Another Great Bread Machine Recipe – Seedy Hearth Bread

Mmmm! Hearty Country Seed Breads

Since returning to work, albeit part-time, I am looking for faster ways to continue my homemade only bread eating habit. I love bread, but I hate buying it. It’s expensive if it’s made well, and it’s crappy if it’s cheap. While on my maternity leave I explored the world of artisan bread baking and fell in love. Anything aritisinal though conjures up images of hours of loving labour being poured into the craft, and while I love making beautiful hearth breads, I now have better things to do than babysit rising dough. This is where the trusty bread machine comes in. While I’m less than thrilled with baking bread in the bread machine (I hate the shape of the loaves and the divot in the bottom of it left from the paddle spoke, or even worse, the paddle if I forget to remove it before the cook cycle starts) I do love the bread machine’s dough function. So here is my favourite bread machine modified hearth bread recipe, and it tastes nearly as good as if I kneaded it for 20 minutes by hand. This makes 2 small 1lb round loaves or 1 big 2lb loaf.

water 1 cup
apple juice 1/3 cup
skim milk  powder 1/4 cup (I used buttermilk powder)
salt 1 1/2 tsp.
honey 3 tbsp.
shortening 3 tbsp.
whole wheat flour 1 1/4 cups
all-purpose flour
or bread flour
2 1/3 cups (I used 2c all-purpose flour and 1/3 c wheat germ)
flax seeds, ground 1/3 cup
sunflower seeds,
raw & unsalted
1/4 cup
sesame seeds 2 tbsp. (I did 1 tbsp sesame seeds and 1 tbsp poppy seeds. You can do whatever you want as long as the total is the same.)
bread machine yeast 2 tsp.

Measure ingredients into baking pan according to your bread machine’s manufacturer. Select the Dough Cycle (unless you plan to bake this in your machine and then select whole wheat cycle for a large 2lb loaf).

Tip: Keep your seeds and nuts from becoming rancid by storing them in an airtight container in your fridge or freezer.

Now I did this on the dough cycle and then took it out and divided it into two rounds and covered it and let it rise for ~60 mins (until double) I scored the loaves with a cross and then baked at 375F for ~35 min (give or take 5 min on either side depending on your oven. Longer for a big 2lb loaf. Loaf is done when brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom). ENJOY!!!!

p.s.- This recipe is adapted from a recipe on the Healthy Picnics Website where you can find many other great bread machine recipes too.

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Baby Led Weaning Meets Pinterest: Baby Veggie Burgers

They don't look like much but this turkey burger (top) and veggie burger (bottom) are awesome for both baby and parents!

I recently joined Pinterest. For those who don’t know, it’s a super addictive website for DIYers, crafters, recipe-hounds, foodies, fashionistas, home organizers, etc., etc., etc. It allows you to find ideas on the internet and then “pin” them to various “cork boards” that you create. Have you ever stumbled across a cool idea on line and thought, “Gee, I should write that down!” but then never did and then tortured yourself trying to find it again later? This is the problem Pinterest solves. It allows you to look at a neat idea and pin an image of that idea off of the website onto a personal database that you create and manage. It’s like a jumbo recipe box, but certainly not limited to recipes. One of the problems with Pinterest, though, is it’s easy to spend hours pinning cool ideas, instead of hours doing cool things! It’s definitely a screen-time hog! Regardless of your feelings on Pinterest, there are some great ideas on there and I actually managed to make one of my Pinterest recipe pins. As many of you know, Finlay is enjoying the world of baby-led weaning. As such, I’m always looking for new ideas for recipes for him so that he can explore new flavours and textures. I came across an awesome veggie burger recipe on Pinterest and I modified it for Finlay. I realized after trying it that these are really awesome and I should have made some adult sized ones for me too!

The original recipe came off of a blog called 100% Vegan Healthy Happy Life. Without Pinterest I would likely have never found the recipe as I’m not vegan and don’t intend to raise Finlay to be a vegan either.  Anyway, here’s my version of the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Mashed beans, Mashed sweet potatoes and Maple syup

  • White beans cooked, drained and mashed (I made about 1 cup of dry beans, once mashed it made about the same amount as the sweet potato)
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand- I used 1/4 tsp onion powder and a smidgen of garlic powder).
  • salt/pepper to taste if needed (I didn’t bother)
  • Lots of Panko crumbs
  • Butter for the pan

Directions:

Formed patty dipped in panko

1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add mashed beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Add in maple syrup
5. Form into patties and coat in Panko crumbs.I made my patties small (about the diameter of a soup can) for little fingers, but you could make adult sized patties too

A container full of individually frozen patties.

Now at this point, I put the patties between pieces of wax paper and put them in a reusable container and froze them. This way I could pull out a patty whenever I needed something for Finlay (great for quick lunches or to add to supper or to give with a turkey burger- told you I’m no vegan!).

When you’re ready to cook them, defrost them at room temp or in a microwave on low-med for 1 minute or two. Then melt some butter in a pan and cook on both sides until browned. They’re pretty moist inside and may crumble a bit if you make big adult patties, but they taste delicious!!!

P.S. The turkey burgers in the top picture are super easy and Finlay loves them too. They’re just ground turkey mixed with some pureed carrots, quick oats and a dollop of apple sauce. Mmmm! When I serve these to him I usually cut them in half or in strips.

Finlay's reaction to dinner!!!

Cheese Making 101. Homemade Ricotta Pasta

Pasta with homemade ricotta and herbs. Just looking at this picture makes me want more!

I’ve always wanted to try making my own cheese, but thought the process seemed complicated. This is not the case for all cheeses though. This homemade ricotta is super easy and extremely delicious and works beautifully in this pasta recipe. It is mildly flavoured, but wholesome. It was in this past month’s issue of Canadian Living. I’ve added some of my own notes in as well (in bold).

Homemade Ricotta

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (2 L) organic whole milk (3.8% MF)- The magazine recommended this as it has a richer flavour and is higher in fat than regular whole milk. My only issue with this is organic milk is twice the price (nearly $8 for 8L here in PEI). I did use the organic 3.8% this time, but think I’ll try it with regular milk next time (or if I can get my hands on some goat’s milk I think that would give this a nice bit of extra tang).
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 5 tbsp (75 mL) vinegar

Homemade Ricotta

Preparation

In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat milk with salt over low heat, stirring often, until temperature on digital rapid-read thermometer registers 203°F (95°C), about 40 minutes. (This does take a while. It took at least 40 minutes and I found myself stirring it every 5 minutes or so. I did not have a rapid read thermometer-just a regular meat thermometer, and it worked out fine). Add vinegar; stir slowly 3 times. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

With slotted spoon, gently skim off curds and place in sieve lined with damp double-thickness cheesecloth. (I didn’t have cheese cloth, so I used dampened coffee filters and it worked like a charm!). Let drain for 30 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl.
Source : Canadian Living Magazine: March 2012

Pasta With Homemade Ricotta and Herbs

Ingredients

Preparation

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, drain and return pasta to pot. Meanwhile, in skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; toast bread crumbs, stirring often, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add ricotta, basil and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to pasta; toss until coated, adding more liquid if desired.

Transfer to serving dish; sprinkle with 2 tbsp of the bread crumbs. Serve remaining crumbs separately to sprinkle on top. (My initial thoughts were that the flavours were a bit bland, but after eating at least 2 servings, I realized that it is the simple flavours in this recipe that make it so good. The cheese is creamy, light and fantastic, but I think in future I might add a little bit more to this though. I might try some toasted walnuts or pine nuts in addition to/instead of breadcrumbs. Adding some parmesan curls might be nice too. Perhaps using chicken stock instead of reserved pasta water could up the flavour too. I guess it’s probably a delicate balance between adding too much and taking away from the enjoyment of the homemade ricotta or having it be just a touch bland. If anyone tries this out and has any other ideas I’d love to hear them!).
Source : Canadian Living Magazine: March 2012

A Lot of Little Loaves for My Little Boy

Lots of Mini-Loaves for Little Fingers!

We are going away for several days and now that Finlay is eating a lot of solid food, traveling is different than it used to be when he was exclusively breastfed. I strongly believe that there are pros and cons to every developmental stage in babyhood (and likely in life too). I’ve tried not to be one of those people who wishes for him to be a little older. I’ve tried to enjoy the present and I’ve tried to recognize that while there may be challenges now that won’t be there when he is older, there will be other challenges then (just as there are benefits now that won’t be there when he is older). This is the case with solid foods. While it’s nice to be regaining some of my “old” life back as he becomes more independent, there was something very nice about the portability of the exclusively breastfed child. Now when we go somewhere I have to come armed with a picnic basket and sippy cups. So that brings us back full circle to the point of this post. In anticipation of our upcoming trip I spent Friday afternoon making baby friendly mini-loaves in 3 flavours (apricot bread, fruit-filled banana bread and carrot banana bread). These are great for cutting into small slices or fingers and Finlay loves them. All of the recipes have been modified to have less sugar and less fat so they’re pretty healthy too! And they’re not just for babies. They make a yummy and healthy snack for everyone in the family. Here are the 3 recipes:

Mmmm, Carrot Banana Mini Loaf

1. Fruity Banana Bread:

  • 1/4 Cup Oil or Melted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Apple sauce (you could skip the oil and use more apple sauce instead)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour (your choice, I used whole wheat. Next time I’d do 1c whole, 1/2 cup white)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3-4 large, ripe Bananas Mashed(I used 4)
  • *Optional* 1/4 Cup Brown sugar (I put in 2 tbsp brown sugar, next time I’d use the full 1/4 cup)
  • *Spice as you see fit; I added 1/2 tsp of allspice, (next time I’d just put in cinnamon)
  • 3 oz dried fruit (I used dried apricot, cranberry, currant,  cherry, raisin mix)

Combine oil/butter with apple sauce, vanilla (and sugar if you wish). Add flour and baking soda. Add bananas. Divide into 4 mini loaf pans and cook at 325 for ~40 min. Watch carefully and pull when cake tester comes out clean.

A productive afternoon of baking!

2. Apricot Bread

  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used 1/4 cup buttermilk powder, which I added to dry ingredients and 1 cup water which I added to wet ingredients)
  • 1 egg

Directions

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, line with paper muffin cups, or grease mini loaf pans. Place apricots into a small bowl, and pour the boiling water over them. Let stand for 5 minutes.
• In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt (and buttermilk powder, if using). In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, buttermilk (or water if using powder) and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until just blended. It is okay for the batter to have some lumps. Drain water from apricots, and mix them into the batter. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups/pans. For Muffins, Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed. For Loaves, Bake 30 minutes (or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted). Cool in the pan over a wire rack.

The results of a busy day in the kitchen! Thank goodness for dishwashers!

3. Carrot Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (could replace with apple sauce)
  • 1 cup sugar (still tastes good when decreased by 1/4c)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (again, could do 1 c white, 1 c whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; gradually add to the creamed mixture alternately with bananas. Stir in carrots and pecans. Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan or to 4 mini loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-65 minutes (Only need to bake about 40-45 min if using mini-loaves) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

ENJOY!!!!

Bruschetta on Homemade Baguette (Made in the bread machine!)

So, as my husband pointed out, this post isn’t really about PEI. But it’s home cooking (bread and all) so I figure that counts for something!

Bruschetta tastes SO much better when it’s made on freshly baked homemade bread! An easy way to do a french baguette is to start it in the bread maker. This never-fail recipe makes a lovely baguette which can be used for brushetta, garlic bread, dipping, or crustini. It’s taken from my favourite recipe site (allrecipes.com). Here’s the original link: Bread Machine Baguette. This makes 2 baguettes and if you’re not using both right away you can freeze them!

I forgot to put the egg wash on this loaf by accident and I decided to make it a little fatter and shorter so that each slice would hold more bruschetta topping!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.
  2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16×12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8×12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
TOPPING:
  • 2 large tomatoes (seeded and diced)
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced (I use LOTS of garlic!)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
  • Feta Cheese (crumbled, as much as preferred)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2c grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 300F. Mix tomatoes, oregano, garlic, basil, 1 tbsp of olive oil, feta , balsamic and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let stand at least 10 minutes to let flavours blend. Brush baguette slices with remaining olive oil. Top with tomato topping and grated Parmesan. Bake for 5-10 minutes and then broil for 1-2 minutes until golden. ENJOY

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Sunday Morning Pancakes a la Jarrod…and it’s not even Valentine’s Day!!!

Pancakes with Maple Whipped Cream and Strawberries. Delicious!

I’m not sure what I did in a past life to deserve the life I have, but whatever it was it must have been good! I got especially lucky in the husband department. Now, I can hear a collective groan coming from the audience, but it’s the truth. Jarrod is by all accounts sensitive, respectful, caring, hardworking (the list of attributes goes on and on) but MOST importantly, he’s domestic! Okay, this may not be his most important quality, but as of late it’s a pretty great one. With a new baby in the house, it’s so nice to have a partner who can run laundry, cook meals, and help with the housework!

Case in point. I got my haircut yesterday and got talking to the stylist. She was a single mother and I sympathized aloud, “Wow, you have my respects! I could never do this on my own.” She said that actually she felt sort of lucky because she was the center of her child’s world and got all of her affection for herself, and on top of it, she only had to worry about looking after her baby and not a husband. She recounted how many of her girlfriends felt like they now had two “children” to look after once the birth of their first child. This is something that, thankfully, I just can’t relate to! I’ve certainly never professed to be a domestic diva and I would NOT want to be the only one responsible for household chores. As my husband will tell you, I’m a great cook….but when it comes to cleaning, that’s a whole other story! So, it’s nice that he’s willing to shoulder a lot of this burden. And Jarrod’s a great cook too and that’s how this whole story starts.

Finlay's Pancake Fingers. These are perfect for baby!

Jarrod got Finlay this morning, changed him and brought him up for me to feed him (as he does most mornings). Then he took him downstairs to let me get a bit more sleep while he made pancakes. And what a production he put on. They were so good and the plates were so pretty that I just had to show this to you all. Now, try not to be too jealous! This pancake recipe is fantastic and I’ll share it with you here. This one is topped with maple whipped cream, strawberries and more maple syrup and is served with breakfast sausage, bacon and more berries. Delish! This recipe serves 2 adults and a hungry baby (or child) perfectly. Double it up for more.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

Finlay enjoying his pancake fingers

  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. (I prefer to use butter in the pan over cooking spray as you don’t need to babysit the pancakes as much to prevent burning).

To make maple whipped cream. Mix 1/4 c whipping cream on high speed with 2 tsp of maple syrup until medium-stiff peaks form. Top with berries and more maple syrup. Serve immediately. Mmmmm!!!!!!

Let’s Bake Bread: Honey Oatmeal Bread

Completed Honey Oatmeal Bread.

Ever since Finlay was born we have stopped buying store bought bread. Homemade bread tastes so good, is cheaper and is really easy to make (you just have to be around the house to do it….and with a baby around, where else would I be???). Not to mention the fact that Finlay is my sous-chef extraordinaire and loves to help in the kitchen. He loves watching me whirl around with flour flying, mixers mixing and gadgets beeping. He seems to be happiest in the kitchen with me baking and so Jarrod always knows it’s been a “rough” day when there’s fresh baked goodies around. Today, Finlay was teething BIG TIME and so we didn’t nap as well as we’ve been napping and we were a little extra fussy. So what better time to make Honey Oatmeal Bread!!! This bread is fabulous and has a nice combination of sweet and nutty. I used local honey. If you’re not familiar with the term, “Terroir,” you should add it to your foodie vocabulary. Originally a french wine-making term, it can be applied to honey (and a number of other foods) as well. Terroir is the combination of factors including climate and environment that give food a distinct flavour based on the region it comes from. So really this is PEI Honey Oatmeal Bread. Mmm! Here’s the recipe:

Local PEI Honey!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups bread flour (I’ve always used a bit more. I put 5c in right away and then knead in more as needed. Typically, I use 6-7 cups in total).
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly for topping
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats for topping

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine boiling water, oats, 1/2 cup honey, butter and salt. Let stand for 1 hour.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the oat mixture. Add 2 cups of flour; mix well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. (If you have a Kitchenaid Mixer you can make this step easier on yourself by letting the Kitchenaid mix the dough with the dough hook for 5-10 minutes on a medium low setting. Then remove and knead for another 5-10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface incorporating more flour as needed to keep it from being too sticky). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours. Dough is ready when you stick your finger into it and an indent remains.
  4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into two lightly greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40-60 minutes.
  5. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pans, brush tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons honey and sprinkle with oats. *Note: This leaves a sticky topping, which tastes delicious. If you prefer a less sticky topping do an egg wash and top with the oats prior to baking instead.

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ENJOY!!!