Honey Oatmeal Bread

Pssst: there’s a recipe for whipped honey butter at the end of all this
I’ve already made two loaves of this bread this week. My husband has deemed it “the best bread you’ve ever made” – hence the constant stream of this bread. We’re almost done with our second loaf and he’s already chomping at the bit for me to make another one.

It really is fantastic. It’s got an amazing depth of flavor: slightly sweet but wheat-y (not a word…) at the same time. I made the original recipe into half-wheat and instead of soaking the oats in water, I soaked them in milk.

The texture is that of a soft sandwich bread. We’ve been eating it toasted in the morning with a healthy slab of honey butter and it is close-your-eyes-and-get-lost-in-the-flavors-good.

Okay fine, here’s a close-up shot.
Sometimes I think I might have a problem given how much I love how pretty food is. But then, I get over it.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

Adapted from allrecipes
Makes 1 9×5 inch loaf (you can easily double this for 2 loaves!)
1 cup boiling milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 F)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour (+ more for dusting)

For the topping
1 tablespoon oats
1 tablespoon honey

Throw in your oats, honey, butter, and salt into your boiling milk. Turn off the heat and let sit for 1 hour to get some good honey oats flavor into this bread.

In a large bowl, mix your warm water and yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes or until slightly frothy. Add in your milk mixture, your wheat flour, and bread flour. Form into a rough ball and turn onto a floured surface and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough (about 10 minutes).

Move your dough into an oiled bowl and turn to coat your dough with oil. Cover and place in a warm area for 1.5-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, deflate your dough and plop it into your ready loaf pan (lined with parchment paper or buttered). Roughly shape with your hands so that the dough fills the pan evenly. Cover again and let rise about another hour or until nice and puffy.

Note: it’s important to get a good rise here, otherwise you won’t get a good fluffy loaf, and you might end up with a denser one so go ahead and let rise!

Preheat your oven to 350F and when your rise is done, bake for about 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on.

While your loaf is still warm, drizzle on your honey and sprinkle your remaining oats to get that beautiful look!

Enjoy!

Oh wait!!

Honey Butter
Makes about 4 tablespoons
Disclaimer: these are estimates, I didn’t measure…add more honey if you want sweeter, less if you want less sweet!

4 tablespoons soft, room temperature butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip it all together! I have to tell you though, this is sooooo worth making and adding to your slices.

I’m off to eat the last slice!

 

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Banana Cinnamon Rolls

Every time I have bananas that get ripe before I can get around to eating them, I mash them and freeze them to make banana bread later. I’ve been looking for a different take on traditional banana bread, and thought cinnamon rolls made with bananas in the dough would be an excellent choice! These smelled great baking in the oven! Next time I think I’ll add some walnuts or pecans to the filling.

Inspired by this.

Banana rolls:

½ cup milk (warmed to about 100 degrees F)
¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about ¾ cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups bread flour (you can also use bread flour, all-purpose, and even about ½ cup whole wheat)

Filling:
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each of cloves, allspice, and ginger
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2  cups powdered sugar (approximate)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a 2-cup measuring glass, combine the milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside for about 10 minutes to proof.

To the yeast mixture, add the bananas, butter, oil, and egg.

In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon until combined. Continue adding flour until it forms a dough that is not sticky.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes; a smooth dough will form. Place the dough ball into a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or two, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down. On a floured surface, roll the dough to about an 18 x 24 inches rectangle (doesn’t have to be perfect).

For the filling, mix together the sugar and spices.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the dough rectangle with the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar mixture.

Roll up the dough along the long edge. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 12 even pieces.

Place the rolls into a greased 9×13 pan. Allow to rise for about 15 minutes or until they start to get puffy.

Bake in your preheated 350 F oven for 22 to 24 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before frosting.

For frosting, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork (or hand mixer). Spread evenly on the rolls.

Rolling out the dough…you can see the specks of banana seeds!

Brush with butter and then sprinkle with the spiced sugar.

Roll up the dough, starting with the long end.

Slice the log into 12 buns!

All lined up and ready to go!

Allow them to rise and get puffy before baking.

Fresh out of the oven!

Mmm smells like banana bread.

Frost them after they’ve cooled a bit.

Break one off and enjoy!

Tomato Basil Bread

 

I love fresh basil! So much so that I bought a plant at the store for a couple dollars and have been trying to keep it alive since summer. But alas, basil likes a lot of sun and hot temperatures, which is just not in the cards this fall. This is why I find myself trying to consume an entire basil plant, which isn’t as easy as it sounds (just kidding, sort of). This bread is very flavorful thanks to the herbs, sun dried tomatoes, and cheese. And it’s really not that hard to make but looks very fancy!
Ideas combined from here and here.

For the bread
3/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees )
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast or 2-1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
2-1/2 cups bread flour (I substituted about ½ cup with white whole wheat)
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the filling
3.5 ounce package sun dried tomatoes, chopped
¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 to ½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

In a 2 cup measuring glass, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let proof in a warm place for about 10 minutes until it becomes bubbly and starts rising.

In a large bowl, combine about 2 cups of the flour with the salt and herbs. Add in the egg, olive oil, and yeast mixture. Mix to combine. Add in the remaining ½ cup flour (more or less) until a dough forms that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. A smooth dough ball will form.

Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until about doubled in volume.

For the filling, combine the sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the fresh basil and minced garlic.

Punch the dough down and knead out the air bubbles. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into roughly a 10 by 24 inch rectangle (you may need to pause while rolling it out to allow the dough to relax out into shape). Sprinkle the dough evenly with the tomato and cheese mixture, followed by the basil garlic mixture.

Starting with the long end, roll up the dough up tightly into a log. Pinch along the long seam and at both ends. Place the log seam side down onto a baking sheet covered in parchment (this is REALLY great for making sure the bread doesn’t stick at all). Using a serrated knife, cut along the top of the log (I cut through the top and second layer of dough…definitely do NOT go all the way through!). Curve the log into an S shape (this helps the filling stay where it’s supposed to).

Allow the log to start rising about 30 minutes. While doing this preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes. At this point, you might want to cover the loaf with tin foil (the sun dried tomatoes get toasty quickly). Return to the oven and cook about 15 minutes longer. The loaf will be golden brown on the top and bottom and sound hollow when tapped with you finger.

Allow to cool before cutting.

Layering the filling on the rolled out dough…

Rolled and cut…ready for the oven!


Close up!

Fresh from the oven!

Mmmmmm!!!!!!!

Enjoy!

Asiago Basil Bread

I have to think of words to describe this bread.
I wanted to work on my breads this month. Last week I tried a cheesy herb bread but I wasn’t completely happy with the results. I was tired of trying this and that internet recipe with this and that bread techniques so I turned to an expert.
My friend’s Dad bakes breads and we’ve heard tales of his dad breads. I’ve even tried his dad bread and it was delicious! He gave me tips on the perfect crust and on getting bread with a good, chewy texture.

While giving me tips, he told me he was making an asiago basil bread…which honestly, sounded absolutely amazing. So…I tried it!

I have to say, I’ll be making this forever. The aromas that came from my oven were a.m.a.z.i.n.g. The whole apartment smelled like a giant asiago cheese bagel with basil infused throughout.

The top of this bread literally tasted like a cheese-it (cheez-it? cheeze it?). A rich, cheesy, delicious, amazing, crispy perfect crust.

…with the most amazing perfect, chewy, herb filled inside. We’ve been topping this with cream cheese and just devouring it. Straight up devour.

Oh yeah, you know what else? Those red flakes? The bread had dried italian dressing seasoning inside courtesy of my mother in law! Do you want to talk about flavor? Nah, we should just eat it instead.

Asiago Basil Bread

Adapted from foodiewithfamily and Mr. Roberts’ years of experience

3 cups all purpose flour + some for dusting
3/4 cups grated asiago cheese + a little more for making that crust!
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon dried italian seasoning (or dried italian dressing seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup minced, fresh basil
1 1/4 cup warm tap water

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of your flour and all of your dry ingredients. Add in the water and slowly add in the rest of your flour until well incorporated. Once you’re able to form a ball of dough, knead for 8-10 minutes (good arm workout!). Add just enough flour to make sure that your dough doesn’t stick to the board.

Rise #1: Once you’re done kneading, coat your dough with olive oil and place back into your mixing bowl. Cover your bowl with saran wrap or a moist towel and place in a warm location and let rise 1.5-2 hours or until doubled.

Rise #2: Once doubled, gently stretch your dough out into a rough rectangular shape and then fold into thirds lengthwise (hotdog style) and then into thirds again (hamburger style). Plop back into your bowl and let rise for about 30-40 minutes.

Rise #3: Repeat rise #2. At the beginning of this rise, preheat a baking pan made of some sort of stone (i.e baking stone, dutch oven, or ceramic tart pan as I did) in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes. Also in the oven, throw in a cookie sheet or any sort of pan that will fit. We’ll use that for later.

Baking: Once your third rise is done, plop your dough (being careful to disturb the rise as little as possible) onto your hot ceramic pan. Slash a large “X” on top of your loaf using a sharp knife or a razor blade. Sprinkle as much asiago cheese as you can possibly fit onto the top of the loaf and into the folds of the “X”. Spray the top of your loaf with water if you want a crispy crust. Put your stone with bread back into the oven, decrease to 375F and right before you close that door….throw in 1/2 cup of water into that hot cookie sheet/pan that you also had waiting. Then, close that door!

Mr. Roberts taught me that throwing in that water helps to create steam in the oven, making for a beautiful crust. Similar to the technique used in the no-knead bread that I had posted about a few months ago!

Bake for 35-40 minutes, trying really hard not to check on it too often even though it smells really really good!. Once it sounds hollow when you tap it, the bread is done!

Enjoy warm as it is prime crust time!

 

Blueberry Swirl Rolls

These made the house smell amazing! I was looking for a recipe that said “summer” as I hope you have all been basking in the lovely weather as much as I have been. What says summer better than blueberries?

These guys are similar to cinnamon raisin rolls but instead of filling them with cinnamon, they’re jam packed (literally!) with jam.

They still get a cream cheese frosting but these guys are so delightfully fruity and beautiful, it’s a great change from the usual cinnamon rolls.

Blueberry Swirl Rolls

Adapted from averiecooks

For the dough
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup milk + 2 tablespoons

Mix together everything but the milk into a large bowl. Heat your milk in the microwave until warm, not hot (about 110 degrees). Pour your milk into the rest of the ingredients and combine. The dough will be relatively firm. Knead your dough for a good 10 minutes until you get a nice smooth surface and the dough has come together in a beautiful dough ball.

Grease the bottom of a bowl with some oil and place your dough into the bowl. Cover with a warm paper towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1.5-2 hours).

For the filling
2 tablespoons very soft butter
1 cup blueberry preserves (but you can use whatever you like!)

Once doubled, punch your dough down and knead for another 3 minutes. Then roll out your dough to about 18 x 12 inches. It doesn’t have to be exactly 18×12 – if you roll out thicker then you will get less swirls, roll out thinner and you’ll get more!

Once you have your dough rolled out, spread your butter all over your dough leaving a tiny margin along the edges. Repeat with your preserves.

Roll your dough (now with preserves!) lengthwise until you’ve made a log filled with layers of butter and preserves. Pinch the dough together at the ends and along it’s length to keep it from unrolling.

Cut your log into about 12 pieces. You can cut bigger or smaller depending on how large or small you want your rolls. Use a good serrated knife or unflavored dental floss for this part. Place your now individual rolls onto a baking pan about 2 inches apart.

Cover with warm paper towels again and let rise 60-75 minutes or until about doubled. Pick a warm summer spot again!

Once doubled, bake your rolls at 350F for 25-30 minutes. They will start to ooze the aroma of sweet bread and blueberries!

For the glaze
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all of your ingredients into a bowl. Drizzle (or pipe) the glaze all over your still warm swirl rolls.

These guys are best served warm. Pop them in the microwave for a bit before serving them the next morning!

Enjoy!