Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls

We had a really busy weekend, and I must confess that I was not as prepared as I should have been.

That lack of organization created quite a bit of extra stress – and a very tired and worn out momma.

So, this week I am determined to be on top of things. I already have a list for the even crazier weekend ahead – and I’m assigning tasks to my minions.

On the list – a double batch of these yummy yeast rolls for Easter Dinner.

Angel Girl and I are in good practice – having recently made 200 of them for the Church Valentine’s Banquet!

They are a rich, buttery roll that are perfect for a celebration!

Crescent Rolls

2 packages dry yeast (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, softened

Dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let sit until doubled.

Meanwhile, add warm milk and butter to a small sauce pan and heat until the butter is melted.

Put the warm milk and melted butter to a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups flour.

Beat until well blended.

Add yeast and stir in additional flour to make a soft dough (about 2-1/2 cups).

Turn out unto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Place in a large greased bowl, turning over dough so that the top is greased. Cover with a towel and let rise in warm place until doubled; about one hour.

Punch down dough. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

With lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each dough half into a 16 inch circle. Spread each circle with 3 tablespoons of softened butter.

Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up each wedge, starting at the wide end. Place rolled wedges, points down, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.*

Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 24 rolls.

*One word of caution – sometimes a crescent roll will unwrap while baking – causing some strange shapes. It’s okay.  They still taste great. I save the nicest ones to serve my guests, and my kids are happy to eat the deformed ones.

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Rolls

BreadPreparations for Thanksgiving are in full swing here!

Although I’m not hosting – we have 2 different family meals to fit in this weekend.

We’ll be bringing yeast rolls and homemade jam to both.  Angel Girl has the first of 4 batches started now.

While they’re rising – I’ll share this family favorite – a light and fluffy dinner roll made with oatmeal and brown sugar. The oatmeal adds a whole grain without using whole wheat flour. Even people who are skittish about whole wheat rolls will eat these!

The recipe came from my oldest sister – who happens to have excellent taste. 😉

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Rolls

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats (I’ve used both old-fashioned and quick cooking)
3 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5-5-1/2 cups flour

Pour boiling water over oatmeal. Cool to lukewarm.

Soften yeast in lukewarm water.

Combine the oatmeal, oil, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour to make a soft dough.

Knead 7-8 minutes.

Put in a greased bow, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double. Punch dough. Let rise again.

Shape into rolls and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise till doubled.

Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 3-4 dozen.


I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.


Choice 2Somehow in the craziness of Matt’s visit home, we’ve squeezed in a few refresher courses on cooking.

One of the things on his list was na’an – or Indian fry bread.

It was a good choice! Fast and easy to make, dirt cheap, and really yummy.

We make the master bread recipe from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Cookbook, store it in the fridge until we are ready to use it, then fry it up in oil.

Topped with whatever left-overs we have – meat, fresh veggies, black beans, and lots of cheese and sour cream – it is a delicious family favorite.

Basic recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

3 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoons yeast (2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
6-1/2 cups flour
a 5 quart bowl or resealable, lidded, plastic container (I use an ice cream bucket)

Place the water in the ice cream bucket. Add yeast and salt. Mix.

Add the flour and mix it together with a wooden spoon or your hands. Don’t worry about kneading – it doesn’t need it.

The dough will be wet and somewhat loose.

Put the lid on the bucket and let it sit at room temperature until the dough has risen and starts to collapse. (About two hours.) Then just pop it in the fridge.

How easy is that?!

When you are ready to eat it, pinch off a ball of dough and set it on a floured surface. Flatten it with your fingers or a rolling pin. Don’t worry about the shape, or if it has holes or even making it look good – just mash it out.

Then heat some oil (vegetable, olive, even coconut oil works) in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Carefully lay the na’an in the skillet and cover with a lid.

When the na’an is puffed up and the bottom nicely browned, flip it over with tongs and cover it again.

It’s ready to serve when the both sides are browned.

Serve hot and fresh from the skillet.

Make as many as you want and store the rest of the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Deceptively simply. Amazingly delicious.


French Bread

breadThe craziness is starting to wind down.

As we recover and try to find a new normal – I’ll share one of my favorite company recipes.

This French bread is easy and cheap to make and makes a simple meal look fancy!  I have made it hundreds of times over the years and served to many,many friends and relations.

We made 2 loaves early last week and enjoyed them at several meals – fresh with cavatini, again with spaghetti and then as Oven French Toast.

The original recipe is from my husband’s Aunt Sharon, a sweet lady and wonderful cook who passed away from cancer.

French Bread
recipe from Aunt Sharon

2 packages yeast
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup oil (olive oil gives a great flavor  but vegetable oil works, too)
6 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Set aside

Combine 2 cup hot water, sugar, salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Stir in the yeast. Add 3 more cups of flour.  Stir well.

Cover and let dough sit for 10 minutes. Stir down. Cover and let sit for another 10 minutes. Stir dough. Repeat 4 more times. (A total of six times).

Knead lightly and divide into 2 parts. Roll up into oblong loaves. Let rise 30 minutes.

Cut three diagonal slices in each top. Bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.


Sandwich Buns

BunsWith graduation now less than one week away, my to-do lists are getting more and more crazy!

On today’s list – get a final count of all the buns in the freezer and decide if I have enough.

But I probably don’t. I may never.  How many buns are enough? Maybe just a few more than I already have. 🙂

At least the recipe is simple and one that I’ve made dozens and dozens of times. They’ve gone with me to many, many reunions, potlucks, and family meals where they are lovingly referred to as “Melinda Buns”.

They’re versatile too – we use them as dinner rolls, or sandwich buns and sometimes I divide the dough into 4 loaves and bake them as bread. I’ve even substituted up to half of the white flour for whole wheat.

Although a stand mixer with a dough hook (like my Bosch Kitchen Machine) is extremely helpful to make these – it still works to mix it together with a spoon and knead it by hand. Our grandma’s did it for it for years!

Melinda Buns

1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
4 cup lukewarm water
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
12 cup white flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup oil

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together 4 cup of water, oil, salt, sugar, and egg.

Add yeast mixture and flour. Mix together.

Knead for 10 minutes.

Put in a greased pan and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.

Form into 60 buns.

Let rise about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or the tops are brown and the bottoms set.


Breakfast Bread

Breakfast BreadEating at my sister Sandy’s house is always a culinary treat.  I think I could gain 5 pounds just thinking about what she might be making!

Our recent visit was no exception. My amazing nephew put together a to-die-for breakfast bread that is still making me drool.

I won’t even tell you how many pieces I ate – but let’s just say it’s a good thing he made three loaves so that everybody else got some, too!

He made it with bacon (yum!) but I think he should definitely make some with ham or sausage, or even pepperoni!  I’d be happy to taste test them!

I also don’t think this bread should just be for breakfast – I would eat it any time. Like right now.

I was quite impressed with the fact that he made it ahead, froze it, and baked it up fresh for us in the morning – making it a perfect meal for overnight guests!

And – the best news of all – he shared his recipe!

Breakfast Bread

1 batch of White Bread Dough
1 [0.7 oz. or 19 grams] packet of dry Italian dressing mix
2 cups of cheddar cheese
2/3 cup of real bacon bits

Mix the envelope of Italian dressing mix into the bread dough, put it into a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise till doubled.

On a floured surface, roll out into a large rectangle. Evenly spread the cheese and bacon bits over the surface.

Starting on the longest side, roll up the dough as you would cinnamon rolls. Place the roll on a greased jelly roll pan to rise.

Once risen, bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Freezing directions:

Once the roll has been made, do not let it rise. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for one hour.

After one hour, remove the roll from the freezer ad completely wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze up to 1 month.

When you are ready to bake, remove from the freezer and unwrap it. Set it on a greased jelly roll sheet and cover with a clean dish towel. Let thaw and rise overnight.

Then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: This makes one loaf, but would be very easy to double or triple!  You could use frozen bread dough, but could not freeze the unbaked roll.


Whole Grain Blender Waffles

WaffleRaise your hand if you ate too many sweets in the month of December.

Come on – ‘fess up now. 🙂

I know I did! And every year when January comes around my body starts craving some real food.

Something simple after all those rich holiday meals.

And maybe something with whole grains to counteract all those truffles. 🙂

These waffles are the perfect choice! They are a whole grain waffle that I can make with things I almost always have in my pantry. And best of all – I mix the entire thing in my blender in minutes!

They are even gluten free.

Whole Grain Blender Waffles
Adapted from Sue Gregg’s Eating Better Cookbooks

1 egg
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2  cup of brown rice
1/2 cup popcorn (unpopped)
1/2 cup of oatmeal (rolled or quick)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat waffle iron at highest temperature.

Place the egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, rice, popcorn and oatmeal in the blender in the order listed and blend on high speed for 3 minutes.

Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder and blend briefly. It should start to bubble immediately.

Grease your waffle iron well (I douse it really good with cooking spray).  Pour the batter -which should be thin – on the waffle iron. DO NOT PEAK! I’m serious here. Do NOT open that waffle iron until the little light goes off. Trust me on this one – just step away from the iron.

This should yield about six 7-inch waffles. (Although the first waffle you attempt will not work – it never does. I think it’s part of Murphy’s Law or something!)

Make sure you give the batter a quick stir before you pour each new waffle – it has a tendency to settle.

These are wonderful with the super-lean “Amish Chwistmas Sausage” and hot apple sauce on top for an easy “breakfast for supper”.

If you prefer – just substitute 2 cups of flour for the rice, popcorn, and oatmeal and blend briefly.

Or if you want to get fancy – you can substitute kamut, millet, barley, kasha, or wheat berries for the grains listed. That is – if you know what they are and actually have them in your pantry. 🙂

These are best when hot and crisp from the waffle iron – but you can freeze them and pop them in the toaster for a quick meal.

Wow! Don’t we feel healthier already?! 🙂

I’ve linked these posts up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Apple Pie Bagels

Apple BagelI was pretty tired Saturday night and had forgotten to get bagels out of the freezer for Sunday morning breakfast.


I also realized that the only cream cheese we had was still frozen.

Double oops.

And the kids had their friend Bethany overnight.

Triple oops.

We could all eat stale cereal and Bethany would see how we really live – or I could get creative.

As I tossed the frozen bagels on the counter, I thought, “Now what can I do with these?”

Then I remembered  of all the apples we still have left – and how my kids love apple pie and apple crisp – and thought to myself what a treat that would be for breakfast.

And so the Apple Pie Bagel was born.

I took diced apples tossed them in cinnamon and sugar and put them on top of a buttered bagel and sprinkled it all with a streusel topping.


Apple Pie Bagels

1 package bagels (I used plain – but I think cinnamon raisin or wheat would be great, too)
butter to spread
2-3 cups of apples, peeled and finely diced (Golden Delicious were perfect)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons oatmeal
3 tablespoons browns sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cut the bagels in half and lay each half out on a baking tray. Butter them liberally.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and toss it with the diced apples.

Layer the cinnamon-sugar apples on the buttered bagels.

Combine the melted butter, oatmeal, flour, and brown sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle it on top of the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the apples are soft and the streusel slightly browned.


I’ve linked this post up with  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Make Ahead Butterhorns

Croissant Rolls My family got together for an early Thanksgiving meal last weekend – and like all of our family meals – we divided and conquered.

Mom did the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, one sister brought stuffing and corn, another brought desserts, another made sweet potato casserole – and I brought the buns.

Dagmar and I wanted to try something different – and since we were meeting for the first time at my youngest sister’s new house  with 2 ovens – we made these fabulous Make Ahead Butterhorns.

We really loved the fact that we could make them up ahead of time – but not bake them. Instead we froze them and baked them fresh that morning at my sister’s.

Fresh hot rolls! Oh my.

I will have to admit that these are just about the best rolls I have ever eaten in my lifetime.

I take no credit for their wonderfulness – I got the recipe from Crystal Paine over at Money Saving Mom.  She has the recipe and a step-by-step pictorial that was very helpful.

Make-Ahead Butterhorns (makes 32 rolls)
Recipe from Crystal Paine

2 Tablespoons dry yeast, heaping
1/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
9 cups flour, divided (you can use any mixture of white or whole-wheat flour you’d like)
2 cups warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
3-4 Tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add 4 cups flour, milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Beat 2 minutes or until smooth.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured board and knead lightly. (Or, knead in mixer until sides of bowl are clean, then knead two more minutes.)

Place in a greased bowl, turning dough once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1-3 hours).

Punch dough down and divide into four equal parts. Roll each part into a 12-inch circle and brush with melted butter.

Cut each circle into pie- shaped wedges.  (We actually cut them into 12 and thought the rolls were huge!)

Roll up each wedge for wide edge to tip of dough and pinch to seal. Place rolls, top down, on baking sheets and freeze. When frozen, place in freezer bags and keep frozen until needed.

To bake: Take out as many frozen rolls as you’ll need and place them on a greased baking sheet. Thaw for five hours or until doubled in size. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned (about 8-10 minutes). Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Remove and serve immediately or cool on wire racks.

I would recommend baking extra – or be prepared to slap some hands – cause when these babies come hot out of the oven they are irresistible!


I’ve linked this post up with Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum.

Cinnamon Rolls – both Freezer and Overnight

Cinnamon Rolls After my last “woe-is-me-I am-sick-and-discouraged” post, I will endeavor to stop coughing long enough to write something a little more encouraging! 🙂

(And a special thank you for all the kind words and offers to take my children! They are good kids – but they do eat a lot!)

Okay – on to something encouraging – what about comfort food? And what’s more comforting than fresh hot cinnamon rolls!

My family loves these for Sunday breakfast – but I don’t love getting up before dawn to make them fresh.

I figured if  you could buy frozen cinnamon  rolls and thaw them to bake – surely there was a way to make them homemade? So we experimented.

First – here’s the basic recipe:

Cinnamon Rolls

2 cup lukewarm water
2 packages dry yeast
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons salt
7 cups flour
softened butter or margarine
brown sugar

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should be bubbly.  Add the sugar, oil, and salt. Mix well.

Mix in the flour until a soft dough forms. Knead 4-6minutes. (I absolutely LOVE my Bosch Mixer for this – and all yeast breads. It’s paid for itself many times over!)

Put the dough in a large lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise one hour.

Divide the dough into half and roll each half into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread with softened butter, layer thickly with brown sugar and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. (I don’t have exact measurements for these – just pile on to taste!)

Roll the dough from the long side and cut into 1 inch rolls with a serrated knife.

Place the rolls in a greased baking dish. Each of the dough halves should fill one 9 x 13 inch pan – or 2 – 9 inch rounds. (So the recipe will make 2 – 9 x 13 pans or 4 – 9 inch rounds). Cover with a clean dry towel and let rise till double – about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20- 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Let the rolls cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Invert the hot rolls onto a serving plate and smother with frosting!

Overnight Version:

Make the rolls out and put in the baking dish the night before.  Do not let them rise! Just cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, let them sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven. Bake them and serve as usual.

Freezer version:

Make the rolls up and put them in a baking dish (metal cake pans or aluminum foil pans work very well). Do not let them rise! Just cover and freeze for up to one month. Remove from the freezer the night before and let thaw and raise on the counter. In the morning, preheat the oven and bake as normal.

The longer the rolls are in the freezer, the less the yeast works. Ideally – we try to use them up within 2 weeks. The ones we kept in the freezer for 3 months were hard and flat when we finally baked them!


I’ve linked this post up over at Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday and Blessed With Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!