A Classic Homemade Bread Dough for Homemade Bread, Pizza, Buns or Rolls

Originally posted in September, 2013

The smell of things like apple pie, homemade bread and cookies baking seems to go hand-in-hand with the Autumn season.  So, I'm re-posting this one because with so many recipes on my site, it's easy to lose track of them, and easier to find them in the search box if they've been posted a couple times.

This is a recipe I fall back on whenever I want to make homemade bread or rolls for dinner and I don't want to have to think about it. It uses basic ingredients, can be mixed up in my bread machine or in my KitchenAid Mixer,or even by hand if I want to give my arm muscles a work out (which I don't usually, because I'm just lazy like that).

One thing I do with this basic recipe is substitute about 1/4 cup whole wheat flour sometimes.  You don't have to, but you can if you wish.  Use this dough not only for 2 loaves of bread, but use it for homemade rolls, hamburger buns, garlic and butter monkey bread or make cinnamon rolls out of it.

This particular time I baked the bread in my Global Sun Oven® but obviously you would be baking it either in your bread machine or in your oven.

Classic Homemade Bread or Rolls

12 oz. water, warm
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 c bread flour
2 T dry milk
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry

Put in your bread machine or your mixer bowl in this order.  Turn on your bread machine, or use the dough setting if you want to remove it and bake it in a sun oven or conventional oven.  If using your stand mixer, use the bread dough hook.  Knead for about 8 minutes.  Let rest to raise.  Take it out of the bowl, turn it out and make your bread, rolls, buns from it.  Let them raise until double in height.  Bake as you wish.  Bread will bake about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  I baked them in the solar oven on a sunny day for about 45 - 50 minutes.  Bake longer if it's not a hot, sunny day.

The first raising

This recipe makes two loaves.  Form and put in a greased pan.

Let raise and then bake until done - about 30-35 minutes.

You might also be interested in;

KitchenAid K45SSWH K45SS Classic 275-Watt 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer

All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance


Using military can openers P-38 and P-51 - Emergency Food Storage and Camping

Originally posted in July 2015

If you have some emergency food storage (which I hope you all do!) you probably have some of it in cans.  Assuming a natural or man-made disaster hits and your home is without power, or you've had to leave your home with your 72 hour bag and be evacuated somewhere and you have some canned goods with you, how do you plan to open those cans if you don't have or have never operated a manual can opener of any sort?

For me personally, I've never used electric can openers regularly by choice.  As a very small child (age 3-4) I learned to use our family's Butterfly Can Opener and although I remember my parents buying an electric can opener at some point in my elementary years, I never liked using it and usually opted for a manual opener of some sort.

After I grew up and was married, we purchased a nice, well made, Swing-A-Way Can Opener and that became our go-to opener.  I never realized knowing how to operate a manual can opener was a lost skill until my kids were old enough to have friends over and they would prepare snacks and food in the kitchen.  Of all the friends my three kids had over to the house over the years, I'm not sure any of them knew what a manual opener was - and their faces when they tried to operate the butterfly opener?  Shock and confusion.

If a time comes when you are without electrical power and you need to use some of your canned goods, you need to have a way to open them.  Having a couple manual openers in your kitchen drawer is a great idea for any household - but I'm going to take it one step farther.

A military can opener is a smart option to have in your 72 hour kits, your kitchen, your camping gear, on your key chain, your food storage pantry, etc.  I was throwing together a black bean salsa recipe this week that uses a number of canned goods in it, so I thought it was a great time to snap a few pictures and post about the importance of having a non-electrical can opener in your emergency storage.

The P-38 and P-51 are a pocket-sized can opener, approximately 38 mm and 51 mm long, and consist of a short metal blade that serves as a handle, with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce a can lid. A notch just under the hinge point keeps the opener hooked around the rim of the can as the device is "walked" around to cut the lid out.

One technical explanation for the origin of the name is that the P-38 is approximately 38 millimeters long. This explanation also holds for the P-51, which measures approximately 51 mm (2.0 in) in length. However, use of the metric system in the US was not widespread at this point, and United States Army sources indicate that the origin of the name is rooted in the 38 punctures around the circumference of a C-ration can required for opening.

P-38s are no longer used for individual rations by the United States Armed Forces, as canned C-rations were replaced by MRE rations in the 1980s, packed in plastic pouches. The larger P-51s are included with United States military "Tray Rations" (canned bulk meals). They are also still seen in disaster recovery efforts and have been handed out alongside canned food by rescue organizations, both in America and abroad in Afghanistan.

To Use:  
First, the cutting point is pivoted (opened up) to its 95-degree position, from its stowed, folded position.
Then, for a right-handed user, it's is held in the right hand by the flat long section, with the cutting point pointing downward and away from the user, while also hooking the edge of the can through the circular notch located on the flat long section next to the cutting edge.
The can is held in the left hand, and the right hand is rotated slightly clockwise, causing the can lid to be punctured.
The can is then rotated counter clockwise in the left hand, while the right hand rotates alternatively slightly counterclockwise and slightly clockwise, until the can has been rotated nearly 360 degrees and the lid is nearly free.
The lid of the now opened can is lifted, most often with the P-38 or P-51 cutting edge, and the P-38/51 is wiped clean, and the cutting point is rotated back to its stowed, folded position.
Left-handed users simply hold the P-38/51 in their left hand, with the cutting point aimed towards themselves, while holding the can to be opened in their right hand, while also reversing the sense of the cutting hand movements just described.

The P-38 worked well for me except it did tend to slip often

Puncture the can
Continue to 'walk' around the can, puncturing it along the way

The P-51 is the same, except a little bigger so most people
find it easier to use.
Open the hinge until it clicks into place

This picture shows how you hook it under the rim of the lid
Again, puncture the tin to open
Walking it around the can
The edges will be jagged so be careful - they are sharp
You can use the flat end to lift the jagged edges of the can open
Click it back shut, and put it away until next time!

Some items from Amazon you might also be interested in;

Military Survival Kit Can Opener, P-51, US Shelby Co. (Pack of 4)
U.S. MADE P-51 & P-38 Can Opener 20 Pack- 10 of Each USGI Military Issue
Mountain House Diced Chicken #10 Can Freeze Dried Food - 6 Cans Per Case NEW!
Mountain House Ground Beef, Cooked


Homemade Cream Horns - Made EASY and QUICK

I've been posting the recipe for cream horns (also can be called by some 'lady locks' or 'clothespin cookies') since 2007 (?) because they happen to be one of the few desserts I actually love - as I typically can pass up dessert in lieu of vegetables ANY day.  But cream horns?  Oh how I love them!  I'm craving them again - so I thought I'd post them again.  They are so easy and FAST to make using a puff pastry.

The reason "HousewifeBarbie" is so big on that photo is actually a not so funny story.

I originally posted this recipe and photo back in 2007 and then a few times after that as I love these so much. Not too many people had their own websites back then; and there weren't a lot of recipe sites.  Another thing 'back then' is that no one water-marked their photos when and if they used them on their sites. It wasn't a thing yet.

Then one day, a reader of An American Housewife let me know that my photo (the photo above) had been stolen and was being used by someone else on Etsy who saying they were hers and selling cream horns to people using my photo.  I am SO thankful for this random stranger who recognized my photo and let me know!  I then edited this photo and put in LARGE LETTERS my site name so they couldn't use it as theirs.   Since I'm still using that original photo (because it's already in my files) I thought I'd explain why the glaring, large HOUSEWIFEBARBIE.COM is so prominent on it.  It's because at the time I put it on, I was quite upset that someone was selling her baked goods using my photo.  

Note;  You WILL need a 'form' to make these.  Our Great Grandmothers used round clothespins, but I prefer a cream horn mold as it makes them tapered from  larger to smaller which not only makes them pretty but makes them simple to fill.  I have small, thin molds as well as the larger style with an opening larger on one end than the other.  Those are the style I like the best but you'll see both styles in my photos as I use both.  The larger kind (link below) is nicer I think - not only in looks but also in ease of filling them and is the more traditional style you see in bakeries and the grocery store.

Here is the set I ordered 2 of on Amazon a few years ago and they are still available: Cream Horn Set

Quick and Easy Cream Horns
1 package Puff Pastry (2 to a package, makes about 32 total if you use both sheets)
1 recipe cream filling*
Sugar (or Xylitol or other natural sugar substitute) for sprinkling
  • Thaw the puff pastry according to directions.  I used just 1 of the two sheets and it makes about 15-16 cream horns so the whole package would make about 32.  
  • Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees.  Lay the puff pastry out on parchment paper (or lightly flour your counter).  Slice the pastry about every half-inch to make about 15 strips or if you want to make them larger, about 8 1-inch slices.  
  • Wrap one long strip of pastry around your mold.  Leave the large round end open without it overlapping to make removal easier later. I spray the tops with butter flavored Pam and then sprinkle with large crystals of sugar or Xylitol (available through my low carb product link at the top of the page).  
  • Bake on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  While they are baking, mix up your favorite butter cream or other filling.  Removal from oven, remove from pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Use a pastry bag with a large tip to squeeze filling into each horn.  These are wonderful if you can let them set up or even refrigerate them to chill the filling but they are delicious eaten immediately too!  

Filling (half this recipe for the recipe above)

1 c Crisco
1 c butter
4 c powdered sugar
4 t vanilla
3/4 c marshmallow creme

Cream the Crisco and butter. Add the sugar gradually and then the creme and vanilla. Beat well until it's smooth like whipped cream. Fill cooled or chilled cream horn forms. Does not need to be refrigerated for storage.
Makes homemade cream puffs effortless

Wrapping around a form

Sprinkled with Xylitol or Sugar and ready to bake

Mix up your filling

Baked golden brown

Leave the end open so you can slide it right off the form


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