Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Tradition...

A long, long time ago, when I was about 10 years old, my mom taught me how to make bread. She taught me with my grandmother's recipe:

"For every package of yeast use 2 cups of warm water, two teaspoons of salt, three tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of sugar, and approx. 4 cups of flour - bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes."

I usually double this recipe - and it will make two loaves. Delicious! This recipe is also the base for the most amazing cinnamon rolls. I make them on Christmas Eve, and then that is our breakfast Christmas morning while we open our presents.

1 package of active dry yeast
2 cups of warm water
2 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of sugar
4 cups of flour (approx.)

Put warm water in a bowl, add yeast (Fleischmann's "active dry" yeast) and let sit for about 5-10 minutes until yeast expands a little. Then add salt, oil, sugar and stir. You will start adding flour until the dough is ready to knead...then you add a little flour as you knead it on the counter. I usually knead it for a few minutes, then pop it right back in the bowl I mixed in, put a towel over it and let it rise. After it rises, push it down and split it to roll out your rolls. Flatten out a slab of dough (see photo below) and slather with butter, sprinkle with lots of sugar and cinnamon....roll into a long log. Prepare your pan (I use a glass pyrex lasagna pan) with butter and sprinkle it with sugar....cut the cinnamon rolls (maybe 1/2" thick) and put in the pan. Let them rise until doubled and then bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Make sure and take them out of the pan and onto a wire rack (with a paper towel under to catch the melted butter) right away....the bottoms will be gooey, but get harder as it cools.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"...and Super Monkey saves the blog!"

Oh my dear blog...I have really, really missed you! While I have a huge list of things to "put on my blog" (just ask anyone who is ever around me and my camera) this will be my first post since peaches this summer (sigh). What a better way to start again than with a post about this sweet little Super Monkey? Oh how I love my little monkey...running all around the living room doing tricks, his cape flying, and then stopping to hug me really tight and say "It's a great day at Christmas time mama!" I couldn't agree more. xo