Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Mine v/s Theirs, Pork, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Ham & Cheese Yeast Rolls

One great thing about Facebook & Pinterest – the recipes. The bad thing about those recipes, many get you excited only to leave you feeling miserably disappointed. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so wasting bucks on ingredients creating something that doesn’t taste all that great, well, that’s a huge kick in the gut.

Luckily, we learn from experience and while that doesn’t mean we just give up on trying new things, it does mean we can spot, “what wont work”, head on. I did that the other night when someone on my Friend’s List was showing up a cool video of something that reminded me of Cinnamon Yeast Rolls, but instead of the Cinnamon and Sugar, they were rolled up and baked with Ham & Cheese. In their version, the recipe called for one of the many kinds and versions of “Canned Biscuits.”

I HATE BREAD DOUGH THAT COMES FROM A CAN. You can call it biscuits, pizza crust, croissants, rolls or whatever the hell you want to call it. It all tastes the same – processed yuck. That being said, I thought this was an incredible idea minus the Canned Yuck. So, last night, I sat down and whipped up a version of MY OWN HOMEMADE YEAST BREAD DOUGH to make this heavenly, Ham & Cheese Comfort Food treat.  AND, I know many of you are limited on time. You don’t have time to knead, let rise, then knead again only to let rise again. So we are going to use RAPID DRY YEAST and we are only going to KNEAD ONE TIME. Ready?

The.Crowin.Hen.Ham.Cheese.Yeast.Rolls

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of Honey (Some people prefer a little sweeter than others. So your choice. Either 1/2 cup or 2/3 cup)
  • 3 Individual packs of RAPID or INSTANT DRY YEAST
  • 4 1/2 cups of unbleached Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of warm Milk (heated to 110 degrees)

 

Filling

  • 1 Pound of Black Forest Ham (I get my sandwhich sliced.)
  • 1 pack of sliced Swiss cheese (10-11 slices)
  • 4-5 slices Deli American Cheese
  • 1 Glass Pan

 

Directions

In one bowl, whisk together the dry yeast and 4 cups flour. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs. Add salt and let dissolve.

In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in a microwave with butter. If you make it too hot, no worries. Just let it cool down a bit before you add it to the yeast. And don’t stress over it being a perfect 110 degrees. A degree here or there should kill it.

Add honey to milk and then all ingredients (egg, salt) to the flour and yeast.

Begin to mix. Adding a bit of flour of you need to until dough pulls from edges. Take to the counter and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is nice and smooth. Dust the counter and your hands with the 1/2 excess flour and look, if you end up using a bit more, don’t panic. It is what it is. If you think you have used way too much, rub Crisco on your hands and begin working the dough. This helps to make it elastic and workable without using more flour.

Let dough rest for about five or ten minutes.

Next step, with a rolling pin, roll the dough into one big rectangle, like so…

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Next, lay the ham out over it…

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Then, the Swiss cheese and lastly, fill in the gaps with the American.

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Roll the dough up placing the seam side down.

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Slice

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Place in glass pan

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Cover with a warm towel – I usually pop one in the dryer and sit in a dry, warm place.

Let them rise to double or triple their size. Depending on the temperature of the house and the ham & cheese, this could take an hour or two. Maybe less. Last night, it was raining here so it took a few hours. The key to light bread or one of them, is letting it rise long enough. Some people panic and go by directions. If it says 40 minutes, they let it rise for 40 but sometimes it takes longer,,,,

Once it has risen, bake in an oven 375 or 400 degrees until golden brown. Brush tops with butter OR the sauce below (if you use the sauce, bake it with it on.) and serve HOT.

These are out of this world. If you try them, please tell me what you think.

 

Here is a sauce that went with the recipe/video that I found on Facebook. Me and the kids didn’t like it because its sweet, although my husband loved it. If you don’t want the sauce, don’t use it or brush the inside of the dough with mayo—or nothing at all. We had some with nothing and it was delicious. Nothing else needed. NOTHING.

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds.

Mix together, brush tops of rolls before you bake.

 

Again, this is a hot, amazing roll that can stand on it’s own or go great with soup or anything.

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Historical, The Hungry Hen

Historical Lightnin’ Bread : No Yeast, Salt Rising Bread

Lightnin’ Bread is also known as Salt Rising Bread. Back in the day, when you couldn’t count your bottom dollar on how Yeast was gonna turn out, people made Lightnin’ Bread. You will create your own fermentation which makes this bread rise. It takes some time to make, which maybe why people don’t fool with it much today. In my opinion, this bread should make a comeback for Homesteaders or for those just tryin’ to get back to the basics.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups of White Corn Meal
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 8-10 cups Sifted All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBSP Shortening

Directions

Scald Milk in a saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and add to Corn Meal, Sugar, and Salt—stirring until smooth. Cover with a teat towl and set in a warm place overnight. The following morning, add 1 cup warm water mixed with Baking Soda and about 2 1/2 cups Flour. (This should make a stiff batter. If not, add flour till it does.) Set bowl of batter in a pan of warm water. Cover. And let standing until it foams up. (2 hours to half a day). Try to keep water at an even tempoerature all the time. Not too hot. Not too cold. If it seems like the batter is not rising, give it a stir to help things along.

If you notice an odor, then all things are working. The odor is another reason people now days may be afraid of this bread but don’t be. This odor is caused by acetous, which is souring or, you may know it as, fermentation. You may also think, souring means, a tart or foul bread but its not. The more souring that happens, the sweeter the bread will be when baked.

When the batter has risen, knead in Shortening and more flour. (Could take up to 8 cups) to make a stiff bread dough. Shape into 2 loaves, set in greased loaf pans, and let rise again until doubled. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until light brown.

 

The American Heritage Cookbook

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Historical, The Hungry Hen

The Story and Recipe of Anadama Bread

During the 19th century, Massachusetts, there lived a Fisherman and his wife…or so the story goes. Every day at the crack of dawn, the Fisherman would set sail into the deep of the sea hoping to make his catch so that he could shape some sort of modest living for himself. Every evening, tired and worn, he’d come home to a woman who was hell-bent on neglecting him. Each and every night, there upon the table, was nothing more than corn meal and molasses. Unable to stand it any longer, the Fisherman finally lost his temper over what his wife considered to be a good enough meal for a hard working man. Among the heated words spewing under his breath, in a rage, he threw yeast and flour into her joke of a supper and then all of it into the oven to cook. Even after the loaf had baked and he sat down to eat it, the Fisherman would famously go down in history, saying, “Anna, damn her!” Hence the name, Anadama Bread. This, as you can imagine, is classified as one of our Historical Recipes and, a keeper.

 

  • 1/2 cup Corn Meal
  • 3 TBSP Shortening
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 cup Boiling Water
  • 1 package active Dry Yeast or 1 cake compressed
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 3 sifted cups of All Purpose Flour

Mix corn meal, shortening, molasses, salt and boiling water in a big bowl. Let stand until water is lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over warm water to dissolve, then stir yeast, egg, and half of the flour in. Beat vigorously. Stir remaining flour in and mix until dough forms. Transfer to a greased loaf pan and cover. set in a warm place until dough rises 1 inch above the pan. Sprinkle top with a little corn meal and salt. Bake in a PREHEATED 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. Cool before slicking.

 

 

From the American Heritage Cookbook

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, Food Facts, The Hungry Hen

Not All Flours Are Created Equal

 

Below, there are different kinds of Flours. I didn’t list them all, just some basic ones that I think you will easily run across. There are other kinds, at Health & Specialty stores, but what I have listed can be found in most Grocery stores. I’m not going over every single flour out there, but these are some of the most common.

All Purpose Flour — (See, also, self-rising) This is the most common and cheapest of flours on the grocery store shelf. This seems to be the bad stuff our mothers are weary of. If it doesn’t say “Unbleached” then it has been bleached. Plus, chemically, stuff has been added. Not that “unbleached” can be considered the Ghandi of all flour. It still lacks the chemical warfare “bleached” has undergone.

Self-Rising — It’s basically bleached All Purpose flour (unless it says otherwise) with baking powder and salt. It’s an easier step when people want to skip a few ingredients. I’d rather add my own ingredients. *winks*

To make Self-Rising Flour if a recipe calls for it and if you don’t have it on hand, simply add 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. People worry about the “shelf-life” of self rising flour that is bought in the store. if it has sat for too long, it won’t rise as it should.

Unbleached Flour— This is usually an All Purpose flour lacking the bleaching process and the adding of chemicals. While it doesn’t have the wheat germ or bran, it does have a higher protein count when compared to the general All Purpose kind. In fact, when you bake with this one, as far as texture, there really isn’t that much of a difference from the flour we have become accustomed too. (If you want the bran and germ back in, you can always add it.) This flour will cost you a bit more but not so much it will break the bank.

Stone Ground Flour — Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a land that we have forgotten, all flour was ground by stone. What once started as a woman grinding away with a rock (I’m assuming here) ended up leading to bigger facilities called Grist Mills. The Grist Mills use bigger stones and a more efficient way of grinding down grain. This is probably the healthiest form of flour. It preserves the bran and germ, keeping all the vitamins and nutrition. Believe it or not, there are still a few Grist Mills standing and operating today.

Whole Wheat/Whole Grain — Has all the good stuff a grain should have although you want to be careful because now a days, flours are processed quickly, which means chemicals and such are sometimes added to it. Enriched Wheat — bad. So make sure it is whole grain/ whole wheat. The texture is slightly grainier and if you are using it in place of a recipe that calls for regular flour, expect the batter to be thicker.

Soy Flour – a Flour made from roasted soybeans. (Gluten Free)

Almond Flour – A Flour made from Almonds. (Gluten Free). The Almonds have the skins removed and are blanched before grinding. Almond MEAL is a flour made of ground almonds with the skin ON.

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, Food Facts, From Scratch, The Hungry Hen

A Few Facts about Bread

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I’m going to keep these as straight to the point as possible. Meaning, I will try my best not to pull out my predictable Southern habit and ramble. Because I’m going to keep it as simple as can be, I’ll throw links at the bottom to other websites who have done some very impressive research — full detail research— if you want to do your own.

We live in a world where our food is basically fashioned for convenience. No one has the time or patience anymore and the companies that make our food have tapped into a cash crop because of it. The problem is, though, the basics of a meal — natural preservatives and such— have been tossed right out of the window. Bread is a perfect example of this. A basic bread recipe should consist of these few ingredients: For those who love bread and can eat it, enjoy. I can’t have it – cursed with an allergy to wheat—but I make it for my family which means, I wanna always dissect the information.

Flour, Yeast, Salt, Egg and a Fat.

This is all you need to make bread. If only the store-brands stuck to that recipe. Unfortunately, not only are those ingredients corrupted by the way they are processed BEFORE they reach the bakery-end,  but if you buy a plastic bag of bread, a lot more has been added for a whole list of not-so-great reasons.

Fresh Baked Bread

Even if you go to a bakery, most of the time, the breads there are just as unhealthy as the ones wrapped in plastic. They are not, made from scratch, but rather from prepackaged bread mixes. This is particularly true when it comes to “chain” bakeries that are located in many department stores.

Healthy Prepackaged Breads

Breads in plastic that claim to be healthy are not really healthy. If you see enriched wheat or flour of any kind then raise the red flag.

The Ingredient List

These are some of most common ingredients found in breads wrapped in plastic. dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate, mono- and diglycerides, calcium peroxide, calcium iodate, DATEM, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, azodicarbonamide. Links are at the bottom, which will give the depressing details. Can you say, yuck?

The Gluten Man

The man who claimed Gluten was bad, may have made a mistake. Personally, I am living proof that he didn’t but since they shove wheat into everything – from candy to even dressings – how would one really know. Even if you set out to have it in moderations, thanks to everything on the shelves, whether you meant to or not, by the end of the day, you will be well beyond your daily portion limits. Wheat is in everything – from seasonings to MSG!

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Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist – Forbes
Gluten Sensitivity And Study Replication – Business Insider

 

Summing up….

We do this as a society, constantly, you know. We scream one thing is bad, a new product is made to replace it, we all run to the stores and shovel it into our mouths and then years later, we say, “Whoops, that may not have been bad after all.”

Butter is a perfect example.

It was replaced by Margarine. We’ve done it with Eggs, Milk, Fat (the birth of Fat Free) and God knows what else. Is it possible we are doing it with bread? Is it possible that if the problems with the main ingredients can be corrected — Flour (use a whole grain, correct the funky lab-created strain of wheat that is causing such a fuss,  and ditch the bleached bag of crap), Salt (one that hasn’t been stripped or processed to hell and back), Yeast and a honest to god, real and true fat (that hasn’t been made by whatever poison they are shoveling)— would it then be possible for us to actually have some – BREAD— with the recommended serving? Could we have a sandwich at lunch again?

Wheat Belly—Beer Belly, some of us just. can. not. stomach. bread. Its creating a universe of problems that are not just limited to obesity. But for those who do eat it, who can eat it, who will refuse to do anything but eat it, hopefully these facts start you off on your own field of research. And, of course, as days go on, I’ll have more information and bread recipes.

Links for further reading . . .

http://realfoodforager.com/why-i-never-eat-commercial-bread/

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011109-10-ingredients-always-avoid-bread-plus-7-bread-brands-bets/#slide=2

http://naturallysavvy.com/eat/scary-ingredients-used-in-bread-manufacturing

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, The Hungry Hen

Molasses Bread Recipe

I found the original recipe in the book, America’s Bread Book, by Mary Gubser. I made a few changes which I highlighted in yellow. Go ahead and try her version as well. I did and it was great. I just have to put my own spin on things, ya know?

IMG_1437

Ingredients

1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water

1 cup of rolled oats (If you can’t find “rolled oats” go ahead and use steel cut or rough cut oats. I wouldn’t do instant, though. They won’t hold their texture. )

1/3 cup vegetable shortening (If you have lard that you made, go for it.)

2 packs of active dry yeast (I used a fast yeast and it worked great for me.)

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 cup of Molasses (The first time I did this, I used homemade Molasses. Was great. Second time, I used store bought. I wasn’t wild about it. You can, however, replace this with Raw Honey if you want.)

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons of salt

Butter (Enough to brush the tops and the inside of your bread pans.)

6 & 1/2 cups of unbleached flour (I used 3 & 1/2 cups of whole wheat/ whole grain flour.)

 

Directions

+ Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8 & 1/2 inch loaf pans.

+ In a large bowl, mix the boiling water, oats and shortening. Set this to the side and allow the shortening to melt.

+ While that’s going on, in a small bowl, mix together your warn water and yeast.

+ Now, go back to the Shortening – Oats- Boiling Water mixture and add your Molasses or honey. Stir in the eggs and salt.

+ Add the yeast mixture and 3 cups of your flour. Beat the batter until its all well blended and smooth.

+ Start adding the rest of the flour, slowly. You may not need all of the left over flour.  So add it little by little. Once it pulls from the sides, throw it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough becomes elastic and springs back when you poke it. Knead for about 8 or so minutes. FullSizeRender

+ Form it into a ball and put it in a greased bowl. Place plastic wrap and a towel on top and let the dough rise for an hour.

+Once it has risen twice it’s size, throw it back onto a floured surface and punch it down. Divide it into three pieces. Lightly knead and shape each one and place it into the bread pans. Put a towel over them and let them rise again for 45 minutes. When they have risen to the tops of the pans, bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown. Slide from the pans, brush the tops with butter and then let cool.

Tips:

For easy slicing, wrap the cooled bread loaves with plastic wrap and toss into the fridge. Once the bread is chilled, you can easily slice with a jagged edged knife without the bread bending or squishing.

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, The Hungry Hen

Recipe: Buttermilk Yeast Rolls

My apologies on the picture. I had to grab one from a royalty site because I keep forgetting to grab a pic of mine. Its an exact match, though, so no worries on misrepresentation. Now, that being said, this weekend I started playing around with Dinner Rolls and somehow, I managed to make something that my kids AND husband went NUTS over. My one son, who only eats roast beef, was throwing ham and cheese on them. Between him and my husband, I had to run to the store the next day to buy more deli meats, not to mention my daughter gobbling them up.

Now, below, under the recipe, there are two amounts of sugar. While I explain both there, I am going to explain here as well. The lesser amount of sugar, makes a delicious roll – and that is the one my family tore up the first time. The second amount of sugar (which I put restaurant roll amount) will create the sweeter rolls people love at certain restaurants like Golden Coral, Wood Grill, and other Steakhouses. Both are absolutely delicious. You can use these for Hamburger buns, Ham or deli sandwiches, with butter or however you like a roll. Try both because BOTH are delicious.

I also know that there are a lot of recipes floating around the internet claiming they are a sweet roll and like many recipes, are not. I can vouch for this one. I have made a ton this weekend and I will be making a ton today. If you make them, let me know which you like best unless you are like us  and love both. If you have any problems, also, let me know. Maybe I can help.

The original recipe, I found in the book, America’s Bread Book by Mary Guber. Scanning the internet, I messed around with sugar amounts and became satisfied with the one below (restaurant roll). Remember, any notes I make, etc. I will highlight.

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Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

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Ingredients

1 package of active dry yeast (I used the rapid or fast kind.)

Approximately 5 cups of Unbleached Flour

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of Sugar (For Restaurant Sweet Roll – use 2/3 cup of sugar)

1/4 cup of warm water

3 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil (Or Canola, Coconut – whatever you use—except olive oil. I wouldn’t use that.)

2 cups of warm Buttermilk

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water, whisking until the yeast dissolves.

  • Next, add the Buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and oil.

  • Add 3 cups of flour, beat or mix until its nice and smooth.

  • Next, add the rest of the flour little by little until you have a soft dough. You may or may not need the full 5 cups.

  • Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.

  • Brush a bowl with butter and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap – loosely – and then a towel. Let the dough rise until doubled – 1 hour.

  • Next, Punch the dough, knead lightly, cover it up and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  • Butter two baking sheets.

  • Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick—cut out your rolls (if you don’t have a cutter, use a wide mouthed Mason Jar) – place rolls on the baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Cover and let rise about 1 hour until the rolls are puffy. Brush with melted butter.

  • Bake in a preheated oven 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush again with melted butter.

– Some tips –

  • If there is a chill in your house, if your rolls are not rising as they should – You can place the bowl (during the first rise) inside a bigger bowl filled with hot water. The second step, sit them on top of the stove while the oven is on.

  • Other reasons could be, the Yeast and the Buttermilk. Did you put the yeast in water that was warm enough? Was the Buttermilk warm enough?

  • Was the roll light and moist or heavy and dense? Maybe you added too much flour especially during the kneading process.