Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When you feel the Need to Kneed

MMMmmmm, I can smell it already. Can't you? The yeast, the warmth it brings your home, the beautiful brown color. That's right, I'm talking about bread. Those loves that sustain us from day to day.
Bread is one thing I can do well. So here I'm going to give you some of my best bread recipes. Starting with...

French Bread~ This is my favorite soup bread. It is perfect for dipping into just about anything, but especially soups!

  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Mix in a large bowl until dissolved
  2. Add:
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 4 cups flour
  1. Mix well
  2. Add 3- 4 cups of flour One cup at a time until dough is easy to handle
  3. Knead for 5-10 min. Until dough is elastic and smooth.
  4. Let it rise to double. Punch down and divide into 2. Roll out into ropes about 14 in long. Place on a cookies sheet side by side or in a french bread baking pan if you have one. Cut 3 or 4 slashes in the top with a very sharp knife. Let rise again while oven preheats to 375
  5. Bake 25-30 min. Remove from pan at once.

Ready for something else to dip? How about some bread sticks? Yummy soft ones that are fabulous with cheese.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2-3 cups flour
  1. Mix yeast in water, dissolve
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Kneed, Rise 1 hour
  4. Roll out as thick or thin as you want them
  5. Using a pizza cutter or something of the like, cut into strips as wide as you would like
  6. Twist, tie in knots, stretch, or leave them the shape they are
  7. Let rise on a greased baking sheet about 1 hour
  8. If you would like just before baking them sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, spices, or anything else that comes to you.
  9. Bake at 400* for 15 minutes or until browned.

So many more breads to choose from what do I tell you about next? I recently discovered this recipe and love it (note the singing tone here)! It is Focaccia that I use for our pizza crust! Tastes so good you will think you are at a restaurant. I have only used this for pizza, and it makes it last 3 times longer because we can only eat one piece before we are full.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  1. Put flour and salt in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl mix the yeast water and oil
  3. Make a well in the flour, and pour the liquid in the center
  4. Stir then kneed until soft and elastic~It will be wetter than bread
  5. Rise 1-2 hours
  6. Pour dough from the bowl strait into a greased jelly pan. DO NOT punch down or fold over in any way, just plop it right in.
  7. Use your fingers to stretch it out in the pan. If it won't keep shape let it rest a few minutes then try again.
  8. For true Focaccia brush it with olive oil then sprinkle sea salt and rosemary over the top
  9. Bake at 400* just until light brown, about 15 minutes.
  10. If you are making pizza out of it, after baking just throw on your sauce, cheese and toppings, and put back in the oven til hot

Well, I have 3 more recipes to tell you about. Rolls, I know everyone can make rolls. You can even buy them cheap, but not these. Every Christmas I am asked to make these rolls because they are so rich. Something so good should not be so simple, yet it is. Always have a good roll recipe. If you don't have one, email me!

I almost posted my bread bowl recipe, but if you know me I am guessing you already have it. Early this year I was asked to head up the making of 250 bread bowls for a fund raiser. Yes, in my insanity I agreed. Then the ovens we were going to use became unavailable so the whole operation got moved to my house, and we started baking. I had some amazing sidekicks, partners, friends. We spent the next 4 days round the clock, non stop, insane baking!! It was an emotional time. We laughed, we cried, we were covered in flour! Over all I have mostly fond memories from that week...oh the pig tails :) I still have the recipe, and it is still as wonderful as ever.

Lastly I come from Jewish decent (several generations back). Growing up we celebrated some of the Jewish holidays, and traditions. Partly because of my family's heritage, and partly because the bible tells us to keep the holiday's Jesus kept. Of course he was Jewish so..... One of my favorite breads comes out of this. Hala Bread is the Jewish braided bread that is used every week in the Sabbath dinner. It is a wonderful tradition that I wish we still carried on in my own home. This bread is only good fresh, unless it is used in french toast or grilled cheese. I think it is only good right away because it is only meant to be used in one meal~Sabbath dinner~and not made again until the next week. It is a food that I hold precious because of the memories and legacy that has been left to me.

Before I go, there is one more thing I would like to leave with you.
Matthew 4:4
But He answered and said "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Don't just feed your family bread, feed them God's word. While you are feeding your body today I encourage you to feed your soul.


The Schmidts said...

ooo amber! this is so inspiring! i think we will live off a steady diet of soup & bread this winter!
time to hibernate.. :)

Between Hitching Posts said...

Want the other recipes too! Can you email me you roll, bread bowl, & the Sabbath bread?