Friday, December 27, 2013

English Muffins - A Tasty Experiment!

Christmas 2013 is past and we're now awaiting the New Year. Usually at this time of year, it seems like life slows down just a little (emphasis on the words "just a little"! ) . Somehow it seems there's a moment to get my nose into that new book I got for Christmas, clean out an over-stuffed drawer, take a short walk in the brisk winter weather with a friend, or .....try a new recipe!! This recipe for English muffins is soooo simple and soooo delicious, I wondered why I didn't try making them earlier in my life! Now I have no excuse for using store-bought English muffins when I get the hankering for them......I just make my own!

They are best made on an electric griddle, though if you don't have one, you could use a large skillet on low heat. The muffin rings are usually inexpensive (about $.80 each) and can be purchased at a kitchen store (maybe the EZ DOH website should start carrying them!! Hmmmmmmm......)

Enjoy this recipe.....and the final days of 2013!

English Muffins 

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup hot water
1 packet/Tablespoon Red Star Platinum yeast 
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

In EZ DOH bucket, dissolve yeast in the 1/3 cup warm water. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to activate yeast. In a separate bowl, dissolve powdered milk in remaining 1 cup warm water. Add 1 cup of flour and remaining ingredients, including powdered milk mixture, to the yeast mixture in the EZ DOH bucket. EZ DOH-it until well mixed. Cover and let rise till doubled. Preheat an electric griddle on low. Place English muffin rings (3” metal rings) on griddle and spray lightly with cooking spray. Fill each ring halfway full with dough mixture. Cover (use a cookie sheet or a pot lid) and let cook 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid, flip the muffins and replace the lid, cooking for another 5-6 minutes, until golden. Carefully remove muffins from the griddle with tongs and place on a cooling rack. Remove rings, if you have not already done so. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8-10


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Orange Cheesecake Rolls! Relax.....

"Twas the week before Christmas"........Yikes! It shouldn't be this way, but it usually works out to be just a little on the crazy side...... The last minute shopping, baking prep, holiday occasions, etc., etc. I wouldn't change things...much! If you're looking to keep Christmas homemade, but looking to take a little of the "crazy-factor" out, these rolls can help you fit that bill......Make them in the evening, refrigerate the shaped, filled dough and then bake the next morning. Sit back and enjoy the compliments and the coffee (and Christmas!!) with your family and friends!

Orange Cheesecake Rolls                                              
1 Tbsp/package Red Star Platinum yeast 
¼ Cup + 2 Tbsp. warm water
¾ Cup + 2 Tbsp. warm milk
½ Cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
3 ½ - 4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ Cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. orange juice concentrate or 1 tsp. orange extract
½ tsp. vanilla
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. zested orange peel 
Place warm water in EZ DOH bucket. Add yeast and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour, then remaining dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it (or use traditional methods of kneading) for 2-3 minutes, until dough is smooth, adding additional dough as necessary. Remove dough from bucket and spray inside of bucket with cooking spray. Replace dough, cover and let rise until doubled.

While dough is rising, combine filling ingredients and mix until smooth. When dough is doubled, remove from bucket and roll out to 18x7” rectangle. Spread filling on dough evenly. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with the long edge. Pinch seam. Cut into 12 equal slices and place in greased 9x13” pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 375 for 25-30 , until lightly browned. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm rolls. (The rolls can be made and shaped the evening before and covered and refrigerated overnight. Remove from the frig and uncover  ½ hr. prior to baking. Bake as directed) 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To Warm Friends......Apple Cider Oatmeal Bread

To Warm Friends! Apple Cider Oatmeal Bread

I originally made this bread in late November on a cold, snowy day. I posted a pic of it on the EZ DOH Facebook page, along with a creamy bowl of soup I had made. It was a warm, comforting meal that my hubby and I enjoyed together as we sat in our cozy home and watched the snow fall.

I'm now posting this recipe in memory of a friend's mother, who passed this week. I've been watching posts on Facebook from my friend as she has walked through the past two difficult months. Her posts have been full of wonderful memories and pictures of family. Anyone reading them could tell of the great love and affection they all share. In November, my friend took the time to comment on EZ DOH's pic of this bread, stating how she'd love the recipe. Today, I'm sharing it, because it reminds me of her family....warm, inviting, comforting, beautifully scented.....To you, Mel!

Apple Cider Oatmeal Bread
¾ Cup apple cider (or apple juice)                                            
1 packet/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
½ Cup applesauce
1 Tbsp. butter                                                                        3 Cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 Cup dry oatmeal                                                              1 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1 tsp. salt                                                                              ¼ tsp. apple pie spice

Warm apple cider/juice in microwave for 15-20 seconds. Pour into EZ DOH bucket. Add yeast and dissolve. Let rest 1 minute. Add 1 cup of flour, then remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Remove dough from bucket. Spray bucket lightly with cooking spray. Return dough to bucket and let rise until doubled.

Punch down the dough and roll into rectangle. Roll up, tuck in ends of roll and place in an 8.5x4” bread pan. Let rise until dough rises above the pan. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and let cool on rack for at least 15 minutes until cool. 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Time to Give!! Cranberry Sweeties

Christmas - "It's that time of year when the world falls in love....." Isn't it true? Everything becomes a celebration of relationships and a wonderful reason to give....and give......and give! There's something so freeing about's a "thank-you" for playing a part in my life; it's an "I love you"; it's a "Let's be friends"; it's a "Welcome!".......What a privilege it is to be able to give! Often, though, our finances give out before our heart does, but  that's where creativity comes into play. A homemade gift can speak so well, and perhaps even begin a conversation...."Could you share the recipe?" ....."Could you make me more?"

These Cranberry Sweeties are beautiful and not as difficult as the length of the recipe might suggest. The dough is soft and fragrant and the filling tart and sweet. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be happy to receive a plate of these rolls as a gift. Or, as I suggest within the recipe, perhaps double the filling recipe and make little jars of cranberry/orange jam to share. Or just "give" some sweetness to yourself - and enjoy!!

Cranberry Sweeties                                             
¾ Cup sugar
½ Cup water
2 Cups cranberries – fresh or frozen
1 tsp zested orange peel

Place sugar and water in a lg. saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook uncovered until cranberries “pop” – 6-10 minutes.  Simmer about 15 minutes longer, or until mixture thickens. Stir in orange peel. Cover and cool. Ginny’s note: This becomes jam-like…..I’m thinking this would be delicious placed in mini-canning jars, water-bathed and given as gifts!!

½ Cup “warm to the touch” water                                    
2 Tbsp/pkgs. Red Star Platinum yeast                                      
½ Cup “warm to the touch”  milk                                        ½ Cup softened butter
2 Eggs                                                                                               1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon                                                                                  ½ tsp nutmeg
4 ½ - 5 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour                                         Softened butter to spread

Place yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Add water and stir to dissolve yeast (you may sprinkle a tsp. or so of flour in to help “wake up” the yeast ). Wait one minute. Add remaining ingredients to bucket (I usually add liquids, then one cup of flour, then remaining ingredients). “EZ DOH-it” for 2-3 minutes, or until a smooth dough is achieved. Remove dough from bucket, spray the bucket with cooking spray and return the dough. Cover and let rise until double.
Punch down dough and roll into a large rectangle. Brush with some additional softened butter. Spread the cooled cranberry filling evenly on the dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, working from the long edge. Cut into 15 slices and place in a 9x13” greased pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. (Ginny’s note: At this point, I’ll often spray the tops of the rolls lightly with cooking spray, cover with saran, and place in the frig overnight. When I’m ready to bake in the morning, I take them out about ½ hour before it’s time to pop them in the oven and let them “warm up” a bit) . Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan.
1 Cup powdered sugar                                                                                  3 Tbsp. softened cream cheese
¼ Cup softened butter                                                                                  ½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. milk

In a bowl, combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home 2013 Cranberry Sweet Rolls


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Apple Cider Knots !

With Christmas around the corner, I really should be posting something with cranberries, but I just LOVE these cider knots. I've used the recipe so many times already this fall/winter that I thought perhaps it would be something fun, easy, lovely and delicious for others to make, too!

Today, we're off to Youngstown State University, where a marketing class has taken on EZ DOH as a project. We'll see presentations by the students on their ideas on how to market our product. I know they've put a lot of hard work into these presentations, so I thought I'd better take a little reward for them! If you have someone YOU would like to reward, I highly suggest baking a batch of these little tasties!

Apple Cider Knots
1 ½ Cup apple cider
1 Tbsp/pkg Red Star Platinum yeast 
2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 ½ Cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ Cup melted butter
½ Cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
Brown Paper Bag

Warm cider in the microwave approximately 20-30 seconds, until warm to the touch. Pour into the EZ DOH bucket, add yeast and stir until yeast dissolves. Let sit 1 minute to activate yeast. Add remaining ingredients to the bucket and “EZ DOH-it” for 2-3 minutes, until dough is smooth , adding additional flour (up to ½ cup)  if the dough is too sticky. Remove dough from bucket. Spray the interior of the bucket lightly with cooking spray and return dough to bucket to rise until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400. When dough is doubled, punch it down and remove it from the bucket. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Divide each piece into 12-16 equal pieces, depending on the size of knots you’d like to make. Take each piece and roll it to an approximate 6-8” length. “Knot” the length of dough loosely. Place the knot  on a large, grease baking sheet. Continue until all pieces are formed. Bake for 10 minutes. While the rolls are baking, melt the butter in a large bowl. Also, place the sugar and cinnamon in the brown paper bag and shake to mix.  After removing the knots from the oven, place them in the bowl and toss with the butter. (I suggest transferring the butter to a large covered mixing bowl, placing the knots in the bowl, replacing the lid and SHAKE!) . Remove the knots with a slotted spoon and place them in the bag. Shake until they are covered with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
These rolls are especially good while warm!!


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Heat is On! Simple Pitas

Have you ever contemplated if you'd rather be too hot or too cold? Ahh, the bizarre wanderings of the mind! I can't say that I've ever come to a decision about that, other than I've figured if you're cold, you can always put more clothes on......If you're too hot, you can only (or should only) take sooooo much off. It just becomes a matter of hanging in there (or finding somewhere that's air-conditioned - LOL!)

When "the heat is on", things can get uncomfortable - haven't we all had those moments of heat in our lives? Things get so hot, It seems like there's nothing else we can "take off", so we pray.......we wait......we go on...... And then suddenly, those days are past.....and we unexpectedly find they've produced something worthwhile and something beautiful. Something that never would have been birthed if we hadn't walked through the fire.

Speaking of beautiful things created by heat, this pita recipe calls for a super-hot oven - poor little pitas! However, these delicious creations couldn't be created without this heat.....they just wouldn't be the same. Guess it goes to remind us that sometimes heat produces something worthwhile and something beautiful (and something tasty!). Enjoy!!

Simple Pitas

1 Cup + 2 Tbsp. warm water
1 ½ tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
3 Cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. sugar

Combine water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Place remaining ingredients in the bucket and EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is formed. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket interior with cooking spray and replace dough. Cover bucket  and let dough rise 10-20 minutes. Remove dough from bucket and stretch into a 12” rope. Divide dough into 8 pieces, forming each piece into a smooth ball. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, shape each ball into a 7-8” circle. Cover with a towel and let rise until slightly puffy (about 20-30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 500. Place 2-3 pitas on a wire cake rack and place on an oven rack. Bake pitas for 4-5 minutes until puffed and slightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately place pitas in a brown paper bag until soft.  When the pitas are softened, they may be cut and split. Enjoy!!

(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes -“Peppy’s Pitas” )


Monday, October 28, 2013

"My Life As A Loaf" - Basic French Loaf, aka "Stand-By Bread"

My daughter used this as the title to her senior paper in college. That tells you how much baking , particularly bread-baking ,went on (and continues to go on ) in our home. I was a little worried that perhaps she was expressing her inner hostility and resentment to taking second place to bread during her childhood …….. Boy, was I relieved to find that wasn’t the case!! We might have needed lots of counseling! Instead, I found as I read the paper, she fondly reminisced about being brought up in a home where there were home-cooked meals (that usually included fresh bread), prayers, great conversation, an abundance of visitors and lots and lots of love - all served at our dinner table. Our three kids used to lament about not having peanut butter sandwiches that were made on Wonder Bread…..What a tragedy! No tasty preservatives, no delicious chemicals, no yummy additives for their little bodies! And, in spite of what they might remember, there were times when I just gave in…..and they experienced the joy of soft, white store-bought bread.

Now the tables are turned…..they are adults, with families of their own. And guess what they are putting on their table as often as possible – homemade bread!!! – along with servings of prayer, good conversation, good company and lots and lots of love!

Here’s the VERY basic recipe for our family’s “stand-by” bread. So simple, yet so very, very tasty! This is the recipe that’s on the EZ DOH bucket, and that can be used for loaves, rolls, sweet rolls, pizza, etc!!

Stand-By Bread
1 Tablespoon/1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 ¼ Cup warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt 
1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive) 
3- 3 ¼ Cup unbleached flour (I like sapphire flour – King Arthur’s unbleached is also VERY good!)

Dissolve yeast in water and let rest for 1-2 minutes. If you’re using an EZ DOH or stand mixer, add the remaining ingredients (start with only 3 cups of flour – add slightly more until the dough isn’t sticky but smooth) and mix until the dough is fully kneaded. You may also prepare this recipe by traditionally hand-kneading the bread. Let rise until doubled. Form into 2 smaller French loaves or one large loaf and place on greased cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal (The cornmeal helps give the bread a crunchy base – it’s not necessary, so don’t fret if you don’t have cornmeal in the house J) . Let rise for 10-15 minutes. Score the top of the loaf lightly with a sharp serrated knife. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let the loaves cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Maple Wheat Loaves- Just Because!

My hubby is a meat-and-potatoes guy when it comes to frills, no veggies, no fruit, no whole-wheat, etc., etc. We've been married well over thirty years, so I've learned to live with this. Food-wise, though, I'm just about the complete opposite (though I do REALLY appreciate a good burger now and again!!). Sometimes I just can't help myself and make something "just for me"...and this was one of those recipes. It's super-simple (I must admit, I didn't have any real maple syrup, so I subbed Aunt Jemima !) and so very good. I'm a toast-lover, so know that this makes great toast! 

1Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 Cup warm water
1 egg
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Cup + unbleached flour

Follow the basic instructions on the EZ DOH bucket—Mix water and yeast in bucket. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it until the dough is soft and smooth, adding additional flour if necessary. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket , replace dough and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes. Divide into 2 pieces and  shape each into loaves and place in greased medium loaf pans. Let rise until dough is slightly above the top of the pan. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 25-35 minutes, until golden. Cool on racks . Enjoy!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Garlic Knots - Fragrant and Beautiful!

I've been making the "same old garlic rolls" for years......they've always been requested and enjoyed by family and guests. I'm always on the look-out for new recipes and new ways of doing things, though, so when I came upon this recipe, it intrigued me.......easy, yet it had a twist.  A group of friends were going to join us for the evening, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to try them. 

As I pulled them out of the oven, my hubby rushed into the kitchen and grabbed one, gobbled it down....then went to grab another.....he then got slapped on the hand - LOL!! I had to have SOMETHING to put on the table. I took his enthusiasm as a "thumbs up" on this recipe. 

They are fragrant, beautiful and VERY tasty! 

Garlic Knots

3/4 Cup warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp or 1 Packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
2 3/4 + Cups unbleached flour

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. melted butter               
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Mix bread ingredients according to the instructions on the EZ DOH bucket. Add one or two tablespoons more water as needed if dough is very stiff. After 1st rise, divide the dough into 15-20 even-sized pieces. On a lightly-oiled board with lightly oiled hands, roll each piece into 5” rope. Tie into a knot and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.. Cover and let rise briefly. Bake in preheated 400 oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden. While the knots are baking, combine the baste ingredients and warm until garlic is softened. Add chopped parsley. While rolls are warm, baste. Cool.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Hope’s Delicious Pizza – Crust Only!

We recently visited my youngest daughter and her third-year-law-school hubby in Columbus on a trip to market EZ DOH. As neither of us are swimming in cash right now and couldn't afford to eat out every night, she made a DELICIOUS meal for us one night. It actually turned out to be my favorite meal of the weekend. An amazing pizza (sorry- she won't share the topping recipe - it's a "secret recipe" from a restaurant she used to work at! Boo hoo! ) , a fresh garden salad, a bottle of wine and great company - what could be better?!

1 tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 ¼ Cup warm water
1 Cup cake flour
2 ½ - 3 Cups Unbleached flour
2 tsp salt
Olive oil

Mix water and yeast – let sit for 1 minute. Add cake flour, 2 ½ Cup of the unbleached flour and the salt. Mix with EZ DOH (or knead) until a soft dough forms. Add additional flour, if necessary, to make a smooth dough. Remove dough from EZ DOH bucket. Lightly oil bucket with olive oil. Place dough back in bucket, turn to coat with oil. Cover bucket and let dough rise till doubled. After rising, punch dough down and divide into 2-4 pieces. Shape into balls. Sprinkle lightly with flour and place balls on a floured surface. Cover lightly and let rise until doubled.

Your dough is now ready to make pizza!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Banana Cinnamon Roll-Ups and Super-sweet Friends!

I have very polite friends....We all care deeply about our community and work together to make it an even better place to live. A lot of us serve on the local Chamber of Commerce board together and see each other often at committee meetings. Now, folks who serve in this manner wouldn't normally be labeled as simply "polite".....the "polite" part comes in when I bring my weekly "surprise" baking treat to the meetings. I always ask for very honest feedback about the goodies, as I want to know which ones should appear as repeats. However, the feedback is usually consistently...."good!", "great!" "yummy!" .....and this recipe was no different! I wanted them to be much more critical about the item - what's good , what's not-so-good......but they loved it! ( I personally thought it was a little over-the-top in sweetness) I originally labeled my friends as "polite"......maybe they're just hungry.....and appreciative.

Here's the recipe for:

Banana Cinnamon Roll- Ups

3 ½ - 4 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package Red Star Platinum yeast 
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
1 and 1/2 very ripe bananas

For the filling:
1/2 banana – not overly ripe
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp sugar

For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
1 Tbsp. softened butter

1. Mix water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Let sit 1-2 minutes, letting yeast “wake up”
2. Add 3 ½ cup flour and remaining ingredients to bucket and “EZ DOH-it” until dough is smooth and not-too-sticky. Add additional flour, up to ½ cup, as necessary, to produce this dough – usually 2-3 minutes.
3. Remove dough, spray the bucket with cooking spray, and replace dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place till doubled.
4. In a microwave safe bowl, mash up the 1/2 banana and butter and place in microwave until the butter is melted. Stir well. In a separate bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon.
5. Roll out the dough to about a 15 x 9 in rectangle. Spread the butter and banana mixture on top, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the sides. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top. Starting on one of the long sides, roll up the dough tightly.
6. Cut the log into 12 rolls and place in a greased 9x13 baking pan. Cover and place in a warm spot until the rolls are doubled in size, about an hour.
7. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes.
8. Mix icing ingredients and ice rolls when cooled.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pretzel Rolls - Surprises and Prizes!

These rolls are gorgeous.....very impressive......and really not difficult to make (don't let the length of the recipe put you off!) They're also prize-winning........

I'm sort-of a baking contest addict.......I love entering the county fair, or other local baking competitions. If you read my post re: the Apple Almond Coffee Ring, you know that that was a big win for me and it came at a very difficult point in my life. Ahhh, don't things seem to happen that way? This recipe, too, was another big, surprise win for me. The summer had been a tumultuous one - my father had had a stroke and was in rehabilitation in a nearby town for months. To cheer him, I visited daily, which was not an easy task when you're trying to get a business off the ground, too. I longed for some sense of normalcy...and so I baked! I entered some general categories in the county fair, not quite knowing what recipes I'd use. The morning the entries were due, I decided to enter these tasty rolls. I dropped off them off, along with a few other entries, later that morning and then headed over to see Dad. We didn't have plans to visit the fair until the weekend, so I didn't anticipate hearing how everything did until we got there. However, the next day, after returning home from another visit to Dad, I noticed a message on our answering machine...... "Hello? Have I reached the home of the big winner? Congrats, Ginny! Everything looks wonderful! Love you!"........WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? I was absolutely crazy to be sure I was understanding the message correctly. I tried desperately to get in touch with my friend, but couldn't.....and it was making me nuts! Eventually, she got back with me and confirmed my hopes - Best of Show in Breads!!! What a blessing that was - it came at a time when my spirits needed a little lift.....and for that, I was grateful.

Your guests will be extremely grateful if you make them these rolls!!

Pretzel Rolls 

Yield: 12

1 ½ cup warm water (110°F)
1 package Red Star Platinum yeast 
2 teaspoons sugar
4-½ cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel Salt, for sprinkling

In your EZ DOH bucket, or bowl of your mixer, add the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 3-5 minutes until foamy.Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and mix with EZ DOH or dough hook of mixer until combined well. Cover with a plastic wrap (or a towel) and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured clean surface.

Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Divide the dough into 12 (or more) equal pieces (You may make larger or smaller rolls, according to your preference). To shape the dough take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes – they should be “puffy”.

Preheat oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda, stir until dissolved, and then place back on heat and lower to a simmer.

Place the rolls (2-3 at a time) into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat the roll completely & then sprinkle each with a little pretzel salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, slash the top of the roll twice. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Best served warm!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Memories of Blessed Bread…Apple Almond Coffee Ring

In 2005, I turned 50 -  The number was no big deal to me. I had always felt every year that passed was a privilege and a blessing, whether it had its trials or its triumphs. This year was no different. However, it was the uncertainty of my life circumstances that had me reeling a bit….

Several days before my birthday, my husband and I made a trip to the Cleveland Clinic to talk to the doctors about a breast biopsy I had recently had done. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and our plans included a day of shopping in Cleveland after we finished with the doctor. We were totally confident of a great prognosis – I had always had problems with cysts and had never had a serious issue, so we had no reason to believe this would be any different. But , much to our surprise, it was different…..very different.

We sat in the doctor’s office, stunned at the words we had just heard…..breast cancer. Our plans for sight-seeing and shopping were abandoned as we were whisked from his office to an oncologist’s office and then to a radiologist’s office. It seemed as though everything changed in one afternoon.

Mom at her best!!
Friends and family gathered days later for a birthday party for me. It was a lovely, quiet evening, but the thing I remember most is how tired my mother was. She looked beautiful dressed in a bright pink, but she seemed so very, very weary. Making her apologies, she left the party early and headed to bed.

Later that month, I proceeded with a mastectomy. Everything went well and I was home in no time. We were adjusting to the reality of dealing with my diagnosis, when we received a call from the local
hospital. My mother had been admitted directly from her doctor’s office. Her diagnosis – Cancer. Everywhere. She was terminal and had only weeks to several months to live.

It turned out that it was “weeks”…… She declined treatment, other than radiation for her brain so she could remain lucid. We spent almost all our time together, except when I was in Cleveland receiving chemotherapy. We laughed together as I went bald – she kept assuring me of how great I looked even without hair. We planned and prayed together as her time grew shorter. Baking bread in her kitchen became a solace for me…..something “normal” in this completely abnormal world. And God chose to bless that baking.

In reaching for that “normal”, I had chosen to go ahead and submit an entry to the Canfield Fair baking competition, as I did every year. I selected a favorite yeasted apple coffee cake to enter. A dear friend of Mom’s agreed to come and be with her as Dave & I took a few hours to attend the fair and check out the prize winners. When we arrived at the Arts and Crafts building, my bread was nowhere to be found among the competitors. My heart began to beat wildly with anticipation, and we rushed to where the “Best of Show” ribbon winners were featured – and there was my bread! After years of competition, this was my first “Grand Prize”, and I wept with appreciation for God’s little gift of joy.

When we returned home, we were able to share our surprise. Mom, though weak and unable to speak, squeezed my hand with pride. And days later, she was gone.

Every time I make this bread, I think about Mom…..and about the sweetness of our relationship….and about God’s little blessings, even in our dark hours. Here’s that DELICIOUS recipe – Make it with JOY!! (Share the joy — This makes 2 coffee cakes!)

Apple-Almond Coffee Ring
1 pkg/1 Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
¼ Cup warm water
¼ Cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ Cup sour cream
1/3 Cup softened butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 ¾ -3 ¼ Cup all purpose, unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let rest for 1-2 minutes. Blend in remaining ingredients and knead (traditionally or by stand mixer or EZ DOH), adding enough flour to make a smooth, satiny dough. Place dough in greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm location until doubled. Grease 2- 9” round cake pans.

½ Cup Sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ Cup chopped almonds
1 1/3 Cup finely chopped, peeled apples (about 2 medium)
¼ Cup softened butter or margarine

Combine filling ingredients, except margarine. Punch down & divide risen dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into 12” circle and spread with 2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine. Sprinkle ½ of apple mixture over each circle. Cut each circle into 12 wedges and roll up each wedge, starting with wide end. Place point side down in prepared pans (12 wedges/pan) , arranging in a spoke-like fashion to form a ring. Cover and let rise until doubled. Heat oven to 375. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden. Remove from pans immediately. Turn upright onto cooling racks. When cooled, glaze with a confectioner’s icing made with 1/8-1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 Cup powdered sugar and 4-6 teaspoons milk.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dutch Crunch Rolls - Deliciously Different!

I can't believe I can say this, but I've belonged to a card club for over 20 years! I always thought card clubs were for old ladies.....and I sure don't feel old! The club has changed over the years - friends move, families or jobs require more time, so people have come and gone.....I've even thought about dropping out a time or two myself. After all, these aren't the girls I spend LOTS of time with....we all live very different lives - our kids have gone to different schools, we go to different churches, we live in different neighborhoods, some of us work, some of us don't.......but those are all reasons that keep me IN the club. It's been so good to develop relationships outside of my regular little "circle". "Different" can be good......

Last time I hosted card club, I served these deliciously different rolls.....

Dutch Crunch Rolls 


1 Tbsp./packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 1/4 C. milk, warmed
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. veg. oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, using more or less as needed.

2 Tbsp. inst. Yeast
1 C. warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. veg. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. rice flour

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS: “EZ DOH” roll ingredients. Follow basic EZ DOH instructions and let rise till doubled. Remove from bucket and divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into ball and place on greased baking sheet. Following shaping of rolls, stir topping ingredients together till spreadable. Let stand 15 min.. Coat each roll with thick layer of topping. Let stand 15 min. Bake at 375 for 25-30 min until browned Let cool completely on wire rack.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Blueberry Roll-Ups with Lemon Glaze

"Blueberries! Blueberries! Blueberries! Blueberries!"Those four words are actually the words to a little song I sing with the grandkids as we make our way to the little Perkins' blueberry patch. Picking those blueberries is one of the highlights of every summer. This year there were TONS of berries and it seemed as though we picked forever. For those blueberries that didn't get eaten straight from the bush, this is an amazingly tasty recipe.

2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp./pkg Red Star Platinum yeast 
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbsp. softened butter
1 egg
1 and 1/2 cup frozen (unthawed) blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. softened butter
Fresh Lemon Glaze
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar (or more)
1-2 Tablespoons milk
½ Tbsp. softened butter
Make the filling first: Combine the frozen blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Gently toss  and let sit while you prepare the dough.
Make the dough: Place yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Add warm water and milk and dissolve yeast. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it till dough is kneaded . Remove dough from bucket – spray bucket with cooking spray and replace dough. Let rise till doubled, about ½ hour. Roll dough into a large rectangle (approx. 12x 17”) . Spread dough with 2 Tbsp. softened butter. Sprinkle with filling, spreading evenly. Roll dough up in jelly-roll fashion. Cut into 9-12 even-sized rolls. Place in greased baking pan (9” cake pan; 9x9” baking pan, etc. –whatever works!). Let rise till doubled (I often let my rolls rise in the frig overnight – Take them out of the frig approx. 1 hr. prior to baking to complete rise). Bake in 375 oven for 23-27 minutes, or until golden. Let cool slightly. Mix glaze ingredients, stirring well to incorporate butter. Brush lightly over warm rolls.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Orange Cream Cheese Rolls and Upside Down Days!

Upside down days - That's what my mom called days that she treated my kids to dessert first, then their meal. Of course, my kids LOVED upside-down days. Baskin-Robbins before a meal?!!! What's not to love? This recipe is sort-of like an upside-down day - Cheesecake for breakfast? Oh yes! 

Orange Cheesecake Rolls 

1 Tbsp or 1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp. warm water
3/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp. warm milk
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2-4 Cups unbleached flour

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar                                    1/2 Tbsp. Orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat filling ingredients together and set aside.

2 Cups confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange peel

Prepare bread ingredients according to the EZ DOH bucket instructions. After 1st rise, roll dough out on lightly floured surface into a 9x7” rectangle. Spread prepared filling onto rectangle to 1/2” of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with long edge. Cut into 12 slices. Place in a greased 9X13” pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden. Combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Table Bread - Eat like the Amish!

We live very close to the Ohio Amish community. Homemade bread there is no big deal - it's an assumed fact of life - everyone there makes it. And visitors to their area gobble it up!!  This recipe produces a loaf that is very reminiscent of the bread the Amish make in their kitchens. Now you can make it in your kitchen - easily! 

Table Bread

 1 Cup warm water
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp or 1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast  
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 3/4 +Cups unbleached flour        
Follow the basic instructions on the EZ DOH bucket  - Mix water and yeast in bucket. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it until the dough is soft and smooth, adding additional flour if necessary. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket, replace dough and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes. Divide into 2 pieces and shape into loaves and place in  loaf greased medium loaf pans. Let rise until dough is slightly above the top of the pan. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 30– 35 minutes, until golden. Cool on racks. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Apple Dessert Bundles

I was invited by our local Chamber of Commerce to cater a business showcase meeting, so I figured I do "all things bread". The menu consisted of 3 different tasty types of buns for sandwiches, a bread bowl filled with a delicious dip......but my biggest hurdle was how to incorporate bread into dessert! This recipe for Apple Bundles was my answer - they were easy to make and heartily enjoyed. They're great, too, because you can make 'em large (a one-serving dessert) or small (to be served as a mini-dessert or pick-up appetizer). 

Tasty Apple Bundles 

Basic EZ DOH recipe on the back of the bucket, or use any basic bread recipe
or see our recipe on the blog for "Stand-By Bread" 

3 Apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced and cut in half
1 orange, juiced for 1/3 Cup juice and zested for 1 tsp. orange zest (peel)
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 Cup Cinnamon sugar

Prepare dough according to the instructions on the EZ DOH bucket. Let rise. Roll dough into a 5 x 16-18” rectangle. Cut dough into 1/2” strips. Place 3-4 apple slice halves at the end of each dough strip and roll up. Arrange in a 9x9” greased baking dish.  Pour orange juice into dish,  not over bundles. Brush bundles w/ melted butter. Mix cinn/sugar and orange zest.  Sprinkle mixture over bundles.  Bake in preheated 375 oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Soft Pretzels - A Penchant for Pretzels!

Five days a week, I post pictures of the bread that I'm baking. We had a meeting with our friends at the Small Business Development Center, so I decided to take them a treat of homemade pretzels. I snapped a pic before we left and posted it on Facebook. It turned out to be one of the most popular posts ever!! Folks must have a penchant for homemade pretzels! Here's a recipe so you can make some of your own! 

Soft Pretzels                                                                                      
1 Tbsp/ pkg. Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 ¼ C. warm water
4 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/3 C. white sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. canola/vegetable oil

For Pretzel Bath:
½ Cup baking soda
6 Cups boiling water

For topping:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water (sometimes I skip this )
¼ Cup pretzel or kosher salt or topping of your choice: cinnamon sugar, etc.

Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit briefly to activate. Add flour, sugar, salt and oil. EZ DOH-it till the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bucket, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove the dough from the bucket and spray the bucket with cooking spray. Replace the dough, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. 

Boil 6 cups of water. Remove from heat and SLOWLY add the baking soda.

Preheat oven to 450. When dough is risen, remove from bucket and place on lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal-sized balls. Rolls each into a rope and form into a pretzel shape. Dip each pretzel into the bath, being sure both sides are bathed. Remove from water (I place mine BRIEFLY on a paper towel to drain– don’t let it sit there too long or the paper will stick to the pretzel L) Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with desired topping.  Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven. ENJOY!!!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Cracked Wheat Bread

I'm sure I'm not alone here, but I love to spend time pouring over old cookbooks. If I'm at a garage sale or bookstore and there are cookbooks there, I'm lost to the world for a long while. Every once in a while, I'll find one that HAS to come home with me - I try not to do that too frequently, as we would have rooms full of cookbooks! I found this recipe in a little paperback cookbook that I picked up for a quarter - this recipe alone was certainly worth the twenty-five cents. Love it! 

Cracked Wheat Bread                                                                

2 pkgs (or 2 Tbsp.) Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 ½ Cups warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
¼ cup Olive Oil
¾ Cup Cracked Wheat, divided (1/2 cup for bread recipe; ¼ cup for rolling bread in)
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 Cups unbleached flour or bread flour

Dissolve yeast in water in the EZ DOH bucket – let sit for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (Note: only add ½ Cup cracked wheat to the bread). “EZ DOH” the dough for 2-3 minutes, or until relatively smooth. Remove dough from bucket – hand knead for 3-4 turns, just to “smooth” the dough (this is not necessary, but sometimes just makes a nicer dough). Spray bucket with cooking spray. Replace dough in bucket, cover and let rise for 30 min. Remove dough from bucket. Divide in two equal parts. Form each into a long loaf and roll each in the remaining ¼ cup cracked wheat to cover. Place loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment, or sprayed with cooking spray. Slash tops.

At this point, the loaves can rise for 30 minutes before baking OR they may be refrigerated – cover them lightly with saran.  Bake the loaves at 450 for 10 minutes. Then lower the oven temp to 400 and continue baking another 10-15  minutes or until golden. Cool on rack. 


Friday, June 21, 2013

Veggie Confetti Bread - A Party in a Loaf!

Parties are so much fun - at least if you're attending one.I like to throw parties, too, except I get carried away with the food prep and always make toooooo much (but is there ever REALLY too much food?!) We usually host a summer "bread bake" and I fill our outdoor oven with all kinds of loaves -  I love to use this recipe.  This loaf has so much going for it - color, taste, appearance...It's a great summer harvest bread, but most of the veggies are available year-round, so you can make it with that winter bowl of soup, too! (My pic is not the greatest - it was a last-minute shot before we ate it, so it's in bad lighting, but you can still see how beautiful it is!) 

Confetti Braid 
Combine and let sit 2-3 minutes:
¾ Cup water
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 tsp. sugar

½ Cup shredded carrot                                  1/3 Cup shredded zucchini
¼ Cup sliced green onions                              ¼ Cup finely chopped red sweet pepper
1 Tbsp. softened butter/margarine                   ¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried thyme                                          3 Cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

EZ-DOH the mixture till dough is kneaded and mixture is not sticky. If it is too sticky, add additional flour till smooth. Remove dough from bucket. Spray bucket with cooking spray. Replace dough and let rise in warm spot till doubled. Punch down dough, remove from bucket and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 12-14”  log. Attach the three pieces together at the top and then braid them together, sealing at the bottom. Place braid on a greased cooking sheet and let rise 30 minutes, or until puffy. Preheat oven to 375. “Baste” bread with egg wash prior to baking.  Bake braid for 25-35 minutes until nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool on rack.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sweet Potato Rolls - Let's Celebrate!

When I go out to eat, I love to see a bread basket on the table with a variety of breads---oh heaven! So, when I'm asked to bring bread or rolls to an affair, I want others to be excited about the selection of rolls on the table. A friend was hosting a big BBQ, celebrating the efforts of our Christmas committee......The prior winter, with a committee of about 10 people, we launched the first-ever "Joy of Christmas" light show in our local park. We worked long and hard to make this thing happen (we're now in our third year!). My friend asked me to bring the buns for the burgers at this post-event summer BBQ celebration, so I went all out. These are just one of the rolls I served....they are  beautiful, tasty and worthy of a celebration! 

Super-Special Sweet Potato Rolls


1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons  or 1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (1 medium)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup  whole wheat flour (regular flour can be substituted, or a white whole wheat) 
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Poppy or sesame seeds

Directions:  Put the water and yeast in the EZ DOH bucket. Stir and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it till the dough if soft, but not sticky (Feel free to add additional flour if necessary). This process should take 3-4 minutes. Remove the dough from the bucket, spray the bucket and return the dough. Cover and let rise until the dough is doubled (30-45 minutes).

Remove the dough from the bucket and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12” rope. Form each rope into a Kaiser roll shape (see below). Place the rolls on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Cover loosely with a towel or greased plastic wrap. Let rise for 20-30 minutes. (Preheat your oven to 375 at this time)  Brush the top of the rolls with the beaten egg mixture and follow with a sprinkling of poppy or sesame seeds, if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. The tops of the rolls should be a “cheeky” brown color when you remove them from the oven.  Slide the rolls off the pan and place on cooling rack. Cool at least 10 minutes before enjoying!  Makes 8 rolls.


Theme created by PIXELZINE