pita bread

i love long weekends.  wouldn’t it be great if all weekends were 3 day weekends.  i feel like there is never enough time to get all of the errands you need to get done, plus have some time to relax.  but with 3 day weekends, you have sufficient time for it all.  yippee!!!

so this past weekend, i grabbed lunch and drinks with a friend, did some wedding stuff with chris, caught up on private practice and had a baking and cooking day with tammy!!!!!  what a wonderful, wonderful weekend!   we made pita bread, grilled lemon chicken, and peach handpies.  recipes for everything will be coming through the week – first up pita bread!

i had tried to make pita bread before, but i wasn’t so successful.  though it tasted fine, it was kind of dense (since i tried to be healthy and made it with whole wheat flour) and they were all misshapen and kind of sad looking.  wah wah.

but together, tammy and i were super successful at making pita bread!!!  although we did bake them just a smidgen too long so they were kind of crunchy, they were puffy and beautiful and delicious!

the dough is super simple, just water, yeast, flour and salt.   with the help of your stand mixer the dough comes together easily.

once the dough is nice and smooth, place it on a lightly floured surface.

divide the dough into 8 pieces for medium sized pita bread.  then shape them into balls.

using a rolling pin, roll out each ball of dough until it’s 1/4 in thick.  be sure to roll it out to that thickness.  we accidentally left some a bit thicker and they didn’t puff up when baked like the thinner ones.

  

keep rolling out the dough balls until they are all shaped into flat rounds.  then allow them to rest for 30-40 minutes on the floured surface.

once the pita dough has rested, flip them over onto a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.

bake the pita bread for 10-13 minutes at 425 degrees F.  be sure to watch them bake during the first 5 minutes to see them puff up!

we enjoyed our pita bread warm with grilled lemon chicken and a delicious garlic sauce tammy made.  sooo good!

for this recipe, please visit under the high chair!

everything bagel breakfast pockets

my absolute favorite breakfast is an everything bagel with bacon, egg, and cheese.  i don’t know what it is about it but i just love it.  unfortunately this is not the healthiest or cheapest breakfast to have on a regular basis.  but after making homemade pizza pockets a couple weeks ago, i had an idea…

why make homemade breakfast pockets?

but then i took it a step further and decided to make everything bagel breakfast pockets.  i used the same dough (but with some whole wheat flour) and technique as the one used for bagel (pretzel) dogs and then filled it with bacon, scrambled eggs, and cheddar cheese.  finally, i topped it with everything topping which includes onion, garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and salt.  yum!

can i tell you?  these are amazing!  of course they are not exactly like a bagel sandwich but they have all the components of one and they are homemade, cheaper, and healthier.  i froze most of them so the next time i have the urge to go get a bagel sandwich from a fast food restaurant, i can just grab one from the freezer, pop it in the microwave, and have a delicious, savory everything bagel breakfast pocket instead.  win!

start by making the dough and getting all of the filling ingredients together.

divide the dough into 6 pieces.  take one piece of dough and press it out into an oval.  place some eggs, cheese, and bacon in the center of the oval.

fold the dough over the filling and seal the pocket with a lightly floured fork.  (for more extensive step by step instructions and pictures on how to form the breakfast pocket, please visit my post on homemade pizza pockets.)  then dip both sides of the pocket into the baking soda and warm water mixture (this is what makes it like a bagel).

place the pockets on to a silpat or parchment paper lined baking pan.  repeat with the rest of the pieces of dough until all the breakfast pockets are formed and dipped in the baking soda mixture.

then brush some egg wash and sprinkle the everything topping onto each breakfast pocket.

bake the breakfast pockets at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

serve the everything bagel breakfast pockets nice and warm.  enjoy!

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cinnamon rolls 3.0

cinnamon rolls make a frequent appearance in our kitchen.  chris and i love cinnamon rolls.  although i’ve made cinnamon rolls before, recently we’ve just been making the ones that come in the tube – you know the cinnamon rolls that are in the tube that when it goes POP, it absolutely freaks the bejesus out of me.  haha.  yeah those.

but these cinnamon rolls are completely homemade and absolutely delicious.  it’s a tender sweet dough rolled with lots of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, then topped with a simple vanilla icing.  sounds good, huh?  although the tube cinnamon rolls are good when you want a quick breakfast, homemade cinnamon rolls are so much better and definitely worth the extra effort and time.

step 1 – make the dough.  pour the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes.  then add the salt and the rest of the sugar.

in small bowl or measuring cup, mix the buttermilk, oil and egg.  i didn’t have any buttermilk so i just used a scant 1/4 cup of milk and a scant teaspoon of vinegar mixed in measuring cup and allowed to sit for 5 minutes.  worked out fine.

pour the egg, milk, oil mixture into the mixing bowl and combine with the yeast mixture.  then add 2 cups of the flour, mixing until its combined.  you’re going to add the rest of the flour slowly, just 1/4 cup at a time.  the dough should be sticky, but not sticky enough that it sticks to your fingers.

  

take the dough out of the bowl and lightly oil the bowl.  place the dough back in the bowl, turn the dough over so that it’s also lightly covered in oil.  cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled (mine took about an hour).

while the dough is rising, mix up the filling.  it’s just cinnamon, brown sugar, and cornstarch.  wait what?  cornstarch?  i know it’s kind of odd but it slightly thickens the filling which keeps it from just oozing out of the rolls.

  

once the dough is done rising, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  then roll it out into a 12×24  rectangle.  spread the softened butter over the dough, making sure to leave a 1 in edge on the far long end of the rectangle.

sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the butter.

to roll up the dough, start from the long end of the rectangle closest to you and  working almost like a typewriter, slowly roll up the dough across the length of the dough, going back and forth until the log of dough is formed.  next using a ruler, score the log every 2 inches.  using a sawing motion, carefully cut the log into 12 pieces using the score marks you made as a guide.

place the rolls in a parchment paper lined 9×13 pan.

the rolls now have to rise again for about an hour.  a great tip for making a nice, warm place for dough to rise (which can sometimes be difficult during the winter time), is to place the dough on the the back burner of the stovetop with the oven left on at 200 degrees F.

yay they are finally ready to bake!

bake the rolls for 17-20 minutes or until the rolls are totally gooey and beautifully golden brown.

while the rolls are baking, make the vanilla icing.  it’s just powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk – super simple and easy.  but you could  use cream cheese frosting instead.  that’s definitely yummy too!  pour the icing over the rolls once they are out of the oven.

at last they are ready to eat!

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pretzel dogs

i know, i know.  i already have a couple recipes on here for bagel or pretzel dogs – but this one is probably my favorite.  the other two recipes were more like bagel dogs or even the kind of pretzel dogs that you would get from auntie anne’s.  this recipe however is 100% a pretzel dog – a crusty yet soft pretzel wrapped around a hot dog.  it’s simply amazing.

i made these pretzel dogs to freeze so we could have them for lunch or dinner during the week.  to do this, all you have to do is wrap up the dogs individually in plastic wrap and then pop them in the freezer.  when you want to eat them, take them out of the plastic wrap and wrap them up in foil.  then bake the pretzel dogs at 350 for about 12 minutes or until heated through.

these pretzel dogs, start off with a simple dough made in a stand mixer.

then let it proof for about 1 hour or until it’s doubled in size.

turn out the dough on to a lightly oiled surface.  divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.

next dry off the hot dogs on some paper towel.

it’s now time to assemble the pretzel dogs.  roll out a piece of dough into a long rope about 3-4 times as long as your hot dog.

then wrap the dough around the hot dog.  make sure to pinch and seal the ends and have some overlap as you wrap the dough around the hot dog.  this will help ensure the hot dog is completely covered by the pretzel dough.

keep on going until all of the hot dogs are wrapped up.

next boil the hot dogs in the baking soda water mixture.  this step is pretty quick since they only need to be boiled for about 30 seconds.

once the pretzel dogs are done boiling, place them on oiled parchment paper or a silpat.  then brush them with the eggs and sprinkle with salt.

oopsie daisies!  this is what happens when you don’t wrap up the hot dogs well enough.  the hot dog starts to peep out.  uh oh!

it’s okay though – just bake the pretzel dogs at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until they are nice and brown.

serve them warm with ketchup or the condiment of your choice.

since i didn’t make any changes to the original recipe, please visit joy the baker for the recipe.  she has absolutely beautiful step by step pictures plus an awesome story about making friends. 🙂

apple cinnamon coffee cake

i love reading baking and cooking blogs.  since starting my own, it is definitely become one of my favorite past times.  seriously i could spend hours just reading different blogs.  some are funny, some are really serious and sophisticated, some are fancy and some are more homestyle.

but the one common ground is that i am always so inspired by them.  i love learning about new and different ingredients, techniques and pieces of equipment.

my absolute favorite moment is when i see a recipe on a blog and i just know i have to make it.  most times when i post about different recipes on this blog, it’s because i already had an idea of what i want to make, i was just looking for a specific recipe to use.  but about a week and a half ago, while i was reading joy the baker i read her post on apple cinnamon coffee cake and i immediately add it to my wish list.  i couldn’t wait to try it out.

yesterday i tried out the recipe and boy is it good.  but sadly mine does not look as nice as joy’s.  oh well.  i guess it’s the taste the counts right?

beware, this coffee cake does take some time.  but it’s well worth it.  plus you get two coffee cakes!  so it’s definitely worth it.  i ended up baking both and sent one to work with chris for him and and his coworkers.  but you could definitely refrigerate or freeze the other.  also this is more like bread than cake – well it’s really like a mixture because the dough is sweet and a bit more tender than regular bread.  really all you have to know that it’s delicious and it pairs perfectly with the apple cinnamon filling.  yum!

making this coffee cake is pretty similar to making cinnamon rolls.  first, make the dough…

while the dough is rising, peel, core, and chop the apples.  then mix them up with the rest of the filling ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch…

  

you can also make the streusel topping at the same time…

now that the dough has risen and the filling and streusel is ready, it’s time to assemble and form the coffee cake.  first, cut the dough in half.  using half the dough, roll it out into a large rectangle.  then sprinkle on half the streusel…

  

the next step is to sprinkle half the apples on to the dough.  but if you’re like me and can’t divide too well – you may end up putting just a little bit of apples on the first cake and which will leave a whole lot for the second one.  ooops!  so i guess try to divide it as best as you can do you don’t have unevenly stuffed coffee cakes.  haha.

  

now it’s time to roll the whole in thing up.  again it’s very similar to making cinnamon rolls but it doesn’t have to be as tight – just fold over 1 – 1 1/2 inch folds…

then carefully transfer the roll onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat…

now take a clean pair of scissors and snip the coffee cake, leaving about an inch still intact…

then carefully curl the bread it, exposing the apple filling and pretty design…

now the coffee cake now has to rest for a bit.  after about 30 minutes, brush the cake with an egg wash and sprinkle on raw sugar…

then pop it in the oven and enjoy the beautiful apple smell that will take over your kitchen.  once the cake is done – about 30 to 35 minutes later let it rest for just a little while and then enjoy!

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