Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

IMG_3286There’s nothing that smells better than homemade bread baking in the oven !!!

First of all, I’m not a bread maker, so I assumed .. I’ve tried and tried and finally resorted to a bread machine, when they were the fad. Then to just giving up, because a tiny little loaf that takes 3 hours in the machine, just doesn’t cut it for our size family. So if I can do this, So can you!!!

I have been just feeling more and more that I should take that leap and try it again, so I did!

I found this recipe and have been playing with it for a week now, trying to get it just the right flavor, consistency, what yeast,what type of flour, type of pan, temperature of water, and so on. (like I said I have only been at this faithfully ..a week )

So this is what I have done, you probably have a favorite or have never tried making homemade bread. There are no “real” rules to follow. There are thousands and thousands of bread recipes.  So far I’m  just trying to master this one.

The original recipe is different, I will make some side notes as to what I did to make this a little more healthy and what could or couldn’t work.

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First I start by mixing in a bowl :

3 cups of warm water ( around 110 degrees)

2 (.25 ounces) packages active dry yeast ( rapid rise and bread machine yeast seem to work the best for me)

1/3 cup of a honey and black strap molasses mixture (you can use straight honey also)

5 cups of flour ( I use white wheat)

Side Note: I fill the honey almost to the top of my 1/3 cup and top it off  with black strap molasses.. Why? The black strap is filled with so many good vitamins, nutrients and TONS of iron.. (just don’t lick your fingers LOL ) It’s just an added source and I use local honey from a farm, which makes it all that much better. Now the flour.. This is the tricky part.. You can use a straight bread or all-purpose flour and be safe, but I prefer something a little more healthy. I am using a white wheat flour (it is more heavy and will take longer to rise, and you will not need as much ) You can mix with a white and then knead in your wheat also which I tried and works great too. Of course if you had a grinder, you can grind whatever kind you prefer and it would be all that much healthier.

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 It will be a bit runny after mixing.. Set it to the side for about 30 minutes or until it rises and bubbles up a bit.. Like this!

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Have your next ingredients ready as you are waiting .

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Next you will need:

3 TBLS of melted butter

1/3 cup of the honey/ black strap molasses mixture.. (yes another)

1TBLS salt ( I use sea salt)

3-4cups of wheat flour or white wheat ( you could also sprinkle in some wheat germ, oats,or grains)

Tip: you can add “fruit fresh” to your bread for added Vitamin C ..

Mix this all together except the flour..

Pour out about 2 cups onto your surface and pour the batter onto the flour and easily mix it together until you can knead it.

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It will take a good 5-10 minutes of kneading  until you get it to form.

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All the while sprinkling more flour over your dough and surface area to prevent it from sticking. You don’t want it too dry, just where it pulls away from the surface.

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Eventually it should set up like this!

Next place your dough into a large greased bowl, then flip it over so the top has a light oil covering.

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My next tip:  warm your oven, NOT HOT !!! turn off .. have a tea kettle boiling and place it into the oven with your bowl. If that’s too much much, just place in a warm non drafty spot and cover with a tea towel until it rises.. about 45 min to an hour. I love this tip, it works great for me..

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Next, Punch the bread down and divide into 3  greased  9×5 in. loaf pans or you can form into rolls ..

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Let this rise until it tops the pan about 1 inch. (mine haven’t quite rose that hight yet.. either I’m in a hurry or it’s too heavy from the wheat)

Next Bake at 350 degrees about 25-35 minutes, do not over bake.

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Brush the tops with melted butter to prevent the crust from getting too hard..

My kids  Devour ours before it ever gets a chance to hit the cooling rack.. lol..,  but it will squish the bread if you try to cut it before it has a chance to cool down.. Try it fresh, with jam and butter or my ultimate favorite.. Butter and Sorghum Molasses .. YUUMMMM !!!

Enjoy!!  Matthew 6:11 Give us this Day Our Daily Bread …..

My Mother-in Law’s Apple Pie..

 

 

Well here’ s another recipe… I’m in a baking mood ( My husband come home from the road today and I wanted to surprise him )  so I thought I’d share this All American Favorite..”Apple Pie” ..

Not that you can’t google it and millions of  Apple Pie recipes come up.. almost all the same. This Apple pie has a story..as I was slicing and remembering the history, I though  “I’ll just write a blog on it”.

If I haven’t told you, I had a very picky husband when it comes to food.. Of course over the years, his taste buds have adapted “somewhat” but when we got married ..OH MY!!!!

I come from the South and we like to cook!! And I come from Louisiana and we like SPICE!! My favorite spice  is Slap Ya MAMA!! :)

We eat all kinds of stuff.. So I never dreamed I marry someone with such a”‘blah” pallete. No onions, no veggies (except grn beans, corn) …nothing touching..so on.. Sorry honey, I love you … And you are a great husband who never complains ( much) on my food LOL ..

Of course all women Or (most deep down )want their husbands to think they’re the best cook in the word, and mine does ( when I don’t sneak in the onions) .. But there was one day he said out loud, there’s only 2 things that my wife can’t cook better is , #1 My mom’s Apple Pie and #2 my Grandmas Meatloaf.. Not that I’m that competitive ;) But I set out to prove him wrong.. First of all “I don’t even like Apple pie” so I never made it.. But I do have to say after having his moms.. I will only eat that apple pie. So over the years I have finally got the approval that mine is just as good.. LOL .. I’ll let his grandma ( who is no longer with us) keep the trophy for the best meat loaf.

This recipe is not much different from the everyday Apple pie..

I’m not very  good at recipes, It’s maybe a bit of this and sprinkle of this. I come up with things all the time and I forget to write down how I make. I will try my best to give you a more accurate measurement.

Apple pie is a bit tricky.. It depends on the Apples. I prefer a Granny Smith.. just enough tart and crisp..and they don’t turn into mush.

My apples as you can see are not that pretty, that’s because they come from our trees.. Or I should say his Grandmas.. we bought the property  a few years after she passed and it’s got a few varieties. It’s always nice to go down and remember the times when she was still here, we had 1-4 kids while she was still living. We would take them down ad visit and pick apples, she would tell me which ones were good for pies, and good for apple sauce and just for eating .

My kids went down and got 2, 5 gallon buckets picked before the freeze that we had last week. They are wonderful tasting but not that pretty..

Normally I would use my apple peeler/corer and slicer but not with these, they very irregular shaped and have a lot of bad spots, so it takes time especially when you’re doubling.

I’m NO “Rachel Ray” and I barely have enough time in the day to brush my teeth, so to be homemaking and baking all day is out of the question.. I’m a fast short order cook.. Just because I stay home all day with my kids, doesn’t mean I walk around with an apron tied to my waste..LOL..I don’t make my own pie shells, though I can.. and I don’t put on the pretty lattice top. It’s roll it out and slap it on.. ( My husband would prefer I do make it and nothing ever come out of a box) but then he would have to hire me a MAID!! ;)

OK! so for the pie.

2 single pie crust

Around 4- 6 cups of thin slice apples ( I prefer Granny Smith )

3/4 -1 cup of sugar depending on the type of apple and how tart you like it.

2 tbls of lemon juice

2-3 tbls of all purpose flour

I’m not a nutmeg fan, so I do either a TbLS  of cinnamon only or use TBLS  apple pie spice that’s already mixed ( it has nutmeg in it)  but you can add 1/4 tsp of nutmeg with the cinnamon.

A dash of salt maybe 1/2 teaspoon

Mix it all together

 

Pour into Pie shell

Slice up 3/4-1 stick of butter on top of the pie

 

Add the top crust and seal edges

Brush egg whites all over the top and sprinkle with sugar.

 

 

 

Bake at 350 for around 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly (put a pan underneath)

You will need to cover edges with either foil or a crust cover you can buy  to keep your crust from burning.

We like to let it sit for a couple of hours, that lets it thicken and cool down. But you can eat it any time you want..

Hope you Enjoy!!

 

I’m typing as it cooks.. My house smells wonderful, !! I don’t have to burn candles for that smell today and Instrumental Christmas music is playing through my Ipod.. So peaceful ( if you can find some peace among the coming and goings of 8 children).. ..LOL !!

 

Chicken Noddle Casserole…

Here is an excellent easy Dinner tonight .. If you know me I like fast and easy…Also this is my new Rachael Ray Lasagna Lover Dish..I love it..

Tonight is basketball practice which happens to be at our churches gym… We practice from 4:00 until we usually leave about 9 pm.. My church also happens to be about 30 miles away.. So nights like these, I bring dinner and cook it at our churches kitchen. A couple of us families that get to be there all night because we  have ages on almost all teams the that practice, we bring food to share and make a potluck out of it..

So today I was rushed for time and found this..

Of course when I cook everything is doubled..

Ingredients

  •                     4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  •                     6 ounces egg noodles
  •                     1 (10.75 ounce) can  condensed cream of mushroom soup
  •                     1 (10.75 ounce) can  condensed cream of chicken soup
  •                     1 cup sour cream
  •                     salt to taste
  •                     ground black pepper to taste
  •                     1 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
  •                     1/2 cup butter

            Directions

  1.                     Poach chicken in a large pot of simmering water. Cook until no longer pink in center, about 12 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Bring chicken cooking water to a boil and cook pasta in it. Drain. Cut chicken into small pieces, and mix with noodles.
  2.                     In a separate bowl, mix together mushroom soup, chicken soup, and sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir together cream soup mixture with the chicken mixture. Place in a 2 quart baking dish.
  3.                     Melt butter in a small saucepan, and remove from heat. Stir in crumbled crackers. Top casserole with the buttery crackers.
  4.                     Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 30 minutes, until heated through and browned on top.

I also always change recipes, because I like spice and flavor… I added lots of minced garlic, minced onions,… MY FAVORITE” SLap Ya MaMA” seasoning… I also added about a cup of a 3 cheese shredded mix… Other people suggested adding celery, or a bag of mixed frozen vegetables.. In the past I have made a variation of this and added chopped broccoli..It’s a good way to get their veggies in… Also I did not have enough egg noodles and added bow tie pasta.. I didn’t have the butter rounds so I opted for saltines.. I will finish it off with some more cheese on top and bake it when I get there..My recipe doubled made 2 casserole dishes..

We will have a side of salad, another batch of the AWESOME .. cheddar biscuits and brownies with icing… I am feeding about 20 kids..:) gotta have something sweet…

ENJOY!!!

Can I just say”Yummmm” (cheddar biscuits & shrimp potato soup)

Ok .. Last post tonight …I Promise… But this was sooooo good I couldn’t resist and had to share.

So I started looking for a Potato soup recipe, as I am always  experimenting with recipes and never use them exact. I like to add meat to my potato soup, and I didn’t have any .. I found a package of frozen shrimp in the freezer and googled shrimp potato soup..

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/potato-soup-with-shrimp-recipe/index.html This is a Paula Deen Recipe.. it was the first to come up …

But like I said I added my own flavor..1st thing was I doubled the recipe for 8 of us ..

Then I added a half bag of mixed frozen veggies (corn, green beans, carrots)

I do not keep half and half on hand .. opted for more milk ..I ended up using about 4 more cups of milk, because it was very thick..

I used already cooked frozen shrimp, so I waited until the soup was done.. Rinsed the shrimp and dumped them in the boiling soup.

And of course for added flair… I added “SLAP YA MAMA” seasoning..ummm umm to give it a Cajun spice..

You can try it exactly like the recipe and I’m sure it would be great.. I just like to change things and half the time I don’t have the right ingredients, and am too impatient to wait..

Next was the Cheddar Biscuits… Oh My word… If you’ve been to Red Lobster and Love their biscuits and have tried to duplicate their recipe like me.. LOOK NO FURTHER…  I followed this recipe to the T other than doubling it for our family it made about 26 huge biscuits and there was only 2 left….  I found it over at … http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/03/cheddar-bay-biscuits.html

To top off this awesome snowy night dinner, we made some easy good ole chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing.. Out of a box and can Icing.. Sorry I didn’t go totally Martha Stewart tonight..:)

So if you want to feel like you just had dinner down on the bay.. try these recipes..

ENJOY, JENNIFER