Giveaway Time: Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Box filled with goodies ENTER TO WIN

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Starting today and until June 1’st, you can enter to win the above package, which I received from Rigoni di Asiago.  The box came filled with goodies that you can taste and some that you can wear, to the hazelnut bag you can shop with!  Entering is super easy too:

Please, kindly just:

 

  1.  Follow Rigoni di Asiago on Facebook here- https://www.facebook.com/RigonidiAsiagoUSA
  2. And also here on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/NocciolataUSA
  3. Then on  Twitter– https://twitter.com/NocciolataUSA
  4. and lastly leave me a comment on any of the reviews and/or recipes I shared.

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4 easy small steps and this gorgeous box could be yours……..the hazelnut shopping bag melts your heart while you munch on the Nocciolata.  Good luck!

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Winner will be notified via the contact connected to your account.  I will then forward the address to the company, which will then send the box to your home address, minus the squirrel of course 🙂

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Rigoni di Asiago: Nocciolata with Raspberries, this is a 2-in-1 #Recipe Turnovers & Cookies Part 2

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I wanted to create a filling that is easy to make, does not require a plethora of ingredients and is fast……but of course delicious. With Mother’s Day upon us, many of us want to give something chocolate and fruity but the same fallback of strawberries dipped in chocolate is so yesterday! Think chocolate and raspberries snoozing in a puff pastry dough.

 

Let’s Begin……

  • 35 grams of Nocciolata spread
  • 7 grams of Almond Flour/Meal
  • 20 grams of Frozen Red Raspberries
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry (each sheet measures 5X5) and is in square shape
  • 1 egg at room temperature (whisked and with a brush)
  • Optional- Raw Hazelnuts
  • Powder Sugar for dusting

Make your filling like in part #1 http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-SX

Cookies (yields about 12 to 14 cookies):

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Take Puff Pastry out and allow it to come to temperature, but just enough to be manageable.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Get two sheets and begin spreading your filling like this-

Then brush with egg wash

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Begin to roll dough over from each edge, towards the inside like this-

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Again, more egg wash and fold again and again…..you will be creating a heart ❤

I use the same parchment papers that come with the puff pastry to keep the roll sealed and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Put roll in the freezer to stiffen up (15 to 20 minutes) so you can cut without destroying the cookie.  Repeat with the other dough sheet the same process.

 

 Once the dough is stiff enough to cut without destroying the shape, you can start making cookies.

Then take the Hazelnuts (optional) and chop roughly, placing one small piece in each center.

Then wash with egg and place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes to bake at 400 degrees.

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Take the cookies out and allow them to rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a rack.  This helps dehydrate and also finish off the cooking in the dough, plus give it a crisp texture.

Dust with Powder Sugar.

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Then you can eat them semi-warm or completely cooled.  Enjoy!

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Get your Nocciolate fix at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rigoni di Asiago.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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No Kneading Required- Almost Whole Wheat Rustic Bread, great for fillings #Recipe

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This is a simple and super easy baked bread that uses part All-Purpose flour and part White Whole Wheat flour. It’s a blend that goes perfectly with fruit and even soft cheese with fruit based spreads. No kneading required and the bread lasts about 5 days in the fridge. I literally just pull the ounces I need and bake fresh bread when needed. It makes it look like I worked really hard in the kitchen!  This is the base recipe and you can make it go savory or sweet by what decide to fill it with.  You can also just have it as is and it goes great with ham!

Let’s Begin…..

  • 2 1/4 cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup of White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Yeast (Active-Dry)
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm Water (105 to 110 degrees)

Simply add the flours in a bowl, the salt and yeast. Whisk until blended and then add the water.

With a wooden spoon or one that has the “umph” to withstand a few strokes, mix until blended. I usually do it for 1 to 2 minutes and if the dough seems too dry, add a teaspoon of water until you get a sticky consistency.

 

Then simply cover lightly and allow the dough to proof for 2 hours.

I recommend a overnight rest in the fridge for better taste and it allows the bread flavor to mature nicely and hydrate properly. The next day just take out what you need. I pull out about 5 1/2 ounces to make a small sized loaf that is good for 2 people, plus leftovers. Allow the dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes and then make your creations! Allow the shaped loaf to rest and proof for about 20 to 30 minutes and then comes the baking. Brush the loaf with warm water and sometimes I even add a touch of Maple Syrup to mine to even olive oil if I am making a savory loaf. Brush the loaf and then slash (2 or 3 should do). Then bake at 450 degrees until done. Mine takes about 20 minutes.  Allow the loaf to cool before cutting.  I allow 30 minutes unless a “squirrel” attacks my bread because he could not wait.  The squirrel is usually also called a husband 🙂

 

 

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Blueberry Maple Rustic Bread-

  • 9 ounces of Almost Whole Wheat Rustic Dough recipe above
  • 1/8 cup of dried Blueberries (I use no sugar ones- Bob’s Red Mill)
  • Drizzle of Maple Syrup
  • Warm Water with a touch of Maple Syrup for “wetting” the loaf before baking
  • Dusting of Turbinado Sugar

 

Simply hydrate your berries and some people use warm water,

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others like to add flavor by warming some juice and allowing the blueberries to hydrate in that. I went for water because I could not decide what juice to use and since it was late at night, my brain was starting to turn off. I bloom the berries for about 15 to 20 minutes. I then grabbed about 9 ounces of dough from the fridge and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Slowly begin to shape, sort of flattening and pulling softly until I get the desired shape and length.

Then simply drain the blueberries and drizzle the maple syrup. I then rolled, leaving the flap side down.  You then just make sure the end (tips) are the shape you desire.  I went with a pointy look.

I got crafty and pulled some dough out to give it a scroll design on top but you don’t have to :).  Let the loaf relax (proof) for 20 minutes. Time lapses and I brush the loaf with the water and touch of maple syrup. Gave it a few slashes, sprinkled with Turbinado sugar and in it goes to be baked.  I baked the loaf for 20 minutes at 450 degrees and then allowed it to cool on the rack. I had a late night baking session but come morning, we were enjoying fresh baked blueberry maple slices and it was divine!  You control the sugar and sweeteners and get creative!  Make a patriotic themed loaf by adding cranberries and even chocolate or nuts.  Enjoy!

Garlic Gold: Double Crusted Cheese sticks made with Marinated Mozzarella #Recipe

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I’m so in love with the Garlic Gold brand, that I made another easy recipe to enjoy. These go with everything from pizza, wings, to even a light Italian dinner.  I even pair them with a dinner salad and these sub for my croutons.

Let’s Begin…..

  • Large Mason Jar
  • 1/4 cup of Garlic Gold’s Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 8 to 10 sticks cut from Mozzarella Cheese (from a semi-soft block, not the soft fresh type)
  • 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup of plain Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of plain Bread Crumbs
  • Dash of Garlic Gold Nuggets
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Optional- 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes if you want to make Fire Crackers. Add the flakes to the marinade.
  • Peanut Oil (or one of your choice) for frying

Take your Mason Jar and add 1/4 cup of the Garlic Gold Vinaigrette. Take your cheese sticks and close the jar, give it a toss and lay it down in the fridge.

I marinated mine overnight and I would walk by the fridge and shake it a few times. You can use a small jar if you wish but I wanted to not fill the jar and waste vinaigrette, so I opted to not filling and used this shaking method.

You will notice the oil will solidify so take the cheese out an hour before cooking and allow the marinade to liquefy and every now and then give the jar a shake.

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Take out a plate (I use a glass pie plate) and use that as your flouring station and another dish for the bread crumbs (both the panko and plain combined). Add salt and pepper to taste to the bread crumbs and a dash of the Garlic Gold Nuggets.

Take cheese out of jar (reserve the vinaigrette) and dip them in the flour, rolling and making sure to not forget to dab the tips too.

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Once the cheese is floured, dip the cheese back into the vinaigrette and then roll into the bread crumbs.

You will notice that not much will stay, but this is the first dip that will insure you have that great flavor. The flour will soak it up and give it a beautiful layer and crunch. Do all the bread sticks and let them relax in the bread crumbs.

Crack open the egg and whisk.

Dip each bread stick in the egg and back into the bread crumbs. I lay the cheese sticks on a plate because they will be relaxing in the freezer for 20-30 minutes after they have received their second coat. This is the coat that will stick really well and just continue until all cheese sticks are nicely covered and coated.

Put plate in freezer and depending how cold yours is, it only takes 20 to 30 minutes for them to set nicely. This buys you time when frying and also allows the breading to set.

Once the above time has lapsed, it’s time to fry! I use Peanut Oil for how it tends to fry everything really crispy. You can use any frying oil of your choice. Heat up the oil and this is a quick dish to make.

It takes less than 30 seconds to get golden. I take about 2 to 3 sticks at a time because I used a small frying pan but you can use a larger one (I don’t like wasting oil either 🙂 ). You just drop them in and you can see my oil comes up half-way and then once they are golden and this happens in a few seconds, just flip and finish.

I placed my fried cheese sticks on parchment to rest. Serve immediately and enjoy.

If you are frying more than the above quota, no worries as you can use a pan with parchment to rewarm them. Again, this happens quick as we are dealing with cheese. Heat your oven to 375 degrees and set your cheese sticks on a cookie sheet (with parchment) and heat until warm and gooey. This can take 5 minutes and I do this with leftovers (from the fridge). You can serve with a pesto and I opted for a eggplant and vegetable marinara sauce. The cheese sticks are flavorful and you can make these into “fire crackers” by adding the chili flakes to your marinade.

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You can also make this easy dish by getting your own Garlic Gold Products at:

  • On-line– http://garlicgold.com/
  • Visit Garlic Gold on Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/GarlicGold
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/garlicgold
  • See the pretty Garlic Gold products and the other dishes you can create onPinterest– http://www.pinterest.com/garlicgold/

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I received the above product free of charge from Garlic Gold.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Rumiano Cheese: Organic Sharp Cheddar #Review and #Recipe; Mezzi Rigatoni with Pancetta and Peas

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This is a cheesy house. Wait, let me clarify that. We love cheese here. Good cheese. Made with good things. By people who know cheese. So it’s with great pride I introduce The Rumiano Cheese family, who has been making cheeses since 1921. I decided to pitch this family-owned company not only because we love cheese, but they are also in my home state of California, but because we love, love and love cheese 🙂 .  Did I mention we love cheese? We have a drawer in the fridge that easily carries 15 different cheese varieties at any given time. I believe there is a cheese for every occasion and even cheese to celebrate with when you find a new cheese. See, I can make any excuse to have cheese. I love it but you would think I consume large quantities of cheese because of the large selection we have, I personally don’t. I found that a good cheese will satisfy you in small doses . It’s quality versus quantity.

Rumiano’s Organic line is:

  • Non-GMO verified
  • USDA Organic
  • Cows that are grass fed
  • Global Culture certified Organic
  • Made in Northern California using the finest ingredients and are also American Humane Association certified

 

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In comes the Rumiano cheeses. I hunted for their smoked mozzarella and wanted to share a recipe that featured two of their cheeses but it’s currently on order with the dairy guy at my local Sprout’s market. I decided to just jump in and make a dish using just one cheese, their Organic Sharp Cheddar. I went in thinking the dish will need some pizzazz, since using just one variety is so not me but…….this is the best sharp cheddar I have tasted! It tastes clean and it’s not just because it’s Organic, but the recipe and aging it’s in a class all it’s own. You get that bite that sharp cheddar has but this one is smooth til the end with no sour tang left behind. A cheese that can stand on it’s own. I proceeded with the dish that I decided to make on Easter Sunday. I do this quite often, where I come up with an idea and attempt to make it on the day of and try not to stress. The only thing that saves my hide is using quality products and I can say that Rumiano will be my go to for Sharp Cheddar as of now. No oily residue when I was making a bechamel sauce, a sauce that tells on you if used poor ingredients. I can easily say this is the best 1-cheese sauce I have made and I thank the Rumiano family for helping me come through for mine.

Get your apron and even a chef hat on but don’t get comfortable because this is a quick and easy recipe. This is a recipe that yields 2 ramekin servings, can be used as a appetizer or a side dish.  Double it or quadruple it if needed.

Let’s Begin…….

Mezzi Rigatoni with Pancetta and Peas, in a Rumiano Sharp Cheddar Cheese sauce

  • 2 Ramekins (single serving) and greased (I went with butter but a spray oil is fine)
  • 20 to 22 Mezzi Rigatoni pasta shells
  • 20 to 22 Frozen Peas
  • 3/4 to 1 ounce of Pancetta (small cubes)
  • 1/4 ounce of Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 ounce of Salted Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Milk
  • 2 teaspoons of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ounce of Rumiano’s Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded), plus a little more for topping
  • 1 Slice of White Bread
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Dash of Nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Begin by filling your ramekins with the dry (uncooked) Mezzi Rigatoni pasta shells. I fit approximately 10 to 12 (allow for expansion) to each ramekin. I boil 24 shells just in case one wants to be naughty and split. Cook pasta about 1/2 way through, drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Grease ramekins and stand your shells, so they may each be filled with one frozen pea.

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In a separate pot, heat the milk until just warm (do not boil)

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I use a frying pan and cook the pancetta and onion.

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I do not drain the oil when it’s done because I then add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour to create a roux.

The roux takes less than a 1 minute to make. You will smell the nutty tones the flour gives when cooking and bubbling. You will then notice a color change and we are going for golden in color and not too deep in tone. Then slowly pour in the milk. I usually get a whisk and begin pouring the milk, whisking and then pouring the rest. This helps temper the milk and you will get no flash heat or mess.

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Continue whisking until the bechamel sauce is made. You test this by using a spoon and dipping it into the sauce. If the coat left is thin, continue whisking until it thickens but never allow the sauce to boil.

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Take the pan away from the heat and add your seasonings. You can change to fresh herbs but I like the Herbes the Provence mix because I feel the lavender gives the sauce a beautiful taste. Add the cheese and stir.

Pour the sauce over your pasta.

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Take a cookie/biscuit cutter and one slice of bread should be enough to yield two circles for toppers. Add the bread toppers and sprinkle some more of the shredded Rumiano Sharp Cheddar cheese.

 

I then give each ramekin a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and into the oven it goes.

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Baking takes a total of 15 to 20 minutes and you cover with foil for the first half.

Take the ramekins out and serve with dinner or you can serve these as appetizers.

You can make everything the evening ahead and then just bake when needed the following day, just adjust the time as the ramekins will be cold from the fridge.

Great tasting and perfectly creamy! Enjoy!

Find all the cheese and butters Rumiano carries at:

  • On-line– http://www.rumianocheese.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/rumianocheese
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/RumianoCheese
  • Pinterest– http://www.pinterest.com/rumianocheese/
  • YouTube– http://www.youtube.com/user/RumianoCheese

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I received the above product free of charge from Rumiano.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Garlic Gold: Tri-Color Quinoa Grain Vegetable Medley Salad that can be Baked too #MeatlessMonday #recipe

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This recipe is a 2-in-1, where you can make a salad or go for a a little protein kick by adding an egg and baking. Bakes in less than 15 minutes!  A Great Spring dish and perfect for our latest California’s weather where it is hot in the day but cold at night.

Let’s begin….

1/4 cup of Tri-Color Quinoa (measure dry and pre-cook with water, with a little salt and pepper)
1/2 cup of Kale (roughly chopped)
1/3 of a cup of Broccoli
1/8 of a cup of Green Bell Pepper
1/2 a Zucchini
1 Slice of Red Onion
1 Slice of White Onion
1 tablespoon of Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (reserved for cooking phase)

Garlic Gold Nuggets to taste and you can also add a Goat Cheese crumble

Optional (if Baking)-
1 egg
Fat of your choice (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, ect.) to oil the dish
Honey Goat Cheese crumbled on top
Garlic Gold Nuggets and an Arugula toss (raw arugula with a drizzle of the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette)

I start by cooking the Quinoa and it takes about 10 minutes. If any water is left, drain and just set aside in a bowl.

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I then start chopping all the vegetables and this is roughly done because I am aiming for bite size.

Heat up a skillet and add the 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil or any fat of your choice (or even none). Start sauteing the onions and bell pepper until you get a nice golden color but keep in mind you want crunch left.

I add the saute onions and bell peppers to the bowl with the Quinoa. Using the same pan, I saute the zucchini for a little over 1 minute because again I aiming for a par-cooked texture and I want the vegetable to get color but preserve some firmness.

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The zucchini gets added to the bowl. I then add the broccoli and kale and again saute for under a minute.

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The cooking intensifies the flavors and takes the bore out of eating your vegetables 🙂 Once everything is in the bowl, I add the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette.

The Garlic Gold adds flavor and this is why we used little to no seasonings beforehand. Toss and then you can enjoy as-is, add the goat cheese and/or move on to baking.

If Baking-
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I used an oven-safe au gratin dish that fits the above contents nicely and allows the egg to have room. It’s approximately 2-cups in size. I used a Coconut Oil and a Butter blend to oil my dish and prevent the egg from sticking.

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I then add the vegetables and Quinoa mix, make sure everything is evenly spread and leveled.

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I cracked 1 egg an it’s up to you if you wish to add a little milk when whisking. Once the egg is whisked, I then simply pour it over the vegetables and add the crumbled goat cheese.

I bake the dish for 15 minutes, with the first half covered (tented with foil so it does not come in contact with the cheese) and the other half uncovered. The vegetables remain with a nice crunch and full of flavor.

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I opted to top my bake with an Arugula toss (arugula and a little dash of the Garlic Gold vinaigrette) and a dash of the Garlic Gold Nuggets. This adds flavor and you get a nice warm and cold contrast.

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This dish can be made ahead and just add the egg and bake when you are ready. You can have the salad on top of romaine lettuce with a toasted pita on the side, but it’s filling, low in calories and fat but most importantly……Garlic Gold delicious! Enjoy!’

 

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You can also make this easy dish by getting your own Garlic Gold Products at:

On-line– http://garlicgold.com/

Visit Garlic Gold on Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/GarlicGold

Twitter– https://twitter.com/garlicgold

See the pretty Garlic Gold products and the other dishes you can create on Pinterest– http://www.pinterest.com/garlicgold/

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I received the above product free of charge from Garlic Gold.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Baking: Hawaiian Bread Loaf Recipe, Aloha Bread

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Being tired of bread that reads like a science experiment gone wrong, I now just resort to baking at home. My experiments, at least when they fai,l are not filled with chemicals and the dog has benefited from a few “oopsies”. Thankfully, this is not one of them and it’s very easy to make….you don’t even need a dough hook.

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Hawaiian bread is suppose to have a little tropical flair with a touch of sweetness from the Pineapple Juice and is usually a nice soft texture. I love making ham sandwiches with it but also just eating it with a little butter.

Let’s begin….

You will need:
3 cups of All-Purpose Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill), plus

  • 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour (to be used after the dough rises)

1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
2 Eggs (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups of 100% Pure Pineapple Juice (I used Langer’s Pineapple Juice), and at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (depends on your taste)
5 tablespoons of White Sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
4 1/2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (melted), plus

  • 1/4 tablespoon of softened Salted Butter (to grease the bowl the dough will rise in) and another 1/4 for the final rise and to grease the dish you will be baking in.

First mix your wet ingredients, this would be eggs, pineapple juice, vanilla, butter and white sugar in one bowl. Then in another bowl mix your 3 cups of flour, salt and yeast. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment (or by hand with a spatula), start incorporating the dry ingredients to the wet. I usually do it by hand using a spatula and you will get a sticky dough that is ragged looking. It takes me about 2 minutes by hand to accomplish this. If the dough looks too dry, add a little more pineapple juice. If the dough appears too wet, start by incorporating a little flour until you are left with a moist dough that does not have a over sticky appearance/feeling.

I then allow the dough to rest one hour in a buttered bowl that is big enough to allow it to double in size. This is where I use the 1/4 tablespoon of Salted Butter and it helps keep the dough moist but also does not let it adhere to the bowl.

After the dough doubles in size, I flour the surface and dump the bread dough to start incorporating the 1/4 cup of flour. I begin to first punch down the bread and then slowly knead it for a minute and until the flour is incorporated. I just keep folding in until I get the right texture and if it’s too moist, I slowly add a little more flour if needed. I then take the 1/4 tablespoon of butter and grease the loaf pan I will be baking in. I add the dough and again allow the bread to rise for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.

Set the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown in color. I then take the bread out and allow it to cool 15 to 20 minutes and pop it out of the pan to further cool down. I give it a couple hours and then start slicing and enjoying. This bread makes great panini style sandwiches and I love how it also toasts up. Get creative and enjoy!

Beautiful Nooks and Crannies in the Bread!

Beautiful Nooks and Crannies in the Bread!

Note- My recipe uses 100% Pineapple Juice that has no added sugars or sweeteners. I feel Hawaiian bread has a touch of sweetness but should not start off being a dessert style bread. It’s suppose to be versatile and this why I control the sweetness by adding my own sugar and adjust my vanilla to fit my tastes or future uses.  You can also make buns for sliders using this recipe, versus just a loaf 🙂

Panini Ham Sandwich I made with the loaf.

Panini Ham Sandwich I made with the loaf.

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