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Breads: Benjamin's Host Mom's Zopf Bread

Ingredients

Pre-dough

Directions

Make the pre-dough, then add butter, salt and mlik and mix well. Let rise for 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Form 2 equal blobs of dough and separate each blob into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a rope about a foot long. Braid 3 ropes together to make 2 braided loaves. Bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Pre-dough

Mix the yeast and the milk in a small bowl until dissolved. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast and milk in the well, then mix with your finger from the center outwards until it's doughy. Don't mix all the flour into the center with your finger, just some of it. Cover this doughy center with a sprinkling of flour, then put it in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cracks form all over the flour on the surfance of the doughy center.

Desserts: The Best Frosting

Ingredients

Directions

Mix together all ingredients except the mlik. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is the consistency you want it. You may want to add more than 3 tablespoons. Mix well, then frost!

Main Dishes: Thin Crust Pizza

Ingredients

Directions

Preaheat oven to 500 degrees F. Heat water to lukewarm, then add yeast and whisk into water.

Mix dry ingredients, then make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture. Combine until it forms a ball. Knead in any lose flour until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide in half.

Roll each piece into a 10 or 12 inch circle about 14 inch high.

Top with sauce and all toppings except cheese. Bake 5 minutes and rotate, then bake 3 more mintues. Then add cheese and bake about 3 to 5 more minutes until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Other: Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

Crunch Topping

Directions

Prepare the Crunch Topping and set aside.

Boil potatoes until tender. Remove skins when cooled. Put into a large bowl and whip them until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased casserole pan and top with the Crunch Topping.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Crunch Topping

Combine all ingredients until crumbly.

Soup & Salad: Zuppe Toscana

Ingredients

Directions

Cook the sausage and red pepper flakes in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until crumbly, bronwed and no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

Cook the bacon in the same pot over medium heat until crisp. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the pot. Stir in the onions and garlic, cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into the pot with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach with the soup just before serving.