Carrot, Apple & Walnut Bread #Twelveloaves

OF ALL THE SEASONS, AUTUMN OFFERS THE MOST TO MAN AND REQUIRES THE LEAST OF HIM.”  Hal Borland

Carrot, Apple and Walnut Bread | From My Sweet Heart

For me here in Washington, D.C., there’s always an awkward transition time between summer and fall.  Depending on where you live, you may know what I mean.  It’s officially autumn, yet the temperatures are still warm.  And that light jacket that you left the house with on a chilly morning becomes a burden by the afternoon.

I have similar issues with baking.  I want to delve in to more homey, comforting baking.  But then there are those warm October afternoons that leave you thinking about what you want to grill that night instead of what you want to bake that day! 

Twelve Loaves is a group of bakers who are very inspirational to me!  A huge thank you to Lora, of Cake Duchess who founded the group and to Renee of Magnolia Days and Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes for all they do to keep this group running smoothly and on track!  Each month, we are given a theme or ingredient to bake with.  This month I was challenged with root vegetables!  The slight crunch of walnuts give a little texture to this bread; which is moist and lightly sweet with the flavors of carrots and apples.  And though this quick bread is full of autumn’s best fruits and veggies, it won’t have you in the kitchen very long! [Read more...]

Italian BLT Foccacia #Twelveloaves

IF THOU TASTEST A CRUST OF BREAD, THOU TASTEST ALL THE STARS AND ALL THE HEAVENS.”  Robert Browning

Italian BLT Foccacia | From My Sweet Heart

I am so happy to be a member of Twelve Loaves.  This wonderful group of bakers is founded by Lora of Cake Duchess.  And for novice bread bakers like me, it’s a great place to feel supported as I delve into the scary world of YEAST!  Actually, not all breads include yeast.  And not all of our offerings need to be bread.  But for now, I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to do a little more savory baking.

Each month, Lora will give us a theme or ingredient and we will all place our creative spins on it.  This month’s theme was a tribute to The Farmer’s Market.  And while there are so many great choices, I wanted to bid a fond farewell to summer’s beautiful tomatoes!  This light and fluffy foccacia is my Italian riff on a BLT.  Though I could call it a PAT.  Salty Pancetta, peppery Arugula and sweet balsamic roasted roma Tomatoes top one of the lightest, chewiest crusts of bread I have ever tasted.  All the stars and the heavens indeed! [Read more...]

Black & White Sesame Seed Bread

IF YOU HAVE EXTRAORDINARY BREAD AND EXTRAORDINARY BUTTER, IT’S HARD TO BEAT BREAD AND BUTTER.”  Jacques Pepin

Black and White Sesame Seed Bread | From My Sweet Heart

I always find bread baking to be an amazing experience.  Even Wonder Bread could fill me with wonder!  I mean, just look at what you need to make bread.  Flour. Yeast. Water. Salt.  Can you think of any ingredients more bland than these?  Yet with a little time, and a little (ok…sometimes a lot!) of patience, you have a product which is so beautiful and delicious in its simplicity!  Add a few extra ingredients and you have something quite extraordinary!  This bread took me two attempts today.  But I learned a very basic lesson. . . . . [Read more...]

Buttermilk Tarragon Lemon Bread

“GOOD BREAD IS THE MOST FUNDAMENTALLY SATISFYING OF ALL FOODS; AND GOOD BREAD WITH FRESH BUTTER, THE GREATEST OF FEASTS.”  James Beard

Buttermilk Tarragon Lemon Bread | From My Sweet Heart

Does the arrival of spring (and then summer) signal a departure from the kitchen for you, especially in baking?  My ovens run all year round!  Though I do often like to lighten up in the warm weather.  For me though, the arrival of spring is the opportunity to use a new set of ingredients.  A new season, new fruits, new vegetables and all fresh!  I am excited to be able to walk onto my back deck for fresh herbs.  AND….. it means the opening of my local farm markets again!  And two of my favorite markets offer the best fresh cream and butter you can ever imagine!  This bread won’t have you in the kitchen for very long, I promise!  But your reward is a warm, fresh bread that is moist and tender, a little bit lemony with a tiny bite of pepper.  This is most definitely….. [Read more...]

Cheddar Quick Bread with Cherries

Baking from scratch really can be quick and easy!!!  Easy you say?  Absolutely!  Boring?  Not a chance!

Cheddar Quick Bread with Cherries | From My Sweet Heart

The Daring Bakers‘ February 2012 host was – Lis!  Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own.  She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and make new flavor profiles. 

The only rules for this Daring Bakers challenge is that the bread would contain no yeast and take no longer than an hour and a half to prepareWhile Lisa offered a great base recipe and some wonderful suggestions, this time we were allowed to make any quick bread that we wanted.  So I decided to share one of my favorites….. [Read more...]

Orange Nutmeg Popovers

“ONCE YOU GET A SPICE IN YOUR HOME, YOU HAVE IT FOREVER.  WOMEN NEVER THROW OUT SPICES.  THE EGYPTIANS WERE BURIED WITH THEIR SPICES.  I KNOW WHICH ONE I’M TAKING WHEN I GO.”  Erma Bombeck

Orange Nutmeg Popovers | From My Sweet Heart

Well you can’t take it with you.  So you might as well bake with it!

Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices and it combines beautifully with orange to make these popovers something extra special. 

Popovers are really so easy to make because they require only 5 ingredients, all of which are combined in a blender.  Today, I chose to add orange zest, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly cracked black pepper to create such a subtle hint of sweetness and a warmth and heat which permeate each sumptuous bite of this oddly formed, egg-like bread!  I served these orange nutmeg popovers with….. [Read more...]