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Tag Archive: bread

On Love and Garlic Knots

November 5, 2017 Leave your thoughts Print this page

Every autumn as the leaves start to change, a sudden itch to bake pops into my mental periphery. I find myself daydreaming in class about French pastries and cinnamon, fantasizing about the ways I could reinvent chocolate chip cookies or braid a loaf of challah. As my friends can tell you, this is the season where the communal Tupperware container makes frequent appearances, gracing its audience with piles of brownies and cake slices. To me at least, fall and baking go hand-in-hand, and no autumnal meal would be complete without a sweet or bread-y sidekick.

As I stand in my kitchen stirring a caramel sauce or kneading dough, my mind turns reflective. In these repetitive motions, I think. A lot. And every fall, for some reason, I think about love.

Maybe it was because fall was the season when I first literally fell from someone. It was seventh grade, when I had the poofiest hair and biggest chutzpah you’d ever seen. I had a huge crush on this kid in a few of my classes, and one day, I decided to call him up and ask him to hang out. (Spoiler: he said yes, but to this day, it was truly one of the most awkward nights of my life.)

Honestly? Mistake. What was I thinking?! I was twelve and already a loud, ballsy feminist. The world of teenage boys was certainly not ready for adolescent Abby, who was ready for a mature man while still wearing peace sign scarves from Justice. Even though I commend my younger self for being so confident, I do wish I had waited. Because my very sensitive little heart got very disheartened when things didn’t go as planned.

After that, my love life was basically nonexistent until senior year, when I tried to give “romance” another try. I let myself be vulnerable and was honest with my emotions — which was kinda badass, I guess. But I got really, really badly hurt. It was the wrong time, and I picked the wrong person.

I got to college thinking things would be different. Boys would be more mature! Someone out there would be looking for an independent, quirky, strong-willed woman like myself! And I laugh. I’m sure people are out there, they gotta be. But so far, I have been disappointed. Young people are so into hookup culture, and I, as a closeted 40-something, am not. College students can be so wishy-washy and last-minute about things and people and plans. And even though it’s 2017 — where women should be able to ask out men (or other women!) without it being weird — initiating and being forward has never gone well for the potato. Ugh.

Part of it is patience. I’ve just gotta let go and let love find me. And sure, I can be all yoga-y about it and say, “I am a complete individual on my own, I do not need anyone to complete me. What you seek is surely seeking you, don’t be attached to ideas or people. Let the universe take you where it shall.” But you know what? That’s not really how I feel most of the time.

How do I feel? I feel frustrated. I feel frustrated that I still scare people away because I have opinions and personality and spunk. I feel frustrated that people still don’t respect my time. I feel frustrated how seemingly little people can seem to care. I feel frustrated that all of that — the inconsistency, the blasé spontaneity, the forgetfulness — is somehow okay. I feel frustrated that this is the same trope I’ve been experiencing since the first time I ever asked someone out seven years ago.

And you know what? It’s okay for your feelings about life and love to not be tied up in a perfect little box with a ribbon on top. It’s okay to be angry and frustrated and salty with the way societal norms are. It’s okay to want love and want to be loved and cry about it not being there in the way you want. It’s okay to have emotions, even “negative” ones.

So I guess that’s why I turn to carbohydrates. Because quite frankly, carbohydrates never fail to satisfy the romantic love I crave.

Apologies for the rant. I am truly an optimistic, upbeat person 90-95% of the time. But I think it’s important to share that 5-10% of pessimism, saltiness and frustration, because our multifaceted nature only makes us more endearingly human.

Anyway, to me, there is nothing more tender than biting into a fresh cookie, biscuit or roll. That doughiness, that warmth, that butteriness just melts all of the frustration away. One cannot possibly be sad whilst eating a homemade baked good: that is a scientific fact.

So, when I was feeling sad and nervous and anxious and disheartened last week, I made garlic knots. Because garlic can cure anything, I’m convinced.

I had such a fun time making these for my friends. My favorite part was tying them, because look at how cute they are! And each one is a little different. I find it simply adorable.

These are certainly a labor of love, but that’s my favorite part about baking. The more care you put into it, the more love you taste when you bite into that finished product. And having hot, crispy, chewy garlic knots last weekend was worth every second I put into making them.

Some notes! Please use bread flour. Bread flour means chewy, crispy garlic knots. Just get your butt over to Whole Foods and do it. And use lots of garlic. I actually adapted my recipe from the first time I made it to include more garlic. You wouldn’t want to make out with a vampire, anyway. (Sorry, I was never into Edward Cullen.)

Bony African feet! (Bon appétit in meme slang.)

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Garlic Knots

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr 30 min
Cooking Time 20 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 16 garlic knots

FOR THE KNOTS:

1/2 tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water (~110 degrees)

2 tbsp EVOO

2 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

4 cups of bread flour

FOR THE GARLIC DRIZZLE:

8 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

Directions

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, yeast and warm water. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, or else the yeast will die! Stir together with a spoon and let sit until the yeast are nice and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Add the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and 1 cup of the bread flour. Stir together with a spoon or the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer. Keep adding flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is thick. Knead with your hands on a well-floured work space or with the dough hook in the stand mixer until smooth and not sticky, about ten minutes. If the dough still clings to your fingers or palms after kneading, add more flour, 2 tbsp or so at a time, until it stops sticking. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it becomes smoother.

Lightly oil a clean bowl with some olive oil and put the dough inside. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes – 2 hours.

Once doubled, put the dough on a well-floured work space. Cut in half, then cut in half again. Cut each piece into four quarters, trying to keep each piece the same size. If you have a kitchen scale, use it! Simply weigh the whole dough ball and divide by 16 to determine your individual roll mass. If not, no worries, just eyeball it the best you can.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

When the 30 minutes are up, take a dough ball and, on a well-floured work space, roll it into a rope about 7-8 inches long. Tie it just as you would a knot. If you have excess dough after tying the knot, tuck it under the formed roll. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Place back on baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and parsley, stir, and let cook for a minute. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and let steep while the rolls rise.

Once the rolls have finished their final rise, lightly brush them with half of the garlic/parsley butter. Let bake until golden brown on the outside, about 18-20 minutes.

Brush with the remaining half of the garlic/parsley butter upon exiting the oven. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve immediately.


We’ll see when love will find me. But until then, I have garlic knots and some incredibly kickass friends to keep me company.


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Garlic Knots

November 4, 2017 Print this page

Feeling knotty? Then make these simply scrumptious garlic knots! You’ll never need to go to your local shady pizzeria again.

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr 30 min
Cooking Time 20 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 16 garlic knots

FOR THE KNOTS:

1/2 tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water (~110 degrees)

2 tbsp EVOO

2 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

4 cups of bread flour

FOR THE GARLIC DRIZZLE:

8 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

Directions

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, yeast and warm water. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, or else the yeast will die! Stir together with a spoon and let sit until the yeast are nice and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Add the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and 1 cup of the bread flour. Stir together with a spoon or the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer. Keep adding flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is thick. Knead with your hands on a well-floured work space or with the dough hook in the stand mixer until smooth and not sticky, about ten minutes. If the dough still clings to your fingers or palms after kneading, add more flour, 2 tbsp or so at a time, until it stops sticking. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it becomes smoother.

Lightly oil a clean bowl with some olive oil and put the dough inside. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes – 2 hours.

Once doubled, put the dough on a well-floured work space. Cut in half, then cut in half again. Cut each piece into four quarters, trying to keep each piece the same size. If you have a kitchen scale, use it! Simply weigh the whole dough ball and divide by 16 to determine your individual roll mass. If not, no worries, just eyeball it the best you can.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

When the 30 minutes are up, take a dough ball and, on a well-floured work space, roll it into a rope about 7-8 inches long. Tie it just as you would a knot. If you have excess dough after tying the knot, tuck it under the formed roll. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Place back on baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and parsley, stir, and let cook for a minute. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and let steep while the rolls rise.

Once the rolls have finished their final rise, lightly brush them with half of the garlic/parsley butter. Let bake until golden brown on the outside, about 18-20 minutes.

Brush with the remaining half of the garlic/parsley butter upon exiting the oven. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve immediately.


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Banana Bread with Toasted Coconut + Chocolate Chips

May 13, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Hello everybody! The adventures of a soon-to-be-senior in high school continue, featuring some food, some homework, and lots of tests. This chica just survived her third AP test, word.

What’s new with me? Well, for one, I went to San Francisco to visit some colleges…

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…and while I decided that I think I want to shoot for a really good school on the East Coast first (it’s a secret which one–shh), I had so much fun visiting the West Coast. They also have excellent ice cream out there: pictured above is a scoop of smoked sea salt chocolate and Vietnamese coffee from Humphry Slocombe.

I also got asked to prom (no, not by a cat or a sweet potato), which took place last Friday. I had so much fun dressing up and hanging out with my friends and my date!

 

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I’ve known my friend Jeromy for twelve years now, and let’s just say we’ve come a long way.

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…actually, I think the only differences are that he is now about a foot taller than me, and we changed who was wearing the vest.

Anyway, I was recently inspired to bake some banana bread, since Jeromy and I had a long conversation at a diner after prom about the wonderful ways of bananas. I decided to throw in some coconut and chocolate chips, too, because both of us love those foods. 🙂

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I forgot how much I love making banana bread. It’s so simple to prepare, yet so pretty when you take it out of the oven, and so comforting when you take a bite. The only reason I don’t make it more often is that we never have any extra bananas at my house, considering I’m basically at monkey status when it comes to banana eating…

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Want to know how simple this is? Well, it involves mashing bananas (which I find way too much enjoyment in)…

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…toasting coconut…

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…mixing a bunch of things together in a bowl (there’s no better way to describe that)…

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…then baking and slicing and EATING!

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YASS.

By the way, this banana bread recipe is adapted from the one from Flour Bakery in Boston. I updated it with a healthy twist, because healthy twists are kinda my jam.

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Banana Bread with Toasted Coconut + Chocolate Chips

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 min
Yield 1 loaf

1 2/3 cup of organic whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or your favorite gluten-free mix

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of unrefined cane sugar

1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup of refined coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup of almond milk (I love using toasted coconut almond milk)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1-1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut, toasted

1/2-3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully whisk in the oil, then add the mashed banana, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine.

Add in the dry ingredients and gently fold with a spatula. Once no specks of flour remain, add the toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips and fold to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using a spatula to help you out. Then, place the loaf pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 1 hour.

Let the banana bread cool in the pan for at least an hour (preferably two), then transfer the bread from the pan to a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or slice and freeze for later consumption.


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So, how do you feel about bananas? (Interesting question, I know, but I have answered so many questions in the past ten days that I need something straightforward.) Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

Also, some words of advice before I go: when given a photo booth, go HAM. No, not literal ham. Proof is below.

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Banana Bread with Toasted Coconut + Chocolate Chips

May 13, 2015 Print this page

Bananas. Coconut. Chocolate. Are we on vacation in some warm, tropical place already? Oh well, we’re not…but this banana bread is still delicious and makes an awesome breakfast or snack.

Adapted from Flour’s Famous Banana Bread recipe 🙂

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 min
Yield 1 loaf

1 2/3 cup of organic whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or your favorite gluten-free mix

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of unrefined cane sugar

1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup of refined coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup of almond milk (I love using toasted coconut almond milk)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1-1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut, toasted

1/2-3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully whisk in the oil, then add the mashed banana, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine.

Add in the dry ingredients and gently fold with a spatula. Once no specks of flour remain, add the toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips and fold to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using a spatula to help you out. Then, place the loaf pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 1 hour.

Let the banana bread cool in the pan for at least an hour (preferably two), then transfer the bread from the pan to a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or slice and freeze for later consumption.


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Loaded Zucchini Bread

October 18, 2013 Print this page

The best bread to have for breakfast or snack in the summertime! Filled with vegetables, fruit, and deliciousness, your stomach will thank you for feeding it this.

Ingredients

Prep Time 20 min
Cooking Time 50 min
Total Time 90 min
Yield 1 loaf

1 medium zucchini

3 large eggs

1/3 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups of blanched almond flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

1/4 teaspoon of cloves (optional)

3/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut or slivered almonds

1/2 cup of raisins

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit snugly on the bottom of a 9 x 5 loaf pan. With non-stick cooking spray or a paper towel with some coconut oil, heavily grease the pan.

Using a hand grater or a food processor, grate 1 heaping cup of zucchini.

Once you have your zucchini measured out, scoop it up and put it into a large piece of cheesecloth or paper towel. Form it into a ball, twist the top, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside until ready to use.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and coconut nectar. When the liquids are homogeneous, add in the applesauce, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar. Beat on medium until well-combined.

With the mixer off, pour in the blanched almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and cloves, if you’re using them.

Mix everything together on medium-low until no clumps of almond flour remain, about two minutes. Scrape down the bowl once or twice, if necessary.

With a spatula, gently fold in the zucchini, unsweetened shredded coconut, and raisins.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake until golden brown on top and a knife comes out clean in the center, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least an hour before removing and slicing.


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