Monday, February 7, 2011

Sour Dough Herb Bread

Bread pictures courtesy ofhttp://www.krusteaz.com/brands/krusteaz/bread_machine_mixes/

Good evening and ya'll come on in for a visit. I would complain about the weather but a friend who reads my blog said I had sung that song enough and just get over it. Soooo, I will just say it is a typical winter afternoon and I am going to start a fire in the fireplace soon.

As you can tell from the pictures above I am going to talk about bread. When we were growing up, we never had a meal without a hot bread of some type which our mama had made. For breakfast we would have toast most of the time but other than that it was home made. Mostly we had her delicious cornbread and biscuits but she could whip a bunch of homemade rolls in a jiffy. Sometimes she would make homemade bread in a loaf but mostly it was her good cloverleaf rolls which we had when there was company or a special occasion.

We would even eat cold cornbread or biscuits for snacks. Taking the cold biscuit, sticking your finger through the side to make a pocket and then pour syrup in it and a better snack is hard to find. Syrup and cornbread is good also especially if it is hot and you put lots of butter on the bread before you pour the syrup. There is not much of anything better than good homemade biscuits and cornbread.

Mama taught me how to make cornbread for my first bread lesson but she and "Miss Leacy", my home ec teacher, taught me how to make all types of bread - cornbread, biscuits, and rolls. As we established our own family, I continued to make hot breads for every meal and Roy went from 175 lbs. to 220 in less than a year.

As our family has dwindled to 2 I have had to learn to cook less which is difficult but I am learning and we also freeze a lot. Most of my bread recipes make 2 loaves so I had not made any for a long time until I found a whole box of several bread machine mixes in the pantry. I gave my bread machine away but after looking at the instructions, I found there are instructions for using a regular oven and everything is already measured and it makes one loaf. The yeast was out of date but all you have to do is buy some dry, fresh yeast and use that.

I also use my mixer and the dough hooks so it is really easy and you can add ingredients to the mixes to make new recipes. The one I am making today is sourdough with Italian herbs so I thought I would share it with you. It really is easy for the dough hooks do most of the kneading for you but I like to knead bread - works out a lot of frustrations. Try this and let me know what you think.
Sourdough Italian Bread

1 pkg. sourdough bread machine mix
2 tsp. Italian herbs or Herbs de Provence
1 cup warm water
1 pkg. yeast

In large mixer bowl put 1/2 bread mix, yeast and herbs. Mix until herbs and yeast are mixed with the four mixture. Add 1 cup warm water and mix well using the dough hooks and then add the rest of the mix about 1/2 cup at the time. Mix well and then knead until the dough makes a ball. You can take the dough out of bowl when mixed, place on floured surface and knead until smooth.
Place the ball of dough in a bowl which has been oiled with olive oil, turn the dough until coated on all sides, cover with clean cloth, place in a warm spot until it has doubled in size. Punch the dough down with your fist, remove from bowl, shape into a loaf and place in oiled loaf pan OR shape into a round loaf and place on oiled baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil, cover with clean cloth, place in warm spot and let rise until doubled in size. Place in preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 - 25 minutes. When done, it will be brown on top. Remove from oven, remove from pan and let cool on rack. I like to slice it and eat with olive oil and additional Italian herbs on top.

For a cheesy bread, when shaping the loaf, with rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle on a floured surface, sprinkle with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, roll, seal the edges and place in loaf pan oiled with olive oil.

You can use any type of cheese you like but I really like the fresh, shaved Parmesan but just use your imagination and have fun. The bread mix makes it really easy and there are several brands of machine mixes you can use. I have used the ones from King Arthur, but choose what is available. I have added dried cranberries to the Hawaiian mix, and cinnamon and raisins to the sweet bread mix. Let your imagination go and what can happen but it won't taste good but after all it is just a loaf of bread.
I hope you will try some of these and let me know what you think.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

No comments: