Family Non-Fiction posted December 9, 2015

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heritage of bread baking

blizzard bread

by flylikeaneagle

As a child, I grew up with smells of freshly baked bread made by loving hands of my mother. Agnes learned how to bake cinnamon rolls, dumplings and loaves of bread from her mother, Veronica. Simple ingredients of flour, yeast and a touch of sugar were combined into a ball. The children played games outside while the woman gathered in the summer kitchen to bake and can. The dough rose and was shaped and baked until golden brown. The smells in this kitchen drew the hard working farmers into the house. Mom's family gathered for hot baked bread, homemade butter and jam. They enjoyed long hours of playing cards or baseball with their children. Precious memories created a legacy of love for this large German family.

Mom taught me as a youth to use your hands, not machines. "Your hands are blessed," Mom would say, "God's tools!" We would add the flour, milk and farm fresh eggs. The yeast would rise with a spoonful or two of white sugar. If the dough was sticky, one would add more flour. The technique was easy. We punched the dough down. Then, let it raise. We shaped the dough. Let it raise again. Then we baked the bread until golden brown.

Now, as a mother, I taught my daughters how to bake bread. The first time Monica helped me bake was when she was two years old. We mashed bananas in a bowl. I added the flour, eggs, cinnamon, baking soda and butter. Monica helped me stir while standing on a chair by the counter. She remembered this experience. After grocery shopping one day, Monica grabbed the bananas. She got a fork and mashed the bananas in the cat water bowl. I laughed so hard. Then, we baked our own batch of banana bread together.

As my daughters got older, we added friends to the baking party. Since we live in Minnesota, we would have blizzard parties. The kids loved getting snowed into our house. I taught them the secret of blizzard bread. I told the youth that bread is made with love. "Use your hands, they are God's gifts to you," I would say. Many of these young folk never experience baking bread. I told them to imagine shaping play dough. But, the advantage of this dough is that it was edible.

I don't think my great grandmother would mind if she saw the youth shape the dough into snow men, flowers, and hearts. The laughter filled the house as we inhaled the smells of fresh baked bread. Game time, painting finger nails and movies were abundant during these blizzards. Home made soups and bread made the blizzard a second thought. Everyone got involved cooking and baking. The youth still smile as they thank me for teaching them the heritage of baking blizzard bread.

Sweet roll bread dough from our family cookbook:
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
7-8 cups flour

In large bowl dissolve yeast in water with sugar for about 5 minutes. Add eggs, milk and oil. Stir and add flour and mix well. Use your hands until dough is soft and not sticky. Use butter on your hands and add flour as needed to make the bread dough. Cover with cloth and let raise for about 90 minutes. Punch down and let raise again for about an hour. Shape into buns, bread sticks or use for rolls.

Caramel sauce for rolls:

1 stick butter and 2 cups brown sugar

Heat on pan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 4 tablespoons syrup. When cool, put in bottom of pan. Roll out dough flat and spread with soft butter. Add sugar, cinnamon and nuts on top. Add dried raisins, apricots or dates if desired. Roll into a log. Slice in two inch pieces. Place onto of caramel sauce. Let raise until double. Bake until golden brown with a 350 degree oven.

My champion ribbon blizzard bread recipe:

1 package of yeast
4 teaspoons of sugar
1 cup warm water in a bowl

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons milk
4 cups flour

In a large bowl add the risen yeast to the rest of these ingredients. This is simple and easy. Stir and then get your hands into the dough. Shape and punch the bread. Dough should be smooth, not sticky (add flour) and not dry (add oil). Let the dough raise for about a hour until doubles in size. Then cut the dough into pieces. Let the youth play with the dough and shape into designs. If the youth like, they can smear butter to their hands so the bread is not sticky as they shape the dough.

Bake until golden brown in a hot 400 degree oven. When the bread dough is almost done, last 10 minutes, open the oven and throw in a cup of water. This helps crisp the bread crust. Enjoy this blizzard bread with warm butter and friends!

You are all welcome to our house for homemade soup and blizzard bread! Have a blessed
Christmas season and blessed New Year with your precious family!

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During the night of December 28, we got over 15 inches of snow. I hired a couple of guys to shovel and plow out my driveway. Another guy took his snow blower and blew my snow from the sidewalk. I made this bread in the morning. This is a great "thank you bread" to share with the guys that help you. Hot coffee and blizzard bread, share with family and friends! Pass out our legacy of love!
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