Category Archives: Bread

Herb Bread

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This bread is a flavored yeast bread; the recipe makes two loaves, and uses the stand mixer much like the Dilly Bread and Cinnamon Bread recipes. The recipe is most like the Cinnamon Bread in that it starts by taking the chill off the milk.
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The recipe uses fresh herbs; if you have an herb garden, there is no problem. Now days, you can buy fresh herbs in the produce section of your favorite grocery store. If you want to try to use your bottled dry herbs, then remember that the formula is usually 3 to 1; three parts of fresh herbs is equal to 1 part of dried herbs. That would mean the 2 Tablespoon measure for which the recipe calls is about 2 teaspoons of dried herbs.

Herb Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture, 4 1/2 cups of flour and the chopped herbs. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 1 minute.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of mixer bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top of the dough. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour

Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.


To warm the mixer bowl, I fill the bowl from the hot water faucet in the sink and let it sit for 5 minutes while I am chopping herbs; then dump it out and put the measured warm water and yeast in it.

If you don’t want flour flying all over, let it mix for a minute on the lowest speed so that the flour is partially moistened before turning the speed bake to Speed 2.
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While you can just roll each half of the dough into a loaf pan, you will discover that the baked loaves have risen in the center much more than at the ends, making it hard to get an nice even look. The trick is to use a rolling pin, and roll each half of the dough into a rectangle as wide as the loaf pans, and about 14 inches long. The rolling pin will smooth the dough and remove most of the gas bubbles. Then, start at the narrow end and roll the dough tightly up into a cylinder. Pinch the dough to seal the seam and ends. Turn the seam side down, and place in the greased loaf pan.
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I went beyond the recipe after I baked these loaves of Herb Bread; I brushed the tops with egg white and sprinkled them with sea salt. That is the white specks you see on the baked loaves of Herb Bread.
I think it is something to do with age, but I find that my taste tends to need stronger flavoring than most recipes use; thus, at times I will double the flavorings when it comes to herbs and spices. In this case, I have often used 3-4 Tablespoons of the fresh herbs from my garden; some of that increase in amount is also do to not wanting to waste the herbs after I have taken them from the garden.

Cinnamon Bread

This is the second of the flavored yeast breads that I enjoy, and make fairly often. In this case, I know that I have an easy target for any extra bread; Kris likes the cinnamon bread.
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Again, this bread is made in the stand mixer with the bread hook attachment. It is different from the Dilly Bread in that it starts with milk, and takes the chill off the milk before adding it to the yeast and sugar. The Dilly Bread doesn’t use any milk as such; the closest it gets to milk is the cottage cheese.

In the list of ingredients, you will see that the butter, sugar and eggs are all divided; that is, the amount shown in the ingredient list is for two uses each. The first use will be in the bread dough, and the second use will be when forming the loaves of bread or for the egg white, during the last minutes of baking the loaves.

Cinnamon Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter plus 2 Tablespoons divided
  • 6 1/2 – 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 cup divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg white, at room temperature divided
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Directions

Combine milk, water, and the 1/3 cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (120°F to 130°F); butter does not need to melt.

Place 6 cups flour, the 6 Tablespoons sugar, salt, and yeast in the mixer bowl with the dough hook attached. Slowly turn from its slowest “stir” speed to Speed 2 and mix for 15 seconds. Add the eggs, then the warm liquids, and “stir” for about 1 minute. Mix on Speed 2 for 1 minute longer.

Continuing on Speed 2, add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bow; set aside.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle that is as wide as the loaf pans, and as long as about 14 inches. The more rectangular you can make the rolled out dough, the easier it will be to roll it into a loaf. Melt the final 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush each half with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll dough tightly from the narrow side and shape into loaves. Place in two loaf pans with the seam side down.

Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with beaten egg white. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.


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I have already warned you about how the divided ingredients are used. Hopefully, I have broken them out strongly enough in the ingredient list that you will not accidentally use them at the wrong time.

I also like my flavors stronger that what I find this recipe gives me; I use extra sugar and cinnamon when I sprinkle the rolled out dough. To make certain that I don’t use too much cinnamon, I just double the quantity of both the sugar and cinnamon in the mixture.

Finally, I don’t like the top crust of the bread getting too crusty and hard, so I tent the loaves for the last ten minutes of the 40 minute baking time. I have to remove the tenting after brushing the loaves with the egg white to allow it to brown.

Cinnamon Rolls

I have been wanting to make cinnamon rolls. There are a couple recipe in Marlys’s Recipe Books; one was my Mother’s recipe and one was given to us by Marlys’s step-mother Margaret W McBryde. Both require kneading the dough, and as I have said, that is a skill of which I am lacking. I make my bread dough in the stand mixer with a dough hook.

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Then I thought outside of the box; I make a good cinnamon bread, so why can’t I use the bread dough to make the cinnamon rolls. It is really just a case of which way you roll the dough up after spreading the melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. So that is what I did. I took the baking temperature and time from Margaret’s recipe.

The problem I ran into was that the dough to make 2 loaves of cinnamon bread is enough to make 4 dozen cinnamon rolls. So, I had a couple alternatives. The worst would be to try to cut the recipe down; the kneading action of the dough hook might require as much dough as the recipe specifies. A second alternative was to save part of the dough in the refrigerator or freezer, and then bring it back to room temperature to roll it out. Neither alternative was especially appealing to me.

More recently, I have been working with the croissant dough, and it does not require kneading or a stand mixer; it is a simple dough but can be used in many ways. I decided to try making it without the butter between the layers of dough, and it works. I have also determined that cinnamon rolls can be cooked in many types of pans. Because there is no mixer or kneading required, anyone can make this recipe. The only real end difference I can find between this recipe and the ones in Marlys’s Recipe Books is that the resulting rolls are slightly smaller; in the Recipe Books, a dozen cinnamon rolls are made with 4 cups of flour while this recipe uses less than 2 cups of flour.

No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope of dry active yeast
  • 3 Tb warm water (not over 100 degrees)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk warmed to tepid in a small sauce-pan
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tb tasteless salad oil

Directions

  1. Mark the outside of a 3 – 4 quart mixing bowl for measures needed later.
    The 2 cups of dough is to rise to 3 1/2 times its original volume, or to 7 cups. Later the dough will rise to double its original volume. To tell when the dough has risen enough, the outside of the bowl is marked. Fill the bowl with 4 cups of water, and mark the outside to tell where double the original volume is. Now add 3 more cups of water for a total of 7 cups and again mark the outside to tell where 3 1/2 the original volume is. Pour out the water, and dry the bowl.
  2. Mix the yeast in the warm water with the 1 tsp sugar and let liquefy completely while measuring out the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Dissolve the 2 tsps sugar and the salt in the tepid milk.
  4. Measure the flour into the mixing bowl. When the yeast is liquefied, pour it along with the milk mixture and oil into the flour. Blend the elements into a dough by cutting and pressing with a rubber spatula, being certain all bits of flour are moistened.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a kneading surface scraping the bowl clean. Let the dough rest for 2 to 3 minutes. The short rest allows the flour to absorb the liquid; the dough will be quite soft and sticky.
  6. Wash and dry the bowl while the dough is resting.
  7. Start kneading by lifting the near edge of the dough, using a scraper or spatula to help, and flipping it over onto the other side. Rapidly repeat the movement from one side to the other and end over end 8 to 10 times until the dough feels smooth and begins to draw back into shape when pushed out. This is all the kneading it should have; it should give the dough just enough body so it will hold together when eventually rolled, but still not over-activating the gluten and making the dough difficult to handle. Put the dough into the bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with plastic and an insulating blanket like a bath towel, and place it at a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees. In 3 or 4 hours the dough should have risen to the 7-cup mark and will be light and springy when touched.
  9. Deflate the dough by loosening it from the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula or the cupped fingers of one hand, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. With the lightly floured palms of the hands, pat and push the dough out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches. Fold into thirds as though folding a buisness letter- the bottom third of the rectangle up onto the middle third, and then the top third of the rectangle down onto the middle third. Return the dough to the bowl; cover again with plastic and the insulating blanket.
  10. Let the dough rise a second time (about 1 1/2 hours), to double the original volume (the 4 cup mark).
    (*)To put the process on hold, or slow it down, set the dough in a colder place or in the refrigerator overnight to rise the second time to the 4 cup mark.
  11. Loosen the dough from the edges of the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured plate. Cover airtight and refrigerate for 20 minutes, which will make the next step with the dough easier.
    (*)To put the process on hold, after the second rise to the 4 cup mark and the dough is on the plate, it may be frozen for up to a week.
  12. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured rolling surface. With the lightly floured palms push and pat the dough out into a rectangle about 15 inches tall by 8 inches wide.
  13. The dough is now folded into thirds, just as before. Fold the bottom (unbuttered) third up over the middle third, and the top (buttered) third down over the bottom third. This is called Turn Number 1. There will be a total of 4 Turns.
  14. For Turn Number 2, lightly flour the top of the dough and the rolling surface, turn the dough so the edge of the top flap is to the right as though it were a book going to be opened. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 15 inches tall by 6 inches wide. Roll rapidly starting about an inch from the near end and going to within an inch of the far end.
  15. Fold the dough again bringing the bottom third up over the middle and the top third down over the middle.
  16. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic bag and freeze it for 15 minutes then put it in the refrigerator. The dough must now rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to deactivate the gluten so that the two final turns can be made without difficulty.
  17. After the dough has rested for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the refrigerator, unwrap it, sprinkle lightly with flour, and deflate it by tapping lightly several times with the rolling pin. Cover it and let it rest for 8 to 10 minutes, again to relax the gluten.
  18. Being certain that the top and bottom of the dough are always lightly floured, start rolling the dough into a rectangle 15 by 6 inches. Fold the rectangle bottom and top onto the middle third.
  19. Rotate the dough so the opening is to the right, and again roll into the 15 by 6 rectangle and fold the bottom and top onto the middle third to complete Turn Number 4.
  20. Cut the dough in half to form the two packages.
    Wrap each package, place them in freezer bags and freeze each for 15 minutes again, and then refrigerate them for at least 2 hours before forming the dough in to cinnamon rolls. Or leave the dough overnight in the refrigerator.


It seems to me that first, the dough rises more quickly than the times specified above, and second, it seems to stop at about the 7 cup mark and not rise higher. I have found myself not watching too closely on the second rise, and it gets way above the 4 cup mark without any resulting problem. I also let the temperature rise above the 75 degree mark; I rise my dough on the clothes dryer, and to get the temperature up, I run the dryer for 15 minutes, then open the door to let any warm air come out into the laundry alcove. Overall, I think my rise times are about half of the stated expected times.

A Cinnamon Roll Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Stir the ingredients together in a bowl.

To make the cinnamon rolls, the ingredients are:

  • 1 packet dough
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup filling


The directions will have the cinnamon roll dough rolled into a 12 inch cylinder, and then cut into 2 inch sections. Each of the sections is stood on end in the cooking pan. There are many alternative ways to cook the rolls. They can be cooked in a muffin pan like morning buns. They can be cooked in a round cake pan, and they can be cooked in a rectangular pan.

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To make 12 cinnamon rolls, use both packets of dough and after finishing with one packet, immediately process the second packet. The two groups of rolls will be able to be cooked together after their final rise.

In the above photo, and the photo at the bottom of this article, you can see the results of using various pans for cooking the rolls. In this photo, there are regular size rolls, mini-rolls, and a muffin pan roll. In the photo at the bottom of the article, you can see a 6 inch cake pan result.

Alternative Cooking Pans

Muffin Pan: each section of the cylinder goes into a separate space in the pan.


Cake Pan: for 6 rolls, a 6 inch cake pan is the correct size. Use an 8 inch pan for 12 rolls.


Rectangular pan: for 12 rolls, a 6 1/2 x 9 inch pan is good. It is difficult to get a rectangular pan half that size for 6 rolls, and I would suggest the small cake pan.

Directions

  1. Spray a 6 muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Unwrap a packet of chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Deflate it by gently tapping it several times with the rolling pin. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  3. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12 inches wide by 10 inches high.
  4. Spread melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle filling over the melted butter.
  5. Roll the rectangle of dough up so that a 12 inch long cylinder results. Seal the edge of the cylinder so that it doesn’t unwind.
  6. Cut the cylinder into 2 inch sections.
  7. Place all 6 sections in the pan of choice with space around each section
  8. Let the dough have a final rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours in which it should double in size. It will not be its final size as the heat in the oven will cause the rolls to expand even more.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  10. Brush the tops of the rolls with more melted butter, and sprinkle more filling mixture on the tops.
  11. Cook the buns for about 20 – 25 minutes. A toothpick stuck into the side of the roll just above the pan edgexcshould come out clean, and should feel the dough crusting as it enters the roll. The rolls should be brown.
  12. Dump the rolls out of the pan on a cooling rack.


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I always roll my dough out to larger than the 12 x 10 rectangle so that after rolling the dough into a cylinder, I can cut the end pieces off down to the desired 12 inches and discard them giving me nicer rolls from the end of the cylinder.

While most recipes for rolled dough say to pinch the dough together to seal the roll, I have found that doesn’t work well when the dough is covered with butter and sugar. I have found that using wet fingers to wipe the cylinder at the point the final edge of the rectangle will meet it makes a good seal.

I was also able to make what I called mini-cinnamon rolls, to as Jill suggested, tea rolls. I did this by first rolling the dough out to be a rectangle of 18 inches by 10 inches, and then cutting the resulting 18 inch cylinder into 1 1/2 inch sections instead of the 2 inch sections. Because the dough is now thinner, the 12 resulting sections fit into the same pan size as 6 normal sections.

I found that cooking in a muffin pan needs about 5 minutes less time than when the rolls are crowded together in a cake or rectangular pan. More heat gets to the roll in the muffin pan since each cup of the pan is exposed to heat on all sides. If it is desired to slow the cooking down, I placed the muffin pan inside a 7 x 11 pan so that there was less direct heat on the bottoms of the cups. I did this when I was cooking 6 rolls in a muffin pan and 6 rolls in a cake pan to try to even out the cooking time.

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Zucchini Squash Bread

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Zucchini bread is a sweet bread somewhat like Steamed Bread Pudding. But you make it in a couple regular loaf pans, so it is easier. This recipe was given to Marlys by Connie Mayo who was a bridge playing friend. I hope you can try the recipe and find it as a good dessert bread.
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Zucchini Squash Bread

(Connie Mayo 1973)

  • 3 eggs. beaten light and foamy
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini squash
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Pour into two greased loaf pans (or three small loaf pans). Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. Remove from pans at once and cool on rack. Bread freezes well.


When I made zucchini bread last year, I had a couple problems. First, the temperature of the oven was not calibrated and was running hotter than the dial said. This caused the bread to cook too quickly on the outside, and not be able to rise. The moral of that tail is to cook slower and longer, rather than hotter and faster. Once I determined the problem, I was able to get nice fat loaves of bread consistently.

The second problem I had was in releasing the bread from the loaf pans. I probably didn’t grease the pans enough. I am now using the cooking spray and am not having any problem. I have started putting a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the loaf pans; this is because when I put the bread on the cooling rack, the rack cut into the soft bread. Now, I leave the parchment paper on the bottom of the bread while it cools to give a better surface against the cooling racks.
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I am tenting all my breads for the last 10-15 minutes of their bake time. I felt that the top crust of the bread was over cooked and too thick. Tenting seems to reduce that problem. I have only seen tenting explicitly called out in one recipe, the Dilly Bread recipe, but I am doing it with all my bread baking, including this zucchini bread.

Finally, the recipe calls for 2 cups of grated zucchini; I measured the weight on my scales and found that the 2 cups was about 10 ounces. So if you have a pound of zucchini, by the time you cut the stem end off, and maybe the flower end, you probably are in the ballpark of 10-12 ounces, or 2 cups of grated zucchini.

When I eat zucchini bread, I like to spread it with either sour cream, or softened cream cheese. Because it is sweet, you don’t need any sweet spread.

Dilly Bread

This bread was a real frustration for me before I learned to knead it in the stand mixer. My skill set did not include kneading dough, and I was never able to make a good loaf of this bread before learning to use the dough hook on the stand mixer.
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Now, this is a simple, easy-to-make recipe that results in an excellent yeast bread with a flavor that I find somewhat addicting.

Dilly Bread

(Catharine P. (Mother) Crary, 1971)

updated for stand mixer by Errol Crary, 2012

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 Tablespoons honey (instead of sugar)
  • 2 cup cottage cheese, large curd, luke warm
  • 2 Tablespoon onion, freshly grated
  • 4 Tablespoon butter, melted (try 10 seconds at a time in the microwave)
  • 4 Tablespoons dill seed (NOT dill weed)
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 egg
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups AP flour (I used unbleached flour)

Hardware

  • Two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pans
  • Stand Mixer with both flat beater and dough hook

Directions

Warm the mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the warmed mixing bowl. Add the 1 teaspoon of the honey and let stand 5 minutes.

Add the cottage cheese, 4 Tablespoons honey, onion, butter, dill seed, salt and baking soda. Attach the mixing bowl and flat beater to the stand mixer. Turn to Stir Speed, and mix 30 seconds. Add eggs and turn to Stir Speed for 15 seconds.

Exchange the flat beater for the dough hook and add 3 cups flour. After a couple rotations at Stir speed, turn to Speed 2 and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, each time starting at Stir speed and then increasing to Speed 2, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

NOTE: Dough may not form a ball on the hook; however, as long as there is contact between dough and hook, kneading will be accomplished. Do NOT add more than the maximum amount of flour specified or dry loaf will result.

Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Slash the loaves diagonally about 3 times each.

Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Watch the tops, and if necessary the last 15 minutes tent with foil.

Remove from pans immediately. Cool on wire racks. Brushed the tops of each loaf with melted butter as soon as they are on the cooling racks and sprinkled with salt.

There are a couple items about the recipe that I should discuss. First, note that the recipe uses honey instead of granulated sugar. And the honey is divided; the first little bit is used to feed the yeast directly, while the sweetening of the dough uses the second larger amount.

I like the trick of starting the yeast right in the mixer bowl – saves another clean-up bowl. But, remember to warm the mixer bowl before you start so that the yeast doesn’t get a cold shock. I warm the bowl by filling it at the sink with straight hot water, and letting it sit for a couple minutes before dumping the hot water and moving ahead to start the yeast. Now don’t use too hot of water to start activation of the yeast- the recipe says warm. Warm water is body temperature- roughly the 90 – 100 degrees (a good use of the thermometer). If you must, it can be made by combining 2 parts ice water with 1 part boiling water. Warm water feels neither warm or cold when you feel it.

Now that the yeast is active, the other ingredients except the flour are mixed in. This is done with the flat, mixing beater on the stand mixer. This is exchanged for the dough hook when the flour is added.
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Getting a good rise on the dough seems to be all about the temperature. I invested in an instant read thermometer that has given me great results. (I once used it to check the oven temperature and discovered the knob that sets the temperature was off by 25 degrees). It is a good tool to have in your kitchen.
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And you need to find that draft-free spot where you can let the dough rise. I found mine in the laundry bay on top of the dryer. And, I have occasionally turned the dryer on for a few minutes to warm the area up. I found that I get a good rise if the temperature around the bowl of dough is in the range of 72 – 78 degrees. I let the towel covering the dough spread out to that any heat is under the towel and pushed toward the bowl, and doesn’t just escape upward.
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The next place I want to suggest how-to-do is in the sentence “Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan”. There are two pieces of experience I can give you here. Second, the loaf pans can be “greased” with the modern no-stick cooking spray; it worked great for me. But first, the shaping of the loafs needs attention. If you just plunk the dough into the loaf pans, it will end up looking like a mountain; that is, the ends will not rise anywhere nearly as much as the center of the loaf. The trick is to roll the dough out into a rectangle that is as wide as the loaf pan is long, and then rolling the dough up into a cylinder that stays as long as the loaf pan. Now place the rolled up cylinder in the loaf pan with the seam down. Voila!

I think the rest of the directions are fairly clear and straight forward. After the dough rises in the loaf pans, slash the tops before putting them in the oven. Remember to use a piece of foil on top of the loaves for the last 15 minutes. And the butter and salt on the tops while they are still warm makes all the difference; you will like the taste.
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No-Knead Bread

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Making bread was always a frustration for me, until this last year. My Mother was an excellent bread maker. I remember going home on vacation, and the minute I walked in the front door the aroma of fresh bread would hit me. And when I got to the kitchen, I would find the kitchen table hidden beneath loaves of fresh bread, dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls. There would be 8-10 loaves of bread on the table.

Whenever Marlys’s Step Mother Margaret visited us, she would start making dough, and keep it in the refrigerator. Then, each evening she would take out some of it, and form a pan of dinner rolls. She also would at times make cinnamon rolls. She knew how to slow the rise by using refrigeration. But even more important, both of these women knew how to knead the dough and could determine the amount of flour to add to make the dough. I felt that making bread was a skill that could only be learned with much mentoring by someone who already had the skill, and I didn’t seem to have the time to acquire that skill.

Mom had one bread recipe that I really liked, and so I asked her for it and tried to make it; it was a failure! My notes from that attempt say that the mixture seemed dry, and I didn’t get the rise I thought I should; maybe I added too much flour.

A few years ago, recipes for No-Knead bread became popular, and a recipe by Leslie Cole, an Oregonian reporter, was printed in the Oregonian newspaper. I thought I had found the answer to my lack of skill in making yeast breads! So I tried the recipe. It is a crusty bread, with a rustic texture. It is the type of bread you would be served in a restaurant before the meal, with butter or maybe olive oil and salt for dipping. It is a good crunchy bread to enjoy with a meal. I would make it again just for these qualities.
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Here is the pointer to Leslie Cole’s recipe for No-Knead bread. She said in the original newspaper article that it was adapted from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. For copyright reasons, I can not duplicate the recipe here, but must give you pointers to the publication of the recipes.

So, we continued to buy our bread for toast and sandwiches rather than try to make it.

Then, last year I learned about the “dough hook” for the stand-mixer. It has opened the world of flavored yeast breads for me. And I will be introducing those recipes to you. But for now, I want you to see the simple, no-knead bread. I use Leslie Cole’s recipe. I find it messy in that the dough seems especially moist and sticky; it might need more flour than indicated in the recipe. So, when working with the dough, I would not be afraid to use flour quite heavily to get the dough to hold together and not stick to fingers or work surface.
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If you, too, have trouble kneading yeast breads, then try the no-knead style. And maybe as Leslie suggests, add herbs or olives to suit your own taste.