Yeast rolls

My sister accused me of stealing these from Logan’s and passing them off as my own. They are that yummy. This is, of course, a King Arthur Flour recipe; can you ever go wrong with those? I think not.

Yeast rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast; I use instant/bread machine yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cups AP flour (12 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Instructions

  1. If you use anything but instant yeast then quit it; it’s too high maintenance. I kid! Mostly. Not really. No, but if you’re using non-instant yeast dissolve it in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar and let it sit for 15 minutes; otherwise go to step two
  2. Combine all ingredients and knead together in a stand mixer for about six or seven minutes on the second speed; the dough should clean the sides of the bowl and probably stick a little on the bottom; you don’t want it too dry
  3. Let the dough rise, covered, in a lightly greased bowl at room temperature until it’s just about doubled; this will probably take about an hour but make sure you give it enough time to get nice and puffy
  4. When dough is puffy lightly grease two 9″ round pans (I use a pie plate) or a 9×13″ pan with butter, then gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a silicone mat or a lightly greased cookie sheet to work with it; cut into 16 roughly even pieces
  5. Shape each piece into a ball, pulling the dough down to the bottom of the ball so it makes a tight skin around itself; place eight rolls in each pie/cake pan or all in the big pan spacing them out as evenly as possible (they won’t be touching at this point), then cover with lightly greased plastic wrap
  6. Preheat the oven to 350, and let the rolls rise at room temperature till they’re all nice and puffy and touching each other, filling out the pan
  7. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until they’re nice and golden brown on the top; remove from oven and top with butter if you’re feeling particularly decadent (I clearly was) and let them cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Or your mouth (I kid — too hot! For a minute anyway)

I must add: if you’ve never had one of these for breakfast the next morning spread with Nutella, you’re just not really living.

Cornbread taco pie

A few months back I tried to make something out of an old cookbook of my mama’s; it was similar to this but used polenta and unseasoned ground beef. It was… dismal. So last night I decided to make up my own version. Success! SO tasty and good gravy it smelled amazing. The Yankee ate three helpings for supper; this counts as a thumbs-up, no?

Cornbread taco pie

Ingredients

  • One pound ground beef
  • One packet taco seasoning
  • Water
  • One cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • One box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a deep skillet (I obviously used cast iron) brown up and drain the ground beef; add in taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water and let it simmer (i.e. follow directions on taco seasoning packet)
  3. Mix up Jiffy cornbread according to package directions, but use two eggs instead of one to give yourself a little extra batter
  4. Turn off the heat under the ground beef and sprinkle on shredded cheese; spread cornbread batter over the top and bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned on top

That’s it! This is perfect for a quick fall supper that tastes like you put hours of work into it. So warm and filling without you actually having to stand over the stove forever and a day. What’s not to love?

Disclaimer: Jiffy cornbread does not know that I exist; I just love the stuff.

Krispy Kreme chocolate cake

Kiddo’s Aunt Burgle came in town for her birthday this year. Party! We always make Krispy Kreme bread pudding when she’s here but I wanted to up the ante a bit with some chocolate and some icing, it being her birthday and all. Want to try it yourself? Break out your fat pants!

Krispy Kreme chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • 18 chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donuts (a bit stale if you can stand to let them sit around), cut into chunks
  • Six eggs
  • 2 cans condensed milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • a Bundt pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a very large bowl thoroughly beat eggs and whisk in salt and condensed milk; stir in donut chunks and let sit for 15 minutes or so, stirring periodically
  3. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or use an oil-plus-flour spray) and pour donut mixture in; bake for 45 minutes or until set
  4. Toward the end of cooking time make the icing: melt butter in a saucepan and stir in cocoa powder till completely combined; remove from heat and whisk in milk and vanilla, then powdered sugar; keep warm over low heat till needed
  5. Cool cake in pan for ten minutes, then turn onto a plate or rack; immediately pour still-hot icing over top
  6. Reconsider your ban on elastic waist pants

Biscuits and gravy

Wondering what to do with all those biscuits?

Wondering how to add a few calories to your breakfast?

Allow me.

These are really super easy to make (along with, uh, everything else I ever blog) and are such comfort food for breakfast!

Biscuits and gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk or about a cup and a half of milk (I guarantee nothing with skim milk; I’m a whole milk kinda girl)

Instructions

  1. Brown up the sausage till it’s crumbly and completely cooked — no pink! — then evaluate your sausage grease situation. I put all the sausage on a paper-towel lined plate so I can see what I’m working with. You want to end up with about three tablespoons of grease left in there; drain off anything in excess of that
  2. Turn the burner to medium or so and sprinkle in three tablespoons of flour; whisking to combine. Pretty soon your mixture will look super thick and you’ll want to sock me one because this can’t possibly be right, but it is! Stay with me
  3. Now pour in your milk and keep whisking! Remember that flour doesn’t hit full thickening power till it’s bubbling (unlike cornstarch), so don’t give up; in just a couple minutes you’ll have gravy
  4. Now add back in the sausage and serve over your hot biscuits

This dish may or may not cause a Yankee to propose do you. I’m just sayin’.

Smaller 100% whole wheat pain de mie

Math skillz: I haz none.

See, King Arthur has a smaller pain de mie pan now, which is awesome. I was excited about this because it takes us a while to work through a loaf of bread sometimes; Kiddo will go on a bread jag and eat nothing but this for a week and a half, and then not want to see it near his face for three weeks. It’s hard to predict. I slice it and keep it in the freezer so there’s always some on hand, and the smaller size pan makes just enough bread to fit in a one-gallon zip top bag. Perfect!

The problem is that King Arthur doesn’t have a whole wheat recipe for this size pan yet. So set out to convert the larger pain de mie recipe down to a size that fits the smaller pan.  I can’t tell you how long it took me to do enough math to convert this recipe. Well, I could but then I’d be embarrassed. Someone like The Yankee or my big brother could probably convert this in less time than it took for me to assume the appropriate thinky face, but it took me slightly longer. But now it’s done and I will celebrate — with good bread.

So with your nifty smaller pain de mie pan, try this:

Smaller 100% whole wheat pain de mie

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 1/4 teaspoons dry milk
  • 2/3 cup potato flakes
  • 13.75 ounces flour (or 3 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in order then knead — about eight minutes by stand mixer — until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl or spray a little nonstick spray around the mixing bowl and let dough rise till nice and puffy, about 90 minutes. I set the sprayed mixing bowl with the dough in the oven (off) with a pan of water that’s been just brought to a boil; think sauna for your dough
  2. Lightly grease a small pain de mie pan pan, then shape the risen dough into a log; pat into the pan, flattening the top as well as you can. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise till the dough is about half an inch below the top of the pan (this will take about 45 minutes)
  3. Spray the lid of the pan with nonstick spray and carefully slide it onto the pan — don’t deflate the dough! — and let the bread continue rising while your oven preheats to 350F (ideally about 15 more minutes)
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid (carefully!) and bake for another 10 or 15 minutes until the middle of the loaf reads 190F, then turn out onto a wire rack; immediately brush with melted butter for an even softer crust

Biscuit pudding

You know… like bread pudding, but biscuits? And OH MAH GAH this is amazing. This may be the ultimate comfort food. And yet another recipe that tastes a million times better than it looks. 😉

See, my fabulous sister got me these books from Cades Cove, which is my most favorite place on earth. It’s home in every sense of the word. I’ve been picnicking at Carter-Shields as long as I can remember, and The Yankee and I love taking Kiddo there now to splash around and count “water spiders” down by the mill.

ANYHOO… the books. The books are Recipes, Remedies and Rumors from the Cades Cove Preservation Association. And they’re fantastic. Poison snake bite cure for dogs? In there. Squirrel dumplings? You bet. But also pork tenderloin, chicken and dumplings, fried potato cakes, you name it.

Biscuit pudding

Ingredients

  • And my new favorite: biscuit pudding! This is criminally easy:
  • 5 cooked leftover biscuits, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl beat 2 eggs, and add sugar, milk, nutmeg and vanilla and mix
  2. Crumble in biscuits and stir
  3. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes

See what I’m saying? So easy. And so, so good.

Amish friendship bread

Ah, friendship bread. Let’s be honest: it’s like a chain letter. But since I end up with this: I say it’s okay.

Let’s start at the beginning. Don’t have anyone dying to give you some starter? You can make your own (recipe found here):

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk (110°F)

Now get it going:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit for about ten minutes. Stir.
  2. in a two quart glass or plastic (no metal!) container, combine flour and sugar; make sure they’re well combined so the flour doesn’t get lumpy in the milk
  3. Add in the warm milk and dissolved yeast/water, stirring slowly till everything is incorporated; the mixture will get bubbly
  4. Pour mixture into a one-gallon ziptop bag and seal tightly, pushing out as much air as possible

That’s it! That is now day 1 completed. Then you follow the directions as if you’ve received the starter:

Day 2: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary
Day 3: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary
Day 4: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary
Day 5: Add to the bag: 1 c. all-purpose flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. cold milk. Mash the bag (yep, it sits on the counter after this — weird but true)
Day 6: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary
Day 7: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary
Day 8: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary
Day 9: Mash the bag, “burp” the air out if necessary

Day 10: Pour the contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl.
Add:

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. cold milk.

Then:

  • Write the date (so your friends know what day one is) on four gallon size zip bags
  • Measure out one cup of batter into each bag
  • Keep one starter bag for yourself; give the other three to friends along with a printed copy of the recipe (Word doc) (remember that if you keep a starter, you will be baking every 10 days)

Time to bake!

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease two small or one large loaf pan

To your remaining starter (about one cup), add:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

The master recipe calls for a mixture of 1/4 c. sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon for dusting/topping. Use 2/3 of this mixture to dust the greased pans, and then sprinkle the remaining on top of the batter after poured into the pans. Bake for 1 hour. Cool until bread loosens from the sides, about 10 minutes.

Variation: some recipes call for 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix and/or substituting 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 oil. You can also play around with different flavors of pudding mixes and additions of fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, and spices.

Two great websites with tips and recipes:

http://www.armchair.com/recipe/amish/amish.html
http://www.momswhothink.com/bread-recipes/amish-friendship-bread.html

I was surprised at how many people were interested in this starter — I had no trouble giving it away, and even mailed a couple of them with no problems. Enjoy!