Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gluten for punishment (bun intended)

As if baking and cooking for the holidays wasn't enough, tomorrow I decided to tackle my delicious Low n Slow BBQ Pork Roast.  And I wanted fresh bread to go with it.  Not rolls, but artisan bread!  So this is my adventure into making "Easy Homemade Bread" I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been keeping it in my To Make folder for just the right occasion.  The blogger who posted the recipe makes it sound soooo simple!  So here we go! (start time 6pm)

Gather the ingredients, and there really aren't many...

Then combine everything in a large bowl and mix till combined. I ended up having to do it by hand, because I couldn't get it mixed with the wooden spoon I was using.  Next time I am definitely using the dough hook and the stand mixer.

The cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours.

Fast forward to today and I must have done something right because is has risen and smells soooo yummy!

Time to take it out and form the loaf

And place the loaf on a floured piece of parchment paper because I don't trust just flouring a towel, especially one that my mom made me! Then wrap that bad boy up and let it rise at room temp for 1-2 hours or until doubled.
About 30 minutes before it's time to bake this you need to get a dutch oven or other oven safe pot and put it in a cold oven and the heat the oven to 425

Now that it's risen it's time for the difficult part, this is the part that scares me a bit to be honest. You get the super hot dutch oven out of the oven and flip the dough into the pot, seam side up...

...Mercy, and here we go!

Ok, that wasn't too bad, heavy, and flour poofed everywhere but it's also cleaning day here so no big deal.  Let it bake for 40-50 minutes

I wish you could smell via blog, cause my house smells soooooo good right now!

When the timer goes off remove the lid and let it bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top is a yummy golden brown.

The original blogger warns that once it's done, you put it on a cooling rack to let it cool and don't cut into it until the crackling stops, so hard to not start munching, but I'll be a good girl and wait till dinnertime.

Store in the dutch oven on the counter-top until you have eaten it all, or you could use it for croutons or in a breakfast casserole!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The first time (making Peggy Rolls) is always the hardest.

Hello readers!  I have been busy over the last few months, packing, moving, moving again, and unpacking.  We lost our 13 year old dog, and adopted a rescue dog, I will introduce her later.

I have been enjoying my new abode with this awesome kitchen for about a month now and it's time to start blogging again. Besides, the island in the middle of the kitchen provides a perfect space for my computer so I can blog while cooking!

Taking a recipe, that has been perfected and then nicknamed after the person that perfected it, and duplicating it is a daunting task.  Every family get together, on my dad's side, for as long as I can remember my mom made crescent rolls.  Now called Peggy Rolls. These rolls are my FAVORITE bread substance EVER.  So the one other time I made these, I had mom help me so I could take these rolls to take to my in-law's house.  And naturally they love them just as much as I do...which is why I am attempting to make them today. Emphasis on attempting.  Yes I'm terrified.  I mean it's just ingredients, I have made many recipes some with disastrous results, but mostly with tummy pleasing turnouts.  So why does this recipe throw me for a loop?

It's not all that difficult, and now that I'm in my new house and only 5 minutes away from Mom it should be easier to get her help...but I'm going to put my big girl apron on and do this myself...if not then Mom is only 5 minutes away and can come rescue me.

As I said, this recipe is simple.  As always, getting everything out that you need to make the recipe, keeps you from forgetting something!

Start by mixing the yeast, sugar and water, and warming your milk.

Then mix the sugar and butter together, I always cook with butter, it's better for you and I think it tastes better.

Then add eggs.

Then finally add three cups of flour, and mix three minutes. This is also the point where you are supposed to add the salt, which I forgot because I was using it to prop the lid for the flour container.  I added it a bit later, but before the final cup of flour...


Once the mixer starts to sound like it's too much, switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour, I ended up using 6 full cups of flour, and then called my mom to make sure the dough looked like it was supposed to.  A soft dough should be silky in texture, yet not stick to your hands when you work with it.

So I sprinkled that bad boy with some flour (to keep it from sticking to the bowl), using a spatula around the edges and bottom to get good coverage all the way around and called it happy!

I used a plate to cover the bowl and set it aside (in a warm sunny place) to rise for 30-40 minutes note the reflection of two dogs in the bowl...they know I spill stuff and it's usually tasty stuff that I spill, or maybe they like to get underfoot so I will spill stuff....

So to introduce the new four legged food taster in our family.  Meet Cinnamon

I found her online over a month ago, I was looking for a full-grown-trained-good-with-kids-dog that was in a local rescue group, and I found her.  Our other dog Stormy got sick back in September and we saw her across the rainbow bridge.  Now Cinnamon has become (like two days ago) a part of this family.

Time to eat some lunch!

Ok it's been 30 minutes, and it's time to check the dough, see how it's rising.

Not quite done, so I'll wait 10 more minutes, and call Mom again, maybe she will come join me for the fun part of making these rolls!

There are two ways to use this dough, sweet rolls or crescent rolls.  I'm gonna do both.  Most of the dough will go towards crescent rolls, and I am going to use just enough dough to make a small pan of sweet rolls (twisted a bit) for my husband.  Instead of the raisins we got some chopped pecans and I'm going to put those in the rolls.

Once the dough is doubled, plop it out on the pastry mat and divide into two balls, put one back in the bowl and set aside.

For the crescent rolls, using a pastry mat, roll dough into a circle

and spread with softened butter

I used a pizza cutter cause it's easy that way, to cut the circle into 12-16 wedges

then roll them up!

They need to rise 30 minutes or so, depending on the environment.

For the cinnamon pecan rolls, roll dough into a rectangle, one side slightly thinner than the other

spread with butter, cinnamon sugar, and pecans and roll up starting with the thick side.

Cut into the desired number of rolls and put into a lightly greased pan

And at this point the crescent rolls had risen to perfection and are ready to bake. Put them on the bottom rack in the oven and keep an eye on them.

When the rolls come out of the oven smother them with butter.

Then you can eat them, refrigerate them for later or even freeze them.

When the cinnamon pecan rolls come out of the oven the drizzle with frosting if you wish. My DH doesn't like a lot of frosting, hence the light drizzle!

And a huge thanks to My JoMama, who did come over and took some pictures of the making of these scrumptious treats! If you are interested, and you should be, head over to her blog, Peg's Pantry! And because she is such a great teacher with easy directions it really wasn't that hard to make these Crescent or Sweet Rolls.  You can too!