Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"You'll Never Know there's Zucchini" Cinnamon Rolls!

Before baking! 
For those who noticed, I failed to send out a recipe last week......and I'll bet you know why! Yes, our 5th grandchild came into the world, so we were quite busy with the fam! With all the hubbub, we barely noticed the days going by, but as I sit down to write, I can hardly believe it's August 31 and summer is almost finished! I know it'll be October or November before the farm markets close, but the calendar makes me want to rush out NOW and buy up produce! I did finally get my spiced tomato jam done and five dozen ears of corn frozen last week ...... and every time I was at the market, I'd buy a zucchini. No specific ideas in mind for them, though, so they got to the point where they HAD to be used up! I also needed to take sweet rolls to an event, so I decided to try this zucchini cinnamon roll recipe. After all, who had to know there was zucchini in the recipe? And I got to be thrifty and use up my veggies! In the end, these goodies got rave reviews.......I think you'll rave about them, too! (Don't worry- the green flecks you see in the above pic disappear in the baking process - no one will know!) 

Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls!

1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
½ Cup milk, warmed
1 egg
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1 ½ Cup shredded zucchini, drained and pressed in a paper towel to remove excess liquid
½ tsp. salt
3-3 ¾ Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

4 Tbsp. butter, softened
¾ Cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. flour

2 oz. cream cheese, softened
¾-1 Cup powdered sugar
1 -2 Tbsp. milk

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, adding additional flour if dough is too sticky. 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 filling ingredients.

Remove dough from the bucket and roll into a large rectangle, approximately 11x19 . Spread filling onto rectangle and roll up from the long side, cinnamon-roll style. Slice into 12-15 equal slices and place rolls into a greased 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven. Cool slightly. Mix icing ingredients and spread over the warm rolls. Enjoy! 

Recipe adapted from "" 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Caprese Pull-Apart Bread!

Ahh, the fading days of summer......  I'm trying to squeeze in all the things that haven't gotten done yet - freezing the always-delicious Ohio sweet corn; making the old-fashioned tomato jam that I soooo love; prepping a few more batches of fresh peaches for the freezer....the list goes on! On top of the "wanna-do's" are the "MUST do's" - we've got a new grandgirly due next week (this will make child #3 for our son and daughter-in-law!) This couple is also in the middle of selling a house and remodeling and moving into a new home, so we've been very busy assisting them in any way we can - ie: babysitting their boys, painting walls, cleaning, etc! Whew! In the midst of life's craziness, we celebrate the simplicity and the beauty this season brings- garden's bounty; warm, quiet summer evenings; the daily hum of the cicadas in the trees...... All of this will soon give way to the arrival of fall, with its blessings. 

This recipe just shouts of its beauty and in its deliciousness! Fresh red tomatoes, lovely green basil, savory garlic.......  Another wonderful thing about it is that its a one-rise bread! So you'll spend less time in the kitchen AND you'll get to nibble at it sooner! Enjoy this taste of summer! 

Summer Caprese Pull-Apart Bread!

1 pkg/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum Yeast
½ Cup warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 ½-2 ¾ unbleached bread flour
½ Cup milk, warmed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 ¼ salt

A handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ Cup mozzarella cheese (I used shredded – you could cube it)
2 tomatoes (preferably Roma; You could just use the “meat” of a regular tomato-that’s what I had on hand J )
¼ Cup olive oil
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt

Place warm water, sugar and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 5 minutes. 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. (Traditional first rise is not necessary in this recipe)

In a small bowl, combine the ¼ cup of olive oil, chopped basil and garlic. Divide dough into 36 small pieces. Grease a 9x5” bread pan ( I used one 7 ¼”x 3 ½” pan and a smaller 5 ½”x 3” pan – that way I have some to give away J ) . Dip the dough balls into the oil mixture and begin to fill the pan(s). Sprinkle  the mozzarella and some of the chopped tomatoes, then begin another layer and top with some tomato. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf pans you have chosen. Bake until golden. Remove from pan, place on wire rack and brush with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt. Add a few extra fresh chopped tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, if you wish. Now, TASTE SUMMER!! 

Recipe adapted from Gather for Bread 
See more great bread creations at:


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Irish Oatmeal Bread!

There's so much happening this summer!! Among the Perkins' clan, we've got a lot of wonderful things going on........A baby due in a couple of weeks; A new house for my son's family; A house to sell (for my son's family); A bus trip to Greenfield Village; A baby shower to prep for my youngest daughter; Sunday school renovations at the church.......busy, busy, busy! But it all makes for a "wonder-FULL" summer season! It's a privilege to be this type of busy! 

Another wonder-FULL thing about the summer is all the fresh veggies and fruit - I just can't get enough! And fortunately, we live near several seasonal produce markets! The other night, I was really hungry for "summer stuff" - a lovely salad, corn-on-the-cob, chicken on the grill......  I also wanted a slice of fresh, substantial bread! Fortunately, I had prepared ahead - earlier in the week I had purchased some steel-cut oats and had made some oatmeal (I had come across this recipe and knew I wanted to try it...), so I stirred this up and it did not disappoint me! The texture, the was all a perfect fit with a summer meal! 

I hope you're enjoying a WONDER-full summer also! May this loaf make it even lovelier! 

Irish Oatmeal Bread!

1 packet/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
½ Cup warm water
¼ Cup warmed milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1 egg
¾ Cup prepared steel-cut “Irish” oatmeal
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar (sweeten to your taste)
1 tsp. salt
3 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

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.

Deflate dough and remove from bucket. Roll into a rectangle, roll up jelly-roll fashion, pinch seam, tuck ends under and place in a greased 9x5” loaf pan. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise until loaf has risen well over the lip of the pan. Preheat oven to 350. Uncover and place loaf in preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before slicing.  


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Design-Your-Own Ten-Grain Loaf!

This week I promised you a bread that you would not have to boil in water - haha! Wouldn't you know, for our Sunday gathering last weekend, I made these delicious cinnamon-raisin mini-bagels with a streusel topping!! They were REALLY good (then again, I'm a bagel/pretzel-a-holic!), BUT....I'm keeping my promise. That recipe can wait for another week. 

Instead, I'm sharing another "family and friend favorite". This is one I don't make often, but really should. It's one of those recipes you have to think about the night before, which is sometimes difficult. The recipe itself is NOT difficult! And.... there's a HUGE payoff. This bread is fabulous. When I do get around to making it, I'm always asked for the recipe. If you're someone who enjoys a lot of "stuff " in your bread, this one is for you. If you're someone who enjoys an amazing piece of toast, this one is for you.  If you're someone who likes to take a little bit of "creative license", this one is for you. In other words, I'm guessing this recipe is for A LOT of you!! ENJOY!! 

Design-Your-Own Ten-Grain Loaf

2/3 Cup unbleached bread flour
¼ tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 ½ tsp. honey
¾ Cup warm water

Flour Mix:
1 ¼ Cup unbleached bread flour
¾ tsp. Red Star Platinum instant yeast
Optional: 4 tsp. wheat gluten

Grain Mix:
10 Tbsp. seeds/grains –
(Suggestions are: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, barley flakes, flax, millet, steel-cut oats, cracked wheat, poppy seeds, sesame seeds)
 ½ Cup, minus 1 Tbsp. hot water
1 ¼ tsp. salt

In the EZ DOH bucket, whisk together the starter ingredients. Whisk until extremely smooth- it should be like a batter. Cover and set aside. In another bowl, stir together the Flour Mix. Lightly spoon this mixture on top of the starter, covering it completely. Cover the bucket with a plate or plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Move the bucket to the frig for an 8-24 hour cool rise.  Mix 10 Tbsp. of seeds/grains in a small bowl, along with the salt and pour hot water over all. Stir well. Cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the bread.

About 4 hours before your meal, remove the bucket from the frig. Place hook on bucket and mix the contents well. Rest for 15 minutes. Add the seed/grain mixture (including the liquid) and EZ DOH-it until all ingredients are well-mixed. If the dough is too sticky, add a little additional flour. Remove the dough from the bucket, “smooth” the dough (or give it a few quick hand-kneadings on your counter), spray the bucket with cooking spray and return dough to the bucket. Let rise until doubled. Pull the dough out, fold the dough over itself a few times on the counter, place it back in the greased bucket and let rise again.

Remove the dough from the bucket and roll out into a rectangle. Roll up lengthwise and pinch the seam. Place on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes. Heat oven to 425. (If you wish, you may place a pan on the lower rack while the oven is heating. When you’re ready to bake, carefully throw some ice cubes in the preheated pan. SIZZLE!!  Slash your bread 2-3 times with a sharp knife. Place your bread in the oven, throw in your ice cubes and close the door for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Let the bread cool completely before cutting.

Recipe adapted from "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum 


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