Rosemary Garlic Loaves

I may have forgotten to mention this, but we don’t buy bread anymore. For the past few weeks now I have made all the bread for our home. Not only is this cheaper than buying loaves (especially the high quality types that I enjoy), but it is great practice for me.

This week I made a couple rosemary garlic loaves. The recipe is out of Hobby Farm Home magazine’s Homemade Bread series, which I picked up at the grocery store.

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The magazine is pretty awesome and offers a lot of great tips and tricks and a great variety of recipes. Their recipes for dill rye loaves, parm bread sticks and glazed donuts will definitely be completed in the near future…

Rosemary Garlic Bread
1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3-5 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1.5 cups AP flour
1 cup wheat flour

for thr tops of the loaves
1 egg beaten

for the baking sheets
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cornmeal

First combine water, sugar and yeast and let it sit until it gets all nice and foamy.

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Chop up your garlic and rosemary and add that to the yeast along with the lemon juice. Yes, that is lemon juice from a bottle, and that is life.

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Slowly incorporate the flours, salt and olive oil and knead the dough by hand or in a mixer for 10 minutes, I did half and half, mostly because I love to knead dough… Just not for that long.

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Cookies caused that burn on my arm. They, too, can be evil.

Anyway, you know you’re done kneading when you poke your dough and the dent stays after you pull your finger out.

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Put your lil’ ball of dough in a greased bowl for an hour in a warm place and watch it grow!

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Then take the blob out of the bowl and knead for 2 minutes, just enough to get all the air out. Then plop in back in the bowl to rise another 20 minutes.

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Now prep your 2 sheet pans, spray them or coat them with olive oil and then sprinkle on some cornmeal. When you’re ready, divide your dough into two even round loaves and place them on top of the cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise 45 minutes. I know… again, but believe me, its worth it. Preheat your oven to 375 during this time.

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Then slather on your egg wash, make some slashes in the top with a small sharp knife if you so desire and pop them into the oven.

I rotated the pans after 10 minutes, and my loaves took 20-22 minutes to get golden brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with butter, balsamic and olive oil or some super yummy cheese.

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Although the kitties do like bread… They don’t get to enjoy it that often. Especially now that we make it ourselves!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m begining to love fall. I think, previous to this year, I always associated fall with school, and that probably made me enjoy it a little less. Now that I’ve graduated fall is allllll good. I love apples, cozy clothes, brisk mornings and PUMPKIN. I personally don’t understand why pumpkin can’t be a year round flavor (just stock up now!), but I guess pumpkin in May just doesn’t sound as good to other people. I suppose it can just be something to look forward to.

Last night Pete and I went to a little potluck get together that was a lot of fun. I take any get together as an opportunity to try a new recipe and get feedback on it. So I tried these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. The feedback I got was, “these are delicious! The frosting is delicious! The frosting may be making me not taste the pumpkin anymore…” So, in other words, make the cream cheese frosting if you would die without cream cheese frosting on your cinnamon rolls. Otherwise, opt for more of a glaze or icing (that I will provide recipes for later) so that the pumpkin in your rolls can really stand out.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
rolls
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or your own combo of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2.25 tsp (one package) dry yeast
2 cups AP or bread flour

filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tap cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter

Heat milk and butter on a medium temperature just until butter is melted. Take off the heat and allow to cool while you beat together pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt. Slowly incorporate milk mixture, egg and yeast.

Begin to add in flour in 1/4 cup incremints and knead (by hand or in a slow mixer) about 5 minutes until a sticky dough forms.

Grease a large bowl for your dough, cover it and put it in a warm draft-free place for about an hour until doubled.

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Then create a floured surface and roll out your dough into a 12 x 10 inch “rectangle” – its never a perfect rectangle, just dont make a circle, ok?

Pour the melted butter over the dough and spread it out leaving a 1/2 inch boarder. Then sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon. You can combine these ahead of time or just sprinkle them on individually, it really doesnt matter.

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Now starting on one of the long sides, tighly roll up your dough into a nice little log, pinching the edges to close. Some buttery sugar cinnamon mixture may ooze out the ends, just eat it and forget it ever happened.

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Slice the doughy log into 1″ pieces and place in a 11 x 17 baking pan.

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Cover and allow the rolls to rise another 30-45 minutes, during this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then bake them for 15-20 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown.

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I frosted these with my own cream cheese frosting recipe:
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (so you can see all the little pretty specks of vanilla bean)
2 cups of powdered sugar

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and slowly add the powdered sugar until you get the consistancy and flavor you like. Then frost those little buggers!

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But due to complaints of not being able to taste all the lovely pumpkininess because of the delicious cream cheesiness, I will provide you with three alternatives to fix this problem.

#1 Basic Glaze
Paula Deen
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-6 Tbsp hot water

Combine butter, sugar and vanilla and add hot water until glaze reaches desired consistency.

#2 Maple Coffee Icing
Pioneer Woman Cooks
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp maple flavoring
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp brewed coffee (or 1 Tbso water mixed with 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
Pinch of salt

Just mix everything together and pour!

#3 Caramel Icing
The Girl Who Ate Everything
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Heat butter until melted, stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook on low heat for about 1 minute. Transfer to a mixing bowl to cool an add vanilla, salt, cinnamon and sugar, beat until combined and add powdered sugar to reach desired consistency, pour away!

At least the kitties like my cream cheese frosting… I think…

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Chocolate macaron with Spiced Honey Buttercream

First of all, happy last day of Rosh Hashana! I can’t lie, I’m kind of happy the holiday is over just because my hands are SO tired from making round challah. Making regular braided challah again is going to be easy as pie. I am very proud of my round challahs though, I watched many youtube videos to figure it out.

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And although I don’t personally celebrate Rosh Hashanah I tried to get in the spirit this week with some honey buttercream filled chocolate macaron.

I remember the first time I had a french macaron… I was at the laundromat in St. Paul, and I decided to walk across the street to Sweets Bakeshop and reward myself for washing clothes. I got a little yellow lemon macaron and at that moment I swore I would eventually perfect that little delicate pastry.

Well I havent yet. But they still taste darn good! There is definitely something intimidating about macarons, a lot of pastry-sciency-perfection. But really you just have to dive in an be prepared for things to not go completely perfectly. Its also really important to have a scale, a very accurate electronic one is best. Do not trust someone that gives you macaron measurements in cups!

Even if you over beat or under mix or anything else that could happen to macaron batter, they will still taste delicious in the end. Slather buttercream on anything and it will taste delicious.

Chocolate Macaron with Spiced Honey Buttercream
chocolate shells
100 g powdered sugar
50 g almond meal/flour
20 g dutch process cocoa powder, sifted (yes, you actually have to sift it this time!)
60 g egg whites
40 g granulated sugar

First, combine powdered sugar, almond meal/flour and cocoa powder. Make sure all the clumps are gone and it it mixed together thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Then start to beat the egg whites with a stand or hand mixer on a medium high speed. Right when the whites begin to foam slighly, add the granulated sugar and continue on high. You want stiff peaks to form, or as I would say, it should look like shaving cream.

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Once you’ve got your shaving cream, using a rubber spatula fold the egg whites into the cocoa mixture. You have 40 strokes to do this! When you pull the mixture back with your spatula it should fall back into place within 10 seconds.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe 1″ to 1.5″ circles onto your parchment.

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Now let these sit 30-60 minutes. They should lose a bit of their shine as a crust forms over the top. During this time, preheat your oven to 310 degrees.

Pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, opening the oven once or twice along the way to release moisture. Give one a little wiggle with your finger to see if they are done – it should be set but not completely firm, crispy macaron are no fun.

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Take them out and allow them to cool completely on the sheet (for these little guys it only takes 10 or 15 minutes for that to happen). Then… Add your filling…

spiced honey buttercream
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups powdered sugar

Using a stand or hand mixer beat together butter, honey and spices until fluffy- about 2 minutes.

Slowly incorporate powdered sugar and beat on high for a minute or two to acheive maximum fluffiness. Look at all the pretty littly spicy specs!

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Then put this in a pastry bag with whatever kind of tip your heart desires and pipe some honey goodness onto half of your shells.

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Sandwich them together, take some pretty pictures and enjoy!

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Wasabi likes to sleep while I work my bum off in the kitchen.

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