December24

My Very, Very Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been searching for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe, and this is it. The rolls are light and fluffy and rise beautifully.

Ingredients

Rolls:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, warmed to just above body temperature. (you can substitute regular milk by measuring just below the 3/4 line and then adding white vinegar to make 3/4 cup. Wait 5 minutes and you have buttermilk)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled.
  • 3 large eggs, beaten.
  • 4 1/4 cups (21 1/4 ounces) flour.
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar.
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast.
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt.

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened.
  • 1 cup brown sugar.
  • 2 tbs to 1/4 cup, sprinkle on liberally.

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened.
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar.
  • 1/4 cup milk.
  • 1 tsp vanilla.

Directions

  1. For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips
  2. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. If your kitchen is cool, I've had luck placing the bowl in my oven and turning the oven light on.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish (if doubling the recipe, I’ve found using a large rimmed baking sheet, 11X17-inches, works great).
  4. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and press it into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the softened butter over the rectangle, using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on the cinnamon (as much as you'd like, you're the one eating it) and then the brown sugar (if you put on too much sugar, it can melt and drip out of the pan, so be careful), leaving a 1/2-inch border along the top and bottom edges.
  5. Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Gently stretch the log to be 18 inches in length with an even diameter all the way throughout and pat the ends to even them up. Here's a secret: if you don't roll it out evenly, no one will know and it will still be delicious.
  6. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls (or more if you like your rolls thinner). I mark my log in half and the mark the halves in half. Then I just have 4 parts to cut into thirds. It's easier to make the pieces even this way. Arrange the rolls cut side down on the prepared baking pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through but not overly browned.
  8. While the rolls are baking, mix the glaze. I never believe anyone when they say this, but I don't really have a recipe for this part. It's just the icing/glaze we always made growing up. My very favorite in the world. Any of my sister remember making this and eating it with chocolate cake? One of my favorite desserts ever. Anyway, back to the recipe. Put the stick of softened butter in a bowl and use a fork to stir it smooth. Then add about a half cup of powdered sugar and stir it in. Then add some milk and the vanilla and stir again. You can use a mixer for stirring, just be careful to not get powdered sugar everywhere. Keep alternating adding the sugar and the milk until the icing is the consistency and flavor you want. I prefer a thicker consistency to ice the warm rolls with a knife, but you can keep it thinner to pour it on.

April03

Pizza Dough

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Pizza Dough

Our kids love making their own personal pizzas. I've finally found a pizza dough recipe we all enjoy eating. It's quick and easy, and makes great tasting pizza. Adapted from a recipe by chef Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast, use the SAF brand
  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 cups warm water (105–115° F), divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions

  1. Whisk together yeast, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  2. Stir together salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and remaining 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir until smooth, then stir in 1 cup more flour. If dough sticks to your fingers, stir in just enough flour (up to 3/4 cup), a little at a time, to make dough just come away from side of bowl. (This dough may be wetter than other pizza doughs you have made.)
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, lightly reflouring work surface and your hands when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  4. Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls, then generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

December12

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup ground oat meal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup honey
1Tbs brown sugar
4 ripe bananas
¼ cup butter
¼ cup shortening
¼ tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk or buttermilk
4 eggs

Variations

1 Tbs Carnation malted milk
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup crushed walnuts

Directions

Combine and mix in a large bowl all wet ingredients: eggs, bananas, milk, vanilla, butter and shortening. Use an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is blended. Add white and brown sugar, and salt. Blend again, until mixture is combined, small lumps are ok. In a separate bowl combine and mix the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, oat meal, baking powder, and baking soda. Now, mix dry ingredients into the bowl of combined wet ingredients. Do not mix more than 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, one or the other or both, or none at all, your choice

Prepare your bread pan. Use a 9x4 loaf pan. I like to use Pam baking spray and lightly flour the pan. Pour batter into your pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes or until a knife or bbq skewer inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan.

Enjoy