Jamaican Hard Dough Bread & Gratitude

Sep 5, 2013 by

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been in this space. It took a few inquiries to realize how long it has really been since my last post. Funny how time flies when you’re having fun! I’m truly happy to get back to some sort of “normal” as my life is falling into a new routine. In life’s many twists and turns, there is never a dull moment. Through it all, one thing for sure that I have learned is to always live in gratitude. I’m grateful to be able to share a post with you today.

Upon realization that I would have to spend my summer in Canada, I decided that this summer had to be special. A summer filled with firsts – my favourite kind of experience. There’s no use dwelling on how things used to be. Things are changing, so its time to embrace what is coming and smile while you’re at it. Earlier this year, I was suffering with a bout of chronic pain and I vowed to feel better before my birthday. I spent weeks in physiotherapy and made some major changes to my diet. No joke – I even gave up baking for a few months. I also limited my consumption of grains/legumes and reduced my wheat intake drastically. I started to feel different and also look different. Which was perfect considering one of my favourite experiences this summer was participating in Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival – Caribana. Yes, I did it. I put on a costume and walked (and sometimes danced) for hours, all the while praying that I would not suffer too much when it was all over. I’m grateful that I had an awesome, pain-free experience.

I have more things to be grateful for. I have a houseful of students! My husband has been on a course for quite some time now. My son just started First Grade and my daughter is officially in Kindergarten. Oh, and there’s more. I also returned to school. Can you believe it? I’m officially a University student! So many changes are happening all in one go. If I thought I was busy before, well I guess life just got busier. We all have to run with it and try not to get overwhelmed. We are doing exactly what needs to be done. This is indeed a September like no other!

Now that the summer is over, I can reminisce on food from home and maybe even steal some time to whip up a few things. I could not wait to try this Jamaican Hard Dough Bread recipe by Enid Donaldson. There is no bread that compares with authentic Jamaican Hard Dough Bread. I am fully aware that I’m biased, but I need you to understand. Jamaican Hard Dough Bread is the TRUTH! You just can’t go wrong! Although I don’t eat as much bread as I used to, I will still bake from time to time and share my experience. The occasional slice will be just enough for me.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_0

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread – The Lovely Pantry

 

For those who are not familiar with Hard Dough (or “Hardo Bread” as we call it) please allow me to provide a sort description. Hard Dough bread may be considered a true staple in Jamaican fare. It is a basic white bread. There are whole wheat versions available too as a healthier alternative. Hard Dough Bread is a rich, dense, chewy textured bread that can be eaten at any time of the day. It can be enjoyed with the following meals: Ackee & Saltfish, Steamed Callalloo (similar to spinach), Corned Beef (in a sandwich, if you like), Cheese, Jerked Chicken, Jerked Pork, Fried Fish, Avocado, Fried Eggs, your favourite porridge, Jamaican Hot Chocolate, your favourite fruit preserve (I LOVED Guava Jelly on my Hardo Bread), French Toast, or even just a slice with butter – you name it, it works well. Just trust me on this one. You can’t go wrong.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 Loaves

Ingredients

  • 2lbs All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Tsp Instant Dry Yeast
  • 4 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cups Water

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt
  2. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers) incorporate the butter into the flour mixture
  3. Gradually add water and knead for about 15 minutes using the kneading attachment of your mixer
  4. Remove from the mixing bowl and form into a boule
  5. Place dough into a well greased bowl and cover with a towel for at least 40 minutes
  6. Preheat oven to 375F
  7. Remove the risen dough to a floured surface. Divide into two equal parts then shape dough to fit into 2 well greased loaf pans
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Notes

Adapted from The Real Taste Of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/09/jamaican-hard-dough-bread-gratitude/

 

I saw the ingredients and loved how easy it was to prepare. However, I thought the suggested quantity of butter was not enough for 2 loaves, in my opinion. Being the rebel that I am, I added more butter. Yes. Yes I did.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_2

Ingredients for Jamaican Hard Dough Bread (water not shown)

 

I loved that I didn’t have to get too physical with this dough. Cutting in the butter was the step that used the most energy.

 Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_3

 

My handy-dandy dough kneading attachment did the hard work for me.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_4

 

The dough did not rise too much, but you could definitely see a change in volume.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_5a

The dough is placed in a bowl, generously greased with butter

 

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_6

The dough is divided evenly and placed in 2 loaf pans

 

Both loaves turned out perfectly. I have no complaints whatsoever. We all enjoyed this bread very much. The next time I make it, I will have to give a loaf away. It’s too good not to share!

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_8

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread – The Lovely Pantry

 

As much as I love Hard Dough Bread, I haven’t found any in local stores that taste great to me. Usually the bread is just too hard or has a weird texture. Although this bread isn’t as dense as the “Hardo Bread” I know and love, it is a great alternative. I will wait until I am in Jamaica to fully enjoy my Hard Dough Bread. But until my next visit, I will gladly use this recipe and have freshly baked Hard Dough Bread whenever I’m in the mood.

 

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Irish Soda Bread Rounds

Mar 13, 2013 by

After a week of sniffles and being under the weather, I am so glad that it is almost over and I can finally breathe again. I think I really needed some rest and being sick helped me to achieve that a little. It was great to get back into the kitchen and catch up on my cooking and baking. I’m looking forward to a relaxing March break with my family and an awesome Spring! This recipe is a great way to start the season and is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today has got to be one of the best breads I’ve had in a long time. I have baked Irish Soda Bread before, but these little darlings are way better. I couldn’t believe how good they were! I almost kicked myself that I reduced the recipe by half. But then again, I would have had more than I should have. So I suppose it was a good thing. We all enjoyed it very much and both my children raved about how good they were.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 Cup Currants
  • 3/4 Cup Plain Organic Yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 1 Tbsp 2% Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Optional Glaze: 1 Tsp Sugar dissolved in 1 Tsp hot water.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Grease with no-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift in flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in currants
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk egg until frothy
  7. Add yogurt and milk. Whisk to combine
  8. Using a kneading attachment for your mixer, add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture.
  9. Knead for about 5 minutes until fully combined and forms a dough that forms a ball
  10. Remove dough from bowl and add to a well floured surface
  11. Roll into a ball and cut into 4 even quarters
  12. Roll each quarter into a ball and gently press down the centre
  13. Score each ball with an X at the top
  14. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
  15. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack. Cool for about 15 minutes.
  16. Brush each round with glaze for a sweet crust

Notes

Adapted from Irish Favourites

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/03/irish-soda-bread-rounds/

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds-1

Irish Soda Bread Rounds – Ingredients

 

I made some changes out of necessity. The original recipe called for buttermilk which I did not have. So I substituted with some plain organic yogurt that I had and added a tablespoon of milk to thin it out just a little. Thank goodness I had it ~ I don’t care for plain yogurt very much so this recipe was right on time to use it up. I also used butter  instead of shortening. The dough came together quite well and it was easy to divide it into 4 portions using a sharp knife. I was sure to score the top of each round prior to baking.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds-2

Irish Soda Bread Rounds – Dough, ready for baking

 

I loved that this was a yeast-free bread. The kneading that was required was done by my mixer which truly earns its keep. This was very easy to make and was ready in under an hour.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds_2

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

 

These Irish Soda Bread Rounds are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. We had ours while it was still warm – it was absolutely delightful with butter. I know my parents would love this. It reminds me a lot of a raisin bread. I chose to brush it with a light sugar/water glaze for a little added sweetness.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds_3

Irish Soda Bread Rounds – with glaze

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds_4

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

 

I hope you get to try this recipe. I was so happy with the results. My family enjoyed it and I’d bet yours would too.

~Lyn

 

 

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Cardamom Bread {No Knead} #TwelveLoaves

Feb 21, 2013 by

I realized that after the initial excitement, and few failures ( just that one time when I didn’t activate my yeast and my dough didn’t rise) in bread making thus far, the entire process has become quite relaxing. Therapeutic, if you will. The process of gathering the ingredients, weighing, measuring, proofing yeast… I could get used to this. With my new-found appreciation for bread making, I have found a few groups dedicated to the love and art of baking bread. As often as I can, I will be linking up my bread recipes and seeing what other food bloggers are creating in their ovens. Making bread is truly a beautiful thing.

Todays bread was quite interesting. We ate it happily. But it had a taste that I was not familiar with. I’ve had cardamom in recipes before, but this was just different. The process was easy since I’ve been using the Kindle eBook called Easy Fabulous Bread Making. Total success thus far. I’m sure if I made this bread again and had people try it, they would be clouded with mystery as to whats in it :-)

 

Cardamom Bread

 

Cardamom Bread {No Knead} #TwelveLoaves

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tsp ACtive Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour

Instructions

  1. Proof your yeast
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, cardamom, and salt
  3. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients: milk, egg, apple sauce and honey
  4. Add the proofed yeast into the wet ingredients.
  5. Using a spoon or mixer, thoroughly combine the wet ingredients into the dry until incorporated
  6. Refrigerate in a bowl for 8 hours up to 5 days
  7. ***When ready to bake***
  8. Preheat oven to 350F
  9. On a well floured surface, place dough and fold under a few times. Shape into a loaf and place in a well oiled loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise for about 30 minutes or so.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes
  11. Allow to rest in the pan for 30 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing

Notes

From The Kindle eBook "Easy Fabulous Bread Making. A collection of quick, no knead, homemade bread recipes"

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/02/cardamom-bread-no-knead-twelveloaves/

 

Working with this dough was tricky. The dough was quite sticky and I needed to have a floured surface in order to be able to manipulate it and form a loaf. It got quite messy in the process but its all a part of the deal, isn’t it. I deviated from the instructions just a bit so that I could really get my hands in there. I think I need an apron. And perhaps a bakers hat too.

 

Cardamom Bread Prep

 

I was eager to get this bread out of the oven. I had to know what this bread tasted like. The smell was interesting enough – I wanted a slice!

 

Cardamom Bread-7

Cardamom Bread, fresh out the oven

 

After the sticky dough, and the intense curiosity – the texture of this bread was awesome – soft and light. The aroma… like something I’ve never tried. Excellent with butter.

 

Cardamom Bread2

Cardamom Bread

 

This is my contribution to the February 2013 #TwelveLoaves challenge. Lora of Cake Duchess created this awesome group where the participants bake according to the theme for the month. This month’s theme is open, so members can bake whatever they like. What an awesome adventure. And what a great way to get baking! I can’t wait to go proof some yeast and bake something.

 

Would you like to join the #TwelveLoaves group? Here’s how!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts.
Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme. 
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this February, 2013 posted on your blog by February 28, 2013.

 



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Portuguese Sweet Bread {No Knead}

Feb 13, 2013 by

I think I’ve been converted. As I told both my Brother and my Best Friend…we will never go hungry – Lyn knows how to make BREAD! Why is it that I did not take the plunge sooner? Every bread recipe that I see now, I take a second glance to see if its one that I can do. My husband has even started to request bread with specific ingredients. Well, ‘scuse me Mister! When did I become the bread lady? Ok fine…*taking notes* He knows I’ll try :-)

I am a true lover of bread. Give me bread and butter and I’ll be okay. I grew up in a bread household. If there was anything that we always had – it was bread. And for that, I’m thankful. I’m also thankful for the Kindle book that I got from Amazon with all these wonderful bread recipes. Its called Easy Fabulous Bread Making. A Collection of quick, no knead, homemade bread recipes. I feel that it has helped me jump right into bread making, giving me the confidence as a beginner to make fresh bread at home! I like the technique, so when I’m good with this, I can move on providing that my wrists can take the pressure. Bring on the BREAD!

Today I’m sharing a bread that we fell in love with. The texture, the flavour – it was lovely. I forgive myself for the really thick slice that I cut for a late night snack. Portuguese Sweet Bread – I heart you!

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread

 

 

Portugese Sweet Bread {No Knead}

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 1 Tsp Yeast (Active Dry)

Instructions

  1. Proof your yeast
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar and eggs until combined.
  3. Add milk, then mix.
  4. Add activated yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
  5. Gradually combine flour and salt until fully incorporated
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and cover loosely with saran wrap
  7. Store in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours up to 5 days
  8. When ready to bake
  9. Preheat oven to 375
  10. Remove from fridge and place on a well floured surface. The dough will be sticky.
  11. With well floured hands, stretch ends underneath a few times to create a boule. Place the boule seam side down on a well oiled baking sheet. Cover for about 30 minutes.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes
  13. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
  14. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/02/portuguese-sweet-bread-no-knead/

 

This bread seemed easy enough to just mix by spoon. But it was a breeze using my standing mixer. This dough takes no time to come together.

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread Collage

 

The exterior is crusty but not hard. The bread itself – soft, chewy, slightly sweet and an absolute delight to the palate. Perfect with butter or cream cheese.

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread Sliced

 

I love that I just popped a slice in the toaster and topped it with cheesy scrambled eggs. Breakfast has never been so satisfying. One centre slice goes a long way!

 

Toasted Portuguese Sweet Bread, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Bacon

Toasted Portuguese Sweet Bread, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Bacon

 

Funny how bacon seems to be making an appearance quite often these days…

 

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Hawaiian Bread

Jan 31, 2013 by

I did  it!! I got my list of breads that I would like to make, and went for it. I feel so accomplished right now. Making bread has been on my culinary bucket list since forever. I have been quietly saving, comparing, pondering recipes for some time now. Of course, Pinterest is where I store many bread recipes, but I have also been looking in books, magazines and e-books too. You’d be surprised to know how many free Kindle e-books are available on Amazon as a promotion. Either free or cheap. Either way, I’m all over recipe books.

This bread was very different to me. I had no idea how the taste/texture would be but I thought it was pretty cool that pineapple juice was an ingredient. When I took the bread out of the oven, I started taking pictures with my phone. I had to tell my friends and loved ones what I did! This is the kind of news that can’t be kept to myself!

 

Hawaiian Bread

 

Hawaiian Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Cup Flour, Unbleached

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add flour, salt and ginger. Whisk to combine.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla and pineapple juice. Mixing after each addition.
  4. Add proofed yeast and mix in.
  5. Gradually add 2 1/2 Cups of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
  6. Add the remaining flour and mix again.
  7. Transfer to a container and container and cover loosely with saran wrap.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours up to 5 days. (Overnight works well)
  9. Divide your dough in two portions and form into boules by folding the ends underneath and placing on a greased baking sheet - seam side down
  10. Make an "X" at the top of the boule.
  11. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes

Notes

This recipe is from Kindle eBook "Easy, Fabulous Bread Making: A Collection of quick, no-knead, homemade bread recipes" by Barbara Mack

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/01/hawaiian-bread/

 

Ingredients for Hawaiian Bread

Ingredients for Hawaiian Bread

 

Just to clarify, in the photograph above, I have 2 bowls with flour. I split it but realized after that I didn’t need to do two portions.

One of the things I loved about this type of bread, is that it requires no kneading. This is a very important aspect of the recipe for me. Why? Well because kneading wouldn’t be a good thing for me to do. A few months ago, I developed tendonitis in my right thumb joint. So something as simple as writing can be slightly painful. I fully realize that the hours spent on the computer and on my cell phone are wreaking havoc on my hands. My left wrist is showing signs of stress also. I was advised to step away from the computer. Chances of that happening are pretty close to nil, although I have decreased my online activity a little. Less time on the computer doesn’t mean I’m resting though. Because I’m in the kitchen making AWESOME breads like this one!

I was so excited about making this bread that I went ahead and prepped 2 more no-knead breads. That’s another great thing about this recipe. You can prepare from the night before so you can have fresh bread in a jiffy. Also you can store the dough in the freezer for up to 3 months, and take it out as needed. Just allow it to thaw and rise again in the fridge.

I learned something about yeast while making this bread. When using Active Dry Yeast, you have to proof it before you incorporate it into the batter otherwise the dough wont rise. Lesson learned. No more wasting ingredients!

Proofing your yeast

In a small bowl, add 1 package of active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 Tsp). Add 1 Tsp sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to foam and increases in volume, you can use it in your recipe. If it doesn’t foam, discard it. I added the yeast to the wet ingredients just before adding the dry ingredients.

 

 Hawaiian Bread Prep Collage2

 

Is this bread perfect? I’m not sure. It’s my first homemade bread. It tasted much different from the commercially made bread that I have become accustomed to. But I’ve always heard that once you start making bread at home, you may not want to go back to store-bought bread. We’ll see!  I probably don’t have the perfect technique when it comes to bread making yet, but I’m looking forward to learning more and most definitely baking more. I can’t wait to make the second portion of this recipe. And then some other recipes from the eBook.

 

Hawaiian Bread Slice2

 I’m really happy.

No no-knead recipe is safe now that I’ve made my first bread.

I’m sooooo doing the happy dance right now.

 

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