10 Grain Honey Wheat Bread

10 grain bread (640x424)I love the smell of break baking and it is a great activity for a cold, snowy day. This recipe is unusual in that after the bread rises, you knead in honey. I changed to original to cook the bread in a hot cast-iron pot rather than regular bread pan and it worked great. Give it a try if you enjoy bread making too!
10 grain sliced (640x424)
10 Grain Honey Wheat Bread

½ cup 10 grain cereal

½ cup warm water water

½ teaspoon yeast

1 cup whole wheat flour

1½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup honey

1/4 cup oats, approximately

  1. In a small bowl, let the cereal soak in about ½ cup cool water for 30 minutes. In another bowl, dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water and let it sit until it starts to foam (about 10-15 minutes.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, put flour, sugar, and salt and mix well. Using a wooden spoon, make a small well in the center of this mixture. Add the yeast, eggs, oil, and cereal to the well, and stir together until it starts to form into a bowl and becomes too difficult to mix with wooden spoon. If using stand mixer, add dough hook and knead 8 minutes. Remove from bowl and place on floured surface and knead by hand for another 10 minutes. Add small amounts of flour as needed until no longer sticky.
  3. Put a tablespoon of oil in a bowl and rub it around the entire bowl. Place the dough ball into the bowl, and flip a few times to coat in oil. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes in a warm place, or until doubled in size. (My house was not very warm and I doubled rising time).
  4. Once dough has doubled, punch the dough down and place on kneading surface again. Pour ½ cup of honey on top. The dough will be very sticky, but knead it for about five minutes, until the honey has been incorporated and it is in a nice, round ball again.
  5. Place ball on a large piece of parchment paper which has been lightly floured. Cover and let rise until doubled for about 45 minutes (or longer). While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat.
  6. Once dough has doubled in size, spray lightly with water, and sprinkle with oats. Remove hot pot from oven and sit on heat-proof surface. Pick up the ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in hot pot. Quickly cut excess parchment paper and place hot lid on pot. Return to oven.
  7. With the lid on the pot, bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until nicely browned.
  8. Remove from oven slide the hot bread from the pots and allow to cool. Enjoy!

10 grain honey wheat bread (640x403)

Dutch Crunch Bread (Rolls)

dutch crumb (640x424)These are as great as they look! I saw this recipe online and and immediately wanted to try the recipe as it reminded me of rolls we got many years ago when living in a different area. In some areas, this is also called “tiger rolls”. The unique crust is formed by coating the balls of roll dough with a rice flour mixture. As it cooks, it crackles and makes a crunchy, sweet exterior for a wonderful roll. Great for sandwiches or just to enjoy with a bowl of soup.

Dutch Crunch Bread (Rolls)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Using an electric mixer combine yeast, water, milk and sugar.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Once yeast is dissolved and starting to foam and bubble, add the salt, oil and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and mix on medium speed.

2. Add approximately another cup of flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead (either by hand) or using the dough hook for four minutes.  Place dough in an oiled bowl (can use the same mixing bowl). Turn the dough to coat with oil on all sides. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled, about an hour.

3. Once risen, remove the dough from the bowl. Pat the dough into a disc and cut into 6 equal pieces (for smaller rolls, divide the dough into eight pieces).  Form each piece of dough into a round roll. Or if you want a loaf of bread rather than rolls, form the dough into a round loaf.

4.  Put the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover them with a clean towel and allow to rise a second time.

5. About 15 minutes into the second rise, start making the Dutch Crunch topping.

Dutch Crunch Topping

Enough for this roll recipe or a standard loaf of bread

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon vegetble oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup white rice flour

1. Mix all of the ingredients together very well with a whisk and set aside for 15 minutes.  The mixture will be similar in consistency to royal icing but will thicken as it stands.

2.  Then using a spoon or your hands, gently spread the topping over the surface of the rolls, making sure not to push to deflate them.  Use all of the topping as it is put on generously.

3. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.

dutch crumb 3 (640x424)

Quick No-Knead Cheese Bread

cheese no-knead (640x424)“Quick” is a relative term when talking about no-knead bread but this is a shorter version than the traditional 12-15 hour no-knead process. This bread comes out with the crusty exterior and soft inside. The cheese adds a nice flavor for Italian food or casseroles. Give it a try and enjoy!

Quick Crusty No-Knead Cheese Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup shredded cheese

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all of the flour and cheese is mixed and a shaggy dough forms (You may need to add one or two additional tablespoons of warm water if the dough is too stiff).
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour (It is okay if it sits longer than an hour). As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and slide the cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

sliced cheese bread (640x424)

Quick Crusty No-Knead Bread

quick crusty bread (640x424)We love no-knead bread made in a hot cast iron pot. It tastes like bread from the bakery with a soft interior with a crunchy crust on the outside. “Quick” is rather a relative term but this method is faster than the traditional no-knead recipes. I have always used the method of mixing the sponge and allowing it to rise overnight or 12-18 hours. That method works great but sometimes you do not have 12 or more hours to wait for the bread to be ready to cook.

I have been experimenting with some directions for a quicker version and this yielded bread with a soft inside and a crusty exterior. You make the sponge and allow it to sit for one hour. Then you form it into a ball, let rest for 15 minutes and then place in the hot cast iron pot and hot oven. The bread comes out a beautiful brown with wonderful crust. Give it a try if you want a shorter version of great no-knead bread.

quick no knead cut (640x424)Quick Crusty No-Knead Bread

1 ⅓ cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1. Add warm water to a large bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar and let sit for 4-5 minutes till mixture begins to bubble a bit and get foamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously until all flour is mixed and a shaggy dough forms.
2. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.
As the dough is rising preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cast iron pot and lid in oven to heat (I use the Lodge Combo for my no-knead bread).
3. After rising for an hour, pour dough on a large piece of parchment paper which has been sprinkled with flour. With well-floured hands form dough into a round ball. (The dough can be difficult to handle). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
4. Remove cast iron pot from oven. Pick up ball of dough by the edges of the parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Using scissors, quickly cut the extra parchment paper and place lid on pot.
5. Return covered pot to hot oven (Be careful – the cast iron pot is heavy and very hot!).
6. Cook at 450 degrees with lid on pot for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and cook another 15 minutes until brown and crusty.
7. Remove from oven and remove cooked bread from the hot pot. Cool and enjoy wonderful crusty bread!

Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls (640x417)Love the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven? If you enjoy working with yeast dough, here is a great recipe to try.

Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

1 package dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup scalded milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

1/2 cup meted butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup raisins or pecans

Glaze (optional)

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 to 6 tablespoons ht water

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar melted butter, salt and egg. Ad 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead 5-10 minutes. Please in a well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

2. When doubled in size punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with raisins or nuts, if desired. Beginning with the 15 inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of the baking an with butter. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled (about 45 minutes). Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

4. If you want to add a glaze to the finished rolls, mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Apple Cinnamon No Knead Bread

apple loaf (640x424)Combine the smell of bread baking and apples baking and you have Apple-Cinnamon No-Knead Bread. Here is a version of the no-knead bread baked in cast iron that includes chopped dried apples, cinnamon and apple cider. More variations on the No-Knead theme can be found here.

apple sliced (640x424)Apple Cinnamon No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup chopped dried apples (cutting with kitchen scissors works well)

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the cinnamon, sugar chopped apple and mix together. Add cider and water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then cool on a rack.

cutting apples (640x424)Using scissors to chop the dried apples

mixing apple (640x424)Mix the dough and then let set 12-18 hours

apple ball 2 (640x422)After setting for 12- 18 hours form into a ball and let set 30 minutes while pot and lid heat

apple sliced (640x424)Bake, slice and enjoy!

Bran Bread

bran bread (640x424)With the snow falling and more in the forecast, I had the afternoon off from work yesterday.  So what better way to spend a snow day than watching the birds at the feeders and baking bread?

I pulled out an old recipe booklet that I have had since I was in high school –  Fleischmann’s Bake-it-Easy Yeast Book. This is a bran bread that uses all-bran cereal to add extra texture.  Along with the bread, we added some some vegetable soup frozen from last summer’s garden and it made a great dinner on a cold snowy evening,

Bran Bread

7 to 8 cups flour

3 cups whole bran cereal

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 packages active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs (at room temperature)

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix 1 1/2 cups flour, cereal, sugar,salt and undissolved dry yeast.

Combine milk, water, honey and butter in a saucepan. heat over low heat until liquids are very warm (120- 130 degrees). The butter does not need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth smooth and elastic; about 8 – 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each half to an approximate 14 x 9 inch rectangle. Roll up and either place in a 9 x 5 x 3 inch greased loaf pan or make a free-form loaf. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake on lowest rack position at 357 degrees approximately 40 – 45 minutes or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Stollen (German Christmas Bread)

stollen (640x424)Stollen was a Christmas staple for my German mother-in-law. I continue to make stollen yearly for my husband which he enjoys with a generous dollop of butter and a cup of coffee. The recipe below makes two large loaves. Rather than two large loaves, I divide the dough into four parts and make three smaller loaves so I have some for gifts and I use one part to make a cinnamon loaf. For the cinnamon loaf, after rolling out, I smear with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar and roll up. It can be baked as a loaf or cut into rolls. Nuts are always good to add and top with a powdered sugar glaze.

Stollen

Have ready:

6-8 cups all-purpose flour

Combine and let stand for 3-5 minutes

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water or milk

2 packages active dry yeast

Add 1 cup flour. Cover this sponge and let it rest in a warm place until light and foamy, about 1 hour.

Sprinkle a little of the sifted flour over:

1/2 pound raisins

1/2 pound chopped blanched almonds

1/2 cup chopped candied fruits

Beat until soft:

1 1/2 cups butter

Add gradually and blend until light and creamy:

1/2 cup sugar

Beat in, one at a time:

3 eggs

Add 3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Add sponge and enough flour to knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Place on a floured board. Knead in the fruits and nuts. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (or see my comments above about dividing into 4 pieces). Roll each into an 8 x 15 inch oval. Fold in half lengthwise and place loaves on greased baking sheets. brush the tops with melted butter.

Let the loaves rise, covered, until almost double in bulk (about 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30-40 minutes or until done. When cool brush with glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Multigrain Bread

multigrain bread (640x424)While most people think of the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, for me it is “Cook the Carcass Day.”  After enjoying the turkey on Thanksgiving Day, Friday means pulling the extra meat from the bones, placing the carcass in a big pot along with water, celery, onions and cooking for several hours. The result is a wonderful broth with scraps of turkey which is used for soup now with the extra broth frozen to pull out on a cold winter day.

If you are going to have soup, then you need a good loaf of bread. I did not have time to make the no-knead bread which we like so much but found another recipe for a multi-grain bread. This bread uses 10 Grain Hot Cereal or 7 Grain Hot Cereal.

Multi-Grain Bread

I cup 7 or 10 Grain Hot cereal

2 1/2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup honey

1 package yeast

1 tablespoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup oatmeal

Non-stick spray

1. Pour the 2 1/2 cups of boiling water over the 7 Grain Hot Cereal. Stir and let set until temperature cools to 100 degrees (about 1 hour).

2. After cooling, pour the hot cereal into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add honey and yeast. Mix until combined. Add melted and cooled butter and salt. Slowly add flour. Knead until all ingredients combine.

3. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (approximately 8 minutes). Place dough in an oiled bowl (can use non-stick spray). Cover with a towel and set in a warm place for one hour or until doubles in bulk.

4. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into two sections and press into a 9 x 12 rectangles. Beginning at long edge roll up each section of dough and pinch ends.

5. Sprinkle oatmeal on a surface. Spray each dough log with non-stick spray and roll in oats to coat. Using a sharp knife make several cuts on the top of each loaf. Place on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise a second time – approximately one hour.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you wish to use a pizza stone, place in oven to heat.

7. Place loaves in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Cinnamon Nut No-Knead Bread

c nut loaf (640x424)I have been totally involved with planting and weeding when not at work for the past month – thankfully spring finally arrived, although we have a frost warning tonight! Here is a post I started in January but never got around to publishing. Enjoy!

This makes a great breakfast or snack variation of the no-knead bread which is baked in a cast iron pot at high heat. I just used cinnamon and nuts, but you can also add raisins or other dried fruit.

Cinnamon Nut No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 3/4 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the cinnamon and nuts and mix together. Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then place on a rack to cool. If desired, spread with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.Slice and enjoy!

c nut ball (640x424)Ball of dough setting while pot and lid are heating

c nut sliced (640x424)Slice and enjoy!

Steel Cut Oats No – Knead Bread

oat no knead loaf (640x424)One of my favorite no-knead variations…. This version of no-knead bread uses steel cut oats in the dough to yield bread that is denser than the traditional no-knead bread. It is a great choice to use with a slice of cheese or a bowl of soup.

oat no knead sliced 2 (640x424)Steel  Cut Oats No-Knead Bread

2 1/4 cup all purpose unbleached flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1/2 cup steel cut oats (uncooked)

4 tablespoons flax seeds

1 1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the oats and flax seeds. Add water and vinegar and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and cool on a rack.

oat no knead mix (640x424)Mixing the dough

oat no knead ball (640x424)Forming the ball after setting for 12- 18 hours

oat no knead sliced (640x424)Cook, cool, slice and enjoy!

Chocolate Nut Cherry No Knead Bread

chocolate sliced 2 (640x424)

Yet another variation of the no-knead bread baked in cast iron at high heat… This version uses cocoa to add a chocolate flavor. I also added some sugar to make it a little sweet and chopped nuts and dried cherries. For my first loaf, I used two tablespoons of cocoa which yielded a mild chocolate flavor. The second version has more cocoa and sugar for a little stronger chocolate taste.  If you are a real chocoholic, you can also add chocolate chips. This is a great bread for breakfast or for a treat. More no-knead variations can be found here. Enjoy!

Chocolate Nut Cherry No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons cocoa

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4  cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add cocoa, sugar, nuts and cherries and mix. Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then cool on a rack.

chocolate mix dough (640x424)Mixing the dough

chocolate ball (640x424)After setting for 12-18 hours, form into a ball

chocolate finished loaf (640x424)Bake, cool, slice and enjoy!

Chocolate Nut Cherry No-Knead Bread Version 2

chocolate v 2 sliced (640x424)For this version follow the directions above but increase the cocoa and sugar to:

4 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons sugar

Mix and cook as directed above. Here is the finished loaf!

chocolate v 2 loaf (640x424)

Fastnachts (German Doughnuts)

Today is Fastnacht Day here in the Pennsylvania German area of Pennsylvania. I have copied my post from last year about fastnachts below. Happy Fastnacht Day!

There are two different traditions in my life related to the German yeast doughnuts known as fastnachts or fashnachts.  My German mother-in-law made fastnachts on Good Friday because they abstained from meat on that day  (I never understood how eating warm freshly made yeast doughnuts was a sacrifice but I considered it a great tradition every Good Friday that we were at her house). My mother-in-law’s doughnuts were allowed to rise three times, cut in squares, fried and coated with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Since we live in the Pennsylvania German area, we also have the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of fastnachts. Fastnacht Day for the Pennsylvania Dutch is Shrove Tuesday–the day before Lent begins. The idea is to use up the extra fat and sugar in the house and to have a treat before beginning the solemn season of Lent. The Pennsylvania Dutch fastnachts are a mashed potato based yeast dough, fried in lard and usually coated with powdered sugar. In this area, the Pennsylvania Dutch fastnachts are traditionally eaten with Turkey brand syrup.

If you like a yeast doughnut, both variations are great and if you follow both traditions, you get PA Dutch fastnachts on Shrove Tuesday and you can have my mother-in-law’s fastnachts on Good Friday. Below is the recipe for my mother-in-law’s doughnuts which I will call “Minna’s Fastnachts” and further below is a recipe for the tradition Pennsylvania German fastnachts.

The first step in the making the fastnachts is mixing and keading the yeast dough and letting it rise until doubled.

After rising one time, it is punched down to rise again.

After rising the second time, the dough is rolled out on a floured surface and cut into squares. A pizza cutter works well for cutting the dough.

Then the cut doughnuts rise one more time.

Finally time to cook.

After removing the cooked doughnuts from hot grease, drain on paper towels and then roll in a sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Eat and enjoy!

Minna’s Fastnachts

2 packages of dry yeast

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup milk, scalded

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs

7 cups sifted all-purpose flour (approximately)

Sugar and cinnamon

1. Soften active dry yeast in warm water (110 degrees). Combine milk, shortening, sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm.

2. Add 2 cups of the flour; beat well. Add softened yeast and egg; mix. Add enough of remaining flour to make soft dough.

3. Turn out on lightly floured surface; knead till smooth and satiny (about 8 minutes).

4. Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise until double (about 1 1//4 hours). Punch down. Let rise again until double (about 55 minutes).

5. Roll dough 1/3 inch thick. Cut into squares (I find  pizza cutter works well for cutting dough). Let rise till very light (30-40 minutes).

6. Fry in deep hot fat (375 degrees) until browned. Drain on paper towels. While warm, roll the doughnuts in cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat.

Here is a recipe for PA Dutch fastnachts. If you do not want to use lard, check the link below for more of the traditional recipes.

Pennsylvania Dutch Fastnachts

2 cups scalded milk

1/2 cup lard

1 cup mashed potatoes (no salt, mil, or butter added)

2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 well beaten eggs

1 package yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

7 cups flour, approximately

1. Scald milk and add mashed potatoes, sugar, salt and lard. Cool until lukewarm.

2. Add eggs. Add yeast which has been dissolved in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead well and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Roll 1/2 inch thick on a floured board. Cut into squares and place on a cloth. Let rise until doubled in size.

4. Fry in hot fat and coat with powdered sugar while warm.

For more recipes for PA Dutch fastnachts, click here.

Parmesan Garlic No-Knead Bread

p garlic sliced (640x424)Here is yet another variation of the no-knead crusty break baked at high heat in cast iron. This is a good choice to go with any type of Italian food. For more variations on no-knead bread, click here. Other no-knead recipes coming soon include chocolate cherry, cinnamon not and steel cut oats so make sure you check back.

Parmesan Garlic No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano and mix together. Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then cool on a rack.

p garlic proofing (640x424)After setting for 12-18 hours

p garlic ball 2 (640x424)Form into a ball while pan and lid heat for 30 minutes

p garlic loaf 3 (640x424)Bake, slice and enjoy!

Very Berry No Knead Bread

very berry sliced 2 (640x424)Another variation on the no-knead method of baking bread in cast iron to yield a bakery-style bread with crusty outside and soft inside. This variation uses dried berries to make a great breakfast loaf.

very berry finished loaf (640x424)Very Berry No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup dried berries (cranberries, cherries, blueberries)

1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the sugar, dried berries and mix. Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and cool on a rack.

very berry mixing dough (640x424)Mixing the dough with the dried berries

very berry proofing (640x424)After the dough has set 12-18 hours

very berry ball (640x424)Forming into a ball while pan and lid heats in 450 degree oven

very berry finished loaf (640x424)Cool, slice and enjoy!

verry berry sliced (640x424)

Muesli No-Knead Bread

Museli loaf (640x424)This variation of the no knead bread baked in cast iron uses 10 grain cereal to make a breakfast loaf with grains, dates, seeds and raisins. Baking the moist dough at high temperatures in the cast iron yields a loaf with crusty chewy exterior and soft tender interior.

Muesli No-Knead Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup 10 grain cereal (uncooked)

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 3/4 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the Muesli cereal. Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then cool on a rack.

muesli proofing (640x424)The muesli bread dough setting for 12- 18 hours

Muesli ball (640x424)Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap while the pan and lid heat for 30 minutes

Muesli placing in pan (640x424)Place ball into hot pan. If using parchment paper, you can use the paper to lift the dough and place in pan. Trim extra paper.

Muesli out of oven (640x424)Removing loaf from oven (I use the Lodge Combo Cooker so I place the bread in the lid of the cooker and use the pot as the lid)

Muesli sliced (640x424)Slice and enjoy!

Swedish Cinnamon Ring

cinnamon ring cooked (640x424)When I was in high school we had a Swedish high school student live with use for several weeks through the International Farm Youth Exchange program. Gunilla gave my mother a Swedish recipe book before she left and one recipe that we made many times over the years is a cinnamon yeast dough that can be made into a ring or cut into rolls. I like nuts so my version has chopped pecans–you can also add raisins if you enjoy them.

You begin with a basic coffee bread recipe.  From there, you can form a ring, a coffee braid or cut into rolls.

Swedish Cinnamon Ring (Coffee Bread)

2 packages active dry yeast

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg (3/4 for dough, 1/4 for brushing)

15 cardamon seeds, crushed, or 1 1/2 teaspoon pulverized cardamon, optional (Note: I did not use the cardamon)

3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour

Softened butter for spreading on dough

Sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on dough

Chopped nuts (optional)

1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water

2. Melt butter in saucepan and add milk. Chill until lukewarm.

3. Mix all ingredients with half of flour. until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour gradually. Save about 1 cup of flour.

4. Sprinkle dough with small amount of flour. Cover with clean towel and let rise in warm place until double in bulk (50-60 minutes). Punch down dough and turn onto lightly floured baking board and knead until smooth, adding small amount of flour gradually, if necessary.

5. Roll out dough on floured surface into 24 inches by 10 inch rectangle. Spread thin layer of softened butter over dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (and nuts and/or raisins, if using).

6. Roll up dough jelly roll fashion. Pinch ends together. Place on a greased baking sheet and form into a circle. Using scissors, cut the dough into approximately 1 inch slices – push the slices of dough in alternating directions (see photo). Cover and let rise until almost double in bulk (about 1 hour).

7. Brush with slightly beaten egg. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 350degrees 25-30 minutes or until a light brown.

cinnamon dough (640x424)Forming the dough into a ring

cinnamon dough cut (640x424)Cutting dough with scissors

cinnamon ring slice (640x424)Finished product. Eat and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Multi-Grain No Knead Bread

Ww finished loaf 3 (640x424)This variation of the no-knead bread baked in cast iron is one of our favorites. It is denser than the traditional no-knead. It uses one cup of whole wheat flour in addition to the unbleached flour. You also add 1 cup of 10 grain cereal (uncooked). The cereal can be found in health food stores or in the natural foods section of many supermarkets or online. Since you are adding cereal, you also increase the water in the recipe. Before baking, for extra crunch, sprinkle poppy seeds on top of the loaf.

WW sliced (640x424)Whole Wheat Multi-Grain No-Knead Bread

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup 10 grain cereal (uncooked)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons fax and/or sunflower seeds (optional)

2 cups water

Poppy seeds (optional)

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the uncooked cereal (and flax/sunflower seeds if using). Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven. Sprinkle dough with poppy seeds, if desired, and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After baking for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven. The bread should slip out of the pot and then cool on a rack.

Mixing the dough

WW multi grain proofing (640x424)Setting for 12-18 hours

WW multigrain ball (640x424)Form into ball while pan and lid heat

WW finished loaf 1 (640x424)Bake and, wow, this bread is really great!

Jalapeno and Cheddar No Knead Bread

cheddar jalapeno no knead 2 (640x424)My fascination with baking bread in cast-iron using the no-knead method continues. Using a covered cast iron pot to bake the moist dough at a high temperature yields the type of bread you purchase in a bakery with a crusty, chewing crust and soft interior texture.

This is a variation that adds one cup of cheddar cheese and a jalapeno pepper. For this first try, I used one chopped fresh jalapeno, however, there was not much pepper taste to the bread (even though the bread was still really, really good). If you want a spicy bread, you may add more peppers.

jalapeno cheddar sliced 2 (640x424)Jalapeno & Cheddar No Knead Crusty Loaf

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 to 2 chopped fresh jalapenos or several teaspoons of canned jalapenos (depending on your taste)

1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the cheese and peppers and mix. Add water and mix into a moist dough.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, place cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

(Tip: use a sheet of floured parchment paper and turn dough out on the parchment paper, form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. When you are ready to cook, you can pick up with parchment with the dough on it and place in the hot pot. Use scissors to cut away excess paper or fold down to make sure you still have a tight fit with the pot lid.)

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (Be careful!).

Cover and place the pot in oven at 450 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pot from oven. The bread should slip from the pot and cool on a rack.

j cheddar dough (640x424)Mixing the dough

j cheddar proofing (640x424)The dough after setting for 12-18 hours

j cheddar ball (640x424)Forming into a ball while pan and lid heats in 450 degree ovencheddar jalapeno no knead (640x424)

jalapeno cheddar in pan (640x424)Remove from oven

Jalapeno cheddar sliced (640x424)Slice and enjoy!

Cranberry – Pecan No-Knead Bread

sliced cranberry nut (640x424)Having recently discovered the wonders of baking no-knead bread in cast iron, I am eager to try the many variations. This cranberry-pecan bread uses the basic no-knead recipe and you add dried cranberries, the zest of one orange and chopped nuts. It makes a wonderful loaf, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It is as good as any bread from a bakery. If you enjoy cast iron no-knead baking or if you want a great fruit/nut bread, give this recipe a try.

sliced cberry nut 2 (640x424)Begin with the Basic Crusty Loaf recipe:

Basic Crusty Loaf

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.

Add to the mixture:

Zest of one orange

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Add water and mix together. Cover dough and set aside for 12-18 hours

Heat oven to 450 degrees. When oven has reached 450, please cast iron pot and lid in oven for 30 minutes. While the pot and lid are heating, remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.

After heating for 30 minutes, remove the hot pot from oven and place dough in pot (or in lid if using Combo Cooker from Lodge).

Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

adding cberries nuts (640x424)Adding cranberries, orange zest and nuts to basic mixture.

proofed cberry nut (640x424)After mixing together, let set for 12-18 hours.

cberry nut dough (640x424)As the pan and lid are heating, form into a ball.

finished cberry nut (640x424)Bake and enjoy!