Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bread Variations

Once you have mastered a basic bread dough such as the Country White Bread or the Whole Grain Bread, you can now make endless variations! 

If you make out a weekly menu, on baking day you could look at your menu for ideas on breads you could use during the week, such as hamburger buns, cinnamon bread, garlic bread, etc. I'm not that organized but maybe you are! 

Be sure to mark the your tops of your loaves in some way, such as sprinkle cinnamon bread with some cinnamon sugar.

 I'm sure you can come up with many other ideas but here are a few to get you started. Other ideas can be found on the sweet dough post.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Roll out your bread dough into a rectangle.
Spread with softened butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. If desired, sprinkle raisins, chopped nuts, craisins or other dry fruit. Roll the dough up beginning with the short side, squeezing tightly. Place in greased loaf pan.
Note: Bread made like this will separate but taste awesome. If you want a prettier slice, omit the butter and sugar so that it will "stick" together better. 

Monkey Bread

Pull dough into small balls. Dip into melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.
Place into greased bread pan. (Don't fill too full. I often have balls “hopping” out of the pan as it rises in the oven! Maybe the reason it is called monkey bread! This is my children's favorite and is usually consumed immediately out of the oven!)
(I didn't get a picture of the monkey bread before several "balls" were pulled off and consumed - but you get the idea!) 
Dinner or Sandwich Rolls
Form into rolls of whatever size desired and place in greased pan or baking sheet.

Herb Cheese Bread
Roll dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese and herbs as desired. I usually use mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, and poppy seeds.
Roll up dough beginning at long side, squeezing seam tightly. Place on greased baking sheet. 

I often form a figure “eight”, tucking the ends into the center, but you can make any shape. Brush top with milk, sprinkle sesame seeds and slit the top.
I'd love to hear what you do with a ball of dough!


  1. Hi Gina :) Today I'd like to make the herb cheese bread. I just use one of the basic bread dough's or a sweet bread dough? Just wanted to check before getting started :)

  2. Sarah -
    I would use a basic dough, either white bread, potato bread or whole wheat bread.

    Let me know how you like the cheese bread!

  3. Around our house bread day means "pockets" as well. Pizza, ham and cheese, chicken and brocolli are the kids favorites, but you can put pretty much anything. My kids love helping make these and they freeze very well.

    You just roll out the bread fairly thin (~1/4"), cut into squares (5"x5" or so), fill with whatever you like on one half (don't over fill), fold over the other half to make the pocket, crimp with a fork, brush with an egg wash, butter, seeds or cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, but it may vary depending on how many you are baking at a time. We freeze them as well and make great quick lunches and dinners when we don't have a lot of time. (You can reheat in the oven or microwave.)

  4. The herb cheese bread is impressive! My children would love that.
    I do monkey bread and it's cousin, garlic bubble bread in bundt pans. Flip onto a plate when done and put one on each end of the table within easy reach of teenagers.

  5. I have been homemaking our bread and rolls and such, for years...but you have introduced me to a few more *great* ideas! **Thank-you!**

    Katy :)

  6. I forgot to add, you can make cinnamon rolls with a basic bread recipe, as well! They are a favorite in my home! :)

  7. Oh yummy! What great ideas. I am going to try every one of them. Thanks so much, Gina.

  8. um, until I read your inspiring post, I just made loaves of bread!! You've definitely given me some new ideas, thank you. I haven't had monkey bread in years because all the recipes I see are full of processed commercial products.

  9. I do the monkey bread and the herb bread (we make them into breadsticks).

    I like the figure 8 one, looks very interesting!

  10. Um, I have yet another question ~ how long do you bake the herb bread for and what temp? Laura made some GREAT suggestions on the pockets too. I'm also going to try those :)

  11. Sarah -
    I didn't put and time and temperature since it depends upon the dough you are using and how thick you make it.

    Check your bread recipe you are using and estimate from that how long.

    Does that help?

  12. Hi Gina,
    While researching more ways to become more self sufficient at our house I found your wonderful site. I just love your recipes, especially the breads. We tried your chicken pie last night and it was a big hit! Keep up the great work!


  13. Yummy! All the recipes look so good!


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