Pull-Apart Bread

Pull-Apart Bread

Two variations of the same recipe – One sweet, one savory

Have you ever tried pull-apart bread? I saw this recipe posted by King Arthur Flour in a savory version layering garlic, herbs and butter between thin layers of dough. It looked so delicious I absolutely had to try it. I then decided to bake a sweet version of this recipe by spreading Nutella in the layers instead of garlic and butter. It is a positively beautiful bread and so delicious.

The recipe calls for two tablespoons of potato flour which I think is essential in making a soft bread that doesn’t dry out too quickly. The bread can be wrapped in foil and placed in a sealed plastic bag to stay fresh for three days.

Pull apart bread requires time to make. The dough comes together very quickly but requires 90 minutes for the first rise and another 90 minutes for a second rise after the loaf has been formed. I decided to make the savory garlic and butter version when I was having some friends over for dinner. I started to make the bread early in the day and the second rise was done by 4:00pm. My friends weren’t due to arrive until 6:30 and I wanted to serve the bread fresh from the oven. I put the loaf in the refrigerator after the second rise was complete. Putting dough in the refrigerator won’t reverse the rise but it will slow down the yeast. I took the loaf out a half hour before I baked it so that it would be room temperature when it went into the oven. The pull apart bread came out great. This pull apart bread is so beautiful to serve and the buttery garlic layers in between the dough ensures equal flavor in every bite.

Next, I decided to use the same dough recipe but used Nutella in the middle of each layer to create a breakfast version. My son Max could not get enough of the Nutella bread. Three mornings in a row he woke up and warmed a piece of the pull apart Nutella bread to have with his coffee. The dough worked equally well with the sweet version as it did with the savory.

Some Tips:

I like to make this dough with my hands, not a mixer. Mix the ingredients together as instructed and form it into a shaggy ball. Place ball on the counter and knead the dough until it comes together and is smooth and slightly stick. You do not want a dry dough. The dough should be stick but not wet.

After the dough has risen to about double in size divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle that is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter or top of a glass to cut out disks that are 3.5 inches in diameter. You want disk to be about the same width as the loaf pan. If your disks are too small just roll each one out a little more before you put the filling on.

Leftover Dough:

You will have leftover dough after you have cut out the circles. I like to roll pieces and tie knots with the dough. Place knots on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise until double in size. Bake in 350 oven for 10 – 15 minutes until light brown. When knots come out of the oven toss them with softened garlic butter. You can also let them cool and place them in a plastic bag and freeze them for another day.

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Pull-Apart Bread

Fresh baked bread with layers of garlic and butter OR Nutella
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
proofing3 hrs
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish, Bread
Cuisine: Italian, American
Keyword: bread, breakfast
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 101kcal

Equipment

  • 2 Standard loaf pans (8½x4½x2½)

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs lighly beaten
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp potato flour

Filling Option 1

  • 6 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp fresh parsley chopped fine

Filling Option 2

  • 6 tbsp Nutella Spread

Instructions

  • Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt in a sauce pan until butter melts. Do not boil
  • Let milk mixture cool to lukewarm
  • When milk is luke warm pour it into a mixing bowl and add yeast and eggs
  • add half the AP flour and potato flour mix until incorpoated then add rest of flour
  • form dough into a shaggy ball and place on work surface
  • knead dough by hand until very smooth. Should take 5 or 6 minutes
  • place into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel
  • Place in a warm place and let rice for 90 minutes until double in size
  • lightly grease (2) 8 inch loaf pans with butter OR line them with parchment paper
  • when dough has doubled in size press down gently to deflate
  • divide dough in half and work with one half at a time
  • roll into a circle that is ¼ inch thick
  • cut (12) 3½ inch circles out of the dough using a round cookie cutter or top of a glass
  • You can roll each circle a little more after it's cut out so it fits in the loaf pan
  • cover half of one side of circle with filling and fold circle in half
  • place folded side down in loaf pan and continue to line up circles in pan
  • cover with plastic and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place and let rise for 90 mintues
  • preheat oven to 350
  • bake loafs uncovered on middle rack for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. If browning too quickly tent loaf with foil.
  • Remove from pan and serve

Notes

Wrap leftovers in plastic and foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. 
Tip 2: You can make recipe through the second rise and place in refrigerator if you would like to bake the loaf later. Remove loaf from refrigerator 45 minutes before baking to bring to room temperature.
Tip 3: Roll leftover dough into 3 inch rods and tie into knots. Let rise on a baking sheet for 90 minutes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until golden brown. Toss knots in meted butter with garlic and herbs

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

An easy and delicious coffee cake with a sugary glaze

The term Coffee Cake simply means any cake that is intended to be eaten with coffee. This cake can be eaten in the morning or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The ingredients come together very quickly so it is an ideal recipe to make if you do not have a lot of time but would like to bake something homemade. I make this recipe in one big 9 x 13 pan but it would also work in individual muffin tins. Coffee Cakes are typically a moist crumb cake flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Some recipes use sour cream or yogurt but I prefer to use milk. I feel that milk add the right amount of moisture without making the cake too heavy. I also do not feel that you need a lot of butter or oil in the recipe. After many tries I have figured out the exact amount of butter and oil that is necessary to create a light cake that has the right amount of cinnamon and sugar.

The one thing I can promise is that when this Cinnamon Coffee Cake is baking in your oven everyone in your house will say “Oh, that smells so good.” There is something so delicious about the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar baking in the oven. In this recipe I layer the cinnamon and brown sugar in the batter so there is a good ratio of batter to cinnamon sugar. I drizzle a little melted butter over the cake before it bakes in the oven. After the cake comes out of the oven I let it cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the coffee cake with a sugar glaze. The sugar glaze looks so pretty on top and works well with the brown sugar and cinnamon flavors.

This is a perfect Coffee Cake to serve at brunch time or if you are having some friends over for coffee. I really like to serve it warm fresh out of the oven or reheated. To reheat the coffee cake in the oven you will need to wrap it in foil and warm it at 325. You can also use a microwave to warm up the cake. You want the coffee cake to be warm, not hot. The Coffee Cake will stay fresh for 2 days out of the refrigerator or 5 days in the refrigerator. You can even freeze the Coffee Cake for up to a month. Just make sure you store the Coffee Cake in an air tight container.

Some Delicious Variations:

You can add fruit in the middle of the coffee cake as well.

  • Mash a cup of fresh or frozen raspberries with a half of tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • Chop up some walnuts or almonds
  • A cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Add 1/4 tsp of instant coffee to glaze to give it a little coffee flavor

Spoon the added ingredients over the first layer of batter before you sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
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Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, muffins
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 420kcal

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup milk
  • 3 tbsp butter melted

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • tbsp cinnamon

Glaze

  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 tsp milk add more milk if too thick

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 350
  • mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together
  • In a seperate bowl mix eggs, milk, vanilla and ¾ cup oil or melted butter together
  • add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
  • lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour half the batter in. Batter will be a little thick so shake pan to spread out evenly.
  • mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and spread half over batter
  • use a spoon to add spoonfuls of batter over the top and gently spread out with wet fingers.
  • top with remaining cinnamon and brown sugar
  • drizzle with 3 tbsp melted butter
  • Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Do not overbake or it will be dry.
  • let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle with glaze

Notes

Batter will be thick so spreading the second layer may be tricky. You should place spoonfuls of batter over the top and wet your fingers to gently spread the batter so you do not disturb the cinnamon layer.
Coffee cake is best eaten warm. To reheat, wrap lightly in foil and heat in 300 oven for 5 minutes or reheat for 45 seconds in microwave

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg

Chocolate-Caramel Matzo

Chocolate-Caramel Matzo

Crisp Matzo is coated in Caramel and Melted Chocolate

This chocolate- caramel matzo recipe is great to serve for dessert after Passover dinner. Break the chocolate-caramel matzo up into pieces so it’s easy for people to grab a piece. This recipe was given to me years ago by my dear friend Caryn and I continue to make it every year. It is quick, easy and fun to make and it is absolutely delicious. I like to keep the caramel layer thin so it is like a thin sheet of caramel between the chocolate and the matzo. Have fun with this recipe. Add more chocolate chips if you want a thicker coating. I guarantee your chocolate-caramel matzo will come out absolutely delicious.

Some Variations:

After spreading out the chocolate top with crush walnuts or peanuts

Sprinkle chocolate with sea salt

Mix white and dark chocolate chips

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Chocolate-Caramel Matzo

matzo covered in caramel and melted chocolate
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chill Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: passover, matzo
Servings: 24 pieces
Calories: 70kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 matzo
  • ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 350
  • line 2 baking sheets with foil and parchement paper
  • place 1½ matzo on each baking sheet
  • add butter and brown sugar to a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium low heat
  • continue to whisk for 3 or 4 minutes until sauce thickens
  • pour sauce over matzo and spread into a thin layer with a rubber spatula
  • bake in oven for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 325 and continue to cook for 5 minutes
  • caramel should be bubbling and golden brown.
  • remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on mazto.
  • Let chips sit on matzo for a few minutes and begin to melt then spread with a spatula
  • refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Break into pieces and serve

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Fillet of Sole with Dried Cranberry Reduction

Fillet of Sole with Dried Cranberry Reduction

This is a very healthy and flavorful fish recipe that is perfect for a mid week dinner when you are short on time. The sauce is made by sautéing onions and dried cranberries and then adding balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. The result is a syrupy cranberry reduction that is absolutely delicious over flaky white fish. This is definitely a healthier dish which requires only one tablespoon of butter in the entire recipe. The fish is sprinkled with breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and lightly sprayed with olive oil before broiling in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes. I like to serve the fish with Pearl Couscous Primavera. The whole dinner will be ready in 30 minutes.

I like to incorporate healthy fruits and vegetables into my recipes whenever possible. A lot of flavor can be added to a dish using fruit instead of butter and oil. Cranberries are a great way to add a tangy sweetness to a dish. Cranberries are healthy and have research indicates that they can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cranberries contain polyphenols with anti inflammatory properties which help lower hypertension which results in better cardiovascular health. This recipe for Sweet Cranberry Reduction is a great way to prepare a healthy meal without sacrificing flavor.

What Are Some Other Ways To Use The Cranberry Reduction:

  • Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Halibut, Cod or Flounder
  • Pork Chops or Pork Loin
  • Lamb Chops or Leg of Lamb
  • On a Turkey Sandwich instead of mayonnaise
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Fillet of Sole with Dried Cranberry Reduction

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Vinegar Blended with Dried Cranberries creates a Sweet Tart topping for flaky Fillet of Sole
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fish, seafood
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 304kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Fillet of Sole
  • 1 cup onions chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or more if you like
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • melt butter in a pan and add onions
  • saute onions until translucent and add cranberries
  • add vinegar and brown sugar
  • simmer for 5 minutes
  • while sauce is simmering sprinkle salt and pepper on fish
  • top with breadcrumbs and spray or drizzle olive oil on fish
  • bake in oven for 5 or 6 minutes until done

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 729mg | Potassium: 461mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

Colcannon

Colcannon

Colcannon is a hearty Irish dish that combines kale (or cabbage) with mashed potatoes. There are four main ingredients in Colcannon; potatoes, kale, milk and butter. The dish should be served with extra pats of butter on top so that they melt over the Colcannon while it is being served. Ok, so this is not one of my healthier dishes but even my keto loving husband had to stick a fork in the Colcannon after I made it. The white potatoes mixed with the green kale and melted butter on top is quite irresistible. It is absolutely delicious to grab a forkful of the potatoes and kale and dip it in the melted butter. If you serve colcannon in individual portions it makes it even easier to achieve this experience. Try serving the Colcannon in individual ramekins with a pat of butter on top.

What should I serve with the Colcannon?

Typically Colcannon is served with ham, sausages or corned beef. It would also make a nice side dish with stew. If you’re looking to keep the main dish a little lighter then broiled salmon with a lemon sauce would work well.

Tips for making great mashed potatoes:

You must dry the potatoes after you boil them and before you mash them. When the potatoes are tender drain the water and put the potatoes back into the pot over a low flame to remove excess water. Stir the potatoes over the heat for a few minutes to dry them out. This step will insure that you you have fluffy, light mashed potatoes. If your mashed potatoes are dense and gummy it’s because there was too much water left in the potatoes.

Return the potatoes to the pot after draining the water. Stir over low heat to remove excess water before mashing potatoes.

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Colcannon

Hearty Irish Potato and Kale dish
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: potato
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 401kcal

Ingredients

  • lb yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter portioned
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • cups chopped kale hard stem removed, chopped and loosely packed
  • tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 scallion trimmed 1 inch from top and bottom and thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Put potatoes in a pot and add cold water to cover
  • bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender
  • strain potatoes and return them to the pot and place over low heat to remove excess water
  • after a few minutes remove potatoes and place on side
  • melt 3 tablespoons of butter in pot
  • add chopped kale and saute for a few minutes until soft
  • add milk and cream
  • add potatoes and mash with a potato masher
  • mix in salt and pepper
  • place colcannon in a bowl
  • make 2 depressions on the top and put a pat of butter in each one
  • scatter sliced scallions on top and serve

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 925mg | Potassium: 938mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3493IU | Vitamin C: 64mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 2mg

Hearty Beef Stew

Tender Beef with Carrots and Peas Topped with Puff Pastry

Beef Stew Topped with Puff Pastry

On a cold winter day I absolutely love to make a big pot of stew. You need to take your time with stew, it is not something that you can rush. The good news is that beef stew tastes great for several days so you can make it when you have some free time and then refrigerate it for another day. You can also freeze the stew for two months so it is the ideal dish to prepare and freeze in portions.

I take the beef stew up a notch by serving it in individual tureens that are each topped with golden puff pastry. It adds such a nice touch to beef stew. I think that serving beef stew this way makes it perfect to serve on a regular night or for a holiday. Make the stew the day before and then warm it up, put it in individual oven safe tureen bowls, top with puff pastry and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. I like to make mashed potatoes on the side. Some people like to eat the beef stew out of the tureen, others spoon the beef stew over the mashed potatoes. The combination of the buttery puff pastry and the tender beef with gravy is simply delicious. It will warm you up from the inside. There is something special about slow cooked beef stew.

Puff Pastry topped Beef Stew

Just out of the oven. These beauties are ready to be served.

Please note that it is not mandatory that you serve the stew in individual tureens topped with puff pastry. The stew is delicious served without the puff pastry as well. The puff pastry just makes it a little more special. I also intentionally do not put potatoes in my beef stew because I like to serve it with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles on the side but you can absolutely add some cubed potatoes to the stew when you add the carrots if you prefer to serve a one-pot meal. I would recommend peeled and cubed yukon gold potatoes. The carrots and peas add such beautiful color to the velvety brown gravy. The addition of Dijon mustard to the stew creates a little spice and another layer of flavor. You will notice in some beef stew recipes they add vinegar, the Dijon mustard is a replacement The tangy spice of the Dijon mustard adds depth of flavor to the beef stew. As always, you can email me with any questions and I will be happy to answer them. You can also comment below.

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Hearty Beef Stew Topped with Puff Pastry

Beef Stew with Carrots and Peas Topped with Puff Pastry
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time3 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meat, beef stew, pot pie
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • lb stewing meat
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 5 carrots peeled and cut in ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 cup peas frozen is ok
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • cup water
  • ½ tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves only, no stem
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp water

Instructions

  • dredge meat in flour
  • heat 2 tbsp oil in heavy bottom pot
  • sear meat in batches, adding more oil as needed and place beef on side
  • saute onion in pot for 3 minutes until translucent
  • deglaze with red wine
  • add beef broth and water
  • add tomato paste, thyme, salt and pepper
  • put beef back into pot
  • add bay leaves
  • mix cornstarch with ¼ cup water and add to pot
  • add dijon mustard
  • bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover
  • simmer for 45 minutes then skim fat off top
  • cover and simmer for another hour
  • add carrots and simmer for 30 minutes
  • add peas and simmer for another 15 minutes until beef is fork tender
  • you may need to simmer for an extra 15 minutes, you want the meat to be tender when pierced with a fork
  • remove bay leaves and spoon stew into individual tureens
  • roll puff pastry a little and cut out rounds that are just bigger then top of tureens
  • place puff pastry on each tureen and press to seal, cut a small slit on top to release steam, brush with egg wash and place on baking sheet
  • bake on middle rack at 400 for 15 minutes until golden brown

Notes

You do not have to serve the stew in individual tureens, you can simply skip that step and serve the soup without the puff pastry on top. This will save time and the stew will be delicious. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.