Strawberry & Almond
Easter (Springtime) Bread
This delicious cake is great served with tea or coffee. The almond cake is moist with a hint of vanilla that blends well with the luscious strawberries, almonds, and turbinado sugar coating. This dessert is an easy recipe to make that will impress your guests and family. Just a note that I changed this recipe up a bit when I made it. I cut the strawberries into quarter not halves and I added the sliced almonds to the top of the cake batter than added the turbinado sugar. The almonds baked with the sugar and strawberries created a sweet crunchy top to an otherwise very moist cake.
Recipe taken from “Bake From Scratch” magazine (March/April 2021; Volume 7, Issue 2)
½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
1 cup (125 grams) plus 1 Tbsp. (8 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
1 ½ tsp (7.5 grams) baking powder
¼ tsp (1 gram) kosher salt
¾ cup (72 grams) almond flour
½ cup (120 grams) whole buttermilk
1 tsp (4 grams) vanilla extract
½ pound (226 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp (24 grams) coarse turbinado sugar
¼ cup (28 grams) sliced almonds
Garnish: confectioners sugar
1) Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
3) In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt; add almond flour and stir until combined. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in two additions alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until combined after each addition.
4) In another medium bowl, combine three-fourths of strawberries and remaining 1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose, gently tossing to coat. Fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Arrange remaining strawberries on top of batter. (Don’t push them in as they tend to sink.) Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
5) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. (Remover from pan and let cool slightly on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, and garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. This cake is best served warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Note: If you do not have buttermilk on hand, add ½ Tbsp (7.5 grams) fresh lemon juice to ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk, and let stand for 10 minutes. You’’ then have homemade buttermilk.
Friday night or any night is a great time for homemade pizza! This wonderful recipe makes a hearty pizza that is tasty and light. The herbed crust adds a great flavor to this dish.
1 Packet of Yeast
1 Tbs. Sugar
5 cups All-Purpose Flour or T45 or T55 French Flour
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
3 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 small can Sliced Black Olives
1 package Pepperoni Slices
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Sweet Onion, diced
Fresh Basil Leaves
8 Portabella Mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1 cup Gruyère Cheese, shredded
Place 2 cups of warm water in your mixing bowl.
Slowly add your yeast packet to the water.
Add 1 Tbsp. of sugar. Let ingredients rest for about 8-10 minutes.
After yeast is foamy, add 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil, 3 Tbsp. of Italian Seasoning, 1/4 tsp. of salt, and 3 tsp. of garlic powder.
Using a Kitchen Aid mixer with dough attachment, drop your dough hook into the mixture and slowly start stirring.
Add flour, 1 cup at a time. Slowly add the last cup of flour while constantly mixing. Whether or not you need the last 1/2 cup of flour will be based on your location, humidity, etc. If the dough is still super sticky, keep adding flour until it is not sticky anymore. Make sure you add only a few tablespoons at a time.
Once all the flour is incorporated, place the dough on a very lightly floured surface and knead it for 30 seconds with your hands. Dust your hands with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers.
Lightly oil a glass bowl. Form the dough into a smooth boule by pulling the dough down and under. Make sure the top and sides are smooth.
Take the dough boule and place it into the greased bowl. Grease the top of the dough with more oil using a brush. Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place that is draft free. Let rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
After dough has risen, place the dough on a pizza pan or round baking stone. Using your hands, slowly begin to work the dough from the middle out until it fills the entire pan or stone.
Using your pointer and thumb, begin pinching the edge of the pizza to form a decorative crust.
Using a spoon, liberally add a nice layer of pizza sauce to the dough. Next add the onions, green pepper, mushrooms, and olives. Make sure they are evenly spread over the sauce. Next add both kinds of cheese. Place the pepperoni slices evenly over the cheese layer. Then add the basil leaves sporadically over the top.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and staring to just get brown.
Remove pizza and cut with pizza cutter. Serve while hot.
Springtime is such a wonderful experience. The scent of spring flowers and the new blossoms on the trees give way to sunny days and a happier mood. Springtime is also the perfect time to bake delicious Easter (Springtime) Bread. This light, soft bread is not only beautiful to look at, but it boasts a sweet lemon and orange flavor that tastes like spring sunshine. A great treat to serve guests on Easter Sunday or just serve with a fruity herbal tea!
1 ¼ cups milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 ¼ tsp. rapid rise instant yeast (1 package)
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. lemon extract
2 tsp. orange extract
1 Tbsp. McCormick’s Valencian Orange Zest
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
4 cups All-Purpose Flour or T45 French Flour divided (plus more for kneading process)
1 large egg, beaten + 1 tsp. water
Colored sugar sprinkles
1)In a small saucepan, add milk and butter. Heat to 120 to 130°F (49 to 54ºC), stirring until the butter melts. Do not allow the milk to go above 130°F (54ºC).
2)In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk together. Add the warmed milk and butter mixture then slowly add 2 cups of flour.
3)Attach a dough hook to a stand mixer and combine on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides with a spatula as needed to incorporate the flour.
4)Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of flour to the mixer on medium-low speed and scrape the sides as needed.
5)Add the lemon and orange extracts and orange zest. Mix thoroughly to distribute the extract and zest flavor throughout the dough.
6)Knead the dough in the mixer until the dough is stiff and slightly sticky, about 12 minutes.
7)Place the dough on a lightly floured board and hand knead for about 3 to 4 minutes, adding a little more flour to prevent sticking. Do not use more than ¼ cup of flour.
8)Shape dough into a ball or boule, cover with a dish towel, and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
9)Divide into eight (8) pieces. Roll each piece to form a one-inch wide rope, about 14-inches long.
10)Taking two (2) pieces, braid the rope, pinching the ends together and then loop into a circle. Make sure the ends are securely joined together.
11)Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (2 per sheet), providing enough room to rise.
12)Loosely cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and a dish towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm area that is draft free until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
13)Preheat the oven to 350°F (177ºC). Set the rack in the middle position.
14)Whisk together the large egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush each braided bread with the egg wash.
15)If desired, top the bread generously with various colors of sugar sprinkles.
16)Bake one tray at a time until golden brown, approximately 15-18 minutes.
17)Immediately transfer the baked bread to a cooling rack.