Tag Archives: Breads

Our dinner game plan for Saturday night originally included a simple chicken curry, Indian-spiced cauliflower, and homemade naan. Chris brought me two cookbooks from India back in September and I am ashamed to say that I haven’t cooked a single recipe from either one yet. This was supposed to be my chance for redemption.

Epic fail.

We didn’t actually own any chicken or cauliflower, dinnertime crept up on us before we knew it, and we had effectively scratched the possibility of Saturday grocery shopping.

The original plan was to go to the grocery store after our hike on Saturday, but after a sudden change of plans, we ended up at a hat store instead. Not a baseball cap store like Lids, but a real hat store.

Our first Africa “test hike” since Half Dome in June got us all keyed up for our Africa trip and as we hiked, we started going over the missing items on our gear list. “Good” safari hats have been at the top of our wish list for months, but neither of us is willing to settle on a hat that is anything short of awesome and our local hat shops are quite limited. Big surprise, I know.

The thing about buying a good hat is that kind of needs to be done in person to get a feel for how it looks on you and how it interacts with your hair. We immediately decided to go to the last local hat store that we hadn’t explored yet. 

Although we set out to get cool “safari” hats for Africa, that objective changed quickly when I laid my eyes on a baby blue and gray plaid Fedora. Chris made a beeline for the Newsboy Cap rack to try on a plaid patterned hat in earthy tones. With that, our safari hat mission dissolved.

We emerged from the store each wearing a super cool new hat, but they were decidedly not safari hats. I’m sure we will settle on some safari hats eventually.

After returning home from hat shopping sans groceries, reality set in and we had to come up with an alternative to the Indian feast that we had planned for dinner.

Our actual dinner included cornbread, honey, and butter. See Dinner Part 1 below. Dinner Part 2 mainly included grazing on random foods like Irish cheese and apple slices and melted Swiss in pitas.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup almond milk + 4 tsp lemon juice (or substitute 1 1/3 cup buttermilk)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée (or substitute 4 tbsp oil)


  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix almond milk and lemon juice in a small cup, set aside.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg then combine wet ingredients.
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Lightly grease a 9 x 9 baking dish, then pour batter into dish.
  • Bake for 23-25 minutes or until it passes the clean toothpick test.
  • We served our corn bread topped with whipped honey butter.

Servings ~ 9
Calories ~ 145, Fat ~ 1.5 g, Carbohydrates ~ 30 g, Protein ~ 3 g
Calories (with buttermilk and oil substitutions) ~ 205, Fat ~ 8 g, Carbohydrates ~ 31 g, Protein ~ 4 g

This meal reminds me of Italy and many fond memories that I have of visiting Italy.

On our first visit to Italy, Chris and I were in grad school and probably too poor to have any business going to Italy in the first place. We arrived with a tent, two sleeping bags, and not much else. It wasn’t so bad though, we had a blast and got to stay in some prime locations. Who knew that you could camp right next to Piazza Michaelangelo overlooking Florence?

We quickly realized what a great location our campsite was in and headed to the steps of Piazza Michaelangelo with wine, a baguette, cheese, and proscuitto in our backpacks for a sunset picnic.

The rest of our dinners played out similar to that one. In fact, I think we only had one lunch “out” the entire trip. It was so much fun and quite honestly, I don’t think that either one of us could ever tire of this meal!

No real recipe here except for the baguette, proscuitto, balsamic vinegar, some soft cheese (we tend towards brie or blue), and any other trimmings that you like (spinach and grape tomatoes are our favorite).


Tuesday night, I made Chris’s day! Yes, that’s right, I made French Bread.

Chris is a guy who loves his bread. I think his favorite is probably sourdough, but baguettes are right up there too.

I am also a fan of baguettes because they conjure many fond memories. I remember eating a baguette sandwich from a street cart in Paris while waiting in line to go into the Louvre, a picnic dinner in Florence on the steps beneath Piazza Michelangelo, and even our trip to Vietnam, where “banh mi”, Vietnamese baguettes, were quite common. 

Adapted from Branny Boils Over.


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm (about 90°F)
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • Combine yeast with 1/4 cup warm water, and sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast dissolves and the mixture becomes frothy.
  • Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and lightly blend.
  • Add yeast mixture and 90°F water, then mix until dough begins to come together.
  • If the dough is too dry, add water 1 ounce at a time until the desired texture is reached.
  • With a dough hook, kneed for 5 minutes.
  • Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and set in a warm place to rise until it has doubled (about 1 hour).
  • Divide the dough into two pieces.
  • Roll each piece into an oval about 15 x 8 inches.
  • Starting on the long side, roll dough into a 15-inch cylinder, pinching the edges to the body of dough as you go.
  • Place dough seam-side down onto greased sheet pans
  • Cover dough with a towel, and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Before baking bread, pre-heat oven to 425°F.
  • Place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  • Before putting them in the oven, slash loaves diagonally with a sharp blade, about 1/4-inch deep, then brush the loaves lightly with egg glaze.
  • Place 1 cup of ice cubes in the hot pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  • Quickly place loaves on shelf above and close door to preserve the steam you’ve created.
  • Bake bread for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove baguettes from the oven and cool on a rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy. 
  • Makes 2 loaves of French Bread.

Servings ~ 8 (about 4 servings per loaf)
Calories ~ 184, Fat ~ 1 g, Carbohydrates ~ 37 g, Protein ~ 6 g

I am pretty sure Chris thought I was nuts this weekend as I got out the mixer and began to make pizza dough. I will admit that I was even a little unsure of this adventure.

It did not start well. I threw away my first batch of yeast because it didn’t look frothy enough. After mixing up a second round of yeast which I still wasn’t happy with I decided to just dump it in the mixing bowl and see what happened.

While the dough was rising, we made a trip to the grocery store for mozzarella cheese and propane. Not only were we making “from scratch” pizza for the first time, but I was adamant that we had to grill the pizza. I decided to buy a tube of Pillsbury pizza dough in case mine didn’t rise correctly. I was nervous because the yeast looked funny.

All was well, we got home to a big fluffy ball of pizza dough and were ready to begin our mission.

Adapted from Branny Boils Over, Brown Eyed Baker, and Baking Illustrated.


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm (about 110 degree) water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup room temperature water


  • Combine yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Briefly mix flour and salt in a stand mixer.
  • Add yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1 1/4 cups of water to the mixer.
  • Combine until a dough forms.
  • Kneed (I used my dough hook) for 7 minutes.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
  • Divide dough into desired number of sections. I divided into four sections. Each of my four sections is the right size to make one very satisfying personal sized pizza for Chris or a pizza big enough for two meals for me.
  • After dividing the dough, let it rest for 10 minutes or so.
  • I froze two sections of dough to use later and we made pizzas from the other two sections.

Calories (per 1/4 recipe) ~ 464, Fat ~ 1.5 g, Carbohydrates ~ 97 g, Protein ~ 14 g

You must have pitas to go with hummus, and after my wildly successful bread baking weekend, I naturally wanted to try making pitas as well. I started out with a small batch, just in case they didn’t work out, using a recipe from Cate’s World Kitchen. I always get really nervous when I am mixing and kneading the dough because between that time and the time spent waiting for it to rise, I could have tied up a few hours in bread dough that has fallen flat. Not this time though, my dough really did double in size and my pitas turned out great! So great, in fact, that they only lasted two days and I found myself baking 16 more last night. I also found out that they freeze great and thaw fairly quickly!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115 F)
  • 1 cup warm water (115-125 F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Combine sugar, 1 package of active dry yeast, and 1/4 cup of warm water (105-115 F) in a small bowl.
  • Let the yeast mixture sit while you combine the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine AP Flour, WW Flour, salt, olive oil, and 1 cup warm water (115-125 F) in mixing bowl.
  • When the yeast has dissolved, pour the yeast mixture into the mixing bowl and blend breifly.
  • Next, knead the dough for 10 minutes. I used the dough hook on my mixer, but kneading by had works too!
  • Coat a large bowl with olive oil or non-stick spray.
  • Roll the ball of dough around the bowl to get the outside of it “greased”.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let the dough rise for about 90 minutes.
  • After the dough has finished rising, knead a few times and then divide into 8 equal pieces.
  • Let the 8 pieces rise for an additional 20 minutes, once again covered by plastic wrap and a dish towel.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Roll out pitas to about 1/8 inch thickness. (Only roll out one or two at a time.)
  • Bake (on a pizza stone if you have one or on the oven rack if you don’t) for about 2 minutes on the first side, flip, then bake 2 minutes or until the dough puffs nicely on the second side.
  • Cool on a cooling rack.

Servings ~ 8
Calories ~ 196, Fat ~ 4 g, Carbohydrates ~ 35 g, Protein ~ 5 g

I have been trying to bake a decent loaf of bread for quite a while. Each of my efforts has resulted in a spectacular failure, until this weekend. I finally got my hands on a recipe with detailed enough instructions of me to follow with success. On Saturday, I baked one batch (two loaves) of honey whole wheat bread. This bread is SO GOOD! It is the first time that I have actually made bread that has the taste and texture that I expected it to.

I used a recipe posted by butterflygroove on (

  • 1/2 oz Active Dry Yeast (2 packages)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Margarine
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cup Water
  • 4 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour


  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (105-115F); set aside.
  • In large bowl, mix honey, margarine, salt and 2 1/2 cups very warm (120-130F) water; cool 5 minutes.
  • To cooled honey mixture, beat in 3 cups of the whole wheat flour with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl frequently, until moistened.
  • Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and dissolved yeast.
  • Next, stir in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups of the all purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.
  • Kneed for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and springy.
  • Grease large bowl with shortening or cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel.
  • Let rise in warm place (80F to 85F) 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Generously grease 2 (8×4 or 9×5 inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray.
  • Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half.
  • On lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough with rolling pin into 18×8 inch rectangle.
  • Starting with one 8 inch side, roll up dough tightly, pressing with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal; pinch each end to seal.
  • Fold ends under loaf; place seam side down in pan.
  • Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Heat oven to 375F.
  • Uncover dough; bake 30 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350F; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped.
  • Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks.
  • Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Chris and I were eating the bread at such a rapid pace that I decided to bake four more loaves on Sunday so that I could freeze some to have for the next few weeks. We made one cinnamon swirl loaf on Sunday which was amazing. Not exactly diet friendly, but what a treat. I would really like to make French toast out of it, but I doubt that it will last until the weekend and I probably won’t actually cook breakfast until then.

Lastly, Duke decided to get dressed up this weekend (or maybe that was Chris that felt like playing dress-up).
That can’t feel good for Duke’s ears. Poor guy!

I posted a few days ago about my Nepali bread fail. It turns out that while my Roti made an awful bread, it makes awesome super thin whole wheat crusts for personal pizzas.

Roti Pizza Crust

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, melted butter, salt and sugar.
  • Make a well in the center and add warm water and milk, mixing it with the flour until a soft dough is formed.
  • Dust kneading board with flour; place the dough on the board and knead for ten minutes or so.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for an hour or so. (I’m not sure why we are letting the dough rest here, this is unleavened bread.)
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls.
  • Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Flatten the dough balls into circles of your desired size and thickness. Ours looked were somewhere between pita and tortilla on the thickness scale. I flatted one as the one ahead of it cooked.
  • Place one roti on the skillet, top-side down and cook for 30 seconds or so.
  • Turn over and cook for another minute until small air pockets emerge.
  • Turn it over once more and cook for another minute.
  • With a lightly wet towel, press on the roti, forcing it to develop more air pockets.
  • Cool finished Rotis on a cooling rack.

Makes 10 servings
Calories ~ 182, Fat ~ 2 g, Carbohydrates ~ 37 g, Protein ~ 7 g

Chris made awesome pizzas out of our Roti. He topped them with pizza sauce, crushed red pepper, and crumbled queso fresco. He baked them at 400 degrees, because he is an impatient pizza baker, until the cheese had melted nicely.