Wednesday, February 29, 2012

30 Days of Bread: Soft Sandwich Buns

A friend gave me this hamburger bun recipe.  It was a pretty cold day so they didn't rise as high as I would have liked.  The texture and taste were awesome.  I'm definitely making these again!

Soft Sandwich Buns

1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. yeast

Put the above ingredients in your bread machine pan.  Select dough cycle.

When dough cycle is finished, turn dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down.  Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.  Then, divide in half.  Roll each section to 3/4 inch thickness.  Cut rolls with a 3 inch biscuit cutter or glass.  Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheets.  Brush tops with 1 Tbsp. butter, melted.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  (It was really cold in the house when I made these so they were flatter buns)

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until the buns are lightly browned.

Makes 12-14 hamburger sized rolls.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

30 Days of Bread: Honey Whole Wheat Loaf

I've had a few recipes turn out slightly different from the recipe in the past 30 days.  This one didn't rise and had a flat top.  It was edible just slightly denser than our normal bread. 

Honey Whole Wheat Loaf

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large egg
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsps. yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in the order your manufacturer suggests.  Select the Basic White with medium crust setting.  Makes a 1 1/2 lb. loaf.

Monday, February 27, 2012

30 Days of Bread: Cinnamon Rolls and Pizza Rolls

I use my Pizza Crust recipe for my cinnamon and pizza rolls.  I divide the recipe in half, using one half for the cinnamon rolls and one half for pizza rolls.  Two in one!

For cinnamon rolls: 

Make dough according to the pizza crust recipe.  Remove from bread machine and divide in half.  Let dough rest for 20 minutes.  Roll out dough into a rectangle shape roughly 16 x 21 inches ( I really have never measured...just press out the size of a large cookie sheet).

Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Spread butter over dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

Roll up jelly roll style and slice into 12 rolls.  Place in casserole dish. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook rolls until slightly brown and firm.

Meanwhile beat together:      
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Spread on warm rolls and serve!

For pizza rolls:

Spread about 1/2 to 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish. 

Take the other half of dough and roll out to roughly the same size as your cinnamon rolls.  Coat dough with 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce and whatever toppings you like (pepperoni, hamburger, green peppers, olives, mushrooms, cheese, etc.)

Roll up jelly roll style and slice into 12 rolls.

Place rolls into casserole dish and spoon a teaspoon of sauce on top.  Top with cheese and bake until golden brown and firm.

These make your house smell like a pizzeria!

Cooking with Co-op

Our host last Tuesday, set up cooking stations for the kids with each group making an Egyptian recipe.  My group made Egyptian flatbread.  I must admit I have totally underestimated my son's cooking ability.  I need to get that kid making me some flatbread.  Seriously!

The girls all made a soup and a spiced drink.  Tera knows her way around a kitchen, but again, I've underestimated how much she can do-start to finish on her own.  I think I need to look for some recipes and let her cook dinner more often. 

The last group made a fresh veggie salad.  This is like my favorite kind of salad, but since my diagnosis, a very big no-no.  I couldn't resist just a little, though.  It was delicious!


While things were cooking, the kids played some games.

Then, the taste-testing...

In the kid sector, the flatbread was the biggest hit.  I thought everything tasted great.  I loved the soup (even though the onions were off limits for me)...I could probably leave that out and have this again.  I was careful to only have small portions, so nothing bothered me later.  Everyone had a great time and tried something new.  Sounds like a fantastic day to me!

For specific recipes, check out our brave host at The Forest Room.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Easter Garden

We found this nice woven organizer at Lowe's (you could just use a basket or empty plastic container), lined it with plastic.  Put rocks and stryofoam pieces in the bottom for drainage.

Positioned our plants and filled in with dirt.

Then added our empty 4 in. terra cotta pot to symbolize the tomb. The lid has the saying "The Garden of Gethsemane -'The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.' Psalm 145:18"  On the back- Matthew 27:59-60- the Scripture about Jesus being put in the tomb.  You turn the lid around on Good Friday.  Easter Sunday, set the lid to the side to show the empty tomb.  Replace "The Garden" with "He is not Here! He is Risen!"

We added a rock lined sandy path with stepping stones and some moss.  I added a natural wooden cross I found on a hike once. 

Now, our Easter garden sits on the school table to direct our thoughts to prayer and reflection as we journey through this season of Lent!

For more information on Easter gardens, check out the links in my Lent post earlier in the week!

30 Days of Bread: Buttermilk Potato Bread

I love the texture of a potato bread.  The crust is really crunchy, but the inside is so moist.

Buttermilk Potato Bread

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. butter cut up
1 tsp. salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. yeast

Put all ingredients in bread machine, adding potato flakes with liquids.

Use basic white cycle and whatever crust setting you prefer.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

30 Days of Bread: Homemade Tortillas

JP bought me a cast iron tortilla press for Christmas and I just got around to trying it out yesterday.  I used my friend's recipe for tortillas.  I felt they turned out pretty nice, although, I still need more practice pressing them out.  (I know that sounds funny...but it's true)

2 cups flour
~1 tsp of baking powder
dash salt
2 T butter
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. honey

Heat the milk, honey and butter together until butter melts in the microwave or stovetop.

Combine all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.  If using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on low and slowly add the milk, butter and honey mixture.

Allow to mix until a dough ball forms. You may have to add more liquid, if mixture is not coming together.

Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Divide into 10-12 pieces. Cover and let rest for another 10 mintues.

Preheat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat.

Now here's where the directions differ from what I did:  If rolling out by hand:  On a wooden cutting board that is lightly floured roll a tortilla until the desired size is reached....6-8 in diameter. Flip a couple times while rolling to prevent sticking.  I just used my tortilla press, so I skipped these instructions. 

Cook on one side for about a 30-60 sec until bubbles start to form, flip and cook an additional 30 sec on the other side.

Keep the cooked tortillas between towels while the rest are cooking.

Friday, February 24, 2012

30 Days of Bread: Moist Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

Can you tell I love making bread with pumpkin?

Here's another great pumpkin muffin recipe:

Moist Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts or raisins

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour your muffin tins or use paper liners.

Mix together all ingredients except nuts and/or raisins, blend until combined.  Be careful not to overmix.

Stir in nuts/raisins.

Fill muffin tins three fourths of the way full.

Bake for 18 to 20 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan or remove to a wire rack.

Birthday Celebrations

McDonald's for lunch, while Daddy took Tera and Daniel to the archery range.


Our little man!


Michael's little friend and siblings came over on Wednesday for a small Blues Clues party.  We had cupcakes and ice cream.  Blues Clues facepaint, courtesy of Tera; homemade handy dandy notebooks, a tossing game with Pail and Shovel, and, of course, Blues Clues. 

Michael had his check up today.  He's in the 91st percentile for height and 75th for weight...right now he's all pooped out (and asleep on the couch) from this crazy week or parties, friends and doctor's appointments.  I wish I could join him!

In, Out and About

So pooped from all the February festivities

Helping with chores

All chilling out together

Watching a friend play basketball

Having worship on Sunday

Archery practice at a local range

Thursday, February 23, 2012

30 Days of Bread: Bread in the Mixer

I have been looking for a bread that even I could do that did not involve my bread machine.  I looked at a few on the King Arthur website and found this one.  It makes 3 loaves and tastes really good.  The best part is your stand up mixer does all the work. 

Bread in the Mixer

2 cups water
1 can (5 1/3 oz.) evaporated milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil, butter, or vegetable shortening (I used vegetable oil, but will definitely use butter next time)
1/4 cup honey or sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast or 1 tablespoon instant yeast
7 to 8 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Here are the mixer instructions:

Dissolve the yeast and sugar or honey in lukewarm liquid (water/milk) in the bowl of your mixer, then add the flour, oil or margarine, and salt. Mix on low speed until ingredients are thoroughly combined. If you have a separate dough hook, attach it and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes at one speed faster than your machine’s lowest speed. The dough will appear sticky at first, but will become more firm as it kneads. After 5 minutes, if it appears too sticky to work with, add more flour gradually, giving the machine at least a minute between each addition to absorb the flour.
Then the regular rising and baking instructions:

Round the dough into a smooth ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning over to grease the entire surface. Cover the bowl with a towel and set in a warm place. Let dough rise 1-1 1/2 hours or until double in bulk.

After it's doubled in size:  Punch down into the bowl with your fist to break up gas pockets. Divide the dough into six pieces. Next, form each piece into a round ball and place two, side by side, in each of the greased bread tins.

Cover lightly and let them rise in a warm place until they've doubled in bulk. Be sure not to let the dough rise more than double, for it can cause the loaf to fall or "flatten out" while baking.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 35 minutes with pans apart. To make sure bread is done, remove a loaf from the pan and tap the bottom with your fingertips. If it sounds hollow, it's done.

Remove the bread from the pans immediately and place on cooling racks. Since this makes 3 loaves, you can freeze one or two loaves in plastic bags.

This is an awesome bread recipe!  You can't beat one recipe that gives you three loaves.  Don't let the long directions keep you from trying this recipe.


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