Showing posts with label Bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bread. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Rustic White Bread

2020 RECIPE UPDATE: I am remaking a lot of my recipes from many years ago, to ensure they are accurate and still work. This bread recipe is an easy recipe to add to your recipe box.  I have updated how I make the bread today using my Le Creuset pieces.

All I can say is this is the best, and I mean, THE BEST bread, that I have made in a little over an hour.  I found this recipe when a fellow blogger shared this with all of us.  All I can say is THANK YOU!

In the last few weeks, I have made this loaf about 7 times.  No lie, it turns out just like this picture …every…time!  AMAZING!

You can find the original recipe on Carol's site.

I have to admit that I love my stoneware.  I have a lot.  Not all of it is Pampered Chef.  I have picked up several pieces at local thrift stores that come from all over the US.  My loaf is round because I have a huge round stoneware bowl and a tart stoneware plate that works really well together.  I use it similar to how Carol has used her oval stoneware set.

I will tell you a secret…I also used this recipe in two loave pans and covered the top with my stoneware cookie sheet…worked, again, like a dream.

The key is keeping the dough surrounded by the stoneware.  It creates a lot of heat and gets the crust nice and crispy without being thick and the center is tender and perfect for fondues, sandwiches, dips and toasted slices for spreads.

You will find that I have not changed Carols' ingredients only the process of making the bread.  This is what worked for me and I like to make things simple.

I live at the beach in a very cold and wet environment. I use about 6 cups of flour for my recipe because the dough is wet. If you live in a dryer climate, use less flour to start and add as needed.

I split the dough between two baking dishes on occasion. This allows me to make a friendship loaf to share with neighbors and friends.

Recipe:  Easy Rustic White Bread


5-6+ cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour for 1 or 2 cups)

2 tablespoons dry yeast (regular, NOT rapid rise, yeast)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups hot water (120° to 130°) Note: water temperature is critical to proper yeast activation (If your measuring cup is cold, rinse it out a few times with warm water.  This affects the temperature of your water if it uses all of its heat to warm the cup…your yeast may not proof right.)

Directions Using a Kitchenaid Mixer:

Grease the Deep Covered Baker/Le Creuset or any other cooking vessel you are using. I used the #22 and #18 Le Creuset pieces. See Picture.

Combine 4 cups of the flour and salt in your Kitchenaid bowl.  In a separate 2 cup measuring cup add the sugar and the yeast.  Let proof for 5 minutes.  Add to the flour and turn your KitchenAid to a slow speed, otherwise, the flour bounces out all over your counter.

Once the dough is formed, you can increase the speed to medium and continue kneading for 7 minutes.

Turn the Kitchenaid off and cover with a dishcloth for 15 minutes. 

Remove dough from bowl and stretch the dough and then ball up and place directly into your stoneware/Le Creuset.

Put the lid on and place in a COLD oven. Turn oven to 400° and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, gasp in amazement, remove loaf from baker to cool on a rack.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Crescent Dough

 I love being inspired by the foodie friends that I have on my facebook page.  They remind me of the recipes I used to make, inspire me to try new things and motivate me to think outside the box.  Last week while perusing through my home page I saw this beautiful Chicken and Broccoli Bread Braid from Pampered Chef Consultant-Carol's Corner and just had to give it a try.

I used to make these braids a while ago but just forgot about them.  In fact, my family was thrilled when it arrived to the table.  They too remembered those days from long ago.  My only issue with why I don't make them as often is buying the crescent dough in the cans.  To me it's insanely expensive.  This coming from a woman who spends $20 a pound for great salami.  It's not the price it's the markup.  It blows me away that a company can charge $4 a can when it's bread dough.  I guess it's the principal of the thing…LOL

Honestly, it never occurred to me to try and make it myself.  I figured it was some deep secret recipe and the market was taken and you just BUY your dough.  I was wrong.  YEP, I said it…WRONG.  In my desire to make Carol's yummy braid I did a search and found a recipe on that had 5 stars and excellent reviews.  I proceeded to print, make and eat a very good homemade version of the crescent roll dough from a can.

It was easy, felt very similar to the original and tasted like the dough in a can.  The flavor is what got me…it was that same "crescent dough" flavor that is so familiar with this product.  I can only assume that the flavor is from the Crisco.

I will make this recipe again in the future.  A few notes before I share the recipe.  It makes a lot.  9 cups of flour should be your first clue…it should have been mine…LOL  I easily could have divided the dough into fourths and froze 3 for future uses. You can also make up the dough, make the crescent shaped rolls, freeze and have them for a later meal.  I found the original recipe to be a little bit weak in the salt department, so I have changed the amount of salt added to the recipe (shown in red).  I also changed Carol's recipe just a scosh (that's a little) because my family would not like the dill blend for the spread and I did not have sharp cheddar on hand.  Her recipe inspired me to begin, but based on what I had and what my family likes, it has been changed to fit our palette.

Recipe:  Crescent Roll Dough


2 cups milk
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 cup sugar (2 T. in yeast/water and the remaining sugar used in the creaming process)
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon of salt
6 eggs, beaten
9 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

 Heat milk to 110 degrees .

Add yeast and 2 T. of sugar; stir until dissolved.

Let set for 3-5 minutes until frothy on top.

In large mixing bowl ( I used my kitchenaid) , cream sugar, shortening and salt. Add eggs; mix well.

Alternate the flour and milk until all combined.

 Knead ( I used my Kitchenaid to do the kneading) until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl; cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll each into a circle and brush with melted butter.

Cut each circle into 16 pie-shaped pieces.

Roll each piece into a crescent, starting at wide end.
I used the remaining dough and rolled them into the standard crescent shape and baked them.  My family loved the rolls.

To bake, place on greased baking sheet and cover; let rise until doubled.

 Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe: Chicken Broccoli Braid


2 cups  chopped cooked chicken breasts

1 cup  chopped broccoli florets

1/4 cup of chopped red onion

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup ranch dressing (recipe below)

8-10 slices of Jack or Cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 of the dough from above

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375°F .   I used my round pizza stone.  You can have that pre heating in the oven while you are preparing your braid.

Prepare your filling.  Cook and chop your chicken into small pieces.  Steam your broccoli.  Chop your red onion and bell pepper.  Combine the chicken, broccoli, onion and bell pepper into a small bowl.

Make your ranch dressing (recipe below) and set aside.

Take your dough and roll into a rectangle on a slightly floured surface. If you use a piece of parchment paper then you can just slide the braid onto your cookie sheet or stoneware. I measured my stoneware and rolled the dough according to what would fit.  NOTE:  I noticed the dough doubles when cooked, keep this in mind when rolling out your dough.  If you want a thick crust, roll dough to 1/4 inch.  If you want a thinner crust roll the dough as thin as you can.

Start your braid by layering your ingredients.  I did mine this way: Ranch, Broc/Chicken mixture, salt and then cheese.

I used a pizza cutter to cut the slices on the side of my rectangle of dough.  I spaced the slices about every 1.5 inches apart.

My son said that I needed to be less stingy with the cheese..I thought this was a lot, but it would have been cheesier with a lot more and that is what they want next time.

To Braid:  Start on one end and pull the end up over the beginning of the braid (on your left).  Take the left side and the right side and fold over each other in a criss-cross pattern.  USE water if your dough is not staying in place.  Just dab a little bit where the dough touches and it should stay.  As you near the end, trim off any extra dough that might be too "thick" and fold the right end to look pretty.

Take the egg white and beat until frothy.  Using a pastry brush, spread the egg white on the top of the braid.  This gives it a nice golden and shiny crust.

Transfer the braid to the cookie sheet or stoneware and bake for 20-25 minutes.   Watch the top so that it does not get too dark…you can use a piece of foil towards the end so that you are sure to not over brown the top.

Recipe:  Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients together and store in refrigerator.  Taste to make sure the spices are how you and your family like your ranch.  You may need to add a bit more garlic or salt.

Written by Sherron Watson

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cinnamon Pull-a-parts

Update 2-6-2014:  I recently visited a site that I have this recipe listed. I was a bit concerned with some of the comments suggesting the recipe did not work. Well, I am here to say that it does.  I made a fresh batch today and the recipe is spot on.  I don't know why some have had a difficult time getting this to work.  With that said, please keep in mind that we all cook differently, with a different skill set and different available ingredients.  Here is a picture of the batch I made this morning:  This picture has the full 2 cups of sugar and cinnamon (I noted below that the other pictures were made with half of this).

I will add that they are best fresh!  If they sit, they will get a bit firm but they can be microwaved for a few seconds to soften again.   Do not over bake them.

The recipe also works well to halve the ingredients to make one pie plate.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

What is a pull-a-part?  It's a goofy name you give to something that doesn't fit the title of Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Rolls…LOL

Yesterday, I woke up thinking I needed something warm, gooey and doughy.  My kids have been asking for Monkey Bread for..well…EVER.  I keep forgetting to buy a Bundt pan and so I thought that maybe I could use a large Stoneware bowl that I own and put something in the middle, like a canning jar, and create my own Bundt pan.  WRONG.  I don't own any canning jars either.  I know, right, what is wrong with this woman who professes to be a cook and is missing two important things in her kitchen…LOL  This week that will be fixed. PROMISE.

So I did the next best thing, and decided that I would take a moment and create something that tasted the same as a cinnamon roll and pulled apart similar to Monkey Bread.  I will have to admit the Monkey Bread and all of it's gooey-ness is what I was craving but I endured the tasting and sampling of the pull-a-parts and did just fine.

I have been wanting to try my roll recipe that can be made in under an hour for this type of recipe.  I don't believe that one bread recipe is good for all things, but when your in a hurry and time is of the essence, I think this particular recipe worked great for rolls and cinnamon pull-a-parts.  It was airy, light, fluffy, and yet, dense enough to hold its shape to be pulled apart.  That was a good thing.

The next time I make these I will experiment more with adding cinnamon and sugar with a freer hand.  I was a little bit stingy because I did not want to over do it with the sugar.  I could have used 3x's as much and had them taste "really, really" cinnamony (is this a word?…lol)  That is next time though.  Yes, we will make these again because my family devoured them in no time.  I love surprising my family with these types of Sunday mornings.  Cooking is fun because I have a captive audience and they always make me feel like I know what I am doing, even if some of the time I am flying by the seat of my pants…like a monkey.

Recipe:  Cinnamon Pull-a-parts

Makes two 10 inch pie plates full of cinnamon balls

1/3 cup of sugar
2 T. yeast
2 cups of warm water
2 tsp. salt
6 eggs
6-8 cups of flour (the dough should pull from the bowl and knead without sticking)

2 stick of butter

1-2 cups of cinnamon/sugar mixture ( I used a cup, but if you like a lot of cinnamon/sugar…add more) To make the cinnamon-sugar mixture for each cup of sugar I would add 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

1.  Heat your oven to 400.  Preheat pans in oven while dough is rising.  Stoneware and glass pans work great.

2.  In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring device, add sugar and yeast to the warm water.  Let set for 5 minutes until frothy.

3.  In a LARGE bowl or large mixer, add your salt, eggs and water/yeast mixture.  Mix together.  Slowly start adding your 6-8 cups of flour.  The dough should pull away from the side of your bowl and combine all the ingredients together well.  Knead for 3 minutes.

4.  Let the dough rise for 30 minutes.   Melt 1 stick of butter in  a small bowl.  Combine sugar and cinnamon.

5.  Take preheated pans out of the oven and melt 4 T. of butter in each.  Sprinkle a 1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar on the bottom of the pan.  Start pinching of sections of dough and rolling them into a ball.   Coat each ball with melted butter and then the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

6.  Place each ball in the pan close to each other.  The heat from the pan will cause the dough to start rising.  Place your pan in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. The rolls should be golden brown on top.  

**NOTE:  My dough sections when rolled, where the size of walnuts and this made for a 3.5 inch raised pull-a-part.  If you would like them to not be so tall, then make your rolled dough pieces smaller.  This may alter the cooking time a bit so keep an eye on them while they cook.

I served the pull-a-parts with a simple cream cheese frosting.

In a small bowl, I mixed equal parts butter and cream cheese, added a touch of vanilla.  With the powdered sugar, I continued to add enough until the consistency and flavor was what I wanted.  I have a small whip that comes in handy for this task.  ENJOY!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homemade Dinner Rolls

'86.  This was a good year for me.  I graduated from high school,  spent some time with my Dad, started a new job and found a college to attend.  I would have to say that this is when my life got really good.  My memories are fresh.  The music was awesome.  My future was before me.

'11.  So many years later and never in a million years would I have been able to plan for the adventure my family has had!  Life is good.  We are blessed every day and are so thankful for each and every year we get together as a family.

November has a way of making you stop and think about the things you are grateful for.  I am glad that it's a month and not just a day.  Yes, we eat turkey on one day,  but really the whole month is a constant reminder that being thankful brings a person joy and happiness.

I have said this before, and will probably say it again, that I am thankful for this page and blog.  It is a great way for me to share with my family and friends wonderful recipes that have been shared with me and for this I am thankful.

The other day, Rye and I were making something that she loved.  She asked me if I was going to put the recipe on the blog.  OF COURSE sweet girl!  My kids are understanding, that the recipes that we eat and share as a family,  have memories attached to them.  That the recipes represent a time in their life when they will one day be able to relate it to an event, somewhat like music does.  When you hear a song, no matter where you are, it takes you back to a time, a place, an event…a memory.

I want my kids to have those memories because those will include me.  Our time spent together at the kitchen table, preparing our dishes, laughing and being together.  Our family time is precious and for this, I am thankful every day.

This blog allows my kids, nieces, and nephews, to have family recipes where ever they may live or be in their lives.  They can always call but having an index does come in handy.  I am thankful for technology.

These two recipes were shared with me over 20 years ago by some dear friends.  This was during a time when I was just learning to "really" cook.  That sounds odd, but this is the time that I learned the words "from scratch" and really embraced them.  I love to cook things with whole ingredients.  These recipes are not original to them ( I am sure they were handed down to them by their family) but they are just great recipes.  Easy and quick are two words, lately, that I have enjoyed in the kitchen.  I love my days that I get to spend ALL day making one dish; there is a time a place for all things.  I am thankful for all types of cooking styles, flavors, techniques, recipes, and cooks.  Together we make this "foodie world" wonderful!

Recipes:  Quick Dinner Rolls (32 rolls)

1/3 cup of sugar
2 T. yeast
2 cups of warm water
2 tsp. salt
6 eggs
8 cups of flour
1 stick of butter, melted

Heat your oven to 425.

In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring device, add sugar and yeast to the warm water.  Let sit for 5 minutes until frothy.

In a LARGE bowl or large mixer, add your salt, eggs and water/yeast mixture.  Mix together.  Slowly start adding your 8 cups of flour.  The dough will be sticky.

Let the dough rise for 30 minutes.  Remove from the bowl to a floured surface and knead in enough flour to make it workable.  I add maybe another 1/2 cup to the whole process.  It should still be soft.

Once your dough is ready to be parted, cut into 4 sections and set them off to the side.

Melt your butter in a bowl.

Take one of the flour and roll the dough like you would a pizza crust, into a circle about 14 inches across.

With a pastry brush and using the melted butter, make sure the top is covered in butter.

I use a pizza cutter and cut the circle into 8 pieces, like a pie.

Start on the edges of each piece and roll to the center.  Place on a cookie sheet.  I line my cookie sheet with parchment paper, if you don't, I would spray Pam before laying the rolls on the cookie sheet.

Raise 20 minutes.  You can raise longer, they just get really airy.  Some people like this.

Bake for 6-8 minutes.


Recipe:  Chicken Alfredo

1 large chicken breast
1 cup of broccoli florets (optional)
1 box of pasta
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup of flour
2 cups of cream ( you can use half milk and half cream too)
1/2-1 cup of Parmesan cheese ( we like ours strong)
dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut and cook chicken into pieces.  Steam broccoli and cut into small pieces.

Cook pasta according to directions on the packaging.  Drain.

In a medium-size pot, melt your butter.  Add the flour.  Cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Add your cream/milk and bring to a boil.  The sauce should get thick within 6-8 minutes.  Be careful to not burn the bottom.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

This is a mild white sauce.  The cheese you use and how much cheese will determine how strong the flavor becomes.

I use two small baking dishes, but this will also fit into a 9X13 pan.  Toss the chicken, broccoli, sauce and pasta together.  Add to your baking dish.  Top with cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  It should be bubbly.  This makes excellent leftovers.

Written by Sherron Watson

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homemade Breadsticks

If you know me very well, then you know that we have moved a lot.  Over 20 times in 24 years (this is just my married life..LOL)  My husband's job and education have had us traveling and exploring most of our married life.  With each move, I have made great friends.  With every friend, I inherited some amazing recipes!  This is one of them.

While living in Tacoma, WA, I met a woman who could do everything, so it seemed.  She cooked like there was no tomorrow and her food was always the hit of any event or party.  She was very gracious with her recipes and had no problem sharing them with everyone.  I have two bread recipes that are amazing, quick and taste so good.  I learned to make bread with these two because they were very user-friendly.

Today I will share the breadstick and in a future post, I will share the other rolls.  What I love about her bread recipe, is that it can be an afterthought and still get made in time for dinner.  So many times bread is an afterthought for me at a meal.  This happened to me yesterday as I was preparing the potato soup.  Then I remembered that I had an old cookbook that I just unpacked and all of my old bread recipes would be nicely tucked away.  I looked and there it was.  YAHOO…bread sticks were made in under an hour and they were a huge hit with the family.  Enjoy!

Recipe:  Easy Breadsticks

1 T yeast, dissolved in 1 ½ cups warm water; add 3 T. sugar.  Let sit for a few minutes until bubbly. 

Add ½ tsp salt and 3 1/4  cups of flour.

Mix and knead for 3 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.  Melt 1 stick of butter in a cookie sheet.  Roll dough on the counter and cut into strips.  Dab both sides with butter and line them onto the cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic, parsley flakes, seasoned salt, and parm cheese.  Let raise 10-20 minutes, bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

NOTE:  The dough is very soft, if it's too soft, add a bit more flour so that you can handle each strip.  I know that one stick of butter sounds like a lot, but the butter is soaked up by the rising dough and breadstick when cooked. If you happen to use less, please let me know if it turns out.  Thanks!

BAM..your done!  Was that not super easy or what?  I have added the pictures below to help with each step.

The above strips were a bit too soft to be picked up, so I ended up cutting them down the middle too.  They will stretch the length of the pan and make thinner bread sticks.  They still taste just as good.

The breadsticks will immediately start to rise in the hot pan with the melted butter.

Season your breadsticks and let rise.

Bake and watch them mesh together, but they pull apart so easily.

This is a quick shot to show you how easily they pull apart and how much they rise.

Written by Sherron Watson

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gluten Free Flat bread

What is flatbread?   I don't know, I just can't think of another name for it and I don't want to take Silvana's "slab" bread term.  So, you get my Flat Bread..LOL  I have tried so many types of bread...slabs, focaccia, loaf, etc..and always found myself not completely satisfied.  Mostly because the bread is great when right out of the oven and then a few hours later it shrivels up, becomes gummy and some just don't taste right.

I want specks in my bread because it reminds me of the wheat that I used to eat.   This bread has a beautiful crust, soft center (airy and light) and cooks up wonderfully in oblong flat loaves.  It taste like french bread.  No "kneed" to worry about getting the loaf pans out because I use a pizza stone.  I have used this bread for sandwiches (I cut them in half), toast (cut them in half), soups (cut into wedges), fondue (just pull it apart) and it has performed wonderfully for each task.

I make the bread and it does not last more than a day in my house.  The kids love it too.  So, I hope you enjoy the recipe, give it a try, share it and try it (even if you are not GF, because it is that good)..ENJOY!
This is a close-up picture so that you can see the crust and the airy insides.  I love the rustic way the bread looks.

Gluten-Free Flatbread
Makes two flat loaves

1 cup of sweet sorghum
1/2 cup of millet
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. xantham gum

2 T. sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm water
2 T. yeast

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 whole large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vinegar

butter, herbs, seasonings for toppings

1.  Mix the first 6 ingredients together.  I use a whisk to make sure that it is well blended.

2.  In a small bowl mix sugar, water, and yeast.  Let sit until yeast is frothy on top.  If after 3-5 minutes your yeast has not done anything, you may need to try again or replace your yeast.

3.  Combine the olive oil, eggs, and vinegar in another small bowl.  I do this to make sure that I don't accidentally crack any shells in the flour.

4.  Combine the two liquids into the dry.  You will notice that it takes a few minutes of stirring to become "gooey".  The xantham gum is working but takes a minute.  Using your hand mixer or large mixer, beat for 3 minutes.  The dough does climb.  I use a spatula to help keep it from reaching the top of the beaters.

5.  Start preheating your oven to 400.  Add your pizza stone.  I don't use traditional cookie sheets.  I like the stones because they create a wonderful crust on the bottom.

6.  I get two sheets of parchment paper ready by sprinkling white rice flour first.  The dough will be very, very soft and sticky.  It's okay.  Take a spoon and scoop the dough in two equal amounts on the parchment sheets.  Sprinkle each pile with white rice flour, enough so that you can gently push the dough into rectangles.  I usually try to make my shapes about 8 inches wide and 12 inches long. I try to make it about an inch thick or less. The more you spread it out the thinner the bread will be.  This is okay, it's up to how thick you like your bread for sandwiches and toast.

7.  I let the bread rest for 30 minutes.  It will rise, but not double.  If you want to add olive oil, herbs or seasonings, this can be done now.  Just use a small amount of oil and brush gently over the top and sprinkle your toppings to the desired amount.

This is the flat bread right before I put it into the oven.

This recipe makes these two loaves of flatbread.
8.  Remove your pizza stone. I use a magazine to move the dough onto the stone.  I pull the edges of the parchment paper onto the magazine and it moves the dough beautifully onto the stone.  I don't have a big pizza paddle ( I will have to get one),  or put the dough and parchment paper on something beforehand that you can slide easily onto the hot stone.

9.  Bake the bread for 15 minutes.  It will rise and get a crust on the bread.  When you remove the bread it will fall and create this lovely loaf.  I have cut the bread right out of the oven and it does not squish down but I would recommend letting it cool for a few minutes before serving.

I finally have a bread that holds up for a sandwich, with tons of toppings!  YUM

I store the extra bread in wax paper, wrapped in foil.

Written by Sherron Watson

Donut Breakfast Casserole

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