MmM..my Cookin..

White bread from scratch..

Who doesn’t love fresh home baked bread? No preservatives, additives, or artificial things being added. Only what you add to it besides basic ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, water, little sugar, and some oil.

Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread, creeping it’s way upstairs or out the front door to your neighbors. It’s amazing, and you’ll want to bake more. The aroma is soo inviting realtors bake a loaf before an open house!

This recipe is so basic, you can add whatever flavors you want. From cinnamon raisin to rye. Possibilities are endless!

Yeast

Make sure to read what kind you have.

This makes 2 loaves or a dozen of rolls.

2 packages of active dry yeast (4  1/2  tsp.)

3 tbsp. Sugar

1 tbsp. Salt

2  cups water

1/2 cup milk

3 tbsp. Oil

6 cups flour, with 1 cups reserved

cover in heated room

In a glass measuring cup add milk and water and microwave until about 110*F. Dissolve sugar and salt into warm liquid, add oil and yeast. Stir slightly and leave sit for 10 mins. or until doubled the size and frothy. In a large bowl put 5 cups of flour and make a well in the middle. Pour liquid into the middle of flour well. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the measuring cup clean. Using a fork start to mix the dough until all the flour is mixed in. Use 1/4 cup of reserved flour to flour your work surface, top of dough once flipped onto your work surface and your hand. Use your palms of your hands to push the dough, grab the dough and fold over using your palms again to push, continue to knead your dough adding flour as needed where sticky. Once the dough is like elastic and no longer sticking bad to your hands, use non stick spray and spray the bowl you originally mixed the dough in. Put dough back into bowl, and flip to grease the top of the dough. Let proof for an hour in a warm, non drafty place covered with a damp towel.

Spray your pans..

Get your our pans ready with non stick spray. In an hour, the dough will double in size. Punch the dough down and give a slight knead to release any built up air. Shape into desired size and let proof again for about 20 mins, or desired size is reached. Bake in a 325*F oven, rotating in about a half hour. The bread will rise more when baking, when the bread is golden brown, flip over and knock the bottom. It should be hallow when done.  Remove right away from pan to let cool.

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Click here for crust like that!

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Life blogs, MmM..my Cookin..

Depression cake..

This cake was created by our grandmothers and great grandmothers when times of war were wreaking havoc on our world. In some countries the Great Depression started in the late 1920s and lasted till the late 1930s. During this time food like dairy were scarce. Women had to come up with ways to feed their families off of $5 a week.

This cake is called many things. Wacky cake, depression cake, grandma’s cake, boiled cake, boiled raisin cake, the list goes on and on. I will refer to it as depression cake, being this is where it originated from. This cake is safe for anyone with dairy allergies, because it has NO dairy! Wait, what?!? Yes that’s right, no eggs, milk or butter! It will still be very moist and filling!

Because I wasn’t sure if our kids would enjoy the cake I made a half batch, but this recipe will be a full batch. My mother remembers eating this cake when she was a child. You can use pretty much any dried fruit you want, but the normal is raisins. This is a spiced cake. Soo I told my youngest, it’s like pumpkin bread without the pumpkin lol.

This cake is most enjoyed with a cup of coffee, milk, a dusting of powdered sugar, or just plain.

2 cups water

2 cups raisins

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup oil

2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Cloves

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

2 tsp. Water, separate

1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. Baking powder

Powdered sugar, optional

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In a medium saucepan over med-high heat combine sugar, water, raisins, oil, and spices. Bring to a boil and continually stir for 3 mins. Remove from heat and let cool down 20 mins or so. You should be able to put your fingers it it before using it. In a small dish add 2 tsp. Warm water and dissolve salt and baking soda. In a medium bowl mix flour and baking powder. After raisins cool down, add your salt/soda mixture into the raisins. The batter may bubble a little. Next add wet mixture into dry and mix and stir until raisins are equally distributed. You may either grease a 9×9 pan or line with foil and leave an overhang on all sides. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325* F for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. After it’s done baking let rest for 5-10 mins and either flip upside down or use foil handles to remove and further cooling.

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I left mine sit too long after I flipped it and it has lines, but that does nothing to the flavor and the lines are not normal lol.

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MmM..my Cookin..

Sausage gravy recipe..

Good morning world! This morning is a perfect chilly day for some hearty sausage gravy! What is sausage gravy? It’s basically crumbled sausage with a thick flour gravy that your pour over biscuits, or dip your toast in.

Ingredients:

1 roll of any flavored sausage (we prefer Bob Evans, we tried the cheap sausage and the gravy was flavorless)

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup milk 

Black pepper

A medium to large pot

Over medium to height heat cook off the sausage…leave the grease in the pan! Crumble the sausage to your preference, we like them small, not bite size. After all the sausage is crumbled and cooked, add the flour to the pot and stir until flour is well mixed. Add in desired a out of black pepper. Next pour in the milk and add enough water to make the gravy as thick or thin as you would like.

Enjoy your gravy over some toast, buttermilk biscuits, or some fresh bread!

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Water bath..

Good morning!

I would like to share a quick tip for bread baking. As I’ve baked scratch bread over the past year and a half, I have struggled to figure out the perfect Italian bread. Yanno..the warm, soft, fluffy bread you can start to eat as your checking out at Walmart.

I’ve done a lot of research on “how to” and it usually says milk and oil. Which I already do, I use 1/3 of milk to go with my water, and always 2 tbsp. of oil, it’s easier than cutting in butter. Soo now I’m really confused..I also saw something for an egg wash, which we all know has nothing to do with the actual bread itself, and just how nice and golden shiny the crust will be.

Finally..after a few times of researching, I’ve found something that says baking with a water bath will end result in a crusty crust, and soft inside. Well my plate was full last Sunday as I baked soft pretzels, bagels, breads, etc. and I ran out of room to bake. Anyways.. I decided to make a depression cake last night, as well as a batch of bread. (What’s depression cake? Click here to find out)

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I used a shallow glass 13×9 pan with about an inch of water on the lowest shelf in the oven. Preheated my oven, and about 15 mins later, baked my bread. As we all waited patiently, as bread takes close to an hour to bake, the smell was tortuing us! Soo heavenly and light the fresh bread aroma filled the house. About 45 mins later, I take the bread out, go to move it from the pan and it was soo soft, my finger went thru it!!

Now for the last 5 mins to cool off enough to try a slice! Mmmhmm!! The best bread I’ve ever baked! Now I’m about to warm up some of this sausage gravy from yesterday morning and use the bread to dip!

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MmM..my Cookin..

Platano fried chicken cutlets..

Platano? Plantain. A cooking banana, you can eat many different ways. In a lasagna type dish, as a side fried with salt, a side nicely sweetened. When their nice and bright green they make great chips! Or tostones, twice fried chips. Or maduro, when they turn darker in color almost going black, they are soo sweet!


Down the international isle you can find a green bag of Goya plantain chips. Already fried, seasoned, and ready to go! Soo I’m going to cheat and use them, just adding more season the way we like!
Yields: 10 cutlets

2 breast cut thinly into 10 cutlets

Garlic & onion powder

Salt & pepper

Oregano

Adobo with pepper

1 egg

Frying pan with about 1″ of oil

2 bags of Goya plantain chips crushed relatively well

You will need 3 shallow containers that will easily fit the cutlets. In one dish put about a cup of flour seasoned with onion powder, adobo, and some garlic powder. In the next dish softly scramble 1 egg with milk and salt & pepper. Last dish mix crushed chips with oregano and more garlic powder.

After you cut your breast into cutlets, wash the chicken with some white vinegar and water. I like to get two plates ready, one lined with napkins for cooked chicken and one for the battered raw chicken. Take your chicken and drench in it flour, followed by the egg, last dipped heavily in the crushed chips. I batter all the chicken ahead of time while the oil is getting hot. Also after each batch of chicken I slightly raise the heat, it does cool down significantly. I use a medium then a medium high heat towards the end.


Depending on how thick you cut your cutlets depends on how long their in. Usually about 3-4 mins on each side for thinly cut pieces. A golden brown color will also work. Or take the chicken out with thongs and slightly pierce with the tong to see if the inside is cooked.


I served our chicken with white rice, pink beans and corn! Be ready, because this will be everyone’s favorites! 🍗😋

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Baking bagels..

Today is bagel baking day.. Salt, wheat, corn, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, chocolate chip, oat, onion, plain, possibilities are endless with this simple recipe.

Assorted homemade bagels

Bagels:

Yield 6 larger, 8 regular size, or 12 smaller bagels

375* F bake time: 20-30 mins prep time: 15 mins plus 1 hour for proofing

1 cup water
1/2 cup warm milk (105*F)
2 pkg. instant yeast (4tsp.+1/2 tsp.)
3 1/2 loose cups of flour ( I use all-purpose or 1 c. all-purpose and 2 1/2 c wheat)
1 tbsp. Salt
3 tbsp. Sugar
4 tbsp. Butter, soft

Bring milk to hot to touch temperature. If it burns you, it will burn your yeast! Too cold and your yeast will be cold. Yeast is a live product, so treat it kindly!

Meanwhile, in a glass measuring cup add salt, sugar, and dry yeast. Add warm milk to cup and stir gently just enough to break up lumps. Leave the mixture sit about 10 mins, it should become foamy and almost double in size.

While your waiting to activate your yeast, add flour and sliced soft butter to a large bowl. Add your yeast mixture into the flour and butter. I like to use my hand to melt the butter in the warm milk. Add the water and start mixing. Once the flour is pretty much incorporated I like to remove dough onto a floured surface and knead about 5 mins until it forms a ball or until it’s not sticky enough to stick to your hands. Spray the doughs original large bowl with nonstick spray as well as the top of the dough. Cover with towel and let rise for an hour. It will double in size!

What to do to pass the hour?
In a pot bring about 4 quarts of water to a simmer. I filled my pot with about 6″ of water brought to a slow boil reduced heat and it has been simmering for 3 hours now, just had to finally add water to it. Also if you plan on adding flavors or toppings get your pans ready now. I used aluminum pie pans for my toppings, so it was large enough to fit bagel without hitting anything. Then I got my fillings ready. I also find it easier to handle the dough when one side is covered in a large grained corn meal, will explain in a little bit.

Bagel toppings

So the hour has passed, now your excited to start making the bagels and putting every topping that passed your mind on a bagel..yes I did exactly that, a little of everything!

You can use 1tsp. Of sugar or honey just to give it a little shine and flavor, I used sugar, you can't taste it.

You can use 1tsp. Of sugar or honey just to give it a little shine and flavor, I used sugar, you can’t taste it.

Split the dough to the desired size, they won’t rise much more than this size you pick. This is the part you would had flavors like cinnamon or blueberries to the inside. I like to tuck the dough under a couple times to get a smooth top and to seal the flavors inside the dough. Next flour your finger and slip it thru the middle, keep your finger floured and put the dough ring on your finger and make a circle motion stretching the bagel out some. Click Shaping bagels.. for a video demonstration.

Floured surface

Once all the balls are shaped give them a hot bath. I easily fit 4 bagels at a time, about 20 secs on each side, then remove with a slotted spatula, drain well. For most of my flavors I put the dipped bagels on a tray with corn meal, then flipped into a topping pan. My sweet bagels I just dipped right into toppings.

Corn meal for bottoms of bagels

Carefully place bagels on a greased cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. I personally don’t use an egg wash, but this is when you would put it on, then bake.

These do freeze well when wrapped good. I would make sure to eat frozen bagels in 3 months. Hope you had as much fun as I did!

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Buttercream icing from scratch..

Good morning y’all!  Today I will be sharin with you my trial and error in making homemade buttercream icing. I tried 3 different basic recipes all of them consist of the same ingredients, but give you a different consistency and taste. Of course the more powdered sugar you add the stiffer the icing, to thin icing simply add a tablespoon of milk. All you will need is flavoring (vanilla extract or whatever flavor you prefer), powdered sugar, milk, and fat (shortening or butter).

Buttercream icing with butter:

1 cup butter

3-4 cups powered sugar ( depends on how thick you want icing)

2 tsp. vanilla or your choice of extract

2-4 tablespoons milk ( depending on how thin you want icing)

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time until mixed well. Once the sugar and butter mixture starts to crumble slowly add the milk until you achieve the consistency you desire. Last add your flavor.

Buttercream with butter

I hope my photos are good enough that you can see the grains in the icing. Yes I am cheap and always looking for a deal. Can’t beat 4 sticks of butter for .75 cents, excepts it’s not real butter and doesn’t contain enough fat in it. Even though this recipe is my favorite tasting one, I will not use this to ice or decorate a cake. This icing taste just like a can of icing bought from the store. However is it a little runny and the color doesn’t mix well. It leaves a grainy look.

Buttercream with shortening:

Buttercream with shortening

This recipe is just simply replacing butter with shortening, and following the same steps above. I find this icing better for decorating. It is a lot stiffer than with butter and holds its shape nice. I don’t prefer the texture of this one, I find it a little greasy.

Buttercream with butter and shortening:

Buttercream with butter and shortening

I find this recipe the best out of the 3 I tried. It taste good, not greasy and the consistency is perfect. Of course you can thicken it up a little more with extra powder sugar to decorate or leave as is for a perfect creamy icing. All you have to do is split 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening, beat until creamy. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time. Last add your desired amount of milk and your favorite flavor. If you want to color this icing, use a gel icing so it won’t break down your icing.

I hope you learned something from my trial and error run on homemade buttercream icing!

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