Back to Bread

This morning, I got two kids working on math the third on spelling and decided it was high time to whip up a loaf of bread.  It had, afterall, been MONTHS. 

I usually give myself a max 9:30am start time cut-off in order to enjoy it fresh from the oven for lunch.  It was 9:30 when the thought entered my mind, so I got to it.  I measured the water and yeast and my second son looked up from the island and gasped “Are YOU making BREAD?” 

Then my boy with the go-go-gadget ears came tearing in from the next room, leaving his spelling book in the dust bunnies behind him, threw his arms around me and gave me three big hugs followed by three big massive kisses.  They were right on the mouth too!  

Yeah, yeah.  I get it.  It’s been a while. 

And now my kids are pretty happy.

This recipe is a good one.  We like it because it makes great panini sandwiches in the press.  I can add whatever herbs and spices I want, and if I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I’ll throw some diced onion into the dough and add shredded cheddar on top. 

The silly thing is that it really is nothing to throw together.  I really don’t know what my hesitation has been these last few months.  I fell off the bread wagon and now that I’ve pulled myself back up off the ground… well… who knows what could happen!  But it really only took about 5 minutes of my time, so seriously, I need to suck it up and get back at er. 

Here it is if you want to give it a whirl:

Panini Bread

2 cups of warm water

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp yeast

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp olive oil

whatever herbs and spices you want (I usually add onion powder and garlic powder, basil and sometimes rosemary)

2 cups unbleached flour

3 cups whole wheat flour (I often make this a mix of other healthy flours, flax, etc)

1)  Put water, honey and yeast in bowl of stand mixer (it’s how I roll, but you can do it by hand too).

2)  Stir lightly to mix and let sit 7-8 minutes, so yeast can activate.

3)  Add oil, salt and spices and stir.

4)  Add flours and mix on low with a dough hook for about 6 minutes.

5)  By now the dough should be wrapped nicely around the dough hook.  I use that opportunity to splash some olive oil in the bowl and swirl it around so the ball of dough doesn’t stick.  Roll it to cover in oil and place a damp tea towel over the bowl, set in a warm (ish) spot.  I turn on my undercabinet lights and stick it under there.  Set your timer for 20 minutes.

6)  Come back and press the dough into a greased (olive oiled) bar pan.  I use the pampered chef version and it’s perfect!  Cover again and let it sit for 10 more minutes.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle with whatever else you like – like any or all of the following, to name a few:  parmesan cheese, cheddar, basil, rosemary, chopped garlic, sliced tomatoes, salt, oregano, whatever. you. fancy.

7)  Pop into your preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes.  Wait to hear your family moan over the delicious smell. 

8)  Cool.  I put mine on wire racks for about 10 minutes if I’m in a rush for lunch.  I find it’s best to cut the flat loaf into strips (quarters) then cut to desired size from there.  Once they are in squares, slice lengthwise – carefully, of course.   

Today I served either garden fresh tomato & cheddar or the same with roast beef.  It was so tasty. 

And about time!

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