Category Archives: Breads

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is the new breakfast of champions. There’s some whole wheat flour in here, but it’s still buttery soft… it takes two rises, though, so maybe make the dough the night before you want to eat it, and let it do its first (or even second) rise overnight.

I got the original recipe here. It makes two loaves, which you can freeze for up to three months.

Ingredients

for the dough:
1 cup raisins
1 cup warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten

Make It:

Rehydrate your raisins in a dish of hot water for ten minutes, then dry them with a paper towel.

Proof the yeast in the hot water; once it blooms, add in the milk and melted butter. Combine the flours and salt in a bowl, mixing to combine, then pour in the wet ingredients and fold into a shaggy dough. Knead until you have smooth, elastic, slightly sticky dough. Fold in your raisins– don’t worry if they aren’t too evenly distributed yet, because you’re going to roll the dough out later. Break into two balls and let rise, covered, until doubled in volume (maybe an hour or so, but sitting longer doesn’t hurt it.)

Meanwhile, combine your cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. When your dough is sufficiently puffy, punch it down and roll each ball out, roughly eight inches by eighteen inches. Brush each rolled ball with egg wash, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Roll up into a log, then let rise in greased loaf pan another hour.

Brush the loaves with the remaining egg wash (for a nice, shiny crust!) Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. 

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Even Better Naan

I have posted a naan recipe here before, and it’s good, but not as good as this one. This recipe yielded crispy, fluffy naan that was almost like pretzel dough. Authentic it was not, but delicious? Definitely. It was a great complement to our chicken vindaloo.

This recipe is based on one from the Chicago Tribune, which called for the dough to be cooked on an overturned cast iron skillet under a broiler. I haven’t invested in a cast iron skillet yet, but Captain Crunch and I had no problem using a grill pan on the stove top.

The Captain in action

Ingredients

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon yeast

pinch of sugar

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

5 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt

2 cups bread flour

Flaky sea salt (really not necessary, but highly recommended)

Make Em:

Heat the milk to 1105-110 degrees, then add the yeast and sugar to proof. While waiting for the milk mixture to foam up, combine the salt and flour in a large bowl. Once the yeast has bloomed, stir the butter and yogurt into the liquid. Combine with flour and knead into a soft, elastic dough. Coat a bowl with melted butter and let the dough rise in it for an hour in a warm place.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into four balls, and roll those balls out into long ovals. Prepare a grill pan with melted butter and lay the dough on the pan to cook in batches over high heat, a few minutes per side, flipping once the dough has dark grill marks on it. Fold the naan in half and serve warm.

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Naan


So I made Chicken Curry last week– and then I got really excited and didn’t photograph it, sorry… I’ll make some more and share it with you. To go with this last post, Chicken Curry, one needs naan. Ironically, I messed up the recipe for that and didn’t make it successfully until tonight… more on that below.

Naan is “bread” in several central Asian languages. Traditionally one makes naan, at least for Indian cuisine, in a tandoor– a clay oven. I have no clay oven. Stove-top’ll have to do.

I’m taking my cues for this endeavor from a blog with possibly the coolest name ever, Avocado & Bravado.

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water

2 tsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2-1/2 cups flour (she uses all-purpose, I’m going with 1/2 all-purpose and 1/2 bread)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 egg, beaten

butter for greasing, cooking, and brushing (Or ghee, clarified butter, if you have it. I do not.)

Make Em:

Combine yeast, water, and sugar to proof. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, oil, yogurt, and egg. Mix well, then add the yeast mixture and mix again, kneading to form a soft dough. Add more flour as needed. Divide into eight balls. Grease a large bowl and put the flour inside, covered with Saran wrap, to rise for about an hour.

Once the balls have risen to about double their original size, flatten them with your hands and then stretch them out thinly into flatbread. You could use a rolling pan, but I thought pulling on it was more fun. 

Heat a little butter (just a little!) in a large pan. Add the naan, one at a time, and cook until “blistered and golden brown.” Flip and repeat on the other side, and repeat with all eight balls. Brush with butter, if desired, then serve.

Kitchen Catastrophe! The first time I tried to make naan, I was in a hurry so I put it in the oven on warm to rise. Except I didn’t cover it. Lesson learned: If you’re gonna rise dough in the oven… cover it, or you’ll be sad.

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Whole Wheat Pitas- Complete with Pocket!

I am on a total food detox after my (awesome!) Spring Break road trip. At the ripe old age of 22 I’m having a harder time tolerating even a few days of  rich food/no vegetables/ lots of booze/ no sleep. I need to rebalance! So, I’m sticking to produce, brown rice, nuts, milk, and Greek yogurt for a bit.

Except then I found this recipe for pita bread.

But I’m detoxing!

But I want pita.

Okay, let’s try to make it with whole wheat flour, then.

Fiber, y'all!

Ingredients

1-1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Make It

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water (warmed) to proof. Once you’re satisfied that your yeast is cooperating, combine the other ingredients in a bowl and then dump the yeast mixture on top. Mix into a dough. Knead until smooth, then leave in the bowl, covered, for an hour.

Preheat oven as hot as it will go– mine hits 500. Split the dough into eight pieces and roll them out into something like a circle (I can’t ever do it perfectly!) on a greased surface. Place the circles on a VERY well-greased cookie sheet (you’ll probably have to work in batches) and let them rest 15 minutes. Then put them in the bottom rack of the oven for a couple minutes, until they puff up. Move them to the middle rack for another minute until they brown in spots and look done to you. (The total cooking time is only like five minutes.)

According to the source of this recipe, the pitas can be stored in a Ziploc bag or airtight container, presumably at room temperature.

So now I need to find a recipe for hummus, right? Or falafel? What’s your favorite thing to put on a pita??

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