Slightly sweet from the addition of honey and vanilla, this loaf is a good reason to use the timer feature of your bread machine! It’s an excellent breakfast treat and makes superb French toast.

1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup shortening (I prefer Crisco Butter Flavor)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast.

Before beginning, check the date on your yeast. Yeast that is out-of-date will fail every time.

Allow the egg to stand at room temperature for an hour or so. Warm the milk slightly so that it’s lukewarm. Yeast blooms best at temperatures between 105° and 115°. If the milk is too cool it will not bring the yeast to life. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast.

Warm the bucket of your bread machine by filling with 6 – 8 inches of hot water and allow to stand for a couple of minutes. This step helps maintain the warmth of the milk for your recipe.

Pour the standing water out of the bread bucket and seat the bucket in the machine. Add the milk followed in order by the egg, shortening, honey, vanilla (yes, a full tablespoon!), flour and yeast.

If your machine seems to struggle a bit during the kneading process, add another tablespoon of lukewarm milk. Add another teaspoon or two if needed, but no more.

Set your machine for a Sweet Bread cycle with a light crust. Alternately, Rapid Bake, Standard or While Wheat cycles can be used successfully.

When the bread machine cycle has stopped, promptly remove the bread and allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes and then shake the loaf loose to a rack. Allow the bread to cool for a minimum of 45 minutes before cutting. If you cut this bread sooner, the center will compact and become too dense to enjoy.

Yield: 1 loaf

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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From lasagna to pickles, the versatile zucchini finds its way into a lot of our meals. You’ll want to make a couple of extra loaves of this moist chocolate zucchini bread to tuck into the freezer.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini (about 1 large)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 – 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

Wash and grate the zucchini.

Measure the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk briefly to blend and break up any clumps. In another bowl beat the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the zucchini and mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until done. The bread will spring back when pushed, and a pick inserted into the center will come out clean.

Yield: 2 loaves.

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This no-knead dill bread recipe has a complimentary light onion flavor. The addition of the cottage cheese enhances both the flavor and texture.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2-1/2 (1 package) teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons dill seed
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Oven temperature: 375° Generously grease a 1-1/2 quart soufflé dish or casserole or a 9″ round baking pan.

Lightly crush the dill seed. In a large bowl combine 3/4 cup of the flour, yeast, dill seed and baking soda. Place the cottage cheese, water, sugar, butter, onion and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir frequently until warmed between 120° and 130°. Stir the cottage cheese mixture into the flour mixture. Stir in the egg and then beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour by hand.

Spread the batter into your baking pan or casserole. Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place for 50 – 60 minutes; until almost doubled.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. Watch your loaf carefully after 15 – 20 minutes. If it appears to be browning too quickly, loosely cover the loaf with foil to finish baking. Immediately remove the loaf. Cool on a wire rack; serve warm or cold.

Yield: 1 loaf

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Quick breads play an important roll in the kitchen of busy cooks and those on a budget. This sweet corn muffin recipe is easy to make and appropriate served with a meal or as a snack.

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn meal
2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 18 – 20 muffin cups with paper cups or grease.

In a medium-large bowl, whisk to blend flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt. Melt the butter and add to a small bowl along with the milk, eggs and oil; whisk to blend. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir together just until the ingredients are moistened.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until lightly golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.

Yield: 18 – 20 muffins.

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This lightly sweet and moist Carrot Nut quick bread recipe comes together especially fast when you use a food processor to grate and grind ingredients. Save a little time; double the recipe and freeze a loaf.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups carrots
1-1/2 cups pecans

Wash and grate the carrots. Coarsely grind the pecans. Lightly beat the eggs.

Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir or whisk to blend.

Place the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and blend well. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix by hand with a few strokes, just until the ingredients are incorporated. Add the carrots and pecans; lightly mix by hand to blend.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. The bread will pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and return to the rack to cool completely.

Yield: 1 loaf.

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