On a winter’s day, I absolutely love having soup for dinner. You only have to dirty one pot, and the possibilities are endless. Pair up a steaming bowl of soup or stew with freshly baked bread, and I’m in heaven.
I love baking all types of breads, but pumpernickel has to be one of my favorites. While I do bake traditional bread recipes, I’ve found that if I use my bread machine, I make bread more often. All I have to do is dump in the ingredients and let the machine do the rest. It’s a time saver, especially when work is busy but I still want fresh bread for dinner.
I usually bake a 2-pound loaf of bread in my machine, but I’ve included the amounts for 1-pound and 1 1/2-pound machines, and I’ve also included the steps to bake the loaves in the oven. This recipe comes from Red Star Yeast, and it’s a good one.
Dark Pumpernickel Bread
Small (1-pound bread machine)
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (room temperature)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 1/4 cups bread flour
2/3 cup medium rye flour
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons (2/3 package) yeast
Medium (1 1/2-pound bread machine)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (room temperature)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 cups bread flour
1 cup medium rye flour
5 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) yeast
Large (2-pound bread machine)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (room temperature)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark molasses
2 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups medium rye flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon (1⅓ package) yeast
Bread Machine Method
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Place ingredients in a pan in the order listed. Select basic or white bread cycle and medium or normal crust. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
Using ingredient amounts listed for medium loaf, combine 1 cup bread flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, onion powder, and yeast. (Reserve I cup bread flour and all of the rye four.) Combine liquid ingredients and heat to 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hand-Held Mixer Method
Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in rye flour and enough of the remaining bread flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional bread flour if necessary.
Stand Mixer Method
Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add rye flour and enough of the remaining bread flour to form a firm dough. Knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Food Processor Method
Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While the motor is running, add liquid ingredients. Process until mixed. Continue processing, gradually adding rye flour and enough of the remaining bread flour until dough forms a ball.
Rising, Shaping and Baking
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe, about 1 hour. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. On lightly floured surface, shape dough into a round loaf. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet or in 8-inch layer cake pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after touching (about 30 minutes). Bake in preheated 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Optional: Combine 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch; heat to boiling. Five minutes before the loaf is finished baking, remove from oven and brush top with cornstarch glaze. Sprinkle with caraway seeds, if desired. Return to oven and bake approximately five more minutes until glaze is glossy and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool before slicing.
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We love to eat at Olive Garden, and one of my oldest son’s favorite things on the menu is the Chicken and Gnocchi Soup. He’s been after me for quite a while now to try to duplicate the recipe, and I think maybe I’ve done it with this recipe. This soup comes together fast. If you have leftover roast chicken, it works perfectly in this recipe.
Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cream
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound potato gnocchi (either homemade or store bought)
If using fresh chicken, dice into bite-sized pieces. In a large stockpot, heat about 2 tablespoons good olive oil over medium heat, and add the diced chicken. Cook until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Remove cooked chicken from the pot; set aside.
In the same stockpot, saute the onion, celery, garlic, spinach and carrots in the olive oil until the onion is nearly translucent.
Add the cooked chicken, chicken broth and spices. Bring to a boil. Slowly add the gnocchi into the boiling broth. Turn down the heat, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the cream. Slowly allow the mixture to come to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Garnish each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
**To make a slightly thicker soup, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the cream, and mix well before adding the cream to the soup.
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