We have less than a week until Big Brother.

Who else is excited?!

I wait all year for Big Brother. All year. I bought the live feeds weeks ago and plan on staying up 24 hours a day, reading all the forums, and basically being a psycho. So if you don’t hear from me for the rest of the summer, you know why.

Also, if you want me to respond to an email/tweet/text/whatever, you  may want to mention the show. I’m telling you, for the next 3 months, my life is Big Brother.

It’s such a weird thing to be obsessed with, right? Like, a bunch of strangers move into a house with cameras on them 24/7. And they’re always boring 23 hours of the day. But that one hour of fighting or crazy drunken antics…

I can’t explain my own obsession.

But today I bring you bread! Really, really easy bread made from Bisquick (or whatever baking mix you use) and cheese sticks. They aren’t the prettiest breadsticks but my kids ate the entire batch the night I made them and them begged me to make them the next day.

Easy Cheese-Stuffed Breadsticks

8 breadsticks

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup Bisquick, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 string cheeses
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together Biscuick, Italian seasoning, and salt, removing any large lumps. Add milk, and stir to combine.
  3. Generously dust work surface with baking mix. Turn out dough, and knead about 15 times. Shape into a ball, then roll into a 1/4" thick rectangle.
  4. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 8 strips. Place a string cheese in the center of each piece of dough, and fold the dough around the cheese. Stretch the dough as needed to entirely cover the cheese, and seal edges.
  5. Place stuffed breadsticks on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with melted butter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until brown.
  7. Serve warm!
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/19/easy-cheese-stuffed-breadsticks/

7

It has been awhile since I’ve done a yeast recipe but yesterday just called for one. Despite the weather people saying we were just going to get a few flurries, it snowed pretty steadily for a couple hours. And that kind of weather requires a cheesy, comforting meal with a fresh-out-of-the-oven yeast roll.

And y’all, I have to say that I’m kind of ready to be done with snow. I love it, I look forward to it, but this year has been so weird! Normally it melts within a day for us but half our backyard is currently a big slab of ice! Plus the snow means I’m without a car since my husband still hasn’t replaced the broken windshield wipers on his car that I complained about 10 months ago. In his mind, there’s no point since he’ll just be deploying soon anyway.

Men have weird brains.

But that has nothing to do with these fabulous Honey Yeast Rolls. I really love when yeast breads have honey in them and I really, really love when they are brushed with honey butter after coming out of the oven. These guys are so soft and fluffy and basically my idea of the perfect dinner roll. My husband has already claimed the leftovers to make sandwiches.

One year ago: Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Two years ago: Thai Chicken Quesadillas

Honey Yeast Rolls

adapted from Handle the Heat

Ingredients

1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the honey butter:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast, water, milk, honey, 2 tablespoons of the butter, egg, and salt until well combined. Gradually add the flour and knead on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  2. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  3. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to a baking sheet and cover. Let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. To make the honey butter, whisk together the melted butter and honey. Brush on rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/02/11/honey-yeast-rolls-2/

3

My husband’s been on a major sandwich kick lately. He’s been doing the Paleo thing for most of the year he’s been back from Afghanistan so it was pretty shocking when all of the sudden he started going through a loaf of bread a day again. Not even exciting sandwiches either – PB & honey or his new favorite, bacon bologna. And no, that’s not bacon AND bologna, that’s bacon-flavored bologna.

I know.

I made this Braided Sandwich Ring for him in an effort to wean him off the Oscar Meyer and I’d say it worked pretty well. You start with a homemade braided ring of bread and then fill it with whatever your preferred filling are. I used turkey, ham, cheddar, swiss, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, mayo, and mustard.

The bread is pretty simple to make and it baked up beautifully. I just love how the braided top looks with all the sandwich fixins in! This would be great to take to a holiday party since all you have to do is slice it up and you’ll have plenty to go around!

If you are like me and have trouble with braiding, check out the Red Star Yeast guide to punching down and shaping. There are tons of great tips on their website if you are a bread newbie or just looking to expand your knowledge. Check out their Pinterest board for lots of great baking ideas as well!

One year ago: Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Two years ago: Potato Chip Tortilla
Four years ago: Snickerdoodles

Braided Sandwich Ring

Ingredients

3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star active Active Dry Yeast
For the glaze:
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoons sesame seeds or poppy seeds
For the filling (suggestions):
Mayo
Mustard
Thinly sliced deli meats
Cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Olives

Instructions

  1. Combine yeast, 2 cups flour, salt and sugar. Heat buttermilk to 120-130F.
  2. Hand-Held Mixer Method
  3. Combine flour mixture, buttermilk, 2 eggs and oil in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly oiled bowl; turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  4. Stand Mixer Method:
  5. Combine flour mixture, buttermilk, 2 eggs and oil in mixer bowl with paddle or beater 4 minutes on medium speed with paddle or beaters. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional flour if necessary. Place in lightly oiled bowl; turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  6. Shaping, Rising, and Baking:
  7. Punch down dough. Divide into three parts. On lightly floured surface, roll each third to a 24-inch rope. On greased cookie sheet lightly sprinkled with cornmeal, loosely braid ropes from center to ends. Shape into a circle; fasten ends by pinching dough together. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. Make Egg Wash/Topping while dough is rising - combine egg and milk. Gently brush risen dough with wash. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown; cool.
  8. To make sandwich ring: Using a serrated knife, slice ring crosswise to create a large sandwich. Spread bottom section with mayonnaise; arrange filling ingredients on top of mayonnaise. Spread top section with Dijon mustard; place on top of Filling. Slice into serving portions. Makes 1 ring.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/12/16/braided-sandwich-ring/

5

I realize it’s so un-festive of me to post a banana bread when I should be posting Christmas cookies but… my kids won’t eat bananas anymore! And it’s driving me insane because I am in the habit of buying bananas every time I go to the store. And then they sit on the counter and turn brown and eventually I cut them up and toss them in the freezer. My freezer is overflowing with banana slices!

When I was moaning and groaning about the latest batch of brown bananas yesterday, I mentioned banana bread and my husband was all “YES! NOW!”

I really love sour cream (or Greek yogurt – feel free to use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream) does for quick breads. It just keeps the so moist and makes them even harder to resist. I’m not proud of this but I definitely had multiple slices of microwaved banana bread smeared with butter for dinner last night. So good.

I think I say this every time I try a new banana bread recipe but I’m pretty sure this one is the best one I’ve tried.

One year ago: Frozen Hot Chocolate
Two years ago: Swiss-Chard Stuffed Pork Roast
Three years ago: Brie-Stuffed Apples and Holiday Morning Strata
Four years ago: Peppermint Ice Cream

Sour Cream Banana Bread

adapted from Kraft

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl. sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the walnuts.
  4. Pour batter in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/12/09/sour-cream-banana-bread/

 

3

I have a carb problem lately if that hasn’t become incredibly obvious.

This time it’s for a good cause though. This year Fleischmann’s Yeast, Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mixes, and Karo Syrup launched the Baking a Difference campaign to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign

They challenged me to put a spin on their Classic Dinner Rolls and this is what I came up with. I added a bunch of garlic and cheese and then made little knots. They were really simple and really delicious!

Fleischmann’s Yeast, Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mixes, and Karo Syrup are challenging you to put your own spin on their rolls so come up with something delicious and share it on the Fleischmann’s Yeast, Fleischmann’s Simple Homemade, or Karo Syrup Facebook pages.

And I have a fun giveaway to get your started! One winner will receive:

  • A premium bread basket with warming stone, and holiday-festive accessories including oven mitts, a set of holiday spreaders and gourmet Cinnamon Apple Butter
  • A basket of Fleischmann’s Yeast, Karo Syrup and Simply Homemade varieties, including the new Pretzel Creations, to help you get baking.

Answer this question in the comments to be entered: What kind of spin would you put on the dinner rolls? 

US only, please. The giveaway will run until November 28, 2013 at midnight EST.

One year ago: Peppermint Crunch-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Cornbread, Bacon, Leek, and Pecan Dressing
Three years ago: Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Four years ago: Vanilla Spice Oatmeal
Five years ago: Garlic Chicken Farfalle

Cheesy Garlic Knots

Ingredients

2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
For brushing the rolls:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Combine 3/4 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough; add cheddar. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a 12-inch rope. Tie loose knot in center and tuck ends under. Place on greased baking sheet.Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes or until done.
  4. A couple minutes before the rolls are done, melt the 1 tablespoon butter and stir in garlic powder. Brush rolls with this immediately after you pull them out of the oven.
  5. Serve warm.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/11/21/cheesy-garlic-knots-a-giveaway-bakingadifference/

 

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