Month: November 2012

Sandwich Bread and Standardized Patients

Out first standardized patient exam is tomorrow!  We’ll be inquiring about our patients’ present illness and past medical history and taking their vital signs (pulse, respiration, and blood pressure). We have a quiz at 8AM and then I’m not scheduled for an exam slot until 2:20, so I’m going to stay at school in between and study. Why do I tell you this? Because that schedule means that I’ll need to pack a lunch tomorrow. And why is that relevant to this post? Because I was out of bread. So I made some.

 I mixed up the dough while I was studying yesterday and let it rise for about six hours (total) – I wasn’t in any hurry and this dough is pretty dense due to the wheat flour.

 I used some sort of long loaf pan (that actually belongs to my roommate,) so that’s why the loaf didn’t get very tall. In a regular size loaf pan, it should look a little prettier, i.e., more vertical.

Before baking the bread, I coated the top of the loaf with honey-butter and sprinkled on ground oatmeal.

The honey-butter pools in the corners of the pan and makes the corners of the baked bread deliciously caramel-y. No one will ignore the end-slices from this loaf! 🙂

I think that baking bread is one of the most beautiful things in this world. And the smell is absolutely divine.

 Slice it up and enjoy while it’s warm! And then the next day as a sandwich in your lunch. 🙂

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 1 1/2 whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 tbsp  butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • approximately 3 Tbs oatmeal, coarsely ground
  • 2 Tbs of melted butter
  • 2 tsp of honey

Combine warm milk and water, yeast, honey, and melted butter. Add to flours and salt. Knead (by hand or with a dough hook) until dough is smooth and then about five minutes more.* Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel. Allow to rise until about doubled in size. Punch down, knead for about a minute, and then shape into a log that fits into the bottom of your greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise until it fills the pan and rises above the top edge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and mix up honey butter. Brush the loaf with honey butter and sprinkle with ground oatmeal. Pour two cups of water into another baking pan and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the bread on the upper rack of the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until well browned and sounds hollow when turned out of the pan and thumped. Remove from pan and allow to cool before diving in with a knife and some butter.

*Once I tried making bread without kneading it enough and every slice of the baked bread crumbled. It tasted delicious, but it didn’t work at all for sandwiches. You have been warned.

White Chocolate Cranberry Snickerdoodles and White Blood Cells

These were also part of my exam week care packages for my friends. The inspiration for this recipe was basically the culmination of some of my favorite things and what I happened to have in my pantry.

Snickerdoodles are some of my favorite cookies, with their chewy texture and delectable cinnamon-sugar coating. Throw in some tart dried cranberries and mellow white chocolate chips and you’ve got something really special!

White Chocolate Cranberry Snickerdoodles

  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, and egg thoroughly in a large bowl. Combine flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl, then add to butter mixture. Fold in white chocolate chips and cranberries. In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbs sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. Roll 1-inch balls of dough in cinnamon-sugar and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are very slightly golden on the edges. Don’t overcook them or they’ll be crispy instead of chewy. Unless, of course, you like crispy cookies. In that case, overcook away!

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti and Protein Kinase A

 The week before our last exam, I baked some study snacks for my friends and me. Baking is my therapy and I love sharing what makes me happy! One of the treats I shared was this pumpkin pie biscotti. Biscotti of any kind is one of my favorite things to bake. This recipe is very simple and tastes like Thanksgiving! It’s absolutely divine with a mug of rich coffee.

If you’ve never made biscotti before, the general method is to bake large planks of the dough, slice the planks into dippable bars, and bake the bars again to give them biscotti’s characteristic crunch and a sturdy enough constitution to handle being dunked into coffee.

Give it a shot! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti

  • 2 tablespoons butter, grated
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, make your own! Recipe follows)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend together all of the dry ingredients and grated butter (yes, grated. I keep a stick of butter in my freezer and use a cheese grater to grate the necessary amount right into my mixing bowl. This basically does the same thing as cutting in butter, but I think it’s easier!) Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and then add to the dry ingredients. Fold in pecans once dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and form two planks (about 4″x10″ – the exact size isn’t crucial) on a baking sheet. Bake until the planks are firm to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. Let them cool for about 15 minutes. Decrease your oven temperature to 300 degrees. After the planks have cooled, transfer them to a cutting board and cut them into one-inch-thick slices, using a serrated knife. This may take some practice to keep the slices from breaking at the ends, but be gentle and patient. It is possible! Lay all of the slices back on the baking sheet, cut side up, and bake for 20 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through. Let them cool completely and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

FYI: Ideally, these would have white chocolate drizzled over them. I attempted this, but accidentally got a little bit of water in my melting white chocolate and it caused the texture to get all weird, so I had to scrap that part.

PS. Here’s a recipe for pumpkin pie spice if you’re out: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves.