Posts by Beth

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

Posted by on Mar 16, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, yeast bread | 0 comments

Crescent Rolls are a classic yeast bread side. This recipe guides you through the steps to make these tear-apart hot bready bits of heaven.

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

As I grew up, the only fresh crescent rolls I got to have came out of a can, and they were a real treat. Those still have a major advantage in convenience.

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

Here’s the thing, though–from-scratch rolls do take a while to make, but this recipe makes a big batch (24) and they are fantastic to freeze. That means if you dedicate a day to bread-making, you can portion out your rolls and freeze a bunch to last for weeks.

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

That also involves some measure of self-control, because these Crescent Rolls are AMAZING.

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

These things are enriched, meaning they include both milk and butter. That gives them a soft, tender texture inside. They are also brushed with butter before and after baking, because butter makes everything better.

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

There’s nothing quite like unspooling a hot, steamy Crescent Roll, the dough flaking apart between your fingertips.

Recipe modified from Bake from Scratch November-December 2018.

Bready or Not: Crescent Rolls

Homemade crescent rolls take some time but are straightforward to make using this recipe! The result is delicious rolls that keep well at room temperature for several days and can be frozen for later, too! Makes 24 rolls.
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Keyword: yeast bread
Servings: 24 rolls
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • kitchen scale
  • two large baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • pizza cutter
  • pastry brush

Ingredients

  • 4 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter half stick, melted

Instructions

  • Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attached, combine the flour, yeast, and salt.
  • Use a microwave or stove top to warm the milk, butter, sugar and honey to about 120-degrees (if it gets above that, give it a few minutes to drop down). Add the warm milk mixture to the flour until just combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Follow up with the egg and egg yolk, and continue to beat for about 6 more minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  • Add nonstick spray to a large bowl. Drop in the dough, flipping it to grease the surface all over. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until it is doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the dough in the bowl. Lightly flour a work surface. Use a food scale to weigh the dough; divide it in half. Keep one of the halves covered while the other is rolled out to a foot-wide circle. Use a pizza cutter or knife to slice it into twelve triangles, like a pizza.
  • To form a crescent roll, start at the wide end of a dough piece and roll it up, tucking and pressing the pointed tip underneath. Set spaced-out on a prepared pan. Repeat to form more rolls. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap to rise another 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Near the end of the rise, preheat the oven at 375-degrees. Melt the half stick of butter and brush about half over the rolls.
  • Place both sheets on racks inside oven and bake for 7 minutes. Switch placement of baking sheets on the racks. Bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, until they are a nice golden brown. Brush on the rest of the butter.
  • Eat immediately, while warmed, or at room temperature. Crescent rolls will keep in a sealed bag for at least 2 days, and can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

    Read More

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    Posted by on Mar 9, 2022 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | 0 comments

    Irish Coffee Coffee Cake! Yes, the word “Coffee” is intentionally in this recipe’s name twice. That’s because it’s a coffee cake that includes coffee, and also a nip of whiskey, because why not?

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    I can tell you why the whiskey should be there–because it adds a fresh zip of flavor to an already delicious cake.

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    This is a recipe that take some effort. It dirties a lot of dishes. However, it’s also a special cake that looks and tastes like it required that extra effort.

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    Really, this is a cake to make to impress guests or for a brunch or a birthday or holiday event. I’m posting it over a week in advance of St. Patrick’s Day so that some folks can perhaps throw it together this weekend! Note that this cake freezes very well, too.

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    When I do recipes that include alcohol, I inevitably get asked: what did you use? Also, I don’t drink, can I omit the alcohol? To the first question, I used Green Spot whiskey, which is my personal favorite. As to the second, I haven’t tried the recipe without whiskey, but I imagine it would be just fine, especially if you like a strong coffee flavor.

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    Baking the cake as described below, the result is a lofty, spongy cake with a zing of whiskey and a deep coffee flavor. The moist crumb is a lovely contrast to the crumble layers through the middle and on top.

    Modified from Bake from Scratch Jan/Feb 2019 issue.

    Bready or Not: Irish Coffee Coffee Cake

    This is a luxurious coffee cake with espresso powder used throughout and a refreshing nip of whiskey in the mix as well! The cake is lofty, moist, and oh so good.
    Servings: 9 pieces
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9-inch square pan
    • food processor
    • offset spatula

    Ingredients

    Irish Whiskey Streusel

    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup brown sugar packed
    • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cubed
    • 1 Tablespoon Irish whiskey

    Coffee Cake

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 cube, softened
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 large eggs room temperature
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2/3 cup whole buttermilk or soured milk, see note
    • 1/3 cup Irish whiskey
    • 2 Tablespoons espresso powder
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Instructions

    • In a food processor, pulse together the flour, brown sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Drop in the butter and whiskey, and pulse again until it forms pea-sized crumbs. Chill mix in fridge. Note that the streusel can be made a day ahead of the rest of the cake.
    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil to extend up all four sides. Apply nonstick spray.
    • In a large bowl, beat butter and white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.
    • In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a different bowl, combine the buttermilk/soured milk, whiskey, espresso powder, and vanilla, stirring gently until the espresso powder is dissolved and not clumpy.
    • Gradually mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients into the butter and sugar, alternating back and forth, until everything is combined.
    • Spoon about half the batter into the prepared pan; batter will be thick, and an offset spatula will make it easier to even out. Sprinkle half the streusel mix over the batter. Dollop on the remaining batter and even out again. Crumble the rest of the streusel over the top.
    • Bake about 40 to 45 minutes, until the middle of the cake passes the toothpick test. Cool completely in pan. Use the foil to lift it onto a cutting board to slice.
    • Cake pieces keep well in sealed container at room temperature for at least 3 days. Pieces can also be wrapped up and frozen for later enjoyment.

    OM NOM NOM!

      Notes

      To make soured milk, place two teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, then add milk or half & half to reach the 2/3 line called for in this recipe. Let set for about 10 minutes so that it starts to curdle.
      Read More

      Bready or Not: Irish Apple Cake

      Posted by on Mar 2, 2022 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | 0 comments

      I’ve posted many different recipes for apple cake. This Irish Apple Cake uses a 9-inch round cake pan with layers of cake, apple, and streusel.

      Bready or Not: Irish Apple Cake

      This isn’t a light, airy cake. It’s dense and moist. It’s a cake that is ideally paired with tea, coffee, or hot cider.

      Bready or Not: Irish Apple Cake

      It’s not heavily sweet, either, but the sweetness that is there arises from the apple and that wonderful crumble topping.

      Bready or Not: Irish Apple Cake

      The big thing that sets this cake apart from other recipes is that you do experience the textural variations between the layers. It really reminds me of my family favorite Caramel Apple Pie in that regard.

      Bready or Not: Irish Apple Cake

      This cake is best eaten fresh, but fear not! If you freeze it when it’s fresh, it will be wonderfully preserved for later on. Just eat it right after it’s thawed.

      Modified from a Gemma Stafford recipe in Food Network Magazine, March 2021.

      Bready or Not: Irish Apple Cake

      This crumble-topped round apple cake is fragrant with spices. Enjoy this cake the day it’s made, or freeze pieces right away to enjoy later! This would be great for dessert or breakfast.
      Course: Breakfast, Dessert
      Cuisine: irish
      Keyword: apple, cake
      Servings: 8 slices
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9-inch cake pan

      Ingredients

      Streusel

      • 6 Tablespoons cold butter
      • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup rolled oats
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • pinch salt

      Cake

      • 1/2 cup salted butter 1 stick
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • pinch salt
      • 3 Tablespoons milk
      • 3 medium baking apples such as Fuji or Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
      • confectioners' sugar for serving

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9-inch cake pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
      • Make the streusel first. Dice up the butter in a medium bowl. Add the flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Using fingers, compress and break apart the butter into small crumbs distributed throughout the dry mix. Set the bowl in fridge to chill while assembling the cake.
      • Cream the butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs.
      • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet along with the milk. Once everything is just mixed, pour it into the prepared pan. Place the apple slices one at a time to form an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel on top and even it out.
      • Bake the cake until the top is golden, about 60 to 70 minutes. The middle should pass the toothpick test. Let cool at room temperature, eventually placing in fridge to speed the process, if desired.
      • Cut into 1/8ths. Top pieces with sprinkled confectioners’ sugar to make it even more pretty. The cake is best eaten fresh, but pieces can also be individually frozen the day of baking for a delicious treat later.

      OM NOM NOM!

        Read More

        Rhysling Nominated Poems from 2021

        Posted by on Mar 1, 2022 in anthology:poem, awards, Blog | 0 comments

        Each year, members of SFPA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association) nominate what they consider to be the best poems of the past year. Works are divided into two categories, short (under 50 lines) and long (above 50 lines). I’m honored this year to have FOUR nominated poems, two in each category, and all of them can be read online!

        Within a few months, they’ll also be published in the SFPA Rhysling Anthology that members read before voting for their top poems (I actually won in 2019!). This will also be available for the public to buy from sites such as Amazon.

        Here are my nominated poems:

        SHORT

        “Field Trip to See the Mermaid” in Mermaids Monthly
        “How to Find Yourself Again” in Fantasy Magazine

        LONG

        “The Bookstore” in New Myths
        “Follow the Meandering Path” in Abyss & Apex

        Best of luck to all nominees!

        #SFWAPro

        Read More

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        Posted by on Feb 23, 2022 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cake, chocolate | 0 comments

        This Chocolate Whiskey Cake is dense, moist, and delicious–the perfect cake for chocoholics.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        This is the first entry in a special sequence of deliciousness, too–three weeks in a row with Ireland-inspired recipes. Look for Irish Apple Cake and Irish Coffee Coffee Cake in the coming weeks!

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        This is the kind of cake that doesn’t need frosting; that would actually be overkill. If desired, add a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top, but that’s more about adding some color contrast than flavor.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        So, what IS the flavor here? Chocolate. Coffee. And yes, whiskey–that adds a refreshing waft. I used Green Spot Irish Whiskey, my favorite, and one I’m fortunate enough to find sometimes at Costco around St. Patrick’s Day! Total Wine carries it year-round, too.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        Eat this cake within a day or two, or wrap up pieces and freeze for later! It thaws, no problem at all.

        I modified this a lot from an original take at NYT Cooking.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        This is a cake for chocoholics! The crumb is moist and dense, with chocolate, coffee, and whiskey melded to endow every bite with deep flavor. Modified from NYT Cooking.
        Course: Dessert
        Cuisine: irish
        Keyword: alcohol, cake, chocolate, coffee, springform pan
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 9-inch springform pan
        • parchment paper
        • food scale

        Ingredients

        • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter
        • 3/4 cup cocoa powder sifted
        • 1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
        • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
        • 1 cup white sugar
        • 156 grams light brown sugar note this is weighed, not packed
        • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
        • 2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
        • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
        • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
        • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
        • 3 large eggs room temperature
        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
        • Confectioners' sugar for serving, optional

        Instructions

        • In a large pot on low heat, warm the butter, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, coffee, and Irish whiskey. Once the butter is melted, stir in the sugars until they are dissolved. Remove from heat to cool, 30 minutes at minimum.
        • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Apply nonstick spray to pan, place parchment inside, then spray again. Dust the interior with the remaining 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder to coat.
        • In a big bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, and cloves. In a different bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir the egg mixture into the butter-cocoa pot. Add the dry ingredients to just combine, then fold in the chopped chocolate.
        • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake cake for 65 to 70 minutes, until the middle just passes the toothpick test. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then release sides of pan to let the cake cool completely.
        • Slice into wedges to serve. Add confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on top, if desired. Keep cake covered at room temperature up to 2 days. Remaining pieces can be sliced and individually wrapped and frozen for later enjoyment.

        OM NOM NOM!

          Read More