Today, I made the cinnamon rolls and loaf of bread in the above picture. We'll be having grilled cheese sandwiches for supper tonight with this bread. Nothing beats grilled cheese on homemade bread for deliciousness.
My "recipe" is not really a true recipe. I don't really use one anymore because the liquid amounts and flour amounts change based on the humidity. My house is very dry in the winter so I add a bit more liquid.
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons of shortening
5-6 1/2 cups of flour (I use white because I just cannot get a good rise with whole grains no matter what I do).
4 1/2 tsp. yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
Mix about 2 cups of flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl and set aside. In a small pan, heat the liquids and the shortening to hot, but not boiling (too hot and you'll kill the yeast). The shortening is NOT going to melt, don't worry about it.
Slowly stir the very warm liquid into the dry ingredients and then really stir this mixture for about 2 minutes (or use a mixer on Medium speed). Add in another cup of flour and stir vigorously another 2 minutes (or on High for 2 minutes). Stir in as much remaining flour as you can and then dump on a floured surface and knead in the rest of the flour for about 5-10 minutes (or use your mixer). I only knead for 5 minutes, but that's probably because I beat the snot out of it and have the forearms to prove it.
Form into a large ball and place in a greased bowl. Let it rise for about 45-60 minutes. On cold days, I set it on a heating pad to hurry it along. Punch it down when it's about twice the size, form into a loose ball and let it rest for 10 minutes on a floured surface.
Cut the dough in half. Form your breads. Let rise until doubled. Makes 2 loaves, or 1 loaf and a pan of sweet rolls, or dinner rolls, or a pizza crust, whatever. Bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes.
*For cinnamon rolls/sweet rolls: Roll out flat and spread about 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top. Sprinkle about a 1/4 cup of cinnamon sugar mixture on. Roll lengthwise, cut into 12 slices. Place in greased dish. Once cool, drizzle a powdered sugar/milk glaze on top.