Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Family Treasure

While I was visiting my boyfriend's family over the holiday his mom was nice enough to share with me a copy of his Great Aunt Opal's cookbook, "The State Fair Blue Ribbon Cookbook". It's filled with recipes she submitted to the Illinois State Fair over a 45 year period - during that time she won over 2,000 Blue Ribbons, 42 trophies, and 16 Purple Rosette Sweepstakes Ribbons. In 1955, 115 of the 130 entries she submitted won Blue Ribbons - obviously, she knew what she was doing! Needless to say, I am thrilled to have a copy of this family treasure. The recipes range from breads to cookies and from cakes to jams. I've been eyeing several of the bread recipes and decided to start with the Great Aunt Opal's Cheese Bread - no surprise, it's as scrumptious as it sounds!

Cheese Bread
1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 C warm water
1 3/4 C scalded milk
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 C grated cheese
5 1/4 C sifted flour

Soak yeast in 1/4 C warm water. Add cheese and shortening to hot milk. Let cool. Add yeast mixture. Add 1 C flour, sugar, and salt and beat until smooth. Add remaining flour, stir until smooth, put on floured board and knead about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Put in a greased bowl, cover and keep warm 80-85 degrees, until doubled in bulk.

Divide dough in half, using the rolled dough method* mold into two loaves. Place in well greased pans, 9x5x3 inches. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.

Butter top of loaves while hot. Cool on rack.

Rolled dough

 *I wasn't sure what the rolled dough method was and couldn't find any info online or in my other cookbooks, so I did what I thought Opal meant - I divided the dough in two and rolled out each ball of dough, then I rolled each like a jelly roll and placed them in the pans. If I did it again, I would sprinkle a little shredded cheese on the dough before rolling it.

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