Archive for ‘Bread’

July 25, 2013

Peach Blueberry Bread Pudding

It’s been a busy couple of months over here. I wrapped up grad school, sent my first graders off to a summer of watching tv reading and playing outside. Then, I packed up my car and drove off to my new life in quiet upstate New York with my future Mr. Lane and our child cat, Arthur.

After settling in for a few short days, I have been off on a whirlwind of visiting family, attending weddings, and (fingers-crossed)  job interviews.  Okay, there has been a little wedding planning going on in there too. So I haven’t had time to share with you the craziness of my closet-sized kitchen in my new home, which has actually been able to produce some pretty magical things, considering I can span the whole thing if I spread my arms out.

Anyways, I am writing to you now from the Jersey shore, a place that I have vacationed with my family since I was a little girl, my mother since she was a little girl, and my grandmother since she was a little girl. The devastation from the storm here is quite heart stopping, but Restore the Shore is in full swing and folks are out on their bikes, in their bikinis, and working hard to get summer back to normal.

I am here with my whole family, and my brother Dan decided to make a billion loaves of bread the other day. (Hmm… I am feeling a guest post coming on…) While he is quite masterful and the bread was very delicious, we couldn’t finish it all before it got stale. So, I made bread pudding!

I have a weird relationship with bread pudding. I always say I don’t like it, but then when I am eating it, I really do like it. This recipe was a winner, with fresh peaches and blueberries from the local NJ farmstand. It tasted like french toast. We thought some  walnuts would have been a great addition, but here is the recipe as I made it!

Peach Blueberry Bread Pudding
Adapted from Joy the Baker

stale bread, cut or torn into 1″ pieces (enough to loosely cover/fill your baking dish)
1 medium peach, peeled and sliced
1 generous handful blueberries
2 cups milk (I used skim, you could use whole for a richer taste)
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Arrange stale bread pieces in a 9″ pie dish, cake pan, or square baking dish – whatever floats your boat. You should have enough bread to fill the pan, but with plenty of holes and space for liquid and fruit. Toss in the peaches and blueberries and use your hands to distribute evenly.

Next, gently heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir often, heating just until the butter melts, but without boiling the milk.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Once the butter has melted, slowly pour the hot milk/butter mixture into the bowl, whisking constantly to distribute the heat. Pour the mixture over the bread and fruit, making sure that all of the bread pieces get fully soaked in liquid.

Cover the baking dish and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or overnight. About 2 hours before you want to serve the pudding, preheat the oven to 350 F. Take the bread pudding out of the fridge, remove the cover, and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top is getting crispy but the middle still wobbles a bit when you shake the pan. Let the pudding set for at least 30 minutes before serving, lukewarm.

July 14, 2011

Kaiser Rolls: Adventures in Bread

I have bloggers writing block.

I made these really cool rolls, but I can’t think of anything witty to say about them.

So I hope you don’t mind looking at the pictures.

If you want, you can make up your own blog post in your head!

Here are the essentials:

These tasted good.

They were fun to make.

I can’t give you the recipe, but I can give you the link to Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

June 26, 2011

Thoughts on life and bagels. (Adventures in Bread)

When you are sitting up late at night writing a paper or studying for a test, do you ever dream about being a bread baker? I do. I would happily go to sleep at 8pm and wake up before the sun to head into my friendly little bakery to start preparing fresh delicious breads for my amazing local customers. Spending dark quiet mornings surrounded by rising dough and the smell of yeast… What? You don’t have that fantasy? Hmm… well, you obviously have never made bagels. I’m telling you, the magical experience of actually creating your own homemade bagels is enough to make you want to put down your pen and put on an apron.

Rewind a few months. As graduation inched (flew, really) towards me, I began to feel more and more burned out on all the time spent on my computer, analyzing and fact checking and researching. I didn’t bake for weeks. I just needed to get my hands covered in flour and heat up my oven. There is something so grounding about the process of bread-making, and let me tell you, I needed some solid ground! And while I didn’t have control over the type of security that might come with, say, a job prospect for the future (and still don’t..eeek!), I do have control over my hands and the ingredients in my kitchen. And really, if all it takes is a little kneading, shaping, boiling, and baking to make me feel like I’ve got a handle on things, I’m a pretty lucky girl.

These bagels… well, they were just bagels. But I made them with my own two hands, and I’ll take pride in that, thank you very much!  I hope that, in the midst of whatever is stressing you out these days, you can find a Saturday morning to give these a try.

Take your time.

Get messy.

Knead until your arms hurt.

Be patient.

Savor the taste.

Don’t worry about life, just make bagels.


(Where are the directions you ask? The recipe I used was from my trusty Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. This book is too beautiful to smash all over the internet, so I suggest you hit the library or bookstore and get a copy!)

January 15, 2011


It’s a new year. That means I get to buy myself a treat right?

Yes. It does.

I just bought The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. I have been lusting after it ever since Christmas, when my brother asked me to pick up a copy at the bookstore as a present. I wished and hoped that he was secretly giving to to me (although that would be a lame way to give a present I guess), but instead it was for my bread-baking machine step-dad, Tom.

I tried to steal borrow it over break. No such luck.

So I bought it. And I am going to learn to make bread.

This bread is not from that book. It is a simple and yummy-looking recipe from Joy the Baker. Well, it was my first time, and several things went awry (I am refraining from a rye bread pun here. you’re welcome.)

But it looks kind of nice, and it tasted okay!

Until I burned most of it trying to make garlic bread under the broiler.

That’s a story for another day.


December 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bread

Notes to self:

1. Do not wait a month to post baked goods because you will forget about them. (Sorry Betsy!)

2. Do not trust janky college  ovens with anything.

This was another one of those late night stress relief baking projects. My housemate Betsy and I were avoiding all people in the world, and thus decided that making bread that tasted like dessert would be the perfect carb/sugar load to enjoy our Friday night. I found this recipe on vanilla sugar, and it looks pretty divine.

Unfortunately, our ghetto Skidmore Scribner Village oven seems to hate cooking bread. This bread burned about 1/4 inch around the outside, bottom and side crusts included (even after a valiant attempt at covering the top with a tinfoil hat) and refused to cook at all in the middle. We were 10 minutes past the instructed bake time, and after jamming the fork tines through the quickly browning crust, I was reaching gloppy dough in the middle.

Finally we reached some sort of middle ground where the inside was cooked enough and the outside was hard as a rock. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so good. I really wanted it to be. And I’m sure it had the absolute best intentions to be a delicious, decadent little slice of heaven, particularly looking at the pictures from the original recipe, but it just cooked funny and it was untoastable because it just fell apart, so it couldn’t even be saved with a warm little pat of butter.

But… we ate the whole thing over the course of the weekend.  So I guess it did the job 🙂

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bread
Adapted from Vanilla Sugar

¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 TB vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
4 ts baking powder
1/2 ts salt

¾ cup of milk chocolate chips
3 TB of melted butter
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a small bowl mix the buttermilk and eggs together. In another bowl sift the flours, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla; add in the buttermilk/egg mixture. Then beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
Add in the milk chocolate chips.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 50 – 55 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. During the last 30 minutes of baking brush top with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.