Tag Archives: yeast

English Muffins

Making English muffins reminded me of one reason I love baking so much – it seems magical. Isn’t it amazing how the many things can be made with flour, yeast, water, milk, salt, sugar, and butter? I have been wanting to, but putting off trying to bake English muffins for at least 6 months. For some reason I thought it would be difficult. It wasn’t really. It’s a lot like making a loaf of bread, but the main difference is that English muffins are cooked on the stove. Actually, this recipe is very similar to an Indian naan recipe I use. Continue reading

Rye Bread

I know that those of you living in Laos probably don’t have rye flour or caraway seeds, but I just have to share this recipe because I love rye bread. If you want to buy rye flour, you can get it in Udon at the Schmidt bakery supply store. I can’t remember where I got my caraway seed. Continue reading

Hummus and Pita Bread

Hummus is something I’ve been making since college. It’s so much cheaper (and not much more difficult) to make it yourself instead of buying it. The following hummus recipe is based on one from a roommate’s mom, who is Greek I believe.
I didn’t try making my own pitas until I moved to Laos, where there aren’t any. I found that making pitas takes about as much skill as making any other bread, but the baking part takes longer because they take up a lot of room spread out in the oven. I was amazed that pita bread makes its own pocket if it’s rolled out right and baked at the right temperature. About 1/3 of mine usually end up without a pocket, but that’s okay because they’re mostly for dipping in hummus anyway. Here’s the pita recipe that I use.

In Search of Grandma’s Dinner Rolls


My grandma is well-known for her rolls. Everyone looked forward to eating them at family gatherings. I don’t actually have a recipe for her rolls because she doesn’t use a recipe. She just knows how to make them because she’s done it so many times.

One of her sons once videotaped her making rolls and cinnamon rolls so that we could learn how she does it. When I last watched that video, I had never made bread before, so I didn’t know what to observe. I’d like to watch it again and see if I can learn more. Until then, I’ll just try re-inventing the recipe on my own.

If any family members are reading this and have some suggestions, please let me know! Do you remember Grandma using an egg? I don’t, but I could have missed it. Continue reading

Pizza Crust

pesto bacon pizza

pesto bacon pizza

There is one place in town that makes pizza and I used to think it was good until I realized that it’s not that difficult (and much cheaper) to make pizza myself. The main problem with the restaurant’s pizza is that they use ketchup for pizza sauce and that’s just wrong! Their crust could use a little work too.

I use this amount of crust for 1 medium pizza, but it could be made into 2 smaller pizzas as well. I like the thick chewiness of this crust. Continue reading

Oatmeal Sesame Bread

I’ve been working on this bread for a while now and I think I’ve got the recipe just right.  It’s very similar to my recipe for whole wheat bread.   Even though there aren’t a lot of sesame seeds, they add a significant amount of flavor Continue reading

Wheat Bread


I had never made bread without a bread maker until I moved to Laos 4 months ago. I decided to try it because the bread available here is white french bread. It’s ok bread, but not hearty enough for us. I thought that making bread would be hard, but I was pleasantly surprised. Now I enjoy making bread once a week.

1. Combine:

4 C flour

2 T yeast

2 t salt

1/4 C honey (or brown sugar)

1/4 C oil

2 1/2 C lukewarm water

2. Stir in 4 more cups of flour (1 C whole wheat flour, 1/2 C seven grain mix, and 2 1/2 C white flour). Other combinations of flours work too, but if you add more than 2 C of whole grain material, the dough gets hard to work with.

3. Pour 1 C flour on your kneading surface and knead dough until the dough has an even texture (about 10 minutes).

4. Cover dough with a cloth and let rise until it has doubled. I let mine rise in a cold oven because that’s the least drafty place in my kitchen. This usually takes about 1 hour, but it depends on the temperature. It’s not an exact science anyway.

5. Grease and flour pans while you’re waiting.

6. Punch the dough down.

7. Shape the dough into 2 or 3 loaves and let rise in the oven for another half hour or so. Good bread shaping advice and pictures: http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–1120/creating-bread-shapes.asp

8. Turn on the oven to 375 F and bake 40-60 minutes. My oven is really imprecise, so I don’t actually know if it’s at 375 F. I just turn on the oven to high and then turn it down a little after about 15 minutes. I also don’t think it’s necessary to preheat the oven.

The bread is done when the crust is browned and the bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of it. Let bread cool before slicing.

based on a recipe from The Wycliffe International Cookbook