Can you really make homemade bread in an hour?

The answer is yes!  And I don't mean by thawing some frozen bread dough!

I came across this recipe and just had to try it.  It works!  Now is this "oh my god this is the best bread I've ever tasted" bread?  No.  Is it a decent white bread, yes. 

It makes great toast, fantastic grilled cheese, yummy french toast and, oh yea, a pretty darn good turkey sammich!  And it really is done in about an hour.  And even better the recipe makes two loaves so you can throw one in the freezer.

Here is a link to the recipe.  The author also has a cute video to go with it.
Simple One-Hour Homemade Bread

It's a pretty simple recipe, some bread flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast, oil and water.  That's it.  Yes, get the bread flour, you'll be happier with the results.  Bread flour has more gluten in it and it creates a more chewy bread.  All-purpose flour has a mix of high and low gluten wheats and has a bit less protein than bread flour.  You can use all-purpose in this recipe, but you might be disappointed in the results.

It's also important to use instant yeast.  This is what makes it possible to only have one rise for the bread!

I added the full 4 tablespoons of sugar to mine to get some nice browning!

There's nothing fancy about the mixing.  Mix the dry ingredients then add the oil and water.  The recipe says to make sure the dough is "wet" and "sticky."  The stickier the dough, the softer the loaf.  I added a tablespoon of water the first time I made this, a little more than that the second time.  The dough, after the first minute of mixing, should be somewhat wet and pretty sticky.  This is how it stuck to my mixer paddle!

Mix the dough for an additional 5 minutes.  I was surprised to see the author used her paddle attachment rather than a dough hook!  So if you don't have a dough hook this is the recipe for you!

Spray your board with cooking spray (you don't want to add any more flour to the dough) and kneed 8 or 10 times until you have a nice smooth dough.

Cut the dough in half and shape it into whatever shape you like.  I love my bench scraper for cutting the dough.  Place it on greased (or parchment lined) pans, cover with a towel and go do something else for 25 minutes while the dough rises.

Yes, just 25 minutes!  Yes, it only has to rise once! 

Slash your dough and place it in the oven and in about 25 minutes you have homemade bread!  The recipe says bake until golden brown which was about 25 minutes in my oven.  I always check the temperature of my bread with an instant read thermometer, it should be about 200 degrees.

Like I said this isn't an amazing artisan bread but it is good.  It makes a great sandwich, toast or even French toast!  Next time I think I may do a little egg wash to see if I can't get that crust a little prettier!

Braided Cinnamon Bread

Want to impress your guests?  Make this bread!  It smells wonderful when it's baking, it looks pretty and tastes fantastic!  And guess what, it's easy to make!  Yes it takes a little over an hour and a half but an hour of that is just letting the dough rise.

Here is a link to the recipe:

The bread sounded good, of course.  But what really drew me to this recipe was the vessel in which it's baked, a (Lodge) cast iron pan!  I love my cast iron.  I love Lodge.  I bake bread in my Lodge dutch oven and make just about anything in my Lodge cast iron pan.

I have a 12" pan.  The recipe called for a 10"  but I wasn't worried that mine was "too big."  I also love that the pan has such high sides.  This is great for things like fajitas or other dishes that require a lot of stirring, things stay in the pan!

Don't have a cast iron pan?  No worries.  A cake pan will work just fine!

The dough is simple, a little yeast of course, sugar, milk (the recipe called for whole milk, I only had skim in the house - it was a last minute decision to make this - and it worked fine), an egg yolk, flour, salt and butter.  The dough is kneaded just a little then put in an oiled bowl to rise for an hour.

Once risen the dough is rolled into a large rectangle and topped with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and the scrapings of a vanilla bean.  

If you've never worked with an actual vanilla bean you should at least once.  The aroma is so much better than vanilla extract.  Speaking of which, if you don't have a vanilla bean, or some vanilla bean paste in your cupboard, you can just substitute vanilla extract for the bean, 1 teaspoon of extract per bean in the recipe.

I also love this Vietnamese cinnamon from King Arthur Flour.  Ingredients make the dish!

Roll the dough up and pinch the ends.  Then the fun part!

Slice the dough down the middle, length-wise then twist it, making sure that the cinnamon filling 

Bring the ends together and place the dough in your cast iron skillet then brush it with an egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar.  I used a little vanilla sugar I picked up at Penzey's.

Pop this in the oven for about 25 minutes and out comes this beautiful cinnamon bread sure to impress your friends and family!

But wait, we're not done yet.  Frosting!  The recipe includes a recipe for a simple butter cream frosting.  Note, it makes A LOT of frosting.  I maybe used a quarter of it.  You could definitely half the frosting recipe and still be fine!

This was delicious!  Everything you would expect from cinnamon bread.  Crunchy on the outside, melt-in-your mouth on the inside.  I could have eaten the whole thing!

Chorizo-stuffed Pork Tenderloin

We love pork tenderloin in our house.  We eat it probably weekly, sometimes more.  We mostly love pork tenderloin because of the source of our pork, Otis Family Farm.  Bob Otis is a great guy and a great farmer, and sadly won't be farming anymore.  It's a long story, not a sad one by any means, just a change for the Otis family.  He, and his pork, and his chicken and his turkey and his eggs, will be sadly missed by us!

Bob's pigs are a cross between Duroc and White pigs.  He says that Duroc are fat but not good mama's.  The White pigs are skinny but are good mama's.  So his cross gives him fat pigs that are good mama's.  At least that's the theory.  All we know is, they are delicious!

This recipe was emailed to me from my friends at Kitchen Daily and seemed worthy of my precious Otis Family pork tenderloins.  I only have five or six left!

Here is a link to the recipe:
Chorizo-stuffed Pork Tenderloin

The recipe called for Spanish Chorizo or salami.  Salami?  Really?  All I could think was Ewwwww.  Spanish chorizo is a "seasoned, fully cooked smoked pork sausage."  We couldn't find that in the grocery store we went to so we bought some Aidell's apple sausage.  We thought it would go nicely with the pork.

The recipe also called for smoked or extra sharp cheese.  I wasn't sure I wanted cheese in my pork but since it was the first time making this, I followed the recipe and used a sharp cheddar cheese.

This was easy to put together.  Mix up some spinach, cheese and the sausage in a bowl and set it aside.  Then mix a little fresh chopped garlic and olive oil in another little bowl and set that aside.  To prepare the pork, butterfly the tenderloin, open it up and pound it to about an 1/8 of an inch thickness.

Spread the filling on the pork, roll it up and secure it with string.

The tenderloin is then seared before it is brushed with the garlic and olive oil mixture and popped in the oven to finish cooking.

As this finishes in the oven you can not only smell the pork, but the garlic roasting all over it.

It is a beautiful dish and pretty tasty as well.  I think I would chop the sausage a bit larger next time.  I found I liked not only the flavor of the sharp cheese but also the creaminess it added to the filling.  And the little pieces of toasted garlic added great flavor and texture. 

I served it with a little farro risotto and we had cherry pie for dessert!  

Mashed Potato Waffles?

Yes, that's right, mashed potato waffles!  This recipe is yet another Pinterest find.  It's been waiting out there on my "Sides" board for months waiting until we had some left-over mashed potatoes!  Guess what?  Last night I made a roast and mashed potatoes so this morning we had some left-over mashed potatoes and I could finally try this recipe!

Here is a link to the recipe:
Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles

I think the recipe had me with browned butter.  Who doesn't love ANYTHING with browned butter in or on it?  A little butter is browned and mixed with egg and buttermilk.  I didn't have any buttermilk in the house so I made my own with a little vinegar and milk.  The left over mashed potatoes and some chives are added to this, and finally the dry ingredients, a little flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pepper.  The recipe called for a little garlic powder.  I left that out but I'm sure it would be delish!

The batter is pretty thick which had me a little nervous about how it would cook up in the waffle iron.

The pictures in the recipe are of cute little round waffles.  I didn't want to have to wait that long for breakfast so I started with two dollops per round.  My waffle iron only makes one waffle at a time. I do have a nicer, double waffle iron on my Amazon wish list if anyone is dying to buy me a nice spendy gift!  Until then, we'll just do this!

The waffles took about the same amount of time as any waffle batter.  They did mush together in the waffle iron but that was ok.  They were a beautiful golden brown!

How did they taste?  We loved them!  They had a mashed potato/hash brown flavor from the browning in the waffle.  The chives gave them a little brightness.  They were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside!

The recipe called for melting cheddar cheese on the top.  Neither my hubby or I thought that sounded good so I skipped that step too.  I put the cheese on the omelet instead.  I asked Dave if he wanted syrup and he said he'd contemplated that but it didn't sound right, neither did the left over gravy.  We both agreed they were perfect just plain!  

This is how I'm going to use up left over mashed potatoes from now on!


If you know me, or read this blog with any frequency, you know I like to make bread.  I very rarely buy bread anymore, including things like English muffins and hamburger buns.  I've found some great recipes that are so easy (and so cheap!) why would I buy them.

I do still buy crackers.  I love the Potter's Crackers they sell at The Golden Fig in St. Paul and both my hubby and I love the Sesmark rice crackers.

I don't remember where I first saw the recipe for "Olive Oil Crackers" but I immediately Pinned it.  I knew I would want to try and make these.

I've made them twice, why will be come apparent in a bit!

Here is a link to the recipe:
Olive Oil Crackers

These are pretty simple to whip together, mix some flour, baking powder, olive oil and water in a bowl and knead it a little bit.

I chose to use my garlic infused olive oil from The Olive Grove Olive Oil Company.  

The recipe is in metric units so I've converted for you here!

250 grams of flour is about 9 ounces.

125 ml of water is about 1/2 a cup.

220C is about 428F.

The dough comes together very easily.  Once you have the dough you portion it off in "walnut" sized pieces and roll them into thin "tongues."

They are then brushed with more olive oil, sprinkled with salt and baked until crispy, 6-8 minutes.

The first time I made them I rolled them by hand.  I got them all fairly thin, but they weren't all completely uniform.  They baked up fine and I will say they tasted pretty good!  I served them with some yummy Deena's Hummus.

But I thought I could do better!  What if I used my pasta roller attachment for my Kitchenaid to roll the crackers out?  Then they would all be exactly the same thickness and I could get them thinner than if I rolled them by hand.

I rolled them to a 6 on my pasta roller and to be honest I think I could have gone to even a 7 or 8.  Because I knew what the plain crackers tasted like, this time I added cracked black pepper to a third of the batch and chopped rosemary (and used my Rosemary Infused EVOO from Olive Grove on those!) to another third, the rest I left plain.

Yes, they were better this time!  I really liked the flavored crackers too.  They stayed crispy in a zip top bag for a couple days (that's as long as they lasted!).  These were fun and easy and I'll definitely make them again. 

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