Tag Archives: Yeast

Banana-Walnut Yeast Bread

I wanted to create a yeast bread, flavored with bananas, filled with nuts and not too sweet.
Makes one loaf
Shopping List

2 lb bunch of bananas

3 TBL vegetable oil

3 TBL brown sugar

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp yeast

1 cup walnuts

Preheat an oven to 400º F. Peel and cut into ¼ inch slices

  • 2 lb bunch of bananas

This will give you about 1½ pounds of bananas. Place them in a bowl with

  • 3 TBL vegetable oil
  • 3 TBL brown sugar (see note below)

Stir the mixture, cover a rimmed baking sheet parchment paper and distribute the mixture evenly over the parchment paper. Roast the bananas for 20-30 minutes until they are caramelized. Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, mash the mixture in a bowl.

In a large bowl, combine

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Stir in the banana mixture and

  • 1¼ cup water

You don’t want the mixture to be too wet, but it may be necessary to add more water to get the dough to come together. Add

  • 1 cup walnut pieces

and knead them into the mixture. Form the dough into a ball or loaf shape and let rise. I baked this bread at 400º F in a preheated dutch oven for about 45-50 minutes (covered for the first half), but you could easily bake it in a loaf pan or other form. Let cool before slicing.

Note: If you increase the sugar a bit, the banana flavor will be more pronounced.

No-Knead Pizza Dough

Simple as can be. The recipe readily scales up for a bigger crowd.
Makes two 11-inch pizzas
Shopping List

Type “00” soft wheat flour


Measure the flour by weight: you can scale this recipe up. See the note at the end.

In a bowl, measure

  • 320g type “00” soft wheat flour
  • scant 1½ tsp salt
  • 1/16 to ⅛  tsp yeast

Regarding the yeast, for a 6-pizza recipe, you need about ½ tsp yeast, so go easy and don’t worry about being too precise. Stir the dry ingredients together. Add

  • 1 cup cold water

Stir until a ball forms. Transfer it to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Let sit for 18 to 24 hours and leave at room temperature.

After the rising time, the mixture will look a bit bubbly. Gently dump it onto a floured board, shape into a rectangle. Divide into separate pieces for each pizza (two in this case). For each piece, pull the four corners into the center. Smooth into a ball, dust with flour and place on work surface with the seam down. Let rest for 1 hour covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel.

ATTN If you’re working ahead of time, you can place the balls of dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to use the refrigerated dough, remove it from the fridge one or two hours before you’re ready to bake.

Dual Pizza Stones
Dual pizza stones transmit the heat better.

Start preheating the oven. I bake my pizza on a pizza stone with ATTN another pizza stone on a shelf about 4 to 6 inches above it. I bake at the highest temperature, 550º F convection in my case, so it takes almost an hour for the oven to heat up and for the stones to get thoroughly hot. Be sure to wait until the stone(s) heat up completely.

Form the pizza by gently forming into a circle, handling the dough as little as possible. Be sure to leave a bit of an edge around the pizza to form a crusty edge. Stretch the dough to an 11-inch round. Transfer the shaped dough to a baker’s peel that is generously coated with cornmeal. Top the dough with ingredients. Bake for 6½ minutes (adjusting for your own oven’s temperature).

When ATTNscaling up this recipe to make more pizzas, use this guide. Per pizza 160g flour, scant ¾ tsp salt, speck of yeast (keep reading), and ½ cup water. For 6 pizzas the proper amounts are 1kg of flour, 4 tsp salt, ½ tsp yeast and 3 cups water.

This caramelized onion pizza (pictured above) is made by slow-cooking chopped onions in olive oil. Cover the dough with mozzarella and bits of shaved romano cheese and then cover with a thick layer of the golden onions. Follow baking directions above.

Inspired by

Nell & Mindy’s Potica

Potica (pronounced poe-TEET-sa) is a Slovenian nut roll, made with a yeast dough. Our family friend Nell Simala taught my sister Mindy how to make this, except Mindy’s mistake of doubling the butter in the dough made for an even better recipe. Now I always make it this way. I would generally recommend doubling this recipe if you are going to the trouble to make this.


In a small bowl combine

  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 TBL warm water

and stir until yeast dissolves. Mix together in the bowl of a mixer (designed to to knead dough) or if kneading by hand in a large mixing bowl:

  • Scant  3 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

Add the yeast mixture and

  • ⅔ cup warm milk
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 well-beaten egg

Knead into a smooth dough, adding more flour as required. The dough will be soft. Put in a greased bowl to rise in a warm place, covered for about one hour.



  • 1 pound walnuts, ground finely with a meat grinder
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 6 ounces (½ can) evaporated milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 6 TBL melted butter
  • 1 well-beaten egg

If you find the filling is not easily spreadable when you are ready to use it, add a tablespoon or two of (regular) milk to loosen it up.


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cover a table you can access from opposing sides with a clean plastic sheet, bed sheet or tablecloth. Dust well with flour. Place the dough on the work surface. Starting with a rolling pin and switching to stretching it with the back of your hands from the underside (to avoid tearing the dough), stretch out the dough until it is uniformly very thin.  It will be thin enough you can almost see through it.


Ready to roll it up
After the filling is spread and before it’s rolled up.

Trim any uneven edges and place the filling on the dough. spreading it with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. If you are careful not to put too much filling, you can spread it to almost every edge, but if you unsure, leave a plain margin on the edge you are rolling towards. Begin rolling the potica and as you approach the last edge, if there is not enough filling, spread more filling to cover that edge; if there’s a buildup of too much filling, even it out.The filling should be clear of a 1-inch margin on 3 sides. Starting from the edge the filling does reach, begin rolling up the dough. You may want to pinch the seam shut and be sure to place the seam down.


Brushing egg on the formed potica
An “S”-shaped potica being brushed with egg glaze.

Transfer the dough to a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. If it’s too big to fit in a straight roll and it probably will be, make a coil, “s” shape or other shape to get it on the pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Glaze with

  • 1 egg, beaten

before baking. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

The finished potica.
The finished potica.

NOTE: You may want to work this dough recipe in two sections. I generally double the recipe and would suggest working in 2 or 3 pieces in that case, depending on whether you want straight or curved potica. You can also work the  single recipe dough in one large piece, roll it up and cut it in half before letting it rise.

Portuguese Corn Bread

Make a sponge by combining 1½ cups warm water, 2 heaping TBL  dry yeast and 2 cups bread flour. Cover and let rise until doubled. Meanwhile, dissolve ⅓ cup corn starch into ⅓ cup cold water; use your fingers to be sure there are no lumps remaining. Combine with 1 cup boiling water in a small saucepan and return to heat. Cook briefly until it turns into a semi-transparent gelatinous mass.

When the sponge is ready, combine the sponge, the cooled cornstarch mixture, 1½ cups corn flour, 3 cups bread flour and 1½ TBL salt. Mix on low speed for 5-8 minutes or knead by hand. You will need to add more flour, but the dough should still be wet.

Form into 2 long or 3 round loaves. Dust with potato starch or flour and let rise on baking sheets dusted with cornmeal. Rise, covered, for 45 minutes, then bake at 475 F convection for 45 minutes.

Adapted from Secrets of a Jewish Baker.

Pan Pizza

From Mark Bittman, with some adjustments.

In food processor mix together 1 cup flour, scant ½ tsp yeast, ½ tsp kosher salt. Turn on machine. Through feed tube, add ¼ cup water and 1 TBL olive oil. Process 30 seconds, adding a bit more water if necessary to get dough to form a ball. Coat lightly with olive oil and place in covered bowl. Let rise 1-2 hours.

Divide in 2 and form balls. Dust with flour. Let rest 20 minutes. When ready to cook, press each ball into 10-inch circle. Over medium heat, film skillet with olive oil. Let dough brown on one side; push down bubbles if any form.

Flip to second side. Add tomato sauce, cheese, salt & pepper, and any other ingredients. We used thinly sliced fennel on one and mushrooms & anchovies on the other. Cook until well browned on bottom and cheese is melting; or place briefly under broiler to brown cheese a bit. Eat immediately; the steam that collects underneath isn’t kind to the lovely crust that forms.

Shorter No-Knead Bread

In large bowl, measure 8 cups flour, 2 TBL salt, ¾ tsp yeast. Stir to mix. Stir in about 3¾ cups water. Dough will be shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in warm place for 12-24 hours. Stir dough down and get lots of flour on its underside (many tricks, mine is just to push it aside with a rubber scraper and dump some flour in… move it around). 90-120 minutes later, turn on oven to 500, with covered ovenproof pot in the oven (NO bakelite handles). When oven is at temperature, remove pan, sprinkle 1 TBL of corn meal on bottom of pot, dump in dough, cover and return to oven. Uncover after 25 minutes and remove from oven after another 30.

See No-Knead Bread if you want the whole Megillah.

No-Knead Bread

See Shorter No-Knead Bread and New York Seedy Bread recipes.

Combine in a large-sized mixing bowl: 3 cups flour, 2 tsp salt and generous ¼ tsp yeast. Stir in 1½ cups tap water (any temperature) and stir. The mixture may look a bit shaggy. Let rise, in bowl covered with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel for 10-18 hours, the timing isn’t too fussy. Dust counter or cutting board with heavily with flour. Dump out dough. Sprinkle with a bit more flour. Fold dough over on itself once. Leave on board or put back in bowl, with the fold down and cover loosely. Wait about an hour to 90 minutes.

Place a pot with oven-resistant handles and cover (see note below) in oven on middle shelf. Preheat oven (and pot) to 450 to 500 degrees F, depending on how dark you like the crust. The hotter the better in my opinion. Carefully remove the pot from the oven, dust the pan’s bottom with cornmeal, if desired or else generously dust the top of the dough with little more flour. In one “plop,” dump the dough into the pan, replace the cover and put it in the oven. Don’t worry if it looks uneven, although you can shake the pan once if it looks unevenly distributed. Cover and bake for 25. Continue cooking uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, depending on how dark you like the crust.

The original recipe came from The NY Times and you can find much discussion on the NY Times web site and across the Web, but these are the tips I think are most important:

  • Use a pan that is really oven resistant at high temperatures. Le Creuset and other manufacturers only suggest oven temperatures of up to 350 F for their pans with bakelite-type handles.
  • Feel free to try other kinds of flour: I like to use ⅓ semolina or whole wheat. Sprinkle the bread with seeds just before it goes into the oven. Check out my High-Fiber No-Knead Bread recipe.
  • You can also make loaves of bread. When you flip over the bread, go light on the flour, grease a loaf pan and let it rise in the pan. Put the pan, uncovered, into the oven after the rising period. It may stick, hence the suggestion to grease the pan.
  • You can make much larger loaves: my favorite trick is using a fish poacher to make a 9-cup batch of bread. It makes nice square bread for even sandwich-style slices.
  • Experiment!

The bread is moist and will last several days in the room, especially if you leave it with the cut end down on a cutting board or plate.

New York Seedy Bread

Wonderfully high in fiber, but don't tell anyone as it will spoil the enjoyment of this delicious bread.
Shopping List

4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup mixed seeds

¾ tsp yeast

¼ cup honey

1 TBL rye sour or ⅓ cup rye sourdough starter


  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (I often use equal parts of sunflower, flax and sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, but I tend to use whatever’s in the cupboard.)
  • ¾ tsp yeast
  • 1 TBL salt
  • 1 TBL powdered rye sour (see note) or ⅓ cup rye sourdough starter

Mix dry ingredients and then add

  • ¼ cup honey (you can eyeball it)
  • 2 cups tap water (any temperature)

Mix until evenly combined. Let rest is covered bowl for 12-18 hours at room temperature or in a warm spot if your home is cool.

To bake follow use one of these options.

Option 1 (loaf): Grease a 9-inch loaf pan. Dump dough into pan, let rise 2 more hours, covered. Preheat the oven to 450º F and bake for 40-50 minutes. Watch the timing as it may be done sooner, depending on your oven.

Option 2:  Place a covered oven-safe pot that’s large enough to hold the bread in the oven and preheat to 450º F. Wait 15 minutes past the time the oven reaches its temperature to allow the pot to heat thoroughly.  Remove the pot from the oven, sprinkle 2 TBL cornmeal in the pot, dump the dough right into the pot, cover it and return to the oven to bake. Remove the lid after 25 minutes. The total baking time will be about 40-50 minutes.

Remove from bread from the loaf pan/pot and cool on rack. Slice into thin slices after it is thoroughly cooled.

NOTE: Rye sour is a natural product that forms when rye flour is fermented. It is sold commercially as a liquid or powder in a variety of flavors. Commercial suppliers require the purchase of a 25-pound bag. King Arthur used to sell something called Heidelberg Rye Sour in smaller quantities, but no longer do. Instead I keep a rye sourdough starter (that is a sourdough starter I only feed with rye) and use ½ to 1 cup of the sourdough starter in place of the dry rye sour. Everything else stays the same in the recipe.  You can also make the bread without the sour; the flavor will be different but the bread will still be delicious.