• 2010 Reading List

    What I've read this year:

    "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory (Rating: C)

    "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies (Rating: A)

    "Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland (Rating: A)

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Hot bread and Melted Butter

I spent almost the entire weekend in the kitchen, baking. One of our closest friends was celebrating a birthday on Friday, and Seth & I made him a super moist and sprinkle-covered yellow cake with chocolate icing. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for the cake, with this frosting recipe from Martha Stewart. It was yummy, moist, and tasty, with a nice surprise from a raspberry filling between the layers. Seth was Master of the Sprinkles, and happily covered the entire cake in a bright, colorful layer. Is it really a birthday cake without sprinkles? Not in this family! The cake turned out really well, and even survived the car ride in a food tent (you know, those things that you use to keep flies off of food when outside), because I don’t have a cake carrier!

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In addition to the cake, we also had sweet potato pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning, which are just so tasty. And, with Seth still being a slightly picky eater, it is a good way to sneak some extra veggies into him without any persuading. Orange is his favorite color, so it was something extra special for him. You just feel like you are having pie for breakfast, and that is a great way to start the day!

I had also started a batch of no knead dinner rolls on Friday, and finished those up on Sunday. This is the second time that I’ve made this particular recipe, and overall, I find the bread really balanced. They have a great, crunchy crust, and a light, airy center. This time, I did make one adaptation, which I will definitely do again. The recipe calls to put the dough into muffin tins for the second rise and baking. It works well, but the visual plays tricks with my mind!

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When I see a muffin shaped piece of bread, it is just wrong that it be crunchy. The first batch I made was muffin shaped, and they tasted delicious, but I just can’t get over the mental block. So, this time, I formed the dough into three log-shaped  portions, about 10 inches long, and put them in a rectangular baking dish. I sliced them, and then let them rise. (I did save a portion of the dough to make in the muffin tins, just to show you how they turn out – wasn’t that thoughtful of me!)

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These rolls freeze really well, which makes life for me much easier. I love warm bread more than anything, and having fresh, homemade bread with dinner is something I just adore. However, because I work outside of the home, it would be impossible without some weeknd preparation. This recipe is simple, and is not time sensitive. I can start it on Thursday or Friday, and finish it up whenever I have the time, be it Saturday or Sunday.

Here are the directions, if you’d like to give it a shot!

Simple Enriched White Rolls (adapted from Kneaedlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett)


2.5 cups flour, plus more as needed (she calls for unbleached white, but I do a mixture of white & wheat)

5T sugar

1 1/8t salt

1/2 t yeast

1.5 c ice water

1/4 c unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly

1/3 c instant nonfat dry milk powder

First Rise: Stir together flour, 3T sugar, salt & yeast in large bowl. Stir in water until thoroughly blended. (Consistancy should be like thick pancake batter. Adjust water or flour as needed to acheive this consistency.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (I use a linen towel). Dough can be refrigerated 3-10 hours. Let rise at cool room temperature for 15-20 hours.

Second Rise: Stir butter, milk powder, and remaining sugar into dough. Gradually add 1/2 c of flour (more or less as needed), until dough is slightly thick. Spray muffin tins, and fill with scant 1/4 c of dough. (Or you can form the logs and slice in a casserole dish as I did above.) Drizzle 1 1/2 T of butter over the rolls, and spread until evenly covering the rolls. (I actually don’t add the butter to the tops, and they are still very flavorful.)

Let Rise: For a 1.5-2.5 hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature. Or, refrigerate fro 4-48 hours, then set out at room temperature until the dough doubles in size. Sift flour over the top.

Bake in lower rack of 375 degree oven, 18-23 minutes, until the tops are brown. Cover with foil, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. (I only let mine cook 16-18 minutes total in the muffin tins, or a total of 20-22 minutes in the casserole dish. I freeze them, and baking them slightly less than recommended helps keep them from getting too dark upon being reheated.)

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The roll in the bottom left corner mysteriously disappeared shortly after being removed from the oven. That seems to happen a lot around here…hmmm…If you use the casserole dish, be sure to grease thoroughly. I didn’t get the corners very well, and there was some sticking, but a good covering of olive oil will prevent that from happening to you.


2 Responses

  1. LOL!! When I saw the first photo I thought you put the cake in the bottom of one of those pop up butterfly houses!! : ) everything looks delicious, I’ll be right over with a glass of cold milk !!! fondly, marylea (aka pink and green mama)

  2. It does look like a butterfly house! I have never thought of that…hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. The good thing was that when we got the birthday party, we had the food tent to keep the bugs off! I just like to be prepared. 🙂

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