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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 .

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Glory glory. Hot Cross Buns have risen and are here just in time for Easter.

Hot Cross Buns Ingredients

  • 5 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (110F or lower)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup shortening or unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Zest and juice of one orange (small pieces of orange are great too!)
  • 5-6 cups white flour
  • 1 cup sweet dried fruit of your choice (pineapple, cherries, cranberries, etc. work great)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Place yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add warm water and sugar. Give a little swirl and let sit for about 10 minutes to create the sponge for your dough. When it looks bubbly & frothy, it is ready.

Whisk mashed potatoes, shortening, eggs, salt, orange zest, and orange juice into yeast mixture.

Add in flour a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition. At about 4-5 cups, you will need to start kneading with your hands and evaluate whether or not you even need more flour. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should be able to be formed into a smooth ball. Let sit in a warm place to rise for one hour. Using a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook is a great way to knead dough. When the dough clings to the dough hook and is still very elastic-y, it has enough flour.

Knead in dried fruits. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a towel, place in a very warm place, and allow to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. If it’s too cold, it will take longer.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Form dough into rolls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Leave about an inch between each roll. This dough should make about 20-24 buns. Allow to rise again until doubled in size. Beat one egg and brush the top of each bun with egg.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool to almost room temperature. Make frosting and use to make a cross on each bun.






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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.


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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Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe


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.


Makes 6 large hamburger buns.


  • 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


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.


  • 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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Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe

I learned how to make dinner rolls from Mrs. Jensen in 7th grade.

I learned to never add hot liquids ingredients to yeast since hot liquids will kill the yeast’s ability to rise. I wish I could say that I caught on quickly, but I can remember at least two more times after Mrs. Jensen’s baking lesson that I dismissed her wisdom and ended up with rocks instead of rolls.

Mrs. Jensen also taught us to always measure our ingredients away from the bowl so that overflow would not fall into our recipe. I’m sure I’ve broken this rule as well.

I also learned that if you want to be heard, you need to speak up. Today I take these all of these lessons seriously.

Place these ingredients in mixing bowl and allow to sit for about 10 minutes:

  • 1/4 cup water at about 110 degrees F
  • 2 packages (or 5 teaspoons) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

You should notice a foaminess to the yeast mixture.

Add these ingredients when milk is lukewarm, then mix well:

  • 1 cup scalded milk (heat in saucepan just until hot then cool to about 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs

Switching to mixer’s kneading attachment, slowly add until dough no longer sticks to sides of bowl:

  • 5-6 cups of white flour (no more than 6 cups will be needed)

Allow to knead using mixer for about 5 minutes.

Form dough into a ball, cover and leave to rise in a very warm place. This is especially important during the fall and winter when the weather gets cooler. Allow to rise for about an hour or until double in size.

Punch dough down.

Coat two 9X13 pans or one half sheet pan with butter or non-stick spray. Form dough into 24 rolls. Leave plenty of space for the rolls to double in size.

Allow rolls to rise for another hour or until double in size. Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake for just 15 minutes. Butter tops when rolls are hot out of the oven.

Perfect for a family dinner and even to make sandwiches with leftovers. On second thought, you may need to double this recipe.


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Sweet Swedish Rye Bread Recipe


I am one of the luckiest girls on the planet earth. When I was a wee one, I would watch trays of dark, sweet Swedish rye bread come out of giant, scary bakery ovens. The aroma would almost knock me over while suffering from pure joy. Although no bread will ever come close to the large $1.19 Swedish rye loaves I grew up with, this recipe has me sitting next to the giant ovens once again in my mind. Happy, happy girl.

  • 1 ½ cups warm water, 110 degrees or cooler
  • 2 packages yeast (or 1 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup medium rye flour, divided
  • 5 cups white flour (plus a bit more for handling sticky dough as needed)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Place warm water into a very large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast. Whisk together.

Add sugar, butter, egg, honey, molasses, rye flour and 1 cup of all-purpose white flour.

Stir. Should be a soupy consistency. add three more cups of white flour one cup at a time, stirring between each cup in with a sturdy spoon.

Knead dough by hand for about 15 minutes; or, better yet, if you have a mixer with a dough hook, knead in mixer for about 8 minutes on medium speed.

Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour or until double in size. The colder the location is, the longer the bread will take to rise.

Deflate again. Add one cup of white flour. Knead again for about 15 minutes by hand or 8 minutes on medium-low speed in mixer.

Form dough into ball and place back into bowl. Cover with towel again & place in a warm place to rise for another hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350°F. After dough has doubled, punch dough down. Using a bit of flour to keep fingers from getting sticky, form dough into two equal balls & place on a half sheet baking pan with space in between lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise in a warm place for another happy hour.

Loaves will about double in size. It’s moments like these that remind me there is a God.

Time for the magic of egg wash. Beat one egg well.

Gently brush the loaf with egg wash for a shiny top and place into oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, turn tray around, then bake for 20 more minutes.

This bread is perfectly perfect for cutting big pieces to have with a bowl of soup.

To make it extra special at Christmas, you can add the zest of an orange.


Oh, my! How < insert every positive adjective ever known to man here >.


Actual size is approximately this big.

To enjoy all of the luscious flavors this Swedish rye has to offer, allow to mostly cool before slicing. This bread is perfectly perfect for cutting big pieces to have with a bowl of soup.

To make this recipe even more fun. I know, not possible, right? Yes, yes, it is possible. Give away shorty baby loaves to friends. Fill little soup cans a bit less than half full when you form your loaves. Just spray with baking spray & make sure you use the kind you open with a can opener.


After cooled, wrap with a piece of scrapbook paper and tie with a fun, rustic bow. Shorty baby bread has never looked or tasted so good. Who needs flaming hot ferris wheels anyhow?

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017