Simply-A-Must Crescent Rolls

I love bread.  I love eating it.  I love making it.  Heck, I even like smelling it.

The only thing I do not like about making bread is the insane amount of time you have to wait for it to rise.

These crescent rolls are the perfect answer to that problem.  They still have to rise twice, but for only a total of 40 minutes.  That is a huge improvement from the other breads that I have made that have required ~ 2 hours to rise!

I was really impressed with how cute these turned out.  They actually looked like the crescent rolls from a can (I’ll admit – I usually use that kind).

I halved the recipe when I made them, but it still only made about 10 rolls.  I don’t know how they got 3 dozen out of twice what I made.  Maybe mine were bigger than the ones that they made.

I made these when I made dinner for my dad and Zack last weekend.  See Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole and Grilled Citrus Chicken.  They complemented both dishes really nicely.

I really want to try making French croissants but it is such an intense recipe with a million steps that I am a little intimidated.  I am waiting on a snow day where I am stuck in the house with nothing to do to attempt them

These were so easy that I might say goodbye to the canned crescent rolls forever…sorry Pillsbury 😉

 

Simply-A-Must Crescent Rolls

Yield: 3 dozen

– 5 1/2 – 6 cups all purpose flour

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1 tablespoon quick rise yeast

– 2 teaspoon salt

– 1 cup milk

– 1/2 cup canola oil

– 3 eggs

– 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.  In a small saucepan, heat milk and oil to 120-130 degrees.  Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened.  Add eggs, beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to turn a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Cover and let rise for 10 minutes.  Divide dough into thirds.  Roll each portion into a 12-inch circle, brush with butter.  Cut each circle into 12 wedges.

Roll up wedges from the wide end and place point side down 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Curve ends to form crescents.  Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to wire racks.

Traditional Spoon Bread

Spoon bread, for those of you not raised in the south, is like really soft cornbread.  It gets its name from the fact you have to actually spoon it out of the dish, because it’s so soft.  The flavor is very similar to cornbread, but the texture is quite different.

Although I had heard of spoon bread, I had never actually tasted any before.  I made some to go with the Firehouse Chili last night.  It was a really good combination. Regular cornbread would have been good with the chili, too.  I love southern food!

We had a lot left over though.  It’s really hard cooking enough food for just two people!

I like that you can see a pumpkin in the background of this picture.  Aw 🙂

Traditional Spoon Bread

Yield: 6 servings

– 3 cups milk

– 1 cup cornmeal

– 3 eggs, separated

– 1 teaspoon sugar

– 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1 tablespoon butter

Place the milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  When the milk just begins to bubble around the edges, gradually add the cornmeal.  Stir constantly 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish and set aside.  Beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Set aside. Stir the sugar, salt, butter, and egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture.  Gently fold in the egg whites.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve hot.

Basic Southern Cornbread

What kind of Southern gal would I be if I didn’t serve my boys cornbread?

Last night, my dad came over for dinner before we went to the races (see Better-Than-Grandma’s Apple Pie).  Not only did I make cornbread, but I made it in a cast-iron skillet! You can’t get much more authentic than that.

It was really easy to make and Dad and Zack both seemed to like it.

Basic Southern Cornbread

Yield: 8 servings

– 2 cups plain cornmeal

– 1 T baking powder

– 1 t salt

– 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place a greased 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat while the desired temperature is reached.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, egg, and oil, blending well.  Pour the batter into the preheated skilled.

Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Transfer to a serving plate (or serve right from the skillet!).  Cut into slices and serve warm.


Cornbread is another one of those cold-fall-day foods.  Today was pretty chili and this just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Pull-Apart Garlic Parmesan Bread

This is the best bread I’ve ever made.  Zack and I both agree.  I made it to go with the homemade lasagna (see homemade lasagna).  The buttery-ness combined with the garlic and cheesy-ness made for a perfect combination.

Plus, the bread turned out nice and fluffy, just the way I love it.

I like that you make this bread in a bundt pan, too. The pan allows it lots of room to rise and gives it a neat shape.

It takes a lot of time to make though, it has to rise for 2 and a half hours total plus almost 30 minutes of baking.  Actually that makes it the perfect bread to make with the lasagna, because like I mentioned in the lasagna post, it also takes hours to make.

The bottom part of the bread looks lighter in color and I’m not really sure why.  It tasted the same as the top.

I will be making this bread again soon I’m sure (not soon enough according to Zack).

Pull-Apart Garlic Parmesan Bread

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1⅓ cups barely warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

3½ cups all purpose flour

¼ cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1½ to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes and minced garlic, set aside.

Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on ⅓ of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Serve hot with a side of marinara sauce.

Garlic Butter Breadsticks

I’ve always loved bread.   I used to consider bread my favorite food.  I also enjoy making bread (until it sticks to the counter and makes a huge mess).  I made these breadsticks when I made four cheese ravioli, but I’m sure they would be good with any Italian dish.

Garlic Butter Breadsticks

– 1 packet yeast

– 2 cups very warm water

– ¼ cup sugar

– 3 cups flour

– 1 stick butter, melted

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tablespoon salt

– 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

– 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Add the warm water to a large, glass bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top, then the sugar. Stir slightly and allow to sit for 15 minutes (the mixture in the bowl should be foamy).

Stir the flour into the mixture one half cup at a time, adding just enough to make the mixture soft, pliable and not too sticky, but not so floured that it becomes a heavy hunk. Knead it until the dough becomes elastic.

Pull a round of dough into your hands (about the size of a small apple) and roll out into a thick rope (breadstick shape). Place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.

Once all dough has been rolled out, you can bake immediately or allow to rise 15-30 minutes for a more fluffy breadstick.

Place breadsticks in the preheated oven, allow them to cook for 5 minutes, then turn up the heat to 400 degrees and bake them until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes more.

As soon as you remove your breadsticks from the oven, mix together melted butter, sea salt, and grated Parmesan. Drizzle over hot breadsticks. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.

 

Enjoy!:)

Blueberry Scones

These little bits of deliciousness are blueberry scones.  My dad LOVES scones, so went Zack, him, and I went on vacation in August, I made a snack bag to take with us including these scones.  I’d never made scones before, and the shape they turned out didn’t really please me, but taste obviously affected by the appearance.  I’m actually planning on making some apple scones with the apples I got at the apple orchard (see Happy Fall entry), so hopefully they will be cuter.

The recipe called for any type of fresh fruit, but I used blueberries because a) blueberries were in season and b) they are delicious baked into anything.

Fruit Scones

– 1 cup sour cream

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 4 cups all purpose flour

– 1 cup sugar

– 2 tsp baking powder

– ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

– 1 tsp salt

1 cup butter

– 1 egg

– 1 cup fresh fruit of choice (blueberries, cherries, raisins, etc.)

In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the fruit.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead them briefly. Roll or pat dough into a ¾ inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

PS – today Zack, my mom, and my stepdad went to a street festival in Bedford, VA.  They were having a silent auction and I got this glass punch bowl and 23 cups (yeah, a weird number) for only $6!  I was so excited!  Oh, and there’s Zack and I, too!

Strawberries!

To me, there is nothing better than fresh, handpicked food.  Over the summer, I went to Scott’s Berry Farm in Moneta, Virginia and picked these delectable strawberries!

One of these tubs was for Mom and the other was for me.  I think we both ended up using all of them!


One of the things that I made with mine was strawberry bread.  It was very yummy and had chunks of strawberries inside of it.  It was best served warm.  I also made strawberry muffins that were really good, but I don’t have a picture of them.

Strawberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans (I left these out)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.