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Family recipes for a variety of breads


Last updated 10/4/2007 at Noon

When my family and I compiled a cookbook some years ago none of us would have predicted that many of the recipes would be for breads. My guess is that we just naturally bake bread…and don’t think much about it.

Throughout the years we have all served quick breads and yeast breads at family events, church potlucks and get-togethers with friends. What is fun, now, is that with our family cookbook we can recreate each other’s favorites easily.

Here is a selection from our family to yours…and we encourage you to think about compiling your own family cookbook.

Tall, fluffy biscuits were a specialty of my cousin Kay. Here is her version of biscuits.

Kay’s Mile High Biscuits

3 cups flour

2 tbsp. sugar

4 ½ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. cream of tartar

¾ tsp. salt

¾ cup shortening

1 egg, beaten

¾ cup milk

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.

Combine egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring only until moistened.

Knead lightly on floured surface. Roll to 1-inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter.

Bake on ungreased baking sheet in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes.

Makes about 15-16 biscuits.

These little biscuits are perfect to serve for a weekend brunch or lunch with a favorite jam, jelly or honey. Thanks to my cousin Terri for these yummy treats.

Refrigerator Biscuits

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup self-rising flour

Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Gradually add flour. Spoon dough into greased mini-muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15-17 minutes.

Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days prior to baking.

My favorite aunt, Mildred, used to make this apple bread in the fall.

Fresh Apple Bread

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups chopped apples

1 cup chopped nuts

½ cup raisins

Beat sugar, oil and eggs. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add to egg mixture. Stir in apples, nuts and raisins.

Divide between two loaf pans. Bake in a 325-degree oven for about 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Take from oven.

Cool on rack 10 minutes. Take from loaf pans. Cool on racks. Wrap loaves well in foil or plastic wrap.

My mother’s mother was from Portugal, so you can imagine the joy I had when I found this recipe for Portuguese Sweet Bread. We first tasted it in Hawaii. It is sweet and light and delicious.

Today it is sold all over the country as Hawaiian Sweet Bread, the original brought to the islands for the seamen of Portugal. Hundreds of years later I can make it in my own kitchen.

Portuguese (Hawaiian) Sweet Bread

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar

½ cup lukewarm water

½ cup softened butter

½ cup warm milk

4 eggs

1 tbsp. salt

4 to 4 ½ cups flour

Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and water in a large bowl and allow to proof. Put butter in the warm milk, add 1 cup sugar and blend well. Add to the yeast mixture and stir to combine the ingredients.

Add 3 eggs, lightly beaten, and salt and mix well. Add 4 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, kneading with your hands in the bowl to make a soft dough. Turn out on floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, using only enough additional flour to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes.

Shape into ball and put in buttered bowl; turn to coat surface with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in bulk.

Punch down and divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape into balls and place in 2 buttered skillets or two 9-inch cake pans. Cover loosely and let rise again until double in bulk.

Brush the tops with remaining egg, well beaten, and bake in a 350-degree oven about 30 minutes or until bread is a rich, dark, shinning color and sounds hollow when rapped on top and bottom. Cool before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves.

A hearty yeast bread made with oats and sweetened with honey is a treat for all generations. This recipe is made ahead and refrigerated for 12 to 24 hours. It comes from my sister Carol.

Refrigerator Honey-Oatmeal Bread

1 cup boiling water

1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats

¼ cup butter

1 cup dairy sour cream

½ cup warm water

2 eggs

1/3 cup honey

1 tbsp. salt

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

½ cup warm water

4 ½ to 5 cups flour

Combine boiling water, oats, honey, butter and salt. Stir until butter is melted.

Add sour cream and cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in warm water. Add yeast, eggs and 2 cups flour to oat mixture and beat until smooth. Add enough more flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn onto lightly floured board and knead until elastic. Cover dough on board with damp towel or a bowl. Let rest 20 minutes.

Divide in two equal portions and shape into two loaves. Put each portion into a greased 9x5x3-inch pan. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12-24 hours.

When ready to bake, remove covered pans from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while preheating oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.


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