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~Winston Churchill~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bread for the Masses

Matthew 14 18:21

“Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

I've always loved this passage.  I love to feed people and see them enjoy a good meal.  I have always been the one that brought in goodies to the office.  I remember taking gumbo into the machine shop in Boise to a bunch of guys that didn't know what gumbo was. I would bring in hot cider in my crock pot for the guys that worked outside to enjoy.  Now days, I tend to schlep whatever I've baked that weekend into the office.  Lately, I've been wanting to learn how to make bread.  I think it was even one of my New Year's resolutions for 2011.  I've found two great recipes that I'm really enjoying making. 

For the Baguettes - I used this recipe from The Sisters Cafe: 
(I hope its ok I put this here  - it is her recipe)

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs. (2 packages) dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
In a small bowl mix the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes – foam should form on the top.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough becomes a smooth ball and knead for 5 minutes. (I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook)
Cut in half and then shape into 2 baguettes. To make them smooth and pretty, roll each half of dough into rectangle and roll up lengthwise. Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased cookie sheet (or silpat) with seam down. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a very sharp knife (I like to use a serrated blade) gently make a slash down the length of each baguette. This will give it that authentic look. Pour water in a cookie sheet and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Half way through, brush the bread with melted butter.
This are the ones I made last night - went pretty fast.  I just went too heavy on the butter :O

For the crusty bread I used this recipe from Simply So Good
 (I hope its ok I put this here  - it is her recipe)
Crusty Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. 

Crusty bread

So go out and make bread and feed the masses.


Karen said...

I guess you can add "Bread Diva" to your list of accomplishments! Those look AMAZING!!!

Regena said...

they do look amazing and now I am starving!!

Denise said...

I LOVE the 2nd recipe. I've made several loaves using this recipe from Amy's original post. It didn't last long at my house! Now I'll have to try the 1st one! Thanks Amy!

jillytacy said...

Your breads look delicious. I wish I was better at making breads. It never seems to rise quite right.

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