Soft French Bread

As a child, my family lived as expats in Europe. A favorite memory of mine is visiting the local bakeries, where I saw loaves of baguette bread dotting the shelves. Most of the loaves were narrow and crispy on the outside with a soft, pillowy middle. When we moved back to the United States, I found a different type of the bread that we call “French” bread. This American version was larger, not as crispy and had a super soft middle. American-style French bread can be found in many grocery store bakeries and is not typically hard or crispy like a baguette. This soft French bread is light, airy, soft and downright delicious. We love it for a weeknight dinner and use leftovers for French toast in the morning. It’s also perfect to dip into fondue or to slice for the toaster.

Use Bread Flour for Soft French Bread

I never used to keep bread flour on hand, thinking that I could make all my baked goods from the cheaper all-purpose flour available on every grocery store shelf. This worked for a time, but as soon as I started using bread flour in bread, surprise, surprise…my bread turned out a whole lot better. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. The protein content in flour affects the development of gluten strands. When making scones or waffles, you don’t want to develop gluten strands, so a low-protein flour (soft wheat) will produce the best baked good. When baking bread on the other hand, you want to develop gluten strands. These strands trap the air as the dough rises and gives the baked bread a light, fluffy, chewy texture. Can you use all-purpose flour in this recipe? You can. But starting with a good bread flour is setting you up for the best loaf of bread you can produce.

Coconut Oil: A Secret Ingredient

The key to a super soft, tender French bread that has a longer shelf-life? Coconut oil. I love using coconut oil in place of the neutral-flavored oil in this bread. It gives the softest interior texture, and we can’t taste any coconut flavor. If you are highly sensitive to coconut flavor, use 2 Tablespoons neutral-flavored oil and 2 Tablespoons coconut oil to get the closest result. Coconut oil should be melted and at room temperature before adding it to the bread. Make sure it is not too hot (you may have to heat the coconut oil to melt it a bit) so it doesn’t kill the yeast.

Kneading Soft French Bread

Soft French bread dough can be kneaded by hand, but I love making this bread in a Bosch Mixer. The Bosch has a very powerful motor, which means it can knead bread for a long, long time. Check out this NutriMill Artiste for a more affordable version of a Bosch. You can also use a KitchenAid, though it is not my go-to for dough kneading. If you use a KitchenAid be careful that you don’t burn out the motor while kneading (check that it’s not overheating). Once all the ingredients are mixed together, I like to set a timer and let this dough knead for about 8 minutes. Then let the dough rest for 15 minutes until it is slightly puffy and knead it back down for about 20 seconds. Do you have to add in this step? No, but I have made it both ways and this additional knead down/gluten-strengthening makes for an extra-chewy, light and springy crumb. At that point, cover the dough and let rise until doubled or even tripled in size.

Shaping Loaves

Once the French bread dough has risen, turn it out onto a countertop. I like using one of these pastry mats on top of my kitchen counter. The measurements are so helpful. Divide the dough into two large portions. To make the loaves even, you can weigh them to help make them exactly the same size. Starting with one piece of dough, spread it out into a rectangle shape using your fingers. The shape should be a little smaller than the size of the baking sheet. Roll up the dough, pinching in the seams as you go. Pinch the dough closed and flip it over, seam-side down. Lightly push the ends under the dough if needed to give it a uniform shape. Place the shaped loaf on one side of the baking sheet. Repeat the shaping process with the other piece of dough and place on the other side of the baking sheet. Cover and let rise again until puffed up and just about doubled in size.

Press your finger lightly into the dough after its second rise. If it springs back, it needs more time to rise. If it springs back just a bit but leaves a small indentation, it is ready to bake!

Score French Bread with a Bread Lame

I used to think bread lames were only for sourdough bread. Not true! A bread lame is a great tool to have in your kitchen to score the top of bread bowls, French bread and of course sourdough too. I love the UFO bread lame for scoring bread but this one from Amazon gets a lot of use too. My best tip for scoring bread: be quick, concise and have confidence!

So You Want a Crispy Crust?

Sometimes you want that crispy crust that you find in European bakeries. The best way to mimic that with this recipe is to throw a couple ice cubes into the pre-heated oven right before baking this bread. The ice cubes will melt, produce steam and give a nice crispy crust to your soft French bread. The crust will soften over time a bit but it’s a great way to get that crisp crust if you want it.

So what are you waiting for? This super soft French bread can be made start to finish in about 2.5 hours. My whole family loves it, especially right out of the oven when I top it with melted butter. Enjoy!

Looking for a sourdough version of Soft French Bread? You can find that here.

Can I substitute All Purpose Flour for the bread flour?

This bread is best with bread flour. You can substitute all purpose flour but won’t have quite the same spring and chew as you do with bread flour. Add a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to your all purpose flour to help mimic bread flour if you have it on hand.

I don’t have Coconut Oil. Can I use Olive Oil?

You can use any neutral-flavored oil in this soft french bread. My personal preference is coconut oil followed by vegetable or canola oil.

How do you store extra bread?

Extra bread?! Ha! We do usually have some extra. I slice and freeze any extra bread we have. I’ll pull out the frozen bread, thaw it and use it for french toast, garlic bread or we make sandwiches from it too.

Does this recipe double well?

This recipe does double well to make 4 loaves of soft french bread. Give one to a friend. Freeze a couple for dinner or enjoy over a couple days. A double recipe works well in a Bosch Mixer. Doubling it may be a little too much for a KitchenAid.

Soft French Bread

Light, airy, soft and delicious french bread. This bread is the perfect side to a weeknight dinner or makes great french toast. We love dipping it in fondue or slicing for toast.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

  • 2.5 cups warm water temperature of baby's bathwater
  • 1 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup neutral flavored oil or coconut oil (see recipe notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 5 1/2-6 cups bread flour see note

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water, instant yeast and honey. Let sit until it smells yeasty and is a little foamy (this shows you that your yeast is active).
  • Add the oil, salt and 5 cups of bread flour. Knead together and a little bit more flour as needed until you can pinch off a piece of dough and roll it up into a ball with only a little bit of sticky residue left on your fingers. The dough will probably need 5 1/2 to 6 cups of flour. Start on the lower end and work your way up so as not to over-flour the dough Knead in between additions of flour. If the dough needs more flour, add flour 1/4 cup at a time until slightly tacky. More tips for how to tell when dough is ready here.
  • Once the flour has all been added and the dough is at the right consistency, knead with a dough hook for about 8 minutes. Set a timer and let the dough knead for the full eight minutes to achieve perfect elasticity and gluten development.
  • After eight minutes of kneading, let the dough sit for 15 minutes in the mixer. It will expand and rise a bit. Stir down the dough after 15 minutes by kneading for 20 seconds.
  • Transfer the dough to a dough container (affiliate link) and let the dough rise again for about an hour until doubled or tripled in size.
  • Turn dough out onto the counter and cut into two pieces. With your fingers, press each piece into a rectangle shape (not quite as long as your baking sheet). Roll up, pinching in the seams as you go. Pinch the dough closed and place on one half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other portion of dough.
  • Cover the shaped dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour until puffy and doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using a bread lame or sharp knife, score the loaves.
  • For a crispier crust: Throw a handful of ice cubes into the oven loaves putting the bread into the oven to bake. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  • Brush with melted butter and let cool before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Bread Flour: If you don’t have bread flour on hand, you can substitute 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus 2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten will increase the protein content and improve the elasticity, crust and crumb of the dough making it similar to bread flour.
Crispier Crust: For a crispier crust, throw a handful of ice cubes into the oven after it pre-heats and right before placing the loaves in the oven to bake. The steam will help create a crisp crust if you eat it immediately. The crust will soften over time. 
Coconut Oil: For a super tender loaf, use coconut oil in place of a neutral-flavored oil. It won’t change the taste of the bread, just makes for a rich and fluffy texture.
Keyword bread,, soft french bread

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Mini Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

I love mini muffins. They are the perfect size for little fingers, bake up in a matter of minutes and pack lots of flavor into every bite. For this post, I took one of my favorite cornbread recipes, added some savory elements to it and whipped up some magical honey butter to make the perfect cornbread mini muffin. Not too sweet, not too savory. Crumble these up in your chili, add them as a side with soup or even a salad or serve them to a crowd. These mini bacon cheddar cornbread muffins are my new go-to quick side and that honey butter…pretty sure I need that on repeat – it’s so good!

White or Yellow Cornmeal – What’s the Difference?

I live in Kentucky. Kentucky is culturally very Southern and in the South we enjoy a lot of cornbread. Most of that cornbread is made with white cornmeal. In other areas such as the Northeast and Texas, you may find yellow cornmeal commonly called for in recipes. What is the difference? The difference lies mainly in their coloring. White cornmeal comes from white corn and yellow cornmeal from a yellow corn. They can be used interchangeably in recipes. I love using this cornmeal from our local mill or in a pinch I’ll pick a bag up at my grocery store. You may also see cornmeal labeled as “bolted.” Bolted means that the cornmeal has been ground finely and is sifted through to give you the finest grain. Unbolted cornmeal has a more “gritty” texture. For this recipe I recommend a bolted, or finely ground white cornmeal.

Magical Honey Butter

What is cornbread without honey butter? These mini bacon cheddar cornbread muffins don’t have a whole lot of sugar in them. If you prefer a sweeter cornbread, you may want to increase the sugar by 1/3 of a cup, or just make some of this amazing honey butter to slather on your muffin. This honey butter is made with room temperature butter and whipped together in a mixer making it creamy and smooth. It would be delicious on top of any bread, but a little dollop of honey butter on this savory cornbread muffin is especially delicious.  

Substituting Buttermilk

These days, buttermilk is not always kept in kitchens. I do love the properties of buttermilk and almost always keep my kitchen stocked with buttermilk to use in many of my recipes. However, I like having easy substitutions for when I do run out of buttermilk. My favorite substitution for buttermilk is to mix together 1 part sour cream and 1 part milk in a liquid measuring cup. In this recipe I would fill a liquid measuring cup with 3/4 cup sour cream. Add 3/4 cup milk to the sour cream until you reach 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Stir together and use in place of the buttermilk.

Bacon Cheddar Chive Muffins

Before adding the liquid ingredients to the cornbread muffins, I mix together all the dry ingredients in the bowl. This includes cooking up the crispy bacon and dicing it into small chunks. Grate the cheese right into the dry ingredients and cut small pieces of chives right on top of the dry ingredients. I love the flavor combination of bacon, chives and cheese. The cheese you use will determine how much cheddar flavor these muffins will have. A sharper cheddar will lend to more of a cheesy flavor. These muffins remind me of our favorite sourdough cheddar biscuits with a light cheddar flavor. If you’d like to leave out the bacon, cheese and chives, the muffins recipe will give you a more traditional corn muffin. Fluff together the dry ingredients with the savory elements before adding the liquid to this batter.

The Key to Light and Tender Cornbread Muffins: Don’t Over-mix

One of the keys to a light and tender cornbread muffin is to not over-mix the batter. Mixing starts to activate the gluten in the flour which is wonderful in bread, but not so wonderful in muffins. Once you add the liquid ingredients to the dry, mix together lightly until mostly combined. It’s okay to have a few streaks of dry ingredients left. This batter will be more on the thick side. If you think it is too thick, add a little splash of milk, being careful to not mix too much. 

Scooping Batter and Baking Cornbread Mini Muffins

Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop the batter using a cookie scoop (this one is the perfect size for mini muffins) straight into your mini muffin tin. If you have little pieces of bacon sticking out, push them down a bit with your fingers. Bake the muffins in a preheat oven for about 10-12 minutes. These muffins don’t need a liner and will pop right out of a good mini muffin tin. Enjoy warm with a smear of magical honey butter or plain…straight from the oven!

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find chives. Can green onion be substituted for chives?

Some herbs aren’t as readily available in some grocery stores. Finely chopped green onions are an easy substitute in these cornbread muffins for chives.

Can I make these muffins without bacon and cheese?

Sure! If you want a plain cornbread muffin that tastes delicious, you can leave out the savory bacon, cheese and chives.

How should I store cornbread muffins?

Cornbread muffins can be stored at room temperature in a ziplock bag for about 24 hours. After that, stick them in a ziplock in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I make these muffins into a regular size muffin instead of mini muffins?

Yes! You can scoop the batter into a regular, 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at the same temperature for about 15 minutes.

I don’t like sweet cornbread. How sweet is this recipe?

These cornbread muffins are not super sweet. The sweetness pairs very well with the savory in these muffins. If you want a sweeter cornbread muffin, I would increase the sugar from 1/3 cup to up to 2/3 cup total.

Mini Cheddar Bacon Cornbread Muffins with Magical Honey Butter

Delicious cornbread muffins studded with bacon, cheese and chives. Crumble them into some chili or eat plain with some magical honey butter. These mini muffins are the perfect quick side for soup night.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Bread, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 36 mini muffins

Ingredients
  

Mini Cornbread Muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour 10 oz
  • 1 cup cornmeal 5 oz see recipe notes
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (change to 2/3 cup total if a sweeter muffin is desired) 3 oz
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 12 oz see recipe notes for substitutions
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 2-4 oz bacon (cooked and crumbled) 4-8 oz bacon uncooked see recipe note
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese 3 oz

Magical Honey Butter

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

Cornbread Muffins

  • Cook the bacon, drain the grease, crumble and let cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Grate the cheddar cheese and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the bunch of chives into small pieces over the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the bacon to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  • To a large liquid measuring cup, add the buttermilk, cooled melted butter and eggs. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined.
  • Scoop small balls of muffin batter into a mini muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes until muffins spring back and are baked through.

Magical Honey Butter

  • Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer, whip the softened butter until light and creamy.
  • Drizzle in the honey and whip until fully incorporated. Add the powdered sugar and salt and whip for a few minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Enjoy! Honey butter can be stored at room temperature, covered for a few days or refrigerated for longer storage.

Notes

Cornmeal: I prefer using white, finely ground cornmeal, typical in Southern cornbread. You can also substitute yellow cornmeal.
Buttermilk Substitution: I love using buttermilk in these muffins but if you’re in a pinch you can substitute half sour cream and half milk, whisked together for the buttermilk. 
Bacon: Cook the bacon and crumble into small pieces before using in the recipe. You can use more or less bacon based on your preference. The bacon can be made ahead of time, refrigerated and used cold in the recipe. You can also make these without the bacon, they are still delicious.
Keyword bacon, cheese, cornbread, fall, mini muffin, muffins,, quick, quick bread, thanksgiving

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Naan Bread for the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

If you’ve been on social media over the past year you’ve probably seen advertisements for the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. I have always loved Italian-style pizza and after watching so many videos and researching brands, I decided to purchase it. The oven itself took six months to arrive (thanks to being backordered and difficulty getting products right now). After using it for the past month, I can definitely tell you it was worth the wait. I’ve been dabbling with pizza (recipes will be coming soon) and recently I made this amazing naan bread in the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven that I knew I had to share. This naan is light, fluffy, chewy and just delicious to sop up some curry or eat plain. Seriously so good! The Ooni Koda is not just for pizza. It’s also for amazing naan bread.

Ooni vs a Tandoor Oven

We love naan bread. When we lived in Japan we ate at many different Indian restaurants, all with delicious naan made in tandoor ovens. Those ovens give naan a delicious crust while still being nice and soft. The Ooni Koda mimics the high heat of a tandoor oven which makes for amazing naan bread. I’ve been using this naan recipe for years and love it grilled on a skillet. This new recipe is a game changer when made in an Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. The high heat puffs up the naan so well and forms a beautiful chewy crust. Brush on some melted butter and it will be the highlight of your meal.

Use Bread Flour

Using bread flour is a key to light, delicious, chewy naan bread. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all purpose flour and higher protein content gives bread more chew. All purpose flour can work in a pinch, but I highly recommend using bread flour in all your breads if you can. It will significantly increase the quality of your baked goods just by using bread flour in place of all purpose. In a pinch you can add 1-2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour to increase the protein content and chew of the bread. 

Kneading the Naan

I love using this Bosch Mixer to knead bread. This naan bread is no exception. Pour all the dough ingredients into the bowl except the flour. Mix together while adding the flour a cup at a time. As the dough kneads, continue adding flour as needed. Be careful not to over-flour the dough. Once the dough collects on one side of the bowl and the consistency is such that you can pinch off a piece of dough and roll it up in your fingers with just a little sticky residue, stop adding flour. Set a timer and knead for 8-10 minutes. You can also do this by hand or using a different mixer. The dough will become smooth and silky as you knead it.

Rising and Shaping

After the dough has been kneaded, transfer it to a large container and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled or tripled in size. The ambient room temperature will affect how fast your dough will rise. Once the dough has risen, use a bench scraper or a large knife to separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball by cupping your hand around the dough and tightly dragging the dough around into a circle. See the pictures below for an example. 

Refrigerating Naan Dough

Once the dough is shaped into tight balls, cover lightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours before baking. Chilling the dough makes it much easier to work with using the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. This is a great recipe to make a day in advance or in the morning before baking in the evening for dinner. 

Shaping Naan

Pull the dough out of the refrigerator. Use a rolling pin and a scant dusting of flour, if needed, to roll the dough into a small circle. Then use your fingers to stretch the dough into a larger circle shape. Do your best not to rip the dough. If the dough rips, it will still be delicious, the naan just won’t puff up quite as high when baked. Stretch the naan as thin as you can without ripping it so it will bake evenly.

Naan dough that’s been stretched a little too far with holes won’t puff up quite as much as naan without any tears. Still delicious, just a little different look.

How to Bake in the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

Preheat the Ooni Koda on the highest setting for about 20-30 minutes before baking your first piece of naan bread. The oven should reach a temperature of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit before you bake. On a wooden cutting board, sprinkle a little bit of flour or cornmeal (something to keep the naan from sticking to the cutting board). Stick the naan dough on the cutting board and launch into the pizza oven by quickly thrusting the board forward, moving the naan off the board and into the oven. Bake for about 1 minute until the naan puffs up and is a little charred on the outside. Use a pizza peel to take the naan out of the oven and transfer to a plate. Repeat this process until all of the naan has been baked. You can fit at least two pieces of naan at a time in the Ooni Koda 16 oven once you get the hang of using the pizza oven.

How to Serve Naan Bread

Brush the hot naan with melted butter and top with fresh herbs if desired. Serve the naan bread right away for the most delicious addition to your meal. We eat naan with curry or as a side to a salad or other main dish. Another family favorite is topping day-old naan with pizza toppings for a quick lunch or dinner. If you haven’t tried anything other than pizza in an Ooni Pizza Oven, then what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Naan bread paired with a savory curry or eat it as your main meal. It will be a new family favorite either way.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a pizza oven. Can I bake this Naan Bread in a regular oven?

If you don’t have a pizza oven, the next best way to bake the naan is on a pre-heated pizza stone in your oven. Crank your oven to 500 degrees and preheat your pizza stone at that temperature. Bake the naan for a few minutes on the pizza stone until puffed up and crispy. You can also bake this bread in a frying pan or using a griddle, though it won’t have quite the same puffy texture and results. It should still taste delicious.

Can I use dry active yeast instead of instant yeast?

Yes. Proof the yeast with the warm water and sugar in a small bowl for about 10 minutes. Once it gives off a sweet, yeasty smell and bubbles, you know it is ready to use.

Can I substitute all purpose flour for bread flour?

You can make this Naan bread with all purpose flour. I recommend adding 1-2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten along with the all purpose flour to help increase the protein content of the flour. However, in a pinch you can use only all purpose flour.

What do you serve with Naan Bread?

We love to eat curry with our naan bread. Sometimes we’ll make a salad and pair it with naan or top leftover naan bread with pizza toppings for a quick meal.

How do I store leftover Naan Bread?

If you don’t eat all the naan at once, place leftover naan in a ziplock bag. It can stay on the counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours I would stick it in the freezer to use within a couple of months.

Naan Bread for an Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

Perfect naan bread made in the Ooni Koda pizza oven. Light, chewy and absolutely perfect, this naan bread bakes up in a minute's time and will be the star of your dinner.
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 1 min
Course Bread
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater) 8 oz
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt 9.5 oz (see recipe notes)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or other neutral flavored oil
  • 4.5-5 cups bread flour 27.5 oz (see recipe notes)
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter salted or unsalted
  • a bunch of fresh herbs if desired

Instructions
 

  • To a stand mixer add warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater), instant yeast and sugar. Let sit for a minute until the instant yeast smells and bubbles just a bit.
  • Add the salt, plain yogurt and olive oil to the mixer. Turn the mixer on and add the flour a cup at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky to the touch but not overly sticky.
  • Mix the dough in a stand mixer for 10 minutes to develop the gluten in the dough. Add a bit more flour as needed.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise until doubled or tripled (about 1-2 hours).
  • Once dough has risen, turn out onto the counter and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and set on a baking sheet.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough balls on the baking sheet for 1 hour or up to 24 hours before baking. Cold dough is easier to shape for the Ooni pizza oven. A longer time in the refrigerator deepens the flavor of the naan bread.
  • Preheat your Ooni Koda Pizza oven for 20-30 minutes on high.
  • Once your oven is pre-heated, take the dough out of the fridge. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a small circle. Use your hands and fingers to stretch the dough out into a larger circle without breaking the bread. Repeat this process with all of the dough balls.
  • Place a piece of naan dough on a wooden cutting board. Using a quick motion, toss the naan bread from the cutting board into the pizza oven. Watch carefully as the naan bread bakes. Each piece should take about 1 minute.
  • The naan is ready when it puffs up and is a little charred on the outside. Use a pizza peel to take the naan out of the oven. The Ooni Koda 16 can bake at least two pieces of naan at a time (it could probably hold four pieces if you can get them all out in time without burning!).
  • Once the naan is out of the oven, slather each piece with melted butter and sprinkle with herbs if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Yogurt: This recipe works best with regular, plain yogurt. Greek yogurt can work but may require a little less flour because the Greek yogurt is thicker. You can substitute sour cream for yogurt in a pinch.
Bread Flour: Bread flour works best in this recipe because of the higher protein content. If you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute all purpose flour and add a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to increase the protein content of your all purpose flour. This will give the naan bread more chew. In a pinch you can substitute with all purpose flour, though it really is worth picking up a bag of bread flour at the store for this naan bread.
Keyword naan, ooni, ooni koda, pizza oven, yeast bread

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Sweet Peach Bread

Have you ever had fresh Georgia peaches? Twice a summer the peach truck stops in our little town bringing fresh Georgia peaches to all who want a 25 pound box. Twenty five pounds is a lot of peaches. I had dreams of all the baking I would do with these beauties which were quickly dashed as my son ate 12 peaches on that first day! Slow down kiddos! I couldn’t really blame them though. Ripe peaches are what summer dreams are made of. Sweet, juicy and if you’re lucky you can save a few of them to make this absolutely perfect peach bread. What more could you ask for?

Are the Peaches Ready?

Part of the beauty of this peach bread is how the peaches just melt into the bread giving a beautiful moist texture and delicious flavor. To get this texture and flavor, it’s important to use very ripe and soft peaches. I often let my peaches ripen on the countertop for a few days until they are very soft and even start to wrinkle. Then I chop them up to use in the bread. These slightly over-ripe peaches seem to have the best peach flavor and texture for the perfect peach bread. I’ve only ever used fresh, ripe, peaches, though I think that canned peaches would work as long as they are well drained.

Jump to Sweet Peach Bread Recipe

Peeled or Un-Peeled?

Do you have a preference? We love eating peaches with the skins on and I truthfully don’t mind the peach skin on peaches in my peach cobbler, but for this perfect peach bread, I prefer the texture using peeled peaches. I know you can throw the peaches into some boiling water to help remove the skins, but I don’t ever do that. I use very ripe peaches that pucker a bit on the skin. Then I will gently cut the peach into quarters and peel the skin back, using a paring knife and my fingers to separate the peach from the skin. Dice the peaches into chunks until you have two cups worth of ripe peaches for this recipe. 

Coat Peaches in Flour Mixture

This peach bread can be made all in one bowl and a liquid measuring cup (my favorites linked, affiliate link). I whisk together the dry ingredients first. Then add the diced peaches to the flour mixture and coat the peaches in the flour mixture. This flour coating helps suspend the peaches throughout the bread and keeps them from all sinking to the bottom. Definitely don’t skip this step! I’ve found this method works great for blueberry breads or anytime you are adding a mix in to a quick bread. Giving it a quick toss in the dry mixture before adding the liquid ingredients helps make the perfect loaf. After coating the peach chunks in the flour mixture, whisk the liquid ingredients together in a liquid measuring cup, pour on top and stir until just combined.

Crumb Topping

Basically, any quick bread is better with a crumb topping. It gives a little extra sweetness and sets this bread apart from a more traditional loaf. Mix together the butter, brown sugar, flour and spices with a fork or your fingers and sprinkle over the top of the loaf. If you want to omit this step, you can. I like a little extra sweetness to the top of my bread.

Parchment Paper

Line your pan with parchment paper and thank me later. The first time I made this peach bread the flavor was delicious but we were scooping it out of the pan because it stuck to the edges. I love my nonstick USA pans, but whenever I make something sticky like this swirled brioche or this cinnamon chip bread, I always line my pan with parchment paper. It’s a small step but you will be happy when you can pull the whole loaf out of the pan to cool and it looks perfect! One other note about this recipe, it works best in a 9 by 5 pan which is slightly bigger than my trusty USA bread pans. Check out this pan (affiliate link) if you’re looking for another good option.

We love peach season at our house and this peach bread has made its way into our yearly rotation. It is moist, flavorful and really the perfect peach bread. 

Sweet Peach Bread

Amy
A delicious loaf of bread dotted with sweet peaches and topped with a crumb topping. This bread is delicious with fresh peaches and makes the perfect breakfast or snack on a summer day.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients
  

Fresh Peach Bread

  • 2 cups fresh, ripe peaches peeled & chopped (13.5 oz)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (11 oz)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (6 oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional, but delicious

Crumb Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Choose peaches that are very soft, ripe and feel like the skin will come off easily when cut open. Peel and chop the peaches until you have 2 cups worth. I like using a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link) to measure the chopped peaches and later to whisk my liquid ingredients together.
  • To a mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to combine.
  • Pour the peaches on top of this flour mixture and lightly coat the peaches in the flour mixture until dispersed throughout.
  • To a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link), add the oil, milk, egg, vanilla and almond. Use a fork or whisk to mix it all together.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the peach/flour mixture and stir gently to combine until a thick batter is formed.
  • Make the crumb topping by mixing together with a spoon or your fingers, the softened butter, brown sugar, flour and spices. Set aside.
  • Line a 9 by 5 loaf pan with parchment paper. This recipe is perfect for a 9 by 5 pan. If you use a smaller bread pan it may be a little too much batter and you'll want to leave some out or have an overflowing pan.
  • Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan. Top with chunks of the crumb topping.
  • Bake for about 60-70 minutes until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pan and then pull out and cool on a cooling rack. Let the bread cool to room temperature. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Canned Peaches: I haven’t tried this recipe with canned peaches, though I think it would work well. To substitute them, drain as much juice as possible, chop and use in the recipe.
Keyword peach, peach bread

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Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka

This Babka bread is decadent. It is filled with buttery cinnamon sugar. It is light, soft, tender and uses 100% sourdough to make a really delicious loaf of sweet bread. The sourdough has a bit of a learning curve that includes making a sweet leaven, but when you open the oven door and see two beautifully risen loaves of Babka, all the time is completely worth it. If you’ve never made a Babka before, this advanced sourdough cinnamon sugar babka recipe should make your list.

Jump to Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka Recipe

What is babka?

Babka originated in Eastern Europe and is an enriched bread dough that is usually swirled with a sweet chocolate or cinnamon sugar filling. If you’re looking for a chocolate filling, try out this one I’ve used for a swirled brioche before. It would be delicious with this recipe. Pronounced “bahb-kah,” this bread has become very popular at bakeries and in home kitchens this past year with the beautiful swirl braids and outstanding flavor. I love that this recipe gives two loaves of Babka. If I’m going to trouble with a three day sourdough recipe, I always like to share a loaf or freeze one for later (or who am I kidding…eat the day after we eat the first loaf).

Sample Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka Schedule

I find it personally helpful to see a sample schedule when making sourdough because it does take longer than a traditional dough using commercial yeast. This dough is enriched with a lot of eggs, butter and sugar which takes even a bit longer to rise. 

Day 1 (Make Sweet Leaven)
  • 8 AM: Mix sweet leaven, let rise and bubble
  • 8 PM: Take 120 grams of the sweet leaven and feed it again with the measurements in the recipe. Cover and let it rise and bubble until morning.
Day 2 (Mix Babka Dough, First Rise)
  • 8 AM: Mix together Babka dough ingredients (except salt and butter), rest. Add salt, mix, rest. Add butter a Tablespoon at a time and mix using stand mixer for 10 minutes.
  • 11 AM: First set of Coil Fold
  • 1 PM: Second set of Coil Folds
  • 2 PM: Cover dough and rest in refrigerator overnight (12-24 hours)
Day 3 (Assemble and Bake)
  • 8 AM: Roll out and shape Babka
  • 8:30-3PM: Let Babka rise (the rise time will vary depending on the warmth of your kitchen, but allow for at least 6-8 hours)
  • 3-4PM: Bake Babka

Sweet Leaven

One of the unique things about this sourdough recipe is making a sweet leaven before actually making the bread. Typically with sourdough, the longer the bread rises, the more tang you will taste from sourdough. I love the tang in this recipe in my Basic Country Artisan Loaf or my no-knead sourdough loaf but in a sweet babka, I don’t want to taste the tang. Making a sweet leaven helps temper the tang and mellows the flavors, letting the sweet cinnamon be the overpowering flavor. The addition of sugar to the leaven also helps temper the sour flavor. The taste of the Babka is sweet, light and delicious when using a sweet leaven. You can create this leaven directly from your current sourdough starter and through a series of power feeds (feeding it twice in a 24 hour period before using it), have it ready to mix your Babka in just 24 hours. Sweet leaven is also fairly stiff compared to a regular 100% hydration leaven. Due to the low water content, this stiff leaven ferments slowly and helps the bread keep its texture and maintain the gluten structure. This helps the bread rise slowly to keep the sweet flavor expected from a Babka.

Enriched Dough

Babka is made with an enriched dough. Lots of milk, butter, eggs and sugar go into this beautiful loaf. One of the keys to making a great Babka is the process of incorporating the butter. Once the leaven, flour, milk, eggs, sugar and salt have been mixed together to form a dough, it is time to add the butter. This takes a somewhat thick dough and turns it into a silky, smooth and a little bit sticky enriched dough. Cut the softened butter into chunks and add it to the center of the dough hook as the dough is mixing. Plan to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. I like to set a timer and let my dough get to work developing the gluten and incorporating the butter. I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this process. It can get very sticky and is difficult to knead for the length of time required with cold hands (so the butter doesn’t melt and leak everywhere)

Coil Fold

The coil fold is a technique of picking up the dough from the middle and letting the dough fall down onto and under itself, resulting in a coil. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. This process of folding the dough increases tension and strengthens the strands of gluten in the dough. If you skip this step, the dough can bake up flat because it lacks structure. Watch the coil fold process below to help visualize the process.

Refrigeration

Refrigerating the sourdough cinnamon sugar babka dough overnight or 12-24 hours (not much longer than that) chills the butter, enhances the sweet Babka flavor and makes the dough easy to work with when you pull it out in the morning to shape your Babka. The dough will not double in size and may not even look like it did much rising. Don’t worry! Once it comes back to room temperature it will rise again. When you pull the dough out of the refrigerator to roll out, it will be a little stiff and hard because it is cold. This chill actually makes it easier to work with the Babka dough. Add a little bit of flour on the bottom and on top of the Babka to help roll it out. 

Babka Filling

Babka can be filled with any kind of sweet (or sometimes savory) filling. When mixing the filling, use softened, room temperature butter to mix with the dough. If the butter is too cold, it will not incorporate fully into a paste. If it is melted, it will leak all over the dough and make the Babka difficult to shape. I also love the addition of a bit of flour to the filling. This keeps the filling sticking to the dough and not falling all over your pastry mat. Mix the ingredients together to form a thick paste and set it aside. I have also made this Babka into a strawberry flavored version, using white sugar and crushed up freeze dried strawberries, that was insanely delicious. Check the recipe notes for the full substitution.

How to Shape Babka

Flour a countertop or pastry mat and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 by 18 inches. Spread half of the cinnamon sugar mixture on the dough and roll up cinnamon-roll style. Take a sharp knife and slice the Babka in half, length-wise. This will leave you with two long, open-faced pieces. Pinch together the ends and twist the dough around each other to form a swirled and braided loaf. Place into a parchment-lined loaf pan and let rise.

A Long Final Rise

I have made the mistake before with this recipe of being a bit impatient and baking the Babka too quickly. This results in a dense, gummy bread that is just not good. It can be hard to be patient with sourdough, but I promise the results are worth it. Wait until the bread has puffed up and mostly filled out the loaf tin which will take 6-8 hours. You can also lightly press the top of the Babka dough and watch as the dough springs back. If it springs back without any indentation, it needs to rise longer. If it springs back just a little and has been at least six hours, then you should be good to bake. The time will vary based on the warmth of your kitchen so it could rise faster or slower. My experience has been six to eight hours generally.

Simple Syrup

What better way to finish off a decadent bread than with some simple syrup, am I right?! To help keep the Babka fresh and moist, whip up this simple syrup while the Babka is baking. I make mine in the microwave, but you could use a pot on the stovetop as well. Mix together the sugar and water. Microwave on high in 1 minute increments until the sugar is dissolved and liquid is boiling. Stir together and let sit while waiting for the Babka to bake. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Pull the Babka out of the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes in the pan. Then remove to a baking rack and brush the simple syrup over the top of the Babka. Use all of the simple syrup, even if it looks like it doesn’t need more.

It is hard to let the Babka cool and truthfully, I don’t always wait because it is so tempting! This Babka does slice best when it has cooled and even makes great french toast a day or two later if it lasts that long. Sourdough cinnamon sugar Babka is a showstopper recipe and it tastes even better than it looks! Enjoy!

Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka

A rich and delicious cinnamon sugar babka bread made completely with sourdough
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 55 mins
Rise Time 1 d
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Polish, Ukrainian
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

Sweet Leaven (feed at least twice before making the Babka dough)

  • 120 grams sourdough starter 100% hydration see recipe notes
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams water

Babka Dough

  • all of the leaven about 300 grams
  • 620 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 grams whole milk see recipe notes
  • 4 large eggs about 200 grams
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 16 grams salt
  • 200 grams unsalted butter, softened about 14 Tablespoons

Babka Filing

  • 160 grams unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 160 grams brown sugar 2/3 cup
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour

Egg Wash

  • 1 teaspoon water

Simple Syrup for Babka

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

Sweet Leaven (24 hours)

  • Mix together ripe sourdough starter, flour, granulated sugar and water. Cover and let sit for about 8-12 hours.
  • Take 120 grams of this new leaven and feed it with flour, sugar and water. Cover and let sit for 8-12 hours until bubbly, about doubled in size and passes the float test.

Babka Dough Day 1

  • Set the bowl of a stand mixer on a kitchen scale. Tare the scale and add all of the sweet leaven, flour, whole milk and eggs. Mix together with a spoon or dough whisk. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add the dough hook to the bowl, sprinkle in the salt and mix for 6 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Cut the butter into Tablespoon sized chunks. With the dough hook running, add the butter to the center of the dough. The butter will begin to incorporate into the dough. Continue adding chunks of butter until all the butter is added.
  • Knead for a total of ten minutes until the dough is smooth, sticky and silky.
  • Turn the dough out into a rectangular container (I use this 9 by 13 pan, affiliate link). The dough will be sticky. It can help to wet your hands before turning the dough out if it sticks to your fingers. Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, wet your hands and perform one set of coil folds on the dough by lifting up in the middle of the dough and letting the sides pull up and fall under the dough. Repeat from the other direction. This is one set of coil folds. See video for how to perform a coil fold. Cover and let rest.
  • After another 2 hours, perform a second set of coil folds on the dough. Cover and let rest another hour.
  • Transfer the dough to a container, cover tightly and set in the fridge to chill overnight or 12-24 hours.

Babka Dough Day 2

  • Prepare two 9 by 5 loaf pans (affiliate link) with parchment paper.
  • The next morning, make the Babka filling. Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour to make a thick paste. Set aside. See recipe notes for strawberry version.
  • Pull the dough out of the refrigerator. Lightly flour a pastry mat or silpat liner (affiliate link). Turn the dough out onto the mat and cut in half.
  • Lightly flour one piece of dough and roll into a 14 by 18 inch rectangle.
  • Divide the Babka paste in two. Use your fingers to spread half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the rectangle of dough. Once the dough is covered, roll the dough up cinnamon-roll style.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half; straight down the middle of the roll the long way. This will leave two long ropes of dough. Beginning on one end, squish the ends of the dough together and then twist the dough around each other forming the Babka loaf. Push the ends of the dough together and place the Babka in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat this process with the second loaf.
  • Cover the loaves and let rise 6-8 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. This bread is made with 100% sourdough and will take much longer than a traditional loaf of bread to rise. Let it rise until it has mostly filled the loaf pan and gets light and puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the egg and a teaspoon of water. Lightly brush the egg wash on top of the bread until covered.
  • Bake Babka for 50-55 minutes until baked all the way through.
  • While the Babka is baking, prepare the simple syrup for the top of the Babka. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a microwave safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave on high a minute at a time until boiling and all the sugar is dissolved. Mix together with a spoon and let cool until the Babka is out of the oven. The simple syrup can also be made on the stovetop. Boil the sugar and water together for about 1 minute until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool a bit while the Babka bakes.
  • Pull Babka out of the oven and let rest in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans using the parchment paper and place on a cooling rack. Pour half of the simple syrup on one loaf and half on the other loaf, using a pastry brush as needed. Let it soak into the warm bread.
  • Let the bread cool before slicing and enjoy!

Notes

Sweet Leaven: I make this leaven with 100% hydration sourdough starter. If you don’t have 100% hydration starter, take a Tablespoon of sourdough starter and add equal weights of water and flour to it. Let it rise and then use it in the recipe for sweet leaven.
Whole Milk: If you don’t have whole milk, you can substitute 180 grams 2% milk and 20 grams heavy cream.
Strawberry Babka:  To make a strawberry filling, replace the brown sugar with white granulated sugar. Replace the cinnamon with 2 Tablespoons of crushed up freeze-dried strawberries. Combine white sugar, softened butter, crushed up freeze-dried strawberries and flour. Mix together into a paste and use in place of the cinnamon-sugar filling for a delicious strawberry flavored Babka.
Keyword babka, Cinnamon sugar

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Sourdough Focaccia

Focaccia bread – where have you been all my life? I have made focaccia before but it wasn’t until I started using my sourdough starter that focaccia has become a staple around our house. Airy, filled with craggy holes and a crisp, crunchy bottom, this focaccia bread is perfect for sandwiches, to dip in some oil and vinegar or just to eat plain. Every time I make this recipe, the bread disappears within a day. My family can’t get enough of it and I don’t blame them. It is show-stopper worthy!

This is an advanced sourdough recipe. Click the links some beginner sourdough tips, tools and recipes.

Jump to Sourdough Focaccia Recipe

Sourdough Takes Time

One thing to always keep in mind when working with sourdough is that it takes time. Sourdough starter is not the same as instant yeast. It’s going to take at least 24-48 hours for this focaccia bread to make it from your mixer to your belly, and that’s okay! Leaven is mixed and rises. Dough is mixed and folded using the coil fold technique. The dough is spread in a pan and left to sit overnight in the refrigerator giving a beautiful crust and flavor to the focaccia bread. You can find a sample schedule below:

Focaccia Sample Schedule

Day 1: Build Leaven

10 PM: Mix the leaven using ripe sourdough starter. Cover and let sit overnight.

Day 2: Mixing/Developing Dough 

8 AM: Mix the dough using a stand mixer (affiliate link). 

9 AM: Use coil folds to strengthen the gluten in the dough. Let the dough bulk rise

12-1 PM: Stretch the dough into an oiled pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 3: Bake Day

8 AM: Pull Focaccia out of the fridge, let it bubble up and come to room temperature.

12 PM: Top and bake focaccia

High Hydration Dough

This recipe for focaccia uses a very high hydration dough. Hydration is the percentage of flour to water in a recipe. For this focaccia you will be working with a dough that is 85% hydration. This can be a little tricky because the dough is so wet. The benefit of this high hydration is the beautiful crumb that will result in your focaccia. It will be airy, bubbly and have lots of holes throughout. To help deal with such a high hydration dough, keep a jug of water nearby to continuously water your hands as you work with the dough. This prevents dough from sticking to your fingers. The dough is initially mixed in a mixer on low speed for five minutes and then high speed for five minutes to develop the gluten. It will be very, very wet. Don’t worry! You will see a beautiful change in the dough as you proceed with folding the dough over the period of a few hours.

High Gluten Bread Flour

Another trick to help with the high water content is to choose a high gluten bread flour (affiliate link). High gluten bread flour will have a protein content at or above 14%. You can find it here. Please do not substitute all purpose flour for this recipe as written. Transforming the gluten in this dough is very important to a beautifully risen focaccia bread. If you don’t have high gluten bread flour, use bread flour and add vital wheat gluten (affiliate link) to the dough. You can find more information about the benefits of using vital wheat gluten in your bread baking here. Check the recipe notes for the exact measurements. If you are adding the vital wheat gluten instead of using high gluten bread flour, you can also try decreasing the amount of water in the dough by 25 grams to make the dough easier to work with.

Coil Folds

The coil fold is a technique of picking up the dough from the middle and letting the dough fall down onto and under itself, resulting in a coil. Once the dough is initially mixed, it will be very sticky. Place the dough in a rectangular container or glass pan. Cover it and let it sit. After half an hour, open the container and perform 4-6 coil folds. The dough will be very sticky for this first set of coil folds but will strengthen over time. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. Don’t worry if the dough is super sticky for the first one or two coil folds. It will transform into beautiful dough throughout this process.

I find it very helpful to watch this process before attempting it.You can watch the process here:

Focaccia Pan and Refrigerated Rise

After the dough has been developed through coil folds, let it bulk rise for an hour or two. Then it is time to put the dough in a pan. I have tried this recipe in a glass pan and a metal pan – the metal pan (affiliate link) wins hands down. I personally love using this pan. Coat a metal pan with olive oil and transfer the dough to the pan. Stretch lightly to get the dough into all four corners of the pan. If the dough resists, wait a minute and then try again, lightly stretching until the dough fills the pan. Cover the pan and place in the refrigerator overnight. This refrigeration process adds flavor and texture to the focaccia bread. I have baked the focaccia before without the refrigeration, and I think the bread turns out best when it has been refrigerated. If you really can’t wait, you can let the focaccia rise in the pan for another hour or two and get bubbly on top. Then dimple, cover with toppings and bake. For best results, though, use the overnight refrigeration method.

Good Quality Olive Oil and Salt

Another important step to amazing focaccia bread is using good quality olive oil. Olive oil coats the bottom of the pan that the dough is baked in. The focaccia will take on the flavors of the olive oil and give the most beautiful crispy crust. It may just be my favorite part of the focaccia bread. Top the focaccia bread with a flaky sea salt, some fresh herbs and maybe parmesan cheese for a delicious flavor. You can also top focaccia with tomatoes, olives, peppers, really anything that would be delicious in bread.

Dimpling the Dough

Focaccia bread is known for its dimpled look. Once the dough has been refrigerated overnight, pull it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature (this may take longer in the winter months and shorter in the summer). Watch for the dough to bubble up and see that fermentation happening. Once the dough is bubbly and puffed up, top with desired toppings. Then take your fingers and press down lightly into the dough all around the pan. The entire top of the bread should look dimpled and bubbly. At that point it is ready to bake.

The Perfect Slice

Once the focaccia has been baked at high heat, let the bread sit in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. This lets some of the oil soak into the bread dough a little more and keeps the bottom nice and crispy. Remove it from the pan after 5-10 minutes and let cool completely on a wire rack. We all agree that focaccia is one of those breads that tastes better cooled or room temperature. The flavors have a chance to blend and it is just perfection!

If you’ve never made focaccia before, what are you waiting for? It is one of our favorite breads to snack on and never lasts more than a day around our house. If I ever have any leftovers I love to slice them up and freeze them in a big ziplock bag. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Sourdough Focaccia

Crispy, light and airy sourdough focaccia bread. This recipe is made with 100% sourdough starter and makes delicious bread to eat as a sandwich or to enjoy plain.
Prep Time 1 d 12 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 d 12 hrs 25 mins
Course Bread, Sourdough
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 9 by 13 pan

Ingredients
  

Leaven

  • 1 teaspoon ripe sourdough starter
  • 50 grams room temperature water
  • 50 grams all purpose flour

Focaccia Dough

  • 100 grams leaven
  • 425 grams room temperature water
  • 500 grams high gluten bread flour (14% protein or higher) see recipe notes for substitution
  • 13 grams salt

Instructions
 

Leaven (night before you mix the bread, day 1)

  • Mix together 1 teaspoon ripe sourdough starter with 50 grams water and 50 grams flour. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature until bubbly and passes the float test. You can also substitute 100 grams of bubbly sourdough starter if you have some on hand.

Focaccia Dough (Mixing/Developing Dough day 2)

  • To a bowl with a stand mixer, add 100 grams leaven, 425 grams water and 500 grams high gluten bread flour. Mix together with a spoon until a sticky dough forms. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Add the salt. Place the bowl into the stand mixer and fit it with a dough hook. Mix for 5 minutes on low speed (I use a 2 on my KitchenAid, affiliate link). After five minutes, on low speed, mix for 5 minutes on high speed (6-8 on my KitchenAid). Don't add more flour. The dough will be very wet but stays together.
  • Get your hands wet and transfer the dough to a shallow container. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 1: Open the container and perform 4-6 coil folds. The dough will be very sticky for this first set of coil folds but will strengthen over time. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. I find it very helpful to watch this process before attempting it. You can watch a video of the coil fold here. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 2: Wet your hands. You will notice the dough is stronger than your first set of coil folds. Repeat the coil fold 4-6 times. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 3: Wet your hands. Repeat the coil fold 4-6 times. Notice the dough is getting stronger and the coil folds are easier to perform. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 4: Repeat the coil fold 4-6 times. Cover and rest for 1.5-2 hours.
  • After the long bulk rest, prepare a 9 by 13 baking pan (my favorite here, affiliate link) with 1/4-1/3 cup good quality oil. Pour the oil in the pan and tip the pan around to cover the entire bottom.
  • Turn the dough out into the pan and stretch slowly to fill the edges of the pan. Pull up gently on the underside of the dough to stretch it into place. If it doesn't want to stretch, let the dough rest for a minute and then try again.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge to rest overnight.

Baking the Focaccia (day 3)

  • Take the pan of dough out of the fridge and set on the counter. Let it come to room temperature (2-4 hours). The focaccia dough will begin to bubble up as it sits on the counter.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • After the dough is at room temperature, puffed up and you see little air bubbles, take your fingers and gently dimple the dough. Start at the top and work your way down the dough until the entire focaccia is dimpled and bubbly.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the top of the dough. Top with your choice of fresh or dried herbs, salt and parmesan cheese (or any other topping you would like ie: cherry tomatoes, peppers, olives, etc…).
  • Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly, crispy and light golden brown on top. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • Cool to room temperature before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes

High Gluten Bread Flour: The high protein content in high gluten bread flour is really important for this recipe because of the high hydration level in this dough. Flour with 14% protein content or more works best. You can buy that here or if you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute with:
440 grams all purpose flour and 60 grams of vital wheat gluten
475 grams bread flour and 25 grams vital wheat gluten
The vital wheat gluten adds enough protein to the flour to give a similar texture to the high gluten bread flour. 
Keyword focaccia, sourdough

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Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

Something about this time of year with the warmer weather, flowers pushing their way out of the ground and birds singing in the trees makes me want to pull out my pans and whip up a loaf of quick bread. I have some delicious recipes on my site; this sourdough zucchini bread, gingerbread snack cake and this delicious applesauce bread, not to mention some favorite muffin recipes. But springtime and Easter season have me eyeing carrots and dreaming about a nice slice of carrot bread. Last year I made these carrot cake muffins for our Easter dessert. This year, I decided to mix in some of my sourdough discard to make a loaf of carrot cake bread and let me tell you, it is delicious!

Jump to Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe

Shredding the Carrots

One of the biggest tips about this carrot cake: please do not use the shortcut of “pre-shredded” carrots at the grocery store. I have made this mistake before and the bread just doesn’t have the same texture. Pre-shredded carrots get all crunchy and don’t melt into the bread like freshly-shredded carrots do. The best carrots for this recipe are traditional, large and long carrots. You can also use baby carrots in a pinch. Shred your own carrots, please! I use a food processor (affiliate link) to make quick work of the carrots, but you could also use a cheese grater for good results. The carrots melt into the quick bread, giving it beautiful pops of orange and delicious flavor.

Sourdough Discard

Not all sourdough discard is created equal. Some discard might have been sitting around in your fridge for a week or two and some is only a day or two old. I prefer to use a “young” discard because it isn’t quite as strong as an older discard. I like a light sourdough flavor instead of a strong flavor in my carrot loaf. You can use what you prefer. I typically use a 100% hydration sourdough discard–equal weights of water and flour mixed with the starter. If your discard is maintained at a different hydration you may need a splash of milk for a thicker discard or a little extra flour for a thinner discard.

Mixing the Loaf

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. This bread is super quick and will come together in just a few minutes. The hardest part is shredding up the carrots (and that isn’t very hard). Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl with the spices. Add the carrots and mix until the carrots are lightly floured. To a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link…I use it almost daily and it’s my favorite), mix together the sourdough discard, vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 

Baking Tips

One of my favorite tips when baking quick breads is to keep the heat high for the first few minutes of baking and then reduce the temperature. This activates the rising agents and gives the bread a nicely domed top. I also like using a 9 by 5 pan (affiliate link) for this bread, though it would probably work in an 8.5 by 4.5 pan too (just be careful not to overfill it).

Cream Cheese Icing

This sourdough discard carrot loaf is amazing without any cream cheese icing, and you can definitely serve it that way. However, I love cream cheese icing that just gives a hint of cream cheese but isn’t overpoweringly “cream cheesy.” This icing fits the bill. It is rich, buttery and has just a hint of cream cheese flavor that pairs beautifully with the carrots and spices in this loaf. If you’re looking for a little extra luxurious taste, whip up this cream cheese icing and top the loaf with it. The carrot loaf with the icing puts this recipe dangerously into the “yearly family tradition” category. It is that good. 

Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf would make the perfect addition to your Easter spread. We also love it for a spring dessert or an afternoon snack. It looks delicious, tastes divine and is just all around a yummy bake. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

A delicious loaf of spiced, carrot-flavored quick bread made with sourdough discard and perfect for any carrot-cake lovers. The creamy topping adds a delicious sweetness to this moist carrot cake loaf.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Course Bread, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9 by 5 loaf

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded see recipe note
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard see recipe note
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil any neutral flavored oil works
  • 5 Tablespoons plain yogurt sour cream can be substituted in a pinch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit optional

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake Loaf

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Shred the carrots in a food processor (affiliate link) or grate them on a box grater. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the shredded carrots and mix with a spoon to combine.
  • To a large measuring cup (affiliate link and my favorite), whisk together the liquid ingredients: sourdough discard, vegetable oil, plain yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the liquid mixture on top of the flour/carrot mixture and gently stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup chopped fruit, nuts or a combination of both if desired.
  • Line a 9 by 5 loaf pan with parchment paper or use a good quality non-stick loaf pan (affiliate link).
  • Spread the carrot cake loaf batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45-50 minutes. Insert a toothpick or sharp knife in the center to check for doneness. If it comes out "clean" with no crumbs, it is ready. If it comes out wet, let it bake for another few minutes and check again.
  • While the loaf cools, prepare the cream cheese topping.

Cream Cheese Topping

  • To a small bowl, whip the unsalted butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and a tablespoon of heavy cream. Whip together. Add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Continue whipping until light and fluffy. Add a little more heavy cream as needed if the topping is too thick.
  • Spread the cream cheese topping on the cooled loaf and enjoy!

Notes

Carrots: The best carrots for this recipe are traditional, large and long carrots. Peel and grate them (or use a food processor) for best results. You can also use baby carrots. I do not recommend pre-shredded carrots which you can buy at the grocery store. They do not hold the moisture needed for this recipe and don’t melt into the loaf as well.
Sourdough Discard: I prefer to use fresh sourdough discard (or even young sourdough starter) in this recipe. I find it doesn’t give an overpowering “sour” aftertaste to the finished loaf. If you want more sour flavor, use discard that has been sitting longer in your fridge.
Keyword beginner sourdough, carrot cake, carrot cake loaf, quick bread, sourdough discard

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Hearty Bread Bowls

I think one of my all-time favorite foods when I was growing up was clam chowder in a bread bowl. I spent my teenage years in the San Francisco area and I loved the delicious seafood and sourdough, especially the chowder in a bread bowl. Recently, my daughter planned to make soup for dinner and I decided to whip out these bread bowls to complement our soup. While they are not sourdough like the bread bowls of my childhood (I’ll be working on that recipe soon, I promise), they definitely gave me a nostalgic feel for my favorite hearty and chewy bread bowls that stand their own against a delicious soup.

The Best Hearty Bread Bowl for Soup

These hearty bread bowls are perfect to hold a delicious soup. I wouldn’t recommend this recipe as a normal roll recipe. They have a bit more flour than I normally like and are not quite as light and tender as a regular roll. Light and tender is actually not what you want when making a bread bowl because they will tend to disintegrate into the soup leaving you with gummy bread in your soup. That is NOT this recipe. The combination of whole wheat flour and bread flour makes these bowls extra hearty and perfect to stand up to a cup of soup. The soup softens the bread a little and makes for the perfect bite of soup with bread. The bowl itself doesn’t get soggy and has the perfect crumb and chewy exterior which complement the soup so well.

Refrigerated or Overnight Rise

If I know ahead of time that I want bread bowls for soup, I will mix up the dough in the morning and then stick the dough in the fridge to rise throughout the day. This extra refrigeration step adds flavor to the bowl, promotes a chewier crumb (which is perfect for bread bowls) and has a better color crust. If you don’t have time to refrigerate the dough, you can proceed with the recipe but for best results, refrigerate for the first rise for 8-12 hours. Then shape the bowls, let them rise again and bake them.

Shaping Hearty Bread Bowls

This recipe makes six good-sized bread bowls. I shape my bread bowls in a similar way to how I shape rolls. I take the dough and push the edges down around the center, pinching them together and then circling the dough on the counter to form a tight, round shape. You can watch a video of that below.

Scoring and Cutting the Top of the Bowl

Once the dough has risen for a second time, score the top of the bread bowl with a bread lame or sharp knife. Bake the bowls and then let them cool completely before cutting into them. Once the bowls are cooled, use a sharp knife to cut into the bowl like you would a pumpkin. Cut at an angle creating a circle in the bowl. Use your fingers to scrape out the middle of the bread bowl until you have a nicely sized cavity for about a cup of soup. Serve the bread bowl with or without the top.

When I pulled out these bread bowls the other night, my kiddos didn’t even care that there was broccoli in their soup! They gobbled it right up and had so much fun getting to eat their bowl. It makes me think that I need to make bread bowls for soup a lot more often! I hope you enjoy them too.

Hearty Bread Bowls

A hearty bread bowl with chewy crust that is the perfect complement to any soup.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Bread, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/4 cups milk warmed, temperature of baby's bathwater
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4-4 1/2 cups bread flour

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the warm milk, instant yeast and granulated sugar. Let sit until foamy and you smell the yeast activating.
  • Add the olive oil, salt, whole wheat flour and 4 cups of the bread flour. Knead together, adding a little more flour at a time as needed. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be tacky but not overly sticky. Knead for 8 minutes (set a timer and let the mixer do the work for you, or knead for 10 minutes by hand). The kneading time is very important because it develops the gluten, creating good structure, chewy crust and a tall bowl to hold the soup in.
  • Lightly oil a container and transfer the dough to the container for the first rise. Let the dough rise until doubled or tripled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. For more flavor and chewy texture, stick the dough in the fridge to rise for 8-24 hours. Then proceed with the shaping and follow the recipe.
  • Once the dough has risen, cut the dough into six pieces. Shape into large round spheres, pulling the dough tightly into a large round ball. Watch how I shape rolls here. Place rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet (affiliate link). Cover and let rolls rise for about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Once rolls are puffed up, score the top with a bread lame or sharp knife.
  • Toss a handful of ice cubes into the preheated oven and immediately put the pan of bread bowls into the oven. Bake for 25-28 minutes until crusty and golden. Top immediately with melted butter if desired.
  • Let bread bowls cool completely before cutting a hole in the center and using your fingers to pull out the interior of the bread bowl. Fill with your choice of soup and enjoy!

Notes

Bread Flour: This recipe works best with bread flour. If you need a substitute for bread flour, add a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour to increase the protein content. 
Refrigerated Rise: For more flavor and an extra chewy crust, let the dough rise in the fridge for 8-24 hours. Shape, rise and bake.
Keyword bread bowl, soup

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Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that makes a normal day just a little extra special. We love to celebrate with a visit from the leprechaun and a festive meal. Often we’ll serve this Irish Soda Bread to accompany our dinner and some years we choose to make these cloverleaf dinner rolls. We love them for any special meal, though they are especially fun on St. Patrick’s Day. Shaped like a clover, three little bread balls are set in a muffin tin to rise and create the perfect, fluffy, pull-apart dinner roll. Cloverleaf rolls are tender and would be a tasty addition to your March 17th. 

Honey and Oil

One of my favorite tips whenever I’m using a recipe that calls for both honey and some kind of oil or melted butter is this: Pour the oil (or butter in this case) in first, then use the same measuring cup for the honey. In the case of this recipe I melt the butter in a liquid measuring cup and then add the honey to the same measuring cup. The honey slides right out and doesn’t stick to the measuring cup.

Bread Flour or All Purpose Flour?

Bread flour really gives these rolls a nice texture. The exterior is chewy and the rolls bake up nice and tall. I recommend getting your hands on a bag of bread flour if you can. If you only have all purpose flour, go ahead and use it, but the rolls might not rise quite as much. Adding about a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to the all purpose flour is a good substitute for bread flour in this recipe. And if you don’t have vital wheat gluten, check out this post that tells you all about why you need it in your kitchen.

Eight Minutes of Kneading

One of the keys to good bread and dinner rolls is in the long kneading time. You can knead this dough by hand, but it will be an arm workout. I like to use a Bosch Mixer (affiliate link) or a Kitchen Aid (affiliate link) stand mixer. Any mixer that is fitted with a dough hook should work. When I mix bread dough, I add flour just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Pinch a piece of dough off, roll it into a ball and notice if you have just a bit of sticky residue left. These are clues that you can stop adding flour. After I’ve determined that the amount of flour is correct, I’ll set a timer and let my mixer go for about 8 minutes. Doing this develops the gluten strands in the dough. These gluten strands are what will trap the gases from the yeast and give your rolls a beautiful shape. If you want to improve your bread skills, start with kneading the dough for a good eight minutes (ten to twelve minutes if you are doing it by hand).

Shaping Dough into Large Rolls

After the dough has risen, it is ready to be shaped. This recipe makes twelve large rolls. If you’d like to make them a little smaller or even four-leaf-clover shaped, cut the dough into more pieces. Separate the dough into twelve (or more) equal-sized pieces. Taking a piece at a time, cut it into three equal-sized balls. Place each ball into the cup of a lightly greased, non-stick muffin tin (affiliate link). Let the dough rise until puffy and just over the top of the muffin tin before baking.

Festive St. Patrick’s Day

If you really want to get festive with these, you could brush the top with a little bit of green-dyed egg wash, like I did with these pumpkin-shaped rolls in October. They would be a lot of fun for a green-themed meal. With or without the green dye, I hope the leprechaun shows up at your house so you can create a little St. Patrick’s Day magic with these cloverleaf dinner rolls.

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

Light, fluffy and tender, these cloverleaf dinner rolls are a fun take on a traditional roll. Easy to pull apart and delicious for any dinner or fun to make for St. Patrick's Day.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs
Course Bread, rolls
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk, warmed temperature of baby's bathwater, see note
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2-4 cups bread flour see note
  • melted butter for topping

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, instant yeast and honey. Drizzle in the melted butter and add the salt.
  • Turn on the mixer and add three cups of bread flour, a cup at a time. Knead together and continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough moves away from the sides of the bowl and you can pinch off a piece, roll it up in your fingers and have just a little bit of sticky residue left on your fingers. More tips for checking the readiness of your dough here.
  • Knead the dough for 8 minutes. I like to set a timer to make sure my dough gets the full eight minutes. This helps develop the gluten strands in the dough which gives a better crumb, rise and texture to your bread.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise about an hour or until doubled in size. The warmth of your kitchen will impact how long it takes for the dough to rise.
  • Lightly grease a muffin tin (affiliate link) with cooking spray.
  • Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a countertop and cut into twelve (for large rolls) or sixteen (smaller rolls) pieces. Take each dough piece and cut it into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place the three balls into one cup of the muffin tin to create a cloverleaf shape. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough until all of the muffin cups are filled with dough.
  • Cover and let rise 45 minutes to an hour until puffy and about doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-22 minutes.
  • Top with melted butter as they come out of the oven. Enjoy!

Notes

Milk: 2% or whole milk is best in this recipe. If microwaving milk, warm it in 20-30 second increments, stir the milk and check the temperature in the middle of the milk (it can sometimes be hotter than the edges). The temperature of the milk should be warm, not hot. Milk that is too hot will kill the yeast. 
Bread Flour: These rolls are best made using bread flour. If you don’t have bread flour you can use all purpose flour and add 1 Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to help increase the protein content and texture of your bread.
Amount: This recipe makes 12 large rolls. If you want the rolls a little smaller, make 16 rolls and bake for a minute or two less.
Keyword Clover, Dinner Rolls, St. Patrick’s Day

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Best Basic Banana Bread

You know how some recipes just seem elusive? I felt that way for a long time about cookies. I could make a good cookie, but the best? That was hard to find. Now I help my kids run a cookie business and after much trial and error we’ve baked our way into some pretty amazing cookies. I feel the same way about banana bread. I’ve always had good banana bread. Even very good banana bread, but I just keep trying recipes because I couldn’t find a recipe that I really loved. After tinkering around for years, I’ve finally come up with a recipe that I will be making again and again.

Jump to Best Basic Banana Bread Recipe

My Perfect Banana Bread

My perfect recipe makes a great loaf but could also be used for 24 muffins. It tastes of banana but not overpowering. It is light, tender and can hold up to some mini chocolate chips thrown in. I like a banana bread recipe best if I can use one bowl for easier cleanup and I especially love a recipe that all of my kids like. This banana bread hits all of those notes. Even my daughter who is not typically a fan has been begging me to make this recipe again…and again! It is delicious 

Combining Butter and Oil for the Perfect Bread

A lot of quick bread recipes call for just butter or just oil. I love using a combination of the two in this recipe. Both oil and butter bring different properties to banana bread. Butter brings a rich flavor and oil helps with a tender, moist and delicious crumb. I find a combination of the two results in the best loaf of bread.