Tag Archives: bread

Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread: The Perfect Use for Leftover Herbs

Our favourite Girl Meets Farm recipes often include Molly Yeh’s mouth-watering baked goods – think cake and cookies – and this flaky, herb-alicious bread is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a warm mid-day snack or flavourful dinner side, this eight-ingredient masterpiece is your best bet.

Make use of all that luscious dill growing in your herb garden by combining it with your homemade dough and enjoy the soothing scents. Serve hot for optimal deliciousness. Find more tips and recipes with our ultimate herb guide.

Related:  Molly Yeh’s One-Pot Wonder Taco Hot Dish

Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread

Total Time: 2 hours
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup pastry flour
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Oil, for greasing the bowl
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter, very soft
1 cup chopped fresh dill

Related: Your New Favourite Dish Starring Avocado: Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pastry flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Create a well in the center and add 3/4 cup water. Mix until you have a shaggy dough.

2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, adding additional flour as needed, until smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 6 balls. Keep them covered with plastic wrap when you’re not working with them. Using your hands, spread 1 tablespoon butter on a large work surface, top one of the balls of dough with another tablespoon of butter and pat out into a flat circle. Put the buttered dough ball on top of the spot of butter on the work surface. Using a flat hand, gently massage the dough in circular motions (as if you’re washing a window) to flatten it out into a very large translucent circle. It’s OK if it tears and is not perfect just try to get it as thin as possible!

4. Top with a sprinkling of the dill and then roll it out into a long, skinny log. Roll the log into a coil and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is a Birthday Treat to Remember

5. Roll out the coils into 7-inch-round circles by placing them between two pieces of wax paper and flattening with a rolling pin. The dough will probably want to stick to the wax paper, but it’s ok if it tears while you’re peeling it off. Alternatively, you can stick the rolled-out coils in the fridge for about 30 minutes, which will make them slightly easier to handle.

6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook one at a time until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve hot!

Get to know the cookbook author and blogger behind Girl Meets Farm with 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

How to Make Bruschetta in 15 Minutes (Plus the Best Bruschetta Bar for Nights Inside)

Nothing says staying indoors quite like a delightful seasonal spread bursting with fresh ingredients. We absolutely love to use the best of the season, and one summer and early fall favourite is tomatoes. Fresh, juicy and perfectly ripe at the end of summer, we’re always looking for ways to make them a star. Our new favourite is to assemble a quick and easy bruschetta bar when spending time inside with loved ones (because we’re desperate to switch things up these days!).  With a few simple ingredients, you can showcase the bright, herbaceous flavours of this beloved app and present an impressive spread in just a few minutes.

How to Make Bruschetta (And the Best Bruschetta Bar!)

bruschetta-bar-spread

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced or 12 cocktail tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup labneh or Greek yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp za’atar
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil

bruschetta bar assembled

Related: Ranking Canadian Retailers Offering Grocery Delivery Right Now, by Price

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Place labneh, ricotta, hummus, walnuts, parsley, basil, parmesan and pine nuts into small bowls and place on platter.
3. Sprinkle labneh with za’atar and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle ricotta with herbs, if desired.
4. Assemble all items on a platter and serve with plates for guests to assemble their appetizers.

Looking for more easy peasy recipes? Trust us: these snack plates are the easy dinner option you need this week!

How to Make Your Own Butter and Buttermilk (Plus a Cornbread Recipe!)

I’m sure many of you have made your own cornbread from scratch, but have you ever made this tasty dish using homemade buttermilk and homemade butter? Two commonly store-bought items are so simple to make at home. Yes, if you’re wondering how to make butter and how to make buttermilk, it’s as easy as two ingredients each. Once you’re done whipping those up, use them in this simple one-bowl cornbread recipe. It’s a great base to stir in any extra flavours you want, like spices, bacon, jalapenos and cheese!

Homemade Buttermilk

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 cup whole milk

Directions:

1. Add vinegar to a measuring cup and pour in milk. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes.

Homemade Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer, add the whipping cream. Starting on low speed and increasing to medium, whisk cream until the mixture breaks, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture has solidified, pour off the liquid and transfer butter to a mixing bowl. Rinse with ice water and squeeze to remove any additional liquid. Season with salt.

Related: Which Pie Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

Simple Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-grain medium-grind cornmeal
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with butter.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, buttermilk and eggs until well blended. Add in the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt and pepper. Stir until ingredients come together.

3. Transfer to skillet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving!

Like Marcella’s butter, buttermilk and cornbread? Try her cinnamon streusel muffins and s’mores butter tarts.

Bread Baking for Beginners: How to Make the Perfect Sourdough Loaf

There’s nothing like the smell of homemade bread in your kitchen, and the taste of a fresh sourdough loaf is always so much better than store-bought. While there are some bakeries that sell traditionally made sourdough bread, it’s not always common to find. Besides, it’s actually easy to make your own bread at home. With a few readily available ingredients and a little bit of time, you can learn the basics of working with sourdough. The slow fermentation process of sourdough makes the bread easier to digest, and tastes absolutely delicious. We know you’ll love it!

Sourdough Bread Recipe: Bread Baking for Beginners

The Perfect Fermented Sourdough Bread

Prep Time: 20 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:
1 ½  cups sourdough starter
½  cup water
1 cup spelt flour
½  cup rye flour
½  cup white flour
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 cup white rice flour for sprinkling

Related: Can’t Find Yeast? 12 Yeast-Free Bread Recipes You’ll Love

Directions:
1. Combine the starter with water and the different flours in a large bowl. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated evenly. The dough should be a bit sticky.

How to Make Sourdough Bread

2. Let the mixture sit in the bowl for 30 minutes, covered with a towel. You’ll want the room temperature to be warm, around 25°C (78°F).

3. After 30 minutes, add in the sea salt. You can gently rub the salt into the dough with your fingers.

4. Place the dough on a clean counter or a large cutting board, and lightly flour the surface. Here’s where you’ll do a technique that’s called “slap and fold” for around 5 minutes: Stretch out the dough into a rectangular shape and slap this against the surface.

Related: 15 Things You Can Make With Your Leftover Sourdough Starter

Once the dough is laying flat on the surface, fold the bottom end over into the center. Stretch out the dough again and repeat several more times in the 5 minute period. You’ll find that the dough starts to hold together better and is smoother after this process.

5. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Place it back in the bowl, and cover with a towel for this resting period.

6. After 30 minutes of resting, you’ll do a set of what’s called “stretch and fold.” This is more gentle than the “slap and fold.” Stretch the dough into a rectangular shape and fold the bottom edge into the centre. Then fold the upper edge into the centre.

7. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with the towel to rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat another set of stretch and fold after the 30 minutes.

8. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with the towel to rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat a third set of stretch and fold after the 30 minutes.

9. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with the towel, and this time let it rest for 2 to 2.5 hours. During this time you should see the dough rise, about 30-50%.

Related: Our 16 Carbiest Breakfast Recipes, From Croissants to Pancakes

10. After resting, place the dough on your clean countertop or cutting board again and lightly shape into a round. Experienced sourdough bakers call this the pre-shape step. You can let this rest for 20 minutes. While the dough is resting, line a colander or bowl (or use a proofing basket known as a banneton, if you have one) with a towel and lightly flour it.

11. Gently reshape the dough into a round and then place this into the lined strainer, bowl or banneton. Cover with a towel and place in the fridge overnight for around 14 hours.

12. In the morning, preheat the oven to 450°F, placing a Dutch oven with its lid (without the dough) inside the oven for 1 hour.

13. Take the dough out of the fridge. Place a piece of parchment paper (you’ll want to trim the paper to make sure it fits in the Dutch oven) on top of the dough, and then invert the strainer, bowl or banneton to flip over so the dough is resting on top of the parchment. Use a small sifter to sprinkle white rice flour over top of the dough. Then score the top of the bread, using a razor blade, bread lame or really sharp knife. You can do one simple line down the centre, or you can try doing other more creative scores (simply look online for “how to score sourdough”).

14. Carefully transfer the dough into the heated Dutch oven and cover with the lid. Be careful, since the Dutch oven and lid will be very hot.

15. Bake for 20 minutes. Then uncover and turn the heat down to 400°F. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden colour.

16. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 2-3 hours before slicing.

For more must-bake bread inspiration, browse these brilliant banana bread recipes, or try your hand at this no-knead olive za’atar bread.  And don’t toss that sourdough discard! Instead, make these easy five-ingredient sourdough discard crackers.

This Easy Recipe for Soft Rolls Uses Less Than 10 Pantry Ingredients!

There’s nothing quite like breaking into freshly baked bread, beautifully golden on the outside, warm and pillowy on the inside. What’s even more rewarding is making it yourself! These soft dinner rolls are incredibly easy to make and require just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. I promise once you try these Baking Therapy soft rolls, it’ll be your go-to bread recipe time and time again.

Easy Soft Dinner Rolls

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes
Servings: 2 x 6-inch round loaves

Ingredients:

Dough
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 ½ Tbsp instant yeast
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 ½ tsp kosher salt

Egg Wash
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk

Pinch flaky salt (optional)

Related: No-Knead Olive Za’atar Bread That Looks Fancy (But is Super Easy)

Directions:

1. In a stand-mixer bowl with the hook attachment, mix together the milk and instant yeast. (If you’re using active dry yeast, make sure to proof in warm milk at about 100°F to 110°F). Add the sifted flour, oil, sugar, egg and salt. Mix on low speed, until the dough pulls away from the bowl, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, cover with the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. The dough will rise to about two to three times its original size.

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

3. Grease and line with parchment paper two 6-inch round pans (or pan of your choice).

4. Portion the dough into equal portions (10 x 75 gram balls). Roll each piece of dough against a non-floured surface to create smooth, round dough balls.

5. Place five dough balls into each of the prepared pans, cover and set aside to rest a second time for 15 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 420°F. Prepare egg wash by mixing egg and milk.

7. Brush the dough balls with egg wash and sprinkle with flaky salt.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Want more easy at-home recipes that use pantry ingredients? These meals that start with macaroni  and canned salmon recipes will have you cooking up a storm.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

No-Knead Olive Za’atar Bread That Looks Fancy (But is Super Easy)

Trust us: This no-knead bread recipe will make you feel like a professional baker. The secret? It’s a super simple, fool-proof recipe that you really can’t mess up, unlike other breads out there. While it does require a bit of time to allow the dough to rise, all good things take time, right? After that, you’ll be off to the races. You can flavour this bread however you please, but we find the combination of our favourite Middle Eastern spice, za’atar, with salty kalamata olives is the perfect marriage of flavours. 

We chose spelt flour because that’s our preferred healthy flour of choice, but you can use a combination of whole- and unbleached-wheat flour, or AP flour. When made only with whole-grain, the bread will be dense, so we recommend combining a light or unbleached variety to give it airiness and levity. Now go impress yourself and your friends, and get baking!

Related: How to Make the Perfect Sourdough Loaf (Bread Baking for Beginners)


No-Knead Olive Za’atar Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Proofing Time: 6-18 hours
Bake Time: 75 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups light spelt flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp za’atar
½ tsp dry active yeast
1 ½ cups room temperature water
¼ cup coarsely chopped kalamata olives

Directions:

1. Place dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including the yeast.

2. Make a small well in the middle of the ingredients, and pour in the water. Mix slowly to incorporate, then fold in the olives. A shaggy dough will begin to form. Do not over-mix. 

Related: Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

3. Once the dough mixture is shaggy, cover the bowl with a towel and let rest anywhere from 6-18 hours. The longer you wait, the better the dough.

4. After the resting period, the dough will have doubled in size.

5. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place a large oven-safe pot with a tight lid into the oven. We prefer a dutch oven. Leave it there for 30 minutes. 

Related: How to Make Everything Garlic Bread Knots

6. While the dutch oven is heating up, take the dough out of the bowl and place it onto a floured surface. The dough will be very sticky, so be generous with the flour. Begin to roll it into a ball, but remember, this is no-knead, so there is “no need” to start pounding it or folding it. Simply round it into a ball and leave it alone.

7. Lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back into the bowl. Cover it with a towel and let sit for the remainder of the 30 minutes that your pot is heating up.

8. After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the oven (it will be hot so be careful!). Remove the lid and place a piece of parchment paper into the pot and drop the dough in. Put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.

9. Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.

10. Then, take the freshly baked bread out of the oven and place it onto a cooling rack. You will be so impressed at how artisanal it looks, not to mention that you actually made it yourself, from scratch!

11. Enjoy with butter, ghee, olive oil or on its own.

Now that you’ve conquered bread from scratch, pair it with one of these healthy Middle Eastern recipes you’ll make on repeat.

The Most Delicious Chocolate Babka with a Healthy Twist for Your Hanukkah Party

Babka is an extremely popular Eastern European Jewish dessert, and for good reason. Imagine eating pools of gooey, delicious chocolate alongside crunchy toasted nuts that have been swirled and baked inside a warm, slightly crusty loaf of bread – that’s babka. Obviously, bread + chocolate = two of the best foods on the planet, so it only makes sense to marry them together in baked form. You can also create babka with raisins or cinnamon (or both), but our preference is for chocolate, so we devised a healthy-ish version of the classic. We swapped out white flour and white sugar for more nutrient-rich ingredients – but you won’t taste the difference, scout’s honour! We recommend making a second loaf to ensure leftovers (this version is healthy enough for breakfast, after all).

Delicious Healthier Chocolate Babka Recipe

Servings: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 1 hour + 6-14 hours rising time
Bake Time: 40-50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

Dough
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 package or 2 tsp instant yeast
½ tsp maple syrup
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, diced into cubes
1 large egg, room temperature
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
2 ½ cups spelt flour

Chocolate Walnut Filling
⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup coconut sugar
100 grams dark chocolate 70% or higher (approx. 1 chocolate bar), roughly chopped
¼ cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Syrup
½ cup water
½ cup coconut sugar

Directions:

Dough
1. In a saucepan, gently warm the almond milk, so it’s warm to the touch but not too hot. Take off the heat and add in the yeast and maple syrup. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy and foamy. If it doesn’t foam up, your yeast may have died or the milk was too hot.

2. Next, combine the dough ingredients by hand, or using a food processor or electric mixer with the hook attachment (we chose the food processor). Whichever method you decide, mix together the butter, egg, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt. In the food processor, pulse on low for about two minutes until the butter is creamy.

3. Gradually begin to add the flour, 1 cup to start. Pulse in the foamy milk-yeast mixture along with remaining flour until the dough comes together to form a ball. If the dough isn’t coming together, add more flour, starting with 1 Tbsp at a time. If it’s too dry, add water 1 Tbsp at a time.

4. Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface or using your electric mixer for about 8-10 minutes, until the ball of dough is smooth and not sticky.

5. Place the kneaded dough in a bowl that’s been lightly oiled or buttered (so the dough doesn’t stick) and cover with a towel or beeswax/plastic wrap. If you can, refrigerate for 6 hours up to overnight. If you don’t have that time, let it rest in the warmest place in your kitchen for an hour, but overnight is best.

Filling
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the walnuts, until the mixture is silky and smooth.

Assembly
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 22 x 12 inches. Once rolled out, spread the filling evenly over top, you don’t need to leave a border. Then sprinkle the walnuts all over.

2. Starting from one side, begin rolling the dough into a long log, like you’re rolling up a tortilla or a yoga mat; then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes (this will help with slicing the dough in the next step).

3. Remove the dough from the freezer and slice the rolled dough log in half lengthwise.

4. Place the two slices right next to each other with the chocolate insides facing up and make an “X” shape (the “X” should be right in the middle). Twist both sides over each other, like a braid or a rope. Place in a bread pan that’s been buttered and covered in parchment paper, you may need to fold it a bit more or squish it into the pan. Cover the babka with a towel and let it rest for 1 – 1 ½ hours so it can rise further.

5. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and bake for 40-50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (unless it punctures a chocolatey area).

6. While it’s baking, prepare the syrup by combining the water and coconut sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 4 minutes and whisk until the coconut sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool completely.

7. When the babka is out of the oven, generously brush the syrup over the top to help lock in moisture and create a glossy finish.

8. Gently remove the babka from the pan, slice and enjoy. Babkas also freeze remarkably well, so you can make several batches for other occasions.

For more festive recipes, try these 15 delectable Hanukkah doughnuts, plus the only dishes you need for a Happy Hanukkah.

Breakfast Skillet with Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

It’s Saturday morning in Toronto and the first thing that comes to mind as I open my eyes is, “Wow. I’m hungover.” The second thing is, “I want brunch… STAT.” If you live in Toronto, you know that grabbing brunch can sometimes be a three-hour endeavor, and it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere with more than four people. If you do, you know you’ll be waiting. And after a full night of drinks, you’re body does not want to wait to be nourished. Hanger kicks in.

Through my frustration, I decided that I should be making more brunches at home. That being said, cooking with a hangover isn’t always the most pleasant experience. Those are the times when I concoct my one-pot breakfast… skillet. It’s always a mish mash of what I’ve got in the fridge or pantry, with the addition of some eggs.

Mushroom_Spinach_Skillet-6

This recipe is one of my favourites. Sautéed mushrooms and wilted, garlicky spinach are the perfect (and quickest) accompaniments to eggs with a runny yolk. Yes, there are a ton of other great ingredients that can be used as well, like potatoes, corn, beans, zucchini, chorizo… The list goes on. But this is what I just happened to have in my fridge one day and now I continue to go back to this combination.

Mushroom_Spinach_Skillet-7

Breakfast Skillet with Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
350 g crimini and/or baby bella mushrooms, sliced 1/3” thick
3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2-3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
100 g baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
6-8 eggs
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Toasted sourdough grain bread or bread of choice

888_spinach-mushroom-skillet-directions

Directions:
1. Over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid.
2. In batches, sauté the mushrooms. Make sure not to crowd the pan so the mushrooms crisp up evenly.
3. Sauté for 4 minutes, flipping the mushrooms halfway through and seasoning with salt and fresh black pepper, to taste.
4. Add more butter and olive oil as needed for the second batch of mushrooms. Remove from the pan as well after seasoning.
5. Add a bit more olive oil and butter to the pan and toss in the spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.
6. Add the mushrooms back into the pan and create pockets for the eggs. Crack an egg into each pocket and cover immediately with the lid.
7. Let the eggs cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes. Do not lift that lid! This ensures the egg whites cook from the top as well as the bottom. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.
8. Crumble goat cheese over top and serve with toasted bread.

Mushroom_Spinach_Skillet-4

anna-olson-kneading-dough

Anna Olson’s Guide to Making Bread at Home

Comforting, filling and satisfying, bread is the cornerstone of western food culture. And making your own bread is one of the gratifying baking projects. There’s a sense of power and confidence that comes from coaxing four simple ingredients into a dough that grows and then bakes into something so fulfilling.

There is such satisfaction to rip into that loaf of freshly baked bread, a whisper of steam emanating from it, and letting the butter wind in little rivulets as it melts on your first bite. If you’ve always wanted to try making your own loaf, this guide will give you the knowledge and confidence to bake bread at home.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Rustic Ciabatta.

The Four Magic Ingredients

Flour

Bread flour has a higher protein (gluten) content than all-purpose, so when kneaded, the proteins bond, giving the dough strength so it can hold in the air the yeast produces. Many types of bread can be made with all-purpose flour, but if you are getting serious about bread baking, then bread flour is best.

Water

Tap or spring water is a personal choice, but no matter your choice, the temperature is key. Yeast ferments at around 115ºF (46ºC), so your water should be that or a touch warmer. A thermometer isn’t necessary – I just test the water on my wrist – it should feel slightly warmer than body temperature.

Yeast

Yeast is key to fermentation. Yeast feeds on the natural sugars within the flour and generates alcohol and carbon dioxide, which causes your dough to rise. As the bread bakes the alcohol cooks off, while the air bubbles produced by the CO2 stay in place, making the bread airy, fluffy and light.

Leavening Agents

Most bread recipes call for commercial yeast, but there’s more than one way to leaven your bread.

Commercial Yeast

The simplest ways to start fermentation is to add a few teaspoons of dry active or instant yeast. Dry active yeast needs to be dissolved into water, while instant yeast can be added at any time, no dissolving needed.

Starters

A yeast starter is a natural and flavourful way to start fermentation, most commonly used for sourdough bread. To make your own starter, combine equal parts by weight of flour and water. Then add a touch of honey. You could also add a pinch of commercial yeast, which is optional. Place the mixture in a loosely-covered jar on your countertop and let sit for 24-36 hours. The natural yeast in the air will start a fermentation. After using, remaining starter can be re-fed and stored in the fridge, feeding it every two days with the same proportions of flour and water. The longer it ages, the more flavour it develops.

Salt

Salt does more than flavor bread. It also slows fermentation, which is a good thing. The longer a bread is left to rise the better flavour you get and the interior texture becomes stretchy when you tear into it. Commercial breads than have a fluffy cotton-like texture are quickly fermented, where homemade or artisan breads have a chewier texture and more character.

 

4 Easy Steps to Making Bread

How to Knead Bread

Kneading is the important step of working the dough to develop the proteins in the flour. You can do this by hand or with a mixer equally well, and it is a gratifying step – that feeling of pushing, stretching and pulling the dough is so soothing, and as the dough becomes developed, you will feel it get elastic under your hands.

Don’t be tempted to add too much flour to your dough as you knead it. I like to hold back 1/2 cup of flour from the recipe to use for kneading. Bread dough should still be a little tacky in most cases and barely come away from your hands after kneading.

How to Proof Bread

This is the most important part of bread making, and where you do nothing! Time is key here – the first proof (also called rise) is where the yeast really gets to work, developing flavor and texture. The first proof is usually at room temperature and some recipe call for you to punch down the dough, to challenge the yeast to get to work again.

The second proof happens after shaping, and you can control the timing of this by popping the bread into the fridge (this way you can make, proof and shape your bread dough the evening before, chill it overnight and then proof it in the morning to start the day with freshly baked bread).

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Seeded Rye Bread.

How to Shape Bread

Every culture with bread has a style for shaping it. Regions in France and Italy have very specific shapes to their bread, or consider flatbreads and other styles such as naan.

Shaping isn’t just for aesthetics – as the baker, you are knocking out the air from the dough one last time, coaxing that yeast back to work, and this helps develop the crust.

How to Bake Bread

Most bread cooks best in a high temperature oven, to set the crust and get that final burst of leavening. Adding steam, by spraying the inside of the oven with a misting bottle, or placing a tray filled with 2 cups of boiling water helps develop a good crust and a shine to the crust.

You can tell when your bread is baked by lifting it up with a tea towel and tapping the bottom – if it sounds hollow, then it’s done.

If you are baking bread in tins, turn the bread out of the tins immediately from the oven.

The most challenging step when baking bread? Letting it cool at least 20 minutes before slicing or tearing into it!

Can’t wait to get baking? Try Anna Olson’s Best Classic Baking Recipes.

Super Cheesy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

Warm, toasty, buttery garlic bread is always welcome alongside a plate of pasta or a hearty bowl of soup. But what if we told you it could be made even better?

Enter: gooey, cheesy pull-apart garlic loaf. Consider it garlic bread’s wilder, much cooler cousin, this crowd-pleasing, pull-apart version only takes a few more minutes to prepare, and is infinitely more delicious.

finishedproduct

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:
1 whole loaf French bread (or 6 large French bread rolls)
1 cup salted butter (cubed)
4 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place butter in a small pan and melt on medium-heat. Once melted, reduce to low, add garlic cloves and herbs, and let sit for 10 minutes so flavours infuse.
3. Remove aromatics and transfer 3/4 cup to small bowl and 1/4 of a cup to another. Set aside.

step02

4. Using a bread knife, slice the loaf (or loaves) on the bias in approximately 1” slices, stopping just before the base of the loaf. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees and slice again on the bias. You should end up with small squares of bread that are all still attached to the base.
5. Take the 3/4 cup of garlic thyme butter and use a small spoon to drizzle into all of the crevices of the bread. If needed, use fingers to gently separate the squares before drizzling butter.

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6. Once everything is buttered, take the shredded mozzarella and tuck small portions of it into the spaces between the cubes of bread. (Note: you can use less cheese if you want, but the more cheese you use, the gooey it will be.)
7. Wrap loaf in the tinfoil and let bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the garlic butter has become very fragrant, approximately 16-18 minutes.
8. Remove from oven, turn to low broil and unwrap loaf. Combine remaining melted butter with Parmesan cheese, stir to combine and then brush liberally all over the exterior of the loaf (or loaves).
9. Return to oven and bake until top is golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

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Take Babka to the Next Level with These 3 Twists

Babka is a delectable giant pastry typically filled with chocolate or cinnamon. In the first recipe, we transform this traditionally sweet treat into a savoury masterpiece. Sheets of soft dough get rolled up with plenty of ooey-gooey cheese and tomato sauce to make a pizza babka. And If pizza isn’t speaking to you, maybe the cherry cheesecake or chocolate hazelnut versions will satisfy your sweet cravings.

This babka dough recipe is extremely versatile and easy. Get creative and let your babka dreams come true!

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Pizza Babka

Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

Dough
1/2cup milk, at room temperature
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp (8g package) instant yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 large egg

Pizza Filling
1 cup very thick tomato sauce
10 fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:
1. Combine milk, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand undisturbed until small bubbles form on the surface of the milk, about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup flour, salt, butter and egg, stir until combined. Add the remaining flour and stir until a raggedy dough forms. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and begin to knead until a ball of dough forms. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If dough is sticking to surface, add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Dough will rise, but less than double in size.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 20 inches. If dough is very elastic and won’t easily roll out, let rest for 5 minutes and then continue.
3. Spread tomato sauce over rectangle in an even layer from edge to edge. Scatter the basil leaves over tomato sauce then sprinkle mozzarella.
4. Beginning at a long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough into a long rope. With flat palms, rock the rope back and forth to reinforce the roll.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. Face both cut sides upwards and twist the two ropes by alternating one rope over, then under. Spiral the twisted ropes into the cast iron pan starting in the center. The dough will be flimsy. Don’t worry if it loses form as you place it in the pan. Tuck in any loose filling or dough into a tight spiral. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over babka. Bake on the centre rack of your oven until babka is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cherry Cheesecake Babka

Filling Variations:

Cherry Cheesecake Babka
1. Smear 3/4 cup of softened cream cheese over rolled out dough. Spread 2/3 cup of cherry pie filling or cherry preserves over cream cheese. Proceed with recipe. Rather than laying the dough in a cast iron pan, you can also place twisted dough ropes on a lined baking sheet. Let rise as per recipe above. Bake for until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Chocolate Hazelnut S’more Babka
Smear 3/4 cup of chocolate hazelnut spread over rolled out dough. Scatter 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows over dough and sprinkle 1/3 cup graham crumb over chocolate hazelnut spread.

Spring Vegetable Panzanella Salad

What’s better than a light, fresh spring salad? A light, fresh spring salad with a ton of toasted bread soaked in dressing, obviously. The panzanella salad originates in Italy and is said to date back to the 16th century. I know nothing of history. But what I do know is that I love a good crouton salad.

This salad is composed of fresh spring veggies that you can find in farmers’ markets this time of year, and really showcases the vegetables. Be sure to buy local and organic when possible, but if you can’t, just be sure to find the best quality veggies near you. It really makes a world of a difference.

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This salad is dressed really lightly with dill-mustard vinaigrette, which brightens and accents the asparagus, favas, grilled scallions and radishes perfectly. I’ve used pumpernickel bread in the recipe to add a deeper flavour to the salad, and pea shoots for a subtle earthy sweetness. You can always substitute those out for whatever bread and tender greens you can find — this dish is super refreshing and versatile.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 side servings or 2 large servings

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Ingredients:

For the croutons:
5 thick slices pumpernickel bread, about 1” thick
Olive oil
Salt

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

For the grilled scallions:
5-6 scallions
Olive oil
Salt

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 cup shelled fava beans, fresh is preferred
4 radishes, sliced thinly
1 cup pea shoots

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Directions:

For the croutons:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy clean up.
2. Cut the pumpernickel slices into 1” thick cubes.
3. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle with a very, very generous amount of olive oil. You want it to completely cover the bread.
4. Transfer the bread onto a baking sheet and spread out in one layer.
5. Season with a bit of salt and bake for 12 minutes, tossing the croutons halfway through.

For the dressing:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dill, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and fresh cracked pepper until combined.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.

For the grilled scallions:
1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the scallions and season with a bit of salt.
3. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely charred and softened.
4. Cut the scallions into 1” long pieces.

For the asparagus:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a bowl.
2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, drop in the asparagus.
3. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. They should still have some crunch to them.
4. Allow them to cool in the ice bath for 1 minute and then place onto a paper towel. Dab away any extra water. This will prevent the asparagus from getting waterlogged.
5. Cut the asparagus into 1” long pieces.

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Dressing the salad:
1. In a large bowl, toss the croutons with 2 Tbsp of dressing and allow them to soak it up while dressing the remaining components.
2. In a separate bowl, toss the scallions, asparagus, fava beans, radish slices and pea shoots with 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp of dressing. Don’t drown the delicate veggies.
3. Transfer the veggies into the bowl with the croutons and toss gently to combine.
4. Plate and enjoy with extra dressing on the side.

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Notes and Shortcuts:
– Use whatever vegetables are fresh and in season — get creative!
– The veggies and croutons can be made and prepped ahead of time, then dressed before serving. This is super helpful when you have guests coming or if you would like to take this salad as a work lunch.
– Change it up: grill the asparagus and change out the scallions for thinly sliced red onions. And if you can find ramps, it’s your lucky day. Definitely use them.
– Substitute the pea shoots for pea tendrils, micro greens or even sorrel — whatever you can find!

 

Three Simple Ways to Cook Bannock

By Colleen Fisher Tully

While its origin may never be known for sure, no one can deny that bannock is deeply entrenched in Canada’s culinary history. Take this recipe from an elder of Tofino, B.C.’s Nuu-chah-nulth tribe, then decide your cooking method. Here’s how to bake a loaf of bannock in the oven, barbecue it in a skillet until golden and cook it over a campfire wrapped around a stick.

Bannock 3 ways - Step 1

Basic Bannock
6 cups (1.5 L) flour
6 tbsp (90 mL) baking powder
3½ cups (875 mL) milk, warmed
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil

In large bowl, mix together flour and baking powder; stir in milk and oil. Stir just until dough comes together (do not overmix).

Bannock 3 ways- Step 2

1. Bake It
Place dough in greased ovenproof loaf pan or casserole dish. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until golden, about 30 minutes.

Bannock 3 ways- Step 3

2. Barbecue It
Place dough in well-oiled cast-iron skillet. Cook on grill at 400°F (200°C) over indirect heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. If you want a nice crust all over, turn bannock and cook for a few more minutes.

For individual biscuits, separate dough into fist-sized balls and arrange close together in skillet. Cook as above.

Bannock 3 ways- Step 4

3. Fire It Up
Find a solid stick thick enough to hold the bannock but not too heavy. Remove the inner and outer bark at one end where the bannock will go. Hold that end over the fire until it’s hot but not burnt. That will help the bannock cook from the inside out, and eliminate any germs.

Slice off a piece of dough and roll it between your hands to form a long rope-like shape. Wrap it around the de-barked end of the stick.

Hold the bannock over coals, turning until golden, about 10 minutes.

Bannock 3 ways- Slide 5

Enjoy
Bannock is best hot and fresh. Enjoy with lots of Canadian butter.

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Mennonite Favourites Made with Love

By Trish Mayor, as told to Devon Scoble

Trish Mayor grew up in Martensville, a community outside Saskatoon with a strong Mennonite presence, where she was raised with love, tolerance and an appreciation for butter. She has fond memories of eating her mum and omi’s roll kuchen (cookies) and fleisch perishky (meat dumplings) on Sundays.

The town I grew up in had a very generous environment among a family-oriented community of people. Kind and loving and accepting: That, for me, is the definition of Canadian—how we try to be as caring and accepting of others as possible.

I believe roll kuchen and fleisch perishky are very old recipes. Like with many Mennonite recipes, they’re made with whatever’s in the cupboard; you throw them together with leftovers. I fondly remember visiting with my grandparents and eating both dishes for Sunday brunch. My grandparents would make them ahead of time and serve them cold.

My mum often made roll kuchen to have with soup, but you can have them with jam or syrup, too—it’s a wonderfully diverse recipe. My mother said that many Prairie towns have fundraisers where they sell watermelon slices with roll kuchen—so it does go with sweet—but most often, we eat them with savoury soup. Roll kuchen is something I make when I don’t want a biscuit, plus they’re quicker and easier to make than buns!

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These days, fleisch perishky aren’t so much a staple as they are a treat. When we do make these meat-filled dumplings, we make a large batch to freeze so we have some on hand.

I’m expecting my first child this summer and I’m looking forward to cooking with him. I want to teach him to understand the benefits of eating “real” food (as local as possible), that food is not just about eating what you like, that it’s also about nourishing your body—and to eat his vegetables! One of my favourite things to do now is cook with my partner, who is also a very good cook. We turn on music and enjoy ourselves in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to having our child as part of this happy picture.

I think my love of food and cooking came from growing up and not being worried about small things, such as too much butter in my food. Food was more like, “This is good, and we’re sitting together and enjoying this together.”

I do think that food is love. And when it is prepared with love, it can be something very special.

Omi’s Fleisch Perishky, courtesy of Trish Mayor

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 3/4 hours (includes rising time)
Yield: 24 to 36 dumplings

Ingredients
Dough
1½ pkg yeast
2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) warm water
1 cup (250 mL) warm milk
½ cup (125 mL) melted shortening or butter
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
2 eggs
4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) flour
2 egg yolks

Filling
1 lb (450 g) ground beef or leftover roast that has gone through meat grinder
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 cups (approx) (250 to 500 mL) mashed potatoes (enough to bind meat) (optional)

Directions
Dough
1. Dissolve yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar in warm water; cover and set aside until light and fluffy, about 20 minutes.
2. Stir in milk, shortening, remaining sugar salt and eggs; mix until well combined.
3. Add flour, a bit at a time, mixing until it comes away from bowl. Knead until elastic, about 8 minutes.
4. Place dough in greased bowl; cover and let rise, turning once, for 1 hour.

Filling
1. In skillet, cook beef and onion until beef is no longer pink inside and onion is softened; season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add mashed potatoes, if using, to form paste.

To Finish
1. Pinch dough into about 24 to 36 pieces.
2. Flatten each to form oval; add about 1 tsp (5 mL) filling to centre. Wrap and close dough around edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough, placing each dumpling on greased baking sheet to rise for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
3. Mix egg yolks with equal amount of water. Brush dumplings with egg yolk mixture.
4. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve hot or cold.

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Roll Kuchen, courtesy of Trish Mayor

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 32 cookies

Ingredients
2 cups (500 mL) flour
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream
2 eggs
oil for frying

Directions
1. Into bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well; add cream and eggs, mixing well. Add a bit more flour if dough is too soft.
2. On floured surface, roll out dough to about 16 x 16 inches (40 x 40 cm). Dough should be springy and no thicker than a pencil.
3. Cut dough into strips about 4 x 2 inches (10 x 5 cm). Cut lengthwise slit in centre of each strip; pull half of the strip through it.
4. Fry, turning once, until golden brown.

Watch Chef Lynn Crawford make roll kuchen here. 

Follow the jump to print, save or share this roll kuchen recipe.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

Garlic Fingers with Donair Sauce

As every East Coaster knows, garlic fingers are a must when it’s late at night and you’re looking for a snack. But if you’re not in the Maritimes, you can rely on this quick and easy recipe to satisfy your cravings.

What makes this cheesy snack complete is the dipping sauce. If you’ve ever enjoyed a donair, you’ve licked this addictively sweet sauce off your fingers and maybe even your shirt. Creamy, thick and tangy, donair sauce is the real deal and a must-have with garlic fingers.

Garlic Fingers with Donair Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients

Donair Sauce
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Garlic Fingers
1 500g pkg pizza dough
1 Tbsp garlic butter, melted
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Garlic Fingers

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Combine sweetened condensed milk with vinegar and garlic powder. Set aside.
3. Dust a 15-inch pizza pan with cornmeal. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer to pan. Brush garlic butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
4. Bake until cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 minutes. To serve, cut pie in half, then rotate 90 degrees and cut pie into 2-inch strips. Serve with donair sauce.

Looking for more tasty snacks? Try our Poutine Pizza.

Anna Olson’s Tips on How to Make Perfect Challah

Challah bread is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed year round, and is as much a pleasure to look at as it is to eat. Making it from scratch is satisfying and delicious — bread is a fundamental part of our food world and when you make it with your own two hands, you won’t take it for granted.

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Here are some helpful tips for making the perfect egg braid:

Don’t rush the rise.
Patience is the key to making any bread. It takes time to let the dough rise (also called proofing), develop flavours and texture, and to allow the yeast to produce carbon dioxide, which gives the bread its airy texture.

Braid with two, not three pieces of dough.
Braiding with 3 “ropes” of dough may seem to make sense, but you will find that your bread or buns may appear flat when baked. To make a braided bread that has height (and hence more surface area for butter once sliced), braid using 2 “ropes” of the dough. Lay the 2 ropes across each other like an “X” and then cross over the ends of one rope completely to their opposing side, maintaining that “X” shape. Repeat with the second rope until you reach the ends (which can then be tucked underneath).

Don’t fear a do-over.
Not happy with your braid? Because this egg dough isn’t sticky, you can always undo your braid and start again. Try to avoid using too much flour when rolling out your “ropes” and braiding, as this might make a matte finish on the bread.

To build up your confidence, check out my technique to get a beautiful braid: Rolls & Buns.

How to Make Montreal-Style Bagels

In the bagel world, there’s quite a divide between the classic New York bagel and the sweeter, Canadian counterpart — the Montreal bagel.

Montreal bagels are denser, sweeter and traditionally made in wood fired ovens as opposed to the fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside, baked bagels made south of the Canadian border.

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Both varieties of bagels are made using yeasted dough and are boiled before being baked. NY-style bagels are dipped in boiling water that has baking soda or lye, whereas Montreal bagels get dunked in boiling water that has honey or malt, creating a sweeter, denser dough.

The sweet and chewy nature of Montreal bagels lends them to eating them plain. So put away the cream cheese, jam and butter because once you make a fresh batch of Montreal bagels, you’ll want to enjoy them just as they are!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins
Makes: 12 bagels

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 *x 8 g pkg quick-rising yeast or 1 tbsp

1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup honey, divided
4 ½ cups flour (or more if dough becomes too sticky)
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds for tops of bagels (about ½ cup each)

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Directions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix in egg, vegetable oil, salt and ½ cup honey. Gradually add flour until mixture comes together to form a dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Pop the dough back into the bowl (no need to clean) and cover with a damp tea towel. Let the dough rise until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with 8-10 cups of water and add remaining ½ cup honey. Bring to a boil while you shape your bagels.
5. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Shape into bagels by either rolling into long logs and joining the ends together or shaping into rounds and poking holes in the middle using a wooden spoon. Stretch the dough around the spoon handle to make large holes. Make the holes quite large as they will rise and shrink considerably when baked.
6. Preheat oven to 450°F. Put the bagels onto the baking sheets and let rise for about 10 minutes. Place your poppy or sesame seeds onto a plate.
7. Using a slotted spoon dip your bagels, about 2 at a time, into the boiling honey water and leave for about 30 seconds per side. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and dip them straight into the seeds and then back onto the baking sheets, seeds side up.
8. Once boiled, bake the bagels for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Spiced Monkey Bread with “Spider Web” Spun Sugar

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey cinnamon bun as a breakfast treat or afternoon snack, but monkey bread is even better! Sticky, fluffy Timbit-like rolls of cinnamon bread all stuck together in a giant loaf — there’s really nothing like it.

This time around, I decided to make a Halloween-inspired, pumpkin-spiced monkey bread covered in “spider web” spun sugar. It’s a great treat for Halloween and the perfect bread for sharing; every little ghoul and goblin will be sure to get a piece.

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Ingredients:

For the dough:
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups warm milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp quick rise yeast
4 ½-¾ cups all-purpose flour

For the dusting:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, melted

For the spun sugar:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
¼ cup water

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Directions:
1. Begin by making the dough. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the melted butter, warm milk, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, vanilla and yeast. Mix together and leave to sit for 3 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. Mix in the flour using a dough hook or using a wooden spoon if you don’t have a mixer. Mix until the dough comes together and continue to mix/knead the dough for 5 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour. Once the dough has risen, punch it down.
4. For the dusting ingredients, mix together the sugar and spice.
5. Pull apart pieces of the dough to make small rounds (a couple inches in diameter). Roll each piece of dough into the melted butter and then straight into the spice mixture. Start packing the dusted balls tightly into a greased bundt tin. If you don’t have a bundt tin, use a large and deep, round 9” cake tin.
6. Once all the dough has been rolled and placed into the bundt tin, cover with a towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes. Once the dough has risen again, place into a preheated 350°F oven.
7. Bake the monkey bread for 1 hour. The bread may leak from your bundt tin, so place a tray underneath to catch any drips.
8. While the bread is cooling, make your caramel for the spun sugar. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring the mixture, until the mixture turns a light amber caramel, about 10 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and let cool slightly to thicken. Using a fork dip into caramel and quickly move the fork back and forth over a large piece of parchment paper to create small strands of sugar.
10. Once cool, lift off large strands and place on top of monkey bread to create spun sugar web.

Not Your Average Cornbread

By Regina Braun

Marrying my husband introduced me to a range of South American food traditions. One of the dishes my mother-in-law prepares is Sopa Paraguaya, and it quickly became my favourite.

Despite the name—sopa—there’s no soup at all! The best way to describe it is deluxe cornbread filled with salty cheese and flavourful sautéed onions. The first time I had it was as a side dish with dinner and I absolutely loved it. I enjoy leftover Sopa Paraguaya as a snack pretty much any time of day.

It wasn’t until after my first visit to Paraguay that I set out to make Sopa Paraguaya myself. During the time my husband and I spent in his birth country, we bought Sopa Paraguaya at the bus depot to tide us over through long trips across the country. Alongside empanadas, Sopa Paraguaya was the snack of choice for us and locals alike.

Paraguayans use a salted farmer’s cheese to make this cornbread. With guidance from my mother-in-law, I created my version, which uses a combination of grated mild cheese and cottage cheese as a substitute.

Sopa Paraguaya: Cheese and Onion Cornbread, Courtesy of Regina Braun, leelalicious.com, Calgary, AB

This zesty and satisfying bread from Paraguay makes a great side dish, snack or on-the-go breakfast.

Sopa-Paraguaya-Corn-Bread_Blogembed

Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Yield: one 8-inch (2 L) square pan, or 16 servings

Ingredients
¼ cup (50 mL) butter
1 large onion, sliced
3½ oz (100 g) mild cheese, shredded
1 cup (250 mL) cottage cheese
1 cup (250 mL) milk
5 eggs, beaten
2 cups (500 mL) cornmeal
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC). Line 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese (it will melt), cottage cheese, milk and eggs.
4. Sprinkle cornmeal, salt and baking powder over cheese mixture; stir to combine.
5. Scrape batter into baking dish. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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Leelalicious
I am a busy mom of one little girl who is already a great eater and future kitchen helper. On my blog, Leelalicious, I like to share nutritious and delicious recipes for the entire family!

A West Coast Bannock Story

GccGy Marnie Helliwell, as told to Nancy Fornasiero

Bannock is a staple enjoyed across the country by native Canadians, and each tribe—even each family—has their own favourite version. It’s also known as frybread, bannaq, galett and sapli’l. This particular recipe was passed on to Tofino, B.C.’s Marnie Helliwell in the traditional First Nations way: via word of mouth. It came from her friend, Grace George, who received the recipe from her own mother, Helen.

Marnie Helliwell

Marnie Helliwell

Ever since my seven-year-old son, Colby, first tasted bannock at Wickaninnish Community School back in kindergarten, he can’t stop talking about it. He learned about it thanks to Grace, a local First Nations woman and elder who works at our elementary school as a First Nations education assistant. She teaches the kids about the culture and history of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. Whether she’s sharing food, teaching about traditional dances and songs or telling a folktale, we parents (native or not) appreciate the fact that she shares her rich heritage with our kids. But nothing gets Colby more excited than when Grace makes a visit to make bannock. “Mom,” he comes home gushing, “Grace makes the bestest bannock!”

So, when my friend Lisa Ahier, the chef at Tofino’s popular SoBo restaurant, organized a potluck dinner and told us each to bring a Canadian dish that meant something special to us, I knew right away what I was bringing: bannock. Nothing says Canada to me more than this dish; and besides, my kids love to eat it probably more than anything else.

Full disclosure: I’m not much of a cook. In the past, when we’ve enjoyed bannock as a family, it was usually because Grace made it or because we ate it during our travels around the province. Bannock is often served at local festivals, sold at farmers markets and dished up at celebrations hosted by the First Nations families in our tight-knit community. My kids and I make a point of sampling it any time we can—and the consensus is that Grace’s Nuu-chah-nulth recipe is the ultimate version. I decided it was time to fully embrace this dish and learn to make it myself!

Grace has become a good friend of mine, so I was pretty sure I could get my hands on the recipe. All the same, I followed the proper First Nations etiquette of formally requesting the family recipe from an elder. (Luckily Grace is an elder!) I couldn’t believe how simple the recipe was: only four ingredients.

The really funny part was when I popped over to the Tofino Co-op to buy the ingredients and caused a bit of a ruckus. I bumped into another Nuu-chah-nulth lady I know and innocently asked what sort of oil I should buy. “Oil?!” she shouted. “Why are you using oil? Biscuits have fat in them, bannock doesn’t!” Other Nuu-chah-nulth shoppers heard the fuss, then they gathered around, adding their two cents’ worth:

“Yes, you can use oil, just don’t overmix!”

“My grandmother always said to use high heat if you want a good crust.”

“Water’s fine; no need to use milk.”

“Mother always fried it at our house.”

Clearly, there are a lot of bannock recipes out there, but I knew if I wanted to keep Colby happy, I’d better stick to Grace’s instructions. While the bannock baked, Colby and my daughter, Mackenzie, impatiently inhaled the delicious aroma, and when we dove into it, still warm from the oven, they said it was as good as Grace’s. Phew.

The next time I made it, it was for the whole gang at Lisa’s paddleboarding potluck dinner. It was a huge hit with my girlfriends, too, especially when served with jam made from local berries. Not bad, for a non-baker like me!

I love this dish even though I don’t have a drop of aboriginal blood. The culture of our native peoples really means a lot to me—their traditions, their respect for nature. Their sense of spirituality especially lands with me: When my son Braeden passed away a few years ago, we had a beautiful service based on the Nuu-chah-nulth culture that brought me a lot of comfort.

First Nations culture is so interwoven into our lives here that I feel a part of it. It’s hard for people outside Tofino to understand that. It’s really something special.

Read more: See three simple ways to cook bannock here.

Traditional Bannock, courtesy of Marnie Helliwell

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients
6 cups (1.5 L) flour
6 tbsp (90 mL) baking powder
3½ cups (875 mL) milk, warmed
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil

Directions
1. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, milk and oil. Stir until dough comes together in a ball; do not overmix. Shape into rough oval; place on baking sheet or oven-safe casserole dish.
2. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven “until a beautiful golden brown,” about 30 minutes.
3. Serve warm or cooled. Excellent with B.C. blackberry jam.

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