Some Bread Baking Tips:
For the best bread, use the freshest ingredients that are at room temperature.
Measure your ingredients correctly. Use a dry measuring cup to measure the dry ingredients and use a glass or plastic liquid measuring cup to measure the liquids.
Do not scoop the flour with the measuring cup. You will end up using too much flour and the loaf will be heavy. Instead, use a spoon to lift the flour out of the container and into the measuring cup. Do not tap or shake the cup to put more flour into it. Simply level the top with a knife.
Don’t try to cut the loaf of bread right away, wait at least 15 minutes, so that you don’t tear the crust.
Quick breads will taste better if you wait until the next day to cut them.
Place the pans several inches apart on the center oven rack when baking the breads.
Oven temperatures may vary, so check your loaves about 10 minutes before the recipe says they should be done.
If the loaves are browning excessively, remove them from the oven, make an aluminum foil ‘tent’ to shield them and then return them to the oven.
Internal temperature should be between 190°F-205°F for completely baked loaves.
This is a great time of year to bake up some of these breads to have on hand for breakfast or for entertaining.
Whole Wheat Walnut Bread
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups water (start with the smaller amount)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
In the large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and mix until dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.
Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and supple.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and shape into 8-inch log. Tuck ends under as you place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the bread to rise for about 90 minutes until domed about 1-inch above edge of pan.
Bake the bread in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and an instant read thermometer registers 190 degrees F at the center of the loaf.
When done, remove bread from the pan and cool on wire rack.
Almond Yellow Squash Bread
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup shredded yellow squash
- 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Spray an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
In a smaller bowl combine eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and mix well.
Fold in the squash and almonds.
Spread the mixture in the baking pan.
Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or an instant read thermometer registers 190 degrees F at the center of the loaf, about 50-70 minutes.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes; then remove the bread from the pan and continue cooling on the wire rack.
Cranberry Pecan Bread
- 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup spelt or quinoa flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats, uncooked
- 1/2 cup sweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
Coat an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, oats, applesauce and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and thoroughly combine them. Mix in the cranberries and pecans. It should have a consistency a little thicker than pancake batter.
Pour the dough into the loaf pan.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the loaf’s center comes out dry or an instant read thermometer registers 190 degrees F at the center of the loaf.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let it cool before slicing.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
Brown Rice Flour Blend:
Whisk together 6 cups (28 1/2 ounces) brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups brown rice flour blend, recipe above
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup raisins, otional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x 5″ loaf pan.
Whisk together the eggs, honey, pumpkin purée and oil. Set aside.
Whisk together the brown rice flour blend, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and spices.
Add the egg mixture about half at a time, whisking until combined after each addition. Stir in nuts and raisins, if using.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes, until the middle springs back when lightly touched.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely for easy slicing.
Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Italian Hazelnut Bread
- 9 ounces lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup toasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
- 3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place all the ingredients. Using the paddle attachment mix until a rough dough forms and all the flour is moistened.
Switch to the dough hook. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic; it should clear the sides of the bowl.
Add the hazelnuts and mix just until integrated into the dough.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, about 60 minutes.
Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment. Preheat the oven to 475º F.
Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold the dough over itself, as though you were folding a letter: 1/3 over the center, then the opposite 1/3 over that.
Lastly, fold dough in half again, perpendicular to the first folds (like you’re folding the letter in half) and shape into a round ball. Transfer to the prepared pan.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes. Using a sharp serrated knife with as little pressure as possible, make a slash lengthwise along the top of the loaf.
Spray or sprinkle dough with water and transfer to the hot oven.
Bake at 475º F for 10 minutes and spray with water again. Reduce the oven temperature to 425º F, and continue to bake for about 30 minutes more, or until deep golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 200º F. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.