No Need to Knead Bread

I love when my house smells like bread. It makes me feel like I am doing something right. This bread is amazingly delicious and has that sweet of aroma of a bakers kitchen! And yes, it’s true, you don’t have to knead it. But let’s get down to the truth of the matter. This bread takes some serious planning to make. Is it worth it? I declare YES! Because there is no kneading there is almost no work. Just simply babysitting and prepping the dough. And then you get this beautiful, crusty, warm and soft inside, fluffy bread!

No Need to Knead Bread

  • 1 2/3 cups luke warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, + some for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cornmeal

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 2/3 cups water, and stir until blended. Dough will be very sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12-18 hours, in a warm room (about 70 degrees).

Dough is ready when the surface is dotted with small bubbles. Lightly flour a surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle with a little more flour and fold dough over on itself two times. Then cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.

Using enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour and put the dough seam down on the towel. Then sprinkle cornmeal on the top of the dough and cover with another cotton towel and let rise for 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least half an hour before dough is ready, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6 to 8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from the oven. SLide your hand under the cotton towel and turn the dough over into the pot. It may look messy, but this is ok. Shake the pan once or twice to even out and then the rest will take care of itself during the baking. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove lid and bake an additional 12-18 minutes, or until loaf is browned. Cool on a rack.


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Shannon’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls

Alright people, I’m about to let you in on a huge secret!  These rolls are coveted in my community… people pay gazillions of dollars for these little honeys  (ok that’s an exaggeration, but I do sell a TON of them thru the holidays).  And, the truth is, they are easy.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!  All it takes is a bread machine, a little time, and roll pin.  See.. easy!  All you have to do is plop the ingredients into your bread machine and set it to the dough setting and let it do all the work for you!  Have more than one bread maker, as I do?  You can produce these en mass, as I have done in the picture above.  And truly, it takes the same amount of time to make 2 dozen or 10 dozen… just depends on how many bread machines you can get working for you.

I’ve also included the options to make the basic roll recipe into orange rolls, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, or an apple braid.  As you can tell, this recipe is super versatile.  You pretty much fashion them into whatever bread item you want to make.  I also use this recipe to make buttery white bread, cinnamon pull aparts, cinnamon raisin bread, monkey bread… the options are endless.  So, here’s just a few to get you started.

Make these throughout the holiday season and you will become the star of each and every dinner party, Christmas breakfast, Thanksgiving celebration, or family event!  Seriously, and you’re welcome!

Shannon’s Best Ever Rolls

Basic Roll Recipe

  • 1 2/3 cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 2/3 cups Flour
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 rounded Tablespoon yeast

In the chamber of a bread maker add all ingredients except the yeast.  Stir around to blend sugar into mixture.  Add yeast.

Set bread maker to “dough” setting… wait for cycle to finish (should take about an hour and a half)

When cycle is complete, turn out dough onto a board sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and shape to desired type of roll.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon mixture:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cinnamon
  • ½ cup flour

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl

In a separate bowl melt 1 stick butter

Divide dough into 2 even sections.  Roll out one section(using Pam) into a rectangle.  Brush with butter.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup cinnamon mixture.  Roll up and cut into rolls.  (Should make about 9 pieces)  Repeat with second section of dough (So entire batch makes 18 rolls)

*At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Dinner Rolls

Divide dough into 3 equals parts.  Roll into circles and cut into 8 crescent shaped pieces.  Roll into crescents.  *At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Orange rolls

Follow basic roll recipe, except add the zest of one orange to the dough ingredients.

Then divide dough into 2 equal parts.  Roll into rectangles, and cut into 12 strips, vertically. Tie strips into knots, tucking ends under to form rosettes.  *At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Apple Braid

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.  Roll each part into a rectangle, keeping the middle section of the rectangle at double the thickness of the side sections.  Brush middle with butter, and sprinkle with ¼ cup cinnamon mixture.  Then top with sliced, peeled apples.  Cut the sides diagonally and fold over each other in a braid.  See illustration.  * At this point dough can be frozen or baked.  See baking instructions.

Glaze for Cinnamon rolls and Apple Braid

1 stick butter, melted

8 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

milk to desired consistency

Glaze for Orange Rolls

1 stick butter, melted

8 cups powdered sugar

orange juice to desired consistency

* both of these glazes can be poured into plastic bags (in 1 cup portions)and frozen with the rolls, then left on the counter to defrost while the rolls are baking.  Then just snip a corner off the plastic bag and pipe onto rolls.

Baking Instructions for Rolls:

Place rolls onto a jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Allow rolls to rise for a couple of hours or longer, covered by a dish towel until the desired volume is achieved.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned.

If you have chosen to premake the rolls and freeze them, there are 2 baking methods:

Quick Method

  • Remove rolls from freezer & place in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray (Pam.)
  • Leave on counter to rise for 1 hour.
  • Leave bag of glaze on the counter to thaw.
  • After an hour, place the rolls in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove rolls from oven and reset temperature to 375 degrees.
  • When oven reaches 375, put rolls back in and bake for

12 minutes for dinner rolls or orange rolls

15-18 minutes for cinnamon rolls or apple  braid,

until tops are golden brown.

  • For rolls with glaze (orange, cinnamon, apple braid.  Snip the bottom corner off the glaze bag, and pipe glaze onto warm rolls

 Overnight Method (this is what I prefer):

  • Remove rolls from freezer & place in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray (Pam.)
  • Leave on counter to rise overnight.
  • Leave bag of glaze on the counter to thaw.
  • Bake rolls at  375 degrees for

12 minutes for dinner rolls or orange rolls

15-18 minutes for cinnamon rolls or apple braid,

until tops are golden brown.

  • For rolls with glaze (orange, cinnamon, apple braid.  Snip the bottom corner off the glaze bag, and pipe glaze onto warm rolls.

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Blueberry Muffins

Do you ever go to the grocery store looking purely disgusting and then you run into someone you know, and they, of course look fabulous? You are embarrassed and trying to end the conversation quickly. You want out of the store before the person notices that your hair really hasn’t been washed for 4 days instead of the 2 you sheepishly admitted to. I went to the store the other night to get blueberries and I am happy to report that I was the one looking fabulous! That’s right, we had just had our family pictures taken and I was dressed for the occasion, makeup on, hair done, and I didn’t see a soul I knew! Isn’t that the way it always works? I had been craving these muffins for a while now and knew that I needed to make them this weekend. They were our Sunday morning breakfast. The hubs had 3! They are moist, tasty, and the streusel on top makes them seem so fancy! Oh, because they are! We all need a go-to delicious blueberry muffin recipe, right? Here ya go…you’re welcome!

Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour in the middle of the well in the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries to batter. Either spray your muffin tin with vegetable spray or use cupcake liners and fill muffin tins 2/3 full.

For the streusel: Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Then cut in butter with a pastry cutter or fork. Mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter on top of each muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffin, comes out clean. (Makes 12 muffins)

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Pumpkin Bread

So, I know we just posted banana bread, but nothing says fall is here more than pumpkins! And this pumpkin bread will have your whole house smelling festive, yummy and “fall” like. I am eating a piece as I am typing this…slathered in butter, ( I think Paula Deen and I could be best friends) and it is pure heaven. This is the kind of pumpkin bread that is rich in spice, so the pumpkin flavor really jumps out at you. And for all you followers who are here locally, (Mesa, AZ) I will be selling these at my Open House TOMORROW. My House. 10 am. Come and get some before they are gone! And for those of you that live far, far away, I feel sorry for you…. and here is the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. allspice
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 c. pumpkin (fresh or canned)
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 c. nuts (optional)
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a mixer, blend together wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until well blended. Add nuts or chocolate chips if you like. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. (I made 6 mini’s in the above picture) Fill about halfway. Bake at 350 for about an hour. (I baked the mini’s for 40 minutes)

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Sweet Cornbread

Cornbread is one of my husband’s all time favorites.  He grew up calling it Johnny Cake, a term I had never heard, but one which now is common in our home, too.  He loves it with soup, or with chili, or with baked beans, or just smothered with butter and honey.  It took a while for me to come up with a recipe that we both loved, because truth be told, I am not the biggest cornbread fan.  It can be gritty and crunchy (why crunchy?) and lack depth and texture… but this recipe is so good.  It’s light and fluffy but dense, sweet but not too sweet, delicious!  A cornbread that my whole family loves!  We go through batch after batch of this… yum!

Sweet Cornbread

  • 2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 baking pan, or 20 muffin cups.  Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Combine the milk, butter and eggs and gently stir into the cornmeal mixture.

Pour the batter into the baking pan or muffin cups (about 2/3 full).  Bake for approximately 25 minutes for the pan or 20 minutes for the muffins… until the top is lightly browned.

Look for our post tomorrow for the perfect complement to this yummy cornbread and a fantastic fall meal!

Simply, Banana Bread

My boyfriend in high school had a mom who was a whiz in the kitchen. Simply amazing. She taught me how to make chocolate chip cookies and the art of baking with dark brown sugar. This banana bread is simple, yet delicious. It is moist, and packed with flavor. And it is all thanks to 2 key ingredients in my opinion: dark brown sugar and buttermilk. Though this is not her exact recipe, I think it is close.

Simply Banana Bread

  • 1 c. butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 large bananas (ripened, darkened….brown spots, on their way out!)
  • 1 c. buttermilk

Preheat overn to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together baking soda and flour. In another bowl, mash bananas with fork and add buttermilk. Stir until combined. Alternately add wet and dry ingredients to batter. Mix until combined. (at this point I like to scrape the sides and bottom down and give it one more mix!) Put batter in loaf pans. Yields 2 loaves. Bake for 45-55 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. As always, add your own flare! Nuts, chocolate chips, etc!

Gram’s Butter Rolls

Making these rolls today brought me right back to Gram’s kitchen. I used to eat at her house on Sundays when I was in college and this is always what her kitchen smelled like. Mmmm! My grandma is a great baker and these rolls were always one of my favorites! Buttery, light, and hot! These also make great mini sandwiches for days to come. This recipe will yield 2 1/2 dozen, so for my family of 4 it is perfect!

Gram’s Butter Rolls

  • 2 packages of dry yeast (4 tsp.)
  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 c. melted shortening (about 35 seconds in microwave)
  • half stick of butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add salt, sugar, eggs, and melted shortening. Beat well. (I used my KitchenAid mixer) Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Place dough in a greased bowl (I sprayed with vegetable spray). Cover amd let rise. When it has doubled in size, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, then roll out (about 1/4 inch thick) and cut into squares. Place a small pat of butter in the middle of each square and fold over. Make sure to pinch down, otherwise rolls will open during cooking. Place on cookie sheets and let rise. (1-2 hours)

Bake at 400 for 11-15 min.