Tag Archives: bread

Blueberry Bread

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Yesterday morning while Bruce was opening the mail he noticed that our natural gas bill was unusually low as compared to years past.  He was concerned, shouted out to me and asked me what I thought of it.  Well, the answer was easy.  Our kitchen stove uses natural gas and I have hardly cooked anything for the family over the course of the past month or two.  If it was not for fast food, roast Costco chicken, or frozen dinners the members of my family would have starved to death…

I’ve been working long hours lately and I’ve rarely spent time in my kitchen.  My refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave have been the only appliances that have been put to use.  My stove, ovens and stand mixer have been idle and collecting dust.  My camera has remained in the closet and has not been touched.  By the time I get home in the evenings all I want to do is sit on my couch in complete peace and quiet.  I stopped reading my magazines, books and favorite food blogs.  I’ve hardly checked Facebook and ignored my personal emails.  Feral Kitchen has been mothballed and a good home cooked meal has been nonexistent in our home.  On the bright side, I know that these long hours are temporary and life will be back to normal before I know it.  I look forward to getting back into the kitchen.  Cooking makes me happy.

Well, all things considered, today is a brand new day.  Today is different.  Today, I have a day off!

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This morning while out shopping for groceries for the week, I spied two pounds of fresh picked blueberries.  They were just gorgeous!  Bright blue, fat and juicy.  Without hesitation, they went straight into my shopping basket.  I knew what I wanted to do with them.  I wanted to make some blueberry bread for breakfast and maybe even share some with coworkers during the busy work week.  The rest will be packed in my lunch and the others will be made into a tangy blueberry ginger vinaigrette.  If the vinaigrette turns out the way I want it to taste, I will be sure to share the recipe with you sometime soon.

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I love blueberries!  I love the flavor and color.  What’s funny about blueberries is that I refused to eat them as a child.  How weird is that?  I find it so interesting how my palate has changed as I’ve aged.  I’m curious, has that happened to you too?

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My blueberry bread is packed with fresh plump blueberries and is not too sweet.  A slice or two is great with a cup of coffee or tea.  Any leftover loaves are perfect for sharing with friends and family or as a hostess gift.  Makes 3 delicious loaves.  It’s good to be back.  See you again soon!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, canola oil, and lemon extract.  Add blueberries to the wet ingredients.  Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moist and lumpy.  Don’t over mix.  Add mixture to 3 greased 4 x 8 loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks before slicing.  Makes 3 fabulous loaves!

Sesame Seed Beer Bread

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Sesame Seed Beer Bread

Beer Breads are some of my favorite loaves of bread to bake.  They’re easy, require few ingredients and taste delicious.  For years I have made the same Whole Wheat Beer Bread and it has always been my “go to” recipe.  “Go to” until now…  My favorite Whole Wheat Beer Bread recipe now has to share the spotlight.  I have a new recipe that is equally delicious but with a different spin.  I call it Sesame Seed Beer Bread.  It’s made with all purpose white flour, Oregon brewed beer, and black and white sesame seeds.

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My Sesame Seed Beer Bread has a pretty black sesame seed speckled center with a lovely mixed sesame seed top crust.

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It slices nicely and goes great with leafy green salads and piping hot bowls of soup.  I had a couple of slices toasted this morning for breakfast.  It’s easy to make and tastes fabulous!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz beer
  • 1/2 Tbs black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tbs white sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix together flour, sugar, 1 Tbs black sesame seeds, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.  Add beer and mix until lumps are gone.  Don’t over mix.  Add mixture to greased 9 x 5 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle top with 1/2 Tbs black and 1/2 Tbs white sesame seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.  Makes one fabulous loaf!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

When Bruce came home from work last week I saw him walking up the stairs from the garage with a large bright orange pumpkin in his arms.  He received it as a gift from a friend who has a large vegetable garden at her home.  I love pumpkin but the only time I ever bake or use pumpkin in a recipe it is always with the stuff that comes out of a can.  Shocking huh?  So, obviously, the only thing that came to mind was to carve it and place it on the front porch for Halloween.  Halloween was nearly a month away so I put it on my kitchen counter and there it sat…

Every time that I looked at that pumpkin, I would wonder if it would even make it until the end of October.  And then it happened…. I received an email update from Barbara Bamber from Just A Smidgen with a recipe on how to roast and puree a pumpkin.  Thanks to Barbara, I got a big chunk of my kitchen counter back and I even learned a new kitchen trick. Click here to get her beautifully detailed step by step instructions on how to do it. And as a bonus I made a couple of delicious loaves of Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with my puree!

This is the pumpkin that hogged all the real estate on my kitchen counter.  It would have carved nicely but I think it made an even better puree :D.

Making pumpkin puree is easy.  All I had to do was to cut the top off, scoop out the seeds and slice it in large pieces.  I put the pumpkin chunks on a baking sheet, covered it tightly with foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour or until fork tender.  Once cool enough to handle, I peeled the skin off and tossed the pumpkin pieces in the food processor and pulsed it until well blended.  I measured the puree and popped what I did not need into the freezer for use at a later date.  The plan is to make a pie or two for Thanksgiving with the leftover puree.  Canned pumpkin is now officially banned from my kitchen!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread…. Moist and flavorful and made with sweet dried cranberries that I purchased from my last trip to the Oregon coast.  I made two loaves and I thought I’d share one with my coworkers at the office.  I sliced it up, put it in the break room and it was not long until it was gone.  Thank you Barbara for the easy pumpkin puree lesson!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9″ by 5″ baking pans.  In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  In another bowl mix together the white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moistened.  Fold in the cranberries and add mixture to the prepared baking pans.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Carefully, remove loaves from pans and place on baking racks until cool.  Makes 2 delicious loaves!

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Over 25 years ago I created a quick bread called Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  I posted the bread recipe on my website about a year ago and it was a real hit.  Since limes are some of my favorite citrus fruits, I naturally thought it would be a great idea to substitute the lemon flavor with the lime.

With zucchinis growing like crazy in my little garden, I thought I would give my new quick bread idea a try…  I grabbed my garden basket, a sharp knife and my camera and headed out to the garden.  While picking my zucchinis I had to stop and check out the other plants in the vicinity.

Fresh picked zucchini.

Grape leaf.  I just love the shape, color and its jagged edges.

Some of the first tomatoes of the year.  These are the Sun Gold variety.  Whenever I weed or water my garden I stop by and pop a few of these juicy tomatoes in my mouth.  I also like to pick a handful for my lunch or for a snack while I am working at my desk.

Part of my little garden.  I try to utilize as much space as possible.  Lemon cucumbers share the same pot as edible nasturtiums.  Winter squash, yellow zucchini and green zucchini share a small 3 by 8 foot planting strip.  There’s even mammoth sunflowers growing behind them in the strip.  No space in my little garden goes underutilized.  Plants have to learn to share space if they want to exist in my garden.  I make it a point rotate my crops from year to year to ensure good soil health.  Rotating crops means I will not put plants in the same place as they were planted last year.  Zucchini squash might get planted where tomatoes used to reside the prior year and vice versa.

Fresh home grown zucchini ready to be picked.  Later on that afternoon this zucchini ended up in my Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  Adding the fresh squeezed lime juice, brightly flavored lime zest and sweet crushed pineapple makes a delicious loaf of zucchini bread.  It’s light, moist and perfect for a quick breakfast or with a cup of coffee on break.

To prove that my recipe was a keeper, I had to test my new bread recipe on Bruce without telling him what was in it…  First of all, the man claims to hate zucchini.  He would not try it in a million years if I told him that there was zucchini in it.  Unknown to him, I slip zucchini in many of the dishes that I prepare for him.  Okay… I guess what he does not know won’t hurt him.  I look at it this way.  I’m doing him a huge favor.  He’s eating his veggies without really knowing it.

After I pulled the loaves out of the oven and let them cool, I walked downstairs with a huge grin and popped a piece of the Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread in his mouth as he relaxed on the couch.  He looked back at me and told me that it tasted good.  I then happily confessed to him that there was zucchini in it… Makes 2 fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained well
  • 2 cups zucchini grated
  • 1 Tbs lime zest
  • 1 Tbs lime juice

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, pineapple, zucchini, lime juice and lime zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Slice and serve!

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

I love living in Oregon.  One of the cool things about where I live besides breathing fresh air, drinking clean water, tall mountains and trees is that Oregon has lots of breweries.   And seriously good breweries…  Hand crafted IPA’s, wheats, amber ales, darks, porters, lagers and the list goes on.  I can think of at least 5 microbreweries within a 10 mile radius from my home.

What I have learned is that a really good beer makes a really good beer bread.  The problem is making that choice to sacrifice a couple of your favorite beers for baking bread.  My Whole Wheat Beer Bread is so good that you really don’t have to think too long and hard about making that tough decision.  My Whole Wheat Beer Bread is ridiculously easy to make and tastes absolutely wonderful.  Makes 1 tasty loaf.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups beer (20 ounces)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 X 5 pan.  Mix all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl, mixing dry ingredients first then adding the beer.  The batter will look like really thick pancake batter.  Add mixture to the baking pan and drizzle the top lightly with olive oil.  Bake 60 t0 70 minutes until a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.  Slice and serve with sweet cream butter.

Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread

As an accountant I am required to pay attention to detail.  That’s how I am and that’s my job.  Today while at home in my kitchen I did not pay attention to a recipe and as a result, I goofed up…  This morning I decided to make some Strawberry Bread with a bunch of leftover strawberries that I had stashed in my fridge.  Years ago, I made up an awesome recipe for Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread that I used as a model for my Strawberry Bread.  Today, as I was measuring ingredients, mixing the batter and talking to my son at the same time, I looked down into the bowl and realized that the batter did not look right…

Succulent strawberry

I noticed that the batter was unusually dry and lumpy.  Oh geez!  What the heck did I do?  I yelled to my son upstairs and asked him how many cups of flour I added to the bowl.  He yelled back with “Mom, I saw you adding four!”…  I knew then that was the problem because when I wrote the recipe I was supposed to only add three.  OMG!  What to do now?  Well, those who know me know that I’m rather stubborn and I was determined to not toss it all out, and start over.  So, I decided to improvise.  To correct my mistake, I added an about an extra 1/4 cup canola oil and a splash of water to the mixture.  After a bit of fiddling with the recipe, I got the bread batter looking like it should. So I prepared the loaves for baking, crossed my fingers and tossed them in the oven.

An hour later, I pulled them out, let them cool, and sliced.  Crisis averted!  Talk about lucky!  They looked and tasted wonderful.  Next time I bake I will make it a point to pay extra attention when measuring my ingredients.  If you follow my recipe below and don’t put in too much flour in the mixture like I did, you will make 2 wonderful loaves of Strawberry Bread.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries (washed and hulled)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.   In one bowl add your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to mix well.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Gently add the strawberries.  Don’t over mix.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Place batter in two greased 4 X 8 baking pans in the oven for one hour or until done.  Cool on wire rack and slice.  Makes 2 fabulous loaves.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

I know that I am in deep trouble when I see my husband Bruce open a freezer door and something falls out.   Every time that happens I hear him say my name.  Not just Tessa but, a long drawn out Tesssaaa….!  Then I cringe.  I know what he is thinking and what he is going to say next.  I know that it is way past time to use up freezer inventory.

I opened the freezer this morning and out fell a frozen banana.  Fortunately Bruce was at work and didn’t see.  I picked my evidence off of the floor and snagged the remaining bananas from out of the freezer.  It was time for banana bread.

My Chocolate Banana Bread is easy to make and is the perfect use for bananas that need to be eaten up or have been stored in your freezer (like mine!).  It is moist, chocolatey, and has a wonderful banana flavor.  Makes 1 luscious loaf.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 RIPE bananas (peeled and mashed well)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a 4 X 8 loaf pan and spray it with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized mixing bowl mix the bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and chocolate extract.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and extra dark cocoa powder.   Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Slice and serve.

Herb Rolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herb Rolls

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  It is without a doubt the perfect excuse to spend quality time with family and friends.  This year were invited to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at my brother in law’s parents home.  We always love going to Jim and Kathy’s house.  It seems like nearly everyone in the house is an amazing cook and it’s always fun to see what dishes others have to contribute.  This year we had both turkey and ham, stuffing, potatoes, yams, ginger carrots, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, chicken livers, bruschetta, pumpkin pies, apple pie, cookies, whipped cream, cheeses, and so much more.  Their house is noisy with dishes clanking, champagne bottles popping, people laughing and the sound of football on the TV.  There was so much food that I think I gained 5 pounds yesterday…

One of my contributions to this year’s  great feast was my fresh baked herb rolls.  I’ve been making these savory little herb rolls for nearly 25 years.  I’ve baked them for countless holiday dinners and it’s to the point that no dinner is quite complete without them.  What makes these rolls so special is that I like to use fresh herbs snipped directly from my garden.  I have planted rosemary, parsley and chives next to the back door specifically for this purpose.  I would love to take complete credit for this fabulous recipe but I can’t.   This recipe was originally adapted from my Good Housekeeping Illustrated cookbook.

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups flour
1/3 c. baking sugar
2 packages quick rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. nonfat milk
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
2 eggs
1/4 c. finely chopped mixed herbs  (parsley, rosemary and chives)

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbls. nonfat milk for the glaze

In a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, add your sugar, yeast, salt and 1 1/2 c. flour.  Put the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave about 1 minute until milk is very warm and butter is melted.   Add the milk and butter to mixing bowl.  Using a dough hook on your mixer, slowly mix for about 3 minutes, meanwhile scraping the side of the bowl.  Add another 1/2 c. of flour and the eggs.  Keep mixing for about 2 more minutes.  Add the remaining flour.  Mix for another 8 minutes or until the dough is mixed well and elastic.

On a lightly floured surface add the dough from the bowl.   Flatten dough with your hands and knead the fresh herbs into the dough for about 2 more minutes.  Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.  Punch down the dough and let rest for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Separate dough into 24 even sized pieces (1 1/2 ounces each).  Roll into balls.  Place on silpat lined or greased cookie sheet and cover with a cloth.  Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg glaze.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.  When the herb rolls are done, pull from oven and let cool for a bit on wire racks.  Serve warm with fresh cream butter.  Makes about 24 herb gems.

Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread

It’s summer here in Southern Oregon and in no time I will be dealing with the onslaught of fresh zucchini from my garden.  I learned from mistakes of prior years, and this year I planted only one zucchini plant.  There have been times that I had so much zucchini that I could not even give them away.  One of the things that I like to make with fresh zucchini from my garden is my Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  The fresh lemon zest and the flavor of the crushed pineapple make these little loaves of bread bright with flavor.  Make these and share with your coworkers at the office or for a quick breakfast on your way to work.  Can be frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.  Tessa

Ingredients:

3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2/3 c. canola oil
1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained well.
2 c. zucchini grated
1 Tbls. lemon zest

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, pineapple, zucchini and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Makes two fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!