I love to cook. and find it very relaxing. Ever since I was in elementary school, I would pour over cookbooks looking for exotic things to make. Whenever I go out to eat and find something new, I go home and try to duplicate it. Amost every day, I make bread of some sort. Today I made a cranberry version of Amish Friendship bread. However, rolls and regular bread are my specialty. Although I do occasionally use other recipes, most of the time I use this one to make make garlic salt rolls, bread sticks, pita bread, loaf bread, coffee cake and just about everything else.
1 1/2 cups water
2 tea. yeast (or one packet)
1/4 cup sugar (more if you are making a sweet roll)
1 tea salt
2 TB oil (or marg.)
4 cups flour (Gold Metal is all I use, maybe Pillsbury in a pinch. I’ve had trouble with generic brands. Alternatively, you can add a couple of teaspoons of glutin, which you can find in most supermarkets, to the flour. If you have trouble with rising, it is probably the flour)
Put in in the dough cycle of a breadmaker and let it go. When done, shape and bake in regular oven. If you don’t have a breadmaker, you can mix and knead as usual. For most things, bake at 350 (20 minutes for rolls, 30-40 minutes for a loaf), but for Pita Bread or Pizza go up to 400 or 425 (then bake just 8 minutes for pita bread and 10-15 minutes for pizza).
For rolls and bread sticks, I generally take them out and brush over melted butter and then sprinkle with garlic salt. For cinnamon buns, roll out dough and cover with one stick of butter and a cup or so of sugar and cinnamon. Then roll up and cut with a knife or piece of thread. To make sticky buns use brown sugar instead (you can also add nuts, raisins or other dried fruit). To make a good coffee cake, roll out a rectangle about 10 inches wide and 15 or more inches long. Spread the middle of this rectangle with one packet of cream cheese mixed with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tea. vanilla or almond flavoring. Spread over that one can of fruit pie filling (cherry is good). Pull the two sides over the middle and pinch together.
Sour Dough: This dough recipe never fails. If I forget about it (all day or overnight, or both!) it gets all soggy and sort of bubbly and smells sour. However, I’ve found it bakes up just fine with a kind of sour dough taste and a bit of a different texture. It won’t be as easy to work with and you may just want to pour it into a pan for a loaf. If you’ve really left it a long time, you can add a bit more sugar to give the yeast something more to eat. Still–good enough to eat in my family! Probably how sourdough got started in the first place.
Thanks Carrie for this post idea! I’ve tried real sour dough before and been disappointed because I don’t think I can get my oven hot enough for a real crispy crust. However, you are motivating me to try!