Tuesday, December 28, 2010


For you Simpsons fans...
Bart: [after they watch a foreign film] I was so bored I cut the pony tail off the guy in front of us. 
[holds pony tail to his head] 
Bart: Look at me, I'm a grad student. I'm 30 years old and I made $600 last year. 
Marge: Bart, don't make fun of grad students. They've just made a terrible life choice. 

Ok...so I don't believe that (I wish I was in grad school)...but that $600 per year sounds pretty familiar.

Anyway, Doughnuts!

I'm having trouble uploading pictures right now so I will (hopefully) post the pics of the doughnuts tomorrow.

I had a small issue of the dough not rising properly, probably to do with that oh-so-vague 1 packet of yeast instruction.

They were ok tasting...I won't eat them again for a couple of reasons.  #1 being that I'm not supposed to eat fried food.

Unfortunately, that's all for tonight folks.  See ya round, like a doughnut!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good King Whole-wheat Scones looked out...

On the feast of Stephen, when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.

Another favorite Christmas carol...Good King Wenceslas.

Today's bread is #19 and it is Whole-wheat Scones!

So delicious!  Baked perfection.  Here they are.

This is the full number I made.  The recipe says it makes 15-18 but this is all I got.  Henceforth, I will refer to 11 baked goods as a Kristen's Dozen.  Also the raisins were optional (you can only see them in the front 3 scones), but since I failed at raisins in the regular scones I thought I'd try again.  These turned out perfectly.

At the end of this video Hugh Grant is singing Good King Wenceslas.

All the best to you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas in Killarney: An Irish Christmas

#18  Irish Soda Bread

Ok it's not actually a Christmas item, but it's only 10 days away and "Christmas in Killarney" was one of my favorite Christmas songs when I was younger.  I'd listen to a Bing Crosby Christmas record (yes, record) that my grandmother had on repeat.  This is the album.

Isn't he adorable?

Here is a version by the Irish Rovers...I liked it because it sounds really Irish.

Now, back to the bread.

Super-easy, quick to make bread.  Pretty darn tasty, too!  It didn't look like the picture of the other soda bread in the book, but I can probably fix that when I make the next one.

Here's the final product.
Since my "mentor" stated in my dear, dear cookbook that this bread was "gorgeous served fresh from the oven with lots of butter" I tasted it with some faux butter and it was lovely.

May those who love us, love us; and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping.” - Irish Blessing

Friday, December 10, 2010

Got Milk (loaf)?

#17 Milk Loaf

So I tried to make this bread earlier this week and got distracted and burnt the 2 loaves to a beautiful black color.

Today, I tried again.  And again...not so great.

It looked great when it came out of the oven and the first slice looked and tasted wonderful...the second slice revealed that the entire inside was goo.  Yeah,  goo.  Gross and inedible.  See the recipe called for making 2 loaves and since I only have one loaf pan and last time the one loaf I put in the pan didn't even fill up the pan halfway I thought I could just put all of the dough in one pan.  I did not consider that it would be too dense for the recommended cooking time to be effective.  Yeah, I'm a little slow today.  I have no pictures because I mutilated the bread to re-bake it before I remembered that I needed to take them.  I have sliced the bread in half horizontally and am now baking it at 300° to hopefully salvage this bread and enjoy the tastiness once again.

I probably won't make this bread again for myself.  Mostly because it is made with milk and butter and sugar, and even though I don't have any issues with sugar I'm trying not to eat so much of it.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Basil and Olive the other reindeer...

A little holiday cheer with your bread?  Sure!

So, this bread doesn't have anything to do with Christmas or anything, except that I listened to a couple of Christmas songs while working on it.

#16 Basil and Olive Focaccia

2nd Italian bread tonight!

I hadn't baked anything since last weekend, so I decided to do something that I had all the ingredients for already.  The recipe actually called for pitted whole olives, but I had sliced olives so I used what I had.  I did have some difficulty with mixing olives and basil into bread dough, but everything turned out pretty well.  Bonus:  this recipe is dairy-free!

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer...you get it, right?  Do you recall this one?

One weird thing happened, though.  The olives and basil worked their way from the inside of the dough to the outside during the rising process.  Not sure how to fix that, but I'll look in to it.  This bread is delicious and I'm probably going to be making it again.

Maybe I could have this bread with a side of reindeer.

Ok, really, I just tried to find a video of Rudolph and I stumbled upon this video.

Well, Gotta fly!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Apple (and Pear) Pie Gang

So the Braided White Bread from Thanksgiving was a big hit and after a busy busy day of selling books yesterday, I am rested enough to bake again.

Today, I made my first pie.

and my second...

Apple and Pear Pie.  It should have been Apple and Pear Pie with Fruit Sauce but the fruit sauce was made with raspberries and I cannot stand raspberries or raspberry flavor at all.  Plus, it's not raspberry season.

This was probably my most frustrating day of baking since I started this experiment.  The recipe called for a 12 inch pie plate and all I had was three 9 inch plates.  I considered just making one pie and just lessening the amount of apples and pears and if I had excess just making a little tart or something, but against my better judgement I tried to make two 9 inch pies.  The result?  One pie with no top.

A quote from the movie that inspired this post title:
Amos Tucker: How much money do you figure that dude's got in front of him? 
Theodore Ogelvie: About five hundred. 
Amos Tucker: Five hundred? Wow! You know, that'll be, uh, that's two hundred apiece! 

How appropriate...They turned out better than I thought they would when I was putting them in the oven.  And they taste divine.

I do not enjoy rolling out dough at all.  That's just a fact I thought I'd share.

By the way, today's mentioned movie was The Apple Dumpling Gang starring Tim Conway and the late, great Don Knotts.  I used to watch this a lot as a kid.

Happy Trails, readers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

It's an extra bread day!

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday...Thanksgiving!!!

For Thanksgiving Day I've made Pumpkin Spice Muffins and a braided white bread!

Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe found here.

The only change I made was adding a little more pumpkin because what the recipe called for was about 3/4 of a can and one of the reviews said it didn't have a strong pumpkin taste.

Mmm...Thanksgiving Day breakfast.

Also I made a braided white bread for Thanksgiving lunch with my extended family.

Here's my recipe.

Braided White Bread

scant 4 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup dry active yeast (activated with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup warm water)
3/4 water

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, taking care not to put the yeast on top of the salt.  Knead well for 5 minutes, then let rise covered for 1 hour.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter.  Divide into 3 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 12 inch snake.  Braid these 3 together, rolling ends under.  Let rise for 1 hour.

Braided & uncooked.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Bake with a pan of hot water for 25 minutes.

Take out of the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Finished product.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Help me, Alec Guinness! You're my only hope!

Today's bread has Guinness in it and since Star Wars is the only thing I've seen that has Sir Alec Guinness in it, today's post is Star Wars themed.

#14 Guinness and Molasses Bread

So today I tasted my first Guinness...it was ok.

I had to do some internet searching to complete this recipe.  The instruction "tip the dough out onto your floured counter an shape into a ball, then flatten and roll up" had me a little confused since this was the first time I had encountered rolling a dough up.  This site was very helpful:  http://www.recipetips.com/

This is the bread you're looking for.

The bread tasted nice.  Just the smallest hint of both the Guinness and the molasses.  Tasted very nice with a little bit of buttery spread on it.  I am going to be making this bread again since there is a recipe in my book that calls for this one.

Something sweet for you...

May the force be with you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Whole (wheat) Nine Yards

"I'm telling you this like a friend because if you screw this up - I would hate to... I would really hate to have to kill you. I would hate it more than mayonnaise. You know how much I hate mayonnaise."

Gotta love a movie with Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet.  Ok, well I love it.  Oh, and the quote above is Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski as played by Bruce Willis.

I'm hoping to be productive with the bread making this weekend since I may be working more until after Christmas.

Bread #13 is Basic Whole-wheat Bread

This one was a new thing for me since it was made with white bread flour and whole wheat flour.  My mentor (Paul Hollywood-though he doesn't know it) made a note that the whole wheat flour may need extra water, so I was being hyper-vigilant while mixing.  I actually thought that I might have added too much water when I lifted the "dough" (I put that in quotes because it was pretty batter-like) onto my pan to knead it.  But everything turned out just fine.

It is delicious!  Especially with some European-style strawberry jam.  Loving it!
This may be my favorite bread so far.  Not too stressful to make and a great finished product.

Like I said earlier, I'm hoping to make more bread this weekend so...
Come and visit again.

"Oh, and don't forget the corpses."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Who move my cheese (scone)?

A lactose-intolerant nightmare, a taste bud dream.
This recipe had butter, milk and cheese.  I didn't use soy milk this time, but both the milk and cheese were reduced-fat.


My second try at scones was a success!

Even the raw dough looked kind of yummy...
Flecks of cheese!

Here are some of the finished scones (or biscuits if you're my dad).
My only lament is that there was not quite enough cheese.  Next time I will definitely add more.

With No Particularly Clever Way To End This...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This is bananas!

So...sad to announce that the Olive Bruschetta that I was planning on making today failed.  My food processor is broken and the mixture was not enough for the blender to blend.  I'm a little bummed, but it does mean I will be making the ciabatta again and it was pretty tasty.

After my mid-day flop, I decided to make something that wasn't in the book.  I looked up a recipe for banana bread, modified it a little and came up with this little gem.

K's Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal Bread

  • 3/8 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/8 cup peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soy milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Cream together the canola oil and sugar. Add eggs, beat until fluffy.
  3. Sift together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas and soy milk. Mix until blended.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes; remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.

I'm all shook up!  ('Cause Elvis liked peanut butter-banana sandwiches)
Not too sweet, some-what healthy, cakey, bread.  I may change it the next time I make it.

Have a great week, lovely readers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mambo Italiano!

Hey mambo!
#10!  and 11...

Ciabatta!  Made into Tomato Bruschetta...yum!

Yes, the book has a separate recipe (that counts toward the 100 from my book or 99 that I'm actually completing) for the tomato bruschetta.  Tomorrow I'm going to make the next recipe which is an olive bruschetta (made with the same bread).

This recipe took all day to prepare.  It had to rise for 4 hours, then mix some stuff in, then rise for 2 hours, divide in half, rest for 1 hour, divide in half again, rest for an hour, then bake.  8 hours of rising and resting.
I had to divide the dough twice during the rising periods and as you can see I didn't get them exactly even.

Here's the tomato bruschetta.
Easy peasy recipe that I modified since it's just for me.  The original served 4.

For 1:
1 peeled tomato, diced
3 basil leaves chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

Then I rubbed some garlic on some toasted ciabatta and presto!  Bruschetta!
Tasty and dairy-free snack!

P.S.  I can't wait to make a sandwich with this bread!  Arrivederci per ora!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deck the halls with boughs of holly...

Farl lar-lar lar lar lar-lar lar lar...

Right, I know that was ridiculous.  I'm ok with it.  In honor of my starting a holiday retail gig this week, I am dedicating this post to unreasonably early Christmas music exposure.

Today's bread is Farl.  "This bread is a very English loaf, traditionally baked on the bottom of the oven, hence its other name: oven bottoms!" - 100 Gread Breads

Here's what it should look like:

Here's what mine looked like:

It looks almost exactly like the Crusty Cob...I have yet to master a shallow cut in the dough.  I'm not 100% sure how to fix that except to have a sharper knife.  We shall see.

P.S. It tastes pretty good.  Though, it is a little too buttery for my taste.  In case you were wondering.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Baguette Paradigm

What was expected and what was created were pretty disparate.

This extremely vague recipe was probably the most difficult one I have come across in my experiment.

Instructions like "enough warm water to make a thick batter" caused me some concern and then we had "add enough water to make a soft, pliable dough"  With no measured amount of water in the entire recipe, I figured I was headed toward disaster.


As you can see the slashes across the top disappeared.

Here's what it should have looked like (in case you're unfamiliar).

On a more positive note it tastes pretty good.

Au Revoir mes amis!  Ayez un beau jour!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bye Bye Miss American Pie...

Today I was craving something sweet so I went off-book.  I found a recipe at allrecipes.com for Apple Pie Bread.  I decided that since I was replacing the milk with soy milk I would find a replacement for the egg and make it vegan.  I found several websites that suggested 1/4 cup applesauce for 1 egg.  I also used bread flour because that's what I had.

So here it is the recipe for:

K. Britt's Vegan Apple Pie Bread


  • scant 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1/4 cup plain applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples
  • dash of ground allspice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves. In a separate bowl, mix together milk, egg and oil until well blended. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture. Fold in apple. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes, until loaf springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Ta Da!  (Which is short for da da ta-da!)

It is delicious!  I'm really excited that this worked out.  Feel free to try it for yourself.

I leave you with this to ponder...

Did you write the book of love?
And do you have faith in God above?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?

Thank you for these eternal questions, Don McLean.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tea (and Scones) with Mussolini (really, just me)

I am currently eating a scone with some yummy organic strawberry jam.


This recipe did not turn out perfectly...possibly because I got distracted by  Ellen and almost burnt them.  But it might have been  one of the swaps I made.  I traded plain, light soy milk for the milk in the recipe (because I'm lactose intolerant and don't ever drink milk) and I traded regular raisins for golden raisins (because that's what I had).

P.S.  I don't like rolling out biscuit-type things.

And here's my afternoon tea.

See, I've got my Earl Grey in a University of Cambridge coffee cup and my scone!  So delicious!

P.P.S. While looking for a cute title for this post I found out that the working title for Shaun of the Dead was Tea-Time of the Dead...just a fun little fact for ya.


"Pan" the Man!

Today's bread (well last night's bread) is:

White Pan Bread!

  • White refers to the color of the flour.
  • It was baked in a pan.
  • It is bread.

Also it tastes pretty good.

For breakfast this morning I used a slice of this Bangarang bread (as it will henceforth be referred to) and made Smashed Banana on Toast (it tastes good despite what you might have seen on Gilmore Girls).

Here's the recipe:

Toast 1 slice of bread
Top with smashed banana
Drizzle with honey

Served with green juice...yum!

I will end with this exchange from my quoted movie of the day:

Rufio: Boil-dripping, beef, fart-sniffing bubble butt!
Kids: Bangarang, Rufio!
Peter Banning: Someone has a severe ca-ca mouth, you know that?
Rufio: You are fart factory, Slug-slimed, sack-of-rat-guts-in-cat-vomit, cheesy, scab-picked, pimple-squeezing finger bandage. A week old maggot burger with everything on it and flies on the side!
Kids: [in unison] Ugh!
Peter Banning: Substitute chemistry teacher.
Lost Boy: Come on, Rufio, hit him back.
Rufio: Mung tongue.
Peter Banning: Math tutor.
Rufio: Pinhead.
Peter Banning: Prison barber.
Rufio: Mother lover.
Peter Banning: Nearsighted gynecologist.
Rufio: In your face, camel cake!
Peter Banning: In your rear, cow derrière.
Rufio: Lying, crying, spying, prying ultra-pig.
Peter Banning: You lewd, crude, rude, bag of pre-chewed food dude.
Thud Butt: [with the rest of the Lost Boys] Bangarang, Peter!
Rufio: You... you man! Stupid, stupid man!
Peter Banning: Rufio, if I'm a maggot burger why don't you eat me! You two-toned zebra-headed, slime-coated, pimple-farmin' paramecium brain, munchin' on your own mucus, suffering from Peter Pan envy!
Don't Ask: What's a paramecium brain?
Peter Banning: I'll tell you what a paramecium is! That's the paramecium! It's a one-celled critter with no brain, that can't fly! Don't mess with me man, I'm a lawyer!
Kids: [chanting] Banning, Banning, Banning is bangarang.
Rufio: Rufio! Rufio!
Peter Banning: Oh, Rufio, why don't you just go suck on a dead dog's nose. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010


#5!  It's Pita Bread!  That world-wide favorite and wonderfully dairy-free wheat masterpiece!

Ok so this bread was pretty simple...but there was the weirdness of heating the pans (including the parchment paper on them) before putting the dough on.  This resulted in a burnt smell emanating from the oven which, of course, I am used to from previous baking tasks but was a little worrying since I had been doing so well as of late.  (Everything turned out fine.)

Also there was the instruction that the recipe makes "about 7".  About 7?  About 7?  Is that 6 or 8?  Or does that actually mean 7?  I went with 8...because even numbers are much easier to cut the dough into.  In hindsight, I should have made 6.  These are tiny pita breads I have made.

(As you might have noticed, I ate half of that one...It was wonderful!)

Simple as this recipe might have seemed, I discovered that there were some other problematic things.  The bread went from not cooked and super-pale to a pretty tan (but too dark, I think) and cooked in about 1 minute.  Also, I had to work in batches because I didn't have the oven space needed to bake them all at once.  The final problem was that the recipe said that the bread would balloon up then collapse to give you the "pockets" which did not happen.  I think this might be because the pieces were just too small.  I will definitely make more of this so I guess I can modify next time.

By the way, I wanted to say thanks for reading to everyone out there!

Today's title is a quote from "Man on Fire".  Special thanks to my best college roomie for getting me to watch this darn good movie.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get more snatch by the batch...

This line kept repeating in my head while I was working on my latest bread.

Batch Bread.

For this recipe I had to make superfine sugar (or SUPAfine! as I like to think of it) because my regular grocery store does not carry it.  But thanks to some internet searching, I found out that you really just have to put some regular granulated sugar in a food processor and buzz it.  Of course this did not go as easily as that might sound.  The food processor was not working, so I decided to try using the blender and while making sure it was completely dry inside I cut my finger on the blade (genius, I know).

Et Voila!  (Which is not really appropriate for this 18th century English bread...but whatever.)

In other news,  after turning the temp down from 400° to 375° and keeping the bread in the right amount of time we have a bread that is cooked through and only slightly burned on the bottom.

It doesn't even taste burnt.  It tastes and smells kind of heavenly.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm old fashioned, but I don't think a Cottage should be over 6000 square feet.

Bread of the day:  Cottage Loaf.  Post title taken from a line in one of my favorite movies.

Basically the same as Crusty Cob.  Less flour, more butter.  Since I'm lactose intolerant, all these buttery breads may be the death of me, but they are pretty yummy.  This one was not accompanied by a picture in the book but once it was ready for the oven I realized it was a slightly more "fancy" bread as it looked kind of like a flower.  Finished it just looked a little decorative.

Two balls of dough, stacked on top of each other.  Then, I had to push my finger though the center and then cut vertically around.  My oven cooks at a higher temperature than it says so my first loaf was burnt.  My second and third were undercooked slightly in the middle, as I turned the heat down a little from the recipe's actual temperature.  They were pretty perfect on the outside,  though.  Here's the result for the newest bread:

Note the differently textured center.  Any advice on how to prevent this would be appreciated.

I probably won't be making any more breads until next weekend since so many of the ones with just a few ingredients take quite a while to rise.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crusty Juggler!

Today's bread:  Crusty Cob!

Post title inspired by lines from a favorite movie.

Today I have pictures of the process.
Softened butter, flour and salt, and yeast before mixing.

Rising dough.

Finished product!  It tastes amazing!

(Note:  The center was a little undercooked, but I was scared about possible burning which is usually the way I ruin baked goods.)

I will definitely make this recipe again!

1st Bread

My first bread was "White Bread".  A simple loaf of white bread.  Also it was done on October 12, 2010 (not today...I'm playing catch up).

There was a little learning curve.  I had to call my mom.  She's the person who taught me how to cook, and who I watched bake my whole life.  She also teaches Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) so she's like a professional.  I had to clarify what some of the stuff in the recipe meant (i.e. scant 4 cups) and how one mixes everything together without getting the yeast and the salt together, as that both is the point and defeats the purpose.  In case anyone is reading (at all) salt kills yeast but you have to mix all the ingredients together and the ingredients include both salt and yeast.

So it wasn't easy but here's the finished product:  


The picture isn't really good because I took it with my phone.  Future pictures will be better (hopefully).

The Experiment: Explanation

The Theory:

My hypothesis is that I can make 99 of 100 recipes from the book pictured in a year.

The reason for not completing all 100 is that one recipe is for inedible, novelty shape bread covered in wood varnish and I can't see spending the time or the money on such a silly, useless thing.

The reason for giving myself a year for 99 breads in that some of the breads take more than one day and there is work to be done throughout the day that can't be completed if I'm at work.

Variables include:  my extremely limited baking experience, the lack of previous success in the baking milieu (most things end up burnt) and my tendency toward being distracted.