Country White Bread

Country White BreadIf you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with lots of bread recipes in the past few months.  I found this one at Pennies & Pancakes and thought it looked wonderful.   If you haven’t made homemade bread before, there’s an extensive tutorial for this recipe, complete with detailed instructions and step-by-step photos.  I halved the recipe and baked it in two 8×3 loaf pans the first time I made it, but I’ve also baked it in a 9×5 pan.  The photos are from the 8×3, so they look small, but I used the larger loaf when I made bananas foster french toast.  I was really pleased with this recipe and will definitely continue to use it for a white sandwich bread.  I would like to try substituting half the flour with whole wheat flour and maybe adding honey (I’ll update you as soon as I do!).Country White BreadCountry White Bread

Country White Bread (yield 1 9×5 loaf, 2 8×3 loaves)

  • 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp oil
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in water and let set for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the oil, then 3 cups of flour, mix it a little, then add the salt.
  3. Mix thoroughly and then knead until dough is smooth, elastic, and a tad sticky (6-10 minutes).  You can do this by hand or in a stand mixer with dough hook.
  4. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let rise until doubled.  I placed mine in a warm oven with a bowl of water on the bottom rack and let it rise for about 1 hour.
  5. Punch dough down and knead for another minute or so.  Divide it in half and form each half into a loaf.
  6. Cover with a dishtowel and let it rise until the dough is about 1-2 inches above the top of the pan (about an hour for me).
  7. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.Country White Bread

Light and Fluffy French Loaf

French Loaf via elisebakesI’ve been on a bread-making kick lately.  I think in part, I just realized the economical benefits of baking my own bread…and then, I obviously love the taste of warm bread, fresh out of the oven – not to mention the lovely smell that wafts through each room!  This french loaf was softer and fluffier than the last one I made.  The crust wasn’t as ‘crusty’ or hard (it was just hardly crisp), but that made it less like an actual french bread and more like wide sub bread.  Maybe if I had baked it a little longer it would have had a harder crust, but really I loved it just the way it was – I just wouldn’t necessarily call it a french bread.French Loaf via elisebakesFrench Loaf via elisebakes

French Loaf (from

    • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • 1 cup hot waterFrench Loaf via elisebakes
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 Tbsp salt
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 1/2 – 3 cups flour
  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine hot water, sugar, salt and oil.  Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix well.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and stir.
  4. Add 1 – 1 1/2 cups more flour and mix until well blended; it will be sticky.  Cover bowl with a dishtowel and let rise for an hour, mixing a few strokes every 15 mins.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces and roll each out to desired length.  Then roll up lengthwise like a jelly roll and place sealed side down on a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Slash the top diagonally every couple inches with a sharp knife.  Brush with egg white.
  7. Preheat oven to 400.  Let loaves rise for 30 minutes, then bake for 25-30 mins.

Easy 3-Step French Loaf

 French Loaf via elisebakesI whipped up a loaf of this French bread a couple nights ago; it was delicious! It had a light, crispy crust and tender inside.  It was really big, so you could half it or divide it into two loaves (even three) if you wanted!  On top of that, it was so easy to make – just three steps!.  If you don’t have a breadmaker and want to prepare this traditionally, well then it becomes a bit less simple. French Loaf via elisebakes
 French Loaf via elisebakesEasy French Loaf (from French Loaf via elisebakes

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp fast rising yeast)
  1. Place ingredients in bread machine in the order called for by breadmaker instruction booklet (water on bottom, then dry ingredients, yeast sprinkled on top). Set for dough.
  2. Remove dough and form into loaf on floured surface without punching down.  Placed on greased cookie sheet (or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper) and allow to rise 1 hour.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350. French Loaf via elisebakes

Wondering what that yummy pasta you see up there is?  It’s homemade alfredo sauce tossed with sauteed garlic and tomatoes..delicious!

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Cheese Bread

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Cheese Bread via elisebakesThis stuffed bread was fantastic!  I love the combined flavor of fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella!  Definitely something I will make again because it was super easy to whip up.  I used a loaf of homemade crusty bread, but you could obviously use any type of bread if you don’t like a hard crust.  The one thing I would change would be to use freshly shredded cheese as opposed to pre-shredded, it just doesn’t melt quite as nicely.  Otherwise, perfect!

Stuffed Bread

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Cheese Bread via elisebakes

  • Round loaf of bread (I used a loaf of mozzarella-basil crusty bread)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp green onions, diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Cut the loaf in half and hollow it out just a little bit.
  2. In a bowl, combine garlic, basil, green onions and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Spread the tomatoes over the bread in a layer.
  4. Cover it with the cheese mixture.
  5. Place the top of the loaf on top and cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Garlic Breadsticks

Garlic Breadsticks via elisebakesI used this recipe from King Arthur Flour, but I used a DIY self-rising flour (you just add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp salt for each cup of flour).  They had a biscuit-like consistency and texture, but they had a great flavor.  My brother was over for dinner that night and he said they were a little garlicky – I would like to add that there is no such thing as too much garlic.  I think the garlic chunks on top were just a little much for him, but I thought that made it all the better.  I served them with homemade alfredo sauce – yum!  Would I make these again?  I don’t know, my husband really liked them and they were very easy, so probably.

Garlic Breadsticks  

  • 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick), cut into pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic,
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk 
  1. Line a 9×13 with tin foil and preheat oven to 450.
  2. As oven is heating, place the butter in the pan and put it in the oven to melt the butter.  Be sure to watch it and remove as soon as the butter has melted.   Add the garlic to the pan and use a spoon to spread it out throughout the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together.
  4. Add the milk and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.  Form the soft dough into a ball and gently fold it over three or four times.
  5. On a generously floured surface, roll it out and cut it using a sharp knife.  I made my breadsticks a bit bigger than the ones in the recipe because I didn’t want quite as many – I think I had 10 total.
  6. Place the bread sticks in the pan and turn them over to coat both sides together.  I also used a spoon to scoop the garlic pieces on top of the breadsticks.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.

 Garlic Breadsticks via elisebakes

Best Ever Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesI found this recipe for Banana Bread and Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze at Averie Cooks.  I knew I’d have to try it.  I mean, really, when someone claims to have found the perfect banana bread recipe, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of their long search!  And oh, after tasting this banana bread, you will give yourself a big pat on the back.  It truly is THE BEST banana bread I have ever put my hands on; super moist and flavorful.  And the glaze?  It took everything in me not to eat it by the spoonful (okay fine…not to eat more than one spoonful…).

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesBanana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesBanana Bread  (makes 1 9×5 loaf, 2 8×4 loaves)Best Ever Banana Bread via elisebakes

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5.3 oz container of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (1 1/2 cups)
  • one 3.4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350F; grease (or spray) and flour the pan.
  2. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute.
  3. To the melted butter, add the sugars, eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and stir or whisk to combine. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add the dry pudding mix and stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bread will be tougher.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 to 58 minutes, or until top is golden and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Allow bread to cool in the loaf pan for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesBanana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakes

Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
  • 1-1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I used just over a cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp cream or milk (I used 1 1/2 tbsp milk)
  1. Brown the butter.  You can do this on the stovetop by heating the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or in the microwave by microwaving on high for 5 to 7 minutes. It is done when it turns a nice brown color and there is no more sputtering or foaming, and has a nutty aroma.  Just be sure to watch it closely and start checking it every 15-to-30 seconds starting at about the 5-minute mark.  Transfer hot butter to medium-sized mixing bowl and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Based on desired glaze consistency and taste preference, add the cream one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached, playing with sugar and cream ratios as necessary.
  4. Spoon or drizzle glaze over the top of the bread before slicing and serving.

Nervous about browning butter?  Check out this tutorial at Ambitious Kitchen – its awesome!

Mozzarella-Basil Crusty Bread

Mozzarella Basil Crusty Bread When I first came across this Crusty Bread recipe, I knew I would eventually get around to making it.  It’s been a little over 6 months and I did it!  I put my own spin on it and added garlic, mozzarella, and basil.  It was delicious with a nice hard crust that made it great for dipping in soup!

Mozzarella Basil Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread (adapted from Simply So Good)Mozzarella Basil Crusty Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups water (next time I will cut this down,  maybe start with 1 or 1 1/4 and then add more if I need to)
  1.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, garlic powder, basil, and yeast together.  Add the mozzarella and mix it up a bit.
  2. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms – a wooden spoon works well for this.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours (mine sat about 14).
  4. Preheat oven to 450; when heated, place an empty  crock pot well with aluminum foil over the top in the oven and heat it for 30 minutes.  My crock pot is pretty big, and the loaf spread to take the shape of it – next time I will use something a little smaller so it’s not as flat.  You can use a cast iron pot with lid, a dish with lid or foil covering the top, or anything that can handle the heat.
  5. While the crock pot well is heating, pour the dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape it into a ball.  [If you wish to double the recipe, this is the point at which you should separate it and form two balls.]
  6. Cover the ball with plastic wrap you had covering the dough to set until the rest of the half hour is up.
  7. Remove the hot crock pot well from the oven and add the dough to it.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Then, bake an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
  8. Carefully remove bread and allow to cool on a cooling rack.Mozzarella Basil Crusty Bread

Breadmaker Sandwich Bread

Sandwich Bread via elisebakes

I finally broke out the breadmaker and put it to use last week.  First up: sandwich bread.  I used the recipe listed in the booklet included with the machine and it turned out great.  It had a great texture and density, but was a tad salty.  Needless to say, we manage to polish off the whole loaf before the next morning.sandwichbread4sandwichbread2

Breadmaker Sandwich Breadsandwichbread5

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  1. Remove bread pan from breadmaker and add milk, sour cream, and oluive oil to it.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt together with a whisk.
  3. Add to breadmaker on top of wet ingredients, covering them entirely.
  4. Make a small well in the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
  5. Return bread pan to breadmaker, close lid, and run on basic setting.  I had my crust set to medium.
  6. When cycle is finished, remove bread pan from machine and let it cool.  Remove loaf from breadpan and enjoy!sandwichbread

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Thanksgiving Cloverleaf Rolls

I was assigned rolls to bring for Thanksgiving this year.  This is actually the first year that I will be bringing anything, now that I have graduated college, am married, and am almost settled into adulthood – very exciting!  My husband asked why I didn’t just buy frozen rolls and cook them – HAH!  He ought to know me better than that; I think he just didn’t want me to make a mess.  I spent some time looking around for a recipe that I thought I could handle (especially since I don’t have a stand mixer), and found one that would even let me use my bread maker to make the dough!  Perfection.  They were larger than I had anticipated, and if when I make them again, I will make 18 medium sized rolls.

Thanksgiving Rolls (makes 12, from Tammys Recipes)

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg.) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  1. Put 1 tsp sugar, the yeast, and the warm water into the bread machine and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the warm milk, melted butter, sugar, and egg to the bread pan. Then, add 3 1/2 cups of the flour and salt on top of the flour.
  3. Start the DOUGH cycle. Check the dough after 10 minutes and add more flour if needed (I added 1/2 cup for a total of 4 cups used).
  4. Allow DOUGH cycle to finish, this took 1 1/2 hour with my bread maker.
  5. Generously butter a muffin pan – also butter the top, you can see in the picture that they were very large, and mine stuck to the top of the pan a little bit.
  6. Wash, dry, and butter your hands.  With your hands, deflate the dough and divide into 36 pieces on a lightly floured workspace (kitchen counter works great, or wax paper). Roll each piece into a ball shape. Place three balls in each muffin cup.
  7. Gently grease the tops and cover with a clean towel.  I did this by rubbing butter on my hands and gently wiping the tops of the rolls.
  8. Let rolls rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 40 minutes.  I preheated the oven to 300, then turned it off and left it open for a few minutes, placed the covered muffin tin inside and left the oven cracked while rising.
  9. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until tops are browned and rolls are done. Check for color after 15 minutes of baking, and cover loosely with foil to prevent excess browning, if needed.  Leave in pan to cool for several minutes before removing.