High-Altitude Sandwich Bread

Hey guys! We’re back on the series I’m doing for Simple Recipes to Build Your Recipe Box, and if you want to see the other recipes from this series, have a look over there! Today though we’re touching on bread.

I wanted a super simple bread recipe that worked well for a classic sandwich bread loaf, but that can also be a great base for other bread recipes! What you get here is a pillowy center of bread, a medium-thickness crust, and an overall buttery, lightly-sweet flavor.

In a lot of ways, I’d totally love to be one of those moms that makes homemade bread for the homemade lunches of her children every week, but I also know that’s never going to happen for me. It’s cool, we do not have to do this actually, it turns out grocery stores really give us a hand sometimes.

BUT, it is really, really nice to have the smell of homemade bread wafting through your house sometimes, and this is a great place to start.

Baking bread at high-altitude is really tough. It’s always been one of the most-failed types of recipes for me, but often the fix is fairly simple here. The thing that is most important for high-altitude bread baking is to not let it rise to much! Where sea level recipes typically take longer to rise, you also don’t want to rise your dough as much in size- for example, if it says to double the size, you probably only want to see it rise by about 1/3 in size here at altitude.

I actually usually take a picture of my dough with my phone right when I set it aside to rise, and use it for reference to make sure I know how big it’s getting. It’s tough to remember, or maybe that’s just because I’m getting old? Anyways, my point is- don’t over-rise your doughs!

The other main issue here is that liquid evaporates a bit faster up here, so I usually add an extra couple of tablespoons of water or milk to my bread recipes to compensate for that. And finally, you may notice bland-tasting bread on occasion, so you just want to be a bit more generous with salt and sugar!

So here we are. The perfect sandwich bread. It’s sweetened with a little bit of sugar and also a little honey, which adds a nice touch of flavor. Plus, it’s brushed with butter both before and after baking, it’s fantastic you guys!

I hope you enjoy this one- there’s really nothing quite like fresh-baked bread, so if you’ve never done it, make today the day!

High-Altitude Sandwich Bread

Servings 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. melted butter

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the water, milk, sugar, honey, and 1 tbs. butter in the microwave until it reaches 110-115 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Stir in the active dry yeast, and set aside to bloom for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and foamy. 

  2. Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large mixing bowl), and add in two cups of flour along with the salt. Mix until combined with a paddle attachment, or with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be liquidy and lumpy at this point. 

  3. Add in another cup of flour, and continue adding in 1/4 cup portions until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to a hook attachment at this point. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky when you stop adding flour. 

  4. Knead either in the mixer or by hand until the dough is elastic. By hand, this will take about 10 minutes, and by mixer it should take about 5. The dough may still be slightly lumpy, but should spring back when you touch it. 

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise by about 1/3 in size, which takes about 30 minutes for me, but keep an eye on your dough size to avoid over-proofing. 

  6. Grease an 8 or 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside. 

  7. Roll your dough into a large rectangle. One side should be about the same length as the length of your loaf pan. Roll the dough, starting on the loaf-pan-length side, into a tight log, and place seam-side down into your prepared loaf pan. Cover with plastic. 

  8. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. It will be just slightly puffed. Brush the top of the loaf generously with some of the melted butter, and bake for 45-48 minutes. The dough should reach a deep golden brown color, and you can use an instant read thermometer to see that the inside reaches 195 degrees. 

  9. Brush the remaining melted butter over the top of the loaf immediately when you take it out of the oven. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Wait until the bread is completely cool to slice. Enjoy! 

Steak & Ale Pie

Pastries, Savory, Pie | September 22, 2018 | By

Hey guys! It’s been a while since we’ve gone to the savory side of things on here, so I think it’s about time.

I’ve been watching the newest season of The Great British Bake Show, and first of all, if you aren’t watching this, get on it. It’s like a breath of fresh air compared to American food competition shows. Everyone is super nice to each other and the whole thing feels way more wholesome.

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And anyways, every time I watch a season of this show, when it comes to pastry week, those savory pies give me a craving. On Sunday morning a while back, I was watching the latest season, and the bakers where making savory pies that were KILLING ME. I had to have one.

Steak Pie 1

Also, side note, why don’t Americans eat more savory pies? I don’t know why it’s not a thing here, outside of chicken pot pie that is, because savory pies are so flippin good. It’s like full on comfort food. Flakey pie crust, gravy, potatoes, meat? It’s the perfect meal.

Steak Pie 6

So anyways, onto this pie. Because there’s a lot of steps here (and I have a baby to tend to), I’m using a couple of shortcuts here. The first is store-bought pie crust. I know, I know, I’m a baker, and listen, it’s not that I CAN’T make a pie crust. It’s that I don’t always have the time, and you probably don’t either. Anyways, I also bought pre-sliced mushrooms for this, huge help because honestly chopping takes time.

Steak Pie 3

I baked mine in a braiser-style dutch oven. If you don’t have one of those, you can also bake it in a regular standard 6-7 quart dutch oven, or similar oven-safe pot. Or if you have a deep dish square-ish casserole dish, that would probably work as well.

Steak Pie 4

As for the steak, I used short ribs. They were at a good price at my store. Now, I’m gonna be honest, I’m not great at cooking red meat, so I don’t have a ton to go on here, but the short ribs worked really well for me. I hear that any type of stew meat would work well here.

Steak Pie 5

So anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this one, it’s one of my favs lately!

Steak & Ale Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into half-moon slices
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds steak meat of your choice, I used short ribs
  • 2 pie crusts, prepared and rolled out
  • 8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms (or white mushrooms)
  • 1/2 can light beer, I used a pilsner
  • 1 tbs. tomato paste
  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 2 large yellow potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tsp. ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 3 tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 tbs. water
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper to taste for the top of the pie
  • Salt, pepper, & garlic powder as needed, see recipe instructions

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the sliced onions, olive oil, sugar, 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of pepper over medium-high heat until the onions are caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves, and place them into a medium bowl. After the onions are caramelized, scoop them into the bowl with the garlic. Set aside. 

  2. Place your saucepan back on the stove, and return to medium-high heat. Cut the steak into bite-size cubes, and toss with the 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and 2 tsp. garlic powder. Brown in your saucepan until the edges have reached a deep brown, and the meat is cooked through. Remove the steak from the pan, and place into a small bowl, set aside. 

  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking dish with the bottom pie crust, and prick with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, until it's reached a light golden brown. Set aside. 

  4. Back on medium-high heat, add the sliced mushrooms, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and beer into your pot. Cook until the beer has reduced significantly, and then add the onions and garlic back into the pan. Stir in the tomato paste, and then the beef stock. 

  5. Add the cubed potatoes, 1 tbs. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, rosemary, thyme, and 1 tbs. garlic powder, and boil for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes have cooked through. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until combined. Pour into the boiling stew, and stir constantly until it becomes very thick. Stir in the cooked steak. 

  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared bottom crust in your baking dish. Place the top crust over the top, and slice vent holes. Beat the egg, and brush over the top of the crust. Sprinkle with salt and pepper lightly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown. Serve hot. 

Steak & Ale Pie

Pesto Babka

High Altitude Bread Baking | Pesto Babka Recipe

Do you guys watch Seinfeld? 

My husband is obsessed with sitcoms, and Seinfeld is definitely on the list. There’s an episode where babka plays a big role, which is one thing I think of when I think of this recipe- “Lesser babka? I think not!” 

Anyways, if you don’t watch the show, that was probably nonsense to you. The bigger reason I love babka, though, is that I am carb-obsessed. If you’re here, you probably are too. It’s cool, this is a safe space for us bread lovers. 

PestoBabka1

Basically, babka is typically a sweet number, but today we’re switching it up a bit. Normally you’ve got lots of layers of a dense yeast bread and some kind of gooey chocolate or cinnamon filling, and let me tell you, that version of things is fan-freakin-tastic. But sometimes you need a little bit of savory bread too. 

PestoBabka2

The way this recipe works is by rolling your dough super thin. It rises while baking, so even though the dough feels super delicate while you work on filling and shaping it, the result is perfect. 

Since pesto has both olive oil and cheese for moisture, it offers a very similar texture to your traditional babka recipes as well. More importantly, I love pesto. 

PestoBabka4

Baking bread at a high altitude is tough you guys. I get it. Baking in general is much more complicated at altitude, but when you spend hours letting bread rise, and shaping it, and letting it rise again, only to end up with something you don’t want to eat?? It’s suuuper disappointing. 

Here’s my biggest tip for bread at a high altitude- watch the dough, not the clock. When I realized I was over-proofing most of my bread doughs, everything got better. 

PestoBabka3

Make the pesto babka. It’ll work, it’ll taste awesome, and it’ll impress you’re friends. 

Pesto Babka

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup pesto (use whatever you like best here- homemade or jarred)

Instructions

  • Butter a large bowl generously, and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together 2 1/2 cups bread flour, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
  • Heat your whole milk in the microwave until it reaches 115 degrees.
  • Stir the sugar into the whole milk, and then stir in the yeast. Let the mixture sit and bloom for 5-10 minutes, or until it's bubbly and frothy.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the eggs and melted butter.
  • Add the yeast mixture into the egg mixture, and stir to combine.
  • Add in the flour mixture, and stir until combined, and a dough has formed.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, for about 5 minutes. The dough will be fairly stiff.
  • Place the dough into your buttered bowl. For the first rise, you want the dough to double in size. For me, this takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour, but you should keep a close eye on your dough after 30 minutes. Do not let the dough rise to more than double in size.
  • Remove the dough from your bowl, and roll it out on a floured surface.
  • You want the dough to be very thin, 1/8-1/4 inch thick, and in the shape of a large rectangle. Since the dough will be a bit elastic, this may take some working.
  • Spread your pesto evenly over the entire rectangle, all the way to the edges.
  • Lightly grease a loaf pan, and set aside.
  • Begin to roll your dough, very tightly, like you would a cinnamon roll, starting on one of the shorter sides of your rectangle.
  • Once you have the dough completely rolled up, slice the roll in half length-wise.
  • Twist the two halves together, lightly pinching each end together.
  • Place the dough into your prepared loaf pan, and cover.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and let the dough rest for 25-30 minutes. The dough should rise during this time just slightly, by about 1/3 at most.
  • Bake the dough uncovered for 40-45 minutes. If you notice the bread becoming too brown on top, cover with foil for the remaining bake time.
  • Using an instant-read thermometer, the inside of your dough should reach about 165-170 degrees on the inside when it is finished baking.
  • Remove from the oven, and cool completely in the pan. Slice, and enjoy!
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Soft Pretzel Twists

Savory, High Altitude Baking | February 13, 2017 | By

Hi everyone! Today is a special post- it’s actually my 100th recipe on the blog! 

I’m going savory for number 100 with these soft pretzel twists, and they’re super easy to make actually. Let’s just have a real moment here, where we all admit to ourselves that soft pretzels are one of God’s gifts to earth. Like what self-respecting carb-lover does NOT like soft pretzels?

It’s actually one of the easier bread types to make because it only has to rise once, which means there’s less chance to screw it up basically. It does, however, have the odd step of boiling the dough before baking it, but that’s what gives it that pillowy texture we all love. 

Here’s the idea; you make the dough, give it a bit to rise, until it doubles in size and looks about like this: 

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Then, divide your dough in half, in half again, and then into fourths. Roll into a rope, fold it in half and twist. Then tuck the ends into the loop so you end up with a twisted roll shape, like this: 

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Next, you’ll boil the dough twists in water mixed with baking soda for about 30 seconds. Place it on your baking sheet, brush on an egg wash, and sprinkle coarse salt and pepper over the tops: 

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Then bake ’em up! Here’s what they look like all pretty and golden: 

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Even if you haven’t been following Dough-eyed for too long, I hope you celebrate this 100th post with me, and bake up some pretzel twists. You can use them as slider buns, a twist on dinner rolls, or just with nacho cheese- the classic. 

Enjoy!

 

Soft Pretzel Twists

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (around 125 degrees)
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 6 tbs. melted butter
  • 2 ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups flour
  • 2 quarts water
  • ¼ cup baking soda (that’s right, a whole quarter cup!)
  • 1 egg beaten with a little water
  • Coarse salt and pepper for topping

Instructions

  • If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. If not, a hand mixer will work. In a large bowl, mix together warm water, brown sugar, yeast, and melted butter. Let stand for about five minutes.
  • In the meantime, mix together the salt, and 4 ½ cups flour
  • Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and combine until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky, so use more flour if needed.
  • Knead the dough on a flat surface for about five minutes, and form into a ball. Grease a medium bowl with a small amount of oil. Toss the dough in the bowl, flipping to coat the top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 30 minutes to an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot, bring two quarts (eight cups) of water to a boil. Add the baking soda to the boiling water quickly and be careful because it might splatter!
  • Prepare two sheet pans with a non-stick silpat sheet.
  • Divide your dough in half, then in half again. Then, each of those halves should be divided into four.
  • Roll each small section into a rope. Then fold it in half, and twist, and finally, fold the ends of the twisted rope into the loop on the top. This should create a twisted roll shape.
  • Use a slotted spoon to boil and remove about four pieces at time, for about 30 seconds each. You can put the boiled pieces directly onto your prepared sheet pan.
  • Then, brush the pieces with your beaten egg mixture and immediately top with salt and pepper. Bake for about twelve to fifteen minutes, until golden brown!
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Fresh Bread and Pesto Garlic Butter

Fresh baked bread is maybe the best thing you can do. Your whole house is going to smell AMAZING, I promise, and you can enjoy it with super yummy butters, like this garlic pesto version. 

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This is a high altitude recipe, so if you’re making this at sea level, you’ll want to decrease the liquid by about 1/4 cup, and let your dough rise for 15-20 minutes longer on each rise. 

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On another note, if you’ve ever tried to make bread at a high altitude, you’ve probably been unhappy with the results. In my case, I almost always ended up with a very dense, heavy, and overly chewy end product that was… not good basically. In high altitudes, the rising times are a huge factor, so pay close attention to each rise for your dough!

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Eating bread thats still warm from the oven is one of the better things in life, and this recipe is an easy one. Bake bread today. Tomorrow. And everyday. (JK, that’s just a dream of mine). 

I also made mine with a honey cinnamon butter, which is fantastic too!

Enjoy!

 

Fresh Bread and Pesto Garlic Butter

Ingredients

  • For the bread:
  • 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups (to 5 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • For the butter:
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2 tbs pesto of your choice
  • 1 tbs. roasted garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Instructions

  • For the bread:
  • Mix together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the whole milk, water, canola oil, and salt until about 120 degrees.
  • Pour the milk mixture into a stand mixture, or a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of flour to start, and beat together until combined.
  • Add in the yeast mixture, and beat together for several minutes. You will have a lumpy, very wet mixture at this point.
  • Add in another 1/2 cup of flour, and beat together. Continue slowly adding flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, and is no longer sticky.
  • Then, pull the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead in a little more flour until it's smooth.
  • Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 50-55 minutes for the first round.
  • After the first rise, punch down the dough, and knead on a floured surface once or twice. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let it rise again for about 40-45 minutes this time.
  • Once the dough has risen a second time, pat the dough into a large rectangle, and roll it into a log. Pinch the seam closed, and then pull the dough into a ring, and pinch that seam closed
  • Place into a lightly greased tube pan and cover with plastic wrap. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Let your dough rise again for a final 20 minutes while your oven preheats. Then, brush the top with milk.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 30 minutes, or until golden. The inside temp of the bread should be 190-195 degrees.
  • Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy!
  • For the butter:
  • Mix everything together with a hand mixer or stand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Store in a small container or mason jar in the fridge!
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