Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moist Delicious Shortcake for strawberries or any fruit.

 I'm not a fan of the dry crumbly biscuit style of shortcake. I want a moist tender cake for my berries. 16 years ago, we ordered the strawberry shortcake at a Black Eye Pea restaurant and I was in heaven. It was the perfect cake for berries. I had to have the recipe and with a bit of flattery and begging, the chef shared the recipe with me. The one catch was, he had to leave one ingredient out to give it to me. Thankfully, he made it easy when he told me that it was a vanilla cake and guess what ingredient was missing? It's what we always have on Easter and is one of our favorite spring and summer treats.  It's so fast and easy to mix up and bake. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Black Eyed Pea’s Strawberry Shortcake

Makes one 9x13 pan or 12 cupcakes or one jellyroll pan
3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 TBS baking powder
1 cup melted butter
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder
Stir in milk and vanilla then the melted butter and mix well.
Pour batter into a greased pan and bake in the preheated oven until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
Around 25 to 30 minutes for 9x13 for cupcakes or 20 mins for jelly roll pan.

For a large half sheet pan 2”x13”x18” double recipe and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Perfect Honey Oatmeal Bread

                                          For a printable version of this recipe click here.
Perfect Honey Oatmeal Bread
This recipe will make 2 loaves.
1/4 cup warm water
1  package active dry yeast (.25 ounce) or 2 1/4 TBS of instant yeast
1 TBS white sugar
1 cup regular or quick cooking oatmeal
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup dry powdered milk (optional)
1 tsp salt
2 TBS honey
2 TBS brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3 cups white flour (bread flour if you have it, if not all purpose)
  1. If you are using regular or quick rise active yeast place 1/4 cup warm (under 110 degrees),  1 tsp sugar and the active yeast in a small bowl to proof the yeast, if you have instant yeast just mix the dry instant yeast into your whole wheat flour. 
  2. Into a large bowl of your mixer or any large bowl if mixing by hand add the warm water, dry powdered milk, oatmeal, honey, brown sugar, salt and oil or butter and stir to combine.
  3. Add the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the white flour and combine well. 
  4. Continue to add the white flour until the dough comes together and is just barely tacky to the touch. Bread dough should not be smooth and dry it should be tacky to the touch but not pull off onto your hands. 
  5. Beat or knead until dough is elastic and when you poke it the dough springs back up. 
  6. Let sit covered for 5 minutes then knead again for 30 seconds. 
  7. Shape into a ball and place upside down in a bowl you have coated with vegetable oil. Turn ball over and cover the bowl with a damp cloth. 
  8. Let it sit until the dough has doubled in size.
  9. Dump out onto a floured counter top and roll out into an 18" wide rectangle. 
  10. Cut the rectangle into 2- 9" squares and roll up into a log pinching the seams and the ends. 
  11. Place into 2 greased 9" loaf pans and cover with a damp cloth. 
  12. Preheat your oven to 350°
  13. Let sit until doubled in size. 
  14. Place into a preheated 350° oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. They should sound hollow when tapped or use an instant read thermometer. It should read between 190° to 195° (don't forget to take 2 degrees off of that temp. for every 1000 feet of altitude you live at. i live at 6000 feet so I bake to a temp of around 180° to 185°)
  15. Remove from oven and pan and cool on a rack. My family doesn't lie a hard crust so I rum a tsp of butter over the crust to keep it soft.
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