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Enjoy aroma, taste of bread

By By Lisa Tindell
I love to smell bread baking. You can bet that's because I love bread. Just about any variety - including rye. And nothing quite beats the aroma that fills a home or business when bread is being baked in the oven.
Growing up, usually the kinds of bread you smelled cooking at my house were cornbread, yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls and banana bread. This is all wonderful aromatic memories.
Since the weather is still on the cool side, the warmth from the oven not only helps to warm the home, but the aromas help warm the heart and the stomach.
To that end, this week I'll share some recipes that are great for filling all of those needs.
Since Mardi Gras is coming up, you may want to consider baking a King Cake. Now, for those of you not familiar with a King Cake, simply put it is a giant, ring shaped cinnamon roll. Good to the last finger-licking drop. If you're not into all that yeast and rising and proofing stuff needed to make the old-fashion kind of cinnamon rolls, this first recipe ought to suit you just fine.
Cinnamon Puffs
One-third cup butter, softened
One-half cup sugar
1 egg
1 and one-half cups flour
1 and one-half tsp. baking powder
One-fourth tsp. salt
One-fourth tsp. nutmeg (optional)
One-half cup milk
Place the bugger, sugar and egg in a mixer and blend well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the batter. Fill greased miniature (or regular size) muffin tins three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes (30 to 35 minutes for regular size) or until golden brown.
Coating:
One-third cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
One-fourth cup butter, melted
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll muffins in melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. This recipe makes about two dozen miniature muffins.
The best part is these muffins can be frozen and thawed in aluminum foil. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes to reheat them.
If you don't mind working with yeast then you probably already have some great bread recipes. I hate working with yeast - it scares me. I plan to overcome that fear someday. This next recipe may be the one that causes me to let down my guard and at least give it a try.
Cheese Bread
1 and one-half cups milk
One-half stick butter
One-third cup sugar
1 tbsp. salt
One and one-half cups grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, well beaten
2 packages dry yeast plus
1 tsp. sugar dissolved in
Three-fourths cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
6 cups all-purpose flour
Combine the first four ingredients and scald; remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted. Cool to lukewarm and add eggs and yeast mixture. Beat in three cups of flour and allow mixture to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Beat in the remaining flour. Pour dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about two minutes until easily handled. Grease large ring molds or loaf pans with shortening. Roll or twist the dough with hands and fill each mold or pan to about one-third full. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This next recipe is similar to one that I have tried before. It does call for yeast, but it's pretty fool-proof, making it perfect for me!
Ice Box Rolls
One-half cup shortening
6 tbsp. sugar
One-half cup boiling water
1 package dry yeast dissolved in
One-half cup warm water
1 egg, beaten
One-half tsp. salt
3 to 3 and one-fourth cups all-purpose flour
Cream shortening and sugar; add boiling water. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast, egg and salt. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or until needed. Make rolls in desired shape and dip in melted butter. Place in a pan and let rise for one to two hours. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I hope that you will find an opportunity to try one or more of these recipes. Not only will it make you feel good that you're serving your family something fresh without being loaded with preservatives, it will certainly make your house smell good. Who knows, you may even create some last memories for your children.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!!!