Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I know I am probably stating the obvious, but I love cooking blogs. I love that at my fingertips I have countless recipes with mouthwatering pictures, tempting descriptions and helpful reviews. Since discovering all of these cooking blogs, I think the thing that I am most pleased about is my increased level of confidence in the kitchen. I am no longer intimidated to try new recipes, cook a turkey, bake bread, cook from scratch or invite people over for dinner (cooking food for other people used to give me major anxiety). I have now realized how easy and cheap baking bread can be. I have a few no fail recipes that I rely on so I am no longer paying over $2.50 for a package of dinner rolls or french bread. This bread usually makes an appearance when ever I make soup. So even if you don't bake bread a lot, try this recipe and I know you will love it.
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 c. warm water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
4 1/2 c. to 5 c. flour
In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead for about 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into 12 in. long loaves.
Place seam side down on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Brush entire loaf with egg wash (1 egg and 1 Tbsp. water mix together in bowl). Bake at 450 for 15-20 min. (I have never had to bake mine longer that 15 min.)