baking

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

I made this cake for a cooking class the other day. Everyone loved it. No surprises there, it is a wonderful cake. A nice dessert for Thanksgiving, too.

If the only way you enjoy sweet potatoes is as a side at the holidays, or in pie, it is time to expand your thinking about them. In this recipe, the mashed sweet potatoes add both sweetness and moistness to the finished cake. Great plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries.

This cake makes a lovely dessert or a nice addition to a brunch menu. Also a nice way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes, if you find yourself with leftovers.

I mentioned this recipe to a friend and she was very interested. I will be seeing her over the weekend and think I will make this for our dinner together.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

1 1/2 c. cake flour*

1/2 t. each baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature

1 1/3 c. sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. mashed sweet potato

1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Mix flour with next 4 ingredients and set aside. In large mixing bowl beat together butter and sour cream. Beat in sugar and then beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed sweet potato and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes before loosening cake sides from pan and removing. After cake has cooled wrap in foil and store at room temperature. Serves 8.

* If you don’t have cake flour you can make your own. Simply measure out a cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. That is now the same as a cup of cake flour OR remove the 2 tablespoons of flour and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift together to combine. I do the flour/cornstarch mix and keep a batch on hand for when I need it in baking.

Homemade Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

There are few aromas I like more than freshly baked bread.  I don’t bake much during the hot summer months, and look forward to cool Autumn days and fresh baked bread. I enjoy baking all sorts of breads.

For a bread baking class last night,  I made Pumpernickel Bread. The dark color comes from a mixture of rye flour, strong coffee, cocoa powder and molasses. These ingredients also give this bread a richness and texture I adore.

It’s hard for me to find a store bought Pumpernickel bread that comes close to this one. Some store bakeries rely on caramel coloring for the color in the bread. For real flavor you need the real ingredients. It really is worth the time to make your own.

 

Pumpernickel Bread

2 Packages active dry yeast

½ c. warm water

2 c. lukewarm strong coffee

¼ c. each molasses and unsweetened cocoa

2 T. Caraway seeds

2 t. salt

5-6 c. flour- I use bread flour

2 c. rye flour

Cornmeal

1 egg white, slightly beaten

 

In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in coffee, molasses, cocoa, seeds, salt and 3 cups of flour. Beat with wooden spoon about 2 minutes. Stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining regular flour to make soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour. Grease large baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.

Punch down dough, divide in 2, and form into balls. Place on baking sheet and cover. Let rise until double, brush with egg whites, slash tops and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

I have posted this recipe before, but I think it is worth posting again. If the only way you enjoy sweet potatoes is as a side at the holidays, or in pie, it is time to expand your thinking about them. In this recipe, the mashed sweet potatoes add both sweetness and moistness to the finished cake. Great plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries. This cake makes a great dessert or a nice addition to a brunch menu. Also a nice way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes, if you find yourself with leftovers.

 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

1 1/2 c. cake flour*

1/2 t. each baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature

1 1/3 c. sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. mashed sweet potato

1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Mix flour with next 4 ingredients and set aside. In large mixing bowl beat together butter and sour cream. Beat in sugar and then beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed sweet potato and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan 30 minutes before loosening cake sides from pan and removing. After cake has cooled wrap in foil and store at room temperature. Serves 8.

* If you don’t have cake flour you can make your own. Simply measure out a cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. That is now the same as a cup of cake flour OR remove the 2 tablespoons of flour and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift together to combine. I do the flour/cornstarch mix and keep a batch on hand for when I need it in baking.

Homemade Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

There are few aromas I like more than freshly baked bread.  I don’t bake much during the hot summer months and look forward to cool Autumn days and fresh baked bread. I enjoy baking all sorts of breads. Today I made Pumpernickel Bread. The dark color comes from a mixture of rye flour, strong coffee, cocoa powder and molasses. These ingredients also give this bread a richness and texture I adore. It’s hard for me to find a store bought Pumpernickel bread that comes close to this one. Some store bakeries rely on caramel coloring for the color in the bread. For real flavor you need the real ingredients.

 

Pumpernickel Bread

2 Packages active dry yeast

½ c. warm water

2 c. lukewarm strong coffee

¼ c. each molasses and unsweetened cocoa

2 T. Caraway seeds

2 t. salt

5-6 c. flour- I use bread flour

2 c. rye flour

Cornmeal

1 egg white, slightly beaten

 

In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in coffee, molasses, cocoa, seeds, salt and 3 cups of flour. Beat with wooden spoon about 2 minutes. Stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining regular flour to make soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour. Grease large baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.

Punch down dough, divide in 2, and form into balls. Place on baking sheet and cover. Let rise until double, brush with egg whites, slash tops and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

I found myself with an open can of cherry pie filling. Those who know me know that I hate to waste anything. It sat there in the fridge for several days, taunting me. I wanted to do something different but I wasn’t sure what. In the end I decided to make cherry scones. I started with a basic scone recipe and adjusted some ingredients to allow for the moisture of the pie filling. I experiment a lot with this sort of thing and am usually pretty good at it. Most things come out just fine. Sometimes, however, things come out better than fine. This is one of those recipes. I almost want to call them cherry biscuits. Soft, not too sweet and full of flavor from both the cherries and a vanilla glaze. I will surely make these again. Here is what I did.

 

 Cherry Scones

3 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/3 c. cherry pie filling

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

Glaze:

2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. vanilla

water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly. I have silicone baking mats so that is what I use. Set aside. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Combine pie filling with eggs and vanilla and stir to blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed well. Mixture will be a stiff batter. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the baking sheets- leaving a couple of inches between them.  You will need both baking sheets. I used a 2 oz. ice cream scoop and got 22 scones. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. I switched my baking sheets about halfway through the baking. Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze.

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and add enough water so the glaze is about the thickness of maple syrup, probably a couple of tablespoons. Dip the tops of each of the warm scones in the glaze and return to the cooling rack.

Hot Cross Buns Bread Pudding

hotcrossbreadpuddingAs part of putting together dinner with friends I wanted to make dessert using what I had on hand. I had made hot cross buns and had leftover ones so I decided to re-purpose them into bread pudding. The end result was so good I plan on making hot cross buns again, just so I can make this bread pudding. You could use home made or store bought buns for this recipe. My recipe for hot cross buns is at the bottom of this post.

Hot Cross Buns Bread Pudding

12 c. torn up hot cross buns- I used 8 buns

2 c. half and half

1 c. milk – I used almond milk

1 c. sugar- or less if you are using frosted buns

5 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 T. cinnamon

Frosting:

1 c. powdered sugar

4 t. milk

In large mixing bowl place the torn up buns. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the buns. Stir to moisten evenly. Spoon mixture into a buttered 9×13-inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until bread pudding is set and a little golden on top. While the bread pudding is baking combine powdered sugar with milk to make a frosting thin enough to drizzle. Let bread pudding cool 10 minutes and drizzle with frosting.  Serves 8-10.

Hot Cross Buns

 

Baking Pita Bread

Pita dough rising

Pita dough rising

After tasting fresh homemade pita bread it’s nearly impossible for me to eat the stuff I find in stores here. It is fun to make and pretty easy. Although the recipe calls for placing the rolled out dough directly on the oven rack I place mine on baking sheets in the oven. Just a little easier and neater. I also used about half whole wheat flour in this batch.

Pita Bread

 4 ½- 4 ¾ c. flour

1 pkt. Active dry yeast

1 ½ t. sugar

1 ½ t. salt

1 ¾ c. water

2 T. oil

In large bowl combine 2 cups of the flour with other dry ingredients. Heat water and oil to 120-130 degrees (warm) and add to flour mixture in bowl beating until smooth. Beat three minutes then begin stirring in enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover dough with plastic wrap and then a towel and let rest on board 20 minutes. Punch dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Shape each into a smooth ball and place on board, allowing space in between. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough balls into circles. Place 3 circles at a time directly on oven rack. They will puff up and brown in about three minutes. Remove to rack to cool and repeat with remaining dough. Makes 12.

Roll dough out into circles right before baking

Roll dough out into circles right before baking

Fresh baked pita bread

Fresh baked pita bread

 

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