Posts Tagged ‘bread’

Austin Bakes for Bastrop Facebook Page

Things are coming together for the upcoming bake sale on October 1st!

A First Giving donation website is up for online contributions to the cause: Central Texas Wildfire Relief Fund to aid residents who lost everything in Bastrop due to the massive fires.

I found the Texas Parks & Wildlife video showing footage of the wildfires as it consumed most (over 90%) of the state park.  With the fires moving that fast it’s a miracle everyone got out of the path in time, but there was no time to gather belongings.

A big thank you to Round Rock Parks & Recreation for donating space for a bake sale location!  The full list of bake sale locations will be available soon, I’ll keep y’all posted.

Round Rock, TX

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I’m planning to bake some goodies for an upcoming bake sale raising funds to help those who lost their homes to the wildfires this summer.  If you’re in the Austin area, watch for bake sale locations around Austin on Saturday October 1st from 10:00 – 2:00.  Mark your calendars to come by to see what local bakers have made with love for this special cause.

All proceeds will be donated to Central Texas Wildfire Fund that will directly have an impact on the victims of the Austin area wildfires.

If you want to lend a hand, either by baking or volunteering at the sale locations, contact:

Kathryn Hutchison
email: AustinGastronomist at gmail dot com

There is a Facebook page here and a blog here, and for those of you who Tweet, go here.

I will post the locations of the sale as soon as they are announced!

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The 4 hour rise time for my no-knead bread got a bit of an extension.  I forgot the bowl of dough in the oven overnight.  Not to worry, the loaf turned out fine, see…

I’m the only one in my house who enjoys caraway, might be the Finn part of me trying to tell me something.  Because the bread was baked off in the morning, we had an awesome dipper for our lunchtime soup.

If you have rye flour, substitute some of the bread flour for rye.

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp caraway
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour in the water and mix until the flour is blended and wet.  The dough will be shaggy and very sticky.  Cover with plastic and let rise for 4 – 12 hours in a warm, draft-free place.

When you are ready to bake, grease your hands with olive oil and pull the dough out of the bowl to a lightly greased baking pan.  Fold each side inwards.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until the crust is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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I made a strange no-knead bread with pumpkin seeds and 10-grain cereal.  I left it all day while I was at work and baked it off as soon as I got home with the kids.  It was so heavy and the fizzle of the yeast was long gone by then.  It didn’t budge.  It didn’t puff.  However, the interior was soft and full of the flavour of the grains and bite of the emerald seeds.  The crust wasn’t pretty but had a lovely golden hue.  I named it a flat bread and called it a night.

Now I’m stuck with this flat toad of a loaf until we eat it all.  I’m not making more bread until this sucker is finished off.

Some digging through the fridge produced deli ham and cheese, plus a red onion.  (I had bought the deli foods thinking I was going to bake bread this week to make sandwiches for lunch.)  Pizza was my first thought.  Split the loaf open and top with some tomato sauce, meat, onion, then cheese.

A quick stint under the broiler was all it took to “bake” my pizza.  What I should have done was broil the bread first and then top it, just like the Welsh Rabbit.  That would have given the pizza crust some stability once completed.  In other words, it was a little soggy, but not so much that it fell apart.

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Picture from Amazon.com (click to visit site)

I’ve finished flipping through the 1980’s cookbook I found at the Antique Mall and need to start something new.  I found a copy of Jeffrey Steingarten’s book The Man Who Ate Everything at HPB for 6 dollars and change.  A book about food, by a food writer for Vogue magazine, a little more interesting than reading recipes (although I have fun looking through cookbooks).  This book will be a welcomed change of pace for summer.

In the first several pages, Jeffery has piqued my interest in making more bread.  He describes his struggle to produce a wild yeast starter, and why spring water is better than any other water for bread making.  If you’ve ever watched Iron Chef America, you probably saw Mr. Steingarten at the judges’ table.  His mannerisms are equally funny in his writing.  He writes like he sounds on TV.  Genuine I guess.

Once I finish the book I will update you with more.  For now, it’s back to the kitchen to start a loaf of bread.

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One simple thing every cook needs to have is a good olive oil.  I found a Tuscano olive oil at Costco which I”m loving. 

A good way to taste olive oil is to dip bread into it.  If you don’t know what type or brand you like, buy small quantities and perform a taste test.  A very light oil is best for dishes that are light in flavor and for baking.  A dressing for salad or pasta can have a richer, deeper olive flavour.

It’s the deep flavour of olives, sea salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar that I mix up for dipping fresh bread.  Often served at tables of Italian restaurants before the meal, it becomes a meal in itself for me.  A carb-tastic pleasure.

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I have a smallish container of mint growing on the back patio.  This little herb has quadrupled in size since I brought it home.  Besides Mojitos and lamb shanks, I was at a loss for the purpose of this fresh green plant.  I asked my neighbours if they had any ideas… Jen suggested adding some mint to my brownies.  Hmmm… (sounds of brain gears grinding)

Zucchini were really cheap at the store this week, 88 c/lb!, so I loaded up with a half-dozen small tender green squash.  They were intended for a soup or stir-fry but ended up marrying chocolate cake with my patio mint. 

With only a minor amount of mint, the plain zucchini bread out of BH&G cook book took a spin on the fresh side.  The added dark cocoa powder was really a curtain of smoke and mirrors for the kids, if they don’t see green – they won’t think YUCK!  The kids absolutely stuffed their pretty little faces with this cake, and asked for more.  You could imagine the smirk being held back with great force as I watched Little Sister break off bite-sized morsels to munch on.

Here is my modified version of zucchini bread, based on the recipe found in Better Homes & Garden’s cook book:

Mint Chocolate (Zucchini) Cake

  • 1/4 cup plain apple sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped fine
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s special dark)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded (2 small zucchini)

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF and grease a bread loaf pan or a 8″x8″ brownie pan.  Cut a piece of parchment to the size of the bottom of the pan and place inside.

Mix the wet ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix the dry ingredients, sifting if there are lumps, in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

Pour the wet into the well made in the dry ingredients.  Add the zucchini last and stir by hand until the flour disappears.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 45 (brownie 8×8) – 55( loaf) minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 20 minutes before attempting to remove the hot loaf.  The parchment should help release the loaf from the bottom of the pan, you may need to poke a knife around the sides carefully as not to cut the loaf.

I call it a loaf thinking you’re baking it in a bread pan, and cake when baked in a brownie pan.  I used a brownie pan and it worked fabulously!  This cake will keep in the fridge in a sealed bag for up to a week.  If you’re having a tea party, this would be a nice addition to the table.

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Breads: Rye Dinner Rolls

Through another blog (Lisa’s Food on the Move) I found the recipe for insanely delicious, fluffy dinner rolls made with the help of my bread machine.  Nancy, if you read this, I hope you can try this recipe out as it started with your Awesome Dinner Rolls.  All I did was replace some of the bread flour with dark rye flour, the results were fantastic!

Here is the adapted recipe for your bread machine:

  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (80-100ºF)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour + 3/4 cup dark rye flour, blend the flours together
  • 3 tsp active dry yeast

Add in the order specified by your bread machine manufacturer, the order above is the order I used.  Make a well in the flour for the yeast.  Mix on the dough cycle.  Divide the dough into equal pieces, you should get 12 – 15 buns.  Equally space the dough balls on a deep cookie sheet and brush with more butter.

Rise the buns for 45 minutes in a warm place free of drafts (like in the oven!)

Bake at 375ºF for about 15 minutes.  Brush the hot rolls with melted butter.  Try to share these, they will go straight to your thighs!



You might also like:


Apple Sage Roasted Chicken

olive bread

No-Knead Olive Rosemary Bread


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Here is another recipe I dreamt up to enter into the weekly Food52 contest.  This week it’s all about olives and citrus, I jotted down the first combination that popped in my head, and here it is…

Serves 4
  • 1 cup green olives, drained
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • italian bread slices, toasted
  • shredded pecorino romano cheese

Finely dice the olives and tomatoes. Place these in a bowl along with the garlic and onion. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and sea salt.   Zest the half the orange, half the lemon and half the lime. Add the juice of the orange to the mixture.

Mince some parsley and mix into the bruchetta. Reserve some for garnish.

Let the bruchetta marinate in the fridge until ready to serve. To serve, top toasted bread slices with some bruchetta, pecorino and parsley.

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The bread machine came with instructions for cinnamon rolls and I’ve read several forums where everyone suggests finding a suitable recipe for these rolls and do not use the manufacturer’s recipe.  Being generous, I had to try it once.  Bad move.  Should have listened to the bread machine veterans.  I knew it was going horribly wrong when there was a golf ball sized dough ball being whacked around by the paddle.  Drifts of flour were hanging out along the perimeter.  There was no way all that flour could be incorporated at this point.  I began drizzling warm water from a coffee cup into the bowels of the machine, attempting to meld the flour with the ball.  Looking at the recipe again in the middle of this rescue mission, I saw no indication that I read it wrong, it’s just a poorly written recipe!  Or it wasn’t actually tested…

With a spear in my heart, I baked the cinnamon buns with all eight fingers and all eight toes crossed.  I should have taken them out sooner.  The rolls were dry and the whole stick of butter used to coat the skin of the dough was now a pool at the bottom of the pan.  My kids were the only saving grace in this whole ordeal, they polished off the dozen rolls within 24 hours. 

I haven’t let all the gusto out of my sails yet, I searched for a winning recipe to dig me out of this situation to claim redemption and save the bread machine from a dark fate.  This recipe was posted by momadvice with a few hints to improve upon the original recipe found here.  I’ve taken it a step further by introducing butter and raisins to the dough.

Cinnamon Raisin Bun Dough

  • 1 1/4 cup milk, warmed gently to 80ºF
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted with the milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (1 package)


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add the ingredients in the bread machine manufacturer’s recommended order.  Select the dough cycle and start.  (You can mix this in a mixer with a dough hook attachment – keep the salt away from the yeast until after it proofs.  I recommend adding the milk, sugar and yeast first, let it proof, then add remaining ingredients.)

Let the machine do the work!


Rolled out and filling installed

Pre-heat the oven for a few minutes and turn it off.  Cover the unshaped dough with cloth and put in a warm oven for 45-60 minutes to double in bulk.  

Second rise completed waiting for the oven to pre-heat

Roll out the dough to about 12 x 15″ and spread with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar over the butter and roll up tightly. Cut into nine large rolls.  Return to the warm oven for 20 – 30 minutes until puffed.

Remove the pan and set the oven to 400°F, place the buns into the oven.  Immediately turn down the oven to 350°F.  Bake for 12 – 15  20-25 minutes. 

Let the buns cool while you prepare the icing.  When the buns are slightly warm drizzle the icing over each sweet decadent bun.

Warm cinnamon bun with icing

I can report that these cinnamon buns are far better than the first batch out of the bread machine.  They are very soft, so much so that I put them back in the warm oven after tasting one.  Next time I would cut the rolls slightly smaller, they rise beautifully and will make up for the lost height this way.  Can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

* Serving size: 1 bun      Approximate calories: 300

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