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


Sourdough Bread

The following “recipes” are a adapted from recipes I found on the websites of Bread Insanely Interested, bread magazine and 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 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:
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.

Honey-Oatmeal Bread

Adapted from the KitchenAid mixer Recipes and Instructions.  The original recipe calls for all-purpose white flour, I changed it to add a little extra fiber.

1 cups whole wheat or oat flour
4-5 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 egg for egg wash
Oatmeal for dusting top

Place 5 cups flour, oats, salt and yeast in mixer bowl. Stir to combine.

Combine water, honey and butter and heat to 120˚F. (Turn mixer on to speed 2). Slowly add water/honey mixture to dry ingredients. Add eggs, mix. Add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the bowl. If you are doing this by hand add enough dough so that it is not sticky.

Knead by hand or mixer (speed 2) for about 10 minutes.

Place in greased bowl, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down, divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place into a greased 9x5x3″ bread pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Brush with egg wash and and dust with additional oatmeal if desired. Bake 375˚F for 40 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

To Form Loaf:
Using a rolling pin, roll out each half to a rectangle approximately 9×14″. Roll tightly, starting at short side, into a log. Pinch seams closed and pinch ends under. Place, seam side down, in loaf pan.

Skillet Pita Bread

This recipe is adapted from Vegetarian Times, September 2010 issue.  These are very time intensive but they are so delicious.

3 1/2 cups bread flour,divided, plus more for dusting work surface
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Canola oil for greasing skillet

For sponge, in a large bowl (kitchen aid mixer bowl) mix:
1 cup flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

Cover with a clean towel, and let stand in a warm place 30 minutes or until mixture is thick and bubbly.

Stir into the sponge:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water

Knead 2 or 3 minutes (by hand or with mixer) until dough is smooth.

Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and olive oil

Knead 2-3 minutes more until dough comes together. I find this needs an additional 1/2 cup flour at this point, but the dough should be sticky. Knead (on counter or in mixer) an additional 5-7 minutes until no longer sticky.

Shape into a ball, place in oiled bowl, cover with towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour

Punch down, cover and let rise an additional 30 minutes.

Shape into approximately 10 2-inch balls. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

Roll balls into 1/4-inch thick circles. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. This bit is a challenge since you can’t stack the rounds or they will stick together. So far the best arrangement is to place them on cookie sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.

Brush cast iron skillet with oil, and heat over high heat. Place one circle in pan and cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side, repeat. I use a griddle pan so that I can cook 4-6 at a time.

These freeze very well. Microwave them from frozen or if you are patient, wrap them in foil and place in over/toaster oven at 350˚ for 5-10 minutes.

Apple and Cheese Muffins

Mornings do not agree with most teenagers and my youngest was a strong testament to that fact. During her high school years, muffins were Kelsey’s answer to eating in class when lunch was late and morning was early. I made lots of muffins in those years, this is one such recipe.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced, peeled apple
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375˚.
In a large bowl mix flours, sugar, baking soda and spices.
In a med. bowl, beat egg, then add yogurt, oil, apple and cheese. Add to flour mixture all at once and stir just until moistened.

Spoon into greased (or paper-lined) muffin tins.

Bake 375˚, 18-20 minutes. Makes 12-18 muffins.

French Bread

Adapted from the KitchenAid mixer Recipes and Instructions. It worked pretty well. I am not adept at crusty bread but this worked for my crew. And it was simple.

2 pkgs. active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water (105˚-115˚F)
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. melted butter
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
sesame seeds

Dissolve yeast in water. Add salt, butter & flour, mix well. (On a KitchenAid mixer mix on speed 2 for about 2 minutes). Knead (on mixer speed 2 for another 2 minutes). Dough will be sticky.

Put in oiled bowl & let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down and divide in half.

Roll each piece into a 12″ x 15″ rectangle, then roll tightly starting at long side. Place on greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Bake 450˚F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return to oven and bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

Portuguese Sweet Bread

This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook. New York, Random House, 1980

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Portuguese Sweet Bread

2 pkg yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk -scalded,
then cool
l tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 egg
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
5 ½ – 6 cups flour
sugar for dusting top

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl.

Stir in milk, ¾ cup sugar, salt, 3 eggs, butter & 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover let rise till double – about 1 ½ -2 hrs.

Punch down, divide in half. Place each loaf in greased round 9″ cake pan.
Cover let rise to double about 1 hr. Beat l egg, brush on loaves sprinkle with one tsp sugar.

Or make snail loaves by rolling each half into a rope about 25 inches long. Coil. My loaf is supposed to be a snail, but as you can see the dough was soft and did not hold it’s shape. Any more flour and the bread would be dry.

Bake 350° 35-45 mins.

Buttermilk Boule

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times Issue: April 1, 2006 p.86
This makes a nice soft loaf with a little tang like sourdough. And it’s really easy to make

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 Tbs. honey
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tsp. salt

1. Stir yeast into 1/2 cup warm (110F) water, and let stand 5 minutes or so. Combine buttermilk and honey in small heatproof bowl. Microwave on high 30 seconds, or until warm to the touch. Whisk yeast mixture into buttermilk.
2. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Add flour to buttermilk mixture until thick dough forms. Knead until dough is elastic and no longer sticks to your hands ( about 7 minutes). Form into ball, and set in lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and let rise 1 hour in warm place.
3. Punch down dough, and gather into tight, smooth ball. Put dough on oiled baking sheet. Cover  and let rise 40 minutes in warm place.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut diagonal slashes across top of loaf with sharp knife.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.


I clipped this recipe from the newspaper nearly 20 years ago.

1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup warm water, 105° – 110°
3/4 cup flour, I like to use bread flour but recipe calls for all-purpose

1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon coarse salt (sea salt)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
any extras you like

Make the sponge, dissolve the yeast in the warm water, stir in the flour, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until double (approximately 45 min.)

For dough: dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir the yeast and olive oil into the sponge and mix well. Stir in 1 cup of flour and the salt. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead 6-10 minutes. (you can do this in a stand mixer)

Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 – 1 1/4 hours or in refrigerator overnight.

Punch down, divide in half and press into 2 lightly oiled 9-inch round cake pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes until full of bubbles. Just before baking press your fingers in all over the dough to make dimples, drizzle on oil & sprinkle with salt.

Bake plain or add additional toppings like sliced red onions, herbs, cheese and/or olives.

Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes