Texas Country Cooking

Texas Country Cooking

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sourdough Cooking

I posted pictures on facebook a couple of weeks back of sourdough cinnamon rolls I made.  They were okay but the sourdough didn't really create a good cinnamon roll.  However, I did have a few ask for the recipe so I am posting it here.  I used a basic sourdough bread recipe, rolled it out, spread softened butter over the dough, then sprinkled a cinnamon/sugar mixture over the butter; rolled the dough up on the long edge and used dental floss to cut the cinnamon rolls.  Dental floss is a trick I learned a long time ago.  It cuts through the dough (makes you wonder about your gums doesn't it?) without squeezing out all the good stuff in the middle.  I baked them for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees and then immediately spread a nice glaze made with cream, powdered sugar and vanilla over the hot rolls.

Here is the bread recipe~

Granny's Sourdough Bread
2 cups of "fed" sourdough starter
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
6-7 cups flour (work in gradually; only enough flour to achieve a soft, elastic dough)

Mix first five ingredients together.  Add flour, one cup at a time, until you have soft dough but not sticky.  Knead well and place in a large bowl.  Place a towel on top, place in a warm area** and allow to rise until doubled in size.

Pour dough out onto well floured surface, divide into 3 equal parts and form loaves.  Place in well oiled or sprayed loaf pans and cover with towel.  Place in warm area and allow to rise until doubled.  Bake in 350 degree oven until well browned - about 30-35 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks, cool and enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Leftovers - What's a Girl to Do?

I prepared a roast with potatoes and carrot and brown gravy while my parents were visiting last week.  We had quite a bit of roast left and my spouse suggested trying to make a homemade beef pot pie.  I fixed a homemade pie crust recipe that is my absolute favorite recipe in the world!  I decided instead of using the potatoes and carrots from the roast (there were not that many left anyway and I really thought since they were well done we might end up with mush rather than pieces of potato!), I would roast some potatoes and carrots with olive oil, a little kosher salt and some pepper.  It actually turned out really good.  We all enjoyed it and my son even ate some when he came in for a few days this week and liked it.

The pictures did not turn out very well - having some issues with my camera - might be operator error so please excuse that it's a little blurry.

Recipe is below the picture.

Beef Pot Pie

1 lb. roasted meat (leftovers work great), any cut of roast you prefer (shoulder, arm, rump, chuck) 
2 pkgs Brown Gravy Mix
4-5 potatoes, cut into chunks.
Petite Carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
Frozen Corn, ½ bag
2 Pie Crusts
Olive Oil

To make Pie Crust:
3 cups flour
1 cup Butter Flavor Crisco, chilled
1 egg
1 tbsp. vinegar
5-7 tbsp. water (ice cold)

Cut shortening into flour until the mixture resembles fine crumbles.  In a separate bowl, slightly beat the egg; add vinegar and 5 tbsp. of water.  Pour into flour/shortening mixture and mix with a fork until dough comes together and all flour is mixed in; if necessary add additional water, 1tbsp. at a time.  Divide dough into 2 sections with one part slightly larger than the other.  Chill while preparing rest of ingredients for the pot pie.

Drizzle olive oil on a large cookie sheet.  Spread potatoes and carrot slices on pan, drizzle lightly with additional olive oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes (want them to be close to done but not too soft).

Cut leftover roast into small bite size pieces.

Prepare brown gravy mix as instructed on package.

To assemble:
Roll out the larger section and place in a deep dish pie pan or a dutch oven that has been sprayed with Pam.  Spread roast over bottom crust, put potatoes and carrots over roast, add corn.  Pour gravy over all.  Roll out smaller section of crust and place on top; pinch top and bottom crust around the edge to seal well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until crust is well browned. 

Serves 8

Saturday, April 19, 2014

MMMM Good!

Can you smell the warm cinnamon mixed with the aroma of yeast?  Oh my goodness!!!  I don't know why I don't make these more often cause they really aren't that hard or even time consuming.  Buy my spouse asked for them today - so I made them this evening.  The aroma in the house right now is absolutely amazing.  If I could just bottle that scent - oh wait - someone has already done that in lotions and candles haven't they?!

Here is the recipe and directions - truly easy!

3/4 cup warm water
2 pkgs yeast
1/2 cup butter, softenend (or shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 - 2 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup (or so) milk, added 1 tbsp at a time

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it set for about 5 minutes.  Combine softened butter or shortening, sugar and eggs until fluffy.  Add yeast mixture.  Mix well.  Add 3 cups flour and stir well.  Be sure all the flour is mixed in well.  Add 1 cup flour and mix again.  If dough is still too moist (sticking to the side of the bowl and your hands), add more flour about 1/4 cup at a time, until you can handle the dough without sticking to your hands too much.  Just don't add too much flour or your rolls will be tough and heavy!

Leave in the bowl and set in a warm place (I turn my oven light on then set the bowl in the oven - the light generates just the right amount of heat to help the dough rise but doesn't cook) until doubled - about an hour.  Punch dough down, flour a flat surface** and roll the dough into a large rectangle.  Spread the softened butter for filling over the dough.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the filling (you can add more cinnamon if you like).  Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the butter.  Roll the dough from the long side of the rectangle.  Using dental floss - cut rolls about 2" thick (wrap floss around the dough, crisscross at the top and pull, cutting the rolls without squeezing everything out!).  Place in a pan sprayed with butter cooking spray.  Place back in warm place to rise again for about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cook cinnamon rolls for 15 - 17 minutes, but don't let them get too brown.

To make the glaze:
Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and about 3 tbsp milk to get started.  Continue adding milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time to get the right consistency.  You can add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.  You need to be able to drizzle from the spoon but still have some thickness to the glaze.

Drizzle, then spread glaze over each cinnamon roll.  Then try to hide them until breakfast!

**  Hint for rolling out any type of dough - If you have a flat countertop and want an easy way to roll out dough with no cleanup this is it.  Wipe the counter with a rag that is slightly wet - not dripping but wet.  Tear at least 2 pieces of plastic wrap and place on the wet surface - better to do this one piece at a time. Slightly overlap the 2nd piece of plastic over the first.  With the surface wet, the plastic wrap sticks to the countertop.  Sprinkle flour and roll out like you normally would.  When you're done - wrap it all up and through it away!  Clean up is done.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Comfort Food

Each of us has some food in our past that is special - maybe a meal your mother made or something special a grandmother made.  One of mine is that my Pa-Paw kept elephant peanuts (those orange candies) in the bottom drawer in their kitchen almost every time we came for a visit.  I don't buy them but I think about him when I see the packages at the store.

Another favorite is the recipe I am sharing today.  It is one that I always prepare when I am in need of comfort.  Also - one of my brothers is a truck driver and used to make runs that would bring him by our home.  I would always fix something special for supper for him and tried to make this cake for him.  I would always send a big piece of it with him so he would have some later.  My husband actually likes to eat it in a glass with milk poured over it.  I hope you enjoy it as well.  Just as a warning - it is very rich, but oh so moist!

Wesson Oil Cake

2 cups flour                                                          1 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar                                                         1 cup Wesson Oil
2 tsp soda                                                            2 eggs
½ tsp salt                                                             1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9 X 13 pan by spraying with Joy or grease and flour the pan.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Add 1 cup very hot water.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 – 35 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched.

Begin preparing the icing about 5 minutes before the cake is done.

1 stick butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa

Combine all ingredients in a large skillet (cast iron is the best).  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  I use a whisk at the beginning to be sure all the lumps are out and everything is combined well, then switch to a spoon.  Continue cooking until thick.  Pour over warm cake.

** Because I am an airhead - completely forgot to get a picture of the cake after the pouring the icing over it.  Of course - we had a slight mishap as we were pouring the icing over the cake.  The cast iron skillet is a large one as I doubled the cake and icing recipe.  My husband was helping pour when the pan slipped out of his hands and gouged a piece out of the cake and icing went flying (I really think it might have been a freudian slip as he really wanted a piece of the cake and it was going to a dinner at the church!).  Fortunately, since the icing is just a little thicker than a glaze - it just sort of filled in where the pan fell and no one could tell.  

Anyway - this is truly one of those comfort foods for me!  I adore Wesson Oil Cake and the icing is unlike any I have ever had anywhere else.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014


We were very fortunate to have our son home for a couple of weeks during the Christmas break.  One evening he asked if I had ever tried to make the soft pretzels like you get at the mall (Think Auntie Annies!).  I have actually looked at recipes but they really looked hard and I knew I would never, EVER get those pretzel shapes correct!  However - he found a recipe where for Pretzel Bites.  I looked at it, thought it should be pretty easy so we went for it.

Here is the recipe with a couple of sauce recipes at the end as well.  Enjoy!

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
3 ounces butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
Vegetable Oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Coarse Sea Salt

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in a large bowl.  Mix well until combined.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and flour; mix well until all is combined.  Continue mixing until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.  If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time.  Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball.

Oil the bowl (I dislike washing dishes so I just used the same bowl).  Add the dough, turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.  (I put the bowl in the oven with the light on and it rose beautifully!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface.  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a long rope measuring approximately 22 inches; cut the dough into 1 inch pieces to make pretzel bites.  I processed all the dough before moving onto the next step.

Bring the water to boil over high heat and add the baking soda.

Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution for about 30 seconds.  I did in batches of about 15 pieces at a time.  Remove with a large slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed or use parchment paper.  Make sure the pieces are not touching.  Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the sea salt.  Place into the oven and bake for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating.

** If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites - instead of sprinkling with salt before baking, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Cheese Sauce Recipe
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook 1 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until smooth and all the cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.