Tuscan Olive Bread

This recipe comes from a bread recipe book that I picked up oh so many years ago. Now I haven’t really modified this recipe as bread is not very forgiving if you don’t know what you’re doing. And I will be the first to admit that I don’t, I don’t have the science background to get away with it. But with the stay at home initiative, I’ve had plenty of time to watch lots of cooking shows. I just haven’t been making a lot as I have nowhere to take it and I don’t want to throw it away. Anyway, one of the new techniques I learned was baking your bread in a Dutch oven. And boy did it make a huge difference! I’ve made this bread plenty of times before but never has it turned out so light and fluffy! Not to mention the size! Enjoy.

Tuscan Olive Bread

  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water (110° to 115°)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup coarse-grind whole wheat flour
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2/3 cup rough chopped olives (I use Kalamata)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Flake sea salt (optional)


In your stand mixer bowl combine the yeast, water, 1 cup of the bread flour, the whole wheat flour, and a pinch of sugar. Whisk hard to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until bubbly, about an hour.

After it is bubbly, fit your mixer with the paddle attachment. Start adding the flour at low speed 1/2 a cup at a time. After about 1 1/2 cups in add the salt and olives. Continue to beat until smooth and it starts pulling away from the sides. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and kneed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky but you don’t want to add too much flour in or your bread will be tough.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, place it into the bowl, swirl around to coat the top, and then turn it over. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until it’s doubled, between 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto your board. Form it into a tight bowl. Take a piece of parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Line your dutch oven with it and place your dough inside. With a sharp knife score the top, I do 1 long cute about 1/4″ deep. Lightly dust the top with flour.

Preheat your oven to 425°. Once it’s hot place your dutch oven with the lid on into the oven. After 30 minutes remove the lid, sprinkle with the flake sea salt (optional), and bake for another 30 minutes.


Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

This recipe intrigued me. It contains several things I love; cheddar, bacon, jalapenos, and beer. And it was super easy to make! The jalapenos add a subtle flavor and not really any heat to it. So if you like it hot you’ll want to up the amount you put in. Enjoy!


Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 6 slices of crispy bacon, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups grated cheddar
  • 1 12oz beer (I used a brown ale)
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted


Preheat your oven to 350° and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. I lined mine with parchment paper as well, then re-sprayed; this makes taking the loaf out super easy.

In a large bowl; sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and sugar. Add in the bacon jalapeno and cheese. Pour in the beer and mix until just combined, don’t over mix it! Spoon into the loaf pan and pour the melted butter over the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean from the center.

Allow to cool and enjoy!

Sweet Cheese Bread

This recipe comes from a bread cookbook that I bought ages ago. It’s broken up into seasons for the recipes, this one being for spring. Baking, unlike cooking, is not very forgiving when it comes to modifications (generally). So I’ve only make minor changes, added Limoncello and Disarrono to up the flavor profile. Think cheese Danish. Enjoy!


Sweet Cheese Bread

  • 2 1/2 Tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 + 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105º to 115º)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temp, cut into pieces
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yoke
  • 2 large lemons, zested
  • 1 Tbsp Limoncello
  • 1 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
  • 8 oz goat cheese at room temp
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temp
  • 2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond liquor, I use Disarrono
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


In a small bowl sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand for about 10 minutes, or until foamy. Microwave the sour cream for about 90 seconds and add the butter. Stir to melt.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment; combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, zest of 1 lemon, salt and 1 cup of flour. Mix to combine. Add in the yeast mixture and then the sour cream mixture. Beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, still beating. Until all the flour has been combines and the dough will be soft and silky. Scrape the dough into a large bowl that you’ve sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap that you’ve also sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until doubled or refrigerate overnight, it’ll slowly rise.

Combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, vanilla, Limoncello, and zest of 1 lemon. Beat until smooth and refrigerate until your ready to make the bread.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each one out into an 8″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. Starting on the long side, roll up and pinch the seam together. Carefully pull the edge of the ends over and tuck them underneath the loaf. Please it seem side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Use a serrated knife and score each loaf in 5 places across the top, no more than 1/4″ deep. Lightly cover with plastic wrap that you’ve sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Let rise at room temp until doubled, about an hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 350º. Bake for 10 minutes. While it’s baking combine the egg yolk, Disarrono, brown sugar, and allspice. Beat well. Use a brush to spread the mixture gently over the tops of the partially baked loaves and then sprinkle each with 1/3 of the almonds. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until a tooth pick come out clean from the center of each loaf.


Cheesey Bread

This bread recipe is a little different from most as it has nuts in it. The ground nuts add an additional depth to the bread without making it too nutty. And it pairs well with the cheese, especially if you use cheddar.  I like to use a combination of Beecher’s Flagship and Tillamook Cheddar. Enjoy!


Cheese Bread

  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • Sea salt


Toast the ground almonds, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool.

In a stand mixer, I like to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment, add the water with the yeast and pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add the oil, salt, toasted almonds, and 2 cups of flour. Beat hard for about 2 minutes until smooth. Add half of the shredded cheese and beat hard again. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides. Switch to the dough hook and beat hard for another 5 to 6 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth, about 3 minutes. Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide into half. Roll out to a long rectangle, about 12″ or the size of a bread pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and roll up. Stretch the ends over and tuck under the loaf. Let raise for another 10 to 15 minutes, covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Heat an oven to 375 degrees. Use a serrated knife to gently score the tops, sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Tuscan Olive Bread

I love this bread with a nice dipping sauce made from good olive oil, garlic, italian herbs and balsamic vinegar. It’s pretty easy to make, but like most bread recipes it takes time, so plan ahead. Enjoy!


Tuscan Olive Bread

  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 4 cups bread flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 pinches of sugar
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, rough chopped


Stir the yeast into the warm water with a pinch of sugar until it’s dissolved. Add 1 cup of flour in a stand mixer, I like my KitchenAid 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, with a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high for 1 minute until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Switch to a paddle attachment and beat in the olives, salt, and another pinch of sugar. Start adding the flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating at medium-high. Continue until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, using as little flour as possible. It’s almost impossible to over kneed the bread but very easy to under kneed it. Shape it into a ball.

Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover, placing in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled, somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.

Gently flatten and form back into a ball. Put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. let rest for 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. If you have a bread or pizza stone, put that on the bottom of the oven and place the rack in the lowest position. Using a serrated knife, score the top of the loaf; tic tac or cross pattern. Bake for 60 minutes on the lowest rack.

Note that my loaf in the picture looks small because I decided to split my dough and make 2 smaller loaves.

French Bread

There’s nothing like fresh bread right out of the oven. But be warned, making bread takes time! I like to make this with pasta, turning it into garlic bread or use I a loaf with my previously published olive tapenade recipe. Enjoy!


French Bread

  • 5 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (between 110 to 115 degrees)
  • 8 cups sifted bread flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Pinch of sugar


Stir the yeast and a pinch of sugar into the water until it’s dissolved. Using a stand mixer, I like my KitchenAid 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat thoroughly. Add salt and butter. Beat in the flour 1/2 cup at a time until it starts to pull away from the sides. Switch to a dough hook and beat for another 5 minutes until the dough is stiff.

Turn out into a lightly greased large bowl, I used non-stick spray. Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again for another hour.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and roll out into a rectangle about 15″ x 12″. Starting along the long side, roll up tightly. Gently pull the dough over the ends and tuck them underneath the loaf. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, seam side down. Use a serrated knife to cut 1/8″ deep slits 1/2″ apart.

Beat together the egg white and water, brush the tops and sides with it.

Put the sheet in a warm spot. Take some tall heavy glasses, such as pint glasses, and put one at each corner of the pan. Take a thin towel, soak it in hot water, wring it out, and drap it over the glasses so it covers the loaves but doesn’t touch them. Let rise until doubled, between 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Take a shallow pan and fill it with hot water and put it on the lowest rack. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Brush with the egg/water again and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Butterscotch Rolls

So the basis of this recipe is from that cookbook my mother gave to me when I got my first place. I changed it a little, added my own version of the butterscotch as I didn’t like they way it turned out in the original recipe. That recipe also called for chopped pecan’s, which I really don’t care for, so I left those out. But feel free to add them back in, they go in the bottom of the pan with the butterscotch. Enjoy!


Butterscotch Rolls

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 1/2 cup water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 4 to 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • butterscotch sauce (recipe below)


In a small pan scald the milk. What does this mean? Bring it to almost a boil, when you see little bubble start to form around the edges it’s done! Careful, you don’t want to scorch the milk. Remove from the heat and stir in the shortening and sugar until both are melted. While it’s cooling, heat up the 1/2 cup of water until it measures between 110 and 115 degrees. This is important also as that’s the perfect temp for the yeast to get going. Below that and it’s too cold and above that you’re cook it. Either way your rolls won’t rise. I also add a pinch of sugar to the water, this helps the yeast get started as well. If you haven’t figures it out yet, add the yeast to the warm water and stir it until it desolves.

In a mixer, I love my KitchenAid 6 Qt. Stand Mixer, add 1 1/2 cups of flour and the milk mixture. Stir on low for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, still on low speed. Once those are combined add the yeast. Now start adding the rest of the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Keep adding until the dough starts to pull away from the edge of the sides.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until it’s not longer sticky, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place it in a bow, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled  (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Here’s a neat trick, spray your bowl with non-stick cooking spray and then spray the top of the dough as well. This will prevent it from sticking to the bowl and keep it moist as it’s rising.

Roll the dough out until it’s about 16″ x 8″. Take the stick of butter and smear it evenly on the rolled dough. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar. Now roll it up and cut into 1″ slices (or thicker if you want tall rolls). Take your baking pan, I use a 14″ x 10″, and pour the butterscotch sauce in the bottom so it’s evenly coated. You won’t use all of the sauce, which is great! You’ll have some extra to pour on top of the rolls when you eat them.Place your rolls, cut side down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Don’t worry if it seems like you have more pan and rolls, they will expand A LOT when baking. After 30 minutes put them in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees. Back for 30 minutes or until nice a golden brown on top. Let cool and then invert onto a tray or plate.

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces Scotch whiskey
  • A pinch of sea salt


In a large pan over medium heat bring butter, sugars and corn syrup to a boil. Let them boil for about 4 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn or boil over. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream and Scotch – it will hiss and steam like crazy! This is why you’re using a large pot. Whisk in the pinch of sea salt and let it cool.

Cheese & Sea Salt Focaccia Bread

Unlike most bread recipes focassia doesn’t require a ton of kneeding. This is a pretty basic recipe but I kick it up a notch by adding some cheese and flake sea salt. I like to use Cougar Gold cheese, which is pretty close to Beechers Flagship cheese. You can use whatever cheese you prefer, such as a nice cheddar. Enjoy!


Focaccia Bread

  • 1 tbsp (1 packet) of dry active yeast
  • 4-5 cups of sifted flour (all purpose or bread, both work)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water (120 degrees)
  • 1 cup hot milk (120 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + a little extra
  • 1 cup cheese
  • Flake sea salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray


In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine yeast, 2 cups flour, milk, water and oil. I add a pinch of sugar here to give the yeast a kick. Mix until well combined. Add salt. Set the mixer to a medium speed and start added the flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Spray a large bowl with the cooking spray and put the dough in it. Spray the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Put it in a warm spot and let it rise until double. Some where between 1-2 hours.

When it’s down rising dump it out on a large cookie sheet with a lip. Gently stretch it out until it covers and cookie sheet. Don’t worry too much if it pulls away from the sides as long and it doesn’t pull in too much. Let it rise for about 15 minutes. In the meantime turn your oven on and set it to 400 degrees. After rising for 15 minutes gently coat the top with some olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and sea salt. Put it on the lowest rack and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes move it to the center rack, lower the heat to 350 degrees, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

PS. The original focaccia recipe I use to base this recipe on had you baking it on parchment paper. Do Not Do This! What a mess! The dough pulled the paper all different directions and you don’t need it. I’ve since alway make it by placing it directly on the cookie sheet and I have NEVER had it stick.