The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5D

Bisquick banana nut bread

I am looking for the recipe that was on the Bisquick box for banana nut bread. I notice that it is no longer printed on the box. I would love to have this recipe if anyone has it. No other recipe compares. Thanks.

– Evonne Gilman, Elk Grove

Hunan's hot-sour soup

Hunan Garden in Modesto has the best hot and sour soup I have ever tasted. I have tried to make something similar, but it always tastes different.

Does anyone have this recipe or one similar? This soup is perfect on a cold winter day. Thank you.

– Linda Greger, Gustine

Italian wedding soup, anyone?

Does anyone have a recipe for Italian wedding soup? Thank you.

– Jean Hunerlich, Davis

Cinnamon buns

Prep time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Rise time for dough: Total of 2 1/2 hours

Makes 1 dozen large buns

Cece Hagg of Elk Grove heard about a recipe for cinnamon rolls that included mashed potatoes in the list of ingredients. She was hoping someone had this recipe.

Marsha Kane of Bloomington, Ind., shares this recipe that is an adaptation of a recipe from Maida Heatter's "Book of Great American Desserts." It sounds like a match for Hagg.


Dough for buns:

1 cup mashed potatoes

1 cup milk

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided use

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up

1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees) (you can use the potato water)

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour, approximately

Additional flour, as needed


2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons melted butter

5 ounces raisins


1 tablespoon butter, softened

3/4 cup to 1 cup powdered sugar

Pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

A few drops almond extract

About 2 tablespoons cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a large bowl for the dough to rise in. Set aside.

Place the mashed potatoes in a saucepan, add the milk gradually. Stir in 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt and butter. Cook over low heat and stir occasionally until the mixture is warm (105 to 115 degrees). It is not necessary for the butter to have melted completely.

In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, stir the remaining tablespoon of sugar with the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and stir briefly. Set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture rises to the 3/4 cup mark.

In a small bowl, mix the egg and vanilla together.

When the potato mixture is warm, transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in the yeast mixture and the egg mixture. On low speed, gradually add 3 cups of the flour. Beat on low speed for a few minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. The mixture will be very sticky at this point. With a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour.

Flour a large work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Adding flour as necessary, turn the dough on the board until it becomes a workable mass.

Knead the dough for at least five minutes until it feels live to the touch and springs back. Add flour as necessary while kneading.

Place the dough in the buttered bowl, turn to coat and cover. Place dough in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the dough doubles in volume.

Make a fist and punch the dough in the middle. Fold and press the dough to deflate it. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 10 minutes.

Butter a 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch jellyroll pan. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into an 18-inch square. If the dough resists, allow it to rest for a minute and then continue rolling.

For the filling: Mix together 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle sugar mixture over butter. Sprinkle raisins evenly over the dough.

Roll the dough up like a jellyroll. The dough should be the same thickness the entire length of the roll, so shape as necessary.

Place the roll in front of you, seam down. Mark the dough into 12 even pieces. It's easy if you cut the dough in half first. Then cut each half in half. Then cut each piece into thirds. Place the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared jellyroll pan. Cover loosely with a towel and allow to rise for one hour. The buns should rise and push into each other.

Bake buns at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the buns are nicely browned. Allow the buns to stand 5 minutes before glazing.

For the glaze: In a small bowl, mix glaze ingredients together. Add cream or sugar as necessary to make a thick, pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the warm buns. Let stand until cool.

Per bun: 409 cal.; 7 g pro.; 72 g carb.; 10 g fat (6 sat., 3 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 41 mg chol.; 215 mg sod.; 2 g fiber; 23 percent calories from fat.HOW TO CONTACT THE MAILBOX

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