Posts Tagged ‘Bread’

Here’s a dessert I really enjoy and is simple to make.  While this site usually advocates using produce in season, here’s a recipe that is fairly forgiving if the strawberries are not at their peak – though of course, in season tastes better and costs less.  Also remember to clean your strawberries well as they are listed among the fruits with the highest levels of residual pesticides.  Beginners: slice off and discard the tops.

This is recipe is a mild variation on another web recipe but this time the changes are few but significant.  The original recipe calls for ¾ cup of vegetable oil.  Here I cut the oil in half and compensate by increasing the amount of strawberries.  Strawberries when they bake give off a lot of water so do not be concerned that your batter will be barely moistened when you add in the strawberries.  A note for dieters – even with cutting the oil in half, the entire recipe is about 2700 calories – which per serving (no matter how small you serve) is not slimming.IMG_0318

The other change is that I use an 8×8 pan rather than a loaf pan.  The best parts of this recipe are the top and the sides (the rest is very good too).  Also cooking in a flatter pan also reduces baking time and you do not get that gooey middle that sometimes forms when oil based breads take a few days to eat.  If you want, a 7×11 pan should work well too.  I find that many dessert breads turn out better in an 8×8 pan than a loaf pan.

Oatmeal Strawberry Bread – 1 Rolling pin


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup oats (I have not tried the quick variety)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound strawberries roughly chopped (about 3/8 “ dice +/-)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8×8 glass pan.
  • Stir together in a large bowl: flour, outs, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and the eggs until well mixed
  • Stir the oil-egg mixture into the dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are moist
  • Fold (stir) in the strawberries
  • Place batter in the pan, spreading it out evenly
  • Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 – 60 minutes (check out 45 minutes if using a 7×11 pan).
  • Cool on a wire rack.

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For those unfamiliar with Challah, it is a sweet egg bread which is a staple at Jewish holiday meals but enjoyed all the time.  Typically, it baked as a braided loaf or a round swirled loaf, both with shiny tops as a result of an egg-white wash prior to baking.  The recipe here differs from the typical challah by being made in a bread machine with its tall loaf shaped pan.  Another difference is that most store bought challahs are made without any dairy so that those who keep kosher can enjoy the bread with a meat meal.  This recipe contains butter and milk and is very delicious (I find the top 1.5 inches of the loaf to be heaven – almost as enjoyable as cheesecake).

Bread Machine Challah

Bread Machine Challah

I assume if you do not have a bread machine, you can combine the ingredients below and prepare it as you would any white bread.  In addition, many people enjoy adding ingredients.  Feel free to add a half cup of golden raisins (but possibly reduce the sugar content to compensate for the added sweetness of the raisins).  Some enjoy a little vanilla extract in their challah.For those with a bread machine, you know how simple making bread can be.  Place your wet ingredients in the pan first and then place the dry ingredients on top; let the machine do the rest.  I find with some bread machine recipes that the machine has some trouble combining all the ingredients together.  That is not the case here.

Bread Machine Challah – 1 Rolling pin


  • ¾ cup milk (I use ½% milk and have found using whole milk makes no difference)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt (approximate)
  • A pinch of saffron, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, either melted or softened
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons dry yeast (not rapid rise)


  • Measure milk into a measuring cup and microwave to a slightly warm temperature (settings vary based on microwave strength – start with 20 seconds and go from there if needed)
  • Pour milk into the bread pan
  • Add the next 6 ingredients (though you might want to beat the eggs first)
  • Top with flour and yeast.  If you are starting the machine with a time delay, place the yeast on top so it does not come in contact with the wet ingredients.
  • Set bread machine to the standard white bread setting, 1½ pound loaf, light crust.  Start and wait (about 3 hours).
  • When done, remove from loaf pan to cool on a rack.  Try not cool in pan as the bread machine paddle may have trouble coming out.  You don’t have to let it cool too much before you can slice.  Who doesn’t love fresh, warm bread?  Enjoy!

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I spent my 20th birthday in Ireland, which was one of my better birthdays (I have spent birthdays in so many weird middle-of-nowhere type places just being in a city was a big deal).  I was studying abroad in London at the time and took a long weekend with my classmates to Dublin to explore the city.  The trip was a blast.  I remember that during the weekend Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released, so I spent my last hours in Dublin with my head buried in a book eating away at a loaf of soda bread I had bought at a bakery that morning.  I’m quite the cultural tourist.

This St. Patrick’s Day I decided to draw from my time and make some soda bread.  No corned beef and cabbage this year, though I did buy a corned beef brisket on sale at Safeway that is now residing happily in my freezer until the time is right.  I plan on eating this bread for the rest of the week, and enjoying every bite of it.

Irish Soda Bread – 1 Rolling Pin (Adapted from Simply Recipes)


  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425º Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl.  Work the butter and flour mixture with forks until it looks like a coarse meal.  If you aren’t sure what that looks like, just stir it for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir the raisins into the bowl.
  5. Pour the milk into a measuring cup, and the egg and beat until the yolk is broken.
  6. Add the milk and egg to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff to stir.
  7. Flour your hands and gently knead the dough in the bowl until it forms a ball shape.  Be careful not to over-knead the dough as it will become tough.
  8. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet and cut an “x” across the top about 1½ inch thick with a serrated knife.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the bread is golden and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Allow bread to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a plate to cool further if needed.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!


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