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In Association with

Delicious Offerings from the Oven



By Wendy Louise with MaryAnn Koopmann

Lemon Bread

Makes 1 loaf, baked in a 2-quart dish


¾ cup margarine

1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs

2 ¼ cup flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup buttermilk

Grated rind from 1 lemon

¾ cup chopped nuts


The juice from the 1 lemon

½ cup sugar

Cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together and add to batter alternately with buttermilk, mixing well each addition. Stir in rind and nuts. Pour batter into a greased and floured 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool bread 15 minutes in dish, remove to serving plate, pierce top and spoon on glaze: To make glaze combine the lemon juice and sugar until smooth and drizzle over bread and into pierced holes.

A Conversation with the Cook: “This is such a versatile bread—good at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or snack! Its sweet but tart flavor goes with almost any meal, but could be served as a dessert too.”

Liz’s Soft-Baked Bread Sticks

Makes 32 bread sticks, or 2 loaves of bread

6 to 6 ½ cups unbleached flour

2 packages yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 ¼ cups warm water

Coarse salt, at baking time

Mix together 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil, and water. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 1 cup flour; mix 1 minute longer. Add 3 cups flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Knead dough on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary. Rest dough in greased bowl, covered with a tea towel for 20 minutes. Punch down dough before shaping.

To shape, cut dough in half and then in half again. You should have 4 approximately 3 x 8-inch pieces of dough. Cut each into 8 pieces. Roll between hands to form bread stick shapes. Place on cookie sheets. Oil tops and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours to rise again before baking. (This is called the cool-rise method.) Remove from fridge and sprinkle rolls with coarse salt just before baking. Bake at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes.

A Conversation with the Cook: “Liz introduced me to these bread sticks on a picnic many years ago and I had to have the recipe. Liz also suggests that this recipe can be baked as 2 loaves of bread. To do so, shape dough into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans, oil tops, and cool-rise for the 2 to 24 hours, covered with plastic wrap just like the bread sticks. Adjust baking temperature to 400° and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.”

Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

2 extra-ripe bananas

2 eggs

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ¼ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chocolate chips

Mash bananas. In large bowl, beat bananas, eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix just until blended. Spoon into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

A Conversation with the Cook: “For tender muffins, mix liquid and dry ingredients until just moistened. Over-mixing causes muffins to be tough, coarse textured, and full of tunnels.”

Fresh Pretzels

Makes 8 servings

Put into a large bowl and stir until dissolved:

1 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast

¾ cup warm water

Sift into small bowl:

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Gradually add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture. Use your hands and work dough until it’s soft and firm but not sticky. Add a little more flour if necessary, about 1 tablespoon. Knead dough until smooth and elastic about 5 minutes. Grease a medium size bowl. Lightly grease your fingertips and place the dough in the bowl. Set aside.

At time of baking:

1 egg, beaten

Coarse salt

Grease a cookie sheet. Divide dough into 15 pieces. With your hands, roll each piece from center out to ends, forming a thin rope about a foot long. Loop each rope into the shape of a pretzel and place on cookie sheet. Brush each pretzel with beaten egg; sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in 450° oven, until golden brown.

Excerpted from Offerings from the Oven by Wendy Louise with Mary Ann Koopmann. Copyright © 2006 by Wendy Louise. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Champion Press LTD. $16. Available in local bookstores or call 877-250-3354 or click here.

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