Irish Soda Bread Revisited


This is an heirloom recipe that my mom makes every year for St. Patrick’s Day. Now this recipe has been handed down to me by my mother and it is my job to make sure this tradition stays alive in my family. This recipe was given to my mother by a neighbor and friend Rosie Redmond over 30 years ago. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I am reposting this recipe in memory of my mom who passed away 9/11/2013, she would always have a few loaves of bread on the kitchen counter to give away to family members come St. Patrick’s Day. That is an “Heirloom Memory”.

4 cups un-sifted All Purpose Flour 

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1+1/2 cups Buttermilk

2 eggs

1 stick Butter-softened

1 cup Raisins 

1+1/2 Teaspoons Caraway seeds  (optional but I think it adds a great flavor to the bread)

2  – (8) inch round cast iron fry pans or cake pans, greased and floured

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, toss flour mixture with hands (this give bread a light and airy consistency).

Cut in softened butter to flour mixture, using hands or a pastry cutter.  Until evenly distributed.

Add raisins and caraway seeds. Toss with hands to mix thoroughly. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add buttermilk and blend well.

Pour egg/buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Blend well with a spoon. The dough should be heavy but not too wet. (If it seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk) If too tacky to handle, add a little bit of flour, so that you can mold it to shape.

Divide batter between 2 prepared pans.

Dust hands generously with flour and mold dough into a round loaves. Dust top generously with flour. Using the wrong end of a fork cut a deep cross “X” into the dough. This is the cross of St. Patrick. This will prevent the bread from cracking, and will give it a traditional look.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until well browned (knife comes clean). Cool on a rack.

Note** By chance, I found out, that when I baked this bread in a cast iron fry pan, the bread rose higher than the one baked in the cake pans.

Best Italian Sausage Bread Recipe


best italian sausage bread

I call this the “Best Italian Sausage Bread” because it is my #1 go to party recipe. It can be prepared ahead of time then it can be placed in the oven when my guests arrive. As it cooks it fills the house with the sweet aroma of an Italian street fair and the smell of fresh-baked bread. When it comes out of the oven my guests are always so impressed. I wish I had a better picture  but by the time I found my camera  this is all I had left. My guests ate the rest.

Bread dough:

3 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup warm water

1 packet yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Stuffing:

1 pound  Italian sweet sausage – casings removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large green peppers – cut into strips

2 medium onions – large dice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 egg beaten

4 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions:

sausage bread

Place the bread flour and salt into bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

sausage bread

Put water in a large measuring cup.  Add yeast and sugar to the water and stir to dissolve.  Set timer for 10 minutes to allow yeast to proof.

sausage bread

Add oil to the water mixture. Pour liquid into mixer bowl.  Set mixer on number two and knead for exactly 10 minutes.

sausage bread

Remove dough ball from mixer bowl then put a drop of oil into bowl of mixer. Then roll the dough around in oil to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1 hour. Dough should double in size.

sausage bread

While waiting for the dough to rise, use a large skillet to cook sausage until the pink is gone and it begins to brown. Breaking up all large clumps. Place sausage into a strainer or on paper towels to drain off excess fat and set sausage aside.

sausage bread

Add oil to the same skillet and sauté the onions and peppers over med heat for about 4 minutes or until onions are clarified then add the salt, pepper and oregano to the skillet. Add the sausage back to the pan and cook for an additional 4 minutes then set aside to cool.

sausage bread

Roll dough to a 12 x 18 inch rectangle. With the longest side facing you.

sausage bread

Cover the dough with the sausage mixture leaving 1 inch on left and right edges and on the side that is away from you.

sausage bread

Cover sausage mixture with shredded mozzarella. The sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

sausage bread

Brush the left, right and the far edge of the dough with some of the egg wash.

sausage bread

Starting from the near edge, roll the dough away from yourself.  Like a jelly roll. Leave the seam underneath the roll.

sausage bread

Tuck the ends under the roll to seal. Cover the roll with a towel and allow to rise 30 minutes.

sausage bread

Remove the towel and brush the outside of the roll with egg wash. Sprinkle the roll with sesame seeds. Place roll on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Optional – At this point you have 2 choices

1) bake the bread

or

2) you can place it  in the fridge for up to 1 hour and wait for guests to arrive before baking. Then  allow it to return to room temperature  before baking.

 Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Easy Honey Wheat and Oatmeal Bread


This is a hearty wheat bread with a slightly sweet taste. It is so good you will convert even those family members who don’t like whole wheat bread into believers! The best part about this bread is that the mixer does all the kneading. That is why I call this recipe Easy Honey Wheat and Oatmeal Bread.

  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 ¼  cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp salt

 

Put yeast, sugar and water into bowl of stand mixer. Allow yeast mixture to rest for 10 minutes to proof. If the yeast is good it will now have a foamy top. Add honey, molasses, olive oil and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk to combine. Add bread flour, whole wheat flour, oatmeal and salt to the bowl. Use a dough hook to combine at low-speed. Once dough balls up, increase the speed to number 2 and mix for an additional 8 minutes. This will knead the dough. Remove the bowl from stand and cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Remove dough from bowl and roll out to 9” x15”.

Starting from the small side, roll up the dough. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with vegetable shortening.

Place roll into pan seam side down.

Cover with a towel and allow the loaf to rise for 1 hour.

Using a sharp knife cut a slit 1/4’” deep on top of the loaf.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

After 15 minutes remove loaf from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Irish Soda Bread (Family Heirloom Recipe)


This is an heirloom recipe that my mom makes every year for St. Patrick’s Day. Now this recipe has been handed down to me by my mother and it is my job to make sure this tradition stays alive in my family. This recipe was given to my mother by a neighbor and friend Rosie Redmond over 30 years ago. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

4 cups un-sifted All Purpose Flour 

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1+1/2 cups Buttermilk

2 eggs

1 stick Butter-softened

1 cup Raisins 

1+1/2 Teaspoons Caraway seeds ( or more if you wish)

2  – (8) inch round cast iron fry pans or cake pans, greased and floured

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, toss flour mixture with hands (this give bread a light and airy consistency).

Cut in softened butter to flour mixture, using hands or a pastry cutter.  Until evenly distributed.

Add raisins and caraway seeds. Toss with hands to mix thoroughly. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add buttermilk and blend well.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture. Blend well with a spoon. The dough should be heavy but not too wet. (If it seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk) If too tacky to handle, add a little bit of flour, so that you can mold it to shape.

Divide batter between 2 prepared pans.

Dust hands generously with flour and mold dough into a round loaves. Dust top generously with flour. Using the wrong end of a fork cut a deep cross “X” into the dough. This is the cross of St. Patrick. This will prevent the bread from cracking, and will give it a traditional look.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until well browned (knife comes clean). Cool on a rack.

Note** By chance, I found out, that when I baked this bread in a cast iron fry pan, the bread rose higher than the one baked in the cake pans.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread


I had a craving for French toast made with old-fashioned cinnamon swirl bread. After a few minutes in my local market looking for the bread all I found was this tiny loaf with skinny little slices. I checked out the bakery and they didn’t make what I was looking for either. I wanted a big hearty loaf of buttery sweet bread with spirals of cinnamon and big fat plump raisins. I wanted to be able to cut thick slices when I was making French toast, so I decided to bake my own. Here is the recipe I developed. I hope you will try it some chilly fall day, it is so good.

Dough:

3 ½ cups bread flour

1 tsp salt

¾ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

1 package active dry yeast

½ cup whole milk

¼ cup salted butter

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup raisins

1 large egg

Filling

¼ cup salted butter

½ cup sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine flour and salt in a bowl and set aside. Place water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar in a small bowl stir and set aside. Using a small sauce pan scald milk (do not boil).  You should just start seeing tiny bubbles on the side of the pan. Remove pan from heat then add butter, sugar and raisins to the pan. Stir until butter melts. Allow milk to cool until you can comfortably stick your finger in the pot. Then whisk egg into milk mixture. At this point retrieve the yeast mixture; it should have a layer of foam on top if your yeast is good. Strain milk mixture into yeast mixture. Reserve the raisins on the side. Whisk yeast and milk for 1 minute to combine. Pour liquid into bowl of a stand up mixer (use paddle attachment) set on low and gradually add the flour until fully combined. Remove dough from bowl to a floured counter and knead for 5 minutes adding more flour if dough is too sticky. Spread out dough on counter to a 10 x 10 square. Top the dough with the reserved raisins. Fold dough in half onto itself and then fold in half again. Knead dough a few more times to incorporate the raisins. Roll dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size. Roll out the dough to 9” x18”. Melt butter and brush ¾ of the melted butter on the top of the dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle ¾ of the cinnamon mix on top of the buttered surface of the dough. Starting from the 9” end, roll  the dough like a jelly roll. Place roll in a buttered 9” bread pan (seam side down). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. After 1 hour remove plastic wrap, and brush top with remaining butter then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture. Bake the bread for 35 minutes then remove from the oven. Remove bread from the pan and allow the bread to cool on a rack for 1 hour before slicing.

To make French toast I slice the bread the day before. The next day I dip slices of the bread into an egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla mixture and pan fry in butter until golden brown. Nothing says “Good morning” like French toast made from scratch. The Raisin bread also tastes great toasted with butter.

Stromboli


Stromboli is like a stuffed Italian bread. They can be stuffed with a variety of different things (brocoli, sausage cheese or whatever your heart desires). The dough I use to make it is a basic pizza dough and I stuffed it with deli meats, cheeses, roasted red peppers and black olives. The aroma in the kitchen when it is baking is to die for. It is a great appetizer for a party. Serve it warm not hot out of the oven and watch the smiles on your guests faces.

Dough

1 cup warm water (approximately 100 degrees)

1 packet yeast

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp oil (for bowl)

Filling

¼ lb Genoa salami

¼ lb provolone cheese

¼ lb slicing pepperoni

¼ lb boiled ham or ham Cappicola

1 cup shredded mozzarella

½ cup chopped roasted red peppers

¼ cup sliced black olives

1 egg beaten

3 tbsp sesame seeds

In a small bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes then add 2 tbsp oil and set aside. In a food processor combine flour and salt then turn on processor and slowly pour in yeast mixture and allow to run for 1 minute. Remove dough from processor and knead on a floured surface for 3 minutes. Place dough in a bowl with 1 tbsp oil and roll dough in oil to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. After dough has risen punch it down and roll out to 12 x 20 rectangle with long side to you.

Cover with a layer of salami leaving 1” on each side and bottom and 2” on top.

Repeat with provolone, pepperoni and ham. Then coat with mozzarella cheese. Then make 2 stripes of peppers and 2 stripes of olives from left to right.

Brush top edge and 2 sides with egg and roll dough from bottom to top.

Press ends to seal and fold up to seam.

Place roll on a baking sheet (seam and tuck down) lined with parchment paper. Brush outside of roll with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Allow roll to rise for 30 minutes. Place on middle shelf of oven and splash bottom of oven with 1 cup of water and close the oven. The steam makes the outside crispy. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and now comes the hard part, you have to wait 30 minutes before you can slice it.