‘Quick ‘n Easy’ White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans

‘Quick ‘n Easy’ White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

      This is a great recipe for those times when you want to share a homemade treat but have very little time to prepare something!

Candy Canes - clipartbest.com

You may know I call myself “Organized/Disorganized”…  Example – I have a folder in a closet full of Christmas ideas/recipes and another folder for Thanksgiving, which is the ‘organized’ part of my personality.  But because my kitchen is my office, my workstation and basically where I spend much of my time, it’s usually a mess.  Which is the shows the ‘disorganized’ part of my personality.

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I reorganized my Christmas folder and found my recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans – which I had totally forgotten about.  Making candy doesn’t get much easier than this – just a few ingredients, a bit of time cooking in the microwave, a bit of stirring et voila –  CANDY!

++  For a delicious change-of-pace, use two (12 oz.) bags of semi-sweet choc.! Candy Canes - clipartbest.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups white chocolate morsels – divided      ++  Two (12 0z.) bags of morsels
  • 2 Tbs. shortening – divided
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped salted pecans
  • 1/3 cup “smashed up” candy canes or peppermint candies

++  To break up candy canes, place several in a plastic zip lock bag and smack with a hammer, a can or a rolling pin.  (Of course, if you have a high-powered food processor you can chop them up in that… I think!)

++  Leftover candy canes can – like any type of hard peppermint candy – be saved for later use.  

'Quick 'n Easy' White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans1 - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

METHODCandy Canes - clipartbest.com

1.  Place 2 cups (1 bag) white chocolate morsels in a medium-size microwavable bowl.  Add 1 Tbs. shortening.

2.  Microwave – on high – for 2 minutes.     ++ This is only half of the white chocolate morsels – 2 cups (one bag) at a time are melted in 2 batches.  This ensures the chocolate doesn’t seize, meaning it won’t thicken or harden during melting

3.  Remove chocolate from microwave and mix well with a large spoon.

4.  Return to microwave for 30 – 40 seconds. Remove and stir well – ‘smooshing’ any chocolate morsels which may remain a bit unmelted. 

5. Spoon melted chocolate into another bowl & repeat the process of melting 2 cups of white chocolate morsels with 1 Tbs. Crisco.

6.  Stir in 1/3 cup “smashed up” candy canes or peppermint pieces and 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans.

'Quick 'n Easy' White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans 2 - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

7.  Drop by large tablespoons onto a cookie sheet which has been lined with waxed paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap.

'Quick 'n Easy' White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans 3 - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

8.  When candies are cooled and hardened, which won’t take long, they’re ready.  Enjoy !

‘Quick ‘n Easy’ White Chocolate Peppermint Bark with Pecans - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pull-Apart Breakfast Biscuits with Caramel Sauce, Pecans and Maraschino Cherries

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (6)

Pull-Apart Breakfast Biscuits with Caramel Sauce, Pecans and Maraschino Cherries could be called Deconstructed Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce, Pecans and Maraschino Cherries but that seemed pretty pretentious for this simple re-working of good old Monkey Bread.

Because I’m endlessly curious, I did a quick check on the meaning of a ‘deconstructed dish’.  “Deconstructed dishes may take foods that are normally combined in the dish, change their forms, and then plate them together in a different way. It’s not just about taking the dish apart, but putting its elements back together.”  So, I guess I did deconstruct what we usually think of as Monkey Bread… how about that?!

I had fun making this and I had even more fun sharing it with my neighbors.  I actually took the last two photos at their house – and even talked Lad into being my ‘hand model’!!

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Ingredients & Method

Oven at 350F       Bake for about 35 minutes, or until biscuits in middle are fully cooked

Lightly grease a 10″ x 13″ pan with shortening or cooking spray

Two 9′ round or square cake pans can be used.  Just divide sugared biscuit quarters, pecans, cherries and sauce evenly between each pan.  Bake about 25 minutes, or until biscuits in middle are fully cooked.

- – – -

  • 2 cans (16.3 oz.) Pillsbury Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine  ++  I recommend butter !!
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans – – or walnuts   ++  I used pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries    ++  I chopped the cherries pretty small.  However, when I make this again, I’ll roughly chop the cherries.   ++  For Christmas you may want to use both red & green maraschino cherries!

Arrange 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries evenly on the bottom of a greased 10″ by 13″ pan.

Open both cans of biscuits.  Separate biscuits.  Cut each biscuit into quarters.  ++ I found it went faster if I stacked two biscuits together and then cut them into quarters.

Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a gallon food storage bag.  Shake to mix.

Place biscuit quarters in the bag and shake to coat.  ++  I found it worked well if I shook about 1/4 of the biscuit pieces at a time.  Repeat until all pieces are coated with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Arrange the biscuit quarters on top of the pecans and cherries, squeezing them together a bit to fit in one layer.  ++  As I went along, I added a bit more cinnamon to the bag because the first biscuit pieces seemed to have picked up all the cinnamon. 

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (4)

Now it’s time for the caramel sauce. Place 1 cup packed brown sugar and 3/4 cup butter or margarine in a small microwavable bowlHeat in microwave just until butter melts.  Using a fork or whisk, mix butter and brown sugar together well.  Pour over the biscuits.    ++  Don’t worry if the sauce isn’t poured evenly over the biscuits  – it’s going to end up at the bottom of the pan, where it’ll blend with the pecans and cherries to form a yummy, sticky topping for the biscuits.

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com1

Bake 350F for 35 to 37 minutes – or until biscuits in middle are fully cooked.  ++  To check for doneness, lift up the top of a middle biscuit to see if it’s cooked.  If not, continue to bake a few minutes longer.

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (2)

Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn upside down onto a large serving platter. ++ If you don’t have large enough platter, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and serve from there.  Enjoy!

++ Quote  http://www.cheftalk.com/

Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (6)

  Monkey Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (7)

Saturday-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Noodle Soup

Turkey Soup - 'My Yellow Farmhouse.com'

Few things are more glorious to gaze upon than a perfectly roasted turkey, it’s golden goodness and luscious aroma a precursor of delights to come.  Guests often gather around, oohing and ahhing, their expressions similar to those of grandparents staring at their first grandchild.  Yes indeed, Mr. Turkey is Center Stage – he’s the Big Event in the multi-ring circus called Thanksgiving.

My friend Tina is THE world’s best Turkey Cooker!!

THE TURKEY - 'My Yellow Farmhouse.com"

However, once the feasting has ended, Mr. Turkey’s Glory Days are seemingly over. He sits forlornly on the kitchen counter . .  abandoned, unloved, surrounded by the detritus of what was. Still, what remains of Mr. Turkey can be raised to a whole new level of delish-a-tude.

Today’s post, Turkey Noodle Soup, is certainly not a new concept for left-over turkey but I bet it’ll make your family’s tummies very happy.  Soup, in any form, is just so appreciated when the days are cold and dark, as they always are during this time of year.

 Turkey Strata (Casserole) - Uses Leftover Turkey and Stuffing! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com++ If you happen to have both turkey and stuffing left over you may want to prepare Turkey Strata.  It’s a snap to put together and is just another idea for what to do with all that turkey!!

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2012/12/27/turkey-strata-casserole-uses-left-over-turkey-and-stuffing/

- – – -

Mr. Turkey – Starring in “Saturday-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Noodle Soup”

Saturday-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Noodle Soup - My Yellow Farmhouse.comTurkey Soup - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

++

This recipe yields 16 cups – or around a gallon of soup.  Of course, you can easily halve the ingredients, which would yield around 8 cups of soup.

Ingredients and Method

  • turkey (or chicken) carcass    ++ You’ll need 3 cups chopped turkey or chicken
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes     ++  I use Knorr.  If using another brand, use 4 chicken cubes.
  • 1 1/4  to 1 1/2  cups chopped baby carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/4  to  1 1/2  cups frozen peas  ++  The peas are added towards the end… still frozen.
  • 3 cups COOKED egg noodles     ++  Just measure out 3 cups dry egg noodles to equal 3 cups cooked egg noodles.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt  – –   or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper – –  or to taste

Place 12 cups water, 2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes (If using another brand, use 4 chicken bouillon cubes.), 1 1/4  to  1 1/2  cups chopped baby carrots, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 large garlic clove, minced and 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning in a very large saucepan or Dutch Oven. Add turkey carcass, breaking carcass apart to make it fit, if necessary.   ++  Remove skin and fat as much as possible.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.  Cover and allow to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, turning turkey carcass over once or twice.

About 10 minutes before end of cooking time for broth and veggies, cook 3 cups egg noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set noodles aside.

After 1 1/2 hours, turn off heat but leave saucepan containing broth and veggies on burner.  Remove turkey carcass.  Allow carcass to cool a bit, then remove and chop meat.  You’ll need 3 cups.

Add the chopped meat to broth and vegetables.  Add the drained egg noodles, 1 1/4  to  1 1/2 cups frozen peas (still frozen!), 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper or ‘to taste’. Bring soup to a simmer again and serve.  Enjoy!

- – – -

++ My son M. jokingly said I need to credit him for 1. use of his kitchen and  2. use of his place mats & bowls for the photos.  So I suppose I should also thank him for his critique of my soup, which he gave a thumbs up.  (And he’s one tough critic..)  I also want to thank Tina and Gary for hosting The Feast and for allowing me to abscond with the turkey carcass!!

Turkey Soup - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds – Browned Butter Can Be Prepared Ahead !

Prepare Ahead Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

++  The prep work for this recipe can be done one night before – or earlier in the day.  ++

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds is the last recipe in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

I’ve been preparing green beans this way for a few years but today it was a bit different as I had to list amounts and cooking times – I usually just ‘wing it’.  Guests often ask, “How did you make these beans?”  Well, now they know!

Everything was very casual the night of the ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

  MENU

  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/13/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-1-mashed-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-chives/

  • Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-2-sweet-potatoes-with-cinnamon-nutmeg-and-a-splash-of-brandy/

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onions

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-3-herb-stuffing-with-baby-bella-mushrooms/

  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds
  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/17/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipes-no-4-5-roasted-turkey-breast-or-whole-turkey-with-white-wine-oranges-and-apples-savory-turkey-gravy/

  • Bonus Recipe - Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/20/homemade-whole-berry-cranberry-sauce-with-apple-and-a-hint-of-cinnamon/

- – -

++ The amount of beans shown here should serve between 5 – 6 people, depending upon how many other sides dishes you’re serving.  I figure approximately a handful of fresh beans for each guest… but I have small hands, so this ‘method’ might not work for you! 

++ If you’re having lots and lots of guests and need to cook more beans, just double or triple the browned butter.  But remember, the cooking time for the beans will be a bit longer.

Ingredients and Method 

  • fresh green beans, rinsed  –  ends snapped       ++ You don’t have to snap both ends… although I usually do.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. Mrs. Dash ‘Garlic & Herb’ seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp, salt
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds

Rinse beans and snap off end(s).  Snap beans in half if they’re are overly large.  (This step can be done either the night before or earlier in the day, just place the beans in a plastic zip lock bag and refrigerate.)

Greeen Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds - My Yellow Farmhouse.comGreen Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Place beans and 1/2 cup water into a large skillet with a cover.  Bring water to a boil.  Cover and allow to cook at a light boil for between 10 -12 minutes.  ++  Beans will not be fully cooked at this point.

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds - My Yellow Farmhouse.comWhile beans are cooking (or the night before/earlier in the day) prepare the Browned Butter, which only takes about 5 minutes!

Place 2 Tbs. butter, 1/8 tsp. Mrs. Dash ‘Garlic & Herb’ seasoning and 1/4 tsp, salt in a small pan over medium heat.  It’s not necessary to stir the butter but you do have to watch it carefully !  After several minutes the butter will have foamed up considerably. Remove pan from heat and add 1 Tbs. sesame seeds.  Set browned butter aside until beans are fully cooked.

++  If you prepared the browned butter the night before (or earlier in the day) remove it from the refrigerator and rewarm in the microwave before adding it to the cooked beans.

Remove cover from skillet.  Lower heat a bit.  Continue cooking for another 5 – 6 minutes, stirring every once in a while.   ++ Any remaining water will gradually evaporate, which helps the browned butter to stick to the beans.    ++  Be sure not to overcook the beans – you want them crisp-tender!!

Add your prepared browned butter to the beans, mix well — and serve.    Easy and delicious!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy !

Prepare Ahead Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame SeedsMake Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

I consider my Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon a ‘bonus recipein my series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

Everything was very casual the night of the ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

MENU

  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/13/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-1-mashed-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-chives/

  •  Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-2-sweet-potatoes-with-cinnamon-nutmeg-and-a-splash-of-brandy/

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-3-herb-stuffing-with-baby-bella-mushrooms/

++  Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/22/green-beans-with-browned-butter-and-sesame-seeds-browned-butter-can-be-prepared-ahead/

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/17/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipes-no-4-5-roasted-turkey-breast-or-whole-turkey-with-white-wine-oranges-and-apples-savory-turkey-gravy/

  • Bonus Recipe - Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

- – – -

I’m so pleased with how this cranberry sauce turned out.  Adding a bit of apple mellows out the naturally tart taste of the cranberries. And, the addition of just two small pinches of cinnamon and some brown sugar adds a subtle something extra.  (I’m heading down to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving & I’m taking this cranberry sauce to share.  I’ll be helping out where I can while I’m there. Still – it’s so nice to be a guest!!)

There are times… luckily not often… when I get a recipe idea that turns out really bad.  Such was the case recently.  I had the idea of substituting some orange juice for the water when making homemade cranberry sauce.  DON’T EVER TRY THAT !!   It was so sour – and I learned long ago that you just can’t fix sour… no matter how much sugar you add.  (Perhaps freshly squeezed orange juice would’ve worked…. what do you think?)

Ingredients and Method

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar    ++ NOT packed down !!
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped (peeled) apple   ++ See photo below to give you an idea of what size chunks.
  • 2 pinches cinnamon
  • ++ You can add a few tablespoons of chopped walnuts, filberts or pecans etc. AFTER the cranberry sauce had been made.

Open a 12 oz. bag of cranberries – discard any bad ones.  Set aside.

Peel and chop apple.  You’ll need 1/3 cup.  ++ No turkeys were abused during the making of this cranberry sauce.  I did all the work myself, even though Mr. Turkey looks so very proud !

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Bring 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed), and 1 cup water to a boil.  Add cranberries, 1/3 cup chopped apple and 2 pinches cinnamon.

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Lower heat a bit – continue to boil – stirring occasionally – for 10 minutes.

Homemade Whole-Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pour the cranberry sauce into a bowl, cover – allow to cool completely at room temperature.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Talk about e.a.s.y. !!

Happy Holidays to All  – Enjoy !

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

“Make Ahead Turkey Dinner” – Recipes No. 4 & 5 – Roasted Turkey Breast (or Whole Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges and Apples & Savory Turkey Gravy

Roasted Turkey Breast )or Turkey( and Savory Gravy - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

‘Roasted Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges and Apples & Savory Turkey Gravy’ are the 4th and 5th in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

I chose to roast the turkey breast ‘ahead of time’ (earlier in the day) simply because I needed to take photos… and that’s very hard to do when hungry guests are waiting to eat. I invited several people over to ‘taste test’ the food for me and, for once, my kitchen wasn’t a disaster area. And I actually had time to visit with my friends before the meal.

I was so pleased to see how much everyone enjoyed my new recipes. It seems that everyone had their favorites and many commented how moist the turkey was although I had roasted it several hours before! Serving this meal was so easy.

Two nights before I prepared the ‘Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon’ and the ‘Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms’.

One night before I prepared the ‘Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives’ and prepped the green beans for my ‘Green Beans with Sesame Seeds’.

I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Everything was very casual the night of the ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

  MENU

  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/13/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-1-mashed-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-chives/

  • Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-2-sweet-potatoes-with-cinnamon-nutmeg-and-a-splash-of-brandy/

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onions

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-3-herb-stuffing-with-baby-bella-mushrooms/

  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/22/green-beans-with-browned-butter-and-sesame-seeds-browned-butter-can-be-prepared-ahead/

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy
  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/20/homemade-whole-berry-cranberry-sauce-with-apple-and-a-hint-of-cinnamon/

- – – -

The first time I ever roasted a turkey we lived in Villanova, PA and my boys were in high school.  Previously we’d eaten two Thanksgiving dinners each year; one with husband’s family and one at my parent’s home.  (Lucky me…. I got to wash dishes twice…)  That year we decided to stay home and we invited some of our friends to share Thanksgiving with us.  In fact, our dear friend from Pakistan was staying with us for the weekend. Just picture this… he, who didn’t cook or usually even eat turkey, and I standing in the kitchen in our pjs in the early morning… reading the turkey label for instructions.  It was then I learned that roasting a turkey is no harder than roasting a chicken… turkey just needs a bit more time in the oven!!

INGREDIENTS & METHOD

Roasted Turkey with White Wine, Apples and Oranges - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

  • turkey breast or whole turkey, thawed if  frozen  – –  liver etc. removed from inside
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 orange, peel and pith removed – quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, skin removed – quartered
  • 1 apple, quartered
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Salt with Herbs
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  •  1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 – 3/4 cup water

+ + Begin roasting turkey in a 400F oven.  After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F ++

Rinse turkey breast (or turkey) with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on a rack in a low sided roasting pan.  ++ If you don’t have a rack, crunch up some aluminum foil into balls and place the turkey breast on those.

Place some of the apple in the rear cavity.  Place the rest of the apple, plus the orange and onion, into the breast cavity.  Carefully separate the breast skin from the meat using your fingers to form a ‘pocket’.

Allow turkey to air dry 5 – 10 minutes, which helps the oil cling to the skin better.

Rub turkey skin with 1 Tbs. olive oil.  In a small bowl mix 1 Tbs. paprika, 2 tsp. Garlic Salt with Herbs, 1 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Rub inside of turkey breast with about 2 tsp. of the spice mixture, rub about 2 tsp. under the skin and use the rest to rub on the skin.  Try to cover the entire turkey breast (turkey) with spice rub.  ++ If you feel you need a bit more spice rub, just mix up a little paprika and thyme.  Don’t add any more salt or your gravy will be too salty.

Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges and Apples - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pour 1/2 cup white wine and  1/3 – 3/4 cup water into the pan.  ++ All the delicious juices and flavors are going to go into the Savory Turkey Gravy – yummy!

++ Place roasting pan on the lower rack of your oven.

++ Start roasting turkey in a 400F oven.  After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F.

Follow directions on turkey wrapper for roasting times.  Most store-bought turkey breasts or turkeys have those ‘pop-up thingies’ which tell you when the turkey is fully cooked, which is pretty darn helpful.  (I have noticed, though, for the most part, the turkey ends up being fully cooked before the estimated time.)

  • For turkey breast, meat thermometer should read 165F in the thickest part of the breast.
  • For whole turkey, meat thermometer should read 175F in the thickest part of the leg.
  • ++ TIP  Baste the turkey a few times towards the end of the cooking time. This gives the skin a nice sheen!

Once the turkey is fully cooked place it on a platter and cover VERY LOOSELY with foil. Allow turkey to ‘rest’ for about 30 minutes while you make your gravy etc.. ++ Allowing meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey.

If you’ve prepared my make-ahead “Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives”, “Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon” or “Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms” place those in the oven to reheat at 360F. Keep the mashed potatoes and the stuffing covered – but uncover the sweet potatoes.  Reheat for about 45 minutes – or until each dish is fully heated.     ++ If you chose, all three recipes mentioned above can be reheated in the microwave.

CONTINUE SCROLLING DOWN FOR DIRECTIONS FOR DE-BONING AND REFRIGERATING THE TURKEY BREAST, IF YOU CHOSE TO ROAST IT EARLIER IN THE DAY.

Savory Gravy…. it’s Easy-Peasey!

Just like Prego spaghetti sauce – all the spices you need are ‘in there’ from the turkey juices.

Turkey Gravy Flavored with Apples, Oranges & Red Onion - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

  • 4 cups chicken stock – divided into 3 cup & 1 cup portions
  • 5 Tbs. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Gravy Master – or another type of ‘browning liquid’

Add 3 cups chicken stock to roasting pan. Scrape ‘bits’ from the bottom of the pan.  Pour into a large skillet and begin warming on medium-high heat.

In a small measuring cup, mix 1 cup chicken stock with 5 Tbs. flour, making sure there’s no lumps.  Pour stock/flour mixture slowly into the stock in the skillet, mixing with a whisk as you pour.  You’re less likely to have lumps if stock isn’t too hot yet.  Add 1/2 tsp. Gravy Master browning liquid, although it’s not really necessary.  It’s just that I like a nice rich colored gravy!

Bring to a boil.  Lower heat a bit and continue at a ‘high simmer’ until gravy thickens.  ++ If you’d like your gravy a bit thicker, mix about 1/4 cup water with 1 Tbs. of flour and whisk it into your gravy a little at a time.  ++ I poured my finished gravy through a sieve to remove the ‘bits’.  If you don’t have a sieve… no worries.

HOW TO DE-BONE AND PLATE TURKEY BREAST EARLIER IN THE DAY

Using a sharp knife, remove skin from both sides of turkey breast.  Set skin aside. Beginning on the outside of the breast, slice meat into uniformly thick slices.  Place meat into casserole and cover with turkey skin.  Pour any juices over the meat, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

About 30 minutes before reheating, place covered casserole on counter to allow it to warm up a bit.

Reheat – COVERED – at 360F for about 40 minutes. ++ As I mentioned at the top of this post, the turkey breast was very moist and very tender, even though it had been prepared earlier in the day.

Turkey Gravey Flavored with Apples, Oranges and Red Onions - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

- – – – – – – – -

I wanted to share these two wonderful recipes. (You can add them to your ‘Make Ahead File’.)  You know, sometimes it’s as if food bloggers read each others minds. I’d been thinking recently, “Wouldn’t it be great to find a new type of green bean casserole and a new way to make cranberry sauce – and Carolyn and Mike came through!!

The first recipe is from J.J. Begonia. Carolyn calls her recipe ‘Stovetop Green Bean Casserole – Served 3 Ways’.  She told me, “You can definitely prepare the gravy (sauce) ahead of time, refrigerate it and reheat in a pan.  Then just add the beans and cook through ~ done in under 10 minutes!”

Green Bean Casserole - Made 3 Ways - J J Begonia - Nov 2014

Green Bean Casserole – Three Ways – – ‘J.J. Begonia’

http://jjbegonia.com/2014/11/14/stovetop-green-bean-casserole-recipe

- – – – – – -

An excellent recipe for cranberry sauce was recently posted by Mike of ‘Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide’.  Greg says, “Here’s a flavorful cranberry sauce that calls for just a few ingredients. If you don’t have a tangerine, substitute the zest from half an orange.”

Gingered Cranberry Sauce - from Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - post Nov 2014Gingered Cranberry Sauce – – ‘Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide’

http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/gingered-cranberry-sauce/

Happy Holidays to All  – Enjoy !

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner – Recipe No. 3 – “Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion”

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms" - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

+ Prepare ‘Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onions’ two days ahead +

Herbed Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion is the 3rd recipe a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

Everything was very casual the night of the ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

MENU

  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/13/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-1-mashed-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-chives/

  • Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-2-sweet-potatoes-with-cinnamon-nutmeg-and-a-splash-of-brandy/

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onions
  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/22/green-beans-with-browned-butter-and-sesame-seeds-browned-butter-can-be-prepared-ahead/

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & Savory Turkey Gravy

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/17/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipes-no-4-5-roasted-turkey-breast-or-whole-turkey-with-white-wine-oranges-and-apples-savory-turkey-gravy/

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/20/homemade-whole-berry-cranberry-sauce-with-apple-and-a-hint-of-cinnamon/

'Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner' - Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Ingredients and Method

  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped Baby Bella mushrooms  ++ about 1/2 a small package
  • 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning    ++ I use ‘Bells’
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package Pepperidge Farm ‘Herb Stuffing’ Bread Cubes
  • OPTIONAL ADD-INS – – 1/4 cup chopped, peeled apple, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts …. you get the idea !

Place 6 Tbs. butter in a large skillet or pan. Add 1 cup chopped red onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup chopped celery.  Cook, stirring, for an additional 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups chopped Baby Bella mushrooms AND 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes – just until mushrooms pieces wilt a bit.

++ Do NOT wash wash mushrooms. Simply wipe them with a damp paper towel. Mushrooms are like sponges, they tend to soak up water.  ++ Use the entire mushroom, including the stem. If the end of the stem looks dry, cut it off.

++ You don’t want to overcook the veggies. Except for the mushrooms, they should be a bit ‘crisp-tender’. They’ll continue cooking when the stuffing is reheated.

Add 2 cups chicken broth. Raise heat and bring to a boil.

Make Ahead Bread Stuffing - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Once broth/veggies reach a boil, remove pan from the heat.  Add the bread cubes and mix together with veggie/broth mixture using a large fork.  Cover for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, uncover.  Allow stuffing to cool a bit, then put into an ovenproof casserole.  Cover with aluminum foil.

This casserole dish was given to me last Christmas – it was perfect for this stuffing!

Use - My Yellow Farmhouse casserole

I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to reheat the stuffing, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to take the chill off.

Bake at 360 for about 40 minutes, COVERED, during which time you can allow your turkey to ‘rest’ uncovered.  ++Allowing cooked meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy!

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner – Recipe No. 2 – Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Prepare ‘Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy’ TWO days ahead.

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon is the 2nd in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans!

Everything was very casual the night of the ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

  MENU

  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/13/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-1-mashed-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-chives/

  •  Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon
  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-3-herb-stuffing-with-baby-bella-mushrooms/

  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/22/green-beans-with-browned-butter-and-sesame-seeds-browned-butter-can-be-prepared-ahead/

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/17/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipes-no-4-5-roasted-turkey-breast-or-whole-turkey-with-white-wine-oranges-and-apples-savory-turkey-gravy/

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/20/homemade-whole-berry-cranberry-sauce-with-apple-and-a-hint-of-cinnamon/

- – – – – -

I based my Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy on a family favorite featured every Thanksgiving in my daughter-in-law’s family.  My son M. is now ‘in charge’ of preparing the sweet potatoes every year and he does an excellent job. (‘Gum Gum’ – this post is dedicated to you with lots of love!)

The splash of brandy isn’t truly necessary but it does lend a lovely balance to the sweetness of the dark Karo syrup and brown sugar.

Ingredients and Method

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed & rinsed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups DARK Karo Syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar   ++ Not packed down – just spooned into measuring cup
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. Brandy
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans  ++ Sprinkle on top right before reheating 

Cut off small ends of sweet potatoes, cut potatoes in half and peel.

'Make Ahead Turkey Dinner -Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Spash of Brandy - My Yellow Farmhouse.comMake Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy" - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Place sweet potato halves into a large saucepan filled with enough cold water to cover potatoes. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Sweet potatoes will NOT be fully cooked.  They’ll finish cooking in the oven.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy" - My Yellow Farmhouse.comMake Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy" - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Drain and allow to cool, then cut into 1/3″ slices.

While potatoes are cooling, prepare sauce. In a medium saucepan place Karo Syrup, brown sugar,  butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and 1 – 2 Tbs. Brandy.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

Make Ahead Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Place sweet potatoes slices in a casserole.  Pour the sauce over the potatoes and mix to cover well with sauce.  Cover casserole with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon - My Yellow Farmhouse.comMake Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy" - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to reheat the potatoes, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to take the chill off.  Sprinkle with with 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans.  With a large serving spoon, bring the potatoes on the bottom up to the top so they’ve all had ‘their time’ to sit in all that sugary/bourbony goodness.

Bake at 360 for about 40 minutes, without a cover, during which time you can allow your turkey to ‘rest’ uncovered.  ++Allowing cooked meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy!

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner – Recipe No. 1 – “Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives”

Make-Ahead Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

+ Prepare ‘Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives’ one night before. +

Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives is the 1st in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier! By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is cook the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

Recently I had several friends here at My Yellow Farmhouse to taste-test these recipes and got rave reviews on everything!! And, for once, my kitchen was not a disaster zone.

(Karl.. the first man to ever ask me for a recipe, I posted this recipe first just for you! And E.I, I’ll post the recipe for the gravy next since you loved it so much!)

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

Everything was very casual the night my friends came to sample my new recipes.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

MENU

  • Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and Chives
  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/22/green-beans-with-browned-butter-and-sesame-seeds-browned-butter-can-be-prepared-ahead/

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-3-herb-stuffing-with-baby-bella-mushrooms/

  • Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-2-sweet-potatoes-with-cinnamon-nutmeg-and-a-splash-of-brandy/

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges and Apples & Savory Turkey Gravy

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/17/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipes-no-4-5-roasted-turkey-breast-or-whole-turkey-with-white-wine-oranges-and-apples-savory-turkey-gravy/

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/20/homemade-whole-berry-cranberry-sauce-with-apple-and-a-hint-of-cinnamon/

'Make Ahead Turkey Dinner'' - Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

INGREDIENTS AND METHOD

  • 8 – 9 large gold potatoes   ++  About half 2 1/2 – 3 pounds  ++  Half a 5 lb. bag
  • 5 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh chives
  • 1 cup milk

Peel and cut into chunks 8 – 9 large gold potatoes. Place in a large saucepan and cover potatoes with cold water.  Bring water to a boil and simmer potato chunks until they break apart when pierced with a fork. (Thanks Ina Garten for that tip!)  The cooking time will depend upon how large your potato chunks are – it should take about 15 – 20 minutes after the water has come to a boil.

Turn off heat.  Drain potatoes and return to saucepan.  Place saucepan on the same (turned off) burner. Add 5 Tbs. butter, 1/2 cup sour cream, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 3 Tbs. minced fresh chives. Mash well until potato chunks are broken down.

use - MAYBE - 3

Add 1 cup milk.  With mixer, beat potatoes for about a minute – just until everything is well combined.  ++ If you beat mashed potatoes too long, they can become gummy.

Pour into a heatproof or microwavable casserole, depending upon if you plan to reheat the Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives in a microwave or oven.  Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate.

I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make-Ahead Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

++ I was really pleased to see how these potatoes remained nice and creamy. The regular mashed potatoes I prepared just a few hours before the meal actually dried up a bit …but it was nothing a bit more milk couldn’t fix.

Luckily, I have a rack for my microwave, so I reheated both the Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives and the regular mashed potatoes in the microwave.

If you chose to reheat these potatoes in the oven, set it at 360F.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and heat for about 40 minutes, during which time you can allow your turkey to ‘rest’ uncovered. ++Allowing cooked meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy!

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Farmhouse Bread

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

++ UPDATE  My fellow blogger friend John, who I mention below, recently made one loaf of ‘Farmhouse Bread’. He was very pleased with the results – in spite of the fact he forgot the dough rising in the oven… for 4 hours!

I recently read bloggers should not begin a post by apologizing for having been out-of-touch.. that is.. unless you’ve been doing something noteworthy, such as vacationing. So, I’ll use that as my excuse because I did just return from a trip to Mexico.  I spent a week at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort in Playacar Del Carmen, Mexico, and it was all-inclusive and totally wonderful.

I baked these loaves and took the photos before I left, planning to post the recipe while in Mexico….but I left the recipe at home…  Liz, who writes the excellent food blog ‘My Favorite Pastime‘, wrote to me (after I whined to her how I’d forgotten the recipe), “Have a great time. You can always post the recipe once you get home”. And John, ‘From the Bartolini Kitchens‘, told me, “You’ll find the recipe when you least expect it”.  It turns out they were both right & I thank them for their words of wisdom.

So – without further ado – here’s the recipe for ‘Farmhouse Bread‘, which makes two beautiful loaves quicker than any bread recipe I’ve ever seen simply because you don’t have to wait for the bread to rise twice!

** If you have any questions or comments, keep scrolling down. I love to hear from you !!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 TABLESPOON (1 packet) active dry yeast    ++ NOT ‘quick rise yeast
  • 1 TABLESPOON sugar
  • 1 TABLESPOON salt
  • 2 cups warm water     ++ The water should not be over 110F.  ++ Heat up your measuring cup first by running hot water over it, then fill it with warm water  ++ Check the water temperature by pouring a bit on your wrist – it should feel slightly warm.
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups All-Purpose Flour    ++ Some bread recipes in the States ask for ‘Bread Flour’.. but not this particular recipe.
  • Cornmeal, to spread on bottom of a cookie sheet – OR – use parchment paper, which I prefer.

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

In a large bowl mix together 1 Tbs. active dry yeast, 1 Tbs. sugar, 1 Tbs. salt and 2 cups warm water. Allow mixture to stand 4 – 5 minutes while the yeast ‘eats up the sugar’, the combination of which will make the bread rise!   ++ Everything will foam up a bit, which means the yeast is working.  If you don’t see any ‘bubbling’, your yeast is too old.  (Been there…. done that…)

Gradually add the flour to the liquid and mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Adding Flour to the Yeast, Sugar, Salt & Water Mixture

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

++ Making bread is not an exact science. One time you may need a bit more flour and another time you may need a bit less.  I ended up adding a bit more warm water because my dough was too dry and some of the flour wouldn’t incorporate into the dough. Don’t be afraid to ‘play around’ until the dough just feels right. You can always add a bit more flour when you’re kneading the dough.

Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. ++ I like to use a floured dish towel.  (Tea towel for our British friends!) Knead dough 5 minutes.  ++ To knead dough, push away from you with the palm of your hand, turn dough, fold over and repeat. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. If it’s still sticking to the floured surface.. yup.. add a bit more flour.

++ If you’re interested, here’s why kneading is necessary. (Adapted from ‘The Wise Geek’.) “One of the most important things taking place during the kneading process is the development of gluten, a type of protein. As the flour is moistened and stirred, gluten begins to form. This protein (gluten) acts as a binding agent within the dough, allowing the loaf to take on a cohesive texture so it doesn’t fall apart during baking.”

Let the dough rest while you wash & dry the bowl.  Using your hands, spread some oil (I use olive oil) around the inside of the bowl.

Knead dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.  Place dough in the oiled bowl and turn dough over once to oil the top.

Kneaded Dough & Baking Pan with Hot Water

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Cover bowl with a damp towel and keep warm until dough doubles in size – between 1 – 2 hours. SEE TIP BELOW !!

++ Here’s what I do to speed up the process.  Place a large baking pan containing HOT water on the bottom rack of your oven. Place the covered bowl containing the dough into the oven and close the door. Check between 45 minutes to an hour – your dough may have risen enough.  If the dough has doubled in bulk, then it’s ready for the next step. If not, just wait a bit longer.  (The original directions, from King Arthur Flour, say to let dough rise between 1 – 2 hours.)

Risen Dough – Ready to be ‘Punched Down’

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Dough After Being ‘Punched Down’ (I think it looks a bit sad…)

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Once you’ve punched down the dough with your fists, knead the dough briefly right in the bowl to get out any large air bubbles.  Return dough to lightly floured surface.  ( I thought this bread was so much fun to make.  The dough begins to rise again almost immediately after being punched down.)

Ready to be Formed into Loaves

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Cut dough in half using either a knife or kitchen shears.  You don’t have to be overly fussy with it. Just try to end up with two pieces of dough pretty much the same size.

Form each half into Italian or French styles loaves.  I went for a more rustic Italian look – if you’d like the same look, form dough into two 8″ – 9″ loaves.

Place the loaves on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal OR use parchment paper, which I prefer.  Allow loaves to rest 5 minutes.   ++ If the cookie sheet is lined with parchment paper, you can form the loaves right on the cookie sheet – which is what I do.

Slash the tops 3 or 4 times diagonally. Brush loaves with cold water.  ++ I sprinkled my loaves with sesame seeds but it’s not necessary.

Shaped, Slashed and Ready to Rise ‘n Bake.

As you can see, the dough has already risen quite a bit since I formed it into loaves!

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in bread making. You don’t have to wait for a 2nd rising. Your loaves are going to rise in the oven!  Place the cookie sheet containing the loaves into a COLD OVEN!!  Refill the baking pan you’d use before with BOILING WATER and return it to the bottom rack of the oven.  ++ Caution – – don’t fill the baking pan too full with boiling water. The water’s going to slosh around a lot and you could get burned !

Place shaped loaves on the center rack of your oven – then set temperature to 400F.  ++ As your loaves are rising, don’t be alarmed if they get so big the sides touch. That happened to me, so I just broke them apart after they cooled a bit.

Bake bread for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow to the touch.

++ For a softer crust, which I like, spread butter on the still-warm loaves.  (The butter gives the loaves that lovely sheen.)

Remove loaves from baking sheet and allow to cool.. not for long… just until it’s cooled enough so you can hold on to the bread while you cut a nice, big piece and slather it with butter. Enjoy!

P.S. My neighbor said this is the best bread she’s ever eaten! Of course, she might’ve just said that so I keep coming over with ‘goodies’!!

Possibly the Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make! - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

** Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s – “Hearth Bread”.  King Arthur Flour’s ‘Flagship Campus’, as they call it, is located in Norwich, Vermont.  It’s a wonderful place to visit, so drop by if you’re ever in the area!