Tag Archives: bread

homemade soft bread crumbs [with tutorial]

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soft bread crumbs  I  frozen pizza, again?

If you click to enlarge the image, you can see the texture of the crumbs well.

 
I had never heard of soft bread crumbs until I came across a recipe that called for them. So first I figured out the difference between soft and dry bread crumbs. Here’s what I learned thanks to Wikipedia: “Dry breadcrumbs are made from dry breads which have been baked or toasted to remove most remaining moisture, and may even have a sandy or even powdery texture. […] The breads used to make soft or fresh bread crumbs are not quite as dry, so the crumbs are larger and produce a softer coating, crust, or stuffing.”

Then I discovered how easy it is to make your own soft bread crumbs; so that’s what I did. I even took pictures along the way to share with you! Come back tomorrow for the tasty recipe that required me to learn this new skill! (That recipe can be found here.)

 
What you’ll need: slices of fresh bread and a blender or food processor
soft bread crumbs  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Tear several slices of fresh bread into 1 inch pieces. (I even used a couple of slices that were starting to go stale.)
soft bread crumbs  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Place pieces into a food processor or blender. (The blender isn’t very full; it’s just above the bottom mark on the pitcher, even though it’s hard to see that in this photo.)
soft bread crumbs  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Cover and pulse several times to make coarse crumbs.
soft bread crumbs  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Homemade Soft Bread Crumbs
From the Kitchen of: Taste of Home

Prep Time: 2 mins
Servings: 1 slice of bread = about ½ cup crumbs
Difficulty: Easy

{Ingredients}
slices of fresh bread – white, wheat, or French
blender or food processor

{Instructions}
Tear several slices of fresh bread into 1 inch pieces. (I even used a couple of slices that were starting to go stale.)

Place pieces in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse several times to make coarse crumbs. Use immediately.

{Notes}

  • If using a blender, do not overfill it. You should put enough torn pieces in the blender to cover the blades but not so many that the blades can’t reach the top pieces to chop them up. I filled mine somewhere between the 1-2 cup or ¼ – ½ liter mark.
  • Some websites have said that you can store soft bread crumbs in the freezer for later use, but I have not personally tried this.

 


-♥-
Katy

 

 
 
If you liked this recipe, you might also be interested in:

homemade taco seasoning  I  frozen pizza, again? cheesy italian quick bread  I  frozen pizza, again? cheddar bay biscuits  I  frozen pizza, again?
Taco Seasoning Mix // Cheesy Italian Quick Bread // Cheddar Bay Biscuits

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cheesy italian quick bread

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cheesy italian quick bread  I frozen pizza, again?

 
This bread is the reason that I requested a pastry blender for Christmas this past year. I had no idea that pastry blenders existed until I saw that this recipe required one. The first time I made the recipe I tried using the 2 forks/knives method to cut in the butter, but it was just time-consuming and frustrating. I briefly researched pastry blenders and discovered that they are a very useful kitchen tool and fairly inexpensive – under $20! I have used the pastry blender a few times since I received it, and it just makes baking bread so much easier!

 
cheesy italian quick bread  I frozen pizza, again?

 
Cheesy Italian Quick Bread
From the Kitchen of: Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

Prep Time: 30 – 40 minutes
Servings: 8+ (depends on how generous your slices are!)
Difficulty: Easy

{Ingredients}
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
3 Tbsp cold butter
1 egg
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used a 5.3 oz individual serving)
½ cup milk
spray butter, an extra Tbsp butter, or garlic spray (optional)

{Instructions}
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a 9-inch round baking pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients – flour through oregano – and mix well. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender (or two knives/forks) until mixture looks like fine crumbs.

Kitchen Tip: If you are new to bread baking like I am and have no idea how to cut in butter, here are some handy videos showing three different ways to cut butter into flour: pastry blender method, 2 knives method, 2 forks method.

Also, you may be wondering “how will I know when the butter is completely cut-in?” Like the instructions say, the mixture is done when it looks like fine crumbs. I tried to take a picture of my crumbs, but they wouldn’t photograph well. Just trust me that it will make sense when you make the bread; the mixture really will look like fine crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, Greek yogurt, and milk. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened – do not over mix! If your dough is still a little dry, add a splash of milk. (NOTE: Dough will be thick and soft – similar to Bisquick drop biscuit dough.)

Spoon into prepared baking pan and spread dough to edges of pan. Top with remaining
¼ cup cheese and extra butter, if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

{Notes}

  • Sometimes I like to double the seasonings (garlic, Italian, basil, and oregano) to pump up the flavor of the bread.
  • If you use extra butter on top of bread, the cheese will crisp up and add a nice contrast to the soft bread.

 


-♥-
Katy

 

restaurant recreation: red lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits

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cheddar bay biscuits  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
I’ve been told these biscuits are better than the real thing. I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison, but I can tell you that the replicas are really, really good!

 
cheddar bay biscuits  I  frozen pizza, again?

 
Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Slightly Adapted from the Kitchen of: sgrishka on BigOven.com

Prep Time: 30 mins
Servings: 12 biscuits
Difficulty: Easy

{Ingredients}
2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ cup 2% milk
6 Tbsp butter, divided and melted
¾ tsp garlic powder, divided
½ tsp dried parsley flakes
2 dashes salt

{Instructions}
Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Combine Bisquick with cheddar cheese, milk, 2 Tbsp melted butter, and ¼ tsp garlic powder in a medium bowl. Mix until well-combined. Splash with milk if dry.

Drop approximately ¼ cup portions of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Combine ¼ cup butter with ½ tsp garlic powder, parsley flakes and salt. Brush mixture over the tops of each unbaked biscuit. Set aside leftover melted butter.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown. Remove from oven, and brush rest of melted butter on top of biscuits. Serve warm.

 
 
These biscuits would pair well with Sour Cream Noodle Bake or Baked Salmon with Browned Butter Sauce!


-♥-
Katy

 

pita bread

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pita bread  I  frozen pizza, again?

In this photo are 3 types of pita: all white, part white/part wheat, and all wheat. 1

 
I told you last week that I tried a new recipe that included learning a new skill. Well, as promised, here is my latest adventure in learning to be domestic: baking bread (which is a domestic goddess skill that is pretty high on the list, if you ask me).

I chose this recipe because it was my turn to make the snack for our weekly Card Night with our friends, Teri and Caleb, and hummus was suggested as a good snack option for Caleb, who is currently on the South Beach Diet. And what goes better with hummus than pita? Plus, store-bought pita is not something I enjoy. I learned after I had decided to try my hand at homemade pita that pita is one of the easiest breads to make so it great for beginners, which is me.

The week that I made the pita my brother and his fiancée Sharon were here visiting us, so I asked Sharon to help me. She’s a beginning baker too, so we were both learning together. Learning is fun (and messy)!

pita bread  I  frozen pizza, again?pita bread  I  frozen pizza, again?
An action shot of us kneading the dough / Showing off our homemade pita dough

 
While I was making the pita the Bible story of Elijah and the widow suddenly made more sense to me. The story is from 1 Kings 17 and it goes like this:

God declared that there would be no rain in Israel for the foreseeable future because of their disobedience to Him. During this time Elijah the prophet was in hiding from Ahab, the king of Israel, who wanted to kill him for pointing out all the bad things Ahab was doing. At first Elijah stayed in a ravine out in the wilderness where there was stream to drink from, but when the drought got severe the stream dried up. So God made other arrangements to provide for Elijah. He sent Elijah to Zarephath in the land of Sidon to seek out a widow who would supply him with food. When he got there the widow said she barely had enough flour and oil to make one last meal for her and her son. But Elijah told her that if she would make some bread for him too then God would make sure her jars of flour and oil never went empty until the drought ended.

I was always a little confused about this story because I didn’t think that flour and oil were enough to make bread. I figured that it needed an egg or something to help hold it together, so how was endless flour and oil going to be that helpful to the widow? Well, as I was making the pita I realized that the basic ingredients weren’t much more than flour, water, and oil. So yeah, endless flour and oil was really helpful to the widow. I feel like I should throw in a “knowledge is power” here. 🙂

 
And now, finally, the pita recipe…

pita bread  I  frozen pizza, again?

photo credit goes to my “baby” brother, Brian (he took this with his iPhone too!)

 
Pita Bread
From the Kitchen of: Budget Bytes

Prep Time: 1 ½ – 2 hours
Servings: 6-8 pitas

Ingredients
1 ⅛ cup warm water
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1.5 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus enough to oil bowl and dough
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups all-purpose (AP) flour
1 tsp salt

Instructions
In a small bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes or until a foam develops on top. Once foam develops on top, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. [Sidenote: I just realized that I forgot to add the oil when I made my pitas. They still turned out tasty anyway.]

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour (half whole wheat, half regular AP) and salt. Stir to evenly combine. Add the small bowl of liquid to the big bowl of flour. Stir to combine.

Continue mixing in flour until it forms a loose ball that you can no longer stir with a spoon. Turn the ball of dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead in more flour until a soft and pliable (and no longer sticky) ball forms. You should have used around 3 cups of flour total and kneaded the dough for at least 3 minutes.

Kitchen Tip: For those of you are who are new to bread making like I am, here are some helpful instructions (with pictures!) on kneading dough.

Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl then rub more oil on top of the dough to keep it from drying out. Cover loosely with a towel and let sit to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

Kitchen Tip: I learned that the key to making bread rise is a consistently warm environment. Sometimes your kitchen, especially in the summer, can be warm enough (80-90°F), but the easiest way to ensure a consistently warm environment is to use your oven. “Turn your oven on to its lowest setting possible (around 150 F/ 65.5 C), let it heat up to that temperature, then turn the oven off and open the door of the oven wide for about 30 seconds to dissipate some of the heat. […] Traditionally, you cover the bowl with a towel, also to keep the dough from drying out. Look in periodically.” 2

Punch down the risen dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Stretch the dough into a log and cut it into 8 (or 6, depending on how thick you want the pita to be) equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball and then roll it out into a flat, 6 inch diameter circle. (I finally used the Tupperware pastry mat that my mom gave me to roll out the pitas.)

Kitchen Tip: To shape into a smooth ball, hold the ball in the fingers of both hands then start tucking the edges of the ball under, pulling the top taut and rotating the ball as you go. Just keep tucking until it’s nice and smooth on top. Here‘s a video for the visual learners.

Preheat the oven to 500°F (mine wouldn’t get that hot, only 450°-475°, but my pitas baked just fine) and let the dough circles rest as the oven comes up to temp. Place a damp cloth over the dough circles so they do not dry out. When the oven is hot enough, place the dough circles on a wire rack* (a couple at a time) and place the rack in the oven. Watch the circles puff up as they bake. When the circles have completely inflated but not yet turned brown, remove them from the oven and put in the next batch. If you let the pitas cook until golden brown they will be crispier and may retain the inflated shape as they cool.

*The wire rack should not be coated; only use plain metal racks in the oven.

As you remove the pitas from the oven, stack them on a plate and cover with a damp cloth. The trapped steam will soften them as they cool. Once completely cooled, store the pitas in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They should also freeze well.

Notes
Personally, I preferred the all-white pitas to the part wheat/part white, but both were good. To make all-white pitas just use all AP flour instead of adding the ½ cup of wheat flour.

 
1 Sharon and I made the all-white and part wheat/part white pitas. The all-wheat pitas were from an earlier attempt and did not turn out as well as the others, but they do add a nice contrast to the photos.
2 science.howstuffworks.com

 


-♥-
Katy