Friday, December 18, 2015

Mint-Chip Chocolate Soft Pretzels!

Unbelievable, but in a week (Lord willing!)  our family will be sitting around the Christmas tree in our pajamas, surrounded by our traditional happy mess of wrapping paper, ribbon and plates of cinnamon rolls! From all reports, the weather sounds as though it will be mild, so the grandkids will probably be outside on the driveway enjoying the new scooters that Pop-pop and Ninny (Dave and I) got them -Shhh!!! Don't tell them!!  With the passing of my step-mom in February, this will mark the first Christmas that no "Greats" will be with us  - Dave and I are "the old folks!" How things change, yet they remain the same! 

This holiday marks a day when the world changed, yet everything appeared to stay the same. A baby was born who was destined to transform not only people's hearts, but all of human history. But....Who knew? Amidst the hubbub of the noisy Bethlehem census, one could barely hear the cries of a newborn babe. Few probably noted the coming and going of shepherds and wealthy men to the obscure stable where this child lay. Even when the quiet of the night silenced the din of crowded Bethlehem , how many lifted their weary heads and saw the brilliant star in the sky? They were tired; they were hard-pressed; they just sought rest.......and peace...... Who knew? 

My prayer is that the rest and peace that was given to all mankind on that holy night of Jesus' birth might be real in your hearts this Christmas season and throughout the coming year. Who knew? I pray that YOU know! Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Enjoy this festive recipe as a treat sometime during this holiday season. Not too sweet, but delightfully soft and yummy, it's sure to become a favorite! 

Mint-Chip Chocolate Soft Pretzels!

1 ½ Cup warm water
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
3 ½ Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¼ Cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tsp. instant coffee
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ Cups mini mint chocolate chips, divided ( ½ and ¼ )
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water and ½ tsp. kosher salt (for egg wash)

Place water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest for one minute. Add 1 cup of flour then remaining ingredients (plus the 1/2 Cup of the mint chips) , except for the beaten egg. EZ DOH-it until the dough is smooth and all ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated, about 2-3 minutes. You may add additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Remove dough from bucket and “smooth” the dough. Spray the bucket lightly with cooking spray and replace dough in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Remove dough from bucket and divide into 12-16 equal pieces (I made 16). Roll each piece of dough into a rope measuring 20 + inches. Pretzel formation: Lay the rope horizontally and pick up the ends to meet; About 2” from the each of the ends, twist the dough then bring down to the base and press lightly into the dough. Stretch into pretzel shape. Repeat with all dough. Dip both sides of each pretzel into the egg wash and place the pretzel on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let them rest for 15 minutes. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes. Remove from sheet and cool on wire rack. Press the remaining mint chips onto the pretzels while the pretzels are still warm. 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Brown Sugar and Spice Doughnuts!

I'm not sure if I have mentioned it, but my hubby just took a new job two months ago. He's now the pastor at one of the oldest churches in the county. It's a darling "little white church in the woods" with a wonderful congregation of only about forty people right now. This new journey is not starting off slowly - these folks knew they needed some change, and change is indeed occurring! So far the change is mostly physical (you can see some of the pics on Facebook at Old Springfield Church). It's invigorating and exciting to experience! But of course, the traditional duties must be attended to, also. This week I accompanied Dave on his visits to the shut-ins of the church. I met some delightful people!! One that particularly charmed me was Dorothy, a 92-yr.old widow who was the church organist years ago. Her home was crowded with mementos from her past - bottles she had painted, photos of friends and family, a framed button collection.... and at least four keyboards! She still plays regularly....and she gets her exercise by dancing to tape recordings of music she played "back in the day". She led us into the small living room where she insisted on dancing for us. After she popped the tape into the player, she grabbed her wheeled walker and began to delicately pace up and down the room, swaying to the music. It was beautiful to see her embracing life in spite of her limitations! I was reminded to embrace every moment I've been given and make the most of it! 

Your friends and family will appreciate it if you'd sweeten their moments with these delicious doughnuts!! They're perfect to serve as a holiday morning surprise! I wish you joy as you embrace these busy weeks before Christmas! 

Brown Sugar and Spice Baked Doughnuts!

1 Tbsp./ Packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
¼ Cup warm water
¾ Cup milk, warm to the touch
¼ Cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg
½ Cup butter, softened
2 ½- 3 ½  Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

Sugar coating:
½ Cup butter, melted
½ Cup sugar
½ Cup Brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg

Place yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Add warm water and stir to dissolve yeast. Add milk, then 1 cup of flour, then remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it, adding flour as needed, until dough is smooth, not sticky. It should be a very soft, tender dough. Remove from bucket, spray the bucket with cooking spray and replace the dough. Cover and let rise until doubled.  While dough is rising, stir together the sugars and spices for the coating. Place in a covered container that can be used for shaking/coating the doughnuts when the time comes.

Punch down dough and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out into an approximately ½” thick rectangle. Using a doughnut or biscuit cutter, cut out 3” doughnuts with 1” holes. Place doughnuts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover gently and place in a warm spot until almost doubled in size.  Remove cover and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, until golden. Dip warm doughnuts in warm melted butter, then place in the sugar container and gently toss doughnut in sugar mix. Remove from container and enjoy while warm!! 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cheddar and Green Onion Beer Bread!

My prayer is that you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving last week! Maybe you found a roll recipe on this blog that you decided to serve......I'd love to hear from you if you did! Let me know which one you chose to serve....I, of course, HAD to serve the "Every Thanksgiving's Oatmeal Rolls", along with an assortment of garlic, cinnamon, pecan and white rolls - I was up and baking bright and early!

Of course, it's not all about the bread....I hope your celebration was one of true joy and thanksgiving. We had our annual "Turkey Bake Off" and, for the first time in years, I won!! My hubby usually wins with his grill-smoked turkey (It IS awesome!). But it wasn't the win that made the day so was family. Everyone was home, which was wonderful. For the first time, Dave and I were the oldest people at the table - We missed Grandma Jo (she passed in February), but we remembered her by fixing her traditional offerings of green bean casserole and ambrosia salad.  It was a gorgeous day here, too, so we were able to spend much of the afternoon outside, throwing footballs, taking walks, etc. There was no rushing off to early "Black Friday" sales here....we just relaxed. 

However, NOW it begins! Shopping, decorating, baking, celebrating....REPEAT! It's a time when super-easy and super-tasty food is fully appreciated! Today's recipe fulfills both - easy and tasty! And, let me add QUICK! I hope you enjoy it in the happy rush of the Christmas season! 

Cheddar and Green Onion Beer Bread!
3 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. coarsely ground pepper
12 oz. beer (I used an ale)
½ Cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. chopped green onions

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper in the EZ DOH bucket. Crank several times to adequately mix the dry ingredients. Add beer and EZ DOH-it just until ingredients are moistened. Add cheddar cheese and green onions and EZ DOH-it until they are incorporated. Divide and transfer the dough into 2 - 3 1/2 x 7" loaf pans (this is what my pans measured at the base - They aren't full-size 9x5" pans) . Brush with some melted butter. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until golden and the bread tests done in the center. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack 


Friday, November 20, 2015

Sweet Cinnamon Crisps!

Thanksgiving Day is soon upon us! It's truly one of my favorite many memories! My childhood Thanksgivings were filled with trips "over the mountains and through the woods" to Kittanning, Pennsylvania - not to Grandmother's house, but to the home of my twin great-aunts. The pair of aging teachers would watch anxiously at the window and greet us with cries of "My, Oh! How you've grown!" The dinner we would share was always spectacular, particularly when I now recall how tiny their kitchen was! As our family grew, the celebration moved to Pittsburgh, where my aunt and uncle lived. By then, Dave and I had little ones who became the center of attention (other than the food, of course!). Since we were home schoolers, I used the opportunity for the kids to memorize and recite poetry to entertain the family. In preparing to write this note, I thought it would be appropriate...and share a couple of them with you! 

When my son was four, he chose to recite "The Onion", by C.C.Ward:
      "Tis very sad,," the onion said
        And heaved a little sigh
       "The only faculty I have
        Is making people cry." 
He got a nice round of applause, along with a few laughs for that recitation! His older sister recited "Thanksgiving" by Ralph Waldo Emerson :
      For each new morning with its light
        Father, we thank Thee
      For rest and shelter of the night, 
         Father,we thank Thee
      For health and food, for love and friends, 
         For everything Thy goodness sends, 
            Father in heaven, we thank Thee. 
The family applauded for Kate, too, but in a more sober way. Smiles and nods of agreement went around the room. As you celebrate this very special holiday of remembrance and thanksgiving, may you find joy and gratitude in  even the simplest things. Blessings to you all! 

For roll recipes for your Thanksgiving table, please search our past blog posts - there are some goodies!!! This recipe might make a wonderful pre- or post Thanksgiving treat!   

Cinnamon Crisps!
Think ahead with this recipe – the dough definitely needs to chill!
½ cup warm milk
¼ cup warm water
1 Tbsp/pkg. Red Star Platinum yeast
2 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (one stick) cold butter
1 egg yolk, beaten

2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
(waxed paper)

½ Cup sugar combined with 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
½ Cup chopped pecans

Place the warm liquids in the EZ DOH bucket, along with the yeast. Stir to dissolve. In a separate bowl, mix the dry dough ingredients, then cut in the butter (I have a food processor, so I just let it do this work) . Add this to the yeast mixture, along with the egg yolk. EZ DOH-it until everything is well-combined – the mixture will be sticky! Cover and place in the frig for at least 2 hours (I just chilled mine overnight)

Remove dough from the frig and knead slightly. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll into an 18x10” rectangle and brush with the 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Combine the cinnamon & sugar and sprinkle evenly over the rectangle. Starting at the long side, roll up the dough jelly-roll style and pinch edges to seal. Cut into 18- 1” slices. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon (topping) and sprinkle a small amount onto a piece of waxed paper. Place a slice on the cinnamon sugar, cover with waxed paper and roll into a 4-5” circle. Place sugared side down on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and cinnamon sugar. Continue with remaining slices. Bake at 375 for  10-14 minutes until golden. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Delightful Citrus Apple Bundles!

And so it begins.....the "most wonderful time of the year"! The key is keeping things simple enough so that you can enjoy all the "goings-on" as well!! I have a tendency to get myself in over my head with complex recipes or projects or party plans. However I'm SLOWLY learning to KISS (keep it simple, silly! - I know- it's usually "keep it simple, stupid", but my grandson says I'm not allowed to use  that s-word, which is good!) . That's why I adore the EZ DOH basic recipe ("Stand-By Bread" on our blog). It's sooooo easy and it's sooooo versatile! It can go from plain to fancy.  For instance, I came home last night desperately tired from setting up "the Gingerbread House" for our town park's Christmas display. But I also desperately wanted some pita bread. Figuring I had 5 minutes of standing time left in me, I whipped up some dough, let it rise briefly, then rolled out a little disc of dough and slapped it in a greased skillet. Viola! I had a delicious, warm flat bread!

Today's recipe is also made from the basic dough , but it's on the fancier side. It's perfect for a beautiful, easy-to-fix dessert or treat. This can be a "make-ahead", too......Just make all the little apple bundles, place them in the greased pan, cover and place in the frig until you're ready to bake them. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe and you'll have a delicious, warm, homemade treat! 

Delightful Citrus Apple Bundles!

1 – Recipe EZ DOH “stand-by” bread (on the back of the EZ DOH bucket or see our blog “Stand By Bread”
2 Lg. Apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 medium orange
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
½ Cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Prepare bread dough per the recipe, through the first rise. Cut apple slices in half crosswise. Roll out dough to a large rectangle. Cut strips of dough, width-wise. Place  2-3 apple “half-slices”  at the end of one strip of dough and roll up the slices (apple slice ends may be showing). Arrange the bundles in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Continue until all the dough and apples are used up. Zest the orange, then juice the orange.  Pour 1/3 cup of the orange juice in the pan, AROUND- NOT OVER the bundles. Brush the bundles with melted butter. Stir together the sugar, 1 tsp. orange zest and the cinnamon together. Sprinkle the mixture over the bundles. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until golden.
NOTES: You can make “mini bundles” by cutting the apple slices in thirds rather than in half and using thinner strips of dough. The pic I show is of “mini bundles” 


Friday, November 6, 2015

Cinnamon Apple Almond Ring!

Here it is - November already! Amazing how you can turn a calendar page and the pace picks up all of a sudden! I am not a fan of beginning Christmas celebrations prior to Thanksgiving....however, reality (and all the local committees I serve on.....) demand that I start focusing my thoughts in that direction. The Christmas Light Show committee has to have the "Gingerbread House" set up and on display by November 19; The Way Station Gala committee's Christmas gala is happening THIS weekend; the Candlelight Tour of Churches will be held on Dec. 4, so we've got to get things together NOW; Church cantatas begin their practices; etc, etc. It's crazy......but it's crazy wonderful. I've just got to keep those loud, demanding voices at bay as I head into this special, special time of year, remembering that it's all about friends and family and loving those around us as we celebrate the One who came as Love Incarnate! 

Last Sunday, I got to share love in "bread language" -  I brought this coffee ring for the new congregation my hubby is pastoring. I just sort-of "made up" the recipe with things I had on hand, but it really turned out to be a keeper. It's pretty, it's easy ...and it's super-tasty! Looooooved it!

Cinnamon Apple Almond Ring

¾ Cup warmed milk
1 Tbsp./packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
¼ Cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 Cups unbleached bread flour

1 Lg. apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
¼ Cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. instant Clear Jel
2 Tbsp. chopped almonds
Mix cinnamon, sugar and Clear Jel together. Stir in apples and almonds to coat

¾ Cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
½ tsp. almond extract
2-3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream (or milk)
Stir together until of “drizzling” consistency

Sliced almonds, toasted (I toasted mine in a non-stick skillet –no butter or oil- for 3-5 minutes)

Place warmed milk and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled. Mix filling ingredients while dough is rising.

Remove dough from bucket and roll into a large rectangle, approximately 15x10”. Spread filling on rectangle. Starting from a long side, roll the dough as for cinnamon rolls. Pinch the edge together. Spray a baking pan and move the roll to the pan, placing the seam-side down. Bring together the two ends to form a ring. Pinch to seal. Using a kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut from the outside to the center, leaving about 1 inch uncut at the center. Continue at one-inch intervals around the ring. Carefully turn each slice slightly , showing the center of each slice, laying each one on the prior slice. Cover and let rise 20-35 minutes (you may also put it in the frig overnight and bake in the am – remove from frig 30 minutes prior to baking. )  Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack. Drizzle the icing over the rolls. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. 

Be sure to check out more yeast bread recipes at


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cheddar Cheesy Twists!

You don't know how tempted I was to do "one more" pumpkin spice" recipe for this month......I made pumpkin spice soft pretzels for my friends at church this week and they were gobbled right up! I didn't even get to taste one, they were gone so fast! I figured they must be wonderfully yummy....But after two weeks in a row of blogging pumpkin recipes, I thought I'd better not.... (If anyone wants the recipe, email me!)

Soooo.....instead you get these quite tasty Cheddar Cheesy Twists! It had been a miserable day, weather-wise, here in Ohio. Literally, chilly rain ALL day. Pouring rain. I really don't mind those kind of days, as long as I don't have to go anywhere. They make me feel very justified in heating up the oven and baking something warm and toasty. That afternoon, I had whipped up the dough in my EZ DOH and was letting it rise when the grand-girls stopped in. One stopped to say hi on her way to dance class. The other decided to hang around for awhile - hurrah! So she got to do the rolling on these rolls. Didn't she do a great job?! I'm so proud that they love to learn about the art of bread making! You won't NEED someone to help you make these rolls, but I must say, it makes the process even MORE fun! Enjoy!

Cheddar Cheesy Twists!
2 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum yeast
2/3 Cup water, warm to the touch
5 oz. evaporated milk , warmed (not hot!)
1 ½ Cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 – 3 ½  Cups unbleached flour

For topping:
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Poppy seeds

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise for about 10-15 minutes (because of the “double yeast”, these will rise quickly)

Remove the dough from the bucket and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece out to a 12-14” rope. Fold the rope in half, then twist. Pinch ends to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes. Brush the twists with the egg mixture, then sprinkle with poppy seeds (you can use other seeds if you prefer). Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool briefly on a wire rack. Recipe can be halved for a smaller family.

For more beautiful breads go to yeastspotting 

Adapted from a breadworld recipe 


Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Lil' Pumpkin" Dinner Rolls with Spiced Honey Butter!

I know...... I posted a "pumpkin-based" recipe last week......You're thinking, "Here we go again...."  However, these might not be what you're expecting. If you're looking for a soft, pumpkin-spiced roll, that's NOT what these are. Yes, they are soft, but they're only spiced if you top them with the honey butter. Otherwise, they're just a WONDERFUL, very cute, very soft, very easy-to-make dinner roll. 

I wasn't going to post this recipe, as I imagine it's everywhere on the internet right now. But, since it's such a standard at this time of year, I thought I'd better have it "on file" here at EZ DOH. I baked them twice this week! Once for card club - My friends just loved how beautiful they were. However, they didn't believe me when I told them how easy it was to make them. Just to prove it to myself, the next day I had the grand-girls over to make dinner, which and THEY baked the pumpkin rolls. They ADORED making them. And they were soooooo proud to show "Momma" and "Daddy" their creations. 

I think you'll be proud, too, to put these on your fall dinner table. And your family and friends will be "wow-ed!" Enjoy! 

“Lil’ Pumpkin” Dinner Rolls with Spiced Honey Butter!

For Dough:
1 pkg/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 Cup warmed milk
¼ Cup sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
½ Cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
3 ¾ Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

For wash:
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water

For “stems”:
Sliced pecan pieces

For spiced honey butter:
½ Cup softened butter
¼ Cup powdered sugar
¼ Cup honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
Beat all ingredients thoroughly together.

Place warm milk and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Divide dough into 16 equal-sized pieces. Shape into balls. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand. With a sharp, serrated knife, make 8 cuts around the perimeter of the ball, being careful not slice all the way into the center. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. When doubled, uncover and brush each roll with the egg wash. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Place on a wire rack to cool. Gently push a pecan slice into the center of each roll for the pumpkin “stem”. If desired, serve with spiced honey butter. Enjoy! (Recipe can be easily halved)

Recipe adapted from “Handle the Heat” 
Visit for more delicious breads


Friday, October 16, 2015

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Spice Bagels

I am NOT one of those people who just WAITS for the pumpkin spice treats to start showing up in coffee shops and bakeries in September.....I'm more the apple spice person! I can't wait for the fall crop of apples to come in.....oooooo, the eating and baking I do with them!!! That said, I have nothing against pumpkin spice "everything" - you just will rarely find me ordering/making/eating it.  My youngest daughter, on the other hand, IS a pumpkin spice person. She excitedly called from Columbus the other evening to report that she and her hubby had just treated themselves to a bag of pumpkin spice coffee to enjoy on these crisp fall mornings. I thought of her and all those "pumpkin spice mania folks" when I made these bagels the other morning for a breakfast meeting. Chewy, warm, spicy and delicious, these bagels really were a treat. I sent my daughter a picture so she could enjoy them "virtually", but something tells me that's not quite the same as biting into one! So, NO virtual bagels for you - don't just look at this bagel's pic......Get to your kitchen and make some! (You do have to do a little planning ahead for these - but the key words there are "a little"!) 

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Spice Bagels!

Here’s my “plan of attack” for these wonderful bagels: Two hours before I’m heading to bed I do the sponge, the dough and the shaping. (This all happens while I’m hanging out , watching TV or whatever…most of the 2 hrs. is rising time - easy peasy!) . I place them in the frig and let rise overnight. In the am, all I have to do is boil the bagels, do a little egg wash and pop them in the oven. YUM!!

1 ¾ Cup bread flour
1 ¼ Cup water
½ tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast

½ tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
2 Tbsp. water
7 Tbsp. pumpkin canned pumpkin (puree)
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 ½-2 ½ Cups bread flour
Optional: ½ Cup raisins, if desired  

For Boiling Water:
1 Tbsp. baking soda

1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water (for egg wash)
About 1/3 Cup brown sugar to sprinkle atop bagels

Sponge: Mix all sponge ingredients together in the EZ DOH bucket until well-mixed. Cover and let rise for 1+ hours.

Dough: Dissolve yeast in 2 Tbsp. water. Add all “dough ingredients”, including dissolved yeast,  to the EZ DOH bucket containing the sponge. EZ DOH-it ! (The recipe calls for 1 ½-2 ½ cups of flour – start with 1 ½ . Gradually add additional flour as necessary to achieve a moist, but not sticky, dough. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.  Shape each ball into a bagel (Roll dough with cupped hand; gently push a hole into the center with thumb and forefinger; tug gently, rotating,  to enlarge hole). Place bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Cover lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap and place in frig for 4-12 hours.

Baking: Remove plastic wrap from pan. Bring a large pot (Dutch oven) of water to a boil. Slowly add 1 Tbsp. baking soda. Boil bagels, 3-4 at a time, for 1 minute on each side. Remove from pot with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Return to parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the bagels with the egg wash. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 425 for 10-20 minutes, until golden.

Adapted from a recipe at: Seasons and Suppers
Visit for more delicious breads


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Buttery Dinner Rolls with Lovely Layers!

Well, we're off on a new adventure as a couple! My hubby just got a new job as full-time pastor of a small church in a nearby town. It's scary and exciting all at once. The challenges are many, but there seems to be a lot of wonderful folks to get to know and to work alongside. The faces are all new to us, which is unusual for Dave and me, as we usually know SOMEONE wherever we go!  We're about two weeks into this undertaking and we decided we'd start "making friends" by having members of the congregation over to dinner. So last night, "Jim" and "Jana" joined us for a meal. I decided I wasn't going to try to impress anyone with fancy cooking .....we were just going to enjoy a humble meal and good fellowship together. And that's just what happened......they entered our home as acquaintances and left our home as friends! We can't wait to do this again next week! 

Our guests did find out that I LOVE to experiment with new recipes......and this roll recipe was my target last night. Boy, did this hit the bullseye! These rolls were easy to make, beautiful to serve and tasty to I said "BULLSEYE!"  I already have some ideas for adaptations of this recipe.....perhaps sprinkling some cinnamon sugar on the butter......what do you think?   

Buttery Dinner Rolls with Lovely Layers!
1 Tbsp./packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Cup warm milk
2 ¾ Cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. softened butter

Place warm milk and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated (you may add a small amount of additional flour if dough is extremely sticky)  . Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a 12x10” rectangle. Spread the softened butter on the rectangle. Fold up bottom third of dough, then fold top third of dough over the first fold. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove dough from freezer and remove from plastic wrap. Again, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12x10” rectangle. Repeat folds (no additional buttering) and again, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove dough from freezer and remove plastic wrap. Roll dough into a 12x8” rectangle. Beginning with a long side, roll the dough cinnamon-roll fashion , pinching seam to seal. Cut the roll into 12 equal slices. Place slices, cut side up, into greased muffin tins. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden. Best served warm! 

Adapted from a Recipe Girl recipe


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Simply Scrumptious Speedy Baguettes!

Well, no stories today......There's so much I want to say about this bread recipe!!!!

First of all, I have a disclaimer about the name I've given this recipe. In the world of decent baguettes, you usually won't hear the word "speedy" in reference to the creative process. It usually takes a while to develop those large, wonderful air pockets and that amazing flavor. So, when I start things at 1:00 in the afternoon and have baguettes cooled,, sliced  and on the dinner table at 5:30, that's considered "speedy". 

Secondly, remember that most of the time it takes to make these is spent waiting for the bread to rise at different stages. So, if you're like me, you won't just "wait"'ll find PLENTY of other things to do. 

Thirdly (Is "thirdly" a word?), you can supplement the actual baking process with a few other nifty baking tricks that I didn't include in the recipe below:  You can have your oven preheating for an hour; you can transfer the loaves to a baking stone; you can make steam in your oven for a super-crispy crust by placing a pan in the oven during the preheat cycle, then adding ice cubes to the pan when you put the bread in the oven....there are lots of tricks. However, I DID NOT add any of these tips to this recipe.....Why not? Because for the past 2 months, I've been baking with a very large toaster oven (my oven is on the fritz and we haven't yet replaced it)......So, I couldn't use ANY of those cool tricks -Boohoo! But- Guess what? The bread baked in my humble toaster oven turned out every bit as delicious- Woohoo! So I wanted to assure the more intimidated baker that there's an easy way to turn out something this beautiful and delicious. 

Well, I've already "out-talked" most of my past blogs.....On to the recipe! On to the deliciousness! 

Simply Scrumptious Speedy Baguettes

3 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 ½ Cup warm water
2 tsp. kosher salt

Place flour and yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Turn handle to mix. Add water and “EZ DOH-it” until water is absorbed and the dough is clumpy. Cover with a damp towel and set aside for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, sprinkle the dough with the salt and then again “EZ DOH-it” (knead by turning the crank) for about 3-4 minutes until dough is smooth (SMALL amounts of additional flour or water may be added, if necessary). Remove the dough from the bucket and spray the bucket lightly with cooking spray. Return dough to bucket, cover and let rise until doubled.

Lightly dust a working surface with flour and remove the dough from the bucket to that surface. Pat the dough into a small rectangle, about 6x8”. Fold the dough like a business letter: 1. Short side facing you, lift the top edge of the dough and gently fold it to the center. 2. Lift the bottom edge and fold it to the center, slightly overlapping the first fold. 3. Slide hands under the dough and turn over so the folds are on the bottom. 4. Slip the dough back into the bucket. Cover and let dough rise again until about doubled.

Remove the dough from the bucket, place on a floured surface and gently cut into two pieces. GENTLY pull each dough piece into a rectangle (try not to lose those air pockets!) and fold in half. Seal the fold and gently tug into a longer baguette shape. Lay the baguettes about 2-3” apart on a parchment-covered baking sheet dusted with flour. Dust the tops with flour. Cover and let rise 30-40 minutes.  Score the baguettes with a SHARP knife (slash quickly!) .

Bake in a hot oven – 425 – for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cheesy Mustard Pretzel Bread!

It's football season! "Woo-hoo!" she said, tongue in cheek. LOL! In my case, I'm really not much of a fan. I grew up with a father who watched NO sports. He and I would watch PBS "Masterpiece Theater" on Sunday nights..... a far cry from Sunday Night Football . However, I'm married to an occasional fan. My hubby is definitely not an addict - no fantasy leagues, etc.- but he does enjoy an afternoon/evening of rooting for "his" team (the Dallas Cowboys; Also, anyone who is playing AGAINST the Steelers -haha!). Though I may not love the game, I do love the food and the friendship that comes into play. I'm always up for good people and good food!

This bread would be great for sandwiches at game party. It's a little different and a lot good! Don't be afraid of the amount of mustard in the recipe (I was!!) turns out mild, cheesy and delicious! It's wonderful to serve sliced as the bread base for sandwiches with cold cuts. It would probably also be wonderful made up into buns (haven't tried that yet....hmmmm....might be one of my "weekend projects"!) Make this bread one of YOUR weekend projects!
Cheesy Mustard Pretzel Bread!
1 Cup warm water
1 Tbsp/Packet Red Star Platinum yeast
3 Cups unbleached bread flour
½ Cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. mustard
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Coarse salt, or pretzel salt, for topping
 Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.
 Remove dough from bucket and divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion out to an 18” rope. Lay the three “ropes” parallel to each other and bring the tops together and pinch to seal. Braid the dough and tuck the ends. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a clean towel and let rise till doubled. Brush the loaf with water, then sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes, until golden. Enjoy!!
Adapted from a recipe in "Best Bread Machine Cookbook"



Friday, September 18, 2015

Luscious Little Lemon Twists!!

I love my neighborhood. In the thirty years we've lived here, there have been some changes, but there are also those friends  that seem like "forever folks" - they were here before we arrived and they make up the fabric of the neighborhood. Strong, good-hearted people.....always in the yard or on their front porch......Smiles, handshakes and good stories accompany them........Generosity, compassion and simplicity are their hallmarks. Most of them are in their eighties now, though their immaculate lawns would make you think there are thirty-year-olds in the house! There have been a few losses recently- "Zim's" husband, Bob, who, even a few years ago at age 90, could be found on their roof, brushing the fall leaves off the shingles. (When my husband stopped to ask him what in the world he was doing on the roof, Bob jokingly replied that he couldn't get Zim up there to do it, so someone had to!). They are just "that sort of people" - WONDERFUL!!

Yesterday, we stopped over to drop a few of these little lemon twists off to some of these folks. They invited us in for conversation and we sat down for a few moments, discussing the weather, who's moving into the house next door , the coming renovations to our local park and more. Wilma, who's 84, wistfully stated that she doubted she would be around to see all the changes. Her hubby guffawed and said that he certainly planned to be! Even so, as my hubby and I walked home after the brief visit, her statement reminded me what a privilege it is to have them as part of our community as long as we have. They have been an example and a joy! May each of us be "those folks"  in OUR neighborhoods!!

Make up a recipe of these treats and share them with a neighbor - that's a good start!!
Little Lemon Twists
2/3 cup warmed milk
1 Tbsp/pack Red Star Platinum yeast
¼ Cup sour cream, room temperature
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
3 Cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

½ Cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 Cup sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 tsp. zested lemon peel

1 Cup powdered sugar
1-3 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp. zested lemon peel
 Place warm milk and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled. While waiting, stir together the filling ingredients.
Remove the dough from the bucket and divide in half. Roll each half into a 12x8” rectangle. Divide the filling between the two rectangles and spread evenly across the dough. Fold each rectangle in half lengthwise and pinch edges closed. Cut each into 12 -1”x4” strips. Twist each strip, pulling gently. Place in two lightly-greased 9x5” pans (or one 9x13” pan, with strips “head to head”; You may also just place them individually on a lightly greased baking sheet. You choose!) Cover and let rise until doubled.
Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, until golden. While baking, mix the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Remove the twists from the oven to a wire rack. Let cool briefly. Brush with the fresh lemon glaze and enjoy!
Adapted from a recipe in "The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking"


Friday, September 11, 2015

Salted Double Maple Bacon Bagels!

Well, I'm back to my bagel escapades! I hadn't made bagels or pretzels for over a month, so I was in a kind of withdrawal. I was also in the mood for something savory. And then, on top of these factors, we had several friends from "faraway places" visiting in the neighborhood, so I wanted to bake something a little special for them. The biggest problem was that it's "Street Fair" time here in little 'ol Columbiana, Ohio. Now, that's not really a problem, per se...... The Street Fair is like one gigantic, 3-day, 8-block long community's why everyone was in's wonderful!! The difficult thing is that second to visiting with old friends, the most popular thing to do at the fair is EAT....and EAT.....and EAT!!! It just didn't seem quite appropriate to take my friends MORE food. However, I rationalized that they would want something tasty for breakfast, so I plowed ahead and made these bagels. The recipe made enough for me make deliveries to two friends....and I left one at home for Dave and me to share. When I returned from my tour of the neighborhood, my husband had a desperate look in his eyes. "Where are the rest of these bagels?" he asked anxiously, following with, "These are THE best things you have EVER baked!"  Please understand my husband appreciates my baking, but he's just not the bakery-lover I am - he'd rather have a good steak - LOL! So, this was HIGH praise from my man! Well, guess who was back in the kitchen the next day, baking more bagels.......What we do for love!!

Tell someone you love them with these tasty bagels!

Salted Double Maple Bacon Bagels!
1 pkg./Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 ¼ Cup warm water
3 ½ Cups unbleached bread flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ Cup maple syrup (for dough), plus an additional small amount for basting
6 slices cooked bacon, cut into small pieces – 5 pieces for dough, 1+ piece for topping (or you may use pre-packaged real bacon bits)
 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. water – for egg wash
Coarse salt (pretzel salt, sea salt, etc)

Makes 8 (or 12 smaller bagels)

 Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Remove dough from bucket and divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball then using a floured finger, press a hole in the center of each piece of dough. Stretch the hole a bit to form the bagel shape. (This hole will get smaller when you water bathe it). Place the formed bagels on a greased baking sheet and let rise briefly, 15-30 minutes.  While bagels are rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place 2-4 bagels in the water at a time, depending on the size of your pot, allowing 1 minute per side. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and briefly drain on a paper towel. Replace bagels on baking sheet. Brush each bagel sparingly with maple syrup. Brush each bagel with egg wash. Sprinkle LIGHTLY with coarse salt, then sprinkle with remaining bacon bits. Press the tops lightly to “secure” the bacon in the bagel. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Enjoy!

Visit for more delicious breads
Adapted from a recipe at French Press


Friday, September 4, 2015

Peanut Butter Sweet Rolls !

Early September marks a very bittersweet anniversary for our
household. Ten years ago, my sweet, tenacious, intelligent, loving mother passed away. It was such a strange time - Hurricane Katrina was all over the news, so there wasn't much "good news" to view during her last days; I was battling breast cancer as I cared for her, so I knew that probably made her heart heavy, too. In six weeks time, cancer had taken her from a beautiful, vibrant 73-year old woman to a quiet, bed-ridden soul who was ready to meet her Lord.
We have soooo many memories of this lovely lady - the beautiful soprano voice that would sing a bedtime lullaby to my brother and me at bedtime; the amazing cook who baked up delicious formal dinners every Sunday night; the insightful first grade teacher who influenced so many young lives; the grandma who didn't mind being called "Ooooah", since that's what the grandbabies named her; the talented artisan who reveled in being known as "the antique hooker" (she hooked rugs- LOL!) ; the wise parent who was always had nuggets of gold to share as I raised my own kiddos......she was just quite a lady, all the way around. 
So this week's blog is just a sweet little tribute in memory of my mom....... A sweet roll recipe in memory of a sweet, sweet lady!  I hope you'll savor the sweet things in life this week!
Peanut Butter Sweet Rolls!
1 Tbsp/Packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
¾ Cup milk , warmed (not hot)
1/3 Cup sugar
3 Tbsp. softened butter
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
2 ½ + Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup peanut butter
½ Cup brown sugar
If desired: mini chocolate chips
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. milk
 Place warm milk and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled. Stir together filling ingredients.
Remove dough from the bucket and roll out into a rectangle, about 12x9”. Spread with peanut butter filling ingredients. If desired, sprinkle with chocolate chips or chopped peanuts. Roll up tightly from the long side. Slice into 9 equal-sized rolls and place in a 9” greased round pan. Cover and let rise. (I like to cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig. They will rise overnight and you can bake them in the morning) . When risen, bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Mix the frosting ingredients thoroughly, adding powdered sugar if too thin. Frost rolls while warm. 

Visit for more delicious breads 


Friday, August 28, 2015

Hot Pepper & Cheddar Dinner Rolls!

We had some new friends to dinner last night. Though we are "empty-nesters", we encouraged them to bring their four kids along with them. An hour prior to dinner, I drove my eldest grand-daughter to the fair to enter her crafts in the upcoming competition. On our ride home, we were chatting about the dinner and I invited her to join us in the meal. We called her home to get the "OK" from her mama, who thought Cana had invited herself. After assuring her that Cana did not, we got the go-ahead and proceeded to our house to finish meal preparations. Our company arrived promptly at 6pm, to Cana's delight. She and our other four little guests hit it off immediately. Before the evening ended, we had six children and four adults, enjoying a lovely and busy end-of-summer evening meal on the porch (Cana's sister, Corinne, didn't want to be left out of the festivities!).  You never know what kids will eat and what they won't.......however, there was one thing I was sure of - you can almost be sure that homemade bread will be popular with everyone at the table.
Though this bread had a little "twist", even the kids enjoyed it. Because of the children, you won't see a lot of peppers in the rolls I have pictured above. However, you can fix them "to taste" peppers were only mild-hot, might want  something with a little bit more burn! Feel free to experiment....and enjoy!!

Hot pepper Cheddar Dinner Rolls!
½ Cup, plus 2 Tbsp. (6 oz) warm milk
2 tsp. Red Star Platinum Yeast
2 ¼ Cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 Tbsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped mild to hot fresh peppers
 1 egg, beaten (for brushing tops of rolls)
 Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. If dough is too sticky, add 1-2 Tbsp. flour. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Remove the dough from the bucket and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape into smooth balls. Place in a greased 8” cake pan, 7 rolls on the perimeter and 1 in the center. Cover and let rise till pan is full and rolls are puffy. Brush tops of rolls with beaten egg. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!!



Theme created by PIXELZINE