Tag Archives: Flour

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

11 Oct

I asked my husband to make this Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe that I found online, and was so excited when he finally did! When I took a few pictures of it, he asked, “Are you going to put it on your blog?” I said, “Of course!” And he added, “Well, I better give you the recipe then.” I was slightly confused, considering the fact that I was the one that gave him the recipe…or so I thought. He’s been obsessed with making the perfect loaf of bread lately, and it’s a good thing I decided to add this recipe to the blog because, apparently, he made up his own and the only place it resides is in his head. A sudden case of amnesia, and this piece of cinnamon-swirl, gooey goodness could have been lost to us forever. That would have been a real tragedy! That and the loss of my husband’s mind…I’d miss that too.

 

 

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Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups warm water

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp yeast

1 tsp salt

butter – room temperature

cinnamon/sugar (about a 3:1 ratio, ex: 4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar)

In a smaller bowl, mix warm water and sugar. Add yeast and allow it to proof. Sift together flour and salt, then add yeast mixture. Knead together until dough pulls away from your fingers – a little sticky still and not too dense. Cover the dough and let rise to double in size. Roll out dough to 1/2″ inch thick rectangle and spread a layer of softened butter over surface (the thicker the butter, the more pronounced the marbling in your loaf). Sprinkle the butter layer with a generous coating of cinnamon/sugar mixture. Fold the dough in thirds long-ways, then fold in thirds again from the opposite sides, forming a loaf. Place in greased bread pan and bake at 350^F for 20 minutes. When bread is done baking, remove from oven and brush top crust with butter. Best when served warm!

*You can use regular flour, but bread flour allows your loaf to rise and hold it’s shape better. Our all-purpose flour loaves always turn out much more dense.

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Pumpkin Cake-Donuts

7 Oct

I’ve got to work on my donut skills a little. I’ve decided that I’m much better at making donut holes than donuts – the smaller size is easier to cook through without burning the outside. Any suggestions on how to keep your oil at a consistent temperature while you cook? None the less, these turned out pretty tasty. We made them for end-of-the-season treats for my daughter’s soccer team, and kids don’t care if treats are beautiful, so they were the perfect audience for my first batch. Like I said…I need a little work on my skills. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

For the doughnuts:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying

For the cinnamon-sugar:
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the spiced glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
2 tbsp. milk

DIRECTIONS

  • To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter and beat until well blended.  Stir in the egg, then the egg yolks, and then the vanilla until incorporated.  Combine the buttermilk and pumpkin in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Once the dough is mixed, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or until firm.  (The dough still seemed quite soft so we did an additional 30 minute chill in the freezer.)  
  • On a well-floured work surface, roll or pat out the dough to a ½-inch thick round.  Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour.  Using a 2½ to 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough.  Use a smaller cutter (or a wide pastry tip) to cut a hole out of the center.  Reroll and cut the dough scraps as necessary.
  • Add oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven to a depth of about 2-3 inches.  Attach a thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the oil to 365-370˚ F.  Add the rings of dough to the hot oil so that they are in a single layer and not touching.  Fry, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and doughnuts are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes total.  Use a skimmer/strainer to remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined rack.  Bring the oil temperature back up to the target range before repeating with the next batch of doughnuts.  Use the same process for the doughnut holes, frying for a shorter time.
  • To make the cinnamon-sugar, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and whisk to blend.  When the doughnuts are just cool enough to handle, dip half of them in the cinnamon-sugar to coat completely, shaking off the excess.
  • To make the spiced glaze, combine the powdered sugar and spices in a small bowl.  Add the milk and whisk to combine, until a thick glaze is formed.  If necessary, add a bit more milk to thin the glaze out.  Dip the remaining half of the doughnuts in the glaze.  Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Best-Ever Muffins

10 Sep

Today was a day of miracles. Miracle 1: Our car lives! Turns out a wire – a very important wire apparently – had been broken. New alternator, new wire = working car. Huzzah. Miracle 2: My baby took a nap. A real, honest-to-goodness nap. Not 5 minutes, not 2 second, but 3 hours. I got the kitchen cleaned, the floor swept, mopped and vacuumed. Miracle 3: For the first time ever, my 2 year old pooped in the potty. It took a couple of hours of, “Mom, I have to go potty…actually, I’m ok” – pretty much every five minutes. I didn’t think she’d do it. I was so sure it would end up in her panties. And then I heard a little voice from the downstairs bathroom while I fed the baby, “Mom, I’m going to do it myself. I’m going to go poo….Mom! I did it!” I had to check of course and I was so ridiculously proud. It made the six other pee accidents I had to clean up throughout the day totally worth it.

Miracle 4 didn’t even happen to me, but to my sister. They have been in desperate need of a second car for quite some time, but having school loans to pay off, they have been making do and pinching pennies so that they can get their debts taken care of first. With three kids and a pilot husband who sometimes comes home from flights at odd hours, you can imagine that pick ups and drop offs aren’t always convenient or easy for the little ones.. I was just talking to her this morning about how much she would love to have a van, but how impossible that dream seemed. And then my parents came by for dinner tonight and said that my sister’s husband had gotten a call – “Someone has anonymously donated money towards a car for you – a van. The keys are here for you, please come and sign the paperwork and take it home.” My jaw dropped. I don’t think my sister has stopped crying yet. She thought it was my parents, but they were just as surprised to hear the news. We literally have no idea who it was! There are so many things that happen in this world that are terrible and scary, but then someone goes and does something like this, and my faith in humanity is restored. There are wonderful people in this world! Whoever you are – thank you for your generosity. It couldn’t have gone to someone more deserving. I made you some muffins, but since I don’t know who you are, my kids ate them in honor of you. 🙂 I hope they grow up to be as kind.

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup oil

Combine dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Combine egg, milk, and oil; add all at once to dry mixture. Stir until moistened. Fill well greased or paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 400^F for 20-25 min.

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Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

28 Jun

I got this recipe in the mail from the mortgage company that we got our very first home loan through – have I mentioned that we changed mortgage companies almost seven years ago and I am still on their mailing list? I’m grateful regardless, because gems like this one pop up here and there. Plus, we get free tickets to the local water park every year for ‘customer appreciation day’ – is it dishonest of us to still go? 🙂 You can go the lazy route (I’m all about lazy…no judging here!) and use the pre-made biscuits, or a biscuit mix. Most of the time I don’t pre-plan my meals (so wish I had the self discipline to do that!), so I don’t usually have either of those stocked in my kitchen. Luckily, homemade biscuits are pretty easy, if a little messy, and require very basic ingredients. So, you can always make your own in a pinch!

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Creamed Chicken:

4 cups shredded, cooked chicken (can use canned)

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350^F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish. Combine chicken, soup, sour cream, and milk in a medium bowl and mix well. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Bake for 15 min (this is a good time to prepare your biscuits if you are making your own). Remove from over. Sprinkle baked layer with 3/4 cup cheese. Arrange uncooked biscuits in a single layer over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and the sauce is bubbly – about 20 min longer.

Buttermilk Biscuits:

1 3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup bread flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk

Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl (I don’t usually have bread flour, so I will use regular all purpose for both the 1 3/4 cup and 1/3 cup). Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk all at once and stir just until dough forms a ball – it works best if you mix with your hands. Pat or roll 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into rounds. If baking separate from recipe above: bake on a greased baking sheet for 15-20 min at 425^F until golden brown and flaky.

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

27 Jun

So, I have 2 confessions to make:

1. I love cinnamon rolls

2. I am an epic failure at making cinnamon rolls

When I was about 12, my grandma had me come over to her house for a bread making tutorial. She spent hours with me teaching me what temperature to keep the water at to activate but not kill the yeast, how to roll out the dough and get rid of air bubbles, the best conditions for rising bread…the result? She declared me the worst bread maker she had ever had the pleasure of teaching. That hasn’t stopped me from continuing my efforts, however :). About 1 in 10 tries I get it right. This wasn’t one of those. But I did like the recipe – even though my dough didn’t rise (I blame the yeast…something has to be wrong with it) the dough was still soft and easy to work with. The rolls didn’t even get close to doubling in size, but they looked pretty enough and tasted even better. I just had a baby and am homebound for a bit, which means I make things that aren’t really all that conducive to shrinking my post-baby-belly. This was my effort to make cinnamon rolls into a healthy treat. If you add fruit, that makes it good for you, right? 😉

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Ingredients for the dough:
1 cup milk
⅔ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Ingredients for the filling:
2 tablespoons softened butter
10-ounces frozen berries, not thawed Use any type of berries you like. We love blueberry and raspberry. I used the tiny wild blueberries for the rolls in the photo.
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Ingredients for the glaze: 
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ tablespoons half and half or whole milkDirections for the dough:
1. Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove top over moderately low heat until it reaches 110-115°F. Remove from heat and pour the warm milk into the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir in the sugar and yeast. Let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.2. Add the softened butter, eggs, grated lemon zest and sea salt. Add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 10 minutes longer.3. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands 2 or 3 times. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly buttered bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

4. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or two 9-inch baking pans.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll it into a 10-by-24-inch rectangle. In a medium bowl, toss the frozen raspberries with the sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Spread the softened butter over the dough, then scatter the raspberry mixture evenly over the dough.

6. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 24-inch-long log. Working quickly, cut the log into quarters. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them in the baking pan(s), cut sides up. Scrape any berries and juice from the work surface into the baking pan between the rolls.

7. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy and have filled the baking pan, about 2 hours.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the berries are bubbling. Cover with foil if browning too fast.

9. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.

10. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the butter and half and half (or milk) until the glaze is thick and spreadable. Invert the rolls onto the rack, then invert the rolls again onto a platter. Drizzle glaze over rolls and spread with an offset spatula, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes:

~ To make ahead, prepare the recipe through Step 7. Cover the rolls, refrigerate overnight and then return to room temperature before baking.
~ For variation the sweet rolls can be filled with a variety of frozen fruit. Try blackberries, strawberries, blueberries or chopped sweet cherries.