Whole Wheat Flaxseed Bread

I made this bread when I first found fresh yeast at the local supermarket, and I have used this recipe several times since. The loaves always turn out light and fluffy, perfect for breakfast, lunch or even for snacks!

Ingredients for 2 gigantic (or 3 9x5 in.) loaves:

17 grams (3/5 ounces) fresh yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast)

2 ¾ cups warm water

1 large egg

¼ cup butter

1 ½ teaspoon salt

¼ to ½ cup corn syrup or sugar

4 cups whole wheat flour

4 cups all-purpose or white bread flour

½ to 1 cup flax seed (sunflower and poppy seeds give extra crunch and meat to the loaves) .

  1. Pour ¼ cup of warm water into a large bowl and crumble the fresh yeast into it. Let stand for 5 mns until the yeast is completely dissolved.
  2. Beat the egg in a smaller bowl with a whisk.
  3. Melt the butter and add to the egg while stirring.
  4. Add the salt and pour the egg mixture into the yeast suspension.
  5. Stir in the rest of the water and the syrup.
  6. Add both flours at ounce and work the liquid ingredients into the flour using both hands.
  7. Knead the sticky mass for 10-15 mns to obtain an elastic and smooth dough.
  8. Add the flax seed and knead for another 5 mns to incorporate the seeds into the dough.
  9. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it into a floured bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place it in a warm location, allowing the yeast to develop for 1 hr.
  10. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it with your fist. (Your fist should leave an imprint in the dough).
  11. Divide and shape the dough into 2 or 3 loaves, knead for 5 mns and let the loaves double in size again for 1 hr.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  13. Transfer the loaves onto baking sheets. Bake for 45 mns, until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  14. Allow to cool on a rack and store in an plastic bag to preserve.

Chocolate Orange Biscotti

Ingredients for 2-3 dozen Biscotti:

2 cups all purpose flour

¾ cup cornmeal

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange liqueur

2 tablespoons candied orange and lemon rinds

1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Whisk the flour with the cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Break the eggs in a large bowl and add the sugar.
  3. Beat the eggs-sugar mixture until pale yellow and fluffy and add the orange liqueur.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and stir vigorously using a knife to give a soft and sticky dough.
  5. Add the candied rinds and the chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 mns.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a large baking sheet with parchemin paper or foil.
  7. Divide the dough into two and transfer onto the lined baking sheet.
  8. Moisten your hands with water and shape the dough into logs.
  9. Bake the logs for 35 mns.
  10. Cool the lights brown logs for 5 mns and cut the logs into ½ in. slices until a serrated knife.
  11. Arrange the slices on the lined baking sheet and bake for 25 mns.
  12. Cool the browned biscotti on a rack and store in an air-tight container.


Creamy Havarti and Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled cheese sandwiches are the best comfort food. Easy as can be, all you need are a chunk of cheese, a few slices of bread, and some imagination. This version is extra yummy, with two layers of oozing warm cheese!

Ingredients for 2 sandwiches:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

4 slices rye bread

½ pound havarti cheese

1 orange pimento pepper

1 or 2 sprigs oregano

1 sprig thyme

  1. Slice your cheese and pimento pepper.

  2. Butter your bread and turn it over. On the unbuttered side, add a first layer of cheese.
  3. Add one slice of pimento pepper and sprinkle some fresh herbs.
  4. Set the stove to medium. Transfer the sandwich to a non-stick pan.
  5. Add a second layer of sliced cheese.
  6. Cover the sandwich with a buttered slice of bread.
  7. Let the bottom slice of bread brown for about 2 to 5 mins.
  8. Press on the bread using a spatula. The bottom layer of cheese should be melting.
  9. Flip the sandwich to melt the second layer of cheese.
  10. Brown the other side of the sandwich for another 2 mins.



Luscious Butterscotch Filled Brioches

Ingredients for 12 brioches:

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose or cake flour

1½ oz. fresh yeast

2 quarts and 2 tablespoons warm water (40°C)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 or 3 tablespoons milk

Enough butterscotch chips for the filling

For the egg-wash glaze:

1 egg yolk

1 or tablespoons water or milk

  1. Make a well with ¼ of the flour and crumble the yeast into it. Mix the flour and crumbled yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water until you obtain a paste.
  2. Shape the paste into a soft ball, snip a cross in the top and drop the ball of dough (or starter) into the rest of the warm water.
  3. Let the starter rise to the surface and double in volume for 8-10 mns. Make sure that the water is not over a burner to prevent any extra heat from killing the yeast. Also, make sure to keep the water warm to allow the yeast to develop.
  4. Once doubled in volume, the starter must be drained on a cheesecloth or paper towel and covered.
  5. While waiting for the starter to grow, mix the rest of the flour with the sugar and the salt and form another well. Break the eggs into its center and add the milk.
  6. With one hand only, mix them in by drawing the flour for the sides of the well and work the dough until you form a cohesive, sticky mass.
  7. Gather as much as possible with the sticky mass and throw it back hard onto the floured board. Repeat this throwing process several times over 15 mns to allow the gluten to develop, giving a glistening, smooth and elastic dough which should not stick to your hands.
  8. Work the soft butter into the dough then the drained starter.
  9. Gather the resulting paste into a ball, put it in a floured or buttered bowl, and chill in the fridge for 1 hr.
  10. Butter your muffins tins.
  11. Once the dough has chilled, it should be easy to handle. Flour your hands and knead the chilled dough.
  12. For each brioche, roll the dough into 1/8 cup- and 1 tablespoon balls. Fill the center of the 1/8 cup ball with ½ teaspoon of butterscotch chips. Make a slit into the larger ball, and 3 smaller cuts radiating out from the center. Firmly place the smaller ball at the center.
  13. Allow the brioches to rise in the muffin tins for 20 mns or until they double in size. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  14. Prepare the egg wash by diluting the egg yolk with the milk and glaze the brioches with a brush.
  15. Bake the brioches for 10 mns or until the glazed portions are golden brown. (If the egg-washed parts brown too rapidly, protect the brioches with foil).

Bon appetit!

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