It got COLD this week, and I’m not so thrilled about that. We got our first snow in the Midwest and I hadn’t cooked anything yet, which meant I had two requirements: A) I needed something homemade and comforting B) I didn’t want to venture outside (totally thankful for a job where I work from home), so I needed something where I had all of the ingredients already. I didn’t have a lot of veggies on hand, so the one thing that seemed like a great idea was to bake some bread.
Seriously, does anything smell better than fresh, homemade bread…well not much that I could think of. So I began to scour Pinterest and Tasty Kitchen for bread recipes that looked easy and had very common ingredients. I came across a French bread recipe, which required a few ingredients plus I’d never made French bread before…I think we have a winner!
So over my lunch break I whipped up dough and let it rise, and I was able to make the bread easily. This recipe does require the dough to rise 3 times, so it will take a few hours but it’s so worth it and really the rising was what took the longest, which worked perfectly.
If you’ve made bread of any kind involving yeast, you’ll know this is the most delicate part of the recipe. You want to make sure the temperature of the liquid you add to the yeast is just right so that it’s not too hot and kills the yeast or too cool and the yeast doesn’t activate. Check out your packaging on the yeast, but typically the active dry yeast I use calls for 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why having a digital thermometer will make your life SO much easier.
Otherwise, there’s not much you can do to screw up this bread, and it makes a TON (two loaves actually), which is perfect to share with your friends and family. And for my first attempt at French bread, I have to say this was a homerun. It looks like homemade bread that you buy in the bakery section of your grocery store and tastes delightful.
To impress yourself and your friends and make your kitchen smell fab, click here for the recipe and step by step instructions.
What I was cooking a year ago: Cranberry Love
I probably haven’t told you lately how much I love cranberries, have I? Oh wait, I’m sure I have. This time last year I was making cranberry recipes galore, including an oh-so-yummy cranberry and orange muffin and cranberry goat cheese kisses (yes, I was in heaven with both cranberries and goat cheese), For a sweet yet tart treat, definitely re-visit this cooking week…I think I hear those muffins calling my name.