Fabulous Friday: Quick and Easy French Bread

I’ve been trying to be super tight with our budget this month and not take any money from our “other” fund for food. So when we ran out of bread, I made the comment to my husband that I needed to make some.  He volunteered to do it. He had never made bread before so I wasn’t sure if he was just being nice and trying to take the load off of me or if he was secertly remembering how my bread almost NEVER turns out good and then end up like bricks. Remember this post? Ya.  Anywho, he set to work making bread and BAM in 1 hour my husband put to shame any attempt I’d ever made to make bread. His bread was BEAUTIFUL! DELICIOUS! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! I could have kicked him. 😉

Just a few days later, the Relief Society in my ward put on a very timely class: food storage and bread making. We got to make the dough there and then bring it home to bake. I was skeptical that it would turn out but guess what! It did!!! It was light and fluffy and scrumptious. My dear sweet husband even praised it up one side and down the other. Eating a warm slice with butter and honey in between each praise. How’s that for boosting the confidence of a non-bread maker? He was so convincing, that  I made another loaf with my almost 3 year old today and it turned out great too! Two great breads in one week? Woot! Maybe I’m getting better at this… Or maybe the recipe is just that simple.  🙂

Homemade french bread in 1 hour!

Homemade french bread in 1 hour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick and Easy French Bread

  • 1 TBS yeast
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm water (yes an additional cup)
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 1/2 tsb salt
  • 3 cups flour (plus a little extra for kneading)
  1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup warm water. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes until it gets all bubbly.
  2. Add in 1 cup water, butter, and salt. Mix everything together.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour and once you’ve stirred it all in, started kneading it with your hand. Add a little more flour as needed.
  4. Once it’s not ridiculously sticky any more and you can at least handle it, flour a cookie sheet and stick the dough on it. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes adding in flour if you need it.
  5. Press the dough into a rectangle, then roll it up from the long side.
  6. Score the dough with a sharp knife.
  7. Turn on oven to 400 degrees and let the dough rise while the oven is heating.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.

See! I told you it was easy! Enjoy!

 

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Amazing Cornbread

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In large bowl cream butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. In separate medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to butter mixture and mix well, mixture will be thick.  Slowly add milk and mix until creamy.

3. Pour in your prepared pan and bake for 25-30 mins or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes and serve with honey.  Enjoy!

This yummy recipe is from The Farm Girl Recipes

Banana Bread

Funny story about this recipe: When my husband and I were dating, we both had mentioned that we had the best banana bread recipe. I was convinced mine had to be better because it really was that good. Well after we got married, I decided I’d test out my recipe on him to see what he thought. Turns out it was the exact same recipe as his! Hahaha. I guess we both really did have the best banana bread recipe ever 🙂

Banana Bread

¾  c butter

1 ½ c sugar

1 ½ c mashed bananas (3)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 c flour (I usually use half white and half whole wheat flour)

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

Combine dry ingredients. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bake at 300 degrees. 1 hour and 10 minutes for a large loaf, 30-35 minutes for mini loaves.

Our favorite way to bake it? In 9-inch cake rounds. It cooks more evenly this way!  I put the timer on for 35 minutes but after that I just watch it until a toothpick comes out nearly clean. (You want a little moisture but not gooey)

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Bread

There are some people in the world who can make beautiful bread like this…

homemade-bread
I am not one of them. Any attempt I have made at making bread fails.
My bread turns out more like this…
brick

A brick. The only thing it’s good for is to be used as a doorstop. I’m not kidding. But bread is a staple at our house.  My husband takes 1 or 2 sandwiches to work with him every day plus I have a toddler who thinks that the word “lunch” equates to “sandwich”. That adds up fast!

Even though we have to buy bread, we thankfully don’t have to settle for the iron kids nothing bread. We buy all of our bread at

Alpine Valley Bread
300 W Southern Ave. Mesa, AZ 85211
M-F 8am-2pm

It is amazingly wonderful bread. These are the same people who make the bread for Sprouts, AJ’s Fine Foods, Costco, etc. At these other stores the bread goes for $3-5 a loaf. Ouch.  At the factory the day old bread sells for $0.50 a loaf. Sometimes they have $1 loaves but the $0.50 loaves tend to be just as fresh! It’s a little drive for me but I go about twice a month and stock up. This bread lasts great in the fridge or freezer!

So if you have amazing bread making skills like me, save yourself the hassle and frustration and head on over to Alpine Valley Bread!

 

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

I originally found this recipe a few years ago on allrecipes.com but when I tried to find it to give credit to the original source I couldn’t find it anymore! Oh well. I tried. These muffins are delicious. I like them best if I’ve let the batter sit at least a couple of hours before I bake them. It helps the flavors mesh together better.

 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 quart buttermilk (1 qt = 4 cups … You’re welcome 🙂 for some reason I have to look that up every time. Using regular milk works great too)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I like using ½ c vegetable oil and ½ c unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups raisin bran cereal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  •  5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk, oil and sugar.
  2. Stir in cereal and raisins.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture. (I’m sure sifting helps but I don’t own a sifter SO needless to say I’ve never sifted this before. I just kind of mix the dry ingredients together.)
  4. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened.
  5. To bake, gently stir batter; fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

This recipe makes about 4-5 dozen muffins. You can bake them all and eat them right away OR freeze them OR keep the batter in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.