Monthly Archives: May 2011

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Unfortunately, I won’t be spending Mother’s Day with either my Mom or my Mother-in-law this weekend ūüė¶¬† Living away from family stinks, but I am fortunate and grateful that I will be seeing my Mother-in-law next weekend and my Mother the weekend after that!!!¬† For this post, I decided to share with you some delicious Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread that I adapted from Peter Reinhart’s cookbook The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.¬† I actually baked this bread for my sister’s baby shower brunch (stay tuned for more details on the baby shower!).¬† I was baking a few other things that weekend for the shower, so I completely forgot that I was out of raisins!¬† I’m not a huge fan of raisins in bread, so it wasn’t a big deal.¬† I also decided to use whole wheat flour in addition to the all-purpose flour, so you’ll notice that the cinnamon swirls aren’t as visible with the whole wheat flour.¬† I assure you that the wonderful cinnamon taste was still there even if you can’t see it.¬† This bread is perfect to bake for a Mother’s Day brunch.¬† Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mamas out there!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup water, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (optional – I left them out)

Directions:

  1. Stir together flours, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the egg, butter, buttermilk, and water and stir on low speed until ingredients come together to form a ball.  If the dough seems too sticky, add flour.  If it seems too stiff, add water.
  2. Switch paddle attachment to dough hook and begin kneading on medium speed for 6 minutes.  Add flour if necessary.  If adding raisins, add in at the last 2 minutes of kneading.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl with canola oil and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling to coat the dough in oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place a dry kitchen towel on top.  Allow to rise for 2 hours at room temperature.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form into loafs.¬† Grease 2, 9″ loaf pans and place dough inside.¬† Spray the tops with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap and dry kitchen towels.¬† Allow dough to rise another 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Place the oven rack in the middle shelf and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.¬† Place the loaf pans on a baking sheet making sure the pans don’t touch each other and bake for 20 minutes.¬† Rotate pans 180 degrees and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  6. Immediately remove the bread from their loaf pans being sure not to burn yourself.  Allow the bread to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

*Adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Check out these other sweet treats that would be perfect for a Mother’s Day Brunch:


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Filed under Baked Goods, Bread, Breakfast

Mexican Bean Salad


It’s almost Cinco de Mayo, so I wanted to share with you one of my sister’s recipes that my family loves!¬† This Mexican Bean Salad is delicious and so easy to make.¬† There’s no stove tops or ovens involved; all you do is throw the ingredients together and allow them to sit in your refrigerator so the flavors can blend.¬† We’ve had this salad as a side dish numerous times with various¬†entrees including shrimp kabobs, grilled chicken, etc.¬† I love simple salads like this because they remind me of bbqs and summer.¬† While DC has been a little too steamy for me as of late, I’m hoping that spring (i.e. 70’s) will decide to stay here for at least a few more weeks before the extreme humidity begins!¬† What are your favorite recipes for Cinco de Mayo?

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can sweet corn, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions/green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

 Directions:

  1. In large bowl, mix salad ingredients and in another small bowl, mix dressing ingredients with wire whisk until blended.
  2. Pour dressing over salad; toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors.

*Adapted from Betty Crocker

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Filed under Side Dishes, Soup & Salad

Trail Mix Granola Bars


I hope you had a wonderful weekend!¬† I made these Trail Mix Granola Bars this past weekend.¬† The recipe has been adapted from Jenna’s of Eat, Live, Run.¬† I have to be honest… these bars are amazing and are highly addicting.¬† I literally ate half of them in two days.¬† I am obsessed with these bars because they’re so easy to make and don’t even require you to turn your oven on!¬† I also love these babies because they are healthy; they don’t have any eggs, butter, corn syrup, etc.¬† They have peanut butter and honey to bind them and a bunch of yummy additions like unsweetened coconut, dried fruit, and nuts.¬† You can add whatever fruits or nuts you’d like.¬† They are easy to make and are healthier than the store bought granola bars.¬† You might even save some money too!¬† Enjoy ūüôā


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit ( I used a mix of dried berries)

Directions:

  1. Combine the honey, vanilla, salt, sugar and peanut butter in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about four minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Pour the boiling honey mixture over the oat mixture and toss well.
  3. Grease a 13 x 9″ pan and press down mixture (I wet my fingers so they weren’t sticking as much).
  4. Chill in fridge for an hour, or until firm, before cutting into bars.

*Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

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Filed under Breakfast