Soft White Bread

bread 001

Ever since I made Pumpkin Cheese Bread that turned out so light and moist I have been on a quest to find a soft white bread recipe. 

When I found this bread recipe in an older Betty Crocker Cookbook I decided to give it a try although I’m not sure that the recipe is as important at technique when it comes to bread making.  I defied the recipes instructions and made the bread based on a few techniques that have worked well for me in the past.

1.) I used as little flour as I possibly could.  I prefer the dough be a little sticky prior to, and during the first kneading.

2.)  I tried to avoid overworking the dough.  I mixed by hand, and didn’t knead bread for an extended period of time.  This recipe advised to knead it for 10 minutes (prior to the first rising) – I kneaded it for about 5 minutes.

3.) When I punched the dough down (after the first rising) I briefly kneaded the dough to get the air bubbles out and then formed into loaves.  This recipe called for dividing the dough into halves and rolling each half into a 18×9 inch rectangle.

4.)  I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Not a 425 degree oven for 30-35 as this recipe called for.


2 tbsp. yeast

3/4 c. warm water (105 – 115 degrees)

2 2/3 c. warm water

1/4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. salt

3 tbsp. margarine, melted

6 1/2 c. flour – plus additional flour for kneading

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 3/4 c. of warm water.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Add the 6 1/2 cups of flour to stiffen the dough but leave it slightly sticky. Mix thoroughly.  If you feel it’s necessary to add more flour, do so gradually.

On a lightly floured surface knead bread until it forms a nice round ball and is no longer sticky (about 3-4 minutes).  Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled – about 1 hr. 

Punch down and knead briefly to remove air bubbles (about 2 minutes), shape into loaves.  In this case I split the dough so I could make an 8×8 inch pan of cinnamon rolls and got one large and one medium-sized loaf of bread.

Let the loaves rise until doubled – about 1 hr. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Brush with the tops with softened margarine or butter.

This bread turned out super soft and moist just as I had hoped for. 

Do you like making bread?  Do you have any bread making tips?


Made from scratch

What inspired me to make this recipe?


Lemons … Not really.   

And, what did I make?   Holy cow!

A Vanilla cake with lemon curd filling, and lemon buttercream icing. 

A four layer cake!

There is little, that is  more beautiful (in the world of baking) than a huge layer cake with a delectable filling nestled between each and every layer.  When I see one of these cakes, I ogle…  The cake, and lemon curd recipe was adapted from Elinor Klivans cookbook Cupcakes!   The icing recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

If you’re looking for the recipe email, or tweet me.

The peaches aren’t ready, but – summer apples are!

There’s a story behind these apples and muffins.


Apple Oatmeal Muffins


I asked my friends what I should do with some fresh peaches I had on hand.  I got the greatest  ideas from everyone.  People thinking outside the box (I was stuck in).  Sommer suggested soup – I hadn’t thought of that – sounds delicious.  Dennis suggested grilling them – I never in a million years would have thought of that one.  I especially liked the idea of grilling them and then topping them with vanilla ice cream, and maybe a dash of cinnamon.  Kristen suggested peach syrup – hadn’t thought of that either, and Molly backed Kristen up on the syrup idea.   

So, here is the scoop on the peaches.  They were so fragrant and ripe I couldn’t stand it another minute.  I peeled them, and sprinkled a little  sugar on them and we ate them – end of story.  Feeling guilty that I’d asked my friends for help and then ate them without using a single idea, I stopped tonight to get more.  The grower told me they did not pick them today.  They need a day or two longer to ripen.  Hmmm….  Another fine mess I’ve gotten myself into!  What were my friends going to think of me now?  

As I was chatting with the grower I noticed fresh apples on his wagon.  He went on to explain they were summer apples.  Jersey Macs.  He said they were pretty good, slightly tart, and his wife had just made a pie with them.   When I asked if they were good for eating he suggested I sample one.  Instead of sampling, I bought some ($2.00 for a peck) –  a great deal.  

Now I had to come up with my own idea.  There was no way I could ask again.  Rifling through my cookbooks I found a recipe for oatmeal muffins.  If I did a little re-vamping I could make  apple oatmeal muffins.  Then I would have breakfast ready for tomorrow, and something to share.   

The recipe was adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  

1 egg (I used two small eggs  produced by our very own chickens)  

1 cup of buttermilk (I used 1 cup of heavy cream)  

1/2 cup brown sugar – packed  

1/3 cup shortening (I used soft margarine)  

1 cup of quick-cooking oats  

1 cup flour  

1 tsp baking powder  

1 tsp salt  

1/2 tsp soda  

2 small apples grated (about 1 cup)  

1/2 tsp cinnamon  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease medium muffin tins – I used baking sheets.  Beat egg, buttermilk, brown sugar, and shortening.  Mix remaining ingredients together.  Fill tin 2/3 full.   I opted for a topping of oats, brown sugar and cinnamon (which I didn’t measure out) Sprinkle on top of batter before baking.  Bake 20-25 mins.  Immediately remove from pan.  

Makes 12 muffins (I didn’t get that many)…  

I now know how Eve felt after eating the forbidden fruit!  Sorry guys – and thanks for all your ideas…