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Cooks Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
There is a verse in the book of Matthew in the Bible that says, "Man shall not live by bread alone."
I'm certainly not one to contradict the writings in the Bible, but I'm giving it my best try at showing that it is nearly possible. I love bread. My hips are here to prove it. I have been heard saying that it's impossible to eat any meal without bread. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
If you haven't already figured it out, this week's recipes will be a variety of breads. Although I love bread, I'm not that good at making it. Now I believe that biscuits and cornbread are breads, but every good Southern girl should have mastered those tasty breads by the age of 14 (16 if you lived inside the city limits).
My friend Liz once gave me a recipe for a yeast roll that was simple, easy and very good. I think I've made them twice with rave reviews from the family. Still, the thought of making bread with yeast, scares me. I know I can do it. I was afraid of pound cake (my favorite cake) for many years but my church family can attest that I have indeed mastered that as well. So, for now, I'll take yeast recipes slow and easy. I'm sure I can master them eventually. I hope that your fears will subside long enough to try these yeasty breads. For those who can't quite get up the nerve to try it, don't fret. I've included a good savory bread recipe that doesn't call for yeast.
Sweet Egg Rolls
One-third cup milk
2 tbs. sugar
one-half tsp. salt
2 tbs. butter
one-fourth cup warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 egg
2 and three-fourths cup unsifted all-purpose flour
Heat milk until it steams. Add sugar, salt, butter and cool to lukewarm. Measure warm water, place in large mixing bowl. Stir in yeast until dissolved. Add milk mixture, egg and half of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic. This takes about 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Let rise until doubled (about 30 min.). Punch dough down and divide into 12 even pieces. Form each piece into a small round shape. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise again for about 30 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter and bake at 375 degrees until rolls are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Refrigerator Rolls
Three-fourths cup hot water
One-half cup sugar
1 tbsp. salt
3 tbs. shortening
1 cup warm water
2 pkgs. Active dry yeast
1 egg
5 to 6 cups flour
Combine hot water, sugar, salt and shortening, Stir until shortening is melted and sugar has dissolved. Cool to lukewarm. Measure warm water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Stir in water mixture. Add egg and beat until yolk and white are blended. Add half the flour and beat until dough falls from spoon. Stir in remaining flour a little at a time until a soft dough is formed. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and remove only as much as is needed at a time. Shape rolls and place in pans. Let rise until doubled. Bake in a 400 degree oven until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe will make 24 rolls and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
This recipe is also versatile. By adding a few ingredients and changing the forming of the dough it can become a sweet accompnyment to morning coffee.
Cinnamon Buns
Prepare Refrigerator Rolls recipe. Divide in half. Roll dough into a 12-inch square. Melt six tablespoons butter and spread onto dough with pastry brush. Sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over butter. You may also sprinkle over one-fourth cup raisins if desired. Roll up jelly-roll style and cut into one inch slices. Place one inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Add a sugar glaze if desired.
Pecan Buns
Prepare Refrigerator Rolls recipe. Divide in half. Roll dough into a 12-inch square. Melt 1 stick of butter and add one cup brown sugar and three-fourths cup chopped pecahs. Sprinkle pecan mixture over dough leaving a one-half inche border around edges. Roll up jelly roll style and cut into one inch slices. Place sliced into 12 greased muffin cups. Cove rand let rise until doubled, about one hour. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Savory Onion Bread
1 and one-half cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. margarine, divided
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
one-half cup finely diced onion
1 egg
one-half cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8×8 pan. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in 2 tablespoons of margarine until mixture is crumbly. Stir in one-half cup of the grated cheese. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Fry the onions in one tablespoon of margarine until clear and golden. Set aside. In a small bowl beat the egg and stir in the milk and the cooked onion. Pour this mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened and a soft dough is formed. Pat the dough into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining grated cheese one top. Bake for 25 minutes.
I hope that you will give at least one of these recipes a try. If you do, don't forget me. I'm always up for some nice bread fresh from the oven.
Until next week, here's hoping your yeast will always rise. Happy eating!