Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum!
I smell the blood of an Englishman!
Be he alive,
Or be he dead,
Ill grind his bones to make my bread!
(and what a way to spoil a perfectly good loaf
Old-Time Wheat Bread
(The basic recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3 cups whole-wheat flour
In large mixer bowl, combine 3:1/2 cups of
the all-purpose flour and the yeast. In your microwave or saucepan heat water, brown
sugar, shortening, and salt just till warm, stirring constantly to melt shortening. (If
the mixture is warm when you dip your CLEAN thumb in it, its warm enough.)
Add to dry mixture in mixer bowl. Beat at low
speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3
minutes at high speed.
By hand, stir in the whole-wheat flour and
enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make moderately stiff dough. Turn out onto a
lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic (10-12 minutes - but I've never
gone that long without help from the children). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a
lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
Cover (use a clean, warm, damp towel) and let
rise in a warm place until double (on top of the refrigerator is good or beside a sunny
window). This takes about an hour.
Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly
floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into two
loaves and place in two greased loaf pans.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until
almost double (about 45 minutes). Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. If necessary, cover
loosely with foil the last 20 minutes of baking to prevent over browning - (but I never do
this because we like ours crusty.)
Remove from pans and cool on wire racks -
(brush with butter to not let the bread get too crusty.) Makes 2 loaves - that will be
gone as quickly as you take them out of the oven!
Little Tommy Tucker
Sings for his supper.
What shall we give him?
White bread and butter.
How shall he cut it
Without eer a knife?
How will he be married
Without eer a wife?
Hamburger Buns great with
Granma Blehs Barbecue
Try to get a copy of Better Homes and Gardens bread cookbook
it really has the best recipes, and the clearest instructions for beginning bread
bakers. Most of my bread recipes are based on these.)
This gives about 24 dinner rolls.
In large mixer bowl combine 4 cups
all-purpose flour and 2 packages active dry yeast. Combine 2 cups warm water, (by the way
I test the temp of the water by sticking my clean thumb into it and if it feels just hot,
but not scalding, I know it's good), 3/4-cup cooking oil, 1/2-cup sugar, and 1-tablespoon
salt. Add to mixture in bowl; add 3 eggs. Beat at low speed with mixer for 1/2 minute,
scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in 4 cups all-purpose flour to
make soft dough.
Turn out on floured surface - the Tupperware
type cover is really good because it washes up so well and you don't end up with a doughy
mess on your kitchen counter; knead till smooth and elastic - use the kids for this, they
love to mess around with living playdough! Place in greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let
rise in warm place till double (about 1 hour). Punch down; divide dough in 3 portions. Oh,
the punching down part is always fun for the kids. When I make bread, about 3 times a year
now, I always call in the kids and we make fists and really beat on that dough.
And, no thank you very much, I do not want to
ever own a bread making machine because my memories of making bread with kids and hands
and dough and beating down the dough are all too great); divide dough in 3 portions. (This
is great if you have three kids to help - one for each). Cover; let rest 5 minutes. Divide
each portion into 8 balls - this is where the other kids now get a chance - folding edges
under to make even circle. Press ball flat between hands. Place on greased baking sheets,
pressing to 3:1/2" circles. Let rise till double (about 30 minutes). Bake at 375
about 10 minutes.
Easy Mix Method White Bread
5:3/4 to 6:1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 pkt active dry yeast
2:1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons salt
In a large mixing bowl, the larger the better, combine about
half the flour (2:1/2 cups) and the yeast.
In the microwave heat together the milk, sugar, oil and salt
until thumb warm. If you use a thermometer thats about 115 to 120 degrees. Stir when
you take out of the microwave.
Add this to the flour and yeast in the mixing bowl. Beat at
low speed I never use an electric mixer because the dough just seems to clog up,
but if you have a really good table mixer (like a Sunbeam which I had once upon a time)
with dough hooks that should work fine. Beat until you feel the texture become smooth, and
keep scraping the sides of the bowl.
Now its time for hand work: stir in enough of the rest
of the flour to make moderately stiff dough. Turn this onto a lightly floured board and
knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy and your fingers dont stick to
the mix. You might need to add a little more flour as you go along to keep your hands
Shape your dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased
bowl rinse with hot water first to warm the bowl which will help the yeast work
turn your ball upside down so the top is greased this will stop it from
drying out and cover with a warm damp clean rag (this helps the yeast work, too)-
and place in your favorite warm spot and leave alone till doubled, about 90 minutes.
When its doubled, punch the dough down, turn it out
onto your lightly floured surface and divide it in half.
Shape each of these halves into a nice ball; cover it and let
it rest again (sounds like the kids doing house or yard work, with all these rests,
doesnt it?) and after about ten minutes of resting, shape these balls into two
loaves and place each in a regular sized loaf plan. Let these rise until doubled.
Bake in a warm oven (375 degrees) about 45 minutes. Cover the
tops with foil if the tops get too brown too fast.
Turn them out on to a rack, brush the ends, tops and/or
bottoms with butter if you dont want them to crisp up too much, and try to let them
cool before the gang gets at them and theyre gone, before you, the baker, get to
enjoy the results of your labor!
Charlottes Fried Bread
When I got to stay home and be the housewife and mother I was
so happy to be, before John died, I used to make bread all the time.
I wasnt fanatical about it, because we bought most of
our bread from the store but American bread, believe me, is nothing like the great
bread we sold in Dundee at Kidds the bakers but home made bread was
definitely not a rarity. We even had our own stored hard red Canadian wheat that I would
take over to our friends homes and grind up (oh, yes, I was a regular Little Red Hen
then). That fresh ground wheat really seemed to make the bread taste even better.
Johnny and Tina and Steph and Elsie, and later Alys, Nan, and
Xoch, always seemed to like bread making days. They would take the pieces of bread dough I
gave them to shape and sometimes they would make little pretzel shaped loaves we would
On many occasions, however, they also liked it when I would
hold back about half the recipe and just let it rise a little then drop in hot vegetable
oil and fry up till it was brown on the outside and soft and warm in the middle. It
didnt take very long, but I had to keep turning these little rolls. I would say it
came out a cross between a doughnut and Indian fry bread. We would eat it with butter and
jam, or honey, like a roll, or dust with powdered sugar and enjoy as a dessert type snack.
These were fun days.
Easy Dill-Onion Bread
John really enjoyed this bread.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1:1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons dried dill seed
2 teaspoons instant minced onions
In small mixer bowl combine 1:1/2 cups of the
flour and the yeast.
In microwave heat milk, sugar, butter, dill
seed, onion and 1-teaspoon salt just till warm and the butter is melted. Add to dry
mixture; add egg. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl.
Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour.
Cover; let rise till double (30-45 minutes).
Stir down. Spread evenly in a greased loaf pan. Let rise till nearly double (about 30
minutes). Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if bread browns too
quickly. Remove from pan; Cool.
Makes 1 loaf. (I never doubled this one - but
I did add more onions!)
I was so proud of myself in Pensacola over
how well I made these rolls. After all, when we went to John's mother's house I used this
recipe to make a Christmas stollen and thought I was just great stuff. However, I got my
comeuppance once that time in Florida when I made these rolls for company dinner. That
poor Navy friend of John's was so sweet. He took a great dive into those rolls because
they were so big, dripping with cinnamon and icing, and looked just sooooo good. He ate a
whole roll before anyone else even took a bit. Imagine my horror when I, the second person
to dig in, tasted my roll and discovered I had put salt in my cinnamon mix instead of
sugar!!! I've been (almost) humble about my cooking ever since.
Make your Basic Sweet Roll Dough
In large mixer bowl combine 2 cups
all-purpose flour and 1 package active dry yeast. Heat 1-cup milk, 1/4-cup sugar, 1/4 cup
shortening - remember I use oil - and 1-teaspoon salt till warm by Charlotte's thumb
method of measuring heat. Stir and add to dry mixture. Add 2 eggs. Beat at low speed with
electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir
in 1:1/2 to 2 cups all purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead on lightly
floured surface till smooth (8-10 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in greased bowl,
turning once. Cover; let rise till double (45-60 minutes). Punch down; divide in half.
Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Now for the Cinnamon Rolls:
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2-cup walnuts - but my kids never let me have raisins and/or walnuts.
Roll each half of Basic Sweet Roll Dough into
a 12x8 rectangle. Brush each with half of the melted butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon
and sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle with raisins and nuts if your children will allow you
to. Roll up each piece, starting with long side; seal seams. Slice each into 12 rolls.
Place rolls, cut side down, in two greased 9x1:1/2 inch round baking pans. Cover and let
rise till doubled (about 35 minutes). Bake at 375 for 18 to 20 minutes. Drizzle icing over
warm rolls. Makes 24.
Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar,
1/4-teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk to make drizzling consistency (about 1:1/2
tablespoons. Ices 2 loaves. Cool bread slightly before icing. A wire rack with waxed paper
underneath works well and makes cleanup easy. From a spoon, drizzle icing back and forth
across the loaf or rolls. Or spread with a spatula. Add nuts, fruits, or other decorations
before the icing sets.
Not only did I make doughnuts once, these
very ones, as a matter of fact, I also once made pizza crust. I've lost that pizza crust
recipe - it was Novene Ward's - so there will only be a doughnut recipe in this happy
3 to 3:1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 packages
active dry yeast
3/4 milk 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening or oil 1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs Optional Glaze
In large mixer bowl combine 1:1/2 cups of the
flour and the yeast. In the microwave heat together the usual suspects of milk, sugar,
oil, salt just till warm. Add to dry mixture in mixer bowl; add eggs. Beat at low speed
with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at
By hand, stir in enough of the remaining
flour to make a moderately soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead
till smooth and elastic. (5-8 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl,
turning once to grease surface.
Cover and let rise in warm place till double
Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly
floured surface. Divide in half. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured
doughnut cutter (has hole in center) into doughnuts.
Cover and let rise in warm place till very
light (about 30-45 minutes). Fry in deep hot fat (375 and don't put your thumb in this to
measure if it's hot enough!) till golden, about 1 minute on each side.
Drain on paper toweling, if desired; roll
warm doughnuts in sugar or frost with glaze by combining 2 cups sifted powdered sugar,
1/4-cup milk, and 1-teaspoon vanilla. All this work makes about 18 20 doughnuts
A Really Easy Doughnut Recipe
When John was sent to Viet Nam in 1966, after we had been
married only 6 months, for a year on board the USS Oxford he wanted me to stay that year
in Cincinnati because his parents were there, so I did. (My mother invited me to go back
to Scotland for that year but I wanted to stay in America.) During that year I
spent a lot of time with the Church youth in our Ward there because I was really only 19
and they were closer to my age than the adults in the congregation. There were often
refreshments and meals that went along with these activities (you know, the old Mormon,
Indian, and Scottish adage of "if you fed them, they will come"). One night we
decided to make doughnuts, the easy way. Of course, theyre nothing like Krispy
Kremes (now opening franchises in Phoenix), but making them was fun. We took Pillsbury
biscuits, dropped them in hot oil, fried them up till they were nice and brown, and then
just covered with powdered sugar. Voila!
Challah French Toast
(but first you have to make the bread!)
I made challah (a Jewish egg bread) for the first time
Thanksgiving, 1998, when I went on a huge bread baking binge. Xochitl said this tasted
like croissants, and because she likes it Ive decided this can be another of my
bread making specialties.
2 pkts active dry yeast (by the way, I buy my
yeast in the jar, keep it in the freezer,
and measure out the equivalents instructions are on the jar)
¼ cup milk
¼ cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash powdered saffron I went out at the last minute on
Thanksgiving day morning looking for this at our local supermarket and had no luck, but
eventually got some at an Indian food shop along with the currants I needed for the
clootie dumpling more on that later.
4:1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
Soften the yeast in ½ cup warm water. Heat the milk, butter,
sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and saffron till sugar dissolves; cool till lukewarm (Remember,
if you heat those up in the microwave you dont have to worry about cooling I
melted my butter first then added the milk and other stuff to the "thumb"
Stir in 2 cups of the flour and beat well. Add the softened
yeast which you previously mixed with the ½ cup warm water) and the 2 eggs and
beat well. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured
surface till smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes but I never went over 5 minutes
and shape into a ball.
Place in a warm greased bowl and turn once to have the top
oiled. Cover with a warm, damp rag and let rise in a warm place until doubled this
takes over an hour. Punch down and add raisins if you like and this is really good
in your French toast, as well as some cinnamon and walnuts, too.
Divide your mix into thirds. Cover, let rise
another ten minutes.
Roll each third into an 18" strand and
braid and secure the ends by turning under. (Heres a hint, its easier to start
braiding from the middle out; remember bread rises, so dont worry about your strands
being thinnish; and dont forget to tuck and seal the ends under when your braiding
Brush your braid with egg yolk combined with
1-tablespoon water. Sprinkle with poppy seed if you like. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45
When I found my saffron, I was amazed to find
this stuff for .01oz cost almost $4.00. And not only that, its little threads stored
inside a teeny, tiny, Glad type storage bag! Heres the story on the regular sized
bottle its sold in and youll understand more about the cost:
"This coveted spice lends color and
flavor to dressings, baked goods, and rice.
Saffron is the most expensive spice on earth.
It takes more than 75,000 handpicked blossoms, each of which has 3 saffron strands, to
make a pound of saffron. Each strand must be handpicked from the flower, so there are
approximately 225,000 handpicked strands per pound. An acre of crocus sativus produces
only 2:1/2 lbs of saffron."
Would you believe I keep this jar hidden in
my dresser drawer no way thats going among the kitchen spices!
Now for the French Toast
Take this wonderful bread you just baked and
slice into fairly thick portions go buy a bag of "Texas Toast" for an
idea of how thick and dip into a mixture of egg and milk.
Here are some clues for really good French
Heavy on the eggs and light on the milk will
give you that nice yellow color for your toast;
If you use butter to brown your toast in,
remember butter burns more quickly than margarine, so watch your skillet temperature.
A really good way to serve French Toast is to
forget about the syrup and instead spread the cooked toast with cream cheese and lots of
Keillors Dundee Marmalade.