Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Russian Rose!

For the past few weeks, I have been busy helping to plan a baby
shower with my oldest daughter and daughter-in-law. My youngest daughter, Hope, is scheduled to deliver little Gwyneth Kate on New Year's Day (We laugh about the date - Hope has spent four out of their six anniversaries- Jan. 2- in the hospital.....and it looks like that will hold true again this year!) . This is an event we have all been waiting for for quite a while.  For Hope and Brian, the road to starting a family has been a lengthy and rough one, with many obstacles. So it is with sweet anticipation that we await this little one!

Now to a recipe.......On a different scale of "sweet waiting",  I know some of you have probably been waiting for me to post a sweet bread recipe!  It's been a while! However, this beautiful, delicious bread is definitely worth your wait! With a tender, but not too sweet, dough, this multi-layered cinnamon sweetie almost melts in your mouth. What more can I say? Just "DELISH!!" 

Russian Rose!

1 ¼ Cup warm water
1 Tbsp./ packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
¼ Cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
4 Cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

½ Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/3 Cup butter, softened

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.

Roll dough out on a floured surface to a large rectangle. Spread the softened butter on the rolled dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the butter. Starting with the long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly. Pinch the seam. With a sharp knife, cut the rolled log in half down the length of the roll. (This will be messy!!) . Turn each half-log so that the filling faces out. Join the top of the half-logs and carefully cross them over one another, continuing to the end of the half-logs. Pinch the top and end of the log. Now curl the twisted logs into a “snail-shape”  - start with one end and continue to wrap the dough around the center – this will form the “rose”.  Place the formed loaf into a greased 10” springform pan. Cover and let rise until doubled (I put mine in the frig to rise overnight – it made a delicious morning treat!).  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then decrease the oven temp to 350 and continue to bake for 30-40 minutes, until it is deep brown on the top.  Remove from oven and cool briefly. Remove the exterior of the springform pan and let cool 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and ENJOY!!!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Durum Sesame Loaf!

Thank you for your forgiveness and your patience!

I hope you'll forgive me........this bread is very similar to last week's loaf, but that's just where I am right now. Something tells me once you've made and tasted this bread, I won't need to ask for your forgiveness!! 

A little story about this loaf....I was looking for something to make for my card club friends. The host was serving Italian, so I was assigned to bring bread that would be an appropriate compliment to that. I discovered this recipe- It intrigued me for three reasons: 1. I had durum flour on hand that needed to be used up and 2. Its cornstarch wash was a technique I had never tried before and 3. It looked easy (I was feeling lazy!!). I quickly mixed it up the evening prior to card club and headed to bed. The next day I realized I had fresh tomatoes and fresh basil on hand that needed to be used up, so I changed my plans and mixed up the caprese bread (FIND THIS RECIPE on my site - It's amazing!). I had taken the durum dough out of the frig earlier in the day, so I prayed it would forgive me and I threw it back in the frig. Two days later, I decided to serve soup for supper and, of course, you need fresh bread when serving soup. With some hesitancy, I took the dough out of the frig again. I formed it and was letting it rise when I got a phone call and had to run to an appointment. The rising loaf got thrown once more into the frig. Upon arriving home, I FINALLY put the loaf, with many doubts, into the oven. To my surprise, it turned out beautifully!! In the words of Brinna Sands, a past owner of King Arthur Flour, "bread dough is very forgiving."  Forgiveness is, in more than one way, a VERY good thing! 

 Durum Sesame Loaf!

1 ½ Cup warm water
-1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast (slightly less than a tablespoon or packet)
1 tsp. salt
1 Cup durum flour
2 1/8 Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

For dusting pan:
½ Tbsp. cornmeal

For topping:
¼ tsp. cornstarch
¼ Cup water
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Parchment baking paper
½ Cup hot water

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. Cover the bucket and let the dough rise for two hours at room temperature.  Place everything in the frig until you’re ready to use it (up to two weeks – I left mine in the frig for two days. The original recipe also states that the dough can be used immediately after the two-hour rise also).

When you’re ready to bake, remove the bucket & dough from the frig. Flour a surface and, using a spatula, scrape the dough onto the floured surface. With floured or “sprayed” hands (spray with a bit of cooking spray), shape the dough into an oval shape. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Carefully place the loaf on the sheet. (I trimmed the parchment very close to the loaf – I’m sorry, but I’m still paranoid about putting paper in a very hot oven- lol!!  ) Let rise for 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, preheat your oven to 450, placing a pan under the cooking rack (you will be pouring hot water into this pan to create steam) . Preheat oven for 20 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water to create a bit of a paste. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup of water and microwave for one minute, then stir. Gently brush the bread with this mixture, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Place the bread in the oven. Pour ½ cup of hot water carefully but quickly into the “steam pan”. Shut the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bread is golden. Remove from oven and ENJOY!!! 

This bread is worth the investment of the durum flour (I found it at our local bulk food store). You will use it up fast, as this loaf is one you'll want to make again and again. 

Recipe adapted from


Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Quick and Crusty Loaf!

On this cloudy afternoon, a chilly wind is blowing, bringing with it a drizzle of rain.....not a great day to be outside. However, it does make a great day to bake! Tonight I'm planning soup and bread for supper - not my hubby's favorite meal, as he is a "meat-and-potatoes" kind of guy. However, when this type of weather hits, he has conceded to having this type of meal once a week. Knowing that he is not a soup fan, I'm not experimenting tonight with a new recipe - I'm serving one of his favorites, so there shouldn't be any complaints! Especially if I'm pairing it with this wonderful, airy, easy-to-make & bake bread! I served this bread for the first time last week when we were entertaining friends. Mike and Marge couldn't get enough of it!  Fortunately, there were a few slices left over for toast the next crispy and full of flavor! I'm confident you'll love it too! 

A Quick and Crusty Loaf!
1 ¼ tsp. Red Star Platinum Yeast
3 ½ Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 ½ Cups warm water
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt

Combine water and yeast in the EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Add honey, flour and salt and EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes. The dough will be sticky and not very smooth. Remove the hook and cover the bucket. Let the dough rise until doubled.

Preheat your oven to 430. Flour your work surface well and scrape dough onto the work area. Using your hands or a bench knife, gently push/form the dough into a loaf (I made one loaf – the original recipe suggested making three smaller loaves…’s up to you J ) Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle some flour on the sheet. Moving quickly, lift the loaf onto the baking sheet. Place the sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy while warm! (This recipe makes amazing toast. Do be warned, though, it does not keep well- plan to use it up within a day or two)

Original recipe from  


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Old Fashioned Potato Rolls!

I called my brother today to wish him a happy birthday.....59 big ones! He owns his own business, so he labels this day "Founder's Day" on his calendar and celebrates it as a holiday (Don't you love this idea?)  I hated to think I was interrupting his celebration, but he assured me I had only interrupted his cleaning of their cats' litter boxes and other routine tasks (Nancy, his wife, was travelling , so Carl was holding down the fort until her return) . Our conversation turned to the "routine" things in life and we began to reflect on the blessing of finding happiness in simple things. He stated that didn't resent spending his "big day" in this rather un-celebratory fashion. On the contrary, he was reveling that he could find contentment and pleasure in his "every day" life. After a half-hour conversation, we ended by agreeing that each of our lives are fairly simple, incredibly blessed and that we couldn't be too much happier.  

With that old-fashioned sentiment, I send along an old-fashioned recipe. These potato rolls were birthed from a "waste not - want not" old-time philosophy.....that even that simple half-cup of leftover "mashed tateys" in the frig are a blessing that should not be wasted. This recipe puts those "tateys" to GREAT use......these rolls are light, fluffy and tremendous!! 

Old-Fashioned Potato Rolls!

1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
¼ Cup warm water
1 Cup milk, HOT
½ Cup leftover mashed potatoes
¼ Cup shortening
¼ Cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in the water in the EZ DOH bucket. In a separate bowl, pour the milk and add the shortening, potatoes,  sugar and the salt. Stir until the shortening is almost melted. Pour mixture into EZ DOH bucket along with the egg. Add the flour and EZ DOH-it until all ingredients are incorporated and dough is smooth (you may need to add a little additional flour, but don’t add much – you want to keep the dough light!) . Remove dough from the bucket, spray the bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” the dough by giving a couple of quick kneads on the counter and return it to the bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Remove dough from bucket and divide into 12-24 equal pieces (I needed smaller rolls – this recipe made 24 perfect slider-sized buns!). Shape into rolls. Place in a 9x13” baking pan. Cover lightly and let rise until the rolls have risen and the pan looks “full”.  Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, until golden.  Brush the tops with butter. ENJOY! 

Adapted from an All-recipes recipe


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