Do you know what that means? September means the air is crisper in the morning, school season starts and pumpkin season is just around the corner! What better way to celebrate pumpkin season than with pumpkin donuts? These drop donuts taste just like mini pumpkin pies. Yum!
Now, I don’t have a donut pan so I stick to drop donuts (who needs a donut pan to make great donuts at home anyway?) Okay, these aren’t gourmet looking by any means but they are rustic and absolutely delicious. Make sure you have some friends or family members around when you make these, otherwise you’ll eat them all by yourself. Which, your taste buds will love but your tummy might not.
The most important thing to keep in mind when making drop donuts is to make sure you drop small amounts of dough into your fryer oil. If you make the donuts too large, the inside will not be able to cook completely and the inside of your donuts will be doughy instead of fluffy.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all spice and cloves. Mix pumpkin, milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a separate bowl. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil 5-6 at a time. Fry 2-3 minutes, on each side, until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Mix sugar and cinnamon; roll warm donuts in mixture and serve.
T minus 24 hours until I travel to the Massachusetts to visit one of my most favorite people on the planet! I can’t wait to spend time with her, see where she lives now and (almost as importantly) indulge in east coast grub. I am so excited to eat FRESH seafood, something I haven’t tasted since I visited Maui years ago. Let the countdown continue!
Anywho, I had the urge to make bread. I have not invested in a bread maker as of yet, mostly because we ran out of cabinet space the second we moved in, so I typically stick to rustic-type breads. This was my first attempt at making focaccia at home. It turned out SO GOOD! The salt and rosemary topping is awesome.
The amount of olive oil you use in this recipe might seem excessive, but you will be amazed at how much this bread absorbs all of it! You might even wish you used more when it’s all said and done. Because this bread is like, 90% oil (which also makes it taste so awesome) be sure to use good quality olive oil. Any cheap olive oil flavors are sure to show.
Not sure what to do with this bread when it’s baked? You can eat it by itself, dip pieces of it into oil and vinegar or your favorite marinara, or make a panini out of it. Yum!
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Put the bowl in a warm, not hot or cool, place until the yeast is bubbling and aromatic, at least 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed. Once the dough has come together, continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes on a medium speed until it becomes smooth and soft. Give it a sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand 1 or 2 times. Again, give it another sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.
Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
Coat a large sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil (This may seem excessive, but focaccia is an oily crusted bread. This is why it is soooooooooo delicious!)
Put the dough onto the sheet pan and begin pressing it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough.
Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Liberally sprinkle the top of the focaccia with coarse sea salt and rosemary and lightly drizzle a little oil on top. Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.
I like to let all of my breads rise in a closed oven with the heat off but the oven light on. This gives the dough just the heat it needs to double in size.
Unemployed life is surprisingly busy. I feel like I have less time now than I had while I was employed. Dealing with insurance issues, the unemployment department, running errands, applying for jobs, fixing my car, interviewing, faxing, mailing, printing, copying… I am exhausted. Maybe this would be a good time to take a vacation. Any cheap deals out there? Ha!
One thing that unemployed life has given me is a chance to really dig into recipes that I haven’t touched in awhile. I hardly bake but I was craving blueberry muffins, so I made them. As you may have noticed, I have a soft spot for lemon and blueberry. I realized that all of these years I had been baking blueberry muffins without any hint of lemon in them. It was time for a change.
I love the freshness the lemon adds to these. The muffins themselves are airy and moist too. This is my favorite base muffin recipe to use. The key is to not over mix the batter. Little chunks of flour are okay. That’s how you get all of those fluffy bubbles in your baked muffin. If your muffins end up too dense, it’s because you over mixed the batter.
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about the amount from 1 large lemon)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
For Topping (optional)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, mixed with
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 375°. Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins).
In bowl, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.
With spoon, fold in half of flour then half of milk into batter; repeat. Do not overmix. Fold in blueberries and lemon peel. Spoon into muffin cups (filling about 3/4 full) and sprinkle topping onto each muffin.
Bake 16 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.
I was never any good at chemistry (usually distracted by the funny boys who sat next to me in my class) and few of my baking recipes worked after I moved to a higher altitude, but I couldn’t resist an attempt at making homemade banana bread. There is something completely magical about banana bread. Banana bread is so simple to put together yet the smells that fill your home while it rises and bakes in your oven would suggest otherwise. With so many varieties out there, it’s hard to pick a favorite. This is a great go-to recipe to work off of, at any altitude.
Sometimes I add in toasted walnuts, other times I crave cinnamon, this particular day I was hankering for some chocolate. How uncharacteristic of me…
I’ve recently fallen in love with many of Chocolate Moosey’s recipes and although she doesn’t know it, her recipes have helped me find my way again with flour, sugar and butter. My uphill battle with baking has become less of a battle and more of a fun challenge. Please visit her food blog to see this and more of her delicious recipes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine egg, milk, vanilla and oil in separate bowl. Add to flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips and mashed bananas. Spoon into pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
This is one of my favorite snacks/light breakfasts. The ricotta is very light and fluffy but leaves the canvas open for your own interpretation. When I put this together, I crave fresh strawberries and a bit of agave nectar for added sweetness. It’s a play on healthier strawberry cream cheese.
The idea originally spawned from an article I read in Real Simple Magazine. They featured a list of healthier snack choices. This one personally hit it out of the park for me.
Simply toast a bagel (preferably whole wheat or gluten-free), schmear some ricotta cheese on it, and add sliced strawberries and agave nectar. That’s it! Enjoy.
Pandowdies, cobblers, slumps, and grunts are all variations on biscuit dough cooked with fruit. These down-home desserts from early New England are enjoying a welcome revival.
I picked up these apples at the Longmont Farmer’s Market (10 for $1!) and promised the farmer that I would give them a good home. I remembered seeing a recipe for Pandowdy in a book that my good friend Jane gave me as a gift, Elizabeth Alston’s Biscuits and Scones. The rosemary in this recipe caught my eye and I was immediately intrigued. I had to try this baked apple-rosemary goodness.
This pandowdy recipe is super quick and hardly takes any work to make the biscuits. You toss the dough around a bit and it’s ready to bake. Simple.
The thing that takes the longest is peeling and slicing the apples. An extra set of hands or an apple peeler is always handy, but I flew solo and old school on this project. Who needs an apple peeler when you have two hands anyway? Look at that peel-action! One single peel, baby. Booyah! Maybe I should try out for America’s Got Talent…
It’s best to enjoy this warm with a huge scoop of ice cream. Doctor’s orders.
1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup light cream or milk
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a heavy baking dish (about 8-inches square or round).
To make filling, crumble rosemary as fine as possibly into a bowl. Add sugar and lemon juice and stir. Add apple slices, toss to coat. Spread evenly in the baking dish.
To make biscuit topping, put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and rosemary into a medium-size bowl, crumbling the rosemary as fine as possible. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine granules.
Add cream. Stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and give 10 to 12 kneads. Turn dough over and roll or pat to fit just inside the baking dish. Place on top of the fruit. Cut 4 slits in the dough so steam can escape.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden. With a knife, lift edge of crust and make sure it is cooked underneath. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
That’s right. I, Miss Foodie McBooty, was so intimidated by the IDEA of baking bread that I’ve steered clear of any recipe and given every bread-maker the stink eye. Now, I’ve successfully made denser breads like banana bread before so I’m not sure what I was so afraid of. I guess it’s because I have such a hard time with dough, that I had accepted the fact that bread making wasn’t a part of my DNA… until now.
I discovered the easiest, practically fool-proof loaf of bread recipe that you can make at home. No bread maker necessary! This bread is wonderful in all the right ways in all the right places. The outside is rustic and crusty while the inside is chewy and delicate. Who knew that such a beautiful thing could be created with little elbow grease and some patience? Well, someone knew… I just hadn’t made it myself yet.
All you need for this recipe to work is a dutch oven (or I used the stone pot from my crock pot and covered it with an oven safe lid).
3 cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water (not hot, feels room temperature when touched)
In a large glass bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Stir in the water with a wooden spoon until a shaggy looking ball forms. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 12-18 hours on your countertop. Alternatively, you can place the bowl in the oven with only the light turned on. The dough should rise in about 6 to 8 hours like this.
After that time, your dough should look moist, bubbly and almost doubled in size. Take a spatula and plop the dough onto a floured surface. Wet your hands (to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands) and grab the dough and fold over all ends toward the middle. Turn the dough over so you get a nice, smooth, tight surface. Gently move the dough onto a floured towel or parchment paper. Cover loosely and let nap for another 2 hours. It should puff up nicely in size.
A half hour before the nap ends, pre-heat your oven to 450ºF with a rack in the middle position.
Place a large Dutch oven, with the lid on, into the pre-heated oven to warm for 30 minutes. You can also use any large, lidded cast iron or pyrex dish, so long as it can handle 450ºF.
Place the dough ball into the heated Dutch oven, put the lid on, and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown, sounds hollow when knocked on, and an instant-read thermometer registers between 190ºF and 210ºF.
There is this addicting restaurant in Boulder, Colorado called Rueben’s Burger Bistro where they specialize in, well, burgers. Their decor is old world French with themes of the Tour de France galore. Rueben’s serves your average burger a million different ways. Every burger, no matter what combination I try, has always been tasty but what keeps us coming back to restaurant is their signature pretzel bun.
I made these pretzel rolls in honor of National Pretzel Day. This recipe is a precursor to those burger buns that I will some day recreate.
My friend Heather and I both agree that we’re really just not that into making dough. For one reason or another, our breads never turn out how we expected them to – they’re either too dense or don’t rise enough or the complete opposite happens – it’s a constant struggle. It’s a tricky thing, this dough business, but it’s something that we’re both experimenting with.
Well Heather, I finally did it right with this one! These turned out so good that Mister and I almost ate the entire basket in one sitting.
To the novice baker – you can make these! Just make sure you allow enough time for your dough to rest during both the first and second rest phases. Also, you don’t need a dough hook to make these. I did them by hand because I’m old school like that.
Activate your yeast, with 2 cups warm water and let it sit for few minutes. Melt the butter using microwave oven.
In the bowl of your mixer add flour, sugar, salt, melted butter and the activated yeast and mix for few minutes. Adjust water/flour quantity if needed (if the dough is too dry and crumbly or too tacky). When everything looks good take the dough out and knead for another minute. Make it into a ball, rub some vegetable oil on it so it doesnt dry up and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
Cut the dough into 16 pieces and roll them into balls. This one is a bit of pain for those that don't know the drill but easy mode is to pull the sides to the center and pinch it to seal, until the surface is smooth. Roll it a bit on a wooden plank and place it seam side down. You can let them rise again for 30 minutes.
Fill up a large saucepan with 2 quarts of water (about 2l), bring it to boil temperature then reduce heat and pour in the baking soda. Slip your rolls seam side down into the water and poach for 30 seconds then roll them and do the same for the other side.
Place them on a wood plank, again seam side down and brush with lightly beaten egg. Sprinkle some coarse salt or any other things that you might think of and cut a decent slash in the top of each roll.
Bake at 425° F / 220° C for 15-20 min or until they get dark-brownish. Rotate the pans halfway through baking - top to bottom, front to back - for even browning. Cool completely and eat them the same day you bake them.
Reheat rolls in a damp paper towel for 30 seconds in the microwave.
I have made Aimée’s recipe in the past and turn to it again and again. She really did her homework with this one. Especially since baking comes as naturally to me as flying does to a fish, believe me when I say that this recipe is a winner. You can see her full recipe research here.
You don’t have to wait for zucchini season to roll around to enjoy this bread. It is possible to freeze grated zucchini so as to have it available whenever the baking mood strikes.
To freeze zucchini, first wash them, trim the ends and then simply grate them on a box grater. Package in 1 or 2-cup portions in freezer bags or freezer containers. Remove as much air as possible from the bag by smoothing it with the back of your hand from bottom to top and quickly sealing the bag. Freeze flat.
Do you ever dream about food? I do. Sometimes I dream about slow roasting meats sizzling over a fire or savoring a perfectly baked pastry. Other times I dream about chocolate pudding and slathering it all over my body.
Let’s not get into that right now.
More recently I dreamt about cornbread. Cornbread with a brown, crisp yet chewy crust that is fluffy and springy in the middle and has just the right amount of sweetness to it. This is that recipe.
This is a very light and moist cornbread unlike other cornbread recipes I have made that are dense and heavy. When I eat this, I feel like I still have room for a rack of BBQ baby-back ribs.
I usually double this recipe and bake it in a greased cast iron skillet. This way I get a nice brown crust on all sides. This also works in a 9-inch round glass pie pan or muffin tins too, but the time will vary depending on what sort of container you use.
If your results end up being more bitter than sweet, your cornmeal may be old. If you want awesome cornbread, you’ll need some fresh cornmeal.
Try adding jalapenos and shredded cheddar cheese to spice things up.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (or 400 degrees F if you have an older oven without a ceramic top).
Whisk the eggs and sugar together. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and corn, whisking in between to mix everything evenly. Mix in the melted butter.
Pour into a greased skillet or pan. Bake until the sides come away from the skillet (about 20 - 25 minutes for me). In the mean time, mix your honey with the additional melted butter to use for a topping. Turn the oven to a high broil and brown the top for about 2 minutes (watch carefully). Remove the cornbread from the oven and brush the honey butter on the top of your crust. Allow to cool and enjoy.
I love adding 2-3 jalapenos and a 1/2 cup sharp cheddar to this recipe.
I have recently developed an addicted to making homemade pizza. I love working and tossing the dough and having complete control of all elements of in the pie. The hardest part about making a good pizza to me is perfecting the crust. The dough is key in a lot of what makes a pizza amazing. For me, it was an obsessive science experiment. Believe me, I have tried various methods and recipes throughout my pizza making days. This recipe is a definite keeper.
It’s tough to imitate the perfect pizza when you don’t have an awesome brick pizza oven, but this crust turns out pretty darn good! As long as you’re patient and let your dough rest, your crust will be airy in the middle and crispy on the outside, like a breadstick.
As for toppings, I feel like I have tried them all — from strategically placed basil strips to piling the pie a mile high. In my opinion, keeping the toppings simple almost always results in a better pizza.
On a side note, this recipe does offer an alternative for mixing the dough in the stand mixer, but I prefer to use my hands when it comes to most doughs.
I got this recipe from Peter Reinhart. This book is awesome and has come in handy on too many occasions to count. I highly recommend!
4 1/2 cups (20.25-ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour
1 3/4 (.44-ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11-ounce) instant yeast
1 3/4 cups (14-ounces) water, ice cold
1/4 cup (2-ounces) extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a medium bowl. Make a crater in the middle of your flour mixture and add the oil and cold water. Mix with your hands until the moisture is absorbed. Work the dough into a smooth mass by folding the dough and rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If your dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it feels right. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
Cover the dough loosely with a flour sack and place the bowl in your oven with the oven light on for 2 hours. The heat from the light will help your dough rise. If you need to use your oven during this time, find a dry spot that is draft free.
Once your dough has risen, sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months, just make sure you transfer them to the refrigerator (and then at room temperature for 2 hours) the day before you plan to make pizza.
If you are using a pizza stone, place the stone on the lower third portion of your oven on a rack and pre-heat your stone at least 30 minutes before making the pizza. Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you do not have a pizza stone, use a pizza pan or the back of a baking sheet. Your baking sheet may warp a bit but should spring back to its original shape once cooled.
Dust the pizza stone or sheet pan with flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift 1 piece of dough and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.
When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction and fits your stone or pan, lay it on the pre-heated stone or pan. Prick your dough with a fork (especially in the center of the crust) to prevent over bubbling and dust with garlic powder. Bake for 5 minutes until the crust is bubbly and just starting to brown. Remove from your hot oven and lightly brush the entire crust with olive oil.
Top the baked crust with your sauce, cheese and toppings. Slide the topped pizza back onto the stone or sheet pan and bake for 2-3 more minutes. Take a peek to see if the cheese is melted. You may need to rotate your pizza 180 degrees for even baking.
Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving to allow the cheese to set slightly.
Brush some extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle some parmesan on the edge of your crust for extra flavor.