Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nuts and Seeds Bread

I have been itching to try to make a really rich and hearty bread that isn't too heavy. I think I found it.  This is very delicious bread. Yes, it still has some white flour. It helps keep the consistency light. Man, it's good.

There is so much goodness packed in here...

I wanted something similar in style to Dave's Killer Bread, a local favorite here in the Portland area, but not quite so chewy/gummy. Don't get me wrong, I love Dave's bread. It's awesome. It's also $4-$5 a loaf.

I went to my local Winco and scoured the bulk foods, looking for things to throw in there. Next time, I think I might try some protein powder and nutritional yeast. You could easily play with the flours. I want to try incorporating coconut flour in there too. Just experiment with it!

Enough is enough, here is the recipe.

Nuts and Seeds Bread

  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (assists in activating the yeast)
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped raw sunflower kernels
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  1. Mix the ginger, sugar, yeast, and water and set aside for five minutes.
  2. Mix buttermilk, molasses, salt, baking soda in with the yeast mixture.
  3. Add wheat flour and mix until smooth. On an electric mixer it is about 5 minutes on low speed.
  4. Mix in butter until it is totally incorporated into batter.
  5. Now, begin to add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
  6. When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl, add your additional ingredients and knead until incorporated. Remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and knead about 2 minutes.
  7. Place in greased (I love to use coconut oil) bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

  8. Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and grease tops.
  9. Cover, and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they brown too fast.
  11. Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter.
  12. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  13. Turn out and cool completely on a rack. Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.    
              Heavily adapted from Restless Chipotle's Honey Buttermilk Bread 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Waterbath Canning, Berry Jam and Vanilla Bean Honey Butter

I remember canning when I was younger. My dad (I love you dad!) would try to can these HUGE batches of foods at once, the kitchen was a disaster, and we all went a little nuts. I understand the appeal, if you are going to go to all that trouble, might as well get it all (or most of it) done at once right? Wrong! Especially when you are first starting out. Water bath canning has a bunch of different steps, they are simple but to be most successful (and complete the steps with your sanity intact) it is best to start with one type of product, get comfortable and THEN move on to a new type.

My husband couldn't wait for toast this morning!

One of my biggest secrets in general for the kitchen came from my mom. She isnt a big cook. She can cook well, it just isnt her "thing" or her passion. Let me tell you one thing though, that lady knows how to get through anything in the kitchen without it ending as a disaster zone. Rule #1 I learned as a child and my absolute GOLDEN RULE: A good cook cleans as they go. It sounds stupid simple. My dad does NOT follow this rule, my mom does. I have seen the difference first hand. Yes, you wash the same amount of dishes but it saves your sanity. Any time I have a break in the process of ANY food I make, everything possible gets cleaned up. I have a small kitchen, when it's dirty doing anything in it is overwhelming. Canning in my small galley kitchen is overwhelming if I dont stay organized. Making bread in my apartment sized kitchen is frightening without cleaning and wiping after each step. You know what the worst thing is though? Going through all the trouble of making a gloriously divine meal and having an hour long clean up afterwards because I just let the dishes pile up instead. GROSS.

Oh man, totally went off track there for a minute. Ok, back to canning.
* Always follow an established recipe. Don't just make up your own. They have specific ratios and instructions for a reason. You want your food to be safe AND delicious (oh yeah and not rot in the jars).
* Use clean, washed jars. Again, use the appropriate size per the recipe. The water bath time is for that specific jar size. Always check the rims of the jars to make sure there are no cracks or chips.
* You CANNOT seal jars using the same seals twice. To make sure I dont reuse the same lids, I write on the lid of the jar once they have sealed. Of course they can be reused just for storing something in the fridge but you cannot ensure a proper seal if you use used lids.
* Rings CAN be reused, just make sure they are washed.
* Tools are your friends! Yes, you can do it without them but for about $6 I got kit with a jar lifter, jar funnel, lid lifter and debubbler/measuring tool. That was just regular price at Walmart.

I always get out all my supplies and lay them out, clean them and set them up.

Large stock pot ( I got mine at Goodwill for a couple bucks) and clean, crack and chip free jars. 

Jar funnel, jar lifter, debubbler/measurer, lid lifter rings and new lids

Heavy 4 qt pot and berries. ( I froze mine because I couldn't use them soon enough after we picked them).

I put my berries in smallish increments in a flat bottom glass bowl and thawed them in the microwave.

Almost there...

Once mostly thawed, mash them up! It's ok if you dont get every little chunk out.

 Always measure your ingredients. This recipe calls for 4 cups of mashed berries.

Mixed Berry Jam Recipe 

Makes about 5 Half Pints (8 oz)
Mix and match your favorite berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries to create a delightful jam using Ball® RealFruit® Classic Pectin.

You Will Need:

  • 4 cups crushed berries, mix and match your favorites such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries
  • 4 ½ Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 Ball® or Kerr® Half Pint (8 oz) Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars with lids and bands


  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Wash jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Heat jars and in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set lids and bands aside. 
  2. COMBINE berries in an 8-quart saucepan.
    Gradually stir in pectin.
    Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. 
  3. ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve.
    Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.
  4. LADLE hot jam into hot jars, one at a time,
    leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
    Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
  5. PLACE filled jars in canner ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.
  6. PROCESS jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

  There is intense satisfaction in hearing the jars pop as you let them cool. Gotta love a proper seal!

I love to give them as gifts with a fresh loaf of Buttermilk Honey Bread and a jar of Vanilla Bean Honey Butter! It's an easy way to bless a friend or neighbor.

Vanilla Bean Honey Butter

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Beat all ingredients together until combined and fluffy. 

Sorry I don't have good pics of the butter!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gooey, Caramel-y, Sticky Buns

I've been seeing a bunch of recipes on Pinterest lately - overnight buns, sticky buns, cinnamon buns. Buns, buns, buns. It's been a bit since I have made any buns so I figured it was finally time. Usually when I make them per the recipe, they just aren't quite what I am looking for. The dough is too sticky to work with, the ratio of filling to topping is off, there isn't enough sticky stuff to go around... I have a bang up, go-to recipe for bread I have been experimenting with, thanks to Marye over on her blog, Restless Chipotle.

Then I found the gooeyest sticky buns I could find and doubled the... uh.. sticky. The buns were huge so I used a roasting pan, you could easily do it in 2 9" x 13" pans. Sooooooo, let's do this.

I tweaked the bread, ever-so-slightly, listed is my adapted version.

Honey Buttermilk Bread
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger (helps activate the yeast)
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 cups flour

Mix the ginger, sugar,yeast, and water and set aside for five minutes.
Mix buttermilk, honey, salt, baking soda in with the yeast mixture.
Add three cups of flour and mix until smooth. On an electric mixer it is about 5 minutes on low speed.
Mix in butter until it is totally incorporated into batter.
Now, begin to add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth.
Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down and let rest for 5 minutes.

Now for some serious adaptations. 

I doubled the topping recipe for these Overnight Sticky Buns by Lauren Mitchell posted on Just a Pinch

1 1/3 c packed brown sugar 
6 tbsp butter  
1/4 cup light corn syrup 
2 tbsp honey 
2 tbsp maple syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot and cook on low heat until butter is melted and it's all nice and saucy.

For the filling

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Roll out into a large rectangle, approximately 14" x 24". Stir together the brown sugar and spices. Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll tightly, starting from long end, and pinch to seal. Cut into 12 pieces, 2" long each.

Pour the caramel sauce into the roasting pan, pop in the rolls, giving them a good amount of space between each roll. 
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 45 min to 1 hour, until doubled. 
Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Cover the top loosely with foil if they brown too fast (mine usually do!).
Let rest for exactly 8 minutes and 35 seconds - kidding. Between 5-10 minutes should be good, depends on the temperature in your kitchen, if they get too cool, they wont flip out so good. Flip out of the pan. I cover the pan of rolls with foil, place a cookie sheet on top and quickly flip them over. Foil means less mess. The only things that should be messy are your fingers and face now. 


 Mix the first 3 cups in the wet ingredients for 5 minutes, until nice and super smooth.

 Add the rest of the flour until the dough clears the sides.

 Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface.

Knead until smooth and elastic.

 I greased my bowl with coconut oil!

My secret bread rising weapon! Heating pads are awesome!

Cover with plastic wrap.

Told you they are awesome. 

 Finger poke leaves a clear indent, yay!

Punch that bad boy down. Seriously. Everyone needs a chance to punch something. 

Dump the sauce ingredients in.

Stir and melt!

Brown sugar mixture and butter prepped!

Rolled the dough, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar.

 Roll it up!

Pour the sauce int he pan and add the rolls. 

Space those suckers, they need room to grow.

Told you.

Fresh out of the oven.


Devoured. Sorry, couldn't take a picture fast enough.