Pesto Pine Nut Bread

pesto bread_n

Pesto gives this bread a subtle tint with basil speckles, the aroma of parmesan and a pleasant pine nut crunch. 

A previous version of this bread I made was really tasty, but I wanted more pizzazz. So I upped the amount of pesto and added additional chopped pine nuts for more flavor and a subtle layer of texture. The mixture went into my Zojirushi bread machine and came out with the desired taste and texture but still light and airy. It was so tempting, half the loaf didn’t survive till the photo shoot!

Pesto Pine Nut Bread Machine Loaf


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup chopped pine nuts


  1. Place ingredients in bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Start machine.
  2. Remove baked loaf at the end of cycle and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

Really Righteous Rye for Reubens

Rye bread_nWith a golden-brown crust and a soft inside, this flavorful combination of rye flour and caraway seeds is the perfect loaf to be sliced thick for home-made reuben sandwiches. 

One of our favorite sandwiches is an East Coast style reuben with the rye sliced thick and everything piled high. Up here in the Arctic, the only way to get a sandwich like that is to make it ourselves. So, based on several recipes and my own calculations, I created a rye bread recipe for my Zojirushi “dough machine.” After four years of fairly heavy use (we bake all our own breads), this built-like-a-tank bread machine is still going strong. After it had done its magic, I kneaded the dough once more by hand and shaped it into an oval for one last rise.

I gave the dough two quick slashes, brushed it with egg, popped it in the oven and 35 minutes later our kitchen was filled with the delicious aroma of freshly baked rye bread – the final ingredient for our “up-town” Arctic lunch of hot tomato soup and reubens! Our recipe for DIY sauerkraut to follow.

Bread Machine Rye Bread


  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds (a few more for the top)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg (to brush the top of the loaf)


  1. Place all items except the last egg in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Set machine to dough setting.
  3. Start machine.
  4. Remove dough from machine and place onto lightly floured board. Knead dough a few times and shape into ball.
  5. Place dough ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until almost doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Slash a big X on top of loaf.
  8. Brush loaf with egg and sprinkle a few more caraway seeds on top of loaf.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes. Finished loaf should should have a golden brown crust and sound hollow when tapped.

Crunchy, Soft Bolillos

bolillo n

Like miniature baguettes (each loaf is about five inches long), a bag of freshly baked bolillos from our Arctic bakery is ready to be made into tasty sandwiches or sliced and toasted with olive oil and garlic.

When we return to the road system each summer, we keep a keen eye out for new food ideas to take back to our kitchen in the Arctic bush. This summer, we rediscovered torta sandwiches, prompting me to make a mental note to bake bolillos when we returned to Point Hope.

Bolillos have their roots in Mexico where they are the main ingredient in molettes and tortas – lightly toasted bread topped with cheese (or olive oil and garlic) and sandwiches, respectively. Armed with many tasty sandwich ingredients in our bush pantry – garbanzos for hummus, home-canned smoked salmon, caribou and even duck eggs (for a twist on tortas de huevo) – I looked forward to trying my hand at bolillos for our lunch-time sandwiches. Based on several recipes I found on the Internet, I adapted the recipe below for my Zojirushi bread machine. This bread machine provides yeast with the perfect environment so that dough rises evenly and consistently in our Arctic home.



  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


  1. Place first 6 ingredients into bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Set on dough cycle. Start machine.
  3. Dough should be smooth, soft and elastic. Adjust amount of flour or water if needed.
  4. Punch down dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Divide dough into 10 pieces and roll into balls.
  6. Work dough balls with palms of your hands to form ovals, about 5″ long and 2″ wide in the center. Ends should be tapered.
  7. Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover and let rise for about 25 minutes. Rolls should double in size.
  8. Preheat oven to 365 degrees F.
  9. Mix cold water and cornstarch in a small pot.
  10. Heat mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Mixture should be thick and clear, about 2 minutes.
  11. Brush each roll with cornstarch mixture.
  12. Slash each roll down the middle, cutting about 1/2″ deep.
  13. Bake rolls for about 30 minutes. Rolls are done when they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  14. Cool on wire racks.

Easy Wheat Bread with Complex Flavors of Coffee, Cocoa and Honey

brown wheat_n

Tasty wheat bread with subtle flavors of coffee and chocolate goes well with both savory and sweet accompaniments.

While the all-purpose flour stores in our pantry are diminishing, we still have an abundance of wheat flour. The exceptional wheat bread we made earlier this year was fabulous, but it is time and labor intensive. This weekend called for a loaf with more “auto-pilot” in the directions – and more of the work being done by our trusty Zojirushi bread machine. We found a well-reviewed recipe that included wheat flour. After sampling a slice of the finished product with butter and honey, we both agreed it was a delicious addition to our bread rotation.

Infused Wheat Bread


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast


  1. Place ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer and select regular bread setting.
  2. Start machine and relax while the machine does the work!

Recipe adapted from

Burebrot or Swiss Farmer’s Bread

Just waiting to be slathered with fresh butter and a favorite jam, you can almost hear the crust crunching on a slice of this rustic Swiss Farmer’s Bread.

One of my fondest childhood memories is of visiting my favorite auntie in Switzerland and talking with her in broken English and Swiss over my favorite breakfast: cafe mit schlag with a schniteli: milk coffee and farmer’s bread slathered with freshly made creamery butter and jam.

As I began baking different kinds of bread last year, I wanted to see if I could create Burebrot in my own kitchen. It turned out that every recipe I could find included rye flour. So, I had to wait until this fall, after we did our annual summer shopping.

After the bread finished baking, Jacked whipped up a small pot of tasty broccoli soup. I cut two generous pieces of Burebrot and topped them with butter. The bread was just the way I remembered it: hearty and wonderfully crusty. This is the perfect bread to pair with a slice of savory swiss cheese. We have a few pounds of rye flour for the year, so this bread will be making several encores.

The following recipe is a result of adaptions of several recipes to match the ingredients that are in my pantry. I processed the dough in my Zojirushi bread machine so it would rise properly in my Arctic home.



  • 8 oz buttermilk
  • 7 oz water
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast


  1. Place the above ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Turn on dough cycle.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Shape the dough into an oval on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  5. Cut a lattice pattern into dough with a sharp knife.
  6. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Bread will be crusty when finished.

La Boulangerie Arctic

Soft, bakery-style French bread, the chewy crust sprinkled with an especially tasty grey sea salt.

After tinkering with a few recipes, I now have my go-to recipe for French bread. The recipe produces two lovely baguettes or one larger loaf. Either way, it’s hard to stop with just one slice of this bread, and it looks as appetizing as it tastes. After having difficulty getting bread to rise in our Arctic home, I now rely on my Zojirushi bread machine to prepare the dough for this recipe. The loaves are then finished off in the oven. From start to finished bread, it takes about two and a half hours. A warm slice slathered with butter is the perfect accompaniment for Jack’s delicious clam chowder.

Homemade French Bread


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Glaze with

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp grey sea salt (or other artisan rock salt)


  1. Place first six ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer and select dough setting. Add 1 – 2 tsp of water during cycle if dough does not form into a ball.
  2. After dough cycle completes, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  3. Divide in half.
  4. Roll each half into a rectangle, approximately 10 inches by 8 inches.
  5. Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll style, along the long side to produce long loaves.
  6. Pinch seams to seal.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Place loaves, seam side down, on pan.
  9. Cover and let loaves rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  10. Whisk egg and water. Brush loaves with egg mixture. Make 4 shallow slashes across loaves. Sprinkle loaves with sea salt.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  12. Cool on wire rack.

Bread Machine Challah

A five-strand braid Challah will provide us with this week’s bread. If we’re lucky, it will last until next weekend to be the main ingredient of a perfect French toast.

Challah was a special occasion bread when I was growing up. Traditionally, Challah is a Jewish celebration bread enjoyed on most Jewish holidays and on Shabbat. It does take time and effort. As warm as our Arctic home is, I never could get the “let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place” down. If you’ve been following along, you know I depend on my bread machine as the warm, draft-free place.

This challah recipe came from 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. The bread was eggy and had the texture and taste I remember growing up. The machine did all the work kneading and rising. As for the braiding technique, I followed a terrific tutorial on


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Measure bread ingredients into baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Insert pan into the oven chamber. Select dough cycle.
  2. Remove dough to a lightly floured board; cover with a large bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into 5 portions. Roll each with the palm of your hand into long, smooth ropes (1 inch in diameter). Braid. See tutorial ( for directions. Pinch ends together. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume (30 – 40 minutes).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. When the dough has risen, beat egg yolk and water. Brush braid with glaze.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until braid sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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Züpfe – Delicious Swiss Bread

Züpfe – Delicious Swiss Bread

The bread loaves are nestled in kitchen towels to hide the fact that we ate half of one of the loaves before I could take a photo!

Two similar breads came to mind for my next baking adventure. Swiss Zopf, which is known as Züpfe in the Bernese region of Switzerland, and Challah, a traditional sabbath bread in the Jewish tradition. I was lucky enough to enjoy both when I was young. They are similar in texture and in their beautiful braided presentation.

Yesterday’s decision to create loaves of Züpfe was based on my being able to adapt the dough to my bread machine. The temperature in our house doesn’t seem conducive to bread rising. The same problem exists when I try to let bread rise in the oven. To modify Victoria’s recipe for my Zojirushi bread machine, I mixed all the wet ingredients and placed them at the bottom of the pan. I layered on the bread flour and the yeast. Per many suggestions by recipe users, I also added one teaspoon of salt. After the bread dough processed in the machine, I braided the dough using a four-strand braid and let it rise on a parchment covered baking sheet for about an hour in a barely heated oven before finally baking it. It doubled in size!

Honestly, when I was finished braiding the bread, I had one of those I-am-so-impressed-with-myself moments. At these moments, I totally get the end zone celebration dance. Then it came out of the oven – wow! I proudly paraded the baked beauties through the house so that Jack and Maia would be impressed. The final victory? Hot slices of deliciously soft bread slathered in butter.

Thank you to Victoria Marler and her recipe at Her recipe follows for the traditional baking of Swiss Zopf bread loaves.


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolk, butter and 2 cups of bread flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 14 inch long cylinder. Braid the pieces together and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Brush risen loaf with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25, until golden.

Home Baked Bread

A picture perfect loaf of wheat bread.

Back in September, my first attempts at bread failed. I couldn’t get the dough to rise right. I figured the temperature in the house up here must be too cool. I read in my rice cooker manual that there was a bread function. Lo and behold, it worked. Since Jack and I have a little rice cooker, our loaves were cute little round babies. They lasted for two good sized sandwiches with an oddball end sandwich left over. That worked for awhile. Then we decided it was time for a real bread machine. After quite a bit of research, we ordered a Zojirushi BBCC-X20. What a terrific machine. It bakes beautiful loaves of bread. I’ve tried herb bread, cheese bread, wheat bread, pizza dough, and kiwi jam!  All terrific! There is nothing more satisfying than eating a hot slice of bread straight from the oven. I used to always say “I will never use a bread machine.” Ugh, I’ve been bitten by every single “never” I’ve ever uttered! Life is too short to knead and tend home made loaves of bread.

Read the whole review at: