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4 recipes from the pantry

You probably have everything on hand to make any of these homemade comfort foods.

Easy everyday bread

¾ cup warm water (105°F. to 115°F.)
1 package active dry yeast
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil
Cornmeal
1 egg
2 teaspoons water

1. In a large bowl stir together the ¾ cup warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt just until warm (120°F. to 130°F.) and butter almost melts. Stir milk mixture into yeast mixture until combined. Stir in flour (dough will be sticky). Lightly coat a medium bowl with cooking spray; transfer dough to the greased bowl. Lightly coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray; cover bowl with the greased plastic wrap and chill overnight.

2. Using a dough scraper or spatula, carefully loosen dough from bowl and turn out onto a floured surface. Cover with the greased plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.

3. Grease a baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Gently shape dough into an oblong oval loaf. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, using dough scraper or spatula if necessary. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 1 hour).

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl whisk together egg and the 2 teaspoons water; brush over loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in loaf registers at least 200°F. If necessary, cover loaf with foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.

Baking powder biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
¾ cup milk

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Grease large cookie sheet. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add milk and stir until just combined.

2. On lightly floured surface, roll dough ½ inch thick. Cut into 2-inch circles, rerolling scraps once. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Makes 15 biscuits.

Puffed oven-baked pancakes

Nonstick cooking spray
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
Dash salt
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
23 cup sliced fresh fruit (such as strawberries, peeled kiwifruit, nectarines, pears, and/or peeled peaches)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat two 4½-inch individual pie plates, 10-ounce custard cups, or 10-ounce au gratin dishes with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine egg, flour, milk, and salt. Beat with a wire whisk or rotary beater until smooth. Immediately pour batter into prepared baking dishes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pancakes are puffed and well browned.

3. Meanwhile, place orange marmalade in a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on 100% power (high) about 30 seconds or until melted.

4. To serve, top puffed pancakes with fruit; spoon melted marmalade over fruit. Serve warm.

Homemade egg noodles

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 egg
13 cup water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or olive oil
All-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl stir together 1¾ cups of the flour and the salt. Using the back of a spoon, make a well in the center of the flour mixture. In a small bowl combine egg yolks, whole egg, the water, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until mixture forms dough.

2. Sprinkle a clean kneading surface with the remaining ¼ cup flour. Turn out dough onto the floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total kneading time). Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into four equal portions.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a 12-inch square (about 116 inch thick). Lightly dust both sides of the dough square with additional flour. Let stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. (Or using a pasta machine, pass each dough portion through machine according to manufacturer's directions until dough is 116 inch thick, dusting dough with flour as needed. Let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes.) Loosely roll dough square into a spiral; cut crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips. Unroll strips to separate; cut strips into 2- to 3-inch-long pieces. Cook noodle pieces in a large amount of boiling lightly salted water or broth for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender; drain well. (Or place noodle pieces in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before cooking.)

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