Posts Tagged ‘Bread’

Soft Pretzels

Fresh Soft Pretzel from the oven

Fresh Soft Pretzel from the oven

 When Kyle and I were in Germany, we ate pretzels and beer almost everyday!  I knew I had to make my own when I returned home.  Luckily I found a this recipe, which is so easy and quick that anyone can and should make these delightful treats!  Bring them along tailgating or to a party where people can enjoy them with a drink. 

  • 2 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse or pretzel salt

1. Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook* and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.

3. Spray large bowl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

4. Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray (parchment paper, ungreased, also works). Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each) or 32 if making miniature pretzels, and wrap in plastic.

5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. [I find the pretzels much easier to roll on an unfloured board, oddly enough, but see what works for you.] Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (and step back, it foams up quickly) and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

7. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

Pretzels after poaching

Pretzels after poaching


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Bread Pudding

Comforting Bread Pudding

Comforting Bread Pudding

This recipe comes from my legendary Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook.  I use this cookbook for everything.  It is a wonderful reference and easy to use with its 3-ring binder and tabs.

  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 2 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 t finely shredded orange peel (optional)
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 4 c dry bread cubes
  • 1/3 c dried cherries, raisins or cranberries


1.  In bowl beat together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, orange peel, cinnnamon.  In an ungreased 2-quart square baking diss toss together bread cubes and dried fruit; pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture.

2.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or till a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly.  If desired, serve with warm caramel sauce.  Makes 8 servings.

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Apple Oatmeal Bread

Last week, during Christmas break, I surprised dad with this apple oatmeal bread recipe.  It was a big hit with the family and I ended up making a third loaf which was eatten within an hour of baking! 

What I like about this recipe:  It’s very fast and easy to make.  The crust was crisp and the crumb was large and moist.  Even though I normally don’t toast homemade bread, this was amazing toasted!  The cinnamon flavor was more apparent.

Apple Oatmeal Bread from KAF

  • 2 packages (a scant 2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups oat flakes or old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (feel free to add more if you’re a cinnamon lover like me)
  • 5 cups (approximately) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped tart apples
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts  (ok to skip)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze
  • additional oat flakes or rolled oats, for topping

In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, oil, brown sugar, salt, oats, cinnamon, 2 cups flour, apples and walnuts. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.

Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the entire ball of dough with oil, and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Grease two 9 x 5-inch or 10 x 5-inch loaf pans, and sprinkle with rolled oats.

Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in prepared pans. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Just before baking, brush tops of loaves with egg/water mixture. Sprinkle with additional rolled oats.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of loaves reaches 190°F. Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a rack, to prevent crust from becoming soggy.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 9, September 1991 issue.

Big chunks of apples in the dough.


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