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Friday, February 9, 2018

Turmeric, Sesame, and Nigella Bread

Ah, how I love Indian (desi) flavors and spices. I created this bread to spice up my sandwich world. I also wanted to see how much turmeric I needed to make a beautiful (yet, still tasty) loaf! The answer: not much! Baker be warned: too much turmeric alters the flavor, so it is better to stick with less!

This recipe like many of my other bread recipes requires a cast iron pan (containing boiling water) to be used under the tray used for baking the bread. Following this technique is a good idea as you will get a soft and moist bread with a crunchy crust!




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 to 2 tablespoons turmeric (depending on your desired color -any more will likely start to alter flavor)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup nigella seeds (these are also called kalonji)
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)





Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine water (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, salt, turmeric, sesame seeds, and nigella seeds. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed. Knead for about five minutes.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
6. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
8. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep. *If desired, sprinkle sesame / nigella seeds in the slashes for the "look" seen in the pictures.
9. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
10. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
11. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.





#halahbakes

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Savory Pear and Walnut Bread

I am in love! In love with what? The slightly sweet tang of pear and crunchiness of walnut that you taste when you take a bite out of this bread. Love. Love. Love. Try it out my friends. You won't regret it.

This recipe like many of my other bread recipes requires a cast iron pan (containing boiling water) to be used under the tray used for baking the bread. Following this technique is a good idea as you will get a soft and moist bread with a crunchy crust!




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups water
3 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 peeled and diced pear
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cinnamon for topping
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)




Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine water (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, salt, and cinnamon. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add in the diced pear and walnuts. Knead for another five minutes until thoroughly mixed. 
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
7. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
9. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep. *If desired, sprinkle cinnamon in the slashes for the "look" seen in the pictures.
10. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
11. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.





#halahbakes

Friday, January 19, 2018

Purple Sweet Potato Bread (Vegan)

I always have admired breads gushing with natural color. So I tried it out and hooray! This is it! I purchased purple sweet potatoes from my local Asian market, boiled them, mushed them, and added them into my go-to bread recipe. And, bam! Purple, moist, crunchy-crusted, soft, and delicious bread! Note: the sweet potato flavor is very light in this recipe. If you are looking for more of a sweet potato flavor or for a darker purple color, you may want to experiment with this recipe by altering the almond milk to sweet potato ratio.

As with my last recipe post for Onion and Pepper Bread, this recipe does require an extra deep dish pan to boil water. This  pan will go below the baking tray to create steam. Thus, you get the amazing crispy crust on your bread, but a totally soft inside! 







Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other milk)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups boiled, peeled, and mushed purple sweet potato
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)




Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine almond milk (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast in a large mixing bowl and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your almond milk was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour,  and salt. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast milk and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add in the mushed sweet potato. I recommend mushing the sweet potato in a food processor so that you don't have large chunks of potato in your bread. Knead for another five minutes until the sweet potato is thoroughly mixed in with the dough. 
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
7. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
9. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep.
10. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
11. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.


#halahbakes

Friday, January 12, 2018

Onion and Pepper Bread (Vegan)

Of all the breads to bake, this is the one! This savory and crunchy crusted bread has the perfect texture and levels of moisture. It is hard to go wrong (in fact, I have successfully pulled off the same great taste when I accidentally baked the bread 1o minutes longer than I had planned!).

This recipe does require an extra deep dish pan to boil water. This  pan will go below the baking tray to create steam. Thus, you get the amazing crispy crust on your bread, but a totally soft inside! After this, you can call yourself an artisan bread baker! ;)




Ingredients:

2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 bell pepper diced into small pieces (any color)
1/2 onion diced into small pieces
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
1 chopped chili pepper or ghost pepper (if desired)
1 tablespoon flax seed powder (if desired)
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)







Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. 
Combine warm water (about 110 degrees) with yeast in a large mixing bowl and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt, old fashioned oats,  black pepper, cayenne pepper (if desired), and flax seed powder (if desired). Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add in the diced bell pepper, onions, and chili peppers (if desired). Knead the dough for another five minutes.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour as needed (such that the dough no longer sticks to your fingers, but not too much as this can dry out your bread).
7. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
9. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep.
10. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
11. Bake the bread for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.


#halahbakes

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Classic White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Growing up, I remember thinking that white chocolate macadamia nut cookies were the best cookies that ever existed. Twenty plus years later, I still agree that very few cookies can beat out the amazing qualities of this classic. 

Unlike most of the recipes on my blog, this recipe (inspired by Back for Seconds) calls for serious butter and sugar usage. :/ But, it is so worth it. 

For my healthy recipe followers, please don't be alarmed! I have posted some amazing healthy recipes on this blog too that are completely vegan, gluten free, and only sweetened with fruits! Check out these Epic Pecan Pie Bars or these Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies!




Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts (if salted, rinse before using)







Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy. This will take three to five minutes with a hand mixer.

2. Add vanilla extract, eggs, salt, corn starch, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.
3. Sift in the flour and mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
5. Roll one heaping tablespoon worth of dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or on an ungreased baking sheet).  Repeat and leave 2 to 3 inches between each cookie as these cookies expand like crazy.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-13 minutes until the cookies start to become a very light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for about five minutes prior to transferring the cookies (otherwise they may break!).
7. Enjoy! Feel free to store leftover cookies in an air tight container in the fridge!


#halahbakes



Friday, December 29, 2017

Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls (Vegan)

Oh, the joy of side-dishes. These rolls are soft, lightly sweet, savory, and incredibly delicious. These sweet potato infused rolls of deliciousness create a perfect blend of flavors. Enjoy these rolls with vegan margarine, butter, or some jam.


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup warm almond milk (not hot, yet warm to touch)
1/2 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
2 tablespoons oil, plus some for brushing
2 flax-eggs (requires 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 6 tablespoons of water)
3 to 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons sesame seeds and/or chia seeds for sprinkling



Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a bowl, make your flax eggs by mixing two tablespoons of flax seed meal with 6 tablespoons of water. Stir until well-mixed and let the mixture sit until gooey. This takes about 10 minutes.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast and warm almond milk. Let sit for a few minutes until the mixture is foamy (if the mixture does not foam, your milk may have been too hot or your yeast is no longer active). 

3. Add in the mashed sweet potato, oil, and flax seed mixture to the yeast. Mix well.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rosemary, salt, and flour. Once combined, add in the wet ingredients from Step 3. Mix well.
5. On a clean, and lightly floured surface, begin kneeading the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and somewhat tacky. Add more flour or water as needed.
6. Return the dough to the large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 and 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
7. Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces. Place the rolls in a greased 9x13 pan, leaving 1 inch between each roll. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm place for another 1/2 hour.

8. When doubled in size (do not worry if the rolls are now touching as they will still keep their shape), brush the tops of the rolls with oil and sprinkle sesame seeds or chia seeds on top.
9. Bake the rolls for 18 minutes at 400 degrees. The rolls will be a golden color on top.
10. Serve the rolls warm with vegan margarine, butter, or jam. Enjoy!

#halahbakes

Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free, Diabetic Friendly)

Thanks again to Feasting on Fruit for your incredible creativity. These cookies are sweet, soft, and date-I-say-it . . . "healthy." [You see what I did there?] The cookie base is sweetened with medjool dates. I played around with the recipe too and discovered that you don't even need chocolate chips. You can leave them out completely or substitute raisins.

P.S. I also tried making these without baking soda -- the recipe still works, but the cookies end up looking more like meat patties than cookies. Stick to using the baking soda!

Give these a try and let me know how you like them!

Ingredients:

12 pitted medjool dates
2/3 cup water
3 cups almond flour
1/2 cup peanut butter (you can find numerous brands without sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or sub raisins)



Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. In a blender, blend the medjool dates with the water until you have a smooth date paste.
2. In a separate bowl, stir the date paste, almond flour, peanut butter, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt until well mixed.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon worth of dough and roll into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down to flatten.
5. Repeat with the remaining dough. Leave about 1/2 inch to 1 inch between the cookies.
6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies will just start to turn golden brown.
7. Let the cookies cool for at least 10 minutes before eating!

8. Enjoy!

#halahbakes

Friday, December 15, 2017

Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is apple-packed, moist, and deliciously soft. To be honest, this cake was only made so I could use up some extra sour cream and apples in my fridge. And, guess what? Amazing-ness. If you like this cake, try out some of my other recipes like this One Bowl Apple Walnut Cake or this Traditional Sour Cream Coffee Cake!


Ingredients:

For the cake:
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup white table sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
2 cups apples, peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces


For the topping:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or, other nuts like almonds or pecans)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (optional: more cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white table sugar (optional: more white table sugar)
2 tablespoons butter




Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. For the cake, beat the butter for about 2 minutes until it is smooth and creamy with a hand mixer. Add the sugar and continue beating for another 2 minutes. Add in the eggs and beat thoroughly.
2. Then, mix in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.

3. Sift and then beat in 1/2 of the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add in 1/2 of the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Then, sift and add in the remaining flour. Mix until combined. Finally, add in the remaining sour cream and beat until just incorporated. Do not over mix!
4. Stir in the diced apples.
5. Now, in a separate bowl, make your topping. Do this by combining the sugars, cinnamon, and walnuts in a bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture so that you have small to medium sized crumbs.
6. Sprinkle the topping over the cake batter. Optional: sprinkle more cinnamon and plain white table sugar on top for additional flavor.
7. Bake the cake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. An inserted toothpick in the middle of the cake should come out clean.

8. Enjoy!

#halahbakes

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Delicious Zucchini Brownies (Vegan)

This recipe by Crazy for Crust is my go-to! So delicious, even without the frosting! I have made a few modifications to the recipe (like adding chocolate chips and making a vegan ganache frosting). I have yet to meet a person who doesn't like these fudgy, chocolatey, gooey, and delicious brownies! I also have tricked tons of kids into eating veggies. Ha!


Ingredients:

For the brownies:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 to 6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup chocolate chips (you can find vegan chocolate chips at a natural food store)

For the optional ganache frosting:
1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips (you can find vegan chocolate chips at a natural food store)
1/2 to 3/4 cup almond milk (or, other dairy or non-dairy milk)

Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. Using a hand mixer, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.

2. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with the hand mixer.
3. Stir in the zucchini with a spatula. The mixture will be very powdery. Add in one tablespoon worth of water at a time until your batter is no longer powdery (this varies based on how wet your zucchini is). The dough will be very thick like cookie dough! Do not add too much water (it will be very unlikely that you will need 6 tablespoons of water) as this will change the consistency of the brownie. Confession: if I have 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of extra shredded zucchini, I add that in and skip this water step.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. In a greased 9x13 pan (or in a pan with parchment paper), spread the batter evenly in the pan.
6. Bake the brownies at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool at room temperature. 
7. While the brownies are cooling, make the optional frosting by microwaving the chocolate chips and almond milk at 30 second intervals, mixing between intervals. You are done when the ganache is shiny, smooth, and a barely thick consistency. If the ganache gets too thick, re-warm in the microwave. If it is still too thick, add more almond milk and rewarm.
8. Spread the frosting evenly over the brownies and let the brownies cool completely.
9. Once the brownies are cool, cut them into squares. And, enjoy!
10. If you have leftovers, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge. In my opinion, these brownies taste even better on the second day as they are even gooer!

#halahbakes






Monday, November 27, 2017

Fudge Stuffed Cookie Bars

Okay. So this recipe is not healthy in any way, but it is so darn delicious, it must be posted! These soft, fudgy, and gooey bars will rock your world. Seriously. Bake these for your friends and family this winter, dunk them in milk, and let me know your thoughts! Special thanks to Back for Seconds for the inspiration behind this epic recipe.


Ingredients:

For the cookie:
1 cup (2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter
2/3 cups brown sugar
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips

For the fudge filling:
1 14 oz can of condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips


Instructions:

Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. With a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl until they are light and creamy.

2. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda until thoroughly mixed.
3. Sift the flour and stir until combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. In a greased 9x13 pan (or in a pan with parchment paper), press 1/2 of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Set the other half of the dough aside.
6. Melt the condensed milk and chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted and smooth. Mix after each 30 second interval.
7. Pour the warm fudge over the cookie dough in the 9x13 pan. Make sure the fudge is evenly spread.
8. Take the remaining 1/2 of the cookie dough and gently and evenly spread the cookie dough over the fudge. This is easiest with your hands and a spatula / butter knife. You are done when you can no longer seen any of the fudge filling.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees.
10. Cool the cookie bars on the counter and then chill the bars for at least 2 hours in a refrigerator before cutting into squares.
11. Enjoy! Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge.


#halahbakes