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Grainfree Bread from Against All Grain

2 Feb

It’s a dreary, wet Monday morning and New England has, once again, fooled the world into thinking it’s a reasonable corner of the universe. That doesn’t spell good news for the rest of the week.

Luckily, the doom and gloom is balanced by this sounds-sweet-but-is-actually-savory bread. It sounds a bit bizarre, but the cashew butter really does give it that kind-of salty, mostly-neutral taste of actual sliced bread, and, if you toast it, the texture is spot-on for a sandwich.

photo 1

I used this recipe exactly from Against All Grain (a really brilliant paleo/gluten free/sugar free recipe source), though mine didn’t rise as high or come out as white as hers did. The whole thing took less than 20 minutes to assemble, and it really did get better as the week progressed. This recipe is MrKef approved, so gluten lovers should enjoy it, too.photo 3Be sure to check out Danielle’s original post, as she has some great notes on baking that I have not transcribed here.

GrainFree Blender Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 c cashew butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 0.5- to 2 TBS honey
  • 2.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 0.25 c almond milk
  • 0.25 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25  tsp sea salt

Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F (actually do this ahead of time because otherwise the eggwhites will fall when the baking soda activates).  Line the bottom of an 8.5×4.5 glass loaf pan with parchment paper (or jerry rig a silicon mat to do the same, as I did in first pic above), and grease sides very lightly with coconut oil.
  2. Using either the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or an electric mixer, beat together cashew butter and egg yolks, then add the honey, vinegar, and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until peaks form.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in another small bowl.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and beat until combined, making sure to get all the sticky cashew butter so you don’t have clumps later. You will have a wet batter, not a traditional bread dough.
  6. Add egg whites into the cashew butter mixture, and beat again until just combined. We’re not trying to fold them in, per se, but don’t go crazy and overwork it.
  7. Pour batter into pan, and bake immediately for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and passes the toothpick test. Cool for at least 15 minutes, then use a knife to loosen sides and remove bread from pan. Cool for another hour before serving. This bread is best served toasted.

Honey Yeast Rolls with Maple Butter

2 Dec

And suddenly, it’s December! How wild. I’ve got a billion things to do before the end of the day, so sadly I’ve got to keep the KefChat to a minimum–but once you get these certified-awesome rolls in your mouth, you won’t want to be talking, anyway.

photo(3)I followed this recipe down to the last tablespoon of real, live, gluten-FILLED flour. If I’m gonna taste test something smothered in gluten, it’s gotta be worth it–I made it three times and it always resulted in perfect bready smell, taste, and texture. Hope you enjoy it too.

Honey Yeast Rolls with Maple Butter

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 c warm water (105-115° F)
  • ¼ c honey
  • 3 TBS canola oil
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 c bread flour
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS pure maple syrup
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Assembly

  1. Stir the yeast and water together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the honey, oil, salt, and egg on medium speed until well-combined. Add 3 cups of flour to the bowl and mix on low speed until the dough forms a wet and shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook and with the mixer on low speed, add up to another ½ cup of flour a couple tablespoons at a time. Continue to knead for another 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to proof in a warm space until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  3. Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch round baking or pie dish. On a well-floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds. Shape it into a ball and let rest, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for 10 minutes. Punch the down the dough, divide it into 10 or 12 equal-sized pieces (a kitchen scale works great for this) and arrange them in the prepared baking dish, leaving a little space between each one. Cover again with the kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for 20-30 minutes. The rolls will puff slightly but will not double.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F. Melt the butter and stir in the maple syrup until evenly combined. Brush the melted maple butter over the tops of the rolls and sprinkle the rolls lightly with a little sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Lay a piece of foil lightly over the rolls and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. The center of the rolls should register 190° F on an instant read thermometer. It’s critical to check the temperature because the tops of the rolls may look like the rolls are cooked through, when in fact they are not. Note that the salt may brown a bit – the sugar in the maple syrup will cause this to happen but this will not affect the flavor.
  5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush the rolls again with the remainder of the melted maple butter. Allow the rolls to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Raspberry FIG Challah

28 Aug

IMG_1927.JPG

I said pretty much all there is to say about this amazing weekend yesterday– luckily, now we have some scrum-dilly-icious bread to talk about today!

I found this delicious jam-laced challah idea over at Girl v. Dough. In addition to this amazing recipe, she is a great resource for making bread and I highly suggest you head on over there for some great tips and tricks. I followed her bread instructions exactly but subbed the jam for one without all the sugar–y’all already KNOW I think this FIG jam is the business. (Confused about the mid-sentence caps? recall this). I did a test run two weeks ago and have to admit that even I, Ms. Gluten-Free-Even-Though-I’m-Not-Allergic, ate half a loaf.

This bread is NinjaKef approved, and JetSet suggests smothering it in peanut butter. Though you should be warned that this may result in your looking like this:

photo 2-11

She’s normal. He ain’t. Not a lot more I can say about that.

Since I used someone else’s recipe directly I won’t commit recipe plagiarism–just go right on over here and check it out!

photo 3-7

Runner’s Low and Boozy Blueberry Banana Bread

30 Jun

Eventually, we’re gonna get to this:

photo 2(1)But first, I have some whining to get out of the way.

Coming off the runner’s high of the RnR Half and delving right into another intense training cycle for the NYC Tri may not have been my best idea. Actually–scratch that. Delving right into another intense training cycle while ignoring the basic tenets of training was definitely not my best idea.

Rest, stretch, listen to your body, they say. And what do I say? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don’t feel like resting, no time for stretching, and my body says another mile is a really great idea.

This training cycle has proven in exactly how many ways an attitude like that can (and will!) come back to bite me in my big ol’ butt. First there was an MPL sprain in early April. Next, more fueling issues in May. June brought some high temps, hydration woes that I can’t get into, and finally a nasty muscle pull in my lower leg that had me limping around. And then, because the triathlon Gods hate me, I woke up on Friday with a summer cold just as everything else was resolving. How cruel it is that people sitting on their couch eating bonbons have to wait 50 years for the error of their ways to catch up with them, while those of us trying to do something about the American obesity epidemic get rained on with instant ramifications. Granted I’d rather a pulled calf muscle than a CABG surgery–but the point remains.

I’ve had some really good training weeks, and I know that when push comes to shove I can complete the course and will have fun. I’m mostly frustrated by this up-and-down training experience, which pretty much leaves me feeling like this:

Gone_crazy

For awhile there I was riding the runner’s low, and that hole got pretty deep and dark. But I woke up this morning and decided to bump that, as a bad attitude isn’t going to get me across the finish line any faster.  For all of you who enjoyed the picture-perfect running weather this weekend, I’m gonna let yall enjoy it… but I’m still gonna pass you in the swim.

And with that, I present you this really amazing boozy blueberry banana bread that would fool any gluten and sugar lover. This recipe comes from the fancy folks at So Let’s Hang Out, and I cannot wait to make this bread again–perhaps I’ll even give someone else a slice next time!

PS: I’m looking for some guest bloggers! Check out the details here if you want to be part of the fun.

Boozy Banana Bread that Makes Up for a Bad Run

Ingredientsphoto 1(1)

  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBS spiced rum
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan (or two mini loaf pans) with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a food processor until smooth.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour into loaf pan(s) and smooth with a spatula.

4a. Optional: combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of loaf.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of loaves), or until center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.  Use the parchment paper to lift your loaf out and allow the bread to cool in the parchment paper for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Greek Easter 2014: Part II

23 Apr

Previously, on Cooking Up Kefi…

JetSet and I were at Grandpa Joe’s house, and the situation was this:

The kitchen was a disaster

IMG_0110My brother and I were getting into all kinds of nose-picking-selfie shenanigans

IMG_0115the Mets were losing, and Grandpa Joe was napping. So… it was pretty much business as usual.           IMG_0120 Somehow, all of this pulled itself together and some Easter miracles occured. Namely:

the spanakopita (recipe later this week), which is always the very first thing we make,

IMG_0117some new lamb keftedes WITH DRIED APRICOTS (recipe also coming this week),

IMG_0121 - Copythe gluten-free picnic pie that was so good I ate it with my non-driving hand the whole way home,

IMG_0122JetSet’s painstaking, time consuming labor of love: eggplant keftedes-cum-casserole,

IMG_0119gluten-free/sugar-free koulourakia,

IMG_0124tsoureki that didn’t quite make it through MixMonster Kef’s crash course + eggs made by my Godmother,

2014-04-20 13.17.47the beet salad to end all beet salads (and finally pictured half-way decently here!),

2014-04-20 13.17.53Francesca’s Orange-Dijon potatoes,

2014-04-20 13.36.15

and Paulatimi’s Five-Ingredient Wonder.2014-04-20 12.58.50

Not bad for two days work, eh?

MamaKef put the finishing touches on her salad

2014-04-20 13.03.34while JetSet poured us mugs of wine.

2014-04-20 13.42.01And then ANOTHER Easter miracle happened– my Aunt said that JetSet “always looks like Justin Timberlake.” Indeed, he has risen.

2014-04-20 13.51.07AND I STILL HAVEN’T TOLD YOU ABOUT THE BAKLAVA!

2014-04-19 17.58.08  IMG_0130Okay so baklava is pretty much always good–it’s flaky dough painted with butter and butter and butter (and then some more butter) and layered with sugar, spices and nuts. How is it possible to improve on such a good thing?

2014-04-20 14.38.52Well, if you use this awesome, creamy honey and finally heed the advice of every Greek on the face of the planet, your results will improve. What advice, you ask? The hot-to-cold principle, which states that if you have hot baklava you must have cold syrup, or vice versa. We did cold syrup to hot baklava (instead of hot syrup AND hot baklava) and the results were stupendous.

How good, you ask?

In case that testimonial isn’t good enough for you, my phenomenal Grandma Rita put it best:

2014-04-20 14.59.52“That’s baklava so good you have to eat the crumbs off your boob!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: just TRY and tell me your grandma is better than mine. You’re fighting a losing battle there.

We had a stupendous meal full of the two major food groups: laughs and carbs. Grandma Rita made stuffed peppers (very sadly not pictured here) and Aunt Tina supplied the hardboiled eggs. A GREAT time was had by all.

No family gathering is complete with out a selfie– Ellen, you and Lupita have nothing on us!

IMG_0132 - CopySadly, the weekend had to end and I had to leave the la-la land of my family’s loving glow.

JetSet and I took one last photo (this one remiss of spinach and flour) and then I headed off into the sunset.

IMG_0134 - Copy

This is a record-setting post, so I’ll cut it off here– I had the most delightful weekend with my family. Our Greekness is so very, very much your weakness.

Three Ingredient Paleo Naan

20 Mar

This three ingredient naan is pretty awesome. We followed the recipe exactly–what she doesn’t tell you is that you have to cook it for 10-12 minutes to get it fully cooked, but it is worth the wait. CousinKef and I were happily gluten free, and BFKef and ManCave Kef didn’t seem to mind one bit. Check and check.

photo(8)

Would love to chat… but the beach is calling. Sorry not sorry. #DutyHonorMiami

Paleo Naan

Ingredients

  • ½ c almond flour
  • ½ c tapioca flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • butter/oil for cooking

Assembly

1. Mix everything together.

2. Heat butter/oil in saute pan over med-high heat. Pour desired amount into pan, use metal spatula to flip after 4-5 minutes or so. Cook until both sides are browned and firm.

Irish Soda Bread for your Snow Day

17 Mar

I’m generally not really into St. Patrick’s Day, but I am realllllly into Irish Soda Bread.  So if, like me, SPD 2014 nearly passed you by without so much as one green beer, here’s a quick and easy recipe you can make with ingredients you almost certainly already have in your fridge– no trek to an overcrowded grocery store required. BFKef and I loved this bread, especially with egg and cheese piled in between two slices.

photo(2)They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day… but naturally I went the other way and found an Irish soda bread recipe that honors Hellenic heritage, too. In addition to being quick, easy, and delicious,  this Irish soda bread has a secret Greek ingredient: yogurt! So to all the Greek-Americans with a little bit of Irish in them, this St. Patrick’s Day creation is for you.

I followed this recipe exactly and added raisins. My gluten free/sugar free subs are below.

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 c flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar (I used coconut)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c golden raisins
  • 1.5 c whole milk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (FIBBYDY)

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and raisins. In another bowl, whisk together milk and yogurt until fully combined. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir using a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy dough.
  3. Lightly flour your counter or a piece of wax paper, press the dough into a loose ball, and lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes on your work surface. You want the dough to be pliable and not too sticky. Reform the dough into a ball and throw it on your prepared baking sheet. Cut an X into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
  4. Find a large mixing bowl that is twice the size of your dough ball and is OVEN PROOF  (I used my large Pyrex mixing bowl– you will know it is oven proof because it will say on the bottom) and place it on top of the dough to help keep dough moist and to avoid burning. Bake for 30 minutes with the bowl covering the dough. Remove the bowl and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.
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