Week 85: Eggnog Tea Loaf

Just after Halloween, I make a large batch of aged, aka boozy, eggnog (my favorite is Michael Ruhlman’s 30-day Eggnog) and put it in the back of the fridge until Christmas time. This year, we had a little bit left over so I decided to make a tea loaf with it, and wow, what a treat! SO good with a cup of Earl Grey in the afternoon, and even better after dinner with some Traditional Swedish Egg Coffee. It’s super easy to throw together, and also makes for a nice hostess gift over the holidays.

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup eggnog (measure it into a Pyrex liquid measuring cup)
  • Glaze:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons eggnog
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • pinch of salt
  1. Butter and flour an 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan and preheat oven to 350.
  2. With electric beaters, or a stand mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly mixed in.
  4. Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder into a separate bowl, and whisk to combine
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet in batches, alternating with the eggnog, and mixing to combine after each addition.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too much before it’s ready, cover it with a tin foil tent. Do not over bake!
  9. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Measure everything into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  10. Remove loaf from pan and let cool of a rack.
  11. Drizzle with glaze, and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

Week 78: 육쪽마늘빵 Cream Cheese Garlic Bread

KOREA: Cream cheese garlic bread is a beloved street food in Seoul, can be a bit of an acquired taste for some of us. It’s chock full of garlic and herbs, but the sauce is sweet, which is not uncommon in Asia as many breads lean heavily towards being dessert-style. You can buy already made dinner rolls and just stuff them, but it’s fun to make the rolls, and then you’re guaranteed to have the correct shape and consistency.

I’m really happy to have an opportunity to introduce everyone to this food blogger from Japan. Even if you have no desire to make this, you should watch the video, and try your hand at just making the bun. It’s got a great tutorial on hand kneading, is really quirky and also kind of mesmerizing.

Week 76: Yeasted Honey Corn Bread

This is a close second to Anadama Bread (Week 38). It’s not as complex, but that can be a good thing: the ingredients list is shorter and it doesn’t take as much time. I found the recipe on the Red Star Yeast website, which is a reliable source for bread recipes, and also has a great Resources page for all sorts of tips on bread baking. If you’re new to baking, it’s worth taking a look at it before you get started — and you should also check out Breademic’s Tips and Video pages, as well!

I made a few adjustments to the method, and included a couple of optional ingredients. My updated version is below; the original recipe is here. And, in case you’re wondering what the difference is between cornmeal, corn flour, polenta, and grits, this article from Epicurious has the answers!

  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 1 cup (237ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (140g) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups (300-360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • OPTIONAL
    • 2 Tbsp orange zest
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Butter for the top
  1. Warm the milk with butter until butter melts. You can do this on the stovetop, or microwave.
  2. Add the honey, and stir until combined.
  3. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add cornmeal and whisk to combine.
  5. Let rest until temperature reaches120-130°F.
  6. Measure in 300g of flour, and the salt and yeast.
  7. Place bowl in the mixer which is fitted with the paddle attachment.
  8. Knead on medium-low speed for 5-7 minutes. If you need to add more flour, just add 1 Tbsp at a time — no more than 4, tops. Dough should be coming away from the sides, and be sticky, but not wet.
  9. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 – 2 hours.
  10. Remove dough onto a lightly oiled surface, and flatten out to an 8″ rectangle.
  11. Starting on a short side, roll up the dough and place seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
  13. Bake until the top is golden, about 40-45 minutes.
  14. Remove from tin, and brush with butter (it’ll melt as it touches the hot loaf).
  15. Let cool before slicing.

Week 74: 10-Grain Cereal Bread

This healthy loaf is easy to put together, and doesn’t take a lot of time. You can get in the habit of making it on a weekly basis so you’ve always got some bread on hand for either breakfast, lunch or dinner. It makes great toast, is sturdy enough for sandwiches, and can also be made into dinner rolls.

  • 1/2 cup multi-grain hot cereal mix
  • 1-3/4 cups boiling water
  1. Measure cereal mix into the bowl of stand mixer and add boiling water.
  2. Mix, then let stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 110 degrees.
  • 333g bread flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 7g yeast (2-1/4 tsp)
  1. Meanwhile, whisk flours, sugar, salt and yeast together in a medium bowl.
  2. Once grain mixture has cooled, attach the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  3. With mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture, about a 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until combined.
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • Optional
    • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
    • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  1. Add butter, about one tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing, then add seeds if using.
  2. Knead on medium-low speed until dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. If that’s not happening, add some flour – just one tablespoon at a time. You can use a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides to help it along. But you want it to be in a big ball around the dough hook.
  3. Continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to a very lightly floured work surface and shape it into a smooth, taut ball.
  5. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Lightly oil a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  8. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle
  9. Shape into a loaf as shown below:
  1. Place loaf in tin, cover, and let rise until it’s about 1″ above the rim of the tin.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 ~ 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  1. Mix the egg white with 1 Tbsp water and lightly brush the top of the loaf and top with oats.
  2. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with oats.
  3. Bake until lightly browned, and the internal temperature registers 200 degrees 35 to 40 minutes. Tent wtih foil if the top starts to brown too much before it’s thoroughly baked.
  4. Remove loaf and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.

Dinner Rolls: Follow video on Tips page for how to shape rolls. This recipe makes about 15, and they’ll fit in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Week 73: Shake Shack Buns

According to eater.com, one of the reasons Shake Shack’s burgers are so popular is their soft, squishy buns. They’ve been using Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls since Shake Shack opened their first location in NYC in 2004. The buns are not readily available here in the PNW, so I did a little digging and came up with a version you can make at home. I’ve never had the burger, but you could give J. Kenji López-Alt’s Fake Shake a try – everything he does is fantastic.

STEP 1: Prep potatoes

  • 1 russet potato (at least 300 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  1. Peel and then roughly chop the potato
  2. Place them in a small pot, add water to cover, and boil until tender.
  3. Reserve 5 Tbsp of the boiling liquid into a small bowl, then drain the potatoes, returning them back to the pot.
  4. Heat on low to evaporate as much of the moisture from the potatoes as you can.
  5. Mash well, then put 1 cup of the mashed potatoes in a bowl.
  6. Add butter to potatoes and mix in until melted.
  7. Add the egg and sugar to the potato water and mix.
  8. Let potatoes water cool.

Step 2: Make dough

  • 350g bread flour
  • 6g yeast
  • 6g salt
  • Mashed potatoes and butter
  • Potato water/egg/sugar mixture
  1. Measure out the flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the mashed potatoes and mix with the handle of a wooden spoon to loosely combine.
  3. Place bowl in mixer, and with the dough hook on low speed, slowly add the water mixture.
  4. Mix until the dough starts to form and there are no dry bits left.
  5. Increase speed to medium-low, and knead until it’s smooth and elastic, and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Step 3: Proof

  1. Empty dough out until a very lightly floured countertop.
  2. Give it a few kneads and form into a ball.
  3. Place, seam side down, into a greased bowl, cover and let rise 30~60 minutes.

Step 4: Shape

  1. Remove dough from bowl, and shape into a log.
  2. Cut into 8 pieces, weighing about 85g each.
  3. Follow “How to shape up perfect bread rolls” instructions on the Tips page to shape the pieces into rolls.
  4. Arrange the dough balls, seam side down on baking sheet evenly spaced apart.
  5. Press dough balls down to form uniform disks.
  6. Cover, and let rise for 30~60 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat over to 425 degrees.

Step 5: Bake

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp water
  1. Lightly beat egg yolk with the water.
  2. Brush tops with a beaten egg yolk.
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Week 71: Pan di Ramerino

ITALY: I love these little buns! They are both sweet and savory, and when served with cheese, make for a hearty teatime snack (although in Italy, it’s more common to have them with coffee or a sweet wine). They were traditionally made for Giovedi Santo (Holy Thursday), but are now sold in Florentine bakeries all year long. In the middle ages, the rosemary was thought to ward off evil spirts, and the grapes and flour represent the Holy Communion.

The video instruction is in Italian, so I’ve listed the ingredients below. I decided not to coat them with the syrup, as I found they don’t really need to added sweetener, and it makes them difficult to handle.

When ready, bake at 350 degrees.

BIGA LIEVITINO

  • 7g/2tsp yeast (video shows fresh yeast, so I’ve converted to granular yeast)
  • 4g (1 tsp brown sugar)
  • 100g warm water
  • 100 all purpose flour (that is our equivalent to 0 flour)

RAISINS

  • 150g raisins
  • 50g vin santo (Italian dessert wine. Sweet sherry, or any sweet white wine will do)
  • 200g water

ROSEMARY

  • 5g rosemary (3-4 sprigs)
  • 90g extra-virgin olive oil

DOUGH – (you can mix and knead in a stand mixer all at once – even the raisins.)

  • lievitino
  • 50g brown sugar (I used just 25g)
  • 150g water
  • 400g all purpose flour
  • 10 gr of salt
  • rosemary olive oil

TOPPINGS

  • 1 egg, to brush tops before baking
  • 75g sugar + 75g water for tops after baking

Week 64: Everything Bagel Bread

Want the savory punch of a bagel without the time-consuming process of either baking them yourself or going out to get some? Then this bread is for you – delicious, easy and satisfying. It does require an overnight rest, but after that, you don’t need to spend much time on it at all. The Everything Bagel seasoning is mixed into the dough in addition to being sprinkled on top, making it the perfect foil for some avocado toast. This is one of my favorite breads so far!

I found this on Leite’s Cuisine, one of my top ten food blogs. It’s been around since 1999, and has thousands of tested, well-written recipes, from hundreds of professional contributors. All bread recipes are written in both US and Metric measurements, which is super convenient.

Click here for the recipe. Trader Joe’s makes a good seasoning mix, but if you can’t find it, Leite’s Cuisine’s recipe is below:

  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 4 tsp dried minced onion
  • 4 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt or coarse salt

If you want to try your hand at bagels, we made them during Week 51. Recipe and lots of tips here.

Week 63: Whole Wheat Burger Buns

Hamburgers originated in Hamburg, Germany, with the meat patty typically served between two slices of toast. The use of a soft bun was popularized by a fry cook named Walter Anderson, who in 1921 founded the White Castle hamburger chain, home of the “slider”.

These soft buns are made with 80% whole wheat flour, enriched with whole milk and butter, and topped with an Everything Bagel seasoning mix. You can make them vegan by using any non-dairy milk, and substituting a plant based oil for the butter. If you’re looking to make an all-white flour version, try the brioche-style Burger Buns from Week 10.

STEP 1: Make dough

  • 240ml warm milk (120°)
  • 2 eggs (1 for dough + 1 to used as an egg wash)
  • 240g whole wheat flour
  • 60g bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 7g yeast
  • 27g sugar
  • 13g salt
  • 28g softened butter
  • Everything Bagel seasoning
  1. Mix one of the eggs in with the warm milk and whisk to combine
  2. Measure out flours, yeast, sugar, salt into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk by hand to combine
  3. Place bowl in stand mixer, and with the paddle attachment, mix on low while slowly addingthe milk/egg until combined
  4. Add the butter in bits and continue to mix on low until combined
  5. Beat on high for 2 minutes
  6. On low speed, add 3 Tbsp bread flour until dough is more sturdy and comes away from the sides of the bowl

STEP 2: Rest dough

  1. Put 1 Tbsp flour on countertop, then empty dough on top.
  2. Gently knead flour into the dough so it is less sticky, using a dough scrapper if it sticks to the counter
  3. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and let rest 30 minutes.

STEP 3: Shape buns

  1. Scrape the flour off the countertop, then lighly coat in oil
  2. Empty dough onto the counter
  3. Cut dough into 8 pieces, about 80 – 90g each
  4. Flatten each piece, pull sides up and over, turn over and shape into a ball with a tight surface. (Check out this video on the Tips page)
  5. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about a finger width apart
  6. Cover and and let rise about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400

STEP 4: Bake

  1. Just before baking, mix second egg with 1 Tbsp water and brush on top of buns, then sprinkle with the Everything Bagel seasoning
  2. Turn oven down to 375, and bake for 12-15 minutes
  3. Cool on wire rack.
  4. Don’t cut until just before serving!

Week 61: Easiest Bread Ever

I’ve spent the last year and a half learning how to bake bread. It’s been fun, not always easy, and to be honest, not always successful. There are so many nuances to it: proper kneading techniques, making sure you don’t over-proof or under-proof the dough, getting the flour-to-water ratios just right, understanding the gluten structure of different types of flour, and having all the right tools — not to mention enough time — for all the steps.

When I came across this method I was very skeptical because it kind of goes against everything I’d learned so far. For one thing, it only takes about 15 minutes to throw together, if that. After a 10-minute rest, a bit of shaping, then a 30-minute rise, it’s ready to bake. You “knead” it in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (!) on high (!!) for just two minutes. It doesn’t compare to an artisan loaf with it’s overnight ferment and beautiful open crumb, but it makes a perfectly acceptable sandwich loaf and best of all, it’s something you can make on the fly.

I’ve listed the ingredients (in grams) so you can make your loaf along with the video instruction linked below. I also made four different versions so you have the option to make either a whole wheat, white, oatmeal raisin or ryre.

  • 300g bread or all pupose flour < OR >
    • Whole wheat: 240g whole wheat flour+ 60g bread or all purpose flour
    • Oatmeal raisin: 300g bread or all purpose flour + 50g oats
    • Rye: 125g rye flour + 175g bread or all purpose flour
  • 7g (2 tsp) yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk (any kind: dairy, oat, almond, soy, etc.) at 120 degrees
  • 2 Tbsp honey < OR >
    • Whole wheat: 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • Oatmeal raisin: 2 Tbsp maple syrup + 1 tsp cinammon
    • Rye: 1 Tbsp sugar + 2 tsp caraway seeds + 1 tsp dill seeds
  • 1 egg (if you want to omit the egg, use 1 Tbsp oil in its place)
  • 2 Tbsp oil or melted butter (I use butter for the white and oat versions)

Notes:

  1. The video is for the whole wheat version. I translated the cup measurements into grams because it’s so much more accurate. If you don’t have a scale, it’s 1-2/3 cups whole wheat flour + 1/3 cup all-purpose or bread flour.
  2. She uses 1/4 cup of flour once the batter is mixed to stiffen it up a bit. I add it in one tablespoon at a time, because you might not need that much, and if you dump it all in at once, you can’t take it back.
  3. You can use 8 x 4 loaf pan if that’s all you have, but 9 x 5 is better
  4. She doesn’t grease her pan, but I went ahead and greased mine just in case
  5. If you let it rise for too long, and it gets too high, you’ll over-proof it, and it’ll collapse in the oven. So no highter than 1″ for sure. It’s always better to underproof a little than over proof!
  6. Mine definitely got too dark on the top, so do cover with foil

If you want all whole wheat try Week 21: 100% Whole Wheat from Year 2020. It’s a bit more complicated (a lot, really), but well worth the effort for such a healthy, delicious result!

Week 54: Hot Cross Buns

(Since we’re still waiting on our starter, here’s a bread for Easter weekend!) ENGLAND: These yeasty, heavenly spiced buns are typically eaten on Good Friday, celebrating the end of Lent. There are a multitude of references to the cross representing the crucifixion of Christ, and suggestions that the spices signify those used to embalm, but as food historian Ivan Day says, “The trouble with any folk food, any traditional food, is that no-one tended to write about them in the very early period.” Which is to say, most of this is conjecture, and it is just as likely that the cross is a way to separate the bun into sections. Back in the day, folks would grate, then save the bread that was baked on Good Friday to use as a medicine in later years, and some believed that the buns would never go moldy, so they nailed up in the house as a good luck charm.

I found many versions of hot cross buns (12M results on Google!) and tested three. I am happy to report that Bake with Jack’s Hot Cross Buns is the clear winner — and he just today posted an accompanying video with tips and updates, since that recipe was originally posted on his blog in 2017.

Bake with Jack’s Hot Cross Buns Recipe

My tips:

  1. Sultanas are golden raisins
  2. Yeast measurement is 14g total (seems like a lot, I know)
  3. Caster sugar is very fine granualted sugar. Go ahead and use granualted sugar (not light brown sugar which would be too wet).
  4. I used 2 medium lemons and 1 large orange which equaled about 1 Tbsp zest for each.
  5. I got 3/4 cup juice from the lemons and orange, so added 3/4 cup granulated sugar to that for the syrup. I simmered it for 15 minutes. It gets thick as it cools.
  6. Mixed spice is very similar to our pumpkin pie spice, and that would make a fine substitute. But the mixed spice is a little more complex, so I’ve listed the ingredients below if you’d like to make your own.
    • 1 Tbsp ground allspice
    • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
    • 2 tsp ground mace
    • 1 tsp ground cloves
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
  7. I had a hard time piping the flour/water paste in even thickness/straight lines. I did one strand all the way around, and then ended up using a wet table knife to cut the individual strands before moving on to the next bun.
  8. Gas mark 180°C is 400°F

Video below has tips that would be useful in making this recipe.

Links to some of his videos that would be useful for this recipe

Video 150: Incorporating Dried Fruit in Real Time – https://youtu.be/TEa-D0yoHfc
Video 149: Do You NEED to Soak Dry Fruit for Bread? – https://youtu.be/j9_KuJ0voq0
Video 131: Kneading Bread Dough in REAL TIME – https://youtu.be/BBRmfxumyh0
Video 87: FIVE signs your Bread Dough is Fully Kneaded – https://youtu.be/rHgtvDMrffc
Video 148: Make it EASY for yourself – https://youtu.be/_FTA2maeqh8

P.S. I really wanted to like Dan Lepard’s Spiced Stout Buns recipe — link here — because they seemed like a grown-up version, and feature the no-knead method. But the special ingredients, the length of time with it’s overnight ferment, and tricky method if you’re a beginner, just didn’t seem worth it in the end. They are tasty though, and it’s a no-knead method, so have at if you’re interested!