Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Every year I play with the idea of making Panettone for Christmas and every year slips by with a broken promise to myself.  If you are like me there’s one recipe, just one, that sits on the “gotta make” list, right at the top but never seems to make the move to “been there done that.”

Zoe over at Artisan Bread in 5 has posted a visually inspiring piece on baking panettone and I’ve got no excuse this year.  Thanks to Zoe, and her book, I believe I’ll finally be taking panettone off that “gotta make” list.

Be sure and visit her site and have a look at this great holiday bread and a whole basket of other great bread recipes you can make.  You really don’t want to miss it!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a warm, sweet panettone!


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Picture 9

Raisin Scones

This past saturday I hosted a baby shower for my daughter who will be the mother of our first grandchild.  My husband and I are thrilled and the shower was such great fun, with lots of ladies and lots of chatter and of course, goodies on the table for all to enjoy.

This shower was an afternoon tea and among some of the fair we served finger sandwiches stuffed with cream cheese fillings made with strawberry and cucumber.  My daughter worked at a tea house several years ago so she made the finger sandwiches.  We’d went shopping for the supplies the day before and found some gingerbread cookie cutters and she used the little cutter to cut the finger sandwiches.  They were so cute all looking like little babies and the ladies gobbled them up so fast we couldn’t get them on the serving table fast enough.

I was responsible for the scones, one of my favorite things to bake since they are so easy and fast.  I made three batches; one raisin, one pear and the other apple sauce.

I was in a pinch and had to make some of the scones from a recipe I found on the www, for reasons I wont explain here, so I found this raisin one and whipped it up quick.  I didn’t get a chance to taste it since they disappeared so fast.  You know something is up when the room gets quiet and there’s 20 women sitting together.   I figured they must have been good enough to eat.  🙂

The other recipe I used is my own.  I have found that it can be converted with most any flavors or fillings you like.  The original recipe is Maple Pecan but since my daughter doesn’t eat nuts I opted for the pears and apple sauce fillings.  They are moist and don’t crumble into pieces when you cut them.  Enjoy!

Maple Pecan Scones

3-1/2 c flour

1/2 c sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 c chopped pecans  (walnuts may be substituted)

1 stick butter cut into pats

1-1/4 c cottage cheese

1/2 c maple syrup


Using a food processor blend dry ingredients together first.

Add butter and spin just till crumbly.

(at this point you can choose to mix the balance of ingredients in a large bowl)

Combine cottage cheese and maple syrup in a seperate bowl, pulse into the dry ingredients being careful not to over mix.

Add pecans and pulse just to mix together.

Pour out onto a lightly floured board.  Dough will be sticky.

Form a large low round about 3-4 inches high and place on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.

Score (just into the dough about half way) the round into 8 pieces (like a pie)

Bake at 350 until golden for 25 minutes or more depending how high you choose to make your round.  Test with a toothpick or wooden skewer.  When it comes out clean the scones are finished.

Optional:  Sprinkle with brown sugar before baking.

Substitutes… as long as your liquid to dry ingredients balance out you can use your imagination…. chopped pear, persimmon, fresh cranberries, and omit maple syrup.  Other options include; apple sauce for maple syrup and add chopped apple.

You might also like this Bacon Cheddar & Scallion Scone recipe by King Arthur Flour I used earlier in the year for a women’s brunch.  And,… just in case  you are adventurous check out this King Arthur recipe for Starbucks style mini-scones.

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Amish Friendship Bread

Amish Friendship Bread

It’s been quite some time since I posted any thoughts here at Fishes and Loaves so I figured I needed to poke my head up and let you know I was still around.

Actually, I’ve got some Amish Friendship Bread in the oven as I type this.  Amish Friendship Bread is great in a pinch when you need to throw something together that’s sweet and goes well with coffee or a cold glass of milk.  You can smother it with ice cream or a fancy vanilla sauce or you can dunk it.  Any way you choose it’s delicious.

The thing about this sweet bread is that it starts with a yeast starter and needs to be fed on a regular basis just like sour dough starter so if you arent up to the maintenance you might not like this style of bread.

On the other hand if you like to share your recipes this is a wonderful way to do that since you “grow” your starter and then split and share it with your friends, hence the name Friendship Bread.

Here’s the same recipe I’ve been using but there are other similar recipes all over the internet.  This site suggests giving your friendship bread away to the needy.  A nice opportunity to share the love of Christ.

Acts 2:46-47
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

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Picture 2
Here in Southern California, after temperatures in excess of 105℉, things are beginning to cool off as Fall is right around the corner. That means it’s almost time to fire up that oven, roll up my sleeves and get to work on a no-knead bread recipe I had tried a few months ago.

If you have tasted homemade bread you know how wonderful that first warm slice all buttered and crispy/chewy is.  Right out of the oven, fresh baked artisan style bread is on the top of my comfort food list.  

This recipe calls for 12-18 hours of  fermenting of the yeast mixture and final proofing, and about 45 minutes to an hour in the oven.  Because timing is important you do need to do some planning to be sure you’ve started the process at a time that will work with your schedule.  

For instance, if I mix the ingredients at 6pm on Friday evening, then I’ll need to be in a position to do the next step between 6am and 10am Saturday morning.  Then I’ll have to wait another 2 hours or so of proofing time before I can put the final dough into the oven and be willing to wait another 45 minutes to an hour before its ready.  If you follow this schedule you’ll have great bread to go with that bowl of chili or soup or make panini at lunch.

It’s really easy and requires no previous experience.  Just some patience and a 6-8 qt. cast iron Dutch Oven.  

If you are looking to try making bread for the first time you don’t have to be afraid of this recipe.  It works out great every time.

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.
Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

I do hope you try this wonderful old world style bread.  It’s great with a hearty soup or just toasted hot with butter and jam.

For more great bread recipes check out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

I use this kind of 6 qt or larger cast iron dutch oven.  You really don’t need to pay $200.oo+ for that fancy french one.

Leviticus 2:7
‘If your offering is a grain offering baked in a covered pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.”

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Some of us do some traveling now and then and a nice hotel comes with pricey room service and even more pricey restaurants.  I’ve seen folks talk about making a grilled cheese sandwich on the clothes iron in your room but how about tortellini with spinach and crème fraîche and ciabatta muffins?…. FROM SCRATCH?.. no microwave, no toaster!!!   Now that’s what I call room service!

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Parmesan Bread Puffs

Parmesan Bread Puffs

Years ago there was a pizza restaurant in our home town.  Their pizza was deep-dish and fabulous, and the menu had a great variety of items which included Romano Bread Puffs.  

I often reminisce of those bread puffs and today I had an epiphany… why not try to reproduce them at home?  So here’s some pics of my efforts.  Since I didn’t have any Romano Cheese nearby I opted for Parmesan.  My hope is to try them a couple more times and perfect them at which point I’ll post the recipe and maybe some play-by-play photos.  For today, they approached perfection and I enjoyed them completely.   Ahhhh, bliss!


6 Bread Puffs and weigh too many carbs

6 Bread Puffs and weigh too many carbs

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Naan, Indian Flat Bread

Naan, Indian Flat Bread

This is my first post in a long time… I’m still watching my carbs but I’ve lightened up a bit and have enjoyed baking bread again.  What a wonderful food bread is!!!  It comes in so many different styles and flavors you never run out of trying something new.

This week I’m going to try to bake Naan.  I love to try foods from other countries and this flat bread from India has been on my list for some time.  Zoe over at Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day posted a great recipe using her no-knead dough, and it’s baked in a cast iron skillet to boot!  I have no excuses now…

Get the book  Artisan bread in 5 Minutes a Day and let’s bake up a storm!

I’ll be posting my results sometime soon.

John 6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

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