If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know how much I love pie. I was fortunate to grow up with a Grandmother who loved to bake pie. She loved to serve me and the other members of our family one of her pies. Now I find myself making homemade pies for my family and our friends.
I don’t have my Grandmother’s recipe. In fact, I doubt that she had a recipe that was written down on paper. She cooked and baked by feel, adding a bit of this or a bit of that. She had been honing her skills for decades, recipes were no longer necessary by the time I was sitting in the kitchen watching her work her magic.
Pie was one of the first dishes that I taught myself to make. I wanted so badly to master that flaky, delicious crust that my Grandmother had seemed to make so effortlessly. I tried in vain, turning out pies that had tough, chewy dough where I had hoped that the light, flaky crust would be.
With each pie, my skills improved. Along the way, I picked up a few tricks that have helped me to make flaky, light pie crusts without fail. It seemed only fair for me to share a few of those tips with you. I hope that you’ll find them helpful and that you’ll be enjoying a delicious homemade pie with your family this holiday season.
I adore fresh pie. I love to make it as much as I love to enjoy a slice with my family. One bite of a freshly baked berry pie and I am magically transformed to a time and place deeply imbedded in my childhood. I simply can’t eat a slice of berry pie without thinking…
I love to make homemade pies from scratch. It's a family tradition that started with my paternal grandmother. She was a gifted pie baker and enjoyed making pies in her tiny kitchen. More importantly, she wanted to share those pies with the people she loved. I was lucky enough to be one of those people. …
Of all the dishes that make an annual appearance on our Thanksgiving table, this is the hands down favorite. Everyone clamors for this dressing as soon as it exits the oven. As it bakes, the farmhouse is infused with the intoxicating aroma of toasting bread, celery, and savory spices. It’s no wonder we all love this comforting, hearty side dish so much.
I like to prepare our dressing in an oversized, deep-dish cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven. It allows me to prepare the entire dish in a single pan, saving me the trouble of washing extra dishes on a day when dirty dishes seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The cast iron also creates the most delicious and beautiful caramelized layer on the bread cubes that are on the bottom and sides of the pan.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the dressing, you can use an oven ready skillet or casserole dish brushed with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. You can also cut this recipe in half in order to fit it comfortably in a standard 10 inch cast iron skillet.
I love to use a few loaves of our favorite 1840 Farmhouse Brioche bread for this stuffing, but two standard sized loaves of any type of bread can be substituted. I have tested the recipe using loaves of stuffing bread from our local grocery store with very good results. While the homemade bread was a bit more flavorful and rustic, both versions were delicious and beautiful.
No matter the loaf of bread you use or type of vessel you choose to bake the dressing in, the end result will be comforting and delicious. Our family’s favorite dressing is sure to please the diners gathered around your Thanksgiving table.
1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing
This recipe was adapted from Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Stuffing which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Bon Appétit Magazine. As soon as I read the ingredients, I knew that I had to try it!
makes 8 side dish servings
2 pounds bread (1840 Farmhouse Brioche)
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2 large onions, chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced and washed to remove grit
1 cup chopped celery stalks and leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh sage
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup chicken broth (more as needed)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the bread by slicing the loaves into 1 inch thick slices before dividing each slice into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Transfer the bread cubes to the warm oven and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to dry and toast the cubes without drying them to the point that they resemble croutons. Remove the toasted cubes from the oven and allow them to cool. If desired, the bread cubes can be toasted the day before and kept at room temperature until needed.
Heat your large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, using a large spoon or fork to break the sausage into bite-sized pieces. This will allow the sausage to be evenly distributed in the finished dish.
When the sausage is no longer pink, add the onions, washed leeks, and celery to the pan. Incorporating the celery leaves will add a boost of celery flavor to the dish as the leaves have a more concentrated flavor than the stalks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the celery begins to soften and the onions become translucent.
Prepare the aromatics as the sausage and onion mixture sautés. Mince the garlic with the rosemary and sage before adding them to the pan along with the fennel seeds and drained artichoke hearts. Cook until warmed through, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and broth, stirring to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add more broth to moisten if necessary. Transfer the entire mixture to the cast iron pan or your chosen baking dish. Top with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, placing the buttered side down on the surface of the dressing.
Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
I am always looking for a recipe that offers me a new way to prepare our fresh eggs to serve at our family table. If that new recipe also includes heirloom tomatoes, all the better. I happened upon this recipe in a copy of Martha Stewart Living from June 2011. The technique was so simple…
For the past several years, I have been making refrigerator dill pickles using the cucumbers we harvest fresh from our garden. Making those simple, fresh pickles is a great way of pickling cucumbers without needing to spend hours standing over the canning pot. In minutes, I can prepare several mason jars full of cucumber pickles that will be enjoyed by the whole family.
I do make several batches of pickles each summer that are canned for long term pantry storage. With luck and little planning, those water bath processed jars of pickles last us well into the winter. They’re delicious and we enjoy every last bite. Yet, there’s something altogether wonderful about a pickle that can be made in minutes, kept cold in the refrigerator, and eaten fresh during the season when heirloom vegetables are so plentiful in our garden.
Once I mastered the refrigerator cucumber pickles, I started experimenting with other fresh garden produce. These dilly beans are now just as beloved at 1840 Farm as the cucumber variety. Because these quick pickled green beans will be consumed within days instead of months, the vegetables require no cooking and stay crisp and brightly colored.
Much like the cucumber pickles we look forward to each summer, these dilly beans are quick and easy to put together. Simply prepare the brining liquid as you prep the fresh green beans. Once the beans have been trimmed to remove the ends and sized to fit in the mason jars, simply fill the jars with the brine. Within hours, the beans will be infused with the flavor of dill and vinegar. By the next day, they will be dilly bean perfection.
I keep several wide mouth canning jars full of refrigerator dilly beans in our refrigerator. As one jar is emptied, I simply prep enough fresh green beans to refill the jar, add the beans to the brining liquid, and return the jar to the refrigerator I use plastic canning lids and write the day that the fresh beans were added using a dry erase marker. That way, I always know which jar been brined the longest and can serve those dilly beans first.
I find myself making more refrigerator dilly beans and refrigerator dill pickles almost every other day during the summer. They are both irresistibly fresh and vibrant in color and flavor. We can’t seem to get enough of them. Rest assured, I will be planting more cucumbers and green beans in our garden next summer!
If you’re interested in expanding your garden, visit our sponsor and join the Seeds of the Month Club. Every month, you’ll receive non-GMO seeds to add to your garden just like we do. Better yet, you can save 25% off the price of a membership by clicking on the “join now” button.
1840 Farm Refrigerator Dilly Beans makes two wide mouth pint jars
Because these dilly beans are refrigerated instead of prepared for long term storage, the recipe can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a sweeter dilly bean, more sugar can be added. If you like your pickled beans with more zing, reduce the sugar to intensify the flavor of the vinegar. If you like a little heat, a small dried pepper could be placed in each jar before adding the trimmed green beans. I reuse the brining liquid several times during the course of a few weeks before making a fresh batch and starting the process all over again.
12 ounces white vinegar
4 ½ Tablespoons pickling salt
3/4 cup (144 grams) sugar
12 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bunch fresh dill
fresh green beans, washed and drained
Prepare the brining liquid by combining the white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer gently over medium heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Gather two pint sized glass jars with lids. I prefer to use wide mouth jars as they are easier to fill, but any clean jar will do. To each jar, add 6 whole peppercorns, 2 clove of peeled and quartered garlic, and 1 generous handful of dill.
Trim the ends from the green beans before placing vertically in the prepared jars. Trim longer beans as necessary to fit in the jar. Continue to add trimmed beans until the jar is full.
Once the brining liquid has cooled to room temperature, pour approximately half of the liquid into each jar. Cover and swirl slightly to disperse the spices.
Refrigerate the beans until ready to use. These dilly beans must be refrigerated. They are not intended for long term pantry storage.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/07/refrigerator-dilly-beans/
Most strawberry jam recipes call for adding pectin in order to properly gel the jam. Strawberries have very little pectin, so a source of pectin must be added. I prefer to use the natural pectin in an apple rather than add commercially produced powdered pectin. I find that an apple adds plenty of pectin along with a touch of tangy flavor that offers a nice counterpoint to the sweet earthiness of the fresh strawberries.
The grated apple softens as the jam cooks, releasing its pectin and becoming nearly unrecognizable in the finished jam. The apple peel should be removed before canning the finished jam. At our house, the apple peel coated in rich strawberry jam is a delicacy. It’s like the best fruit leather on earth and is happily devoured by the whole family!
1 ½ pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed, and cut into small pieces
2 cups (384 grams) granulated sugar
1 medium apple, prepared as directed below
Juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Place several plates or large spoons in the freezer for use in gel test. If you are planning to can the jam, ready your canning pot, jars, lids, rings, and canning equipment. I like to use 4 or 8 ounce canning jars when processing this jam.
Using a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the apple in long strips. Core and quarter the apple. Use a grater to grate the apple quarters. Add the grated apple and apple peel to a large non-reactive pot with the strawberries and sugar. Stir gently to combine and place the pot on a burner over medium heat.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent the sugars from burning. Using a slotted spoon, remove the strawberry pieces from the pot and transfer to a medium bowl. Removing the strawberries will help them to maintain a firmer texture in the final jam.
Continue to boil the liquid in the pot for another 15 minutes. Return the reserved berries to the pot and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine and continue to boil gently for another 15 minutes or until the mixture passes the gel test when allowed to cool on the chilled plates or spoons set aside in the freezer.
While the gel test may sound like a daunting scientific experiment, it is actually a simple, visual method for determining if your jam has reached the ideal consistency. This test will allow you to measure the finished consistency of your jam. If the mixture is too loose, it can be boiled further to allow a bit more of the liquid to evaporate. If the mixture has boiled too long and is slightly too thick, a small bit of liquid can be added to loosen the mixture before canning.
Performing the gel test involves placing a bit of the hot jam on a plate or large spoon that has been chilled in the freezer. When the mixture has been allowed to cool, the consistency can be accurately gauged. When cool, the jam should form a cohesive mixture, forming a wrinkle as it moves when pressed with your finger. If you run a finger through the small puddle of jam, it should split apart and then return to a cohesive puddle moments later.
Once the mixture has passed the gel test, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the apple peel and stir in the vanilla. Ladle hot jam into sterilized 4 or 8 ounce jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles from the side of the jar. Using a clean cloth, remove any residue from the rim of the jar. Place a lid on the jar and tighten with band. Gently lower the filled jar into the boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars have been added to the pot. Place lid on canning pot. Return water to a boil.
Once the water has returned to a boil, process half-pint jars of jam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the lid from pot. Allow the jars to rest in the water for at least five minutes. Carefully remove jars to a towel lined baking sheet. Allow jars to cool up to 24 hours before checking the seals and labeling the jars for storage. A properly sealed jar of strawberry jam can be stored and used for up to one year.
This recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/strawberry-jam/
Earlier this week, the June issue of From Scratch Magazine was published. The issue is filled with great seasonal content including three of my favorite strawberry recipes. In its pages, you’ll find my recipe for Strawberry Jam, Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries, and Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake. We have been enjoying the crumble cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden. You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.
When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon. Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.
I don’t want you to simply take my word for it that this cookbook and cinnamon are fantastic. Thanks to the book’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, you can win a copy of this beautiful cookbook and find inspiration to add whole grains and natural sweeteners to your family’s favorite recipes. Flavor of the Earth has also generously added a one pound bag of their Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to our giveaway. I wanted to join in the fun, so I added one of our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits. The winner of this giveaway will be ready to bake something amazing using this prize package!
You can enter by leaving a comment on this post sharing what you love to make using cinnamon and by liking a trio of Facebook pages. Don’t worry, if you already follow 1840 Farm on Facebook, you can simply confirm that status with a click of the button below and claim your entries. The contest closes on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Good luck to all who enter!
Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake makes 6-8 servings
This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.
Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long term storage.
While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan. Set aside.
Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.
Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly. You will notice a slight change in color and aroma. Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.
Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan. Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened. Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
This recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/
I have many fond memories of this dish from my childhood. My mother made this recipe for countless holiday morning breakfasts. It was always topped with fresh strawberries, sour cream, and a sprinkling of brown sugar. It was always called Strawberry Puff Pancake.
The name made sense given that the dish was topped with strawberries and the batter puffed dramatically while it baked in the oven. It seemed magical to me that you could pour a thin batter into the pie plate, slide it in the oven and watch as it transformed into an airy, delicate concoction.
For a chicken keeper, this is a delicious celebration of the fresh eggs that we collect from our heritage breed hens. The resulting pancake is full of the fresh, rich flavor of fresh eggs. The flavor is paired with the beautiful golden color of the yolks provided by hens that enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of fresh green grass and treats.
I know now that this dish bears a remarkable resemblance to the German Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake. No matter its name, the recipe is similar to a popover and yields a light, eggy, custard-like pancake that is delicious when topped with fresh fruit. While the combination of sour cream and brown sugar with the fresh strawberries may seem curious at first, I promise that it won’t disappoint. We have tried topping this pancake with whipped cream and syrup, but this is our favorite trio of toppings.
This is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm and sure to become one around your family table. I hope that you’ll enjoy it just as much as we do!
Strawberry Puff Pancake (German Dutch Baby) serves 4-6 as a main course topped with fresh fruit
3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) butter
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk
6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
¾ cup (90 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butter in a glass pie pan, 9 inch cast iron skillet, or similarly sized casserole dish and transfer to the warm oven as you prepare the batter. I like to place the baking dish or skillet on top of a cookie sheet to catch any excess batter that might overflow the pan as it bakes.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk until they are light and frothy. Add the milk and whisk until well combined. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
Remove the warm baking dish from the oven. Pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are puffed and lightly brown. When the pancake is fully baked, a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the pan will come out clean.
Remove the pancake from the oven and serve topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar, fresh sliced strawberries, and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
Valentine's Day usually comes and goes in a flash. This year, it falls on the Friday before a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm. That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine's Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the weekend is through.
Last year, we launched our first 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collections in order to share our favorite heirloom varieties with our readers. This year, we are excited to be partnering with our friends at Fresh Eggs Daily to bring you an expanded selection of Heirloom Seed Collections. Each collection has been carefully curated to pair varieties that are well suited for growing together in your gardens and ours. All of the seeds in our collections are heirloom, non-GMO, and sourced from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, a family owned seed purveyor.
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Lisa and I first became friends during the summer of 2012. What started as a casual conversation about chicken keeping and writing quickly evolved into an ongoing dialog about so much more. Within days, we were trading messages about using old fashioned techniques to care for our animals, tips for tending to our gardens, and the warm childhood memories of our grandparents doing the same. Two years have passed and our conversation is still going strong.
This winter, we discovered that we were each working independently on curating heirloom seed collections for the upcoming growing season. Within minutes, we decided that working together on the collection would allow us to offer a better variety of seeds to our customers and give us another reason to chat all summer long.
We’re hoping that you will join us in growing a few of our favorite heirlooms in your gardens. Together, we can learn more about the history of these varieties and share our favorite preparations for our families and the animals in our care. Whether you grow a collection of herbs to boost the health of your hens or tend a tomato patch to brighten the fresh meals served at your family table, we hope that you will enjoy joining in our friendly conversation this summer and beyond.
While we’re all waiting for spring weather to finally arrive and the growing season to begin, 1840 Farm, Fresh Eggs Daily, and Sasquatch Books have a fantastic giveaway to share with you. One lucky winner will win:
Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash. This year, it falls on the Friday before a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm. That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the weekend is through.
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/02/valentines-day-favorites-at-1840-farm/
A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni. It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods: eggs. I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog. I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen: a cast iron pan.
The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet. These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table. This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.
The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away. The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate. I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe. After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.
All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe. I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.
After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made. As dinner went on, so did their happy comments. By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.
I promised that I would make this recipe again soon. I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself. These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.
The giveaway that accompanies the recipe is also sure to make one lucky reader’s day! When Sasquatch Books offered to send a copy of The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook to one of our readers, I decided to invite a few of my favorite products to join in the fun. I can’t wait to share them with you.
I hope that you’ll enjoy making these cinnamon rolls and that you’ll take a moment to enter to win our fabulous prize package. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States. Entries will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday, January 28th. One winner will be randomly selected using Random.org and notified via Email. Good luck to all who enter!
Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour.
I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls. If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe. The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough. If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise. Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.
Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl. Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.
When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture. Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms. If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly. Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition. Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil. Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce. Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet. Place the skillet over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling. Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough. If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.
When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface. Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.
Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough. Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter. Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.
Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width. Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce. Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.
Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan. As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm. Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes. Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.
Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan. The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls. Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/01/cast-iron-skillet-cinnamon-rolls-with-bourbon-caramel-sauce/
When life hands you lemons you can choose to make lemonade. But what do you do when life cruelly hands you a corked bottle of wine? Well, I mean what do you do after lamenting the fact that the nectar of the gods has been replaced by a liquid with the aroma of a musty, flooded basement?
I used to simply bemoan my bad fortune and pour the offending liquid down the drain. Moments later, the empty bottle would clink to the bottom of the kitchen recycling bin and I would sigh, knowing that this imperfection is the chance you take when drinking a bottle of wine. It simply goes with the territory.
Wine becomes corked after coming into contact with a cork that is contaminated. An infected cork can contain millions of microorganisms called trichloroanisole (TCA) lying in wait to feast on a perfectly processed bottle of wine. Because cork is a natural product, there is no way to completely guarantee that one will not carry this offensive contaminant into a bottle of wine. For this reason, many wineries have moved to screw tops and synthetic corks.
After I had learned the how and why a bottle becomes corked, I learned that corked wine could be used for cooking. No, I wouldn’t use it to flavor a light sauce as I feared that the corked aroma and taste would surely impart its funk to whatever it touched. Instead, corked wine was suited to cooking over a longer period of time. As it cooked, its offensiveness would evaporate away leaving the rich flavor that the wine was meant to bring to my glass when it was opened.
It was hard for me to believe that I could turn a musty, overpowering liquid into something edible, but my curiosity was piqued. I had nothing to lose. The wine in its natural state was, ironically unnatural and unpotable. It was time to get creative and get cooking.
My goal was to make a caramelized onion red wine jam that could grace our weekend cheese platter. It seemed fitting that I would turn corked wine into a condiment for a cheese course that would accompany a glass of perfectly delicious and uncorked wine. I began gathering ingredients and mentally forming the recipe. In minutes, the onions were cooking down in a heavy bottomed saucepan and I was reaching into the cabinets for ingredients that would help round out the flavor.
I was shocked at how delicious this savory jam was. I removed several types of cheese from the refrigerator and we went to work testing the onion jam with each of them. Raw milk cheddar and an aged Piave were good companions for the jam, but a beautifully crafted Bayley Hazen Blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont was its soul mate.
It’s been several years since my initial corked red wine experiment. In that time, the wine gods have smiled on us and we have not been handed many corked bottles of wine. When it does happen, I no longer cringe. Instead, I get busy making caramelized onion jam with red wine and break out the Bayley Hazen Blue.
I have even taken to making a delectable Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich out of this misfortune. The melted blue cheese sings when paired with the caramelized onion red wine jam. It’s as if they were meant to be together.
This savory jam and the resulting sandwich are as close as I can get to making lemonade from a bottle of red wine that could literally be labeled a lemon. Maybe 1840 Farm needs a lemonade stand. I am sure that it wouldn’t be long until there was a line forming for a Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam and warm Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!
Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam fills four half pint jars
While I typically use a bottle of less than perfect wine for this recipe, any red wine will do. I have been known to freeze small portions of leftover red wine until I have enough to make a batch of this jam. Frozen, corked, or leftover: it just doesn’t seem to matter. This jam comes out delicious every time. The finished jam can be canned by processing in half pint jars with 1/2″ headspace for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
1 pound yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons honey
18 ounces red wine
4 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 20 – 40 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened and caramelized.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the honey and stir to fully incorporate. Add the remaining ingredients and return the pan to medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes or until the liquid is thick and syrupy.
A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess. It’s not every day that a Goddess invites you to have fun in the kitchen playing with delicious ingredients. I couldn’t possibly say no, so I didn’t. Instead, I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel…
I love everything about making bread from reading about it in my favorite cookbooks to milling the fresh flour and making a beautiful loaf to share with my family. I also love to write about bread in our Bread Baker’s Series, sharing recipes and techniques for making delicious loaves of artisan bread at home in your own kitchen.
I am often asked by readers about the equipment and tools that I use here at 1840 Farm. The products in the gallery below are the same models that we use every time we make a loaf of bread here in our farmhouse kitchen. I know firsthand that they are of the highest quality and will help you to turn out beautiful loaves to serve at your family table.
Do you have a favorite bread baking tool or specialty ingredient to share? I would love to learn more about them, so please leave me a comment. I’m always looking for new ways to improve my bread baking skills and would love to hear more about your favorite products.
I have provided these links to enable you to learn more about the tools and specialty ingredients that I personally use here at 1840 Farm. These links will transfer you to exterior sites in order for you to learn more about each product. Some of these links are of the affiliate variety. Those links have not influenced my honest opinion or recommendation of these products.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the holiday season at your family breakfast table, look no further. You simply can’t do better than homemade Cinnamon Babka. While I have made this loaf innumerable times, my family still gets excited at the promise of a loaf of Cinnamon Babka on our breakfast menu.
Babka is a European delicacy and seems to be made in as many different versions as there are countries in Europe. References to Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, and Israel are abundant. Different fillings are used and different shapes are made of the finished loaves. You’ll even find it called Baba in some countries.
No matter the geography where it is found, this is a bread used to celebrate holidays and mark special occasions. Once you have tasted it, you’ll understand why.
I can’t claim that this is a truly authentic version of Babka. I can promise you that it is delicious and sure to please the family and friends gathered around your holiday table.
These are the tools that I used to create this loaf in our kitchen. I have provided these links to enable you to learn more about the tools and specialty ingredients that I personally use on a daily basis. These links will take you to exterior sites in order for you to learn more about each product. Some of these links are of the affiliate variety. Those links have not influenced my honest opinion or recommendation of these products.
Cinnamon Babka makes one standard sized loaf
I like to use my stand mixer to work this dough. I find that it does a wonderful job of incorporating the butter evenly. While I use freshly milled whole wheat flour, you can substitute a high quality store brand of flour if you don’t have access to a mill. If you don’t have Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer or vital wheat gluten, you can omit it from the recipe. The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter. Cinnamon is my favorite Babka filling, but fresh preserves or chocolate ganache can be substituted with equally delicious results.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (150 grams) Whole Wheat flour
1 1/4 cup (150 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) softened butter
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
If you are using a dough proofer, which I highly recommend, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water and allow to rest for approximately five minutes as you assemble and measure the dry ingredients.
After five minutes have passed, add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl with the yeast and whisk gently to combine thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir to form a shaggy dough using the dough hook on a stand mixer.
Continue to mix the dough until it begins to transform into a smooth ball of dough and pull away from the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running, begin to add the small cubes of butter individually and slowly, allowing each cube to be smashed against the side of the bowl by the dough before the dough seems to absorb the butter. Should the dough break, or fall apart, during this process, don’t panic. Simply stop adding butter and allow the machine to knead the dough until it is again a smooth, elastic ball of dough. Add the cubes of butter until they have all been incorporated. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and shiny, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. If you prefer, you can perform the final kneading by hand. At the end of kneading, the dough should pass the windowpane test.
If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread. This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf. By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.
Conducting the windowpane test is simple. After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it is ready to be shaped into loaves, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent (much like a window). If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise. If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.
Once your dough passes the windowpane test, form the dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Place this bowl in your proofer or another warm, draft free spot in your kitchen. Allow the dough to rest and rise for approximately one hour. To determine if the dough is ready to proceed, simply poke your finger into the dough until it touches the bottom of the bowl. Remove your finger and observe the ball of dough. The indentation made by your finger should remain. If it does, proceed to the next step. If not, allow the dough to rest and rise for another 30 minutes before attempting this test again.
In a small bowl, combine the softened butter and cinnamon. Stir to make a smooth paste. Measure the brown sugar and set aside. Prepare a loaf pan by applying a thin coat of butter, oil, or pan spray.
When the dough is ready, place it on a dough mat or a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 10 x 20 inches in size. Using an offset spatula, gently spread the cinnamon butter over the surface of the dough taking care not to stretch or tear the underlying dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the cinnamon butter.
Using both hands, begin to roll the dough from the long side, keeping the dough taught. If you have ever rolled a batch of cinnamon rolls, this is the same technique. Continue to roll the dough and filling, keeping the roll as tight as possible.
Once the dough is in an even roll, form it into an “s” shape. Using your hands, roll this “s” towards you, pressing the dough together. Pick up the ends of the roll and twist the dough several times before placing it in the prepared loaf pan. Place the pan in your proofer or warm, draft free location. Allow the bread to rise until it is approximately 1 inch above than the sides of the pan.
As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you have a pizza stone and oven thermometer, this is a great time to put them to use. I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes. I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking. An oven thermometer allows me to ensure that my oven is heating to and holding the correct temperature.
Once the loaf has risen sufficiently and the oven has reached temperature, transfer the loaf to the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning at the halfway mark to ensure even browning. When the loaf is fully baked, it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and the surface of the loaf will be an even golden brown. Remove the fully baked loaf from the oven to a wire rack. Allow the loaf to cool for ten to fifteen minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely before storing in a plastic bag or container.
By following Kitchen Kneads and 1840 Farm, you’ll be the first to see each post in our collaborative Bread Baker’s Series. If you have a great bread baking tip or recipe to share, we invite you to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation!
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