Homemade White Bread

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I love this white bred recipe! I make this bread all the time for ourselves and as gifts for family and friends. This bread does slice well for sandwiches, but I really enjoy it as is, with butter, or as french toast. Sweet but not too sweet, this bread is a real treat. This recipe makes 2 loafs, and this bread is good frozen for 6 months.

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What You Will Need

  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Warm Water (110 F)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Oil
  • 2 Bread Pans
  • Non-Stick Spray
  • Mixing Bowl

Directions

1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, water, yeast, sugar and oil. Stir until a smooth supple ball forms, dough will be sticky. Coat bowl and dough lightly with oil, then let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2. Grease the bread pans. Punch down dough and divide in half. Form into a loaf shape and place into the pan. Heat oven to 350 F, and let bread rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until loaf is 3/4 up the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Thick Crust Pizza

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If you like pizza with thick crust, nothing gets thicker than this pizza! This pizza is almost just bread with toppings! However, this pizza crust absorbs the savory liquid from the sauce and paired with the salty cheese on top, this is one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve ever had. I used a 12 inch diameter deep dish pizza pan, and the dough before topping was about an inch and a half thick. The par-bake is important to ensure that the crust is cooked completely before serving. You can use store bought pizza sauce with this pizza, but you’ll want it to be a thinner sauce and savory rather than sweet. This pizza made 6 large servings.

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What You Will Need

  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Warm Water (110 F)
  • 4 tsp Active Dried Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp Oil
  • Homemade Sauce
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 Onion, Finely Sliced
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • Dutch Oven
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Deep Dish Pizza Pan

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, water, yeast, and oil. Add additional flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your finger. Form the dough into a ball, coat lightly with oil, and place somewhere warm to rise for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.

2. Heat oven to 350 F. Punch down the dough and transfer to the pizza pan. Work to hide any crack, then stretch evenly to edges of the pan. Let rise for 30 minutes, then stretch again leaving a crust up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes then remove. Top the par-baked crust with pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toppings begin to brown. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

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Homemade Pasta – Spaghetti

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Spaghetti can be made by hand like fettuccine, however the quality of your pasta will not be as good if you don’t use a pasta maker. This was my first time using a pasta maker and it is shocking how thin you can get your dough and how uniform the pasta ends up coming out. If you would like to make spaghetti without a pasta maker, follow the directions for fettuccine however cut your dough thinner for smaller pasta. You can find these instructions here. So below I’ll be giving you instructions for how to make pasta with a pasta maker.

I did make some mistakes in this, but I have corrected them down below. My biggest mistake was not flouring my dough before I ran it through the cutting roller. The noodles immediately began to stick together and though some detached during cooking, there were still several stuck together by the time it was plated. The only other thing I changed was that I had rolled and cut the dough in halves instead of quarters. This made for a very long roll of pasta that I had to cut in half before running through the cutting roller. This recipe made 6 adult sized portions of pasta. I cooked this pasta in half batches, using half in this spaghetti dish, and using the other half in my recipe for tomorrow, ramen.

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What You Will Need

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • Pasta roller
  • Flour to dust
  • Saran Wrap
  • Optional Freezer Bag

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add flour, eggs, and oil, and mix until it becomes a shaggy dough. Switch to a dough hook, and knead the dough until it comes together. It is a drier dough that should not be sticky or wet, you may add a bit of warm water if it won’t come together. Divide the dough into quarters and wrap 3 of the sections in saran wrap.

2. Using a pasta roller, begin rolling out your pasta starting at the thickest setting. Fold the dough in half and place the ends of the dough through the roller first on the next pass. Continue to fold and roll until the dough is consistent in appearance and there are no holes in the dough. Then, begin making the dough thinner one setting at a time until the pasta is as thin as you desire. (I stopped at 5 for a standard spaghetti thickness). Dust both sides of the pasta sheet with a layer of flour, send through the cutting roller, then transfer to a clean and dry counter space. Repeat this step for remaining quarters.

3. Form pasta into nests to place in freezer bags and freeze, or place into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes before straining. Serve as desired.

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Sugar Christmas Cookies

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Sugar cookies are a labor of love, and this recipe was no exception. Making the dough was very straight forward, however the real effort comes into rolling the dough and cutting the cookies. This step is made easier by having helping hands to cut cookies for you while you can focus on the baking. Also, the dough makes lots of cookies. We picked out larger cookie cutters in an effort to have less cookies, but even with that we easily got over 4 dozen cookies. Since it is just my husband and I, we were able to fill 2 gallon freezer bags and freeze them for up to 3 months. And, we still had some left over to snack on. So, this recipe makes about 4-5 Dozen cookies.

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What You Will Need

  • 1 Cup Softened Butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup and 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Non-stick spray
  • Baking sheet
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Directions

1. Cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and mix well. Chill cookie dough for 1-2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 350 F. Knead dough then roll out dough to 1/4 in thick, then use cookie cutters. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray, then place cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from oven, remove from baking sheet, and let cool before icing.

3. (Opt) Whip together 8 Oz of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened butter. Add 1 tsp vanilla and combine. Finally, begin adding 4 cups powdered sugar a little at a time while mixing until all is added. If desired, add 2 tsp of additional flavoring (ie. Lemon or orange), or add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

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Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies

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Another classic Christmas cookie in my household is peanut butter cookies. We usually make them both with kisses and without, and this from scratch recipe is fantastic. The only thing that is up for interpretation is the butter coldness. I left my butter out at room temperature for about 3 hours before baking, and I didn’t have to refrigerate at all. You could probably leave it out at room temperature for about 8 hours before it would be too soft to work with immediately. Because the butter was still pretty solid, there were butter chunks in the dough, but that gave no problems during cooking. Finally, with this recipe, I made 17 kiss cookies, and 19 plain cookies, giving us 36 peanut butter cookies total.

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What You Will Need

  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, One Stick; slightly cooler than room temperature.
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Chocolate Kisses (Optional)
  • Sugar and Fork
  • Non-stick Spray
  • 9×13 Baking Sheets
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Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Cream together both sugars, peanut butter, butter, and egg. Once combined, add remaining ingredients. If batter is too soft, refrigerate for 1 hour. If firm enough to roll, move forward. Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. Roll out your dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet with little room to spread.

2. If you want plain cookies, dip fork into sugar, then imprint cross pattern on cookie balls, pressing only 1/4 inch max. Then bake your cookies for 10 minutes.

For kiss cookies, bake for 8 minutes, pull from oven, add your kisses, then return to oven for another 3 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from tray. Transfer to plates, and (optional) place in fridge for 20 minutes to cool.

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