I don’t think I can add anything new to the art of making homemade bread itself. I can perhaps reveal a twist on how you can manage time to provide for most of the average desires of the passionately carbohydrate-driven person.
I start out by making a LARGE batch of bread…say for 6 loaves at least. If I don’t have time to let it wait around to rise I use instant yeast, but the instant stuff you really have to keep going at it without a break. I shape one ordinary loaf.
One loaf’s worth I punch out flat* without much to-do and sprinkle it generously with a sugar-cinnamon mix (1/2 cup sugar to 2 teaspoons cinnamon) and a cup of raisins. I roll it up in a roll and squeeze the ends shut to make the second loaf. A little dusting of the cinnamon mix on top identifies it from the plain loaf.
Sometimes I’ll make the second loaf into a ‘focacia’ type loaf instead by rolling it out thin and sprinkling it with a mix of: 2 tsp. each of garlic powder and lemon-pepper; 1 tsp. each of onion powder, thyme, and parsley; 1/2 tsp. of turmeric (or oregano, parmesan, basil) and 1/4 tsp. cayenne. Then I roll it up and knead it throughout.
The 3rd amount (another loaf-sized piece) is rolled out thinner than for the loaf above* and lathered with butter and then sprinkled with the cinnamon, drizzled with lots of honey and sometimes a few raisins. The it gets rolled up and cut in inches lengthwise for a small pan of cinnamon buns. The pan gets a generous spread of the honey and cinnamon too. When all the 1 inch rolls are in the pan (cut side up) I pour on a cup of cream evenly over the top. A sprinkle of even more cinnamon over the cream or in the cream add colour and more great taste. Over-doing it in this case is what it’s all about, honey!
The 4th amount ( ” ) is made into bun-sized balls and each bun is rolled out quickly on a greased surface (by hand) to look like a snake. I make a couple of loops with each string to start the pizza pretzels. I dab spaghetti sauce all over the surface, maybe a few small pieces of chopped meat, and sprinkle some chunks of cheese on top.
The 5th amount is made into buns. I like to divide each bun into thirds, squeezing each third into balls as well and then putting 3 tiny balls together to make on larger bun…just for looks.
The 6th goes any number of ways: into a pizza crust (1/2 baked and frozen) – or finished completely; flattened bun-sized pieces deep-fried (we can these dough-gods or dough-cookies); a french loaf shape with diagonal cuts bakes on a flat sheet; etc., etc….or into any one of the above.
The idea is to make a variety of things that the family wants - all at one time. If you work quickly with the quick-rising yeast, the bread loaves will be ready and risen enough to put into the oven with all the rest at one time. I finally have a convection oven. I like it this way because it saves a lot of heat-energy. That wasn’t always the case. The wood cook stoves always had a small oven and I’ve had to really work on the timing of all this so things don’t over-rise before they get baked. When you can’t do it in a mean hurry then use the slow-rising yeast.
I do this mostly for others since I don’t eat the wheat, but the smell in the kitchen is a cooks best reward…and no calories are attached to it. Breathe alllllllllllll you want. MMMhhhhhhhmm.