Red Beans & Rice

Like any other classic Southern dish, Red Beans & Rice recipes (and non recipes) vary and are as unique as the person preparing them. A dish that is steeped in South Louisiana and family traditions, no one makes their red beans exactly the same. Here is my take. Use this recipe as a guide, but know that everything – from measurements to list of ingredients – are all open to interpretation. Experiment and make it your own!

Red Beans

Let’s start with some history about the dish du jour – don’t worry, the test will be open book. Whenever researching for a recipe (especially one heavily rooted in traditions and variations) I like to look not only at various recipes, but how the origins of the dish came about. Traditionally, red beans & rice was served on Monday. Sunday dinner (Yankees, read “lunch”) was usually a ham, and the leftovers were perfect for the red beans. Monday was also “wash day” where women would spend all day scrubbing clothes. By hand. I guess I should stop griping to The Man about my outdated washing machine….I could always be washing by hand! Red Beans & Rice was an “easy” dish that could sit on the stove all day and make for a yummy supper (Yankees, read “dinner”) at the end of a long soggy day.

History lesson over (you all get an A). Now to talk about ingredients. As mentioned above, leftover ham is ideal. But personally, I don’t bake a ham every Sunday….I might bake 2 a year. So let’s consider the other options. Store bought ham, bacon, sausage, ham hock, salt pork, pickled pork….do you see the trend here? Pig. Cured pig of some sort. You can find recipes using various combinations of the above pork products. Some recipes call for serving the meat on the side. Some call for meat in the beans and a pork chop on the side. I like andouille sausage and smoked ham hocks. That’s assuming it doesn’t happen to be one of two days of the year I’ve made a ham.

Red Beans meat

After browning your choice of pig products, we move on to the veggies – onion, celery and bell pepper. I dice mine small so that they melt into the final product – I’m not a fan of vegetable chunks in my red beans. Lightly caramelize the veg in the rendered pork fat and a little butter. Use a fly swatter to shoe away friends and family who may have gravitated towards the kitchen smells – you don’t want anyone drooling on the stove.

Red Beans all in the pot

I hope you read this article yesterday and started soaking your red beans….if not, I guess you’ll have to start now and eat tomorrow (or do the quick soak method. Or use canned beans). Personally, I like the small red beans. But kidney beans, or a combination of both, works great too.

Red Beans Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer

Deglaze your pan with a cup of stock. Scrape up any flavor stuck to the bottom, then add all your ingredients to the pot – meats, beans, liquid, herbs and spices. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it go for about two hours. Or maybe three. Four? The beans are done when they’re done….so sit back and relax. But come back to stir and drool from time to time.

Red Beans half way through

I want my red beans to be melt in your mouth creamy. A long, slow, consistent cooking time should guarantee this. But if you want to speed it along, you can mash up some of the beans. Also keep an eye out for dry beans – don’t be afraid to add some more liquid as needed. If you don’t happen to like creamy red beans, and want a little more bite to them, you might want to consider reducing the amount of liquid. You can always add more later.

Red Beans

Now it’s time to serve! Because there’s so much flavor packed it the red beans, I like to keep the rice simple. A little butter, salt and a bay leaf. Scoop some rice in your bowl and top it with a generous portion of the beans. Sprinkle it with some green onion (or chives) and serve with a bottle of hot sauce.

Red Beans Over Rice with Corn Bread

Notice that I didn’t garnish my red beans with any highfalutin greenery. Not that I’m opposed! But it was the final minutes of a very nerve-racking Saints and Patriots game. I scrambled to fix my plate (you folks are lucky to have a final picture!) after Kenny Stills caught a touchdown pass to give the Saints a 1 point lead in the final 3 minutes! We won’t talk about what happened after that…..but at least I enjoyed my red beans!

Red Beans & Rice

  • 1 Lb. small red beans (dried)
  • 1 Lb. Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 Lb. smoked ham hocks
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 – 2 green onions, minced
  • 1/4 C. parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 T. oregano (dried)
  • 2 – 3 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 3 – 4 bay leaves
  • 3 C, chicken stock
  • 3 C. water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, cover dried beans with water. Cover and soak over night. Drain and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven (or heavy bottomed pot) sauté sausage. Remove, leaving behind drippings. Add in the butter and sauté onion, celery and bell pepper until lightly caramelized. Add in garlic, parsley, green onions, dried herbs, spices, salt and pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of the chicken stock. With a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot. Pour in water, stock, ham hocks, sausage and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook (uncovered) for 2 to 4 hours, or until desired consistency is reached. If needed, smash some of the beans in the last half hour of cooking.

Serve over white rice with Corn Bread.

Ya’ll want my Corn Bread recipe?? It’s pretty darn good….

Sweet Skillet Corn Bread

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 C. yellow corn meal
  • 1 C. flour
  • 2 ears of corn, kernals scraped
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 – 2 C. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425F. In a seasoned cast iron skillet, heat butter over medium high heat. Butter should be very hot, but not smoking. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and corn kernels. Whisk in egg and oil. Add 1 cup of buttermilk and stir. Slowly add more as needed until consistency is thick but smooth. Pour batter into hot skillet and smooth out the top. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven, and bake until golden brown and cooked through (about 25 minutes). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean

Whole Wheat & Seed Bread

I was in dire need of some good whole wheat bread yesterday – and the grocery store bakery just wasn’t delivering on all my cravings. I wanted rich and nutty aromas, a bread chock full of nutrients, and deliciously guilt-free. So to the kitchen I went, to concoct the bread my mouth was watering for.

Whole Wheat & Seed BreadYes, this is healthy bread that’s full of bird seed  flax and sesame seeds. But it’s also good bread. It can side a bowl of soup, goes great with butter and honey, or can be the ideal ends (and middle…) to a fantastic Club Sandwich. Something a little like this :club Sandwich

Whole Wheat & Seed Bread

  • 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 C. rolled oats
  • 1/4 C. flax seeds
  • 1/4 C. sunflower seeds (roasted)
  • 1/4 C. sliced almonds
  • 2 – 3 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and honey. Allow to proof for 5 minutes. Add in salt, oats, flax, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Mix on low with the dough hook for 1 minute. Add in 2 cups of flour and stir on low until combined (scrape down sides of the bowl as needed). If needed, add in more flour 1/4 cup at a time. Dough will be tacky, but should form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Pour in oil while mixer is running. With the mixer on medium-low, knead for 7 to 10 minutes.

Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, lightly knead in the bowl for 2 to 3 minutes. Place dough into an oiled loaf pan, and  allow to rise until dough crowns over pan by 1 inch (about 1 hour).

Bake bread at 375F for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a rack before removing from pan.

Club Sandwich

Layer, from bottom to top :

  • Toasted bread
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices deli meat (rotisserie-style chicken)
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Tomato, thick sliced
  • Toasted bread with mayonnaise
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 egg, over easy
  • Toasted bread with whole grain mustard

Beef Broth Soup With Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Beef Broth Soup

My Sweet Pea started 3 year old pre-K two weeks ago – and she’s now been battling a cold for about two weeks. I’m assuming the few days that she actually attended school, they really focused on learning how to share – because Little Miss shared her sickly germs with me (such a good sharer – I’m a proud Mama!). So after 2 weeks of little appetite, lot’s of coughing, a little fever, and 2 boxes of tissues – I am totally sick of it. I’ve finally got my appetite back, and all I can think about is a crisp gooey grilled cheese and a piping hot bowl a soup. So soup and sammie it is!

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Beef Broth Soup

Stock

  • 1 1/2 Lbs. beef short ribs
  • 1/2 Lb. chuck steak
  • 1/4 C. red wine (merlot)
  • 2 carrots, rough chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, rough chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. peppercorns
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Water to cover (8-10 C.)

Soup

  • 4 crimini mushrooms
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For stock : In a large stock pot, brown short ribs in 1 T. olive oil. Add in wine, simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in chuck steak, vegetables and garlic. Pour in enough water to cover by an inch or so. Season with salt, peppercorns and thyme. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and allow to slowly simmer for 3 – 4 hours.

Remove ribs and pull meat off of the bones. Shred meat and set aside for later. Remove large vegetable pieces and discard. Strain broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl. Cover bowl and allow to cool. Once broth has cooled, skim fat from broth.

For soup : In a pot, bring broth and meat up to a simmer. Slice mushrooms, green onions, and garlic paper thin. Add to broth. If needed, add salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwich.

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich 

  • 8 slices bread (5-grain Italian)
  • 4 – 6 Oz. cheese, shredded (mozzarella and sharp cheddar)
  • Caramelized onions (2 large onions)
  • 1 T. butter, softened

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium head. Lightly coat each slice of bread with butter, place for slices (butter down) into the skillet. Top each piece of bread with 1/4 of onions and 1/4 of cheese. Top with second slice of bread (butter up). Grill until bottom bread is golden. Flip sandwiches and cook until second side is golden and cheese has melted through.

Dinah’s Scones

The Man’s family emigrated from England in 1979. Along with them they brought along some quintessentially English culinary delights – Yorkshire pudding (popovers), tea, spicy Indian curries, and scones (and a penchant for dark ales…). Whenever we are visiting his parents, The Man’s mother (Dinah) will undoubtedly whip up a batch of her scones. And they are excellent – fluffy, flavorful, and perfect pair to your morning tea (or coffee for me, because I don’t like tea…).

Strawberry Scones

Today I am experiencing some firsts – first time baking scones, and first time buying margarine. When Dinah sent me her recipe, she stated that she had tried several different fats and combinations of fats – and that margarine was the clear winner in producing a fluffier textured scone. As she knows, I’m not a huge fan of margarine – mainly due to it’s man made qualities, as opposed to the naturalness of butter. But then I started thinking, I sure use a lot of Crisco. And Crisco definitely falls into the “man made” category. And I trust Dinah when it comes to scones….So what the heck – I bought some margarine!

margarine

And although I have never attempted scones before, I make a pretty mean buttermilk biscuit. They are similar in principal – flour and leavening cut with fat, add moisture, form, bake. So I’m bringing in my biscuit making skills to conquer the realm of scones. The first thing about making a soft and fluffy  biscuit scone is to NOT overwork the dough. After you cut in the fat, add all the liquid at one time and mix by hand. If it looks like it isn’t mixed through enough, then you are done mixing. The dough will come together during the forming.

do not over work

What sets this recipe apart from most scone recipes I’ve seen – is that the scones are cooked together in a disk, as opposed to being formed separately. This helps to keep the inside light and fluffy while the outside gets a nice crunch to it. Once the disk is patted out and formed, use a clean knife to score through the dough. I had to wipe my knife off between cuts to ensure the cuts were clean.

formed and scored

A plain scone is just fine, but I prefer something in mine. Dinah leans towards raisins or craisins (dried cranberries) I know some people like blueberry scones. I just happened to have some dehydrated strawberries that I made for the kid – so I thought I’d try them out!

Dehydrated Strawberries

Well, I must say – my first adventures in margarine and scone making were a success! I achieved the fluffy texture that I desired, and everyone had seconds at breakfast (always a good sign). I think you will find this recipe straight forward and easy. So whether you are a scone newbie like me, or a seasoned scone maker, you should have no problem making a great scone with this recipe. I made some small-ish changes to the recipe Dinah sent me. I’m going to give you her exact recipe, but I will highlight my changes in bold italics. You’ll note that I made mine thicker, and they required a longer baking time.

Dinahs Scones

  • 2 C. of All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 C. of Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Stick of Margarine
  • 1/2 C. of Raisins or Dry Cranberries (Dehydrated Strawberries)
  • 3/4 C. of Milk (Half & Half)

Whisk all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl.

Cut cold margarine into 1/4 inch cubes and rub (cut) into dry ingredients, the size of large peas. Don’t overdue this step. Stir in raisins or cranberries (strawberries). Add milk (half & half).

Form into a soft dough. Place dough on a greased baking sheet and press into a 10 inch (8 inch) circle. Cut into wedges and brush with a little milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Top with slivered almonds, optional.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes (20 – 25 minutes) or until lightly brown.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes

I’ve had a bottle of champagne hanging out in the fridge since New Year’s – and I’m tired of it taking up space. So I think breakfast for dinner (with Mimosas!) is in order. Yes, I just formed my dinner plan as an excuse to open a bottle of bubbly….but whatever….

peanut butter oatmeal pancakes

Everybody loves pancakes – right? Well everybody in this house loves pancakes! And breakfast-for-dinner nights are always a big hit. Tonight, I’m thinking pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon! But not just plain old pancakes – Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes! Made with buttermilk and served with warm raspberry jam….Mmmm…..

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1/2 C. self-rising flour
  • 1/2 C. rolled oats
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C. peanut butter
  • 1 C. buttermilk

Combine flour, oats, sugar and set aside. In a small bowl, microwave buttermilk and peanut butter until warm (about 45 seconds). Whisk peanut butter into buttermilk until smooth. Add buttermilk mixture and egg to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Heat up a skillet and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Pour out pancakes making sure they do not touch. When bubbles start to form and the edges look dry, flip the pancakes. Allow to cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until cooked through.

Scrambled Eggs

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 C. milk
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/4 C. shredded cheese (if desired)

Warm up a non-stick pan on medium heat. Whip all ingredients until thoroughly combined, and lightened in color. Melt butter in preheated pan, and swirl to coat the pan. Pour in egg mixture. Allow them to cook for one minute before stirring. Stir gently, so as not to break up the curds too much. When the eggs are almost cooked through, remove them from the heat. Add in cheese, gently stir to combine.

Mimosa

  • 1 part Orange Juice, chilled
  • 2 parts Sparkling wine, chilled

In a champagne flute, pour in orange juice until 1/3 full. Slowly pour in champagne. Stop and allow bubbles to settle if needed.

Eggs Florentine Sandwich

A quick, healthy breakfast – an Eggs Florentine Sandwich goes together in minutes and is a great jump start for the day.

mixed greens in garlic oil

Saute spinach (or mixed greens, as I am using today) in a little garlic infused olive oil. When just wilted, crack an egg in the middle. Sprinkle it with black pepper and parmesan cheese, and put a lid on it. Turn the heat down to low, and allow the egg to cook to your desired runny-ness (or hardness, if that’s what you prefer.

spinach and eggs

Slide onto toast, and enjoy!

eggs florentine sandwich

Banana Sour Cream Coffee Cake

banana s.c.c.cake

While sitting in my mom’s kitchen waiting on our traditional New Year’s Day fare (black eyed peas and collard greens), we started looking through her recipe box. She has been keeping and filing away recipes for decades, and it is full of some great ones. She was looking for one in particular (Cheese Crescents she snipped from a early-1980’s issue of Women’s Day) but I came across a few that I had to jot down – including this gem. Banana Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Not only does it sound awesome, I also happen to have 3 ripe bananas (I had considered making some banana bread this morning), sour cream, and all the other ingredients. Except the pecans…..but I “borrowed” some from my mom, with the promise of coffee cake in the near future.

The complete recipe, with measurements can be found at the bottom of the post

This is my first time baking this recipe. And unlike many of the recipes in her box, this one was void of any side notes or tips. She also didn’t have much to say about it, nor could she remember the last time she made it….so we are going to explore this one together…

UPDATE! Long time family friend Paula Reynolds read this post, and recognized the recipe. “The best banana bread I ever found” she said – and her banana bread has always been my favorite. Well turns out, this is it! She found the recipe 20+ years ago in Southern Living, and passed it along to my mom at some point. Thanks Mrs. Paula!!

There are two elements to this coffee cake – the banana cake batter, and a sugar/pecan topping. The pecans are also layered into the cake. In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans (I chop mine small, The Man hates nuts….) sugar, and cinnamon – set it aside for later. Go ahead and peel / mash the bananas in a small bowl. And while you are getting bowls out – whisk your dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

bananas and nuts

The batter starts with creaming Crisco and sugar.

cream sugar and butter

Scrape the bowl and beater down, then add in the eggs one at a time. Next you add the bananas and vanilla. Once combined, scrape the bowl down again and add in the sour cream.

sour cream

Stop the mixer and add all of the flour mixture into the batter. Turn the mixer on low, and stir until just incorporated. Don’t over beat, or the cake will be tough.

stir until just combined

Now we are ready for the layers! Grease your bundt pan (I used Crisco because it’s in the recipe and I already had it out). Spoon half of the nut mixture into the pan, followed by half of the batter. Then spoon in the second half of the nuts, and final half of batter.

pecans on bottompecan layeroven ready

After the cake bakes, set it on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. I know, it smells good….but be patient! Then unmold the cake onto the rack.

fresh out

I’ve just finished eating my first slice. The man also had a piece (he loves it – even with the nuts!). I think one thing is unanimous – the cake is moist, tender and delicious. But I think the nut layer needs some work. First, I’m going to use brown sugar next time and a little more cinnamon. I also made a mistake and kind of piled the nuts / sugar into the bottom of the pan – instead of spreading it out and trying to get at least some sugar going up the sides of the pan. But for a first try recipe, I’m pretty happy with the results! Now if we can keep ourselves from eating it all – I still owe my mom half a coffee cake!

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine in a medium bowl, set aside

Pecan layer

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine in a small bowl, set aside

Batter

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • dry ingredients

Cream shortening and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add eggs one at a time. Mix until combined and scrape down sides again. Add in bananas and vanilla. Once combined, add in sour cream. Scrape down sides of the bowl, and add in dry ingredients. Stir on low until just combined. Do not over mix.

Thoroughly grease a bundt pan. Spoon half of pecan mixture into bottom. Top pecans with half of batter. Layer second half of pecan mixture followed by second half of batter. Bake at 350F for 40 – 45 minutes.

Allow to cool at least 5 minutes on a wire rack before unmolding.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Rosemary, garlic, and bread. And a ton of olive oil….how can you go wrong with that? Focaccia is the simplest bread to make – it’s essentially pizza dough, with extra oil and seasonings. It is good plain, but even better with a generous Tablespoon of rough chopped rosemary and thinly sliced garlic.

garlic and rosemaryAlthough I sometimes like to be a hero and mix my bread dough by hand, I typically let the KitchenAid mixer do the heavy work. There is nothing meditative or relaxing about kneading dough while contending with a very busy 3 year old. So the next step is to get out your stand mixer (or bowl and wooden spoon, if you don’t have a toddler) and add in your flour, yeast, salt and oil.

dry ingredients

With the dough hook, mix the ingredients for a minute or two, then add in the water. Turn the mixer up to medium low, and find something else productive to do for 5 to 7 minutes.

mixing

Expect this dough to be sticky – that’s ok. Your dough isn’t really sticky? That’s ok too! There is an inconsistency when using volume (instead of weight) to measure flour. In most cases, this causes problems (this is why recipes call for inexact cups of flour, instead of an exact amount). But no worries here – as long as the dough is not overly dry (think crumbles), the finished result will be good. 
press
Oil a 9 inch baking pan with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Dump the sticky dough into the pan, and then use wet fingers to press the dough into a disk. Water or oil on your fingertips works well for this. Tightly cover with Stretch-Tite (because it’s the only brand of plastic wrap that actually works…) and allow to rise for about an hour. 
pokeWhen the dough has risen, take off the plastic wrap and give it a good poke. About a dozen or so, with your finger or the handle of a wooden spoon. At this point, you should go ahead and preheat your oven to 425F. You should also douse your bread in olive oil….or drizzle….whatever fat level you prefer. I use about a Tablespoon – but a little more, is good too. You can also sprinkle the bread with salt, pepper, dried Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, etc. 
oiledWhen the oven is ready, give the pan a good swirl – to dislodge some of the oil from the holes. Then bake until golden brown, and everyone in the house is drooling. Let it cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before you cut and serve.
finished loaf
  • 2 Cups flour (unbleached all-purpose)
  • 1 Cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings to top
Combine flour, yeast, salt and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water and mix/knead until combined. Add garlic and rosemary. Mix for 5-7 minutes, until dough is well-kneaded. The dough will be sticky.
Pour 1 Tablespoon of oil into a 9 inch cake pan. Dump dough into pan, and press out into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour.
10 minutes before baking, use you finger to make indentations into the dough. Drizzle with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked pepper and/or dried Italian seasoning.
Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Country White Bread

CWB

A conversation with a friend about feeding our kids less processed food, left me looking for a go-to white bread recipe. I love to bake bread, but it is typically a Sunday Dinner (takes all day) affair. I needed to find something that was quick (as quick as yeast breads get), easy, and something I could do on a week day morning – but still flavorful enough to rival a starter bread with multiple rises, water baths, and misting!

I found this recipe at Pennies & Pancakes (a great resource for saving money while eating healthier food). The original recipe is for two loaves. But since I only have one loaf pan, I modified the recipe for one. Big mistake….because this stuff disappeared fast! (Note to self – buy another loaf pan). Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 Cups warm water
  • 1/8 Cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (canola)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3+ Cups flour (unbleached, all-purpose)

Combine water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes to proof. Add oil, salt and 3 Cups of  flour. Mix/knead on low until dough is elastic and slightly sticky (7-10 minutes). If dough appears to be too sticky/wet, add flour (1/4 Cup at a time) until right consistency is reached.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise to double in size (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch down dough, and knead onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a loaf, and place into a greased 9″ loaf pan. Allow to rise until dough is 1-2 inches above the pan edge.

Bake bread at 375F for 25-30 minutes. Immediately remove from pan, and allow to cool on a rack.

This bread is great fresh, toasted with butter, or to make a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich!