Sunday, April 19, 2015

Apple Pecan Quick Bread

Apple Pecan Bread--Sweet, Rich, Dense--Yum!

Okay. This is seriously easy to make. But be forewarned--it needs to bake for an hour and then, when completely cool (which takes awhile because this is a dense sweet bread), wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for hours (such as all day, or overnight). So you can't expect to eat it anytime soon. (Although I've cheated and cut a slice while it's still warm. I sometimes can't help myself!) Still, it's worth the effort even if you wait.

Apple Pecan Bread

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup peeled, chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add flour and stir just until blended. Fold in apples and pecans. Pour into a prepared loaf pan and bake 1 hour. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack. When completely cool, wrap the bread with plastic wrap and let stand overnight before slicing.

As I said before, I've been known to cheat and eat a slice warm. The problem, however, is that it doesn't slice as clean as it will after a good time wrapped. Also, I sometimes like it with a thin swipe of butter. This bread is filling, so go for thinner slices. Eaten with a cup of coffee or tea, this is the perfect midday treat. Makes a body happy!

As always, I pray that you and your loved ones are well. My family is healthy--which wasn't the case earlier this week. Upset tummies abounded, but everyone is feeling fine now--just in time for our first real spate of sunny and warm weather! In the Pacific Northwest, we tend to become giddy when the season turns. Everyone seems to be in good moods and the good cheer is infectious!

May the Lord richly bless you as you care for your families. It's a good work that we do.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mashed Potato Rolls--The Best!

I made Mashed Potato Dinner Rolls for Easter dinner and had several people ask for my recipe, so I thought I'd add it here. This recipe uses yeast, baking powder, and baking soda, and I think that's part of what makes them so soft. And the taste is out of this world. They reheat very well, too. I wrap the rolls in two thicknesses of aluminum foil and throw them in the oven for about 15 minutes or so. These also make great hamburger buns, and if you shape the dough into "logs," you will have tasty hotdog buns just as easily.

Mashed Potato Rolls

2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 3/4 cups warm milk
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup oil
6 T. sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 cups all-purpose flour
melted butter (optional)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, butter, oil, sugar, egg, and mashed potatoes and mix well. Stir in salt, baking powder, baking soda, and half the flour. Mix either by hand or using a stand mixer, adding flour until a soft dough is formed.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl and turn so the entire surface of the dough is greased. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough. Break off bits of dough and roll them in your hands to make balls a bit larger than a golf ball. You will get anywhere from about 32 to 45. Place balls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until done and golden. Remove from the oven and if desired immediately brush or dip tops of rolls in melted butter. Set on racks to cool.

Note: If you don't have nay leftover mashed potatoes and you're in a hurry, you can used dehydrated mashed potatoes. Just mix according to the package directions and use in place of fresh mashed potatoes.

There you have it. I do hope you give them a try because they are delish!

I pray your Easter was a blessing to you. Love others well--what a gift you give when you shower those in your portion of the world with love! I think the Lord would approve.

Blessings to you and yours,