Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bread - roll it, tie it, wrap it - it's ALL good!

Homemade bread is a part of almost every evening meal at our house.  I wanted to share some ideas and a recipe with you to help you put some homemade delight on your kitchen table this week.

I do all kinds of things with my bread dough.  Dough is fun to play with - remember those days as a kid when dough came in blue, pink, yellow and green?  You made ropes, slices, pies, knots, and more. Well, get creative in your kitchen and have fun with something you get to eat at the end!  Learn to think "outside the box" when it comes to dough.  Just because it's a dinner roll, doesn't mean you can't turn it into something else like cinnamon rolls for breakfast or breadsticks for dinner.

Most of the time, I use recipes for basic dinner rolls, biscuits or cornbread and make them the conventional way..in a pan. But some times I play with my dough.  Call it re-living childhood memories!  I roll my dough into long ropes which rise, bake and turn into bread sticks, sometimes I tie it in knots - you can find my recipe for garlic knots in the archives here....garlic knots are probably one of my boys favorites.  You can also roll your dough thin and cut into narrow strips then wrap the strips around fresh asparagus - drizzle with butter and grate with fresh parmesan - yummy!

Earlier this week I brought a pan of lasagna out of the freezer for dinner on a busy day.  When I put together lasagna for a meal I always make at least two, sometimes many more, and freeze them.  That's what we call fast food on the farm!

To go with the lasagna I decided to make bread with Italian seasoning.  This dough smelled so wonderful during the rise time that Elijah followed his nose to the kitchen asking what was in the oven! I also decided to roll it instead of tie it.  I chose a dinner roll recipe that I love, added 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Italian herbs -  and rolled it out like a pizza as large as my dough board would allow.   After rolling the dough flat, I cut it into slices...like a pizza (we're thinking Italian here!) and rolled each slice from the wide end to the narrow just like I do when I make croissants. (Ok, I know that a croissant is French...but this isn't...just play along with me ok?  I'll give you the croissant recipe another day)

I placed them on a cookie sheet, let them rise again and baked them.  When they came out of the oven, they were brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with garlic salt and freshly grated parmesan cheese - these are one of my boys favorites and I rarely have a roll left!

Today is Josiah's birthday.  He requested a quiet family dinner at home with homemade pizza.  Once you get in the habit of making homemade pizza dough, you'll never want to eat pizza out again. Homemade dough is easy and can be made ahead of time, as can most of the toppings, making this an easy meal.

Here's my recipe for wonderful homemade pizza dough.  This recipe is for 2 regular crusts. I usually double this for my family.

1/4   cup olive oil
1 Tblsp. honey
2 tsp. sea salt
4 cups flour ( you can use part wheat, part unbleached bread flour if you like)
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 Tbslp. yeast

Heat pizza stone in oven to 500 degrees. Put yeast and warm water together and let stand about 5 min. While waiting put remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add yeast and water and mix for several minutes in mixer using dough hooks - or you can knead by hand.  Dough should be stiffer than bread dough - add a bit more flour if necessary, slowly and in small increments.  Knead till dough is smooth and elastic.  Let dough rest for 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and remove from bowl.  Divide dough into smaller portions and roll out on a cornmeal dusted surface. A large pizza will use about 1 pound of dough.  Place on pizza pan or screen,  brush lightly with olive oil...I do this step on my dough board - then fold and place on a pizza screen....

and prick crust with a fork...this helps to prevent bubbles in your crust.

Lower oven to 400 degrees and pre-bake for 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove from oven.

At this point, I go ahead and roll out and pre-bake the rest of the dough.  Just stack them on the counter until you are ready to make pizza.  This saves a lot of time when you are sitting at a table with 4 hungry young men!  I can get a pizza out of the oven every 10 to 15 minutes.  It also makes it easier to slide them on and off the pizza stone!

When you are ready to eat, take one of the pre-baked crusts, spread with sauce and cheese and bake on a pizza stone at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until done.  If you don't have a pizza stone, invest in one...it really is worth the little it costs and makes a big difference in the quality of your crusts.  I think mine was purchased around Christmas one year for $10.

You can add your favorite toppings...
my favorite tonight was pineapple and onion...wow!  It disappeared so quickly that I didn't have a chance to take a picture for you!

Tonight, we enjoyed pineapple and onion, bacon and onion,  cheese and one with carmelized onions on top.  Yummy!

If I am taking a day to bake breads, I try to do a couple of batches of pizza crusts.  After pre-baking, let them cool, package well and store flat in the freezer.  When I'm really organized I measure out the cheese needed and place in a container with
the crusts. When you need a meal quickly, or unexpected company arrives, you can have dinner on the table within 15 minutes of heating your pizza stone!

If you've been reading long, you know that birthday cakes are a big deal at our house.  Josiah had a different request this year - anyone recognize this symbol?

  A free lip balm to the first person to leave a comment telling me what this symbol is from!  On your mark, get set, go!

It was a wonderful evening....or it was....until Jeremy set the birthday cake on fire...seriously...
this was taken just before "the big one" ignited....I had ASH in my water glass folks...

I can't be too hard on him though - he's having all of his wisdom teeth removed in the morning!

Just a typical evening at my house....oh....if you people only knew!    
Ahem...SO.....what are your favorite bread recipes?



  1. My 8 yo just told me - "that is SO Cool! That is was Luther's Symbol" - is he right? (obviously Daddy is handing the history portion of our home school, since I don't know if he is right?)

  2. Hey -- you might want to change your blog hyperlink at the bottom of your "About Us" page on sweethollowfarm.com -- it doesn't go to your blog here.

    I was wondering if you have written anything about making goat milk soap - or if you have ever tried making it or adding goat milk to your soaps. Since we are raising goats now (albeit meat goats, but the mamas could still give me enough milk for a soap batch) I was wondering if I should try it...

  3. Amie,
    You mean Martin Luther? No.....not it :)

    Tracy - thanks for the heads up about the link. My farm site is under construction and I appreciate knowing the link wasn't correct. Milk soap is wonderful, yes I've made it, no I haven't written about it yet and I really think you should try it :) If you have my soap book, there is a recipe in there for beginners working with milk - it's a good place to start and almost always yields good results.

  4. Is it the symbol for the Knights Templar?

    Whatever it is, you did a superb job on the cake!
    And the only bread we eat around here is homemade!!

    Blessings from the Black Hills of SD,

  5. I think my previous post disappeared!

    Is it the symbol of the Knights Templar, Crusades Era, etc.? Whatever it is, the cake is amazing!

    Blessings from the Black Hills of SD,
    Leslie M.

  6. Thanks! There are several things on your site I hope to purchase some day - and that book is one :)
    I love the pizza pics above. I would love to do that but will have to say the idea until winter -- we don't do the 400 or 500 degree oven during the summer! (However, we do hope to have a solar oven someday and maybe we can do summer pizzas then)

  7. I think it's a Celtic cross. :-) Denise M.

  8. No....answer revealed shortly!

  9. Well, it looks to me like the Crusader Cross of Freedom from the stories: http://myimaginaryworlds.com/StoryLists.html

  10. All good guesses! It is actually the symbol from the Circle Trilogy by Ted Decker - one of my boys favorite authors!


  11. My favorite bread recipe lately is one where you use beer and let the dough rest over night and then bake it in your dutch oven. Sooo yummy, and is very artisian! Let me know if you want the details!

  12. Hi Danielle,
    I'd LOVE to have the recipe you mentioned...sounds yummy!
    Details girl!
    Grace and Peace,


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