Posts Tagged ‘bread’

Super Easy Pizza Dough Recipe

Super easy make-ahead pizza dough using your food processor! Recipe on

Let’s all make a promise not to buy pizza dough anymore, okay? It’s just too easy to make at home, and you can even make it in advance and freeze it for later. Just save the $4 or whatever they charge for the pre-made stuff and treat yourself to a latte or good chocolate bar or something. (more…)

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SwapMilk4Silk #CollectiveBias

Crazy delicious vegan blueberry muffins!

Do you know what makes Mondays beautiful, darlings? Fresh blueberry muffins that are so easy to make (only one bowl!), loaded with beautiful fresh blueberries held together by just enough of that perfectly crumbed cake that’s not too sweet and light enough that you feel you could just reach for another… or three. Oh, they also happen to be half whole wheat and vegan, but you know, details details. 😉  (more…)

Texas Toast Challah & How to Make a 6 Strand Braided Bread {video}

Challah bread is a braided egg bread and a traditional part of Jewish meals on the Sabbath and holidays. Depending on where you live, challah bread is also very commonly found in grocery stores and bakeries, because it has this slightly sweet yet savory flavor and a dreamy texture making it perfect for eating alone, or using for everything from sandwiches to French toast. In fact, my first blog post ever was for a pumpkin challah bread pudding. 🙂

Texas Toast Challah Recipe

I started making challah bread about five or six years ago after an experience at a nicer grocery store in Georgia. We wanted bread to make French toast that weekend and sandwiches, but when I went to ask, the attendant at the bakery told me they would have to go thaw some from the freezer. We had shopping to do, so I agreed, although I did find it a little odd that it wasn’t baked fresh on site. When we got the bread home, it was dry, and not as good as we were hoping for. It was fine for French toast, but not the consistency and flavor we had come to know growing up in an area where fresh baked was always readily available.

I decided to look for a recipe and start baking my own in the hopes that we could always have access to delicious challah bread whenever we wanted. To date, it is the bread I make most frequently in our home. I like to play with variations from time to time, and the reigning favorite is roasted garlic. To make this Texas Toast variation, I swapped some of the traditional olive oil for melted butter.

Challah bread recipe with flavors inspired by Texas toast! The blog post also has a video showing you how to make a 6 strand braid.

While this isn’t a variation I’d use for sweet recipes, it’s amazing for sandwiches, topped with additional butter and garlic for garlic bread, or as toast topped with a drizzle of olive oil, butter, or even mashed avocado. The garlic flavor is very subtle, especially if you only use one head of garlic.

My biggest pet peeve with challah comes with the braiding. I feel like challah loaves should always be hand braided. The only exception would be if you’re making a gluten free challah and then the dough has to be poured into a mold pan. You can definitely tell a molded bread from a hand-braided bread in the way it pulls when you bite it. It’s hard to explain, but once you make this and try it, you’ll see what I mean.

Personally, I had a lot of trouble following written instructions for a six strand braid when I started baking challah and it took me some trial and error practice to find the pattern to make the perfect braid every time. In case you’re like me, and learn better by watching, I’ve taped a video for you to follow along showing how to braid challah with 6 strands.

This recipe makes one big loaf (just over 2 lbs), or two smaller loaves (about 1 lb each). If you choose to make the smaller loaves and want to save one for later, freeze the dough just after braiding and before the second rise. Wrap it very well once it’s frozen. When you’re ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then set on the counter 2 hours to bring to room temperature and complete the second rise.

Texas Toast Challah & How to Make a 6 Strand Braided Bread {video}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Bread
For Roasted Garlic
  • 1-2 whole heads garlic (see note)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
For Bread Dough
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp + ¼ c sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs - 2 for dough, 1 for brushing
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4-4½ cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
  • dried parsley to top (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut the tops off the garlic heads so the cloves are just exposed and rub with olive oil. Place in a cupcake tin or on a baking sheet, cut side down, and cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Roast 25-30 minutes until very soft and golden.
  4. Allow to cool 15 minutes or so until cool enough to handle and then squeeze the cloves out of the paper. They should slide out easily.
  5. Mash with a fork and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), combine the yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and warm water. Allow to sit 10 minutes until bubbly.
  7. Stir in the remaining sugar, butter, salt, and olive oil. Then add the two eggs, one at a time.
  8. Stir in the first cup of flour, then stir in the garlic paste. Add the second cup of flour, mix again, then add the third. If doing this by hand, the dough should be firm enough to use your hands to knead at this point. If your bowl is large enough, do this right in the bowl, if not, turn dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface to knead in the last cup. If doing this in a stand mixer, switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook.
  9. Add the fourth cup of flour and knead into the dough. If the dough is still sticky, add additional flour 1 tbsp at a time. If the dough is dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. You are looking for a dough that is still a bit "wet" but not sticky. If kneading with a stand mixer, you will see the dough pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, the dough will not stick to the work surface, but won't have clumps of flour stuck to it either.
  10. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes by machine until smooth or 8-10 minutes by hand until it passes the "windowpane test". You should be able to pull a small portion of the dough thin enough to see light through it without it breaking.
  11. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean damp dishcloth or plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour. I usually just clean out my mixing bowl and brush it with additional olive oil.
  12. Press down the dough to deflate, cover, and allow to rise an additional 20-30 minutes until doubled in size.
  13. Gently press down the dough again and transfer it to a clean surface for braiding. A video demonstration of how to do a 6 strand braid is included in the post on my blog.
  14. Place the loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Beat the third egg with 1 tsp water and brush a coat of egg wash on the braided loaf. Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise an additional hour.
  15. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350. Brush the bread with a second coat of the egg wash and top with parsley if desired.
  16. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the loaf is a rich golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to completely cool on a rack before slicing.
Use 1 head of garlic for a subtle garlic taste, 2 for a slightly stronger flavor. Either is still mild enough not to be overpowering.



Meat-Lovers Biscuits and Gravy

Growing up in the South I always had a curiosity about biscuits and gravy. I knew it was a quintessential regional dish loved by many, but I had only been exposed to it at hotel breakfast bars so it weirded me out a little. Lumpy white flour sauce with a few specks of pork sausage floating here and there, congealing slowly over hours in a heat tray. Sounds gross right? I thought so too until I had the chance to try them properly at one of those little tiny mom and pop restaurants that dot Southern highways. I don’t remember when, or where, but I know that it changed my mind about this dish and I knew I would like it only when it was homemade.

Southern Style Biscuits and Gravy

I’ve been making homemade biscuits for years, but never got to the gravy part until one day I got the urge to try making some with some sausage meat we got from somewhere and between a little of this and a little of that, it was a piece of the South in our then-California home. It was very thrown together with a little of this and a little of that until my baby sister inspired me to measure it out. See, her husband, while mid-western, loves biscuits and gravy. He’s the only person I know who will go to a fabulous Jewish deli/diner near my parents’ home in Florida and order biscuits and gravy, but apparently they do a great job. They don’t live in Florida though, and so I told my sister I would teach her how to make them.

Browned sausage for biscuits and gravy

Did you know there’s an art form to biscuits and gravy? There are approved ratios regarding the gravy and it’s thickness in proportion to the amount of sausage. It seems the thicker the gravy, the less sausage you add. The first time I made this for them, I made a perfect not too thick and not too thin gravy with a lot of sausage and it was neither approved nor disapproved based on non-compliance with accepted biscuit gravy standards, of which I was unaware. So, armed with new knowledge about The Gravy Laws, I tested again and present now to you, the meat-lovers biscuits and gravy.

Biscuits from scratch

Beautifully browned crumbled sausage dressed in just the perfect amount of gravy over fresh, homemade biscuits. I even included a biscuit recipe that doesn’t require self-rising flour so you don’t have to purchase anything you may not use regularly. It still results in beautifully flaky, buttery, melt in your mouth biscuits, a must to make this Southern breakfast dish.

Meat Lovers Biscuits and Gravy Recipe by Goodie Godmother

Meat-Lovers Biscuits and Gravy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 4-5 servings depending on number of biscuits per plate
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
  • ¾ c + 2 tbsp buttermilk, well chilled
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb ground pork (breakfast sausage style)
  • 1¼ c milk (any will do, I used 1%)
  • ¼ c flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
Making the Biscuits
  1. Preheat your oven to 475 F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into 6-8 chunks and scatter in the bowl. Cut into the flour using a pastry cutter or two knives until it's incorporated and in pea-sized bits. Work quickly, you don't want to warm the butter.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the buttermilk until just incorporated.
  5. Turn your shaggy dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to about ⅔" thick. Using a lightly floured 2.5" round cookie cutter (or a biscuit cutter or a glass), cut out your biscuits. DO NOT TWIST. Cut the biscuits as close to each other as possible because any biscuits from re-rolled dough will not be as pretty. DO NOT TWIST when you cut. You'll pinch off the edges and the biscuits won't rise properly. So please, do not twist. 😉
  6. Arrange biscuits on a sheet pan or baking dish** and bake for 12-17 minutes until biscuits are cooked through and lightly golden. Do not over-bake. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Making the Gravy
  1. While the biscuits are baking, start your gravy. Place your ground pork in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until browned and lightly crispy around the edges, stirring occasionally to break up any large pieces. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Use the fat remaining in the pan to create your gravy roux. Add the ¼ flour and whisk to incorporate, about a minute or two. Slowly add in the milk, whisking to incorporate after each addition to avoid lumps.
  3. Once all the milk has been added, turn off the heat. Mix in the reserved ground pork, salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately over warm biscuits.
**Biscuits baked on a baking sheet (not touching) will have crisp edges all around. Biscuits baked in a baking dish (closer together so they will touch as they rise) will have softer edges.


Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

This Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls recipe updated January 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better photos to already delicious recipes!

Prep these from scratch pumpkin cinnamon rolls the night before and bake the next morning for an amazing breakfast treat! With pumpkin in both the batter and filling, this may just be the only pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe you'll need!

Would you like to know a sure-fire way of identifying a Type A personality (at least when it comes to things that are not laundry)? This post was supposed to go up Monday but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, and here’s why: I didn’t like the pictures. As you may have noticed, in June I picked up a DSLR camera, a much-needed upgrade from my iPhone. At first, I could barely remember how to turn the thing on, then getting a clear picture was a challenge, then came learning about other things like styling and adjusting basic settings to get the shots I wanted without resorting to the Automatic setting. Thou shalt never use the automatic setting. It’s in the Photographer’s Unwritten Bible I’m sure. (more…)

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