Sunday, September 9, 2012

Top 5 Things to Bake This Weekend (for the non-baker!)

I'm so happy it's the weekend! Gives you the perfect opportunity for some odmor (one of my favorite Croatian words and something very important to Croatian people! Rest and relaxation) and it also gives me a chance to prepare some yummy food for the week! Living here, I can't buy certain things (like the number 1 item on this list!) so it's totally worth it for me to spend 3 hours to make them! (worth it) Sometimes I'm in the mood to have a fresh baked good quickly so I have a couple go-to's for that. Trust me, if you live in a country where everything is closed on Sundays, you'll want to keep a few of these on hand when you're craving something bready.

Here are my top 5 favorite things to bake and I seriously recommend you try them! And I say for the non-baker, because I don't consider myself a baker but with a little measuring (and patience to let the yeast do it's thang), you get to have your whole house smell warm and inviting and make your Sunday that much more enjoyable and relaxing. You will be so thankful you did when you're inhaling the sweet smells of freshly baked cinnamon bread or smearing jam or butter on a warm, freshly baked biscuit. So, so, so worth it.

#5 Cinnamon Bread - If you want to impress your boyfriend, girlfriend, hubby - make this! It is delicious perfection and will make anyone fall in love with you (or at least serious lust). That warm, soft, just sweet enough bread - mmmm! (I've since made it again - look how much prettier it turned out!)

#4 Naan Bread - this homemade version is so good and pretty easy to recreate at home in your own oven or even on the stove! I love to add yogurt to my dough and chopped garlic (well, I love to add garlic to everything so no surprise there.) They're versatile too - perfect to go with any curry, or to dip into some hummus, or you can even use them to make french toast (like we did with a 2nd batch that had been accidentally forgotten in the oven for a few minutes too long...oopsies)


#3 Butter Biscuits - I learned a lot from one of my old roommate's in college. Sam made me feel like girls can do absolutely anything! Whereas I wouldn't even attempt to install an air conditioner on my own (I would much sooner call Pistol then even try to lift it myself), Sam wouldn't hesitate a single second. (Now, I know I can do anything) Looking at her, you might not realize her strength straight away because she's tiny and absolutely gorgeous but she is one of the toughest chicks I've ever met and I'm so thankful for all that I learned from her and it's way more than she even knows! So one day, I came home and she was making butter biscuits and I nearly died. I didn't know much about cooking yet (besides boiling pasta) so seeing her baking these, I was absolutely floored and impressed. Now, I use this super simple go-to recipe (without shortening) to make flaky and delicious drop biscuits totally inspired by Sam!


#2 English muffins - I am obsessed with making these! You will not believe how easy it is to make your own English muffins at home, with all the nooks and crannies! Yum yum yum, this makes me so much happier for my breakfast options here in Zagreb!

and my #1 is... Bagels! - Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and make these sometime! I am really proud of myself for making my own bagels that were seriously delicious. The mystery is out - I know how to do it now and I think with more practice, it'll get easier to make them! It's not super complicated, but it is a little time consuming the first time around so commit to being at home for a couple hours to make these babies happen. Oh they are amazing though and they make me so so happy. Expect more bagel talk in the future. Oh man, I need to make these again. I just love a warm bagel with cream cheese.

Yes, I do!

P.S. Just so you guys know, after I write these, I immediately get the urge to go make something again. Last week, I stopped mid-post to make English muffins again. I think I'm going for the flaky, butter biscuits. Mmmm!

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