I adore August and September for the abundance of fresh food around every corner. The tomatoes and the beans and the bell peppers and the sweet corn and the zucchini and the squash. It’s all so fresh and so delicious! … Continue reading
An easy and versatile blueberry cake you’ll want to make over and over again! I’ve made this cake so often recently, my friends and family must be sick of it. It can as easily be served in the morning with … Continue reading
Do you dream of being able to make your own bread, but believe bread making is for “real” bakers? No longer. This bread is so easy, even YOU can make it. No kneading, no crazy ingredients, no picky, scientific processes. Just follow the directions, and you’ll have the most fresh and delicious baguettes in all of history!
When we were in Grand Haven last weekend, our friends served us some of this bread for breakfast, and I HAD to have the recipe. The crust is delightfully crunchy, and the inside is soft and chewy. As any baguette should be! Smear with butter, jam, or honey. Alternatively, use it as an appetizer and dip it in oil and vinegar or use some savory spreads and cheeses.
To make the dough, add water and yeast to a bowl. Make sure the water is roughly 100 degrees–lukewarm, just slightly warmer than your body temperature. Add salt and flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is combined and there are no clumps of flour left. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
At this point, you can proceed with making your bread, or you can slide the dough into the fridge and leave it until you want to bake.
When you decide to bake, dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Flip so the outside is covered. Use a knife to cut into three strips. Roll each in flour, and cut 3-4 diagonal slits in the top.
- 1 1/2 cups water, 100-110 degrees F
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 packet)
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- Add water and yeast to medium sized bowl. Add salt and flour. Mix until combined and there are no clumps of flour left. Cover bowl and allow dough to rise for 2 hours.
- Either store dough in fridge, or proceed to the next step.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Flip so the outside is covered. Use a knife to cut into three strips. Roll each in flour, and cut 3-4 diagonal slits in the top. Cover again, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- While rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees with pizza stone on the middle rack, and a bowl of water on the rack below.
- Once preheated, use pizza peel and more flour or cornmeal (so it doesn't stick) to transfer one loaf at a time to the pizza stone in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Recipe based on Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
P.S! For those of you trying to answer the age old question, “What’s for dinner?” more nights of the week than not, check out this FREE e-book!
This e-book contains 4 recipes to get you started making delicious and affordable meals on your busy weeknights. It also includes variations on each of the four recipes so you can avoid the “this again?” rut. Get started this week!
P.P.S. Some of the links in this post are affiliate, which means I will get a small commission if you make a purchase from this post. Thanks for supporting Balance and Blueberries!
It’s Fourth of July weekend! What are you up to? The 4th rates pretty high on my list of favorite holidays. Every year, we spend the weekend at a cabin with friends. We eat and drink with abandon and spend an afternoon floating down the river. It’s the ultimate in leisure time, and we all look forward to it!
This year, we’re starting a jello shot making competition. Check back next week for our attempt and the results!
If you jump through a bunch of hoops, you could wind up with a home on the island of Sicily for FREE.
Do or don’t: keeping your maiden name.
It’s not your job to help everyone.
“Perceptions of mate value change the more time that people spend together.” Which is to say, people can become more or less attractive based on many factors beyond a 6-pack and a symmetrical face.
Is our obsession with CrossFit and boot camp type workouts good for us?
Garrison Keillor is retiring, and a new voice will be at the helm of A Prairie Home Companion.
Tweaking your cookie recipe ever so slightly could give you the exact results you want. More crunchy, more chewy, fluffier, flatter, etc.
Enjoy your weekend!
It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes our bananas get to the point they are past the point of being tasty. They’re not rotten, but are definitely over-ripe. Enter Banana Bread. This recipe is so simple, requires a mixing spoon, one half cup measuring cup, one bowl, a teaspoon, and a bread pan. Minimal ingredients, minimal dishes to do, and maximum delicious.
Based on Simply Recipes
- 2 over-ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash your bananas. This should be pretty easy, as they’ll be soft. If there are still small chunks remaining, it’s not a big deal. Mix in melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Blend well.
4. Butter or spray a bread pan. Pour batter in pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, but check it as early as 40 minutes. The loaf is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
It’s best when it’s still a little warm from the oven, but will be good for 2-3 days in an air tight container. Good luck making it last that long!
There is nothing I love more than peanut butter and chocolate combining their powers. I married a man who agrees with this sentiment, so when he asked for a Reese’s Ice Cream Cake for his birthday, I was more than happy to oblige.
I used this recipe as my foundation, and modified it to make this creamy, chocolatey, peanut buttery, delicious dessert. It’s perfect for birthdays or a Sunday afternoon treat, and can easily be made a day or two ahead of when you want to serve it.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake
- 1 8″x8″ peanut butter swirl brownies. Make ahead, as they’ll need time to cool
- 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (my fave is Breyer’s Natural Vanilla)
- 1 12 oz. bag of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped and chopped into quarters
- 20 oreos
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Whipped cream
1. Make your brownies. Allow them to cool.
2. When they’re cool (or you can’t stand waiting any longer), pull your ice cream out of the freezer and allow it to soften on the counter. You want ice cream you can stir, but not melted ice cream. This will only take 20 or 30 minutes, less if it’s really warm in your house. While it’s softening, prepare the crust (steps 3 and 4), and unwrap and chop the peanut butter cups into quarters.
3. Put the oreos in a Ziploc bag, and smash them to smithereens using a meat tenderizer or a hammer.
5. Slice the brownies into tiny squares, about 1/2 inch on each side. Add ice cream, brownies, and half of the chopped Reese’s cups into a large bowl. Use a spatula to fold it all together. The goal is to not crush the brownies or the Reese’s!
6. Once it’s is well mixed, scoop into the spring form pan and level the top. Cover with saran wrap so the wrap is touching the entire top of the cake. This will help prevent freezer burn.
7. Once you’re ready to serve, pipe whipped cream around the edges and sprinkle the remaining Reese’s cups in the middle.