Dilly Bread

img_0141.jpgWhat’s great about this recipe is that you don’t have to knead it. You mix it all with a wooden spoon in a large bowl then place in a casserole dish to bake. It smells great and you can have it alongside almost anything you’re serving. What more could you ask?

2 1/2 cups flour (approximately)
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. dried, instant, minced onion
2 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup (8 oz.) creamed cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter – divided
Coarse salt (sea salt) optional

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, sugar, onion, dill, salt, baking soda, & yeast. In a saucepan, place the cottage cheese, water and 1 tablespoon of the butter and heat until very warm. Add this warm liquid and the egg to the flour mixture. Beat well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining flour – about 1 1/2 cups – till it forms a stiff batter.

Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour. Stir down the dough then place in a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the bread with Pam cooking spray or with a little melted butter, then sprinkle the coarse salt on top. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove it immediately from the dish and cool on a wire rack.

Marble Loaf

This is a simple, tasty snack which can be jazzed up by adding some ice cream on the side.  I like it with a cup of hot tea or strong coffee. My sister sifts confectioners sugar and cocoa powder over her slice.

Make the chocolate syrup first:
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (NOT olive oil)

Now make the batter:
1-1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup (12 Tbsp.) softened, unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a loaf pan. Take out all the ingredients and set on the counter to come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes while your oven preheats.

Into a medium sized bowl, whisk together the syrup ingredients and set aside.

Into a large bowl, using a blender or you can even use a food processor, cream the sugar and butter for about 1 minute, add the eggs and vanilla, then add the dry ingredients and blend for about 1 minutes. Add the milk and blend well. Scoop out 1 cup of this batter and whisk into the chocolate batter, then spread the rest of this yellow batter into the loaf pan. Now plop the chocolate batter on top. Using a butter knife inserted into the batter, swirl the knife around.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes; reduce temp to 325 and bake 30-40 minutes more, or until a knife inserted near the middle comes out with a few crumbs – keep an eye on it. Cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and unmold it onto a plate.

Braided Pumpkin Bread

This recipes creates one big, beautiful loaf or make 2 smaller loves.  It smells delicious while baking and tastes fabulous plain or slathered with cream cheese or butter. Sit back, kick your feet up and have a thick slice with your favorite beverage. We love eating it with hot tea after raking leaves.

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
3 large or extra large eggs at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil (such as canola)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. kosher salt
6-8 cups flour

1 large egg, whisked well for an egg wash

Take the 3 eggs out of your fridge and set on the counter for about 30 minutes before you begin making the bread – this will bring them to room temperature.

Into a large mixing bowl whisk together the water and yeast, then add everything up to the flour and blend it well. Then add 6 cups of the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth dough, use more flour as needed. Add some flour to your counter top and dump out the contents of the bowl and being to knead for about 5 minutes, adding more dough as needed. You will probably use up all 8 cups of flour. Form a large dough ball.

Lightly grease the large mixing bowl you used, and place the dough in and turn it around in the bowl so it is all greased. Now cover with plastic and let rise for 1 hour. Turn dough out onto your floured counter top, deflate it and divide into 3 strand ropes for braids.  Now get out a large baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. Place the braids onto the baking sheet and form a braided bread loaf onto the pan. You can form this on the counter top but it may be difficult to transfer to the pan. Brush with about half the egg wash. Cover again with plastic and let rise for 90 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350, brush loaf again with the egg wash and bake for about 45 – 60 minutes for one loaf, about 40 for two loaves – keep any eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Let set about 30 minutes before you slice.

**Sprinklings of chopped seeds or nuts (shelled & chopped pumpkin seeds, pistachios) after the second egg wash would be a very tasty addition.

Cheddar Biscuits

Not only are these biscuits big and delicious, but they’re a clone of a clone. A certain cookbook author who clones recipes, cloned this from a restaurant chain, then I cloned it again, because it wasn’t just the right “click” for our home. Isn’t imitation the best form of flattery? For best results you need a food processor.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and get out a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

2-1/2 cups of a biscuit baking mix (doesn’t have to be Bisquick- I use a store brand)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 of an 8 oz. brick of cheddar cheese – just cut it into half, then into 4 pieces
1/2 of a stick of cold butter (not margarine) sliced into at least 4 pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk

Place the baking mix, garlic powder and cheese in the processor and whirl it for about 20 seconds – you gotta mix it well. Then add the butter and slowly pour in the buttermilk while it’s processing. Stop it when it all comes together in a blob.

Using your hands, pull out small blobs and slightly form into small balls and place on sheet pan – you should get about 12. Then rinse/wash off your hands because they will be gooey and – with wet hands – using the palms of each hand, slightly press to flatten each biscuit.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden.

Prosciutto Bread

Being a homemade bread, this will keep fresh for about 3 days and makes one big round loaf.  If you won’t be eating it all right away then freeze leftovers.

2 pkgs. yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 cup warmed milk
4 large eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 stick butter, melted then cooled
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices Swiss cheese cut into dice
5 slices prosciutto, cut into dice

Place the milk into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast; let sit for 10 minutes to get foamy. Beat in the eggs, oil and butter until they’re blended well. Add the flour, salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Now work in the cheeses and prosciutto – dump the contents of the bowl onto a floured counter top and knead the dough working everything in. This will take about 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Shape dough into a large round and place onto a baking sheet that you lined with parchment paper or you have greased. Let it rise for 2 full hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Cool completely then slice and eat.

Applesauce Bread

The Mott’s company sells packets of instant Hot Spiced Cider in a couple different flavors. Someone gave me some packets and so I tossed them into my basic applesauce bread recipe and it worked wonderfully. See for yourself.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil (NOT olive oil)
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup regular white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour – (or us all regular)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 packet of Mott’s Hot Spiced Cider (I used Caramel for this)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a loaf pan. Place the eggs and milk on the counter while your oven preheats; give it at least 20 minutes.

Using 1 bowl for wet ingredients and 1 bowl for dry: add all the ingredients. Whisk both separately then add the dry to the wet. With a wooden spoon mix just until combined – count to 20 slowly. Then with a spatula, give it a couple of mixes to make sure the dry ingredients are mixed up from the bottom of bowl. Scrape into the loaf pan and place in the oven for 50 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if the mood strikes you. Dig in.