Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Basic Bread

After my cookie recipe, this bread recipe is the second most common one I am asked for, so here it is. Once you get the basic recipe down the possibilities are endless. I use variations of this recipe for wheat bread, cinnamon rolls, baked apple fritters, deep fried scones, and the list goes on. Use your imagination, but don't give up after the first try it takes a little practice.

Important information I learned from the 3 women who taught me to make bread. Their memories live on every time I bake a loaf of bread -
Grandma Cope always said, "Good bread dough feels like a babies bum when you pat it". I learned from Grandma Farrer that, you need to learn the sound the dough makes when kneaded with a dough hook. There is a rhythm to it as it is being kneaded, if made right. From Sister Palmer, use water and oil to make bread except on special occasions.

In your mixer bowl, add in this order without stirring
2 Tbs of yeast
2 1/4 C really warm water (not hot)
2 Tbs sugar.
Let ingredients rest for 5 mins. Once the yeast has grown, while mixing slowly,add
3 C flour (whatever kind or combination of flour you want)
Next add
1/2 to 1 C sugar (or any kind of sweeter you want i.e. - brown sugar, honey, molasses)
1/4 C oil or melted butter
2 tsp salt
2 C flour.
If using a hand mixer, start to knead by hand.
Once all this is added in mix or hand knead until all is smooth.
Slowly add
1 to 2 C flour until dough is easy to handle. Do not add too much flour.
Knead for 8 to 10 min if using a dough hook with your mixer. If kneading by hand, knead for 10 mins. Dough should have the firmness of a babies bum.
Let dough rest covered in an oiled bowl for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size. Punch down dough and let rest for 10 more min. On a floured surface, shape dough into loafs or rolls and place on lightly greased baking sheets or loaf pans. If desired, you can also place on a baking sheet lightly dusted with corn meal. Let dough rise for 45 mins to 1 hour or until double in size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 25 to 30 mins, or until golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on the bottom of a loaf. Let loafs rest on cooling rack for at least 30 mins before slicing.
* this for Elder Porterfield -
I use vegetable oil to make the bread and to fry scones. Never fry in canola, it is too gummy after frying and messes up your pans

Good Burritos

The biggest problem anyone can have with burritos (or any Mexican food, I believe) is over thinking them. This is as basic as it gets. Bean and Cheese Burritos. Don't even think about embellishing these in ANY way.

1 can of refried beans (Rosarita works best)
generous amounts of shredded Cheese
green sauce
large flour tortillas

Using a spoon, scoop the beans straight from the can and spread in a line down the middle of the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, then dot with green sauce. Fold up bottom and roll tortilla. Wrap the burrito in a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Careful, it may be hot! If you don't use up all of the beans, just stick it in a tupperware and save for next time. Great for on the go, especially driving to Mutual night.
Do not add any of the following:
Black Beans
Sour Cream

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cope's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I start the blog with this recipe because this is probable the first thing I learned to make and one of my family's favorite. When family or friends gather, chances are good this will be there. This is the mother of all good cookies!
Preheat oven to 375, lightly grease cookie sheet
In a large mixing bowl add
1 C MARGARINE or butter (only if you're out of margarine)
1 C shorting
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
Mix until smooth and fluffy, but not too long, scraping the sides of the bowl.
Add 4 eggs, one at a time
2 Tb vanilla
Mix well, then add
5 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
Mix well, scrape the sides of the bowl then fold in
2 to 3 cups of chocolate chips
drop by large Tablespoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

A MUST - Cool cookies on an opened up brown paper bag. Not only is it recycling, but the brown paper bag absorbs the grease from the cookies, bringing the calorie count down, I'm sure. Most cookies are better when cooled on a brown paper bag. You will love it and the world will thank you!
Makes 4 to 9 dozen, depending on the size of the cookie.

You can exchange 3 cups of flour for 3 cups of oatmeal and 2 tsp of cinnamon and add raisins to the mix also. Whether you leave out the chocolate chips for the raisins is up to you.

Recipes to Share

I have always enjoyed food, whether cooking it or eating it. I have been teased for making sounds as I enjoy a tasty meal. I love to cook and at times it has been a great help and therapy. My family knows when they find me in the kitchen at 10 o'clock at night whipping up a batch of cookies or bread, either I am stressed and working through it or it's time to invite friends over for a party. As a child I was encouraged to be open minded and always willing to taste new foods and try new recipes. As a mom of 7, I know meal time can be challenging, which is why I am starting this blog. This is a place where we can come as friends and share recipes, ideas and hints to help us with mealtime or anytime. Life is to short to not enjoy the food along the way.