Feb 122013
 

Subscribe to only my BEST recipes

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets (and I do LOVE kitchen gadgets) is my bread machine. I have purchased several because I literally wear them out. But since I am a penny pincher, I get them at thrift stores or garage sales from people who have not learned to appreciate their value in the kitchen!  They make superb bread dough without the addition of extra flour that often toughens home baked bread.

But there is another reason that I like them! It is because I think that they are close to MAGIC! You put the ingredients in, push some buttons, and voila`, you have the perfect dough to form into whatever you want. There are only a few recipes that I actually bake in the machine, and that is only if I am pressed for time and cannot babysit the process with shaping and baking.

This recipe is especially soft, sweet and aromatic. The addition of milk and egg give it a soft crumb. It impresses with its beautiful presentation and stays fresh for several days. It is a favorite of my daughter, Andrea, who loves to eat it plain or with butter.

Give it a try. You don’t have to make the braided coil. It works well as formed rolls, too. I like to make sandwiches with it, using a bit of Italian dressing to add some flavor to a cheese and lunch meat combo.  Take it to any potluck or bake it as a gift for any occasion.

Italian Herb Bread

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Start by placing the following ingredients into your bread machine pan:

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup hot tap water

Swirl the pan to mix the above ingredients.

Then, sprinkle 1 T. active dry yeast on top of the liquid.

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Allow to soften for a few minutes.

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Next, swirl this mixture to dissolve the yeast into the warm liquid.

Add 1/4 cup shortening (I prefer Butter Flavor Crisco)

Now, add the dry ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 t. salt

4 1/2 cups flour

Top with the herbs:

3/4 t. rosemary

3/4 t. thyme

3/4 t. marjoram

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Start your dough cycle on your bread machine. “Babysit” your machine for the first 5 minutes to be certain that it does not labor too hard. Add a bit of warm water if it seems to be working too hard. If it gets too soft, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour. Most of the time the ingredients don’t need additions, but I like to monitor the first few minutes to be sure that the dough is soft and pliable, but not too sticky. Allow the cycle to finish.

Once the dough cycle is completed, dump the dough onto a flour-sprinkled counter. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. This will allow you to separate the dough into nine equal pieces without tearing the gluten.

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Next, using a pinching motion with your hands, divide the dough into 3 portions.

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Then, divide each portion into 3 more pieces.  Set them aside and cover with a towel.

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On a clean counter (do not dust with flour) use a rolling motion with the palm of your hands, squishing each portion into a rope, being careful to work from the middle to the ends, using pressure, not pulling, to stretch the dough into 16-18 inch ropes.  If the dough is resistant, dampen your hands with a bit or water, and if too sticky, dust with a little bit of flour.  The trick is to form the ropes without tearing the gluten.  Tearing the gluten will affect the appearance of the coils.

Continue to form all 9 pieces, keeping the dough covered to prevent drying.

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Pinch three ropes together and proceed to loosely braid the pieces, pinching together at the end.

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Next, spray a large, shiny cookie sheet with no stick cooking spray.

Now, loosely coil the braid into a round mound, pressing the end underneath one of the top ropes.  It is important to complete this step so that the coil stays formed.

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Place onto the cookie sheet, placing the coil’s end against the cookie sheet side to prevent uncoiling during baking.  Complete the same action with the remainder of dough.  Once all three are on the cookie sheet, cover loosely and allow to rise for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, making certain that the middle rack of the oven has at least 5 inches of space for your bread to rise during baking.

Beat one egg with 1 T. cold water.  Using a pastry brush or your fingers, slather all exposed areas of the braids with the beaten egg mixture, being careful not to press too hard on the raised braids.  Use all of the egg, it will give it an appealing  gloss.  Sprinkle with one of the following:  sesame seeds, poppy seeds or marjoram flakes.  You can achieve a consistent coverage by sprinkling from about 12 inches above the pan.

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Place in the oven and set your timer for 12 minutes.  Check every 2 minutes after this and remove once the bread is a consistent browned appearance.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove each coil using a large, sharp spatula.  Because of the egg wash, it will stick to the pan, so be patient to remove the coils.  Allow to cool on a rack.  Once cool, store in plastic baggies.

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topped with poppy seeds
Here is the Ziplist version of this recipe:

Herb Bread

Herb Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup hot tap water
  • 1 T. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I prefer Butter Flavor Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • Top with the herbs:
  • 3/4 t. rosemary
  • 3/4 t. thyme
  • 3/4 t. marjoram

Instructions

  1. [For detailed directions and pictures, go to: /http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/category/recipes/yeast-breads/]
  2. Start by placing the following ingredients into your bread machine pan:
  3. 1 egg, milk,hot tap water
  4. Swirl the pan to mix the above ingredients.
  5. Then, sprinkle 1 T. active dry yeast on top of the liquid.
  6. Allow to soften for a few minutes.
  7. Next, swirl this mixture to dissolve the yeast into the warm liquid.
  8. Add shortening (I prefer Butter Flavor Crisco)
  9. Now, add the dry ingredients:
  10. Top with the herbs:
  11. Start your dough cycle on your bread machine. "Babysit" your machine for the first 5 minutes to be certain that it does not labor too hard. Add a bit of warm water if it seems to be working too hard. If it gets too soft, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour. Most of the time the ingredients don't need additions, but I like to monitor the first few minutes to be sure that the dough is soft and pliable, but not too sticky.
  12. Allow the cycle to finish.
  13. Once the dough cycle is completed, dump the dough onto a flour-sprinkled counter.
  14. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. This will allow you to separate the dough into nine equal pieces without tearing the gluten.
  15. Next, using a pinching motion with your hands, divide the dough into 3 portions.
  16. Then, divide each portion into 3 more pieces. Set them aside and cover with a towel.
  17. On a clean counter (do not dust with flour) use a rolling motion with the palm of your hands, squishing each portion into a rope, being careful to work from the middle to the ends, using pressure, not pulling, to stretch the dough into 16-18 inch ropes. If the dough is resistant, dampen your hands with a bit or water, and if too sticky, dust with a little bit of flour. The trick is to form the ropes without tearing the gluten. Tearing the gluten will affect the appearance of the coils.
  18. Continue to form all 9 pieces, keeping the dough covered to prevent drying.
  19. Pinch three ropes together and proceed to loosely braid the pieces, pinching together at the end.
  20. Next, spray a large, shiny cookie sheet with no stick cooking spray.
  21. Now, loosely coil the braid into a round mound, pressing the end underneath one of the top ropes. It is important to complete this step so that the coil stays formed.
  22. Place onto the cookie sheet, placing the coil’s end against the cookie sheet side to prevent uncoiling during baking. Complete the same action with the remainder of dough. Once all three are on the cookie sheet, cover loosely and allow to rise for approximately 1 hour.
  23. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, making certain that the middle rack of the oven has at least 5 inches of space for your bread to rise during baking.
  24. Beat one egg with 1 T. cold water. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, slather all exposed areas of the braids with the beaten egg mixture, being careful not to press too hard on the raised braids. Use all of the egg, it will give it an appealing gloss. Sprinkle with one of the following: sesame seeds, poppy seeds or marjoram flakes. You can achieve a consistent coverage by sprinkling from about 12 inches above the pan.
  25. Place in the oven and set your timer for 12 minutes. Check every 2 minutes after this and remove once the bread is a consistent browned appearance. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove each coil using a large, sharp spatula. Because of the egg wash, it will stick to the pan, so be patient to remove the coils.
  26. Allow to cool on a rack. Once cool, store in plastic baggies.

Notes

A beautiful bread that will impress you and your friends!

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/herb-bread/

 

Feb 112013
 

Subscribe to only my BEST recipes

If there is one recipe that inspired me to start this blog, it is this:  Mile High Biscuits!  I found the recipe many years ago in a Farm Journal Cookbook that I checked out of the library. (This was before internet and before I could afford to buy cookbooks for my own library.)

Biscuits, you say?  Really?  Really, I say!  They are the BEST.  So good that whenever we entered them in the Fair, they won top honors.  One year they even won Best of Foods! I was incredulous myself!

Try them for yourself.  Then decide if you agree.  And if you serve them to others, decide ahead of time if you are going to share the recipe, because YOU WILL BE ASKED!

Mile High Biscuits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, making certain that there is a rack that is positioned in the middle of the oven.

3 cups flour

2 T. sugar

4 1/2 t. baking powder

3/4 t. cream of tartar (don’t skip this– it is very important!)

3/4 t. salt

Combine the dry ingredients with a wire whisk.

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Measure 3/4 cup shortening (I like to use Butter Flavor Crisco because of the flavor and color)

Add shortening to the dry ingredients and using a pastry cutter, cut into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. (Do not over-mix)

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Next, the liquid ingredients:

1 cup cold milk

1 egg

Combine egg and milk with wire whisk until well mixed.

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Add liquid ingredients to the dry by gently folding until it is a soft dough.  CAUTION: do not over-mix.  Don’t worry if some parts are wetter than other parts.

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Sprinkle flour on your counter top, then dump dough onto the flour.

Gently knead 15 times, sprinkling flour onto the dough if it becomes sticky.

Using a rolling pin, gently roll dough into a circle, making sure that it is no less than 3/4 inch thick.  “Corral” the dough so that it is a consistent thickness.

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Now, using a biscuit cutter (mine is 2 3/4 inches wide), cut your biscuits using one downward motion, dusting the cutting edge if it is sticky. DO NOT TWIST UNTIL CUTTING ALL THE WAY THROUGH!  Once you cut all the rounds that you can with the first roll-out, then gently push the “extras” into a circle and press together.  These will not be as pretty, but will be good nonetheless.  You can use these for your own appetizer.   You will get about 16 biscuits.

Place on a cookie sheet or stone (I like my Pampered Chef stone).  Note: place close together if you like them doughy, far apart if you want crisp edges.  Also, use a dark cookie sheet if you like crisp bottoms, shiney if you are more into soft.

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Place in the middle of your oven to get the best results.  Bake for …  here’s the tricky part… for 10 – 15 minutes.  I say tricky, because you need to “babysit” them to get the right results.  (Since every oven is different, one cannot predict your time)  Set your timer for 8 minutes and check every 2 minutes after that to get the desired results.

Remove from the oven and serve ASAP.  If you must delay, be sure to place in a basket with a cloth to cover while still warm.  If you must reheat, do so at half power in the microwave, and only for a few seconds.

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Serve with butter and honey, or use for a biscuits and gravy meal.

Prepare to receive copious compliments! (And have your recipe ready, too!)

Here is the Ziplist version of the recipe:

 

My most requested recipe–Mile High Biscuits

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

My most requested recipe–Mile High Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 4 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. cream of tartar (don’t skip this– it is very important!)
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening (I like to use Butter Flavor Crisco because of the flavor and color)
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. [For detailed directions and pictures, go to: /http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/my-most-requested-recipe-mile-high-biscuits/]
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, making certain that there is a rack that is positioned in the middle of the oven.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients with a wire whisk.
  4. Add shortening to the dry ingredients and using a pastry cutter, cut into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. (Do not over-mix)
  5. Next, combine the liquid ingredients:
  6. Add liquid ingredients to the dry by gently folding until it is a soft dough. CAUTION: do not over-mix. Don't worry if some parts are wetter than other parts.
  7. Sprinkle flour on your counter top, then dump dough onto the flour.
  8. Gently knead 15 times, sprinkling flour onto the dough if it becomes sticky.
  9. Using a rolling pin, gently roll dough into a circle, making sure that it is no less than 3/4 inch thick. "Corral" the dough so that it is a consistent thickness.
  10. Now, using a biscuit cutter (mine is 2 3/4 inches wide), cut your biscuits using one downward motion, dusting the cutting edge if it is sticky. DO NOT TWIST UNTIL CUTTING ALL THE WAY THROUGH! Once you cut all the rounds that you can with the first roll-out, then gently push the "extras" into a circle and press together. These will not be as pretty, but will be good nonetheless. You can use these for your own appetizer. You will get about 16 biscuits.
  11. Place on a cookie sheet or stone (I like my Pampered Chef stone). Note: place close together if you like them doughy, far apart if you want crisp edges. Also, use a dark cookie sheet if you like crisp bottoms, shiny if you are more into soft.
  12. Place in the middle of your oven to get the best results. Bake for ... here's the tricky part... for 10 - 15 minutes. I say tricky, because you need to "babysit" them to get the right results. (Since every oven is different, one cannot predict your time) Set your timer for 8 minutes and check every 2 minutes after that to get the desired results.
  13. Remove from the oven and serve ASAP. If you must delay, be sure to place in a basket with a cloth to cover while still warm. If you must reheat, do so at half power in the microwave, and only for a few seconds.
  14. Serve with butter and honey, or use for a biscuits and gravy meal.

Notes

You will be amazed at the compliments this recipe brings...

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/my-most-requested-recipe-mile-high-biscuits/

 

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