What should I bake today?

Sometimes I wake up and just know I need to bake something that day. Sometimes it’s something ambitious like pita bread (great article on how to make pitas), others I want to make something simple like cupcakes. 

So the dilemma today is: What should I bake? When I reach dilemmas like this I often turn to cooking blogs… My favorite is Joy the Baker. Her beautiful photos of food leave me with my mouth watering and searching through my cabinets looking for the right ingredients to bake whatever it is she’s created. 

Today thought, is a bread day. I think I’ll try out the English Muffin recipe I’ve been eyeing for some time now. I will have a happy husband!

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Homemade Pizza

Another love of mine is making homemade pizza. Thursday is homemade pizza night for my husband and I, where we experiment with different toppings and crust styles. The pizza dough recipe I consistently use is that of Emeril Lagasse.

Ingredients

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Yellow cornmeal, for sprinkling the baking sheet
Directions

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stirring to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until the dough is smooth but still slightly sticky. You might not need all of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.

Oil a large mixing bowl with remaining olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, free from drafts until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Variations:

Parmesan Pizza Dough:

Substitute 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese for 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour. Use a pinch of salt instead of 1 teaspoon. Proceed as directed above.

Oregano Pizza Dough:

Stir 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano in with the flour and proceed as directed above.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/basic-pizza-dough-recipe3.html?oc=linkback

Some of our favorite varieties are white pizza, jalapenos and bacon, and sausage and feta. Why would anyone buy frozen pizza when homemade is so easy?  

 

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Adventures with Yeast

I first started baking after I graduated from college and had a real kitchen all to myself. I soon figured out my true love- baking breads. It wasn’t an easy love to find, I remember my first experience making bagels, which turned into yeasty rocks. I kept at it and can now make a delicious loaf of bread without too much difficulty. Below is a list of some favorite breads, stolen from The Brown Eyed Baker.

1. American Sandwich Bread – This is the ultimate homemade white bread – perfect for your favorite sandwiches and breakfast toast.

2. Bagels – Bagels are one of my all-time favorite treats to make at home. To date, I have madeplain bagelsblueberry bagels (pictured below), cinnamon-raisin bagelsAsiago bagels andeverything bagels.

3. Chocolate Babka – Absolutely sinful, a great breakfast (or dessert) treat around the holidays!

4. Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread – This is ah-mazing bread – cinnamon-spiked dough with swirls of raisins and walnuts. It’s an incredible breakfast bread.

5. English Muffins – Much like bagels, English muffins are an awesome store-bought item to make at home. They aren’t too difficult, and a million times better than anything you’ll buy!

6. Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Bread – This runs a close second to the American Sandwich Bread in terms of favorite breads. It also makes a fabulous sandwich bread – soft and light but full of flavor!

7. Italian Bread – An amazing loaf of Italian bread! It has a hard crust and a melt-in-your-mouth soft crumb. It’s a perfect bread to make on a lazy Sunday along with some spaghetti and meatballs.

8. Potato Rosemary Bread – This one ranks up there in the top 3 for me – so much flavor and such a wonderfully light crumb. This is a great one to make around Thanksgiving for leftover turkey sandwiches!

9. Soft Cheese and Pepperoni Bread – Pepperoni bread is one of my absolute favorite things in the world. My grandma would make them all the time… she used Rhodes frozen bread dough (still delicious!), but this is a great from-scratch alternative.

10. Sweet Dinner Rolls – This is one of the oldest recipes on the blog, and they are still my favorite dinner roll recipe. I love eating them alongside some hearty beef stew!

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/08/08/top-10-best-yeast-bread-recipes/

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