11/13/22

Homemade Rolls for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just Any Day! (Buns, Rolls, Bread, Pizza Dough, Cinnamon Rolls)



I've posted this recipe on An American Housewife soooo many times.  But I've made it a thousand more than I've posted.  This is the one classic bread dough recipe that always works.  Never fails. Is forgiving on if I want to use a mixture of wheat blends for the flour, want to make it into rolls, buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic bread... anything.

The last time I made bread with it (which was just last week for our houseguests) I was thinking to myself that I've never NOT had this dough turn out.  And I've been making this recipe since around 2000 so... 20+ years now.

I have two classic, wonderful bread dough recipes that I use, but the other one is a little more involved as it uses scalded milk, melted butter, eggs and time for cooling (and 2 risings).  This one is my 'go to' because it's so easy and yet so forgiving and so good.

I typically make this in my KitchenAid stand mixer because it's so easily available (and the bread machine is in a cupboard).  But it comes together even quicker if you make the whole thing in a bread machine start to finish.


Classic White Dough
Can be used for bread, buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic bread, etc.

12 oz. warm water
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 - 4 1/2 c unbleached bread flour (or use all purpose if that is what you already have)
2 T dry milk powder
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry

Either place this in a bread machine (in the order your machine requires) and run on the dough setting or place into a large KitchenAid style mixer with a bread dough hook and knead/mix for about 5 minutes or use an electric mixer and place the water, salt, sugar and yeast in first;  let it set and proof for about 2 minutes and then add the butter, dry milk and flour.  You can also do this all by hand (if you have really strong arm muscles for the 10 minutes of kneading it will take.)

Typically I make this in my large KitchenAid stand mixer or my old, reliable bread machine.

Let your dough set for about 6-10 minutes after kneading to rest.  

Remove the dough from the machine or the mixer bowl.  FOR BUNS:  Divide it in half.  Then each half into half.  Then each of those halves into half.  This is how you will get fairly equal sized balls.  If making rolls to go with a meal divide them until you have golf ball sized balls.  If using for hamburger buns, stop dividing the dough when they are double that size so they will be large enough for the hamburger patties.  Roll in your floured hands and place on greased or parchment lined baking sheets.

Letting them rise will give you a taller fluffier bun but you can also bake them right away if you are pressed for time and don't mind a dense roll, which works for soups, etc if you really, really need these right away. 

Bake at 375F for approximately 15 minutes but this can be up to 22 minutes depending on the size buns you make, the thickness of your baking sheet and your oven. Bread takes about 27-35 minutes.  When they are golden brown remove them, brush the tops with butter for a softer bun and let cool to warm to serve as rolls or cool completely and serve as hamburger buns.


Because I've made this recipe a thousand times, I've posted it many, many times.  No sense reinventing the wheel, so here are some photos from another post of when it was made into bread. I also had a mixture of home-ground white and red wheat in these, so you can see the little bits of different shades of wheat grain in these.

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;

Top Rated Bellemain Stainless Steel Non-Slip Mixing Bowls with Lids, 4 Piece Set Includes 1 Qt, 1.5 Qt, 3 Qt. & 5 Qt.

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

All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance




     




2022:  My brand solar oven is apparently difficult to find now but there are other styles and brands being made if you are interested in pursuing any of those links.  











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11/9/22

Miniature Thanksgiving Dinner looking Cupcakes (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc.) made entirely with candies - a tradition in our home for 20+ years

One of the most posted recipes on the site year after year... mini Thanksgiving Dinner Cupcakes.

I've been making these for 20+ years; I can't even count the number of times I've posted this awesome little Thanksgiving day dessert on the website- seven? Eight?  They look like little plates of tiny turkey with gravy, green beans or peas (depending on what I use that year), cranberries and mashed potatoes with butter but it's really all candy!

There is an issue finding the Maple Nut Goodies this year (2022) see the note at the bottom.

MINI THANKSGIVING MEAL CUPCAKES

24 baked and cooled cupcakes of your choice
1 sm pkg. Brach's Maple Nut Candies (hard to find this year)
2 cans white frosting (or homemade)
1 tube Yellow decorating gel or yellow food color gel (in a little tube)
1-2 T Tiny round nonpareils - red for cranberries and/or green for peas

options: Or use red sugar crystals for cranberries or use the long skinny green jimmies and call them green beans

1/3 c (about) chocolate chips or butterscotch chips to melt for 'gravy'
A package of cookies of your choice (or homemade) to look like a plate (a pretty edge on the cookie is a nice touch)
Yellow frosting or other color besides white for the 'plate' (use some yellow food color to tint a bit of the white frosting yellow).

Bake and cool your favorite cupcake recipe. Frost each cupcake with white or tinted frosting of your choice and top each with a cookie while the frosting is soft to 'adhere' the cookie-plate to the cupcake.

Carefully frost a circle on each cookie to be your plate. 

Be sure not to frost more than 2 or 3 'plates' at  a time as you want the frosting to be soft enough to press the candy 'food' into.  

Slice the maple nut candies thin and place them on the cookie plate to be 'turkey'. 

Dab some white frosting next to it for 'mashed potatoes' followed with a little dab of yellow gel food color as 'butter'.  

Add the 'cranberries' (red colored sugar or nonpereils) and little green 'peas' or 'beans' depending on the sprinkles you use. 

Melt your butterscotch or chocolate chips and thin with a little vegetable oil. Drizzle over the 'turkey' as gravy.


 2008


2009


2010


2022 UPDATE:  apparently Brach's Maple Nut Goodies are almost impossible to find  now.  Is it one of the weird shortages we've seen recently?  I don't know!  But after looking for these goodies at Amazon, I realized the links show they aren't available.  I went to the Brach's website and they show them, but when I clicked on 'buy now' at Amazon, they were not available.  You may be able to find them at some of your local stores but Amazon does have these which might work as a substitution perhaps.  (I am going to check at Tractor Supply, Publix and Walmart in person on my next trips to the retail stores.)

Currently not available (strangely) as of November 2022 - Brachs Maple Nut Goodies Roasted Peanuts in Crunchy Toffee with Real Maple Coating, 4 Oz Pack (3 Packs)

 

 

Pillsbury Creamy Supreme White Frosting, 16-Ounce (Pack of 8)

 

 

Wilton Gel Tube.75 oz, LEMON

 

 

CK Products 3.8 Ounce Non Pareils Bottle, Red

 

 

CK Products 4 Ounce Non Pareils Bottle, Green

 

Use any cookie for the base that has a decorative edge.  Most years I ended up using the very affordable vanilla sandwich cookies sold at any grocery store; one year I used tiny lemon tartlets as it's all I could find at the time.  Here are Walkers Shortbread Rounds... 

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread, Rounds, 5.3 oz

 

 

 


 

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11/7/22

Instant Pot Sugarfree and Low Carb Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake with Streusel Topping

A re-post from almost exactly one year ago!  

 

Instant Pot Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake with Streusel Topping

Crumb Topping:

1/2  c almond flour 
1 T good quality coconut flour
1/4 c Swerve Brown
1/4 c butter, soft
1/4 t cinnamon

Pumpkin Cake: 
 
1 c almond flour 
1/2 c natural sweetener(s) - I use Erythritol, monk fruit and some allulose mixed
1/4 c vanilla or unflavored whey protein powder (I use Isopure)
2 T coconut flour
2 t baking powder 
1/2 t cinnamon, ginger
dash of cloves and nutmeg
1/4 t salt 
2/3 cup pumpkin puree 
2 eggs
3 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract 
 
Glaze
1/4 - 1/3 cup powdered sweetener(s) - I use a mixture of 2-3 I keep in a container in the pantry
1 T cream cheese (optional)
2 tablespoon cream 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Put the eggs, pumpkin, butter and vanilla in another large bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Grease a small cake, bundt or springform pan that fits inside your instant pot.  
 
Pour the batter into the pan.  To make it easier to pull your pan out of the instant pot, use a long piece of aluminum foil, folded over a few times and set the pan in the middle of it, pulling the sides up and over the pan so you can 'lift' it out easily when it's done. (Or if you are lucky enough to use a 'sling' now made for lifting pans out of your instant pot, use that! I don't have one though...)
 
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter.  Set a trivet in a 6-quart Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup of water. Place the pan on the trivet, seal the lid, press manual cook, and set the timer for 35 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. 
 
Open lid and let cool in the instant pot for 10 minutes before removing.

Mix the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl or processor. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.

 

 Making the crumb topping up

  

I might add about 1/4 c chopped pecans to this next time.... 

  

In the pan...

 


Sprinkled the crumb topping on - but also you can see the foil I use as a 'handle' to lower and raise the pan into the instant cooker.  I think some people cover the whole top with foil as well - I assume to keep the excess condensation from running back onto the cake?  If you are using a springform pan, you'll want to wrap the outside of the pan with foil for sure so no water seeps in through the seams of it.

In the instant pot (or in my case, the Cosori)

  Here is a photo of it 'done' and out of the instant pot, cooling on the stove.


 

 Ready for the glaze

  

You wouldn't have to put a glaze on it if you didn't want to.

 

It's just a basic glaze - sweeteners, a little cream cheese, a bit of cream and a dash of vanilla. 

Was great with coffee - and it freezes well.









I happened to already have a small, tall cake pan with a removable bottom that fit perfectly inside my Instant Pot when I tried it.  I would test the pans you have to see if you have a small round pan, a bundt pan or any style pan that works.  A 7" round pan will usually fit inside a 6 qt. instant pot pressure cooker.  

Here are the cake pans with removable bottoms similar to the one I happened to already have on hand:


  Various sized cake pans with removable bottoms for easy 'out' and cleaning.

 

 

You can see in the photo above, I used a tiny food processor to mix my glaze.  It's part of a Cuisinart stick blender (immersion blender) set I got years ago, similar to this one that comes with other attachments.

 

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender 



 

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Open can testing of dry-canned potatoes with butter over a year later... and canning more potatoes in these times of food shortages and empty shelves at the grocery

First - just some regular canning of potatoes...  (water and salt)
 
A couple weeks ago I canned more potatoes.  Although I would love to have potatoes at every meal (they are one of my favorite foods and perhaps one of the most versatile foods you can use) we are low-carb and sugarfree most of the time, by choice, so starchy vegetables like potatoes aren't enjoyed as much as I would like.
 
However, if you are alive and breathing, you can't help but notice the food shortages, empty shelves, and supply chain issues we've been living through the past couple years and there isn't an end in sight for at least the near future.  If you have a pressure canner or can invest in one, I sincerely hope you are canning a few veggies (potatoes!) for a rainy day.  Or for every day.  Or for unexpected guests when you need to throw something together quickly.  Or you need to make a meager meal go further...which potatoes are great for!
 

 


UPDATE TO DRY-CANNED POTATOES:    A few years ago I opted to try dry-canning potatoes instead of the typical way of covering them with water.  Just for fun. I ended up doing some plain and others with butter.  I LOVED them.  (I also dry canned apples.)  I researched it first, and did a couple tests to be sure I felt comfortable with the process, but then I jumped in and did a few batches and ended up adding 'dry canning' them to my regular canning.
 
Now, I can potatoes in all sorts of ways because there are so many ways to use them.  Small, diced, chunks, larger chunks, french fry shape, thin wedges... and some traditional water covered, others dry.  Some with butter, some without.  I grab a certain shape or style depending on what I need them for.

I went ahead and saved one of my dry canned potatoes with butter that had been put up in September of 2021 to open at least a year later.  That was this Fall.  A couple weeks ago I grabbed one to use in dinner that night but made a point to take photos first and do a quick review for An American Housewife.   


The seal was incredibly tight and took a bit of work to get off (a good sign).
Inside the potatoes looked fine and smelled... like potatoes.

 
I dumped them out into a bowl and took a good look... and smell.
They were cold, and straight out of the glass canning jar so the butter was still a bit congealed...

 
Here is a close up.
They tasted good and had a great texture and didn't seem any different from the potatoes tested at the earlier marks of a few months.  We were over a year later and the butter canned dry potatoes were perfect.  They went into the crockpot with dinner that night so I don't have a picture of them after they were heated where the butter is melted and they just look like... well, potatoes.


If you have a pressure-canner (potatoes can't be canned safely by the water bath method) potatoes are one of the cheapest and easiest to put up... and in the event of hard times, they are a blessing!


 __________________________________________

 

If you need a pressure canner, Amazon has a huge variety.  They have expensive, nice ones like the All-American brand (which I can't afford) but I have a Presto and it works awesome!  They are affordable and reliable and best of all for ME at least, they can be used on a glass-top stove (because that's what I have).

They have T-fal, Presto, All-American and more.  I only have the Presto 23 quart, which I've had for years and love but if you are an Amazon shopper, you can find the one that is a good fit for you.

 

I use Presto for my glass-top stove but you can choose what works for you.



 

 

 

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11/5/22

Roast Beef Sandwiches - Slider Style

A pan of sandwiches and green beans going into the warm oven to save for my husbands dinner later


Last month (or was it earlier?) I had a photo on my Instagram of roast beef sandwiches we had that night for dinner.  My husband eats later at night after he works out and showers, so this photo above was the sandwiches leftover from the meal, along with the green beans, which I placed in one pan and popped back into the still warm oven to keep for him.  

I thought I added the recipe to the site but when I went back to check, I didn't see it.  Not surprising, I have found I'm so busy lately I rarely have time to post anymore.  I grabbed my cellphone and took a few photos the next time I made them, hoping to get them posted.  I never did.  But tonight?  I'm racing with the clock to type this quickly, and get it up as ten other things are going on around me, dinner is ready and Mr. Husband is literally expected to drive into the driveway at any second!

But it needs to be here to make it super easy for me and my kids to find to make these.
 
Roast Beef Sandwiches

2 T olive oil
2-3 t minced garlic
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. sliced roast beef (mine comes from Sam's Club in the meat/deli area)
1/2 c beef broth
1 t Worcestershire sauce or, a little balsamic vinegar or red wine
2 t liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 t dried parsley
2 t dried basil
1/4 t salt and dash fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 t oregano
provolone or swiss cheese slices
buns

In a skillet, heat the oil.  Add the garlic and dried red pepper flakes.  Heat for 1 minute then add the roast beef slices, broth, Worcestershire, liquid aminos, parsley, basil, salt and pepper and oregano.  Heat through.  Lay bottom buns in a pan, top with the meat.  Drizzle the sauce over, top with cheese slices and the top bun.  Drizzle the top with a little more sauce.  Heat in an oven until the cheese melts.






These are not photos from the same night as the very top photo - these were another night we had them!



A little more on top... optional



I sometimes put a wire cookie cooling rack on the bottom of the pan and the sandwiches on top, which keeps the sauce completely off the bottom bun if you don't want any liquid on the bottom.  Other times I don't bother.  If I don't use too much sauce, it doesn't really affect the bottom bun.  If you use a LOT of sauce and the bottoms get a bit soggy, just flip them over and back into the oven to crisp up the bottoms.  Flip again and serve.


 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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