I am a hardcore carboholic and can't resist most types of bread. One of my absolute favorites has to be a nice slice of crusty french bread. This recipe is a bit time consuming but relatively pain free and I feel like anyone can make this with even the most basic of kitchen tools. I use a stand mixer when I make this bread but feel free to use your muscle power and mix it by hand (I have negative upper body strength so I use my stand mixer).
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups water
1 tbsp yeast
Using a stand mixer, mix together te flour
and salt. Combine the water and yeast
together. Add 2 cups of the flour and
salt mixture to the water and mix on low for two minutes until combined. Add the remainder of the flour and mix on
medium for 5 minutes. Place in a large
oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot for approximately one hour until
doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and
cut in half. Roll each ball of the dough
into a 8”X12” rectangle. Roll the dough
like a jelly roll from the longest end.
Pinch the ends together and place on a baking pan sprinkled with a
little cornmeal. Let rise again in a
warm spot for approximately half an hour.
Brush tops of the loaves with egg white and
make slits in the top with a serrated knife.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place an ovenproof dish filled with water on the bottom of the oven (this will provide the steam needed to form a nice crust). Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, rotate the pan,
remove the pan of water, and turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 10-15
I know for a fact that if YSP! WSD! was around when I was a teenager there would have been a LOT of basement dance parties to their music. Oh who am I kidding, we still have basement dance parties! Very 80's pop, toe tapping, sugary sweet. Check out their music, on myspace and their website and watch a video below.
During the holidays everyone gets obsessed with sugar cookies and shortbread, so I thought I would post a different kind of cutout cookie. I love these cookies not just for their good looks but also because they have a great crunch on the outside and are really nice and soft and chocolaty on the inside. The combination of chocolate and white chocolate never gets old for me. I absolutely love the contrast of the stark white with the deep chocolate. You may need to add a few extra tablespoons of milk to this mixture if it feels too dry to roll.
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
4 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp milk
2 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
White chocolate to drizzle (optional)
In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Slowly add the cocoa powder, scraping down the sides of the bowl again.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda.
Alternate adding the flour and milk until combined.
Roll on a lightly floured board and cut out shapes.
I've been making these Walnut and Cherry Cookies at Christmas for many years now. I especially love the addition of fresh lemon juice and citrus zest and you just can't beat the crunch of the walnuts. This dough is easier to roll if it has been refrigerated for a while but it can be used immediately after mixing if you want.
Walnut and Cherry Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs separated (reserve the egg white for dipping)
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups walnuts, chopped
Red and Green Cherries, cut in half
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale yellow and creamy (approximately 2 minutes). Add the egg yolks and beat together, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon and orange zest and lemon juice. Gradually add the flour until totally incorporated.
Refrigerate the dough if possible for about an hour.
In large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a few tablespoons of cold water. Add the chopped walnuts to another large bowl.
Roll the dough into balls and place in the egg white mixture. Coat the balls completely in the egg, remove, and then place in the walnuts. Cover the cookies completely in the walnuts and place on the baking pans. Press a cherry half into the center of the cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the walnuts are lightly toasted brown.