Breads

My husband is nuts for cinnamon anything and while I normally think of monkey bread as a kid thing, I make it for him because, well, I’m pretty sure he’s still a six-year-old at heart.  It is yummy though and I definitely like it too. image

Lots of people (you know, the ones who have lives) make this with refrigerated biscuit dough.  That offends my sensibilities.  It’s just not the same so since I have no life, I make my own dough.  Way, way better than what that dough boy dude puts out.

Ingredients:

Dough
1-1/3 C warm milk (120°)
4 TBSP butter
2-1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1/4 C sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
4-5 C flour

Melt butter in milk.  Lightly beat eggs.  Put both in the mixer, add yeast and sugar and swirl around a bit.  Add flour a cup at a time until you get a nice soft dough that is no longer sticky.  Let the mixer knead it for about 7 minutes.  Turn out, form into a ball, place in a greased bowl turning to coat the top.  Cover with a towel and let rise for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. 

Filling:
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Sauce:
2/3 C brown sugar
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP cream or milk
2 tsp cinnamon

Punch down, turn out onto a floured surface and shape into a rectangle.  Slice the dough lengthwise then break off pieces to make 1” balls.  Pour about half of the sauce into the bottom of a bundt or tube pan (not the kind with a removable bottom because oh the mess you will make!) Dip the balls into the melted butter then into the sugar mixture and place in the pan making about 3 layers.  Only fill the pan about half way!  It won’t look like much but after it rises it will more than fill the pan.  Let rise for about an hour or so. 

Reheat the remaining sauce then pour over the risen dough.  You don’t have to use all the sauce but why wouldn’t you??  Seriously.  Bake for about 30 minutes in a 350° oven.  Turn out onto a plate immediately letting the sauce run over the top.  If you wait to turn it out, the sugar will harden and it will never come out...in that case, go find the chisel because you’ll need it.

Let this cool for a good 30 minutes because the sugar sauce is basically liquid napalm.  Really.

Make sure you remove it from the pan right away or you’ll be sorry, I am so not kidding.  Aslo make sure you let it cool before digging in.  You have not felt real pain until you have molten sugar hit the roof of your mouth and stick there! 

Posted by Donna on Tuesday, June 01, 2010 at 12:09 PM
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There is nothing better than cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Bill loves cinnamon rolls.  It’s his favourite sweet.  You get these ready at night and finish the rise and bake them in the morning.  Trust me, no one will sleep in when the smell of these baking is going on!  Make them on a Saturday night and your kids will love you Sunday morning.  Seriously, even the brats who give you attitude will be all, “My Mom rocks!” image

Ingredients:

DOUGH
3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg at room temperature
1/3 C sugar
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 C warm milk
3-1/2 to 4 C flour
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest

Generously butter a 13x9 pan.

Add yeast to warm milk (120°).  Let stand.  Beat eggs with sugar and butter until well blended.  Add milk/yeast and beat to combine.  Add salt and zest.  Slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the bowl.  Dough should not be sticky.  Knead for 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.  I smiley my KitchenAid because it kneads for me.  Just let the mixer run on speed 2 for 7 minutes.  Form into a smooth ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top.  Let rise an hour or two until doubled.  Make filling.

Turn dough out onto floured surface.  Form into a rectangle by pressing with your fingers and palms...not pulling!  Use a rolling pin to get it about 1/4” thick and as uniform a rectangle as possible.  If the dough snaps back, let it rest a few minutes then roll again.  Brush dough with the 3 TBSP of melted butter from the filling ingredients staying clear about 1” from the top.  Use it all!  Sprinkle on the filling evenly and spread it out with your hands.  Use it all!  Then pat the filling into the dough a bit.  Start with the edge closest to you and roll tightly.  The more rolls you get the better.  It might seem like a narrow log.  That’s ok.  Turn the log so that the seam is facing up and crimp the edges to seal.  Seal it good!

image FILLING:
1C brown sugar (I use dark brown because I like the deeper flavour)
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 TBSP melted butter
Optional:
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C finely chopped pecans

Combine all except butter.  Stir well.

Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the log in half.  Cut each half into 6 even slices.  Some people use dental floss to get nice cuts but I like the serrated knife.  If you don’t press hard, they won’t squish.  Place each slice seam side up in greased pan.  Let rise half an hour to 45 minutes ONLY!  The should look like the picture below...nicely pouffy.  I like to let mine do a little rise first because the refrigerator will greatly restrict yeast growth.  And it seems to me, the less they have to rise in the morning, the quicker I dig in to a nice warm cinnamon roll!  I’m always thinking.  Seriously.  image

Wrap them loosely with plastic wrap, not touching the tops of the rolls.  Put them in the fridge overnight - up to about 18 hours.  In the morning, take them out and remove the plastic wrap.  Cover with a towel and put them in a nice warm spot.  I just turn my oven on for 10 minutes then turn it off.  I put the pan on top of the oven.  Let rise for an hour or so.  Since they’re cold and the pan is cold, it will take them awhile just to come to room temp.  They will pop up in the oven even if you don’t wait the whole hour but try to wait.  I like to sprinkle a bit more cinnamon sugar over the top because, hey, what can it hurt!  Bake for about 25-30 minutes until they’re golden brown and your house smells like what I hope heaven smells like.  Make the glaze.

GLAZE:
1 TBSP corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C sifted confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons cream or milk
2 TBSP melted butter

Put all liquids in a bowl.  Add confectioners sugar until you get a good drizzling consistency.  I use a fork to drizzle it over the warm rolls.  Don’t be stingy!

Serve warm.  If you don’t eat them all (yeah, right) you can wrap individual rolls in plastic wrap and mic them for a few seconds later on and they’re practically good as new.

Posted by Donna on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 05:09 PM
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While lots of people go all buttermilk on their biscuits, it’s not something I keep around and I rarely remember to buy it.  I do, however, use cream in my coffee so I always have that around.  I forget where I got this recipe but it was definitely from one of the better known cookbooks.image

These biscuits do not brown on top.  They stay very pale, though the bottoms will brown.  This is my favourite biscuit recipe.

Ingredients:

2 C flour
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 C cold butter cut in small cubes (1 stick)
1-1/4 C light cream

Preheat oven to 375°.  Lightly grease a quarter sheet pan.

Combine dry ingredients in a 2 qt bowl.  Cut in cold, cubed butter with a pastry blender, 2 knives, your hands...whatever...until it resembles coarse, pea-sized crumbs.  Add cream and stir just until combined.  Dough will be VERY sticky.

Very liberally dust your counter with flour.  Scrape dough out onto floured counter and liberally sprinkle flour on top.  Work the dough with your fingers a bit, adding a little more flour as necessary.  You don’t want to use too much flour or your biscuits will be dry and crumbly.  Press the dough out into a 9” circle about 1/2” thick.  Using a biscuit cutter, dip the cutter in flour and then cut straight down through the dough then twist to complete the cut.  Place 1/2” apart on prepared baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes.  Makes about 8 biscuits depending how big you cut them.

Posted by Donna on Monday, April 05, 2010 at 06:52 PM
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I have a recipe for pretty much every kind of bread imaginable.  This one makes a great loaf of bread...soft, with a nice tender crust but my favourite use for this recipe is sandwich buns.  When made into buns, the crust is just a little crusty and the center is nice and tender.  Aside from a little more bite to the crust, (and the no preservatives and funky stuff part) you won’t be able to tell the difference from store bought.  I don’t know why anyone would want to buy hamburger rolls at the grocery.  Make these and freeze them.  They thaw beautifully.image

Ingredients:

1-1/2C warm water (110°-120°)
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP yeast
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP oil
4C flour

Place first 3 ingredients in a mixer bowl and stir.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Add the salt and oil then add 3 cups of the flour and mix to combine.  Add remaining flour until you have a nice dough ball.  This dough will be somewhat slack and sticky.  Knead either in a stand mixer with dough hooks or by hand 7 minutes or so.  Do not add too much flour.  To keep it from sticking to your hands either keep them floured or rub a little shortening on your hands.  Form into a smooth ball and place in a greased bowl, (please use glass or metal, cuz I said so) cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled.

imageTurn the dough out onto your lightly floured counter.  Shape it into a rectangle about 1/2” thick.  Using a 4” or 4-1/2” circle cookie cutter, cut out the buns and place on a greased sheet pan.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled again.  It will take less time for the second rise.  Form remaining dough into a ball, knead it a little and let rest for 10 minutes before you cut the remaining buns.  If you prefer them to be a bigger bulky roll size, pat out to about 1” to 1-1/2” thick and cut with a 5” cutter.

Bake 30-35 minutes.  Brush tops with a little butter when you take them out of the oven.

Makes about 10 hamburger sized rolls or 6 or 7 bulky sized rolls.

For simple, round cutters, I recommend these.  You get a bunch of different sizes and Alton Brown says you should have these and he is a God who must be obeyed.

Posted by Donna on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 03:45 PM
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I make a lot of bread and I experiment with bread recipes all the time.  There’s only two of us so I strive to tweak recipes to make only one loaf instead of the typical 2 or 4 loaves most recipes yield.

This recipe makes one loaf of bread with a firm, somewhat dense but still soft texture with a fine crumb and a crust that is not quite crunchy but still firm.  To me it is the very essence of what sandwich bread should be.  It’s different from the bread I usually make in that the recipe I usually use has a tender crust and is more fluffy and light.  Still, I liked this one very much.  Oh, and it made wicked good toast.  image

A little about flour and yeast:

I never use bread flour.  I dislike the taste.  I use Heckers all purpose unbleached flour in all my bread making.  If I can’t find Heckers, King Arthur is my second choice.  I know you can find Heckers at Netgrocer

I swear by this flour.  It’s cheaper than most flours but the quality is far superior in my opinion.  It’s kosher as well.  And the label is awesome.  It has a picture of a child about 3 years old with a huge loaf of bread and a knife which he is using to cut the bread...aimed squarely towards his hand.  Fortunately, there’s a recipe for cinnamon rolls on the back which will make him feel much better as he convalesces after amputating his hand.  (Picture below the jump.)

I use Red Star yeast which I buy in bulk here.  One packet of yeast is equal to 2-1/4 tsp.

Ingredients:

4 C flour
2 tsp salt
2-1/4 tsp (one packet) yeast
1/4 C milk
3/4 C water
1 TBSP butter, softened
1 TBSP sugar

Directions:

Grease a standard loaf pan and a 2 qt glass or metal bowl.  Set aside.

Combine milk, water and butter in a 2 cup measuring.  Microwave for about 45 seconds on high.  Butter should be melting but not fully melted.  Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl.  Add milk and stir well until you can form a ball.  Add flour small amounts at a time until you can handle the dough without it sticking all over your hands...much.  It should be somewhat sticky just not realllllly sticky.  (Yeah, real helpful instructions, I know.) The more flour you add, the heavier and dryer your bread will be.  Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place (the top of the fridge is a really good spot) until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.  Remove from bowl to a floured surface and knead a few times.  Form dough into a loaf shape and place into a greased bread pan.  Cover with the kitchen towel and put it back on top of the fridge for about 45 minutes.  The dough will have once again doubled. 

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes until well brown and hollow sounding when tapped.  Remove from pan immediately and place on wire rack.  Brush the top with butter...I use a paper towel I wipe in the butter.  I just rub the buttered part of the paper towel on the bread.

Makes one loaf. 

image

Posted by Donna on Sunday, December 06, 2009 at 07:36 PM
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I am not a fan of cornbread but this recipe is pretty darn good.  I got it a couple of years back when I participated in one of those annoying recipe chain letters where you are supposed to receive like a 100 recipes in several weeks but only receive maybe 5 if you’re lucky.  Yeah.  Anyhoo....  It’s a great addition to barbecues and pig pickin’ parties.  When you’re done laughing at the thought of a pig pickin’ party (all you stuck up northern folks need to c’mon down and have yourself some- don’t knock it, til you’ve tried it), go ahead and try this recipe. 

1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup milk
2 cups white cornmeal (for less gritty) or yellow cornmeal (for a more traditional taste)
2 cups flour
1 TBS. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with shortening.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Mix sugar, butter, eggs, milk, honey and water together in a large bowl.
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl: cornmeal, flour,baking powder, and salt.
While stirring, add dry ingredients to sugar, egg, and milk mixture and mix thoroughly.
Mixture will be slightly lumpy.
Pour into greased rectangular pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Serve with butter and honey (if desired)

Posted by Michelle on Saturday, March 03, 2007 at 08:00 PM
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1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
Grated rind of one lemon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Glaze

Cream shortening- gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed.  Add eggs- one at a time, beating after each.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture (don’t ask me why but this makes a difference).  Stir in lemon rind and pecans.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes.  Remove and cool completely.  Pour glaze over bread.

Glaze:

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 TBS. lemon juice

Mix well.  Pour over bread.

Posted by Michelle on Friday, February 23, 2007 at 11:49 AM
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6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 packages quickRise Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
Raisins if desired
1 egg white, lightly beaten
more cinnamon sugar

Grease a large bowl with butter.  Set aside.

In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with 1/3 cup sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt.

Heat milk, water, and 1/3 cup butter until very warm -120 to 130° F - (VERY IMPORTANT!!  Do not overheat or underheat.  Use a quick read thermometer!!) Add into dry ingredients. Using your dough hook, with mixer on low, stir in eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. You may have to turn the mixer to medium.  When it forms a nice ball, let the mixer go at it for a few minutes then remove and knead on lightly floured surface with floured hands until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Add more flour to the board if necessary to keep it from sticking.  Put it in the greased bowl cover loosely with plastic wrap and drape a clean kitchen towel over it.  Let rest in a draft-free area about 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half into an approximately 15 x 8 inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with 3 tablespoons melted butter but not all the way to the edges.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and raisins (if using.) Sprinkle evenly over dough.

Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly like a jelly roll; pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam sides down, in 2 greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Brush tops with butter.  Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Brush loaves with melted butter and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, as much as you like. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.  A good way to test doneness is to knock on the bread.  If it sounds hollow, it’s done. 

Remove from the pans and brush with more melted butter.  You can sprinkle on more cinnamon sugar if you want.  Cool on wire racks....but not too long.  It’s the best when you eat it warm.  If you want to toast it later on, slice it on the thicker side and toast it in the oven, about 350°, right on the bare rack.  Keep an eye on it and remove when it’s toasted to your liking.  It tastes so much better when you toast it this way.  Don’t forget the butter!

You’ll never use that crappy bread machine ever again.  If you have a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook, this couldn’t be easier if you tried.  It’s just that easy and just that delicious!

Posted by Donna on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 01:50 PM
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1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 350. Blend ice cream and flour until flour is moistened and a lumpy batter forms. Fill 10 greased muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffin comes out dry.

Recipe works well with any creamy ice cream, ie, no ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby or the like.
Posted by Donna on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 02:40 PM
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2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. baking powder
1 beaten egg
1 c. blueberries
1 c. milk
3 tbsp. Crisco oil

Mix all ingredients. Pour on hot non-stick skillet or griddle. Makes eight 6 inch pancakes. Serve with warm maple syup and lots of butter.

This recipe is easily doubled.
Posted by Donna on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 01:22 AM
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3 packets active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water - divided
1 TBSP. sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 TBSP. salt
2 TBSP. vegetable oil
2 cups rye flour
2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water; stir in sugar; let stand 6 minutes or until bubbly.

Combine dissolved yeast, 1 cup warm water, molasses, salt, oil, and rye flour in a large bowl; beat until smooth.

Work in all-purpose flour until dough is smooth, pliable, and elastic, not sticky.

Knead dough for 4 minutes. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Punch dough down. Divide and shape dough into 2 large round loaves and place on greased and cornmeal-dusted cookie sheet.

Cover dough with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Bake loaves in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until crust makes hollow sound when tapped on.

Best served warm with whipped butter. YUM!!
Posted by Donna on Friday, June 04, 2004 at 02:46 PM
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1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
shortening or oil for deep frying

Heat 2 to 3 inches of shortening or oil to 365 degrees in deep fryer or deep saucepan.

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir in buttermilk, egg, and onion. Mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls, a few at a time, into shortening or oil. Fry 2 minutes or until dark golden brown. Turn as needed for even browning. Remove with slotted metal spoon. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Note: You can substitute self-rising cornmeal mix for the cornmeal, salt, and baking soda.

Makes 8 servings.
Posted by Donna on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 at 11:31 PM
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1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp shortening, melted

Heat 1/4 cup shortening to 365 degrees in electric skillet or on medium-high heat in heavy skillet.

Combine cornmeal and baking soda in medium bowl. Add buttermilk, egg, and 1 tbsp melted shortening. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet for each hoe cake. Fry 1 or 2 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Add additional shortening, if necessary. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.
Posted by Donna on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 at 11:24 PM
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