Posts Tagged ‘bread’


What am I baking?

September 7, 2020

It looks and smells great, but is too hot to slice right now.


This is a public service announcement

April 3, 2020

I understand (from reading the news) that people are attempting to bake their own bread and failing at it.

I have posted this recipe before, but will do it again because you cannot fail with this recipe (unless your yeast is dead.)

Focaccia Rolls

In your stand mixer ( I’ll bet you can use a hand mixer or a bowl and spoon for this) add:

4 cups of flour (bread flour, all purpose, gluten-free – does not matter)

2 tsp table salt

1 tsp active dry yeast

Mix that up a little

Then add 2 cups of water – just from the tap

Mix some more until the dry ingredients are all incorporated – a couple of minutes

I use the mixer paddle for all of this

Remove the paddle and cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap.

Walk away from the dough.

The focaccia dough will rise in 8-12 hours or overnight.

When risen, remove the dough from the bowl turning it onto a floured board.

The dough is very sticky, so dust it with some flour before removing from the bowl and keep your hands floured as you form the rolls.

Cut the dough in half (2 pieces) and in half again (4 pieces).  Cut each of the 4 pieces into 3 pieces (this is the only hard part) .

Form each roll into a ball and place on a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet.  I have some big baking sheets, so I can get all 12 on at once – but I’ll bet if you crowd them a little, it will still work.

I make sure the tops are smooth and pinch the bottoms of the rolls in my hand so they are as tall as possible.  This is just a cosmetic step.  Then brush tops of the rolls with olive oil.  Let rise 1 hour while heating the oven to 375 degrees F.

After an hour, pop the rolls in the oven – you can turn the baking sheet around half way through the baking, or not.

Bake for 35 minutes.  When they are done, brush again with olive oil.

I promise you, they will be wonderful.  Eat them right away or heat or toast them again later.  They will be (almost)  as good as fresh baked.



Why am I hungry?

October 18, 2017

Japanese artist Yukiko Morita always loved bread. Not only was it delicious but there was something about that special combination of flour and yeast that produced wonderful flavors, beautiful tones, and adorable shapes that make people feel warm inside. This profound passion for pan (Japanese for bread and was borrowed from Portuguese) eventually led Morita down a unique path that combined lighting design and baking.

We originally discovered the artist at Tokyo Design Week back in 2014. Since then, Morita has made significant progress in making her one-of-a-kind lamps more accessible. She set up an online shop where she sells battery and wall-socket lamps. She’s developed some wonderful packaging design for them, and she even ships overseas. She also appeared at the trade show Maison & Objet in Paris over the weekend.

You can read more about Morita and her pan passion project here but yes, each lamp is made from actual bread and is preserved in a coating of resin.

From Spoon and Tamago


What am I eating today?

November 17, 2014

breadToday is Homemade Bread Day

What could be better than a slice of golden-crusted homemade bread, warm from the oven, with melty butter – a symphony of aroma, sight and taste.  Heaven!

I thought this was interesting:

Partly because of its importance as a basic foodstuff bread has a social and emotional significance beyond its importance in nutrition; it plays essential roles in religious rituals and secular culture. Its prominence in daily life is reflected in language, where it appears in proverbs, colloquial expressions (“He stole the bread from my mouth”), in prayer (“Give us this day our daily bread”) and even in the etymology of words such as “companion” and “company” (literally those who eat/share bread with you.  Ref. Wiki.

Some people are afraid of bread baking – nothing could be simpler.  The only caveat is to keep the of the liquids at a temperature that will nurture and not kill the yeast (between 110 and 115 degrees F) – use an “instant” read thermometer – no surprises.  Other than that – and allowing enough time for the dough to rise – you can make good bread in an infinite number of ways.  I read a lot of recipes, but when I make bread I tend to wing it.  Sometimes I use milk for the liquid, sometimes water, sometimes I add an egg, sometimes, not.  I vary the sugar source (food for the yeast) at my whim – sugar, or malted syrup, or honey, or agave syrup, etc. I usually make white bread and have found that bread flour helps make a loaf with body.  Sometimes I add flaked wheat, or seeds – flax, sunflower, etc.)

I have learned that if you watch the temperature when adding the liquid to the yeast, take time to bloom the yeast, either scald the milk (if using) to a simmer, or use dry milk, and don’t add the salt directly to the yeast (mix it into the dry ingredients) you should not have any trouble baking a respectable loaf of bread.  Hand knead or machine knead; bread machine or old school baking.  It will be delicious!

Here’s a basic recipe for a white sandwich loaf from King Arthur Flour (wonderful people):

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)**
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough**
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water OR 2 teaspoons instant yeast

*For added whole-grain goodness, substitute great-tasting King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.

**Mix the cold-from-the-refrigerator milk with 1/2 cup of the hot-from-the-tap water to make a lukewarm combination.

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1″ above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.




Who am I featuring on the Bakery Blogumentary?

January 15, 2014


In my tireless journey to find and sample exceptional bakery in my hometown – and beyond – I have discovered BREADSMITH, located at 18101 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

They describe their business as follows:

“Breadsmith is an artisan bakery specializing in hand-crafted breads, baked fresh from scratch daily.  We bake over 45 traditional European and American breads each week using time-honored, vegan-friendly recipes and the very finest ingredients.  We also have tasty sweets.”


The bread is pretty amazing. Saturday I purchased a sturdy honey white loaf and a tender brioche loaf.  I was happy – and the chocolate chip cookie tasted homemade right out of the oven good.
Here are more photos and their website.







Who am I featuring on the Bakery Blogumentary?

November 6, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I was lamenting the demise of Hough Bakery in Cleveland.  While I still miss their special treats, I have noticed that there are quite a few newer – and also wonderful – bakeries around.

In this installment of the Bakery Blogumentary, I am featuring Zoss the Swiss Baker.  Zoss is on the route I take to work every day, and it is an easy and quick stop for a croissant, a spinach tart for lunch, a box of cookies for the office (when the minions have been especially good) – so many wonderful things.  Their bakery has a continental favor and it is THE place to go for Bavarian pretzels, palmiers, macaroons, croissants, chocolate papillons.

I would love to show you a photo of the hazelnut macaroon I purchased this morning, but it just disappeared somehow – sorry.

zoss 2Perfect, flaky, buttery croissants.

zoss 7These are chocolate papillons.

zoss 5

zoss 4

zoss 3Selections from the pastry counters.

zoss 6

This post would not be complete without mentioning the bread and rolls that Zoss produces from their magical ovens. We are fortunate that Zoss bread is also available in local supermarkets so it is possible to find even when the mothership is closed.    They always do something special for the holidays – I’m looking forward to that.

Did I mention the brioche?