Italian Rolls

One of our favorite local Italian restaurants serves the most delicious rolls, always hot out of the oven and served with an olive oil dipping sauce.  The last time we were there I was convinced I was going to try to duplicate those rolls.  I think this recipe is as close as I can get.  Since I make yeast breads frequently, I tweaked one of my existing recipes. .  Not a fan of making yeast breads?  Try this one – 4 ingredients in this recipe and your bread skills will go from zero to hero!  Give them a try – you will not be disappointed.  Next time I make these, grilled Italian sausages and peppers are going along with these rolls!  

 

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Italian Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1 /4 cups warm water
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • olive oil for brushing on top of rolls

Instructions

  1. If using a food processor - stir the yeast into the water and let stand for 10 minutes.  Put flour and salt in processor bowl, turn processor on and slowly add the water, if the dough is too dry, add a bit more water until it forms a ball.  Let processor knead the dough for approx. 4 minutes. 

    If using a mixer - repeat the steps above using the paddle attachment, once incorporated use the dough hook and knead for approx. 4 minutes

    If by hand - stir the yeast into the water and let stand for 10 minutes in a large bowl.  Stir in flour, one cup at a time - add the salt.  Using your hands; incorporate all of the flour, turn out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic - 8 - 10 minutes.

    Place dough in a greased bowl, let rise until double, approx. 1 hour.  Turn dough onto a floured board, divide dough into 10 equal portions, make each roll into a ball. Brush each dough ball with olive oil.  Cover the dough balls and let rest for 10 minutes.  Flour a baking sheet.  Make a deep indentation with the side of your hand in each roll down the middle, place the roll indentation side down on floured baking sheet, repeat with all of the rolls.  Cover rolls and let rise for another hour.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil another baking sheet, after they have risen, place rolls indentation side up on this sheet,   Bake rolls for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown.  To make a crisp crust, spray water three times into the oven during the first 10 minutes of baking.

 

 

Crusty Pepperoni Bread

Most quick bread recipes you see are for sweet breads, this is a savory quick bread.  Another recipe gem from a family friend.  Perfect to serve along side a bowl of soup, as an appetizer (slice thin and add to any cheese tray), or dipped in your favorite marinara sauce.  Quick, easy and exceptionally good.

pepperoni bread1

Crusty Pepperoni Bread
A hearty quick bread
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  7. 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  11. 1 cup diced pepperoni (4 oz.)
  12. 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Italian seasonings; set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and eggs at low speed until smooth. Add milk and oil; continue beating until blended. Stir in pepperoni and olives. Add liquid mixture all at one to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 inch bread pan. Bake 375 degrees for 55 - 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted come out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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Cranberry Nut Bread

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I was thumbing through my recipes and I came across another family favorite.  I remember always having Cranberry Nut Bread during the holidays.  I think my favorite memory of this bread was on skiing trips.  I grew up very close to a ski resort and every Saturday and Sunday would spend the day skiing with my friends.  My mom always packed goodies for me to eat and one of my favorites was cranberry bread slathered with cream cheese and put together as a sandwich.  These were highly sought after as my friends were always hoping she would pack extras (and she typically did).  Always great with coffee, tea or my favorite; sandiwiched with cream cheese.  Perfect to bake one for now and freeze one for later.

cranberry-nut-bread

Cranberry Nut Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups flour
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 cups sugar
  6. 2 cups chopped pecans
  7. 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (coarse chop)
  8. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  10. 2 oranges, grated then juiced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 2 - 8 1/2 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cranberries and pecans, mix. In a 2 cup measure, melt butter, add grated orange peel and juice from both oranges. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Add liquid and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide dough between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until tester comes out clean. Cool slightly and turn out of pans to finish cooling.
  3. Freezes beautifully.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Harvest Bread

After a beautiful weekend exploring the Virginia countryside, I came home and decided it was time to pull out my mom’s recipe box and find a fall recipe.  This bread features fall’s best – pumpkin, walnuts, chocolate chips and topped with a spiced glaze.  I have to add, the aroma in your kitchen while it is baking is sensational.  It embraces the best of fall, crisp weather, turning leaves, apples, pumpkins and fall spices – what more can I say – I just love the change of seasons!

harvest-bread

Harvest Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  5. 1 3/4 cup flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  11. 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  12. 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  13. Spice Glaze
  14. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  15. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  16. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  17. 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, remove from pan and top with glaze.
Notes
  1. Spice Glaze
  2. Combine powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stir in milk. Spread over warm loaf.
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Tomato Toast

I cannot walk past a display of farm fresh ripe tomatoes this time of year.  I am such a huge tomato fan, my husband is convinced that I could eat them everyday for every meal.  He is pretty much on target with that comment.  Tomato Toast is my latest tomato creation.  Crispy grilled bread, cheese filling, topped with tomato slices – perfect for an appetizer or side dish.  

tomato toast

Tomato Toast
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices of crusty bread cut 1/2 inch thick
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 large tomato, sliced
  4. 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  5. 2 tablespoons pesto
  6. 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  7. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare grill or grill pan. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Slice tomato. Combine ricotta cheese, pesto and parmesan cheese. Grill one side of bread until golden brown and crusty, turn bread slices. Spread grilled sides of bread with ricotta cheese mixture. Cover grill and heat until hot. Remove from grill. Top with sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve
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Poppyseed Orange Blueberry Bread

In my previous posts I mention our love for poppy seed bread.  Specifically because that is what I made for a picnic on the day I met my husband.  I am always trying new things with poppyseed bread.  The addition of blueberries and orange was a sweet success. 

poppyseed orange

 

Poppyseed Orange Blueberry Bread
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup milk
  2. 1/4 cup canola oil
  3. 1 egg, beaten
  4. 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  5. 1 tablespoon orange juice
  6. 1 3/4 cup flour
  7. 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine milk, oil, egg, orange peel and orange juice. Stir in dry ingredients, mix until all combined. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Pour into a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Bake 45 - 50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recently, we spent a delightful weekend in Charleston, SC.  Charleston is a great food town with lots of various eateries to try.  One of our friends recommended the Fat Hen on St. John’s Island for brunch.  After a fun evening celebrating at a wedding and a late Sunday morning start, the idea of coffee and brunch was just what we needed.  When we arrived at the Fat Hen, we were asked if we would like to start with their bakery basket.  Well, of course, we were definitely interested.  The bakery item of the day was chocolate chip muffins.  What a wonderful way to start brunch with a great cup of coffee.  I decided it was time to bake some chocolate chip muffins.  Time to brew some coffee!

chocolate chip muffins

 

 

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  2. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffins cups.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and add to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.
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Orange Twist Rolls

These yeast rolls are not your everyday rolls, these are the rolls to bake when you have a special occasion, brunch, or luncheon.  They are over the top delicious with the orange filling and orange glaze.  If you want a show stopper recipe, Orange Twist Rolls are just what you are looking for.  Serve these for breakfast or brunch, it will be hard to eat only one!

orange twist rolls

 

Orange Twist Rolls
Yields 24
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Dough ingredients
  1. 1 package active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup warm water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/2 cup sour cream
  7. 6 tablespoons melted butter
  8. 3 cups flour
  9. Filling
  10. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  11. 3/4 cup sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  13. Glaze
  14. 3/4 cup sugar
  15. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  16. 2 tablespoons orange juice
  17. 4 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. In the large bowl of electric mixer using the dough hook, combine 1/4 cup sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream, yeast mixture and butter. Add the flour and combine until a soft dough forms. Let dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead 15 times. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Combine the sugar and orange rind in a small bowl. Brush each circle with 1/2 of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of the sugar mixture. Cut the circle into 12 wedges. Roll up staring with the wide end and place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish with the points down. Repeat with the other half of dough. Cover rolls and let rise 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Top with glaze while warm.
Notes
  1. Glaze
  2. Combine the sugar, cream, orange juice, and butter in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stir constantly. Pour over the rolls when removed from the oven. Cool rolls slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Two Quick Breads

Both of these recipes are quick to prepare and are great gifts, office treats, weekend breakfast goodies, afternoon tea accompaniment, after school snack, …..

I could go on and on – let’s just say, they are terrific for any occasion.

two quick breads

 

Apricot Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 6 oz. chopped dried apricots
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  6. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1 cup water
  8. 6 tablespoons shortening
  9. 1 egg, beaten
  10. 2 cups flour
  11. 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with foil. In a medium saucepan, cook apricots, sugar, spices and water over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in shortening. Cool completely. Blend in egg. Combine flour and baking soda, add to fruit mixture and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely.
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Cinnamon Sour Cream Bread
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Ingredients
  1. Bread
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  7. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup sour cream
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  11. Topping
  12. 1/2 cup sugar
  13. 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  14. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
  2. Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in sour cream and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture.
  4. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan, top with 1/2 of the topping. Repeat with dough and finish with topping. Bake 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.
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Baked Doughnuts

Every once in awhile it is fun to make something unexpected.  Baked Doughnuts are the perfect thing to make when you want to experiment in the kitchen and serve an unexpected delight.  I want to think these are a bit healthier than traditional fried doughnuts since these are baked.   So, when you want to make something special, these are the perfect treat!

baked doughnuts

 

Baked Doughnuts
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Ingredients
  1. 2 packages active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 1 1/2 lukewarm milk
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/3 cup shortening
  10. 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
  11. 1/4 cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add warm milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs, shortening and two cups flour. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl frequently. Beat for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until smooth (start with 4 1/2 cups flour and add additional until you have a smooth dough). Cover and let rise in a warm place or until double (50 - 60 minutes). Turn dough onto floured board, knead lightly until smooth. Dough will be soft. Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out with doughnut cutter or two different sizes of round cutters (inside cutter should be about the size of a thimble). Lift cut-out doughnuts to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise until double in size approx.20 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. After doughnuts have doubled in size, bake 8 - 10 minutes. Brush with additional butter after baking and shake in cinnamon sugar, plain sugar or confectioner's sugar. Makes approx. 2 dozen.
Notes
  1. Bake your doughnuts holes too, just watch when baking and remove from the baking sheet as soon are they are golden brown. They will cook much quicker than your doughnuts.
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