Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category


FlatbreadI recently went to Subway and for the first time got a sammich (Spicy Italian) with their flatbread. Loved the bread, and naturally wondered if I could do it at home. There are a number of recipes online, all quite similar, yet none of them had any fat in the bread. So I put together my own version and we grilled it up last night.


1 C warm water
2.5 tsp yeast
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
3 T milk
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp thyme leaves chopped
4 C flour
2-3 Tbsp olive oil

  • Put the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar, salt, thyme) into mixing bowl.
  • Stir wet ingredients together till egg is broken up.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix till a smooth ball forms
  • Put dough ball into oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 30 minutes
  • Light the coals in the chimney and prep the grill
  • Punch down and divide into 4-8 balls, depending on how large you want the flats to be
  • Rest balls 5 minutes then roll out to 1/4″ thickness or a wee bit less
  • Grill the flatbreads, turning after the bubbles form on the top (2-3 minutes each side)
  • I found it helpful to move the flatbreads to the cooler side of the grill for a few minutes to be certain they were baked through.

I thought this was excellent with grill roasted turkey and cheese. The kids pulled the turkey and cheese off and made a meal of just the bread!


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Cinnamon Bread Pudding w/Creme Anglaise

The planning for our Valentine’s Day steak dinner was almost complete, but what to do about dessert? Looking around the kitchen, inspiration struck. We had purchased cinnamon rolls/muffins from Costco a week ago and two remained. These are cinnamon roll-type things. Not quite rolled up, more like the layers are folded on one another and then stuffed into a large muffin tin to bake.

I’ve been wanting to make a cinnamon bread pudding after seeing a recipe in Cooks Country about a year ago. Now’s the chance! They used some kind of cinnamon bread from Pepperidge Farm, if I remember correctly. Surely, these Costco things will do the trick.

Well, I knew it would take too long to find the magazine, so I cobbled together the following recipe from Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, and Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman).

Cinnamon Bread Pudding


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large beaten eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cubed cubed cinnamon roll/muffin
  • 2 cups cubed sourdough bread
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.
Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

Creme Anglaise Sauce:

  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3ish cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks


In a saucepan, over high heat, whisk the cream together with the sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. In a bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and frothy. Temper the egg yolks by stirring just 1/4 cup of the sauce into the yolks, until incorporated. Turn the egg yolk mixture into the sauce and stir until thoroughly blended. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

analysis and explanations:

Oh. Wow. This is insanely rich and incredibly delicious! Wouldn’t change much of anything in this recipe.

Paula Deen’s recipe called for just 3 cups of bread. I added the sourdough after seeing it in Ree Drummond’s site. I like this ration of bread to custard better than I suspect PD’s recipe would yeild.

I adjusted Emeril’s recipe for the creme anglaise because I had three egg yolks left over after making a birthday cake two weeks ago. I hate to waste food (why pour money down the drain?) so I stored them in a small container till I figured out what to do with them.

His recipe called for 5 egg yolks, but I’m not going to waste two egg whites anymore than wasting three yolks. Call me a miser. He also wants a vanilla bean to be steeped in the heavy cream, but have you seen the price of those things?

So if this is the cheap version, I’m pretty content to be cheap.

Now to explore some other bread pudding variations. I saw a chocolate bread pudding recipe in another issue of CC. And I wonder if I can lighten it up without losing any flavor.

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tex-mex breadsticks

This Sunday is a Mexican themed dinner at church. I was pondering what to do that was new and different and decided to think about bread. There had to be a way to incorporate TexMex flavors into a loaf. Scrounging around online yeilded a few possibilities, but they all needed tweaking. Ultimately I settled on this recipe and made them into sticks rather than loaves.

1 1/4 cups hot tap water
1 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp honey
2 C bread flour
1 C AP flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 can chopped green chiles (4.5oz)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix dry ingredients (including chilis)  in a mixer with a dough hook. Add wet ingredients and mix until dough balls on the dough hook and cleans the bowl. If dough is too dry add a little more water. Dough should not stick to a dry finger when touched. If mixing by hand combine the ingredients as for mixer and mix until dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and kneed the dough for 15 minutes to develop the gluten. If using the mixer, turn the dough out on the floured surface and kneed slightly. Put the dough in a large bowl that has been coated with olive oil. Cover let rise (about 1 hour) until dough has doubled in size.
375 degree oven and bake until bread is golden brown (15 min. for bread sticks; 30 to 45 min for loaves) and has a hollow sound when thumped. Remove from baking pan and place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
This made about 3 1/2 dozen 5-6″ bread sticks.
Dipping sauce
2 C sour creme
1 can chopped green chiles drained
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne


This makes great bread sticks. Soft crumb, yet will stand up to the dipping sauce. It needs more cheese, extra sharp cheddar would help. Easy recipe that would make simple loaves or rolls. This would go great with a bowl of white chili. The dipping sauce could be varied by using a salsa or picante sauce instead of the green chiles.

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sourdough bread

I love homemade bread. Mom made virtually all our bread when I was a boy. I helped her occasionally with breads, doughnuts, and sweet breads but didn’t pay very close attention. When I got out on my own I determined to learn to make my own bread. Bread making is science and art. I learned just how easy it is to bake a brick. I ate a LOT of my own mistakes. But by trial and error, as well as the kind explanations of a friend, I learned to bake bread reasonably well.

I have used a number of recipes, but this sourdough bread makes a really good loaf.


2 C sourdough starter*
1 pkg active yeast (optional. It will help the dough to rise a bit more quickly, but slightly changes the taste and texture.)
2 Tblsp honey
2 Tblsp veg oil or butter
2 tsp salt
5-6 C bread flour
● Make sponge the night before
○ mix all starter with 1 cup water and 1cup flour with a bit of sugar in mixing bowl.
○ cover with towel and leave overnight.
○ pull starter for bread
○ pour remaining starter in storage container. Add 1 cup water and flour to container. Leave on counter one day, shaking or stirring occasionally as yeast activates. After alcohol separates into a clear layer at the top, seal container and return to fridge so it can take a nap.
● mix reserved sponge, honey, oil, and salt in mixer
● add 2 cups flour and mix
● add additional flour ½ cup at a time till ball forms
● mix on medium-low to medium speed 7-10 minutes
● hand knead a few times and place in an oiled bowl to rise till doubled. 1-2 hours
● Punch down and divide, form into two balls. Let it rest 5-10 minutes
● Shape into loaves and gently press into loaf pans. (This is a subject for a different post, when I remember to take pictures of it. A long time ago I found a good method for shaping the loaf that minimizes air bubbles and contributes to a good rise.)
● Let rise 1-1½ hours till doubled.
● Turn on oven to 3500. While oven heats, brush tops with milk.
● Bake 35-40 minutes.
● Cool on rack and enjoy!
* I have made my own starter a number of times using about 1 cup of water, ½ cup flour, a bit of sugar and a half package of yeast. Just leave it out on the counter for several days stirring as it foams up. You can find a number of sites that will give more instruction.
By the way, breaders – especially sourdoughers, many of whom are natural food nuts – tend to be somewhat eccentric. I am sure that this recipe and these instructions would be disdained by some. Sorry if it offends you; it works for me. And I am always eager to learn more of this craft. Any constructive comments are welcome for learning sake. Any contemptuous comments are welcome for amusement’s sake.

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