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An All-American 4th of July: Cowboy Sweet Bread

An All-American 4th of July: Cowboy Sweet Bread
An All-American 4th of July: Cowboy Sweet BreadChef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

I think my favorite holiday may be the 4th of July. It gives me a chance to not only run around grilling to my hearts content without people thinking I am a mad man playing with fire and knives, but it gives me a chance to delve into what is considered to be true-blue (or true red/white and blue) American cooking. It's fun and that really is what cooking should be all about.

In this series called An All-American 4th of July, we will have some fun with some true American cooking. It will be tasty! It will be easy and it will give you a chance to celebrate the birth of the greatest nation on the face of this earth while filling your stomach with delicious morsels of Americana!

Cowboy cooking is a true art form, albeit seems to be a dying one. These men (and women) of the great American Southwest didn't rely on gadgets, they used their God-given talents. They didn't have processed foods (lucky for them), they used fresh ingredients. They ate well and they ate healthy -- then they walked into the Bucket of Blood and were gunned down but hell, they died full!

This recipe for Cowboy Sweet Bread is almost like the original one I found too many years ago to remember. I have adapted it for a modern kitchen but I am pretty certain the final outcome will taste the same as when Kit Carson rode the Southwest trails.

If you want to add a little pizzazz to these, before you put them into the oven brush each piece with some beaten egg white and sprinkle with raw sugar as I have done in the pictures. It's not authentic, but its good!

Ingredients needed to make Cowboy Sweet Bread (makes about 12 pieces, depending on size):

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
  • 6 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups flour

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the milk and yeast. Let the yeast proof (foam) about 10 minutes.
  2. Into the bowl whisk the butter, sugar, salt and eggs until well combined.
  3. Stir the flour into the bowl and once it has formed a dough, remove it to a floured surface and knead about 5 minutes (this is a sticky dough, so it can get messy).
  4. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and let rise about 90 minutes.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 12 portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
  6. Flatted each ball into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet and let rest 30 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Place the bread into the oven and bake 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."