Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Orange Anise Bread

Sliced warm from the oven, toasted with butter and jam or made into sandwiches, bread is an important part of our daily experience.  Here is an interesting combination of ingredients...
Orange and anise with a little fresh ground nutmeg.
I expected these strong flavors to be dominate and was a little disappointed the anise was hard to discern.  One and a half teaspoons seemed like it would give a fuller flavor.
The bread has nice orange under tones and a light citrus scent.
I thought about substituting orange juice for the water in the recipe but was concerned about mixing OJ with the milk.
The texture is pure joy ~ very soft and light.
The recipe directions are to divide the dough into two pieces and roll into a long ropes.  Then the two ropes are twisted and formed into a circle.
I divided the dough into two pieces and shaped each piece for a loaf pan.
I was happy to get two loaves from this recipe using just 4 cups of flour.
Orange Anise Bread
1/3 cup water (75 to 85 degree F)
1/3 cup whole milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened and cut into 6 pieces
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups bread flour
1-1/2 tsp anise seeds, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2-1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water)

Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: water, milk, eggs, butter, orange zest, sugar, flour, anise, salt and nutmeg.
With finger, make a small indentation on one side of the flour. Add yeast to indentation, making sure it does not come in contact with the liquid ingredients.
Carefully insert bread pan into breadmaker and gently close lid.

Press the Menu button until the "Dough" program is selected.

When the dough cycle is complete... Open the lid and, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove dough from bread pan to a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces.
With hands, lightly roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Place ropes on prepared baking sheet. Twist ropes loosely together and form into a circle. Place a clean towel over ring and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush ring with egg wash.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until bread is golden brown.
Remove from baking sheet to wire cooling rack.
Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.

My favorite way to enjoy this bread ~ toasted with butter and orange marmalade!
Oh, how I love (sweet) Orange Marmalade.

Linking this recipe to:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday ~ End of Summer Activity

Our grandson, Jared, was walking Raider around the house and came running in to tell me about all of the monarch butterflies on my 'pink flowers'.  He was right!  I had never seen so many at one time.  They were flitting all over the yard at each grouping of Sedum.
I grabbed my camera, but Monarchs flutter away when you try to get near.  Actually, they were all fluttering about and barely lighted on a blossom for more than a moment.
I counted 10-15 butterflies frantically fluttering from Sedum to Butterfly Bush.  And that was just at one area.  They were beautiful and we were very excited to see them!
Returning to the house I noticed my pots of Dahlia looking a little happier than they had been.  I couldn't resist the soft pink ones.
Just a few bare stems remains of my parsley.  But I don't mine sharing with these very hungry caterpillars.  I can anticipate an abundance of butterflies next year.
(Previous post on these Eastern Black Swallowtails)
Joining Susan @A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Coffee-Break Muffins

mmm... good!  Good enough to merit an unsolicited text from my sweetheart who took one to work for a snack.

Coffee-Break Muffins
Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
12 muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Position oven rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°; butter or spray 12 regular-size muffin cups in muffin pan; place muffin pan on baking sheet.

In a big bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Stir in the brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk the coffee, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until combined.

Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and, with a whisk, gently but quickly stir to blend; don't worry about being thorough, a few lumps are better than over-mixing the batter.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean.
Transfer pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Serving Size 1 muffins @Calories 196 (without added chocolate chips)

I added chocolate chips to the batter and a light glaze on top.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~ Sunflowers...

from my sweetheart ♥

Joining Mary@Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!


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