Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Hello friends! Sorry it's been awhile since the last post. I've been running around San Francisco eating sourdough bread and award winning Japanese cream puffs. I also saw the sights. Now I'm back and you are first on my priority list. As you've been reading It's In the Bag, you've probably noticed a lack of recipes for breads or desserts, this was due to a limited page allotment. Today we are remedying the problem!
The Bag Lady's french bread is absolutely superb. The perfectly crisp crust is complimented by the chewy inside. Hot from the oven, slathered with butter, creamy swiss, or dipped in balsamic vinegar and oil--it is heavenly. Bread probably shouldn't be the main focus of a meal, but this tends to be the show stopper. The biggest perk? It's amazingly simple to make. The recipe makes 2 loaves. We usually eat a whole loaf the first day, and use the 2nd to make bruschetta when it gets a little drier.
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teas salt
1 Tbl sugar
2 1/4 teas (1 packet) yeast
3-4 cups flour
Combine warm water, salt, and sugar, stir until dissolved. Add yeast and give it a stir. Stir in 3 cups of flour. Gradually add more flour until the dough is no longer sticky, but remains soft and pliable. Do not add too much flour.
Knead for 3 minutes on a lightly floured counter. Place dough in an oiled bowl and roll it about until lightly covered. Seal bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise for approximately 1-1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. Remove dough from bowl and shape into loaves. Place in a french bread pan, or on a cookie sheet dusted with corn meal. If you desire decorative cuts, lightly score top of loaf with a sharp knife/razor blade. Allow loaves to rise for another 30 minutes.
Place an empty metal pie pan on the bottom oven rack. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place pan with loaves on middle rack and pour one cup of boiling water into the pie pan(good steam clouds produce a crisp crust.) Bake for 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when golden brown and produces a hollow sound when thumped. Let loaves cool 20-30 minutes before slicing.
Don't forget, if you're in Provo/Orem this week stop by and see us at Barnes & Noble or Costco! Please see the side bar for exact times and addresses.