Thursday, May 26, 2016

Under-An-Hour, Over-The-Top Soft Burger Buns!

All the newspaper advertisements are telling me that summer will be officially starting this weekend - Grills, summer clothing and lawn chair sales shout, "Let the picnics and outdoor parties begin!"  I must admit that I'm really looking forward to this season.  I also love the traditions that accompany its entrance. 

In our little city, the annual Memorial Day parade is the shortest of all the summer parades, but it is still well-attended. I'm privileged to say that our community is one that gives high honors to our vets and is very respectful of and grateful for the freedoms that so many sacrificed so much for. Memorial Day morning starts with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the local fire department. One can't linger too long over breakfast, as the parade begins at 10 am. Aging vets lead the parade, solemnly carrying the American flag as spectators place right hands over their hearts. They are followed by convertibles carrying a variety of city leaders, who are tailed by a well-maintained collection of WWII vehicles (my grandson particularly enjoys this portion of the parade!) . The Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls then march by, waving at their friends and neighbors. The parade usually ends up with an entourage of kids who have decorated their bicycles in patriotic fashion. The bulk of onlookers then head to the Firestone cemetery where there is a short service which includes a 21-gun salute and taps to honor past and present vets. As the service ends, folks greet one another briefly, then scurry off to enjoy their picnics and yard work! It is only an hour or two out of one day, but that morning helps to keep the future in perspective. Let us never forget to take time to remember.....

As you prepare to celebrate this Memorial Day....and the intro to's a wonderful, super-speedy recipe for some buns to accompany those burgers you'll be grilling up in the next few months. Enjoy!! 

Under-an-Hour, Over-the-Top Soft Burger Buns!

2 Tbsp./packets Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 1/8 Cup warm water
¼ Cup sugar
1/3 Cup olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
3 ½ Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 egg yolk beaten with 2 Tbsp. milk
Seed Mixture: 1 tsp. sesame seeds; 1 tsp. flax seeds; 1 tsp. poppy seeds; 1 tsp. chia seeds (You may substitute your own choice of seeds or simply use one type of seed – this is the mixture you see in my photo)

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, until all ingredients are incorporated – the dough will be slightly sticky. Lightly flour a surface. Remove the dough from the bucket and place on floured surface. “Turn” or knead the dough a couple of times to smooth it. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (You may divide it into 8 pieces if you want larger buns). Shape each piece into a smooth ball (Lightly flour a surface, cup your hand over the dough and make small, circular motions – the dough will smooth) . Place buns on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel for 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 F.

Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg wash. Mix the seeds together and sprinkle carefully over the rolls. Bake at 425 for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a baking rack to cool. Enjoy!

Adapted from a recipe at Taste of Home 
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Easy Overnight Loaded Bread!

There's been a lot of "stir" for a few years over the no-knead bread technique. It is a wonderful thing, as it is super easy and bakes up some very nice bread. Some folks who ask me about EZ DOH tell me that they do the no-knead method, so they don't need (there's a pun here....) an EZ DOH machine. I have to tell them that I beg to differ! An EZ DOH makes those breads even easier to create! The hardest part about making these breads....for me..... is the thinking ahead! They do take just a bit of planning. BUT, there's a big pay-off - a finished product that is super-crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy on the inside. Oh, and one other should have some sort of ceramic baker. You don't have to spend the big bucks for one.....I see them all the time at flea markets and garage sales for very reasonable prices! So, next time you see one, hand over the $5 or $10 bill and make the purchase. Then go home and make this super-tasty, super-crunchy bread! You'll be glad you did! 

Easy Overnight “Loaded” Bread
(Note: this loaf should be baked in a ceramic baker)

3 ¼ Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 Cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 ¾ Cup cool water
1 Cup dried fruit (I used ½ Cup raisins/ ½ Cup cranberries)
1 Cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used ½ Cup pecans / ½ Cup pepitas)

Place all ingredients in the EZ DOH bucket and crank until everything is well-mixed. Remove the hook mechanism and cover the bucket with plastic wrap (I cover mine with a dinner plate…) . Let it sit on your counter at room temperature at least 8 hours or overnight. Pull the dough out of the bucket onto a lightly floured countertop. Gently form into the loaf shape you desire (round, long loaf…) . Place in a stoneware baker and cover for 2 hours, until slightly risen.  Place covered stoneware with bread in it in a cold oven. Set oven temp for 450 and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the top cover and continue to bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove bread from oven. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy! 

Adapted from a recipe at - Try their flours and other recipes! 


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Chelsea Buns!

I heard a lovely little story on the radio the other day about a man who lived in a beautiful little cottage in England, along with his wife and children. To anyone looking in, this man's life seemed idyllic. However, he was never at peace. Though his wife and children often took time to stroll in the lush green fields around them, the restless man never felt there was time for such pleasantries.....he would look about the cottage and its grounds and always see something that needed tending to. One day,out of a mad sort of desperation, the man fled his home and family in search of the peace he so anxiously longed for. He traveled far and wide throughout the country, never finding respite, doggedly seeking a place of perfect rest. After many long, wearisome days and nights, not even sure where he was, the man climbed atop a hill. Looking down into the valley, he spotted a stunningly beautiful little cottage surrounded by emerald green fields. "Ahhh!" he said to himself, "Surely this is it!" As he descended the hill and approached the cottage, he was stopped in his tracks by the sudden realization that this perfect place of rest was the home he fled so many days ago! 

This little story spoke to me. It reminded me, once again (how many times must I be reminded?!) to slow down, rest and enjoy the simple gifts that are around me! May we all have eyes to see! 

The recipe today is also from England. Chelsea buns originated in the 1700's in Chelsea, England. They are a lovely, dense, cake-like treat studded with raisins ( the original buns were filled with currants).You will be proud to serve them to your guests! Enjoy! 

Chelsea Buns

½ Cup warm milk
1 pkg/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum Yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ Cup butter, softened
½ tsp. salt
2 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

½ Cup raisins
1 ½ Tbsp. rum (or water with a tsp. of rum extract)

¼ Cup sugar
¼ Cup ground almonds
1 tsp. cinnamon
½  tsp. dried lemon rind

2 Tbsp. softened butter

1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 ½ tsp. water

2 Tbsp. apricot jam

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 dough is rising, mix the raisins and rum together (you may warm them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds). Mix sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

When dough is risen, punch down and ,on a floured surface, roll out to an 16 x 8” rectangle. Spread the rectangle with the 2 Tbsp. butter. Spread the sugar mixture over the dough. Drain the raisins, then spread them over the sugar mix. Cut the dough into 8- 2” wide strips. Roll each strip up and place in a greased muffin tin (or paper-lined). Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.
Brush the rolls with the egg yolk. Bake in a 425 oven for 20 minutes, until golden. Warm the apricot jam in the microwave and brush on top of the warm rolls. Enjoy!! 

Adapted from a recipe at
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