Braided Bread

Late yesterday afternoon I was looking at Facebook and a post came up for making a braided bread.  It sounded so easy that I decided to try it.  All the ingredients are placed in a zip lock bag and kneaded through the bag, leaving your hands and counter clean. This was the recipe for me!  After you had the ingredients all mixed together you placed the bag in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes you add 1/4 cup more flour and knead that into the mixture, place that on the counter for 1 more hour of rise time, still inside the zip lock bag.  Then cut the dough into three same sized pieces and with your hands on a flour covered counter, roll them out into long ropes, braid, coat with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds – bake for 40 minutes and it was done.  Easiest recipe I have ever used and no clean up…right up my alley.  And it looked very pretty when it was ready. I am attempting to bake with other flours besides wheat, so 1/3 of the flour in this recipe was sorghum called sorgo in Uruguay. It added a nutty flavor and both Joe and I enjoyed it. I made french toast from it this morning with cinnamon and honey. Would I make it again? Yes.  Next time I would use a different non-wheat flour just to see how it worked out.

Edited after the original post: Several folks asked for the recipe and so I am attaching the YouTube video with the recipe and instructions.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjmILw86U34  

enjoy!  nl

Holiday Cookie Baking

The holidays are upon us sooner than I would like to admit. And with that, decisions need to be made about what cookies I will be baking and who will be getting “cookie care packages”. Each year I have a very hard time making up my mind about the cookie recipes, number of batches and finally how to pack and who to give them to. I love the baking part but totally dislike trying to find the right container to pack them in. I think I found some great containers this year with the biggest cookie recipients being the children’s Christmas party. This party is being given to our neighborhood children and will be held on Saturday, December 26th.

I love bar cookies, they are quick easy and one tray takes the place of standing in the kitchen for hours. The standard size oven here is much smaller that a standard oven in the states so bar cookies make my job faster.

salinas-12-18-2010-012This picture is a few years old but it has most of the standards that I make each year. I have all the ingredients so Monday and Tuesday will be cookie days. Wish me luck!

 

Chocolate Brownies

I was on Facebook yesterday morning when I came across this post by my cousin Steve Kowalczyk. I don’t think Steve likes to cook or bake but I think he likes eating brownies so I decided to try the recipe.

Below is the actual post:

Never buy boxed brownie mix again!   Follow the recipe below and make brownies for approximately .30 a mix!  Be sure to save this by clicking “SHARE”! You will be able to find it on your own timeline later! So simple, so easy. Not just frugal but cuts out the unknown ingredients. 1 Cup Sugar, 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour, 1/3 Cup Cocoa, 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder. At Baking Time Add: 2 Eggs, 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  OR use the amazing Pampered Chef brownie pan and bake it in much less time – depends on your oven, check after 12-15 minutes of baking and remove when brownies are done! Put mix in plastic bags or mason jars.
LOVE THIS TIP and want to hear more?  Be sure to LIKE my page so get some fabulous recipes, cooking tips and super secret FAN SALES!  Also visit my website at www.pamperedchef.biz/rachaeloSee More
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I was confident that if Steve posted it on his timeline that it must be good and it is. And I made three batches of the dry ingredients and stored two of them in one of my new jars.
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Of course I needed to change the recipe a little so below is my recipe.
Chocolate Brownies
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder

the following can be added with the wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/4 Cup chocolate buttons or chips or chunks
  • 1/4 Cup desiccated coconut

At Baking Time Add:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Remove when brownies are done!

Put dry mix in plastic bags or mason jars.

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Thanks Steve it is a very easy recipe, it came out moist and chewy and was a hit with Joe and our friends Libby and David.
Extremely delicious!