English Muffin Bread

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I love english muffins all toasted with butter melting into every little crook and cranny.

Before I started law school few months I worked the night shift at a power plant.  It was a rough job, 13 hours a day 7 days a week, and well over an hour commute from my house.  I would often stay at my Grandmother’s house, which was much closer, and sleep the entire day away.  Every morning when I would get home she would have a small breakfast for me, and almost always there was an english muffin waiting to be toasted and hungrily consumed before I fell asleep almost on my feet.

While this bread is not quite the same as a delicious english muffin in the early morning after working all night, it is quick and easy and still very delicious.  (And yes, that is my strawberry mint and black pepper jam you see on top of one delicious toasted slice.)

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Bread and Oil

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Sometimes you just buy the expensive imported olive oil.  I understand.  It happens.  Especially when there is a cool tasting bar and they let you try out all the different kinds and one is just buttery and delicious.  It happens. But then, you know you can’t just use this olive oil any old way.  It needs to be shown it’s special.

Yesterday we went to Annapolis, Maryland in all the Memorial Day crowds.  I always like Annapolis; I so want to have a boat someday.  And, being us, we mostly went for the many wonderful food and spice shops.  I bought an amazing imported olive oil from Portugal. Then we went home and I made a quick homemade bread.

My mother’s version of this bread we call round flat garlic bread.  It also makes a great pizza crust.  My version is almost identical though I increase the yeast amount and add in some olive oil.

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Focaccia with Olives

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It seems like it has been forever since I have done a Daring Baker’s challenge.  I am fixing that this month!

For the month of April Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch.

I know I have made focaccia before and I am in no way, shape, or form abandoning that recipe. It is truly delicious.

But so is this one!  Though a little more work.  It has a potato in it!  I am not sure why I found that such a fun element of this bread.  I have made potato bread before but this one is not heavy at all.  And it has a potato in it!

This focaccia is soft and so flavorful and then you get to the olives and just mmmmm.  Earlier this month I was really craving salty things and let me tell you, this bread was the perfect answer to that craving!  Perfect!

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Fig and Raisin Bread (Pan Con I Fichi Secchi E Le Uvette)

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Some years, Easter and my sister’s birthday coincide.  This was one of those years. My brother, who is a middle school teacher in New Orleans, had his school spring break also line up perfectly this year.  So everyone came home to my mom’s.  This is the first time since last May that I have seen my brother and it’s been even longer since all three siblings were together.  It’s funny how quickly we all revert to our younger selves.

This family gathering also gave my mom the excuse to cook!  She has a new (and amazing and beautiful and I really want to make so many things in it) cookbook: My Tuscan Kitchen.

She made me this bread, and it is delicious! It sweet but not too sweet, and soft with chewy fig bits and just really good.

I will be making this one at my house for sure, though I would not recommend this as your first bread.  I would recommend tackling this one first.

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Naan

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I love carbs.  This we know.  So it probably isn’t surprising that I tend to judge an Indian meal on the naan.  And the store bought stuff I mostly find…. uninspiring. I like a fluffy buttery delicious bread, with fun bubbles and slightly crispy in spots.  I have not found this in any I have purchased.

So I set off to make my own and it is surprisingly easy.  And fun!  Though this is not classic and if you are a purist look away.  I use a cast iron skillet to get the bubbles.  I don’t own a tandoor.  Sorry.

I would recommend making some even if you have no interest in Indian food.  (Though if you do have interest in homemade indian food be sure to check back next weekend!) I have heard some people rave about how good pizza made with a naan crust is.  And really it would make a great accompaniment to any saucy dinner.

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Round Flat Garlic Bread

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Things get busy.  Things get hectic.  I am never sure how things get so busy.  I never plan for my days to get crazy.  Well, I rarely plan for my days to get crazy.  Somehow it just happens.

I’ll blame the beltway traffic.  I sometimes think the DC beltway traffic is the source of all my ills.  Plus it is easy to blame the traffic and not my time management skills deciding to take a holiday.

Anyway, if you have had a hectic day, and are anything like me, having a quick but tasty bread recipe in your back pocket is wonderful.  And this is a quick and tasty bread recipe.  Garlicky and delicious, just crying out for a comforting bowl of soup or saucy plate of spaghetti.  Enough to make you forget the traffic! (Seriously why was there traffic and how when we went around a turn did it all just magically disappear? There wasn’t an exit, the was same number of cars on the same number of lanes! Ahhhh!)

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