Traditional Irish Soda Bread
3½ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1½–2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450°F
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in most of the buttermilk, leaving about ¼ cup in the measuring cup. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk, if necessary. Don’t knead the mixture, or it will become heavy. The dough should be soft, but not too wet and sticky.
When the dough comes together, turn it onto a floured work surface and bring it together a little more. Pat the dough into a round about 1½ inches thick and cut a deep cross in it. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 400° and bake for 30 minutes more. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom and be golden in color. I often turn it upside down for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe by: Phyllis C. Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
You can add your own flair to this recipe. Pick your own pasta, type, shape. Pick your favorite Italian Dressing, Pick your own veggies and create your own mix.
8 oz Your Choice Pasta
1 Cup Your Choice Italian Dressing
3 Cups Your Choice Mixed Vegetables/Cheeses/Proteins
(this time: I large diced one cucumber, 2 large carrots, half a large purple onion, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a small can of sliced black olives)
Cook pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking, dice vegetables, mix in 3/4 cup of your Italian dressing and set in bowl in fridge to keep cool. Drain pasta once cooked and place in a separate bowl, add about 1/4 Cup of the Italian dressing to the cooked pasta and toss, set aside to cool. Once pasta is cooled down, take the vegetables and pasta and mix together and serve. Remember it is easier to add the Italian dressing then to take it away. Make sure to taste as you go, Average thought is 1 Cup Dressing to every 8 oz of dry pasta. You can also add just a pinch of sugar if you want that slightly sweet edge but, mix in well. This is best served cold - if the salad is too dry, add more dressing a Tablespoon at a time, mixing in and tasting as you go.
Recipe & Photo by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Wanting a quick flat bread to go with our Italian Dinner, I turned to focaccia bread. This super easy recipe based off of King Arthur Flours basic recipe can be altered to suit your own tastes. Use different seasonings, different toppings! heck, you can even turn it into a pizza; so versatile and super EASY. I love that you can use the regular paddle attachment and have the dough ready for rise in under 5 mins from start to mixer. My one suggestion is brushing with melted butter when its fresh from the oven if you are serving to a whole crowd for quick consumption. I think a vegetable garden seasoning with cheddar cheese sounds great too. so many combinations to be made! Enjoy ~Diane.
Rosemary, Italian Focaccia Bread
2 tablespoons olive oil (to drizzle onto pan or cookie sheet)
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil (for the dough)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/4 cup romano/parm mix shredded hard cheese
1 Tbs fresh minced rosemary, plus leaves for topping.
6-8 slices of sun dried tomato in oil *optional
1) Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, or cookie sheet by drizzling 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.
2) Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed with regular paddle attachment, with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.
3) Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it's become puffy. I set in my oven that was heated to 170 and then turned off...I remove 5 mins before baking so I can preheat my oven.
4) While the dough is rising last 5 mins., preheat the oven to 375°F.
5) Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger.
6) Drizzle it lightly with olive oil and brush around top, and sprinkle extra seasoning, and/or the dried herbs of your choice, if desired.
7) Bake the bread until it's golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
8) Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Adapted from: King Arthur Flour, No Fuss Focaccia
Photo by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1½ cups ricotta
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line a 9”-diameter spring-form pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by ¾ cup blueberries, taking care not to crush berries. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining ¼ cup blueberries over top.
Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes.
Let cool at least 20 minutes before un-molding.
I added candied orange peels as a garnish.
Do Ahead: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
Want to make candied citrus peels click my link: http://www.canningandcookingathome.com/dianes-food-blog/candied-orange-peels
Recipe Adapted from: Alison Roman for Bon Appetite
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Italian Sausage & Spinach Lasagna
1 lbs bulk Italian sausage
Lasagna Noodles, oven ready or regular
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
16 oz Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp sweet basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 pints tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
2 Cups shredded Five Cheese Italian Mix
2 Cups shredded Mozzarella
Brown sausage in pan, when cooked place on paper-towel to drain/blot off any grease. Add ground sausage to bowl with tomato sauce (reserve 1/2 cup of plain sauce for assembly). Place slightly beaten egg, ricotta and well-drained, cooked spinach with spices into a separate bowl and mix well. Use a 9x13 baking dish. Place the reserved 1/2 Cup plain tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish, add your first layer of noodles. Spread on 1/3 the ricotta mixture, then 1/4 of the meat and sauce mixture sprinkle with cheese. *Repeat this process two more times. ending with a layer of meat sauce and final sprinkle of cheese. Cover dish with foil and Bake in Preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Once cheese is all melted and lasagna cooked through - oven off and let the lasagna sit in the oven for 10 mins before serving.
Recipe & Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home