I'm calling this post "Adventures in Pesto Bread" because the although the recipe for pesto is ready to go, the recipe for the bread aspect of it needs some tweaking. It's mostly because I don't have an enriched white bread recipe that I'm 100% happy with. I have basic white recipes and a whole slew of oatmeal and whole wheat recipes that I bake on a weekly rotation, but the enriched white still eludes me.
Maybe I'm too picky but I want the bread to be soft and almost peel-able but still have structure for add-ins (such as pesto) and I want it to be flavorful but not too sweet. This version is soft and strong but a little bit too sweet and a little bit rich/heavy on the butter/oil.
Overall the bread was delicious..really really delicious. It's pesto swirled inside homemade bread how could it not be tasty? But something was not exactly what I was looking for and I know that it was because I haven't paired it up with the right bread dough yet. Guess I better make a few more batches (not exactly a terrible fate)
The pesto itself was amazing in the way that only homemade pesto can be. In fact, out of the container that I made for bread recipe experiments over 3/4s of it made it's way into my lunches and dinners and even on my eggs in the morning. Looks like I will also have to make more pesto
Good thing it's ridiculously easy to make. Just need fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil and a handy-dandy food processor (is it wrong to be in love with a piece of kitchen equipment??)
I already have a recipe on this blog for oatmeal buttermilk bread, and it's a pretty tasty recipe at that. It was my go-to loaf for quite some time and no matter what I'm sure that I'll keep making it occasionally.
However, the best part about making bread is how many amazing recipes there are out there for everyday loaves. How can I commit to one oatmeal buttermilk loaf when there are so many others out there begging to be tried? I was so pleased with how all the loaves that I've made with this recipe have turned out. I am a sucker for a tall loaf with a soft crumb that toasts up perfectly.
When you bake bread with oatmeal is it very important to use old fashioned or large flake oats. They absorb more water than the instant or quick oats so make sure that you have the right ones. If you try to bake with quick oats you'll end up with a tasty but sort of sad and lumpy looking loaf that is going to hurt your feelings when you pull it out of the oven.
You want to open your oven and be greeted by a beautiful tall loaf of bread, not a flat-ish lumpy thing that makes you go "oh...hope that thing is edible".
The right oats = beautiful bread.
This bread is my new favorite loaf to make. It surpassed all of my coconut expectations and is the perfect combination of soft sweet white bread and buttery coconut filling. It's delicious fresh from the oven, toasts up perfectly with a sugary coco-nutty crust, and stays soft and delicious for a few days afterwards as well.
I wanted to make sure there was as much coconut flavor packed into the loaf as possible so the regular milk was replaced with creamy coconut milk.
Over a year and a half ago I decided that I wanted to bake all of my own bread. Before that I had been eating a combination of store bought bread, bread maker bread, and the occasional loaf of bread from the oven. I was armed with two of Peter Rienhart's bread books and felt that I could fit fresh homemade bread into my weekly routine without too much hassle.
Since then I have baked a good portion of the recipes from both The Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) and Artisan Breads Everyday (ABE) . The breads in ABE fit seamlessly into my schedule because most of the doughs are mixed up the day before and rise in the fridge overnight. I would get home from work, shape the loaves, let them rise, and bake them in the evening.
The more bread you bake the more you start understanding how the dough should feel and how it will react to substitutions and adjustments. Now I usually play around with recipes to add more whole grains or change the flavor.
I go through phases with the types of bread I like to bake and lately I've only been interested in whole grains or breads that I can turn into multigrain loaves. However this loaf that I've been baking lately is delicious (and beautiful) enough to lure me away from whole grains for a week or two.
It's 100% semolina bread that bakes up soft and golden and delicious. I had never used semolina before and I couldn't be more pleased with how this loaf turned out.
Sometimes bread baked with 100% whole wheat or whole grains turns out dense and a slightly bitter. I wanted a sandwich loaf that would be light, soft, easily sliceable, and delicious.
The starting point for this recipe was King Arthur Flour's whole wheat sandwich loaf. When I first tried their recipe I was very happy with the soft texture but not really sold on the flavor. I started trying different flours and doughs until (after many bakes) I came up with this loaf which has become a weekly staple. Its 100% whole wheat swirled with dark rye and caraway seed dough that bakes up soft and flavorful thanks to the addition of potato flakes and buttermilk.
I like to test my bread recipes over and over to make sure that the dough behaves relatively consistently. I recently had a fun fun baking date with Jacinthe and Rachele which I used as an opportunity to try out this recipe in another kitchen.
The rye dough is a mix of whole wheat and dark rye with caraway seeds and coco powder. The coco doesn't make the break chocolatey, it just adds extra flavor to the loaf and some extra colour to the rye. Both doughs have potato flakes, orange juice, and buttermilk in them. Potato flakes are just the stuff that you make instant mashed potatoes out of. Make sure you buy the plain ones though and not the ones with added fake flavors like sour cream and chive!