Here we are in our sixth and final part of the cooking and baking series and we are wrapping up with the PERFECT cheap, easy, and sorta fancy bread recipes that have been a weekly (if not sometimes daily) staple in our kitchen over the last six months. A friend recently asked me if I bake bread when I’m stressed and the answer is absolutely yes! I bake bread to give my hands something wholesome to do with themselves - something that makes a product that fills bellies and bring smiles. I bake bread because there is nothing more soothing than the steady push and pull of kneading the dough or more comforting than the steamy cracking open of a perfect floury crust. The yeasty smell of baking bread will always be my favorite scent and these recipes make it easy enough to keep that smell in the air almost anytime.
Join me in a few weeks for my first trip lookbook in a long long time...my review of our upcoming trip to Martha’s Vineyard! And in the meantime, enjoy the best gift I can give you: my three ride-or-die bread recipes. Here we go!
1. No Knead Dutch Oven Bread
This recipe is the one that began it all. I read a version of this recipe in Shauna Nequist’s book Bread and Wine and started making it to share over every pot of soup and bowl of salad shared over my table. This is the bread that brings my people the biggest smiles. It’s crusty and just the right balance of soft and chewy. If you’ve never been a bread baker, this is your gateway.
2. Egg (or Challah) Bread
I made this bread for the first time on Christmas Eve and we ate it with butter and jam while we opened presents at my Grandma’s. While this loaf looks super fancy and maybe a little intimidating, the dough has the stringy and soft consistency of a brioche and is a cinch to work with. This bread comes together beautifully and can serve as the centerpiece of a meal.
3. Homemade One-Hour Sandwich Bread
Some of you may know that Ben is raising money to go to San Salvador in June of this year. In order to raise the last of the money for his trip, I’m baking a bread whose recipe is adapted from this one! When I need a quick and warm loaf of bread with dinner, this is what I whip up. Unlike literally any other bread I’ve ever made, this one is done in one hour, start to finish. People, this recipe might be magic.
BONUS: Bread Illustrated
1. Slow Cooker Taco Soup
When you’re making healthy food a priority, that means cooking at home, and making that happen in real life means making close friends with your slow cooker. This recipe reminds me exactly of the chicken tortilla soup we had in El Salvador last summer and is just the right mix of delicious, simple, and healthy. It’s the perfect soup to transition to summer.
2. Energy Bites
Ben and I are both big snackers so we need to have healthy and filling snacks lying around. These have been a staple in our fridge for years because they taste like candy but aren’t horrible for you! And with only four ingredients to mix together, these are a no-brainer.
3. Thai Chicken Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
I scrolled over this meal in my Instastories one day and DM’ed the blogger immediately to ask for her recipe! This is what she sent me and you guys, I’m just obsessed. The chia helps bind the ground chicken together and the Asian seasonings make the zucchini noodles come alive. Also feel complete permission to skip the homemade meatballs and just throw in a bag of frozen turkey meatballs, you do you.
4. Balsamic Vinaigrette
5. Avocado Dressing
Bottled dressings tend to have all sorts of sneaky fats and preservatives so when I found out how easy it is to whip up dressings and vinaigrettes at home I basically just stopped buying the bottled stuff. I tend to just use my bullet smoothie blender and then pour what’s left in a mason jar to store in the fridge. This is perfect on fiesta chicken salad or even as a chip dip.
Bonus: Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices
Finally, even when you’re eating healthy you need access to something sweet. These chocolate dipped orange slices are heaven right out of the fridge in the summer, especially with some flaked salt over the top and dunked in the darkest chocolate.
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."