baking boys bread Dorie fruit recipes

Tuesdays With Dorie: Fresh Mango Bread


I’m a sucker for quick breads, as long as they’re good; I’ve certainly had more than my share of dry, tasteless banana bread. But this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, chosen from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Kelly of Baking with the Boys, is not dry and tasteless, not by a long shot.

Y’all know I’m not a fan of fruit (nor am I Southern!), so I diced the mango up pretty small. I didn’t want big chunks of fruit messing up my quick bread. (And it took forever, let me tell you.) I got the required 2 cups out of one mango, so either my mango was larger than most or my dice was smaller.

Being so anti-fruit, I tweaked the recipe a bit: Dorie mentions that the original version had nuts in it, and that sounded good to me. I found some dry-roasted macadamias in the fridge, a bit more than a cup, so I chopped those up and threw them in there. I also used nutmeg rather than ginger, in deference to Husband’s lack of love for the latter, and left out the lime, in deference to mine.

Other than that, it was all Dorie.

Oh, except for the King Arthur white whole-wheat flour I used in place of the all-purpose.

So after the forever it took me to cut up the mango, the batter came together quickly. It was, as the recipe cautioned, really thick, not at all like most quick breads. I baked it for about an hour and 20 minutes, and the outside is just a bit overdone — not terribly, and it doesn’t affect the taste.


I was going to save it for breakfast, as per Dorie’s recommendation that it’s better the second day, but we had a friend here helping Husband put up some shelves, and I didn’t cook an actual dinner, so I figured we could at least have the mango bread. It was still a bit warm inside when we cut it.

And it was good.

It was moist and flavorful, although I can’t say that I tasted a whole lot of mango flavor. But from my point of view, of course, that’s a good thing. I ate my slice plain, and it was delicious.

Husband: It was really good — I enjoyed it. There was just enough fruitiness and sweetness to mark it as a quick bread, but the nutmeg really made it almost a piece of a meal. Somewhat strangely, it meshed well with the Can Blau 2007 I was drinking.

#1 Son: I really liked it. The fruit was good, the nuts were perfect, and the crust had this crunchy sweetness I can only compare to the top of a blondie. It would have been better with ginger, though — damn my father’s constrained palate.

#2 Son: I liked it. It was a little crumbly, but the macadamia nuts were very good, the crust was crunchy and good, and the entire thing was good. I don’t think I’ve ever not liked something of Dorie’s [editor’s note: or anything at all, really].


We managed to save more than half the loaf for breakfast the next day, when it was still delicious. It was less crumbly, but the flavor was the same. Good.

Oh, and I’m supposed to tell you that it’s excellent with cream cheese and fruit compote, which #2 Son made by pouring a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen mixed berries into a pot with 2 tablespoons of honey, then cooking on low till the berries were soft. Then he mashed them with a potato masher and cranked up the heat to medium to cook off some moisture.


So really, you should give this one a try. It’s yummy. And if you ignore the sugar and oil, you can persuade yourself that it’s healthy! Kelly will have the recipe at Baking with the Boys (or you could buy the book!), and the hundreds of other TWD bakers will all have their own little tweaks on it. Bon appetit!

bread holidays meat

An Irish-ish Meal


I promised this post on Tuesday night, but better late than never, I suppose.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we ate Irish (or a facsimile thereof): Irish stew and soda bread (and Guinness for the oldest two male members of the household). Husband couldn’t find lamb in the city or over here, so we wound up with beef for the stew, and I discovered at the last minute that I was out of King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour and that neither of the supermarkets within two miles of my house carry it.

So beef stew and white soda bread it was.

I used a stew recipe I found on AllRecipes, although I made some modifications; I try a new recipe every time I make Irish stew, and this one had Guinness in it; I thought the boys would appreciate that. I dredged the beef (2½ pounds, rather than the recipe’s 1) in salted and garlicked flour, then browned it in my beautiful new 12-inch skillet (thank you, Freecycle!), then threw it in the crockpot.

Softened an onion and garlic and some celery — I did say it was Irish-ish — and threw that into the crockpot too.

Then broth and beer and a couple of bay leaves and oregano, but no tomato paste or mushrooms. They’re not Irish at all. (I have malleable standards.)

Cooked it for hours, four or so, then added the cornstarch to thicken. And some salt.



The soda bread recipe came from Gourmet. Real Irish soda bread is whole-wheat, but as mentioned above, not this year. Everyone seemed happy with it, though, and #2 Son has been eating the leftovers for two days now.

So that was our St. Patrick’s Day. What did you do?


baking bread Dorie Friday dinner

Tuesdays With Dorie: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins


This is the first savory Dorie recipe I’ve made, and I welcomed the break from sugar. (I cannot believe I just typed that.)

I made the muffins to accompany a roast chicken; I thought they’d be a nice change from our usual bread or biscuits.

They were easy to put together (although I must confess that I left out the spicier additions) and baked in exactly the amount of time they were supposed to. And they were, in fact, the best corn muffins I’ve had.

Corn muffins are not my favorites, but these were quite good: moist and buttery and flavorful, without that dry coarseness that you so often get. And even with the chili powder, they weren’t too hot for me (and nearly everything that makes any pretense of spiciness is too hot for me!).

The family was split: Husband found them “granular and tasting of baking soda,” but #1 Son loved the cilantro and buttery texture, and pronounced them “stellar.” #2 Son said “I don’t like corn muffins, but these were really good,” and he singled out the corn kernels for praise.

I guess I’d make these again if I needed corn muffins, but that’s not a need that arises often around here.

Go see what the hundreds of other Tuesdays With Dorie bloggers did with these. Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake chose the recipe for us this week, and she’ll have the recipe at her blog if you want to try these savory little muffins yourself.

baking bread Dorie

Tuesdays With Dorie: Kugelhopf


This week’s TWD recipe was an unusual one: kugelhopf. Sounds German, but it’s not (at least, not technically). Dorie tells us it comes from Alsace, in eastern France (but on the German border!).

We were going to a party on Election Night, and I was supposed to take food that represented the home cities/states of the candidates. Chicago was easy: Peter Reinhart’s deep-dish pizza. But Delaware proved tougher. And then I worked it out: The du Pont family was a huge influence in the development of Delaware, and where were they from? Bien sur!

So I made it for the party — we didn’t need all that quickly staling bread around here just for us.

It was pretty easy to make, but it did rise slowly. At one point I was worried it wouldn’t come out of the oven in time, but all was well. I loved the finishing touches: brushing the loaf with lots of butter, then sprinkling it with sugar. The sugar melted to form a lovely, very thin crust.

Right before I served it, a couple of hours later, I sprinkled it with confectioner’s sugar.

I had one bite of Husband’s piece, after I photographed it. When I came back into the kitchen 10 minutes later, the whole loaf was gone.

Guess people liked it.

I don’t really have much of an opinion, considering that I had just one bite. So I polled the family, all of whom scored slices of their own:

Husband: It was a good sweet bread. Not that memorable.

#1 Son: I was expecting something with more flavor. I was expecting something more cakey, and because of that, my impression was negative, but as bread, it was good.

#2 Son: I didn’t think it would be like cake, so I loved it. I liked the raisins.


It was basically a sweet challah, but not sweet enough for me. I like my bread to be bread and my cake to be cake, and this was really a cross between the two.

If you want to see what the other TWD bakers did with it, check out the blogroll. And if you want the recipe for yourself, buy Dorie’s book or check out The All-Purpose Girl.

bread food Friday dinner meat recipes

Bicultural Friday Dinner

I had some lamb cubes in the freezer — grass-fed, organic, local lamb, straight from the farmers market. What to do with lamb cubes? Around here, there’s really only one answer. Irish stew:


I started with the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated‘s The New Best Recipe, #1 Son’s bible. We gave it to him after his bar mitzvah in 1995, and almost four years later it’s still his go-to cookbook for just about everything. (He made a cheesecake yesterday to take to a gathering of teenage homeschoolers today; he used it for a class on the science of cooking.) But the CI recipe called for shoulder chops, and I, of course, had the aforementioned cubes. So I played around with the proportions, but the technique is basically theirs.

Irish Stew (adapted from The New Best Recipe)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound lamb cubes, cut into whatever size you like
2 medium onions, chopped into whatever size you like
a little less than 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of water, divided
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
3 medium potatoes (the book recommends Yukon Golds, but you can also use reds)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sprinkle the lamb cubes with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown half the lamb on all sides. Remove to a bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil and brown the other half of the lamb on all sides. Remove to the bowl. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the last tablespoon of oil, and cook the onions till they’re softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir till the onions are coated evenly. Add one cup of water and stir, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme and the salt. Gradually add the other cup of water and continue to stir until the stew begins to simmer. Put the meat back in and bring the stew back to a simmer. Put the stew in a Dutch oven or covered baking dish and bake for one hour. Remove from the oven, add the potatoes to the top of the stew, re-cover, and bake for another hour or so, until the meat is tender. Stir the potatoes into the stew, let it stand for a few minutes (it’s really, really hot), and enjoy.

And if you’re having Irish stew, you must also have Irish soda bread. Again I turned to The New Best Recipe, and again it didn’t let me down.


Irish Soda Bread (adapted from The New Best Recipe)

3 cups (15 ounces) lower-protein (read, not King Arthur) all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 ounces) plain cake flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter for the crust
1½ cups buttermilk

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the over to 400 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Work the butter into the dry ingredients (with a fork or your fingers) till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork just till the dough begins to come together. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead just till the dough is cohesive enough that you can form it into a loaf. The less you mess with it, the better. Pat the dough into a round about 6 inches across and 2 inches high; place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. I used a round stoneware pan. Use a serrated knife to cut a cross shape in the top of the dough; each cut should be 5 inches long and ¾ of an inch deep. Bake till the loaf is golden brown and skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (or the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees), about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Cool to room temperature before cutting.

I’m not really a big fan of soda bread, but Husband loves it, so I make it several times a year. This is the best recipe I’ve tried — I actually liked the bread. If you like soda bread, you’ll love it.

And for a change, dessert wasn’t a Dorie recipe. (This week it’s pumpkin muffins, and we’re having them for breakfast tomorrow!) #2 Son goes to a secular Jewish Sunday school (and #1 Son works there), where they learn all about the history and culture and traditions of Judaism. And apparently one of those traditions is celebrating the harvest festival of Sukkot by building model sukkahs out of graham crackers, pretzels, and frosting. When they did this at Sunday school they used that nasty frosting in a tub. But I don’t roll that way. So …

This afternoon I bought graham crackers, spice wafers, three different pretzel shapes, a couple of different kinds of candy corn, mini M&Ms, big marhsmallows, mini-marshmallows, and probably some other stuff I’ve forgotten. Then I made vanilla buttercream icing, chocolate buttercream icing, and royal icing (for architectural purposes). After dinner, the boys went at it.

#1 Son went with a traditional sukkah, complete with autumn leaves scattered on the ground:


#2 Son, the someday architect, went for something a bit more modern (and a bit less stable):


bread food Friday dinner

Fishy Friday

This week’s Dorie recipe was a killer nutritionally, and so I went light on dinner. And since I also kept it simple, I can give you recipes!

First, I bought some frozen salmon fillets at Trader Joe’s. We don’t eat nearly enough fish, and I keep trying to slip some into the recipe rotation. And with preparation this simple, there’s no reason not to. It takes almost no time or effort (or skill!), and the fish comes out moist and flavorful.

Baked Salmon

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  • dried dill
  • kosher flake salt

Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Melt the butter (or heat the olive oil) in a baking dish just large enough for your fish. When it’s hot, add the fish, skin side up, and bake for 5 minutes. Flip it over (it will fall apart!) and bake for another four minutes or so, till done. Sprinkle with dill and salt to taste.


For the side, I used one of those rice mixes with brown rice and wild rice and all sorts of other rice. Lundberg makes several varieties, and Trader Joe’s has its own version. While the rice was cooking in chicken broth, I sautéed a couple of stalks of celery, three scallions (including some of the green part), two cloves of garlic, and a shallot I found at the bottom of my onion basket. When it was all soft and yummy, I added a thawed and drained (and squeezed dry) bag of frozen chopped spinach. When the rice was done, I mixed in the vegetables, and voilà. The rice was excellent with the salmon.


And then there was the bread. There’s always bread on Friday. This week, in keeping with the light theme, I went with focaccia. It also had the added benefit of being incredibly easy, and for bread, fairly quick.

Rosemary Focaccia

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast (active dry or instant, not rapid rise)
  • sprig of fresh rosemary, as large as you like
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2½ to 3 cups bread flour
  • coarse salt

Strip the rosemary leaves off the stem and set aside. Put the water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and let sit for a minute or so, then stir to dissolve. Add the rosemary, the salt, the oil, and 2½ cups of flour and mix well. I used my Kitchenaid mixer and the bread hook. Once all the flour is incorporated, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 10 or 15 minutes. Then knead for 10 minutes or so, by hand or machine, till the dough is elastic but still sticky. Add more flour a little at a time as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.

Put the dough in an oiled bowl, turning to oil the top. Cover and let rest for about 45 minutes. Gently deflate and re-cover, then let rest about another 45 minutes, till doubled. Somewhere in the middle there, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, putting an old baking pan or cast iron frying pan on the oven floor.

Shape into a ball and let rest on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Then stretch into a random flat shape, about half an inch thick (although it’s not crucial that it be exactly the same thickness overall), and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes, then make dimples all over the top with your fingers. Brush with olive oil, letting some pool in the dimples, then sprinkle with coarse salt.

Pour a cup of hot water into the pan on the oven floor (BE CAREFUL — the steam is wickedly painful) and bake the focaccia for about 25 minutes, till it’s nicely browned.

Let cool on a wire rack for a little while, but eat while it’s still warm. This is fabulous bread, better than anything you’ll get from a bakery.


And then there was dessert, but for that, you’ll have to wait till Tuesday!

bread Friday dinner meat

Just Like Friday, but on Saturday!

#1 Son went to a concert last night with a friend, so we shifted Friday dinner to Saturday. Because one consequence of the concert was that the friend had to take a train at 8 this morning, and I had to deliver him to the station, #1 Son and I hit the farmers market early, around 8:30. He’s not usually with me, so he leapt at the opportunity to choose the week’s meat. He went with ground lamb, ground pork, and the old standby, ground beef. We bought a pound of each, then cut the pounds in half. That left me with a pound and a half of a yummy meat mush, which I turned into burgers.

I know I promised that I’d start including recipes here, but I don’t think this counts: I put half a pound of ground beef, ground lamb, and ground pork (all free-range organic, as befits farmers market fare) into a bowl. I sprinkled it with garlic powder, dried thyme leaves, and kosher flake salt. I mixed it together, as little as possible. Then I split it into four 4-ounce burgers (saving the rest for a meal later in the week!) and grilled them on my little panini press. Wait! If I make it look like a recipe, then it must be one!

Mixed Meat Burgers (makes 6)

  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • kosher flake salt (to taste)
  • dried thyme leaves (to taste)
  • garlic powder (to taste)

Put all meat into large bowl and sprinkle with salt, thyme, and garlic powder. Mix to combine, handling the meat as little as possible.

Divide into six 4-ounce patties. Grill indoors or out. Put on toasted homemade rolls.

Oh, did I forget to mention the rolls?

It was Friday/Saturday dinner, so there had to be bread. I made Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Best Buns, so I can’t take credit for that recipe. There was also farmers market corn on the cob, which was absolutely perfect. It’s all downhill from here.


Husband spruced his up a bit:

stacked burger

And the corn:


Dessert was, of course, Dorie’s Granola Grabbers. More on that Tuesday!

baking bread

Pretzel Bread?

I have a friend who once had this thing she called pretzel bread. She wanted me to make some. I had never heard of pretzel bread. But through the magic of the internet, I found some at Two Bites in Suburbia. And it was good. I made four loaves for eight people the other day, and they went fast. We couldn’t decide whether it was best to cut the loaves in slices or in wedges or just to rip them apart. We had to find out. It was science.

For the record, wedges were the best.

pretzel bread.JPG

I also made some of David Lebovitz’s Killer App Candied Peanuts. They were incredible, although they do take a bit more time and effort than he indicates in the recipe. But totally worth it. I can make these only to take places, because I can eat the entire batch without even noticing.

candied nuts.JPG

I know it’s bad form for me to always send you elsewhere for recipes. Soon I’ll start posting my own, I promise!