Easter Bread

April 12th, 2017

Easter Bread

We will be spending Easter with out family in Cary, NC.  There are so many memories in my mind of growing up with Easter traditions. The cute dress accessorized with hat and gloves, the Easter egg hunt, and the clove spiked ham on the table.  Things have changed somewhat from my 50’s memories.  Now we can attend church in whatever suites us; no gloves, no hat necessary. But this year I did buy a polished cotton flowered dress with coordinating sweater to celebrate the season.  At my age, I even might add a jaunty hat.  Our kids are on a trip right before the weekend, so I am not sure what our Easter dinner will entail. We may be eating out.  But I had to contribute something.  This bread came about because I had some leftover King Arthur baker’s cinnamon filling mix.  But don’t worry if you don’t have the mix.  You can get the same results with 1/2 cup softened butter mixed with 1 cup of brown sugar and 4 to 5 tablespoons of cinnamon.

Easter Bread

The bread looks complicated, but following the very simple directions you end up with a layered yeast bread with cinnamon swirls, bananas and dried pineapple.  The bananas and dried pineapple work well in this bread.  It is amazing toasted with the warm banana chunks and pineapple melting in your mouth.

Easter Bread

Whatever you have planned for your Easter holiday, I wish you well and encourage you to try this lovely bread from King Arthur Flour.  Have a great Easter weekend.

EASTER BREAD (King Arthur Flour)

This unusual sweet bread is stuffed with bananas and pineapple, plus rich cinnamon filling. The concept comes to us courtesy of Ricardo Neves Gonzalez, one of our Brazilian readers, who makes it at his bakery. Thanks, Ricardo!

Dough

  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup lukewarm water*
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved for topping
  • 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • *Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.

Filling

  • 3/4 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling ( Or recipe in post using 3/4 cups.  No water)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2/3 cup diced dried pineapple

Topping

Directions

  1. To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, until you have a soft, smooth dough.
  2. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
  4. Pat and roll the dough into a rectangle about 18″ x 14″.
  5. Make the cinnamon filling: Mix the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling and water to make a smooth paste.
  6. Looking at the dough horizontally (so it’s 18″ long), spread half the filling down the center third of the dough
  7. Slice each banana into about 12 rounds. Space the slices atop the filling.
  8. Fold one of the end pieces into the center to cover the bananas and filling.
  9. Spread the remaining filling atop the piece of dough you’ve just folded into the center, and distribute the dried pineapple evenly atop the filling.
  10. Fold the other side of the dough over the filling to cover it. Pull the long side seam underneath, and tuck each end underneath, too. You should have a long, flat log with no filling showing.
  11. Use a sharp knife to cut 4 diagonal slashes atop the loaf, cutting through both layers of dough; this will allow steam to escape.
  12. Brush with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the coarse or Demerara sugar.
  13. Cover the loaf gently with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for 1 hour. It won’t rise much, if at all. Towards the end of the resting period, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  14. Bake the loaf in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Tent with foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, till it’s golden brown and a sharp knife poked into the center doesn’t reveal any raw dough.
  15. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.
  16. Yield: 1 large loaf, about 16 servings.

Printable Recipe

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam

April 4th, 2017

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam

We attended our friend’s Celebration of Life event last weekend.  It was a perfect remembrance of Karen, replete with her favorite food and music.  Shrimp and grits were passed in small mason jars with spoons. Kentucky fried chicken legs in the signature buckets centered one table.  Oysters, crab cakes and biscuits adorned another table.  But my favorite food offering was the deviled eggs with bacon jam.

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam

With Easter approaching, I can’t think of a better choice for your holiday table.  I have been wanting to make bacon jam for quite a while.  It is actually very easy and can even be done in the crock pot. Bacon, in combination with strong coffee, brown sugar, vinegar and maple syrup cooked to a jam consistency is a unique experience. There are so many uses for it too.  Slather it on hamburgers, use as a topping for crostini, add to grilled cheese sandwiches or top deviled eggs as I did.  Store the leftover jam in mason jars in the refrigerator.

Deviled eggs with bacon Jam

This is so good that we are having a hard time stopping before we eat the entire tray.  Spring is in the air and these deviled eggs are perfect for Easter.

BACON JAM ( Leite’s Culinaria )

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into smallish dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal, please)

DIRECTIONS

  • 1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plates to drain.
  • 2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the skillet. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine.
  • 3. If making this on a stovetop, reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If making this in a slow-cooker, transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow-cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  • 4. Let the bacon concoction cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped. Spoon the bacon lusciousness into individual jars or other resealable containers and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. Transfer to a pan and rewarm gently over low heat prior to indulging.  Makes 3 cups.

Serve with your favorite deviled egg recipe

Printable Recipe

Two Pumpkin Breads; Savory and Sweet

October 28th, 2016

Savory and Sweet Pumpkin Bread

We spent last weekend with good friends in Richlands, Virginia.  The occasion was an Apple Butter Festival to raise money for service dogs for wounded warriors.  Our friends Barbara and Jim are totally committed to their community and serving others.  Barbara’s insurance company hosts a fundraiser every year to make a difference.

Apple Butter

Apple butter is a highly concentrated  form of apple sauce. Making apple butter requires a whole day of stirring huge pots of bubbling apples over a wood fire.  All of the people attending the festival take their turns at stirring.  It was a cold blustery day but everyone had a good time.

Trust Point Insurance Apple Butter

This is John Marco, Barbara’s son and one of the officers of the company.  It is also his land and his brainchild.  Great job John Marco!

Apple Cider 2

Not only did this caring community make apple butter, but they also made apple cider.  When heated,we all grabbed cups of this warming brew.  Our lunch was pork barbecue and sides.  The pork was started the night before the event over glowing coals while the volunteers were still peeling apples for the cider and apple butter.  A community coming together for a worthy cause is a beautiful thing.

Pumpkin-Parmesan Bread

My pictures are not the best because I only had my phone.  But Barbara made this beautiful savory pumpkin bread as a side for our dinner after the festival.  It was slightly sweet but had a savory taste of Parmesan and sage.  It is something I would make again.

Pumpkin Streusal Bread

Our friend Jackie made this sweet Streusel Pumpkin Bread.  We served it the next morning for breakfast. It is another winner as far as I am concerned.  Friends coming together with food and outreach makes everyone feel good.

PUMPKIN-PARMESAN BREAD

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup canola oil
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped sage (Barbara used less)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2 (8″x4″) loaf pans with baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and pepper.  Add eggs and oil, beating well.  Stir in pumpkin, 3/4 cup Parmesan and sage.  Divide batter between prepared pans; Sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Barbara’s took 55 minutes.

PRALINE PUMPKIN DATE BREAD

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dates

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2″x4 1/2″x2 1/2″ or 1 loaf pan, 9″x 5″x 3″, with shortening.  Make Praline Topping; set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients except dates until well blended.  Stir in dates.  Pour batter into pans.  Sprinkle with topping.

Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.

PRALINE TOPPING

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

Printable Recipe Pumpkin-Parmesan Bread

Printable recipe Praline Pumpkin Date Bread

Yogurt Bread with Molasses

September 19th, 2016

Molasses Bread 4

A healthy bread is a wonderful choice for breakfast.  Warm out of the oven and smeared with a bit of butter it will get your day off to a great start.  When I saw this bread from Marian Bull on Food52 I knew that I would be making it.  The original recipe came from Mark Bittman, that former New York Times columnist who is known for his healthy take on eating.

The bread is hearty with white whole wheat flour and corn meal.  It is moist from the yogurt, molasses and cranberries, and is beautiful to the eye. At least it is beautiful to my former hippie eye.  I wrote a rather humorous post about our early “back to the land” lifestyle here.  You may get a laugh out of it.  Maturity has its perks.

Molasses Bread 2

Because it is a quick bread, it is easy to assemble and bake.  I have always been a bread person.  I have made my own yeast bread, bought quality loaves from local bakeries, and loved the baguettes from the French bakeries that we have visited.  This Yogurt Bread with Molasses has been added to my list of favorites.

YOGURT BREAD WITH MOLASSES (Marian Bull on Food52)

Makes one loaf

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup medium- or coarse-grind cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt, or 1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F. If you’re using milk, mix it with the vinegar and set it aside.
  2. Mix together your dry ingredients in a wide bowl (rather than one with straight sides; this makes it easier to mix). Whisk your yogurt (or vinegary milk) with your molasses.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, stirring in round, sweeping motions. Make sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough should fizz, subtly, like a science experiment. It will be thick! If you’re adding in fruit, etc: Fold it in when there are still a few small pockets of flour.
  4. Slice a pat of butter into either a loaf pan or a 7-inch cast iron skillet. Put it into the oven until the butter melts. Remove, then swirl the butter around to grease the pan. Transfer batter into pan, without mixing it any further. (Be gentle!)
  5. Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Touch the top of the bread: it should give a little bit, and feel supple, but it should still resist your touch and not feel like there’s goo beneath there. Very important: Let the bread cool before you slice it. Yes, I’m serious.

Printable Recipe

Tomato Gravy and Biscuits

September 12th, 2016

Tomato Gravy 4

We had the family here over the Labor Day Weekend.  It was a marathon of good food, excellent wine, swimming, boating and games.  There is a special vibe to a multi-generational get together.  The grandparents, grown kids and the littles all contribute to the fun.  And all day long someone was always hungry!  The cookie container was emptied by the third day.

One morning David made this tomato gravy to go with our biscuits.  Of course we all love sausage gravy with biscuits, but this tomato gravy is also a winner.

Tomato Gravy 2V

The recipe came from my friend Barbara who lives in Virginia.  It  has been in her family for years and relies on the home canned tomatoes that her family puts by every year.  If you don’t have home canned tomatoes you can use whole canned tomatoes from the supermarket.

Tomato Gravy 3

Everyone loved the combination.  One of the Grands came back for seconds and thirds.  David made the tomato gravy.  I cheated and used frozen biscuits and fried up some sausage patties to go with everything.

Cassoulet Kit

As a hostess gift, I was given this fabulous D’artagnan Cassoulet Kit.  We enjoyed the wonderful duck confit and sausage casserole one evening on the porch.  It is beginning to cool down in the evenings so this was a perfect meal that was not too difficult to assemble.

This tomato gravy recipe is written in Barbara’s own words.  David guessed on some of the amounts.

BARABARA’S TOMATO GRAVY

This is all adjusted to taste and subject to trial and error!

2 28 ounce can of tomatoes – I prefer the ones we can fresh from the garden but the whole peeled tomatoes work just fine.  I would not buy the petite chopped tomatoes but coarsely chop the whole peeled ones.

Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar ( D used 1 tablespoon ) to cut down on the acid.  Naturally, I add butter to flavor the gravy.  Adjust to your taste or diet. ( D used 1 tablespoon).

Cook the tomatoes down until about half the liquid is gone.  Mix about a cup of milk and flour ( I cheat and use the wondra flour about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and pour into tomatoes.

Stir until desired consistency and pour over biscuits!

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.