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.

 

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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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Roast Pumpkin and Ricotta Crostini

Dec 19, 2012 by

I’ve been fluttering in my cookbooks again. It’s a wonderful way to spend a few borrowed minutes, just to browse and find your next victory. The problem is, there are so many recipes I want to try, and very little time to try them all. I will continue to compete with my family’s schedule and create wonderfully tasting food – even if it’s just for me :-) Today, that’s not the case. This dish is great for a light snack  or even as an appetizer. You decide! It’s always a good idea to serve vegetables in a nice way, especially during the holiday season.

I love bread. Usually most breads will appeal to me if its crusty on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Toasted with butter and some other condiment will also do the trick. I have fond memories of having French Bread as a child growing up in England. It was something that we enjoyed served with a soup or just whenever we felt like having it.

This recipe was adapted from “Cooking Season by Season” – I basically cut the recipe in half to suit my household.

 

Roasted Pumpkin & Ricotta Crostini

 

 

Roast Pumpkin and Ricotta Crostini

Recipe Type: appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Lyn, adapted from Cooking Season By Season
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 8 oz Pumpkin, peeled seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice + the zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 7 Tbsp Light Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Crostini:
  • 8 Slices Crusty Baguette
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Brush a foil lined baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. Lay baguette slices on the foil and then brush the top with olive oil
  4. lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack
  7. In a bowl, toss the pumpkin chunks with oil, garlic, lemon zest and rosemary
  8. Season with salt and pepper then roast for 35 minutes until tender and golden
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  10. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, thyme and lemon juice
  11. Add about a tablespoonful of ricotta on each crostini and top with a few chunks of roasted pumpkin, pressing down a little into the ricotta
  12. Serve and enjoy

 

How do you dress up your fall/winter vegetables? I love roasting root veggies. It keeps it simple and tasty.

 

Roasted Pumpkin & Ricotta Crostini-2

Roasted Pumpkin & Ricotta Crostini

 

Enjoy!

~Lyn

 

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Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies for #SundaySupper

Dec 9, 2012 by

Cookies! Last year, I wondered if I could make them. I did …and they came out great! this year, I’m all in! I’m experimenting and finding tons of awesome cookie recipes. I’m not going to get to try them all but I’m building up a nice collection! That’s what makes this #SundaySupper so awesome! This weeks theme is Holiday Cookie Exchange! The titles are wonderful and I can’t wait to see everyone’s cookies!

Who doesn’t love a good cookie? We love cookies at my home, but I don’t buy them often. I feel much better making them myself, even if it’s just for the season. It also brings me comfort that they are home-made, and made with love. And a few chocolate chips. After all,  chocolate is love, right? Check out my Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies and Ginger Molasses Cookies. Crowd pleasers!

The cookie I’m sharing with you has been tested by me twice. I guess when I say “me”, I really should be saying “us”. The first batch was good, it was finished quickly and you know that’s a good sign.I made some slight changes on the second batch. I used a bit more cocoa powder and used white chocolate chips instead of dark. That’s all. And that’s what I’m sharing with you today.

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies for #SundaySupper

Recipe Type: Cookie
Author: Lyn via Best Cookies
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
These cookies are sweet with a hint of tartness. A wonderful combination and very festive.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Wholewheat Pasty Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Dutch Processed Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a small bowl, sift in flour and cocoa powder. Combine with a whisk. Set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and baking powder until combined
  4. Beat in egg until combined
  5. Beat in as much as the flour with the mixer
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and cranberries with a wooden spoon or spatula
  7. Using a cookie scoop, take up rounded portions and roll into a ball. Flatten then round the edges.
  8. Place on a parchment lined cookie tray with about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest in the tray for about 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
Notes

This recipe yielded 33 cookies
Store in an air tight container for 3 days at room temperature or freeze for up to 3 months

 

I’m no cookie expert. In fact, I’ve made cookies that could compete with a rock. I kid you not. I didn’t give  up though. I had to really learn about the importance of cooking time, and not necessarily how they look when they come out of the oven. Baking for too long, is just a no-no. The good thing about cookies is that once you get the hang of it, its smooth sailing after that!

Scoop, roll, flatten, shape.

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies – Ready for baking!

 

To make these cookies, I did a test run first with about 3 cookies. I learned that they do not spread much. I found that they came out  better if I hand rolled and formed them. I used a cookie scoop so the cookies were very similar in size. Who ever came up with those scoops is a genius.

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies – Freshly baked

 

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

 

These are great for giving as gifts!

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

 

My family really enjoyed these cookies. The inclusion of cranberries really made it festive and even more delicious.

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

 

#SundaySupper has a special host this week, who knows all about Cookies ~  Janet Keeler, Food & Travel Editor for the Tampa Bay Times and Author of Cookielicious. Janet be joining us with tips on baking for the Ultimate Cookie Exchange and to answer any of your baking questions.  Grab a glass of milk and join us for The Ultimate Cookie Exchange during #SundaySupper this week.  We are giving away 5 signed copies of Cookielicious with 150 fabulous recipes to bake and share.

 

The Sunday Supper Favorite Cookie Exchange Cookies:

 

Do you have a favorite cookie to take to a Cookie Exchange?  Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on December 9th.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our #SundaySupper Ultimate Cookie Exchange live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your recipe for The Ultimate Cookie Exchange on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.

 

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Madeleines with Zucchini and Gruyère Cheese

Nov 15, 2012 by

Today I’m doing a guest post for Renee at Magnolia Days. Renee is certainly one of the most helpful, knowledgeable and friendly food bloggers I’ve come across in my year of blogging. Renee was nice enough to guest post for me a few months ago while I was on vacation and now I’m honoured to do the same for her. One day, Renee and I will meet. And we’ll have a good old talk as good friends do. Most likely after we’ve cooked and baked up a storm.

I’ve always loved unusual, simple, tasty little treats. Madeleines certainly fit that description. These little cakes (they have also been called cookies) have French origins and are made with a special pan which can be purchased from specialty cooking stores, or online. I remember when I brought my Madeleine pan home. I was so excited because I had a new baking utensil to play with. I searched through my cookbooks and found a recipe that was so unusual for me, but had my favourite ingredients. I decided to give it a try and now I will share my very first Madeleines with you all. Remember to check out my guest post for the recipe, and be sure to say hello to Renee :-)

 

Zucchini & Gruyere Madeleines

 

Zucchini and cheese. Such a great pairing. I enjoyed these little darlings with some tea- any kind will do. I also added some cream cheese to each savoury bite. I think this is a great way to spend these chilly afternoons. There’s really no fuss in making Madeleines. The ingredients are simple and the recipe is quite versatile. The recipe used was slightly adapted from “Quick Cooking, 1,001 Recipes”.

 

Madeleines with Zucchini and Gruyère

 

 

I haven’t had my Madeleine pan for long, but without a doubt… I know I will get lots of use out of it.

 

 

 

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Quinoa Brownies

Oct 18, 2012 by

Today, I’m doing a guest post for Kimberly over at Badger Girl Learns To Cook! Kimberly has a weekly feature called Healthy Blogger Thursdays and I was fortunate enough to be invited! I’m really happy to be a part of such a wonderful network of food bloggers. We truly support each other and get introduced to new bloggers regularly. Check out Kimberly’s blog and follow her culinary journey focusing on clean eating and using whole foods in her diet. You’ll also be introduced to such amazing health conscious bloggers that inspire with wonderful recipes, health tips, and other health related topics.

Todays recipe is just so simple. I’m going to call it healthy because my favourite superfood is included and you probably wouldn’t even know. I rave about Quinoa all the time because of its wonderful benefits and versatility. I adapted this recipe from Donna Hay’s cookbook “Fast, Fresh, Simple”. The original title is “Standby Brownies” since cocoa powder is used instead of melting chocolate. Please visit Kimberly’s blog for the full recipe and my very first guest post :-)

Quinoa Brownies

 

Sometimes you just really need a chocolate fix. I do, all the time! Quinoa Brownies certainly hit the spot ~ especially with a glass of really cold Almond Milk.

 

Quinoa Brownies

 

I just love Kimberly’s “can-do” attitude towards eliminating processed foods and learning how to cook! It’s both refreshing and inspiring! Thank you Kimberly for including me as part of your Healthy Blogger Series!

 

~Lyn

 

 

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