Cheesy Thyme Semolina Bread

Hey There,

A couple of months ago, I decided that I wanted to become an expert bread maker. I made dozens of rolls, biscuits, and loaves of bread and I can confidently say that after much practice and a ton of trial and error that I am still nowhere close to being considered an expert baker. LOL. I am not sure that I can even be considered a decent bread maker. Making bread is an art and a science that I have yet to master. No matter how much time and care I take, I always seem to get some aspect of the recipe wrong. I either kneed the dough too long, add too much water, under proof my bake or underbake it. Sometimes, I just get so frustrated but for some reason, I am always willing to try again. For me, I feel that baking bread is one of those “old-fashioned” skills that every good home cook should know how to do. I mean, you definitely can be a great cook without knowing how to make bread but I just think that it is a great skill to have.

Now, while making bread is still a real struggle, I have been able to find some recipes that usually work for me. While scrolling through Instagram one day, I ran across Alexandra Stafford’s page and instantly became hooked. I ran out and bought her book, Bread Toast Crumbs and ever since then I have been whipping up somewhat decent loaves of bread. Now while her recipes are perfect, I am not, so sometimes I still manage to mess them up but for the most part, they turn out great. Her methods are easy and uncumbersome and most of her recipes are made by following the same 5-6 steps, which I like. I would highly recommend this book for beginning bakers.

So, last night as I was going through my refrigerator I noticed that I had an insane amount shredded cheese on hand so I decided to use it to make cheese bread.  I ended up combining Alexandra’s recipe for Cheesy Cheddar and Parmigiano Bread and Rosemary Semolina Bread with Pine Nuts. I also made a few substitutions to the recipe.  Basically, I made used the Cheesy Bread recipe but substituted a half of cup of regular flour for a half of cup of semolina flour. In addition, I used fresh thyme instead of Rosemary and I used a variety of shredded cheeses including, mozzarella, a Mexican cheese blend, and a taco cheese blend. In the end, the bread turned out great. I must say, this turned out to be one of my more successful baking experiences.

If you are interested in making this recipe or if you are just interested to learn how to make bread then check out Bread, Toast, Crumbs. Also, if you already have this book or are just an expert bread maker, please share with me your favorite bread recipe. I would love to give it a try.

See Ya,

~ Samantha J.







Baptist Pound Cake

Hey There!,

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it looks like I’ll be hosting Mother’s Day lunch/dinner again. I’m the only woman in my family with no kids, so I guess the task falls on me, that is until I have kids of my own. I’m still working on this year’s menu, but I do know that it will include this 5 flavor pound cake we like to call, “Baptist Pound Cake”. Now I made a version of this cake last year for Mother’s Day lunch but I have since then improved the recipe…at least I think it has improved. I simply added cream cheese to the recipe and I think it makes all the difference. The cake was moist before, but since adding the cream cheese it has become ever more moist and dense. It’s just so perfect.

Now, if you all grew up in “black church” or maybe you just attended a southern church, you’re all too familiar with pound cake. It seems that whenever there was an afternoon program (or afternoon pro-grim, as the old people say) it could be guaranteed that the following six things would be on the repast menu, 1) pound cake 2) after dinner mints 3) cookies 4) punch (preferably red or green and the kind that comes frozen that you just pour ginger ale over) 5) salted peanuts and 6) sheet cake. Some older church lady usually made the pound cake and it was always dense moist and perfect. This cake is just like that. The flavor is great, the texture is great and eating it just takes you back to fun times and times of fellowship (at least it does for me).

I think another about this cake that makes it so great is that you can dress it up or down and top it with almost anything you can think of. Sometimes it’s good all on its own, but other times a little icing, some fruit, nuts, ice cream or whipped cream and help take it to the next level. This cake is just so versatile and it’s just perfect for every occasion.

So if you love pound cake like I do and if it conjures up childhood memories like it does for me, be sure to check out the recipe for “Baptist Pound Cakes”. Be sure to tell me how you like to top it or if you like to eat it plain.

See you in my next post.

~Samantha J

Baptist Pound Cake

1 brick cream cheese at room temp
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks of butter (salted) at room temp
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 tea lemon extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter until it is light and whipped. About 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the salt and sugar and continue to beat for another 3-5 minutes until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl crack 6 eggs. Add them one by one to the mixer while on low speed making each sure each egg is well incorporated.

Add the flavorings.

Add the flour to the mixture in three parts.

Generously butter and flour two loaf pans. Divide mixture into the two pans.

Bake for 30 45 minutes or until done.

Top with your favorite topping and enjoy.