Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Apple~Oatmeal Bread

If I had a list of "comfort foods," grilled cheese would be near the top.  There's no denying the taste of that melted cheese oozing from a perfectly toasted bread.  I've been ill for a few weeks (recuperating from pneumonia) and hadn't had much of an appetite, but today on the mend, I was craving a grilled cheese...just like mom would have made me.

The classic is the best, but I just got my latest issue of Sift magazine (by King Arthur Flour) and in it was an article on "changing up" the grilled cheese with new fillings and new breads.  The bread that caught my eye was Apple-Oatmeal; I think because I love pairing apple with cheese just like my grandfather did with pie:-D  It's, as my granddaughter Emmie would say, "Super Easy!"  All the ingredients are combined in one bowl and mixed, then placed in a greased bowl to rise for until doubled, about 1 hour, shaped, rise again, and then baked for 30 minutes.  My kitchen smelled heavenly with aromas of cinnamon and apples and as the description said..."it's the perfect autumn loaf."

Apple~Oatmeal Bread
2 tsp. instant or active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 T vegetable oil
2 T firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, divided
1 cup coarsely chopped apple (I peeled the apple)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 large egg, beaten (to brush on the top)

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and 1 cup of flour.  Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of flour, 1/3 at a time until the dough comes together.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Place the dough in a large bowl, brushed with melted butter and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  You can test by poking your finger into the dough and if the indentation does spring back, it's risen.
Deflate the dough and shape into a loaf.  Place in a 9" x 5" loaf pan that has been brushed with butter. Press down slightly to fill the corners of the pan and cover again with plastic wrap.  Let rise until it domes 1-inch about the edge of the pan.  Preheat oven to 375F-degrees.

Just before baking, brush the top of the loaf with a beaten egg and sprinkle more oats on top.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and the center of the bread reads 190F-degrees with an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.

I chose a combination of cheddar and provolone, but I also love Havarti and Dubliner on my grilled cheese.  Along with some homemade Tomato~Basil soup, this was truly comforting and I'm feeling much better.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Dessert ~ Scripture Cake

Scripture Cake was very popular in the 19th center, but around long before that.  It's definitely a favorite with Southern bakers and this "Southern baking transplant!"  The history says it was invented to bolster familiarity with the Bible.  All the ingredients are named in the Old Testament passages.  Instead of listing ingredients, like usual in recipes, the amount was given plus a Bible verse.  So, here is how the recipe was written, but fear not, I have give it below with the ingredient and the amount:-D

1/2 cup Judges 5:28
1 1/2 cups Jeremiah 6:20
3 (separated) Isaiah 10:14
2 cups Leviticus 24:5
2 tsp. Amos 4:5
1 tsp. Exodus 30:23
1 tsp. each 2 Chronicles 9:9
1/2 tsp. 2 Kings 2:20
1 cup Jeremiah 24:5
1 cup 2 Samuel 16:1
1/2 cup Genesis 43:11

There are a number of versions of Scripture Cake and this one I borrowed from Tammy Algood, author of the wonderful cookbook, Sunday Dinner in the South.  This cake makes a wonderful dessert and my hubby loved the spices, but it can also be served for tea time; another tradition we uphold.

Scripture Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, divided
1 T honey
1/2 cup water
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground mace
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup finely chopped figs
1 cup dark or golden raisins
1/2 cups chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan (I used my new square one) with a baking spray or grease and flour and set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks, one at a time while the mixer is running.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Add the honey and water and mix again.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, spices and salt together.  Add the chopped figs, raisins, and almonds and toss to coat.  This step helps to ensure the fruit and nuts are equally distributed in the finished cake.

Add this mixture to the butter mixture.  Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
Spoon evenly into prepared baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool about 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter.

Dust the top with confectioners' sugar and serve.  Garnish with fresh figs, if desired.

This time-honored dessert recipe, with its roots in Biblical learning was the perfect selection for Sunday dessert. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

Bread pudding was something my mother made quite often.  It was her way of using up stale bread, especially homemade bread with no preservatives.  I saw this recipe on FB and it intrigued me, but of course, I did change it up a bit to make it.  I think my Mother would call this dessert "Poor Man's Apple Pie!"

Bread pudding is popular in many countries; in the Philippines it's made with bananas and in Mexico, it is served at Lent and called Capirotada.  Mostly it is a dessert, but I have been known to make a savory one as well.

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

6 slices of white bread, cut in cubes
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Half & Half
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tsp. Apple Pie Spices (or you can use 1 T ground cinnamon)

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, half & half, vanilla and spices together.  Add the bread cubes and use a rubber spatula to make sure they are completely coated.
All the bread to sit while you fix the apple filling, soaking up all the liquid.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F-degrees (175c).  I used a 10-inch iron skillet to bake mine pudding in, but you can use a round baking pan as well.  Place 4T of unsalted butter in the skillet and place it in the oven to melt. Remove from oven and spoon the bread into the pan, pressing down slightly.

Apple Filling:

3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 T cornstarch

In the same bowl, place chopped apples, brown sugar and cornstarch in it.  Stir until the apples start to release their juices and the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Spoon on top of the bread cubes and pressing down lightly.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the apples are soft and golden brown.

To serve, slice in wedges.  You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (I didn't have any) and drizzle with caramel sauce, which is what I did.  It was wonderful and brought back memories of my mom's bread puddings. Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Peach Jam Bars and August's Give-Away Apron

Summer is sailing by and I have been busy, as usual.  First, I have a new release of dies coming out next week and so last week I was in Colorado shooting videos. Also, this month, our lovely grandchildren will be visiting us and getting ready for a week of fun and antics takes a lot of planning:-D  We're celebrating their birthdays, all at once, since we never get to be with them on their actual date...stay tune, it will be fun.

I've also tried to keep up with my "Jam" making and have over 40 jars of peach, 21 of strawberry, and 12 of Peach/Pineapple on the shelf.  I'm behind on doing blueberry, raspberry, or blackberry, but hope to tackle those fruits as well.  However, since the Peach Jam was so excellent this year, I decided to go back and make one of Kelly's favorite recipes-"Kelly's Jam Bars."  I've made them before, but using either strawberry or raspberry and thought today I'd try Peach.  Kelly made these so many times and you can read the story and recipe.  They turned out perfect--Enjoy!

August's apron can certainly be called "Pretty in Pink," one of Kelly's favorite movies.  I found the fabrics at one of our local quilt stores, "Wish Upon a Quilt," and fell in love with it.  You might guess that Paris is on my Bucket List!  I love the colors and if you'd like to be wearing this apron, make a comment on any of the posts this month and I will send #140 apron off to you. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

July's Give-Away Apron Winner...

Running behind, as usual, so July's Apron winner is "Take Me There Totes."  Please email me your address and I will happily send this beautiful apron out to you.  I will have August's apron up either later today or tomorrow...I promise:-D