DPP 2017 ~ Day 12

Fresh bread. There is nothing quite like that smell. Or taste.

I remember the first time I really tried to make bread from scratch. I got together with a friend of mine and I believe we had some success…in brick making maybe. I think if we had dropped one of our loaves we could have put a hole in the floor.

Another time someone gave me starter for that delicious sweet Amish friendship bread. You know the really high maintenance one that has to be fed every day and can’t be in a metal bowl and can only be stirred with a wooden spoon while you stand on one foot and recite the alphabet backwards in Latin? At least that’s how it felt to me before the container it was in exploded all over everything.

Since that fiasco I have pretty much limited myself to nothing more than eating homemade bread.

But several months ago a kind bread making friend not only gifted me with one of her loaves of sourdough but also some of her starter. I will admit that I was leery of the gift but I am happy to say that I have not killed the starter nor have I made any bricks to form a new patio or pathway. I have however consistently found success with this very forgiving and easy to use sourdough starter.

Today’s picture comes from my very first attempt at making a pretty artisan type bread. It looked really pretty and the taste was good too. I’m still not sure I would call myself a bread maker but I am feeling a little less like a total novice these days.

I really wasn’t sure if I had ruined this because I actually flattened it our with a rolling pin before adding the seasoning I wanted and braiding it.

Obviously my artisan skills still need a bit of work but when your trial and errors taste this good, does anyone really mind?

Oh, you know what? I need to try this out on the brown sugar and cinnamon loaf next time!

Pinterest Test Kitchen # 88 ~ 7 Up Biscuits

You’ve probably seen the recipe before. I come across it frequently on Pinterest and finally decided to try it out.


As far as recipes go it couldn’t be any simpler…four ingredients. And since three of the ingredients get cooked in the forth, melted butter, they are quite tasty.

What you’ll need:
4 cups Bisquick
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 7 Up  (Notice it is a cup of the soda and not a whole can.)
1/2 cup butter, melted
What you’ll do:
Melt the butter and pour it into a baking dish.
Mix together the sour cream and Bisquick.
Stir in the 7 Up.
Place dough on a well floured surface, use your hands to flatten it out until it is about an inch thick.
*Cut the biscuits out.
(The dough is really sticky and you may need to dip your cutter into flour after each cut.)
Place the biscuits in the buttered pan.
Bake at 425 degrees or until a nice golden brown.
This recipe made two dozen biscuits. I cut it in half and used gluten free Bisquick in a smaller batch and they turned out fine.

They didn’t really rise so if you’re expecting a big fluffy biscuit you are bound to be disappointed. However, they do have a good flavor and I think would do well on the breakfast table…especially paired with some jam or honey. We don’t drink soda on a regular basis so it’s not exactly an on-hand recipe for me but I will keep it in the make again pile 🙂

*In the past I’ve just always used a regular glass to cut out biscuits, no big deal, right? This time I wised up and used what the kids refer to as our fancy glasses. It was like having a nice handle on the cutter. I guess I could break down and buy a actual biscuit cutter since Sarah and I both seem to be delving into bread making but I don’t think it would be as fun to use as the fancy glass.

Sundays With Sarah 1 ~ Blueberry Swirl Bread

I think I’ve mentioned before that Sarah has started spending a lot more time in the kitchen. It’s been fun watching her develop an interest in cooking and she is pretty daring in her exploits. It took me a long time to be brave enough to venture into bread making but it was one of her first endeavors.

She’s pretty fearless and we are reaping the benefits for sure. And you can too because I hope Sundays With Sarah will become a regular feature here on the blog. Another monthly post born out of her kitchen adventures will be Thursdays With Mary and Sarah. Once a month she gets with a friend and they cook for our families and the first meal was amazing! (Just wait until you see those recipes!)

But for today’s inaugural Sundays With Sarah post we’re sharing a delicious blueberry swirl bread. The original recipe called for cranberries but they’re out of season and we had plenty of frozen blueberries left from when we picked them last season so it was a quick and easy swap. She’s made this twice now and it’s been a big hit.

For the bread ~

What you’ll need:
1/3 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast (Just realized we used rapid rise and it was fine.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
What you’ll do:
In a small pot, heat the water, milk, and butter over medium heat until butter is melted.
Remove pot from heat and let the mixture cool.
While it is cooling mix together the sugar, yeast, salt, and 1 cup of the flour in a large bowl.
Pour the lukewarm liquid ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix on low speed.
Stir in remaining flour one cup at a time increasing the mixer speed slightly until a smooth dough is formed.
If the dough seems a little dry add a little olive oil or if it’s too wet add a little more flour.
Shape the dough into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly greased bowl.
Cover and allow the dough to rise until double in size. (Usually takes about an hour.)

While your dough is rising you can make your blueberry filling.

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 cup water
1 TBS butter
1 TBS lemon juice
What you’ll do:
Combine the blueberries, brown sugar, corn starch, and water in a small pot.
Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.
(You may want to keep your pot covered as the blueberries may begin to burst.)
Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients and stir.
Allow mixture to cool.
Putting it all together ~
Punch down dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll the dough to a 10 x 20 inch rectangle. 
Spread the blueberry sauce to within 1/2 inch from the sides.
Starting with one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up the dough, pinching the edges closed.
Turn seam side down and with a sharp knife slice the full length of the bread down the center, end to end.
Braid the two strands and carefully move to a lightly greased 10 inch loaf pan.
(You will probably want an extra set of hands for this part!)
Cover and allow a second rise in a warm place, about 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is a golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.
Dust with powdered sugar and a few blueberries and enjoy!

We ate the first loaf while it was still warm and utterly delicious. We ate her second loaf the day after she baked it and it was still just as fantastic.


Test Kitchen #34 ~ Cheesy Italian Pull A Part Bread

I love bread. All kinds…sweet, savory…it doesn’t matter. I just love that doughy goodness and if it happens to have melted cheese on it? And be pipping fresh from the oven? I am all over it! Seriously, I can pass up the cookies, cakes and brownies but I have a hard time leaving the bread basket alone, or in this case the bread pan.

I came across this recipe a few years before pinterest was around although I have seen it on there since. It is good stuff and perfect paired with a delicious pasta dinner. Normally I make this in a bundt pan but this time I used two round cake pans and did more of a parker house style roll. Either way is good but the cake pan version does get done more quickly.
What you’ll need:
2 Pillsbury Crusty Italian loaves
1 stick butter, melted
Italian seasoning
shaved Parmesan cheese
What you’ll do:
Melt butter and season to taste.
Cut each loaf in half lengthwise. 
Repeat so that you have 8 lengths of dough. 
Cut each one into chunks.
Toss pieces n seasoned butter and layer in pan.
Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Repeat process until all the bread is used. (One loaf per cake pan usually has two layers.)
Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees until brown about 12-15 minutes for cake pans or 25-30 minutes for bundt pan.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.