Monday, October 21, 2013

Perfect-Every-Time White Sandwich Bread


Homemade bread.  There's nothing tastier than hot out-of-the-oven bread ... lovingly and painstakingly made by hand.  With this family's busy schedule, it seems I just don't have time to make handmade bread very often.  Certainly not nearly as often as I would like to feed the family homemade bread.  


Water, sugar and yeast in the pan

I owned a bread maker several years ago but barely used it.  I'm not sure if it was the recipes or the maker, but I never found a recipe whose results I was happy with, and so I got rid of it.  About a year ago, I saw a bread maker on sale and decided I'd give machine bread making another try.


Flour, salt and oil added; now starting to blend

My bread maker makes it so easy to make fresh bread for my family.  The breads at the grocery store are chock-full of preservatives which keep them shelf stable for weeks.  My hungry boys now consume enough bread that I don't have to worry so much about shelf stability, and I'd much rather make it using fresh ingredients and fewer chemicals.



My quest for the perfect loaf began.  I began testing, trying and tweaking various recipes in order to come up with something quick and easy that would produce a perfect everyday bread for sandwiches or toast.  This recipe makes a soft, light-textured 1 ½ lb loaf which has quickly become my family's favourite.  




I've also used this recipe as a base for cheese bread which was absolutely delicious!  Just add about a pound of cheese (cubed) when machine signals you for add-ins.


Ingredients

1 cup warm water (about 100-110° F)
2 tbsp white sugar
2   1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1   1/2 tsp salt

Directions for Bread Maker
  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. 
  2. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes.  
  3. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast mixture.  
  4. Choose: (A) 1 1/2 lb size; (B) light crust**; and (C) sandwich setting (basic or white setting also work well).
Directions for Baking in Oven
  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. 
  2. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes.  
  3. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast mixture.
  4. Choose the dough cycle.  
  5. Once the cycle is complete, remove the dough and knead a few times.
  6. Place in prepared bread pan.  
  7. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise to about an inch above the rim of the pan.  
  8. Bake at 350° F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
** I find that using a darker setting makes the crust too thick and much too dark with this recipe

Friday, July 12, 2013

Omelette Roll-Up

I try to cook a hot breakfast for my boys most weekends.  After being gone to work for 12 hours each weekday, and hubby cooking most of the meals for the boys, I like to treat them all to a nice, hot breakfast; and we pause, and sit, and reflect, and plan, and share a hearty meal together, before we start into our crazy, busy weekend. 

Most weekends I do bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and toast... after a while though, it can get a little boring (and heavy!) so I do change things up a little.  Occasionally, I will make a frittata.  Other times homemade pancakes or Belgian waffles with fruit coulis and whipped cream (or maybe even ice cream for a treat!). 

If I want something super easy, I turn to this amazing recipe.  The most time consuming part is the vegetable chopping, but if you're in a rush, you could easily swap out the freshly chopped peppers and onions for some from your freezer.  When buying, look for a blend of diced onions and peppers in the frozen section of your grocery store sold as suitable for stir frying. 

I have tried similar recipes with cheese sprinkled on the top, rather than blended throughout, and found that it is messier to do it that way as the cheese tends to slide while rolling these up.  

You can modify this recipe to substitute or add other vegetables your family loves.  Maybe mushrooms, or spinach, or tomatoes, or... the choices are endless.  Just make sure everything is finely diced (and you don't add TOO much) so you are still able to roll it up!  

Once this is on a platter, I let it sit for a minute or two and then slice it (as in picture) into about 10-12 slices.  With a house full of boys, it's the perfect amount to feed the four of us.

The boys love this breakfast because it's delicious and filling.  I love it because it's easy to prepare, clean up is a breeze, and it makes them happy.  

I hope that your family loves it as much as ours does!






Ingredients

8 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 cup black forest ham, thickly sliced & finely diced; OR bacon (cooked & crumbled)
1/2 cup onions, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 17"x 11" x 1" pan with parchment paper, with ends extending over shortest sides of pan. 
  3. Spray with cooking spray. 
  4. Beat eggs, flour and milk in a large bowl with whisk until well blended. 
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients, then pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are set.
  7. Roll up omelette immediately, starting at short end and peeling off paper as omelette is rolled. 
  8. Place on platter, and cut into slices.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Serves 4