Category Archives: Breads

Homemade Yeast Doughnuts

This has been quite the whirlwind week.

Once again, I’m preparing to move:  this time from Cincinnati, Ohio to Silver Spring, Maryland.  This past week has been devoted to finishing up my projects at work and cleaning and packing up my apartment.  But in between those two activities, I have been doing my best to take advantage of my last few days in Cincinnati.

Last Tuesday night, I drove to Mt. Adams, the neighborhood overlooking downtown Cincinnati from its eastern perch.  I got lost navigating the winding one-way streets, as always, but eventually found a narrow street sandwiched between two apartment buildings and leading up to the edge of the Mount.

I unpacked my camera, set up my tripod, and took in the lights Continue reading

Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread

Cornbread is a so-called quick bread, because it doesn’t contain yeast and doesn’t require any rising or kneading.  All of which makes it ready to bake in a flash!

Another great thing about cornbread is that no two recipes need be alike.  You can mix and match ingredients as you see fit.  Play with the type of cornmeal (coarse or medium), the flour (whole wheat or not), the cheese (cheddar or monterey) and the acid (buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt).  Add corn or jalapeno slices . . . or both . . . or neither.

I made this particular recipe twice, Continue reading

Whole Wheat Banana Oat Yeast Bread

Over the last few days, I’ve watched my bananas go from a bright yellow, worthy of wearing the leader’s jersey in the Tour de France, to a soft brown, like a tattered and mud-splashed elementary school bus.

Banana bread and banana muffins are always easy options for an overripe bunch.  But banana bread is – let’s be honest – closer to cake than either bread or a trip to the bottom of the food pyramid.  For that reason, I took my overripe bananas and turned them into real banana bread – not the quick kind.  Indeed, if you know me, you know that I often enjoy taking the long and meandering route, passing through several culinary steps and preparation detours over what might have otherwise been a one-step, ten-minute trip, down the intercity highway (see curried couscous).

While this banana bread requires kneading and resting, rather than mixing and pouring, it is Continue reading

Classic Gingerbread Cake

When I’m in the supermarket checkout line, I often look longingly at the Cook’s Illustrated in the magazine racks.  The magazine always looks so informative and helpful.  The sleek black and white drawings, the hands-on, practical tips, and the absence of advertisements.  But at $5.95, it always gives me that moment of pause.

So I was particularly excited Continue reading

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Growing up, we used to devour this stuff.  I can remember my younger brother popping two slices into the toaster, waiting for that mechanical “pop,” and then throwing a slab of butter between the warm slices as he placed them on his plate.  After which, he put two more slices into the toaster.

This past Thanksgiving, I showed my youngest brother how to make scrambled eggs.  Saturday night we went to the Kroger, picked up a pan, a whisk, a dozen eggs, and a DVD from the Red Box.  After a quick tutorial, we settled down on his dorm couch to scrambled eggs, raisin bread, and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

My mind must have wandered to that night.  That, combined with my love of bread-baking, inspired me Continue reading

Garlic and Cheese Naan

The Cincinnati football team is named the Bengals, and takes, as its logo, an image of a leaping Royal Bengal tiger.  The Bengal tiger is native to India and Bangladesh, and can be found in the aptly named Bengal region.  With a population of close to 250 million people, the region is one of the densest and most populous regions in the entire world.

This is not the only link between the city of Cincinnati and the Indian sub-continent.  Despite the city’s German roots, the city is home to a thriving Indian community, particularly given the relative size of Cincinnati.  The public library’s collection includes a significant number of Bollywood videos and books in Bengali.  The Clifton area boasts an Indian grocery, and the city itself is home to about a dozen excellent Indian restaurants.

When Caitlin first visited Cincinnati, we went Ambar India, which is now Continue reading

Homemade Baguettes

There’s a certain moment in the bread-baking process where you remember exactly why you spent all that time kneading, crafting, and waiting.

It’s not the moment you take the bread out of the oven, or the moment you finally bite into a slice.  It’s several minutes before that time.  It’s the moment when you perk up, and notice that your entire apartment smells of freshly baking bread.  It’s that moment, above any other, that reminds me why I enjoy the bread-baking process.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt Continue reading