Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 bars (8 0z.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1/4″ pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9″x5″ pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla extract until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring until moistened.
6. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
8. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
9. Cool the bread in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze.

Challah Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, more for greasing bowl
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 to 8 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling

PREPARATION

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.
  2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading.)
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
  4. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.
  5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.
  6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking. Then dip your index finger in the egg wash, then into poppy or sesame seeds and then onto a mound of bread. Continue until bread is decorated with seeds.
  7. Bake in middle of oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.

Flaky Dinner Rolls

Servings: 12

Ingredients:
3 TBS sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 c warm milk (100 – 110 F)
3 c all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 TBS butter, softened

Directions:
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl, let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Add 2 3/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture, stir until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 TBS at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Roll dough into a 12×10 inch rectangle on a lightly floured baking sheet. Gently spread butter over dough. (A) Working with a long side, fold up bottom third  of dough. (B) Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12×3-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap place in freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove dough from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough, still on baking sheet (sprinkle on a little more flour, if needed), into a 12×10-inch rectangle. Working with a long side, fold up bottom third of dough. Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12×3 inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap; place in freezer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove dough from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough, still on baking sheet, into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion, pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). (C) Cut roll into 12 equal slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops of dough slices with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 375 F.
6. Bake dough at 375 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan, and cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve rolls warm.

Pita Bread

Ingredients:
1 dessertspoon baking yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/2 c warm water
3 c plain flour
1 large egg or 2 medium eggs
1 TBS oil

Directions:
Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water, stir, and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs, the oil, and the yeast mixture. Draw the flour into the middle of the bowl little by little while mixing all the liquid ingredients into it. The dough should be as soft as your earlobe. If too soft, add more flour, if too hard, add a little more warm water. Knead the dough until well mixed, then cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place, such as the airing cupboard, also that it can rise. The dough is sufficiently risen when it has doubled in volume, developed little holes on the surface and has begun to smell sour.

Roll into small balls, about the size of golf balls. Roll out thinly on a floured board. Mix all the topping ingredients together and spread over each piece of dough.

Heat a cast iron skillet in the oven (at 350 degrees). Place the rolled out dough onto skillet. Baked for approximately 8 minutes.

Crepes

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs.  Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine.  Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
2.  Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.  Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 c for each crepe.  Tilt the pan with a circular motion sot hat the batter coats the surface evenly.
3.  Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown.  Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side.  Serve hot.

Focaccia Flat Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
  2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Indian Naan

Ingredients

2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ghee
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons kalonji (onion seed)

Directions

Whisk the warm water with the yeast and sugar until the yeast is dissolved. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Sift flour and salt three times into a large bowl add the yeast mixture, half of the ghee and all the yogurt. Mix into a soft dough then knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size .

Punch down dough then knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece out into 8 inch round naans.

Cover an oven tray with foil and grease the foil. Brush the naan with a little of the remaining ghee and sprinkle with some of the kalonji. Cook naan one at a time under a very hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side or until puffed and just browned.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup warm water (must be between 110-115 degrees)
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
3 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted (approx.)

Directions:
1. Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove until it just starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from heat.
3. Let cool until lukewarm, about 120-125 degrees.
4. Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes or so (make sure your water is at the correct temperature or the yeast won’t activate.) Then mix in eggs, sugar, butter salt and raisins (stir in the cooled milk slowly so you don’t cook the eggs.) Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
5. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth.
6. Place in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough.
7. Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise (I like to let my bread rise in the oven with the light on. It has just the right amount of heat and keeps the bread out of drafts.) Allow to rise until doubled, usually about 1 1/2 hours.
8. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick.
9. Moisten the dough with 2 tablespoons milk and rub all over the dough with your hands.
10. Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough.
11. Roll up tightly (the long way).
12. The roll should be about 3 inches in diameter.
13. Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends and pinch bottom together.
14. Place loaves into well greased (you can use Crisco or butter for this) 9 x 5 inch pans and lightly grease tops of loaves.
15. Let rise in warm place, uncovered, again for about an hour.
16. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.
17. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.
18. Take melted butter and spread over tops of loaves.
19. After about 20 minutes, lay loaves on their sides and remove from pans.
20. Allow to cool before slicing.

Southern Biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening (they make healthy kinds)
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.