Whole Grain Bread

Whole Grain Bread

I love to make bread and for a while now I’ve been thinking about coming up with a bread recipe for Alexis and I so that I could stop buying bread at the store and dealing with all those plastic bags and things that bread is inevitably packed in. I already make Jamison’s gluten free bread each week, so why not make one Lex and I can enjoy too?

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t see the point. They are easily made and easily broken, but I see nothing wrong with making a few goals. Goals are much easier to focus on and aren’t as daunting to me. So last week I set out with the goal to come up with a really good whole grain bread that both Alexis and I could enjoy and this is what resulted. It took two tries, but on the second it really came together!

So goodbye store bought bread! This version is delicious and easy. You can’t get better than that!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 cup of oats, processed until smooth
1/3 cup of flax seed meal
1/3 cup of vital wheat gluten (Note: You really need to add wheat gluten if you’re making a whole grain bread. It really makes a BIG difference!)
1 2/3 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 2/3 cups of whole wheat flour
2/3 cup of corn flour (Note: Corn flour is NOT corn starch.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of honey
1 cup of orange juice (Note: You can use freshly squeezed or out of the carton.)

Mix yeast and water together and let sit for 5 minutes or so or until foamy:

Whole Grain Bread: Yeast

While yeast is proofing place oats in a food processor and process until relatively flour like in consistency:

Whole Grain Bread: Oats

Next mix processed oats, flax seed meal, gluten, flours and sea salt in a large glass bowl until completely incorporated. Add water/yeast, olive oil, honey and orange juice and stir until dough forms.

Now here’s where I do things a little differently…You ready?

Instead of putting the dough on a floured surface and kneading, I just sprinkle the dough with white whole wheat flour and knead it right in the bowl! Works perfectly and saves you the steps of having to clean the counter after you’re finished.

Knead for 1-2 minutes until dough is elastic. (Note: That means when you poke it it bounces back.) Place dough in a bread pan that has been brushed with olive oil or sprayed with non-stick spray:

Whole Grain Bread: Ready to Rise

Place in a warm place (I like to put it in the oven with the light on) and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until you can see a noticeable rise:

Whole Grain Bread: Risen

Remember that with whole grain breads the rise is very subtle. It’s not going to double in size or anything of that nature while in the rising period, but you will be able to see a slight enlargement.

Once the dough is risen turn oven on to 400 F with the loaf in the oven. Close the door and when the oven is preheated THEN start counting time. (In other words you’re going to preheat your oven WITH the loaf inside. The loaf will continue to rise a bit more as the oven preheats.)

When the oven is preheated you will bake from 35-45 minutes until loaf sounds hollow and is browned all over:

Whole Grain Bread

You might have to cover the loaf with foil in the last 10 minutes or so if it gets really brown. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting. Store in an airtight container once completely cooled.

Notes: No notes on this one.

Easy Sour Dough Bread

Easy Sour Dough Bread: The Inside

Making your own bread is really easy, not to mention a lot of fun! Sour dough is sometimes conceived as difficult, but it really isn’t. You make a “starter” and let it do it’s thing. The longer you let it sit the more “sour” it becomes. You can even make a loaf the day you begin the “starter” as I did with this loaf. Or you can store it in the fridge for a couple of weeks at a time. As long as you feed it (i.e. add flour from time to time) it can go on indefinitely in the fridge.

This version is a quick start. You whip up the “starter” in the morning and by the afternoon you’re making dough. Or if you don’t want to make it that day you can as I mentioned above store it in the fridge in a glass jar and feed it right before making the bread. The directions below are for making the day the “starter” begins, but trust me it’s a good loaf of bread either way!

Easy Sour Dough Bread: "Starter"

What You’ll Need for the “Starter”:
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour

In a large glass jar mix together water, sugar, yeast and flour and stir to mix. (Note: Use wooden utensils and avoid letting metal or plastic touch the “starter”) Let sit for at least 1 hour to overnight to proof.

As you can see above my “starter” got a little happy and crawled right out of the jar. That doesn’t usually happen, but sometimes yeast just has a mind of its own.

What You’ll Need to Make the Bread:
1 “starter”, proofed
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of warm water
2-3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

In a large bowl add starter, salt and water. Stir to mix. Slowly add flour until dough ball forms. (Note: You made need some, all or possibly even just a bit more flour. It all depends on humidity and such. You want dough you can handle without sticking to your hands.)

Once dough is formed turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes until dough is elastic. Shape into a ball, place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper and score the top of the loaf:

Easy Sour Dough Bread: Ready to Rise

Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour or until the loaf has risen:

Easy Sour Dough Bread: Risen

Set oven to 400 F.

Add risen dough to the oven as it preheats instead of waiting for the oven to preheat. Bake for 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped and is golden brown.

Easy Sour Dough Bread: Baked

Notes: I haven’t tried this yet with whole grain flours, but I plan to do that the next time around.

Kicking Up a Tomato Sandwich: Cornmeal Waffles

Cornmeal Waffles: Tomato Sandwich

I’m late today, but I’m here!

Yesterday was one of those days. I woke up with a migraine that would just NOT GO AWAY! It wasn’t a functioning migraine either, it was a shut myself in my dark room with the fan on and sleep all day sort of migraine. Even after the migraine finally started to abate around 4:30 yesterday afternoon I felt tired, zombie like and sore. Days like that make me glad Jamison works from home most days! I woke up this morning feeling better, but way behind on everything!

So without further ado, let’s talk some cornmeal waffles/tomato sandwiches!

Tomato sandwiches are one of my all time favorite summer treats! There is just nothing like a tomato sandwich on a corn cake! It takes a while to make corn cakes though, so I started thinking of ways to speed up the process. I’m all about finding ways to do things faster!

Corn cakes are cooked like pancakes, so there is a lot of standing around waiting to flip them and such. Pancakes made me think of waffles, because I prefer waffles over pancakes for the simple fact that you can make them much faster, and then I decided the perfect way to cook corn cakes would be in waffle form, so I decided to give it a whirl and it worked perfectly!

This method is a quick, easy way to make delicious, hearty yet healthy, whole grain corn cakes. What’s better than that?

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of yellow stone ground corn meal
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs
Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat waffle iron at medium heat.

In a large bowl stir together corn meal, salt, baking soda and baking powder until well mixed. Next add milk and eggs:

Cornmeal Waffles: Making the Batter

Stir together ingredients until thick batter forms:

Cornmeal Waffles: Batter

(Note: Depending on humidity you might need all of the milk, part of the milk or maybe just a bit more. You want a thick batter that is not runny.)

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Place scoops of batter on your preheated waffle iron:

Cornmeal Waffles: Ready to Cook

If you want you can spread the batter out to the edges to make them uniform, but with these I actually like them to be a bit rustic.

Cook for 2-4 minutes until golden brown:

Cornmeal Waffles

Repeat until you run out of batter. This will make 6-8 waffles.

Cornmeal Waffles

Now you’re ready to make your sandwiches!

How you put together your sandwich is a matter of choice. I like tomato sandwiches when they are on corn cakes or corn waffles pretty simple. I either like them with mayo and tomatoes, or with mayo, tomatoes and cheese. This go around I stuck with the former. If I eat a tomato sandwich on regular bread I like it with avocado, green pepper strips, cucumber, sprouts, cheese and mayo, which is probably my all time favorite sandwich, which is neither here nor there.


You want a nice ripe tomato and big, thick slices:

Cornmeal Waffles: Tomato Sandwich: Tomatoes

This is an heirloom variety we got from our CSA.

Place your condiment(s) directly on to your waffle and then top with tomato(es) and sprinkle with sea salt:

Cornmeal Waffles: Tomato Sandwich

Add lettuce, cheese, bell pepper, avocado, etc. Whatever floats your boat and then top with another waffle and voila…The perfect tomato sandwich!

Notes: No notes for this one!

Yeast Rolls a la Dianne

Yeast Rolls

I don’t make yeast rolls that often anymore. Before Jamison’s Celiac discovery I made them for him once a week or so. Now that he can’t have gluten I rarely make them because he can’t have them, though he really would love to dive right in! So now I only make them on special occasions.

When Jamison’s parents were here over the Easter weekend I made a batch to go with Easter dinner. These turned out great! And did I mention how easy these are? Your mixer does all the work other than shaping them into individual yeast rolls. That is always a good thing!

So if you like yeast rolls and don’t want to go to a lot of trouble, look no further…These are the yeast rolls for you!

Yeast Rolls: The Inside

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 eggs
1/3 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
4-6 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of butter

Mix yeast and warm water. Set aside for bout 5 minutes until yeast/water is foamy.

In the bowl of your mixer cream together butter, eggs, sugar and sea salt. Add water and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix on low until incorporated and then turn the mixer on medium and mix for 2 minutes.

At the end of two minutes slowly add flour with the mixer on low until dough ball forms and is no longer sticky. You may need all the remaining flour or just some of it. As always it depends on relative humidity and such. Once the dough ball has formed (and again isn’t sticky) turn your mixer back to medium and mix for 4 minutes. This is your “kneading” stage. You’re letting your stand mixer do the work for you!

Once the dough is kneaded shape into a ball and place in a very large glass bowl that has been lined with butter:

Yeast Rolls: Dough Ready for 1st Rise

The best way to handle the butter is just to take the two tablespoons and squish it between your fingers and rub it all over the bowl.

Place the dough in a warm place and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size:

Yeast Rolls: Dough After 1st Rise

(Note: This picture above is actually about halfway through the rise. It will get a bit bigger than this.)

Once the dough is risen, punch it down and break off pieces about the size of a golf ball and shape into rounds:

Yeast Rolls: Ready for 2nd Rise

Let rise in a warm place for about an hour. They should roughly double in size again.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Yeast Rolls: Baked

Makes about 2 dozen rolls.

Notes: You could use white whole wheat flour if you liked. I haven’t actually tried that with this recipe, but it should work fine.

Sandwich Buns

Sandwich Buns

Why not hamburger buns you ask? My answer to that is a question in and of itself: Why limit a bun to one thing?!?! These are great with pulled pork, chicken salad, a regular turkey or ham and cheese sandwich, etc. What’s not to like about that?

For a while now I’ve been wanting to play around with chicken burgers (which you’ll see tomorrow!) I got some ground chicken and set off to do just that and then realized I hadn’t purchased buns. Luckily I figured this out early enough that I was able to make some dough and play around with making some buns myself and it actually worked on the first try! I just love it when ideas like this come together so quickly!

Sandwich Buns: The Inside

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar
5 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: You could use white whole wheat flour instead.)
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 egg, beaten for an egg wash
Sesame seeds (optional)

In a glass measuring cup combine water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until foamy.

Sandwich Buns: Dough

While the yeast is proofing mix together 3 cups of flour and sea salt in a large glass bowl until incorporated. Add olive oil and yeast mixture and stir to mix. Slowly add remaining flour until dough ball forms. I like to add 1 cup to the bowl and then pour 1 cup out on the counter to mix in while kneading. Keep in mind, as always when working with flour, that you may need slightly more, or slightly less depending on humidity conditions and such.

Sandwich Buns: Cut

Knead for about 3 minutes or until dough is elastic. This means that if you poke it with your finger it bounces back. Once it is kneaded cut the dough into 12-14 pieces that are roughly the same size.

Sandwich Buns: Ready to Rise

Place on two baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and let rise for an hour or until roughly doubled in size.

Sandwich Buns: Risen, Brushed, Sprinkled and Read to Bake

Once the buns have risen preheat oven to 375 F. Next brush them gently with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

If you chose to use sesame seeds they’ll look like this:

Sandwich Buns: With Sesame Seeds

If you chose not to top them they’ll look like this:

Sandwich Buns: Without Sesame Seeds

Let cool and store in an airtight container for about a week. You could also freeze these for use later.

Notes: You can do many things with these buns. You can make them straight up, you can top them with sesame seeds, you could top them with dried onions and seeds to make an anything type bun, etc. What’s not to like about something so versatile?

Irish Brown Bread

Irish Brown Bread

When I think of Saint Patrick’s Day one of the first things I think of is brown bread. I’ve had this recipe for years. I don’t remember who gave it to me, or where they got it, but it’s been a favorite of mine since I first tried it and everyone I have served it to has loved it as well. It’s a simple, no kneading, quick, has a fabulous texture and is perfect hot or cold rustic loaf of bread.

This is also the perfect bread to introduce whole wheat flour to someone that might not be a fan (or think they aren’t anyway) because the over all texture is so nice. If you’re looking for an easy brown bread, then look no further…You’ve found it!

If you’d like some ideas about other Saint Patrick’s Day type dishes then visit my Saint Patrick’s Day set on Flickr from 2007 when we were celebrating our trip to Ireland, which later was canceled when life got in the way, but we had fun with the feast none the less!


Update 1/18/2017: I finally made it to Ireland in the summer of 20016. Sadly I did not have one bit of brown bread while I was there.

Now let’s get down to some brown bread!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of whole wheat flour (Note: I like the King Arthur Flour version.)
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large glass bowl stir together flours, baking powder and salt until mixed. Add buttermilk and stir until dough forms. (Note: You may need slightly less than the amount of buttermilk listed above or slightly more. It all depends on humidity and such.)

Form dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. You don’t need to knead the dough, (isn’t that a mouthful! ;oP) just shape it and go.

Irish Brown Bread: Ready to Bake

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Irish Brown Bread: Baked

Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: No notes for this one. It’s pretty straight forward!

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

I love Red Lobster. Well actually I love seafood and sometimes I like to go to Red Lobster and while their seafood is ok (I prefer going to Phillips here in Maryland, specifically the Annapolis location! Though looking at their website Annapolis doesn’t appear to be listed there anymore, so perhaps it closed? I haven’t been over to Main Street in Annapolis in a year or so.) I have to admit that sometimes I want to go eat there simply for their garlic cheese biscuits!

Several years ago I decided that it couldn’t be that hard to come up with something similar so I set to work. At first I used garlic salt, but it can tend to make the biscuits too salty overall. I finally settled on garlic powder and it works like a charm! The biscuits are light and tender and just the perfect savory bite! There is melted cheese throughout as well. These are just fabulous by themselves or with a dab of butter while still piping hot!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups of shredded cheddar (Note: I highly recommend shredding your own. They put some weird stabilizers in pre-shredded cheeses that cause them to not work quite as well. They will still work, but the results will be much better if you shred the cheese yourself.)
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk (Note: You may need a little more or a little less depending on humidity conditions when you are baking.)

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt, garlic powder and baking powder until incorporated. Using a pastry cutter or a fork cut in butter until mixture is pebbly:

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: Butter

Next stir in cheese:

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: Cheese

You want to add the cheese before you add the liquid so that you can ensure that the cheese will be spread throughout the dough. It’s nearly impossible to work the cheese in after you’ve made the dough without ending up with tough biscuits.

Next add liquid and stir until dough forms. The dough will be shaggy at this point, but will continue to come together in the next step.

Shape into a ball on a floured surface:

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: Ready to Roll

Next roll out dough with a floured rolling pin until about 1/2 an inch thick:

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: Ready to Cut

Using a floured glass or biscuit cutter cut biscuits and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper:

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: Ready to Bake

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

This makes about 15 biscuits with the juice glass that I use to cut. How many it will actually make depends on the size of your cutter.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: The Inside

Notes: There are many variations that you can do with these. Sometimes I add in dried chives and/or parsley. You could omit the garlic and use dill instead. You could also make these using white whole wheat flour.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Today we’re going to take a walk down the path of life backward, all the way back to Thanksgiving! Why the journey back in time? Because I haven’t really blogged new recipes since this was made and this one was just too good not to share! In fact the recipes over the next few days will all be Thanksgiving throw backs, but trust me…You’ll want to try them! Who says it has to be Thanksgiving to have a little dessert?

I’m a huge pumpkin fan. I have been for as long as I can remember. I look forward to the time of year when it’s “acceptable” to pull out the pumpkin, though these days you can buy it in the can year round (and in fact this bread was actually made with the canned variety), or you could even make up some pumpkin and freeze it when pumpkin is in season to pull out for later use. Heck you could even make the actual bread and freeze it for later use! What’s not to like about that?

The special touch to this bread is walnut oil and maple syrup. Both of the elements give the bread and very lovely undertone. This bread is perfect warm or even at room temperature. I love it for breakfast or a snack. I also think it would be neat to take it and make a French toast casserole, but I haven’t put that idea to the test yet. For now let’s get on with things and a get a little pumpkin bread baking!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 29 ounce can of pumpkin (Note: NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
4 eggs
1 cup of natural brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 cup of roasted walnut oil
1/4 cup of maple syrup
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Pumpkin Bread: Ready to Bake

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl cream together pumpkin, eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Next stir in nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and baking powder until completely incorporated. Add oil and maple syrup and stir to mix. Last add flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter evenly between two loaf pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake in a preheated oven for one hour or until bread sticks done.

Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 15-20 minutes and then turn out onto a cotton towel and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Notes: If you are making this for someone with nut allergies obviously the walnut oil is a no no. You could substitute safflower or light olive oil instead. If you aren’t dealing with nut allergies you could add in a cup of chopped walnuts too.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: A Slice

I love cinnamon. Seriously, there is just something about it that makes me happy. That’s weird, I suppose, but it’s a definite favorite none the less.

As a child I loved cinnamon toast, but my cinnamon toast had a twist…There was no sugar on it! My version was simply bread, margarine (that’s what my mom used when we were kids) and cinnamon. In fact I still eat it that way sometimes! Just thinking about it brings back all sorts of memories, but I won’t bore you with that right now.

Let’s get back to cinnamon shall we? Or more specifically cinnamon swirl bread!

For a while now I’ve want to try to make a cinnamon swirl bread. I knew the general concept was much like you roll cinnamon rolls, only you didn’t slice the loaf. I was very impressed with how it came out! It was cinnamony, sweet and just perfect for breakfast. I think it would have made some fabulous French toast, had it lasted that long of course!

I made two loaves and Lex and I kept one and we gave the other to our neighbor as a thank you for mowing our grass. If you’re a cinnamon lover then this is the bread for you!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of warm milk (Note: I usually put it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and then stir. You don’t want it hot, just above lukewarm.)
4 teaspoons of yeast
2 cups of bread flour
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
Melted butter

Mix warm milk and yeast in a glass measuring cup and set aside until foamy. (This usually takes 1-4 minutes in a warm kitchen.)

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Dough Ready To Roll.

While yeast is proofing, in a large bowl mix together flour, sea salt and sugar until completely incorporated. Slowly add the milk until dough ball forms. You may need all of the milk or some of the milk, flour is funny like that. It all has to do with humidity in the air and such. Once dough is formed turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes or until elastic.

This will make one large loaf or two smaller loaves. If you choose to do two smaller loaves then cut the dough in half now.

Next shape the dough into a rough square and roll out until about 1/4 on an inch thick:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Dough Ready for Sugar and Cinnamon

Make sure that the width of your dough doesn’t get too much longer than the length of your bread pan.

Sprinkle the top of the dough generously with sugar and cinnamon:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Sugar and Cinnamon

And then roll the dough up into a roll and place into a bread pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Ready to Rise

Next place the pan(s) in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size.

Once loaf(ves) are risen preheat oven to 350 F.

Gently brush each loaf with melted butter:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Risen and Buttered

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove loaf gently from pan and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Baked and Cut

Notes: If you make a single loaf it has more height and swirls, but two loaves turn out nicely too. You could also add raisins in before rolling the loaf if you wanted to make a Cinnamon Raisin bread.

Bear Bread

"Bear" Bread: Baked

If you’ve been a reader of Dianne’s Dishes for a while, you know I’m all about letting kids be involved in the kitchen. Alexis has been involved in one way or another in the kitchen since day one. (You can read more about that in my FAQ section.)

One of my fondest childhood memories was baking “bear” bread. I think we baked it once or twice, but it was so much fun. I knew that when I had a child of my own I’d want to bake “bear” bread with them. I have my mom looking for the picture of the bear loaves now. If she finds it I’ll have her scan it in so I can share it with you! But that’s neither here nor there…

A while back when we were studying B in Miss G’s lessons we baked bear bread. Get it? B…Bake…Bear…Bread…Oh never mind! ;oP Alexis had a blast! She’s been wanting to do it again so I think we may make a pumpkin shaped loaf soon, or maybe we’ll do a cat or a moon? Who knows? The point is, this is a very easy recipe to follow and kids really love the process!

There really isn’t anything that is special about this bread, in fact you could make it with any bead dough that was shapeable. (You could really make any shape you wanted…I even made Santa bread one time!) The one I use though is really fabulous and has such a light airy texture. It’s just perfect! Not only is the bear adorable, but it tastes good too! What’s not to like about that?

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of water
4 – 4 1/2 cups of all purpose or bread flour, divided (Note: You can use white whole wheat flour instead if you prefer.)
4 teaspoons of yeast
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 eggs, beaten for the egg wash
Raisins for decoration

In a large bowl mix 2 cups of flour, salt, sugar and yeast until well incorporated. Set aside.

"Bear" Bread: Dough

Mix sour cream and water and heat to 110 F over low heat and check the temperature using a thermometer. Pour into bowl with flour mixture. Continue to add flour until dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes until dough is elastic.

Cut dough in half and then cut each half into separate pieces: 1 large piece for the body, 1 smaller piece for the head, 2 small circles for the arms, 2 small circles for the legs and finally 2 smaller pieces for the ears:

"Bear" Bread: Body Parts

Next assemble bear on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper:

"Bear" Bread: Arms and Legs

Shape the body first, then shape the head and lay it above the body. (Note: As long as the pieces are touching firmly they’ll bake together. No need to man handle the dough or anything.) Then add the arms, legs and ears.

Once the bears body is assembled add raisins for eyes, ears, mouth and belly button:

"Bear" Bread: Ready to Rise

Mash the raisins slightly into