Monday, January 28, 2013

Oatmeal Bread

Have you ever been asked what your favorite childhood smell was?  I have, and I have two answers for that. 

1.  I loved the smell of the wild honeysuckles that grew in the back of our property when we lived in Georgia.  
2. The smell of freshly baked homemade bread that could stop you in your tracks as you walk in the house, coming home from school in California.

Honeysuckles and homemade bread.  For me, those are two of the best aromas ever.

Today's recipe is my latest favorite bread to make.  It looks and tastes like regular white bread, but it has the added nutrients of healthy oatmeal.

Here's what you'll need:

4 C. warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast (I like to use SAF instant yeast)
2/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. oil
1 individual packet REGULAR instant oatmeal (not the flavored kind), cooked to package directions OR 1 serving of unflavored oatmeal, cooked to package directions

12 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. dry powdered milk
1 Tbsp. salt

Cook the one serving of unflavored oatmeal, as directed on the package and set aside.  In a Bosch or other stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, and oatmeal.  Mix with a dough hook on Low speed just until combined (for about 10 seconds).

Then add the flour, powdered milk, and salt.

Knead on High for 10 minutes. 


If you are using a Bosch mixer, you can immediately divide the dough into four loaves.

If you are NOT using a Bosch mixer, place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover and let rise until doubled.  Then divide into four loaves.

Cover the loaves with a towel and allow to rise for about an hour... 

or until they look about like this...

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  

Then you'll get this.

Remove from the pans and cool on a cooling rack.

Hello, beautiful! 

 So delicious!

I wonder if my kids will have the same association to freshly baked bread as I do.  I guess time will tell.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beef Empañadas

On the weekends, the kids and I like to celebrate no school by making super yummy dinners.  These dinners usually take more time to make, but they are extra delicious and fun for the kids to eat.  This recipe is one of the kids' favorites!  It comes from my sister, Lynae's, cookbook and they are so super good!

Here's what you'll need:

4 C. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter
1 egg, whisked
1 C. water

1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. dried chopped onion OR 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 C. salsa
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cook the ground beef then add the remaining filling ingredients and allow to simmer.

To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  I used my food processor, but that's not necessary.   Cut the butter into the flour.

Add the whisked egg and slowly add the water until it becomes doughy, much like pie crust dough.

Roll flat and cut into circles.

We used a bowl to cut our circles.

I have this mold that we use, but just folding the dough over and crimping it shut with a fork, or pinching it, works just as well.

Spoon some filling (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup, depending on the size of your circle) on one side of the dough.

Sprinkle with some grated cheese.

Fold the dough over and pinch the seams closed.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Fry in oil until golden brown.

Place on a paper towel-lined plate.  Serve warm.

There are so many ways you could change these up.  Try a filling with pizza sauce, Italian sausage, olives, and Mozzarella cheese.

Make little dessert Empañadas by using pie filling instead of a meat filling.  Once they've fried, drizzle them with a powdered sugar glaze.

YUMM-O!!!  I hope you enjoy these too!

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