Friday, April 25, 2014

Sesame-Studded Italian Bread Ring

I'm always scavenging for new recipes....It's a hobby, of sorts. I've definitely had to discipline myself to keep my collection of cookbooks to a manageable size. My technique now is to make a copy of the recipe(s) I like, or I think I'd like to try, and then say "adios" to the book as a whole. It's worked well that way, as I can make notes about "do's" and "don't's" without messing up the cookbook,  or I can  just throw the piece of paper in the recycling bin if the recipe is a real loser. Of course, as anyone could guess, most of my recipes are yeast-related  ( my hubby would LOVE it if I started getting into cooking prime rib or invention......"EZ STEAK"), so it's particularly interesting to visit older cookbooks and investigate their "bread" sections. Sometimes there are some very unique techniques and recipes, which can be interesting to experiment with.

The Pillsbury Bake-Off recipes can be a real treat to check out. Old and new, their participants seem to always be folks with a real creative "bent". The recipe I'm sharing today is from the 1984 Bake-Off, with some "EZ-revisions".  A picture of this bread was featured on one of the pages of a cookbook I was leafing through and it caught my eye. (To me, if I'm going to bake or cook something, I want it to be as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate! I want "pretty" bread, cookies, casseroles, etc.) This pic certainly hit the eye appeal mark for me. Now I had to try the recipe out to see if I could reproduce this beauty......and to see if it hit the palate appeal mark, too! Well, it hit BOTH marks - BULLSEYE!! Very tasty and very beautiful, I'll use this recipe again in the future. If you try it, I think you'll agree with me. Give it a shot!  
Sesame-Studded Italian Bread Ring
 1 ½ Tbsp/packets Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 Cup warm water
1 Cup warm milk
4 ½-5 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ Cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
¼ Cup sugar

For Pan:
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Filling Ingredients:
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ tsp. dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ Cup butter or margarine, softened
Bottom of Form
Generously grease/spray 12-cup fluted bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place yeast and water in EZ DOH bucket. Let sit  1 minute, then add 1 cup of flour , remaining ingredients, then another 3 ½ Cups of flour. EZ DOH-it until all ingredients are incorporated, adding enough flour till  dough is stiff. In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients; mix well. Spoon half of batter in greased pan. Spoon filling mixture by dropfuls evenly over batter to within 1/2 inch of sides of pan. Spoon remaining batter over filling. Cover loosely. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 375. Uncover dough. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pan immediately; cool on wire racks. Serve warm or cool. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Hot Cross Buns!

Belated Easter wishes to all my "peeps" !! I really should have gotten this recipe up to the blog prior to the holiday, but between a big trade show, a new birth in the family and all the holiday celebrations, I didn't make it to my computer much in the past week. My sincere apologies to all!

First of all, I wish you all the blessings of the season......We wholeheartedly believe that our great God, our Bread of Life, has led us, and is continuing to lead us, on this journey with our business. Our prayer for our friends is that you feel His strong leading and guiding you in all things, too!

Now, back to bread! One of the favorite breads to appear at this time of year is hot cross buns. I'm always up for something new, so I researched hot cross buns on the internet and found SO many different types! Very exciting, but a little overwhelming. I did end up trying a few.....I liked them all, but at Easter dinner, I put out my old stand-by recipe.....tried and true and always tasty. We actually had a few left over after everyone headed home (I had made 3 different kinds of bread ....we also had an immense amount of additional food -YUM!) , so we delivered the few leftover buns to a good friend who runs a local restaurant and who is a HUGE fan of hot cross buns. We found him standing by a campfire in his backyard, recovering from the Easter rush his restaurant had experienced. Beer in hand and dog by his side, he was thrilled to see the rolls. We stayed and visited for a while, then left him in peace to enjoy the quiet......and the tasty buns! 

Here's my very-dependable Hot Cross Bun recipe: 


3/4 Cup warm water
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum yeast  
3 Tbsp. softened butter
1 Tbsp. instant nonfat milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 egg white (yolk reserved) 
3 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour 
3/4 Cup raisins (can substitute dried cranberries, currants, etc) 
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place water in EZ DOH bucket. Stir in yeast to dissolve. Let rest 1 minute. Add 1 cup flour, then remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it for approximately 3 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding additional flour, if necessary to eliminate extreme stickiness. After dough is formed, remove it from the bucket, smooth the dough, spray the bucket with cooking spray and return dough. Cover and let rise till doubled. 

Remove dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Form into smooth balls. Place in a 7x10" greased pan. At this point, you can let them rise till doubled, or spray lightly with cooking spray and cover with Saran and let rise in the frig overnight. (If you place them in the frig, I recommend taking them out 1 hr. before you wish to bake them to let them complete their rise). Before baking, you may brush them lightly with the reserved egg yolk, though I often forget this step!  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. When cool,  pipe a cross on the top with a thick confectioners icing. Enjoy!!

(Adapted from Allrecipes) 


Friday, April 4, 2014

Delicious Nine Grain Rounds!

Wish I had a more exciting image for this bread!  
I have a good friend named Martha. Actually, she's not JUST a good friend, she's someone very special to our family - She's our youngest daughter's mother-in-law! What a great lady she is.......always on the go, Martha has become EZ DOH's biggest fan and best salesperson. Barely a week goes by that she doesn't call and ask to pick up an EZ DOH because she's sold another one to a friend. I attended her card club a few weeks ago and she served the most amazing breads....and she bragged to all women present how she created them with her EZ DOH! Bless her heart!

Well, her latest project is a Wednesday night Lenten "soup and bread night" at her church. She and several other ladies from the fellowship gather every Tuesday afternoon with their EZ DOH's and make enough bread to feed the 100 people that attend the Wednesday night event. Last week, they were wanting to venture out a bit and asked me for a recipe for a multi-grain bread. With EZ DOH in tow, I attended as a "coach", though I'm not sure I was really needed..... these women bustled around me, measuring and mixing, laughing and chatting, and creating wonderful dough. I got to give a word of advice here and there, but it was good to see how easy it was for them. It was good to see the fellowship that was being stirred up as they were "stirring up" their bread! I got the report on the Nine-Grain bread on Thursday -- it was a big hit! I was so pleased to share the tasty recipe with them, but I was even more pleased to have shared their afternoon of breadmaking. Enjoy this great recipe.....and share it with friends!


¼ Cup 9-grain (or similar) cereal (look in the hot cereal aisle)
1 ¼ Cup very warm water
1 packet/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
3 + Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ Cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
2 ½ Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. softened butter
1 ½ tsp. salt
(Feel free to add small amounts of additional seeds (flax, poppy, sesame, chia, etc.) if you'd like) 

Pour cereal into EZ DOH bucket and pour very warm water over it. Let rest for 5 minutes. Stir in yeast. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it until smooth dough forms, usually 2-3 minutes. Remove dough from bucket,spray bucket with cooking spray. Return dough to bucket and cover, letting dough rise until doubled. Remove dough from bucket.Divide in 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a slightly flattened ball. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and then sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise until doubled. Lightly score top of loaves and sprinkle with a little flour. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. 


Theme created by PIXELZINE