Category Archives: Breads

Wait. What? Watermelon!

Take a close look at this picture. You’re right, that’s not chopped tomato; it’s fresh watermelon!

Last week Cathy was looking for a quick and easy summer appetizer that would take advantage of the season’s fresh produce. We think she scored a home run with this sweet ‘n tangy watermelon bruschetta. You’re gonna love it!

Watermelon Bruschetta

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

2 cups diced watermelon, drained on paper towel
1/3 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon diced red onion
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 baguette, thinly sliced

• Combine all ingredients except for the bread.

• Cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Serve with bread slices.

Tips

• Do not prepare more than an hour before serving or mixture will become too soft.

• Try the watermelon over grilled chicken or salmon. Yum!

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Filed under Appetizer, Breads, Cheese, Entertaining, Foodies, Fruit, Snacks, Vegetarian

No-Knead to Fuss !

Perhaps nothing smells more inviting than the aroma of fresh bread baking in the oven. So when my wife’s long-time friend Virginia turned me on to a simple no-knead bread recipe recently, I just had to try it.

The original recipe is from Jim Lahey, of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. All it takes is flour, yeast, salt and water… what could be easier?  The recipe calls for baking the bread in a Dutch Oven, but don’t waste your money on expensive pots… I picked up a 6 qt. enameled cast iron Dutch Oven at Costco for only $39.

Well, we’ve gone through about a dozen loaves so far, and I’m scoring big points with family & friends . The kids love it toasted with butter, and I’m getting rave reviews on the exquisite crunchiness of the crust.

So why not start baking your own bread at home? You’ll be so impressed with the results, you may never buy another expensive artisanal loaf again. You can find the no-knead bread recipe, and view the New York Times video with Mark Bittman by clicking on the provided links.

-Joe

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Filed under Breads

Christmas Morning Muffins

Ah, a warm muffin and a hot cup of coffee.  That’s a near perfect winter breakfast!

We think you’ll love these Cranberry-Orange Streusel Muffins. The sweetness from the drizzled icing nicely balances the tartness of the fresh cranberries and the orange flavor comes shining through. The beautiful red of the cranberries makes these muffins especially pretty for Christmas morning.

Cranberry-Orange Streusel Muffins

(makes 8 muffins)

Streusel Topping:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine

Muffins:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2/3 cup  milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup cranberries (whole or coarsely chopped)

Icing:

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons orange juice

– Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease 8 muffin pan cups.

– Prepare streusel topping:  In small bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Add butter, stirring, until coarse crumbs are formed. Reserve.

– Prepare muffins:  In large  bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder,  baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In small bowl, using wire whisk, lightly beat egg, milk, oil and orange peel.  Stir into flour mixture just until combined.  Stir in cranberries.

– Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle reserved streusel topping evenly over muffins. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups.

– Meanwhile, prepare icing:  In small bowl stir together confectioners’ sugar and orange juice.
Drizzle over warm muffins. Garnish muffins with extra grated orange peel if desired.



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Filed under Berries, Breads, Breakfast, cranberries, Holidays

Billy Jabour’s Breakfast in Bread

This past summer I visited dear friends of mine, Dorie and Ray, in the Albany, N.Y. area.  As soon as I entered their house, I encountered the fragrant aroma of fresh-baked bread.  Moments later, Dorie presented an array of absolutely delicious stuffed breads that she had sliced into appetizer portions. I had to know the source, and luckily Dorie gladly shared her secret. The fresh-baked breads had just been delivered by Billy Jabour, a friend of Dorie’s daughter.

Billy Jabour is founder and owner of The Whole Loaf in Troy, N.Y.  Experienced bread baker and creator of signature stuffed-bread loaves, Billy started his business about 5 years ago.  The loaves were a Jabour family tradition as far back as Billy can remember. Initially, Billy started with a menu of 10 loaves, and today The Whole Loaf’s menu boasts more than 30 mouth-watering choices including savory and sweet combinations perfect for anytime of day.

The Breakfast in Bread loaf is an inspiration—bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, maple syrup, mozzarella and Swiss cheeses make up this awesome creation. We think it would be perfect for brunch…just add a colorful fruit medley, juice and coffee!

We couldn’t resist photographing some of Billy’s other flavors, too. You can only imagine how good it smelled in the studio!

The Beefcake (lower right: bacon, ground beef, onions, Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses); The Big Red (upper right: chicken parmesan, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses); The Hamtastic (left: ham and Swiss cheese rolled in rye dough).

View the full menu by visiting wholeloaf.com.  You may order through the website, or email your request to orders@wholeloaf.com

Cathy

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Filed under Appetizer, Breads, Breakfast, Cheese, Reviews