Gotta try the mini fluted lemon cakes!
Oh, yum and beyond!!! More King Arthur Flour winning recipes! I’m salivating already! Can’t wait to try the cream biscuits for shortcake, the easy vanilla buttercream frosting, and the raspberry puff turnovers. I’ve waited decades for a doable turnover recipe. Slurp!
Yum!!! More delicious Sunday morning recipes from King Arthur Flour: Italian Easter pie, cheese brioche buns, and citrus surprise grapefruit cake. Oh, my!!! But why not check out Flourish, KAF’s blog, for more tantalizing tidbits?
If you don’t yet subscribe to the King Arthur Flour (KAF) emails, you’re missing out!
Sunday morning I received a sourdough recipe that I just had to try! Only I was up to my eyeballs baking Italian herb loaves, so I had to wait until Tuesday.
Early morning I printed out the recipe, got my homemade-from-scratch starter going, and waited for it to rise and fall three times so it was ready by six-thirty, since I prefer to bake in the evening.
I had no idea what to expect. Baking sourdough in the bread machines isn’t something I do because it worked horribly for me in 2006, but I took a chance and— Oh, boy! Was it ever worth it! I love kitchen chemistry because experimenting is so much fun, especially when the effort turns out well— bea-u-ti-ful, in fact!
So, if you’re game (and if you have a bread machine), try it. And don’t be afraid to tweak here and there as needed.
To make your starter is super simple! In a large bowl, preferably glass, add four cups all-purpose flour, two teaspoons salt, two teaspoons yeast, and two cups warm water. Blend with a spatula, cover with a cloth, and set aside.
When the starter rises to the top (or near the top), stir it with a lightly oiled spatula, cover, and set aside again. Do this two or three times during the day.
The starter will be enough (to add to the ingredients below) to yield two machine-made bread loaves.
If you prefer to bake bread in the oven, preheat to 425° F. Then bake the starter as is for forty-five minutes to make a lovely bread loaf. I usually lay a piece of aluminum foil over the baking dish so that the top doesn’t get too dark too soon. If you like a darker crust, you might want to remove the foil the last five minutes or bake the bread without the foil for five or so extra minutes.
However, if you want to bake two exquisite one-and-one-half-pound loaves in your bread maker(s), add ingredients in the usual order: two tablespoons warm water, two tablespoons oil, one and one-half teaspoons sugar, one and one-half teaspoons salt, two and one-half cups all-purpose flour, two cups starter, and two teaspoons yeast.
Suggestion: Why measure the sticky stuff? Simply divide the starter into two equal parts. But, if you insist on using a measuring cup (lightly oil-coated within, of course), remember to lightly coat the spatula, too, before separating and pouring.
By the way, I tweaked the KAF recipe a bit, adding half a cup of flour and four tablespoons of water to each of the two bread pans only because I prefer two-pounders. As Steven likes to say, “Bigga is mo’ betta.”
P.S. Here’s a recipe for extra-tangy sourdough bread, though I’ll simply tweak my already familiar recipe by adding citrus juice from our sour orange tree.
Thanks to Steven’s cousin, Lee, and his wife, Sheryl, for the whimsical Cajun-flavored Christmas card and the “butter crisp sugar cookies” recipe.
Oh! And see Clovis Crawfish on fiddle? Père Noël would be so proud!
I wanted round biscuits this time not freestyle shapes, so I used my silicone bakeware; and they turned out quite well, even though a friend thought the biscuits were muffins.
By the way, the very best yeast ever— for bread machine use, too— is Fleischmann’s vacuum-packed yeast. I store mine in a large (reusable) Nestlé Coffee Mate container, and it keeps just fine in and out of the fridge. Gotta love it! No more expensive bread machine yeast for me!
And the very best flour based on nine years of baking an assortment of cookies and breads? HEB Hill Country Fare all-purpose flour. Works like a charm every time, so forget that special flour for bread machines!
Oh! And, if you need to substitute baking powder and baking soda, check this site.
Today, Dinie, my blogging buddy in London, published her aromatic citrus seasoning recipe. Hmm, hmm, hmm. Delicious. And doable.
Sometime back Dinie emailed asking how I prepare enchiladas.
My response? I don’t… um, haven’t… not since decades ago when the process was so time-consuming that I never gave them a second chance. But I may surprise myself.
A few days ago I found an enchilada recipe at IGA, so I sent it to Dinie today. We’ll see which of us prepares them first.
Link of interest… twelve things about chili
After Mass at Holy Cross Church in Corpus Christi, Steven and I went looking for chamucos at Michoachán Bakery off Crosstown Expressway. And we found them… along with lots of happy shoppers who eagerly shared their love of sweet bread!
Before leaving Brownsville, we drove to Panaderia La Familia on Paredes Line Road a couple of blocks southeast of Alton Gloor Boulevard. There we discovered, thanks to the woman at the counter, the name I’ve longed to know all these years.
¡Chamuco! My fave. Yum!
I will forever love the flavor of the sweet bread from Perez Bakery back in our old neighborhood, but it’s been an elusive delight for way too long. Even now, decades later, Fernando’s baked goods remain the gold standard of sweet bread for those of us, me especially, who grew up smelling all the glorious aromas emanating from just up the street from where we lived.
After Fernando died, his sons— Nando and Crucito, alternately— continued with the bakery, but neither made it a lifelong commitment.
The stiff competition from the grocery stores with their own faux sweet bread (my descriptor) and other obstacles, no doubt, prompted Perez Bakery to close and remain empty for a very long time.
Eventually, the place was rented to a young cake maker with big dreams; but he just couldn’t make a go of the business.
Regardless, no bakery has ever replicated the tantalizing aromas and flavors unique to Fernando’s delicacies.
I know. I’ve searched for that which my taste buds have yearned fervently, desperately, addictively. I’ve sampled sweet bread here and there but, always, the perfect flavors have eluded me.
Over the years I’ve fantasized about Fernando’s bakery: The displays with their squeaky-clean glass panes showcasing the freshly baked French bread; the special, miniature fruit pies that Crucito would twinkingly slip into my bag for free because he knew I never had an extra quarter; molletes; huecitos; pumpkin empanadas; the round pieces (my faves) that I don’t have a name for; and so much more. Yum-yum. YUM!!!
Everything was baked with such tender loving care that one’s eyes were never too big for one’s stomach! Oh, oh! And those Sunday-morning-after-Mass triangular cakes glazed with pink frosting that make my mouth water just thinking about them?!! Yum to the nth degree!!! After all, “nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven” (Pillsbury).
How nice it’d be to satiate my hunger for Fernando’s sweet bread, but it’s not gonna happen. I don’t need the calories or the fat anymore, so forget the sampling here and there to look for something comparable. Besides, years ago I resigned myself to the reality that I’ll never again satisfy my craving for “pan de dulce” (not “pan dulce”). Ever.
No one’s sweet bread comes close to Perez Bakery’s staying power!
Then again, once in a blue moon my hopes peak when I drive past a panaderia. But why do I do this to myself? Why betray my memories of Fernando’s sweet bread when I already know the outcome?
The craving’s always there. Curiosity always gets to me. Again and again, though less and less now, I’m hopeful. I stop to look for that one favorite piece of sweet bread that I don’t know the name of. Then, when I don’t find it, I buy seven or eight pieces of something else, hurriedly make it back to the vehicle so I can begin my taste testing on the drive home, and—
OMG!!! NO!!! Faux sweet bread again!
I get home after having experimented on two pieces (already consumed) and store the rest in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. For Steven maybe? For my friend Cammie who also loves sweets and pumpkin empanadas? But why do I even bother to sample more bread? Why do I put myself through emotional hoops when I’ll never again taste that gold standard? Ever!
Thinking about Fernando’s bakery makes my eyes water. I miss the place. Most of all, I miss the smiles, the friendship, and the community building through the Perez family’s daily interactions with us over the years.
Fernando’s pan de dulce was my childhood’s pan de vida initiation to what I’ve come to appreciate as our very own special St. Anthony’s bread— his family’s heartfelt service, a priceless legacy, celebrated by those of us who loved and were loved by the Perezes.
Finally, the rest of the story
Just recently I discovered why a very special flavor beckoned to me out of the blue.
When I was a kid I once baked some cookies with disastrous results. But why am I surprised? My kitchen chemistry experiments were all over the place!
I cringe when I think back to that ninth-grade Christmas party! How I survived the embarrassment and lived to complete the school year is beyond me! To make matters worse, that recipe taunted me mercilessly like a tick on a dog. Why couldn’t I shake it loose?!!
“Cutout cookies” (Imperial Sugar Company, 1959, p. 16) have been another of my— Gulp. Dare I say it? I never have before. Um. Long-lived failures? Like the fudge fiasco that I have yet to bare my all about?
Sssh!!! That’s on my lifelong to re-do list as well.
But why even go there when everyone delights in my sand tarts dusted in either powdered sugar or my special cinnamon-sugar blend? Besides, Steven loves my peanut butter cookies, so shouldn’t that be good enough?
I mean, why bother with the “cutout cookies” when the dough’s always been icky-sticky gooey? Yech! I hate that, don’t you?
On the other hand, I happened across an interesting tidbit: For better cookie results follow the recipe sequentially so that the ingredients are added as called for.
Sooo? Maybe the time of reckoning had come?!!
Once I tackled my doctoral dissertation, the tide changed. I decided to take the bull by the horns and try my hand at stuff I hadn’t been good at before. Like hoops.
Gosh! I found out quickly enough that I was pretty darn good at shooting baskets! Like, wow-good! So why not revisit the cookie disaster?
Between December 2007 and March 2012, I bit the bullet and tackled the recipe three times!
Ah, Landin’s magic of three’s. My students would be proud!
I’d been seriously craving the flavor of the “cutout cookies” even though I didn’t know why, so I set out the ingredients and got to work.
I didn’t sift the dry ingredients. I tweaked the recipe— less sugar, canola oil instead of shortening, twice as much vanilla. And I sprayed canola oil not only on the cookie sheet, but also on the spatula and— anticipating the worst— on my hands.
Successful preparation and, oh, by the way, the best cookie experience ever! As in, ever. Ever, ever, ever!
And the flavor? Boing-g-g! The nutmeg-cinnamon-vanilla combo conjured the elusive pan de dulce flavor I’d been missing all these years! Really!
I could hear Fernando cheering me on from heaven. “You did it! You did it!”
I’ll definitely bake these wonderful cookies again and again, as they’re the closest I’ll ever get to the flavor of those round pieces of sweet bread from Fernando’s bakery.
What an amazing discovery! Wow!
I accidentally switched the lids between the white and the whole wheat flour containers. Working in just the early morning light I thought the colors looked different from the norm, but I added the ingredients to the bowl anyway.
And then I turned on the kitchen light.
No problem. I simply opted for Plan B.
These white whole wheat sourdough rolls are my basic 4-3-2-1 recipe plus (just because I can) four teaspoons of honey and two-thirds cup of walnuts. Yum!
And, yes. Steven still got his regular round sourdough loaf, which was very good indeed.
St. Joseph’s feast day was Saturday; so, of course, folks were browsing his page on our church blog for days prior to March 19th.
I wondered if anyone was looking for recipes, so I decided to check online for more than what I already had.
Sure enough. I came across a really interesting webpage with a long list of worthwhile links.
Having read every single title and description, I clicked on “St. Joseph’s bread recipe” from Recipe Goldmine (now defunct), and saved it onto the computer desktop. (See my tweaked version under “recipes” below.)
I envisioned something like the cemita that I first sampled from Nando’s Bakery in our old neighborhood. Of course, HEB makes it, too; but I don’t ever buy any ’cause Steven doesn’t like anise; and I’d probably want to polish off the whole thing!
Hmm, hmm, hmm. I’d not only feel way too guilty about eating it all by myself, but I’d also balloon to a SUPERSIZED ME. Not good.
I’ve looked online but can’t find the bread I’m looking for. I may have the wrong name, so I’ll ask at HEB the next time I’m at the store. Most likely, St. Joseph’s bread is really pan de nuez; but who cares as long as it’s tasty-licious!
I had to think long and hard before actually printing out the recipe. Then I let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days.
The bread process involved kneading, not a skill I’ve mastered. This is why— GASP!!! Dare I reveal my long held secret?
I’ve never ever EVER been able to make pliable flour tortillas!!!
Steven was encouraging, though. He brought down the big gun from the back of the very top cabinet. His Kitchen Aid. Wow!
Sooo… Move over, Breadman Pro. I’m making time with Kitchen Aid, and I can’t stop fantasizing about the breads I’m gonna create a la knead.
I gave the spice cookies a try but used only nutmeg and cinnamon. Steven doesn’t like cloves, so maybe that’s why the cookies lacked flavor? Not sure. But, when I make them again, I’ll either increase the amounts of the nutmeg and the cinnamon or just use cinnamon. Or nutmeg. Or some other spice.
The texture was really good. Not soft, not hard. So, if you’re into crunchy, I think you may want to bake the cookies at a higher temperature ’cause, if it works with bread crust, it should work with cookies, too.
Oh, fi-de-ee-to! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
First, a deep pot works best, since I never know what I’m going to add. Then I start with 1.5 boxes of fideo— half a box is ziplocked for the next batch— and a 26.5-ounce can of tomato sauce. Or use a 15-16-ounce can of tomato sauce and a 28-ounce can of diced tomato. (Set aside the emptied smaller can, as it’s used to measure the water for the mixture. Be courageous about adding the liquids. Getting the right consistency is intuitive. Every fideo experience is an experiment, so celebrate its success!)
In a big skillet (or pot) brown about 1.5 pounds ground beef separately with lots of garlic cloves (2-5), smashed and cut into small pieces. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and/or carrots cut small— or whatever your heart… um, taste buds… desire. Add cumin, pepper (fine or coarse), and whatever spices tantalize the senses. Blend nicely.
Oh, the aroma! If one could only devour it!
Please note that, if you start out with frozen ground beef, don’t wait for it to thaw before cooking it. Just add about half a cup of water to the pot to hasten the process. If you like to season with salt, add just a little after the ground beef is cooked.
Next, add the fideo to the skillet (pot).
Then add canned (or fresh) tomato— diced, four cheese, Italian herb, whatever strikes your fancy. Don’t be afraid to experiment, as the trick is in the browned fideo and the spices.
Quickly add 1.5 cans of water to the mixture. The saucier the better, but bland is not good! If you cooked the beef in a bit of water, subtract that amount from what you add in this step. Stir a few times. Bring to a hard boil and stir again. Lower the temperature to medium low and cook for a few minutes.
Please note that I add pepper and cumin three times: as the beef cooks, after it cooks, and after the water is added. Here again, if you like to season with salt, add just a little during the final cooking stage. Quarter teaspoon? More? Less? Remember that canned goods are already salted.
Turn off the stove and move the skillet (pot) to a cool spot on the stove. Stir so the fideito doesn’t stick to the bottom. Let sit for a few minutes. Then serve.
Oh, heavenly delight! Let me eat and eat until I burst!
I just found an oh-so simple pizza crust recipe that sounds sooo incredibly easy to make— just seven ingredients— that even a pea brain like me stands a chance of getting it right the first time!
Steven said he’s not into the arugula— what’s that— but other toppings should work well.
The whole wheat pizza crust recipe (at the bottom of the page) sounds so doable that I’ve gotta try it. And tweak it!
I’ve gotten better results with bread dough rising when the bowl’s covered with a cloth instead of cling wrap.
Sometimes I need a sugar fix. Really badly. But we don’t normally have store-bought sweets in the house. Too dangerous. Too addictive. Have one cookie, want more. Have one slice of cake or pie and, oh, the misery of it all! I feel so guilty afterwards.
Tuesday’s gimme sugar frenzy sent me into hunt-and-gather mode as I madly dashed to my recipes stash.
Sure enough, I found one that looked somewhat benign… and super simple to fix, as in gotta have it now. Half an hour preparation and baking time quick enough? It most certainly was for me!
Muffins in the title? Ter-r-rifico! No sugar? Even better! The recipe called for Bisquick, however, not whole wheat flour… or all-purpose flour that could be tweaked half and half with whole wheat. But I had to have something sweet; so I took a chance on the honey granola muffins. They were pale compared to my Raisin-Nut Bran faves.
And the ol’ pea brain’s already concocted a variation of this recipe using whole wheat flour that I’ll post after my experimentation. Maybe.
Talk about the agony and the ecstasy. After a disastrous experience with the fifth loaf of Lisa’s no-knead bread, I stuck with the other man in my life, Breadman Pro. Of course, that fifth loaf looked absolutely gorgeous! But it stuck to the Pyrex ’cause I didn’t spray the dish beforehand!
Oh, I checked the recipe. But it didn’t say, so I just wasn’t sure. “If in doubt, leave it out,” was certainly the wrong, wrong, wrong thing to do.
So don’t let it happen to you! Spray the bakeware unless, of course, it’s the silicon variety. Then don’t spray or some areas will turn a yucky (permanent) black.
Still, disasters don’t dissuade my experimenting.
Tuesday evening, Steven brought home a bag of all-purpose flour. Wednesday morning, I started the dough for the sixth loaf. And, right as Steven walked in from work at day’s end, I began step four… getting ready for baking!
This time around, I added about an eighth of a cup more than two cups of water (to four cups flour, three teaspoons yeast, and one and one-half teaspoons salt), which added the perfect moisture during baking.
Oh, heavenly delight!
The bread was doughy chewable; the crust, crunchy crisp. Our best bread loaf ever! So tomorrow I’ll start another batch.
The week before Thanksgiving, I found two very interesting “freshly pressed” posts on WP; so I’ve added the recipes below with photos.
Speedy no-knead bread
Wow! Like, how often does succinct yumminess happen, you know? So, of course, I baked two loaves that weekend and two more since then because… uh… it’s Steven’s fave now.
Sooo… If you’re into European hard rolls… and you don’t mind crunching your way through rustic-looking bread… then this is the perfect recipe for you! Just don’t send me the bill if you break a tooth!
Cinnamon raisin bread
Stacia’s post had a rather long and complicated recipe, but I didn’t really notice until I was trying to follow the directions to make the two loaves.
I messed up; but I figured, eh! Even with the mix-ups, I couldn’t go wrong. I’m used to mistakes in the kitchen, so I continued with optimism. And, boy, oh, boy! The results were delish!
Mind you, we kept the first loaf with the raisins and nuts, and Steven took the second loaf… sans raisins… to my good buddy Cammie, who couldn’t stop talking about it! “Wow! It’s the best loaf ever!” So you might want to give it a try.
Yesterday afternoon I baked some of my faves. Cornbread muffins. Yum.
Over the years, I’ve used either of two recipes I cut out from cornmeal bags. I use one more than the other just because, not for any other reason. We prefer toasty-brown to pale in our baked goods, so our muffins had beautiful dark splotches to show for their twenty-five minute maximum time in the oven.
These babies are wonderful with homemade chili, although I had mine with a tossed green salad. Well, okay. I just couldn’t resist, so I downed two plain-Jane right out of the oven. Slurp. Then, much later, I had one with my salad.
Regardless, they were sooo good that Steven nabbed a warm one on his way out this morning.
Coffee and a muffin sounded like a plan, but I doubt the latter made it to the office.
Well, I made a half batch of angel biscuits again this evening.
Boy, oh, boy, were they filling!
Steven groaned, “I think you’re trying to poison me.”
He’s been practically lifeless since dinner, but that’s because he had seconds. And three biscuits.
Since Steven prefers traditional biscuits, I’ll have to experiment further to get the white and whole wheat flour ratio just right for him… or omit the latter altogether. I’ll also have to tweak the recipe one variable at a time to be able to taste the difference in the changes I make. And, since Steven loves sourdough, I’ll have to figure out whether the vinegar or the lemon juice can meet that standard.
Kitchen chemistry is sooo much fun!
Sunday, I told Steven I’d been craving cornbread muffins for days; so Monday, I made a dozen. But that day, I also found a little recipe for angel biscuits.
I halved the recipe ’cause I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out, and I tweaked it a bit, too. I’d never used yeast in biscuits, so I was curious to see how they’d turn out. I set the timer for the recommended eighteen minutes max but checked on the biscuits at the end of ten.
Am I ever glad I did ’cause they were a golden brown!
And the photo here? Well, let’s just say that Steven and I ate five biscuits before I remembered the photo op.
These biscuits are heavenly… oh-sooo good… and so light, too. You’ve gotta try ’em… well, not these… make ’em, I mean.
Enjoy these worthwhile morsels… breadtopia… casseroles… dietary guidelines… fruit tacos… good grains… grains… guide to great grains… pasta… pot pies… slow cooker cakes… top 5 baked pasta recipes… top 5 enchilada recipes… whole grains for healthy eating
Sometime between the mud doughnut years and the edible drop doughnuts, Mom cut the little red square with the words Pure Cane Sugar from a five-pound bag and mailed it off for a free copy of My First Cookbook from the Imperial Sugar Company in Sugarland, TX. And I still have it… and use it!
My favorite recipes include Circus Cookies (peanut butter), Flaky Butter Biscuits, Devilish Eggs, Yummy Carrots, and Apple Crunch. But really? They’re all great recipes and, best of all, easy to fix.
As I keep repeating, all my kitchen chemistry experiences have been memorable and unforgettable. If this sounds redundant, it’s that I continue to be surprised and shocked, depending on how my experimentation goes. So unforgettable is really synonymous with, “OMG!!! How did that happen?”
A recipe gone wrong immediately sends me into scientist mode.
That aside, I doubt that my little cookbook is printed anymore; but Betty Crocker is offering two kids’ cookbooks until December 2010, and I’m thinking of ordering. See what you think.
And, in case you’re wondering if you’ll get what you order, I can tell you that I’ve received recipe books from package offers and have been quite pleased with my little treasures.
P.S. And, just for fun, here’s the Pillsbury Dancing Dough Boy. Gotta love ‘im!
Months ago when I started experimenting with sourdough starters again, I thought about adding this page. I wondered if others might share their baking experiences.
I’d tried my hand at making sourdough starter from scratch two years before our good friends, Gary and Junebug, gave us a batch of their friendship bread starter; but what disasters!
Almost two years went by before I tried again this past November.
Whoa! What a difference. Great results.
The bread was sooo good that I can’t imagine being without sourdough starter in the fridge. Still, it’s a bit iffy. As time passes, the starter loses its pizazz, so the third starter’s in the fridge. I just hope it’s still viable.
Bread making frenzy
This past December, right before Steven was off for Christmas break, I thought again about posting my pan de vida page.
I’d never baked that much before!
It was so much fun that I remembered not only the mud doughnuts Rosie and I, then four or five, would make after a really good rain, but also the drop doughnuts we graduated to when I was eleven.
St. Anthony’s bread
Decades ago, when I received the first mailing from the Franciscan Mission Associates, I was very much taken with the tradition of St. Anthony’s bread. The story behind it has remained with me ever since ’cause it’s really about the call of service. But how better to serve others than through shared bread?
Bread is a basic food.
Whether we eat torti-tatis… what Acacia-Darling, then three, called the flour tortillas she made with mom… store-bought bread, homemade bread, pan de dulce… the sweet bread from Nando’s Bakery in our old neighborhood… cookies, or any other type of bread, it goes perfectly with every meal and even better as dessert.
I mean, where would I be without my pbj toast… creamy peanut butter and peach preserves on whole wheat… for breakfast or brunch every single day?!!
Then, too, there’s cereal. Whether it’s the old-fashioned oatmeal, the sugary Fruit Loops, or the serious dieter’s Special K… my favorite is Raisin Nut Bran or any variant thereof… they’re all part of the bread family. And then there’s pasta.
OMG! Could we live without spaghetti and vermicelli, to name just two? Our four grandkids love my fide-ito! And don’t forget rice. Steven could eat rice three times a day and be very happy indeed.
No doubt, countless other foods we’ve grown up loving or have acquired taste buds for can easily be added to our already long list of breads. But the singularly most important bread of all is the bread of life, which sustains us, enriches our existence, nurtures our spirit, and inspires us to heed the call of service.
So round and round we go; but, always, we come back to the concept of St. Anthony’s bread.
Giving to others, especially to those in need, begins with nurturing our youngest family members… our kids… who depend on us to provide for them so that they’re healthy and strong in every way imaginable. But our giving extends to others, too.
Friends, loved ones, strangers… we all benefit from the bread of life.
Bought, baked, or received through acts of kindness, the bread of life can be shared concretely the same way it can be shared abstractly… through church offerings, donations to charities, volunteer work, and more.
The bread of life is God’s abundance in our lives shared with others, regardless of how much or how little we have.
With this in mind, my pan de vida page is dedicated to the sharing of recipes which will, hopefully, yield wonderful delights that can be consumed, enjoyed, and, of course, gifted to others ’cause “there’s nothin’ like lovin’ from the oven” (Pillsbury TV commercial).
And maybe I’ll add some stories, too.
Aloha Loaf… from Durham-Ellis Pecan Company
- Grease and flour two 5×9-inch loaf pans.
- In a mixing bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in 4 eggs.
- Stir in 1 cup mashed ripe banana.
- Sift together 4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Add to creamed mixture.
- Fold in one 15 1/4 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice and 1 cup flaked coconut.
- Add 1/2 cup walnuts.
- Mix until well blended.
- Spread batter in loaf pans.
- Bake at 350° F for 60 minutes.
- Cool 15 minutes before removing from pans.
- Cool completely on wire rack.
- Wrap tightly to keep fresh.
- Makes 2 loaves.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a glass bowl, combine 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast and 3 tablespoons water (105°F).
- Stir and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine 5 cups white flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 5 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and cut in 1 cup vegetable shortening until mixture is like coarse crumbs.
- Add 2 cups buttermilk (at room temperature) to the yeast and water.
- Add the dry ingredients to the liquids.
- Turn out onto floured board.
- Knead a few times.
- Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness.
- Cut biscuits.
- Place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake 15-18 minutes.
- Yields 3 dozen.
Note… I used half of the ingredients, which I tweaked somewhat. I used canola oil and made buttermilk from one cup water, three tablespoons powdered milk, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. (Add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, if you want sour buttermilk.)
I don’t like to add flour to make the dough easier to handle; and I don’t like the feel of icky-sticky fingers. I prefer dropping the batter onto the cookie sheet with a spoon and/or a spatula. Baked goods turn out lighter this way.
I’m glad I checked the biscuits at ten minutes instead of waiting for the oven timer to go off. I pricked each biscuit with a toothpick; and, sure enough, they were ready to be devoured.
The biscuits had no salt taste, which always works great for us. We agreed that I’ll be baking these biscuits again and again.
You’ve gotta try ’em to understand what I’m raving about.
Oh, and next time?
I’ll be using whole wheat flour (or half and half instead of all white) and honey instead of sugar.
Blueberry-Orange Loaf… from BHG Best-Loved Breads. (2002). Des Moines, IA: Meredith Corporation.
Citrus lovers, take note. Stir a little grated orange peel into softened cream cheese for a tasty bread spread.
- Grease the bottom a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed; 1/2 cup chopped pecans; 1 tablespoon flour; and 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel.
- Toss lightly to mix; set aside.
- In a large bowl combine 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine 1 beaten egg, 1 1/3 cups milk, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.
- Stir just until moistened. (Batter should be lumpy.)
- Fold in blueberry mixture.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 50-60 minutes. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover with foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking. (Use toothpick rule.)
- Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.
- Remove from pan and cool completely.
- Place in plastic wrap and store overnight before slicing.
- Makes one loaf (about 16 slices).
Raisin-Orange Loaf… my tweaked version
- If using terra cotta loaf pan, grease with Crisco; metal, spray with canola.
- 1 cup of my triple mix… regular raisins, golden raisins, craisins
- 1/2 cup of my chopped mix… almonds, walnuts, pecans
- 1 tablespoon, more or less, orange peel (Substitute kalamansi.)
- 1/2 cup brown and 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/3 cups prepared powdered milk (Prepare mix… 1 1/3 cups powder + 4 cups water; refrigerate; use as needed for baking.)
- 1/4 cup OJ made from frozen (Substitute other juice.)
Calamansi Muffins (Can easily substitute a different citrus fruit juice)
- Combine the dry ingredients… 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt… in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs.
- Add the liquids… 1/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup oil, 3 tablespoons juice… and 1 1/2 teaspoons (or more) citrus peel to the bowl with the eggs.
- Stir the liquids into the dry ingredients.
- Fill muffins cups 2/3 full. (Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup perfectly.)
- Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes. (Use the toothpick rule.)
- Cool for five minutes before moving the muffins from the pan to the wire rack.
- Yields about a dozen muffins.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread… based on the recipe from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Pdf file (my version)… Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Cornbread Muffins… from Aunt Jemima
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Combine dry ingredients… 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional), 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional).
- Add liquids… 1/4 cup shortening, oil (or drippings), 1 cup milk, and 1 egg.
- Spray the muffin tin with oil before adding the batter. (Use an ice cream scoop to simplify this process; or prepare the mixture in a four-cup, or larger, measuring cup for easy pouring.)
- Bake 20-25 minutes.
- Yields twelve muffins.
Corn Sticks… Use corn stick pan. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Buttermilk Corn Bread… Decrease baking powder to 2 teaspoons. Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Substitute buttermilk for milk.
Mexican Corn Bread… Stir one 8-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained; and one 4-ounce can chopped green chilies, drained (or use fresh, chopped). Bake 25-30 minutes, or until done. (Use the toothpick rule.) Top with 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar (or Monterey Jack cheese).
Cutout Cookies… tweaked from My First Cookbook
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Then set aside.
- In a larger bowl, cream 1/2 cup canola oil with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar. Add 1 egg and beat till creamy.
- Stir in 1/3 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture.
- Spray the cookie sheet, your working space, your hands, and the spatula with cooking spray. I use another cookie sheet as my work space, so the mess is contained and easily washed.
- Work with parts of the dough at a time. Pat the dough in your hands as if to make tortillas. Then place on your work surface and flatten the dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness before using the cookie cutters.
- Very carefully lift the cutout cookie dough and place on the greased sheet.
- Once the cookie sheet is ready for the oven, sprinkle cookie cutout dough with a little cinnamon and sugar. You can combine the two before sprinkling, if you prefer.
- Bake 10-12 minutes, depending on the crunchiness you desire.
- Yields about 2 dozen cookies.
Honey Granola Muffins… from Betty Crocker
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat one egg slightly.
- Add 2 cups Bisquick, 1 cup granola, 1/3 cup raisins, 2/3 cup milk, and 2 tablespoons honey (or more).
- Combine ingredients until moistened.
- Spray the muffin tin with oil (canola) before adding the batter. (Skip this step if using silicon bakeware.)
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
- Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Yields 12 muffins.
Martha’s Sand Tarts
- Cream 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
- Add 2 cups flour, 1 cup nuts, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Blend well.
- Shape into somewhat flattened balls, crescents, or rectangles.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 325°F for 20-23 minutes, or until light brown.
- Roll in powdered sugar while warm. Re-dust as needed. (Or roll in a granulated sugar/cinnamon combo for a guaranteed pleaser! Ooh-la-lah!)
- Depending on size, recipe yields between four and seven dozen cookies.
Note… Although the recipe calls for two sticks of butter, I prefer to use only one, since I don’t like sticky fingers. (I add canola if the dough’s not pliable enough, and it doesn’t change the flavor.) Moreover, dough is easier to work with when less oily. Plus, the end product isn’t as crumbly. I like a cookie I can bite into, not one that breaks right off the cookie sheet.
Pecan Puffs… from Durham-Ellis Pecan Company
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Beat 1/2 cup butter until soft.
- Add 2 tablespoons sugar and blend until creamy.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup pecan bits, 1 cup cake flour.
- Roll the dough into balls no bigger than 1.5-inches.
- Bake about 30 minutes.
- Roll while hot in powdered sugar. (Or roll in a granulated sugar/cinnamon combo.)
- Yield varies depending on size of cookie balls.
Raisin Nut Bran Muffins… General Mills stopped printing this recipe on the cereal box years ago.
- Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups. (Spray tins with canola instead.)
- Mix 2 cups cereal and 1 cup milk in large bowl.
- Let stand until cereal is softened, about 5 minutes. (Blend instead; why wait?)
- Beat in 3 tablespoons oil and 1 egg.
- Mix in 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until moistened.
- Divide batter evenly among cups. (Use an ice cream scoop.)
- Bake at 400°F for 18-23 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Yields 12 muffins.
Note… From my experience, you can make three dozen from a 21-ounce box. I’ve used powdered milk and evaporated milk. I’ve also substituted either orange juice or cranberry juice for the milk. Plus, I only use canola oil and whole wheat flour. I also add vanilla and an assortment of nut pieces. If I’m feeling nuttier than usual (and have the supplies), I combine pecans, walnuts, and more almond pieces. Otherwise, I use one kind of nuts only. I’ve also substituted other similar cereals. The muffins are tasty but not as much as with the Raisin Nut Bran cereal.
Robert’s Sugar Cookies…
- In a bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, blend 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup shortening or oil and add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Combine the two mixtures and beat well.
- Shape the dough into 1/2-inch balls, place on a lightly greased pan, and flatten.
- Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.
Note from Robert… Shortening holds the dough together much better than butter. Butter has a tendency to spread the cookie, making it more brittle.
3.10.10… Robert emailed to say he’d used the recipe and found the dough a bit dry. Maybe it just needs a bit more oil. I’ll bake some cookies soon and test my hypothesis.
- To a pot over low heat, first add the dry ingredients… 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon corn starch, a pinch of salt (just a pinch).
- Then add 1/2 stick butter or butter oil.
- Slowly add the liquids… vanilla and either milk, water, or creamer… until the mixture is silky smooth.
- Then add your favorite flavoring, such as cocoa, cherry, pineapple, strawberry.
Sharon’s “Dump Cake”… Cherry Pineapple Surprise by Lucky Leaf
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Ready a 13×9-inch dish with a nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple and its juice on the pan.
- Layer a can of cherry pie filling over the pineapple.
- Sprinkle a package of yellow cake mix evenly over the top.
- Drizzle with 1 cup melted butter.
- Sprinkle with a 7-ounce package of flaked coconut.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup nuts (your choice; Sharon uses pecans).
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until nicely browned and bubbly.
- Serves 12.
Speedy No-Knead Bread… based on Lisa’s recipe in The New York Times
- In a large bowl, combine 3 cups bread flour, 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons or 1/4 ounce) yeast, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- Add 1 1/2 cups water and blend. Dough will look shaggy.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for about 4 hours.
- Lightly oil a work surface on which to fold the dough onto itself once or twice.
- Cover loosely with the plastic wrap for thirty more minutes.
- During this time, preheat the pan (or other bakeware) in the oven at 450°F.
- At the end of the half hour or so, remove the hot pan and put the dough into it so that it’s evenly distributed.
- Cover with a lid and bake 30 minutes.
- Then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes until the loaf is beautifully browned.
- Yields one big… tres cute… loaf.
Note… I prefer whole wheat bread, so I use half and half with bread flour. Steven prefers less whole wheat flour; so, for this recipe, I use one cup whole wheat, two cups white. We don’t like to use salt, so I use some but not the amount called for. I also use the canola cooking spray on the work surface and my hands (step four).
I’ve been experimenting with the bread’s hardness, so I’ve used three types of bake ware. I neither sprayed nor covered the silicon bake ware. The rolls were super hard and tasty but rather tough to cut even with the serrated bread knife! OMG.
My fourth time using this recipe, I increased the amounts (4 cups flour [3 bread, 1 whole wheat], 3 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 cups water) and used a rectangular Corningware dish with a lid. And the bread… still rather crusty… was good. Of course.
Oh, and I did check online for the right temperature at which to bake bread. It’s 426°F. (I’ll post the link when I find it again.) But I’ll be doing lots more experimentation before I get the recipe just right for my taste… and my teeth.
Another experiment… I enjoyed using Steven’s KitchenAid sooo much that I wanted to find out what would happen if I kneaded the dough.
Following the steps from the St. Joseph bread recipe, I used Lisa’s four-ingredient recipe to prepare a dozen rolls which I baked at 350°F… covered with foil for 30 minutes, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Our dinner guests gave them rave reviews!
Note… After working with Lisa’s recipe, I’ve come up with my own 4-3-2-1 recipe: flour, yeast, water, and salt, respectively. And something else to consider… The longer the bread bakes uncovered, the harder the crust gets; so adjust accordingly.
I baked another loaf this week, and it was fantabuloso, cha cha cha. So try baking the loaf at 400° F… covered for 40 minutes, uncovered for 20 minutes.
St. Joseph’s Bread… my tweaked version based on Recipe Goldmine
- Combine 4 cups flour (half and half… whole wheat, white), 3 teaspoons yeast, 4 teaspoons honey, 1 1/3 cups hot water, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 tablespoons butter, and 2/3 cup walnuts in a bowl that will be used for the entire process.
- Blend. (If you’re using a Kitchen Aid or a similar appliance, just let that do the job for you.)
- Knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Lightly coat the inside of the bowl with canola cooking spray while using a spatula to move the dough from side to side to do a thorough job.
- Move the dough around to absorb the cooking spray.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for an hour so that it doubles in size.
- Coat a cookie sheet with canola cooking spray and sprinkle cornmeal on it.
- Place the dough on the cookie sheet.
- Punch down the dough.
- Shape into a long loaf.
- Make four or five 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes across the top of the loaf.
- Cover the loaf with a kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° F. for 40 minutes.
Note… The recipe called for golden raisins. I would’ve used my craisin-golden-raisin-dark-raisin mix but chose to use only walnuts.
Excellent choice! But why choose?
Use both the fruit and the nuts; and, while you’re at it, add a tablespoon of cinnamon, if you like.
Covering the loaf with foil during baking will result in a soft, chewy loaf. Yum!
I left the ends open to find out what would happen. They were a golden brown color, a bit crustier.
As for the tip about cake baking at 350° F., bread at 450° F.? Poppycock!
The higher the temperature, the crustier (harder) the bread.
Oh! This is the best-tasting bread I’ve ever made, truly reminiscent of Nando’s pan de nuez, my most favorite bread to date.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust… from Hodgson Mill
- Dissolve 1 package of active dry yeast in 1 cup warm water (115°).
- Stir in 1 1/2 whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 cup white flour.
- Knead in 1/2 cup white flour by hand for about five minutes so that the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Spray a medium-sized bowl with no-stick cooking spray, or coat with oil.
- Place pizza dough in bowl and turn to coat thoroughly.
- Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 15 minutes.
- Spray one 14-inch pizza pan or two 10-inch pizza pans with no-stick cooking oil, or grease lightly with oil.
- Stretch pizza crust to fit pan and flute outer edges of pizza dough to hold fillings.
- Top as desired.
- Bake at 425°F until cheese is melted and crust is browned.
Note… I was really nervous about baking our first pizza from scratch for the grandkids, so I consulted the internet before taking the plunge. The pizza was DELISH; the kids, ecstatic!
© Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. and Shared thoughts…, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. and Shared thoughts… with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.