Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

hawaiiansweetrolls

The other night, I made a Hawaiian pizza for dinner using dough and sauce from scratch, Canadian bacon, and canned pineapple slices. We didn’t use the entire can, and I didn’t want to waste the juice so I decided to use it in a recipe I had saved on Pinterest a while back for Hawaiian Sweet Rolls from Yammie’s Noshery.

Yammie’s Noshery has some great recipes, especially for tasty looking bread; see Peeta’s Stuffed Cheese Buns. However, I sometimes find that I’m not getting consistent results and have to modify the recipes by either reducing the yeast or adding more flour.

This time, I followed the recipe exactly (using bread flour, not all-purpose flour), except I used pineapple juice from a can of crushed pineapple, and crushed up a slice or two and mixed it in. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly, using only extra flour when kneading and forming the rolls of bread. During the first mix, the consistency was “sticky, but not gooey” just as indicated in the recipe. I punched down the dough, and thought it was fine, until I started to separate the dough into twelve equal pieces.

I had a difficult time forming the balls because the dough began to stick to my fingers and the surface, both of which I dusted in flour. I ended up kneading a little more flour in to make the dough workable, but still had a hard time forming evenly shaped balls. I didn’t want to add too MUCH extra flour since the recipe already calls for four cups, which I thought was a lot! I had been looking over some pan de sal and pan de leche Filipino recipes, and they usually only call for three cups when making about twelve rolls.

I finally managed to form twelve rolls and spaced them evenly, covered them, and let them rise. They more than doubled in size when I checked on them after an hour! And they continued to grow even more during the baking. When I pulled the bread out of the oven, I was afraid I had ended up baking one big tray of bread!

Luckily, I was able to still pull apart the bread, but not without guidance of a butter knife. The rolls are soft and airy, yet dense at the same time. They don’t feel heavy while holding them, but once you start to eat them, you realize that one roll alone is extremely filling.

In the end, a tasty recipe, although I’m not sure I will make these on a regular basis. If you’d like to try it yourself, you can find the recipe here at Yammie’s Noshery.

Jalapeño Cheddar Bread (Bread Machine)

Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

Yum! I’ve been experimenting with different flours, different yeasts, and different baking methods. While my ideal bread would be baked in the oven in a fancy shmancy artisan loaf shape, I’ve gotten the best results using this Rustic Italian Bread recipe with a few modifications.

I’m using a mixture that is part white bread flour, and part all-purpose flour. Last week I baked the same bread using all bread flour, and the bread rose too much and ended up collapsing in the bread machine before baking. When I sliced off the top crust, I discovered a gigantic hole! It tasted great, but bread with a gigantic hole is pretty much impossible to make sandwiches with.

Also, I’m not sure if all bread machines have this option, but I’ve been making using the “European” setting. The dough is in the machine for about 3.5 hours, from start of kneading to the end of baking. I’ve tried baking on the “Regular White Bread” setting, and ended up with an extremely tough bread… though, this is possibly due to the instant yeast. I’ve switched brands and am having overall better results in everything I’m baking. I’ve also tried using the bread machine on the “Dough” setting, and then reshaping the loaf and letting it rise a second time. This also produces good results, but the family seems to like the texture of the bread the best when I bake it in the bread machine. Less energy and less dishes too.

Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
(using a bread machine) 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 cups white bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 – 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Proof the yeast by mixing it with warm water and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add all the ingredients into the bread machine: wet ingredients first, then dry ingredients.
  3. Set the bread machine to the “European” or similar setting then let it do it’s thing.
  4. Enjoy the smell of cheddar and jalapeños floating in the air.
  5. When the bread is done, allow it to cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Or, if you’re impatient like me, slice and enjoy while it’s hot and toasty.

Delia’s Scones

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Last spring, I co-hosted a big hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party at Hamamatsu Castle as part of an event committee I belonged to while living in Japan. Hanami parties are basically outdoor picnics with lots of food, lots of beer, and of course, lots of cherry blossoms. Typical food includes chips, peanuts, mochi, and other finger-food snacks that are easily available in conbini (convenience stores) and supermarkets. However, some of our friends brought some home-cooked dishes to share, including bruschetta that our Canadian friends brought, and delicious, freshly baked scones made by our friends from the UK.

Yesterday, I started feeling a little reverse homesickness for Japan and the friends I made there. With spring just around the corner, I realized this is the first spring where I won’t be hosting and attending hanami events all season long. No more visits to Kyoto. No more strolls through the castle park. There are a few cherry blossom trees within San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, but it’s not the same… 懐かしいなぁ…

To remedy this twinge of homesickness, I baked up a batch of Delia Smith’s Scones, the same recipe my friends used for the scones they brought last spring. I couldn’t find a digital scale in the kitchen, so I had to make do with roughly converted measurements. The recipe below makes five scones, which is just the right amount. I’ve read that scones taste best when enjoyed fresh out of the oven, and that if there are any leftover after baking, they should be stored in the freezer until ready to heat and eat.

Delia Scones

Delia’s Scones
Recipe adapted from Delia Online and BigOven

Makes 5 scrumptious scones.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, room temperature, diced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsb milk (+ extra 1-2 tsp if needed)*

* Delia Online calls for buttermilk, while BigOven calls for milk. I substituted milk with just a few drops of white wine vinegar to act as buttermilk.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Add butter. Lightly rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until the mixture looks bread crumbs.
  4. In a small bowl, beat egg together with 2 tablespoons of milk. Add to the rubbed-in mixture.
  5. Mix with a palette knife or spatula until it begins to come together. Then use your hands to finish mixing the dough. The dough should be soft, but not sticky, and should leave the sides of the bowl clean. If it is too dry, add a little more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  6. Shape the dough into a round and place on a lightly floured surface. Lightly roll out the dough, making sure not to roll it out thinner than 1 inch tall.
  7. Use a 2 inch round cutter (I used a drinking glass!) to cut out the scones. Continue doing so until you are left with the trimmings, then bring these together to roll out and form the last scone.
  8. Places the scones on a lightly greased baking sheet (or baking sheet lined with parchment paper).
  9. Bake for 10-25 minutes at 425 degrees F.

 

Artisan Bread (in Five Minutes)

Artisan Bread (in Five Minutes)

While searching for bread recipes on Pinterest, I came across a couple of blog posts talking about “Artisan Bread (in Five Minutes)“, which is a recipe from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I decided to try it out, although I should let you know ahead of time that the title is a little bit misleading.

It takes a couple of minute to mix everything together, but the good news is that there is no bread machine, and no kneading is required which means you can make this bread so long as you have a large bowl or tub, a spoon, and an oven to bake it in. First you mix all the ingredients, then you let the dough rest for two hours on the counter. After the initial two-hour resting period, the dough is ready to go into the oven, or it can be covered (with holes to let the gases escape) and placed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

The “five minutes” refers to the preparation time once the dough is made. From the refrigerator, you simply tear off a large chunk of dough, sprinkle it with a little bit of flour, form it into a ball, and slash it across the top. Once formed, the dough does need to rest for an additional 40 minutes before being placed in the oven. However the whole process is really simple, and the bread does come out nice and tasty.

I cut the recipe in half, since 6 1/2 cups of flour was quite a bit to use for a first-time attempt at the recipe. Below is the 1/2 batch recipe, which makes two small loaves of bread. For the full recipe, click here, or visit this page for full instructions with photographs.

Artisan Bread (1/2 size)

Makes two round loaves of bread.

Note: You will need the following items for baking:

  • a baking stone or cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • a metal broiler tray + 1 1/2 cups hot water

Ingredients

  • 3/4 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tbsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix yeast, salt, and warm water. Add flour and stir to combine completely. Let the dough rise for at least 2 hours (maximum 5 hours), until it rises and collapses. At this point, you can bake it or prepare it for refrigeration.
  2. Cover dough, but make sure it is not airtight. Place in refrigerator. Leave it in overnight, or up to two weeks. Whenever you are ready to use it, sprinkle some flour on the surface and use a knife or kitchen shears to cut off a piece of the size you desire. For a 1-lb. loaf, cut off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough. Form the dough into a ball.
  3. Let the dough ball rest for at least 40 minutes, then slash the dough using a serrated knife.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the dough on a baking stone, or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and insert into the oven on the center rack. On the bottom rack, place the metal broiler tray filled with 1 1/2 cups of hot water.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the crust becomes a deep brown color. If using parchment paper, you’ll want to remove it after 20 minutes to allow the bottom to crust to become crisp.
  6. Cool the loaf on a rack until it is room temperature.

Peeta’s Stuffed Cheese Buns

Peeta's Stuffed Cheese Buns

I was scrolling through Pinterest today and saw this delicious photograph of “Stuffed Cheese Buns”. I was even more delighted when I clicked on it to discover that these were not just any stuffed cheese buns, but rather Peeta’s Stuffed Cheese Buns! Oh, Peeta!! If the breads he bake taste anything like this, then I can’t understand why Katniss didn’t fall in love with him sooner. I would fall head over heels for him in a heartbeat if he threw me one of these.

This recipe is courtesy of Yammie’s Noshery, which I highly recommend you check out if you have some free time. Yammie is only 19 years old but she has a blog full of original recipes, and her food photography is excellent as well. She’s also developed other book-inspired recipes besides this one.

I went ahead and made a batch of these today. I just couldn’t wait another minute after seeing these. I made 24 rolls and after stuffing with mozzarella cheese, I put 20 in the freezer for Christmas Lunch, and baked the other four for everyone in the family to try one. It’s good I put the rest of them away, because I could easily devour another.. eight or so of these. It’s torture knowing they’re in the freezer, next to the frozen chocolate mint chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and bittersweet decadence cookies I’ve also made for the holidays. Yikes. I’m in danger.

Peeta’s Stuffed Cheese Buns

Makes 20-24 round buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz. of cheese (I recommend fresh mozzarella – very easy to divide into chunks for stuffing)
  • Additional melted butter, shredded cheese, and fresh or dried herbs for topping

Directions

  1. Mix together the yeast and water and let it sit for a couple of minutes to activate.
  2. If using a stand mixer or mixing by hand: Add the sugar, garlic powder, melted butter, and oil.  Add the flour a little at a time, mixing in your stand mixer with a dough hook. Add the salt. Knead for 10 minutes, then let the dough rise for about 30 minutes.
    If using a bread machine: Add wet ingredients first, starting with the yeast+water combination, followed by the oil and melted butter. Then, add the dry ingredients: flour, garlic powder, sugar, and salt. Set the machine to the Dough setting and let it do its thing, then let it rise in the bread machine for 30 minutes. You do not need to wait for the full cycle to finish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Divide the dough into about 20 pieces. (I was able to make 24 pieces, by dividing dough in half, and in half again and again until I had enough pieces.) Put a 3/4 inch chunk of cheese into each ball of dough, the pinch the edges up tightly. Put the pinched side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the buns with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter and top with herbs. Serve warm. Devour and enjoy.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I came across this Chocolate Zucchini Recipe from Simply Recipes on a whim yesterday while searching for “cocoa powder recipes”. As I mentioned before, we have a huge bag of 100% Cacao Extra Brute Cocoa Powder that is nearing it’s best-by date, so I’ve been trying to find new recipes to try out. I had extra zucchini left over from dinner the other night  (vegetarian enchiladas), so I decided to try this bread recipe out. I’m so glad I did! It was a really easy dish to make, and the house smelled fantastic while the bread was in the oven.

The end result doesn’t rise too much, so the bread is more rich, moist, and dense.. somewhere in-between a brownie and a cake. The boys in the family all ate it up without even realizing there was zucchini in it. This recipe is definitely a keeper! The only modifications I made were to use vanilla extract instead of almond, and omitted the instant coffee because we only use whole bean coffee in this house, and there wasn’t any instant coffee to be found.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Makes two loaves. To make one, like I did, simply divide the recipe in half.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (12 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions

  1. Place the freshly grated zucchini in a sieve over a bowl to catch any excess moisture as it drains, while you work on prepping the other ingredients and preparing the recipe. If for some reason your zucchini is on the dry side, hydrate the shredded zucchini by soaking it in water first, and then place in sieve.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans with baking spray or butter.
  3. Vigorously whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk until there are no more clumps and the ingredients are well combined.
  4. In a separate large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until smooth, about a minute. You can do this with an electric mixer on medium speed, or by hand with a wooden spoon. (I’m lazy and use a mixer but it’s easy enough to do by hand.) Add the melted butter, instant coffee granules, and almond extract and beat until smooth.
  5. Mix the shredded zucchini into the sugar egg mixture. Add the flour to the zucchini mixture in 3 additions, stirring to combine after each addition.
  6. Work quickly, and divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans. (Work quickly because once the dry ingredients have mixed with the wet ingredients, the leavening has begun.) Place into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and easily. Remove to a rack. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife around the edges to separate the bread from the pan. Remove from the loaf pans and let cool completely on a rack.

Note that if you try to slice the chocolate zucchini bread before it has completely cooled, it will be rather crumbly. It’s also easiest to slice with a bread knife.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Obviously, we didn’t wait for it to cool. It smelled too good.

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