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
- In a large bowl whisk together the milk and yeast. Let the yeast proof (foam) about 10 minutes.
- Into the bowl whisk the butter, sugar, salt and eggs until well combined.
- 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).
- Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and let rise about 90 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 12 portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
- Flatted each ball into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet and let rest 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the bread into the oven and bake 15 minutes.
- 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."