Friday, May 18, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ranch pretzels

I'm not going to waste any time writing about ranch pretzels.....They are what they are. Ranch Pretzels.....

Ranch Pretzels
thank you brown eyed baker via Amber's Delectable Delights

1 9 oz. bag of pretzels ***Mini or sticks. I used mini.***
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1 oz. package of Ranch Dip mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

1 large/gallon-size ziploc bag
rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 250˚F.

Place the pretzels in a large/gallon-size ziploc bag. Add the oil, seal the bag, and toss to coat. Add the ranch dip mix and garlic powder (if using) to the bag of oil-coated pretzels, seal and toss again until all of the pretzels are dusted with ranch.

Spread out onto your prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until all of the oil has absorbed into the pretzels. Cool and store in an air tight container.

Friday, May 11, 2012

english muffin bread

The words easy and making bread do not go hand in hand, but this bread IS easy to makeI promise you!!! AND it's english muffin bread to boot.

English Muffin Bread

adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes 1 loaf

3 cups King Arthur Un-Bleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt ***I used kosher salt.***
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast ***Please don't get confused with the packets of active dry yeast you can buy at your local supermarket. This yeast is totally different. You can use it, but you'll need to activate the yeast before adding it to the recipe. Read here about the difference between instant yeast vs. active dry yeast.*** 
1 cup milk ***Don't skimp on the flavor here, use whole milk***
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil ***Do not use extra-virgin olive oil here, vegetable or plain olive oil is fine. I used vegetable oil. The taste of extra-virgin olive oil may be too aggressive and alter the taste of true english muffins.*** 
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast. 

Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don't have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.

Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.

Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. ***I used a disposable loaf pan from the grocery store which is a tad smaller than the pan suggested and the bread turned out just fine.***

Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible. ***Damp hands work well here in case you're having a hard time leveling out the dough.***

Oil some plastic wrap, cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn't be more than, say, 1/4" over the rim. ***Or in my case because I used a smaller pan, 1" over the rim.***

This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn't very cold. 

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F. ***If you don't have a thermometer to read it's internal temperature, bake for a total of 32 minutes.***

Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

English muffin bread baked with nooks and crannies and crusted with cornmeal???

This bread is best eaten toasted.....just like an english muffin should be.