Sunday, January 31, 2010

White Sandwich Bread


2 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast or 1 pkg "highly active"
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter softened
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water - mix and allow to sit for up to 15 minutes. Add the butter cut into small cubes, add additional ingredients and mix well. I use the dough hook on my kitchenaid stand mixer on setting 1 - once the dough is well mixed, turn to setting 2 and allow to knead for about 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth, may stick a bit in the bottom of the bowl this is okay.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl (I spray mine with a canola oil spray) and cover with saran wrap, then place a towel over bowl. Put in your oven and turn on the oven light - this creates a nice small sealed space and the light warms it up enough to allow your dough to raise quickly even if your kitchen is cold (like mine). Allow to raise until doubled in size - this takes about an hour and a half.

Carefully punch the dough down to deflate. Move to a greased 5X9 bread pan, cover again with saran wrap this time spray the wrap with the canola oil too, put back in the oven for another hour to hour and a half. The bread should rise to at least an inch over the top of your pan - maybe a bit more. Take it out and preheat your oven to 350.

Once the oven is heated, remove the saran wrap and place in the center. Will bake for approx 30-35 minutes. When browned on top remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before turning out onto wire rack to finish cooling. Brush the top with butter if you'd like for a soft and delicious crust.

This bread has a slightly sweet taste, is moist and delicious and keeps well for several days in a sealed bag or container. It's perfect for sandwiches, toast, or just eating plain with butter.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chewy Toffee Cookies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup softened butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag Heath Bar Bits (or 8 bars crushed)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs, mix well. Sift all dry ingredients together and mix in a bit at a time. Finally add Heath Bar bits and Mini Chocolate Chips. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes, then drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Molasses Crinkle Cookies


3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup white sugar


In a mixing bowl combine melted margarine, brown sugar and egg and beat until smooth. Add molasses and beat another minute.

Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, add to the molasses mixture and mix well.

Cover and chill dough at least one hour.

Roll dough into 1" balls and roll them in the white sugar. Place about 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 until tops are cracked. Allow to cool on wire racks.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies - these last quite awhile in a sealed container and freeze well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Laura's Recipe for Fast White Bread


2 cups Warm Water
2 T sugar
2 T butter (or stick margarine)
2 t salt
1 package active dry yeast
5 cups all purpose flour


I made mine using my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer with the dough hook, but you can do this all by hand if you have a strong arm to beat the batter!

Pour 2 cups of warm water in your mixing bowl add sugar and salt , cut the butter into small pieces and stir into water until the butter is melted and the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the yeast and mix well.

Stir in 3 cups of all purpose flour until mixture is smooth then add additional 2 cups of flour a bit at a time until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.

At this point you can dump the dough out on a well floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes OR if you are like me you add flour a few tablespoons at a time and let the dough hook do the work. I dumped it out on the floured surface when the dough was smooth on the surface and no longer sticky to the touch. I kneaded a few more turns by hand - about 2 minutes.

Spray cooking spray in a glass mixing bowl, put the dough in and turn it or just spray some more cooking spray directly on the dough. Cover with saran wrap and a kitchen towel. Put it in your oven (not heated yet) and just turn the light on in the oven. Just that bit of heat coming off the light and the sealed oven will help the dough raise quickly.

After about an hour - or when dough has doubled in size - take the dough back out of the oven and punch it back down, split it in half and put in two loaf pans sprayed well with cooking spray. Cover again with saran wrap and a towel and put back in the oven for approx 45 minutes or until doubled again. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the saran wrap and return uncovered loaf pans to heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Once they are removed from the oven brush with melted butter. After about 5 minutes remove from pan to wire rack to finish cooling.

Attempt to wait until they are cool to cut off the first slice - FAIL miserably at this and eat your still warm slice smothered in real butter.


For Laura's step by step instructions with photos this link will take you to this post on her blog Love at Home. While you are there be sure to bookmark her site because you will want to go back!

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Okay this is not rocket science - no real recipe needed but it is sooooooo delicious!


1 can tomato soup
1 can milk for tomato soup
1 cup cooked cheese tortellini


Boil water and cook the toretellini for approx 5 minutes. Then mix the tomato soup and milk and blend well. Stir in the cooked and drained tortellini- cook on low allowing the mixture to simmer for approx 20 minutes.

Enjoy - tomato soup with tortellini is easy to make and delicious - eat with fresh buttered bread or a grilled cheese sandwich or just all by itself. It is my new addiction.