Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A most versatile and easy roll dough

These rolls are very simple to make but mostly because I have a Bosch Kitchen Machine. This is actually my third Bosch and we bought our first the week after our honeymoon 31 years ago. No kitchen should be without one. It's worth the almost $400 and will pay for itself over and over and over. That said, if you do not have a heavy duty kitchen mixer, the rolls may not turn out as well, but I wouldn't know because I've never done them without the Bosch. I searched and searched through 20,000 photos and can not believe that I don't have a photo of the rolls. But, here's the Cinnamon roll version of them, also listed below. As always, enjoy!

In a 4 cup measuring cup or bowl, heat 2 cups of milk in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Not even until it makes that little layer of skin. Just hot. (How's this for a real recipe?) Remove from the microwave and add 1/2 cup butter. You'll know if the milk is hot enough because it should melt the butter.

Place in mixing bowl:

3 Tbsp. yeast

1/2 cup warm, but not hot, water

1/2 cup sugar, sprinkled evenly around the yeast and water.

Let this sit for 20 minute until the yeast has risen.

Add to the mixing bowl:

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. salt

4 cups of flour

Pour the now warm milk over the flour, eggs, yeast mixture. Mix, adding more flour and kneading until the dough is light and moist. I add flour until the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl as it is mixed. Honestly, depending on the weather, some days it's 7 cups total and some days it's 9. Mix until a light fluffy dough. (In my Bosch, I let it mix for ten to fifteen minutes on low.) Then let it sit for 30 minutes. (If you are in a hurry, you can rush the first rising by placing the dough into a well greased bowl and covering it with a damp cloth completely. Place it in the microwave on the lowest setting for ten minutes.) Then, form the rolls into balls or ropes or three little mini-balls placed together in well-buttered muffin tins. Make sure that the pan is lathered in butter. Let raise for 30 more minutes. Bake at 400° until the rolls are golden brown. (about 17 minutes.)

This is the dough that I use for almost everything.

  • Add an extra half cup of sugar to the dough for cinnamon rolls. Roll out into a rectangle. Smother in melted butter. Cover in brown sugar and/or cinnamon sugar. Add raisins or nuts if desired to the dough or sprinkle on at this point. Roll into a long roll. Then, the best trick I ever learned... take a 24" piece of dental floss. Wrap it around your fingers as though you were going to floss. Then, slide the floss under the dough roll, bring it up over the top and around the dough. Pull the floss through the dough, slicing it as thick as you desire. It's so much more simple than any knife or tool I've ever tried!

  • Roll the dough out into breadsticks and cover with butter, garlic salt, basil and fresh Parmesan cheese for the best garlic rolls ever.

  • Roll the dough into breadsticks and generously brush melted butter over them in the pan. Then sprinkle with brown sugar and/or cinnamon sugar. Bake then serve with cream cheese frosting on the side to dip them in. *the favorite*

  • Roll the dough out very thin onto pizza pans that have been covered in butter for "Pan Pizza".

  • Roll the dough out into 3/8" thickness and deep-fry them for scones. Serve with honey-butter or cinnamon sugar or peanut butter or jam or any topping that flips your trigger!

  • Roll the dough out into a large rectangle on your baking pan (a jelly roll pan works best). Fill the center third length-wise with meat (bbq beef, sliced turkey, ham, roast beef, ground beef, you name it) and then top with shredded cheese and the dressing of your choice. Either braid the top of the bread or simply fold over the sides to the top and blanket the filling. Bake until the bread is golden brown. You can brush egg white on it before baking, if desired. This is dinner! NUM!

  • Roll the dough into a rectangle and simply fill it with cheese on one half. Wrap the other half over the cheese and then seal the edges. Giant Calzone style. Dip the bread into ranch dressing, jelly, you name it! Great snack and great way to use left-over dough.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Garden Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This has been a favorite for years. The recipe came from one of the best cooks and most wonderful women that I've ever met, Joanne Hoth. She was the owner of Juniper Inn Restaurant and is one of my heroes! Every summer, I watch our cucumbers and tomatoes growing and ripening with great anticipation of the first bowl of this tasty treat! The most interesting thing about this recipe is that it doesn't taste nearly as delish when the cukes and tomatoes come from the store! This salad and a hearty homemade whole wheat bread make a meal on it's own! Try it! Enjoy!

cucumbers and tomatoes, chopped (I use at least 3 or 4 of each)
1 sliced and slightly chopped onion
1 cup sugar (I add an extra 1/4 cup)
1 cup cider vinegar
4 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbs. salt
pepper to taste (I use lots!)
Mix the dressing and pour over the chopped veggies. Chill and serve!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


My friend, Natalie, gave me a pizelle iron last year during the holidays. I've enjoyed keeping it busy! A pizelle iron, if you aren't familiar, is like a waffle iron, only it makes a very thin cookie. I've tried several recipes and this is the one that works best for me.

6 eggs
1 cup butter
2 Tbsp. vanilla or lemon extract or pure anise extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar

Beat eggs till smooth. Melt and then Add cooled butter. Add 2 Tbsp. Vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar and blend vigorously all of these dry ingredients into the egg mixture until smooth. The mixture will be sticky and stiff. Make 60 pizzelles.

You can remove the pizelle from the iron and, very gently and immediately, roll it into a tube or into the shape of a cone and stuff it with a cream cheese and strawberry jam or any other filling you can think of! They've been a huge hit at showers and parties!

Summer Chicken & Pasta Salad

This is, literally, my most favorite dish in the world since I first tried it two years ago at Bunco. I know that I say that everything is the best but this is the best summer salad ever! Even the babes love it! Enjoy!

Combine in a large bowl:

6 cups cooked chicken (I shred mine with a fork)
24 oz. shell or bow-tie pasta (I prefer the shells because bowtie pasta never cooks evenly for me)
1 small bunch green onions (chopped)

In a separate bowl, mix:

2 cups mayonnaise
1 16. oz. bottle Hidden Valley Coleslaw Dressing (I always buy two bottles and add another cup or so just before serving the salad)

Mix and chill. Then, add before serving:

1 20 oz. can of pineapple tidbits (with the juice)
1/2 pound of green and red grapes (I slice them in half)
2 large Fuji apples (chopped well)
1 cup slivered almonds (I've also used chopped cashews!!)