Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

…makes a ton of bread dough. I know I am starting to sound redundant, but really. An absolute ton. I finally finished the original batch of dough (remember, this is after an enormous loaf of brioche and a dozen fruit-filled pinwheels) by making a dozen little brioche muffins.

For healthy “muffins” you need:

Start by greasing a muffin pan. Shape your dough into a loose ball by stretching the surface of the dough to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn after each pull.

DSC_0728 Then, divide the dough into 12 equal portions that are about the size of a golf ball. Use the same stretch and pull method to smooth each portion into a ball and place them in your greased muffin tin.


Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap (I used a kitchen towel) and let the dough rest about 40 minutes. Then, heat the oven to 375. Right before you bake, brush the muffins with the egg wash and dust with sugar. Bake the dough in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, until browned and firm. Let the muffins cool a bit before devouring.

DSC_0734We enjoyed these several ways–all by themselves out of the oven, with a bit of butter at breakfast or for dessert, and dipped in our veggie chili at lunch.


One recipe. Fifteen products that we ate and did not feel one ounce of guilt about devouring. All that is to say, this dough is definitely worth your while!



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…can make some truly delicious things. Remember that whole wheat brioche? Turns out, tasty pastries can be made with some of that leftover dough. So, to use more of my nutritious dough, I decided to make fruit-filled pinwheels for a brunch with some fantastic people. This recipe can be found in that same cookbook, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. To make *somewhat* pretty pinwheels, you need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs whole wheat brioche dough
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon (or other citrus) zest
  • 1/2 cup fruit preserves
  • egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp water)
  • 12 almonds (I skipped these)
  • sugar, for sprinkling

Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.  Then, mix the cream cheese, zest, and honey.


Sprinkle a bit of flour on your refrigerated dough and cut off a 1 1/2 lb chunk. Shape it into a rough ball by stretching the top of the dough and tucking it under the bottom, rotating a quarter turn until you’ve done all four sides. With any luck, yours will probably look prettier than mine!


Roll out this dough into a 1/8 inch-thick rectangle that is about 11×15 inches. Add any flour you need if the dough starts to stick, but add very little to keep it moist.  Then, take a pizza cutter and make 3 cuts along the length of the dough and 2 on the short ends to make a total of 12 squares.


Take a square and add about 2 tsp. cream cheese filling and 2 tsp. of the preserves. Eyeball it, honestly–it’s going to overflow either way. Cut a slash at each of the 4 corners of the square. Brush every other point with egg wash, which will act as glue when you fold the points to make the pinwheels. Lift an egg-washed point up and to the middle of the square, followed by every point (i.e., the ones you brushed with egg wash). Press each of the folded points together in an attempt to seal them in the middle over the filling. Cover your pinwheels loosely with plastic wrap and let them set for about 40 minutes.


Now I’m not going to lie to you. Not all of my pinwheels were this pretty. In fact, some of them looked like a gift from a deranged Easter bunny…

Anyway, heat your oven to 350. After the 40 minutes are up, brush the pinwheels with the remaining egg wash and dust them with sugar.  If you’d like, press an almond into the middle of each pinwheel. Bake your pinwheels for 20-25 minutes, until they are set and golden brown.


See, I told you not all the pinwheels were beautiful!  They do expand a bit while baking.  Nevertheless, do not be discouraged.  Despite perhaps looking a bit of a mess, these little pastries are quite delicious. In fact, I’d actually recommend these over the loaf you can also make! And, regardless of how mangled-looking they may turn out, they are sure to impress guests. I figure, you’ve already made healthy bread dough from scratch. Why not give something slightly fancy a try?


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Funny story…

…explaining a three-plus year hiatus from food blogging.  See, I decided to try this thing called graduate school and thus said good-bye to having free time to participate in any enjoyable activities.  So, Schatzi has basically been in charge of the majority of the food in our home for a few years now and this blog has sat patiently while I slave over getting a master’s.  Anyway, I was recently pawing through my cookbook collection in search of something exciting to make and I came across a book given to me by my mom several years ago that has all sorts of healthy bread recipes: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a DayAfter much debate, I decided to attempt a whole wheat brioche loaf.

For this relatively easy, wholesome bread, you need:

  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 packets granulated yeast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 5 eggs
  • egg wash (1 beaten egg+1 tbsp water)

One of the nice things about this recipe is that while it makes enough for 2 big loaves or however else you want to use the dough, you don’t have to immediately bake it. You can store the leftover dough in the fridge for up to five days, using it as needed. To start, whisk together your flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a huge bowl. A few helpful hints: make sure you really read the ingredients list. I grabbed a simple small box of wheat gluten, thinking it was enough. Oh no. You need 2 and a quarter cups of the stuff. Read ahead and save yourself a trip to the store!  Also, save yourself a bunch of dirty bowls and just start off with the biggest one you have. After all, there are almost 10 cups of dry ingredients in the dough!  Next, mix the liquids and then add them to the dry ingredients. I used a big wooden spoon to stir the dough until everything was just combined–no kneading is required and any lumps will settle out during baking.


Place a loose lid or damp kitchen towel over the dough and let it rise and flatten on top for about 2 hours.  Then, put it in the fridge for at least another 2 hours. When you’re ready to bake, grease a nonstick loaf pan. Dust the chilled dough with some flour and cut off a 2-pound chunk. Add a little more flour as needed and shape the dough into a ball, then place it in your prepared pan. Cover the ball loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to rest, again, for about an hour and 45 minutes.


Brush the surface with the egg wash to make your finished product nice and golden.


Bake at 350 with the loaf as close to the center of the oven as possible, for 40-45 minutes. The bread is done when it is golden brown and the top is firm, but not necessarily crisp or crackly. Leave the loaf in the pan 10 minutes to let it release, then remove it to a cooling rack to completely cool.


Slice and enjoy! The brioche is delicious served warm by itself,


spread with your favorite toast toppings, or with eggs and bechamel.


Enjoy! I still have half a recipe to use in the fridge, and am looking forward to attempting a few more tasty creations with this nutritious base recipe.


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…still means a delicious breakfast in our place.  When pawing through our freezer to see what needed to be used in this week’s set of menus, I came upon a leftover sheet of puff pastry (from that delicious chicken pot pie!), and decided it was time to break it out.  So,this morning, we made a delicious danish that could not have been easier.  You would never guess these didn’t come straight from your favorite bakery, either.

For this easy homemade danish you need:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • your favorite jam
  • cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • vanilla

Start by cutting your puff pastry sheet into 4 equal squares and heating the oven to 375.  Then, combine the egg, sugar, flour, and a dash of vanilla.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spoon about a tablespoon each of cream cheese and jam on half of each pastry sheet square.  Schatzi found a delicious pumpkin butter that we used.  Fold the other half of pastry over, sealing and crimping with a fork.  Then, brush each pastry rectangle with the egg mixture.  Bake the danish until golden, 15-20 minutes.

Let the danish sit and cool for a few minutes, if you can.  They are delicious right out of the oven, but if you can wait just a few minutes, they get a bit crispier and of course are easier to eat when the filling isn’t piping hot!

Clearly, we couldn’t wait to eat them.  They are absolutely scrumptious!


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…is nearly impossible to mess up, if you ask me.  I don’t think I can remember eating a bad bowl of chili.  Sure, some have been less memorable than others, but when it comes down to it, chili makes one tasty dinner and we love trying new versions of it.  Most recently, we made a REAL winner–Rachael Ray’s Cajun chili with scallion corn cakes.  This soup is absolutely packed with delicious flavor and is quite easy to throw together.

For Rachael’s Cajun chili you need:

  • 1 package corn bread mix
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • butter, for frying corn cakes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 4 shakes hot sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 bottle of beer
  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt to taste

Start by making the corn cake batter.  Simply follow the directions on the box for corn cakes and stir in the chopped scallions.

Meanwhile, heat a big pot over high heat and add the pork.  Magzi, if you are reading this, I am sorry.  But, the pork really was delicious…Anyway, season the meat with the chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce.  Brown for 5 minutes, then toss in the onion, peppers, garlic, and celery.  Cook the mixture for another 3 minutes to soften the vegetables and stir the pot occasionally.

Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high and melt a bit of butter.  Wipe off the excess and pour the corn cake batter into the skillet to form about 4 pancakes for the first batch.  Cook the cakes until they begin to bubble, then flip and cook another minute until the edges are dry and crispy.

Add the beer to the meat sauce and stir up the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the tomatoes and cilantro, season with a pinch of salt, and bring the soup to a bubble.

Serve a bowl of chili topped with a corn cake.

We enjoyed every single bite of this meal–it is a perfect balance of sweet and salty.  We rarely ever repeat recipes, but this one is definitely going to be a chili we eat time and time again!


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…are a new Christmas morning tradition for my family, a tradition that we decided to start this year.  Mom had found a recipe for cinnamon-pecan rolls and we whipped up a batch for a delicious holiday treat.

For homemade cinnamon rolls you need:

  • 1 cup chopped/toasted pecans
  • 1 16-oz. package of hot roll mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Begin by making the hot roll mix according to the package directions.  But, instead of letting the dough rise for 20 minutes, let it stand for 5.  Then, roll it out into a 15×10″ rectangle.  Combine the cinnamon and brown sugar.  Spread the butter over your dough, followed by the cinnamon-sugar and pecans.  Roll the dough up tightly, starting at one long end.  Cut the roll into 12 slices and place, fat side down, in a greased 9×13.  Then, cover the dish and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375.  Uncover the rolls and bake them for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine the milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla for a quick glaze.  When the rolls are done, drizzle the glaze on top and enjoy!

This is a Christmas tradition that I am sure everyone is quite glad began this year!  The thought of homemade cinnamon rolls sounds a bit daunting, but trust me.  These are quite easy and are well worth the effort.  And, I highly doubt Christmas will roll around again before we make another batch…



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…was truly one of the best we have had yet!!!!  Oh, Noble Pig, you are the ultimate source of breakfast perfection.  Saturday, we made a bacon, tomato, and cheddar bake with eggs and it was absolutely heavenly!

For this wonderful breakfast bake you need:

  • 1 pound white artisan bread cut into 1″ cubes (16 cups)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. diced bacon
  • 1 onion, halved/thinly sliced
  • 28 oz. Italian tomatoes, chopped & patted dry
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar
  • 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack
  • 2 tbsp. snipped chives
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 eggs

Heat the oven to 350 and grease a 9×13.  Toss the bread with the olive oil and spread it out on a large baking sheet.  Crisp the bread in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once or twice.

While the bread is going, crisp the bacon in a large skillet.  Set the bacon aside on some paper towels to drain and keep about 2 tbsp. of fat in the skillet.  Add the onion to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until it is nice and soft.   Toss in the tomatoes and cook the mixture until the liquid has evaporated.

Combine the toasted bread, bacon mixture, cheeses, chives, and broth until everything is well-moistened.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and cover it with lightly greased foil.  Bake the “casserole” for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  Then, using the back of a ladle, press six bowls into the bread.  Crack an egg into each indentation and return to the oven for 13-15 minutes, until the egg whites set.

Scoop out a portion of bread with an egg and enjoy!

When it comes to eggs for breakfast, it does not get better than this!  If you have been craving a savory breakfast, this is the meal for you.  It takes a bit of effort, but is more than worth it!


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