Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Fast White Bread

I’m still working on perfecting my bread making skills. I picked up Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary from the library which is packed full of great recipes and has some nice tips. I decided to try the “Fast White Bread” recipe (pg.597) and it turned out wonderful. My other breads were very dense, I’m guessing I used too much flour, but we enjoyed them no less. However, this bread turned out so soft in the middle and slightly crunchy on the outside. Great for sandwiches. I will definitely be using this recipe again!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bread flour + extra
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package active dry or quick-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup very warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
 Directions
  1. Stir together bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Add water and butter to mixture.  Add an additional 1/4 cup of flour at a time (up to 1 1/4 cup) until dough is moist but not sticky.
  3. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over to coat with oil.  Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75 to 85 degrees F) until double in bulk, 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  Punch down the dough, form it into a loaf, and place seam side down in the pan.  Oil the surface and cover loosely with a clean cloth.  Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, 20 to 45 minutes.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  7. Remove the loaf from pan and allow to cool on a bakers rack.
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Pizza party of two

Since I mastered the art of baking bread (and by mastered I mean I’ve baked one loaf my whole life), last night I decided to try my hand at homemade pizza.  The dough recipe seemed easy enough..plus if it turned out bad it’s still pizza..who doesn’t like pizza?  So Jon and I decided that I would make the pizza and he would help me eat it.  He eats anything so I wasn’t too worried about my lack of pizza dough making skills.  Fast forward 2 ish hours and wall-a! Pizza! I’m not trying to brag or anything but I have to say it was probably the best pizza I’ve ever had..seriously..I’m awesome!

Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 cups bread flour (adjust as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into a pizza crust shape. Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings (we used spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes) and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.