Rosemary Focaccia Bread

A favorite repost for the holidays.... Mom used to bake bread quite often when we were growing up.  As a young kid, this activity seemed marathon-like.  We had to wait forever for the yeast to rise, sometimes twice. I’d watch Mom combine the yeast with water and flour, stir it rapidly and then cover the bowl with a raggedy old orange dish towel.   Like a cub following its mother, I’d wander behind her into our secret “furnace room”.    The furnace room was off the laundry room and it was always dark and tropically warm.  Mom would place the … [Read more...]

Raisin Bread for Beginners

I've always told my kids it's ok to make mistakes.  We learn from our mistakes. As the age-old saying goes, "you never touch a hot stove twice." And so, I attempted to make a very easy Raisin Bread yesterday and failed miserably. The best part was that my kids watched me fail, get frustrated, and try again. I was dubious of the active yeast that I had purchased for the bread making. It was the first time I used a yeast that didn't require mixing with water. When, after 90 minutes covered in a bowl in a warm place, my yeast did … [Read more...]

Whole Wheat Bread

full disclosure: I know this pic isn't appetizing but, every burgeoning cook should know, don't judge a dish by its appearance! I just got back from the most wonderful life-changing family vacation to Turkey.  We traveled to a couple different cities to were able to fully experience and appreciate the different cultures each one has to offer.  And, while I had never really been a big fan of Turkish food, we relished in the most succulent chicken and lamb shish kabobs I've ever tasted.  Of course the rice and dried fruits and Turkish delight … [Read more...]

Amish White Bread

For the first time in what seems like forever, we had a Sunday afternoon free; a calm afternoon void of frenetic kid shuttles to birthday parties, sporting events, play dates.  We cleaned out closets and read our books, we spent some quality time by ourselves in our own space in our own rooms, and I had the wonderful opportunity to bake some bread with my son. I hadn’t planned on baking. In fact, I was happy at the prospect that the kitchen was “closed” for the day.  But, how can you turn down your 8-year old son who comes up to you and asks … [Read more...]