Bread Can Be Good For You!
|Here is my Mom!|
It seems bread has gotten a bad reputation these days and although I don’t eat much plain old white bread, I do make some yummy whole grain breads, muffins, and scones. My Mom used to make white bread nearly every day. After she retired, she did a lot of baking and was one of the best bakers I have ever known. She was also a good cook, but her baking skills were matched by none; especially pie crust…but that is a story for another blog. I am going to start today with my Mom’s recipe for white bread. This is a simple, straightforward recipe and if you are going to eat refined white flour, the bread might as well be delicious! I love the fact that I have this recipe written out in my mothers hand. I am guessing she wrote out this recipe about 40 years ago when I was leaving the “nest”. It makes 2 beautiful big loves.
Baking time: 50 minutes
6 cups white flour
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup water
1 pkg. yeast (can use 2 for faster rising)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shortening (I use butter; Mom used Crisco)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Combine yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water and 1 tsp. sugar–let soften 5 minutes in a small bowl. The warm water and sugar activate the yeast and it will start to bubble up. This is how you know the yeast is “good”. If no bubbling; start over. Your yeast is dead. This is called “proofing” the yeast.
Add shortening to milk and scald until shortening melts. Put hot milk into large bowl, add salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Then add 1 cup cold water. When this mixture becomes lukewarm, add the softened yeast and stir well. Then add about 1/2 of the flour and beat with an electric mixer if you have one; otherwise stir well. Continue to add remaining flour and keep mixing well.
Turn out onto floured bread board and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile wash and grease the large bowl. Knead dough well. Put dough back into large, buttered bowl and roll it around so all sides get buttered. Let rise until DOUBLE in bulk. Punch down and knead again slightly and form into 2 loaves and bake. Bake for 50 minutes until crust is golden brown.
I recently made these rolls for my woman’s club luncheon. The recipe calls for making 28 rolls, but I made mine a bit large and came out with 24. They are light and delicious and special enough for a holiday.
2 1/4 cup water plus 1/4 cup for proofing yeast
1 cup oats
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. yeast
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
Preheat oven to 350 degreees.
Bring water to a boil and add oats and butter. Let set until is has cooled to lukewarm. In a mixer bowl combine 1 1/4 cup water, oat mixture, yeast, brown sugar, and salt. (I always proof the yeast before adding as described above. It is rare for yeast NOT to rise, but why take a chance.) Stir well. Add whole wheat flour and mix. Add remaining unbleached flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and you have a nice soft dough. Cover with a clean dish towel (to keep out drafts) and let this rest for about an hour.
Punch down and divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece and place in two 9×13″ pans that have been sprayed with PAM or any cooking oil.
Let them rise until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
MORNING GLORY MUFFINS
This is also a recipe my Mom made often. They are dense and substantial and one muffin will serve you well for breakfast. I also have this recipe written out by Mom on an index card and the ink is fading so you know how long ago she wrote this one!
2 cups flour (I use 1 cup each whole wheat/white)
1 1/4 cup sugar (I cut that down to about 3/4 cup sugar)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisons
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the grated carrots, raisons, nuts, coconut and apple. Beat together eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into well-greased muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
NANCY SMITH’S WHOLESOME SCONES
Nancy is one of my “gym” ladies and she shared this wonderful recipe for scones. I am going to write it out just as she gave it to me. The key here is to have fun and IMPROVISE!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking power
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup blueberries, dried cranberries, dates, cherries, etc.
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup Plain 0 fat yogurt (I like to use the Greek style.)
2/3 cup milk
Mix dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar. Fold in wet ingredients. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Here’s a tip: Of course, you will preheat the oven. Spray a cookie sheet with PAM or cooking oil and drop about 2 large Tbsp. batter per scone onto the sheet.
Here is another recipe where you can play with the seasoning. Focaccio is similar in texture to pizza dough, but I think it is much better. It is wonderful right from the oven and dipped into a saucer of Olive Oil mixed with herbs, garlic, roasted red pepper, parmesan or other herbs or spices. I made this for the first time in Ireland. I have a healthy little herb garden outside my kitchen so added a liberal amount of fresh, chopped rosemary and a clove of garlic right into the dough. I think it would also be delicious with sun-dried tomatoes and chopped basil. The key is to use a fancy salt on the top, like Fleur de Sol, which is a French sea salt, but any course-ground salt works.
2 cups flour, divided
1 tsp. sugar (for proofing yeast)
1 pkg. dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Kalamata Olives
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp.+, course ground salt, like Fleur de Sol or Himalayan sea salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On my little stove in Spiddal that would be somewhere between 6 and 7 on the temperature dial. This may be helpful to you if you find yourself baking in Ireland or England.
In a large bowl dissolve sugar and yeast in 2/3 cup warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
Combine 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, (this is where I added the extra clove of garlic and about 3 Tbsp. chopped rosemary), Mix well. Add flour mixture and 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil to yeast mixture. Stir to combine. Fold in Kalamata Olives. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic-5-7 minutes. Add flour as necessary. Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double-about 1 hour.
Press dough into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Brush (or use your fingers) remaining Olive oil over top of dough. Add 4 Tbsp. slivered garlic and rosemary or other herb. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden.
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