Tag Archives: bread

A Happy St. Patrick’s Day with Fairway Market Beer Bread

17 Mar

Fairway now has me on their PR distribution list after we enjoyed a great lamb demo there a few weeks ago, which I certainly appreciate and enjoy.

This past week I received an email offering me the opportunity to try a loaf of their new Beer Bread, which is baked with Blue Point Brewing Co. Hoptical Illusion IPA.



I swung by to pick up my loaf at the Chelsea location and they had a very nice selection of delicious smelling bread.

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The loaf was about the size of a cantaloupe.


And it was quite dense, but with nice airy pockets and a satisfying crust.

I first just took a slice and nibbled away. It tasted decidedly like beer in bread.  A great combo.


I decided it would make for great French Toast, so I went with it.  It was actually so dense that I should have cut it thinner to soak all the way through, but even after a full 30 minute soak, it was still totally in tact and nicely held up to the eggy mixture with almond milk.


So I toasted it up with a side of sage sausage….


Then realized we were completely out of maple syrup, so I went for the next best thing… bourbon salted caramel.  It was absolutely scrumptious.


But I had to leave enough for us to make a delicious bread salad (the Zuni recipe) to go with our roast chicken (also Zuni recipe) on Sunday.  It toasted up perfectly.


I absolutely love bread salad (also called panzanella salad), though I’ve only ever had this version (in the restaurant and then the many iterations we’ve made since then).


The bread toasted up perfectly and held up nicely to the dressing and salad.  The beer taste got a bit washed in the salad, but it was a really great flavor overall and the best texture of bread for the job.


Fairway Beer Bread gets an A+ in my book.

Note: While I was given this loaf for free, I was not required to nor even encouraged to write about it.  But I really enjoyed it.  Here was their write up:

Fairway introduces House Baked Beer Bread Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day

Introducing Fairway’s own house-baked Beer Bread made with local Blue Point Brewing Co. Hoptical Illusion IPA and love from Fairway’s talented bakers. Fairway’s Beer Bread is a combination of wheat, rye and sourdough with the strong essence and smell of hops and can be included in any type of meal of the day including with a few poached eggs for breakfast, as the base of a pastrami sandwich for lunch or served besides any plate for dinner! Will go great with Corned Beef and Cabbage, stew and just perfect for dipping or enjoying with cheese.

Fairway’s newest product is sold $3.99 a loaf at all Fairway Market locations.


Recipes with Homemade Bread: Grilled Cheese and French Toast

17 Apr

It was very exciting to have finally successfully made bread.  We gave one loaf away to friends, but that still left us with more bread that we could eat between the 2 of us.  So… it was time to come up with some meals that included bread.  Which led me directly to grilled cheese and French toast.

Grilled cheese was up first.  I browned some shallots in butter first.


Then I sliced some apples very thin and layered it up with Gruyere and the shallots and placed each sandwich in a pan with hot butter to brown up.


The bread was browning but the cheese wasn’t quite melting  yet… so I turned the heat down and let ’em melt.


And melt they did.  

Boy were these good!  The sharp cheese combined with the sweet apples and shallots made for an incredible grilled cheese sammie.  The homemade bread browned up nicely and maintained a crunch on the outside with some fluff on the inside.


Next morning it was French toast time.  I actually realized that I hadn’t made French toast in quite some time, and really didn’t remember exactly what to do.  One thing I always disliked about French toast at restaurants is when it is nicely browned on the outside  but still tastes like normal bread on the inside.  I decided that if I really buried these slices in the egg and cinnamon mixture and left it for a while to absorb, that should do the trick.  Problem is, the bread was so fresh and fluffy that it started to fall apart.  Damn.  Had to just make do.


They browned up really nicely and tasted great… on the outside.


The inside was still lacking in the flavor… so I vowed to learn a better way.


It was just a few days later that I saw a perfect “How To” from America’s Test Kitchen. Turns out, if you bake the bread first to dry it out, that solves the problem that I saw and helps it absorb the right amount but not be soggy. (Here is their recipe)

Next time!

I made bread!

24 Jan

Two years ago, I epically failed at making bread. I went into it with such gusto… but it was so traumatic that it took a full 2 years for me to pull up the courage to try again.

I received a recipe that my friend Lillian had been using for years.  By the time I put all the dough together and kneaded, I wound up with a perfect ball of dough.  A much better state than the one from 2 years ago at this point.


And then I left for a bit and came back the requested 1 hour later and was overjoyed to see my dough had risen SO MUCH that it was playing pic-a-boo under my dish towel.


Now that was SOME rise!


I pulled it out and took out some aggression by punching it in the face. (And while you’re there… LIKE NYC Nom Nom on Facebook!)

I then split it into 2 loaf pans and one mini loaf pan.


And since I just can’t 100% follow a recipe without adding something to it… I painted the top of olive oil and then added flake salt to the top of the mini loaf.


And when it came out of the oven, I was ecstatic.  Not only did it LOOK like bread… it SMELLED like bread!


And it’s hard to resist a wee loaf.


The bigger loafs also… amazingly… both LOOKED and SMELLED like bread.  It was so satisfying! (So satisfying, in fact, that I debated not cutting into it just in case I screwed something up)


But cut into it we did and it sliced up perfectly.


And then we ate it with homemade jam…

And it was good.

Damn good.

It was BREAD! Real bread!

And I made it.


Homemade White Bread from Lillian (original source unknown)

7 1/4 to 7 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon nonfat dry-milk powder (they sell this in big packets in big boxes)
2 packages active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups water
1/3 cups shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the bread flour, the nonfat milk powder and yeast; set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat and stir water, shortening, sugar and salt until just warm and shortening almost melts (I actually got nervous because I know temperature is important for yeast, so I looked it up and found this handy dandy chart. I realized my water was WAY too hot already, so I pulled it and let it cool down to below 130°)
  • Add water mixture to the dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.
  • Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that’s smooth and elastic (8-9 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface of the dough. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (45-60 minutes)
  • Punch dough down.
  • Turn out again onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 or 3 equal portions.
  • Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, lightly grease two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans or three 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.
  • Shape each portion of dough into a loaf by rolling on a lightly floured surface into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from the short side. Seal with fingertips as you roll.
  • Place into prepared loaf pans.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (20-30 minutes).  (Mine didn’t really rise MUCH more, I guess because it rose SO much in the first round, but it turned out just fine)
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap the top with your finger. (My mini loaf took about 20 minutes total)
  • Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.

YIELD: 2 or 3 loaves