Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD!

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Blue Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls (w/pictures)

I'd already posted this recipe in 2011, but I am 
moving it to the front for... my "convenience".
                                                                                 (Photo by me, Doris)

   (Photo by me, Doris)

                                                                                      (Photo by me, Doris)



  (Above photo by me and posted to this blog page on September 5, 2014)

History:
Back in the late 70's, I found this recipe for cinnamon rolls in a Family Circle magazine.  It was included in an article about a lady named Emily who operated a very successful truck stop called Emily's Dairy King in Sharon Spring, Kansas-- I still have the complete article.  Truckers knew of a great place where they could find big 'n fresh cinnamon rolls-- it was at Emily's!   I made these cinnamon rolls in September of 1977 and took them to compete in the open class of the always 'bigger'n better' Shawano County Fair.  On the Saturday morning when they were to be judged, I went to watch.  As I stood there in silence without showing I was 'interested', I was shocked that after they examined and tasted each of the many entries they picked mine as being worthy of the only blue ribbon in that class. At the age of 33, and competing against the older more experienced bakers who were also watching intensely, I honestly did not expect I would have a chance at winning, but...... I did!

For the actual fair entry, and so that all entries would be 'comparable' in some way, these rolls had to be entered for judging like this:  Because they wanted 'a block of four', I baked twelve in a 9x13-inch pan, then took a corner block of four 'cozy rolls' as my entry.    Extra note:  Something sort of odd  happened the day I was making these for my official fair entry--I had them in the pan for their final rising before baking.  Friends Penny and Linda came for some apples (our county fair is late, always over Labor Day weekend).   While outside and showing them where to get the apples, I sort of forgot about hurrying back into the house to bake the rising rolls.  Darn!, I thought, they rose too much!-- too bad/so sad, I thought, and stuck them in the oven, anyway.   As it turned out, the judges obviously liked and commented on the fact that they liked the 'extra lightness' they had-- this was above and beyond how I would have usually let them rise.  WoooHoooooo!!!  (Sometimes, 'mistakes' are good, huh!)  I have to say I learned something from that... let 'em rise more!!!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE DOUGH:

1 cup of milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
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2 tablespoons (or envelopes) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup very warm water (NOT hot!)
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2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted
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6 cup sifted all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

To make dough: 

1.  Heat milk, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until sugar melts and small bubbles appear around edge of pan.  Set aside. Cool to lukewarm.

2. Dissolve yeast and the 1 teaspoon sugar in very warm (not too hot) water in a large bowl.  ("Very warm" water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist.)  Stir until well-blended and allow to stand undisturbed for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble up.

3.  Stir slightly beaten eggs into yeast mixture; add the cooled milk mixture.  Add melted butter. Stir in just enough flour, a little at a time, until dough is starting to be 'elastic' (5 cups, for sure); let it rest for about 10 minutes before adding more and more of the flour after that 'rest period'.  Work in enough of the remaining flour to make a kneadable dough.  (Do not add so much flour that the dough totally stops sticking to your hands.  The dough would end up being too heavy.)

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead for about 8 minutes, or until it feels very smooth, satiny and 'elastic' (and alive!).  Place in a lightly oiled or buttered bowl; turn to bring the buttered side up.  Cover with 'non-stick sprayed' piece of plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  (While a hot/humid day isn't the best kind of day to have an oven on, it sure is great for rising dough!)

5.  "Punch" dough down in bowl and let it "rest" for 15 minutes; turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead just a few times; divide dough into two equal-sized, mostly smooth balls; let each rest for another 10 minutes.  Roll each ball of dough into a 12x9-inch rectangle.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE FILLING: 

1/3  cup butter, melted
~~~~~~~~
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. 

Brush each rolled out dough rectangle with half the melted butter; sprinkle each with half of the sugar/cinnamon mix.

Starting at a short end of the rectangle, roll up jell-roll style; cut into 12 slices.  Place slices, not quite touching, in a parchment paper-lined 13x9x2-inch pan IF you like to bake them "cheek to cheek", OR put 12 of  them on a 15x10x1" type of parchment paper-lined cookie sheet if you want them to look like the ones in the pictures above..  Repeat with remaining dough rectangle.

Set these in a warm draft-free place and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until almost double in bulk. (According to the temperature in the room, the time for the final rising can vary quite a bit.)

 Bake (at 350-degrees) for about 25-30 minutes OR a bit less if you like to have "lighter colored" rolls.  Also bake for a shorter time if you make "smaller-sized" rolls.  I leave the rolls right in the cookie sheet (on parchment paper) until they cool.  But!, you can move the rolls to a rack to cool after baking.

VARIATION:  This recipe is also good for making the "caramel-pecan type" of rolls.  To use just 1/2 the dough of the above recipe for this variation, you'd melt together (but not boil) 1/3 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup; then add to that 2/3 to 1 cup pecan halves. Spread that sweet mixture on the bottom of a very lightly buttered 9x13 pan/dish.  Place "wheels" of cinnamon roll dough on top of the caramel/nut mixture, leaving a little space between each.  Let rise and bake after roll dough has about doubled in size. Then, after baking, turn the pan of goodness upside down as soon as they get out of the oven.
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FROSTING:  

Here's where I change the recipe a bit.  Instead using the traditional white icing on them, I prepare 'browned butter icing' for their tops.   This is how I make it:

Heat ½ stick butter in pan only until golden to medium brown in color (stirring the bottom of the pan all the while).  When the butter reaches the right color of "brownness", quickly add a couple tablespoons (2 or 3 Tbs.) of cold  milk to stop it from browning even more; now add about 3 cups SIFTED powdered sugar till you have the amount and consistency of frosting you need.  It may be necessary to add tiny amounts of more milk at a time to get a smooth/correct (pourable) texture-- OR a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it quickly before it starts to "stiffen up".  (Keep in mind that once the butter is browned, the next steps have to happen quite rapidly.)

Quick 'n easy:  Right from the pan/kettle, I pour "ribbons" of this frosting over the rows of rolls as the pans are lined up end-to-end.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Bread

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 cup fresh OR frozen blueberries

GLAZE:

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

DIRECTIONS:

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk.
Fold in lemon zest, nuts, and blueberries.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350-degrees for 60-70 minutes.

Glaze:  Combine all ingredients, mix well; drizzle over warm bread.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cucumber Salad w/vinegar dressing

Years ago, I thought I would ALWAYS only like cucumber salad with the creamy kind of dressing on them.  As I aged, that changed--  I now like them this way, too.  Now, after this impending snow storm gets here today and "does its thing", we'll be that much closer to summer and..... closer to having cucumbers from the garden!!!


INGREDIENTS:

4 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar (maybe just a bit less, as desired)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon dried dill, or to taste (if available, some fresh dill works well)

DIRECTIONS:

Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl.  Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, cool until "room temperature" and pour over the cucumber and onions.  Stir in dried dill, cover, and refrigerate until cold.  This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least one hour.