One Hour Bread

Ward just had his birthday so I figured it was a perfect time to bake bread for the first time! 

I even used his favorite butter, Kerrygold, in the recipe.

Thanks to Ayesha Curry’s cookbook, The Seasoned Life, I was able to take baby steps into the bread making process. It was so easy an came out so well – I am so happy to have this in my arsenal now.

I prepped for the bread by greasing a bread pan with olive oil.

I then mixed the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and warm water with the paddle attachment.

I switched to the dough hook and added the cubed butter then combined for about 5 minutes.

I then placed the dough in an oiled bowl and covered it with saran wrap for 15 minutes.

After the 15 minutes, I removed the dough from the bowl and placed it on a lightly floured surface. I split it in two and rolled each to 12 inches then braided them.

I placed the braided dough into the prepared pan and then brushed it with egg.

 I placed the bread in the oven and let it bake for about 30 minutes. When it came out, it was beautifully golden brown and I let it rest for 5 minutes in the pan.

I removed it from the pan and was so happily amazed that I had actually made this! I mean, wow! I never thought that my first time making bread would go so well. I know that I didn’t make my own started and that this took a fraction of the amount of time that most breads take but, like I said, baby steps!

Like the recipe said, the bread was dense with a chewier inside but man was it good! I could definitely see making this again and again and slathering butter and jam all over it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Sweetly,

Simona

Apple Zucchini Bread

Is there anything better then fresh, straight out of the oven, bread on a Sunday morning?

I’d usually say no, but I’m on the fence about this apple zucchini bread that I made. I saw the recipe and thought to myself, that looks good and healthy – let’s give it a try! To make it, I had to buy a new ingredient that I haven’t used before: whole wheat pastry flour.

I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another then combined the two to make the bread dough.

To the batter I added the shredded zucchini and shredded apple. Obviously, the apple was really juicy which made it hard to shred but also added a lot of liquid to the dough, which was my first insight to the possibility of this bread not being quite right.

I mixed it all together then put it into the bread pan (which, by the way, was greased with goop!).

The recipe said to bake it for 40-50 minutes. I did that and though the top of the bread was nicely browned, the toothpick test told me that it was very much not done. I put it back in and kept checking on it but the toothpick just never seemed to come out clean. Eventually, after about 25 extra minutes, I threw up my hands and said, COME ON NOW and took it out of the oven.

See? It looks nice on the outside. I cut into it and the top portion seemed alright (and cooked). It even tasted alright. The bottom part though, ehhhhh, not so much and let’s be real honest, it didn’t taste good.

IT LOOKS LIKE MEATLOAF!!

Sweetly,

Simona

P.S. The goop was amazing. The bread did not stick at all! Magic!!

Gingerbread

Straight up gingerbread. Not gingerbread cookies, not gingerbread lattés, but the real deal. 

I love gingerbread flavors, so when I came across this recipe for gingerbread, I knew I had to make it!

I started by mixing the dry ingredients which consisted of flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

In the stand mixer, I combined the butter and brown sugar until it was fluffy then added the eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl on the side, I poured hot water into the cup of dark maple syrup and whisked until well combined.

I poured the maple syrup mixture into the sugar and egg mixture and continued to stir. It became a frothy and very thin batter. I slowly added the flour mixture in to make the batter then poured it into a greased bread pan.

I put it in the oven at 350 for an hour, as the recipe said. At the one hour mark, however, the toothpick did not come out clean so I left it in for an additional ten minutes. The extra ten minutes was exactly what it needed and it came out perfectly baked.

While the bread cooled, I made the cinnamon glaze. I mixed powdered sugar, cinnamon, and milk to create a spicy, sweet glaze.

Once the bread was cooled, I drizzled the glaze all over it and cut a big slice!

It was still warm and the glaze seeped through the top creating a sweet and moist middle. The outside had a little crunch and the spices in the batter and glaze gave a nice punch (and definitely added to the amazing smell)!

Sweetly,

Simona

Pumpkin Raisin Bread

I’m really milking this “pumpkin spice” season.

I had pumpkin purée leftover from when I accidentally bought it for the Halloween cupcakes and my uncle recently gave me a bunch of raisins so I looked up what I could make with both those ingredients.

I threw everything into a bowl and mixed. This recipe was super easy.

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I placed the batter into a bread pan and let it bake for an hour.

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I’m not always the biggest fan of chunks in breads, cakes, yogurts, etc., so I wouldn’t always choose a raisin bread. That being said, I actually did not pick out the raisins while eating this which should tell you something.

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Sweetly,

Simona

Cherry Tomato Focaccia

I know that focaccia falls under savory, and not sweet but it is still bread!

Considering the fact that I am still nervous about diving into the deep end with bread, I decided to try out focaccia! I LOVE focaccia and being a native San Franciscan, I have always bought my focaccia from Liguria Bakery. They have the best focaccia so I had a lot to look up to.

 I love cherry tomatoes so I decided to try out a cherry tomato & rosemary focaccia.

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I mixed the flour with salt and olive oil then added the dry yeast. I was a little concerned about the amount of dry yeast it called for (3 whole packets) – it seemed like a lot – but I went for it and crossed my fingers.

Once that was mixed together, I slowly added water while kneading the dough with my hands. I continued to knead it with my hands for 5 minutes then wrapped the dough in plastic wrap. My mom gave me a bread container so I placed the dough in it to watch it rise.                    DSC_0007

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I let it sit for an hour until it about doubled in size.

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I greased a baking pan with olive oil and spread the dough into it, continuing to knead it as I did then let it sit for another 30 minutes.

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While it sat, I prepared the toppings.

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I preheated the oven to 425°F and after the 30 minutes were up, I added the cherry tomatoes to the top of the dough. I sprinkled the tomatoes with coarse salt and then with rosemary and popped it into the oven. DSC_0022

The focaccia baked for 20 minutes and when it came out it was beautifully golden brown!

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