuits for just the three of us to use for days. I would certainly keep this one in mind again to use for a party where we wanted appetizers with biscuits because it is easy to make and yields a nice product.

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 in NY, sunny and in the mid-60s) and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Appetizers, Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Side Dishes, Snacks

 

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Welcome to Bread Week! – Starting Off with Cook’s Country English Muffin Bread

I decided since I have a backlog of bread recipes that I have made recently that each post this week will be for one of the different bread types I have tried. Breadmaking is one of my favorite things to do, and I make lots of different things all the time, to the point where I know have 8 different flours occupying space in my cabinets. I am always on the lookout for a new bread recipe to try, and this one from Cook’s Country for English muffin bread seemed like a good one to start with. I have made homemade English muffins before, and they turned out great, but the process can be quite time-consuming. This recipe offers you the same texture and chew that you expect from a traditional English muffin in bread form and it is much easier to put together.

English Muffin Bread

Cornmeal

5 cups bread flour

4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups warm milk (120 degrees)

Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans and dust each pan with cornmeal. Combine the bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the warm milk until it is combined, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough is bubbly and has doubled in size.

Stir the dough and divide it equally between the two pans, pushing the dough into the corners of the loaf pan with a greased spatula. The pans should be about two-thirds full of dough. Cover the pans with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the edges of the pans, about 30 minutes. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Discard the plastic wrap covering the pans and transfer the pans to the oven. Bake the bread, switching and rotating the pans halfway through the baking process, until the loaves are well browned and register 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread., about 30 minutes. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack and allow the bread to cool completely, about 1 hour.

If you are looking for a great bread to toast, this one is it. The texture is very similar to what you get from an English muffin, and it toasts up very nicely for you, giving you great flavor, crunch and chew. It goes very nicely with breakfast, but I also made myself a slice to have with some soup I was having for lunch, and it was the perfect accompaniment. I left one loaf out and froze the other, wrapping it in foil and then in plastic, so we can take it out whenever we are ready for another loaf. I haven’t tried it as a sandwich bread, though I am sure it would be okay; to me, it is a breakfast and toast kind of bread and one I will certainly make again since it is so easy to put together.

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 20, 2017 in Breakfast, Brunch, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch

 

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Another From the King Arthur Playbook – Flour’s Original Pound Cake

I have to admit, I have a great love of pound cake. I know for some people it seems to be plain and not very exciting, but I love the texture and flavor of a good pound cake. It can go nicely as a dessert for just about any occasion, can be dressed up with fresh fruit or just whipped cream and even allows for some variation of flavors by adding different extracts, alcohols or flavorings. Another great thing about pound cake is that it is relatively easy to make, which is perfect for someone like me that is not the best baker in the world. The ingredients are all pretty basic and things you usually have around the house anyway so you can even put one together on relatively short notice to have a nice dessert or snack for surprise guests or for something to bring to someone’s home or party. While I was looking through the latest King Artur Flour catalog, I came across this recipe for their traditional pound cake and thought it would be a very good time to give the new oven a try and check it out.

Traditional Original Pound Cake

1 cup (16 tablespoons, 8 ounces) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brandy, sherry, rum or other liqueur or extract of your choice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10 to 12-cup bundt pan.In a large bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until it is very light. Beat in the sugar gradually and then add the eggs, one at a time, until they are blended in. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat the mixture until it is very light and fluffy.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until it is very light. Beat in the sugar gradually and then add the eggs, one at a time, until they are blended in. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat the mixture until it is very light and fluffy.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla extract, and alcohol or extract of your choice, if using.

Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, starting the process with the flour mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Stir the mixture to combine the ingredients after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 60 to 65 minutes, until it springs back when pressed lightly on the top, and a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the cake appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with foil for the final 15 minutes of baking.

Remove the cake from the oven and loosen its edges in the pan. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve the cake the same day or store the cake, wrapped in plastic or wrapped well in plastic if you intend to freeze it for longer storage.

The cake goes perfectly with ice cream, fruit, whipped cream or just by itself (which is the way I like it personally). I enjoy the cake with a nice cup of coffee, and it is perfect after dinner or even as a mid-morning snack. The cake is rich and buttery and has excellent flavor. I had made cakes before where I added flavoring like lemon to it or added alcohol for extra flavor, but the plain version works best for me. Freezing the cake is easy and lets you have a quick dessert for those last-minute guests. You can warm it up quickly in just a few minutes in a 250-degree oven until it is just hot, about 8 to 12 minutes, and it will be perfect. It is always one of my favorite, go-to cakes and this one is pretty tried and faithful to go with for any time.

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 January 31, 2017 in Breakfast, Brunch, Cakes, Cooking, Dessert, Snacks, 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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