Posts tagged ‘Bread’

May 17, 2011

Honey Yeast Rolls and Graduation

Honey Yeast Rolls

When I wrote the last post, I was a medical student. I was a pre-round-before-the-interns-run-and-get-my-residents-coffee-get-labs-for-everyone medical student. Last Saturday, that all changed. Along with 141 of my fellow  medical students and close friends, I crossed the stage, got hooded and received my Medical Degree.  I don’t feel any different (as if I thought that receiving my MD would make me suddenly feel brilliant and confident or something), but I’m sure that will change in a couple months when I’m answering dozens of pages in the middle of the night.

Officially Dr. Inna

What do honey yeast rolls have to do with medical school? Well, I know that this recipe is not in any way new to the internet. I think I found this recipe originally 2nd year of medical school and it has always been a comfort food for me. I think if it was up to me (and I didn’t have a husband to cook for), I would probably eat bread for every meal. I  always made these honey yeast rolls before my “Problem Based Learning” domain exams in second year, the night before my board exams both second and third year of medical school, and before Shelf Exams during third year of medical school. I’m sure I’ll carry this recipe into residency with me since I hear it’s pretty stressful.

Honey Yeast Rolls

2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115˚ F)
¼ cup honey
3 Tablespoons. canola oil
1¼ teaspoons. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
Vegetable cooking spray
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons honey


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.
Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.
Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds.
Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces.
Shape each piece into a smooth ball or knot and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through. Let cool slightly before serving.

Source: Pretty much all over the internet, but I think the first place I saw it was Annie’s Eats

One more picture for good measure…just because I thought this was one of the most exciting parts of the day : In all my years of going to college sporting events, I have never gotten to be on the jumbo-tron until now! I was pretty stoked!

Getting hooded on the Jumbo Tron!

January 5, 2011

Italian Bread


Italian Bread

I think my two favorite food groups are bread and dessert. I know these aren’t “real” food groups, but when you eat bread and dessert in mass quantities like me, they should probably form the base of the food pyramid. Francis isn’t a huge fan of dessert, but one thing we definitely see eye to eye on is our love of bread. There’s nothing better than a fresh loaf of warm Italian bread to go with a plate of Vodka Penne (recipe to follow in the next few days/weeks). This bread is soft on the inside with the perfect crunchiness. It is made from one of my absolute favorite cookbooks; The Breadbaker’s Apprentice. It’s made with a starter called ‘biga’ that I keep in my freezer and that can be kept frozen for 2-3 months. That way, when you get the craving for a warm, chewy loaf of Italian bread, it’s only an hour away.

Italian Bread

For Biga (starter) —This will keep in the refrigerator up to three days or in freezer for three months.

2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp to 1 cup water at room temp


Stir together flour and yeast in a large bowl or in bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
Add 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp of water, stirring until it comes together and makes a coarse ball.
Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer dough to counter. Knead for 4-6 minutes or mix on medium speed with dough hook for 4 minutes or until dough is soft and pliable.
Lightly oil a bowl and transfer to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2-4 hours or until it doubles in size.
Remove dough from bowl, knead it lightly and return it to bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

For the Bread (with starter made)


3 1/2 cups Biga
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
12/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp diastatic barley malt powder (optional – I did not use this)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup to 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, lukewarm
Cornmeal for dusting


Remove Biga from refrigerator 1 hour before making dough. Cut it into 10 small pieces with a serrated knife.
Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for one hour to take off the chill.
Stir together flour, salt, sugar, yeast and malt powder (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl.
Add the biga pieces, olive oil and 3/4 cup water and stir together (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until a ball forms, adjusting the water or flour according to need. Dough should be slightly sticky.
Sprinkle flour on the counter and begin kneading for 10 minutes if not using a stand mixer. If using a stand mixer, mix on medium speed with dough hook for about 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer dough to the bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours until it doubles in size.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a loaf 6-12 inches in length. Sprinkle the dough with flourand cover with a towel. Let it rest for five minuntes.
Complete shaping and extending the loaves to 12 inches in length and rolling the dough into long loaves.
Line a sheet pan with wax paper or parchmentpaper and dust with cornmeal. Place loaves on pan and spray with baking spray. Cover with plastic wrap.
Proof once more at room temperature for one hour until the loaves have grown 1 1/2 times their size.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, place an empty sheet pan or cast iron frying pan in the oven. Add hot water to the preheated pan to add steam to the oven to replicate hearth baking.
Score the breads with two parallel, diagonal slashes or one long slash.
Transfer dough to a baking stone or bake on a cornmeal-dusted sheet pan. Place this in the oven.
After 30 seconds, spray the walls of the oven with water and close the door.
Repeat once more after another 30 seconds. After the final spray, lower the oven setting to 400 degrees F and bake 20 minutes. The loaves should be golden brown.
Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool for at least one hour before slicing or serving.

Source: The Breadbaker’s Apprentice

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December 29, 2010

Mama’s Corn bread Muffins


Cornbread Muffins

My mother,   never baked when I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong, she cooked plenty, making tons of delicious Russian and Romanian / Moldovian salads and main dishes, but baking was just not something that appealed to her.

This summer, when I came home for a visit and the aroma of baked goods filled the air before I made it past the garage door, I thought that we were the target of some strange home invasion where the intruder baked for the victims before he robbed them. Apparently, my mother had discovered the joy of baking…muffins to be exact. She had baked about four dozen cornbread muffins. Since then, these muffins have become somewhat her ‘trademark’. She bakes these about once a week, and their comforting taste truly reminds me of home.

This week, when she had to bring in a dish for a work potluck, we didn’t have to brainstorm too hard for the perfect ‘Stella’ dish. These muffins, like my mother, are warm, comforting and, well, efficient (taking only 5 minutes of prep time). I was glad to help make (and definitely glad to taste-test) these muffins) with her.

Mama’s Corn Bread Muffins


1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese suits your fancy), shredded
2 boxes corn muffin mix (we use Jiffy)
2 large eggs
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 14.5 oz can sweet corn


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line muffin tin with paper muffin wrappers or spray with non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine corn muffin mix, egs, buttermilk and corn.
Fill each miffin tin spot 2/3 of the way full. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: My mother…though I believe she saw this recipe some time ago on Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee.

December 22, 2010

Cranberry Orange Mini-Loaves


Cranberry Orange Loaves

As a part of my ‘baking extravaganza’ with my friend Bree  last week, we made these  Cranberry Orange mini-loaves. They were a perfect addition to my holiday packages and made a great treat to bring into Cardiology clinic. I love the cranberry and orange flavor combination and  you can add pecans to this bread if you like (we did not as my husband is allergic to nuts and I do not bring them into our home). Also, these were easy to bake while watching an 8-month old baby as they only took 10 minutes of prep time!

Cranberry Orange Mini-Loaves


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Grease and flour three mini loaf pans.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in orange zest and cranberries. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in orange juice.
Beat in flour mixture until just moistened. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the bread springs back when lightly touched. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Wrap in plastic when completely cool.

Makes three mini-loaves.

Source: Adapted from

Photograph courtesy of: Breanna Thiede