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83 posts categorized " 05) Baking Bread, Quick Breads & Muffins"

10/02/2014

~ English Muffin Bread: For the Divine Love of Toast~

If you like English muffins, this easy-to-make bread, which tastes just like (well, almost like) those light, airy, nook and cranny-cratered little English crumpet-cakes, is for you. It requires no kneading, all you do is mix it up in a bowl, let it rise twice (once in the bowl and once in the loaf pan), then bake it. But, like the English muffin, to fully-appreciate what it is, it's gotta be toasted -- taste it untoasted, then, taste it toasted, the difference is like a cold shower vs. a hot shower! This is the easiest, from-scratch yeast bread you will...... View full recipe for "~ English Muffin Bread: For the Divine Love of Toast~"

09/27/2014

~ My All-Purpose PA Dutch-Style Streusel Topping ~

A buttery-rich, cripsy streusel topping is one of my favorite things. I like it because it is both sweet and savory, which makes it very adaptable. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, "PA Deutsch Country" -- "the land of apple desserts" Everyone who baked used streusel to top tart fruit pies, coffeecakes and muffins. A neighbor of ours, Agnes, who baked a few times a week, would mix up a big bowl of her streusel topping and keep it on hand in the refrigerator all week -- which if you have a lot of baking to...... View full recipe for "~ My All-Purpose PA Dutch-Style Streusel Topping ~"

05/11/2014

~ My Rosemary & Cracked Black Pepper Focaccia ~

Focaccia is not pizza and pizza is not focaccia! Although the two resemble each other (they are both relatively flat breads), pizza dough, in comparison to focaccia dough, uses less leavening (yeast), resulting in a thinner, denser, flatter, somewhat flexible crust. Even thick-crust, square-shaped, Sicilian-style pizzas are not as thick and firm as a properly-made focaccia. Focaccia dough, which contains more yeast, rises quite a bit higher, enough for it to be sliced in half lengthwise and used as the bread for all sorts of great sandwich or panini combinations. The added leavening firms the crust to the consistency of...... View full recipe for "~ My Rosemary & Cracked Black Pepper Focaccia ~"

04/24/2014

~ Try My Rye: It's Homemade in the Bread Machine ~

Rye bread is a staple of Eastern European cuisine, so, I grew up eating rye bread and loving it. We ate it toasted for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch and as our bread course for dinner. Some of the best rye breads I have ever encountered have come out of the Jewish bakeries of New York and New Jersey. I'm no innocent when it comes to knowing great rye bread. My favorite rye breads are light ryes (as opposed to dark ryes) containing caraway seeds (a staple in the Eastern European pantry). In fact, it is the nutty, pungent, slightly-musky...... View full recipe for "~ Try My Rye: It's Homemade in the Bread Machine ~"

03/28/2014

~ Bread Machine Basics and Cinnamon-Raisin Bread (Lose that store-bought swirl and give this a whirl!!!) ~

I love a simple piece of toast and a glass of iced tea in the morning. I adore eggs too, but on super-busy days, toast and tea is just fine with me. Favorite toasts include egg bagels, English muffins, brioche and cinnamon-raisin bread. I've always had a knack for bread baking, and, I can't remember ever having any bad experiences. While I can make bagels and English muffins from scratch, I rarely do, and, when it comes to brioche and cinnamon-raisin bread, I've adapted my recipes to the bread machine. Yes, even I (who possesses the skill and desire) no...... View full recipe for "~ Bread Machine Basics and Cinnamon-Raisin Bread (Lose that store-bought swirl and give this a whirl!!!) ~"

12/06/2013

~ Teresa's Stress-Free Cheddar 'n Cream Biscuits ~

T.G.I.F. It was an egg-cellent week here on Kitchen Encounters. I stayed warm in my kitchen, showed you how to ~ Wake Up and Poach an Egg ~ for breakfast on Monday, made ~ My Poached Egg & BLT Cheddar Biscuit Sandwiches ~ on Wednesday, and today, as promised, I'm showing you how to make Teresa Gottier's, mouth-watering, stress-free cheddar cheese 'cream biscuits', which were pictured on my sandwich post (click on the Related Article links below to get the recipes mentioned above). A bit about Teresa and her stress-free biscuits: Teresa Gottier was a pastry chef, and is a...... View full recipe for "~ Teresa's Stress-Free Cheddar 'n Cream Biscuits ~"

11/07/2013

~ Flour Facts: All-Purpose, Bread, Cake and Pastry ~

As the holiday season approaches, family bakers everywhere will be purchasing flour to make their signature breads and sweet treats: pies for Thanksiving, cookies for Christmas, cakes for New Years, etc. There are savory ethnic treats too. For example: My family's Eastern European noodles and pirogi, and, Joe's Italian family's pasta and pizza. Savvy bakers with heritage recipes will be purchasing more than one type of flour to accomplish all of these with ease! A well-written recipe will specify the type of flour required to produce the best results, and, I'd rather not bake something than substitute different flour. Why?...... View full recipe for "~ Flour Facts: All-Purpose, Bread, Cake and Pastry ~"

10/21/2013

~ Buttery and Easy-to-Make Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls ~

Even though my three boys grew up calling these "Mom's Pull-Aparts", this is not my recipe. Back in the 1980's (before home computers, the information super-highway or Food TV), moms in search of new recipe ideas often mailed a boxtop or two, and sometimes $1.00, to receive a booklet or pamphlet of recipes from that particular company. I did that a lot back then. This dinner roll recipe came from either a Fleischmann's yeast recipe booklet or a Land O Lakes butter recipe booklet. Both are products I used then and both are products I still use today. Bread baking...... View full recipe for "~ Buttery and Easy-to-Make Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls ~"

10/01/2013

~Lovin' Spoonful: Buttermilk 'n Cheddar Spoonbread~

Spoonbread is a Southern dish and is believed to be Native American in origin, which makes sense, since the Native Americans were the culinary masters of cooking with maiz/maize (corn and its byproducts). If you've never eaten spoonbread, it is a savory side-dish. Calling it a bread is a stretch because it is a moist, ever-so-slightly grainy, custardy concoction with a crispy top. It gets served in the container it was baked, and, is eaten with a spoon, hence the name. I liken it to a combination of cornmeal-based polenta, cornbread casserole and cornmeal souffle! Taking a drive down memory...... View full recipe for "~Lovin' Spoonful: Buttermilk 'n Cheddar Spoonbread~"

09/13/2013

~ My E-Z Big Fat Greek Lemon-Pepper Garlic Bread~

When most people think about crispy, chewy and cheesy garlic bread, they think about eating Italian food: lasagna, spaghetti, meatballs and/or anything with marinara sauce. Just writing that sentence makes me want to put a pot of Noni's Sunday gravy on the stove to simmer. Recipes and methods for making Italian-style garlic bread vary from household to household, but it's the similarities that are of note. The butter mixture always contains garlic and herbs/spices common to Italian fare: basil, oregano, parsley, pepper and parmesan cheese! Two days ago I posted ~ My Big Fat Greek Lemony-Garlic Salad Dressing + (Jeanne's...... View full recipe for "~ My E-Z Big Fat Greek Lemon-Pepper Garlic Bread~"

08/30/2013

~ The Low-Down on Loaf Pans: What Size and Kind? ~

You've decided to bake a loaf of bread just like Grandma used to make. Good for you! Nothing is quite as ethereal as the aroma of freshly-baked bread. Her recipe says to put the dough in a loaf pan and you don't have one. You drive to the nearest cooking store to find out you must choose between several manufacturers and price ranges, different materials ranging from clear glass and ceramic to shiny, gray or black metal -- each kind in a variety of sizes too. When I was a novice cook (too many years ago to mention), decisions like...... View full recipe for "~ The Low-Down on Loaf Pans: What Size and Kind? ~"

08/28/2013

~A Salty & Sweet Treat: Peanut Butter Bacon Bread~

The way to a man's heart is: Peanut Butter Bacon Bread!!! (Heart-Stopping, Artery-Clogging & Irresistibly Delicious!!!) A few days ago I posted my recipe for ~ "Russian" Sweet & Sour Poppy-Seed Vinaigrette ~, which you can find by clicking on the Related Article link below. Because mine is a variation of Helen Corbitt's (the woman who made it famous), it promted me to pull Helen Corbitt's Cookbook off of a shelf in my library. In it she jokes about how odd she finds it that men love this sweet salad dressing. My husband Joe is a testament to that, and...... View full recipe for "~A Salty & Sweet Treat: Peanut Butter Bacon Bread~"

07/05/2013

~ Sour Cherry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding ~

I'm celebrating the July 4th weekend celebrating sour cherries! If you are an avid cook and/or baker, you too would be celebrating if you were me, because you know how special these cherries are to a foodie. My husband presented me with 58 pounds of sour cherries, which he picked from our backyard cherry tree over the past weekend! Besides a couple of my ~ I can't Lie, this is Real Sour Cherry Pies ~ (recipe in Category 6), and, a big batch of ~ 'Tis True: Sour Cherries Do Make the Best Jam ~ (recipe in Categories 8, 9...... View full recipe for "~ Sour Cherry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding ~"

07/03/2013

~ Culinary Jewels: Dehydrated Sour (Pie) Cherries ~

I am a fruit lover and I've been baking with dried fruits for as long as I've been baking, which is almost 40 years. I grew up watching my grandmother add dried apricots, dates and raisins to all sorts of Eastern European baked goods. I was a young mom of three small boys when the trail mix craze began. My kids liked the brand that included dried bananas, pineapple and papaya. Back in those pre-internet days, if I wanted to make homemade trail mix for our family, catalog shopping was my source for buying dried fruits and nuts, and, one...... View full recipe for "~ Culinary Jewels: Dehydrated Sour (Pie) Cherries ~"

04/04/2013

~ Easy Toaster-Oven Parm 'n Pepper Texas Toast ~

Here I go again! Another recipe that was not on my short list (or any list) of recipes to post, has floated to the top of my pile and it is with a broad smile that I am sharing it with you today. I am always willing to share any recipe I have when someone asks for it, especially since every one of my recipes, no matter how simple or difficult, are more than tasty and thoroughly tested. I am, however, quickly learning that just because I decide to conveniently pass a recipe off in my mind as "not blog...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Toaster-Oven Parm 'n Pepper Texas Toast ~"

03/22/2013

~ Reunited w/a Treasured Preschutti Family Recipe: Peppery Egg & Cheese Crescia for an Italian Easter~

At Easter, Italian cooks bake a very unique, peppery egg and cheese bread called crescia (kray-shah), which means "to grow". As with almost all ethnic recipes, there are as many versions as there are cooks. My husband and his brother Tom grew up loving this bread, and I admit to being intimidated when I was faced with developing a recipe for the two of them based solely upon how they recalled it from their youth in Jessup, PA (without any first hand knowledge of it personally). After talking to a few Italian relatives from Jessup, who actually make the bread...... View full recipe for "~ Reunited w/a Treasured Preschutti Family Recipe: Peppery Egg & Cheese Crescia for an Italian Easter~"

03/03/2013

~ Honey Butter Two Ways: Red Chili & Cinnamon + (The difference between Creamed Honey & Honey) ~

I love honey and I love butter. I grew up putting it on cottony-soft, buttered, Parker House dinner rolls which were almost always served as a side to fried chicken in home kitchens, or, a basket of fried chicken in diner-type eateries. Back in the 60's, my brother David and I lived for the occasions when my mom and dad would drive us to Lehighton, PA, to eat "chicken in the rough". These are pictures of the paper placemats on every table of their booths and counter seats: History of Chicken in the Rough: In the 1930's Beverly and Rubye...... View full recipe for "~ Honey Butter Two Ways: Red Chili & Cinnamon + (The difference between Creamed Honey & Honey) ~"

02/27/2013

~ It's a Triple-Corn Jalapeno Corn-Muffin Kinda Day ~

How seriously do you take your cornbread recipe? I take mine very seriously, but, I'm not proclaiming it the best recipe. Why? If I walked into a room full of people right now and struck up a conversation about cornbread, the cornbread lovers would all chime in unision, "I have the absolute best recipe and I'd be happy to share it with you." If there were a native Southerner or two in the room with us Yankees, there would be a full-blown lecture about Southen cornbread being the only "real" cornbread. The spirited discussion would revolve around the rights and...... View full recipe for "~ It's a Triple-Corn Jalapeno Corn-Muffin Kinda Day ~"

01/02/2013

~A Blast from Jessup PA's Past: Pioneer Club Pizza~

I am starting off my 2013 posts with a "lost recipe request" from a very important Kitchen Encounters reader (and my biggest supporter): my husband Joe. On New Years Eve he reminisced to me about a pizza he used to eat when he was growing up: Pioneer Club Pizza. He asked if I would try to replicate a version of this pizza, which was unique in itself, and, to his hometown of Jessup, PA. Developing a recipe for something that you've never seen or tasted, as well as a product that hasn't existed for 30 years, is: tricky business. I...... View full recipe for "~A Blast from Jessup PA's Past: Pioneer Club Pizza~"

10/12/2012

~ Pumpkin Bread+Apples = Autumn Bread Pudding ~

I just love making "quick" breads. "Quick bread' is an American term that refers to bread that is quick-to-make because: it doesn't require kneading or rising time. It originated during the American Civil War, when the demand for food and bread was high. Innovative cooks began to rapidly produce bread and baked goods that were leavened with baking soda, rather than yeast. Bread pudding, which can be made using any type of bread, was also a way for innovative, frugal cooks to make use of leftover or stale bread, and, I for one am grateful for their invention! Two days...... View full recipe for "~ Pumpkin Bread+Apples = Autumn Bread Pudding ~"

10/10/2012

~ Joe's Favorite "Roasted" Pumpkin Quick Bread ~

I'm kinda of proud to announce that I have never used or cooked with canned pumpkin. Over the years, I've also had a lot of people tell me they think pumpkin is one of the few foods that is better canned than fresh. They key word here is "think". I am one of purists that is here to tell them, and you, if you have ever tasted a light, silky-smooth, custard-like pumpkin pie, made from fresh pumpkin puree, you would rethink that statement. My Great Aunt Mary (my grandmother's sister) lived on a farm and grew her own pumpkins. She...... View full recipe for "~ Joe's Favorite "Roasted" Pumpkin Quick Bread ~"

08/28/2012

~ St. Louis-Style Pizza: "Square Beyond Compare" ~

Last week, one of my friends, Seattle-based food and travel writer, Melissa Trainer, posted a link to the King Arthur Flour Company's recipe for St. Louis-style pizza on Facebook. I've been a fan of Missy for a while. Besides being a busy mom, she professsionally writes several blogs, and, for a direct link to her personal blog, click onto "Hooks for Cooks" on "My Favorite Blogs" list. I've always been intrigued by the concept of St. Louis-style pizza, known for its thin, crispy cracker crust topped with the legendary Provel cheese and cut into squares (not wedges). I immediately printed...... View full recipe for "~ St. Louis-Style Pizza: "Square Beyond Compare" ~"

07/03/2012

~ Blueberry Brioche Bread Pudding for Breakfast ~

I know, I know, I know... the bread pudding police have officially classified bread pudding as a baked dessert. That being said, some rules are made to be broken and, like pancakes and waffles, I prefer hearty, comforting bread pudding as a main course start to my day, rather than an excessive dessert ending to it (not that there is anything wrong with that). I love it when I go to a restaurant and see a sweet or savory bread pudding on their breakfast or brunch menu. I love the look on my guests faces when I serve them a...... View full recipe for "~ Blueberry Brioche Bread Pudding for Breakfast ~"

04/22/2012

~ A Sweet Little Snack: Honey-Sesame Pita Crisps ~

Back in 1980, shortly after Joe and I moved into our home on Belmont Circle, I invited a group of our tailgate women to lunch. It was a Summer afternoon and I decided to serve Asian fare. I made teriyaki beef skewers for appetizers and small bowls of wonton soup started the meal. For my main course I served my recipe for ~ Asian Chicken Salad w/Honey-Sesame Dressing ~ (which is going to be my next blog post). The night before the luncheon, I felt the menu was lacking "crunch", but alas, Asian food is not customarily served with bread,...... View full recipe for "~ A Sweet Little Snack: Honey-Sesame Pita Crisps ~"

04/18/2012

~ In Praise of Perfectly Baked Pita (Pocket) Bread ~

Last Tuesday night I fell asleep with the television on in our bedroom. I woke up a 12:30AM (Wednesday). I know it was exactly 12:30AM because the exact second I rolled over to retrieve the channel changer (in order to turn the TV off) the movie Lawrence of Arabia started on TCM. With 2 1/2 hours of sleep "under my belt", I propped up three pillows, snuggled my poodles around me and stayed up to watch this epic film in its entirety, until 4:30AM. After all, what self-respecting woman could possibly resist spending the night with Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness,...... View full recipe for "~ In Praise of Perfectly Baked Pita (Pocket) Bread ~"

04/05/2012

~ Italian Easter: Peppery Egg & Cheese Crescia ~

At Easter, Italian cooks bake a very unique egg and cheese bread called crescia (kray-shah), which means "to grow". As with almost all ethnic recipes, there are as many versions as there are cooks. My husband Joe and his brother Tom grew up loving this bread, and I must admit to being very intimidated when faced with developing a recipe for the two of them, based upon how they recalled it from their youth in Jessup, Pennsylvania. After researching many recipes, and talking to a few Italian relatives from Jessup, who actually make the bread (who, I must report, in...... View full recipe for "~ Italian Easter: Peppery Egg & Cheese Crescia ~"

10/16/2011

~ It's a Triple-Corn Jalapeno Cornbread Kinda Day ~

I take my cornbread seriously, but, I am not going to proclaim that mine is the best recipe known to mankind. Why? Because if I walked into a room full of people right now and struck up a conversation about cornbread, the cornbread lovers in the room would chime in unison, "I have the absolute best recipe. I'd be happy to share it with you." If there were a native Southerner or two in the room with us Yankees, there would no doubt be a full-blown lecture about Southern cornbread being the only "real" cornbread. The spirited discussion that would...... View full recipe for "~ It's a Triple-Corn Jalapeno Cornbread Kinda Day ~"

03/22/2011

~ Preschutti Pizza, Part II: Our Favorite Crust ~

Welcome to part two of Kitchen Encounters first mini-series: a three-part post, posted over three days (yesterday, today and tomorrow), about my family's love for perfect pizza! Yesterday we made Our Favorite Preschutti Pizza Sauce, and today we area going to make Our Favorite Preschutti Pizza Crust. Tomorrow we'll be concentrating on toppings! Memories of our Happy Valley homes, our last one on Belmont Circle and our present one on Gaylord Lane, will doubtlessly include Friday night get-togethers at our rec room bar(s), both affectionately referred to as: "The Preschutti Bar & Grille". Over the years, we have acquired a...... View full recipe for "~ Preschutti Pizza, Part II: Our Favorite Crust ~"

03/08/2011

~ Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts ~

Happy Doughnut Day, Fasnacht Day, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday everyone... all of this being said, and let me be clear, it is NOT National Doughnut Day (which is the first Friday of June each year and that will be another post)! This is one of those fun days to have a food blog because who does not like doughnuts! It was the Pennsylvania Dutch people (who immigrated from the Rhine regions of Germany to the territory in and around Lancaster, PA) who started the tradition of eating doughnuts (or fasnachts as they call them) on the day prior to...... View full recipe for "~ Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts ~"

03/02/2011

~ Crusty Caraway Seed Dinner/Sandwich Rolls ~

Nothing is more important to a sandwich than a great sandwich roll and my hearty, firm-textured caraway seed rolls are the perfect foil for all sorts of deli-style sandwiches. Their flavor pairs particularly well with cured or smoked luncheon meats like corned beef, ham and pastrami, but let me tell you they make for awesome turkey and roast beef sandwiches as well! A bit about caraway seeds: These aromatic, fragrant, flavorful seeds come from an herb in the parsley family. They have a nutty, delicate anise flavor and are widely used in German, Austrian and Hungarian cooking. They are added...... View full recipe for "~ Crusty Caraway Seed Dinner/Sandwich Rolls ~"

01/07/2011

~ How to Make Croutons & Toasts for Salad or Soup ~

Whenever I teach a class about making salad or soup, I always teach people how to make croutons and toasts, which are culinarily the exact same thing. I always start by adamantly announcing, "never buy croutons", which gets everyone sitting up at attention. Then I slice and cube the bread, or, cut some shapes out of bread slices using a cookie cutter. Less than 10 minutes later, the entire class is munching away, watching the rest of my demonstration and proclaiming homemade croutons to be the best thing since sliced bread. "Crouton" is our English word for any small piece...... View full recipe for "~ How to Make Croutons & Toasts for Salad or Soup ~"

12/28/2010

~ Orthodox Christmas Eve: Lenten Bread & Biscuits ~

Christmas Eve in the Orthodox church is a strict fast day. Christmas Eve in the Orthodox home is celebrated with a traditional dairy-free meal referred to as Holy Night Supper. It is the tradition that nothing gets eaten on Christmas Eve until the first star appears in the sky, which is symbolic of the star that led the Three Kings to the newly born Jesus. The meal begins with the lighting of a single, tall, white candle, placed in the center of the table, which represents Christ as the light of the world. The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the baby...... View full recipe for "~ Orthodox Christmas Eve: Lenten Bread & Biscuits ~"

09/20/2010

~ Bread Machine Basics & Melanie's Brioche Recipe ~

When I want a slice of toast in the morning, or a sandwich for lunch, I want it to be on "real" bread. In my mind: brioche is the best bread known to womankind for this exercise in happiness. I've got a knack for bread baking. Hard as I try, I can't remember experiencing a bad bread baking experience or disaster. Some say it "comes naturally", or, "she was born with it". In my case this is partially true -- my grandmother was a marvelous bread baker. Read on: My grandmother was at her best in the kitchen and she...... View full recipe for "~ Bread Machine Basics & Melanie's Brioche Recipe ~"