This wonderful loaf of bread keeps in line with yesterday’s theme of combining two different kinds of baked good together. Today, instead of cupcake on cookie action, we’ve got granola swirled and baked inside a loaf of bread.
I first attempted this loaf while still in college. Back then, my knowledge of yeast wasn’t as large as it is now, and I used rapid rise instead of active dry. This resulted in a dense dough that was extremely difficult to knead and didn’t cook through in the middle. The bread turned out rather hard to cut, and eating it was great exercise for my jaw.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed every slice of it. You can imagine my joy at making it this time with the correct type of yeast. The dough was soft and malleable, and the resulting bread was fluffy and delicious.
But let’s not forget about that granola swirl. I can’t seem to get enough of carbs. Using maple syrup, brown sugar and dried blueberries as sweeteners, the granola is amazingly tasty in its own right, and I wish I had made a double batch to keep some around for snacking.
Maybe I’ll go do that now. Whether you make extra granola or not, this loaf of bread is sure to please. The added sweetness from the granola makes this a great snacking bread, as well as a good candidate for bread pudding or french toast.
Maple Blueberry Granola Swirl Bread
Adapted from Sugar Plum
Makes one very large 9×5” loaf*
For the bread:
1 cup warm milk, divided (100°-110°F)
1 tsp+ ½ cup sugar
2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
4 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, divided use
3 large eggs, at room temperature, divided use
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup, divided use
1 ¼ tsp salt, divided use
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups bread flour
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (or you can use all all-purpose)
For the granola:
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup sweetened dried blueberries
First make the dough. In a large bowl, mix together ½ cup warm milk, 1 tsp sugar and yeast until combined and let sit for 10 minutes or until it’s all foamy. Add 2 Tbsp melted butter, additional ½ cup milk, ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs, 3 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp salt and vanilla to yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in bread flour and all-purpose flour until combined and the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky. Place in a large mixing bowl lightly covered with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Coat the insides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. *I would advise you to prepare two loaf pans if you can. My loaf ended up being so large I had to form it into an “s” shape to fit it into the pan (see photo above). Next time, I’ll make two smaller loaves.
Next make the granola. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp melted butter, the last 1 Tbsp maple syrup, additional ¼ tsp salt, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Stir in pecans and oats until combined. Evenly spread the mixture onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until granola is fragrant and golden brown. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in blueberries until combined.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 11×15 inch rectangle. Brush dough with remaining Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle granola evenly on top, leaving a 1/2” border. Starting at one end, roll the dough up jelly roll style, pinch and tuck ends under, and place in loaf pan. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk remaining egg together with a Tbsp of water and evenly brush on the surface of dough. Bake for 20 minutes, cover with foil, and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until internal temperature of bread reaches 180 degrees F and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing bread to a wire rack to cool completely.
The other day I was doing some dishes went I felt something hard poking against my foot. I looked down hoping some sort of large insect wasn’t investigating my toes (I saw a HUGE beetle in the basement, like with pincers and everything, so I’m not crazy) but thankfully my surprise was pleasant, not horrifying. It was my furry little friend Izzy keeping me company in the cutest way possible.
She has taken to sitting or lying by me nearly every time I do dishes and I think it’s because of the mirco fiber mat we got. It’s quite soft, so she likes it a lot compared to the hard kitchen floor.
But oh my goodness. How is it that August is almost upon us and I haven’t posted about ice cream in….quite a bit. *cough cough* beginning of June. My apologies.
So let me remedy the situation. I originally made this ice cream so I could stir in chunks of chopped up peanut butter cups, but then it looked so pristine churning in the ice cream maker that I decided to enjoy it as it was. Don’t worry, those peanut butter cups came in handy later.
This ice cream is amazing just the way it is. We already know that I’m a big fan of the peanut butter and jelly combination, but I’d gladly substitute in honey any day. The idea of a grape-flavored ice cream sounded weird to me.
So let’s stick to honey when dealing with ice cream. It results in such a pleasingly mellow flavor, and the peanut butter swirl running throughout provides great contrast. I used a natural chunky peanut butter for even more of a contrast, but you can use creamy if you’d like. Either way, this is one great bowl of ice cream.
Honey & Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Adapted from Love & Olive Oil
Makes about 1 quart
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp-1/4 cup honey
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
Pour 1 cup of the heavy cream into a heat-proof bowl and place a fine mesh sieve over the top of the bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining cream, milk, sugar, honey, and salt. The amount of honey you use will depend on its color. Use closer to 3 Tbsp if you have a darker honey, or closer to ¼ cup for a lighter honey. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring regularly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly whisk in some of the warm cream mixture, about 1/3 cup at a time, until about half of the cream mixture has been incorporated.
Pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spatula, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches approximately 165 to 170ºF. Do not allow it to boil. Pour mixture through sieve into cold cream, discarding any solids. Add vanilla extract and stir. Let the mixture come to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap, carefully pressing wrap down onto the surface of the cream mixture. This will prevent a skin from forming on top of the custard. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 6 hours or overnight if possible.
Just prior to churning the ice cream, spoon peanut butter into a piping bag fitted with a medium size round tip or you can drizzle it in with a spoon.
Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, squeeze or drop in the peanut butter, swirling it evenly throughout the ice cream, then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours or overnight until firm.
Ever find yourself with a mountain of potatoes, thinking you can only eat french fries so many times in a week? I have a nasty habit of buying too many potatoes when they’re on sale since I don’t buy them that often, and then I have to figure out what to do with them.
Usually this means adding them to curries, soups, etc, but when I’ve got russets on my hands, it’s time for a new strategy. I like that this blog has helped me learn more about the food I eat. Before this year, I never would have known the difference between a Yukon gold and a russet potato and which dishes I should be using them in.
As many of you probably know, (and for those that don’t, it’s time for some potato knowledge!) a Yukon gold is waxy potato and therefore better for soups and curries because russets tend to fall apart if they’re stewed (because they’re starchy). That’s why they make great, fluffy mashed potatoes. They also make great french fries, just don’t try boiling them unless you intend to mash afterwards.
And knishes. They make for great knish filling. Another little known fact about me, I’m half-Jewish! But it’s on my dad’s side, so I guess that doesn’t actually count for anything. Whatever, I can sill make knish.
This was my first attempt, and though it was a little shaky, (I need to work on my knish-shaping skills) the little potato buns turned out way better than I expected. The dough was flaky, yet soft, and the filling was russet potato fluffiness at its finest. Plus some caramelized onion. Need a good vegetarian meal? Well my friend, grab some (starchy) potatoes because dinner is served.
Adapted from the ever wonderful Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 8 knish, depending on how large you make them
For the dough:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
½ cup water
For the filling:
1 ½ lb (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced small
1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the egg wash:
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp water
First make the dough. Stir together your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Once the mixture is a craggy, uneven mass, knead it until smooth, about a minute. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for an hour (or in the fridge, up to 3 days) until needed.
While the dough sits, prepare filling. Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add onions and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, which will take about 45 minutes. You can always semi-caramelize them if you’re short on time. Once they’re caramelized to your liking, transfer them to the bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set the filling aside.
Next, assemble the knish. Line a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones) with parchment paper or a silicone mat and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
If your dough has sweated some beads of oil while it rested, fear not, you can just knead it back into an even mass. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square. For moderate size knish, create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough, but not too tight. A tiny amount of slack will keep the dough from opening in the oven. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough. Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again. Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling; you might have a small amount of dough leftover. (Save it for homemade pop-tarts!)
Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long) and twist the dough at these points, as if you were making sausage links. Snip the dough at each twist, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape and from here, you can take one of two approaches to the top: You can pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven. You can gently press the dough over the filling but leave it mostly open. I like being able to see the filling.
Arrange the knish on the prepared baking sheet(s) so that they don’t touch. Whisk the egg yolk and water together to form a glaze and brush it over the knish dough. Bake knish for about 45 minutes, rotating your tray if needed for them to bake into an even golden brown color. Let the knishes cool for at least 15 minutes. That potato filling stays hot for a while and you don’t want to burn your tongue. Serve with your desired condiment (sour cream, mustard, ah hem…ketchup, whatever floats your knish.)
Does my girl have nice legs or what? Man, I love Wednesdays. I love that I have set aside this day to talk a little bit about my bunny. I realize I’m slightly obsessed with her, but if you got to sit on your couch and have that creature accompany you, you’d want to gab about it too.
As of yet, I have watched her unsuccessfully mount the couch twice. I know she can jump high enough, but she seems to be holding back, probably because she has no idea what’s up there. A few nights ago she tried to jump up practically onto Luke’s lap while we were watching a movie. Needless to say both parties were a little surprised.
Also, today I learned Izzy is completely down with the vacuum cleaner. I vacuumed the carpet while she was sitting on it, and she just calmly watched it, loud noise and all. But opening the dishwasher scares her. Rabbit brains are weird.
Human brains are easier. Just give them loads of carbs and they are happy. Or maybe that’s just me. Sit a plate of these bad boys down in front of me and I am a one happy clam. I mean, french fries minus all the greasy, oily business? Win.
Though I guess if I put a carrot in front of Izzy she’d be the same way I am toward a hot plate of baked fries. Maybe rabbit brains aren’t so tricky after all.
Crispy Baked French Fries
Adapted from Cookie & Kate
Makes about 2-6 servings, depending on how many potatoes you use
2-4 medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp canola or olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper*
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and cut them, lengthwise, into 10 to 12 even wedges. The trick is to first quarter the potatoes lengthwise, and then cut each quarter lengthwise into 2 to 3 wedges.
Place the sliced potatoes into a large bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for 10 minutes (this releases some of the starch in the potatoes and lets them absorb moisture, which leads to crisp outsides and moist interiors).
Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and 1/4 cup oil, then sprinkle evenly with about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel or paper towels. Toss the potatoes with the remaining teaspoon of oil and mix evenly.
Arrange the fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and cover the sheet tightly with foil. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, until the underside of the potatoes are spotty golden brown.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and scrape the fries loose with a spatula. Then use tongs or the spatula to flip over each wedge, keeping the potatoes in an even layer. Continue to bake until the fries are golden and crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Rotate the pan as necessary to help them brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper (or other spices of your choice) and serve hot.
*I like trying out different spices, like an Italian herb blend or curry powder. Feel free to experiment.
I am thoroughly convinced that I have the best fiancé on the planet. Yesterday he emailed me a link to a line of clothing he thought I might like. If you should know one thing about me and clothing it’s this: I hate shopping. I loathe, despise, abhor it. If I do ever go shopping, I have to be in the right mood, otherwise, well, let’s just hope I went alone.
I had to admit though, some of the dresses on the site were cute. Another thing you should know about me: I am a bargain shopper to the core. So when I saw that those cute dresses were outside of what I felt comfortable paying, I tried to put my foot down and say no. The conversation went like this.
“Luuuuuuke (I can’t felt but feel like Aunt Beru everytime I say his name like this), these dresses are tooo expensive.”
“But you need something to wear to the rehearsal dinner.”
“I know…but can’t we go to like Marshall’s or something.”
“You are not getting your rehearsal dinner dress at Marshall’s. Even if you go to the mall, you probably won’t find a good dress at this price.”
“But there are two I really like, and I can’t decide between them…”
“Then get both.”
“At that price?!?! Two!??!! Are you insane?!!?!”
“Sweetie, either you get them now, or I’ll buy them for you tomorrow.” Hands over his credit card. See what I mean? You’d think I would have baked him something special to show my gratitude. Well, I’ll get to that soon. This one’s got my name written all over it, since someone says they don’t like coffee cake.
I’ll leave that comment alone for now, even though I don’t think it’s humanly possible. This coffee cake is a spectacular presentation of the peanut butter and jelly variety. A peanut butter flavored cake gets kissed by a swirl of grape jam and topped with a crunchy peanut butter crumble.
It’s THE breakfast for the p& j enthusiast. (i.e. me)
Peanut Butter & Jelly Coffee Cake
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes one 8×8” pan
For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup grape jelly (or jelly of your choice)
For the Peanut Butter Streusel Topping:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
First, make the peanut butter streusel topping. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Mix with a spoon until there are no big brown sugar clumps. Add the peanut butter, melted butter and chopped peanuts, stirring until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter together until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and mix until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Don’t over mix; beat until just combined.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Spoon grape jelly evenly over the cake. Take a toothpick or butter knife and gently swirl in the jelly. Sprinkle the peanut butter streusel over the cake. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Enjoy!