Kats’ Kitchen

Focaccia February 9, 2015

Filed under: Bread — stacielk @ 11:08 am
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Focaccia is something that has been on a list in my mind to make for a long time.  Not sure why I didn’t make it sooner, it is super easy and the recipe I used turned out really really good!  The texture was great, the seasoning was great, dipped in a bit of oil or eating it by itself, it was delicious!

This recipe came from a neat recipe book I received for Christmas called Three Sisters Bake by the Reith Sisters who opened up a bakery of their own in Scotland.

focaccia

Sea Salt and Oregano Focaccia

7 1/2 cups (2 lbs) white bread flour

2 tsp salt

1 oz instant yeast

2 1/2 fl oz olive oil

3 tsp sea salt

oregano

Grease a 9×13 roasting pan with olive oil.

With a dough hook, mix flour, salt and yeast.  Add 2 cups (1 pint) tepid water and the 2 1/2 fl oz olive oil.  Knead for 10 minutes adding a bit of additional flour if needed to form a smooth and glossy ball of dough.

Place dough in roasting tin and press into rough rectangle.  Cover with oiled suran wrap and let double in size in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.

Remove the suran wrap.  Pull the dough from middle to corners of tin.  Sprinkle with oregano and sea salt (or seasoning of choice and press your fingers into dough to create the focaccia dimples.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Serve hot or cold, with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Recipe from Three Sisters Bake

 

Butterflake Herb Loaf March 4, 2014

Filed under: Bread — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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buttery-herb-loafIt is a good thing I have self control, well most of the time.  This bread was delicious!  I seriously could have eaten the entire loaf for dinner, skipped all the other stuff that was served on our table, ate piece after piece of this bread that you just pull apart.  It was buttery, herby, flavorful, delicious!  I pretty much followed the recipe that King Arthur Flour has on their website, but did change a couple things slightly.  Below is the original recipe and in parenthesis are my changes.  As mentioned on KA’s site, you can really add whatever herbs in the butter spread OR you could make it sweet and make a cinnamon-sugar mixture for it.  Next time, I will make half and half.  Some for breakfast, some for dinner :)

Oh and we dug right into the center of this thing.  Although, I thought the edges were just as delicious as the center.  Not sure if it was from the butter seeping to the sides OR the special pan my grandma passed down to me.

Butterflake Herb Loaf

1 cup milk (skim)

1/4 cup butter (softened)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt (I used garlic salt…but don’t recommend if using half the dough for something sweet :)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast

4 1/4 to 4 3/4 cups Flour (start with 3 1/2 cups, I used 3 cups AP and 1/2 c whole wheat…to make it healthier, haha)

buttery-herb-loaf-022 tablespoons potato flour (about 1 T mashed potatoes)

Place softened butter in your bread machine.  Warm milk in microwave until just boiling and pour over butter.  Place sugar and salt into the milk mixture and let this mixture cool till about 110 degrees.  Place remaining ingredients (start with 3 1/2 cup flour) in pan and set to ‘dough’ cycle.  After a few minutes of starting the cycle, check the dough and add more flour if needed, until you can touch dough and it will not stick to your finger.  Let cycle continue until it is finished.

Deflate dough and roll out to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut rectangles/squares (or circles) and butter half of each piece with the below butter herb filling, fold in half and place in pan until all pieces are buttered and folded.  Let bread rise for 30-60 minutes until doubled.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until baked through.  Cover with foil if top is getting to brown.

For step-by-step directions on rolling, cutting, butterying and folding click here.

Butter Herb Filling

1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft

1/2 teaspoon caraway or chopped fennel seed (omitted)

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon grated onion or chopped chives (onion pwd)

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (paprika

1 clove garlic, minced (omitted by accident)

Mix butter herb filling ingredients together.  Use in above bread loaf recipe.  You can certainly change this filling recipe up to whatever you have in your cabinets.  Sweet or savory!

Recipe from King Arthur Flour 

 

Homemade Burger Buns November 18, 2013

Filed under: Bread,Main Dishes — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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BUns

If I could, I would make these buns once a week and never ever ever buy hamburger buns again.  That is how much I LOVE these buns.  They of course are great for hamburgers, but they also work great with shredded meat or even sandwiches to have or throw in a lunch bag.

I have made these buns a number of times and I’ve only had them mess up on me once.  Keep an eye on the dough while it is in the machine.  If it seems to wet/sticky, add more flour.  I did not add flour once when I thought it seemed to sticky and the buns turned out pretty flat, we still ate them, but they weren’t as good as they should have been.  So I tried a few days later, added a couple tablespoons of flour, and they turned out great.

They freeze wonderfully also!  I try to keep a stash in my freezer for last minute dinners, sandwiches, etc.

Head over to Favoritefamilyfoods for the recipe (http://favoritefamilyfoods.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/homemade-burger-buns/)  (sorry….my linky isn’t working correctly so had to include the actual link) Don’t forget to read the tips above the recipe, they are definitely helpful.

 

Everyday Bread May 30, 2013

Filed under: Bread — stacielk @ 7:00 am

Everyday-bread

***Update:  So I probably posted this recipe a bit early.  I had just made the bread and tried it only a time or two.  After a few days , the bread was pretty dry and crumbly, it did this much faster than I expected (even with putting it in a plastic bag after one day), especially for bread that can supposedly sit on your counter for a week…I wanted to delete this post because of this but I’m human, I don’t always have successes, and maybe this post will help you in your bread making in one way or another!  ***

I really enjoyed paging through a cookbook called Make the Bread Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese.  It goes through many different grocery items that you should/could or shouldn’t cook from scratch.  Of course, I read through it knowing I would NOT be starting to make every single item in my kitchen from scratch, as much as I would love to, but it was informative as to what was easy to make, like this bread, and what is not worth taking the time to make from scratch.

I love the idea of this Everyday Bread recipe that Jennifer wrote about.  Supposedly it will last an entire week on my kitchen counter in a brown bag (that is if it isn’t eaten first) and it was so easy to whip together.  It is a heavier bread, so don’t expect a light french bread type loaf.  I’ve had a couple of pieces fresh out of the oven and one toasted with tomato and cheese.  I can imagine myself eating it as a sandwich or even toasting it up with some jam.  The other reason I love the idea of making this bread, possibly every couple of weeks, is because I know exactly what is in it and it doesn’t have any crazy ingredients!

Everyday Bread Makes 1 loaf

1/2 t instant yeast

1 3/4 cup water, room temp

2 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup + 2 T whole wheat flour

2-3 T flax seeds (opt)

2 tsp kosher salt

Oil a 9×5 metal loaf pan.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and scrape into pan.  Cover with damp dish towel and let rise 2-4 hours until level with top of pan.

Note:  Original recipe says 2 hrs.  My bread sat on the counter for two hours and wasn’t near ready so I used my dough rise setting on my oven and let it rise in the oven for 45+ minutes until it got level to the pan.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake loaf for 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and bake directly on rack for 15 minutes more.

Note:  I did not bake for the remaining 15 minutes, I pulled it out after 30 and was worried that it was already TOO done, so I skipped the 15 minutes.  It was baked through when I cut into it but I may try the extra 15 minutes next time to see what it does to the bread.

As recommended with all breads, cool before slicing.

Recipe from Make the Bread Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese

 

Creamy Chicken and Rice with Steakhouse Wheat Bread September 26, 2012

Filed under: Bread,Chicken — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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This is what I had for supper last night!  Two new recipes with much success!  Let’s start with the main dish.  It was a Creamy Chicken and Rice (casserole).  Pretty simple to make, I added an extra step for myself by making homemade cream soup using my friend’s recipe from Favorite Family Foods.  You can find it here.  Overall the casserole baked up nicely.  I doubled the cracker/butter topping to add a bit more topping, because that is my favorite part of casseroles like these.  (sorry no pic of the dish, I can never take appetizing looking casserole pictures anyway :)

As for bread to serve with this dish, I was stumped.  I have recently made Honey Wheat Rolls, French Bread (without bread machine), French Bread (with bread machine) and Homemade Dinner Rolls.  All recipes I have made time and time again.  I was ready to try something new and a recipe for steakhouse bread came to mind.  A recipe I marked probably 6ish years ago, but ended up tossing it.  So I went to the handy-dandy internet and searched for a recipe and sure enough, allrecipes.com did not fail.  It was delicious.  A  nice added sweetness to a bread recipe.  A couple strange ingredients that I wouldn’t have imagined ever putting in bread, like cocoa pwd and instant coffee, but it turned out wonderful!  You can find the original recipe here.  Below is the recipe with a few minor changes I have made to it.  (the whole in my lovely bread is from our nice little bread machine gadget getting ripped out of the bottom…next time I will try to be a bit more gentle.)

Here are the two recipes.  Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken and Rice

1 pkg of 1/3 less salt, Chicken Flavor rice & vermicceli mix with chicken broth and herb (Rice-a-Roni)

1 T butter

2 1/4 cup hot watter

cooking spray/olive oil

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cubed

8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup (if you want to make the homemade version check the recipe out here!)

1/2 cup crushed crackers

1 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook rice according to pkg; using 1 T butter and 2 1/4 cup hot water; remove from pan when done and set aside in large bowl.

Using same pan, spray with cooking spray or spread oil to coat pan.  Add chicken, mushroom and garlic powder.  Saute until chicken is no longer pink.

In large bowl with rice mixture, add the chicken mixture, sour cream, pepper and soup; mix well.

Spread in greased 9×13 pan.

Mix crackers and butter; stir well.  Sprinkle on top of chicken mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Recipe from Tried & True – Real Recipes from Real Moms

Steakhouse Wheat Bread

3/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/2 cup bread flour (plus more after checking bread machine)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Place the warm water, butter, honey, salt, coffee, cocoa, sugar, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and bread machine yeast in the pan of a bread machine in the order listed. Put on regular or basic cycle with light crust.  Check machine after 3 minutes and add more flour, if necessary.

Recipe from allrecipes.com

 

Cinnamon Bread February 18, 2012

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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This recipe came from the King Arthur Flour website.  I have really been enjoying their recipes and comments people make on this site.  The King Arthur Staff respond promptly to any questions that reviewers have about a recipe.  They even have a hotline you can call or chat on-line with.  I’ve only used their on-line chat once and would use it again when I need to!

This is the first time I made Cinnamon Bread that the cinnamon is actually swirled into the bread.  I’ve made a Cinnamon Raisin Bread before but the cinnamon and raisins have always been mixed into the dough from the start.  I used my bread machine to whip this dough together which made it easy to put together but you can also use a kitchen aid or your own hands.  I was extremely pleased with the outcome of this Cinnamon Bread.  It was delicious!  So soft and fluffy and I love how it pulls apart where the cinnamon is swirled in.  I’ve only eaten it fresh but look forward to trying it toasted and also when it’s a few days old, as french toast bread.

I’ve made three changes to the recipe which all seemed to work out great and I would use the same substitutes again.

1.  didn’t have potato flakes in the house so I substituted mashed potato (no add-ins)

2. decreased the butter, as suggested by a reviewer when using mashed potatoes

3. made 1 1/2 times the filling, yum, definitely delicious that way!

Now I’m just trying to figure out what the potato/potato flakes do in the bread.  Any idea?

Oh yes, and one last thing, as you can tell in my picture my bread seemed to sink a bit after I baked it.  I had a good feeling even before putting it in the oven that it was maybe going to do that – I will blame it on OVER rising…oops!  Still delicious though!

Cinnamon Bread

Dough

1/4-ounce packet “highly active” active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*

3 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 T)

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes (3/4 cup mashed potato)

*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.

Filling (made 1 1/2 times )

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons all purpose flour

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush on dough

1) If you’re using “highly active” or active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a smooth dough. Adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water as needed; but remember, the more flour you add while you’re kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be. If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you’ve kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

4) While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

5) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat it into a 6″ x 20″ rectangle.

6) Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture, and sprinkle it evenly with the filling.

7) Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log.

8) Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.

9) Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan (I used 2 – 7 x 3.5 inch pans). Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.

10) Allow the bread to rise till it’s crested about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Again, it may rise more slowly for you; let it rise till it’s 1″ over the rim of the pan, even if that takes longer than an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

11) Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 15 minutes. The bread’s crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

12) Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Recipe from King Arthur

 

Bagels – Fresh from the Oven January 24, 2012

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Miscellaneous — stacielk @ 7:00 am
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This is a first for me…and I do not think it will be a last either.  My first bagel baking experience was very successful.  I know there is room for improvement, but it was a fun experience and I can’t wait to make them again!

A friend and I decided to go at this challenge together.  Little did we know when we decided to get together to do it, it was a two-day recipe.  So we decided to go ahead and each make a batch at home on our own and then meet the next day to do the easy part, baking them.  We made cinnamon raisin bagels and then also plain bagels with some great toppings.  We followed Annie’s Eats recipe which you can find here for the cinnamon raisin and here for the plain with toppings.  The recipes are VERY similar.  The cinnamon raisin ones obviously needs the addition of the cinnamon and raisin and for the plain ones, the topping that is sprinkled on top after boiled, which the cinnamon raisin does not have.

A few suggestions/tips we have learned and will use next time we go at baking bagels:

1.  You can start mixing the dough with a Kitchen Aid BUT if you do not have the large one, you will want to continue kneading the dough with your own hands; unless you want a reason to get a new one, by all means, go ahead and overwork yours!

2.  When letting the sponge sit (for 2 hours) or the shaped bagels rest (for 20 minutes), I suggest heating your oven to the lowest temp and turning it off then placing the sponge/bagels in the oven so it is in a warm place – unless it is a hot summer day, then that probably isn’t needed.  This will especially be needed if you let the shaped bagels sit for 20 minutes and they don’t ‘float’ (see recipe).  Then put them in a warmer place, checking every 5-10 minutes.  You kind of have to use your own judgment for this.

3.  When covering with plastic for the overnight rest, you do need to keep the plastic tight so no air can get it but I would probably let them rest in pans with a higher edge than my one-inch sheet pan.  This may have pressed them down and didn’t keep them as thick as I thought they would become.  Also be sure to spray the wrap OR bagel with cooking spray/oil so your bagels don’t stick to the wrap and get stretched out when removing.

4.  When ready to boil and bake, we added 1/4 cup baking soda to our water instead of 1 T.  This is what we decided to do, not sure if the outcome  was changed dramatically because of this.

5.  If topping with cheese, we suggest leaving it off for the first 5 minutes of baking and then topping it with cheese during the last 5 minutes — as you can see in the picture ours turned a bit brown, but I really LOVED the cheese bagels!

6.  AND finally…instead of using malt powder, we used brown sugar and it seemed to work out fine!

If you have ANY questions about making bagels please do not hesitate to contact me.  I would love to try and answer your questions, especially if you’re going to take the adventure of bagel making!

I sure hope these tips don’t discourage you to try this recipe out.  It is a bit more invovled, but very worth it in the end!  Please remember you can divide the work over two days (or three if you want to skip a day).  The second day is definitly easier than the first.  Have fun with it!

 

 
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