Category Archives: Yeast Breads and Rolls

Homemade Doughnuts (3 ways- glazed, powdered or cinnamon-sugar)

20141224_094457Homemade Doughnuts are something extra-special. We don’t make them too often, but it always seems like a kind of holiday when donuts are on the menu for an evening.

At first glance, this might look like a long process, but these are really not very hard to make. A little time, and advanced preparation, and you’ll be enjoying hot, soft, delicious donuts that YOU made. I’ve tried to include as many specific details as possible.

In our family, we have a tradition of making donuts several times throughout the Christmas Season, or when we get a good snow. (which isn’t too often where we live!)

One of our family’s favorite nights of the Christmas season is when we make the donut collagefirst batch of donuts of the season and watch White Christmas together. It’s one of the nights we look the most forward to each year.

The actual cutting, frying, and coating of the donuts is a family-affair, too. I cut them out, daddy fries them, the kids help to coat them.

We’ve been doing the Christmas-donut tradition for years- my husband grew up with this tradition and we carried it over to our own family. But, we used to use canned biscuits for the dough. I have to say, they tasted great, and they were quicker to prepare, but as I replaced our packaged and processed, chemical-laden food choices with more homemade foods made from real ingredients, I knew that our beloved donuts needed to change, too. (see canned biscuit ingredients here)

Well, at first this was not a popular decision- especially with the man of our house. You see, he’s the biggest canned-biscuit-donut-lover in the family- not to mention a big time traditionalist at Christmastime. But, I was determined to find a good replacement that we loved just as much.

Well, it has taken me several recipes and a couple Christmas seasons to find the “right’ recipe. This one is it. We all love it! I really think the mashed potatoes are the key ingredient for the perfect texture. it helps them to be lighter, and not so dense and cakey. Lard is the best frying option. The donuts don’t become oily or greasy inside- but fry up beautifully on the outside. (and though you might think frying in lard is taking your life into your hands- consider that lard is high in monounsaturated fats- like an avocado or olive oil-and rich in vitamin D. READ HERE.- it’s a GREAT article )

Which coating to choose? Well, we do love them all. Most of the time- we do some of all 3 coating options. If we could choose just one, the preparation would be simpler, I must say! 🙂 But, the general consensus with all of us is that the glazed is the winner for the best coating. It just melts in your mouth.  Oh, yum! (tastes awesome the next day, too!) I think the powdered sugar coating is #2.

Now- a few disclaimers, just to get them out in the open….

1. Yes, the process is a little messy and little bit of work.  When the donuts really get frying and there are several bowls full of coating, and plates for holding the donuts, and several children wanting to ‘help’- yeah it gets a little busy and messy in the kitchen. But you know what- messes can be cleaned up. It’s worth it. Memories are made of these things.

2. I know these aren’t exactly diet food. But, you don’t make donuts because they are good for you. They’re sugary, made with all white flour, fried, etc. Like I said- we don’t make these every other week. Donuts are a special treat for once-in-a-while. And that’s another reason why they are so special.

Here’s how to make them:

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Yeast Biscuits (Best Biscuits Ever)

20150204_181051Light, fluffy, flaky, golden, buttery…These are absolutely wonderful! If you want to make something really special out of something pretty simple- this will do it. Some people call these “Angel biscuits” because of their light and airy texture. Basically it’s the perfect- and might I say it- ‘heavenly’ combination of half biscuit/half yeast roll.

Baked in a cast iron skillet, the bottoms turn just slightly brown and beautiful to match the golden tops.

I like to serve these along with eggs and bacon or hot soup, or all by themselves at breakfast, slathered with butter and honey.

One of the nicest parts of this recipe, is that you can make the dough ahead, then let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or even a few days. One whole recipe will yield approximately 30 biscuits- but you can take out as much or as little dough as you want and use, and then put the rest of the dough back in the refrigerator to use on a different day.

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Multi- Grain Sandwich Buns

P1050592If you would like to bump up the taste of your sandwiches or burgers- make homemade buns! Not only will you love the taste, you can also know that you are going to end up with a much more natural and healthier product than something similar that you might buy at the grocery store.

Just take a look at the ingredients found in this brand of Hamburger Buns!  (Wheat Flour, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup Or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil. Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Gluten, Salt, Barley Malt, Datem, Mono- And Diglycerides, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Propionate (To Retain Freshness), Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Soy Flour, Vinegar, Sorbic Acid, Ethoxylated Mono- And Diglycerides, Enzymes, Whey, Yeast Nutrients (Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Sulfate), Ferrous Sulfate (Iron), “B” Vitamins [Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)],Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Azodicarbonamide, Calcium Dioxide. If Topped, Also Contains Sesame Seeds Or Cornmeal. Contains: Wheat, Milk And Soy.) 

That is a LOT of add-ins! And for all that, I don’t even think most store- bought buns or sandwich breads even taste that good!

Well, this recipe is very easy and the buns are delicious.

These are very similar to another recipe for Homemade Sandwich Buns that I have posted. However I wanted to add in some other grains to make a healthier bread- and I love the way it has turned out. I make these often- whether it is for your typical PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich or a juicy burger or pulled pork sandwich…or even toasted with some butter and honey for breakfast! These buns also store very well. Keep tightly covered and they will remain tasty for several days.

The directions for this recipe are the way that I do it using my bread machine for making the dough. Obviously, you can adjust the directions if you are making the dough with a mixer or by hand.

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1 Hour Honey-Wheat Yeast Rolls (No-Knead)

P1040638Sometimes, a day just isn’t conducive to making bread- you just might not have the time put into the process of making the dough and allowing 2 rises.

But, you can still have fresh yeast rolls for dinner!

This is a great roll recipe that I love to use because it is so quick- just one hour, plus baking time, to beautiful soft dinner rolls- and delicious, too!

They are just lightly sweet from honey, and use half white and half wheat flour, yet still deliver a light roll- not dense. And to make things even better, there is no kneading the dough!

If you are new to working with yeast, this would be a great recipe to get you started.

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Homemade Pizza Crust

homemade pizza picmonkeyI’ve always liked homemade pizza. It’s such a great, laid-back meal and so customize-able to your own family’s tastes. You can go meatless and fill it up with cheese and veggies, or you could go the other way and do a meat-lovers. You could have fun and add pineapple and gourmet cheeses, and the list goes on.

What are your favorite pizza toppings for homemade pizza?

The pizza dough recipe featured in this post is quite simple and one of our favorites. One batch will make 2 medium round pizzas that can feed approx. 2 people each- so 4 people all together (depending on how thin you roll the crust and how hungry the people are who are eating!) Or, you could divide the dough into smaller pieces and roll out to make smaller individual pizzas!

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup white all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. warm water
  • 2 teaspoons active, dry yeast
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast.

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Stir to combine and set aside so the yeast can dissolve while you are working on the other ingredients.

In a food processor (or bowl) add the flour and salt, garlic powder, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Mix.

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Add the olive oil and mix until combined.

Now, pour in the water/yeast mixture with the food processor running. You may need to add additional water- 1 Tbs. at a time- you are looking for the mixture to turn into a soft dough that no longer clings to the sides of the bowl.

Take this dough out and turn onto a floured surface and just slightly knead. Form into a ball.

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Pour a small amount of olive oil into a large bowl. Spread it around the bottom to coat. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and then turn it over, so the top is covered in the oil.

Cover the bowl with a clean, warm, damp cloth.

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Set aside to rise for at least 1 hour. (you can use this as soon as it is done rising, or you can store it in the refrigerator in a closed container until you are ready to use it)

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When the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and place on a clean surface.

Divide into 2 pieces and allow to rest for several minutes.

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Working with 1 section of dough at a time, roll each piece into a rough circle (or rectangle- or whatever shape you want, really!) on a lightly floured surface.

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Sprinkle a little bit of cornmeal down and place the dough on top just to coat the bottom lightly (this prevents the dough from sticking to the pan and also gives a nice texture)

Then transfer the dough to a baking stone or pan.

Top with your favorite sauce, cheeses, and other toppings.

Bake at 425 for approx. 12 minutes- or until the cheeses melt, the top is bubbly and the bottom of the pizza is beginning to brown.

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The pizza pictured here includes: sauce, 1 cup of freshly grated mozzarella, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, white mushrooms, red pepper, fresh spring onions, and a little bit of black pepper. Mmm..mmm..mmm!

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PRINTABLE RECIPE

dough recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentis

Homemade Sandwich Buns

P1020106This is a wonderful, wonderful recipe. I usually make these about once a week!

I have never loved any of the hamburger or sandwich buns I buy at the store. I think they are dry and not a lot of flavor. I kept finding myself disappointed. There had to be a better option!

Then, I found this recipe, and sandwiches and burgers have never been the same at our house!

I have found that a good, homemade bun makes all the difference in a sandwich! The bun goes from being simply something that holds the body of the sandwich, to competing as the star of the show.

We actually love having some buns left over, too, because they are excellent toasted for breakfast or for lunch or whatever. And, of course, an added benefit is that these buns won’t contain those chemicals and preservatives that the store-bought buns do. I use them all the time. We all love them!

Now, though I have made a few small changes in ingredients and some slight changes in the method, I do want to give credit where credit is due. I originally found this recipe from King Arthur Flour. So, if you would like to see their explanation, I have provided the link, above.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs. butter- cut into slices
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 heaping Tbs. instant yeast

I always make the dough in my bread machine, but if you like to use a mixer, that is fine, too. But, these instructions will be as I do it using the bread machine.

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Add your ingredients. I always do wet ingredients first, then the dry, then the yeast.

So- water, butter, egg, salt, sugar, flours, yeast

Start the dough cycle. (which mixes the dough and allows it to rise)

When that cycle is completed, remove dough and pat onto a lightly floured cutting board.

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Using a sharp knife, cut 8 pieces. Shape these into buns by gently folding the corners under or making a sort of ball.

Place on a greased baking sheet.

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Gently press down on each bun to flatten slightly.

Allow to rise for about 20 more minutes.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Watch to be sure the bottoms don’t get too done.

Remove from oven to wire rack.

Melt 2 Tbs. butter and brush on the tops of the buns.

Allow to cool.

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