Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bread - the Staff of Life!

Mmmmm, who can resist the smell of fresh baked bread or rolls? Doesn't your mouth water just thinking about biting into a cinnamon roll still warm from the oven with the icing juuuuuust beginning to melt? Well, have I got some recipes for YOU!

Here's our family's favorite white bread recipe. It's soft on the inside and a mixture of chewy/crispy for the crust. You can make it in the bread machine, a large stand mixer with a dough hook or even by hand:

Rice Bread:
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp.) vegetable or canola oil
Put these two ingredients in a 2 cup measuring cup and add enough warm water to make 1 1/2 c. Dump into bread machine pan or mixing bowl.
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (I've used all purpose or whole wheat, even a mix of both)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast.
If using a bread machine, set to desired setting and start. I prefer to use the dough cycle then take the dough out and form a loaf, let rise in my bread pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
If using a stand mixer, add the flour last, cup by cup. If mixing by hand I will also add the flour at the last and then knead for 6 to 8 minutes before letting it rise, covered, in a greased bowl. Form into a loaf, let rise in bread pan and bake 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.

I've also used this recipe to make dough for burger buns. Divide dough into 12 parts and form into balls, place in greased 9 x 13 pan to let rise. Bake at 350 for 20 to 22 minutes.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkt) active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
In a mixing bowl combine whole wheat flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk, water and butter to 120 - 130 degrees (very warm). Add to flour mixture. Beat in egg. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then 1 minute on medium speed. Gradually stir in enough all purpose flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 - 8 minutes. (Sorry, I prefer to let my bread machine or KitchenAid do all the mixing & kneading for me) Place in a greased bowl and let rise, covered, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled. Punch down, shape into 9 to 12 balls and place in greased 9 inch square pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, cover the rolls with foil during the last 5 minutes to prevent extra browning. Remove from oven and pan, let cool on wire rack.

Oat Dinner Rolls
  • 2 1/3 c. water, divided
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 pkg (4 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 5 to 5 3/4 c. all purpose flour
In saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in oatmeal, reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar, butter, salt and remaining water. Transfer to a mixing bowl; let stand until mixture reaches 110 degrees (feels warm, not hot, to the touch). Stir in yeast. Add 3 cups flour and beat well. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; shape into 24 balls. Place on greased baking sheets or cake pans. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks.

English Muffin Bread - GREAT for toast!
  • 5 1/2 - 6 c. flour
  • 2 pkg (4 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • cornmeal
Combine 3 c. flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and soda. Heat milk and water until very warm (120 to 130 degrees). Add to dry mixture & beat well. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff batter. Spoon into loaf pans that have been greased and "floured" with cornmeal. Sprinkle tops of loaves with additional cornmeal. Cover, let rise in warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.

Toasted Oat Bread


Toast oats: Spread oats on 15X10-inch pan; place in 375 degrees oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until light brown.
In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, rolled oats, sugar, salt and yeast; blend well.
In small saucepan, heat milk and margarine until very warm. Add warm liquid and egg white to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.
On floured surface, knead in 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with saran wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles.
Divide dough in half; shape into 2 loaves by rolling dough into two 14x7-inch rectangles. Starting with shorter side, roll up; pinch edges firmly to seal. Place seam-side- down on lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise in warm place 35 to 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In small bowl, combine water and egg white; beat slightly. Carefully brush on loaves; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon rolled oats.
Bake 25 minutes, cover with foil, and bake 10 minutes more until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Cool on wire racks.

60 Minute Cinnamon Rolls
  • 4 1/2 tsp (2 pkt) yeast
  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 c. warm milk
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 c. flour
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 c. warm water with sugar, in a small bowl. Pour warm milk over butter, sugar and salt. Cool a little. Add 6 cups flour and yeast mixture. Knead in bowl for 5 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes in a warm place. Roll out into large rectangle with rolling pin or your hands.
Mix: 1 1/2 c. sugar, 4 tsp. cinnamon and 1 c. raisins (optional) Brush dough with a bit of melted margarine and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll up, starting with long edge and seal edge. Using dental floss or a very sharp serrated bread knife, cut into slices. Place slices in greased pan(s) and let stand in warm place for 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. When done, top with powdered sugar glaze while still warm.

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