Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Bread

 I tried this bread the other day and it turned out great.  It really was not difficult, it just required a little time to let it rise.  I pretty much followed the recipe and only came up with minor changes I might do next time. I did not get out my big stand mixer, but I did start off with my little hand mixer to get the basics blended good. Actually a mixer probably is not necessary.  What I might change is the raspberry jelly.  I love raspberry jelly, but apparently I should have found a thicker jam as mine did not look as crisp red as the picture.  The jelly seemed to run out more than I thought it should have, which also meant I had some jelly that leaked into my oven.

I will definitely make this again.  Even if it was not as picture perfect as the recipe showed, it still turned out pretty impressive.  By the way, there is a link below the recipe to the website where I found the original recipe.

Christmas Star Twisted Bread

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Confectioners' sugar
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water until foamy. In another bowl, combine milk, egg, butter, sugar and salt; add yeast mixture and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Roll one portion into a 12-in. circle. Place on a greased 14-in. pizza pan. Spread with one-third of the jam to within 1/2 in. from edge. Repeat twice, layering dough and jam, and ending with final portion of dough.
  4. Place a 2-1/2-in. round cutter on top of the dough in center of circle (do not press down). With a sharp knife, make 16 evenly spaced cuts from round cutter to edge of dough, forming a starburst. Remove cutter; grasp two strips and rotate twice outward. Pinch ends together. Repeat with remaining strips.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake until golden brown, 18-22 minutes. (Watch during final 5 minutes for any dripping.) Remove from oven; brush with melted butter, avoiding areas where jam is visible. Cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 16 servings.
Editor’s Note: Kickstart the flavor by trying blueberry jam and 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, or blackberry jam and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom.
Originally published as ChristmasStar Twisted Bread in Taste of Home November 2016, p46

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Best Banana Bread Ever

Below is my "Recipe of the day".  This is a recipe that I almost forgot about.  I collect many recipes that I want to try some day.  I have tried this one... numerous times already... and I have made modifications to make it a real "Sallie recipe".

If I have buttermilk on hand, that is what I use, but more often than not, I do not... which never gets in the way of a good recipe for me.  I put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the cup before I measure my milk... so in this recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of buttermilk, I put 1 tablespoon of ACV in the cup first then fill the milk to the 1/2 cup mark.  Instantly I have 1/2 cup of buttermilk.

I increased the nuts to a full cup and I use a full 2 cups of blueberries.  I typically use frozen blueberries so I make sure that I take them out of the freezer just before I add them as I do not want my batter to turn blue when I am folding them in.  Because I have maxed out the quantity of nuts and blueberries, this recipe makes 2 very full loaf pans of bread.  A couple times I have used a third mini pan for the extra batter.

Blueberry Banana Bread
  • 14 lb butter softened
  • 34 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 12 cup buttermilk
  • 3 bananas, large overripe and mashed
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 12 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 -2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
In a large bowl cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and bananas.
Sift dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture. Do not overbeat.
Stir in nuts and blueberries.
Divide the mixture into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 325 degrees for 65-70 minute (test before removing from over) should be nicely browned.