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Never again will I buy tortillas from the store. I never knew that making flour tortillas could be so easy! We received a tortilla press (which is only used for corn tortillas — never knew that before) and a tortilla warmer for Christmas as we were dying to try them out. So as soon as we got back to town over the weekend, we put our tortilla-making skills to the test. What an easy test! If you are a fan of Mexican food (or any food that requires a tortilla) you have to give these tortillas a shot.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 2 cups flour
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 3 tbsp shortening
– about 3/4 cup hot (145 degrees or more) water

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Using a fork or butter knife, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients. Continue to mix until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Finally, add the water, a little at a time (important!), and mix until you get a soft — but not sticky — dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed, 10 to 15 times, until the dough is smooth. Divide the dough into 8 to 10 evenly-sized balls. Set the dough balls aside and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested, begin heating a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Using a wooden rolling pin, roll out each dough ball fairly thin. Make sure to turn the dough as you roll it in order to get the right shape.

When all the dough has been rolled out at the skillet is hot, carefully place one of the dough rounds in the center of the skillet. Let it fry up for about 30 seconds, then flip, letting the second side fry for another 30 seconds. Make sure to keep an eye on each side, as they can burn fairly easily. Within 30 or 45 seconds, the tortillas should have brown speckles and be cooked to perfection!


Seriously? These were so simple! I honestly don’t see a reason for buying tortillas ever again. And they were delicious! They were fluffy, yet light. They had a crisp outer “shell” but were light and airy inside. They had a great texture, and an even better taste. They tasted like a fresh-cooked tortilla you would get in a real Mexican restaurant. No store bought tortilla can match up to a hot, fresh, steamy tortilla fresh off the stove.

I encourage you to try making tortillas! It was fun and so exciting when they came out looking like the real thing. Not to mention the way the tasted!

We got this recipe from a book from the Santa Fe School of Cooking that we picked up during our anniversary last year. The book, Salsa and Tacos, has a lot of great recipes. Check it out if you like…well…salsa and tacos!


Last year Billy and I hosted our first holiday. I was determined to find the perfect bread/roll recipe since it’s such an important part of every holiday table (especially with a bunch of hungry Italians). I can’t even remember where I found the recipe for these honey rolls, but we won’t ever go another holiday without them.

Here’s what you’ll need: (for three dozen rolls)
– 3 packages active dry yeast
– 2 cups warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees)
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 tbsp canola oil
– 1 tbsp salt
– 2 eggs, plus 1 egg, separated
– about 8 cups bread flour
– 1/2 tsp cold water

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Once all the yeast has dissolved and the mixture has become frothy, about two minutes, add the honey, oil, salt, two eggs, the yolk of the separated egg, and five cups of the bread flour. Mix on low to medium speed until smooth. The dough will still be pretty sticky at this point, but you’re just trying to get everything combined. Begin adding the remainder of the flour, one half-cup at a time, until a stiff dough is formed. You may not end up using the entire eight cups of flour, but just base it on how the dough looks and feels. When you poke it, it should hold the form of your finger but shouldn’t be sticky enough to stick to your fingers.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about six to eight minutes. You’ll know when the dough is ready based on the way it looks and feels — you’ll also notice a difference from the time you took it out of the mixing bowl and the time you started kneading. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a large greased bowl, turning once to cover the entire surface of the dough with grease. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

Punch the dough down (it’s perfectly normal to picture someone’s head while doing this :)) and begin dividing and forming the dough into desired sizes and shapes — we usually form 2-inch balls since the dough will rise again before baking. Place on a greased baking sheet, one to two inches apart, and cover. Let the divided pieces rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the white of the separated egg with the 1/2 teaspoon of cold water and brush over dough. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet immediately and let cool on a wire rack.

Honey Rolls

Sorry for the horrible picture…but it’s the best I could get in the midst of all the Thanksgiving madness. Regardless, I guarantee these will be some of the best rolls you’ve ever had. They’re perfectly fluffy (yet substantial) on the inside and have a nice firm crust. The hint of honey really makes these rolls stand out in comparison to a regular bread dough, but it definitely doesn’t give them an overwhelmingly sweetness. They’re full of flavor, with or without butter, and they make a great Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. This is most definitely our go-to recipe for rolls, any time of the year (and it should be yours, too!).

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