Archive for Recipes — Breads

Easy Granola Muffins


2 c. baking mix of your choice (preferrably whole grain)
1 c. granola (use a natural one without a bunch of added sweetners)
1 tsp cinnamon or baking spice mix
2 tbsp. agave (or honey)
1 egg
2/3 c. milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients; beat vigorously 1/2 minute. Fill 12 greased (bottoms only) medium muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake about 15 minutes.

These are filling but not very sweet, great with a little agave, jam or peanut butter.


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Agave Sweet Corn Bread

agave cornbread

I really like a sweeter cornbread. The cornbread I make during the holidays is a more traditional, savory cornbread baked in bacon fat. But when I’m serving beans cooked with a hambone I like a sweeter cornbread to cut the saltiness and heaviness of the beans. Many sweet cornbreads are more like corn cake with a signficant amount of sugar and way more flour than corn meal. Even many recipes for honey cornbread has only a little honey and alot of sugar. This recipe has no sugar and replaces the honey with agave nectar, which has a lower glycemic index. My family has been using agave as a honey replacement on oatmeal and the like, and even though I have purchased an agave baking book I hadn’t actually used any of the recipes from it. However, I used her principles for baking with agave and it worked really, really well and is now officially my favorite cornbread!

You will noticed that the temperature is a little lower than you normally see for cornbread. Agave bakes a little darker than honey and sugar so you need to reduce the temperature about 25 degress from normal and increase the baking time to compensate. This issue is addressed in the recipe below so you don’t have to make any further adjustments!

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup agave nectar/syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift dry ingredients. Beat wet ingredients together, then add to dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Pour into greased and floured 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

agave corn bread cut

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Go Ahead, Ignore It Bread (GI friendly!)

Laurie Colwin’s Bread Recipie

Before you go to bed, fling 1 cup of oatmeal into your blender and grind it up. Put the oatmeal, 1 cup of wheat germ, 6 cups of flour (Bread flour, all purpose flour, or half wheat and half bread flour), 1 tbs of salt and 1/2 tsp (yes! just half a teaspoon!) of yeast into a large bowl. About 3 cups of tepid water will make up the dough. (I threw it in my kitchen aid stand mixer with the dough hook). After it is kneaded, roll it flour and put back in the bowl you mixed it up in. Cover the bowl (towel, plastic wrap) and go to bed. (I use a dish towel rinsed in warm water and wrung out very well.)

The next morning, make the coffee and knock down the bread. Divide it in half and put each half into a buttered bread tin (pyrex in my case). Cover the tins with a tea towel and go to work.(Since I was home I kneaded again before puttin them in the loaf pans so they rose faster).

When you get home, heat the oven to 400. Paint the top of the loaves with milk (this is a frill and need not be done, but it makes a nice-looking crust) and bake for about 40 minutes, turning once (I didnt turn, I also didnt bake it quite that long, check it starting at about 30 minutes…most Laurie Colwin recipes seem to call for too much cooking time I think).

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Yellow Squash Bread — Diabetic and GI Friendly

Squash apparently works in bread as well as zucchini and carrot, and one loaf of bread used up two of the yellow little buggers, which is definately the best part.  I told my kids it was cinnamon bread and it got scarfed up before I even had a chance to take a picture!

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon (or a spice bend of your choice, I used Penzey’s Cake Spice)

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup Splenda

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/3 cups grated yellow squash.

Combine the first five ingredients and set aside.  Combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a lagre bowl.  Mix well and stir in the grated squash.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until moistened.  Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.  This step is important since the bread keeps cooking even after you take it out of the oven, the center will be slightly underdone otherwise.

Makes 1 loaf.

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Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins (Diabetic & Glycemic Index Friendly)

1 cup unbleached flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat)

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup Splenda

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup butter, melted (1/3 cup is about 5 tbs plus 1 tsp)

1 cup milk

3/4 cup rolled oats (you know, oatmeal)

1 1/2 cup blueberries (if you use frozen, don’t defrost them first)

Preaheat your oven to 400. Sift the first 4 ingrdeients together. Stir in the egg, butter and milk, until just blended. Fold in your oats and blueberries. Either used paper lined muffin tins or grease the tins well. Bake approximately 20 minutes.

Makes 12 good sized muffins.

The original recipe comes from an out of print cookbook I picked up at the used book store last week called Granny’s Muffin House. It has a ton of both sweet and savory muffin recipes that already call for less sugar and more whole grains. I adapted it a bit more by adding whole grain flour plus cutting the sugar in half by using half Splenda. I think the sugar could be cut some more, but I wouldn’t use more whole grain flour that I did in this batch.

Granny’s Muffin House is available through the Amazon ZShop. For a penny. Grab one!

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Homemade Pizza Crust (Faith’s Impatient Pizza)

“Learning to bake bread is one of the things that saved me. I feel fortunate to have found a way to nourish myself and others.” –Edward Espe Brown

Impatient Pizza
(and other flat bread variations)

Baking yeast-based breads seems to be a rite of passage or the ultimate merit badge for many cooks. Some people liken it as a break from a corporate consumptive society… a way of getting back to their roots. Many of us don’t have the space for a vegetable patch and a chicken coop… but anyone with an oven can bake a loaf of bread. For me, baking bread from scratch seems to be as much about the process as it is about the product. It is the ultimate soul food meditation. Yeast, a living organism, when added to flour and water creates a new living entity that we watch grow and mature during the rising process. And there is no cheaper therapy than kneading bread dough. Not to mention the fact that it is a fraction of the cost, and much healthier than its commercial counterparts which are pumped full of preservatives and air.

Flat breads like pizza dough and foccacia were the first yeast breads I was able to bake successfully. While every other loaf of bread came out so dense and brick-like, I could have donated them to a gym for weightlifting, my flat breads, based on a basic recipe from the now-defunct Veggie Life magazine, turned out lovely every time. Years later, after finally mastering some more complicated bread recipes, I remain stumped as to why flat breads never caused me any grief…. After all, the chemistry in making yeast breads is all the same. But so many people have had the same experience of flat breads being their first successful attempt at yeast based bread baking. So if you are a beginner at yeast breads, this is a great starter recipe. If you are an old hat, this is a good sturdy recipe to add to your repertoire. Either way you will love the speed of this recipe…. This flat bread only requires one 45-minute rise. Just as quick as having a pizza delivered! Contrary to popular opinion, pizza is NOT an unhealthy meal when done right…this is a great weeknight dinner alternative.

¼ cup lukewarm water
1 tbs. bulk yeast or one of those little yeast packages (for a really thick crust you can double the yeast)
3 cups of  bread flour (you can substitute ½ a cup of the bread flour out with some whole wheat flour or use King Arthur White Whole wheat for the full amount)
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tbs. sugar
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tbs. olive oil (to oil the bowl)
½ tbs. of corn meal
1 cup of marinara, alfredo, or pesto sauce
8 ounces of mozzarella cheese (or feta, gorgonzola, or whatever else tickles your taste buds

Toppings, which can include, but are not limited too tomato slices, mushrooms, olives, peppers, onions, ham, pepperoni, grilled chicken, spinach, garlic, or anything else!

More grated Parmesan cheese for the top and for the table.

In a mixing bowl, pour in yeast and the ¼ cup of lukewarm water. You want the water to be warm enough to activate the yeast, but not so hot it kills it. Ideally, the water will be 90-110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you turn your faucet over to warm, and run your wrist under the tap the water should be neither too cold or too hot on your skin…if it feels the same temperature as your body you have got it just right. Stir the yeast and water until the yeast granules are dissolved.

Add the flour, salt, sugar, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and 1 cup of water. If you have a stand mixer, use your dough hook attachment to mix. If you don’t have a mixer available, mix with a strong wooden spoon (or any other stirring utensil that is equally tough) until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. At that point you can mix with your hands until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Turn out the dough on a floured surface (like a bread board) and knead a bit more…. But this recipe really doesn’t need much

Oil a bowl (the same bowl you mixed your dough in is fine) and place dough inside.  Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel. I use a dishtowel that I have run under warm water than wrung out REALLY well. The warm damp environment the towel creates makes the dough rise faster. Put the bowl in a warm place (a spot on the counter that gets light from the window, on top of the stove while the oven is preheating, etc.) and let it rise for 45 minutes. During the last 10 or so minutes of rising, you can preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Spread cornmeal over your cookie sheet or pizza stone (this is the best way to keep the crust from sticking without it getting soggy bottomed). Punch down dough and either roll it out on your cookie sheet or practice your “that’s amore” pizza toss. Use your fingers to poke little dimples in the crust. Top with sauce, cheese, and any toppings that appeal. Bake until crust is golden on the edges and cheese is bubbly…about 10-12 minutes.

You can half or completely eliminate the cheese to eliminate some fat. Low fat cheeses work well too, but non-fat cheese tends to melt poorly. You can also pat the top of the pizza with a absorbent paper towel when it comes out of the oven and can soak up about 1/3 of the extra fats and grease that will rise to the top from the cheese and whatever meats you are using.

To make a foccacia type bread to go as a side dish that goes great with pasta and salad, brush the dough with a little olive oil once it is spread out on the cookie sheet. You can top it with fresh or dried herbs (rosemary is wonderful), coarse sea salt, or grated cheese for cheese bread.

For a dessert pizza, you can cut out the Parmesan cheese from the crust, and replace the garlic powder with cinnamon. Brush the crust lightly with melted butter, and you can pie topping, fresh fruit, jam, cream cheese, and/or a cinnamon crumb topping.

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French Whole Wheat Baugettes

1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 and 1/2 cups warm water — divided 105 to 115 degrees
3 and 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Place bread flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt in food processor, and pulse 4 times or until blended. With processor on, slowly add yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup warm water through food chute; process until dough leaves sides of bowl and forms a ball. Process 15 additional seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half (Or see Notes for different rolls/buns shapes etc. At bottom of recipe), and roll each portion into a 17 x 9-inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch ends to seal. Place each roll, seam side. down, in an 18-inch-long baguette pan coated with cooking spray (Or place diagonally on cookie sheets) and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Uncover the dough; using a sharp knife, make 6 diagonal cuts 1/4 inch deep across top of loaves. Spray loaves with water. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves, 12 servings per loaf.

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