Monday, March 31, 2014

Deli Bread

Today is March 21.....and according to the calendar,spring has sprung! But, unfortunately, according to my thermometer and my window, winter is doing its best to hang on! I probably should have gone out and shoveled a path through the snow to my door earlier today, but, in rebellion, I did not. I have hung my spring wreaths on the door (as ridiculous as forsythia blooms look when it's 25 degrees out and snowing) and I've put my turtle neck sweaters in storage (I might be a bit chilly the next few days..) . I KNOW that soon....very soon.....spring will be here for certain and I will happily be spending a LOT of time outdoors. Not that I'm much of a gardener - never picked up those skills from my mom, though now I wish I had paid more attention. I just like things looking "pretty". I can't wait to: grab a leaf rake and clean up those lingering reminders of last fall; fill a few planters for my porch; sweep out the wind-blown debris in the garage; drag out the picnic table....etc., etc., etc.  I'm sure everyone's feeling about the same - we'll work all day outside and then come in and think, "I'm starved!  What's for dinner?"

Here's a delicious, speedy bread that is great served just as your "bread", or can be sliced in half and used to construct a large, lovely deli sandwich. It's a tasty, airy, unique-shaped loaf that won't take too much of your time to you can be back outside in no time!

Deli Bread

1/2 Cup warm water
1 Tbsp/ packet Red Star Platinum yeast 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Tbsp. warm water
3/4 Cup warm milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or bread flour
1 Tbsp. cornmeal 

Pour 1/2 Cup water into EZ DOH bucket and stir in yeast to dissolve. Let rest 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the 1/2 Tbsp. water. Add remaining ingredients to EZ DOH bucket, then dissolved baking soda mixture. Turn EZ DOH handle until mixture is smooth. The dough/batter will be smooth, but sticky and thick. Spray 2 - 9" pie or cake pans with cooking spray and dust bottoms lightly with cornmeal. With a spatula, transfer half of the dough to each pan. Spray top of dough lightly with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for one hour. Preheat oven to 375. Spray tops of loaves again with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool totally before slicing. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

"In a Hurry" Nutella Rolls!

We have been working closely on EZ DOH with the Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University. They have been SUCH a huge help with our business, especially when we reach "crossroads" major decisions that could make or break us. Our advisor, Bill, is a big teddy bear of a guy. A 70-something year old "Bostonian", he tells us like it is, with lots of colorful stories in between. His life has been quite a ride.....served in the armed forces in Vietnam; owned his own business; was VP of another major company; has 6 kids; is still married to the same patient woman after nearly 50 years.....we tell him he should write a book!

Our appointments are on Wednesdays, and I always take in some EZ DOH goodies for Bill and the gang in the SBDC office. Last week, though, I was just beat.........the last thing I wanted to do was to get up early and make bread. Well, it was  really the "get up early" part that I didn't want to do.....I didn't mind the "make bread". So I didn't get up early. My body thanked me, but I felt badly that I wouldn't have anything for Bill. So I grabbed my EZ DOH and cranked out a recipe of "regular" bread dough - nuthin' fancy. I really wasn't in the mood to do regular old cinnamon rolls, so I raked through my cupboards for inspiration and.....viola! A smidgen of Nutella left in the jar (actually about a 1/4-1/3 cup). Nutella is certainly inspirational! After my dough had risen, I rolled it out into a rectangle and smeared the Nutella all over the dough - perfect! (Though thinking about it now, I could have also sprinkled it with some toasted chopped nuts....). After rolling everything up, I cut it in slices and layered the slices in a circle on a cookie sheet and let 'em rise briefly. By the time we had to head out for our morning appointment, the rolls were ready to go! Let me tell you.......these "inspirational" rolls were a hit!! It was just a way of saying "Thanks for EVERYTHING!!!"

Nutella Rolls with Basic Dough

1 Cup warm water
1 packet/Tbsp Red Star Platinum yeast 
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. oil 

Place water in EZ DOH bucket. Add yeast and dissolve. Let rest 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, adding flour as necessary to produce a smooth, elastic dough. Remove dough from bucket,spray bucket with cooking spray and return dough to bucket. Cover and let rise till doubled. 

Remove dough from bucket and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle. Spread with 1/4C- 1/3 Cup Nutella. Roll up dough jelly-roll fashion, starting at the long edge. Slice log into 12-15 rolls. Overlap rolls (see pic) on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and let rise briefly. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Drizzle with confectioner's icing: 

1 Cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp. softened butter
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla 

Combine the sugar and cocoa powder. Add remaining ingredients and stir well till mixture is smooth- no lumps! Place in a sandwich baggie. Cut the corner off and drizzle icing over cooled rolls. Come to think of it, I could have subbed a bit of Nutella for the butter here....and left out the cocoa! Next time!! And believe me, these are sooooo easy, there WILL be a next time! 


Friday, March 7, 2014

Luscious, Lemon-y Pull Apart Rolls!

Here in northeast Ohio, we have had one lonnnnnngggggg, coooooolllllldddddd winter. While I was out shoveling the driveway last week , my neighbor drove by, then pulled back and rolled down her window. "It's been forever since we've seen you!" she moaned. "This weather is so isolating!" Oh, and that is so true. But thankfully,  it's March 7 today and this 40 degree, sunny day reminds us that brighter days are ahead! The streets are busier, the lines at the car wash are lengthy and we even went to our first 2014 garage sale this morning- a sure sign of Spring!

In anticipation and representation of Spring's arrival, I made these gorgeous Lemon Pull-Apart Rolls this morning for the neighborhood coffee shop. Every "leaf" of the roll is full of lemon-y fragrance and color, not to mention, lots of "ZING"! The construction of these rolls is really MUCH easier than perhaps the instructions would lead you to believe......take a moment and read through them, then get busy and THINK SPRING!!

Luscious, Lemony Pull-Apart Rolls 

Dough Ingredients: 
1/4 Cup warm water
1 packet/Tbsp.Red Star Platinum yeast  
1/3 Cup warm milk 
2 3/4 Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs

Place warm water in EZ DOH bucket and stir in yeast. Let rest 1-2 minutes. Add milk, then remaining ingredients. EZ-DOH-it, or mix by traditional methods, until dough is smooth and soft. (Add additional flour slowly if necessary). Gently remove dough from bucket, spray interior of bucket with cooking spray and then replace the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Meantime, mix Filling ingredients ;set aside: 

Lemon-y Filling 

1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon zest and 1 Tbsp. orange zest 
1/4 Cup butter, melted

Constructing the Rolls: Divide the risen dough in half. Divide each half into 30 equal pieces. (It's easier to work with one half at a time :-) ) . Roll each piece into an oval shape approximately 6x3" . Lightly brush each oval with melted butter, then sprinkle with 1/2-1 tsp. lemon-y filling. Stack five ovals together, then cut the stack in half,width-wise. Take each "half-stack" and gently pinch the base together, causing the top to flare slightly. Place in greased muffin tins (I lined and sprayed mine). Gently pull and shape the layers. Continue until all the muffin tins are full. Sprinkle remaining Filling over the rolls. Cover and let rise till puffy. Bake at 375 for 18-23 minutes. Let cool slightly, then glaze with 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice mixed with 1 Cup powdered sugar. 


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