Brian’s French Bread

16 oz. all-purpose flour
16 oz. bread flour
1 tsp. Brown sugar
2 2/3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. active yeast or 1 1/4 tsp. dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 lb. old dough

In the bowl of a kitchenaide mixer, combine both flours and brown sugar.

Disolve yeast in warm water. Slowly stir into flour mixture. Let rest 20 minutes covered with a clean towel.

Add salt and old dough to mixer. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Let rise 30 minutes. Pull off 1 pound of dough and freeze.
Let remaining dough continue to rise another 1 1/2 hours.

Divide into two or three equal pieces and shape loaves.

Place on parchment covered, upside down cookie sheet or peal and allow to rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475F.

Slit tops of loaves, place in oven. Reduce oven temp to 425F. Bake 2 minutes, spritz loaves with water. Bake another 5 minutes and spritz again. Alternately you can place 1 cup of water in a cast iron pan that has been preheating in the oven.

Bake 30 minutes until internal temperature of bread is 205F

Spicy & Sassy Cornbread

Another favorite of my cousin Joe’s.

1 C butter
1 C sugar
4 eggs
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 16oz can creamed corn
½ C cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 C Flour
4 Tsp Baking Powder
1 C White Cornmeal

Mix butter and sugar, add eggs, chilies, corn and cheese. Stir in flour, baking powder and cornmeal. Grease butter all over a 9 by 13 inch pan.
Pour in mixture and bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Joe Gorski’s Cream Biscuits

My cousin Joe makes these regurlarly and they are spectacular. Stolen straight from the Fannie Farmer cookbook.

2 cups flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Baking powder
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1-1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp. Melted butter

Preheat oven to 425F

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.

Slowly add 1 cup of heavy cream, stirring constantly. Gather dough together. It should hold together, if shaggy add more ceeam.

Knead 1 minute, roll out into 1/2″ thick, cut into biscuits.

Dip each biscuit into melted butter, place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes, until golden.

Sourdough Bread

The following “recipes” are a adapted from recipes I found on the websites of Bread Insanely Interested, bread magazine and Breadtopia.com. I recommend both sites for instruction and detailed directions for making sourdough bread and starter.

Prepare the Starter (Biga / sponge)
In a glass bowl or measuring cup mix together:
1 spoonful of sourdough starter
75g flour
75g water

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment at room temperature until bubbly and about double in bulk. I usually allow 8 hours (it tends to be cool in my house). The sponge will grow, and then shrink. For best bread rise try to catch it before it drops, but if not, use it anyway.

Don’t forget to refresh the starter by adding equal parts by weight of flour and water (about 50g)

Basic Sourdough
400g bread flour (if you want straight white bread use 500g bread flour and skip the whole grain flour)
100g whole grain flour (oat, rye, spelt)
350g water
125g Sourdough Starter (biga)
10g salt

Rye Sourdough
250g Bread Flour
250g Rye Flour
350g Water
70g Sourdough Starter (biga)
44g Moasses
1 tsp. Fennel Seed
1 tsp. Anise Seed
1 tsp. Caraway Seed
12g Salt
Zest of 1 Orange

Place the flour(s) and salt a large bowl. Mix the starter and water in a separate bowl (and molasses & spices if making rye). Stir the wet ingredients into the flour. Allow to stand 15 minutes. Mix again, the dough should be softer. Mix again after 15 minutes.

Cover and allow to rise until double. Optimally, stretch the dough at least a few times to strengthen it by pulling a portion and folding it over itself. Work around the ball of dough. Again, I expect it to take 8-14 hours to rise (cool here, remember).

Form the loaf into the shape you desire (round or oval). Please see breadtopia.com for an excellent video on shaping the dough.

Place the shaped loaf into a form. For an oval loaf I use a bread basket lined with parchment paper, for a round loaf I use a souffle dish, also lined with parchment.

Cover loosely and allow to rise again, about 2 hours.

To bake I use a cast iron pot or clay baker to make a crusty loaf. I find this works best for me.

Preheat the oven and pot to 450F. Allow to heat for 30 minutes before baking.

Slit the top of the loaf. Optionally, brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place the loaf, parchment and all in the pot and cover. Bake 25 minutes, remove lid and bake an additional 20 minutes. Internal temp. should be 200F.

Basic Bread Proportions
85% white flour
15% whole grain flour
70% water
25% starter
2% salt

No-Knead Pumpkin Bread

Kelsey found this on the internet at:
http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/super-easy-crusty-knead-pumpkin-bread-bowls/
It makes delicious bread.

5 1/2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 cup lukewarm water, divided
2/3 cup pumpkin puree

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt and yeast.

Combine pumpkin with 1/2 cup water, whisk to combine. Stir pumpkin mixture and remaining water into the flour mixture. Stir to combine until flour is fully incorporated.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp 12-18 hours (or up to 2 days) until doubled.

Generously dust work surface with flour. Scrape dough onto surface and form into a smooth ball. Place on floured baking sheet, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise 1-2 hours.

Half an hour before dough is done rising, place a rack in lower third of oven. Place a 5-quart or larger cast iron dutch oven with a tight fitting lid on rack. Preheat to 475F.

When the dough is ready to bake, carefully place it in the pot; cover. (I find it is easiest to place the dough on parchment paper and pick the whole thing up and put it all in the pot.)

Bake 20-25 minutes, uncover, and bake 15-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Using a spatula, remove bread from pot and allow to cool on rack. Cool completely before cutting.

Golden Morning Muffins

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 grated apple
1 cup canned crushed pineapple
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated parsnip
1/2 cup chopped, lightly toasted pecans, walnut or pepitas

3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Stir in coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrot and parsnip and nuts.

In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla together until combined. Stir into dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin pans lined with muffin liners. Fill cups 2/3 full.

Bake 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes, then remove from pan.

Pizza Monkey Bread

I Stumbled upon this recipe some time ago on The Sweets Life blog. I made it for as an appetizer for a dinner gathering and it was quite a success. I adapted the recipe slightly, for clear instructions and beautiful pictures, see their site.

Ingredients:
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 Tbsp. butter
1 recipe pizza dough made with Italian Seasoning added to the dough (2 lbs. purchased pizza dough)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
Pepperoni, about 48 slices
2 cups marinara sauce for dipping

Make the pizza dough and allow to rise in fridge until ready to use. It took about 30 minutes to make all the little balls, then the “bread” needs to sit for another 30 minutes before baking. Since I was driving an hour to my destination, I put this in a cooler.

In a small saucepan, slowly heat the garlic and butter until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Brush the garlic butter on the inside of a bundt pan.

Pull of small balls of dough, flatten. Place a cube of cheese and a slice of pepperoni on each. Fold the dough around the filling, sealing well, forming into a ball.

Brush the each pizza ball with garlic butter and layer into the bundt pan.

Cover and allow to site for 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven, at 400F for 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, invert on a plate and serve with sauce for dipping.

Process note:
I found pulling the pieces off one at a time tedious, so I cut the dough in half. Using half at a time, it into little balls all at once using a bench scraper. With all the little balls lined up, I quickly topped each with a piece of cheese and some with pepperoni, then just pressed the filling in, and formed them into rounds. My hands were quite oily with the butter so everything held together very well.

Blueberry Mini Cakes

I copied this from our old neighbor, Chris. I know it came from a respectable magazine so my lack of sufficient instructions comes from my laziness in copying. Sigh.

These look like muffins but as the name says, are really cake. Yummy.

Streusel Topping
3 Tbsp. flour
4 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter
Mix flour, sugar & cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until fine crumbles. Set aside.

Cake:
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup whole blueberries

Preheat oven to 375F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well to blend. Mix in milk. Stir in flour, by hand, until just blended.

Drop a spoonful of the batter into each muffin cup. Add 2-3 blueberries and top with another teaspoon of batter. Be careful not to overfill the cups. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the cakes.

Bake 22 minutes

I think this will make 24 cupcakes. My original directions say to use mini-muffin pans. No quantities. It makes much more than 24 mini-muffins.

Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
6 Tbsp oil
2 eggs

Mix in large bowl until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes.

Even a non-stick waffle iron needs an occasional spray of oil

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Basic Southern style biscuits.  A young girl of about 18 gave me these directions for biscuits and gravy when we were on vacation in West Virginia many years ago.

Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
5 Tbsp. solid shortening (Crisco)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425F.

Sift flour. Add baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Cut in shortening until coarse crumbs form.
Add buttermilk. Toss with a fork until dough forms.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface, gather into a disc shape, and knead lightly. Touching it as little as possible will produce flakier biscuits.
Pat dough to 3/4-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a cutter or drinking glass dipped in flour.
Place on ungreased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Sausage Gravy
Fry 1 pound of breakfast sausage, in crumble or patties (your preference).
Remove the meat and save 1/4 cup of the drippings in skillet.

Add 1/4 cup flour and stir over medium-heat until thick solid-colored liquid forms. Cook long enough that the mixture does not taste like flour.

Add 2 cups milk. Simmer several minutes until thickened. Add sausage crumbles for a chunky gravy.