Posted in Cooking, Home

Tim’s Cranberry Orange Bread by Maddie Day

Stock up on cozy mysteries by all of your favorite authors at Barnes & Noble’s #CozyMysteryBonanza! http://bit.ly/2m2laCx

 

Mac Almeida’s boyfriend, baker Tim Brunelle, makes this yummy quick bread for his bakery, Greta’s Grains in Westham on Cape Cod. Bake a day ahead of time for easiest slicing.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Zest and juice of one orange. If juice doesn’t equal 3/4 cup, add orange or cranberry juice to supplement
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Continue reading “Tim’s Cranberry Orange Bread by Maddie Day”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Sarah Osborne’s Tips for first-time bread bakers

Family is whatever you make it—genetic, borrowed, or adopted—and nothing keeps a family strong like breaking bread together.

Add to that the joy of preparing the bread, and you have the perfect recipe for family togetherness.

While I love experimenting with new recipes, when I have the time it’s bread baking that warms my heart.

The three secret ingredients for making a delicious loaf of bread are time, perseverance, and love. Aren’t those the ingredients for any good and lasting relationship?

I am no James Beard when it comes to making bread, but as Julia Child said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Let’s get started. No bread machines allowed. The real zen of bread making is the time and hands-on work involved. I’ve solved a lot of mystery conundrums as my floured hands kneaded dough. It really is the process that matters, even when the product comes out as flat as a pancake.

One way to avoid the inedible loaf is always, always, always to proof the yeast. Here’s what I do.

  • I make sure my kitchen is cozy—no drafts.
  • I warm up a small bowl with hot water and then pour it out.
  • I turn on my oven just to get it started heating up and then turn it off.
  • I put one or two packages of yeast in my bowl (according to the recipe) with a quarter cup of hot water (from the recipe) and a little sugar (from the recipe), stir and plop the whole thing in the warm oven (turned off but still cozy) for ten minutes.

This is how your bowl should look (granted it doesn’t have to rise to the top of the bowl, but it does have to expand).

If it doesn’t expand, start over or you’ll spend a day of frustration waiting for dough to rise, and it isn’t going to happen. Believe me I’ve been there, done that.

The next most important aspect of bread baking is learning to knead. It isn’t complicated. See any of the many good videos on youtube to get the hang of it. Then take your time.

I often use a recipe I’ve had for years called Farm Style Whole Wheat Molasses Bread. Choose any recipe you like but start with white bread or whole wheat mixed with white flour—nothing too heavy or your first-time bread won’t do well.

If you want to use my recipe go to my website at doctorosborne.com and look at Weekly Recipes.

Choose a day when you don’t have much else to do and can relish the experience. Do it with a friend, a relative, a child, and it will be a wonderful adventure. Maybe you’ll even end up with a tasty loaf of bread.

Continue reading “Sarah Osborne’s Tips for first-time bread bakers”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Currant Tea Bread by Susanna Craig

One of the first things we learn about Sarah, the heroine of To Kiss a Thief—other than her apparent involvement in the disappearance of a priceless sapphire necklace, of course—is that she has a weakness for sweet things. While she’s been masquerading as Mrs. Fairfax in the tiny fishing village of Haverhythe, the local baker has become one of her dearest friends:

“See something that tempts your sweet tooth, Mrs. F.?” The baker came to the door of his shop, his head dusted with white where he had run a floury hand over his balding pate.

“Oh, Mr. Beals, I shouldn’t. I’m late for tea as it is, and Mrs. Potts will have my head.” Sarah nevertheless cast a longing glance at the wares displayed in the shop window. “Do you suppose, perhaps, a currant cake would appease her?” Continue reading “Currant Tea Bread by Susanna Craig”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Currant Tea Bread by Susanna Craig

One of the first things we learn about Sarah, the heroine of To Kiss a Thief—other than her apparent involvement in the disappearance of a priceless sapphire necklace, of course—is that she has a weakness for sweet things. While she’s been masquerading as Mrs. Fairfax in the tiny fishing village of Haverhythe, the local baker has become one of her dearest friends:

“See something that tempts your sweet tooth, Mrs. F.?” The baker came to the door of his shop, his head dusted with white where he had run a floury hand over his balding pate.

“Oh, Mr. Beals, I shouldn’t. I’m late for tea as it is, and Mrs. Potts will have my head.” Sarah nevertheless cast a longing glance at the wares displayed in the shop window. “Do you suppose, perhaps, a currant cake would appease her?”

Mr. Beals’s face split into a grin beneath his bushy moustache, and he stepped back into his shop to fetch an already-wrapped parcel. Continue reading “Currant Tea Bread by Susanna Craig”

Posted in Cooking, Home

Cinnamon Swirl Bread by Charlotte Hubbard

This is a quick bread that doesn’t require yeast, so prep time is short and you don’t even need a mixer! As the bread bakes it makes its own cinnamon swirl, and your house will smell heavenly. Might as well double the recipe and make two loaves while you’re at it.

Bread Batter
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar Continue reading “Cinnamon Swirl Bread by Charlotte Hubbard”