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Category Archives: Bread

Braided White Bread

Like I said, I’ve been having quite the fascination with baking bread. The other night, I made 3 loaves of bread AND a batch of cookies! I’m not quite sure what got into me, but it was fun 🙂 After having so much success with the bread that I’d made, I wanted to “do it again”! Like I said, there’s something marvelous about rising bread…. it’s almost like it’s alive, like your little pet or something! HA! 🙂 anyway, so I hopped back online and looked for another recipe to attempt, not complicated, but different than what I did before. Of course! Why not a braided bread? Lovely AND different! I have to admit, this one made me think of my mom. It seemed when I was very young was when my mom baked the most. Being the youngest of four children, I’m not surprised if she probably was “worn out” after making treats and sweets and breads for all my other siblings, but for some reason, I only remember a lot of homemade breads and such when I was very young. The braiding part of it reminded me of all the pretty Easter breads my mom used to make, or all the soft pretzels we used to enjoy as children. 🙂 I even vaguely remember a blueberry braid that my mom made one time, or maybe it was several times, but that was a beautiful thing. Another Sunday morning favorite, I’ll have to get the recipe sometime. 

 

 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tbsp butter, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten

Attach dough hook to mixer, add flour, dry yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water. Add more water if necessary, paying attention to the consistency of the dough. Add diced butter, mix. Adding a little flour, knead dough inside of bowl or on floured surface. Let rest for 10 minutes.

 

Roll dough out into a log, and cut in half. Roll out each half. The ropes should be 15 inches long approximately. Connect their ends together and begin to “braid” them or “twist” them, whichever you prefer. Place into greased pan, and brush with beaten egg. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake for 30 minutes. Release from pan and let completely cool before slicing.

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Bread, White

 

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White Bread

So I’ve begun this little love affair with baking bread. There is something so satisfying in watching a loaf of bread rise! I have to admit, out of all of the things to make in the world of cooking, I find bread to be the most challenging! I know! But, as a dear friend told me, she thought it was hilarious that I found cheesecake easy, I guess that we each have our own strengths. I do hope to master the art someday, but in the mean time, I think I’ll dance happily in front of my covered little bowl as the bread rises and I’ll hope it turns out just right!

There is something just so amazing about fresh homed bread. PLEASE NO BREAD MACHINES! ACK! No, I’m talking about fresh, mixed and stirred by hand, kneaded into submission sort of bread! The kind that looks beautiful and all the sides feel so delectable in your mouth– that’s the kind of bread I’m talking about. 

 

A shout-out to bread machines– yes, they are handy, and I’m not against using them. Pizza doughs and other doughs for forming breads are much more accessible this way, but if you must use them to make your bread, at least take the dough out and let it bake in the oven!

 

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbs. vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, approx.

In a large bowl, dissolve 1 package of active dry yeast in warm water. Stir until dissolved. Add salt, sugar, shortening, and milk to mixture. Mix in 2 cups of flour, checking for dryness or wetness and adding flour accordingly. If the dough seems sticky, continue to add flour, if the dough feels smooth to the touch, you do not need to add more. On a floured surface, start to knead the dough, adding more flour if needed. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Grease bowl and place dough inside, being sure to flip it once to grease all sides of the dough. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.

 

After one hour, return to dough and punch down and knead quickly. Place bread in buttered or greased bread pan, set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake bread for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Release bread from pan, and let cool on rack.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Bread, White

 

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Cinnamon Rolls

When I was growing up, I remember with great fondness how my mom used to make us cinnamon rolls every Sunday morning. To be honest, I can’t remember if she made them the night before or the morning of, but regardless, I still remember looking forward to them every week! I do have to hand it to my mom and my Italian heritage for my love of food. Cooking at a young age and being surrounded by good food has always fed my desire to bake and cook! 

Dough:

  • 1/4 oz. package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups to 4 cups all purpose flour

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast bubbles. In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add yeast mixture. Mix in 2 cups of flour, incorporate until smooth. Add remaining flour. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes on floured surface. Transfer to well greased bowl, and place in warm oven*. Let rise for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or lowest temperature on oven, once oven feels comfortably warm, turn off temperature, and place dough inside. If for some reason during the rising process the oven cools off too much, repeat the first step.

 

 

 

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried apricots, optional

When dough has doubled in size, punch down and roll out on a flat surface, about a 15×9 rectangle . Spread softened butter over dough, and sprinkle on filling. Press into dough. On the longest end of your rectangle, begin to roll up dough and pinch ends to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

With remaining butter, spread onto pan. Place cinnamon rolls close in pan, but not touching, leaving room for them to grow. Place back into a warm oven, and let double in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just slightly browned on top.

 

 

 

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In small bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat in slowly at first, and then on high. Slowly add in vanilla extract until creamy. Frost hot cinnamon rolls, enjoy!

 

 
30 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Dessert, Sweet Bread

 

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Soft Pretzels

I have always wanted to “conquer” getting bread to rise. For some reason, I have never had success. The first time I made this recipe, the dough did not rise at all. I was so disappointed and discouraged! I decided that I was going to conquer this issue I had with bread. So I went online and read and read and read. Hoping to take some tips with me from all blogs I read, I decided to attempt the dough one more time.

FINALLY! Success! I purchased new yeast and new baking soda. I warmed the oven to 200 degrees F and let the dough rise inside the oven. I let it double its size and then punched it back down.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tbs packed light brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups all purposed flour, more for kneading
  • 2 tbs butter, softened
  • 1 tbs fine salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • coarse salt

Warm milk in a saucepan until it reaches 110 degrees F; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and 1 cup of flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Dice two tablespoons of butter and soften. Add to dough; stir in the remaining flour and fine salt to create a sticky dough.

On floured surface, knead dough adding flour until smooth but still slightly tacky. Grease bowl, shape dough into a ball, and place into bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place. Let rise for an hour, until dough doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, and divide into 8 parts. Roll and stretch dough into 20 inch ropes. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

In a shallow baking dish, dissolve ½ of baking soda into 3 cups of warm water. Gently dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution, arrange on greased baking sheet, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Bread

 

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