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Braided Bread

I did it yesterday!  I made a yeast-rising bread without the bread maker, and although it was not perfect it still turned out delicious!

Braided Cinnamon Bread (Original recipe from Dana Made It)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 yeast packet (2 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • an additional 1 3/4 – 2 cups flour
Cinnamon Filling
  • 1 Tbsp melted margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preparation:
In a small glass or bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Allow to rise for 10 minutes.
In mixer bowl with regular paddle add hot water, salt, sugar, and margarine.  After the yeast has risen add the yeast, 2 1/2 cups flour, and egg to the mixture still using the regular paddle arm.
Continue to add the additional flour until the bread dough reaches a play-dough like consistency.  Take the paddle arm off of the mixture and switch to the bread hook.  Put on speed 2 and and let the machine knead the dough for 7 minutes, or you can hand knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bowl and cover with cloth.  Place in a warm area for around 2 hours to allow the dough to rise.
Punch down the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Here’s where it got tricky for me…
“For the Cinnamon Loaf, divide the dough into 3rds (just like you did above) and roll each rope out kinda long and flat (and not too wide) with a rolling pin. Spread each flat rope with Cinnamon filling (recipe below) then pinch the whole thing together so it makes a long rope, with all the cinnamon sugar hidden inside. Try to keep all the cinnamon sugar inside so it doesn’t spill out while cooking. Some of it still will, but do your best. Lastly, braid the 3 ropes together. Place it on the same baking sheet with your other loaf.” source
Cover the cookie sheet with a cloth and allow to rise for about an hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for around 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow the bread to sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!
In other news…I got a package today.  I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE getting mail!
It was the shoes that I ordered for Chelsea’s wedding in a couple of weeks.  Now, I have told you how much I love free things, and how I live on a budget…so saving money is really exciting when it happens! Let me just tell you about the deal I got on these shoes.
First, I saw them in Indianapolis, but they were way to small and on final sale so the store was no longer getting anymore in.  I then called the 1-800 number to locate another pair in my size….spotted in New Jersey.  They found the shoes, but they had a “spot” on them.  They told me that the shipping was free (not sure why) which made me happy.  Because the shoes were on final sale they went from $59.01 to $19.99.  Then, because of the “spot” they took of 10% making the shoes delivered to my door for $17.99!!!
At the bottom of the receipt it says “You saved $61.01.”  I am OK with that!!  Not only were they a great deal, but they look cute too 🙂

Too Full

I was so excited for dinner tonight.  I made myself a light main meal of steamed broccoli slaw, edamame, brussel sprouts, and cannellini beans topped with pasta sauce and sriracha.  I was excited for the dessert that I had made myself, until I got super full during my main course 😦

First, I made raw cookie dough balls by combining cashews, dates, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips in the food processor then rolling the mixture into little balls.  I then made a banana smoothie and put some of the balls into the mix so it was more or less a healthified cookie dough milk-shake.

I had a couple of bites, it tasted great, but I just couldn’t do it for some reason…so it’s waiting for me in the freezer.

 

Brian then got home from studying early and we went on a bike ride!  The weather was seriously perfect today, not to hot, but slightly warm, some leaves fallen off trees, and sunny.

 

We then appropriately rode right to the 9/11 Memorial that was completely unveiled today.  Those are two pieces retrieved from ground zero.  Very touching.

After coming home, I finished up a bread recipe that I was testing out, and I think it turned out better than I expected!  I had to use yeast to make this bread, and not use the bread maker.  I don’t have a lot of experience with yeast breads, so it didn’t look 100% like the picture because it didn’t rise enough, but it still tasted pretty good!  I’ll share the recipe tomorrow 😉

 

Off to bed to get ready for the work week!

Zucchini Breakfast

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Because I didn’t go grocery shopping last night I decided to make up a batch of my mom’s zucchini bread.  Zucchini bread is great in general, but for some reason this recipe is just a little moister than the rest, sweeter than the rest, tastier than the rest, and in my opinion THE BEST!  When I think zucchini bread, I think of summer and my mom bringing home zucchini’s that were literally feet long and about 5 inches wide from one of her friend’s gardens.  We would have zucchini at every meal for weeks.

I think it has to do with the fact that the zucchini is literally  blended up in a blender.  I was a little nervous that the recipe wouldn’t turn out because I had to substitute Greek yogurt for oil…but it was delicious!  And I think I like using Greek yogurt better than oil now 😉

For breakfast I had a piece topped with peanut butter.  The bread was perfectly moist with a touch of cinnamon, and the peanut butter complimented it well.

Now, I am off to the grocery store to pick up some fuel for the next two weeks 🙂

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