Honey Oatmeal Bread

Honey Oatmeal Bread

honey bread 2 to use

HONEY OATMEAL BREAD
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf

INGREDIENTS

3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats (I have used instant and old fashioned, both work great)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey (agave for vegan)

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey (or agave), warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats

bread 3

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two cup measuring cup, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (if you’re making this recipe by hand, the dough will be very sticky at first; flour your hands and work surface generously and be patient). If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to soften it up.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.

Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towl, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1  hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.

Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Almond Filled Brioche: Best Thing Ever.

Today, one of the most realistic and grounded mother’s I know and love came over for a tutorial on brioche. I had previously explained to her what a magical pastry this stuff was and that it’s the gateway to a million fabulous desserts/breakfast items. She was intrigued because for a fellow mom, she happens to be extremely cultured and is fascinated by food in the very same way I happen to be. And so it commenced, the creation of these extremely wonderful almond brioche, all while screaming at our children and laughing at some of the ridiculous things we both say on a regular basis. It’s afternoons like these that I cherish, making food, eating food, talking over coffee. And they make me feel normal, in a world that sometimes feels chaotic. Thank you Mrs. Maureen for listening to me complain about being a mom, for listening to my obnoxious views on food and for never judging me when I tell you that I secretly sometimes want to throw my shoes at my children. (in or around their faces) These little guys (the brioche) were delightful. They a take a long time but the pay off is worth it. Oh it is my friends.

ALMOND FILLED BRIOCHE

Basic Brioche Recipe
4.5 cups all-purpose flour
31/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
5 eggs
2 3/4 sticks of room temp. unsalted butter, sliced into small pieces

For the filling
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

For the top of the brioche
2 eggs, beaten well, for egg wash
2 cups slivered almonds to place on top of your egg wash

brioche 1

For the brioche: Place the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, cold water and eggs in a large bowl, place under your mixer. A mixer is a must for this recipe, there is no way around it. Place on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the ingredients come together, the dough will look shaggy at this point. Make sure all of your wet ingredients are incorporated into your dry ingredients, scrape if necessary and then continue to beat another 3-4 minutes. Again, the dough will continue to look dry and shaggy. While still on low speed, add the butter a little bit at a time, once the butter is all added, turn your mixer up to medium-high and beat for 10-15 minutes. It will take a bit but your dough will come together, looking silky and beautiful. When the dough starts to “clean the sides” grabbing all it’s bits and pieces and makes a slapping noise against the side, you know it’s done. It should come out of the bowl fairly easily. Place dough in an air tight container and put in the fridge for at least six hours, or up to overnight. Once your long 6 hours have passed, remove from fridge, liberally dust your counter top with flour and roll the dough out to about 1/2″ thickness. Try to roll the dough into a sort of rectangle shape, trimming the sides with a bench scrapper (or a knife). Now cut out large triangles, about 7-8 inches long, they don’t have to be perfect, as you are just going to roll them and cover them with almonds. Fill each triangle with about 4 tablespoons of filling (see below), making sure to spread it fairly evenly over the span of the triangle, again, doesn’t have to be perfect. Roll up the brioche, starting from the long side (not the point), then connect the two ends of the triangle to give it that typical croissant look, folding them under one another to keep in place. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, repeat until all your triangles are filled and allow to proof in a warm area for an additional 2-3 hours or until fluffy and soft in appearance. Once the 2-3 hours have passed, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, beat your eggs for the egg wash, brush onto each brioche and cover liberally with almond slivers. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve while still warm.

For the filling: Simply throw all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until everything comes together. The almond past will be very thick and kind of difficult to spread, so I usually just form it into flat pieces and place it in the middle of my triangles, doing the best I can to evenly disperse it. The key is to get a little in every bite. If you don’t have blanched almonds and don’t want to blanch almonds, who cares, just use them as is, tastes the same.

Happy baking everyone!

 

Pancakes: A Sunday Staple

I love love love Sunday mornings and this one was exceptionally fantastic. Much different from yesterday. While I can still see the snow on the ground, my run today was full of sunshine pouring down on my face. The warmth felt incredible and it made me hopeful that better things are coming weather wise. Today was 5.83 miles, not a “long run” but it was what my body could do. This week I suffered some horrible stomach issues and it has been a battle to run comfortably. So the run this morning was all about slow and steady. I wanted to take time to enjoy the weather and all the things that were happening around me. I’m about 8 weeks out on my first half marathon of the year and I’m feeling nervous but comfortable. My training is where it should be right now and in the next few weeks I will ramp it up for the big day. Anyways, enough about that. Pancakes are a breakfast staple in my house on weekends since the weekdays are often too hectic to make them. Emma often throws it out there and I never can seem to say no. This mornings pancakes were accompanied by some very locally sourced syrup which looked and tasted divine. Although there isn’t a lot to offer nutritionally in pancakes I have to say, I don’t really care. It’s one of the few things I just let my kids have because pancakes are a part of childhood. They make kids happy. And when there are little chocolate chips floating around in them, well, that’s even better. pancake 2

PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter for the pan
Maple syrup of course *chocolate chips optional

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).

3. Heat a large pan (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Place your tablespoon of butter in the pan and allow to melt.

4. For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large pan).

5. Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve warm, with desired toppings.

French Lemon-Poppy Pound Cake

Today was a shit show in my house. Lots of running around. Miles wouldn’t nap. I couldn’t run, although I had every intention to do so. I cleaned minimally and did just one load of laundry. However, I did embark on the making of this pound cake so I suppose it wasn’t all a wash. Saturdays have become extremely hectic in my household. Where some families are resting, we are always running around. I should have known it would be an adventure today solely based on the behavior Miles displayed at Whole Foods this morning. Anyways, this cake is very straight forward for a pound cake and hard to “f” up really, so it should be an easy to whip up adventure for any day that you have a free hour or two. lemon 2I always beat my eggs first prior to adding the sugar. The trick here is to really whip them into a frenzy. Then when you add the sugar, let them go for five minutes or so. The texture will look almost like whipped cream. That fantastic air is what makes your recipe shine. lemon 3 Once your egg/sugar mixture is whipped properly, add the flour and fold gently. Scoop your spatula around the bottom of the bowl and literally fold it onto the top. Do not mix with a passion here people, you will deflate your product and the end result won’t have that magical fluffiness to it. lemon 4 Then carefully add your butter/cream/lemon/poppy mixture and use the same technique. Careful. Be careful. Slow and steady with that folding. Make sure everything is well mixed. lemon 5 Into the pan it goes. Thump it on the counter a few times to get all the air bubbles out as well as even out the batter on the top. lemon 6 Wow, doesn’t it look beautiful? To answer your question, yes, it tastes as yummy as it looks. Hint of lemon, a little sweet with a nutty finish from the poppy seeds. It is moist, light and great with a nice hot cup of tea.

FRENCH LEMON-POPPY POUND CAKE

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Cake Flour
¾ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
½ Cup + 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to slightly warm
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
3 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
4 Eggs
1 ¼ cups Granulated Sugar



For the Lemon Glaze

½ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

DIRECTIONS

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

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

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick liquid. If the butter hardens into little lumps, heat the mixture gently until the butter melts again. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment beat together the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and lemon colored.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg-flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture just until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the middle. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

To make the lemon glaze: While the cake is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough of the lemon juice to make an easily spreadable, smooth glaze.

When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, pop it out of the pan and place it on the rack. Spread or spoon the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, letting the glaze dribble down the sides.

To die for Sunday coffee cake.

You all better watch out because this coffee cake is painfully addicting. A little savory. A little sweet. So much texture and harmony, it’s almost more than one can handle. And no, it’s not healthy. But, I figured since I have been posting really wonderful vegan recipes that are low fat all weekend, we could all use a little reward. Save this for a special occasion, when you have lots of people stirring about. That way, you are sure not to eat too many nibbles. Enjoy.

SUNDAY COFFEE CAKE

INGREDIENTS

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

COFFEE CAKE

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 (13 by 9-inch) baking pan

1. For the topping: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the nuts, flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Stir to blend. Stir in the butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Sprinkle the topping onto a baking sheet to break it up into smaller clumps. Refrigerate.

2. For the coffee cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use butter to thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light yellow and smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, this can be done with an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly incorporated.

4. Remove the topping from the refrigerator so it has a few minutes to come to room temperature before baking. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and yogurt until smooth. Turn the mixer on low and alternate, adding some of the flour mixture with some of the sour cream mixture. When all has been mixed, give the sides and the bottom of the bowl a scrape and blend to make sure the batter is thoroughly integrated. Transfer the batter to the greased baking pan, spreading it out evenly. Liberally sprinkle the cake with all of the topping. Take care to cover the whole top. Put the pan in the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.