Category Archives: Bread

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Come to Mamma!

Fall is here and so is the canned pumpkin. My grocery store had it on sale for only a dollar, so the thrifty shopper I am, stocked up! As I stacked the cans in my pantry I delightfully pondered the recipe possibilities.

There were the obvious options of pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, muffins and bread, but then it occurred to me! Why not pumpkin cinnamon rolls! The project began. I went to my trusty internet and found that other home cooks have shared my thoughts. So began the exciting process of my first cinnamon rolls from scratch and Pumpkin would be the star!

Remember that bread machine long forgotten in the back of the cupboard? Get it out, as it’s going to be your best friend. You are going to use the dough setting to make this recipe so much easier!

Ingredients for dough:

1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm milk

1 egg beaten

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 TBS melted butter

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Set bread machine to dough cycle, and dump the above ingredients in machine, start and forget about it! The dough cycle will mix, knead, and bring you through the first rise. Meanwhile, begin making the filling and icing.

Ingredients for filling:

1 stick butter at room temp.

2/3 cups white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

Mix all ingredients together until well blended, set aside.

Ingredients for Maple Cream Cheese Icing:

6 oz cream cheese at room temp.

3 TBS butter (room temp)

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, mix with electric mixer all ingredients until well blended. Transfer icing to a large ziploc plastic bag (1 gallon size) seal and chill.

When dough cycle is finished, remove dough from bread machine onto a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 9X12. Spread filling mixture over dough (I found that using my hands worked the best) Roll dough from the long side into a log. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 1-inch slices placing into a greased 9×12 baking dish. Cover and let rise again for about 45 min to an hour.  Bake in a 375 degree over for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the icing bag and drizzle over the warm rolls.

Enjoy your Ooooeeey-Goooeeey creation warm with your favorite loved ones!

French Dips with Au Jus and creamy Horseradish Dill sauce

Or “Ahhh Juice” as my 5-year old calls it, after he slurps the remaining jus from the little bowl.

Any time I find roast beef on sale at my deli, and sometimes even when it is not, I make these toasty sandwiches, topped with swiss cheese and a creamy horseradish Dill sauce. Served with a side of flavorful Au Jus for dunking, it’s sandwich utopia!

Creamy horseradish Dill Sauce:
This can be made ahead of time, and should be chilled at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
1/3 cup sour cream
2 heaping TBS of mayonnaise
2-3 TBS prepared horseradish (depending on preference)
1 TBS fresh snipped dill (or 1 tsp of dried)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve.

Ingredients for Au Jus
Makes 4 – 1/2 cup servings for dipping
EVOO
1 tsp butter
1 shallot diced
2 cloves garlic finely diced
1 TBS flour
Splash of Red Wine
2 Cups Beef Broth
A few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce

In a medium sauce pan, heat about 1 TBS EVOO and 1 tsp butter. Add Shallot, and allow to begin to soften stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, careful not to burn for about a minute. Sprinkle flour into onion garlic mixture and cook for about another minute. Add a healthy splash of red wine and let cook down until it begins to reduce. Slowly add beef broth, bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare French Dips.

Ingredients For the French Dip:
Recipe Yields 4 Sandwiches

1 loaf french bread from your deli, divided into 4 sections and the cut crosswise making a top and bottom
1 pound Deli sliced Roast Beef

While Au Jus is simmering, toast the bread in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 6 minutes, remove from oven. With a pair of tongs, dip roast beef into au jus about 20 seconds and place on the bottom part of sandwich. On the top, spread a generous layer of horseradish Dill Sauce, assemble sandwich cut in half for easier handling. Pour 1/2 cup Au Jus into a small container for dipping. I prefer to strain the Au Jus before serving removing the shallot and garlic, this is optional

Free Form Artisan Bread

Crusty outside with a soft and chewy center

Having never made fresh bread unless it was from a frozen loaf from the grocery store or a boxed mix in my bread machine, I have to admit, I was intimidated. Motivated by a good friend Nancy who encouraged me to try this recipe as she claimed it was easy enough. The picture of her finished bread looked so amazing that I was determined to give it a whirl.

A quick look at the ingredients left me in disbelief, so few, could this really be as good as it looks? I trust my friend as she definitely knows her way around the kitchen. “B” day arrived, as I now call my baking day. I reread the recipe and even consult my friend via Facebook to clarify the directions and perhaps a bit of encouragement. I suddenly realize I am scared of a little yeast and water. See, I really don’t bake, I cook. Cooking meals and baking are two different worlds as I see it. I happened to be out of my comfort zone here. I love Artisan Bread from my local bakery so much and have paid almost $6.00 for a loaf to go with my homemade soups, so the idea of being able to make my own fresh at home, for a fraction of the cost pushes me forward.

Later in the evening, after following all of the directions, I have 2 loaves of amazing bread to go with the Spilt Pea Soup and Ham I made the day before. I couldn’t believe I did it! the recipe is really simple after doing it once (even for me) The real beauty of this recipe is that it makes about 4 – 1lb loaves and the dough stays good in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It gets better as it hangs out there! Genius! I will never buy from the bakery again as I now have this wonderful recipe and I hope you try it too!

Here is the recipe I received from my friend Nancy who got it from a friend…..A very special Thank You for sharing your recipe and once again, teaching me!

For the dough:

3 cups lukewarm water
1.5 Tablespoons granulated yeast
1.5 Tablespoons kosher or other course salt
6.5 cups white all-purpose flour
cornmeal

Mix water, yeast and salt in a large container no smaller than 5 quarts. It should have a lid but not an airtight lid. I used a large bowl and loosely covered with plastic wrap.

Measure your flour using a spoon to scoop and sweep method so that the flour is not compacted.

Add the flour all at once but do not knead. Just stir so that there aren’t any pockets of flour. The dough will be moist…cover and leave at room temperature or until it has doubled.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

The dough may now be used or left in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The longer it sits in the fridge the more the texture and flavour improves. This quantity of dough makes 4 good size loaves. Or make smaller loaves adjusting cooking time.

Baking Day:

Artisan Bread is crusty and usually free form (no pans). Sprinkle the surface of the dough with a little flour and pull up and with a serrated knife, cut off 1 ball the size of a grapefruit. This should weigh about 1 pound. Lightly dust the ball with flour so it won’t stick to the work surface. Gently stretch the dough out and under so that you have a smooth ball with a collection of “edges” at the bottom. Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and place the dough on the peel. I do not have a pizza peel so just used my large cutting board. Allow to rest for 40 minutes at room temperature. After 20 minutes, place a baking stone on rack in oven ( I simply used my baking sheet) and on any rack which will not interfere with the baking process, place an empty broiler pan (I don’t have a broiler pan so used an 8×13 cake pan and placed on the very bottom rack). Preheat the oven to 450F Dust the top of the loaf with flour (or cornmeal if desired) and with a serrated knife slash the top of the loaf. Quickly slide dough onto hot baking stone (or baking sheet). Also quickly pour 1-2cups of water (I definitely used 2 cups) into the heated broiling pan. This produces steam. Quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Cool on a cooling rack.

This recipe makes a perfectly crusty and chewy bread! Now that I’ve made this recipe, I am going to experiment with flavoring the bread with spinach, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes….you get the picture. I encourage you to try this recipe and would love to hear your feedback! Happy Cookin!