French Toast

I noticed that there was a loaf of leftover Challah on the kitchen table and I didn’t feel like just eating it plain with some jelly. So instead I figured I could make french toast.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 10-12 thick slices bread

Step 1: In a large bowl, add the flour.

Step 2: Slowly whisk in the milk, until no lumps.

Step 3: Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.

Step 4: Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated, 3-5 minutes.

Step 5: Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Step 6: Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot. (I topped mine with the Crème anglaise)

Challah

While watching television yesterday I saw someone using Challah for a bread pudding and I wanted to make that. Well trying to find some decent Challah in town was not easy so I figured I might as well make my own. So today I will be showing you how to make Challah.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 pkg. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey (I like using orange blossom)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 whole egg + 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • (egg wash: 1 egg + 1 Tbsp. honey)

Step 1: In a large bowl, pour in the warm water and sprinkle in the yeast.

Step 2: Beat in the honey, vegetable oil, egg, yolks, and salt.

Step 3: Add in the flour, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 4: Knead in the bowl or lightly floured surface until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky; adding flour as needed.

Step 5: Cover with a damp towel, and proof for 45-60  minutes, or until doubled in size.

Step 6: Punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured surface.

Step 7: Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.

Step 8: Knead each portion for 5 minutes, adding flour to keep from getting sticky.

Step 9: Roll each portion into a long rope of about 1 1/2-inch thick.

Step 10: To braid the dough see video: Braiding Challah (I had it to long, so I had to cut it in half to fit on the baking sheet)

Step 11: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the braided dough on top of the prepared baking sheet.

Step 12: Cover the dough with a damp towel and allow to proof for 30 minutes.

Step 13: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Step 14: Brush the dough with the egg wash.

Step 15: Bake for 30-35 minutes, cover the bread with foil after the first 20 minutes.

Step 16: Cool on wire rack

Crème Anglaise

I wasn’t sure what to do with the leftover heavy cream in the refrigerator and I didn’t want to waste it. So I figured I could make a sweet sauce out of it for a bread pudding or sticky buns. Crème anglaise, French for “English cream”, is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is a mix of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, often flavored with vanilla.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugar

Step 1: In a small saucepan, heat the cream and vanilla over medium-low heat until bubbles form around the edges. (Do not boil)

Step 2: While the cream is heating, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth.

Step 3: While whisking the egg yolks, slowly pour 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks.

Step 4: Gradually add the egg mixture into the remaining cream, whisking the cream constantly.

Step 5: Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Step 6: Strain sauce and serve either warm or cold over sweet bread or alone.

Cinnamon Rolls

While reading a pile of short stories to pass the time I came across a random character making cinnamon rolls and describing them to a mouth-watering concoction. So I had to make a batch as well. I’ve never made them from scratch before so this will be interesting. I needed to make a version that didn’t require over-night refrigeration of the dough. So here is a quick version of a cinnamon roll.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Dough

  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Step 1: In a small bowl, add warm milk and melted butter; set aside.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well.

Step 3: Add water, egg, and the milk mixture; beat well.

Step 4: Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Step 5: When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Step 7: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, softened butter.

Step 8: Roll out dough into a 12×9 inch rectangle.

Step 9: Spread dough with butter/sugar mixture and sprinkle with raisins and walnuts if desired.

Step 10: Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. (I find cutting them into strips before rolling helps with getting more swirling in the center)

Step 11: Cut into 12 equal size rolls, place cut side up in 12 lightly greased muffin cups or in a 12×9-inch baking pan, and top with remaining filling.

Step 12: Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Step 13: Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 14: Bake for 20 minutes in muffin pan or 35-40 minutes in 9×12-inch baking pan, or until browned.

Step 15: Remove from pan to cool.

Step 16: Serve warm

Scones

I have been designated in bring baked goods to the tea party in the mid-morning with some friends and I figured I should try my hand at making scones. I found this recipe on the Joy of Baking website and thought it looked pretty easy to make. So here is a basic scone recipe. You can add dried fruits and nuts as a few options when making this recipe. (As a side note: if you are to use dried fruit you will need to soak the dried fruit in some water so that the fruit doesn’t take out the liquid from the scones and rendering them dry.) I will be making the basic and chocolate chip versions today.

Here are the ingredients for this recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (Optional: half and half or  heavy cream)
  • cream for glaze
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Step 3: Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, fork, knives, hands, or a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Can stir in chocolate chips in at this point)

Step 4: In a measuring cup, add the beaten egg,  milk or cream, and vanilla.

Step 5: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Step 6: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 4-5 times.

Step 7: Roll the dough out into a 7-inch round disc.

Step 8: Either cut out 8-12 wedges or use a 3-inch biscuit/cookie cutter to cut out the scones.

Step 9: Place scones onto the prepared baking sheet 2-inches apart.

Step 10: Brush he top of the scones with some cream.

Step 11: Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom (if no cream glaze on top then it would be golden brown on top), or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Step 12: Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Notes: When re-heating I recommend placing a damp paper cloth on top and microwave for 45 seconds. It will keep the scones moist and will soften them. Though you would want to eat them before they cool off or else it will harden again.

Grapefruit Bread

Going through a nostalgic moment this week and bought a few grapefruits for breakfast or to just snack on during the day. I remember sitting in the kitchen on the weekends as a child and spooning on teaspoons of sugar on top of grapefruit half and sharing it with my mom. It must have been a warm day with a bit of wind because the kitchen was brightly lit and the windows were wide open. When these memories hit me I just had to buy some grapefruits. I got some and after about 4 days of eating grapefruit I still had one left and I didn’t feel like eating it with just plain old sugar. So I figured I could incorporate it into a baked good of some sort. Nothing to fancy or anything. Just something easy to make and will only require 1-2 grapefruits.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Bread

  • (3oz.) 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 egg whites
  • (6oz.) 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (If using plain yogurt add 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 grapefruits, segmented, coarsely chopped, and juice reserved (I will be using an orange in place of 1 grapefruit, don’t do this it will change the taste of the bread and not in a good way either.)
  • 1 Tbsp. grapefruit zest
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Glaze

  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. grapefruit juice

Bread

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease the loaf pan (I lined the bottom with parchment paper)

Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, add the egg whites and whisk them until they become frothy.

Step 4: Add in the yogurt, milk, and oil; whisk together until combined.

Step 5: Stir in the grapefruit pieces and zest.

Step 6: Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps.

Step 7: Fold in the pecans.

Step 8: Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Step 9: Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Step 10: Cool bread in loaf pan for 1 hour on a wire rack. (Forgot this part and when I removed the bread, it broke apart, so I put it back into the pan)

Step 11: Remove loaf from pan and cool completely

Glaze

Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and 1 Tbsp. grapefruit juice

Step 2: Stir in additional 1/2 tsp. of juice to achieve a thick, but pourable consistency.

Step 3: Add 1/2 tsp. of juice in drops if necessary.

Step 4: Place a piece of foil beneath the wire rack.

Step 5: Drizzle glaze over the top of the loaf.

Step 6: Allow the glaze to set before slicing.

Fouace Nantaise

Coming across a brioche recipe that looked really pretty I wanted to make it sometime soon. It’s a french brioche made in Nantes, France. It’s suppose to be in the shape of a star, but seriously I first thought it was a flower. Oh well it’s still quite pretty to look at in any sense. The bread is light and soft on the inside and a hard crust. Perfect for some a bread pudding or topped with jam. I found the recipe for it at FOUACE NANTAISE – a taste of home. I am going to recreate this bread, but with a few changes to some ingredients. Since some of the ingredients I am unable to find in town.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided and more for kneading
  • 1 pkg. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg, for egg wash, lightly beaten

Step 1: In a medium bowl, add 1 cup flour, yeast, and 1 Tbsp sugar.

Step 2: Pour in warm milk and stir briefly just to well all ingredients.

Step 3: Allow to proof for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size, puffy, and bubbly. (Next time I will just proof without the flour)

Step 4: While yeast is proofing, in a large bowl, add in the rest of the flour, salt, remaining sugar, butter, water, juice, and 4 eggs.

Step 5: Stir with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are moistened and well blended.

Step 6: Add in the yeast mixture.

Step 7: Stir together until well blended. (I had to add 4-5 handfuls of flour to become solid enough to knead)

Step 8: Scrape the sticky dough onto a well-floured surface.

Step 9: Knead the dough, while adding additional flour, until dough is no longer sticky and is soft, smooth, and elastic.

Step 10: Carefully divide dough into 6 equal portions.

Step 11: Form into balls.

Step 12: Make a flow design with the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet (Don’t worry about gaps and try to keep it center)

Step 13: Cover lightly with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.

Step 14: Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Step 15: Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 16: Brush the dough with the egg wash.

Step 17: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a deep golden brown color. (Branches of the star will have started to pull away from center and if you tap the bottom it should sound hollow.)

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