Tag Archives: bread

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.

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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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French-Toast-Bake

Blueberries and Cream French Toast Bake

Start this weekend off on the right foot with this oven-baked French toast casserole that can be assembled the night before for a stress-free breakfast or brunch in bed. Using cream in the custard makes this extra decadent and delicious, but milk will work as well for a lightened up version.

Blueberries and Cream French Toast Bake 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

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Ingredients:

Maple Brown Sugar Drizzle:
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

French Toast Bake:
1 cup 10% cream or whole milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
8 cups cubed day-old egg bread or Italian loaf
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
Whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

Maple Sugar Drizzle:
1. Stir brown sugar with maple syrup, butter and cinnamon until combined.

French Toast Bake:
1. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square glass baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk cream with eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Stir in 1 cup blueberries.
2. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, or until mixture is absorbed.
3. Preheat oven 350°F. Top evenly with Maple Sugar Drizzle. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until fluffy and golden.
4. Serve with remaining blueberries and whipped cream if desired.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.  Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

S’mores Stuffed French Toast

As I was relaxing on my couch after a particularly long day at work, I had s’mores and sandwiches on my mind. Initially I was thinking s’mores sandwich, but that was too strange. But then, the obvious came to mind: S’mores Stuffed French Toast. What you’ll get is the gooiest, most chocolatey, belt-busting French toast you’ve ever tried.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients:
2 Slices of Bread (French, challah or brioche)
4 graham crackers
2 squares Lindt milk chocolate
4-5 marshmallows
Butter
2 eggs
1/8 cup half & half cream
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of salt

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Directions:
1. Start off by slicing your bread and crushing up your graham crackers.
2. Then toast your marshmallows by whatever means necessary. I used a blowtorch but you could probably get away with using a gas stovetop, barbecue on high, wood fire or any open flame.
3. Once you’ve toasted your marshmallows, remove the toasted outer layer to put in your French toast. Using just the outsides gives you optimal gooeyness and maximizes that delicious roasted marshmallow flavour.
4. After this is done, whisk your eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl large enough to dip your bread in.
5. Dip your bread into the mixture, allowing it to soak for a few seconds, then place it in the crushed graham crackers, coating each side.
6. When you’ve crusted all your bread with the crushed graham crackers, place your chocolate and marshmallows and top it with the other slice of bread.
7. In a pan on medium heat, add a knob of butter and once properly melted, cook the French toast for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
8. Now slice it open and enjoy the pure decadence.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

This bread is a quick and simple one to enjoy whether your favourite St. Patrick’s Day meal is a potato soup, beef stew or green eggs and ham.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds or cumin seeds
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Lightly flour baking sheet.
3. Mix flour, cumin/caraway seeds (if using), baking soda and salt in large bowl.
4. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball.
5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute.
6. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet.
7. Cut an “X” 1-inch deep across the top of bread, extending almost to edges.
8. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

Sweet Eats: Panettone Bread Pudding

When I used to work in an Italian restaurant, Christmas was a very busy season. Despite all the food that needed to be cooked and prepped for service, the chef made us stop working to enjoy an Italian Christmas tradition—eating and sharing a Panetonne. One chef would make the zabaione, an Italian custard, and we would all gather into a very tiny pastry room to rip apart a giant, delicious, fragrant Panettone and dip it into the zabaione. This 10 minute break taught me how to eat Panetonne like the Italians do.

BreadPudding1

If you end up with an extra Panetonne or two at Christmastime and can’t quite manage to eat it on your own, try making it into bread pudding. The bread is sweet, filled with raisins and tons of flavour. It may not look like the prettiest dessert you’ve ever served but it will certainly be one of the tastiest!

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Panettone Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 Panettone, sliced into 1½” thick slices
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups 35% cream
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

BreadPudding2

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 13” baking dish.
  2. Layer the slices of Panettone evenly in the prepared dish. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl. Pour the custard mixture over the Panettone ensuring most of the bread is soaked.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the custard has set. If you want to bake the dish another time, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge.
  4. This dish is delicious served warm with custard or cream poured all over top.

SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

Super Easy, No-Fail Healthy Bread Recipe

Bread is one of the most beloved food staples. There is nothing like slicing into fresh bread in the morning and smearing it with a hearty layer of almond butter, jam or butter.

The problem with a lot of commercial breads that line grocery store shelves is that they are loaded in preservatives and refined flours. These breads might appear healthy, proclaiming to protect against heart disease and high cholesterol; however, they are riddled with unwanted ingredients.

Pick up your average bread in the grocery store and find words like monoglycerides, calcium propionate, diglycerides and sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate. While all of these ingredients have their specific purpose to leaven, emulsify and liquefy, many of these ingredients can actually wreak havoc in the body. This does not even take into account the commercial breads made with refined flours that have removed any semblance of fiber or micronutrients.

The answer to finding the most delicious, healthful bread is to make your own. This recipe is with spelt, tolerated by those with wheat sensitivities and it is higher in protein, fibre and contains nutrients that’s easier to absorb in the digestive system.

Bread making can be quite challenging and laborious but this recipe is to do. Get ready because your kitchen is about to become the best bakery in town.

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Sprouted Spelt Artisan Bread

Ingredients:
3 cups of sprouted spelt flour
1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 ½ cups of luke warm water
¼ cup of oats for dusting

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour, yeast and sea salt into a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and mix until shaggy dough forms, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit for 12-18 hours overnight.
  3. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 °F. When the oven has reached the desired temperature put a dutch oven into the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the dough on a floured surface and form into a ball. You do not need to knead the dough, so even though it may be tempting, refrain from doing it! Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest until it’s ready to go into the oven.
  5. When the oven has been preheated for 30 minutes, take the dutch oven out, sprinkle the bottom of it with a small handful of oats (this prevents the bottom of the dough from immediately sticking and burning).
  6. Place the dough in the dutch oven, put it back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes covered and then a final 15 minutes uncovered.
  7. Take it out, let it cool for 10 minutes.

Get Creative

Add different combinations of ingredients for a gourmet loaf that will be a great addition to any entertaining table.

  • Olives and rosemary
  • Thyme and grapes
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and craisins
  • Millet, quinoa and oats
  • Sundried tomato and garlic
  • Asiago and basil

Notes: Visit your local health food stores to find sprouted spelt flour.

tamara-green-living-kitchen Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.

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Sweet Eats: Gluten-Free Cornbread with Bacon & Cheese

With the days getting chillier, nothing battles the nip in the air better than warm and cozy, stick-to-your ribs food. When it starts to get cold outside, comfort food is where it’s at – and this recipe for bacon, cheddar and green onion cornbread fits the bill.

Make a batch and serve it warm with something equally as comforting like chili. Or eat it on its own, slathered in butter as an afternoon snack. However you decide to enjoy it, it will certainly help ease the certainty that cold weather is on the way!

cornbread-1

Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal
¾ cup corn flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
10 slices pancetta or 5 slices bacon, diced and cooked until crispy
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 cup packed grated cheddar cheese

cornbread-2

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter an 8” baking dish. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, corn flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, eggs and milk. Combine wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the cooked pancetta or bacon, green onions and cheddar cheese.
  2. Scrape mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Slice into squares.

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

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