Friday, February 28, 2014


I have a secret to share with you today.......(As I write those words, it makes me think of some horrible ad campaign for skin cream or other such potion. My secret is not as "life-changing" - haha!) as those ad secrets may be, but for bread bakers out there, it may of value!) I have found THE most delicious roll/sandwich bun recipe! Ta da! That's my secret.......and I'm going to share it with you. 

I have searched for a very, very, very long time for an outstanding sandwich roll recipe. Fortunately, that search has not left me empty handed. I actually have three or four recipes that I've tweaked, saved and now depend on regularly.They include these recipes that are already listed on this blog: Honey Wheat Rolls and  Brioche Slider Buns. There's an Onion Bun and a Sweet Potato Kaiser Roll recipe that I haven't yet listed, but also take out of my arsenal frequently, too. Today's recipe yields a very simple, light, tasty, fluffy roll that can be dressed up (topped with sesame seeds or poppy seeds) or dressed down (plain jane).....any way you eat it, it's marvelous!!!! 

Best Buns Ever! 

1 Cup warm water
3/4 Cup warm milk
1 Packet/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 Cup melted shortening
1/2 Tbsp. salt
3 1/2 Cup unbleached flour or bread flour, plus additional 

Place water in EZ DOH bucket and dissolve yeast in the water. Let rest briefly. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it until the dough is smooth and silky, yet slightly sticky. (You may have to add a little more additional flour, but don't add too much. You don't want a miserably sticky dough....just tacky). Remove dough from the bucket and let rest on the counter, covered with a clean dish towel, for 10 minutes. Spray the interior of the bucket with cooking spray , knead the dough very briefly with your hands and return the dough to the bucket. Cover and continue to let dough rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and divide into 12 even pieces (24 if you want to make sliders). Shape in balls and place in a greased  9x13 baking pan or on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until the rolls fill the pan or are doubled. * Heat oven to 375. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Brush with butter, if desired. * (If you want a seed-topped roll, mix 1 slightly beaten egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush on the rolls BEFORE baking. Sprinkle with seeds and bake) 


Yeasted Fiesta Cornbread!

It's time to liven up winter, don't you think? When we had a very brief, fleeting glimpse of Spring one day this week, it made me CRAZY to change up the "routine" a bit. I wasn't sure HOW I was going to change, or WHAT I was going to change.......all I know is that I needed a little bit of a change!!! I ended up cleaning up our breezeway, washing some windows and trying a new chili recipe, which ended up being quite tasty. Now in my book, chili can not be served without cornbread, and I'm a real lover of moist, quick-bread-type cornbread (and I have a great recipe for traditional sweet cornbread). But change was in the air, so a new cornbread recipe was in order, along with the new chili recipe. 

I've tried some yeasted cornbreads and......they're not bad......but I LOVE moist, traditional cornbread. This is the first yeasted cornbread that is not only moist, but it's bursting with wonderful flavor......peppers, cilantro, cheddar, corn .....yum, yum and more yum! I'm thinking I should have added a few tablespoons of diced red pepper for color, too! So why don't you try it?.....Change things up a bit! 

Yeasted Fiesta Cornbread 

1 Cup warm water
1 Tbsp./packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
3+  Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Cup yellow corn meal
½ Cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ Cup creamed corn
¼ Cup canned, diced green chilies
2 tsp. dried cilantro (you may use fresh)
1 Tbsp. diced jalapenos (I used dried)

Add water to EZ DOH bucket and dissolve yeast in water. Wait 1-2 minutes, then add remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 3-4 minutes, or until dough has lost most of its stickiness, adding additional flour, if necessary. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket lightly with cooking spray and replace dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Remove dough from bucket. Spray 2 – 9” cake pans. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Place in pans and flatten slightly. Cover and let rise till doubled. (I put mine in the frig and let them rise overnight. Be sure to lightly spray the tops of your loaf if you do this so the saran won't stick to it! ). Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve.
Adapted from a recipe in “Electric Bread” 


Friday, February 14, 2014

A Delicious Valentine - Chocolate Chip Banana Rolls!

I love to have a reason to bake.....(not that just "I'm hungry" isn't a good reason to bake!) On Fridays, I bake for the new local coffee shop. Usually, it's a lot of fun to make "pretties" for them to sell - I don't make any money.....I just take my payback in delicious coffee -Hurrah! However, this week was a little different since my Friday fell on Valentine's Day. The pressure was on to come up with something tasty, cute, sweet but not too sweet.....Agggg.......I thought I had it under control when I found a gorgeous-looking recipe for cherry quick bread. I whipped up the batter last night and put it in the oven to bake. The kitchen filled with a wonderful aroma. Thirty-five minutes later, it was looking a little on the brown side, so I tested it and pulled it out of the oven. Ten minutes later I returned to the kitchen to check on my cooling loaves, only to find them collapsed in the middle. Sadness...great sadness. After all, it was 9:45 at night and bed was beginning to look pretty good. I plopped myself down in front of the computer to find something easy.....and amazing....that would fill the bill. However, I was like a zombie staring at the screen....on and on and on...and on...and nothing suited me. FINALLY, I pulled myself up from my computer chair, staggered into the kitchen and reverted to one of my newly-favorite recipes....with Valentine's Day revisions. They turned out sooooo cute and the coffee shop owner noted how soft they are! You certainly don't have to wait for V-day to make this's tasty and tender in any shape. Enjoy it with someone you LOVE!  

Choco-Chip Banana Bread Hearts

½ Cup milk
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
½ Cup mashed bananas (about 2 ripe bananas)
1 egg
2 Tbsp. butter
2 ½ -2 ¾ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1/3 Cup mini chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

For topping:

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Coarse sugar, additional mini-chips

Warm the milk slightly and pour into the EZ DOH bucket. Add yeast and dissolve. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it until dough is smooth, 2-3 minutes. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray and return the dough to the bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled. Remove dough from bucket and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. With the side of your hand, lightly roll one end of each ball until it forms a point. Opposite the “point”, use a pair of kitchen shears and make a 1” cut. Separate to make a “heart” shape. Place each roll on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise till puffy, about 20-30 minutes.  Lightly beat one egg with a tablespoon of water and brush over the rolls. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and additional mini chips. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Enjoy! 

Recipe adapted from "Bread Machine Baking" 


Friday, February 7, 2014

Apple Brittle Braid!

It's Time........

I don't know about the rest of you, but it seems January and February are my "purging" months.....After ALL the food, ALL the gifts, ALL the EVERYTHING, "simple" feels awfully good. The decorations come down right after January 1, and I clean closets and cupboards in my spare time (which drives my hubby to distraction.....but is then followed by admiration and then imitation - LOL!) .

Probably one of the most difficult things to do is to figure out what to do with all the little goodies we've received over the holidays. The fudge, the cookies, the chocolates.......really...... we can (or should)  only eat so much! I tried putting some of it out at the big football party last week, but it still wouldn't all go away. So now, I began to scheme ........."Hmmmmm.......baked goods! I can use some of this in baked goods!" Sure enough, I dreamed up a little something  that would use up those last two "holiday" apples and the rest of the peanut brittle! And when I took it in to our friends at the SBDC, it was a big hit! This was a "two birds with one stone" occasion.......Bird One:  I didn't have to waste those yummy items; Bird Two: I made some wonderful people happy! Things don't get much better than that..... 

I hope you, too, will enjoy this recipe: 

                                              Apple Brittle Braid

Dough: (This is the same dough I use in the Apple-Almond Coffee Ring. It's a very rich, lovely dough. However, this is just 1/2 of the usual recipe) 

2 tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast                                                    
2 Tbsp. warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar                                                                                       
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 Cup sour cream                                                                           
2 1/2 Tbsp. softened butter or margarine
1 eggs                                                                                                  
1 1/3- 1 3/4 Cup all purpose, unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in EZ DOH bucket . Let rest for 1-2 minutes. Blend in remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it , adding enough flour to make a smooth, satiny dough. Remove dough from bucket. Spray inner bucket with cooking spray. Replace dough in bucket. Cover and let rise till doubled.  While dough is rising, prepare the filling: 

2 apples, cored, peeling and chopped 
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Cup crushed peanut brittle (plus an additional tablespoon or so to sprinkle on the top) 

1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. milk
dash of vanilla

Remove dough from bucket and on a floured surface, roll it out to a 13x8 inch rectangle. Spread apple mixture down the center third of the rectangle. Top with the crushed brittle. On the sides, make 6-8 cuts, just to the edge of the filling, one inch apart, on an angle. Starting at the top, alternately fold the dough strips over the filling, giving a braid-like appearance. Be sure to slightly overlap the ends. Fold under the ends. Lift carefully onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Let rise 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle over braid. Sprinkle with remainder of crushed peanut brittle. Enjoy! 


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