Tag Archives: Bread machine

Soft Cheesy Pretzels with flaxseed meal

I was planning to make those pretzels for a while. 

I don’t know why I was waiting so long. They came out super delicious.

Soft and fluffy.

My daughter couldn’t stop eating them.


1 1/4 C Water

1 TBS olive oil

1tsp Lemon Juice

2 TBS Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 Egg YOLK

3 1/2 C Flour

1 TBS Active Dry Yeast

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese (or any kind of cheese you like), shredded

Egg Wash:

1 TBS Heavy cream (or half&half)


coarse salt for sprinkling (optional)


Directions for bread maker:

1. Put all the ingredients to the bread maker in order as listed above (EXCEPT FLAX and Cheese!). Left out “egg wash” ingredients, too. Run bread maker on “dough” cycle.

2. During the second kneading add flaxseed meal and shredded cheese.

3. When the dough is ready knead it a few times on lightly floured surface.

4. Divide the dough into 14 to 16 pieces.

5. Roll each piece into a rope, about 12 to 14 inches long.

6. Fold into pretzel shape.

7. Place each pretzel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 to 2 inches apart. 

8. Let them rest for about 30 minutes.

9. Whisk together egg white and cream. Gently brush each pretzel with the mixture.

10. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of each pretzel to your likes (optional).

11. Bake in 375 F for 15-20 minutes.

Directions for hand (KitchenAid) kneading:

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of pretty warm water until bubbly. In a separate bowl mix together flour and salt. Make hole in the middle and pour the yeast mixture inside it. Gently mix with your hands adding remaining water, olive oil and lemon juice until the dough is not sticky anymore and forms a soft ball. Add flaxseed meal and shredded cheese. Knead until they are well incorporated into the dough.

At this point cover it with towel and let it rest for an hour or until doubled in size.

Follow the steps from 4 to 11 as in directions for bread maker.

Go well with almost anything, and they taste the best warm!

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Bread Machine Pumpernickel (Pumpernikiel), or another way to have my coffee

This bread always takes me back to my childhood.

It is my mom’s favorite bread. At some point I have learned to like it as well.

I have not eaten it for too long, that’s why I had finally decided to make my own.

Being honest with you it is not the real deal. It is not the dense, bitter-sweet pumpernickel I had eaten growing up. It is dense, don’t get me wrong, and it is bitter, but in a different way.

Mine was made in a bread machine from the start to the end what took 3 h and 20 min.

To bake the “real pumpernickel”, from what I know, takes from 20 to 24 hours, and it doesn’t need coffee or cocoa powder.


1 1/3 strong brewed coffee, room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup dark molasses

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I used turbinado)

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup rye flour

2 cups bread flour

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions for bread maker:

1. Throw in a bread maker container all the ingredients in order as listed above.

2. Choose 1 1/2 lb loaf (if you have the option)

3. Set it up for “whole wheat basic” 

4. Push “start”

5. After is done baking take it out and cool on cooling rack for 30 minute before slicing.

Directions for oven:

1. Combine molasses, brown sugar and warm coffee, mix it well. Add yeast. Set aside for the yeast to start working.

2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.

3. When the yeast is nice and bubbly add oil.

4. Add oil&yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead until the dough is not sticky anymore.

5. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with towel and let it rest in warm place until double in size. 

6. When the dough is ready punch it down and shape the way you are going to bake it (loaf pan, dinner rolls, baguette, etc).

7. Grease the pan you are going to bake it in.

8. Transfer the dough to the pan or baking sheet.

9. Let is double in size again.

10. Bake in 375 F

– 35 minutes for bread

– 20 minutes for rolls or baguette.

11. Serve with honey butter*

* Honey-butter:

2 Tbsp butter, softened,

1 Tbsp honey

Mix it with fork and serve.

Simple as that.

You should probably double the recipe because this butter is SUPER DELICIOUS!!!

For me the bread is a Guinness among breads. If you like this kind of beer you will like pumpernickel.

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+ Yeastspoting

Polish flat bread with onion, corn, flax-seed meal and fresh herbs / tzw Cebularz Lubelski

While this dish is very popular in Poland and you can find it in almost every single bakery I had no idea that it comes from Jewish culture and it is actually called “Cebularz Lubelski” after one part of Poland where it suppose to originated from.

“Cebularz” means something with onion… and in this case it doesn’t mean that the onion is incorporated into the bread. It is not an onion bread.

After reading many descriptions of this dish it seems like I should say that it is a wheat cake with onion. I’ve decided to call it a flat bread but it is not a bread. The dough is more like for sweet buns or dinner rolls.

There are many ways people prepare the onion and many recipes mention is should be prepared a few days ahead. I didn’t have that much time and I was really craving this dish so I simply fried the onion while the dough was in my bread machine. Originally the topping is made from onions and poppy seeds. I didn’t have poppy seeds and I’ve decided to make it more colorful and flavorful by adding different ingredients.


1/2 cup milk

3 Tbs. butter, unsalted

2 tsp. sugar (any kind: white, brown, turbinado)

1/2 tsp. sal

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *

1/2 cup bread flour +1Tbs (if needed)

1 tsp. instant yeast

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup flax-seed meal (can be switched for chia seeds)

1/2 or 3/4 big purple onion, chopped roughly

fresh corn from one cob

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup fresh herbs (I used mix of cilantro and parsley)

cherry or yellow pear tomatoes (optional)

Fresh picked from our “buckets garden” 🙂

* you can use different amounts of bread and all-purpose flours. If you don’t have bread flour you don’t have to use it. I have never tried this recipe with whole wheat flour, but I think, it would be ok to incorporate it into the recipe as well.

Directions for bread machine:

In a sauce pan put together the milk, butter, sugar and salt. Heat it up on low heat until the butter melts. The mixture should be lukewarm not hot. Pour it into the bread machine, add flours and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set the machine on “dough” and turn it on.

During the second kneading open the lid and add the egg saving about 2 tsp for later use. Add flax-seed meal.

At this point you might need to add an extra 1 Tbsp of flour (all-purpose or bread). The dough should form elastic, soft and shiny ball around the kneading hook inside the bread machine.

Meantime chop the onion and cut the corn of the cob. In a frying pan heat up 2 Tbsp olive oil, add chopped onion and corn. Fry until the onion is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the dough is ready, take it out of the bread machine and divide into 6 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll them into a flat circles, about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Transfer them into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the edges of each piece with the remaining egg. In the middle of the flat bread put about 3 Tbs of the onion-corn mix.

Bake for 15 minutes in 395 F or until the edges are golden brown.

To make this dough without bread machine just follow a regular directions for making yeast dough by hand or Kitchen Aid.

Dissolve the  sugar and yeast in very warm milk and wait until bubbly. Add melted and cooled butter, salt, flours and knead. Add beaten egg and knead until the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl and creates easy to work with ball. Transfer the dough to lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic foil. Leave in a warm place to rest until doubled in size. When it’s ready punch in in the middle, add flax-seed meal and knead a little bit more until everything is well incorporated. To finish follow the instructions above. 

Serve warm, topped with fresh herbs and cut into wedges fresh tomatoes.

Bread Machine Challah (Chałka)

Challah is a traditional jewish braided bread made on jewish holidays and Sabbath.

In Poland, challah is very popular and it can be bought in any bakery. Though, this baked goodie has no religion meaning. Many people don’t even know that this bread comes from jewish culture.

As a small kid I remember my mom buying it every Saturday. Each time we would sit at a kitchen table with her and gobbled it up, warm with some butter or jam on top, or just plain. Just the two of us. Fresh and warm challah is one of the best things ever.

The challah I remember was moist, sweet and very fluffy with not very crunchy (but soft) skin.

As I grew up the flavor and the texture of it have changed to something very hallow with hard and not very tasty skin. My mom and I didn’t really like it so we stopped buying it. Every now and then if I spotted a new bakery I would stop and buy one just to see if the bakery uses the old good recipe for moist and sweet challah but I had no luck.

I haven’t had challah for at least 5 years.

I’ve been looking for a good recipe for quite a while. Finally I decided to try the recipe from “Allrecipes”. I went through a many reviews under it and I made a few changes mentioned in one of them although I had to change it even more. At the end I ended up with totally different recipe but ah… still SO DELICIOUS !!!

After I took if out from the oven altogether with my daughter we couldn’t stop eating it.

I rolled the dough into three strands instead of four. Didn’t use any special way to braid it just the simple “hair style braid”. Because of that it came out a little flat. Next time I will invest an extra few minutes to learn the right way of doing it.


1 1/4 room temperature water

1/2 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for honey but I didn’t have any)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour *

2 cups bread flour

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 flax-seed meal (optional)

* I guess, it depends on how big your eggs and yolks are but I had to add and extra 2/3 cup flour to the bread machine during the second kneading.


Add to the bread machine: water, olive oil, beaten egg and yolks, all purpose and bread flour, sprinkle the yeast on top. Close the lid and set on “dough”. During the second kneading if the dough is really runny (like mine was) add and extra 1/3 cup of bread or all purpose flour, close the lid and wait for a minute or two. Repeat until the dough form a soft ball inside the bread machine. At the end add flax-seed meal.

Divide the dough into 3 parts and braid as you would make your hair 🙂

or follow this instruction for the right way how to braid challah.

Transfer the challah onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, cover with light towel and let rest for about 60 minutes in a warm place.  

After it’s doubled (or tripled) in size preheat the oven to 375.

You can gently brush the top with egg white and sprinkle poppy/sesame seeds on top which I didn’t do. 

Bake for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes if the top of the challah is dark brown you should cover it with aluminum foil to prevent from burning.

I baked mine for too long and I burned the insides a little too much.

The thing was that each time I checked the bread I was expecting to hear a hollow sound when I tapped it but each time it was soft and seemed not quite baked inside. Finally after 40 minutes of baking I had  decided to take it out and check the inside.

How surprised I was when it looked perfectly baked.

The entire house smelled like heaven 🙂

We ate it with blueberry jam on top. I mean, SHE ate it with the jam. I ate it plain. That’s how I like it.

Soft anf fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside – French Bread with chia seeds

It’s been a while since I baked bread. I didn’t see the need for that. I run out of jams, peanut and cashew butters (and didn’t have the time and energy to make new ones), and my husband got tired of open-faced sandwiches for lunch…  We just didn’t need any bread anymore.

Last week, though, I couldn’t stop thinking about warm, crunchy french bread. It felt like I am pregnant again. I just HAD to have a few slices.

So there I was making use of my lovely friend – the bread maker.

I made this bread countless times and when I tried to make those cute cuts on top of each loaf I would always destroy the loaf before it went to the oven.

Normally every single recipe I followed said you make those cuts right before putting the bread to the oven and after the last resting period. Every time I did that my already formed loaves went flat and the bread would coma out as a flat and wet inside bread. Not tasty at all. So finally I stopped trying to make those cuts and always had bread without them. 

This time I made those cuts right after I shaped the loaves and before leaving them to rest for 40 (to 60) minutes. IT WORKED!!!

The bread came out not only tasting delicious but finally looking great and just like the store-bought 🙂



1 1/4 cup room temperature water*

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 bread flour

2 1/4 tsp yeast, (1 package)

1/4 cup chia seeds

* this is recipe for bread maker if you don’t have one follow the recipe and direction from here.


Put ingredients into a bread maker in order as listed above (except chia seeds). Set the bread maker on “dough”. Add chia seeds during the second kneading.

When the dough is ready remove it from the bread maker. On a floured surface split the dough in two. Roll each half into an 7×10 rectangle. Roll the dough into a roll from the long end towards you. Pinch the ends together (it’s ok if you skip that part)

Lightly grease (or layer with parchment paper) the baking sheet and place the two loaves on top. The seams should be facing down. With a sharp knife make diagonal slices across the top of the dough. Cover it and let rest for about 40 to 60 minutes.

During the last 10 minutes of resting preheat the oven to 425 F. .

Bake for 30 minutes. When you tap the bread it should sound hollow.

Enjoy! 🙂


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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (health-ier version)

I’ve made those cinnamon rolls twice before I got my bread maker. Each time they came out looking and tasting pretty good, but I wasn’t thrilled with the effect in general. Neither my husband. We ate them with cream cheese frosting which actually made them more enjoyable.

Last Saturday I decided to give them one more chance and I was craving cinnamon rolls.

I got up MUCH too early and I though it’s a perfect time to make those as the process takes about 2 hours. This time I used help of my dear friend, the bread maker 🙂 and that was the best decision I could ever made. Those “nothing special” cinnamon rolls came out as THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS I have ever had !!!

Fluffy, soft inside and with a crunch on the outside. Those previous two times I made them they weren’t half that big and fluffy. I guess I am not as good in hand kneading as I though I was. In addition in my entire apartment there is no place warm enough for the dough to raise. A few times working with yeast dough I tried to leave the dough in warm oven but that didn’t work for me at all.

Look at those beauties. They were so good that I didn’t have to make any frosting just a little bit of butter spread over hot rolls and that was it.

This recipe is adapted from Chef in Training. I changed a few things to make them more healthy. 

Ingredients for the dough: 

2 cups milk

1/2 cup olive oil

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup bread flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 Tbsp. salt

1 packet (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast

1/3 cup flax seed meal

1/4 cup chia seeds

Ingredients for the filling:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, divided in half

10 Tbsp. brown sugar (more or less), divided in half

4 Tbsp. cinnamon (divided in half)


For hand kneading directions go to Chef in Training ‘s Cinnamon rolls post. 

I used bread maker. 

Mixed milk and brown sugar in a sauce pan and heat it up just until the sugar is dissolved and milk is slightly warm. Transfer to bread maker. Add olive oil, salt, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Sprinkle yeast on top. Set the bread maker on “dough”. During the second kneading open the bread maker and add 1/2 cup bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, chia seeds and flax seeds meal.

After it’s done (in my bread maker it takes 1h 10 min), divide the dough in half. I never use rolling pin to roll the dough out. I use my hands to stretch it in into about 11 inch x 9 inch rectangle shape. 

Don’t be greedy and spread a generous amount of softened butter (in my case it’s about 2 Tbsp, sometimes a bit less sometimes more – it depends on how big the rectangle is) over the surface of rolled out dough. Rub half of the brown sugar over the dough. You might start with 4 Tbsp. and if you decide it’s not enough add more until the surface is covered. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of cinnamon. Feel free to add more.

Starting from the longest side fold the dough towards you.

Cut rolls into 1 1/2 inch (2 inch is fine too) pieces.

Put them into greased pie pan or on a baking sheets. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Repeat with second half of the dough.

Bake in 375 for 18 minutes for pie pans or 12-15 minutes for baking sheets. 

This time I used both: pie pan and baking sheets to compare which is better. 

I used two 9 inch pie pans. In the first one I put 8 rolls in the second 7.

7 seems to be a perfect amount as you can see on the picture above.

Rolls on baking sheets were 1,5 inch apart.

… and while in the oven they leaked out the filling:

Rolls baked in pie pans where clean and nothing leaked out. They came out bigger and fluffiest, too. 

They were so delicious and with the perfect amount of sweetness that we didn’t need any frosting at all. I spread a little bit of butter while still hot to make them more moist and not so dry on top. 

I still highly recommend the cheese cream frosting from the original recipe. It’s so good that every time I make it I eat half just by itself.

This Little Lady ate 4 of those huge rolls on the first day and she kept asking (in her own language) for more.

“too much tv” face

I had to hide them as I was afraid she’s gonna get sugar rush. That’s there is the best indicator that the rolls were really good. Before, she wasn’t really a big fan of those. She would eat a half of one small roll and she was done, she didn’t want more even on the second day.

Now I know that the secret for a perfect rolls is in the bread maker 🙂

oh… and if I just had a coffee… those would be just perfect, but for now milk will do the job – it has to 🙂

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… and that’s why I love my bread maker

My bread maker, old and used for years by my mother-in-law. Still working, though. Working great. Working miracles on my kitchen counter, jumping and making all those weird and loud sounds that even my daughter got used to.

The thing is that before I got it I knead everything by hand. All my breads, pizza dough, dinner rolls and bread sticks, and we still were buying bread from the store. Two months ago I got that bread maker, I thanked and put that thing to be forgotten. I thought I was doing pretty good before getting it and I’m going to be fine without it. Old habits die hard.

Finally about 3 weeks ago I came across bread recipe which called for a bread maker. I knew I would’ve made it without “that thing” (that’s how I named it) but… I decided to give it a try.

So far I only have used the “dough” setting where I bake the bread in the oven after all (not in “that thing”). The first time I used it I witnessed a real miracle. I have never seen a dough so smooth, rising so fast and big, and after all the bread being so fluffy inside and crunchy on the outside. And I became a believer. Me, a doubting Thomas.

Next thing I made in it was a dough for breadsticks and pizza. You need to know that I made homemade pizza a countless time in my life. Breadstick not so often but a few times, at least.

I’m the Chicago style pizza lover while my husband prefers New York style. I always struggled with making my pizza dough very fluffy inside and crunchy (but not burned and hard) on the outside. With my husband’s crust I’d never came to the ideal paper-like thin but still fluffy with crunchy edges crust. Until… I made the dough in the bread maker.

The same was with my breadsticks. They were always too dense and heavy inside. Tasted great but still… not perfect. 

Now I can tell you that I’m never going to come back to kneading those by hand. NEVER.

My pizza came out with a crust that the best restaurants wouldn’t be ashamed to serve. Breadsticks… hmmm… I can only say:  bye bye Olive Garden… I don’t need you anymore!

extra recipe for very fast, simple and tasty tomato sauce
an extra recipe for very fast, simple and tasty tomato sauce – feel free to double the ingredients and to use big tomatoes instead of small

My husband ate his pizza and there was no crust left on his plate, what he would have done if it was too hard to chew or burned.

1 1/2 cups water*

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active yeast

3 1/2 cups bread flour

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

Bake in 450 F for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust on the edges golden brown.

From this recipe I made 2 thin (New York style) and 2 very fluffy (deep dish) pizzas.

Since I started using “that thing” we haven’t bought a single loaf of bread and I wonder what was best for our budget. One (sometimes two) store bought loaf of bread per week or homemade bread that I make every other day (sometimes everyday). lol

ah… and look at those fresh baked buns I made my first sloopy joes with…

The recipe and the story behind it in my next post.

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My bread and butter

Today was such a gorgeous day. The weather is amazing. 

For the last two weeks we have had workers working around our apartments. It’s loud and dirty everywhere. They start to work VERY early so we all had to get up early as well. Most of the time our daughter couldn’t take her afternoon naps (me neither) because it’s too loud. We lived that through and today I enjoyed sleeping in while my husband got up with our Little One. I really needed it.

On Monday the noise will start again, though. Ugh.

The best thing is that today I was able to clean our patio from all that dirt, dust and everything else. The thing that was even better was my daughter  helping me like never before. She really did a great job.

She was so busy and engaged. It was great just to watch her doing her own things while trying to copy all the things I was doing. Of course, where we go the dog follows, as well. That’s natural thing in here.

Right now I’m enjoying long and quiet nap time. Finally I have chance to put together a post. I’m a little bit behind. So many pictures taken and nothing posted… . 

So today I want to share  2 great things I made a few days ago.

BUTTER – homemade. It took my 15 minutes to make it!!!

BREAD – for the first time in my life I used a bread maker, and I LOVED it.

That machine is not only big and old but very loud as well. I got it from my in-laws a month ago. When it’s working it scares our daughter and it jumps all over the kitchen counter, but it turned out it works great.

I got my bread recipe from Sonoma Garden. I made the Gingery Whole-wheat Bread.

My changes to the recipe:

I used honey instead of molasses.

I skipped the ginger.

After I took the dough from the bread maker I added about 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds to the dough. Knead it to incorporate them. Sprinkle a few seeds on top as well, just for the look because they fall off while slicing the bread.

The rest of the recipe is the same.

That’s what I ended up with.

Doesn’t it look pretty.

But believe me… it tastes even better than it looks.

While the bread was in the oven I thought that it’s a perfect time to make butter. I read about a few methods of making it and I picked one that is the easiest and the fastest one in my opinion. You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own butter, and how delicious it tastes.

To make it you’ll need:

1. Mixer

2. Heavy cream

3. Salt (optional)

Since I was making it for the first time in my life I decided not to use a lot of heavy cream. I just wanted to “check it out”. I used about 3/4 of a quart.

How to make it:

Put it in a mixing bowl and mix, first on low-speed. After about 5 minutes increase the speed. Just like you would make whipped cream. It actually will turn into a whipped cream at some point but to make the butter you need to mix it more. If you continue to mix you’ll see the mixture separating into a white milk-like water and yellow butter. You might have to pour that water out of the mixing bowl and mix the butter a little bit longer. You need to get as much of that water as you can.

The white water is called whey. It can be used for baking bread in place of water.

You could add salt to it or some kind of herbs and spices, but I prefer it without anything and add those things as I use the butter.

Tell me that wasn’t easy! 😉

All those two things goes so well with Polish cold soup and spinach pesto:

Recipe and more pictures of that delicious and refreshing soup next time! 🙂

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