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Posts Tagged ‘yeast’

by Caitlin Saniga

Pucker up! You're about to fall in love with these cute and simple buttermilk biscuits. Because this recipe contains yeast, the dough isn't as finicky and can be kneaded until smooth. And it still yields fluffy biscuits!

Pucker up! You’re about to fall in love with these cute and quick buttermilk biscuits. Because this recipe contains yeast, the dough isn’t as finicky and can be kneaded until smooth. And it still yields fluffy biscuits!


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by Sarah Steimer

Focaccia bread is so simple and so easy to tweak once you find a base recipe you like. You could even simplify it down to just Parmesan on the top and use it primarily for paninis.

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by Sarah Steimer

My baguettes didn't wind up looking quite as sexy as the photos from the original recipe - but they taste and texture was pretty near spot-on for a baguette. I had to make a few tweaks because I don't have a bread stone, but I think the baguettes turned out pretty darn well overall.

My baguettes didn’t wind up looking quite as sexy as the photos from the original recipe — but the taste and texture was pretty darn near spot-on for a baguette. I had to make a few tweaks to the recipe overall: I used an upside-down baking sheet in place of a bread stone and a Dutch oven with ice to create steam instead of a cast iron skillet. I don’t think my tweaks made a huge difference, but learning to bake your own bread involves a lot of trial and error. It takes some time to learn how to knead the dough just right or to figure out the perfect amount of time the bread needs to bake, but you won’t get too many complaints from those who benefit from your experiments.

  • 1 1/2 cups tap water, heated to 115 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • oil
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

Whisk together the yeast and water in a large bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy. Stir the flour in with a fork until dough forms and all the flour is absorbed. Let the dough sit for about 20 minutes so the flour may fully hydrate.

Add the salt to the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. I needed to add additional flour to my surface pretty regularly because the dough was fairly sticky. Just try not to add TOO much flour!

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a cold oven and let rest until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Working on a lightly floured surface, form the dough into an 8-inch-by-6-inch rectangle. Fold the 8-inch sides toward the middle so the edges meet. Next, fold the 6-inch sides toward the center so those edges meet. Return to the bowl, seam side down, and place in the oven for 1 hour.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 14-inch rope. Place a piece of lightly floured parchment paper on an upside-down baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the parchment. Lift and crease the paper between the ropes to form long pleats. Place two tightly rolled kitchen towels under the long edges of the paper to support the loaves. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 50 minutes.

While the dough is rising, place a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven. Place a baking stone on the rack above the skillet. I do not have a baking stone, so I used an upside-down baking sheet instead. Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.

Once the oven is ready, remove the plastic wrap and towels from the dough. Flatten out the paper so the loaves are spaced out. Use a sharp knife or razor to slash the top of each loaf at a 30-degree angle in four spots, with each slash about 4 inches long. Use the edges of the parchment to carefully guide the loaves onto the hot baking stone (this is a good time to have a friend help). Place the ice cubes in the skillet so steam forms, thus allowing the loaves to rise fully before a crust forms.

Bake until the loaves are dark brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Cool before serving.

Makes three, 14-inch baguettes.

Recipe adapted from: Saveur

*We’re loving the smell of fresh bread wafting from our ovens in February. See all of our On the Rise bread recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I've made this bread a few times now and haven't been disappointed yet.

I’ve made this bread a few times now and haven’t been disappointed yet. I like to make up the dough right before bed and let it sit overnight. This recipe doesn’t require much hassle, just patience.

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (I used Harp)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Whisk together the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the water, beer and vinegar. Use a spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients

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Bread might seem like kind of a big deal, but you probably have most of the ingredients in your home right now. Don’t have a Dutch oven? Ask around, chances are someone you know has one you could borrow. Plus, using the parchment paper pretty much guarantees you’ll get it back to them as clean as you got it.

together until a shaggy ball forms. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit at room temperature — away from any drafts — for 8 to 18 hours.

Place a 12-by-18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside of a 10-inch skillet and lightly spray or brush the paper with oil. Set aside.

Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 10-15 times. Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the edges underneath. Place the dough, seam-side down, on the parchment-covered skillet and spray or brush the dough with oil. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

About 30 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven with its lid into the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. NOTE: Make sure you check what your Dutch oven’s maximum temperature — particularly the lid’s handle. If your Dutch oven can only withstand heat up to 400 degrees, reduce to 400 instead of 425.

Remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Dust a little all-purpose flour on the top of the dough and use a sharp knife to one 6-inch long, 1/2-inch deep slit along the top of the dough.

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The first time I made this bread, Bill asked if we could open a sandwich shop. Because the clear next move after making one loaf of bread in a Dutch oven is opening your own business. I can’t say I didn’t think about it…

Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Pick the dough up by the parchment paper and place into the Dutch oven, allowing the paper to overhang a bit. Place the lid on the pot and return to the oven. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when you knock on the bread.

Remove the bread from the Dutch oven using the parchment paper. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours, or until room temperature.

Makes one loaf of bread.

Recipe adapted from: Cooks Illustrated via Erin Cooks

*We’re loving the smell of fresh bread wafting from our ovens in February. See all of our On the Rise bread recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I took French class in middle school and high school, and I'm pretty sure we often got king cakes for Mardi Gras in some of those classes. King cakes are typically topped with tons of green, purple and gold sprinkles, but I opted for gel streamers instead. The cake also usually has a plastic baby Jesus or a dried fava bean in it, but I omitted that part (didn't want anyone getting excited and choking).

I took French class in middle school and high school and, if memory serves, we sometimes got king cakes for Mardi Gras. It’s been a long time since I last had king cake, but my memory was jogged as soon as I mixed all the ingredients and I caught a whiff of that sweet, yeasty, lemony and cinnamon-y scent. Really, really phenomenal. (And probably not what I need to be in the house with in the dead of winter)

For the cake

  • 1 cup of warm milk, about 110 degrees (I put my milk in a mug and microwaved for two, 30-second intervals to reach 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Naked cake! Just pretend it's flashing you for beads. Haaaa, Mardis Gras joke.

    Naked cake! Just pretend it’s flashing you for beads. Haaaa, Mardis Gras joke.

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine the milk, sugar, yeast and one tablespoon of the flour. Whisk until the sugar and yeast have dissolved.

After bubbles have formed on the surface of the milk, whisk in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and the remaining flour, using a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet.

King cakes are typically topped with tons of green, purple and gold sprinkles, but I opted for gel streamers instead. The cake also usually has a plastic baby Jesus or a dried fava bean in it, but I omitted that part (didn't want anyone getting excited and choking).

King cakes are typically topped with tons of green, purple and gold sprinkles, but I opted for gel streamers instead. The cake also usually has a plastic baby Jesus or a dried fava bean in it, but I omitted that part (didn’t want anyone getting excited and choking).

Once the dough has come together and pulled away from the sides of the bowl, form into a ball. Working on a well-floured surface, knead the dough for about 15 minutes (yes, 15, so this counts as your daily workout) or until the dough is smooth and elastic. My dough didn’t get super smooth, but I didn’t want to go over the 15 minutes and risk making a tough cake. Use good judgment!

Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, punch down and separate into three equal-sized pieces. Roll the pieces out into ropes of equal length (mine were maybe 18 or so inches). Braid the three pieces and pinch the ends together to form a circle. Careful place on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Cover again with a towel and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Bake the dough at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is a light brown color and sounds hollow when you tap on it. Let cool for 30 minutes.

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
  • gold, green and purple sprinkles or gel icing

Mix together the sugar and lemon juice, adding the milk a little at a time until you reach a desired consistency. I used the entire 1/4 cup of milk so I could easily drizzle the icing over the cooled cake. Make sure your cake is totally cooled before icing!

If using sprinkles, add while the icing is still wet. If using gel, wait for the icing to set on the cake.

Makes 10-12 servings

Recipe adapted from: Epicurious

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by Caitlin Saniga

Italian bread

Getting the temperature of the water to 110 degrees is a critical step of this recipe, so use a thermometer. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die. If it’s too cold, the yeast won’t activate. Either way will prevent your dough from rising.

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package fast-rising active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • cornmeal
  • 1 egg white, beaten
Store-bought Italian bread was a staple at my house growing up. I'd toast a couple of slices and top with butter and jam for a quick breakfast before school. Other simple favorites included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, salami and mustard sandwiches and French toast. We always preferred crusty Italian to wimpy, flavorless white bread.

Store-bought Italian bread was a staple at my house growing up. I’d toast a couple of slices and top with butter and jam for a quick breakfast before school. Other simple favorites included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, salami and mustard sandwiches and French toast. We always preferred crusty Italian to wimpy, flavorless white bread.

In the bowl of an upright mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast. In a separate small bowl, combine the water and salt. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Beat at a low speed for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides with a spatula the whole time. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Using your hands to mix, gradually add the remaining flour until a very stiff dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. Add flour as you go if you find the dough is too sticky to handle. Meanwhile, bring an oven-safe pot of water to a boil on the stove.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the surface of the dough in oil. Cover and place on the top rack of an unheated oven. Place the pot of hot water on a rack below, and close the oven door. Let the dough rise about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

On a lightly floured surface, punch down the dough. Cover it with bowl, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into a 15×12-inch rectangle. Beginning at the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly, sealing as you roll. Taper the end of the loaf.

Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle cornmeal over the surface. Place the loaf diagonally on the pan, seam side down.

Make 1/4-inch-deep cuts about 2 inches apart along the top of the loaf.

Cover and let rise until the dough doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the pot of water back to a boil.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add a tablespoon of water to the beaten egg white, and brush over the top and sides of the loaf. Place the pot of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the baking sheet with the dough on the top rack and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and quickly brush down with more egg white mixture. Bake 20 minutes longer. Cool on a rack 15 minutes before slicing.

Store in an airtight zip-top bag for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe adapted from: Food.com

*We’re loving the smell of fresh bread wafting from our ovens in February. See all of our On the Rise bread recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Neither Caitlin or I are Jewish (doesn’t take more than a glance at our “About” page to figure that out), but I wanted to make something for Hanukkah. What I ended up with was a bread that I could eat all day, any day.

  • 1 heaping teaspoon of dry, active yeast (about 1/2 of an envelope, if that’s how you buy it)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons, plus 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons warm water (about 100 degrees – or do what I did and just let the hot water run for a bit)
  • 1 egg, plus another for glazing
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Mix the yeast, 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of bread flour, and the warm water until smooth. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Whisk in the egg, oil, salt and sugar until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and combine with a wooden spoon until a ball forms. Knead until smooth, about five to ten minutes.

This is one of the first "real" breads I've made. I have plenty of quick breads under my belt, but not many multi-hour yeast breads.

This is one of the first “real” breads I’ve made. I have plenty of quick breads under my belt, but not many multi-hour yeast breads.

Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place to rise for about two hours, until the dough doubles in size.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Tear the dough into three equal-sized pieces and roll each piece out to pieces about 10-12 inches long. Braid the pieces — starting in the middle — and place the bread on the baking sheet, tucking the ends underneath. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise for another 1 1/2 hours.

Whisk the remaining egg and brush the dough with the egg. Bake the challah at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Recipe adapted from: What Jew Wanna Eat

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