Here's a favorite activity from my own childhood that now keeps my two little girls occupied for long periods of time. I will simply make a batch of bread dough, and divide it in three - one part makes a loaf for mommy and daddy, and one part for each of the girls to create to their hearts' content. They both get a baking sheet and we have had fish-shaped rolls, snails, lady bugs, and more... decorated with raisins to add the eyes, dots and other accents. The girls always think it is fun to create something, and it is equally fun to help mommy cook, so this is a winner on all fronts! That is, unless the two-year-old decides to eat the dough instead... So this is an activity that is best done supervised. :-P

 

 

Here's my go-to recipe.

 

3 cups warm water
2 Tbs dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar

 

Mix and let sit until it is bubbly.

 

Add:
3 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil

 

Gradually add flour, kneading until you have a dough that is not sticky but still soft. Make a ball, place in oiled bowl and let rise till double. Punch down, shape and let rise again. Bake till golden.

 

I often replace 1/3 of the flour with ground millet, to make a nice whole-wheat type bread. We can't get whole-wheat flour here but using something like millet, oats, cornmeal, etc. gives you a more substantial bread.

 

Stay tuned for an article on baking without an oven - coming up soon!

My husband's parents are missionaries to Native Americans in the southwest, and "frybread" is one of the best specialties there. A simple dough, rolled into a pancake and fried in hot oil . . . yum! But when we moved to the eastern US, we discovered a similar cuisine here is called "Fried Dough." Whatever you call it, it's a quick, yummy meal.

On the reservation, they pile the frybread with beans, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese and call it an "Indian Taco". Where we live now, they spread the fried dough with spaghetti sauce and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top like a pizza. My favorite way to eat it is with honey like a sopapilla. :-)

Frybread

3 c. white flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 c. warm milk or water

Oil for deep frying

Combine all ingredients except oil and knead until smooth. Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Roll out enough dough to make a circle about 1/8 thick the size of your hand. (Or any size you want!) Deep fry in 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil until browned. Stand on edge in large bowl or cooler lined with paper towels. Makes 10 to 12 frybreads.

 

 

Good morning, ladies! After a long silence from my corner (something about family vacations without internet and then moving a week later makes it really hard to keep up with a blog!) I want to start us back up with a wonderful recipe today! This recipe was sent in by a reader who says - "I have LOVED making this bread simply because it's so easy and yet always comes out so great! It takes 4 ingredients, no kneading, and super adaptable as far as adding whatever ingredients you can imagine to change it up."

Crusty Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap  and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. 


How easy is that? I can't wait to try this! Check out this website for more details, pictures, and suggested adaptations... http://www.simplysogood.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html

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Do you have a favorite recipe that works well overseas, that we can feature on TCKmom? Send me an email!

 

That's right, folks, this here is good stuff! I'm not from the south, but I love cornbread. It's a comfort food for me, along with a good pot of chili. :-) This is one of the first recipes I learned to bake as a girl in my mom's kitchen. It's super-moist, even though it's made with whole wheat flour. It tastes great with white flour, too, if whole wheat is not not available (or if you just don't like the stuff)! Just add a 1/4 more flour if you're using white flour, otherwise your bread will be mushy in the middle.

 

So without further ado, here's our favorite family recipe:

 

The World's Best Cornbread

1 c. cornmeal

1 c. whole wheat flour or 1 1/4 c. white flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 c. oil

1/4 c. honey, sugar, or molasses

2 eggs

1 c. milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Stir just until combined. Pour into a greased 9" square pan, and bake for 20-22 minutes. Edges should be nicely browned.

 

And one more tip - for a savory cornbread that's great with vegetable soup, add 1/4 oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder to the dry ingredients. A surprising twist!

 

What do you like to do with cornbread? Any tips or secret ingredients?

 

A couple weeks ago I posted about cooking from scratch. We had some great discussion in the comments afterwards! But there was one question that came up which didn't receive an answer. I'd like to revisit that question again today. Can anyone help us?

Question:

I would love to know your trick for making homemade tortillas! I tried just this week and it was a disaster. I couldn't get them thin enough without falling to pieces so we ended up with thick tortillas that wouldn't easily bend. We can get flour tortillas in the store, but a recent diagnosis of celiac disease has me attempting to make a lot more things myself now, so I found a recipe using corn flour, salt and water.

I make flour tortillas all the time, but I have never succeeded at corn tortillas. I tried two different times, and then gave up. :-) It seems to me that the corn flour lacks the stickiness necessary to roll out a good tortilla. But I know it must be possible!

So what are your tricks, ladies? Have any of you made corn tortillas? Would you be willing to share your recipe? How do you roll them out and fry them without everything falling apart?