Tag Archives: Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 Aug

So in one of our recent CSA pickups we received a couple of zucchinis. I was at the point where I was sick of just sauteing them or roasting them in the oven. Which made me then think of dessert.

My father in law makes a mean zucchini bread. He doesn’t put chocolate in it but it is still delicious. I’m going to have to steal that recipe from him someday.

Seriously, I’m always in awe when I use vegetables in my baking on how amazing and moist and flavorful it turns out. You mean I can put veggies in my desserts and it’ll be healthy AND taste good?!? Um, yes please.

This zucchini bread was exactly what I was craving for these zucchini’s. I made them the day I took the tour at America’s Test Kitchen, and as I tweeted that it was currently in the oven I received a tweet from Megan jokingly asking if I would bring her a slice. Well, of course I said I would bring her a slice! That’s was friends (and food bloggers) are for.

Well, needless to say she told me I needed to blog this recipe ASAP. And here it is, two weeks later (that’s pretty good for me).

I need to tackle more veggie baked good recipes. Maybe Black Bean Brownies or Beet Cake is next on the list?

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Recipe from Eating Well


  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
 – Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat one loaf pan (mine was 9×5) with cooking spray and set aside
 – Spread walnuts in a pie plate and toast them in the oven for 57 minutes, until fragrant
 – Whisk flours, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl
 – In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate to combine.
 – Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients using a spatula and fold to just combine
 – Fold the zucchini and walnuts into the batter
 – Spoon the batter into your greased loaf pan and smooth the top. Add some extra walnuts and/or chocolate chips to the top if you’d like
 – Bake the loaf in the oven for 55-60 minutes until the top is set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out relatively clean.
 – Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes in the pan then invert onto the rack and let cool completely
****DON’T FORGET!! Today is August 1st so wear PINK today to help support Fanconi Anemia. Tweet, email or Facebook me your picture if you want to be included in the album!!******


Fly Away to San Francisco, Part 2

7 Mar

Our first full day in San Francisco was a day of really being a tourist. After finishing breakfast we hopped on the MUNI to downtown San Francisco. Let me tell you Bostonians, the MUNI, is EXACTLY like the MBTA. Another reason why I felt at home while I was in San Francisco. I felt like I was getting on the Green Line at some points. But I digress.

Our first stop? The cable cars obviously! Whenever you think of San Francisco the first thing that comes to mind are the cable cars. They are insanely expensive ($5 a pop!) but we grabbed a day pass for $13 each which gave you unlimited trips on the cable cars and MUNI so it was incredibly worth it.

Holy hills Batman!

After a bit of a wait we made it onto the cable car. Riding on the cable cars really made us realize just how incredibly hilly San Francisco is. I mean, I knew it was hilly, I just didn’t realize it was that hilly.

The cable car dropped us off within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf reminds me a lot of Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market in Boston except with more t-shirt shops and greasier food. We walked along the pier and saw some awesome views of Alcatraz

and the Golden Gate Bridge.

We weren’t particularly hungry for lunch just yet so we walked over to Ghirardelli Square.

We obviously went to the Ghirardelli store where we bought some delicious chocolate and shared a small dish of strawberry ice cream with dark chocolate Ghirardelli sauce. It was, in a word, amazing.

For lunch we decided to stop at Boudin Bakery & Cafe. San Francisco is obviously known as the place to get sourdough. We unfortunately did not try the clam chowder in a bread bowl because we were still a little full from breakfast, but it looked amazing.

You can get all kinds of amazing sourdough breads from Boudin. They even have bread shaped in animals that are available for purchase. They were very cute.

They also sell Californian olive oil and other regional specialties. While we waited for our sandwich to be made I browsed some of the offerings and really wanted to buy a ton of stuff! But I resisted.

For our light lunch we decided on the simple Turkey with Havarti Cheese on a classic sourdough bread. The sandwich was simple and exactly what we needed after a heavy breakfast. The bread really was amazing. We ended up buying a 1lb loaf to take to Lake Tahoe with us.

If your stomach allows, I would definitely recommend trying the clam chowder in the bread bowl for 2 reasons, 1. to see if San Francisco chowder is as good as Boston chowder and 2. to eat it in a bread bowl like we do in Boston.

Even though this is in the most touristy part of the city, Boudin Bakery & Cafe is a must try. Don’t even think about missing it.

Guest Post w/ Megan of Cooking Whims – Dill Bread

1 Mar

As I’ve mentioned before, the best part about blogging (besides the food) is meeting some amazing people. I first “met” Megan from Cooking Whims via Twitter. I remember the days when I had a Twitter account and never used it. To be honest, when I got my smartphone that is when I started obsessing over Twitter. But that’s a different story for another day. I officially met Megan at the Boston Bloggers Launch Party and we immediately hit it off. We’ve hung out a bunch of times after that and I really love reading her blog. She has some great recipes to offer (such as this and this) and is just a great person overall. Be sure to visit her! (After you read this post that is!)

I am happy and flattered that I was the inspiration for Megan’s first attempt at making bread. I am by no means an expert on bread making, and I still have a long way to go, but it really doesn’t get any better than taking out a freshly baked loaf of bread. Makes you never want to buy bread ever again!

Looks delicious, doesn't it?

So without further ado, here’s Megan!


First of all, I’m honored to be guest posting for Amanda. I absolutely love her posts, her recipes, and her pictures. I got a chance to connect with Amanda in person at the Boston Food Blogger Launch Party back in January—and we’ve been bumping into each other at other Boston food blogger events ever since!

When Amanda said she needed another guest post for her blog (because she’s going to San Fran—so jealous, by the way), I immediately jumped on the opportunity. I also knew just what to make: Bread. Amanda makes a mean bread, and I’m excited to share this recipe on her blog.

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never made anything beyond an easy quick bread recipe. I love baking, but I was always too afraid to try homemade bread. What if the dough didn’t rise? What if it turned out like a brick? What if it didn’t taste good? What if I spent 3+ hours on a recipe only to have it fail?

Then I thought, I’m worrying too much. If other people can do it, why can’t I? Also, homemade bread tastes like heaven. I wanted my tummy to feel that joy.

So on a bitterly cold Sunday morning, I rolled up my sleeves, took out the flour, and started the bread-making process.

Dill Bread

From The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • One ¼ oz packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, the sugar, onion powder, dill weed, 1 ¼ tsp salt, baking soda, and the yeast.

2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cottage cheese, ¼ cup water and 1 tbsp of butter. Stir the mixture constantly until creamy and simmering, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the egg (so it doesn’t scramble).

3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat about 4 minutes. Let the mixture sit for 8 minutes.

4. Then with a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour, turning out onto a work surface to gently knead in the loose flour if necessary.

5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.

6. Punch down the dough into a greased 9.5 or 10 inch loaf pan. Cover again and allow the dough to double in size for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

8. Bake until golden brown on top and baked through, about 35-40 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve warm with butter.

My Two Cents: Now, I’m no resident bread maker, but I must say, for my first try with making bread from scratch, this dill bread came out pretty dang good.

But since this was my first time making bread, I learned quite a few things during the process.

First, I honestly did not use the 1 ¼ tsp of salt listed in the ingredients and the directions. In the cookbook I got this from, the salt wasn’t listed in the ingredients list, but it was in the directions. And I somehow skipped over it. So it was a botch on my end. However, the bread turned out pretty great without it.

Second, I don’t actually recommend using a hand mixer. I would use a stand mixer if you have one. I don’t have one, but I know they’re pretty spectacular. The dough was extremely sticky when mixed with my electric mixer and got stuck in all of the little grooves in my beaters, and then to my hands…it was a mess, and I lost a bit of precious wet dough in the process. And so then working the additional 2 cups of flour into the mix was a bit of a challenge because there wasn’t enough moisture for it all to stick. So I just added a tiny bit of warm water to the dough and incorporated as much of the flour as I could. It all worked in the end.

For the cottage cheese mixture, be sure to get real cottage cheese, not the fat free kind. The fat free kind has a ton of water, and you want the mixture that goes into the flour to be creamy. How do you know it’s creamy enough when it’s on the stove? I simply guessed, but I waited until it was almost to the point of boiling and most of the lumps in the cheese were gone.

Please love this bread as much as I did. My boyfriend and I ate half the loaf in one afternoon. We couldn’t resist eating slice after slice. Dill is a beautiful flavor, and the cottage cheese makes it moist and delectable.

Plus, this is overall a really easy recipe. Most of the work was done by the yeast while I sat on the couch watching TV. Perfect way to end the weekend!

Happy Baking!

Soup Swap!

6 Feb

One of my favorite things about blogging is having the chance to meet people who are just as geeked out about food as I am. It makes me feel better about myself and that I am not crazy despite the weird looks my husband gives me sometimes. Back at the Boston Food Bloggers Launch party I met a lot of fabulous bloggers.

Three of those fabulous bloggers were (from left to right) Ashley from Cooking for 1, Liz from Eating Places, and Megan from Cooking Whims. While talking we all thought it would be a great idea to have a soup swap, since January is National Soup Swap Month. So the last weekend in January, we all trekked out to Salem to eat and talk about food!

Along with each of us making a soup, we also brought something else, whether it be dessert, salad, bread, or fruit.

We got to Ashley’s house and was greeted by an awesome salad display, completed with homemade croutons.

I supplied the bread, which let-me-tell-you, was not the first bread on my list. I wanted to make a baguette, but forgot and by the time I remembered I couldn’t make it, then I wanted to make a semolina bread, but couldn’t find any durum wheat, and so finally settled on this Italian loaf from the King Arthur Flour website. It rose too far out and not high enough, but it was still tasty.

I also brought along some cheese to go with the bread and soups.

The soups, starting at the top and going clockwise, are Megan’s Roasted Garlic Soup, my French Onion Soup, Liz’s Mushroom Barley Soup, and Ashley’s Butternut Squash Soup. They were all fantastic in case you were wondering.

Megan provided the dessert, which was an insanely decadent peanut butter chocolate torte. It was out of this world delicious. My husband was sad when he finished the leftovers.

We had such a fantastic time, eating, drinking (mimosas!) and talking. We had such a fabulous time we are thinking of making it a monthly tradition!

Cracked Wheat Loaf

23 Jan

Bread baking has been a big part of my family for as long as I can remember. My Momma makes some fantastic Portuguese White Bread. Whenever she makes it, she makes a lot. Like loaves and loaves of it. When I was a kid I used to watch her pound that dough into submission. When I went to go visit a few months ago I asked her to teach me how to make it.

Momma controlling the dough

My Mom is tiny. She is 4’11”. But she has a lot of spunk. Don’t make her mad, you might regret it. She also has a mean punch and she can handle kneading and punching dough for 10 minutes and not be tired.


I told you she makes a lot of bread

Whenever my Mom makes bread, we would have it for dinner, with butter and American cheese. It was the best dinner ever. Have you ever had freshly baked bread from the oven, slathered in butter and topped with American cheese? I think I may have consumed an entire loaf one time. But that was when I actually had a fast metabolism.

My Mom has a big kitchen, and 14 bread pans. I, on the other hand, have a kitchen a third of the size of my Mom’s and 2 loaf pans. Needless to say, my Mom said she would get back to me about the recipe for making 2 loaves instead of 14.

This, is not my Mom’s bread. It’s delicious Cracked Wheat Loaf from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This book pretty much changed my life. I had made bread before but it never rose high enough for me and resulted in small, dense bread. Even when I tried The Bread Bible’s White Sandwich Loaf, it still didn’t rise as large as I wanted. Through this, I learned a few things about making bread:

1. No matter what the suggested time for dough is suppose to rise, do not pay attention to it. Let it rise until it is the size it is suppose to be.

2. Homemade bread takes a VERY long time. But because it spends 90% of the time rising, you can pretty much leave your house/apartment or do whatever you need to do and not have to worry about your dough

3. In order to make sure you have the exact measurements, use a scale not a measuring cup. More accurate x1000

4. Homemade bread is 1000x better than store bought bread

This time around, a miracle happened. I made delicious, fully risen, popping over the top amazing bread. I may never buy store bought bread ever again. Maybe. Rose’s method of bread making has a few more steps to it, but I really think it makes the bread so much more tender and tastier. You can just call me a convert.

Cracked Wheat Loaf

Recipe from The Bread Bible

Dough Starter (Sponge)

  • 1/2 cup (2.75oz) bread flour
  • 1/2 cup (2.5oz) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (9.3oz) room temperature water

Flour Mixture

  • 2 cups (11oz) bread flour
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast

Finishing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (3oz) extra coarse bulgur(I used milled flax seed since I didn’t have bulgur and it worked fine)
  • 1/2-2/3 cup (4-5.5ox) boiling water (Skip if using milled flax seed)
  • 1 tbsp granular lecithin or vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

Make the Sponge: In a medium bowl combine the sponge ingredients and whisk until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Combine Flour Mixture: In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour mixture ingredients. Sprinkle on top of the sponge to cover it completely. DO NOT MIX TOGETHER. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 1-4 hours at room temperature. The sponge will bubble through the mixture, that’s ok, and it’s also kind of cool to see.

At this point, if you are using bulgur, place in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the water until all the water is absorbed, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: I used a stand mixer for my bread, so the following instructions will be for the stand mixer method. You’ll just have to buy the book yourself if you want to make it by hand!

With your stand mixer, add the bulgur (or in my case the flax seed) and the oil or lecithin to the bowl and then add the dough and starter. Mix with the dough hook on low speed for about 1 minute, until the flour is moistened enough to form a rough dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes. Sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough on medium speed for 10 minutes. The dough should be very elastic and jump back when pressed with a fingertip, but still slightly moist.

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-qt greased container. Lightly spray or oil the top of the dough. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size. The book says about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours but it took about 2-3 hours for me (it’s quite cold in my apartment).

After it has risen, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and press down gently to form a rectangle. Give it a business letter turn, round the edges and return to the container. Oil the surface again, cover, and rise until doubled. The book says about 45 minutes to an hour, but again, it took longer for me.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a loaf. Place into oiled loaf pan. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise until the center is about 1.25″ higher than the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees one hour before baking. Place oven rack at the lowest shelf and place baking stone on top. Place a sheet pan on the floor of the oven and make sure you have some ice cubes handy.

Once the dough has risen, brush the top with the melted butter, then cut a 1/2″ deep slash down the middle of the dough. Quickly set the load pan on the baking stone. Take a 1/2 cup of ice cubes and quickly throw them onto the sheet pan (this helps the bread keep moisture). Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If you want to be technical then an instant read thermometer should read 190 degrees. Remove pan from oven, remove bread from pan and set on wire rack. Brush with remaining melted butter. Let it cool before eating.

WHEW! That was intense, right? But believe me, it is worth every single moment, because when you slice into that amazing hunk of bread, you know it was all worth it. Don’t forget to slather it with your favorite jam or serve with butter and cheese.

Posted to Yeastspotting

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