Standing Out

Something about this yellow tulip caught my eye and my heart.


There it stood, in the middle of a huge planting of almost spent red tulips.

But it was yellow.
And just beginning.

It made me wonder:  did they do that on purpose?
Was it a yellow bulb that somehow ended up in a bag of red ones?
How did it happen?

I love the way the yellow tulip stands out.  Somehow it is more beautiful because it is different.
And having it there makes the whole picture more beautiful, as well.
If it had been a planting of all red tulips, I would have admired it from afar, but one yellow tulip in the center was what drew me away from the sidewalks to the edge of the scene.

I thought of life.
I’d like to stand out like a yellow tulip.
But sometimes I’d like to blend in like the red ones.
And perhaps, to some, the yellow one is a drawback instead of a standout.
Perhaps someone thought it was a shame when they saw it.
It’s interesting that the yellow tulip didn’t bloom when the red ones did.

I remembered my cherry trees, how they stand side by side and yet have their own schedule for growth and blooming.
Like people.

I guess life gives us all  the chance to experience both colors, to learn what can be learned from standing out AND blending in.
I hope we all can have the sense to use good judgment and know when it is time to ditch the red crowd and stand alone, to stand for something worthwhile, something true.
And the more we influence others for good, the more we are surrounded by goodness.
Isn’t that the point?

Hopeful Homemaker’s Homemade Rolls

Having fresh strawberry jam in my fridge has made me crave homemade rolls to spread it on.

So, here we go.

I use a Bosch mixer.  I love it.  If  you’re ever shopping for a top notch machine for bread making, I highly recommend it.


If you use a KitchenAid, be aware that they can usually only handle half a batch, so you’ll want to cut this recipe in half to be safe.

Start by adding 5 cups warm water.  (I get mine pretty hot.)


Next, add 1 cup vegetable oil


and four eggs


Then I turn on the mixer and blend it for a minute.
Then add 2 cups flour


1 cup powdered milk


1/2 cup sugar


and 2 tablespoons salt


Turn the mixer to low speed, and let the ingredients combine.
The consistency should be very watery.


Now add 4 more cups flour and 4 tablespoons SAF-Instant yeast.


This is the kind of yeast you want to use:


This is the only kind of yeast I use; you couldn’t pay me to use anything else!
Notice that you’re just adding the yeast along with the flour, as if it was no big deal?
No proofing, etc.  This should be your first HUGE hint that you’ve just discovered something amazing.
For a short lesson in why YOU shouldn’t use anything else, either, see my post on yeast:

Now turn on the mixer again.  If you’re using a Bosch, you should be able to just keep it on low speed.
Add more flour, between 4 and 6 more cups, one cup at a time (this makes between 10 and 12 cups total), and watch carefully.
When the dough begins to pull away from the edges of the bowl, you’ve got enough.


When it reaches this point, put the lid on and let it knead for 5-7 minutes.

After it has mixed, remove the dough hook.


Replace the lid, and let the dough rise in the mixer for 10-15 minutes.
Prepare a large cutting board or part of your kitchen counter to use as a work surface to roll out the dough.  Pray it generously with non-stick spray.

Then dump out your dough.


Knead it by hand for 1 or 2 minutes, and then divide it into 4 large pieces.


One at a time, roll out the dough into a large rectangle.
You may need to spray the surface again with Pam, or if you like your rolls with a
little layer of flour on them, sprinkle a bit of flour so the dough won’t stick.


I like to roll my rolls into a crescent shape, as it is so quick and simple.
I take a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into triangles.



Next, roll the triangles up starting with the wide end.


Place rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.


Repeat this process with the remaining three balls of dough.

Let rise for 10 minutes (no, not an hour and not until doubled in size)
and then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until beginning to turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and baste with melted butter (or if you’re lazy like me, just get a stick of butter and gently rub it over the top of every roll).


I also like to sprinkle a little sea salt over the tops of the rolls after I butter them.

Wow!  I wish you could smell these.
You would have to make them right away because you’d be so hungry.

There aren’t many things in life yummier than warm, fresh out of the oven, homemade rolls.

Remember the strawberry jam?


It really doesn’t get much better than this.


Yum.  I’d better finish this so I can go eat more.  You’ll never be able to buy rolls again with a clear conscience.  They’re fast, delicious, and everyone will be impressed!

Hopeful Homemaker’s Homemade Rolls

5 cups very warm water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons salt
4 Tablespoons SAF-Instant yeast
10-12 cups bread flour

Preheat oven to 375.

In a mixer, combine water, oil and eggs.
Add 2 cups of the flour, the powdered milk, sugar and salt.
Mix together.
Add 4 more cups flour and the 4 Tb. yeast

Mix again.
Slowly add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough begins to pull away from the bowl.
Cover and let knead for 5-7 minutes.

Turn off mixer, remove dough hook, replace lid, and let rise for 10-15 minutes.
Spray work surface with non-stick spray and dump dough onto surface.
Knead by hand a few times, then cut dough into quarters.
Take one piece of dough and roll out into large rectangle.  Cut into triangles.
Roll up in crescent shape and place rolls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Repeat with remaining dough.

Let rolls rise for 10-15 minutes
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until rolls begin to turn golden brown on top.
Remove from oven and brush with butter and salt.


A Lesson in Yeast

If you want to make homemade bread, rolls, and so forth, then you need to know how to do it in an hour.

It’s all about the yeast.

About 8 years ago, I attended a class on making whole wheat bread.
My life hasn’t been the same since.
It’s because of this yeast.

SAF-Instant Yeast

This is called SAF-Instant Yeast.
Most grocery stores don’t carry it, but they should.  It is actually cheaper than the yeast you buy at the grocery store, like Red Star, and it’s 100 times better.  It’s more potent than active dry yeast.

Let me tell you a little bit about how to use this stuff.

Forget about warm water, yeast, and sugar in a little bowl, and hoping that the yeast is good.
Forget about worrying that your water was too warm.
Forget all that stuff.

SAF yeast just goes into the recipe with the flour, like any other ingredient.
You store it in your freezer.
It goes directly into your recipe from the freezer.
It will keep for years in your freezer (I am currently using one I’ve had for 4 1/2 years and it is perfectly fine.)  This means you can buy it in bulk and store it for a long time if you want to.

Forget about waiting for dough to double in size, or giving it an hour to rise.
Try giving it 10-15 minutes.

This stuff is good.  It’s really that good.
I honestly don’t think you can mess it up.
It’s so easy, simple, and fast.

And did I mention that it’s much cheaper than the other kinds?

It comes like this, and then you cut it open to use.
I store mine in a quart size freezer bag once it’s been open.

SAF Yeast

This is what it looks like.  Just regular old yeast.
But it will revolutionize your baking.


It can be substituted for any other kind of yeast in any other recipe.
I like to use this handy little shot glass measuring cup because it has both tablespoons and ounces on it.  I’ve found that some recipes measure yeast in ounces and some do it in tablespoons, so this lets me measure quickly.
That makes it easier for me to not mess up when I’m using SAF yeast in a recipe.

yeast in measuring cup

You might like to know that 1 packet of yeast is 2 1/4 teaspoons.
Some people say that if you’re substituting with SAF yeast, you can reduce the yeast by 25%, or in other words, use 1 3/4 teaspoons as a substitute for 1 packet of active dry yeast.
If that’s too confusing for you, then just use the equivalent of whatever your recipe calls for.

With that said, go get some!

Here is one online source that sells it if you can’t find it locally, and the price is quite good.

If anyone ever finds it for a better price, let me know!

Let’s get baking!

1 435 436 437 438 439 442