C.D.Q. Bread (Can-Do-Quickly)

The other day I was helping to prepare a meal for my nephew and his wife who recently had their first baby, and then had to move to a larger apartment quite unexpectedly.  I remembered this recipe for yeast bread that I first made when I was in college.  Even though it is a yeast bread, it makes up very quickly because it rises only once.  Because the dough gets rolled up to fit into the bread pan, it is light and fluffy, and oh, so yummy!

2 pkg yeast

3/4 c. warm water

1-1/4 c. buttermilk

4-1/2 to 5 c. flour

1/4 c. shortening or butter

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

soft butter

Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add buttermilk, 1-1/2 c. flour, shortening or butter, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend about 30 seconds on low speed of mixer, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.

Stir in remaining flour. Dough will remain soft and sticky. Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead 5 minutes or about 200 turns.  Roll or pat dough into a rectangle 18×9 inches. Roll up from the short side. Press each end to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush with soft butter. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Using the lowest rack in the oven, bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Remove immediately from pan and cool on wire rack. Brush with more butter.

Options: 1)  Use the bread hook attachment on a stand mixer for the entire process to eliminate the kneading step.    2) Brush with soft butter before rolling up the dough.  3) Make 2 loaves instead of one by using 2 smaller pans instead of one large one.

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Raisin Buttermilk Coffee Cake

I am exhausted!  We just finished 5 days of VBS at our church, and we had more children this year than we have ever had before!!  Have you ever experienced the energy of over 150 children for 3 hours at a time??  It was a wonderful week, and I am very thankful to have been able to be a part of it!

I tried to make a special treat to take to VBS each day this week especially for the workers who volunteered their time to help out.  I didn’t try any new recipes, but used my tried and true ones!

And many  thanks to my readers!! We hit the 9000 mark for views to the blog yesterday!!!

This coffee cake recipe is found in one of my Best of Country Cooking cookbooks. I have made it quite a few times in the past for my own family.  It goes together easily and is a great treat for a mid-morning snack.

1 c. packed brown sugar

1 c. chopped nuts

1/3 c. butter, softened

2 tbsp. flour

4 tsp. ground cinnamon

BATTER:

1/2 c. butter, softened

1-1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

3 c. flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. buttermilk

1 c. raisins

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in raisins.

Spread half of mixture into greased 13×9 pan. Sprinkle with half the crumb mixture. Carefully spread with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Makes 12-15 servings.

*I was out of raisins, so I sprinkled some mini chocolate chips over the top before I baked it.

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Herby Ranch Dressing

Each Wednesday our local newspaper carries food articles and recipes in the lifestyle section.  Usually I give these a quick glance to see if any of the recipes or articles are of interest to me.  This week had an article on using herbs in summer recipes.

Over the last several years I have tried to grow herbs right outside my backdoor so that I can have fresh herbs when I want them. Even though we’ve had quite a bit of rain this spring, I have basil, parsely, chives, and cilantro already planted!  I can’t wait for them to get a little bigger so that I can use them in this wonderful recipe that was posted in our newspaper this week.  I believe it originally came from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman at www.foodnetwork.com.

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. sour cream

1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

3 tsp. white vinegar

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

salt and ground pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. Chill for several hours before serving.  Makes about 2 cups or about 8 servings

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Earlier this week we celebrated the 17th birthday of our youngest child.  I can’t believe that he is already in his senior year of high school!  He sure has grown from the tiny 7-pound bundle he was at birth to the 6’2″ lanky young man he is now!

No, he is not usually this serious! He is actually quite the fun-loving kid!

Chocolate cake is always a favorite cake for birthdays around here.  This year I made it totally from scratch using recipes in my favorite Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  Served with vanilla ice cream, it was a hit with everyone!

1-2/3 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. buttermilk*

1/2 c. oil

2 tsp. vanilla

Butter and lightly flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread in the pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.(Layers do not rise as high as  box cake mix layers do.) Cool for 5 minutes in the pans before turning out on to a cooling rack.  Frost with Creamy Chocolate Frosting.

*If you do not have buttermilk, you can sour a cup of milk by adding 1 tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes before adding it to the cake.

Frosting:

2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

1 c. sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 c. boiling water

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

Combine the chocolate, sugar, and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed pan. Stir in the boiling water and cook over moderate heat about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and salt. Beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth and shiny.  This makes enough to fill and frost an 8-inch or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Ben and his breakfast!

This morning was one of those mornings that I decided to make more of a breakfast for the family than I do on other mornings. For most of the week, everyone gets his own breakfast before heading out the door for work or school.  After frying up some bacon, I made a stack of pancakes.  I figured that should do it once everyone began moving on this Saturday morning.  Ben, being a teen-aged boy, loved the pancakes and bacon, but realized it was not enough to fill his hollow legs.  He added a large serving of scrambled eggs!

Family Favorite Pancakes

1 c. buttermilk

4 tbsp. butter, melted

2 eggs

2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

4 tbp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

Beat the buttermilk, butter, and eggs lightly in a mixing bowl.  Mix the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt and add them all at once to the milk mixture stirring just enough to dampen the flour.  If batter is too thick, add a bit of water until the right consistency.  Drop about 2-3 tbsp. of batter onto a hot, greased griddle and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook for 2 more minutes.  Makes between 12-16 pancakes.