By Ann Cipperly

When the house is filled with the aroma of bread baking in the oven, it gives everyone in the family a lift. Freshly baked bread from the oven is one of the most comforting foods. Now that we are at home, this is a good time to bake bread and let the kids learn how.
While yeast breads are wonderful, loaf breads are also popular and the easiest to make. When I make my Pumpkin Bread recipe, I simply measure all the ingredients in the mixer bowl and then beat for three minutes. It is then poured into two greased loaf pans to bake for about an hour.

My family will often request the Pumpkin Bread. It is super moist and will keep for several days tightly wrapped. It also freezes well, so I try to keep a couple of loaves in the freezer.

I also use this recipe for muffins. For a coffee or tea, I will bake the batter in mini muffin tins. To give them a special look, I slice the little muffins and spread softened cream cheese with a little sugar to lightly sweeten on the bottom half. I place the top of the muffin back on. Sometimes I will use the leftover cream cheese to put a rosette on top.

These look like they look a long time to make. The little muffins disappear quickly.
Banana Bread is also a popular quick bread and a great way to use over ripe bananas. Some recipes call for milk, buttermilk, sour cream or cream cheese. There are a variety of recipes. Children especially like Banana Bread, so let them bake a couple of loaves this week. They also freeze well.

Margaret Whittelsey’s Banana Bread calls for buttermilk. If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can add a ½ tsp. white vinegar to milk.

If you like yeast bread, but don’t want to bother with kneading and letting it rise, try the Yeast Muffins. The batter is easily mixed, and no kneading is required. The batter for these muffins will keep a few days in the refrigerator, and you can bake several fresh batches.
Old fashioned baked yeast breads are so good. I recently ran the Gold Braid Bread in a column, which is my favorite to make. If you missed that column, let me know, and I will email it to you.

Betty Letlow has a good Sour Dough Bread recipe that is unique that you make the sour dough “starter” fresh for every batch. Betty said she has made it several times to be sure it worked.

Since you are at home, you may want to try the Sour Dough Bread that has the starter you keep and add to every time you use it. A friend of mine told me recently that she was baking six or more loaves at one time for her family.
It you can’t get to the grocery store, you can always bake your bread.

Nicole Roberts makes Homemade Hamburger Buns. These buns will certainly give your hamburgers an upscale taste.
A couple of years ago I had the chance to watch French pastry Chef Carolin “Karl” give a demonstration on making French bread at Café Vendome in Sandy Springs, Ga.

Walking into Cafe Vendome is like walking into a Paris pastry shop with glass cases filled with exquisite small gems of confections, including macarons.

The artisan French pastry bakery cafe features the creations of Chef Carolin “Karl”, who has received various top awards in national competition in France. The chef bakes fresh French bread every day for sandwiches as well as scrumptious Parisian desserts.
If you go to Sandy Springs, stop by the café for a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and a superb pastry by the French chef. Maybe you will catch a glimpse of Chef Karl in the kitchen behind the glass making French bread. The café is located at 4969 Roswell Rd #155.
Whether you try a yeast bread or quick loaf bread this week, don’t forget to get the children in the kitchen to help. While you are in the kitchen cooking, it might be a good time to learn a new Bible verse. The following is one of my favorites and seems appropriate for today’s column on breads.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever comes to me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35

Cipperly can be reached at


Best Pumpkin Bread
I use this recipe for making muffins too. This bread is so moist, and the best recipe I have tried for pumpkin bread.
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup oil
1 cup water
1 can solid pack pure pumpkin
4 eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients; beat for 3 minutes. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until tests done. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Freezes well.

Best Ever Banana Bread
Margaret Whittelsey
This is my aunt’s recipe.
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 ripe medium bananas, mashed (1 cup)
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. buttermilk*
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup nuts, chopped
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl mix bananas, oil, butter, egg and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in nuts.
Pour into greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until bread tests done.

  • If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can add a ½ tsp. white vinegar to milk.

Margaret Tatum’s Date Nut Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Filling
I miss this sweet lady! Margaret Tatum was a gracious, southern lady who enjoyed cooking.
8 oz. chopped dates
1 ½ cups boiling water
Pour water over dates and let sit for 15 minutes
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ¾ cups plain flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup chopped pecans
Orange Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
½ to 1 tsp. grated orange rind (dried or fresh)
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
To make bread, cream butter and sugar until creamy. Add beaten eggs and remaining ingredients until smooth. Add chopped pecans and stir well.
Grease loaf pans and line with wax paper. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.
Remove from pans.
Combine ingredients for Orange Cream Cheese Filling. Slice bread in half; spread with filling. Wrap with wax paper and store in refrigerator until needed.
Bread may be baked ahead of time and frozen. A few days before needed, slice in half and add cream cheese filling. Rewrap with wax paper and store in refrigerator.
Makes one 9x5x3 loaf pan or 3 7x3x2 loaf pans.

Homemade Hamburger Buns
Nicole Roberts
3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large egg
3 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
*For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time.
Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients by hand, mixer or bread machine to make a soft, smooth dough.
Cover dough, and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate dough, and divide into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3-inch across. Place buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
Brush buns with about half of the melted butter.
Bake buns in a preheated 375 oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven, and brush with remaining melted butter. This will give buns a satiny, buttery crust.
Cool buns on a rack. Makes 8 large buns.

Sourdough Bread with One Time Starter
Betty Letlow
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. potato flakes or Instant mashed potatoes
1 cup warm water
1 pkg. yeast (divided)
Bread Mix:
½ cup sugar
½ cup oil
1 Tbsp. salt
1½ cups warm water
1 cup starter mix
6 cups bread flour
The starter mix is made new every time. To make starter, stir sugar, potato flakes and water until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of yeast on top of mixture. (NOTE: Recipe will call for yeast to be sprinkled twice. Do not throw away remaining yeast.) Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir well again and cover top of container with plastic wrap or foil. Let mixture sit out all day, at least 6 hours.
To make bread, mix sugar, oil, salt, water & starter mix in large bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle remainder of yeast on top & let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Stir well again. Slowly stir in flour until all flour is moistened. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle and stir in small amount of flour, careful not to add too much flour.
In a large bowl, grease sides well to the top. Put dough in bowl, stretch & pat down until it covers bottom. Turn dough over & pat down again. Cover, set in cold oven or away from draft overnight.
In the morning, work dough down and divide into three portions. Place each portion into a greased loaf pan and pat down. Cover each with plastic wrap and place in cold oven away from draft until dough rises above top of pan (about 6 to 7 hours).
To bake bread, remove pans from oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and return pans to oven to bake about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. Let cool & run knife around edge of bread to remove bread from pans. Yields 3 loaves.
Variations: Rolls and Cinnamon Bread may be made with this dough. For bread, use hands to spread out 1/3 of dough, sprinkle with cinnamon – sugar mixture and roll up, jelly roll style, place in loaf pan to rise.

No Knead Yeast Muffins
1 pkg. yeast
2 cups warm water
1 ½ sticks butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 cups self-rising flour
Place yeast in warm water. Cream melted butter with sugar; add beaten egg. Add yeast and water, then flour. Drop batter into greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Can be stored tightly covered in refrigerator up to a week.

French Bread
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tsp. salt
½ pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp. salt
Combine flours and salt. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Using the steel knife of the food processor, add 2 cups flour with ½ dissolved yeast mixture with 4 quick on/off turns. Add balance of liquid, repeating on/off motion.
Add 3/4 cup flour, repeat on/off motion 4 times, then let machine run until dough forms a ball. Stop machine and touch dough. If too wet and sticky, add remaining flour. Turn on machine to knead dough until smooth, but still sticky to the touch.
Place in lightly oiled bowl, turning dough so entire surface is oiled. Cover with damp towel and let rise in warm place (about 80 degrees) until doubled in bulk, I to 2 hours.
Remove to lightly floured board, roll out to desired length. Roll up tightly starting with long side, stretch end pieces so seams are under loaf and pinch seams together. Place on baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Slash top with a knife. Cover with damp towel and let rise again until doubled.
Using the plastic blade of food processor, mix egg and salt for glaze with 6 on/off turns. Brush on glaze very carefully without dripping onto baking sheet.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 30 minutes or until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. For extra crispness, brush crust lightly with water when bread is removed from oven. Makes 1 loaf.

Cinnamon Rolls
Nicole Roberts
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp. melted butter
4 Tbsp. water
1/2 (3.5 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. bread machine yeast
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 tsp. milk
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a bread machine pan, place milk, beaten egg, melted butter, water, vanilla pudding mix, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast in order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the dough cycle.
When cycle is finished, remove dough, and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Roll out to a large rectangle.
Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread over dough. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and raisins, if desired. Starting with the widest end, roll dough into a log. Pinch to seal seams. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch slices, and place in a greased 9×13 inch pan. Place in a draft-free space, and allow to rise until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
To make frosting, mix milk, confectioners’ sugar, softened butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Beat together and spread on warm rolls.