Tag Archives: bread

Dr. Hook and the Crusty Bread Show

I haven’t made bread in awhile and I’m certainly a rookie bread guy (or maybe Private Bread Guy), but I’m borrowing a stand mixer from a friend to see if I can’t live without one. It’s official: I can’t live without one.

My hands are delicate and my arms are puny, so I could never knead the dough adequately. I see that the bread hook (Dr. Hook) can pick up the slack, though.

I was looking up methods to make the bread crusty, and I found this recipe. My recipe was slightly different, but I believe cooking the bread in my cast iron Dutch oven helped increase the crust factor. I thought it was nuts to throw water in the pot, but hey, I’m not the Master Bread Chieftain.

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Cocoa Nib and Oat Muffins

Just made these and they taste incredible! I didn’t use any whole wheat flour and cut the nibs to 1/2 cup. I’m really happy with how amazing these taste.

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A modernized chocolate chip muffin. Cocoa nibs are the more sophisticated parent of the chocolate chip morsel. Roasted, hulled, and a step away from becoming processed; the cocoa nibs are basically raw chocolate pieces…tiny bits of cocoa beans. Similarly flavored like coffee beans and texturally a bit crunchier, it’s ideal to devour this muffin alongside a cup of coffee, dunked perhaps? Additionally, of course, I had to throw in some oats and whole wheat flour to bump up the nutrition.

IMG_0965 After a day on the counter awaiting the next day’s breakfast routine, these muffins became a bit crumbly. They still tasted great with a swipe of butter, but I have a personal preference for soft muffins. Just a forewarning if you eat on-the-go…

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Cocoa Nib and Oat Muffins

makes 6 jumbo-sized muffins

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup golden brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

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Best. Cornbread. Ever.

I have to admit that I don’t eat cornbread very often. I like it alright, but I think the sensation of having sand in your bread is a bit off-putting.

There are basically two types of cornbread: sweet cornbread and not sweet cornbread. I mistakenly thought southerners like sweet cornbread. I guess I shouldn’t make assumptions based on a southern friend who always shared his sweet cornbread with me at work.

I had a catering event yesterday and made a nice batch of cornbread. As a matter of fact, I was so enamored by it, I had to continually share my experience.

The caterees also shared their experiences. They likened the cornbread to cake and claim they thought they had two desserts. Claim #1: cake is good. Cakey cornbread is great. Claim #2: are two desserts such a bad thing? Of course not.

I perused many recipes and finally found one that I wanted to adapt.

1/2 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar (I reduced the sugar. I can’t stand hyper sweet)
1 1/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (buttermilk rocks for baking)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (trust me)

The directions are all the same in the original recipe except after the cornbread comes out of the oven.

This is when you grab a stick of butter and slather it over the top. There is nothing more satisfying. You don’t melt the whole stick, just enough to butter the top.

Finally, lightly dust the cornbread with cinnamon. It really makes it come alive. I know it may sound unconventional, but I’m sure you will enjoy it.

I now know that southerners should like sweet, cakey cornbread. And unsweetened iced tea.