Breads/Muffins

Feb 3, 2015

The Best Way to Make Whole Wheat No Knead Bread

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Make it overnight. I finally figured out the best way to make whole wheat no knead bread. Start the dough the night before using cold water instead of using the faster method with hot water. The faster method works well with regular bread made with bread flour or all-purpose flour but the faster method using 100% whole wheat flour makes a loaf that was too dense for a lot of people. I happen to love a dense, heavy bread, even those thin-sliced pumpernickel breads that they sell but I think most people will be more satisfied with the overnight method.

But know this: any bread that’s 100% whole wheat, no matter how it’s made, will never be as soft and light as a white bread version. But if you want a healthy, high fiber, nutritious bread, this one takes more time but there’s still nothing to do but wait. There’s no kneading and no shaping. Just start your dough the night before, let it stand at room temperature for 12 hours or more, then continue in the morning.

Here’s the truth about no knead 100% whole wheat bread. It won’t rise as much as the white version. I even took a picture of one I made this morning (started the dough last night) and used a tape measure. The middle of the loaf is no more than 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall but you can see the inside has lots of holes and it has a wonderful crust and soft interior. For anyone trying to avoid white flour, this is still the easiest and best 100% whole wheat bread you can make. You just need a little more time but it’s so worth it. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 4, 2014

My Show-Stopping Christmas Bread

ChristmasBreadSlice_600This is my Christmas present to myself. I LOVE this bread! It’s a sweet egg bread filled with golden raisins and a fancy glaze and sprinkles. And I make the whole thing without butter. The bread is made with extra light olive oil and the glaze is just powdered sugar and milk. So I don’t beat myself up while eating my third slice.

I don’t know why but every year when Christmas comes around, I start craving sweet bread. But it’s not enough for it just to be sweet – it has to be pretty too. And this show-stopping bread is both sweet and pretty. I make it every Christmas and it makes a beautiful gift but nobody ever gets one from me. That’s because I make it… and I eat it. I know it’s the season of giving but hey, I’m giving my recipe… isnt that enough? 🙂

This is an easy recipe too because it’s only a one-rise bread so the whole thing takes just two hours… start-to-finish.  At Easter time, I make it with different Easter-colored sprinkles and it’s an Easter bread! At other times I also make this recipe without the glaze or sprinkles for a fabulous toasting bread, especially if you like cinnamon toast! So my Christmas present to me is now my Christmas present to you. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 18, 2014

No Knead Fruit & Nut Bread

Fruit&NutBread_600I love it! I love it! I love it! I’m having so much fun with my no knead breads. I started with the plain one, then I made my 100% whole wheat version. Not long after I did it with kalamata olives and now this! The idea came to me during our trip to Vancouver. We had a fabulous brunch at the hotel and they had a whole wheat fruit & nut loaf that looked so good. Did I mention that I’m a bread person? So I tried a slice and it was fabulous. A few minutes later I went back for more and it was gone! All that was left was the tiny heels… but I took them anyway. Everybody loved this bread. I wondered right away if I could make it at home and would it work with my no knead recipe?

The answer is yes. I made it a few times and had to take a break because I kept eating it – I could not stop myself. Fruit and nut bread is such a great combo, especially for breakfast. So here are some things to know: The oven is very hot and sugar burns easily. The first time I made it, the crust was almost burned so I had a better result with a slightly reduced temperature. I still preheat the Dutch oven to the usual 450 degrees F to get the initial blast of heat but as soon as the bread goes in, I reduce the temperature to 400. The crust still gets a little dark on the bottom but this is the most amazing, slightly sweet bread and it’s so easy to make.

I  make mine with half and half whole wheat and bread flour. I do recommend bread flour but you can use all purpose flour with the whole wheat. This half and half flour mixture ensures a soft loaf but a healthier one with the added fiber. I tried using all whole wheat flour with this sweet loaf but it didn’t work for me. It’s so simple, you just dump everything into a bowl, the flours, walnuts, raisins, sugar, salt, and yeast, and add water.

As with all of my faster no-knead breads, you can also start the dough the night before but using cold water and let the covered mixture stand on the counter top (not in a warm spot) overnight from 8 to 24 hours, and then shape it in the morning and continue. If you’re a bread person like me, you will love this delicious fruit & nut bread. But you may have to challenge yourself to not eat it all in one day. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 9, 2014

Whole Wheat (No Knead) Olive Bread

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Look what I made! I decided to experiment with my faster no-knead bread and make olive bread. I’ve been making the plain bread regularly with 100% whole wheat flour and for a softer loaf, I also make it with 2 cups of whole wheat and one cup of bread flour. I’ve had olive bread before and loved it. I had a jar of olives handy so I made this loaf yesterday with my 2/3 + 1/3 flour mixture and WOW! It’s moist and soft enough for sandwiches and so delicious. I even had it for breakfast. (the crispy crust is the best part!) Olive bread is a way to include heart-healthy olives in your diet. If you haven’t tried the no knead method for bread, it’s amazingly easy.

I first posted my faster recipe for plain bread (click here) and then another recipe for my whole wheat version (click here). Now I have this fabulous olive bread and I am posting the recipe here because it’s so simple. To make my no knead whole wheat olive bread, you would follow the method used in my whole wheat version but with the ingredients below:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup bread or all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt (reduced from original version due to salt in the olives)

3/4 cup chopped, patted dry kalamata olives

1 1/2 cups of cool water

UPDATE: March 3, 2016: I just posted the entire recipe in the Breads category so now you can just click here for the recipe.  – Jenny Jones

Aug 28, 2014

No Knead Crusty Rolls

NoKneadCrustyRolls_600I used to think you could only buy crusty dinner rolls at a bakery but wait ‘til you see how incredibly easy it is to make your own homemade rolls from scratch. And forget everything you thought you knew about baking bread. Here’s what you will NOT have to do:

1. Proof your yeast.

2. Take the temperature of your water.

3. Knead the dough.

4. Rise the dough twice.

5. Rise it in a warm spot.

6. Get stressed about baking with yeast.

All those things are history! Once I learned that you could bake amazing crusty bread at home with no kneading and almost no work, I set out to make it as fast and easy as possible. I’ve already shared my method for making the fabulous crusty bread that bakes in a Dutch oven.

No dutch oven? No problem. If you want to make the no knead bread that bakes in a Dutch oven but you don’t have one, you can make the same dough into these beautiful crusty rolls. All you need is a baking pan. This method is so easy and it’s foolproof. Don’t worry about the water temperature – just use hot tap water. Don’t worry about kneading the dough – you don’t have to. It’s basically like this:

  1. You mix the dough together, cover, and let it rest for 3 hours.
  2. You shape it into 8 rolls and let them rest for 35 minutes.
  3. You take the same 35 minutes to heat up your oven.
  4. You bake the rolls.
  5. You eat the rolls!

And if you like sesame seed rolls, just brush them right before baking with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds and look what you get:

SesameRolls600_9168By the way, you can start this dough the night before and let it stand on the counter top overnight for 8 to 24 hours. The only difference is you would use cool water. Then in the morning, shape the rolls and after the 35 minute rest and oven warm-up, you can bake them. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 21, 2014

Faster No Knead Bread

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I look at bread like men look at women’s boobs (gazing with longing at something I really want). The difference is, no one gets mad a me for looking, and I can have it any time I want. We already know that homemade bread is something to be treasured but THIS bread? This bread deserves its own category. I would call it “The Kind of Bakery Bread You Thought You Could Never Make at Home.” But you can. And when you see how incredibly easy it is, you will make it just like I do… often.

Even if you have never baked and the thought of baking with yeast scares you, you can make this bread. This recipe is foolproof. But you will need a Dutch oven – one that’s oven-safe and has an oven-safe handle. The bread in the above photo was made with all-purpose flour. The one below is the same exact recipe using 100% whole wheat flour. That’s my favorite, and what a crust!!

A genius baker named Jim Lahey invented the process of baking bread in a Dutch oven. His original method was to stir together a simple dough, let it rest overnight for 12 to 18 hours, and bake the bread the next day. It essentially steams the bread inside the pot, to mimic the professional bread ovens that create steam and that’s what gives bread that beautiful golden, crispy crust. The result is nothing short of spectacular. I remember the first time I made the overnight bread, I couldn’t believe how amazing this bread was.

And here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be overnight any more because that whole process takes more than 20 hours. With this easy recipe, you can make the bread the day you want it and it takes less then five minutes of prep. And there’s no kneading!  The main difference is that with the overnight method you use cold water and with this faster method, it’s hot water. You can do this! I’m thrilled to be sharing this easy recipe. Click here for the recipe & video of my Faster No Knead Bread. Click on the photo below for the Whole Wheat version. – Jenny Jones

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Jun 13, 2014

How To Make Croutons

Croutons_600Who knew croutons were so easy to make? Once you try homemade croutons made with fresh ciabatta bread you will be spoiled forever. You could use a different kind of bread but… why? Okay, maybe sourdough, or maybe a loaf of French bread but make sure it’s fresh. They say to use day old bread but I respectfully disagree. Fresh bread will make fresh croutons. The big surprise is how incredibly easy it is to make them at home. Five minutes prep, twenty minutes in the oven, and you have big chunks of toasty, crunchy croutons for your salad, or soup, or (your choice here).

I like croutons to taste like bread so my recipe is super simple – just olive oil, salt & pepper. But you can always add spices and herbs of your choice, like fresh garlic, fresh parsley, dried oregano or basil, onion powder, garlic powder, or parmesan. If you’re a bread person like I am, and a crunchy food person too, you will love this easy recipe. I especially like croutons or breadsticks with my salads and in my kitchen, homemade is the only way to go. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 23, 2014

Quick & Easy Flatbread

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I love bread. And I love flatbread, especially when I can make it at home in 30 minutes. Some flatbreads are unleavened but mine is a yeast dough but there’s no rising time with this simple recipe and you cook the breads in a hot pan in 2 minutes. They puff up so pretty while you cook them and sometimes if they puff up a lot, I’ve got a pita pocket. If you can serve them fresh out of the pan, you will never ever want store bought flatbread again. I love the smell of homemade bread and when you make flatbread, your kitchen will smell amazing.

It’s a sticky dough so you will need a well-floured surface. I used to let the dough rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes but this recipe, with no rise and only a 10-minute rest, tastes exactly the same. The ones after rising, though, did puff up a little more while cooking so if you want pita breads, try putting the dough in a small greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let it rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. You’ll still have flatbreads in less than an hour. But the fast ones puff up really nicely too as you can see in the photo.

What can you do with flatbread? Well… there’s pizza, gyros, sandwiches, focaccia, dip it into things (like my beef stew!!!) or hummus, or for a bread person like me, just eat it plain. I made some this morning and had half of one just plain and rolled up some egg salad in the other half. Deeelish! For my Quick & Easy Flatbread recipe & vidieo click here  – Jenny Jones

Apr 9, 2014

“Tunnels of Cinnamon” Bread

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If you think this beautiful bread looks good, wait until you taste it! You’ve never had cinnamon-raisin bread like this. It’s a braided loaf and each of the ropes in the braid is filled with delicious tunnels of brown sugar and cinnamon. And guess what? You can make this amazing cinnamon-raisin bread without butter. I created this loaf out of necessity. I was so frustrated trying to make a spiral loaf of cinnamon bread. Every time I sliced it, there were big gaping spaces in the bread so I finally decided to try a braided bread.

Making a braided bread, like egg bread or challah, is pretty easy. You just cut the dough into thirds, roll the three pieces into long ropes and braid away. What I’ve done is just flatten the ropes and fill them with a little softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. (I’ve also used transfat-free margarine, which is my butter of choice so either way works) I didn’t know what to expect when I tried it but the results were amazing!

When I sliced the bread for the first time, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was inside and how the brown sugar & cinnamon filling actually created tunnels of cinnamon throughout the bread. It’s a different pattern with every loaf but there is always a beautiful stream of brown sugar & cinnamon tunnels throughout the loaf. So I’m calling it Tunnels of Cinnamon Bread. It’s beautiful. It’s delicious. And I’m so proud of this very special bread. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Mar 13, 2014

Simple Whole Wheat Bread

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I can’t remember the last time I bought bread at the store. I’m finding easier ways to make my own delicious and healthy homemade bread and this may be the easiest and fastest. I’m done with proofing yeast and rising dough twice. This is my go-to bread that I use for sandwiches, French toast (it soaks up the eggs in seconds!), and soft bread crumbs.

A few things to keep in mind when baking bread: 1) An instant read thermometer really helps to measure the temperature of the milk. Too hot and you’ll kill the yeast – too cold and it won’t grow. 2) Other additions should not be cold, like the oil and egg. If I’m short on time to warm up a cold egg I have been known to put it in my apron pocket and let my body heat warm it up. Note to self: *Next time, let your partner know about the egg before he hugs you goodbye!

If you want this bread to rise even faster so you can eat it sooner, just reduce the whole wheat flour and increase the bread flour by the same amount (1/4 cup or 1/2 cup). But for more fiber, use my recipe. I tried making it with only whole wheat flour but without much success. It didn’t want to rise and it was too dense and heavy so it needs some bread flour in the mix.

I’m calling it simple whole wheat bread because it really is. This is as easy as it gets to bake bread so I hope you’ll try it. Did I mention that your kitchen will smell terrific too?  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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