Potato Thyme Loaf

Potato Thyme loaf fresh from the oven

Welcome. I took a bit of a break from this blog, but now I’m back. For those who have stuck around, thank you. I really do appreciate your support. For those who are new, welcome. This little corner of the internet is my space to explore foods that I love and the culture and space I feel the most connected to: Newfoundland, Canada.

These are strange, somewhat scary, times. The world is changing rapidly with the introduction of this little virus called Covid-19 and I thought that a little baking happiness is needed. Baking is my happy place. I love to explore different foods as well as fall back on the comfort foods.

This potato thyme loaf is just that. Firstly, fresh bread has always been a weakness of mine. When I was in baking school we were allowed to take some of our bread and baked goods. The rest were sold in the school cafeteria. Nice win for them and the other students. But because I could eat what I made I gained at least 20 pounds eating everything I could. The intoxicating smell of fresh bread just calls out to me.

This potato thyme loaf has that wonderful aroma when it comes out of the oven. The thyme and garlic go well perfectly with a roast beef – hot beef sandwiches anyone? The mashed potato give the loaf a great fluffiness.

Give it a try. You won’t be dissappointed.

Print Recipe
Potato Thyme Loaf
This wonderful loaf uses leftover mashed potato to give you a fluffy texture and dried thyme for a delicious aroma.
Prep Time 90 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Prep Time 90 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add the ingredients in a bread machine as listed. Mix on dough setting. If the dough seems too dry add a tablespoon of water as its mixing.
  2. Place dough on lightly floured surface and punch down into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle. Form into a loaf by tucking in the side and folding the top of the loaf towards you. Keep rolling the dough towards you until you form a tight loaf shape. Place into greased 9x5 loaf pan and let rest in a warm place for 30-60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F (190C).
  3. The dough is ready when the loaf is about one inch above the rim of the loaf pan. Place in the center rack of a preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes. When done, remove loaf immediately from pan and place on a rack to cool. To test for doneness, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped.
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Turkey pizza with Cranberry BBQ sauce

It’s the new year and you might have a few leftovers from your feastings.  I’ve finally finished off the last of the Christmas turkey (except for the carcass) and have scoured the tubes and wires of the interweb for recipes.  I found this one for turkey pizza and it is delish, I must say.  Over the past week or so I’ve made turkey stuffin muffins, turkey chili, and even turkey sautéed with Brussels sprouts.   Each and everyone tasted wonderful, but I particularly like the pizza.  And who doesn’t like pizza?

So, I hauled out my breadmaker.  Yes, I still use it fairly regularly, about once a month or so and got started on the pizza dough.  What, you say?  You didn’t buy it from the store?  Do you know me?  I’m cheap frugal. So I thought “Why buy it when I have the stuff to make it at home?”  It’s the holidays and I have some time.  Yes, you can get one of those pre-made crusts in the deli section of the store if you don’t have the time and I really won’t judge you for it.  Much.

Kidding.

If you have some spare time before all the kids are going back to school or you have to get back to work then here’s a nice quick way to use up some of those holiday leftovers.

First, the pizza dough.  This is easy.  Just throw everything in the bread machine and walk away.  Walk, I tell you!  The lovely machine does all the work for you and you get nice, fluffy, risen dough to work with about 90 minutes later.  Once the dough is ready, let it rest for a bit and then gently press and stretch the dough into a circle about 14 inches (35 cm for you metric folk) in diameter.  You can use a rolling pin, if you prefer, but it goes fairly quickly by pressing the dough into a circle while reaching underneath to stretch it out.

PRO-TIP: When you are stretching your pizza dough, always reach underneath to pull the dough from the center to the outside.  This cuts down on possible tears.  And your fingers can feel where the dough is thicker, so it can be stretched more evenly.

Preheat your oven to 400F.  You’re going to partially cook your dough.  This will keep your ingredients from making the crust soggy later when you make the pizza.  Place the dough on a pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 10-12 minutes.   It should be slightly browned.  Once the pizza crust is done remove it from the pan and let it cool.  Now, you can make the crust earlier in the day and then add the toppings just before supper.  You can even make the pizza crust earlier in the week and freeze the crust for later.  Crazy, huh?  Just take the crust out about 30 minutes to thaw, then add your toppings and bake.

Now, on to make the pizza.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  In a small bowl combine about 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce.  The combo is a nice blend of sweet and smoky.  Spread that on the crust.  Add a little cheese so things don’t slide around.  I used a blend of cheddar and mozza.  Add turkey, shredded or cubed.  I sautéed some peppers and onions for colour and flavour.  Then I added a little more cheese, a handful of stuffing (bread on bread action) and sprinkled some summer savoury on top.  Bake for about 15 minutes and you’re done.  I love the extra flavour from the savoury.  Truth be told I could eat just stuffing for dinner sometimes.

The pizza I made was cut into eight pieces and was amazing.  Sorry for the blurry photo.

pizza, leftovers, turkey, christmas, cranberry, bbq, stuffing, savoury, newfoundland
Turkey Pizza with cranberry BBQ sauce

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

This wonderfully easy crust is the base for my leftover turkey and cranberry pizza.
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Instructions

  1. Measure ingredients into the baking pan as listed. Insert pan in chamber and choose the Dough cycle.
  2. Remove dough to a slightly floured board. Cover and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Spray pan with cooking spray and set aside. Roll and stretch dough and then transfer to the pan. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Before adding your toppings, preheat oven to 400F. Add your toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  5. Serves four (or one teenager).

Apple Oat Loaf

apple, oat. loaf, savoury, fall, autumn, cinnamon, farm, picking, breadMy family came up to visit this week and we wanted to show them around the area, so we did a little sight-seeing.  Just a little drive up the road is Homestead Orchards.  They used to be a dairy farm but the owners switched over to apples a few years back and now the son runs the farm.  They offer pick-your-own apples, as well as strawberries and fresh corn.  The strawberries help them out during the beginning of the summer when the apples aren’t quite ready, helps them in the pocketbook too.   They even bake apple goods on-site, so you can pick up a fresh apple pie or apple blondie hot from the oven, if you choose.

When we arrived there were three types of apples ripe for picking.  Apples ripen earlier or later during the season depending on the type.  When we went there were galas, gingergold, and jonamac apples ready to be picked.  They recommend you bring your own bags so it’s easier on the environment too.

When you arrive you can see rows of apple trees laden with ripening fruit.  The ones which are ready are clearly marked and you’re welcome to taste while you pick.  Jonamac is a combination of a Jonathon and a MacIntosh apple and is a perfect baking apple and great for applesauce and apple butter.  We spent about half an hour going through the trees and finding the ones we liked.

After you go back to the barn area, your apples are weighed and you pay a very reasonable price per pound.  Of course we picked up an apple blondie to go too, since the smell of fresh baking was wafting through the air.  At this time of year who could resist.   Talk about farm to table!

A while ago, I picked up some steel cut oats thinking that they were similar to large flake.  Boy was I wrong.  While the oats are delicious, I hadn’t realized how much more prep would be needed for the steel cut variety.  I foolishly picked up the large bag and we’re still have about half a bag left.  Instead of always trying to use it up making breakfast, I searched for another way to use these wonderfully filling grains.  What did I find?  Honey oat loaf.  Since we have the fresh apples, why not combine the two?

This recipe requires a little prep as you have to soak the oats for a couple of hours before everything else is mixed together.  You could even do it overnight and leave them in the fridge if you like, but you really only need to soak them for a couple of hours.

After the oats have softened, place in large mixing bowl.  Preheat your oven to 350F.  Mix in your melted butter and honey while on the mixer is on low.  Add the eggs and mix well.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Blend the dry mix with a whisk until well combined.  While the mixer in on low, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients.  Then add 1/2 of the milk, one more third of dry, the last of the milk, and finally, the last of the dry.  You should always end mixing with the dry ingredients.  That way you can tell if your mix is too wet or dry and you can adjust accordingly.  Then fold in the diced apples.   Place even amounts into two greased 8×5 pans and bake for 70 minutes.  The dough is very dense so it needs the longer bake time.

Once removed from the oven, immediately remove from the pans and let cool on the rack.  The steel cut oats give the loaf a nice chewy texture, interspersed with the warming flavour of apple and cinnamon.

apple, oat, cinnamon, loaf, savoury, bread, farm, picking, fall, autumn, harvest

Apple Oat Loaf

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 2 loafs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water boiling
  • 4 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup honey liquid, not creamy
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 cups apples peeled, small dice

Instructions

  1. Place steel cut oats in a large bowl and cover with the two cups of boiling water. Let sit uncovered at room temperature for 2 hours. Stir once half way through.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter and honey then stir into bowl with oats.
  5. Beat egg into milk and alternately add milk mixture and flour mixture to large bowl with oats stirring with a wooden spoon as you add each. Do not over mix, just mix to combine wet into dry. Fold in diced apple pieces.
  6. Generously spray two standard size loaf pans (8X5) with non-stick cooking spray and scrape the dough into the pan, using half the batter for each. Using a spatula, smooth out the top then place in oven for 70 minutes (one hour and ten minutes), or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. The dough is dense so we recommend leaving in for the full 70 minutes.
  7. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, remove from pan and cool on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with additional drizzled honey.

Recipe Notes

Note: this bread is not meant to be that sweet.  I personally like to use more tart apples for a greater contrast in taste.  Experiment and let me know how you do.

Partridgeberry Marshmallows

marshmallow, partridgeberry, newfoundland, dessert, sweet

It’s been bitterly cold for days here and I was starting to lose hope for all chances of ever warming up so I wanted to make something I could have a little snack with something warm.  While I don’t know if these would be good in hot chocolate, I do know that these would be great WITH hot chocolate.

The cool thing about marshmallows is that they are so deceptively easy to make, yet no one really thinks about making them.  And once you’ve had the homemade kind, it’s really hard to go back to the store bought chewy styrofoam ones.  The only reason I use the store bought ones is for Rice Krispie treats like my Apricot Curry Rice Krispies or my Cinnamon Bun Bites.  Both use the store bought marshmallows wonderfully.

These, though, offer the sweet, airy texture of marshmallow and the slightly tart perkiness of the partridgeberry.  The wonderful red swirl throughout the marshmallow isn’t necessary but it looks really good when you bring them out for guests.  I adapted this recipe for one using Nutella from www.papernstitchblog.com.

First lay out parchment paper over a 9×13 pan and dust extensively with powdered sugar. They will be sticky.

Pour the three packs of gelatin into 1/2 cup of water and let it sit for about ten minutes.

While you wait for the gelatin go ahead and add the rest of the water, corn syrup , salt, sugar to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow the candy thermometer to reach 240 degrees.

Next in your mixing bowl combine the gelatin and slowly add the sugar stovetop mixture. Be careful it will be very hot. Beat in the mixer for about 8 minutes until the bowl is warm to the touch and the mixture resembles marshmallow fluff. Now you can add flavor to the marshmallows by adding in your vanilla.

Next add in about 1/4 of the partridgeberry jam and beat until smooth about 1 minute. Work quickly and pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and use a spatula sprayed with grease to smooth it out.

Then using a knife swirl the rest of the jam into the marshmallows.  Let it sit for about six hours or overnight.

Cut as desired and dust the marshmallows with the rest of the powered sugar.

Partridgeberry Marshmallows

Course Dessert
Servings 24 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 packages unflavoured gelatin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup This is the clear kind
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup partridgeberry jam

Instructions

  1. First lay out parchment paper over a 9×13 pan and dust extensively with powdered sugar. They will be sticky.
  2. Pour the three packs of gelatin into 1/2 cup of water and let it sit for about ten minutes.
  3. While you wait for the gelatin go ahead and add the rest of the water, corn syrup, salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow the candy thermometer to reach 240 degrees.
  4. With the whisk attachment on your stand mixer combine the gelatin and slowly add the sugar stovetop mixture while the mixer is on low. Be careful it will be very hot. Turn the mixer to high and whip for about 8 minutes until the bowl is warm to the touch and the mixture resembles marshmallow fluff. Now you can add flavor to the marshmallows by adding in your vanilla.
  5. Next add in about 1/4 of the partridgeberry jam and beat until smooth about 1 minute. Work quickly and pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and use a spatula sprayed with grease to smooth it out.
  6. Then using a knife swirl the rest of the jam into the marshmallows. Let it sit for about six hours or overnight.

Apple Pandowdy

One of the things I love about the fall is the crispness that’s in the air.  It’s cool enough that you’ll still need a jacket, but not so cold that you need to bundled up to the gills.  That will come later.

canopy
Can you find my dog?

I took advantage of the lovely weather and took the dog for a little walk.  Nearby there’s a series of trails one can take.  Each trail varies in length from just under one kilometer to over three kilometers.  So not to long that halfway through you’re wondering “Why did I start this stupid hike in the first place?” The forest trails are a great place to contemplate life, or just enjoy the beautiful hues of red, orange, and yellow.

Another great thing about fall is apples.  Yes, you can get apples all year ’round now, but fall there an abundance of great varieties that you usually don’t see for the rest of the year.  So, instead of just settling for the usual Gala, Red Delicious, or Granny Smith, there are great ones like Ambrosia, Honeycrisp, or Northern Spy.

As I was researching the previous post about molasses, I found a Apple Pandowdywonderful recipe called Apple Pandowdy.  It was printed in my copy of the all New Purity Cookbook.  This cookbook has been around Newfoundland kitchens for decades.  My grandmother has a well worn copy in her kitchen and I have mine.  I highly recommend it if you want a cookbook that will give the basics of cooking as well as a little bit of history.  Purity is a company in Newfoundland which makes a variety of desserts and snacks, and many other goodies.  Any Newfoundlander will tell you stories about growing up chewing on a piece of hard tack or jam-jams.

I’ve adapted the recipe from the one in the Purity Cookbook.  The great thing about this recipe is you can make it a day in advance and it won’t affect the taste in the slightest.  In fact it may be better.  The flavours would have had a chance to meld and blend and the sauce will be slightly less runny.

Molasses mixture
Sauce before mixing

First preheat your oven to 375F.   Then make the sauce.  Combine the molasses, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a saucepan.  Add one cup of water and heat on medium until the sauce thickens.  It should take five minutes or so.  Remove from the heat. Then add the butter one piece at a time and stir with a whisk until the butter is melted.  I cut my butter into four pieces so it would melt a little faster.  The add the vanilla and lemon juice.  The sauce should be thick, like a caramel.

Peeled apples
Peeled apples

Peel and slice 4 cups of apples.  I used four, but you may need more or less depending on the size of the apples.  Place in a greased 9 inch square baking dish.  Pour the sauce on the apples, trying to cover them completely.

Creamy sauce on apples
Creamy sauce on apples

Now to make the topping.  Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Cut in the butter.  This is the same thing as when I made the scones, but the butter pieces should be finer.  Add the milk and beaten egg and combine.  The batter should be thick.

Biscuit topping
Biscuit topping

Scoop on top of the apples and spread out to cover the top.  Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Let cool slightly before serving.  The crust can be “dowdied” or broken into smaller pieces and then served. Great with whipped cream or ice cream.

Look at that amazing creamy sauce.  The molasses gives it that unique taste of Newfoundland without making it too sweet.  The crust is fluffy and light and soaks up the sauce beautifully.  The perfect dessert after a crisp fall walk through the woods.

Enjoy this wonderful apple pandowdy!
Enjoy this wonderful apple pandowdy!

Apple Pandowdy

A rustic apple dessert with a lovely drop biscuit crust.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fancy molasses
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups apples peeled and sliced. Use baking apples for firmer texture.

Biscuit topping

  • 1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Blend together in a saucepan the molasses, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Add the water and heat on medium until mixture has come to a boil and thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add the butter pieces one piece at a time until each one is melted. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
  2. Peel and slice 4 cups of apples. Slices can be about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange apple slices in a greased 9" square baking dish which is at least 2" deep.
  3. Pour sauce over apples, making sure to cover the apples as much as possible.
  4. Prepare biscuit dough. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter pieces with a pastry cutter or two forks, until the butter is finely incorporated. Add the milk and beaten egg and mix to make a soft dough batter. Drop with a spoon over fruit mixture. Spread evenly but do not stir.
  5. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 35-45 minutes until crust in golden brown. Cool slighty but serve warm. Makes 6 servings.