Oatmeal Molasses Rolls Recipe

oatmeal molasses rollsLooking for something a little different than your usual boring white dinner rolls? Look no further! These oatmeal molasses rolls are delicious! I adapted this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.
2This post is brought to you by the Kukpo 8-piece measuring cup and spoon set, which I got to review. I have to say, they’re pretty nice – super sturdy, heat proof silicone handles, and even little pour spouts on the measuring cups. I’m going to be using them in my kitchen for years to come. If you’re looking for a heavy duty set of measuring cups and spoons check them out!
ingredientsLet’s get baking!
Ingredients:
3 to 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (you can also use quick cooking oats)
flour and yeastIn a large mixing bowl (or in your stand mixer) stir together 2 cups of the all purpose flour with the yeast.
milk and molassesMeanwhile mix and heat the milk, molasses, butter and salt until warm. You want the butter to just start to melt, about 120 degrees. A little tip for measuring out sticky things like honey or molasses – spray your measuring cup with cooking spray, it comes right out!
add wet to dryAdd the milk mixture¬†to the flour and yeast. Make sure the milk isn’t too hot, you can kill your yeast! Add in your eggs and mix on medium for about 3 minutes.
oatsAdd in the whole wheat flour and the oats. If you use old fashioned rolled oats you will have more texture in your rolls. If a softer roll is what you’re after, use quick cooking rolled oats instead. Mix in as much of the remaining all purpose flour as you can.
kneadTurn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in any remaining flour until you have a smooth and elastic ball. The dough will be moderately stiff and kneading should take 6 or 7 minutes. This is good exercise! Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Mine took about 1 1/2 hours.
rolls ready to riseAfter your dough has risen, punch it down and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Shape into balls and place them in a lightly greased baking pan. The original recipe says it will make 32 rolls, I yielded 22. That always happens to me! Cover and let rise until nearly doubled. Mine took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
risen doughLooking good! Pop them in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
baked rollsBaked and golden brown… take them out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
buttered rollMmmmm, butter! I hope you try baking these oatmeal molasses rolls yourself!

Rye Crackers with Caraway Recipe

Rye CrackersI love rye crackers and since I still had some leftover rye flour from my swirled rye bread adventure I decided to bake some! I did some searching online for a recipe and found the perfect one on Food Republic. Head on over there and check out the recipe, it’s also a great foodie website so explore!
Rye Crackers IngredientsOne thing I’ve learned from my baking and cooking escapades is to always get your ingredients ready before you start, especially if it’s a new recipe. That way you don’t have any surprises or find out you’re out of baking powder while you’re in the middle of things.
Spice GrinderThis recipe calls for ground caraway. I have a coffee grinder that I use exclusively for grinding spices. I added a few teaspoons of caraway seeds and ground those babies up! A good tip for cleaning out your grinder after using it is to run some uncooked white rice through it. Then just wipe it out with a paper towel and your caraway won’t end up tasting like the cardamom pods you ground up last time.
Ground CarawayPerfectly ground caraway!
Dry IngredientsAll the dry ingredients go in a food processor.
Cubed ButterAdd in the cubed butter and pulse until it looks like fine crumbs.
Wet IngredientsHello wet ingredients!
Knead the DoughPulse everything in the food processor, then turn it out and knead until smooth. The dough will need to rest for about 25 minutes.
Pasta RollerDivide the dough up and run it through a pasta roller. If you don’t have a pasta maker roll it out by hand and work on those arm muscles! You want it to be about 1/16″ thick. I found that I liked the crackers best on the 4 setting for my particular pasta maker.
Rye Cracker DoughIt’s starting to look like rye crackers! I used my pastry scraper to cut my crackers, but you can also use a pizza cutter. I left the ends of my crackers rough, I like the way they look!
Egg WashPut the rye crackers on a silicone baking mat, or you can use parchment paper. Brush the tops with an egg wash.
Caraway SeedsSprinkle the tops with caraway seeds and press them lightly into the dough. Prick the crackers with a fork.
Baked CrackersPop them in the oven and bake until golden brown. When they first come out they will still be a little bit pliable, but after they cool you will have crisp rye crackers!

Rye Bread with a Swirl – Step by Step

Rye BreadThis delicious loaf of rye bread is a real eye catcher when you slice into it! It’s has a hearty crumb and a good crust. This is a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book that I’ve made several modifications to. I’ve been cooking out of that cook book for nearly 20 years!
ingredientsTo make one loaf you will need:
3 to 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS butter
2 TBS dark molasses or cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups dark rye flour

I like to buy my yeast by the pound and keep it in a big jar in the refrigerator. I’ve had this batch of yeast for 2 years now and it’s still working just fine! 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast equals one envelope.
heating milkAfter you mix 2 cups of the all purpose flour and your yeast in a large mixing bowl it’s time to heat the milk. Combine the milk, salt, brown sugar, and butter in a sauce pan and heat it until it reaches somewhere between 120 and 130 degrees.
add wet to dryAdd the wet to dry ingredients and mix on high speed for 3 minutes, this helps develop the gluten.You should have about 2 1/2 cups of batter, divide it in half.
kneading boardMy kitchen has old tile countertops and I don’t dare try to knead dough on them! I went to Home Depot and bought a large ceramic tile. I place it on top of a non-slip drawer liner I cut to fit and it works perfectly!

dough ballsTo one portion of the batter stir in as much of the remaining all purpose flour as you can, then knead in some more to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. To the remaining batter stir in the cocoa powder or molasses (I used one tablespoon of each!), the rye flour, and as much of the remaining all purpose flour as you can. Knead in more flour as needed to make a stiff dough. Form each dough into a ball, place them in separate bowls that you’ve oiled, cover, and let them rise until doubled. Mine took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
rolling out the doughPunch down both doughs and roll them out into rectangles about 12 x 8 inches each.
dough on topPlace the dark dough on top of the light one.
roll it upRoll the doughs together beginning at the short side.
loaf panPlace it in a buttered loaf pan seam side down and let rise until nearly doubled.
risen loafMine took about 50 minutes for the second rise. Pop that baby into a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes! Bread is done when it sounds hollow while tapping on it.
cooling loafNow here’s the hard part! Let your rye bread cool for at least an hour before slicing it. I know it’s tempting, but I find that slicing bread too early crushes it and the slices come out a bit doughy.
pretty sliceAnd now the big moment! Slice into your loaf of swirled rye bread and impress your friends and family!

Chocolate Cake for a Beginner

Delicious Chocolate Cake
I want to become a better baker, especially now that the weather is changing and it’s getting cold outside. I’ve baked cakes before, but always from a box mix. I decided it was time to change that! I enrolled in a class on Skillshare called The Art Of Baking: A Beginners Guide. It has lots of good tips and recipes for the basics: cakes, cookies, bread, and pastry. When I finished the class I felt ready for my first chocolate cake. I followed the recipe on the back of a bag of Ghirardelli cocoa powder and frosted it with chocolate buttercream. It was really good! Some things I learned:

  1. Read through the entire recipe before you begin. You don’t want to be surprised by an ingredient or tool you don’t have on hand.
  2. Gather all of your ingredients and tools in one place. This makes it easy to follow a recipe you’re unfamiliar with.
  3. Measure accurately! Baking is like chemistry so accuracy matters.
  4. Make sure your oven temperature is correct, you may need to buy a separate oven thermometer. It took much longer than the recipe called for for my cake to come out, I have a feeling my oven temperature is off.

In the end I found that baking a chocolate cake from scratch really isn’t that much more difficult than a box mix.

Ghirardelli Grand Fudge Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup softened butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9″ cake pans.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

Reduce speed and add vanilla and eggs one at a time.

Alternately add flour mixture and milk while mixing on low speed. Continue to mix until smooth.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

 

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