Let’s bake! Many of you have said you prefer baking various goodies rather than cooking “real meals.” I certainly fall in that category.
Also, I have heard people say they really like — even love — homemade bread, but they are afraid to try it. Today, I want to share two yeast bread recipes that are almost foolproof. (No pun intended; bakers know the term “proof the bread” is a process involved in checking the yeast to see that it will make the bread rise.) I am saying that these recipes have never failed for me or for many others who have tried them.
The main reason for failure in yeast-bread baking is in using a liquid that is too hot and kills the yeast. The temperature of the water or milk or whatever the liquid must be not above 100 degrees. One of your best investments in the kitchen is an instant-read thermometer. There are many uses for them: checking the temperature of meats, checking for stages of heat for candy-making, and, of course, checking the temperature of liquid when baking bread.
The first is an old/new recipe to me. In other words, it is a new version of an old recipe in my first cookbook — the red one, called “From My Kitchen. The recipe is called Angel Biscuits.
I made it for many years, but I have not done a lot of bread-baking unless we have company or I try to pass off a skimpy meal of leftovers by adding a hot bread of some sort. Hot bread can do wonders for any meal. This recently discovered version is much quicker and easier than my original one.
1 packet of dry yeast
2 cups warm water
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
4 cups self-rising flour
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg. Add the dissolved yeast and mix well. Gradually stir in the flour using the dough hook of the mixer until smooth. Pour into a 2 quart, greased bowl that has an airtight top. Store in refrigerator overnight. The next day (or 8-hours later), preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease miniature muffin tins (as many as you need to serve). Spoon the dough into the tins, and let set for about 8-10 minutes before baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. The batter is good in the fridge for 4-5 days if kept sealed. This makes a total of 5 dozen minirolls.
This next recipe if a terrific one for beginners. It is good for making pimiento cheese sandwiches, chicken salad or really with anything.
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (remember-not more than 100 degrees)
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4-2 1/2 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in water. Heat cottage cheese to lukewarm. Add sugar, onion, butter, dill seed and salt to cottage cheese. Stir in beaten egg and dissolved yeast. Add soda to flour, and mix with cheese-yeast mixture. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Stir down, and turn into a well-greased 7- by 11-inch loaf pan. Let rise for about 45 minutes. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 40-50 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt. Turn out to cool on rack.