Easter Paska

Happy Belated Easter! We had unseasonably warm weather and bright sunshine on Easter Sunday in New York. 🙂 In the afternoon, we visited a local swan to admire her impressive nest.

I made this buttery and eggy Eastern European Paska to enjoy for breakfast over Easter weekend. My daughter braided the dough for the decorative cross. She did such a great job! 🙂 It was such a light and fluffy loaf- really delicious. We ate it topped with butter and jam. It was also recommended to eat with kielbasa or leftover Easter ham.

This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com. I used a bread machine to knead the dough and omitted the sugar topping. It could have been used as a beautiful centerpiece as well.

Yield: 1 large loaf

For the Bread:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons/2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups (21.25 oz) all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the Topping:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • coarse sugar, like turbinado, optional (I omitted the sugar)
  1. To make the dough: Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough. (I used a bread machine.)
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s noticeably puffy. (I placed it in a warming drawer on the “proof” setting.)
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide it into two pieces, one twice as large as the other. Take the larger piece, roll into a ball, and place it into a well-greased 9″ x 2″ round pan.
  4. Divide the other piece of dough into three equal pieces, and roll each out into a 20″ strand; use the three strands to create one long braid. 
  5. Place the braid around the inside edge of the pan, or use it to form a cross over the top of the larger piece of dough. 
  6. Cover the loaf and let it rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. (I used a proofing oven.)
  7. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection, with a rack in the center.
  8. To make the topping: In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water. Brush the mixture gently over the top of the risen loaf, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
  9. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it’s a rich golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool before cutting.

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White Sandwich Bread

After all of the heavy eating during the holidays, I was craving a light soup and salad dinner. My daughter is always asking for Tomato Soup, so I made this bread to serve with it so that it would be a substantial enough meal for my husband. It was a bribe of sorts, as I usually do not support the consumption of white bread. 😉

This wonderful bread recipe was adapted from a favorite book, Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King. I halved the recipe and adapted the recipe to use a bread machine. My family loved it!

Yield: one standard loaf

  • 2 1/2 T warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1 1/2 T unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp bread machine (dry) yeast
  1. Combine warm water, warm milk, and butter in the bread machine loaf pan.
  2. Place flour over the top, using a knife to spread it evenly into the corners of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the top of the flour.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
  5. Set the bread machine to 1 1/2 pound standard loaf and start.

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Oatmeal Bread

I had a few friends over for lunch the other day. Fun! One of them had just met with a nutritionist and was on a menu plan that didn’t include bread or fruit- or any sugar, actually. I thought… I need to do that. :/ But then, my husband suggested that I bake a loaf of bread. 🙂

My friend had to eat a deconstructed sandwich- and even had to remove the tomato! As I’m sure her suffering will be completely worth it, I might reconsider a dietary change when this delicious loaf is gone! 😉

This recipe was adapted from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. I modified the recipe to incorporate bread flour and bake in a bread machine. It was very soft and moist. Amazing sandwich bread.

Yield: One loaf

For the Oat Mixture:

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup rolled or steel-cut oats
  • 4 T  plus 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 T coarse salt

For the Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 T bread machine yeast
  1. In the bread machine loaf pan: Combine the boiling water, oats, boiling water, honey, butter, and salt. Let cool slightly.
  2. Add the warm water.
  3. Add the flours; spread into the corners of the pan to create a level surface.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour; place the yeast in the well.
  5. Set the bread machine to Basic 1 1/2 pound loaf, medium crust color. Wait & Enjoy!

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If you like this you may also like:

Whole Wheat Spicy Herb and Garlic Bread Loaf

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I initially made this bread to serve with a simple pasta dish, but thankfully we had leftovers the next day to use to make delicious gruyere grilled cheese. 🙂 This loaf is my first entry in the Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 at The Novice Gardener: posting a dish using both yeast and herbs. Was it cheating (or exceptionally clever?) to use a bread machine? 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Scientifically Sweet, via Foodgawker. I modified the recipe to make it more garlicky and less spicy. I also adapted it to bake in a bread machine, used a combination of whole wheat and bread flours, and added olive-oil to the dough. Easy & tasty!

Yield: One 1 1/2 pound loaf

  • 1 ½ cups tepid water, no hotter than 110 degrees F
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for the dough, and 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil for brushing the top of the loaf
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 6 oz white whole wheat flour
  • 10 oz bread flour
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • coarse salt, for sprinkling, to taste, optional
  1. Measure all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. (My machine suggests to place all liquid ingredients in the base of the pan, followed by the dry ingredients, and finally to place the yeast in a well on top of the dry ingredients before processing.)
  2. Process on whole wheat bread cycle; use medium/normal crust color setting.
  3. 30 minutes before the end of baking, brush the top of the loaf with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  4. Remove bread from pan; cool on wire rack.

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”Fiesta Friday Challenge #1"

Bread Machine Brioche

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Why hadn’t I ever thought of this before? What a heavenly breakfast!! My friend asked for help searching for a bread machine brioche recipe- I found this one from Fleichmann’s yeast, via Food.com, all over the blogosphere. My friend tried it first and couldn’t even wait for the bread to cool before digging in- the smell was so amazing. 🙂 I had to make it myself, of course! It was eggy and tender. We smothered it with Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Jam (which we have been rationing since last June!) and enjoyed it as we watched the snow pour down outside…. on the last day of March!! I may add raisins next time- GREAT!

Yield: One 1 1/2 pound loaf

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup milk (70º to 80ºF) (I used 1% milk)
  • 3 tablespoons water (70º to 80ºF)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  1. Measure all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer.
  2. Process on sweet or basic/white bread cycle; use light or medium/normal crust color setting.
  3. Remove bread from pan; cool on wire rack.

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One Year Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Oatmeal Toasting and Sandwich Bread

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This is one of my favorite bread recipes- I modified it to make in a bread machine. The recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I substituted some of the bread flour with whole wheat flour, used grapeseed oil rather than butter, and used 1 percent milk in the dough. It is best warm and freshly baked- YUM- but also wonderful toasted the next day.

  • 2 T neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola oil or butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk (1 percent okay)
  • 3 T brown sugar or honey
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast, bread machine yeast, or instant yeast

Bread Machine Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients, in order, with the exception of the yeast, in the pan of the machine.
  2. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast. Program the machine for whole wheat and start.
  3. About 10 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle, check dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or water; finished dough should be soft and supple.

One Year Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Kale and Spinach Calzones

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When my husband and I were dating, we ate a lot of spinach calzones at Andolini’s Pizza in Charleston, South Carolina. We have such a positive association with them. 🙂 When I made these calzones with my daughter the other night, she commented that this was her FAVORITE dinner, ever! Yay! Although, unlike the rest of ours, my picky eater’s calzone was filled with corn and cheese (her favorite combination…). She helped me roll out all of the crusts, add the fillings, and seal the pockets. Such a great helper! 🙂 I make my dough in a bread machine, but I also included countertop directions below.

Yield: Makes 4 calzones

For the Filling:

  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into half rings
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 cups greens (or more) such as kale, spinach, or chard, cut into ribbons with tough stems removed
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ricotta cheese, to taste, optional
  • red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

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For the crust:

  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 T cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour

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For Serving:

  • marinara sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, preferably with a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven.
  2. Make the Filling: Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and continue to cook for 1 minute more before adding the greens, salt and pepper. Cook until wilted and set aside.
  3. Make the Crust: Bread Machine Method: Add liquid ingredients to a bread machine and layer with the dry ingredients on top. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add yeast. Set on dough setting. Countertop Method: Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand 3 minutes. Stir in sugar and 1/2 tsp salt until dissolved. Add the olive oil. Stir in flours and cornmeal until combined. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, about 3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let stand at room temperature (or place in a proofing oven) for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  4. When dough is ready, punch it down and divide into 4 equal pieces. Work each into a smooth, round shape, about 10 inches in diameter.
  5. Layer filling ingredients over one half of each crust, starting with the mozzarella cheese, then the greens, topped with ricotta cheese.
  6. Fold the top crust over to form a semi-circular pocket. Seal the edge with your fingers or with the tines of a fork. Repeat. Prick vent holes into the top of each crust.
  7. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Serve with marinara sauce on the side.

One Year Ago:

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