I bought The Bread Baker’s Apprentice a few months ago and came home so excited to get started. You might remember that I even made a couple breads. But then I made a sourdough starter and my first try at sourdough turned out hard as a rock. The second try broke my stand mixer. I officially gave up on the book after that one.

A couple weeks ago I saw that Pinch My Salt was looking for people to bake along with and complete every recipe in the book.  I emailed her as soon as I realized what she was asking. You can’t keep me down sourdough!

Our first bread was the anadama. This one never appealed to me. Molasses and cornmeal? Umm, no thanks! But I couldn’t skip out on the first recipe, that would just be wrong.

The molasses, thankfully, is hardly noticeable. The cornmeal just adds a little crunch to the top of the bread. Overall, a good bread although I don’t think I could use it as sandwich bread or anything like that. Just a little butter for this guy.

We won’t be posting the recipes for this bread since, you know, we would end up posting the whole book but I want to encourage you to purchase it and start baking with us.

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I am so in love with sticky buns right now. Weird considering I’d never had one until I made Dorie’s version. Since then I’ve been pulling every sticky bun recipe I see out of magazines, I’ve been bookmarking them like crazy, and making them as often as I can.

I made these for Mother’s Day. I couldn’t afford to spend a ton on a gift for my mom so I figured baking her something would have to do. She’s not really a sweets person but who doesn’t like breakfast?

The recipe is from Cooking Light and after my last CL sticky bun failed in the sticky department, I did double the sauce. What’s an extra 3/4 cup of brown sugar anyway? ;)

These were absolutely delicious. Nothing compares to the Dorie one but these were pretty darn close! I’ll definitely pull this recipe out next time I’m in a sticky bun mood.

Walnut Sticky Buns
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 3/4 cup warm skim milk 100° to 110°
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package dry yeast about 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1/4 cup warm water 100° to 110°
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  • 18 ounces all-purpose flour about 4 cups, divided
  • Cooking spray
For the sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted
  • 4 tablespoons hot water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts toasted
For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter melted
Instructions
  1. To prepare dough, combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir yeast mixture into milk mixture. Add eggs and 3 tablespoons melted butter; stir until well combined.
  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 16.8 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) flour to yeast mixture; stir until smooth. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly soft and tacky).
  4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes. Punch dough down and turn over in bowl; lightly coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  5. To prepare sauce, combine brown sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 4 tablespoons hot water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Scrape sugar mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly over bottom of pan with a spatula. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly with walnuts, and set aside.
  6. To prepare filling, combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat dough into a 16 x 12–inch rectangle. Brush surface of dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 15 slices (approximately 1 inch wide). Arrange slices, cut sides up, in prepared pan. Lightly coat rolls with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°.
  8. Uncover rolls, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; carefully invert onto serving platter.
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This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe was chosen by Wendy of Pink Stripes. Wendy chose what my husband has been waiting for since strawberries started appearing at our grocery store.

Okay, I have to admit something. When I think strawberry shortcakes, I think of those spongy cakes that you find in the produce section that are made specifically for this dessert. I either use those or make angel food cake for strawberry shortcakes so this one kind of threw me for a loop. It was kind of a biscuit or maybe a scone? I still prefer a soft cake for shortcakes but the lemon zest in this recipe was divine! I wish I had a better picture to show you how pretty the zest was in the cakes.

This is the perfect summer dessert. All you really have to do is make the cakes, the rest takes only a few minutes!

Visit Wendy to get the recipe!

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I was a member of Daring Bakers, oh I don’t know, 2 blogs ago. I’m not even sure how long ago that was and I’m not really sure why I stopped participating. I think I just got bored as I often do. But I’m back and ready to bake!

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I am a HUGE cheesecake fan. It’s something I have probably once a year but I think about it often. I don’t know why I’ve never made one before, I guess because I knew I’d eat it all.

This challenge was an easy one. A simple cheesecake with the instructions “GO WILD!”. Well, I don’t really like my cheesecake wild. I like it plain. No strawberries, no caramel, nothing but cheesecake.

This cheesecake didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t as sweet as other cheesecakes I’ve had and sadly, it sat uneaten in my fridge until I finally tossed it. Oh well, it was a lot of fun to make and the anticipation of cheesecake is almost as good as actually eating it. ;)

 

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Awhile ago I mentioned that I joined a new baking group, well this is it! Sweet Melissa Sundays! I haven’t really heard much about the Sweet Melissa Baking Book but the few people I know that own it, love it. So I figured I couldn’t really go wrong.

This week’s recipe was chosen by Jessica of The Singleton in the Kitchen. The recipe was a 2 part recipe, the first being granola and the second being the cookies of course. I took the easy way out and used some store bought granola that I have on hand.

Oddly enough, this granola included everything that the homemade granola called for except the currants. That’s okay though because I don’t even know what a currant is!

The recipe was really easy. Seriously, took me maybe 6 or 7 minutes to mix everything up and that’s with a toddler helping! Oh, and by the way, someone should’ve warned me that molasses is the worst smell in the entire world. I nearly choked on the awfulness.

I was a little worried because I find honey to be VERY strong and the recipe called for 1/2 cup of it. And then after smelling the molasses I was even more worried.

My kid is in LOVE with these cookies. He has had one with each meal since I made them. I can’t blame him though, they are pretty good. They’re a little dense since they’re made with only whole wheat flour, but hey, that’s fine with me. I’d rather have WW any day. I’ve seen a few of my fellow bakers talk about the molasses being overwhelming but I thought it was fine. Even the honey was okay.

If you want to make these and I know you do, head over to Jessica’s blog to get the recipe.

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