Archive for the ‘Grandmother Bread’ Category

Blue Gouda & Cracked Black Pepper!

Oct
14

Putting my Blue Gouda to good use. (You know, other than stuffing my face with it.)
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Blue Gouda & Cracked Black Pepper Bread!

This bread came to me in a vision–a vision, I tell you!–when I cut into my Blue Gouda cheese. The dough is packed with crumbled Blue Gouda and a sprinkle of coarse ground cracked black pepper. It’s delicious.
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Here’s how you can make it at home. And yes, you can use blue cheese from the store if you don’t have a cow!

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How to make Blue Gouda & Cracked Black Pepper Bread:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups flour (approximately)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and pepper. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the first cup of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the crumbled blue cheese. Add more flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing in half. With floured hands, shape dough into two rustic-style loaves and place on a greased pan.
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When making rustic-style loaves, I only give them a few minutes to relax as I pre-heat the oven then they go right in. They hold shape better, and rise in the oven. Be sure to use a knife to slash the bread to prevent cracking in the oven.
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Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Makes two loaves just right for supper size!

And you know what? You can make it yourself, but if you don’t want to? You can buy it from my Etsy shop, where I’m selling breads, soap, fudge, and other things! You can find my Blue Gouda & Cracked Black Pepper bread here. Seriously, farm-fresh bread delivered to your door.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
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The Breaking Point with Bread

Jun
15

Bread, beautiful bread.
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Back in medieval times, there was one person in the village who had an oven. This was the baker. (Baker, and incidentally, Baxter, are occupational surnames that come from this practice.) But, something more comes out of this history, and that’s the slashing of bread. You know, those pretty slash marks that are mainly seen on rustic or bakery-style breads. Interestingly, these are often considered “fancier” breads today–when in fact it comes out of low-income village functionality where everyone didn’t have their own oven. And, after all, people didn’t want anyone else’s nasty ol’ bread back. They wanted their own bread back. So when they took their bread to the baker, they marked it with their own unique slash. I always explain this history at workshops where we’re doing bread baking because in that setting, I’m the baker, they’re the villagers bringing their bread to me to put in the oven in the studio. They want their own bread back, not someone else’s.

However, even if you’re baking one loaf of bread just for yourself, you should still slash your bread and here’s why–oven spring. What is oven spring? This is where your bread “breaks” on the sides from the quick temperature change after it’s placed in the oven. The heat creates a final bump in the rising, and the bread will seek the path of least resistance as it “springs” up. The path of least resistance is usually on the sides of the bread, which can create somewhat ugly breaks. Not that this really matters once it’s sliced up and spread with butter, but if you’re trying to develop the prettiest loaves of bread, it can be frustrating. To stop the bread from breaking, first make sure it’s fully proofed, meaning that you’ve given the bread plenty of time on its second rise before placing in the oven. Second, slash it. I’ve found the best slashing for the smoothest result is done with three slashes.
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A slash down the middle, and slashes down each side, as close to the side of the loaf pan as you can get. A sharp knife and a dusting of flour on top go a long way to make this easier to accomplish. Always slash the dough as soon as it goes into the pan for the second rise. (Obviously, if you slash the bread after the rising process has begun, you’ll deflate it.)

Homemade bread will never look “perfect” and shouldn’t.
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But with just that little bit of attention, a thing of beauty remains unbroken!

Need a bread recipe? See Grandmother Bread.

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Maple French Toast Bread

Apr
1

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On store shelves recently, I noticed that Thomas’ English Muffins has a “limited edition” Maple French Toast English muffin. This sounded incredibly delicious to me, so I figured I’d go home and make some maple French toast bread on my own. Not an English muffin bread, just a regular bread, with maple French toast flavorings. What must that mean? Milk, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, butter–that sounds like French toast to me! I think it’s the most incredibly delicious bread I’ve ever made, and I don’t say that lightly! I make a lot of bread! You must try this bread, so let’s get started.

Of course we’re going to make it with Grandmother Bread. With the addition of egg and butter, I reduced the amount of liquid to start the dough, and added lots of “French toast” flavor with maple syrup, maple extract, and cinnamon.
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How to make Maple French Toast Bread:

1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine milk, syrup, butter, yeast, sugar, maple extract, cinnamon, and egg. Let sit five minutes. Add salt and begin stirring in flour gradually with a heavy spoon until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, 30-60 minutes.)

Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before shaping dough into a loaf. Place in a greased loaf pan and cover with greased wax paper or a damp towel. Let rise until loaf is tall and beautiful and maple-icious! (About an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.)

Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. During the last five minutes of baking, if you like, you can take it out, brush it with a mixture of 1/4 cup water and a dash of maple extract, then sprinkle sugar on top before returning to the oven for the final few minutes of baking.
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This bread is just wow, it’s so good. It’s even more incredible toasted. And it’s not even “limited edition”–you can make it all you want!

See all my Grandmother Bread recipes here.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.


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Garlic Knots

May
5

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Last week, a friend of mine asked me if I had any pictures of garlic knots on my website. Yes, yes, I do!
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Only….. That’s a garlic braid, actually. I was quite confused when she started talking about looking for garlic knot photos on Allrecipes if I didn’t have one, and it’s really not the right time of year for digging and braiding garlic anyway. I finally understood that she meant garlic knot bread rolls. No, I don’t have any pictures of that! So I made some. Twice in the past week. And yet still only have a photo of them unbaked.

Because they disappear too fast after they’re baked.

But anyway–they’re really simple. Just roll out any bread dough into a rectangle, smear on softened butter mixed with garlic salt, cut in strips, then tie the strips, tucking the ends under. Sprinkle the tops with salt. Bake as usual. These rolls are so deliciously buttery, you don’t need any added butter.

Just watch out. They disappear!

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Potato Bread

Apr
28

Bread, bread, glorious bread!
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I used to make bread every day when I had three voracious teenagers at home. I still make bread several times a week. I’m spoiled to fresh bread and after a few days, leftover bread goes to the chickens. I’ve been enamored with bread and breadbaking since I was a little girl and taught to make it by my mother.
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And what’s not to love? I don’t think you can trust a person who doesn’t like bread!
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I get bored making “regular” bread, though, so I love variations, adding this or that just to make it different. One of my favorites is potato bread. Mashed potatoes (this is a great leftovers recipe!) makes a deliciously moist loaf (or rolls!) using my Grandmother Bread recipe.

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How to make Potato Bread:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup mashed potatoes*
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour

*For the mashed potatoes, you can cook and mash plain potatoes, or use leftover mashed potatoes. If you use leftover mashed potatoes, you’ll be adding some milk, butter, and salt to the dough–which is extra delicious, but you will probably want to omit adding any further salt to make up for the salt that may be in your leftover potatoes.

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Add the mashed potatoes.
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Stir in the first cup of flour with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary with your mashed potatoes, which will slightly decrease the usual amount of flour. I just eyeball the one cup of mashed potatoes, without measuring. Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. With floured hands, shape dough into a loaf (or a dozen dinner rolls) and place in a greased pan. Cover and let rise. (About an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.)

Bake a loaf for 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Rolls will need a slightly shorter baking time. Because of the potatoes in the loaf, be sure the loaf is well baked!
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See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Grilled Flatbread

Jan
16

I’ve been baking bread since I was knee-high to a grasshopper–nine years old, see The Keeper of the Bread story. I make more regular loaf bread than anything else, but I like to try new things, different ways to play with bread. It keeps me entertained. Not there’s anything new about flatbread. People have been making flatbreads for thousands of years, both leavened and unleavened. It’s the oldest type of bread because it can be cooked simply on a hot stone, without an oven, and used to hold other foods. Every culture has their unique twist–tortilla, crepe, pizza, chapati, matzo, and so on. The popular American-style grilled flatbread is most similar to pizza, but has its roots in all of them, and can be used in so many ways.

This is a leavened flatbread, meaning it contains a “riser” (yeast) and is based on my Grandmother Bread recipe.

Never baked homemade bread before? Learn how to make bread here.
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How to make Grilled Flatbread:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
3 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit five minutes. Add the salt, oil, and first cup of flour, stirring with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time, stirring until the dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Dust with a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. Let rest five minutes.
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Tear off a ball of dough at a time–whatever size you like–and shape flat on a floured surface. You can use a rolling pin, or just flatten and shape with your hands. (Hand-shaping will give a more rustic look–you aren’t going for perfect here.) You can make a large flatbread and grill it for pizza, or you can make smaller flatbreads and use it for all kinds of things! Dipping bread, folded sandwiches, or cut sandwiches, appetizers or a meal. This is a very versatile way to use a bread dough.
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Brush both sides of the shaped flatbreads with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (optional) then grill outdoors or inside on a stove top grill pan over medium-high heat for about five minutes per side. (This will vary on your heat setting and the thickness of your flatbread, so watch it.)
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This is even better grilled outdoors, but it’s a mite cold here at the moment…..

Grilled flatbread BLT:
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Yum.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
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Making King’s Hawaiian Rolls

Dec
9

Being a curious bear, I was recently fascinated with the notion of creating the perfect sandwich roll. Substantial yet tender, and of course, it had to be delicious. King’s Hawaiian is a brand of rolls that is very popular–for a reason. They’re substantial yet tender….and delicious. What is the secret of these rolls?

I embarked upon a bit of research and hit upon a number of copycat recipes. I analyzed the recipes for the components that made up the distinctive flavor and texture of the rolls. Pineapple juice, milk, egg, oil, ginger, vanilla, sugar. These are sweet rolls with a subtle depth of fruitiness and a delicate hint of spice. But how to get that combination just right? I do know a perfect bread recipe…. So I went back to Grandmother Bread to rock the boat with some Don Ho.

Here’s what I came up with. And I do believe these are the best, most tender rolls I’ve ever made.
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How to make Hawaiian Rolls:

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter or oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups flour*

*The flour measure is approximate–you may need slightly more or less. Use enough flour to make a good, pliable dough.

Heat the pineapple juice and milk, either in a small sauce pot on the stove or in the microwave. In a large bowl, combine juice, milk, yeast, and sugar. Let sit five minutes.
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Stir in egg, melted butter, salt, vanilla, and ginger. Add the first two cups of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Keep adding flour a little at a time and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour. You can let it rise longer if you’re busy! Won’t hurt a thing.)

Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing into rolls. With floured hands, shape dough into rolls and place in a 9 x 12 greased pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Brush tops with a couple tablespoons of melted butter and an egg, whisked together, for a glossy browned finish. Bake in a 350-degree oven.
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This dough can be shaped into dinner rolls, sandwich rolls, sub buns, or even baked whole in a loaf pan. I made a dozen sandwich-size rolls and baked them for about 25 minutes. Your baking time will depend on the size of your rolls.

Look at the tender crumb on these rolls. Seriously.
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Hawaiian rolls–at home!

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Herb and Swiss Crescents

Aug
13

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These are some of the best, most tender and flavorful rolls I’ve ever made. I am in love with them. The dough is Grandmother Bread, with egg, oil, and milk. It’s simple, easy, and will wow your family tonight! They are also pretty enough for company or a holiday meal.

How to make Herb and Swiss Crescents:

1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour*

Filling and Topping:

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
sesame seeds

*The flour measure is approximate–you may need slightly more or less. Use enough flour to make a good, pliable dough.

Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Cool–you want the milk mixture to be fingertip warm (110 to 115 degrees) before combining with yeast (or you will kill the yeast). Transfer milk mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the egg. Add the yeast and sugar; let sit five minutes. Add salt then stir in first two cups of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the remaining flour a little at a time as needed, stirring and adding flour until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Because of the addition of oil (butter) and egg, you will need more flour than when making a standard Grandmother Bread recipe. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing in half.

On a floured surface, roll out half the dough into a pizza-like circle. Spread with about a third of the filling/topping mixture. Sprinkle on half the Swiss cheese.

Using a pizza wheel, cut into triangles, like slicing pizza. Make into eight or twelve slices, depending on size of rolls desired. (Smaller rolls are great for dinner. Larger rolls make great sandwiches!)
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Roll up and curve slightly to make crescents when placing on a greased baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining half of dough. Use the reserved third of the filling/topping mixture to brush the tops of the crescents. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. (No cheese goes on top–all the cheese is inside, for filling. And only use the sesame seeds on top, not inside.)
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Let rise. Bake at 350-degrees for about 15 minutes, or until browned. Watch carefully–baking time will depend on the size of your rolls.
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You could use any herb mixture you like, of course. I used a rosemary-garlic blend with peppers and dried onions. You could change up the cheese, too. Whatever you like goes!

Find all my recipes using Grandmother Bread here: The Grandmother Bread Headquarters.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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