Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Roasted Potato Multigrain Bread #BreadBakers

Roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and a hefty pinch of rosemary give these low rising loaves a wonderfully savoury character. A sourdough preferment adds tang while keeping the crumb moist and open. A slice or two is perfect with any soup or stew, or just on it's own!

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Is there anything better than roasted potatoes to cure a comfort carb craving? I'll admit, I don't indulge in them as much as I should, but when I get the chance I'm all in! This bread was sparked by an abundance of potatoes left over from a family dinner, and fresh rosemary by the windowsill. I've made roast potato bread before, but when I saw this recipe on My Love of Baking that used a sourdough preferment, I had to give it a try!

Not only does this bread have the rich flavour of roasted potatoe and rosemary, but the preferment used an unusual ingredient - beer! The amber ale I picked was ever so slightly sweet (and not hoppy) and local to me. I took that idea and paired it with the nuttiness of barley flour and my standard whole wheat bread flour.

Once you combine the preferment with the rest of the ingredients (apart from the potatoes, that is) and knead it all together, be prepared to let it rest - think of the bread like your body after running a marathon (or conquering the work week) - it needs a spa day. A few folds and the addition of the potatoes later, it gets shaped and given a final proof in a bowl. I don't have a round banneton, but I imagine it would be better! A final rise and its plopped (gently) into a screaming hot Dutch oven and baked to a deep brown with a prominent crust.

The bread itself is time consuming, but well worth it in the end - the smell that came from my oven as it baked in a Dutch oven was out of this world.

Slicing into the cooled loaf, you're met with a slightly dense but still tender crumb speckled with bits of roasted potatoes. My mom immediately spread it with cream cheese, but the heels of the bread made stellar soup dippers from what I hear!

This loaf is my submission for the #Breadbakers Mixed Grains Bread event. 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Bunny Bread #BreadBakers

My niece and I have started baking together on Fridays, this was our first project - whole wheat Bumny Bread! Whole wheat and decorated with food colouring mixed with egg whites.

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It's no secret that I love teaching kids (and adults) how to bake. From learning why we follow a recipe, to reading the ingredients and making sure everything we need is out, to measuring things to the fun part of mixing everything and learning about the science of it all, kids learn so many different things in the kitchen! While I no longer teach formally, I'm lucky enough to have 4 niblings who love getting into the kitchen with me and making all sorts of things!

Tackling bread with kids is both incredibly rewarding and incredibly tricky. My niece (who was 5 at the time) loved helping to knead the dough, shape it and paint it, but waiting the hour for it to rise felt like a century to her. I had plenty of activities for her to do in the meantime - she loves helping to clean up (just like her younger brother, who is the king of cake pops) and we watched plenty of YouTube videos during the wait. When the bread was done, she couldn't wait to take a bite, and considering the finished loaf was almost the size of her head, she got through the ears before we packed it up for her to take home.

Since then, we've baked a plethora of things together, and her younger brother is old enough now to really get into the kitchen so I cannot wait to see what we come up with!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

You can never go wrong with snickerdoodles! These have a touch of cream cheese in the dough , which keeps them impossibly tender, and if my niece and nephew are any judge they won't last long on the cookie table!

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 We are right in the thick of cookie season - one of my favourite times of year. I spent last weekend sorting out what to put in everyone's holiday package this year, since I always attempt to personalize what I give out. One batch I knew I had to make was snickerdoodles - the combination of a soft, lightly sweet cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar is a hit with kids and adults alike!

I've been lucky this year to get significant help in the kitchen too - my niece and nephew are full fledged sous chefs for me, and my nephew in particular loves rolling dough into balls and coating them with sugar or whatever the recipe calls for! They're great at measuring and mixing, and for this recipe I was able to teach them about what the ingredients do.

While (almost) all cookies need a base of fat, I opt to use a combination of butter, shortening and cream cheese in these. The shortening and cream cheese help these cookies stay soft and thick, while the butter lends a classic flavour. Cream of tartar is a staple in snickerdoodles, as it adds an extra hint of tang to them that really can't be replicated with straight baking powder (the result of combining baking soda and cream of tartar). We also added a half tablespoon of ground flaxseed, which bumps up the flavour and helps bind the cookies together. If you don't have any, you can add another egg yolk to the recipe instead. 

Like most cookies, these do benefit from at least a couple hours in the fridge before baking. However, you can absolutely bake these off immediately, it may require two tosses in the cinnamon sugar to keep the crust though.

Monday, November 20, 2023

The B.L.A.S.T. with Mock Sourdough Buns

Have you ever craved a sandwich that combines the rich, buttery flavor of salmon, the creamy goodness of avocado, the smoky crunch of bacon, and the fresh burst of tomatoes and lettuce? I've got the perfect recipe for you: The BLAST.

Yes, the avocado on here is sliced too thick.
My mom was the one making this for her, so go wild if that's your thing!

The cold air and barren trees here are a continual reminder that my enjoyable time outside in the sun is nearing it's end. That doesn't mean I can't bring the taste of summer into the kitchen!
This massive sandwich, created by my partner and tweaked just a little, is a perfect meal for two - or use my mock sourdough recipe to make smaller buns and tuck into a single serving. The star of the BLAST is a thick, juicy salmon filet, seasoned to perfection with a blend of paprika and black pepper from the amazing Selefina Spices and grilled or broiled. As to the type of salmon - wild Pacific is our favourite, but we use Atlantic if it's not available or too expensive. Both are delicious! Paired with my homemade yogurt-dill sauce, this alone is a perfect addition to a meal!
Ideally, you want a nice crusty sourdough roll or hearty sourdough bread - something sturdy enough for the weight of the sandwich. My sourdough starter of almost 15 years died due to neglect in March (family emergencies > microbes) but I have a recipe for just-as-tangy mock sourdough that I use in a pinch. You can find it below, and I highly recommend it!
Once your sourdough (or mock sourdough), bacon of choice (we use turkey bacon exclusively here, but regular bacon is perfect too) and your salmon are prepared, A thin layer of yogurt-dill sauce is spread on both halves of the bun (or both slices of bread). Lettuce, tomato, salmon, bacon and avocado layer ontop - and the majority of the time it is quite the balancing act! You definitely want a large plate for this sandwich, since no matter how hard you try you'll get "escapee" bits. Word to the wise - you want thin slices of tomato and avocado here. Shingling the tomato and avocado slices helps keep them together a little better!
Of course, the variations on this are numerous. Here are a few my partner and I came up with:
  • Toast the bread / buns and rub the "inside" parts with a cut clove of garlic
  • Marinate the salmon in a lemon-garlic mixture
  • Grill / broil the salmon on top of lemon slices
  • Turn this into wraps using thick pitas or naan
While summer may be over, there's no reason we can't enjoy these with a perfectly paired drink! Henderson Brewing has both opened a RUSH themed bar in the YYZ airport and brought the RUSH themed beer into the USA, and given that my partner and I are huge RUSH fans I thought why not see what would play well? While the brewery has several RUSH beers that all sound delicious, the first release of Golden Ale with Starman on the front is, in my opinion, the perfect pairing for this sandwich. You can find it in Canada here and in the USA here. This isn't sponsored by the band or the brewery, this is just my love for the band and good beer shining through.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Adagio Teas Advent Calendar

Tea lovers, get ready to sip your way through December because I've got something truly delightful to share with you: Adagio Tea's 2023 Advent Calendar! Once again, many thanks to Adagio for the opportunity to try out and review this product.


This advent calendar puts a warming twist on a holiday tradition: a merry little box filled to the brim with 24 delectable teas, carefully curated to make your countdown to the holidays even more magical. Each day, you'll find a unique tea sample waiting to be explored - and if you're like me and like to start your day with a warm mug on the go Adagio also has fantastic travel infusers.

What's Inside?

Now, what good would it be if I gave away the secrets inside the advent calendar? All the teas in both the standard and decaf advent calendars are free of gluten, dairy, and nuts as well as being vegan-friendly. If you truly can't wait to know what's inside, Adagio provides a spoiler at the bottom of the order pages for each - but you didn't hear that from me!

What I can tell you is that you will find some special edition and exclusive teas in these calendars that you won't find anywhere else, and you'll never be bored! My family and I tested out the teas in one of the calendars I was sent and we have nothing but great things to say about them. This isn't surprising, as Ive worked with Adagio before and their teas are always chock-full of flavour, infuse well, and many make excellent iced teas when cooled.

Pricing and Shipping

If you're looking for a holiday give on  budget, look no further - both the bagged and loose varieties of the Adagio Tea 2023 Advent Calendar are only $34 USD. Shipping within the USA is an additional $3.75 or FREE for orders over $49, and orders arrive within 7 days of placing an order. For additional shipping rates and times click here.

Just like everything around the holidays, this Advent Calendar is available in limited quantities. So grab yours now before it disappears like a puff of steam!