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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

“This Is Us” Birthday Banana Muffin With Twinkie Frosting

I don’t know how it happened. I decided to check it out but was full of doubt. I turned on the TV, watched the first episode, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t sit there bawling my eyes out. Any emotional constipation I may have been suffering from before watching was gone and I quickly become a fan.


And since I’m not alone, I’m sure there is someone out there who needs this This Is Us – themed recipe for their loved one who will be celebrating their birthday soon. Have a co-worker who can’t stop talking about it? Got a Facebook friend who posts about how much they cried over this week’s episode… every… single…. week? Yeah, that person. They need this muffin.

Banana Muffin Recipe

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, fresh lemon juice, flour, baking soda, salt, chopped walnuts. Mix well. Place in large muffin tins with liners. This recipe will make 10 large muffins (or 20 regular size). Bake for about 35 or until top of muffin is light golden brown and springs back when touched.

Twinkie Filling Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk milk & flour together in a saucepan. Place over medium high heat and watch closely. Continue whisking until thick. Cook for about one minute while whisking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place butter & sugar in mixer on high speed until light & fluffy. After flour & milk mixture has cooled to room temp (important), add to mixer and whip until light & fluffy. It should look almost like whipped cream or, you know, Twinkie filling.

Note: For a very white filling you can substitute butter with white shortening. Shortening just won’t taste nearly as lovely.

Don’t forget the sprinkles and the candle… or your friend may get emotional.

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Homemade Indian Naan Bread Recipe

Naan is especially practical when eating Indian Butter Chicken. Yeah, that’s it. Practical. Spread garlic butter over naan, and it becomes a delight. Toss taco makin’s inside naan and you have full-on rebellion that is completely worth the calorie consequences. The fun is, well… you know,  naan-stop.

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Naan Recipe

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Set aside 1 cup of flour for rolling out naan.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Whisk in sugar, yogurt, and baking powder. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour and the salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour. Combine and then knead naan  in bowl for a few minutes, sprinkling as needed with a little of the flour set aside for rolling.

Cover naan bowl with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

While naan rises, make garlic butter recipe below.

After naan has doubled in size, press down and divide into eight pieces. Place some flour on countertop and roll each piece into an oval shape. Place rolled-out naan on a baking sheet for about ten minutes.

Place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. If you don’t have cast iron, non-stick will also work. When pan is hot, put a piece of naan in frying pan. Watch closely. Cook for about one minute, then flip, and cook other side for another minute.

Place hot naan on a plate and use a cooking brush to quickly spread garlic butter on it. Continue cooking naan until all eight are ready to enjoy.

Garlic Butter Recipe

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Stir butter, salt, and garlic together well.

I can’t wait to hear your practical, delightful, and rebellious ideas for naan.

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Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza Recipe

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One of my very favorite things to make is pizza crust. It is easy to work with, opens the doors to so many flavors, and makes everyone oh so happy. This luau on a flatbread is so refreshing yet comforting – the best of both worlds with chicken, pineapple, melt-y mozzarella, and cilantro. And, yes. It includes bacon. Because, well, bacon.

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Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine yeast and water in a mixing bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil. Measure out flour and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and add dry ingredients. (Adding salt first can kill the yeast so be sure to add at same time as flour.)

Stop mixing when everything comes together. Remove dough from beater and cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Place in a warm location and allow to rise for one hour. Preheat oven to 450F. Roll out dough as thin (or thick) as you like. Adjust baking time accordingly as a thin crust will not take as long to bake as a thick one.

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 can diced pineapple, drained (save pineapple juice to enjoy later in a cocktail or pineapple dessert, perhaps)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts – grilled, baked, or slow-cooked
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 1 jalepeno minced
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

Place rolled-out unbaked crust on a baking sheet or a pizza stone. Brush crust with barbecue sauce. Top sauce with pineapple pieces, chicken, minced jalepeno, and then mozzarella cheese. Bake on lowest shelf if you have a thick-crust pizza. Bake until cheese is melted fully and crust is golden brown (about 10- 15 minutes).

Another fun option, is to grill your pizza dough on both sides and then add toppings after crust is almost fully baked. Bake until cheese is fully melted.

After pizza is done, remove from oven and top with remaining ingredients.

A lot easier than cooking a 180-pound pig in the ground and will still have you doing the hula in no time.

 

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Homemade Pulled Pork Sammich Recipe AKA The Hot Mess

If you’re having a casual, little dinner party for about six people and want to go all out, let me introduce you to The Hot Mess… in the best possible way, that is. Have plenty of wet towels ready. And snobby beer. And bibs.
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Other recipes you will need if you choose to build this fabulous sammich from scratch… or, you know, you can ignore the challenge and buy some of it at the store. 
Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork in Barbecue Sauce Recipe
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • One 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • One 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons. kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub)
  • 2  tablespoons yellow mustard

Sizzle olive oil in a pot.

Place diced onion into very small pieces and add to the oil. Cook until onions appear translucent.

Add tomato puree, tomato paste, water, vinegar & molasses.


While sauce is simmering, continue to  stir and add dark brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, smoked paprika (not regular paprika), & chili powder.

Finally, add BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub), cranberry juice and yellow mustard.

Place sauce in blender and cover with lid. Blend until all tomatoes & onions blend into the sauce. Set aside.

Preheat to 325F
On stove top over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil in a clean large oven-safe pan. Brown pork shoulder on all sides.
Pour barbecue sauce over pork shoulder and place in oven with a lid on pan. Continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the shoulder reads 185 degrees F, about 4 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Shred pork.

To build your sammich, cut open hamburger buns and butter the insides of each. Lay with butter sides up on a baking sheet. Watch closely while broiling until golden brown.

Remove toasted buns from oven. Top with pulled pork, coleslaw, and crispy fried onion strips.

She’s slow. She’s chaotic. She’s a lot of work. And she is sooooo worth it.

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Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe

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Hard ciabatta buns housing chicken salad make chamber of commerce lunches exceptionally awkward. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. Corn dogs purchased for $9 at the county fair that are covered in unsweetened, bread-y cornbread deserve a first class ticket into the garbage can. Whole wheat bread grilled with American cheese makes a kid wonder what they did wrong in life to deserve such punishment.

But the perfect bread? Well, that changes everything. Just as a waiter or waitress should not overshadow the company across your dinner table, a bun should simply enhance and showcase the oh-so-important star of the show… the fillings. I have just the thing for your grilled burger sammiches this summer… perfect homemade buns.


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Makes 6 large hamburger buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110F or less)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 egg (for brushing tops before baking)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional)

Place yeast in a medium bowl. Pour in water and whisk. Set aside.

Measure oil. Set aside.

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients together.

Using dough hook attachment, add yeast mixture and oil to dry ingredients and turn mixer on medium speed. You can turn up speed as dough comes together. Kneed until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. This can take 3-5 minutes.

Remove dough hook and place mixing bowl in a warm place so dough can rise. Cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise until about double in size.

Form dough into balls for the size hamburger buns you would like to have. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with plenty of room in between for them to rise again. If making sliders, buns can be very small, if larger, you can use for full-size hamburgers. Keep in mind the buns will double in size as they rise one more time.

Beat egg well. Set aside.

After buns have finished doubling in size again, preheat oven to 350F.

Gently brush buns with egg wash. Top with sesame seeds if desired. Bake about fifteen minutes or until light golden brown.

And, yes. If you must, you can substitute the flour with whole wheat flour… even though the little grilled cheese loving girl in me disapproves.

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Whole Wheat Bread With Seeds

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whole wheat bread recipe

I had a hankerin’ for hot-out-of-the-oven wheat-y, seed-y bread yesterday. I didn’t plan on blogging the recipe because I just threw it together on a whim but it turned out yummy, so here is my substandard food-photo-to-annoy-Facebook-friends-only picture to go with a yummy new recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 5 t. yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110F or less)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (110F or less)
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup shortening or butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds and/or black sesame (optional)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, lightly chopped (optional)
  • 3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups white flour, approximate (if 100% whole wheat bread is desired, replace white flour with whole wheat flour)
  • 2 T. semola flour (for bottom of bread pans)
  • Extra seeds for tops, if desired

Place yeast, warm water, and a tablespoon of white flour into a large bowl. Whisk. Allow to it to sit in a warm place and do it’s magic for a few minutes. After sponge (that’s what you just did is called) has developed, whisk in sugar, honey, milk, oatmeal, shortening, eggs, salt, and seeds. Mix well. Add in order listed because if you add the salt too soon, it will work hard to kill your yeast which will give you rocks instead of bread.

Keep mixing and add a couple of cups of flour. Switch to guns, I mean a wooden spoon. Continue to stir in flours.

Dough will have gone from somewhat soupy to more elasticity. Give or take, it can take about 6-ish cups total to reach this point. This isn’t an exact measurement because the amount of flour you’ll need depends on how much moisture is in the air.

Begin using your hands and add in last couple cups of flour. You can do this on a floured counter, in a large mixer with a dough hook, or if you have one of those insanely large Tupperware bowls from the seventies like I do, you can knead your dough right in the bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes. Dough should not be too tough to knead so be sure not to overdo the flour.

If using the mixer, be sure to lock the mixer down or, turns out, you will end up with a dough tornado. You’re welcome.

Cover dough with a clean towel and let dough sit in a warm place for an hour  or two or until dough has doubled in size. If it’s not rising, there are a few ways to troubleshoot:

  • Did you add salt too soon?
  • Was your water too hot?

If the answer to either of these is yes, you can save your loaf, but it will be messy. Allow another 5 teaspoons of yeast to sit in warm water one more time and work it into your bread once again. I only recommend this if you have a heavy duty mixer to do the work for you on low speed though,

  • Is the room warm enough?

Move your dough to a warmer location. Maybe place it closer to the oven which is preheating.

Place oven on 350F to preheat.

After dough has risen in the bowl, punch it down, and separate bread into two loaves. If desired, roll loaves over seeds for a prettier bread. Place in 2 bread pans coated with non-stick baking spray and a layer of semola flour to coat bottom of pans. Let sit in a warm place covered with a clean towel until doubled in size again (an hour or two) or if your oven has a proofing setting, you can place them in there for about 1/2 hour to speed things up. After they’re done rising, bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

To cut bread into slices, it is best to wait until it is completely cool. We both know you wont be waiting for that, though, so just gently use a bread knife to ease the process a bit.

You can also shape this seed-y goodness into rolls. Always use fresh ingredients. If you pull your wheat flour or seeds out of the cupboard that you’ve had good intentions of using for the last year and they smell like everything in your cupboard, run the the store and grab some fresh. You will thank me. It might be tricky, but you can half this recipe for one loaf.

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Cornbread Topped Chili Recipe

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I heart cornbread. Correction. I heart sweet cornbread. Correction of the correction. I love sweet cornbread that is perfectly baked so it’s not dry.


This is more of a tip than a recipe but it’s one of my favorites. Chili topped with cornbread topped with honey butter. Amen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15 ounce cans of chili
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • One recipe honey butter (below)

Divide chili into four oven-safe dishes.

Pour cornbread mix into bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar then continue with instructions on box. After finished stirring together cornbread mixture, divide over chili dishes, leaving room for cornbread and the rising of the cornbread.

Bake on cookie sheet in oven preheated to 350F.

Bake until cornbread edges are golden brown and a fork poked into middle of cornbread comes out clean.

Honey Butter:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

Whip butter using a mixer until it is light & fluffy. Stir in honey until the two become one. Place honey butter on top of cornbread chili cuppers while still hot.

Enjoy on sunshine-y deck, on a picnic, or bake in a 9X13 pan and share at a church potluck. Hallelujah.

 

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Here’s how easy it is:

  1. Sign into Facebook
  2. Click this link ( https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/ )
  3. Search for “The Old Hen”
  4. Click on “Vote” button to place your vote.
  5. Tell your friends by sharing on your own Facebook page!

Thank you ever so much!

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Cobb Salad Flatbread Recipe

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I am pretty much made of giggles and tears and hugs and values and creative ideas. But, if I’m honest, I am made of grilled cheese and water.

Why? Well, when I was little, my parents worked very hard but still had to keep the budget manageable so we three kids were allowed one choice from lunch or dinner menus – grilled cheese and water.


My children are made of Rice-A-Roni, boxed mac & cheese, and cream-of-mystery-soup casseroles. It was all this young momma knew how to cook back then. As a result, I’m still trying to convince them that crepes from Heaven aren’t evil and I continue to get teased by friends who endured many nasty tator tot casseroles in the nineties. What did they expect from a girl made out of grilled cheese & water?

“But how can I make a casserole without cream-of-mystery soups?” you might ask. No canned soups were harmed of this wonderful Tator Tot Casserole. Try it, and you’ll never go back.

Anyhow, back on topic. My latest love is cobb salad. Gobbs of cobb. I used to crush on chef’s salad but now I’m cheating with cobb. Traditionally, the dressing is a red wine vinaigrette – nothankyouverymuch. I am a huge fan of ranch dressing so that’s my preference and it works great for this flatbread. I don’t use blue cheese dressing because I already have blue cheese in the list of goodies.  The result? My not-so-cobb-y Cobb Salad Flatbread.

Cobb Salad Flatbread Recipe

FLATBREAD

  • 3/4 cup warm water (no more than 110 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

Place water, yeast and sugar in mixing bowl. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place until a bit foamy to activate yeast. This usually takes about 5 minutes.

Place bowl on mixer stand and using a dough hook attachment, add olive oil and salt. Then slowly add in flour while mixer is on a medium-low speed. Add until dough begins to “hug” the dough hook.

Remove from mixer stand and cover and let sit for another 30 minutes or until dough has about doubled in size. If you’d like to make the dough the day before you need it, you can do that as well & just keep it in the fridge overnight to rise.

Roll flatbread out into shape of your pan. This crust makes enough to cover about a 1/2 sheet pan.

Bake until light golden brown which might take about 15 minutes. When done baking, remove from oven and brush with butter.

CHICKEN

Cut 2 chicken breasts down the middle so they are thinner and bake more evenly. Coat with olive oil then sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350F until 165 degrees in the middle (about 15-20 minutes).

BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

Place in blender:

  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, grated

Chop fine & add:

  • 1/2 bunch of green onions
  • leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh basil

Finish off with 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper, and salt & black pepper to taste.

Blend on low until well-blended.

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED 

Spread as much dressing as you would like over the baked flatbread. if there is remaining dressing, it can be saved in the refrigerator for about a week.

Sprinkle toppings over dressing.

TOPPINGS

  • 2-3 c Greens – such as kale or romaine lettuce
  • 2 Cooked chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 c Blue cheese
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 2 boiled eggs, diced
  • 1 c Black olives, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c Bacon bits

Gotta go. Dotter is texting – asking for one of my recipes for real food. There is hope for my little Rice-A-Roni girl, mac-&-cheese son, and this grilled-cheese-&-water momma yet.

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Streusel-Topped Banana Bread With Maple Frosting Recipe

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made banana bread. I keep tossing brown bananas into my freezer for smoothies but it’s been even longer since I’ve made smoothies so the freezer is too full for more bananas. I was simply forced to make banana bread this week. I didn’t really have a choice when it came to the streusel or the maple frosting either. You see, once you go streusel and frosting, you can’t ever go back.

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Cannot. Get. Enough. Streusel.

Banana Bread Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, fresh lemon juice, flour, baking powder, salt, chopped walnuts. Mix well.

Makes one large loaf. Butter and then flour a bread pan. Fill pan with banana goodness. Top with streusel.

Streusel Recipe:

  • 1/2 stick cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small egg
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Pulse in small amounts in food processor, watching texture to be sure it clumps only in pea-sized bits or a little larger. If you place food processor on low, the streusel will become doughy. Paying attention to these details is how we bake with love. Sprinkle oats-y, nutty goodness all over top of loaves.

Bake for about 1 hour or until a fork inserted comes out clean. Do not over-bake or bread will become dry. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes and then make maple frosting.

Maple Frosting Recipe:

  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • 2 teaspoons water (add more a little at a time if needed)

Place powdered sugar, maple extract and water in a medium bowl and whisk until all lumps from powdered sugar are dissolved. Drizzle daintily yet liberally over your banana bread.

Now I shall be making blueberry mango smoothies to make up for this streusel-y, maple-y goodness. You know, tomorrow.

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Grandma Leonia’s Orange Bread Recipe

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This week I want to go back in time. Back to my pink bedroom with pink curtains and my white chenille bedspread. I want to go back to my Holly Hobby nightgown and homemade, knitted slippers that hurt my feet when I tried to walk in them. I’d even be willing to wear this hairdo again if I had to.


I want to go back to the time when I was about six years old and my younger siblings and I were playing house in my huge closet. Because, you know, when you place a lamp in a closet it becomes a home. My sister once walked in happily declaring, “I’m home!” and closed the self-locking closet door behind herself. Our real mommy was at work that day and our real daddy was outside mowing the huge lawn and couldn’t hear our pounding and screaming and crying as we sat locked in the closet for three days. Okay, maybe it was more like 20 minutes but it felt like three days. Besides lamps weren’t meant for closets and it was hot in there. Finally, we heard him running up the stairs in a panic to see what had happened to us all. As he opened the closet door, three sweaty, sobbing children fell out and into his arms. We had already decided we were never going to see our parents again so his hugs brought us great relief.

If I could go back to the time when fresh-cut grass was the greatest smell on the planet. If I could go back to the day daddy taught me how to ride a bike. If I could go back to when a night out meant we were going to Dairy Queen to get Dilly Bars when they still had swirls in the middle, I would. I would go back in a heartbeat because at the end of every day, my mom and dad were always there. Yesterday I learned that the battle my dad has been having with cancer is one that is almost over. He has about 6 months to live.

This stuff only happens in the movies – not to my real daddy. Last night I couldn’t sleep because sleeping meant one day was done and the clock would start ticking. I tried to control time by staying awake. I am grateful the loss is not sudden but I am incredibly shaken. I am once again the scared little girl with the hot lamp of truth making me feel trapped and alone.

How does one even process this? One doesn’t. One forgets to call the right people. One wants loved ones to visit and doesn’t want loved ones to visit. One now feels bad for oneself and everyone who has lost someone dear to them. One realizes that the casseroles one has delivered to friends through the years who had experienced loss meant so much but how could they ever be enough?

One is lost. One blogs. One blogs a favorite recipe from her dad’s mom. And she hopes it blesses someone. Anyone.



Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup non-fat milk
2 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 medium-sized oranges – peel only

To prepare orange peel:

Take the peeling from 2 medium-sized oranges and cut into small pieces, add water and boil 20 min.

Drain and add more water and boil again for 20 minutes.

Drain, add 1 C sugar and only a little water and boil another 20 minutes.

Store candied orange peel in refrigerator, covered.

To make bread:

Combine flour, 1 C sugar, milk, eggs, baking powder, salt and candied orange peel.

Let stand in prepared bread pan for 20 minutes (floured).

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves. Share with loved ones. Savour each bite. Make them last.

 

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