Savory Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread

pumpkin bread

Savory Pumpkin Bread (No-knead)

3 cups AP Flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree*
1 Tbsp grated parmesan*
1 1/2 tsps sea salt
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp ground sage*

Mix all ingredients in large bowl until all blended. It should be sticky but add a little flour if it is too wet. 
Place in a large bowl lined with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Leave over night.  In morning, scoop out dough and stretch, pull, fold and turn a few times.  Place in bowl lined with parchment.  Leave for an hour.  Within half an hour place a Dutch oven (covered pot) in oven at 450F and leave for remaining 30 minutes.  Remove Dutch oven from oven and carefully place dough (and parchment) into the hot pot.  Cover and put in oven for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until golden (it will be a golden orange from the pumpkin). 

Serve with butter.  
Savory pumpkin bread

*Next time I will add slightly more pumpkin, Parmesan cheese and sage.  Have to be careful with ground sage as it can be quite overpowering.  I’d probably add another 1/4 cup of pumpkin, 2-3 more tablespoons of parmesan and 1/4-1/2 tsp more ground sage.   I’ll experiment with increments until I find it just right. It was delicious, just mild. 


Rosemary Olive Bread

Yesterday's Rosemary Olive Bread

Yesterday’s Rosemary Olive Bread

Yesterday I baked a white loaf for a friend who’d recently had surgery.  Since it was a crummy day and the oven was hot I decided to make some more bread; just something a bit different.  I came up with this recipe and tried to duplicate it today without the bread maker (which I used just to mix/knead the dough) and I’d used the last of the potato flour yesterday.  Today’s was a bit different, but really didn’t matter too much as they were both delicious! 

Today's Rosemary Olive Bread

Today’s Rosemary Olive Bread

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Spinach Bread just like from Frances’s Bakery

I grew up in a town which had a fabulous family-owned bakery, Frances’s Bakery.  We loved their breads, cakes, pies, cookies, brownies but most of all their spinach bread.  The bread was stuffed with tons of tasty, garlicy and cheesey spinach and was my way of finally eating spinach as a kid.  I’d start with the ends which had a higher bread to spinach ratio than the rest of the loaf.  And as I got older I’d forgo the ends for the most spinach middle pieces.  We’d often pick up two loaves at a time, one with meat (salami and ham)and one without.  When I had kids of my own we’d stop off there and pick up a spinach bread and bring it over to my mother’s house.  The same family owned it and would still hand out rainbow cookies to my kids— until a few years ago they sold it.  After that the quantity and quality went down and the new owners stopped getting our business.

So, with so much spinach from my CSA last week I decided to try my hand at making my own spinach bread.  I searched for recipes online but didn’t really find anything that I was looking for, so I thought I’d just wing it. 

For the amount of spinach to use, you want good amount in bread & once it cooks it decreases in volume.  So start off with a generous amount.


Spinach Bread

2 cups flour (½ cup whole wheat, 3 ½ cups all purpose)

½ tsp salt

¼ yeast

1 cup water

4-6 cups fresh spinach

2 cloves garlic, minced

handful shredded mozzarella

handful shredded parmesan

salt & pepper

olive oil

Mix flour, salt, yeast and water together until gooey.  Either knead on well floured surface and let rise for 2 hours or leave covered in oiled bowl overnight to rise.  Stretch out dough so it’s about 1/3 inch thick rectangle.  Let rest on parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Steam the cleaned and de-stemmed spinach until wilted.  Drain well.  Sauté garlic with 1 tsp olive oil until cooked but not brown.  Add spinach back to garlic & oil.  Mix well and then squeeze out excess liquid. Chop spinach so it’s easy to bite. 

Brush olive oil on dough and spread spinach, mozzarella & parmesan all over except edges.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Optional fresh or dried basil, oregano or tiny bit of nutmeg.   Using parchment paper, grab side & pull, should help roll dough/spinach into loaf.  Cut away excess parchment.

Place on cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool slightly and cut into pieces to serve.

It worked and the boys loved it too!  I brought it to friend’s house and they too loved it.  I decided to make again this week (had even more spinach!) with all white flour and brought it over to another friend’s home.  It was a huge hit.  The boys ran to grab a piece before it was all gone!

Can be served hot, warm or cold!

Bread again

I’ve fallen in love with making bread.  I can’t believe it.  I really truly never made bread more than once or twice in my life (besides things like banana “bread” which is really cake) before this year.  An inside joke with one of my girlfriends from Dunedin, NZ… “I’ve never made bread with milk before.”…long pause… “I’ve never made bread!” I am not an Atkins Diet sort of person, or any diet sort of person for that matter, and I couldn’t imagine my life without carbs. 
I have started a sour dough “starter:”, but considering I rarely have time for this blog and never seem to get my laundry done, I haven’t had the moment I need to dedicate to sour dough bread.  But now I’ve found a perfect dry yeast.  Rapunzel Rize Organic Active Dry Yeast.  (I don’t get anything for endorsing them, I’m just sharing) I bought it at Whole Foods and can’t believe the difference it’s made in my breads.  I could tell the moment I opened the package, the waft of yeast hit my nose —I knew this one was for real.  And the bread is airier yet still substantial and the taste is phenomenal.

First two times I made it with some ground spelt and then I made it with just organic all-purpose flour.  Really, it’s so easy using this recipe I blogged about before and oh, so good. Hard crust, soft and chewy inside. My kids love to eat it fresh from the oven plain or with a touch of butter. 

A Day of Baking

We have new neighbors so I made some cookies and bars to bring over to them; welcome them. They haven’t moved in yet, doing renovations, but the builder was there and put them in the fridge. I got a message that did get them at least, just have to wait to meet them.

I made the Apricot In-Betweens my friend blogged about here. I actually made 3/4 of the pan with apricot and put chocolate chips in the other 1/4. Both tasted great.

I thought of making some chocolate cookies but didn’t have the patience (nor time) to make most recipes- melting chocolate and then chilling the dough for a couple of hours when there was a ton of housework calling out to me, just didn’t seem like the best idea. So, chocolate chip cookies are an easy thing to make. But still I wanted something, more… I found it in the form of Ghirardelli’s White Mocha Hot Chocolate Mix. I made the recipe (but just half) from just the back of a Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chip package but substituted the White Mocha mix for the white sugar. It was subtle but delicious, especially when still warm from the oven.

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt       

1/2 tsp baking soda

Set aside. 

Mix until creamy:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Ghirardelli’s White Mocha mix

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

Add 1 egg and beat.

Mix in dry ingredients.

Stir in 1/2 package chocolate chips (about 6-8 oz)

Place rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 375F (preheated) for 8-10 minutes.  Makes about two dozen cookies.


I also mixed the ingredients together for the No-Knead Bread I posted here.  It’s best to mix the dough the day before you’re baking it.  I made this one with regular flour and just a Tbsp of ground flax-seed.  Yum!  Really, such a great method.  I never used to bake bread, now I make it all the time!

Homemade Bread- No Knead

Last week I mentioned my desire to make bread for the kids (and me, love my carbs!) but didn’t have the time to make the no knead recipe I’d seen by Mark Bittman in the NY Times.  It comes from the Sullivan St Bakery and found on their site.  Since I had planned it out this time around I could make it. 

I am not a huge baker and like to cook because I can improvise; in baking it’s very important to follow directions.  I guess I just have a hard time doing that, even here.  So, I decided to use 1/3 Spelt flour  and 2/3 unbleached wheat flour.  I also looked up some yeast starter recipes too becuase I love a good sour dough.  I didn’t have the time to let the yeast ferment but I started it ahead of the rest of the mixing.  I took 1/3 of the flour mixture, the yeast, one cup of water and a teaspoon of organic cane sugar.  I let it sit in a warm place in a glass container for a couple of hours.  Then I mixed the rest of the flour, salt and water in with my starter.  For the first 8 or so hours the day was warm and I let the dough rise in the calphalon dutch as directed, but when I woke up the next day to turn/pull it I noticed how the sudden temperature drop affected the rising, it had sunk a little. 

This is the pre-oven state.  It never regained that really puffy state because it wasn’t as warm, but when I got it out of the oven, saw the golden top, cut it, and smelled the waft of fresh yeasty bread, I was so thrilled.  The taste totally lived up to the sight and smell.  And my kids loved it!  So did everyone lucky enough to have a taste—a friend I brought a taste to, my husband and I.  

If you see from the recipe, it does not take a lot of hands-on time.  Plus you can give your kids the most wholesome hard-crusted, soft-centered bread without the unnecessary vitamins (if they eat well, you don’t need fortified bread, cereal, oj, etc, etc.) and other ingredients.

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