Today I decided to tackle, for the first in my life, real bread. Bread made with yeast. And it turned out really well! I used a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (copyright 2006 by Meredith Corporation) and then tweaked it to make it my own. In the book the recipe is called “Caraway-Rye Bread”, but I didn’t have caraway seeds or rye flour, so I had to improvise. The results were brilliant, and I recommend my adjusted recipe, which I will write out for you below (along with some helpful photos).
4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons milk
1. In a large mixing bowl stir together 2 3/4 cups of the bread flour and the yeast. Add the warm water, brown sugar, oil, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in buckwheat flour and whole wheat flour, and as much of the remaining bread flour as you can. Your dough should look like this:
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining bread flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface of the dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. Tip: Cover the dough with a clean towel and place in the cold oven. On the rack below, place a bowl of warm water. Close the oven and let sit.
3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover, let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet; sprinkle greased baking sheet with cornmeal.
4. Shape each dough half by gently pulling it into a ball, tucking edges under. Place dough rounds on prepared baking sheet. Flatten each dough round slightly to about 6 inches in diameter, so that it looks like this:
5. If desired, lightly score loaf tops with a sharp knife. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 to 45 minutes). When they are ready to go in the oven, they will look like this:
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush loaf tops with milk. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks or paper towel.
Click here to see the final product!
Today I’m going old-school, with some good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies! Once again, this recipe is from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (copyright 2006 by Meredith Corporation) so I’m writing it out here for you.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Your batter should look like this:
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are light brown. Transfer to wire rack; cool.
For photos of the finished product and my review, click here.
This evening I made Hot Milk Sponge Cake, a low-fat, low-calorie treat. I made it with a recipe found in my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (copyright 2006 by Meredith Corporation). Because it’s from a cookbook and I can’t simply link the recipe, I’ll write it out here with some helpful photos in case you’d like to make it yourself.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1. Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan aside. In a small bowl stir together flour and baking powder; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 4 minutes, or until thick and lemon colored, as such:
Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture; beat on low to medium speed just until combined.
3. In a small saucepan combine milk and butter. Heat and stir until butter melts; add to batter, beating until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.