cinnamon swirl bread success

Woot! I finally got around to making bread in the bread machine AND remembering to take pictures. I got a Cuisinart bread machine when I first moved to New York and I’ve been making the cinnamon swirl bread that’s in their recipe book. Pretty yummy.

111007 01 bread

I’ve been making the 1.5-pound loaves, and it basically fills up the entire thing, so I don’t know how this thing is supposed to make a 2-pound loaf (although it’s an option). It’s just so easy, I love it. Back in Texas when I made bread by hand I always had trouble getting it to rise correctly, but never once had a problem here. I have a jar of yeast and a whole thing of vital wheat gluten, but goodness gracious flour goes fast.

111007 02 sliced

This time the swirls came out better than the last time, but since we don’t have a rolling pin, it’s not too perfect. Plus, more cinnamon sugar would be better because … there should always be more cinnamon sugar.

111007 03 breakfast

I made the bread as a procrastination tool while writing a paper. And whaddaya know? It makes a great breakfast paired with coffee after an all-nighter! Woot! This slice was further down into the loaf so the swirls are way different. Must had “rolling pin” to the list of stuff to buy.

More bread needs to be made though, because two days after getting baked, it’s almost gone. Sadness. On the other hand, the paper got done and even though it wasn’t the best, it got done. Now I just need to get going and start all my other assignments.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

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baked + gifts + space

Whew. First I must mention that I made cookies again. Lots and lots of oatmeal cookies. I used the same recipe that I had used in this previous post, but I made the cookies a bit smaller and multiplied the recipe by 1.5. Ended up with about 70 cookies, stuffed about 25 per bag, and sent them on their way to studio. The rest stayed home and were promptly devoured.

091022 01 cookies

Then I made rolls. Yay! Don’t have a loaf pan here, so I haven’t been able to make bread again, but I do have a baking sheet so I tried out this recipe and I think they turned out rather yummy. Pretty easy to make too. Next time I’ll probably halve the recipe because this made a lot of rolls (not that my roommate minds).

091022 02 rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 cup warm water (divided)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 cups flour

Process:

  • dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
  • in a separate bowl cream together the sugar and shortening
  • add egg, salt, the yeast mixture (after making sure it blossomed), remaining 2 cups of water, and about 4 cups flour
  • mix until smooth and keep mixing in flour until it turns into a soft dough
  • turn out and knead for about 6-8 minutes
  • place dough in a greased bowl, turn the dough over (to make sure it’s all oiled up), and cover the bowl
  • place the bowl in the refrigerator to rise overnight or for at least 8 hours
  • the next morning, punch the dough down and form rolls (about 36)
  • grease a baking sheet and roll the rolls around on it to cover them in oil (this will allow you to take the rolls apart after they bake together)
  • cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (until the dough has doubled – the rolls should start squishing together)
  • bake in oven at 400F for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned

091022 03 spiders

I love getting mail! My sister mailed me this cute little spiders thing. It’s currently hanging from a light switch in our hallway. Festive-y, right?

091022 04 simplynu

A while back I won a giveaway from SimplyNu, and I received this delicious piece of handmade Castile soap in the mail. It’s called Daisy Castile and I must say … its scent is heavenly (and the flower shape is too cute). They’re pretty new and their etsy shop has a lovely range of candles, soaps, and stationery. So, a big thanks to SimplyNu! I wish them the best with their store.

091022 05 space

Last but not least, my current creative space. Lots of black, I know. Halloween is next Saturday, can you guess what I’m up to? There’s black tulle, black elastic, black feathers, and some silver and black jewelry. I rather like my costume idea, but since it has yet to be created, I won’t say much now.

Linking over to kootyoo for a whole bunch of creative spaces. And over to Southern Hospitality for recipes! Goodness gracious, this was a long post!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

breadsticks

I have a thing for carbohydrates. I admit it, my diet is not balanced at all. Since I love to bake, I love cakes, cookies, and breads. Therefore, I made breadsticks. Yes, I still have a large amount of that slightly weird white bread left, but I needed breadsticks. Yummy ones, too. The below recipe is an altered version of this one.

090711 01 breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)

Process:

  • combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  • gradually add milk to mixture and stir to form a soft dough
  • turn onto a floured surface – knead gently 3-4 times
  • roll dough into a rectangle slightly smaller than your pan
  • cut into strips the size desired for breadsticks
  • pour melted butter into your baking pan (I used a 9″x13″ glass pan)
  • place breadsticks into the butter and turn to coat
  • sprinkle oregano and parmesan cheese on top of butter-coated dough sticks
  • bake in oven at 450F for 14-18 minutes (or until golden brown)

They actually turned out pretty good. A bit on the chewy side (probably because I worked the dough a bit too much) but all in all tasty and rather easy. So now I have two bread things on the baked goods counter. Yep, you read that correctly: baked goods counter. My roommate and I have an entire section of our counter dedicated to stuff we’ve baked (usually by me … she ain’t as “domestic” as I am). The slightly weird white bread doesn’t taste so bad when it’s toasted and eaten with a lot of butter. I also have strawberry preserves and orange marmalade, so I’ll be good. I will eat it all. I will.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

making bread

090701 01 bread

Doesn’t that look … odd? Yes, I made bread in a pie pan. It’s kinda weird. Usually I halve the bread recipes that I find, but this time I forgot. Therefore, I had a whole lotta dough and since I had already filled up the loaf pan and square pan, I resorted to using my trusty pie pan. I used a different recipe for bread this time, and it wasn’t that great. Although I’m not sure if it’s not that great because of all the weird stuff I did to the recipe or if it just wasn’t that great of a recipe to begin with. Either way, I think I’m going to go back to the rosemary bread recipe and just tweak that to suit me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 6-7 cups bread flour

Process:

  • mix the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar together
  • let the mixture stand until it foams (the yeast blossoms)
  • add three cups of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and flour
  • add salt once the mixture is thick
  • add flour until you cannot add any more – knead
  • place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a towel
  • put the bowl in a warm place and let rise for an hour
  • punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour
  • bake in oven at 375F for 25-30 minutes until browned

The thing is, I ran out of bread flour about three cups in. Therefore I started using all-purpose flour, until I ran out of that too. I really need to start planning better. Anyway, that’s why in the picture of my dough rising, it still looks pretty wet … because it was. Eh. Tastes okay, but it doesn’t have that yummy chewiness that I generally like in my breads because I ran out of bread flour. And it just looks weird. But now I’m stuck with a lot of bread. I wouldn’t give it to any of my friends because it has a slightly weird taste, probably because of the random dash of honey I threw in (I don’t know why), and a slightly weird texture, probably because of the flour shenanigans.

090701 04 sweet potato

While it was rising, I cooked my sweet potato. The oven was already on since I find it easier to let the dough rise when it’s sitting on top of a hot oven. Usually I just put the oven on a low setting, but I figured I might as well use the oven rather than let all that heat go to waste. After washing the sweet potato, I stuck it in the oven for an hour and a half at 350F. Yum.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

from the oven

On Sunday I went grocery shopping with the roommate. I tried not to buy much because I still have a lot of food that needs to get eaten. Therefore, I decided to get to work in the kitchen. I made three things, all mostly oven-based, totaling maybe three or four hours. There’s rosemary bread, rosemary potatoes, and chicken parmesan. Ingredients and instructions are below. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in the layouting … I’m not fond of the way the lists look.

090617 01 food

First up was the rosemary bread. I followed this recipe from AllRecipes.com, which is a great site to procrastinate with. Sometimes I find myself browsing recipes for hours. The ingredients are as they were listed originally, but I used fresh rosemary from the apartment complex across the street (so convenient, I love it!). It was designed for use with a bread machine, but since I don’t have one, I sort of made it up as I went.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Process:

  • warm up the water and add the yeast to it
  • wait about 10 minutes until the yeast blossoms
  • add olive oil, sugar, salt, and flour to the mix – knead
  • add in the seasoning, pepper, and rosemary – knead
  • place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a towel
  • put the bowl in a warm place and let rise for an hour
  • punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour
  • bake in oven at 375F for 30-ish minutes until browned on top

So during the hours while waiting for the dough to rise and such, I prepared the potatoes and chicken. First went the potatoes. They weren’t looking too good but I figured they still looked okay enough to eat.

Ingredients:

  • red potatoes (I used 5 small ones)
  • rosemary sprigs (wash them first)
  • French or Italian seasonings
  • olive oil

Process:

  • cut up the potatoes into equal-sized portions
  • in a bowl mix the potatoes with some olive oil and seasonings
  • stick it all in a shallow pan (I used a pie pan)
  • tuck in the rosemary sprigs
  • bake in oven at 350F for about hour and a half, checking every half hour and mixing around the potatoes to make sure they’re even

While the potatoes were in the oven and the bread was still rising, I went ahead and prepared the chicken that I had set out to defrost before we left to the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • chicken breasts (2 large pieces)
  • 1 cup or so of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • spaghetti sauce
  • olive oil

Process:

  • cut chicken into desired size and smush flat or slice them to no more than 1/2″ thick
  • crack the egg into a bowl and beat it
  • get out a plate and spread out the bread crumbs with some parmesan and Italian seasoning mixed in
  • dip the chicken into the egg and press both sides into the bread crumbs (the egg helps the crumbs to stick)
  • put some olive oil into a frying pan and put the stove on medium
  • cook the chicken on each side until just browned
  • put the cooked chicken into a shallow pan (I used the pie pan again)
  • pour spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle parmesan cheese over that
  • bake in oven at 350F for about 15 minutes

That’s what I’ve been eating for the last few days. And that’s what I’ll be eating for the next few days as well. Everything turned out okay, but nothing was fantastic. Next time I’ll probably go back to making white bread and just work on perfecting that. I think in conjunction with the rosemary potatoes and chicken parmesan, the rosemary in the bread was just too much. Oh, and if you look closely at the picture, you’ll see the fine use of my crocheted trivets. The purple rectangular one actually turned out to be a great size for the loaf pan. Go figure.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

home for a bit

So tomorrow (later today) I shall be leaving for home, or rather my parents’ home. Hopefully while I’m there I can buy a new memory card reader and external hard drive. I’m a slave to technology. Anyway, so I’m officially done with the year and now is just the long wait to see what my grades are … very nerve-wracking since I was on the border for most of my classes. But I have my mommy’s wonderful cooking to look forward to. Why, oh why couldn’t I have inherited her height or her fantastic-ness in the kitchen? Seriously not fair.

090519

Anyway, since I cannot upload any pictures of what I’ve been working on, I present sketches I did from a few years back (these date back to high school). I’m thinking about putting them on pillows. The image is of crappy quality (back when I had a crappy scanner) but I think I think if I embroidered it in bright purple or something on a white pillow it would be pretty nifty looking.

Oh, and I almost completely forgot. I made bread the other day for the first time. Saturday afternoon I made bread, and it didn’t rise. And no, I didn’t kill the yeast. So that ended up being a flat thing of really, really chewy bread. I tried again Sunday, and turned on the oven and let the dough sit on top (at the suggestion of my roommate). And voila! It rose, though the bread still didn’t turn out all that great. By the end of the summer I hope to perfect this bread-making business – wish me luck!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]