Tag Archives: bread

100% Whole Wheat French Bread

If you talked to my husband, he would be the first person to tell you just how sadly technologically inept I am.  This post is proof of that very fact.  You see, yesterday I posted this recipe.  Then, today, I opened up my browser to post a tortellini recipe and somehow wrote over my original post about making this French bread.  So, here I am again, sharing this delightful bread with you.  Sorry if it isn’t as entertaining as it was yesterday.  It will be, however, every bit as delicious.

Start by mixing the yeast and water and letting it bloom.  Then, use the paddle attachment on your mixer to incorporate the honey, oil, salt and egg.  When those are well mixed, add 2 cups of flour and mix until just incorporated.  Switch to the dough hook attachment and add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until you get a dough that pulls from the sides, sticks to the bottom and doesn’t stick to your finger when you touch it.


Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover this and let it rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.  The long rise time helps the inside of this bread stay nice and moist.  After three hours, my dough looked like this.


Carefully remove this dough from the bowl.  I just hold it in my hands and tuck the edges under continuously until I have a nice, round, taught, round loaf.  Set that loaf on your baking sheet and let it rise uncovered for another hour.  The outside will dry out some and that is good.  That dryness helps you get a nice, crispy crust. Don’t forget to dust your baking sheet with cornmeal like I did, or you’ll have to pick your loaf up again.


Halfway through your last rise, heat your oven to 500* (or as hot as it will go).  Place a pan on the oven floor while the oven heats. Use a metal pan for this, not glass (don’t ask how I know, just trust me on this one).  Just before you place your dough in the oven, slice a couple of slits in the top with a sharp knife (or a razor knife).  The outside may crack some and that’s just fine.


Placed this loaf in that hot oven and pour a half cup of water in the pan you preheated.  Close the oven immediately.  All that trapped steam will do wonders for your crispy crust.  I don’t know why this works, but it does.  Bake it for 10 minutes before you reduce the oven temperature to 350*.  Continue baking at the lower temperature for 10-15 minutes or until the outside is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


Let this cool as long as you can before slicing with a serrated knife.  Its good just like this.  It’s even better toasted with some nutella, but I only do that after the kids are in bed.  Usually I serve it alongside a piping hot soup or a hearty bowl of pasta.



1 package instant dry yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm water

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons oil

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 cups whole wheat flour

Stir together yeast and water.  Allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes.

Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, stir in the honey, oil, egg and salt.  Mix until completely incorporated.  Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until just combined.

Switch to the dough hook mixer attachment.  Add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.  Mix in just enough flour to form a dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl, but still sticks to the bottom.  It should not stick to your finger when you touch it.  I used about 3 1/2 cups total.  Knead this dough for 5 minutes.

Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Carefully remove from bowl and form loaf by tucking edges under and shaping into a ball.  Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.  Let rise uncovered for 1 hour.

About halfway through the rise, preheat your oven to 500* and place a tall sided metal pan on the oven floor.

Just before baking, slice 2-3 slits in the top of your loaf with a sharp knife (or razor knife). Place baking sheet in hot oven and pour 1/2 cup water in the preheated pan on the oven floor.  Close oven door immediately.  Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350* and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped.


Apple Oatmeal Bread

Yesterday’s beignets are fabulous, really, but if they’re a bit too labor intensive (and a lot too unhealthy) for you, I’ve got you covered today.  This breakfast bread is not overly sweet and really is good for you.  It also smells amazing.  There’s no oil or butter in this bread, but the apples and applesauce keep it nice and moist.  And, 3 eggs may seem like a lot, but they help with rise and stability.

Start by mixing your dry ingredients.  I use oat flour, but I make it myself.  Just take some old fashioned oats and zip them in your blender or food processor until they are ground fine.  I also use tapioca starch in this recipe.  If you don’t have any, you can just use regular flour.  If you’ve got it, and you keep gluten free oats around, this recipe is gluten free.

Then,  I put all my wet ingredients into the blender.  Blending them until frothy helps keep the bread from being so dense.  Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Then, let it set while your oven preheats (about 20 minutes).  It will look like this.


Now, gently fold in your whole oatmeal and diced apples.  Try not to knock out too much of the air.


Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Top with maple almonds and bake until set. If the almonds start to get too brown, cover with a sheet of foil until the bread finishes.


Allow to cool.  Carefully remove loaf from pan and slice.  The ends are cut off this piece because the boys were literally hanging on my legs begging for a bite.



1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1 5.3 ounce container vanilla greek yogurt

1 cup whole rolled oats

1 apple, diced

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 Tablespoon real maple syrup

Stir together oat flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

Add applesauce, vanilla, eggs and yogurt to blender.  Blend until well mixed and frothy.

Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*.

Fold rolled oats and diced apple into the batter.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Stir together almonds and maple syrup.  Sprinkle over the top of batter in the loaf pan.

Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from loaf pan.

More Than Microwaving – Cheesy Bread

Remember those rolls I made yesterday? The ones you just stir up and toss in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them? The ones that taste so good I almost ate the whole dozen myself? You do? Good. Now, do you remember I only baked 12 rolls but said the recipe would make 24? That’s because I was saving some for this loaf of bread in all its cheesy goodness.

Scoop about half your remaining dough in little dollops into a greased bundt pan (or bread pan, I just like the way it looks). Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheese over the dollops. Top with remaining dough and more cheese. Bake until the bread is done and the cheese is golden.

1/2 recipe Aunt Linda’s Spoon Rolls
1/2-1/4 cup shredded cheese (any kind)
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a bundt pan.
Use about half your dough to scoop little pieces into the greased bundt pan. Be sure to cover the bottom on the pan. Sprinkle half your cheese over the dough. Use the remaining dough to scoop little pieces onto the top of the dough and cheese already in the pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then invert bundt pan onto serving plate. Slice (or tear) to serve.


Aunt Linda’s Spoon Rolls

Earlier this week, I had a friend request that I post a recipe for yeast rolls.  I have several different recipes I use for yeast bread, depending on what I’m looking for.  I talked with her a little more and she said she wanted a roll that was a little sweet and yeasty.  I paired that with knowing that she lives quite a ways outside of town and is busy.  I knew I had a recipe that would be simple and tasty.  One problem.  It wasn’t mine.  It was my Aunt Linda’s.  And they’ve been a favorite holiday and everyday dinner roll ever since she shared the recipe with us when I was young.  I grabbed my phone, shot off a text message and she generously offered to let me share it with you all.

Start  by mixing the yeast with some warm water to let it bloom.  Then, melt some butter and stir in the sugar until it looks a bit like wet sand covered in oil.


Add the egg and mix well.  Then add the bloomed yeast and water.


Stir in the flour.  The dough will be really wet.  You’re going to think it is too think and want to add some flour.  Don’t.  I promise it will be ok.


Cover this tightly with a lid, plastic wrap or just scrape the whole thing into a zip top bag.  Put it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.  It really is better if you let it sit overnight.  Even two nights.  But, no longer than that or your yeast will ferment and your rolls will taste like beer (and not the good beer bread either).  We only made that mistake once.  When you take it out of the fridge after 20 or so hours, the dough will have risen and thickened.  It will also be bubble and super stretchy.

DSCN0998 DSCN0999

Spoon this dough into greased muffin tins.  The recipe makes 24 rolls.  I made 12 today and I’ll bake the other 12 tomorrow.


They’re not perfect, and that’s just fine.  They’ll still bake up beautiful and golden and people will know they are home made.


Oh, you want to see what they look like on the inside.  Go ahead.  Twist my arm a little harder.  It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get me to tear one of them open.  Yeah right.  Who am I kidding.  It’s gonna take a monumental effort to keep me from eating the whole dozen before dinner.


I’m betting you’ve guessed by now that I love this bread basket.  It’s got a secret.  There’s a pocket in that beautiful daisy fabric that holds a microwavable rice sack.  So, not only does it look beautiful, it keeps your bread products toasty warm (and, I bought it from a girl who was raising money for a school trip to sing at Carnegie Hall – BONUS!!).


1 package active dry yeast

2 cups warm water

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

4 cups flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside to bloom.

Melt butter in the microwave.  Stir in sugar and stir until sugar looks like wet sand.  Add egg and mix well.  Stir in yeast and water mixture.  Stir in all 4 cups of flour.  Mixture will be very wet and sticky.

Cover tightly or transfer to a zip top bag and refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours.  Overnight is better.  Do not exceed 2 nights.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350*.  Grease 12 muffin cups.  Remove bread dough from fridge and spoon into muffin tins.  This recipe makes 24 rolls, so you should have about half your dough left.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from tins.  Loosen any stuck edges with a butter knife.  Serve warm with butter if desired (though, they are nice and buttery without any extra).


Sausage and Apple Dressing – More Than Microwaving

The other day, I shared my recipe for Honey Cracked Black Pepper French Bread.  Two loaves of French bread doesn’t seem like much, but we never seem to eat it before it starts to mold – especially not in the summer.  I suppose I could freeze half and have bread another day, but why do that when I can take the leftover bread and make this dressing to serve up with grilled chicken or pork chops? The best part, I do it in a skillet, on the stove top.  That’s right, no oven.  I start by cutting a half a loaf of leftover French bread into half inch cubes and letting it sit out to dry a bit.  Then, I heat up my no stick skillet and toss in a half a roll of breakfast sausage.  You could use Italian sausage if you prefer.  Just be sure you let it get nice and brown..


While the sausage is browning, dice up some onion, celery, carrots and apple.  Add them to the pan and cook until the veggies soften.


My ex-husband’s grandmother made the best cornbread dressing.  She always added apples.  Her other secret? Don’t moisten the bread with stock – use gravy.  I mean, really, what isn’t better with gravy?  So, add some flour to your sausage and veggies and apples and let it cook a little.  Then add some stock and let it thicken.


Beautiful, right? Toss in your bread cubes and give it all a good stir.  Cook it until it dries up a bit and is warm and delicious.  If you want a crispy crust, pour your gravy mixture over your bread, wipe out the pan and heat up a little butter or oil in the bottom of the pan before you add the bread and gravy back in.  Let it cook until your nose tells you it is ready. 


I was hungry, so I didn’t let mine get as brown as I could have.  It was delicious anyway, and even had a few brown, crispy bits. 



1/2 roll breakfast sausage

1/2 medium onion

1 large carrot, peeled

2 stalks celery

1 gala apple

2 Tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock


1/2 loaf French bread, cubed – about 4 cups of cubes

Heat a large non-stick skillet and add sausage.  Cook until brown, making sure to crumble it well as it cooks.  DIce onion, carrot, celery and apple.  When sausage is almost cooked, add vegetables and apple.  Continue cooking until vegetables soften a bit.  Sprinkle flour over the sausage mixture and cook for about a minute.  Add 2 cups stock.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Taste gravy and add salt to your preference.  Add cubed bread and stir to coat.  Cook over medium heat without stirring until dressing dries up a bit and you can smell it browning.  Serve hot.

Honey Cracked Black Pepper French Bread

I woke up this morning to rain, again.  There is nothing I like more on a rainy day than a hot cup of coffee and a game of cards with my mom.  Since Mom is 14 hours away, I had to settle for the thing I like second best on a gloomy day.  Baking.  And today this loaf of perfectly crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside French bread helped me beat the rainy day blues.  


Since I bake a yeast dough at least once a week, I don’t worry too much about my yeast expiring before I use it, but I always start my dough by proofing my yeast.  Mix the warm water, honey and yeast together and let it sit.  After 15 minutes, it should be foamy.  If it isn’t, your yeast is dead.  Toss it, and start over with new yeast. This is mine today.


After the yeast proofs, add your flour, salt and cracked black pepper. I add the first two cups of flour using the paddle attachment on my mixer and then switch to the dough hook to incorporate the rest.  The dough will look shaggy after the first two cups – something like this.


Then, add flour until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball.  When you touch it, it should still feel sticky, but your fingers should come away clean.  Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl (or a clean bowl if you must, I just don’t like dishes).  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to cold proof for at least 4 hours (you can leave it on the counter and let it rise until double – or about one hour, but the texture will be slightly different). Today I only had 4 hours since I wanted to serve it with dinner, but it could sit overnight.  Take the dough out of the fridge an hour before you are ready to cook it and an hour and a half before you need to take it out of the oven.  Here is my dough before proofing and then after.


Gently remove the dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half and form each half into a round loaf. I do this by gently stretching my dough into a square and folding the corners in.  I do this a couple of times then pinch the edges together and place the pinched side down on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover the loaves and let rise again until at least double.


Brush the loaves with an egg wash and use a sharp knife to cut 2 or 3 slits in the top of each loaf. Place bread in a hot oven, pour about a cup of water in a pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam (helps form a crisper crust).  Turn the oven temperature down and bake. Before baking.




Slice and enjoy.



1 – .25 ounce package instant dry yeast

2 cups lukewarm water

3 Tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

4-5 cups all purpose flour

1 egg white

1 Tablespoon water


Add yeast, water and honey to mixing bowl.  Stir until yeast is dissolved and let stand for 10-15 minutes, until frothy. Using the paddle attachment, add salt, black pepper and 2 cups of the flour.  Remove the paddle attachment and put on the dough hook.  Stir in more flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball.  When you touch the dough, it should feel sticky, but leave your fingers clean.  Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl.  Cover and place in the fridge to proof at least 4 hours and up to overnight. 

An hour before baking, remove the dough from the fridge.  Gently remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough into two equal parts.  Shape each part into a round loaf.  Pat dough into a square and fold corners into the middle.  Pinch seams closed and place seam side down on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover shaped loaves with a clean, damp towel and set in a warm place to rise for an hour.  Thirty minutes into the rise time pre-heat oven to 425*.  Place a metal baking pan on the oven floor. 

When the oven is hot, mix egg white and water together until completely incorporated (no slimy strings).  Brush the tops of both loaves with the egg wash.  Use a sharp knife to cut 2 or 3 slits in the top of each loaf. Place bread in the oven and pour about 1 cup of water into the hot metal pan on the oven floor.  Bake for 5 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 375*.  Bake for 20-25 minutes more until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!