Light and Buttery Yeast Rolls

Light and Buttery Yeast Rolls www.bellalimento.com

Dinner rolls don’t have to come in a bag. I know this because up until a few years my dinner rolls did come in a bag. Once I cast my yeast and bread baking fears into the closet I found out that guess what? It’s just like anything else, with a little practice you’ll be amazed with the results. And there’s little better than hot fresh bread straight out the oven slathered with butter. I know they tell you to wait for the bread to cool but that’s not going to happen in my house. I just can’t help myself and I’m okay with that.

read more

Homemade Pretzel Rolls

 

A good sandwich requires quality ingredients. Both Inside and out. Otherwise you just might as well make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and call it a day. We’re starting with the bread. Homemade pretzel rolls. Worth the effort. Trust. Soft, dough-y, and will have you looking for mustard sauce to slather on it before you can say pretzel. If you’re going to go through the trouble of making these homemade pretzel rolls (and you really should) then you’ll want to go to the trouble of finding the best possible filling to add. Boar’s Head.

read more

How To Make Piadina

I’m kind of obsessed with this Italian flat bread. Especially when it’s stuffed with Prosciutto. It’s usually made with lard  (I can’t  believe I’m about to say this) BUT we’re watching our waistlines at the moment and we’re making ours with olive oil instead. Feel free to lard up if you wish. I would but, well you know. Sigh. If I make it to the end of this Tony Horton induced purgatory I’ll be larding up next batch.

read more

How To Make No Knead Bread

I love bread. There’s no if, ands or buts about it, I LOVE bread. If there is bread on the table I’m going to eat it. If there’s bread baking, I’ll wait for it. For me a loaf of homemade bread straight out of the oven slathered with a little buttah is heavenly. With a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, swoon. Add some herbs to that olive oil and back off. Hello my name is Paula and I am a full blown carbaholic. Glad I got that off my chest.

read more

Farfalle al Mascarpone {Butterfly Pasta w/Mascarpone Sauce}

bflypasta1_wm

I just love pasta. I mean I really LOVE pasta (as if you didn’t know that by now tee hee). It’s the perfect dish. You can literally make it a million different ways. Okay I haven’t actually tested out that theory but I’m working on it! Plus I know you’re probably ready for something other than chicken! I KNOW I’ve  had a lot of chicken lately, really I know, and NO in case you’re wondering I’m not tired of it *wink wink*  but I have been wanting some pasta so voila a pasta dish! This dish will make you want to scrape the bowl with your finger! & It’s all because of the sauce. Not just any sauce. A creamy tomato-y basil-y melt in your mouth Mascarpone sauce *swoon*.

read more

Zuppa all’Aglio {Garlic Soup}

zuppa3_wm

You probably have realized by now that I cook with A LOT of GARLIC! Yes, I do & I’m not ashamed of it! Have you seen my garlic bowl? It’s always on my counter and normally when someone comes to my house for the first time they truly think it’s artificial & there for decoration. NOPE, it’s real & I use it!

garlicbowl1_wm

read more

Nutella Challenge – Chocolate Torte with Nutella Mousse & Raspberries

choccake1_wm

Are you ready? I know I am! Well ready or NOT, here is the 2nd installment of the Nutella Challenge! Last month there were some ah-mazing offerings. I hope you’ve had a chance to try a few of them out. If not, here’s the link where you can find them: Nutella Challenge ~ Round 1 So without further ado, I present to you my THREE LAYERED MINI CHOCOLATE TORTE WITH NUTELLA MOUSSE & RASPBERRIES (what a name LOL such a mouthful, yikes)….are you drooling? Well you should be.

read more

Italian Bread

italianbread5_wm

Week #15 in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was Italian Bread…Ah I can hardly believe it’s been almost 4 months worth of fresh bread making…each week delivered right to my table by my own hands {& with LOTS of help from Marta of course}. Who would have thought I would be getting the hang of this baking thing? Def not me! Although I still don’t consider myself a baker – more like home cook extraordinaire – tee hee! I am def feeling much more comfortable with the likes of yeast, kneading, rising, windowpane test, ferment, etc. and I’ve definitely used my share of King Arthur Bread Flour & Yeast as well. I don’t dare try to count the bags. Seriously I’m going through those two like they were water. But nevertheless, I have wonderful bread each week.

read more

French Bread

frenchbread12_wm

Week #14 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is French Bread! As I’m writing this, I’m noshing on some of this delightful bread dipped in Olive Oil (hopefully in the process, avoiding any sticky fingerprints on my laptop). All of this I do for you, of course, so that I may fully express in words the deliciousness that is homemade French Bread…ah mon cheri you see how much I adore thee? Tee hee.

I must admit that I now completely understand why Artisan bread costs so much at the bakeries or in the high end deli/bakery section of the grocery. If you don’t, you should just make some homemade yourself and you’ll know immediately what I mean. But with that said, I truly believe that putting the effort into homemade breads is worth the effort. As is the case with cooking in general. You get out what you put in! No?

read more

Focaccia

foccacia8_wm

Week #13 in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge! Focaccia! I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to get started on this bread! It’s one of my favorite Italian breads. Peter’s recipe was another 2 day bread (boo, but I was looking forward to the end product).

read more

English Muffins

engmuffin7_wm

Week #12 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is English Muffins! I can’t believe how much I have learned in this challenge by baking a new bread recipe each week. I’m so thankful to Pinch My Salt for organizing this challenge & for getting me out of my baking box! Well I don’t even think I had a box because the only bread I had really ever baked was banana bread. LOL If you don’t already have Peter Reinhart’s book you really should pick it up! If I can bake bread so can you!

read more

Cornbread

cornbread11_wm

Week #10 in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was Cornbread. WOW hard to believe this non baker has been at this 10 weeks now! Okay back to business.

Now I know what I’m about to say might come as a surprise to some of you so brace yourselves. I’m NOT a big fan of Cornbread. Gasp! I know. Who would have thought a Southern Girl wouldn’t be crazy about cornbread. Well, go figure, but I’m not. But then again, I’m not your typical Southern girl. Around here saying your not crazy about cornbread is almost be as bad as saying that you don’t like grits! But fear not, grits I do like (drenched in cheese of course LOL).

read more

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

cwb9_wm

Week #9 is Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread (wow that’s a mouthful). Well you KNOW I have a wicked sweet tooth so I was quite excited about this one. Not to mention it’s another 1 day bread! WOO HOO! Another big plus, there wasn’t any complicated folding that required me to pour through any online tutorials first.

Luckily I had almost all the ingredients required (with the exception of the walnuts) already in my pantry (another big plus) so I called on Marta and away we went. I don’t know about you but it’s amazing how just the smell of cinnamon puts a smile on my face. Awwwh, okay onto baking.

read more

Ciabatta

ciabatta14_wm

Week #7 of the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was Ciabatta! I started off the week very excited about this challenge. After all, it is an Italian bread!

Ciabatta (pronounced cha-bat-a) literally translates to “slipper”. The name was said to be given because the shape of the bread resembles a slipper. Ciabatta is an Italian white bread with a crisp crust and a soft, porous crumb. Ciabatta was said to be first made in Liguria. There are many variations of Ciabatta and they vary from region to region. We had several different versions to choose from: Regular Ciabatta, Wild Mushrom Ciabatta, Ciabatta with Cheese or Carmelized Onion and Herb Ciabatta. Since it was my first foray into Ciabatta bread I chose the regular Ciabatta.

read more

Ah, Challah!

challah1_wm

Week 6 of the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice was CHALLAH! To give you a little background, Challah is the braided Sabbath bread of Judaism. According to Peter Reinhart, Challah “is a European celebratory loaf symbolic of God’s goodness and bounty. The braids traditionally separate the loaf into twelve distinct sections representing the twelve tribes of Israel.” It’s always fascinating to me to know the history behind something. Makes it more meaningful, doesn’t it?

I’ll save you the suspense because I just can’t stand it and just tell you that I LOVED THIS BREAD! It is by far my favorite thus far. I know I practically say that every week but this bread was dee-lish! It was not only beautiful to look at but incredibly beautiful to eat. It was glowing golden brown on the outside & It was light and airy inside and practically floated down your throat. Definitely a centerpiece bread.

read more

Il Pane Casatiello

casa17_wm

Week 5. Well, we’re moving right along through the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread,. Are you out there baking along with me? I don’t want to be having all this fun by myself & of course gaining all this weight by myself! LOL! Although this has been a delicious adventure it really is wreaking havoc on my waistline. I really need to put myself on an exercise program to go along with this baking challenge!

Okay, back to bread…I must admit I was quite terrified when I started this challenge. I am NOT a baker. So the thought of all of this measuring and being at the mercy of yeast just frightened me. As you may know I’m a by sight & taste kind of cook. I put in my ingredients, taste & adjust. Cooking is very forgiving. Baking on the other hand, not so much. But I do find myself enjoying this immensely. Hoping my book makes it through this challenge. Already after week 5 it’s looking very worn with it’s buttery fingerprints & oil stained pages. LOL

I was particularly excited this week to be making an Italian bread. Evviva (hooray!) Okay, everyone knows by now that I’m crazy about all things Italian. So, suffice it to say I was jazzed. So before I got started on this bread I did a little research so I could give you some background.

read more

“Let them eat BRIOCHE!”

brioche_sbs11_wm

Week 4 in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is BRIOCHE! Oh me, Oh my the buttery goodness that is inside this bread! Brioche is THE bread to which all rich breads are compared and now I know why! It has A LOT of butter. Paula Deen size amounts of butter *wink wink*.

At least a 20% butter to flour ratio is used when making Brioche, but normally 50% or higher is used. Making it decidedly decadent and devilishly delicious. The history of the bread alludes to Marie Antoinette’s last words which properly translates to, “Let them eat Brioche” and not, “Let them eat cake.” Of course we’ll never know which exactly but I think I like the Brioche version myself. I can see why as Brioche is cake-like in texture and extremely moist & buttery, sliding over your tongue and delighting your taste buds.

In Peter’s book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, we were given the choice of three versions: Rich Man’s Brioche, Middle-Class Brioche & Poor Man’s Brioche! Well I figured it was already over the top decadent so why not go ahead & go for the Rich Man’s Brioche which calls for a WHOPPING one pound of butter (told you it was Paula Deen doses). Naturally this has to be good (I didn’t say good for you, just good!)

read more

Bagels, Bagels & more Bagels!

bagel

Week 3 in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge – Bagels! Yes I made it another week! I know, I’m just as shocked as everyone else! Sadly, I must start out with news that, my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer has gone on to greener pastures. Yes, Alice is no longer with us. Artos killed her! Boo hoo hoo! So working on this challenge was a little more challenging than I expected because all of the kneading had to be done by hand! I used muscles in my arms I haven’t used since … well let’s just say it’s been a while!

Not one to let a little setback get me down, I pressed onward. I started out every challenge the same way, reading through the commentary & recipe in Peter’s book. This one was a little daunting, 6 pages worth of daunting to a newbie baker like myself. There were a few ingredients that I could not find locally, malt syrup & high gluten flour but luckily Peter (I feel we’re on a first name basis now since I am afterall in week 3, hope that’s okay with you Peter!) gave me substitutions.. Whew. Yes, I know I could have ordered them online but I ran out of time.

read more

Artos – Greek Celebration Bread

artos1_wm

Well, I made it past the first week’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge WOO HOO (wiping hand off forehead)! However, there’s no time for me to savor my accomplishment (if you didn’t see my post on my first challenge – Anadmama bread you can read about it here)  and now I’m onto week two.

This week’s challenge was Artos Bread – Greek Celebration Breads.There are many different types & varieties of this bread & they all vary from family to family & region. Artos is the general name for these celebration breads. They are given more specific names for specific festivals and celebrations. Our Artos bread choices were: Christopsomos & Lambropsomo.

read more

Anna, damn her! I mean Anadama Bread

ana2_wm

Something you may not know about me is that I’m not much of a baker! Gasp! Shocking I know right! Ask me to whip up a five course meal & that’s no problem. But ask me to bake homemade from scratch bread & I’m at a loss! You see, I’m more of a taste & see kind of cook. I add ingredients mostly by sight, taste them & then adjust as needed. Well, in baking you simply CAN NOT do that. Measurements have to be precise or your final product is a bust!

Despite my lack of baking skills, In the past few weeks I really have been wanting to bake bread! & then a large FLASHING SIGN came down in front of me via Twitter! Nicole of PinchMySalt recently started a group called The Bread Bakers Apprentice – (bba for short). The group is going through Peter Reinhart’s book “The Bread Bakers Apprentice- Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” and making each & every recipe. I saw this is my chance! A HUGE undertaking for a novice baker mind you. But as I do love a challenge I signed up & now we’re off. The first week’s challenge (& of course all of these will be a challenge for me) is ANADAMA bread!

read more