Lemon Poppyseed Bread (Paleo, GF, DF)

I love that we can call this 'bread'. Bread sounds so much healthier than snacking cake, which is what this really is. I tried to keep things simple - no weird flours or anything. Just the usual paleo ingredients. 

There is no added sugar - just the sweetness of the banana. I like to use super ripe bananas that are soft and heavily spotted. They are nice and sweet. For me, it's a sensible amount of sugar but feel free to add 2 - 3 tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup if you're looking for that sweet fix. 

Makes one thin loaf. 

Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bread

1 super ripe banana

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of two lemons

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons poppyseeds

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

pinch nutmeg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or paper a loaf pan. Set aside. 

In a medium sized bowl, very thoroughly mash the banana. Add eggs, vanilla, zest and oil. In a small bowl, whisk coconut flour, arrow root powder, poppy seeds, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Be sure flour is hydrated. Transfer to prepared loaf pan. Smooth top and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. 

Popovers

Omg, do I love a popover.  As simple as they are - basically a mix of flour, milk and eggs - they are a delight for dinner guests. Similar to yorkshire puddings but these don't require pan drippings - just a popover pan.  I'm going to be serving these with a big meat roast for Christmas Eve dinner.  I'll need something to scrape my plate with, won't I? 

They can be made with a muffin pan but won't puff up nearly as much.  A few things about making popovers:  Don't over beat the batter, let the batter rest, use a popover pan, preheat the pan and turn down the heat part way through baking.   These things all lead to sky high popovers.  While your popovers won't be ruined by skipping any of these steps, they will be much taller and lighter if you stick to the directions.   

That said, finely grated cheeses can be added for extra flavor and the herbs can be switched up as you like.  I think chive and parmesan would be so great.  

Makes 6.

Popovers

1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 egg, beaten

5 oz milk

3 teaspoons grape seed oil, divided

Sift flour into a bowl, whisk with thyme leaves, nutmeg and salt.  Fold in egg and milk.  Set aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  

Add 1/2 teaspoon grape seed oil to each cup of popover pan.  Place in oven.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When preheating is over, remove pan from oven.  Fill each cup equally with batter and bake 20 minutes then lower heat to 350 and bake 10 minutes more. Remove popovers from pan and serve.  

 

Regular Cornbread

Nothing crazy here.  Just your usual cornbread.  It's not sweet and has a mild corn flavor.  It's perfect for chili.  Stir in kernels from one ear of corn if you like.  

If you don't have buttermilk: use 1 1/2 cup milk but substitute 2 tablespoons for the milk with white vinegar.  Set aside for 5 minutes before using.  It will become tangy and thick. 

Makes one 8" x 8" pan of bread.

Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 egg

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Oil an 8" x 8" pan.  Set aside.  

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Fold in melted butter, egg and buttermilk (corn kernels, if using) until flour is hydrated. Batter will be lumpy, it's ok, just don't over mix.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes.  

Zucchini Spice Bread

Hmmm... what to do with all your extra zucchini?  If you have a garden, you know what I mean.  I don't have one, but my mother does and on a visit this last weekend she arrived with about 8 pounds of tomatoes and 3 giant zucchinis.  Awesome.  The tomatoes you'll see in sauce and soup form soon.  Cameron isn't crazy about zucchini squash but doesn't everyone like zucchini bread?  I know I do.  

Other things you can do with your zucchini?  Shred it, bag it, freeze it.  Make noodles out of it, sneak long thin slices into lasagna, grill it and sprinkle it with vinegar, make a gratin, make a pizza, ratatouille....  Not that any of these suggestions matter because you're just going to make it into this bread, aren't you?  

This quick bread is well spiced, mild on the zucchini flavor with a moist crumb.  It's not too sweet.

Makes 1 loaf. 

Zucchini Bread

3 cups grated zucchini  + 1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons grape seed oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

zest of 1 lemon

Toss grated zucchini with the tablespoon sugar.  Place it in a strainer set over a bowl.  You will be amazed how much water this gets out.  Leave it there while you do everything else.  

Heat oven to 375.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly oil.  Set aside.  

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.  In another bowl, whisk oil, butter milk and lemon zest.  Press out any extra water from zucchini.  Combine zucchini and buttermilk mixture with the dry ingredients until flour is hydrated.  Do not over mix.  Smooth into loaf pan.  Bake 55-60 minutes.  (When cake is done, it will feel firm and springy and an inserted toothpick will come out clean.)  Let cool.  

Everything Bagels

OH YEAH!!!!  We made everything bagels over the weekend and I will be eating them until they are gone with home made butter or sandwich fixings.  Or maybe even as delightful little pizza bagels.  I love pizza bagels.  They're so difficult to find in nyc.  Why is that? 

Also, I am the happy recipient of a kitchen aid artisinal stand mixer.  (Thank you mom + dad!)   This bagel dough is the first thing I used it for.  (Followed by fresh butter, recipe to follow!)  I love this pretty machine already.  Do you have one?  In what color and what's your favorite thing to make with it?

Makes about a dozen bagels.  

Everything Bagels

For the bagels

 1 packet dry active yeast (7 oz) + 1/2 cup warm to hot water

2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups a.p. flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup warm to hot water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 egg yolk

For the toppings

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional, for a spicy kick)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Use either a food processor with a dough blade or a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.  The food processor will be quicker. 

Place yeast, the half cup of warm water and sugar.  Wait 5 minutes.  If there's evidence of activity like foam or bubbles then we're good to go. The yeast is activated.  Give a little stir to dissolve sugar and yeast granules

Add flours and salt.  Slowly add warm water.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Knead or process until dough is elastic, satiny and clings to the hook/blade.  About 1 minute in the food processor or 5 minutes in the stand mixer.  

Transfer to a large oiled bowl.  Turn to coat all sides of dough in the oil.  Cover completely in plastic wrap and set aside to rise.  Let rise 1 - 3 hours.  Dough will have doubled in size.  

Unwrap and turn out onto a well floured surface.  Press on the dough to release gases and deflate.  Cut dough into 12 pieces.  Form into balls.  Press a hole into the center of each and gently stretch until the hole is 2 to 3 inches across.  Place each on a floured surface and cover with a towel or plastic.  Let rise for at least 10 minutes.

While the dough is rising, boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot.  Dissolve brown sugar in the water.  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. 

Use a slotted spatula to lower bagel forms into the boiling sugar water.  Work in batches of 2-3. Boil for 30 seconds, flip, boil 30 seconds more.  Remove from boil, transferring to  towel to dry.

In a small bowl, mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water.  In another small bowl, combine all toppings ingredients.  With a pastry brush, apply egg wash to bagels, sprinkle generously with topping mixture,  Line up on baking sheets.  (The bagels will not expand much during baking.)

Bake 25 minutes.  Bagels will be very golden brown when done. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I really needed something sweet the other night and had a couple bananas lying around on the counter looking bored and starting to spot.  Perfect.  Spotted bananas are the always the beginning to something good, aren't they?  In this case it's banana bread, I made mini loves but you could so muffins or an 8 inch loaf.  Up to you.  These are not very sweet, if you like a sweeter quick bread add more agave or when serving, drizzle with more.  (Drizzling with more is better!)

Makes 1 loaf or 8 mini loaves or 12 muffins.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

2 very ripe bananas, peeled

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup agave

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease baking pan and set aside.  

In a bowl, mash banana with peanut butter.  Stir in olive oil, agave, egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  In another bowl, whisk baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa powder until evenly combined.  I sifted my cocoa powder in to avoid lumps.  Fold all flour mixture into banana batter.  Stop folding once all combined.  (lumps are ok but no streaks of flour.  If batter is over mixed once flour is added, the bread will be tough.)

Spoon into prepared pan and bake, 15 to 17 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  Cool on rack.  

Manchego Prosciutto Dinner Rolls

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At the my thanksgiving table the dinner rolls and pies are part of grandma duty.  She makes the best ones and they are requested (demanded!) every year.  But maybe you do not have a roll making grandma, which is a shame so I give you these little buns which are almost as good.  

Manchego and Prosciutto Dinner Rolls

1/4 cup warm water

1 packet yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon oil or butter (plus more for brushing later)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup milk

2 oz manchego cheese, grated

2 oz prosciuttto, chopped

Combine yeast and water in a small bowl and let sit 5 minutes.  It should show signs of activity like foam or bubble marks.  In a food processor, fitted with dough blade, combie sugar, salt, oil/butter and flour.  Add yeast mix.  Slowly add milk until dough comes togther.  Process until a smooth ball of dough forms.  Transfer to oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with wrap or towel and set in a warm place to rise.  Let rise 2 hours.  Dough will have doubled in size.  

Sprinkle cheese and prosciutto on very lightly floured surface and knead into dough.  Cut into 8 pieces (or more for slightly reasonably sized rolls)  Form each into a roll shape.  Place in a large skillet and cover.  Give each piece of dough room to expand.  Let rise 1 hour.  Rolls will be doubled in size.  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Uncover rolls and brush with oil or melted butter for a ncie crust.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes until very golden brown.  Remove from oven and brush with more butter or oil.  Sprinkle with a pinch of large flaky salt.  Serve warm.