Bread


Bunny Bread


About a month ago, there was a lovely day when I did not have to go anywhere. Thinking of several events in the near future, which required me to bring food, I decided to make Orange Bunny Rolls with Victoria, who is in love with bunnies and cries whenever anyone mentions any version of bunny doom, whether it be a recipe for roast rabbit or fictional killer bunnies. Eating bunny bread does not have this effect, and she especially enjoyed rolling them out. 

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You can substitute frozen bread dough if yeast sounds intimidating or you are strapped for time.

From Recipes From the Old Mill


ORANGE BUNNIES

makes 24


1 pkg. dry yeast 

1/4 C. warm water

1/3 C. instant nonfat dry milk

1/4 C. sugar

1/3 C. oil

1 tsp. salt

2 C. fresh whole wheat flour

2 beaten eggs

1/4 C. orange juice

2 Tbs. freshly grated orange peel

3 1/3-3 3/4 C. bread flour


Sugar glaze:

2 C. sifted powdered sugar

1/4 C. water OR orange juice

1 tsp. melted butter


Soften yeast in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add dry milk, sugar, oil, salt and whole wheat flour. Beat well. 

Add eggs, orange juice, orange peel, and enough flour to make a soft dough.

Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. 

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise till double, about 2 hours. 

Punch down. Cover and rest 10 minutes.

To shape: on lightly floured surface roll dough into rectangle 1/2 inch thick. cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide and roll between hands to smooth. Shape into bunnies (see below).

For twist bunnies:

For each you will need 14 inch strip of dough. Cut off a small piece for the tail.

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On lightly greased baking sheet, lap one end of strip over other to form a loop. 

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Bring end that’s underneath up over top end, letting one end extend on each side to for ears. Pat tips of ears to shape in a point. Roll small ball of dough to form tail; place at bottom of loop. 

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For curlique bunnies (which everyone thought looked like snails):

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For each you’ll need a 15” strip of dough. On lightly greased baking sheet; coil 2/3 of the strip loosely in one direction for the body and coil the other third of the strip in the opposite direction for the head. 

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For ears, pinch off 1/2 inch strip and roll between hands until smooth.  Snip almost all the way in half to form two ears  and place next to head. Pinch off a bit of dough and roll into ball for tail. (or snip off the ears and tail before you roll, like I did.)

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They might have looked more rabbity if the center of the coil did not protrude. 

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After shaping, cover. Let rise till nearly double, about 45-60 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. While warm brush with sugar glaze.

Note: I doubled this and make it in my Bosch with a few modifications. I did not proof the yeast, but tossed it in after a few cups of flour, as usual with recipes for the Bosch. I kneaded it in the mixer and skipped the first rise. 

My Favorite Bread Book


To paraphrase a favorite quote of a friend of mine, whose mother is a shop-a-holic when it comes to cute kids' clothes, I have an addiction, but my family is not seeking treatment. My addiction seems to be cookbooks, but I have a keen interest in loose recipes as well. After struggling to stuff a cookbook back into the bookcase in my kitchen dedicated to cookbooks, I realized I needed to pare down. (whimper)

I thought it would be easiest to pick a thin cookbook that I had never even read. But in all fairness, I should at least read it… and try a few token recipes before I got rid of it. I picked No More Bricks by Lori Viets. I expected to be able to live without this because I already had a favorite bread cookbook, which I used constantly and everyone loved. After giving this book a fair trial, it is now essential to my cookbook collection and is my new favorite bread cookbook of all time. So, I thought you would want to know about it. 


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click on picture to see it on Amazon

The first 100 pages are all about bread baking methods, grains and flours, tools and equipment, etc. I read them and picked up a few new-to-me facts, but most of that was familiar to me. On page 107 the recipes begin. There are only four master recipes: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread, Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Wheat Rye Bread, and Soft Wheat Egg Dough (for sweet breads). These are all 100% whole grain and are the foundation for all the remaining recipes, such as Cinnamon Swirl, Crunchy "Birdseed" Bread, Cheesy Onion Bread, dinner rolls of all shapes, pizzas, calzones, stromboli 4 ways, pocket sandwiches, bread bowls (for soup),cinnamon rolls (three variations), tea rings, doughnuts, and sweet or savory breakfast breads. 

I began by trying each of the four master recipes, making plain loaves for sandwiches. Each one was EXCELLENT. Far better than our former favorite. Then I began experimenting with the variations and had an overwhelming urge to try every single one. It is a worthy challenge. Our current favorite of all is the Honey Whole Wheat Bread with the 'birdseed" variation (pictured below). This is the master recipe with raw amaranth, millet, sesame seeds, and red quinoa added to the dough. You can add any kind of seeds or grains to be the birdseed, this is just what I happened to have in the pantry.

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I made the cheesy onion bread with black and green olives. We ate this with soup. Only the olive hater disliked it, which was to be expected. 

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We have also enjoyed cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing and citrus tea ring. (Sorry no picture! It disappeared too fast.) I write comments in all my cookbooks and I was marking every recipe I tried "excellent" or "very good". My only disappointment so far is using the master recipes for pizza. I thought the dough was too bready for a pizza, but I liked her ideas for a breakfast pizza and cool veggie patch pizza. I'll use my own pizza dough recipe and try her toppings. 

The book assumes you will grind your own flour fresh and have a heavy duty mixer such as a Bosch or Electrolux. In my experience these investments are the only way you can get 100% whole grain bread to come out fluffy and luscious. Fortunately, these tools enable you to bake 4-6 loaves of bread all at the same time in 1 1/2-2 hours from the time you mill the grain to the time you pull the bread out of the oven. This translates into about 15 minutes of hands on time; the rest of the time it is rising or baking.

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The only changes I made in the master recipes were to use regular Morton's salt instead of sea salt, since that is what I had, and to use 1/4 tsp. vitamin C powder instead of 2 Tbs. dough enhancer. I let my bread rise in the oven with the pilot light on, then continue baking when the rise is complete. I have had the best looking loaves when I warmed the oven up to 100 degrees (or so) then turned the heat off for the rising time. 

I have been baking all our family's bread for years because David has always had food allergies and can't eat most of the store bought bread. It didn't take long for us to realize we had been missing out and that the store bread has the taste and texture of an old dry sponge in comparison, plus I don't recognize half of the chemicals/ingredients in store bought. With my grain mill and heavy duty mixer it is well worth it to spend 15 minutes once or twice a week mixing and shaping the dough for all the bread we need. 

If you bake bread regularly, I am sure you will love this cookbook! As soon as I finish trying all the remaining recipes, I will look for another cookbook to discard and make breathing room on the shelves. 

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Soft Wheat Egg Dough made into two different shapes of cinnamon loaves.


Disclaimer- I wish someone was paying me for this review, but no one is. I just thought I'd share what I feel enthusiastic about. 

Rye Rolls

Very flavorful. Nice alongside soup. Make this in the Bosch or halve it and mix in the Kitchenaid.

RYE ROLLS   3 1/2 doz. rolls


4-5 C. whole wheat flour

1/2 C. . sugar

4 tsp. caraway seed

4 tsp. salt

4 C. rye flour

4 C. milk

1/2 C. olive oil

4 eggs

2 Tbs. yeast

1/4 tsp. vitamin C powder (optional)

butter


Grease  muffin cups. Combine 3 cups wheat flour, sugar, caraway, salt and yeast. Blend well and set aside. In small pan, heat milk and oil to 120-130° .Blend at low speed, add flour mixture then beat 3 min. Stir in rye flour, eggs and enough cups flour to form a stiff batter. Spoon into pan filling cups 2/3 full. Rise 15-25 min. Bake at 400° 12-15 min. Brush with butter.

Buttermilk Dinner Muffins

This is a savory muffin that goes well with soup.

BUTTERMILK DINNER MUFFINS                         makes 32


4 C. quick oats

4 C. buttermilk

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 C. brown sugar

1 C. oil

4 C. whole wheat pastry flour

4 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. salt

Soak oat in buttermilk 15 min. Stir in eggs, sugar and oil. Combine dry ingredients and fold in to wet ingredients, just to moisten. Fill muffin pans ¾ full. Bake at 400° 16-18 min. Cool in pan 5 min. 


At high altitude (Colorado Springs) subtract 2Tbs. sugar, add 1 Tbs. or more buttermilk to make batter right consistency, use 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda 

Custardy Cornbread

It is nice to have options. 

CUSTARDY CORNBREAD


2 C. cornmeal

2 C. wheat flour (or use 1 C. flour and 1 C. quick oats-will make custard layer on top)

4 C. Milk

5 well beaten eggs

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 C. sugar (or less)

1/2 C. oil


Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, combine and pour into greased 10”x14” pan. (Do not make in 9x13 pan). Bake 350° for 50-60 min.

Basic Cornbread


BASIC CORNBREAD


1 1/4 C. flour  (I use whole wheat pastry flour but you can use all purpose)

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. cornmeal 

1 C. milk

1/4 C. sugar

1/4 C. oil

2 tsp. baking powder 

1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 400°. Grease 8 or 9” pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bake 20-25 min. Serve warm.

Brioche

This is a buttery roll made with white flour that we reserve for holidays. It isn’t so great with whole wheat flour, but I figure it is OK to eat just a little bit of white flour on the rare occasion.

BRIOCHE        makes 24 rolls


2 Tbs. yeast

1/4 C. Warm water (110-115 degrees)

1 1/4 C. buttermilk, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

3/4 C. butter, softened

1/3 C. sugar

1 Tbs. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

5- 5  1/2 C. flour

3 Tbs. butter, melted


Soften yeast in warm water. Combine yeast, buttermilk, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and 2 1/2 cups fur in large mixing bowl. Blend at low speed. Beat two minutes at medium speed. Stir in remaining flour. Knead 3-5 min. or until smooth. Grease 24 muffin cups. Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Remove a small portion of dough from each part; enough to make a 1 inch ball. Roll all parts into smooth balls. Place large portion in muffin tins. With finger, make an indentation in each roll. Place smaller ball on top. Cover and let rise in warm draft free place until almost doubled. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and brush tops with melted butter. 

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is a recipe that used to call for all white flour. When I began studying nutrition, I changed it to half whole wheat flour. Then we got really serious, invested in a Bosch, and I rewrote the recipe to use all fresh ground whole wheat (Prairie Gold is my favorite) and changed the method to take advantage of the capabilities of a Bosch. I give you both recipes here. The first one makes four loaves with 100% whole wheat. The second one will make two loaves if you only have a Kitchenaid and you can use half whole wheat. I do not recommend trying to do all whole wheat without a heavy duty mixer because your loaves will be quite dense and you will be disappointed. Possibly embarrassed. You will eventually burn out the motor in a Kitchenaid, too. 

CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD             4 loaves (Bosch)


4 1/2 C. warm water (115°-120)    

6 Tbs. sugar   

2 Tbs. salt       

6 Tbs. butter   

12-13 C. Freshly ground whole wheat flour   

3Tbs. yeast   

3 C. raisins

1/2 C. sugar

4 tsp. cinnamon

4 Tbs. water

butter, softened

    

Mix water, 6 Tbs. Sugar, salt, 6 Tbs. Butter, and 3 cups flour in Bosch. Stir in yeast. Beat until smooth. Mix in raisins and enough remaining flour to make dough pull away from sides of bowl. Knead 8-10 min. Rise about 1 hr. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.) Grease two loaf pans. Mis 1/2 cup sugar and 4 tsp. cinnamon; set aside. 


 Divide into four equal portions. Roll each quarter into a rectangle 13x8”, pressing out as many air bubbles as possible. Sprinkle each rectangle with 1 Tbs. of water and 1/4 of the sugar mixture. Roll up tightly, beginning at the 8” end. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well; press in ends of roll. Press each end with side of hand to seal; fold ends under. Place loaves, seam ends down, in loaf pans. Brush lightly with softened butter. Rise about 1 hr. Heat oven to 425°. Place loaves on low rack so that tops of pans are in center of oven. Pans should not touch each other or sides of oven. Bake 25-30 min. or until deep golden and hollow sounding. Immediately remove from pans. Brush with butter and cool.


CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD             2 loaves  (Kitchenaid)


2 pkg. yeast    

1 1/4 C. warm water (105-115°)   

1 C. warm water       

3 Tbs. sugar   

1 Tbs. salt   

3 Tbs. butter      

6-6 1/2 C. flour  (1/2 WW)

1 1/2 C. raisins

1/4 C. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbs. water

butter, softened


 

Dissolve yeast in 1 1/4 C. warm water. Stir in 1 C. warm water, sugar, salt, butter and 3 1/2 C. flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in raisins and enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Knead 10 min. Rise about 1 hr. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.) 


Grease 2 loaf pans, 9x5x3”. Mix 1/4 C. sugar and cinnamon. 


Punch down dough, divide in half. Round up; place on lightly floured surface. Cover with inverted bowls and let rest 15-20 min. Roll each half into a rectangle 13x8”, pressing out as many air bubbles as possible. Sprinkle each rectangle with 1 Tbs. of water and half of the sugar mixture. Roll up tightly, beginning at the 8” end. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well; press in ends of roll. Press each end with side of hand to seal; fold ends under. Place loaves, seam ends down, in loaf pans. Brush lightly with softened butter. Rise about 1 hr. Heat oven to 425°. Place loaves on low rack so that tops of pans are in center of oven. Pans should not touch each other or sides of oven. Bake 25-30 min. or until deep golden and hollow sounding. Immediately remove from pans. Brush with butter and cool.



Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cornbread

This is, hands down, our favorite cornbread recipe. I got the original from a missionary friend when we lived in Okinawa. It is so good you could just call it dessert. Over the years, as our understanding of “healthy” grew, we knew we had to get rid of the Bisquick in the original recipe. There is still room for healthification with the sugar, but we are not afraid of all that butter! There is no substitute for that. We’ll leave it this way so we can have our cake and call it cornbread. Like the daughter of our good friends, I am sure you will find it, as she commented with crumbs falling out of her mouth, “Gooder’n I expected!”

MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH CORNBREAD


2 C. whole wheat pastry flour       

1 C. cornmeal        

3/4 C. sugar       

1 C. melted butter       

1 C. buttermilk

8 oz. creamed corn

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 tsp. bkg. Soda

1/2 tsp. salt


Mix well. Pour into greased 9x13” pan. Bake at 350° for 20-30 min.


Kay Goolde’s Original Version:

Instead of the whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 tsp. salt, use 2 cups Bisquick.


High Altitude Version:

subtract 1 Tbs. sugar

use only 1/4 tsp. baking soda

add 1 Tbs. more buttermilk


Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

These are great for holidays or when you have overnight guests. Do all the work the day before, then bake them in the morning. You can make two dozen large rolls in two 9x13-inch pans or make one dozen extra large rolls in one pan. 


JUMBO CINNAMON ROLLS


2 Tbs. yeast

2 1/2 C. milk

1/4 C. butter

1/4 C. sugar

2 tsp. salt

6 1/2- 7 C. flour

1/4 C. butter, softened

3/4 C. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 C. chopped pecans

glaze


Combine milk, 1/4 C. butter, sugar and salt in small saucepan, heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Cool to 105-115°. Stir in yeast to dissolve and proof (let it sit until it gets bubbly- about 5 min.). 


Combine milk mixture and 3 C. flour to mixing bowl, beat at medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Rise 1 hour or until doubled. 


Punch down, roll into 18x12” rectangle on lightly floured surface. Spread with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Roll jelly roll fashion, starting at long side. Cut into 1” slices, place cut side down on greased cookie sheet. Cover rolls with saran wrap, refrigerate overnight. Rise 1 hour or until doubled. Bake at 350° 20-25 min. or until golden brown. Drizzle with glaze while still warm. 


Glaze:

3 C. 10X sugar, sifted

1/3 C. butter, softened

1/3 C. orange juice

3/4 tsp. vanilla

3/4 tsp. almond extract

Beat at medium speed until smooth.


© Being Fruitful, 2012