bittersweetbaker

Archive for the ‘Yeast Breads’ Category

Braided Pesto Bread

In Yeast Breads on November 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm
From Summer 2013

My mother jokingly refers to herself as “The Dishwasher.” With my love of baking and my younger sister’s newfound love of cooking, washing dishes is the only kitchen chore left over. But my mother likes her new position, likes that her two children have developed such an intimate relationship with food.

It seems that just two months ago, my sister, C-, would venture into the kitchen only when in search of a handful of nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter—quests that were strictly snack-driven. But now, mere weeks after watching her first episode of Master Chef, she’s become as able and agile as I could ever wish to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rich Coffeecake with Sweet Cheese Filling

In Yeast Breads on June 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm
From Adriana Baking

I find it difficult to believe that my freshman year of high school is officially over. With every passing year time seems to hurry by faster, and this year was no exception. Memories of specific events from the beginning of this year are hazy and the details are just out of my grasp, but my thoughts and opinions from the start of high school remain clear.

Along the course of the year I would often try to remember my first impressions of high school to compare them to the reality I was living. My impressions weren’t too far off – I thought I had a set of teachers that fit me perfectly, but the precise mix of personalities in my class painted a rowdy picture of raucous teenagers with no patience for learning. Unfortunately,  this painting burst to life almost every class, leaving our teachers exhausted, and I with a growing desire to switch classes. Such strong personalities often tend to imprint themselves onto their classmates’ minds, and in my case, their constant chatter and tireless energy fortunately grew on me and have left me with fond memories. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daring Bakers Make Stollen

In Daring Bakers, Yeast Breads on December 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm
From Adriana Baking

After packing my favorite measuring cup, a sieve, and a container filled with cocoa powder and sugar, we drove up to my grandparents’ house in the late afternoon of the 24th.  We were going up to spend Christmas Eve with my mother’s side of the family, and this year, the meal was going to be completely homemade.

Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ had been catered for as long as I can remember. Preparing the meal was almost an impossible feat for my grandmother – she had my cousins to look after and a full house to take care of. It took time too, to prepare such a feast. It was the only catered food I consumed all year, and I never thought much of it. Read the rest of this entry »

A Sonnet for My Pretzels

In Yeast Breads on November 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm
From Adriana Baking

I thought I would post something a little different today. For fear of boring you, I’m not posting the usual essay. Instead, I’m sharing a piece of writing I had to work on for my English class. We were to write a sonnet, our teacher told my class before dismissing us from a lesson on Shakespeare last week. It had to meet the requirements – fourteen lines, three quatrains and a couplet, an interlocking rhyming scheme, and written in iambic pentameter. It was also to contain metaphors and similes, and hyperboles and personification.

We had a day off last Friday, so I had a whole stretch of days awaiting to be filled before classes resumed on Monday. Friday passed, then Saturday, after which I baked these pretzels, and come Sunday morning, I decided that as pleasant as it was to have a break from school, homework was waiting to be completed. I’m not one to procrastinate, but when it comes to writing, I know not to force myself. The words come when they are ready; I can feel it in my fingertips, eager to rush across the keyboard. Though I may have started to become anxious as the sun set Sunday evening and I realized just how hard it was to write a sonnet, I’m glad I took my time. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daring Bakers Make Doughnuts

In Daring Bakers, Yeast Breads on November 5, 2010 at 9:30 am
From Adriana Baking

Most days, I bake in solitude, free from thoughts of school and homework. Our tiny kitchen is bathed in golden sunshine when I come home from school, tired and in need of a break. It beckons me, inviting, and I’m happy to oblige and tie the stained, checkered apron around my waist. As I scoop flour out of the bin and set out cubes of butter to soften to just the right temperature, I’m kept company by the kitchen’s soul.

It has personality; it’s a friend whom I can communicate with without the disruption of words. I am familiar with all of its quirks – the way the oven preheats in minutes I can count on one hand, though it runs a little hot. The gentle creak of the oven door opening before a rush of warm heat washes over my face.  And the comforting hue of the oatmeal colored counter top, complete with dark rings of coffee stains and and the occasional stray crumb. No room is more familiar to me than this one, the kitchen which I’ve learned to love over the past year. No longer is it a place I wander into for a quick drink of ice cold water, or to pull out from the first drawer four sets of forks and knives on my way to set the dinner table. I’ve spent some of my happiest times in there, elated and grinning widely when a recipe turns out just right, and the most frustrating, tear-inducing moments I’ve lived through. But all of these moments are spent alone, until I share them with my family, and then here, on my blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Pull-Apart Loaf – Infinite Layers of Possibilities

In Frostings and Icings, Yeast Breads on October 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm
From Adriana Baking

I’ve been around music for as long as I can remember.

As a preschooler riding to school on her very first day of kindergarten, I remember dreading the rides to school, awaiting something made far worse by my imagination than it was in reality. I sat quietly in my seat, peering out of the passenger seat window and seizing every fraction of traffic, trying to squeeze time out of the seconds ticking by.   My mother would pop my favorite CD into the disk drive in an effort to ease the tension – when the familiar tunes wrapped around me, equivalent to a warm blanket on a stormy evening, and caressed my hair,  school didn’t seem like such a daunting event any longer. Music made everything  better then, and it still does now. Every night, after being tucked into bed and having received my good-night kisses, my mother still turns the stereo to a calming clarinet solo or a classic violin concerto. The notes dance throughout my room, finding their way out into the dark night, all the while sending me to a land of dreams, a land of unconsciousness devoid of stress. Read the rest of this entry »

Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

In Chocolate, Frostings and Icings, Yeast Breads on August 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm
From Adriana Baking

I haven’t lived nearly long enough to write of childhood, but in this case, I write with experience.

Since I was young, I’ve loved animals. My sister would volunteer to take the the nursery school’s rabbits home for Christmas vacation, then watch the teachers lock up her nursery classroom, leaving it too cold and lonely for two little bunnies to stay in.  Once we took them home, I loved feeding them carrots through the wire bars of their enclosure, watching them nibble at them until only a few orange shreds were left. They liked mint leaves too, and I would give them each a few sprigs for a post-dinner snack.

When I was in elementary school, I harbored a scrawny, blind kitten, who was abandoned by its mother, and desperately hoped to revive it from its near state of death.  I could not keep him inside, for our house cat, Snowball, disliked- no, abhorred, all other cats with such a strong passion she could probably set fire to a whole forest of trees. The kitten eventually died, to my great dismay, and I didn’t get over it very easily. Read the rest of this entry »

Hot Cross Buns

In Yeast Breads on April 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm
From Adriana Baking

Most years when I have a birthday party, I don’t think about what presents I am going to get. My birthdays have always just been a day filled with friends and laughter. We go on our annual treasure hunt, eat my birthday trifle, and I open the presents towards the end.

I know that most of my friends don’t know what to get me as a birthday present. And I know that they will not take “nothing” as an answer. I personally would be happy with just their presence, not their presents. So most years, I get quite a few presents that I don’t know what to do with. This year was different. This year, I have a new hobby. Baking. When asked what I wanted for my birthday, I was ready. I think my friends were happy; they had an idea of what I wanted. Read the rest of this entry »

Freshly Baked Bagels

In Yeast Breads on March 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm
From Adriana Baking

I love the smell of baking bread. It is a sweet, homey smell, that makes me feel comforted and joyful all at once. I also love to work with yeast. Personally, I don’t understand why some people feel intimidated by it. Yeast is just a bunch of eukaryotic microoganisms. I actually feel in control when I work with yeast. You give it sugar, warm water, and time, and you’re all set. Yeast is sort of like your own mini pet. 🙂 So don’t be intimidated, and go ahead and bake yourself some fresh bagels with yeast as your friend. Read the rest of this entry »

Pull-Apart Buttermilk-Onion Rolls

In Yeast Breads on March 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm
From Adriana Baking

I love onions.

I love onion bread. Really, really love it.

And so when I saw this recipe on this wonderful blog, I just knew I had to try them.

And I’m so glad I did.

The bread was so good. It was surprisingly moist, soft, and so buttery. The onions were caramelized and spread out onto the dough before rolling them up.

I was planning on serving the rolls with the chili we were having for dinner, but unfortunately they took just a bit longer to make than I thought they would.

I would say about 2 and a half hours, including the rising time.

For all onion bread lovers, here’s the recipe, with my notes in red, and step by step pictures. Read the rest of this entry »