Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homemade White Bread

My hubby and I were talking yesterday about childhood memories. Both of us mentioned that our Moms would make homemade bread and that that was a really fond memory for both of us. We each loved coming home from school to the smell of freshly baked bread. After sharing this with each other, Topher looked at me expectantly. "So, do you ever want to make homemade
bread?" Ha! And here I had thought we were just reminiscing. Nope. He was trying to hint to me that I wasn't fulfilling my wifely duties of baking him fresh bread! So. This morning, I decided to remind him that I'm good for something. :) So I looked online and found this recipe that had some pretty good reviews. I had been so nervous about making homemade bread. "It's homemade! And it's bread! That means it uses yeast! " But, I soon realized I was worried for no reason. The recipe I used ended up being easy to put together and tasted great. I hope your
results are positive too!

2 pkg. Yeast
2 C. warm water
1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C. melted butter
6 1/2- 7 C. flour

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar, salt, eggs, butter and 3 cups of flour. Beat this until smooth. Stir
in enough remaining flour (for me this was 3 1/2 more cups) to form a soft dough. You don't want the dough to be too sticky, or too tough. If it is sticking all over your fingers, add more flour. If there's a little bit of stick, that's just fine.
Now put the dough on a floured countertop. Begin to knead it. Really just pushing, punching, massaging, and folding it over itself. Knead for about 6-8 minutes, adding flour as you go to make it less sticky, and eventually getting the soft, smooth feel of a baby's bottom. :)
Grease a large bowl, place the dough inside, cover with a dish towel and place somewhere
warm to rise. I like to turn on the surface light on my microwave. You know, that light that shines on your stovetop from the bottom of your microwave? That warms the inside bottom of your microwave just enough to make it a warm place for happy rising to happen. :)
Let it rise for about 45 minutes to an hour. It just needs to double in size.
Once that has happened, punch it down, and separate it into two equal parts. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 loaf pans with butter, crisco or Pam, then cover and let rise for another 45 minutes to an hour.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until a very light golden brown. When it's done, remove it from the loaf pans and let it cool on a cooling rack. Take a stick of butter and slick the top of the loaves with it, that will give it a nice sheen and that's what Topher's mom always did and it made him happy. :)
Eat with butter and jam, turkey and cheese, or tomatoes
basil and mozzarella! We tried all of the above and they all tasted great!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

My little girl and I went blueberry picking the other day and came home with a couple pounds of big, fresh blueberries. I decided I wanted to make blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes and a chicken salad with blueberries. As of this morning I can check off the muffins! I had wanted to make my sister's Lemon Blueberry Muffins, but I didn't have all the necessary ingredients. So I found this one on Taste of Home and was really happy with it. It wasn't as "light and fluffy" as I usually love my muffins to be, but it was still a darn good muffin. Throw in the fact that it was
easy, and tasted as good if not better than a muffin mix, and the recipe
definitely gets my vote.

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. milk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Dash of Salt
2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries

1 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. butter melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each
addition. Toss in your milk, lemon juice and lemon peel, mix well. Co
mbine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and add into liquid mixture. Fold in the berries.
Put into paper muffin cups and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

For the Glaze:
Combine all the ingredients! Beat well. :)
Once your muffins are out of the oven, remove them to a cooling rack. I put the glaze in a little ziploc bag, cut off a tiny corner and drizzled it over the muffins that way, but I'm sure you could just use a spoon and drizzle it that way as well. I just found the baggy worked great for me because the glaze isn't very runny and I didn't want clumps of glaze on the muffins.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blueberry Pancakes with Berry Sauce

I have never really thought I was a fan of blueberries. They were fine in a mix of frozen berries, but just plain blueberry didn't ever do much for me. Well, my Mom told me that there is a huge difference between freshly picked blueberries and store bought blueberries. I thought that was ridiculous and didn't give it much credence. However, this last week I went blueberry picking with my little girl and yesterday we made our Blueberry muffins and today, I made us blueberry pancakes. Can I just say I rescind all former thoughts or comments about not liking blueberries?! They are so so good! There really is a difference in fresh blueberries. They are more sweet and plump and when you cook them, my goodness something beautiful happens.

So this pancake recipe was one I found on Taste of Home and the pancake itself was a really good one, but then pair it with this Berry Sauce and these pancakes were awesome!
Berry sauce
1/2 C. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 C. Cold Water
3 C. Berries - I used blueberries and Strawberries, but I'm sure any combination of berries would be really yummy

2 C. Flour
1/4 C. Sugar
4 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Milk
1 C. Sour Cream
1/3 C. Butter, melted
1 heaping cup of fresh, or frozen blueberries

This recipe will make about 15-20 pancakes. I halved it, which was interesting with the amts. like 1/4 c. sugar. But, I didn't need 15-20 pancakes, so I halved it and got 7. Perfect for my little family of 3. However, I didn't halve the amount of berries in either the sauce or the pancakes. I used about 2/3 of what the recipe called for the berries.

Sauce Directions
In a medium saucepan stir together the cornstarch and sugar, add in the cold water, bring to a boil and stir constantly. Stir in the berries and continuing stirring constantly, the mixture will thicken after a couple minutes. Turn the heat down and stir for a few more minutes, then remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Pancake Directions
Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine the eggs, milk, sour cream and butter in a separate bowl. Then mix the moist ingredients in with the dry ingredients and fold in the berries.
Heat griddle to medium heat, grease with Pam or Butter and cook until bubbles form, then flip over.
Top your pancakes with a square of butter and berry sauce, sit down to eat your dainty one pancake, then scold yourself for going back for seconds, and then thirds. Enjoy!