Apple Walnut Bread

I made this bread for church on Sunday.  I loved it.  Can’t wait to make it again.  It conveniently makes 2 loaves, so you have one to share or one to freeze if you can’t eat two loaves of bread in timely manner (although this bread might set new standards).

Apple Walnut Bread

Makes two loaves

Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

  • 4 cups shredded apple (I used 4 large Corland, peeled, cored and shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (could use all-purpose flour if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease  two 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pans with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Mix shredded apples and sugar in a large bowl and let sit for 15 minutes until sugar dissolves and there’s lots of liquid.  Add oil, eggs, vanilla and walnuts, mix well.

Sift together the dry ingredients and stir into the apple mixture until just combined.  Divide batter into the two loaf pans.  Bake 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool in pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Whole Wheat Rosemary Garlic Bread

I’m apparently on a bread kick, so here’s another loaf for you!

I had actually intended to make this bread for a catering event I was doing, but my yeast didn’t proof and I was too tired to get more at the time.  So I bought bread and new yeast the day of the catering event and served Whole Foods’ bread and made this when I got home.

This is a great bread.  It’s good for sandwiches or dip, good with butter or with hummus, flavorful enough on its own but not so overpowering that it can’t be paired with other things.

Whole Wheat Rosemary Garlic Bread

Makes 2 loaves (about 20-24 slices)

Adapted from Good Life Eats

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 tsp salt
  • sprinkle of flour to dust the loaves
  • 2 Tbsp cornmeal for the pans

In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast, and sugar, whisk to combine and allow to sit while you assemble the dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, garlic, rosemary, and salt; mix well.  Whisk the olive oil into the yeast mixture, then pour the liquids into the dry ingredients.  Stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been moistened.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough for about 8 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until the dough forms a smooth ball.

Place dough in a lighly oiled bowl, turning over so the top is oiled.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

After the dough has doubled, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press to deflate it.  Cut the dough in half and shape one half at a time.  Press the dough into a square, then roll it up tightly.  Turn the cylinder 90 degrees and roll up again from the short end.  Place seam side down and cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit 5 minutes.  Repeat with the other half.

Dust large 11″x13″ jelly roll pan with cornmeal.  Gently roll the dough to elongate the cylinder, working from the center out.  Place the loaves seam side down on the pan and dust lightly with flour.  Cover with plastic wrap again and allow to rise again until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

After about 1 hour if your bread has made progress, preheat your oven to 450°F and position the shelf in the center of the oven.

Once the dough has finished rising, use a sharp knife to cut 3 or 4 slashes across the top of the loaf.  Immediately place the loaves in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove the bread to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Whole Wheat Flatbread

To go with the hummus I made a few days ago, I decided to try out this whole wheat flat bread.  It has the same cooking process as the naan I made a while ago, but tastes more like pita.  I like not having to turn the oven on but still getting tasty bread, so this process is better for the summer.  I ended up taking some flat bread to work and making wraps with ham and cheese, delicious!  The salt and pepper gives this flat bread a good flavor all on its own, but since it’s on the dry side I recommend serving it with a dip or something sauce-y.

Whole Wheat Flat Bread

Makes 12 small flat breads

Adapted from Joy the Baker

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray

In a small bowl or your measuring cup, whisk together 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and sugar.  Let sit while you combine the the dry ingredients, mixture should fizz and foam showing that the yeast is active.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, salt, and pepper.  Add the yeast mixture and the other 1/2 cup warm water.  Mix together with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been moistened and you have a shaggy dough beginning to form.  Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until a smooth ball forms.

Clean out and dry your bowl, lightly coat with cooking spray and place your dough ball in the center.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few more times.  Cut the dough in half, form each half into a log and cut into 6 pieces each.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Roll out each dough piece into about 4 or 5 inch circles.  Place one circle at a time in the hot (ungreased) pan.  Cook on one side for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles begin to form.  Flip and cook for another minute or two to brown the other side.  Remove from pan.  If the bread begins to get too crisp as it cools, cover loosely with a towel and the steam will keep them nice and soft.  Serve immediately or allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Very Berry Muffins

We still have some blackberries from when we went berry picking a few weeks ago.  In an attempt to find a way to cook with them, I stumbled across these muffins.  I liked the sound of them because they’re full of healthy ingredients and aren’t full of sugar like a lot of muffins can be.  This was also the first recipe I’ve seen that uses strawberry puree, I think you could also use applesauce if you prefer.

While these weren’t the prettiest muffins (I think because I used thawed frozen strawberries), they sure do taste good.  They aren’t overly sweet, so they’re perfect for a delicious healthy breakfast or snack option.

Very Berry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from Skinny Taste

  • 1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup blackberries, halved
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a blender, puree strawberries until smooth and you have 1 1/2 cups.

Whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the egg, vanilla, melted butter, and pureed strawberries.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Gently fold in the blackberries.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Honey Raisin Bread

I was asked to make the communion bread for church last Sunday.  A big responsibility!  I needed to make sure that it was at least part whole wheat, but other than that I had free-reign.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, so after some internet browsing I decided on this no knead honey raisin bread.  While there were some humorous comments about the theology behind raisins in communion bread, I thought the mildly sweet bread was a great way to think about the sweetness of life!  At least that’s my cover story for the raisins!

This bread was really tasty.  It reminded me of cinnamon raisin bagels and would be delicious with a cream cheese spread, or toasted with butter, or just plain.  I used a combination of flours because I had them on hand, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Honey Raisin Bread

Makes 1 smallish loaf

Adapted from The Professional Palate

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup warm water

Combine flours, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.

Mix honey and water, add to dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Place an enameled Dutch oven in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.  Carefully place dough into the hot Dutch oven, cover with lid and bake for about 22-25 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Carefully remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

To go with the Sloppy Veggie Joes I wanted to make some whole wheat rolls.  While these take a while to make most of the time is just waiting for the dough to rise, the actual hands-on time is pretty minimal and easy.  They’re super delicious.  I love that they’re made with whole wheat, but they still taste soft and wholesome.  I might need to go eat one now…just talking about them gives me a craving.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Makes 24 buns

Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 1/2 tsp (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4-5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp milk to brush on top of rolls

Combine the milk and butter in a microwaveable dish, microwave on high for about 1 minute, until the milk is warm but not hot and the butter has softened.

Transfer milk and butter to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the honey and sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquids, stir to dissolve.  Add in the egg, white whole wheat flour, and the salt.  Use a wooden spoon to mix until a sticky, loose dough begins to form.  Gradually stir in the whole wheat flour until the dough thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining whole wheat flour, adding just enough to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.  Knead for about 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 2-3 hours, and the imprint of two fingers remains in the dough.  Punch down the dough and let it rise until it has doubled again, about another 2-3 hours.

After the second rise, punch down the dough and divide it into 6 sections.  Divide each section into 4 equal pieces (so you’ll have 24 rolls).  Roll each piece into a ball, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then flatten the ball with the palm of your hand.  Cover the rolls and let them rise again until puffy and an imprint remains when you lightly touch the sides of the rolls, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Brush the rolls lightly with the extra milk, then bake for about 11-13 minutes.  The rolls will be golden on top and sound hollow when lightly tapped.  Allow the rolls to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Whole Wheat Spinach Bread

I tried making this bread for the first time.  While it didn’t rise at the end as much as I expected, the bread was flavorful and hearty.

Whole Wheat Spinach Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Adapted from Bless this Mess

  • 1 pkg (10oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Thaw and squeeze out as much moisture from the spinach as possible.  Put the spinach, water, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, garlic powder, and whole wheat flour in a large bowl.  Stir to combine, adding more flour until you can’t stir it anymore.  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead in the remaining flour (or as much as you can).  The dough should be smooth and elastic.  Form dough into a smooth ball and place on a lightly floured board and cover loosely with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel.  Allow the dough to double in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.

After the dough has doubled, divide it in two equal parts.  Shape into two rounds or two long french bread-style loaves.  Place the loaves on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise again until almost doubled, about 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Once the dough has risen, bake for 40-50 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  Allow bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Zucchini Nut Sandwich Cookies

Since no meal is complete without a little something sweet (life lessons from my Grandma!), we had Zucchini Nut (open face) Sandwich Cookies for dessert at the Women’s Retreat on Saturday.

I’m a big fan of these cookies.  They’re kind of like an oatmeal cookie, with cinnamon and oats.  They’re chewy, nutty and delicious.  Then you top them with a cream cheese frosting and it’s like magic.  Super delicious.  They’re called sandwich cookies because you’re supposed to put the frosting in between two cookies, but that can be a lot of cookie (which isn’t a problem in my opinion).  Since we were focusing on “Women’s Body Wisdom” at the retreat and we had a visit from a personal trainer, we decided to keep the cookies “open-face” so they could have a taste but didn’t have to commit to two cookies.

This is also my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, I experimented until I got the cream cheese to butter to sugar proportion just right.  It’s just sweet enough and still has that delicious slightly tangy flavor from the cream cheese.  I use this for any recipe that calls for cream cheese frosting.  Sometimes I might add a little lemon zest instead of cinnamon.

However you want to eat them, they sure are tasty!

Zucchini Nut Sandwich Cookies

Makes 12 sandwiches (24 cookies)

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 scant cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini, squeeze extra liquid out (1 medium size zucchini)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

Mix in flour mixture into the butter until just combined.  Stir in zucchini, oats and walnuts.  Refrigerate dough until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Scoop dough onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake until edges are golden, about 15 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.

While the cookies cool make the cream cheese frosting.

Lauren’s Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (reduced fat is fine), room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Cream the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Slowly add sugar until well blended, then beat in the vanilla and cinnamon, if using.

Scoop frosting into a ziploc bag (or piping bag) and cut the tip off to “pipe” the frosting onto your cookies.