Tag Archives: Kitchen Bootcamp

Cranberry Coffee Cake

I have always loved baking in the mornings, especially in the colder months of the year.  There’s just something about heating up the oven on a chilly morning and baking something for breakfast in my PJs.

Since Miss Madison arrived, though, I haven’t been doing as much early morning baking. Morning baking has been replaced with lots of snuggling (and I am certainly not complaining!).  When I do find some time to do some AM baking, I have to use my time wisely.  I rarely have a lot of free time all at once, so I’m usually looking for a simple recipe that I can put together in just a few minutes.  Then, we can go about our morning routine while breakfast is in the oven.

This coffee cake recipe is perfect for busy mornings.  It’s adapted from a recipe for “Cinnamon Flop” that was passed down to me from my grandmother.  I remember my mom baking it for us on special occasions when I was a kid, and now I can see why. The recipe is quite simple, but it yields a moist and delicious coffee cake studded with a crunchy and sweet cinnamon topping. It was a favorite of mine growing up, and it’s becoming a new favorite all over again!

This time around, I decided to use some eggnog to jazz up the coffee cake just a bit.  While I don’t really drink much eggnog, I always pick up a container of it at the grocery store this time of year for baking.  The original recipe calls for milk, but I thought that some eggnog would make the cake extra rich and give it a bit of holiday flair. To pair with the creamy eggnog, I also added some chopped cranberries to the recipe. Not only do they add another layer of flavor, they also add some pretty color to the cake. Continue Reading

Challenge: Holiday Recipes (Kitchen Bootcamp November/December)

I cannot believe that October is over already. Between waiting for our little baby to arrive and then adjusting to life with a newborn in the house (and, we’re still working on that part!), October just breezed right on by. November is here, and it’s time for a new Kitchen Bootcamp challenge!

In the last week or so, there is a chill in the air that I hadn’t detected before. The days are getting shorter and it is dark by dinner time each night.  Fall is definitely here, and I am reminded that the holidays are right around the corner.  Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away, and then the Christmas season is in full swing.  I know our holidays are going to be quite different this year, but I’m excited to start creating some new memories.  And, of course, I’m excited to start working on a few new holiday recipes.

So, I thought it would be fun to do another two-month Kitchen Bootcamp challenge focusing on holiday recipes.  It’s a bit of a different challenge since I’m not choosing a specific chapter in The New Best Recipe. We’re all busy this time of year, and I know that it can be difficult to add another thing to the agenda.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll be in the kitchen trying a handful of new things for the holidays.  Don’t you just love gathering new recipes and working on a menu for Thanksgiving dinner?  Or perhaps you can’t wait to find the perfect new cookie recipe to try for a holiday cookie swap? Well, that’s what I’d love to hear about for this month’s challenge!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the recipes in The New Best Recipe.  If you’re nervous about making a turkey for Thanksgiving, check out the Poultry chapter (chapter 7) for all the information you need for turkey, gravy, and stuffing.  Need dessert inspiration? You’ll likely find the chapters on Cakes (chapter 19) and Pies and Tarts (chapter 20) to be quite helpful. The Vegetables (chapter 4) and Appetizers (chapter 1) chapters may also be particularly helpful if you’re looking for side dishes or snacks for hungry guests.  The book is a great resource for all kinds of recipes!

Of course, even if you don’t have a copy of The New Best Recipe, you are more than welcome to participate in the challenge. Feel free to use whatever sources you have on hand. The point of the challenge is to try something new, and you can be as creative as you’d like!

Since we’ll all be sharing some great holiday recipes that others may want to try, I’d like to post the roundup on Thursday, December 20th.  So, in order to have your blog post included in my roundup, please submit it (including a photo, if you would like a photo included) by Wednesday, December 19th.

Please Note – The links to The New Best Recipe provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.  If you purchase this cookbook (or another item) after  clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

Kitchen Bootcamp Roundup – Yeast Breads

For this Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, I asked everyone to spend some time in the kitchen getting familiar with yeast breads… Many of you know that I love to bake, and baking with yeast is pretty high up there on my list.  While a new baby has kept me from doing as much baking for this challenge as I had hoped, I am glad to see that the challenge inspired many others to take on some new recipes and even try baking with yeast for the first time! Continue Reading

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread

Since I chose yeast breads for the current Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, I thought it was only appropriate that I try a few new bread recipes in my own kitchen.  I decided to start with the sandwich bead recipe from The New Best Recipe. I had good intentions of simply following the recipe, but as I often do, I ended up taking a few liberties with the bread as I was mixing it up.

I often bake my sandwich bread with some plain yogurt, but since I had buttermilk in the fridge this time around, I decided to use that for the majority of the liquid in the recipe.  As the recipe suggested, I mixed the buttermilk with a small amount of boiling water to properly warm the liquids, and it worked like a charm.  I also opted to sweeten the bread with some maple syrup and use part whole wheat flour for a heartier taste.

Fortunately, my substitutions paid off pretty well in this recipe. Though I can’t compare it to the original recipe (since I seem to be incapable of following directions), I was happy with how things turned out.  The resulting loaf of bread rose beautifully and had a great flavor.  It was versatile enough for all sorts of sandwiches, from the classic PB&J to grilled chicken and more. The slices also toasted up well for breakfast and were tasty with some peanut butter or butter and jam.

I loved how quickly the bread dough came together, even mixing it by hand.  I will likely be making it again (though, I can’t promise that I’ll even follow my own recipe exactly… I love to play around with bread!). It’s a great recipe to try whether you’re new to bread baking or you’re an experienced bread baker.  I think you’ll be happy with the results… And, your family will be, too!

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread
Makes 1 loaf (about 12 slices)
(Adapted from The New Best Recipe)

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups bread flour, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups whole wheat flour

Begin by stirring together the buttermilk, boiling water, butter, and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup of bread flour, yeast, and salt.  Beat the mixture with a dough whisk or a wooden spoon until it is smooth.

Gradually add the remaining bread flour and the whole wheat flour until a soft dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Knead the dough (either in the bowl, which is my preference, or on a lightly floured surface) for about 5 – 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise until it has just about doubled in volume and the imprint of two fingers remains.

Punch down the bread dough and shape it into a loaf. Transfer the loaf to a lightly greased loaf pan.  Cover and let rise again until the dough is puffy and an imprint remains when the loaf is touched on the side.

As the dough rises the second time, preheat the oven to 350°.  Bake the bread for 40 – 45 minutes, until golden on top and hollow sounding when tapped lightly. Carefully transfer the loaf from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Please Note – The links to The New Best Recipe provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.  If you purchase this cookbook (or another item) after  clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

Challenge: Yeast Breads (Kitchen Bootcamp September/October)

Time for a new Kitchen Bootcamp challenge!  Since I will be otherwise occupied towards the end of September and the beginning of October, I have opted to do an extended challenge this time around…  But, I think it’s a good one!

With the arrival of fall comes the arrival of baking season.  In the heat of summer, the last thing I want to do is crank up the heat in my kitchen by baking all afternoon.  I always welcome the cool fall air since it always puts me back in a baking mood.

Since we’re doing a bit of an extended challenge, I thought we’d tackle a good topic (and one of my favorites!)… Yeast Breads!

Don’t stop reading!  Baking with yeast shouldn’t be scary, and the fall is the perfect time to get started.  Plus, I think you’ll find that The New Best Recipe (our current guide for Kitchen Bootcamp challenges) covers the basics of baking with yeast quite well (look for Chapter 17).  You’ll find everything from tips on technique, measuring and kneading to recipes for sandwich bread, crescent rolls, bagels, and even doughnuts.  There’s something for everyone… And, every level of experience! Continue Reading