New Years Resolution and Chia Bread

IMG_4557It is 2013 and my New Years resolution is to post more recipes on my blog.  I am aided in this endeavor by Jonathan’s Christmas gift to me: a KitchenAid Standard Mixer.  I have been enjoying it tremendously!  Aside from baking bread I have also been experimenting with many new recipes that I will share in the future on my blog.

Life has been busy with Christmas and exploring the Windsor-Detroit area.  So, far we love the Great Lakes Coffee Company (Roasted in Detroit) and loved going to the Detroit Institute of Art.   Jonathan went to a Detroit Pistons game with his friend Peter, and now my Dad really wants to visit and catch a game.  We are truly lucky to be in a great location!  Sometime this summer we want to visit Chicago (it’s the same distance away as Toronto from here). I will have to find out what the shopping is like in Chicago!

Jonathan and I took great delight in comparing Canadian and American grocery stores.  In particular, the price difference in American and Canadian cheese.  American cheese is significantly less costly – however, we love our Canadian grocery stores.  All of my foodie ingredients are available here in Windsor.  We also decided to get a Costco membership for buying salmon, chicken, flour, sugar, and frozen blueberries (and much more).  The frozen blueberries were the biggest and sweetest I’ve ever tasted. They were particularly delicious in oatmeal blueberry muffins.

IMG_4593 Today’s project: Chia bread!

Now, you may remember the old commercials for Chia Pets, but chia seeds are much more than a fun pet.  Chia seeds are full of omega 3 fatty acids.  This bread is extremely simple to make and delicious.  I may never buy store bought bread ever again.  It reminds me of my favourite bread from COBS bakery.  The method I have used to make this bread is rapid mix, which I learned from the KitchenAid recipe book that came with my mixer.  There are other ways of making bread as well, that I will explore in the future.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seedsIMG_4590

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons quick rise yeast

¼ cup canola oil

1 cup warm water (between 120 F and 130 F)

Directions:

Place flour, sugar, salt, chia seeds, sesame seeds and yeast into mixing bowl and mix on speed 2 of your mixer for about 30 seconds.

Slowly add warm water and oil to the mixer.  Mix at speed 2 until a slightly stick dough forms and is gently kneaded by the mixer dough hook (about 4-5minutes).

Take the bowl off your mixer and wrap with plastic wrap and put a towel on top.  Let rest for 20 minutes.

Put the dough on the counter and roll it with a rolling pin into a rectangle.  Slowly roll the rectangle into a log and then tuck the corners of the log underneath.  Set the log in a greased bread pan, seam side down.  Lightly brush the top of the loaf with canola oil.  Cover in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for two hours.

After two hours, uncover and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Then, gently push down on the loaf to remove excess gases.  Bake at 400 F for 35-40 minutes.

Let cool completely, then slice with a bread knife and enjoy.  The bread is good for 1-2 days, so I would recommend slicing it and then putting it in the freezer.  Then it can be taken out as needed and toasted or thawed for sandwiches.

Five Seed Soda Bread

What does a foodie do at parties?

Exchange recipes of course!

One of Laura’s best friends who was at the bachelorette party on Saturday and I got chatting about favourite recipes.  She sent me a link to the blog 101 Cookbooks.  Originally her recipe suggestion was for black bread.  However, I was looking around the website and found this recipe for a healthy, grainy, delicious looking soda bread.  So, this morning I went to the store to buy all of the seeds and organic spelt flour.

Having never made bread before, I thought I should start with a soda bread.  The bread was grainy, warm and had the perfect texture.  My Mom’s only critique would be to add a tiny bit of honey.  Luckily, Jonathan will be in Aurora on Thursday, so I can try to make this bread again – with a smidgen of honey.  Even without the honey, the flavour of this bread was amazing with all of the seeds.  I am very happy with my first attempt at making bread.  I may even have to try out another new bread recipe from 101 Cookbooks tomorrow.  All of the recipes look wonderful and have detailed, easy to follow instructions.

Ingredients

2 1/2 tablespoons EACH sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds.

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 3/4 cup / 9 oz / 250 g spelt flour
2 cups / 9 oz / 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 3/4 cup / 14 oz / 400 ml buttermilk
a bit of extra buttermilk/milk

Preheat your oven to 400F / 205C. Place a rack in the center of the oven. In a small bowl combine all the seeds and set aside.

Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the seeds. Make a well in the flour, pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the dough just comes together. If you need to add an extra splash of buttermilk because the dough is too dry, you can. As Hugh says, “Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute, just long enough to pull it together into a loose ball but no longer – you need to get it into the oven while the baking soda is still doing its stuff.”

Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and mark it with a deep cross across the top, cutting two-thirds of the way through the loaf with a serrated knife. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds, making sure plenty of seeds make it down into the cracks.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden crusted on top and bottom (you may want to move the oven rack up for the last 15 minute if you need more color on the top of the loaf). Cool on a wire rack.

Makes a single loaf.

Adapted from River Cottage everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 40 min

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread

Warm pumpkin bread is just the thing for a chilly February day.  My sister Victoria first discovered this recipe for pumpkin bread here.  It is moist and flavourful.  For best results use Stokeley’s pumpkin purée.  The bread tastes like banana bread, except it has the warmth of pumpkin pie.  It tastes like a Canadian Thanksgiving at the cottage, with fallen red, orange and yellow leaves.  What gives the pumpkin bread its richness is the cream cheese.  In this recipe cloves and walnuts can be added for extra flavour, but mine is made without the last two ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  2. Put softened cream cheese, margarine, and sugar in mixing bowl. Cream together well. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Mix in pumpkin.
  3. In another bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour all at once over batter. Stir just enough to moisten. Turn into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to rack to finish cooling.