Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Beloved Cookbook


Last week I shared a Christmas Tree Bread I have been making for years and years.  Some of you asked for the recipe I use for the sweet bread.  For more instructions and recipe for filling and icing, click HERE.



Ever since I was a young woman, just learning to make yeast bread, I have been referring time and time again to an old Farm Journal cookbook called Homemade Bread.  I have the 1969 First Edition and it shows!  It’s one of those cookbooks that has flour and grease and who knows what else splattered across many of the pages and it’s filled with divine recipes!


The cover is ripped in half and


 the pictures inside are quite dated 


But isn’t that what makes for a good cookbook?  I see a newer version is listed here on Amazon.

The recipe I use is a method called Coolrise Sweet Dough.  It’s perfect to use during the holidays when so many other things are going on.  You can start your bread but you don’t have to complete it to the finish on that very day.  This recipe allows you to bake the refrigerated dough at the time that suits your schedule.  It has a great, yeasty flavor and a fine and even texture with a golden brown crusts.  Plus if you fix this for a breakfast or brunch, your friends will smell fresh bread baking as they walk in the door since you can bake this the next morning.  What could be more inviting?


Coolrise Sweet Dough


5 to 6 c. all purpose flour

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. softened butter

1 1/2 c. hot tap water

2 eggs (at room temp)

salad oil

*  Combine 2 c. flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in large bowl.  Stir well to blend.  Add softened butter.

*  Add hot tap water to ingredients in bowl all at once.

*  Beat with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes.  Scrape bowl occasionally.

*Add eggs and 1 c. more flour.  Beat with electric mixer at high speed 1 minute, or til thick and elastic.  Scrape bowl occasionally.

* Gradually stir in just enough of remaining flour with wooden spoon to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of bowl.  Turn onto floured board.  Round up into ball.

* Knead 5 to 10 minutes or til dough is smooth and elastic.  Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel.

*Let rest 20 minutes on board.  Punch down.

*Divide and shape as desired into 2 trees (or 2 1/2 dozen rolls).

*Place in greased pans or on a greased baking sheet

*Brush surface with oil.  Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap.

*Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.  When ready to bake remove from refrigerator.  Uncover.

*Let stand 10 minutes while preheating oven.

*Puncture any surface bubbles just before baking.

*Bake in 375* oven 20 to 25 mins.  Bake on lower oven rack for best results.

*Brush with butter OR frost and decorate as desired.  DSCN2912_1329  


While we are in the kitchen, I would like to share a very easy way to put a centerpiece together using Mother Nature.  Your friends (like mine truly did) will be either asking or wondering:

Is it Faux or is it real?



The secret is to just a little of both.  Can you tell what is real and what is faux???


                                 This pomegranate is real














While this pomegranate is faux.  It may appear more shiny in the picture, but honestly my friend Susan, the designer could not tell.  She was asking me about it and actually picked up the fruits to see.




The clementines are real as are the pinecones, but all the evergreen is faux and berries are faux.  You want to know another little secret?  The addition of reindeer moss makes everything look fresh and simply gorgeous.  It has the texture and color that are so appealing in anything!  Varying sizes of pinecones and the cinnamon sticks add to the interest of this natural arrangement.  All the different colors used come together for such a pretty look.  Very Williamsburg, don’t you think??  The good news too is that I put this together in less than five minutes.  Everything is just lying in a big white bowl with no foam or glue.





Let me know if you make the Christmas Bread!



Debbiedoos said...

I love that bread recipe. I also love how you added the real pomegrante to your display..looks very pretty! Hope all is well, have not seen you in a while..Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Entertaining Women said...

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the bread recipe. I've never made homemade bread from scratch...bread machine has always been my saving grace. This recipe may just cause me to dive into the homemade bread world! Come visit any time, please. Cherry Kay

Unknown said...

I love to see a cookbook like that...ripped, stained, falling apart. Tells me it's got some good stuff in there.

Sevenbeads said...

Your cookbook looks well worn and loved. I've never made bread but yours sure looks good. Reindeer moss is a great filler and background. I'm just starting to learn about its many uses! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Tablescapes By Diane said...

Hi lovely lady. Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my Tablescapes and becoming a Follower on my Blog !! Im new at this.I hope my Tablescapes will make you Happy~~ sweet lady.You will need to is my Christmas one coming up. I hope you have a Great Day ~~~Diane and Thanks.

C. Dianne Zweig said...

Glad i stopped, by you have a lovely blog. Come by and say hello,

Kitsch n Stuff

Marlis said...

I have got to try that recipe.. wow. That looks super easy and soo pretty when done up. Thanks so much for sharing..
Just got back in town and am so excited to catch up on my blog reading. Your sweet comments made my day. Merry Christmas

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Donna, I'm so glad you stopped by. I've had so much trouble visiting my favorite blogs lately, and yours is one I've missed. The bread receipe doesn't sound too hard, and I bet it's delicious. I may try this for Christmas breakfast. Your arrangement is so pretty, and no, I couldn't tell the real from the faux. laurie

Miss Char said...

Donna, you've got my address and I'm sure there is one of those beautiful Christmas tree breads waiting for me when I get home this weekend. :) You know how much I love the reindeer moss, I've used it over and over since receiving a bag last year. Merry Christmas my friend.