Wintertime is soup and homemade bread time at my house. There is nothing more comforting to have good smells wafting from the kitchen on a cold winter’s day. I will admit that I have never mastered the whole kneading and rising process of making bread, instead I opt for using my trusty bread machine. After all, it’s still homemade in my book!
Country White Bread – 1 1/2 pound loaf
½ – 5/8 cup water
5/8 cup milk
1 ½ Tablespoons butter or margarine
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1. Place all ingredients in bread pan, using the least amount of liquid listed in the recipe. Select Medium Crust setting and press START.
2. Observe the dough as it kneads. After 5 – 10 minutes, if it appears dry and stiff, or if your machine sounds as if it’s straining to knead it, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms a smooth, soft , pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch.
3. After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on cake rack, and allow to cool 2 hour before slicing.
For more bread machine recipes, check out these books:
The bread lover’s bread machine cookbook: a master baker’s 300 favorite recipes for perfect-every-time bread, from every kind of machine by Beth Hensperger
Biggest book of bread machine recipes.
Bread machine magic: 138 exciting new recipes created especially for use in all types of bread machines by Linda Rehberg
The breadman’s healthy bread book: use your bread machine to make more than 100 delicious, wholesome breads by George Burnett
I recently made this gingerbread cake for a friend’s birthday. It was my most successful attempt ever at making a glaze look pretty! The recipe comes from The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger.
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup light molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tbs. unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
In a double boiler, place the chocolate, molasses, vegetable oil, and butter. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan or spray it with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until foamy. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk-egg mixture. Stir to combine. Add the chocolate mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven until the top springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set the cake on a rack and remove the springform sides. Prepare the Bittersweet Glaze as directed. Cool on a rack to set the glaze until time to serve.
6 tbs. unsalted butter
4 1/2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 tbs. light corn syrup.
In a double boiler, combine the butter, chocolate, and corn syrup over low heat, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour the glaze onto the center of the gingerbread and use a metal spatula or other tool to coat the cake in a few strokes, letting the glaze drip down the sides of the cake.
1¼ cups milk
¾ cup mashed potato flakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in potato flakes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Whip with a fork until smooth; cool slightly. Beat in egg, oil and cheese. Combine remaining ingredients; stir into potato mixture just until moistened (batter will be thick).
Fill greased muffin cups ¾ full. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.
Makes 1 dozen.