Tag Archives: Flour

Coconut flour Coffee Cake aka I can’t believe I made gluten free cheesecake and I loved it!

So, my last adventure with coconut flour was a disaster. 
I made pancakes and they were actually awful.

So the rest of the flour there was left had been sitting in my kitchen for months now, until last week my husband went to the store and bought 3 dozen eggs. Yes, this is what happens when you send a guy to the store and write “eggs” on the shopping list – you get 3 dozen of them. Too bad it doesn’t work like that when I write “ice cream” or “chocolate”.

Anyway, in order to use up those eggs I remembered about the coconut flour which always requires a lot of eggs.

I found a perfect recipe to try. Gluten free cream cheese coffee cake

I did made a few changes. I didn’t have pecans or maple syrup. And I used greek yogurt in place of the regular one (I think that what they meant in the original recipe). 

I think I found my new favorite cake and I do not feel guilty feeding it to the kids, also. 

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INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • 4 ounces queso fresco whole milk cheese ( I used it not because I wanted but because I didn’t have enough cream cheese)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) – 8 oz (or more) if you don’t use queso fresco! 
  • 4 TBSP raw honey (more if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP dutch cocoa 

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mix dried cranberries and raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Beat together all ingredients for cream cheese filling. Set aside.

3. Combine the first five ingredients for cake then add the dry ingredients through the salt. Mix well.

4. Pour cake batter into pan and drop cranberries and raisins on top of the batter.

6. Top with cream cheese filling and use a knife or tooth pick to swirl it around.

7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool before slicing.

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After one bite hubby described it: “well, it tastes different“, and he didn’t eat any more. The thing is that if we all ate by his taste buds we would be eating cheeseburgers, BBQ pulled chicken, chilli and apple pie for 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

That meant that the whole cake is for me and the kids only, and I shouldn’t be so happy about it, as my pants are getting surprisingly smaller on me lately.  

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Have a great weekend my friends.

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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.

Ingredients:

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

Vegan Wheat Germ Semolina bread

What a delicious bread I made this week.

My first bread made from the start to the end in a bread maker.

It took 3 h 20 min to be done with the entire process.

It was awesome.

I just put all the ingredients into the machine and went away.

I had the time to do 3 loads of laundry, go for a swim with my kiddo and clean around the house.

When I came back it was already time for lunch. And what could be better than a fresh-baked bread

topped with light chicken salad:

Recipe for 1 1/2 Lb Loaf:

1 1/4 cup water

1 1/2 Tsp. salt

1  1/2 Tbsp. sugar (I used turbinado)

3 Tbsp. Wheat Germ

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 Cups Semolina Flour

2 Tsp Active Dry Yeast (I used bread machine yeast)

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in the order as listed above. Set on basic bread cycle. Come back when it’s done. Take it out of the pan and let cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy.

This bread makes really good toast and it’s wonderful for sandwiches!

Store it in a zip lock bag in room temperature.

The only con of making bread in the kind of machine I have is the weird shape and HUGE slices, but I can live with it.

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Apple-Cherry Pizza and Sundried tomatoes Pizza on Mint-Basil dough

I have to admit, WE LOVE PIZZA. Whenever there is a pizza in the oven our two-year old always does her pizza song: “pizza, pizza, we eat”, and her pizza dance.

When my husband and I were dating I had surprised him with the skills of making pizza while he did the same eating it topped with a pineapple… .

These days we eat pizza quite often.

The base for my pizza dough is always the same. I have found the perfect one and I stick to it EVERY SINGLE time. I make mine in bread maker.

Recipe:

1 1/2 cups water

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

3 1/2 cups bread flour *

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active yeast

1/4 cup chia seeds/flax-seed meal (or mix of both)**

* sometimes I use a few cups of all-purpose flour with a cup of bread flour. sometimes I use whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour plus a cup or half of bread flour. No matter what kind of flour I mix I always try to include the bread flour as it gives a nice crisp to the crust. and depends on how much of each flour is used the amount of water needs to be adjust as well.

** to add an extra twist to the dough sometimes I add:

a handful of chopped fresh parsley, mint or basil, or mix of these.

I’ll tell you, the moment you bite the crust filled with those herbs you’ll be in love!!!!!!!!

Directions for bread maker:

wet ingredients first plus salt and sugar, next flour and yeast on top. close the machine, set on “dough”. press “start”. During the second kneading open the lid and add herbs, chia seeds/ flax-seed meal. close the lid. after it’s done take it out, knead a few times on a lightly floured surface and let it rest for about 10 minutes, covered. Divide into 6 parts.

For deep dish pizza spread 1 part of the dough inside a pie pan. For New York, roll the dough thinner and put it on a baking sheet.

Refrigerate or freeze the rest of the dough.

Bake in 450 F.

For deep dish pizza for 15 to 20 minutes.

For thin crust for 12 to 15 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My husband’s pizza is pretty much the same each time.

Cheddar cheese, tomato pizza sauce (homemade), chicken breast, pineapple (fresh or canned), corn (fresh or canned), green or red bell pepper (not always). Thin crust.

chicken pineapple pizza

Mine varies, but a few weeks ago I have found an all time favorite:

cheese (cheddar, jack or mozzarella),

apple (granny smith),

cherries,

corn,

and pineapple (optional).

I know that it might sound weird but this pizza is one of the best dishes I have ever ate.

I came up with this idea after eating a pear gorgonzola pizza at California Pizza Kitchen a few moths ago.

My last creation was pretty tasty, too:

Sundried tomatoes in olive oil,

mushrooms,

cheese,

red bell pepper.

Although I burned the tomatoes too much it still was delicious! 

I spread the olive oil from sundried tomatoes over the dough first. Not a lot, just a bit. Then went cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers and sundried tomatoes.

Next time I’m going to add the tomatoes a few minutes before taking the pizza from the oven. This way I won’t burn them.

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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.

Ingredients:

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.

Directions:

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.

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Chunks Scone

A few days back I woke up way too early.

My baby having a full belly went back to sleep very shortly but I didn’t.

Sitting in front of the computer and browsing through the Internet I stumbled upon post with a recipe for Berry White Chocolate Chunks Scones.

I actually had never baked scones before and after going through the recipe, which is crazy easy, I decided to make it for breakfast.

I took me about 20 minutes to make to dough. I didn’t bake it right away because I didn’t want them to be cold when my husband and two-year old get up.

I used only half of the ingredients from the original recipe and I ended up with 6 huge scones packed with strawberries and chocolate. 

I didn’t have white chocolate so I used dark instead and it worked perfect.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 (2 oz) cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup strawberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate, cut into chunks

3/4 – 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream*

extra cream or milk, for brushing (optional)
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)**

* I used only 3/4 cup and it worked just fine

**I used turbinado sugar and it tasted delicious!!!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the chopped strawberries and chocolate and toss to coat. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, then pat out about an inch thick.

Cut into wedges, squares or rounds using a knife, biscuit cutter or glass rim. Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; if you like, brush the tops with milk or extra cream and sprinkle with coarse (or turbinado) sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

The funny part in this story is that all of those scones ended up in my belly and nobody’s else. My daughter after a few bites decided that she doesn’t want them because they make her “dirty”. When hot the chocolate inside those scones is nicely melted in parts and… ohhh so gooey 🙂

My daughter, though, doesn’t like this kind of texture. She wanted me to feed her those parts where there wasn’t any chocolate or strawberry (which was hard to find in these scones) and she didn’t want to touch them. Husband ate half of one scone and decided it’s too sweet with what I don’t agree. I think they are perfect when it comes to sweetness.

Have a great day, my friends.

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Polish “Babka” with almonds and white chocolate

I suppose to be on bed rest but it’s not that easy when you’re pregnant and when you crave so many different homemade goods. Last week, for example I had homemade chocolate milk pudding for dinner. Four times. What means that for four days I didn’t eat anything else for dinner just my pudding. Oh wait… I did have something else. A few slices of fresh strawberry and a banana on top of my pudding 😉 That counts, right?!

I want to share that recipe here on my blog, but every time I make it there is almost no time between when it’s made and when it’s in our bellies.

Last Saturday when it was raining and dark outside I finally decide to make Babka. Finally, because that cake was stuck in my head for a long time. “Babka” is Polish name for a sweet yeast cake but actually it can be made without the yeast and then it resembles pound cake. That’s how my mom and my sister used to make it – without the yeast. It’s not very babka-like but many people do that and call that cake babka and when they use the original recipe with yeast then they call it “yeast babka”.

My mom wasn’t a baker and she even didn’t tried to become one. Whenever she baked something (and it happened really rare), she would always make something VERY easy and fast to fix. Babka and a simple chocolate cake were our most often eaten desserts (and pudding or kisiel, of course). She almost never made a glaze. It was too much work with something that she actually didn’t enjoy – baking. Instead of glaze she would spread a homemade jam (raspberry or black currants) on top of each slice of those cakes and that was it. Just like you would do with open-faced sandwich. It actually was pretty delicious.

These days those simple dishes are my comfort food and whenever I feel under the weather I always come back to it.

Following my family steps I made my babka without the yeast. Although, I do want to try to make it the original way someday. But not when I am on bed rest 😉

This cake is really moist and not sweet at all, at least not too sweet like you would think after reading the recipe.

I do not have the right pan for baking babka but I used 9inch loaf pan and it worked great.

Ingredients for cake: 

1/2 cup white chocolate cut into really small pieces (or white chocolate baking chips),

5 1/2 Tbsp. butter, softened and cut into small pieces,

8 tsp. sugar,

1 tsp. baking powder,

1 tsp. baking soda, (if you don’t have it, don’t worry, this cake will be fine without it)

3 eggs, yolks separated from whites,

1/3 cup all-purpose flour,

1 cup ground almonds, blanched

2 tsp. orange zest,

Ingredients for glaze:

3/4 cup milk chocolate, cut into pieces (milk chocolate chips will do), or if you want to make white chocolate glaze use white chocolate (or chocolate chips),

1/3 cup whipped cream,

1 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice (or orange liquor),

1 tsp. orange zest.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Into a glass bowl put chocolate and butter. Put that bowl over a pot with small amount of boiling water. Stirr until ingredients melt together. Now you can take it off the heat and add egg yolk, but still over the double bath. Add one yolk at a time stirring really fast. Add sugar and mix well.

Remove the bowl from the pot and add sieved flour with baking soda, baking powder and ground almonds. Stirr with a spoon.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and add to the almond-chocolate batter. Mix well with a spoon. Add orange zest.

Transfer the batter to a greased pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes. After about 40 minutes you can check with a toothpick if it’s done.

Cool on cooling wrack.

While the cake is baking prepare the glaze:

Again, over double bath melt together chocolate and whipped cream. At the end add orange juice and orange zest.

Wait until cake and the glaze are cool then spread the glaze over the cake.

Enjoy!

A lesson learned in my kitchen

Yesterday was a strange day and a strange comparison came to my mind when I was falling asleep last night.

Life is like cooking

At least in my case or in a case of yesterday’s day.

My cooking started early. While having breakfast I’d decided to make bread for lunch. As soon as I finished feeding our daughter and myself I started mixing all the ingredients for bread. I heated up water for the yeast. I put the yeast into the warm water and waited 15 minutes for it to have activated. Nothing happened. I had to throw it out. I started this part all over. After 10 minutes I saw a few bubbles but nothing more. I knew it’s not gonna work this time either. All together I had repeated it 5 times. After 4th time (and I don’t know why I thought about it) I decided to change the water I’d been using to activate the yeast. From tap water I switched to bottled water. It worked like a charm. The mixture got foamy and bubbly in 5 minutes.

By that time it was almost 11am and I knew I need to make something else for lunch because bread won’t be ready. In addition I was really mad and discouraged. I had thought that if that’s how it started then it means nothing good will come out from it, but I kept kneading. After I was done I left the dough to rest for about 2 hours or longer. I knew that at this point I don’t have to rush with it.

After those few hours the dough hadn’t risen enough, in my opinion but I couldn’t wait any longer. I added rest of the ingredients, rolled it up and left to rest for the second time.

For dinner I decided to make a chicken noodle soup for my husband and our Little Picky Eater. For myself I planned to make spinach souffle I saw the other day on Jennifer’s blog. I didn’t have the cheese but oh well… sometimes you try to make the best from what you have not wishing you had more – one of my many lessons about life learned straight from my kitchen 🙂 All of it would go perfect with fresh-baked bread.

I was so eager to try this souffle.

While I was making it almost everything seemed to be going wrong. I screwed up the sauce, separating yolks from the whites seemed to be so hard like I haven’t done it hundreds of times in the past. I coursed out loud like crazy while my daughter was watching me with a strange look on her face. Not enough, I noticed my bread is not rising as it supposed to. At this point I was ready to give up and ask my husband to order a take-out.

To make a long story short.

The dinner was delicious. It didn’t have to be perfect for us to enjoy it. Life is not perfect. Life not always goes as we plan. Life always brings surprises, obstacles, ups and downs, and there is many things missing now and then. We just need to make the best from what we have at the moment. We need to be patient and try to finish what we have started. If something goes wrong we need to rethink it.

Even if the dinner was awful I would be able to say that at least I tried and I gave the best out of me to finish it and to make it work.

At the end there is always somebody who won’t like your cooking anyway (even if the dish(es) is perfect in your opinion). On the other hand, you might be positively surprised when somebody who you thought from the beginning is not going to like it, eats up an entire plate. That happened yesterday with my Little One. She ate an entire plate of spinach souffle. She couldn’t surprise me any more than that.

The same happens in every aspect of our life.

I ate so much of everything I could barely move after all. The time and my heart I put in it paid back. After dinner it was great to enjoy a piece of chocolate my husband brought me from the store.

If you’re interested:

here is the recipe for bread. Instead of all-purpose flour I used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. In addition before rolling it into a shape I spread over the top flax seeds meal and fresh parsley. Yumm!!!

here is the recipe for Spinach Souffle

the recipe for chicken noodle soup still needs to be written down as I always make it from scratch and every time I improve it in something new. This time, for example, I discovered arrowroot, and I have to tell you all: “I’m in love in arrowroot”. That’s the next lesson from yesterday’s cooking. I don’t know if I’ll ever use corn starch again!!!

Hugs from my a little bit wiser corner!

The most delicious Banana Crumbs Muffins

Banana Crumbs Muffins.

The best muffins I made, so far. The most delicious part are those crumbs!!!! I ate them without baking. There was some lefts for the muffins, of course, but I admit that I ate them raw. After they were baked with the muffins… OMG!!!

Heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

This recipe is a keeper!!!

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Buttermilk Herbs Pizza Dough

So far I’ve made many pizzas using many different recipes. Different recipes but actually the same. Flour, water, yeast, olive oil, salt just the measurements were not the same.

The last time I made pizza I made it with buttermilk and I loved it!

Homemade tomato sauce:

  • 1 can (14.5oz) of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • spices/or not (whatever you like)

Simmer it on very low for about 45 minutes. This recipe will make enough sauce for 4 medium size pizzas.

Buttermilk Pizza Dough

  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 Cups Bread Flour (start with 2 cups and add more if needed!!!!!!)
  • golden lemon thyme
  • basil

Heat up 1/2 water plus 2tbsp, add sugar. In this water dissolve 1 package of yeast. Place flour in bowl of electric mixer. Add dissolved yeast, oil, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.

Using dough hook, mix well at medium-low speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to high and mix dough for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add about 2 tsp lemon thyme and chopped basil. Knead just to incorporate those herbs to the dough.

Dust or oil dough ball and place in a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft free place for 1 to 3 hours.

I do not have kitchen aid, so I knead the dough with my hands for about 10 minutes. Works perfect!!!

This recipe will make 4 medium size well rolled (very thin) pizzas.

First goes tomato sauce. Second cheese. Third all the veggies you like with (or without) whatever meat you like.

Bake for 25 minutes in 375 F.

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