Old-Fashioned Potato Bread, Pg. 65, September 15, 2018

Time for another loaf of white bread and I happened to have a potato left over, so I thought this was the obvious choice.  The potato breads I’ve baked previously have always called for instant potato flakes, this one starts with an actual potato. Ms. Hensperger actually states she think this is the best bread for sandwiches.

Besides . . . potatoes are kind of great.

Finally-a-diagram-describing-all-the-most-choice-potato-cutsThe first step for this loaf was to prepare the potato.  I took one medium russet potato, peeled it, and cut in into chunks.  I then placed the chunks in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water.  I brought this to a boil, reduced the heat to low, covered the pan and allowed the potatoes to simmer for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes were up, I mashed the potatoes and cooking water together. (You can also puree them, if you prefer.)  The potato/water mash was then poured into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and I added enough water to make a total of 1 1/3 cups.  The mash was then set aside to come to room temperature.

After the mash reached room temperature, I put my ingredients in the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 1/3 cups room temperature potato/water Mash

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons gluten

1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast

This loaf made use of the basic/white cycle and the medium crust designation on my machine.

tater This is a really tasty loaf of bread, the potato flavor is present, but hardly overwhelming.  It rose perfectly and has a chewy crust.  It toasts well and holds together nicely.

The author was right, this is a really nice sandwich loaf.

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Sunflower Pumpernickel Rye, page 142, September 9, 2018

My folks are headed home tomorrow, so I thought I would make a loaf for them to take when they leave.  I like baking with whole grains, nuts and seeds for others because I cannot eat those kinds of things myself and still want to try out the recipe.   So Pumpernickel it is. . .

Ms. Hensperger notes that this is a great loaf to spread with cheese and use for tomato and red onion sandwiches, but it also pairs well with all sorts of wursts and mustards.

The ingredients went into the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 1/3 cup water

3 1/2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup medium (you can also use dark) rye flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1 1/2 tablespoons gluten

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast

I then started the whole wheat/medium crust cycle on my bread machine.  When the machine beeped between kneads 1 and 2, I added 1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds.

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Well, this loaf baked up tall and lovely, and smelled heavenly.  I could really smell the notes of cocoa and coffee during the baking process and afterward.  Mom and dad each had a slice before the loaf had cooled completely, mom with butter and dad with peanut butter.

The flavor and texture were both a hit.  Mom especially liked the slight crunch from the sunflower seeds throughout the loaf.

Crescia Al Formaggio, page 373, September 6, 2018

This is going to be a busy weekend here in Long Beach.  The annual “Rod Run to the End of the World” car show and cruise is scheduled.  My parents are coming down and dad is bringing one of his cars for the show.  My sister is also planning to come down and other relatives will be in town as well.  I thought this was the perfect time for a simple eating loaf of bread.

The recipe says that this is:

“A great picnic bread eaten out of hand with cold meats and fruit.”

I think that sounds just about perfect for nibbling at on the deck as we watch the classic cars cruise by.

The recipe further states that you can vary the taste of this bread by varying the cheese you use for it.  The ingredient list calls for Asiago or Locatelli, but I am using Parmesan because it is another hard grating cheese and  I happen to have it on hand.

Into my bread machine, went these ingredients (in order):

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon room temperature water

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/4 cups bread flour

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons gluten

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

 

I set the machine for the Basic cycle and a medium crust.

The machine is a little noisy. Because I bought it used, that may just be something I have to deal with.  It is still baking beautifully, so I will gladly deal with some noise.

This loaf baked up tall and beautiful and smells wonderful.

Formaggio

This is a really tasty loaf of bread, I made beef stew for dinner and served slices of this with butter.  It was delicious.  Just enough parmesan flavor, slightly chewy crust, with a tender interior.  I think this would make great garlic toast served with pasta, or even toasted slices with tapenade.  This recipe is certainly a keeper.  (And I am loving the results with the new bread machine.)

Franskbrod, Page 74, March 24, 2018

First of all, this loaf is actually “Franskbrød” but I could not figure out how to get the correct character in the title.  This is the most common white bread found in Scandinavia, and although the name literally translates to “French Bread,”  it contains an egg, so it technically doesn’t qualify as a true French Bread.  Ms. Hensperger notes that she adapted this recipe from one written by Beatrice Ojakangas.

I am in the mood for a simple white bread, I am out of both milk and butter, so I needed a recipe that calls for neither.

I placed my ingredients in the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 cup water

1 large egg

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon gluten

2 teaspoons SAF yeast

I am using the French bread cycle on my machine, although the basic cycle could be used as well.  I am also using the “medium” crust setting.

Please note, that because this loaf contains an egg, you should not use the delay timer.

This is a lovely loaf of bread, light and chewy on the inside with a crunchy, golden crust.

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I have tried it a couple different ways, so far. I had my first slice, still warm, dipping bits into Tastefully Simple Roasted Garlic Oil.  Wow.  Now, I’ve just had another slice drizzled with wildflower honey and served with a cup of tea.  I can understand why this is a popular bread in the Northern European countries of Scandinavia; it is simple and hearty, with a crust that should stand up nicely to being dipped in a bowl of hot soup or stew.  (Hmm, guess I know how I will be eating my next piece.)

 

Healthy Whole Wheat Challah, Page 111, November 20, 2017

Time for the final loaf before Thanksgiving, this one is a gift for my sister and her co-workers.  This loaf has an extra step I’ve not tried before and I am curious and hopeful about how it will turn out.

The cookbook notes that Challah is usually made with all white flour and this will be slightly more dense with the addition of whole wheat flour.

I added ingredients to the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 cup water

3 large eggs

1/4 cup pistachio oil (recipe calls for vegetable oil. After getting started, I realized I was out and went for the more flavorful pistachio.)

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons gluten

1 1/4 tablespoons instant potato flakes

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast

There are options in the cookbook to use medium or dark crust setting (I chose medium) and Basic or Whole Wheat bread settings (I opted for Basic.)

This is not a loaf to “set it and forget it”, however. At the end of Rise 2, I needed to stop the machine and remove the warm dough from the pan.  The instructions are then to divide the dough into 2 equal portions, a roll each portion into a “fat oblong sausage” about 10 inches long. Next, Ms. Hensperger writes:

“Place the two pieces side by side.  Holding each end, wrap one around the other, twisting each one at the same time, to create a fat twist effect.  Tuck under the ends and replace in the pan in the machine.  The twist shape will bake in the machine.”

I am not sure if I did that correctly, I ended up with a twisty-looking circle.  We shall see how it turns out.  Once the loaf was back in the pan, I let it rise for 55 minutes and then bake for 60.  The loaf was then removed from the bread pan and placed on a rack to cool completely.

After it cooled, I wrapped the loaf tightly in cellophane and put it into the freezer.

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Because it spent time in the freezer, I knew I wanted to send some kind of topping to offset any dryness.   I included some whipped honey with the loaf.

I heard back from my sister today, she took the loaf in to be shared at Steamboat Animal Hospital in Olympia, Washington.  Here are the comments we received:

“Soo good! It tastes perfect”

“Very tasty”

“Soft, not dry, Tried with honey. Very good “cold weather” loaf.”

“Delicious! Yum – love the taste, what’s the recipe?”

“This is too good!  Had with some honey!  Need more.”

“Very very good!  If I have to give constructive criticism I would say a TINY bit dry – but mmm!”

Sounds like this recipe was a winner.  I think serving it without having frozen it might have helped avoid dryness.

Thanks again to the gang at Steamboat!

Dried Cranberry Whole Wheat Bread, page 458, November 19, 2017

This is a loaf I am baking prior to Thanksgiving, but it is just for my parents’ enjoyment, not for the holiday itself.  There are several variations listed in the cookbook for this recipe.  The liquid used is fruit juice and different combinations of fruit juice and dried fruit are suggested.  Apple or pear juice and dried apricots, pineapple juice and dried pineapple, prune juice with dried prunes and cherry juice with dried cherries are the recommendations other than the orange juice and dried cranberries I am using.  In fact, Ms. Hensperger writes:

“You can use whatever you have on hand, but not thick nectars in place of the juice.”

I happened to have orange-flavored dried cranberries already on hand, so this was the perfect loaf for them.

Into the bread machine pan went:

1 cup pulp-free orange juice.  (I the recipe doesn’t specifically call for pulp-free, but that is what I have.  I only mention it here if you are planning to recreate this loaf.)

7 tablespoons of water

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 1/2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (you can used any nut or vegetable oil)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/3 cup bread flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gluten

2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast

 

I set the crust for medium and the cycle for Whole Wheat.  When my machine beeped (signalling between kneads 1 and 2,) I added 2/3 cups dried orange-flavored cranberries.

Note:  dried cranberries are plenty small enough to go into the loaf whole, but if you are using a larger dried fruit, be sure to chop it finely.

This loaf smelled delightful while baking.  The finished product has a nicely rounded, albeit slightly lopsided, top.  Photos and impressions will follow.

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The first day, Mom and Dad tried a couple sliced toasted with their tea.  Mom said, “A nice treat, good flavor with a bit of sweetness from the cranberries.”

The next day, they decided to have some as French Toast for breakfast, after adding a bit of orange extract to the batter to enhance the flavor.  I was told they both really enjoyed it.

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls, page 356, November 19, 2017

I am ready to tackle recipe two in my Thanksgiving pregame lineup.  I’ve actually never made yeast rolls before, bread machine or otherwise, so this is totally a new experience for me.  We are having 8 for Thanksgiving dinner and this will provide 2 rolls per person.  I originally thought to make 2 batches, but have since changed my mind.

This recipe can be made using any winter squash you prefer.  You can use canned/pureed or cook and puree your own.  I am taking the slightly easier route of using canned pumpkin to save a little time.

Ingredients went into the bread machine pan in the following order:

1 cup canned pumpkin puree (again, any winter squash puree you enjoy can be used here)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons salt

4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (I am using light)

1 Tablespoon dried orange peel

2 1/4 teaspoons SAF yeast

I programmed my machine for the dough cycle and let it begin. While the machine was working, I took the opportunity to grease 16 muffin cups and set them aside.

When the machine beeped at the end of the cycle, I removed the dough to a lightly floured work space.  The dough was then divided into 4 equal portions, with each of those 4 being again divided into 4.  (I now had 16 portions.)  To make the cloverleaf style roll, I then divided each of my 16 portions into 3 equal pieces, rolled each piece into a small walnut-sized ball and arranged each group of 3 into a muffin cup.  Once the muffin cups were filled, I loosely covered them with plastic wrap and set them aside to rise until doubled in bulk (about 30 minutes).

While the rolls were rising, I preheated my oven to 375 degrees, Fahrenheit.

Once the oven was heated and the rolls were sufficiently risen, I ended up baking them for 17 minutes (the recipe says 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.)  I then immediately removed the rolls from the pan and set them on a rack to cool completely.  Since I am making these ahead of time, once they are cooled, I put them into airtight containers in my freezer to be reheated on Thanksgiving day.

They baked up large and fluffy, and I will post photos and reviews after the holiday.

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Not a great photo, but I forgot to take pictures until this morning and these are the only leftovers.

These were really delicious; ever so slightly sweet with just a hint of orange flavor and the delightfully yeasty smell that only seems to come from homemade baking. My sister made black-eyed peas as part of our Thanksgiving feast and several  our cousin, Mike, really liked using these rolls to dunk in that yummy broth.