Remember when Mike and I went on a Cambridge eating tour adventure and I haven’t been able to stop talking about it? Well, heeere we go again.
On our last stop at The Friendly Toast (and any/every time I go there), I ordered a side of their homemade Cayenne-Cheddar bread. They grill it up with some butter and HOLY COW IT IS SO GOOD. Just enough cayenne spice to give it a good kick, with little pockets of melty cheese* throughout. After ordering it at least 14 times, I decided it’s finally time to try and create it myself!
Listen up, friends..
This bread is the BOMB DIGGITY.
PerHAPS the most delicious bread I’ve ever baked. It is soooo so (so so so so so so so SO so so) good, almost as good as the professionals make it. It’s the kind of bread that is so delicious that you don’t even need anything on top, though butter makes everything better
And, just a thought…using this to make grilled cheese? WHOAAAAAAA. Mike and I gobbled up the whole loaf too quickly to do so, but I bet it would be the most wonderful grilled cheese in all the land.
*I realized I only had about half the amount of cheese I needed when baking this bread, which is why the bread doesn’t seem cheesy in the pictures – though still totally delicious. Adding the full amount will give you those ooooozy melty cheesy pockets of happiness I mentioned above.
Cayenne-Cheddar Bread (adapted from Williams-Sonoma‘s Whole Wheat Bread recipe, idea from The Friendly Toast)
yield: one loaf
- 2 cups* white or whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/8 teaspoons quick-rise yeast (about half a package)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
*The original recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups white/whole-wheat flour, but I only ended up using about 1 3/4 cups. You should add as much flour as you need to make the dough hold together until it stops being sticky.
- In a bowl, whisk together the white or whole-wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups bread flour. In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup of flour mixture, salt, yeast, and cayenne pepper. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, milk, honey, and butter. Heat on low until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Stir the water/milk mixture into the yeast mixture and beat on medium-high until smooth. Add the cheese, then stir in more of the flour mixture until the dough comes together and stops sticking to the sides of the bowl. If you add a bit too much flour, you can always add a teaspoon of water to bring the dough back together.
- At this point, you can either kneed the dough by hand or use the dough hook attachment. Need until smooth and elastic, either 10 minutes by hand or 6-7 minutes with the dough hook. Form the dough into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl (I greased mine with olive oil), turning the dough to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Coat a 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and press flat; use a rolling pin to roll into a roughly 12-by-7-inch rectangle. Starting on a short side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch the bottom and side seams to seal. Place the dough into the prepared pan, seam side down. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake the loaf for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
*one final note: the original recipe says to brush the loaf with an egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water), but I was out of eggs so I skipped that step. It doesn’t change the flavor much, but does make the loaf look prettier!
Bonjour, mes amis! As you read this I am probably on an airplane flying over the Atlantic on my way to PARIS (pronounced “pairee” – we’re in France now, after all)!!! I wanted to leave you with this deeeelicieux and easy baguette recipe while I’m away.
The key to this recipe is the bread flour. I’ve used all-purpose flour for bread in the past, and while it does a pretty good job, bread flour will produce the fluffiest, most perfect loaf you ever did see. Seriously, when I sliced into the fresh-from-the-oven warm baguette, it was so beautiful and perfect I thought that I bought it at a boulangerie.
You can be a French baker too! Just follow this recipe from The Culinary Institute of America.
Homemade Baguettes (recipe very slightly adapted from Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute)
yield: 2 loaves
- 1 3/4 cups warm water (it should feel about the same as your body temp.)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil for greasing the bowl
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the water and yeast. Allow to sit for a couple minutes, until the yeast is fully dissolved. Add the flour and salt and mix on low until the dough starts to come together; crank the speed up to medium and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Fold the dough over gently on itself, then re-cover and let rise for an additional 45 minutes.
- Fold the dough over on itself again, pressing it down to release the gas bubbles. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into two equal pieces. Shape the pieces into two round balls and cover. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
- Press each dough ball into the shape of a rectangle, about 10 inches long. Roll longways to create a 10-inch cylinder, and pinch the seam on the underside of the dough. Place the dough cylinders on a large baking sheet and cover. Allow to rise in a warm spot until nearly doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Run a knife diagonally across the tops of the loaves to score them, cutting just through the top layer of dough.
- Just before putting the loaves in the oven, brush or mist lightly with water. Brush or mist 1 more time during the first 5 minutes of baking. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped; about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on wire racks before cutting.
Additionally, look what I finally
stopped failing at figured out!
Just in the knick of time: french macarons!! Thank you David Lebovitz for your recipe and Jess for your inspiration!
Anybody else living in friiiiigid temps right now?
Here in Boston, it’s roughly 7 degrees. Icy wind and frozen puddles on the ground. Pink noses and “too cold for outside time” rules at school. It’s not pretty.
Luckily I’m from upstate NY and I’m used to the cold. I’ve invested in down coats and furry hats and heavy-duty winter boots. Every morning as I get ready to go outside I pile on all my gear and I’m like, BRING IT, cold! What.
Something I can’t get used to? My landlord controls our heat. So basically it’s…never on. I feel like little orphan Annie. One half hour of warmth for you, and that’s FINAL! I’ve tried using my future-lawyer boyfriend to sue her for frostbite and she’s all…
Sorry. Not sorry.
So I got a down comforter and learned to sleep in 75 layers of sweatshirts/blankets/fluffy socks (which is especially fun when she DOES decide to turn on the heat at 2AM and I wake up in a full sweat, convinced I have pneumonia) and have adjusted as best I can. Except that I sometimes stomp extra hard on the floor since she lives below us.
But in these winter months, there are only two things that can make me take the first step out of my cozy warm bed and out into the arctic chill of my apartment: coffee and breakfast.
And you better believe that a cinnamony warm fresh-from-the-toaster piece of cinnamon swirl bread will do the trick. The smell alone is enough to get me leaping out of bed. Now if only they would invent remote toaster starters…
And this bread as french toast? Hey. Hi. Hello.
I adapted the recipe from the Baking at Home book from the Culinary Institute of America to suit my tastes. Read: eliminate the raisins, EW. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread (adapted from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America)
yield: one loaf
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk, boiled and cooled to room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- vegetable oil (for greasing the bowl and pan)
- egg wash (mix 1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk)
- cinnamon sugar (1 tablespoon cinnamon + 1/4 cup brown sugar)
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (I wouldn’t recommend kneading by hand as the dough is VERY sticky), combine the flour and yeast. Add the milk, butter, sugar, egg, and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and mix on medium speed for another 4 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add the cinnamon so it just swirls into the dough. The dough will seem quite sticky.
- Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough into it. Flip it over once so that it’s coated on both sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. You can turn your oven on low, allow it to heat for a few minutes, then turn it off and allow the dough to rise inside the oven with the door shut. It should take about an hour and a half.
- Flour a work surface and turn the dough onto it. Allow it to rest for a few minutes, then work it into a ball. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Grease a 9-inch loaf pan. On the floured surface, carefully press the dough into a 12 x 8 rectangle. Feel free to sprinkle flour on top of the dough and on your hands to keep it from sticking. Brush the rectangle with egg wash, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Carefully begin to roll the short end of the dough towards the center, tucking it in as you roll to create a tight cylinder. Seal the the seam and gently shape the cylinder so that it fits in your pan.
- Place the cylinder of dough, seam side up, into the pan. Brush with egg wash, then allow dough to rise in a warm place, uncovered, for about 2 hours. The dough should expand to fill the pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush dough with egg wash again, then place in the oven. Bake until the loaf has a sturdy brown crust, about 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.
I’m linking up with Sweets for a Saturday!