Category Archives: Bread

Banana Muffins


This recipe for banana muffins comes from the same Thomas Keller cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, that I’ve been making a lot of baked goods from. The recipe is pretty exact but not very difficult and if you follow it step by step, you will be sure to have great results.

Keller suggests resting the batter overnight. This allows the flour to hydrate, or absorb the liquid which results in an extra moist muffin. This is also a great idea because you can make the batter the night before and it will be ready to pop in the oven in the morning.
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Apple Cake

This quick bread comes together easily and includes one of my favorite foods, apples. I got the idea from a blog that I visit often and it’s a recipe from her great grandmother which I figured was a good sign. I tweaked it a little by adding some buckwheat flour for extra nuttiness and using olive oil instead of canola. I also reduced the amount of sugar for a little less sweetness.

The end result is a recipe that is great to have on hand because it comes together so quickly and with mostly pantry staples. It’s also easy to swap ingredients like using only regular flour if you don’t have any buckwheat flour in your pantry.

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Fairytale Eggplant, Cannellini Beans, Breadcrumbs

Even though it’s officially Fall and the weather is cooling down here in New York, late summer produce is still around and that means eggplant is at its peak. Eggplant can get a bad reputation for being mushy and greasy which it often is if not cooked correctly. I prefer to buy fairytale eggplant which has a much thinner skin and an overall mild flavor without any hints of bitterness.

This was a clean out the fridge kind of meal that proved to be much more successful than intended. I had some eggplant that was on it’s last days, leeks that had already been chopped and were sitting in a plastic bag, waiting to be used. I sauteed the eggplant along with the leeks and some garlic then warmed up the cannellini beans in the same pan. I tossed everything with feta, lemon juice and olive oil and then topped it off with these breadcrumbs.
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I love a fresh baguette. My old grocery store, Fairway, had the best ones that were sometimes still warm from the oven. The only problem is, unless I have a couple people to share it with, the bread usually ends up going stale after a couple days. You can toast it the next day and still get some life from it but by day three, it’s as hard as a rock. The solution: breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumbs add great texture to a lot of dishes like pasta or roasted veggies and homemade ones are so much cheaper than buying them at the store. Just add stale bread to a food processor and toast the breadcrumbs with any seasoning you like. I usually use olive oil and thyme.
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Olive Oil Cake

My boyfriend started a new job today and I wanted to make him a treat to celebrate. This olive oil cake is a great everyday cake that’s really simple to make. It’s not too sweet and would pair really well with fresh whipped cream or honey. The outside is nice and crunchy with a soft, moist center. It’s also a recipe that lends itself well to lots of tweaking. Nuts or fruit would be a great addition.

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Rosemary Foccacia

Focaccia is a simple yeast bread that is best right out of the oven and dipped in some good quality extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Foccacia is a very light and airy flatbread and can be topped with Sundried tomatoes, olives or any other ingredient you choose. It’s best paired with a salad or dipped into a soup but can also go really well with a piece of fish or meat.

A note about kneading bread: Aside from being extremely satisfying, kneading bread is essential for building gluten in the dough which is a protein that gives body to the bread so you have a light and airy loaf rather than a dense and chewy bite. To knead, fold the dough over and push down on it with the heels of you hands, curving your fingers over the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process of folding and pushing down until dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle flour over the dough during the kneading process when it begins to get sticky.

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Whole Wheat Herb Bread

I love making bread and this is one of my favorite recipes as you can add almost any kind of herb you prefer and it doesn’t take much experience in bread-making to get it right. Most of the ingredients are common pantry items and there’s no bread machine or starter required. It’s best right out of the oven with a good quality extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some grated parmesan cheese. The recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens ‘New Baking Book.
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